3 September 2006

Forgo in this moment the comfort of habitual response.  Ideas begone!  Words begone!  Unfrock thyself before thy perceptions and know the naive wonder of the babe.  

Awake! to the naked mystery of being.

~ Josh Mitteldorf 

Aweigh! O Soul.

2 September 2006

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.  I want to free what waits within me so that what no one has dared to wish for may for once spring clear without my contriving.

Rainer Maria Rilke
from the Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

1 September 2006

Pharmaceutical research has produced a dizzying array of cures that work for some people but not for others.  Worse, medications produce side-effects in a subset of people that prevent their being prescribed for others who might benefit from them.

The logical next step is to determine who can benefit from which therapy.  Now that genetic testing is cheap and available, a compilation of relevant data is beginning.  The approach is being tried for leukemia and Crohn’s disease, and contemplated for heart disease and arthritis.  In particular, cholesterol-lowering drugs have been widely prescribed, but cholesterol seems to be related to disease risk for some people but not others.

Compiling genetic databases and correlating them with therapeutic histories is a feasible task which should be enormously instructive, and may eliminate much of the frustrating trial and error from medical practice.

Interview with Mary Relling

31 August 2006


A Considerable Speck

A speck that would have been beneath my sight
On any but a paper sheet so white
Set off across what I had written there.
And I had idly poised my pen in air
To stop it with a period of ink
When something strange about it made me think,
This was no dust speck by my breathing blown,
But unmistakably a living mite
With inclinations it could call its own.

It paused as with suspicion of my pen,
And then came racing wildly on again
To where my manuscript was not yet dry;
Then paused again and either drank or smelt--
With loathing, for again it turned to fly.
Plainly with an intelligence I dealt.
It seemed too tiny to have room for feet,
Yet must have had a set of them complete
To express how much it didn't want to die.


It ran with terror and with cunning crept.
It faltered: I could see it hesitate;
Then in the middle of the open sheet
Cower down in desperation to accept
Whatever I accorded it of fate.

I have none of the tenderer-than-thou
Collectivistic regimenting love
With which the modern world is being swept.
But this poor microscopic item now!
Since it was nothing I knew evil of
I let it lie there till I hope it slept.

I have a mind myself and recognize
Mind when I meet with it in any guise
No one can know how glad I am to find
On any sheet the least display of mind.

~ Robert Frost

...with appreciation from a modern-day tenderer-than-thou collectivist (and vegetarian)

30 August 2006

In 1927, the Democratic Party had died and was awaiting burial.
As The Depression approached, the coma-Dems, like Franklin Roosevelt, called for, of all things, balancing the budget.

Then, as the Mississippi waters rose, one politician, the state’s electricity regulator, stood up on the back of a flatbed truck rigged with loudspeakers, and said, roughly,

“‘Listen up! They’re lying! The President’s lying! The rich fat jackals that are drowning you will do it again and again and again. They lead you into imperialist wars for profit, they take away your schools and your hope, and when you complain, they blame Blacks and Jews and immigrants. Then they drown your kids. I say, Kick’m in the ass and take your share of the wealth you created.

Huey Long was our Hugo Chavez, and he laid out a plan: a progressive income tax, real money for education, public works to rebuild Louisiana and America, Social Security old age pensions, veterans benefits, regulation of the big utility holding companies, an end to what he called, “rich men’s wars,” and an end to the financial royalism of the elite One Percent.

Huey Long even had the audacity to suggest that the poor’s votes should count...

from The Year the Levees Broke, by Greg Palast

Huey Long was born this day in 1893

29 August 2006

The dread of evil is a much more forcible principle of human actions than the prospect of good . . . What worries you masters you.
~ John Locke, born this day in 1632 

Don't worry be happy.
~ Meher Baba


28 August 2006

I hear the voice of every creature and plant
Every world and sun an galaxy –
Singing the Beloved’s Name!

Write a thousand luminous secrets
Upon the wall of existence
So that even a blind man will known
Where we are

And join us in this love! 

Daniel Ladinsky, translating Hafiz  (or not)