It’s Memorial Day: Break Out the Yellow Ribbons!

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“At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations. They’re not consumed with personal ambition. They don’t obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand.” (Barack Obama)

In the quote above, the “they” our Commander-in-Chief refers to is the U.S. Armed Forces. I mean: of course

But now, with yet another Memorial Day looming, this presents me with a genuine conundrum: How in the world can I pick which indomitable defenders of liberty to honor this year? 

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Boston Invokes the Death Penalty

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I understand people who think the death penalty just continues the cycle of violence,” wrote Ann O’Neill of CNN after covering the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. “But I have no idea how I’d feel if somebody killed someone I love. I suspect I’d want to execute him or her with my own hands. If you saw the trial I saw, it’s not difficult to understand how, if we’re going to have the death penalty, this is the type of crime it is intended to punish.”

Such textbook corporate media propaganda, of course, is designed to obscure the real motivations behind capital punishment.

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Avian Flu Side Effects: Propaganda & Denial

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The Washington Post — a bastion of corporate media credibility (sic) — recently ran an article about a wave of mass bird deaths.

No, it wasn’t about the 80 million birds killed each year when they collide with plate glass windows in tall buildings or the 60 to 80 million birds killed by motor vehicles.

It wasn’t about the 200 million birds that collide fatally with radio-transmission towers per year (add in cell phone towers and that number approaches a half-billion) or the 120 million birds killed annually by hunters.

And it certainly wasn’t about the 23 million chickens killed in the U.S. for food (sic) every single day. That’s 269 dead chickens per second—brutally slaughtered after a short, nightmarish life imposed upon them by a taxpayer subsidized industry that is systematically destroying our landbase and threatening all life on earth.

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2 parties, every 4 years = #ReadyForLesserEvilism

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As I witness activists who should know better gleefully swooning for Sanders or Warren or even Hillary in the latest round of two-party deception, I’m reminded of Steve McQueen in The Magnificent Seven.

When asked how things were going, he replied:

“It’s like that fella who fell off a ten-story building. As he was falling, people on each floor heard him say, ‘So far, so good.’”

(insert rimshot here)

Laci Green asks “Is Racism Over Yet?”

So, You Want a Clinton in the White House?

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As the predictable cycle of presidential election denial settles in, its initial focus appears to be primarily on one Hillary Clinton. Thus, I thought I’d dust off some time-worn — and frighteningly ignored — info on what it was like to have a Clinton, um, occupying the White House.

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Empty Your Cup

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“Do you realize you will have to unlearn all you have learned and start over again?” Bruce Lee asked.

“No,” I said

He smiled and placed his hand lightly on my shoulder. “Let me tell you a story my sifu told me,” he said. “It is about a Japanese Zen master who received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

“It was obvious to the master from the start of the conversation that the professor was not so much interested in learning about Zen as he was in impressing the master with his opinions and knowledge. The master listened patiently and finally suggested they have tea. The master poured his visitor’s cup full and then kept on pouring.

“The professor watched the cup overflowing until he could no longer restrain himself. ‘The cup is overfull, no more will go in.’

“‘Like this cup,’ the master said, ‘you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?’”

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Bruce studied my face. “You understand the point?”

“Yes,” I said. “You want me to empty my mind of past knowledge and old habits so that I will be open to new learning.”

“Precisely,” said Bruce. “And now we are ready to begin your first lesson.”

This does not mean that Bruce prevented me from applying a critical mind to his teaching. In fact, he welcomed discussion, even argument. But when challenged too long on a point, his reply was always, “At least empty your cup and try.”

(excerpted from Zen in the Martial Arts, by Joe Hyams)