January 28, 2005


Yes, the arm is officially broken.

Zoe just got her brand new light weight full arm cast.
At least this is what I am assuming from a picture Mike just sent over the internet. The photo taken on his phone camera was apparently sent from the interior of the doctor's office. Ah, the wonders of today's world.

Zoe chose a blue cast and it looks very spiffy.
Our little Zoe is a trooper.
She is smiling. I love that girl!


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January 27, 2005


Let's say; "Happy Birthday Matt!"

I know how much you like all the attention my dear son....
But, January 27th is a good day.
And should be noted.
I am glad you were born!

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January 22, 2005


OK. I've been busy.
...Haven't had much time to post.

And, due to the recent rains (I think), I've been a little sore lately.
Course that could change tomorrow. :-)

So, just to let you know I am alive,
I thought I would alert you to one more thing to worry about.

More Weather Changes.

Check out Dieter's post, Global Dimming.
Again ... Eeks!!! Thanks Dieter! :-/



Tonight I was clearing out old and neglected e-mail.
Some from November so the following may be dated.
I told you I was busy.

Check this New Year's Greeting out.
Who designs this stuff? Make a wish is fun and pretty cool.


And last, but not least, a greeting from my son.
Here it is:

Matt's Post Inaugural Blues Greeting

"Hi all...

Ok, so this started out as my holiday e-greeting, but December was
kind of rough for me, so it got bumped to being a "New Years"
e-greeting, but that didn't happen either... So I ultimately turned
this into my post-Inaugural-blues e-greeting...


Hope you get a smile out of it... Feel free to pass it along to any
bitter, jaded, or depressed progressives out there...

Best wishes...
- Matt

Thanks Matt.
Your Christmas/New Year/Whatever Greeting made me laugh.



The following may be too sappy-sweet for some of you.
But, I must admit it brought a tear to my eye.
Four Candles touched me.

What can I say?
I am a Sixty-Something Grandmother!
And, we have to believe that there is always hope,
or we would all be jumping off cliffs or something.
Some of us have stay around to keep working on making it better.

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January 14, 2005


Guess what today is?

You are right!
Today is Pete's Birthday.

Happy Birthday, my love.

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January 13, 2005


Every once in a while Pete prints out one of Arianna Hiffington's columns for me to read. Arianna always has something to say, and she says it well

So, now am sharing what this citizen had to say on January 11th with you. Time for all of us to get back to work!

America's Finite Future?
-By Arianna Huffington
January 11, 2005

Near the beginning of "Saturday Night Fever," John Travolta's Tony Manero, frustrated that his boss thinks he should save his salary instead of spending it on a new disco shirt, cries out, "Fuck the future!" To which his boss replies: "No, Tony, you can't fuck the future. The future fucks you! It catches up with you and it fucks you if you ain't prepared for it!"

Well, I don't know if you've noticed, but America has morphed into a nation of Tony Maneros who collectively dismissing the future. And nowhere is this mindset more prevalent than at the Bush White House, which is unwavering in its determination to ignore the future.

The evidence is overwhelming. Everywhere you look, it's IOUs passed on to future generations. Record federal debt. Record foreign debt. Record budget deficits. Record trade deficits.

And this attempt to fuck the future is not limited to economics. You see the same attitude when it comes to energy policy, health care, education, Social Security and especially the environment. With the Bushies redoubling their efforts to make the world uninhabitable as fast as possible. (See their attempts to gut the Clean Air Act, gut the Clean Water Act, gut the Endangered Species Act, gut regulations limiting pollution from power plants.)

And the even bigger problem? They don't see this as a problem. In fact, it actually all may be an essential part of the plan.

If this last sentence doesn't make a wit of sense to you, then you are clearly not one of the 50 million Americans who believe in some form of End-Time philosophy, an extreme evangelical theology that embraces the idea that we are fast approaching the end of the world, at which point Jesus will return and carry all true believers, living and dead, up to heaven ("the Rapture"), leaving all nonbelievers on earth to face hellfire and damnation ("the Tribulation"). Christ and his followers will then return to a divinely refurbished earth for a thousand-year reign of peace and love.

In other words, why worry about minor little details like clean air, clean water, safe ports and the safety net when Jesus is going to give the world an "Extreme Makeover: Planet Edition" right after he finishes putting Satan in his place once and for all?

Keep in mind: This nutty notion is not a fringe belief being espoused by some street corner Jeremiah wearing a "The End Is Nigh!" sandwich board. End-Timers have repeatedly made the "Left Behind" series of apocalyptic books among America's best-selling titles, with over 60 million copies sold.

And they have also spawned a mini-industry of imminent doomsday Web sites like ApocalypseSoon.org and Raptureready.com. The latter features a Rapture Index that, according to the site, acts as a "Dow Jones Industrial Average of end time activity" and a "prophetic speedometer" (the higher the number, the faster we're moving toward the Second Coming). For those of you keeping score, the Rapture Index is currently 152', an off-the-chart mark of prophetic indicators.

Now I'm not saying that Bush is a delusion-driven End-Timer (although he has let it be known that God speaks to, and through, him, and he believes "in a divine plan that supersedes all human plans"). But he and his crew are certainly acting as if that's the case.

Take the jaw-dropping federal debt, which currently stands at $4.3 trillion. Just last month the Government Accountability Office released a report that found that Bush's economic policies "will result in massive fiscal pressures that, if not effectively addressed, could cripple the economy, threaten our national security, and adversely affect the quality of life of Americans in the future."

And what was the administration's reaction to this frightening assessment? Vice President Cheney shrugged, took a hearty swig of the End-Time Kool-Aid, and announced that the administration wants another round of tax cuts. Basically a big fuck you.

Then there's our trade deficit, which ballooned to a record $165 billion in the third quarter of 2004, when imports exceeded exports by 54 percent. Thanks to this imbalance, America is racking up a staggering $665 billion in additional foreign debt every year ... that's $5,500 for every U.S. household ... and placing our future economic security in the hands of others. Here is Bush's response to this daunting prospect: "People can buy more United States products if they're worried about the trade deficit." Sounds like he's really got it under control.

I guess after the Rapture, debts of all kinds will be forgiven. The White House is promoting a similar "What Me Worry?" attitude with our live-for-the-moment energy policy. America currently spends $13 million per hour on foreign oil, a number that will only increase as U.S. oil production peaks within the next five years just as consumption by industrializing nations doubles over the next 25 years.

So is the president pushing for a long-overdue increase in mileage standards or launching an all-out effort to break our dependence on foreign oil? Hardly. Instead, he's getting ready to make his umpteenth attempt to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling.

And that is just a small part of the president's full-bore assault on the environment, best summed up by Sen. Jim Jeffords, the ranking minority member on the Environment and Public Works Committee: "I expect the Bush Administration will go down in history as the greatest disaster for public health and the environment in the history of the United States."

That said, it's not hard to see why Bush has hopped aboard the Apocalypse Express. Acting like there's no tomorrow dovetails just as neatly with his corporate backers' rapacious desires as it does with his evangelical backers' rapturous desires. It offers him a political twofer: placating his corporate donors while winning the hearts and votes of the true believers who helped the president achieve a Second Coming of his own. No small miracle, given his record.

It's important to point out, however, that it's not just the White House and the End-Timers. Acting as if we have a finite future has infected our entire culture. Just look at personal savings, which have fallen to next to nothing, with Americans socking away a meager two-tenths of 1 percent of their disposable incomes. Meanwhile, the average U.S. household carries about $14,000 of credit-card debt; one in four consumers spends more than he or she can afford; and, as a result, every 15 seconds, someone somewhere in America is going bankrupt. Which, I guess, in Bush World is how an angel gets his wings.

All this represents a seismic shift in our cultural outlook. Since our founding, the American ethos has been forward-looking, geared to a bountiful future, with each generation of parents working as hard as they can to ensure a better life for their children. Those days are clearly gone.

And it has put our entire civilization at grave risk ... a point echoed with great clarity by Jared Diamond, whose new book, "Collapse," looks at the reasons why so many great civilizations of the past have failed.

Although Diamond offers a range of reasons why these societies collapsed, one message comes through loud and clear: We've got to stop living like there is no tomorrow - or "fuck the future" will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

� 2004 Christabella, Inc. All rights reserved.

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January 12, 2005


We could look at what has happened as another opportunity to come together. Maybe this time....

My friend Glorianne shared the following with me,
and I am now sharing it with you.
-From onespirit.org

Hope it is OK with Dr Jones that I pass on his words.


"A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest ... a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.� ~ Albert Einstein

What words can possibly be spoken to address the unspeakable. The December 26th, 2004 tsunami tragedy in the Indian Ocean has left most of the world at a loss for words. Natural calamities like this are never easy to understand. How is it that life and the universe can appear so beautiful one day and so brutal the next? Yet, life will go on as it has for millennia. What is encouraging to note is that in spite of (and perhaps because of) all the pain and loss, there seems to be a deepening in the awareness of the interconnectedness of people inhabiting this planet, such as we have never seen before. We know that at the level of spirit we are all one, not only with the 140,000-plus human beings who have died, but the countless others who now are left homeless, parentless, childless, broken and in utter shock. At the deepest core of our being we feel this shock, we know it and perhaps we even have a sense of helplessness about it. Is it possible that this shock is what was needed to jump-start the collective heart of humankind? Something is stirring in the soul of humanity and while many people don't necessarily know that's what it is, millions of human beings are awakening to a sense of their unity with others and something larger than themselves. The results are manifesting as acts of compassion and generosity that we have seldom seen on a global basis; there is a vibration of common brotherhood being felt perhaps for the first time at a planetary level. Thomas Merton wrote, "The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another." The awareness of this interconnectivity is rising in the consciousness of our species now, and shocking events such as the December 26th tsunami disaster only quicken the vibration.

Because the source of this tragedy was Nature rather than man, individuals, governments, religions, countries, and organizations from every corner of our world have connected for a common purpose, which is larger than any one of them. A true call to compassion transcends borders and boundaries. If this devastation had been by means of an act of war, sadly, the reaction most likely would have been somewhat different by at least some, as is evidenced by what we see going on between warring nations this very day. War seems to deaden the capacity to be compassionate for many, giving them 'permission' to disconnect from the pain that war inflicts on everyone. So, perhaps from the epicenter of this natural catastrophe some good for humankind arises. From the deepest place of our unity with the Whole we can hold those whose lives have been lost (or who are suffering now from the tsunami) close to our hearts, knowing that at the level of their Soul Being they have not died or suffered in vain, but have made a divine sacrifice for the awakening of the global human heart. Because of this tragedy we can bear witness to the heart of humanity opening and beating stronger than ever, building bridges that span oceans and continents, superceding languages, religions and cultural barriers, connecting hearts to hearts, drawing a diversity of people, being human together through the very acts of their own compassion for their earth family of brothers and sisters they ever even knew.

No doubt this is one of those times when it's easy to see the very best of our selves and others emerge through the very worst of crisis and misfortunes. It's about compassion, loving-kindness and generosity of spirit and it always has been. As spiritually oriented individuals we must remain clear in our hearts and minds that above and beyond all we can see, God's Presence is manifesting on this earth through and as each of us. Meister Eckhart summarized it so beautifully when he wrote, "You may call God love, you may call God goodness. But the best name for God is compassion." Let us continue to be bridge builders by extending the best of ourselves to others long after the crisis passes, and by remembering that compassion and generosity is something we can practice every day, and not just on special occasions. How so? Because it's an inherent part of who and what we really are. When we live with compassion, we honor God.

Dennis Merritt Jones, DD

Copyright � Dennis Merritt Jones 2005

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January 8, 2005


ZOE IS NINE! Zoe is nine! Zoe is nine!
Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

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