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One of the purposes of this site is to aggregate information that will asssit in the study of mytho-psychology as it applies to the decisions you make on a daily basis. The content below is a selection from our Blog. Please sign in to comment.Peacemaking doesn't mean passivityBrandon WilliamsCraig "Peacemaking doesn’t mean passivity. it is the act of interrupting injustice without mirroring injustice, the act of disarming evil without destroying the evildoer, the act of finding a third way that is neither fight nor flight but the careful, arduous pursuit of reconciliation and justice. It is about a revolution of love that is big enough to set both the oppressed and the oppressors free. Peacemaking is about being able to recognize in the face of the oppressed our own faces, and in the hands of the oppressors our own hands.
Peacemaking, like most beautiful things, begins small. Matthew 18 gives us a clear process for making peace with someone who has hurt or offended us; first we are to talk directly with them, not at them or around them . . . Straight talk is counter-cultural in a world that prefers politeness to honesty. In his Rule, Benedict of Nursia speaks passionately about the deadly poison of “murmuring,” the negativity and dissension that can infect community and rot the fabric of love.
Peacemaking begins with what we can change — ourselves. But it doesn’t end there. We are to be peacemakers in a world riddled with violence. That means interrupting violence with imagination, on our streets and in our world. Peacemaking “that is not like any way the empire brings peace” is rooted in the nonviolence of the cross, where we see a Savior who loves his enemies so much that he died for them." - from Common prayer : a liturgy for ordinary radicals by Shane Claiborne; Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove; Enuma Okoro http://www.worldcat.org/.../common-prayer-a-liturgy-for.../
Study As We Go!2017-01-06
When you step to the helm of your financial ship to decide who you will support with funding, no matter how much, cry out "Study As We Go!" Don't wait for pristine study results before funding the initiatives that make sense on principle. That is not caution; it is putting your privilege and safety above your mission.
Waiting for The Study, when the work is timely and essential, continues to undermine and kill the cutting edge but obviously relevant projects we need to make our living systems sustainable. Trust your judgment. When you hear about a relatively small project that immediately makes sense, contact the people involved. Get a sense of their commitment and expertise, and then give them money. Right away. They need it to survive to the point that a study becomes feasible.
I have Peace Practices in mind, but there are other obviously transformative projects already in your life, if you will look for them. They are most likely struggling in this culture and economy. Please help them grow up to be big and strong!
Please add your comments and sign up/in to participate. Irrelevant material will be removed.
You may want to sign in and click on the gear at the upper right edge of this card. When the menu appears, look to its last option and click "follow" to be notified of change and new content.Hire Brandon
Peace Practices is on the ropes and will take time, new revenue, and the care of committed people to recover. If you'd like to read the whole story, please visit http://abcglobal.net/Peace_Practices_End_of_2016_Appeal. It is time for me to take full responsibility for inadequate rescue efforts and recruit others with expertise that will help us build over time.
More immediately, it is time to emphasize other work that I love and am good at (list below) in order to take care of my family. Can you help me, or introduce me to someone who can? Whom do you know who might be ready to hire a teacher, instructor, lecturer, or assistant professor in literature, psychology, or religious studies?
Do you know a business in need of an executive, manger, or administrator?
Whom do you know who would love to host a workshop or coaching session to learn how professional leaders and teams can improve their results by learning to do conflict well? I am also available for aikido seminars.
My LinkedIn profile is at williamscraig.com. I would very much appreciate your suggestions, support, professional guidance, wish you and yours a most excellent holiday, and hope to hear from you any time,Presidential Proclamation National Arts and Humanities Month October 2016
Presidential Proclamation -- National Arts and Humanities Month, 2016
NATIONAL ARTS AND HUMANITIES MONTH
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Throughout history, the arts and humanities have been at the forefront of progress. In diverse mediums and methods -- whether through the themes of a novel, the movement of a dancer, or a monologue on a stage -- the arts enrich our souls, inspire us to chase our dreams, and challenge us to see things through a different lens. During National Arts and Humanities Month, we celebrate the important role the arts and humanities have played in shaping the American narrative.
Our achievements as a society and a culture go hand-in-hand. The arts embody who we are as a people and have long helped drive the success of our country. They provoke thought and encourage our citizenry to reach new heights in creativity and innovation; they lift up our identities, connecting what is most profound within us to our collective human experiences.
In seeking to break down barriers and challenge our assumptions, we must continue promoting and prioritizing the arts and humanities, especially for our young people. In many ways, the arts and humanities reflect our national soul. They are central to who we are as Americans -- as dreamers and storytellers, creators and visionaries. By investing in the arts, we can chart a course for the future in which the threads of our common humanity are bound together with creative empathy and openness. When we engage with the arts, we instill principles that, at their core, make us truer to ourselves.
This month, we acknowledge all those who have proudly and passionately dedicated their lives to these diverse, beautiful, and often challenging forms of expression. In our increasingly global economy, we recognize the power of the arts and humanities to connect people around the world. Be it through the pen of a poet, the voice of a singer, or the canvas of a painter, let us continue to harness the unparalleled ways the arts and humanities bring people together.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2016 as National Arts and Humanities Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs to celebrate the arts and the humanities in America.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.
Julian Wilner s Shodan Nov 12
Please put a bit of extra training time aside to help prepare for...
Julian Wilner's Shodan
Nov 12th from 10-11:30
11:30-12 half hour of open training, so everybody can harvest the excellent shodan energy by falling down together.
12-1 to complete his Martial Nonviolence requirements, Julian will offer us his first All Ages class as a yudansha. Please bring and include children in the whole event!
1PM A potluck celebration will follow, so please bring something delicious to share!
Aikido 2pt0 Martial Nonviolence class and demonstrationPaul Simon - The Werewolf
Milwaukee man led a fairly decent life
Made a fairly decent living
Had a fairly decent wife
She killed him—sushi knife
Now they're shopping
For a fairly decent afterlife
The werewolf is coming
The fact is most obits are mixed reviews
Life is a lottery
A lot of people lose
And the winners, the grinners
With money-colored eyes
Eat all the nuggets
Then they order extra fries
The werewolf is coming
The werewolf is coming, you know
The werewolf's coming
The werewolf's coming
Yes, the werewolf is coming, Joe
I hear her howling
Prowling on the hill
The werewolf's coming, Bill
Ignorance and arrogance
The national debate
Put the fight in Vegas
That's a billion-dollar gate
Should be pretty healthy
The usual deductions
Then it all goes to the wealthy
Still the werewolf's coming
Yeah, the werewolf's coming
I'm not complaining
Just the opposite, my friend
I know it's raining
But we're coming to the end of the rainbow
The lying and the spying are through
Oh! You don't know me?
O.K. I don't know you, too
The werewolf's coming
Werewolf's coming, oh
The werewolf's coming
And a werewolf's coming
The werewolf is coming, Joe
I hear her howling
Prowling on the hill
The werewolf's coming, Bill
You'd better stock up on water
Canned-goods off the shelves
And loot some for the old folks
Can't loot for themselves
The doorbell's ringing
Could be the elves
But it's probably the werewolf
It's quarter to twelve
And when it's midnight
And the wolf bites
It's a full moon
She really got the appetite
The werewolf's coming
Trump is-not fundamentally differentEverything you said here is also true of Bernie, though.
I detest Trump, but as I've said elsewhere, the Left has a lot to answer for in its constant pursuit, use of, and normalizing of authoritarianism. NOW they are starting to get nervous about a president who wields power without acknowledged Constitutional limits? Which is exactly what Obama has been doing for most of his term. Law is for the little man. Obama and Trump are above that kind of penurious mindset.
The other centrists/Trumpists are just saying, "hey now it's *our* turn for a little Constitutional over-reach." Who are we to deny them?
On a less snarky note, the protestors/rioters who threatened (and used) violence to shut down Trump in Chicago are playing right into his hands. He gets to point at them and say, "see?! This is why you need me!"
Arrrrgh. I DETEST that man.Don't drink the koolaide man. Everything Obama has done has been reviewed by the court system and found Constitutional. Your overlords just don't want you to believe that's true because to do so takes away some of their power over you. So believe it if you must. If we elect another Republican, he'll just give more tax breaks to his buddies who funded his campaign. Or if it's Trump, he'll just give the tax breaks to himself and his family. Or sure, we'll get a token pittance too, otherwise he couldn't claim that he did it for us. But he and the rest of the 1% will laugh all the way to the bank.Was trying to figure out a way to avoid the usual "No it isn't. Yes it is. No it isn't." exchange. Then Michael said what needed saying. I only have left to say, after the Bernie (or fill in the blank with candidate of your choice) Is No Different argument, that even Dubbya led us into complicity in war crimes through a process subject to the authority of the courts. I am truly sorry that the Republican Party (with its own wisdom and essential voice) has been hijacked by extremism over and over again, of late, to the point that it cannot manage to offer a candidate that can at least be said to be civilized. This is not snobbery or elitism. If our government proceeds on the basis of overt, gloves-off, explicitly cynical, ruthless domination, then there is no American Dream. All that remains is the nightmare our grandparents gave their lives to curtail. Trump went from Clown to phenom because he represents a complete departure, just as previous "Strong Men" have, from the humane responses that make us both uncertain/vulnerable and more human, rather than entirely predatory. In the current field of presidential candidates, he is alone in representing a New Order (actually very old) that always eventually finds Whatever It Takes (for me) To WIN acceptable.
I'm really busy right now. People will see sense and not elect somebody who is so obviously a con man and already positioning himself to take the country to war. If it gets really serious I'll do something later, go to a protest or something before it's too late...
History tells us what may happen next with Brexit & Trump
It seems we’re entering another of those stupid seasons humans impose on themselves at fairly regular intervals. I am sketching out here…MEDIUM.COM
CommentsWrite a reply...Brandon WilliamsCraig My point is to make clear what so many people on both sides of the proverbial aisle have concluded. We are not being offered two Business As Usual candidates, both of whom have their reprehensible sides. That narrative leads to Stone's predicted future. We are faced with choosing between a BAU politician and escalation to global hostilities and casualties well beyond anything the War For Terror now inflicts.Roger Davenport I have concluded the opposite. Global conflict has escallated under this administration. I expect a world war under Clinton at this rate.
The administration failed with their participation in the Arab Spring, Honduran overthrow, Ukraine, Libya, Syria and a few others.
The ramping up of hostilities with Russia and China are also on their heads.
This administration can certainly point the finger at Bush for Afghanistan and Iraq - but their inept policy and rampant covert actions are far beyond that now.
Their continued support for a war mongering Saudi Arabia is a ridiculous hypocracy.
Trump is a big unknown. I won't defend his stupid. But to conclude that Clinton is somehow the safer choice would be to ignore reality.
Clinton is a war hawk, pure and simple.Write a reply...Brandon WilliamsCraig War as an easy-to-start, ever-present, ongoing tool of statecraft is unacceptable, and always has been for those societies imagining themselves "civilized". We must continue to imagine ourselves as civilized and then call each other to account by way of that image. I'm hoping Thomas Moore might add something here...Brandon WilliamsCraig See also Hillman's "A Terrible Love of War"http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/54001479Get this from a library! A terrible love of war. [James Hillman] -- "War fosters an impossible collection of opposites: murder, soldierly comradeship, torture, religious conviction, the destruction of the earth, patriotism, annihilation, hope for immortal glory. ...WORLDCAT.ORGWrite a reply...Brandon WilliamsCraig Clinton is a war hawk. Agreed. The Obama Administration failed in the areas Roger mentions. Agreed. And more. Russian and Chinese hostilities are a bit more complicated, but almost reducible to the ebb and flow of predictably taking the advantage when opportunity presents itself. Saudi support is comprehensible but not acceptable, even at a purely tactical level, and has to do with waiting too long for the right time to choose the Out with the fewest casualties and highest likelihood of long-term benefit.Brandon WilliamsCraig The controlling agenda in the shadow-Business Behind Bush (encoded in the term "Bush", as though one could simply talk about the man) was minimized, and thereby allowed to succeed. Ideas like "I won't defend his stupid" reduce the global fraud to "bless his heart, he's just a dummy" without bringing forward the purpose of a dummy with the puppet master's claw up its butt and wrapped around the backbone. GWB is stupid, publicly, obviously, from way back, but voters aided and abetted the fraud. The BBB wasn't stupid, and the gleefully behind-the-scenes, gloves-off Trumpery for sale now isn't either. Talking about this as though he just can't control his impulses, is simply A Naughty Boy (but we do admire his Pluck), as though this show were not prerequisite to his full ownership, buys and sells again the lie that got us where we are. Prepare to be royally plucked, militarized globalization-style, unless we call it what it is and pull the glitz of the show to shreds, every time we see a glimmer of it, and without hesitation. We had a Clear Choice For The Actual American Dream candidate and we let him get ground up in the sausage factory.Brandon WilliamsCraig Clinton is not Bernie, and is not safe, but the agenda for which she is the front woman continues the story that Civilization still applies, which is not only "safer" but is the myth on which everything humane hinges at the national and global level. She might still preside over a descent into world war, but she hasn't effectively made this her primary campaign promise. I am aware that this is hardly a high bar. It remains to be seen, this time around, if continuing the myth (both fiction and fact) of Civilization will lead to something like reform and more humane treatment between persons. That is the aegis carried by each Leader in peril of their soul. With Clinton, it is at least possible that the American Project will survive and be more a dream and less a nightmare.Brandon WilliamsCraig Trump is a not a big unknown, as far as the man himself is even relevant. Neither is Trumpery, the agenda. It lifts its rapacious gaze to gleam across the footlights of the world stage, bares its fangs in a toothy grimace, gestures indolently toward victims from the past still disheveled and glazed of eye, and trumpets "You just can't wait to get royally Plucked!" [cue screaming fans...]Brandon WilliamsCraig Do your refer to other commonly accepted (Wall Street Journal, Economist, New York Times, all major news syndicates with one exception) crimes like the War for Terror (false premise, profiteering throughout, multiplied terrorism by more than ten-fold) as conspiracy theories? Do you suggest that the "Bush" Agenda was/is not deranged? Can you honestly accuse me of demagoguery as I demand a reasoned critique of "Trump's" clearly presented platform? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DemagogueA demagogue /ˈdɛməɡɒɡ/ (from Greek δημαγωγός, a popular leader, a leader of the mob, from δῆμος, people, populace, the commons + ἀγωγός leading, leader) or rabble-rouser is a leader in a democracy who gains popularity by exploiting prejudice and ignorance among the common people, whipping up the…EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORGWrite a reply...Michael Schaefer It's easy to respond intelligently. All that is required is the ability to be be truly objective and admit that both the left and the right could nominate anyone and that person would get 40% of the vote. But there is a clear difference between the two candidates. Trump accuses Hillary of being a liar. And yes, she has probably lied to us on Whitewater, Benghazi and her email server. But independent studies have shown that Trump lies once every five minutes whether he is speaking, texting, Twittering or communicating in any fashion whatsoever. One is a liar. The other is a pathological liar who is incapable of telling the truth. I'll take the liar over the psychologically deranged incessant liar.
NY Times: U.S. Hate Crimes Surge 6%, Fueled by Attacks on Muslims
By ERIC LICHTBLAU NOV. 14, 2016
Attacks against Muslim Americans saw the biggest surge. There were 257 reports of assaults, attacks on mosques and other hate crimes against Muslims last year, a jump of about 67 percent over 2014. It was the highest total since 2001, when more than 480 attacks occurred in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. Attacks against transgender people also sharply increased. Blacks were the most frequent victims of hate crimes based on race, while Jews were the most frequent victims based on religion, according to the F.B.I. data. But the increases in attacks on these groups were smaller than the rise in attacks against Muslims and transgender people.
The New Yorker: HATE ON THE RISE AFTER TRUMP’S ELECTION
Racist graffiti inspired by the Presidential election. Hate crimes have spiked since Donald Trump’s victory.
By Alexis Okeowo, NOVEMBER 17, 2016
Since Donald Trump won the Presidential election, there has been a dramatic uptick in incidents of racist and xenophobic harassment across the country. The Southern Poverty Law Center has reported that there were four hundred and thirty-seven incidents of intimidation between the election, on November 8th, and November 14th, targeting blacks and other people of color, Muslims, immigrants, the L.G.B.T. community, and women. One woman in Colorado told the S.P.L.C. that her twelve-year-old daughter was approached by a boy who said, “Now that Trump is President, I’m going to shoot you and all the blacks I can find.” At a school in Washington State, students chanted “build a wall” in a cafeteria. In Texas, someone saw graffiti at work: “no more illegals 1-20-17,” a reference to Inauguration Day.
The Guardian: FBI reports hate crimes against Muslims surged by 67% in 2015
Claims of hate crimes possibly linked to Trump's election reported across the US
Mazin Sidahmed in New York Monday 14 November 2016 16.31 EST
Hate crimes against Muslims shot up in 2015, according to new statistics released by the FBI, a rise which experts say was fueled by acts of extremism abroad and anti-Muslim rhetoric in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. According to the FBI, the number of hate crimes against Muslims increased by 67% in 2015, compared with the year before. There were 257 incident of hate against Muslims in the US compared with 154 in 2014. Hate crimes overall grew by 6.8% to a total of 5,850 incidents throughout the year. While crimes targeting Muslims grew by the highest amount, incidents of hate against Jewish, black and LGBTQ people all increased last year as well.
NPR: Obama Win Sparks Rise In Hate Crimes, Violence
November 25, 2008 9:00 AM ET
Communities around the country have seen a spike in racial violence since the presidential election of Barack Obama. In the few weeks since Election Day, cross burnings, racist graffiti and other alleged hate crimes have been reported.A Taste of Your Own Medicine The Problematic Nature of Revenge
A Taste of Your Own Medicine: The Problematic Nature of Revenge
They deserve it. When someone hurts you, they richly deserve the mirror held up to their transgression through which you do unto them what they did unto you. This feels like justice and Serves Them Right.
Have you ever shouted for silence, condescended because you feel disrespected, interrupted someone to insist that they never listen, or disqualified all the care and affection offered you over time because you feel under-valued right now?
The idea that one can get a positive result by "giving somebody a taste of their own medicine" seems ludicrous to me, a fool's excuse, an unsubtle spin meant to justify reprehensible behavior while enjoying the sweet taste of revenge. Then why do I do it too, respond to hurt with aggression, perhaps over and over again for years, with the people who matter most to me? When do I notice that my anger over being ill treated also comes out in seizing what I imagine to be the moral high ground and sneering insults, at least in my head and via the expressions on my face, that the other is a "fool", "unsubtle", etc?
It is easy to see the comedy in each example above, as I read this cooly and imagine some other person wallowing in hipocracy. Then I take a step back and actually notice the mirror being held by the person who feels like my attacker. It may be that they are using it as a bludgeon, rather than holding it where I can best see truth staring back at me, but the mirror can't help but reflect.
I want that person to take responsibility for their actions, and cease and desist, while at the same time I find my own choices very hard to marshal. I too deploy habitual reactions instead of chosen responses. It is even condescending to insist that I know what The Right Tactic would have been, and take the higher ground of giving advice when I am the subject, or at least target of your displeasure in the first place. Chances are good that I made a decision that hurt you. I may have been conscious of what might happen or not, to varying degrees. Who am I to give advice about not hurting other people?
This is the core, the potential treasure at the heart of this dilemma. Most societies hold self-defense as a right to the point that it seems like an obligation. After all, "the best defense if a strong offense". If you don't defend yourself with proportional force, such that you teach the attacker a lesson, you are somehow letting yourself down and them off the hook. What if we were taught that accepted tactics are not necessarily appropriate? If I can opt out of violence, even against an attacker, should I? This is, for instance, aikido's core argument and raison d'être.
If this argument seems a bit too politically correct for you, consider a more mechanical utilitarian approach: is a tactic acceptible when it does not lead to a desired outcome? Do you want to increase the likelihood of an ongoing conflict that escalates with wave on wave of retribution? After all, each person who feels wronged will have the right to a redress of grievances in which they then teach the lesson of what it feels like to receive the treatment they just suffered. When is justice served?
I propose that justice is primarily restorative, the task being to get a relational system back to functioning again, rather than punitive, and that this conclusion is counter-intuitive. It goes against common sense on purpose in the way that many carefully considered strategies turn reactive instinct on its head. When I am able to think clearly again, I wish that I had opted out of the retribution exchange in favor of getting right to whatever is needed. Rather than return violence for violence, I truly want to stay engaged, as safely as possible, until I understand better what will remove the need for the battle to continue. I want the cycle of violence itself to end, which leaves little room for spite, tactically speaking.
This nonviolent approach requires a clear headed analysis (what's really going on) and establishment of goals (what everyone involved really needs) that seems impossible during the burn of feeling attacked, unless one has prepared strategies in advance through thought and practice. Active nonviolence is hard to pull off under pressure, unless one has trained in deploying tactics under perceived threat. I am proposing that nonviolence must be learned like a martial art, over years, with the best teachers one can find, mastery always just over the next hill, as misunderstandings and errors become more and more subtle and hard to iron out.
That is why I call what I do Martial Nonviolence and both love and hate the mirrors in front of which I find myself on a daily basis. Every time I fail to practice consciously, I feel as though I've failed in one of the most important lessons life has to offer, and on which coming generations depend for the survival of our species. When I succeed, the high is more than rewarding; it makes today sparkle and shine. That joy is the motivating reward, the treasure at the heart of the training. For insisting I give you "a taste of your own medicine" I will only ever be despised. In the end, the real reason to learn these lessons is to look in the face of those I love and see them flourish and become more humane.
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