silicon valley USA | monterey co. USA | london UK | canaries ESP | 2017

June 2017

Learning from experience

"If you minimize the ego, you gain a lot of extra energy," said Michael Dobbs Higginson, author of A Raindrop in the Ocean" [2017], in a recent BBC radio interview, speaking of things he experienced and learned whilst traveling the world in a remarkable life. He added: "Be curious, go for substance, not form."

A famous person once said, and it applies equally well for most other societies too, particularly Britain, that "Americans learn only from catastrophe, not from experience." And thus, alas, leaving things awfully late.

Uruguay vs Philip Morris, how the little country that keeps thinking it can..... did! [once again].

Miasma of incompetence & anti-democratic vandalism

"If you can't stand up in the eyes of the law, if you can't stand up with the facts, create a diversion," is the autocratic mantra and one which the Trump regime has adopted. Will it work? Maybe, but at a huge cost to the already battered American democracy and people. It ain't going to be pretty.

From the Washington Post: "Onlookers have assumed that any obstruction was intended to prevent evidence of "collusion" or Russian infiltration of Trump's campaign from surfacing. However, the subject matter of the underlying investigation may extend to financial crimes, putting Trump's and his associates' international business dealings under the microscope.

"The addition to Mueller's team of a prosecutor including Andrew Weissmann, Supreme Court advocate and criminal law expert Michael Dreeben, and others experienced in complex fraud and international bribery cases suggests that the probe may be looking at more than "collusion" between Russian officials and Trump team members."

A shrinking portion of the American public is sympathetic to the travails of the crass self-serving billionaire autocrat leading the Russian occupation of the United States government whilst simultaneously drowning in scandal.

The karmic vultures are circling to descend upon this incompetent and possibly criminal White House regime. Russiagate may not shake out in the short term, but for those yearning to liberate our country from the cowardly, harmful Trumpian leadership there's reasonable optimism that the occupationists, some of whom may turn out to be pro-Kremlin collusionists, will come to their deserved ends, but not before a lot more damage will be done.

Somebody who only watches right-wing American media may not even have known the Trump Regime was, and still is [ever increasingly] in deep trouble, when for examples the news broke that Comey was going to testify about Trump's conversations with him, or that Jared Kushner had failed to mention on his clearance application of secret [private citizen] meetings with Kremlinistas to set up a back door channel to avoid detection by US security forces.

Because while those big stories were breaking, outlets like Fox were running programs revisiting Hillary's emails and exposing Benghazi. Their rolling news had bizarrely become frozen in time, hosted by also-rans replacing their departed firebrand hucksters.

Their audiences were left to puzzle over the cartoonish background slogans such as "Liberal Hysteria" without actually knowing what the original stories were that had prompted the character generated exclamations. Little wonder that their ratings tanked as Fox News in effect forced their core viewers to flip to rival outlets to catch up with what was actually going on, all the while growing restless at Fox's stale and dishwater dull "alternative stories".

Never before has a White House regime showed such contempt for the people of this nation and for American institutions. If and when Trump goes down, all Putin's horses and all Putin's men will struggle to put Trumpty together again. That said, Putin's goal is to fragment and isolate the US and to drive a wedge between this nation and its former allies, and he's proving successful probably beyond his wildest dreams.

For America, this miasma of incompetence will leave a right old mess to clear up, including the need to restore the confidence of our former but now snubbed allies.

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".
Sixty two people now control as much wealth as half the rest of the world combined  
Oxfam International

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.

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

West London "10"

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]
on the media


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
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]