I am a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew and a Buddhist too. If you don't like it, then this place is not for you, but as long as you don't force your beliefs on anyone, you're welcome to join in, it doesn't matter if you're a liberal, a republican or just simply you.
Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders' public incitement to hatred against Moroccans in the Netherlands can be viewed here:
Wilders asked his crowd of supporters at a recent election rally in The Hague: "Do you want more or less Moroccans in this city and in the Netherlands?"
The crowd responded: "Less, less, less!"
To which Wilders responded with a smirk: "Then we're going to arrange that."
To which the crowd responded with laughter.
The incident sparked wide-spread outrage and condemnation in the Netherlands as well as abroad.
As a result of his silly remarks, key members of his own party have been quitting on him left and right, while thousands of people have filed police reports against him and now at least two Dutch municipalities have followed suit as well, citing the call by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon against racism and xenophobia:
“I call on all people, especially political, civic and religious leaders, to strongly condemn messages and ideas based on racism, racial superiority or hatred as well as those that incite racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."
I love the Buddhist philosophy and its teachings on selflessness and living peacefully, but the one thing I'm having difficulty with is when Buddhists call for the "destruction" of ego to free one's soul. To me that sounds like a negative process, so I'd rather opt for "melting" the ego, calling for flexibility and agility to grow and strengthen one's spirit instead. I mean, without the presence of ego, would you even be able to make decisions and act responsibly as an active participant in society? I believe the destruction of ego might be more suitable for monks and not your average person trying to find their way through life.
the love inside of love, the resurrection-place.... Let this window be your ear.
I have lost consciousness many times
with longing for your listening silence,
and your life-quickening smile. You give attention to the smallest matters,
my suspicious doubts, and to the greatest. You know my coins are counterfeit,
but you accept them anyway,
my impudence and my pretending! I have five things to say,
five fingers to give into your grace. First, when I was apart from you, this world did not exist, nor any other. Second, whatever I was looking for was always you. Third, why did I ever learn to count to three? Fourth, my cornfield is burning! Fifth, this finger stands for Rabia, and this is for someone else. Is there a difference? Are these words or tears?
Is weeping speech?
What shall I do, my love?" So he speaks, and everyone around
begins to cry with him, laughing crazily,
moaning in the spreading union of lover and beloved. This is the true religion.
All others are thrown-away bandages beside it. This is the sema of slavery and mastery dancing together.
This is not-being. Neither words, nor any natural fact can express this. I know these dancers.
Day and night I sing their songs in this phenomenal cage. My soul, don't try to answer now!
Find a friend, and hide. But what can stay hidden?
Love's secret is always lifting its head out from under the covers,
As most of my friends know by now, I stopped paying attention to politics, and especially America's left/right divisive politics for quite some time now. Simply because I believe it is purely designed to keep people angry, unsettled, distra...cted and enslaved to the system forever more. I refuse to play that game.
So imagine my surprise when I got the recent update in the mail on the new healthcare law from the company I work for.
To be honest, I was expecting some sort of announcement stating that I now have the option to switch to the more affordable new policy commonly known as "Obamacare", but instead I get to keep the insurance I have now as long as I work an average of 130 hours per month every 6 months, which in itself is a minute change from what is currently the case.
BUT the biggest change was stated in BOLD LETTERS somewhere along the lines of:
You are now required to be insured for at least 9 months in 2014 or else you will likely be subject to a government penalty. Second, you now have access to shop for insurance online in your state.
Seriously? What a frikkin joke!!!
OK, I'm going back to the rock I crawled from, where I continue to long for a free America.
For the second day in a row, I woke up to a consistent ticking sound that seems to come and go with short intervals. It sounded like it was coming from the empty apartment straight above me.
Somewhat alarmed, I went to listen to it in the hallway where it sounded even louder. So I was contemplating whether I should call the management office to see if it's a case of pipes about to burst.
Meanwhile I had to take my dog out for the usual morning walk, while I was still thinking about what to say to describe this nuisance.
On the way back from the walk, I started hearing this ticking sound again from about 30 feet distance while approaching my apartment. Walking slowly, eyes wide open, I tried to zero in on the source of this sound.....and lo and behold, what caught my eye?
A woodpecker pecking on the solid cement wall!
But wait! The apartment facade has been given a fresh paint job recently and part of it was painted light brown to enhance the aesthetics of the apartment complex. Ha! I'd say the woodpecker doesn't know the difference between a tree and a solid cement block, and has terrible taste buds or else the poor thing is seriously confused.
Hey I just learned something new! Much thanks to my bird expert friend Herma van Gerner for sharing this info: Apparently woodpeckers tend to peck for 3 different reasons with different soundbites/strokes, (1) for food, (2) for mating, (3) for marking their territories. If it's a fast rythmic sound (as was the case with my woodpecker), it's marking it's territory. Apparently it's not at all unusual for them to peck on brick walls. In fact they prefer pecking on strong objects that help amplify soundbites.
Get ready for the world to change in ways we have never imagined before. Steve Jobs schools are here!
Say goodbye to school supplies, no need for backpacks, books, chalkboards, laptops and maybe even teachers.
The first Dutch primary schools based on the digital education principles devised by Apple founder Steve Jobs have opened their doors to pupils. In total, 11 Steve Jobs primary schools are set to open nationwide this academic year. Each child at a Steve Jobs school will be given an iPad at the age of four and allowed to decide what and when to learn. Teachers take the role of coaches rather than lesson-givers. IPads and educational apps will replace books. - See more here.