monterey county USA | london UK | gran canaria ESP | 2017

May 2017

Bottomless Rapture

With the opioid epidemic consuming America's forlorn rust and coal belts, the huddled masses, duped by their perceived savior Donald Trump's search for cheaply gained votes only to find their despair compounded, it is perhaps timely to recall one of the best radio programs of 2014, the BBC's "Heroin".

The Guardian wrote in an article leading up to its broadcast: "Baudelaire, an avid reader [and translator] of Thomas de Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater described how it could 'expand beyond all measures, stretch out the limitless, make rapture bottomless.'" In the Paris jazz explosion of the 1950's or the post-war twilight alt-culture of West Berlin, western Europe's isolated "last stop" surrounded by alien territory, heroin was the "transcendant relaxation" that fueled the creative artist's "gift to the future".

With the collapse of social infrastructure in the red state heartlands, has stimulation of the opioid receptors become meditation for the have-nots? To update Karl Marx: "the opiate of the masses" is no longer religion, but opiates themselves. Anything else is fake news.

April 2017

New Mindfulness explored

The meaning of our new mindfulness is explored in a segment of radio program On point.

Fox & Unfriends

Bill O'Reilly is ousted from Fox News, but he's already history now with new events unfolding at a rapid pace, as the Republican mad right barrels on with its insanity. Now the beleaguered Trump "administration" is circling around its own vomit and trying to resurrect its diabolical Trump Care monstrosity in hopes of having something to claim for its first 100 days of chaos.

One of the new version's "features" is an attempt to try to eliminate pre-existing conditions coverage without anyone noticing by shoveling it down to the states' level. "This latest rehash of Trumpcare is nothing more than a desperate effort to deliver a political win for President Trump after his disastrous first 100 days," said Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state, as reported by Politico.

March 2017

Trumpcare: a complete disaster

"Today was a big win for the president. The 44th president, Barack Obama, and it was, to put it in Trump-speak, a complete disaster for the current president." -- Lawrence O'Donnell MSNBC tv channel

"The last Republican version [of healthcare], they had cut hospitalization, doctor visits, maternity, mental health, lab tests, prescriptions, emergency room visits," Maher said. "Their version of health care was: If you like your doctor, go f*** yourself." -- Bill Maher, HBO tv

Trumpist fantasy world hits the hard core of Being

"The waves of Trump's sociopathic belief that he can say and do what he likes with impunity are starting to hit the rocks of reality. There is nothing to celebrate yet, no cause to relax, no outcome assured. Let us just say that this may, conceivably, be the end of the beginning." -- Matthew d'Ancona, Guardian

Trump regime endangering the United States

The president will attack anyone "but there's one person and one country that's immune..... No matter if Vladimir Putin kills political opponents." Jim Himes, Connecticut Democrat

"What Spicer seems to not get - or what Trump won't allow him to get - is that when he is standing behind the podium in the White House briefing room, he is a spokesman for the entire United States, not just the president. And when facts get such short shrift, it has real-world effects - on our allies and our enemies." -- Chris Cillizza, Washington Post

Republicans Make Us Sick

The Business Insider reported that Democrats, scrambling to amend Trump's diabolical AHCA health plan, which ultimately was abandoned, wanted it officially retitled the "pay more for less care act." Meanwhile, from the WaPo....

"So House Republicans have accomplished something remarkable: they have written a bill that would make every problem they've complained about much, much worse. If there's any saving grace, it's that almost no one will be happy about it, except for the wealthy people to whom it gives a gigantic tax cut.

"And that's the most concise summary of this bill: Republicans are going to take people's health coverage and health security away while increasing their costs and doing enormous damage to the insurance market, all so they can give a tax cut to the rich.

"There are so many awful things about this bill that it's hard to fit them all into one post."

"Every time the issue of the relationship between Trump's apparatus and Moscow comes up, he is moved to unleash unhinged counterattacks. This only underscores how urgent it is to get to the bottom of this story quickly.

"If there is any good news here, it's this: Alternative facts can take you only so far. A president can't just make up charges against his predecessor, call him a "bad or sick guy," and then get away with it." -- EJ Dionne, Washington Post

"The bar is so low that people now praise Trump for reading from an autocue." -- Rachael Revesz, The Independent

February 2017

"Thank God for the resignation in shame by Mike Flynn, President Trump's national security adviser. And not just because he misled the vice president and engaged in deeply malignant behavior with Russia, but, more important, because maybe it will finally get the United States government, Congress and the news media to demand a proper answer to what is still the biggest national security question staring us in the face today: What is going on between Donald Trump and the Russians?" -- Thomas Friedman, New York Times, Feb 15, linked by Raw Story.

I was thinking about the classic humour of various British/Irish comedy programs back in the days of what now seems pre-historic TV, and revisited Dave Allen to find that rarest of gems -- a talent who sounds not just as brilliant as he did back then, but even better, maybe because we're older and "wiser". Back then it was very daring to air this kind of stand-up material. Classic Dave Allen on religion.

Keeping to the theme of British/Irish, stumbled upon this random north American movie, The Pilot's Wife. Decided to watch an intended ten minutes before heading out to run some errands, only to get sucked in to watch the whole thing in one go.

January 2017

"This is the Trumpocalypse. The bully-in-chief rules with contradiction and chaos, forcing the outposts, nations and leaders that were once considered valued friends and allies, and treated as such, to orbit like little moons around planet disruption." Katharine Murphy, The Guardian

November 2016

Local voters ban fracking in Monterey County despite aggressive opposition from big oil and gas

October 2016

A good way to catch up with the debates is to follow shorter versions on Saturday night live.

September 2016 reports that a survey by concluded that Idaho has the rudest drivers. The state "is made up of two main types of drivers -- those who are moving so slowly that they're judged to be rude, and the aggressive drivers who speed around them and flip them off."

Joke of the Month
A Russian was riding through the countryside on a bus in Estonia. Not being sure of his location or whether he was headed in the right direction, he asked the bus driver in broken Estonian, "Is Tallinn far?" The Estonian driver replied, "No." Reassured, the Russian returned to his seat and watched the countryside go by. Hours passed. Thinking that Estonia wasn't all that big and that surely they must be getting close to the capital, the Russian once again asked the driver in halting Estonian, "Is Tallinn far?" The driver replied, "It is now."

August 2016 update

British sterling currency took a slight rebound [at the time of writing on Aug 22] since the vote to Brexit but WorldFirst is typical of pundits in describing the Brexit fallout situation as "not too disastrous" [as yet] for the economy or for the currency. But it's still a big whack on pound sterling, although British exports have increased, but enough to compensate?

WorldFirst goes on: "We continue to forecast a fall in GBP:USD to 1.22 by the end of the year as the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates."

July 2016 update

Gabriel Zucman of the Univ of California Berkeley points to their study of wealth distribution in the US showing that the top 0.1% [about 160,000 families] now owns 22% of US wealth, which is as much as the bottom 90% owns.

May 2016 update

Australian television program Four Corners looks at Chinese and other foreign investing into their country in The great wall of money and a related look at the state of real estate in their nation.

December 2015 update

Annual cost of firearm death & injury to the US economy: 235 billion dollars.

"My name is love" former multi-million view Thai movie that keeps bouncing back from deletion, re-added July 2016 & here

Meanwhile the Japanese TV show "Takeshi's castle" that's been deleted so many times somehow manages to survive with uploads of numerous episodes floating around including one of their greatest hits episodes according to UK viewer's requests.

Some of the links on The Quake stop working because the target has been deleted, but every month The Quake gets updated, although the 'net is so fast changing it's never going to be 100%.
Sixty two people now control as much wealth as half the rest of the world combined  
Oxfam International, Jan 2016

West London "10"

And although the UK's "Only fools & horses" always gets erased before too long, it's great that uploaders keep returning with "The Bill" so I can catch more episodes whenever time allows, which isn't frankly often.

quake's world

the spur
guardian football
bbc five live radio, plus quality podcasts


Likeable links currency historical exchange converter
the last quiet places
mac option key symbols
roll dice online and here
free internet access for the city of santa clara
friendly atheist eye-opening daily accounts of the threat to the separation of church and state that America faces

Usually reliable online TV streams
CBS news "cbsn" stream, USA live
DW german intntl news in english
sky news uk, live on you-tube
crtvg, galicia, espana, us feed
tvr britanny, france: big on stade rennais fc, rennes
tnn24 thai
elonce tv argentina
rte dublin, ireland
rtl muenchen deutschland dusseldorf, deutschland, updated 2016
telemolise southern italia
bbc britain
sfgovtv san francisco, usa

San Francisco & Monterey online radio
kqed san francisco radio
kalw san francisco radio
kazu nat. public radio for the monterey bay

Other radio
bbc world service

Radio programs and podcasts
On point
kubu lo-power fm, sacramento, california
philosophy talk [live on kalw]
7th avenue project


san francisco
arriving by luft re-add Nov 2015

gran canaria


lam rim
dhammatalks by thanissaro bhikku
audiodharma insight meditation center
bubbles of illusion dharma talk
jikoji zen dharma talk podcasts
"what it means to be a buddhist" [dharma talk]
shasta abbey rm daizui dharma talk podcasts
shradda tv, sri lanka


amaravati uk
hayagriva aus.
dhammaloka aus.
sacramento dharma center usa, three buddhist groups in one new home
obc usa, uk
jikoji usa
monterey bay zen center usa
tassajara usa
metta forest monastery usa
reddit buddhist forum


online meditation timer

"To be alive and to know you're alive is the greatest miracle of all. Present moment breathing in, wonderful moment breathing out." -- thich nhat hanh

"Meditation is the key that unlocks your mind, permeating post-meditation with awareness. Wisdom arises from the still mind." -- bhante henepola gunaratana

"Mindful one breathes in. Mindful one breathes out." -- buddha

"You are not the victim of your thoughts. You are the originator of your thoughts." -- ajahn sujato

"With realization of one's own potential and self-confidence in one's ability, one can build a better world." -- dalai lama

excerpt from alan watts' talk on buddhism: "Phew. I don't have to survive. That's nirvana, and that's how buddhism works."

namo amitabha
buddham sharanam gachchami

In 2012 a study in Israel showed that meditators were less inhibited by 'cognitive rigidity': in other words, they were more open to completely new solutions to problems.


the benefits of buddhism
dhammakaya anthem
the buddha garden
om and om
om mani padme hum
[namo tassa] bhagavato arahato sammæsambuddhassa re-add jan 2017
thai buddhist song, with voiceover
four noble truths
simply kenna buddhism, how i see it
positive psychology: catching up with ancient buddhist insight [pdf]