Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Couch Potato Goes Global - NYTimes.com

The Couch Potato Goes Global - NYTimes.com:

'via Blog this'

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Fables of Wealth - NYTimes.com

Fables of Wealth - NYTimes.com:

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Paul Ryan's Plan For American Decline

If the foreign adversaries and competitors of the United States imagined a future that would fufill their most ambitious objectives, it might begin with a government crippled by the House Republican leadership’s “Ryan budget” released on Tuesday. Followed to its absurd conclusion, this document would lead America toward a withered state, approaching the point where Marxian dreams and Randian dogma converge.
Or at least that’s the view suggested by the sober analysts at the Congressional Budget Office, whosereport on the Ryan budget shows that nearly every department of government today, from law enforcement and border patrols to scientific research, food safety, environmental protection, federal highways, national parks, weather monitoring, education, and all the other essential functions of a great country. There would not be much left for Medicare and Medicaid, either. Social Security would continue in some form, and defense – of course – would increase.
But in a nation stripped of science and infrastructure, with a people demoralized by insecurity, unemployment and inequity, exactly what would be left to defend?

Read the rest:

Paul Ryan's Plan For American Decline | National Memo | Breaking News, Smart Politics

Springsteen Captures The State Of America

It begins with big drums, a guitar seesawing beneath like a deck rolling in high seas. It ends with a fuzz of static and feedback, a hiss of promises broken and a mortgage on the future.
In the 13 songs that unfold in between, one of the elder statesmen of American popular music delivers what might fairly be called a State of the Union Address. And if that sounds grandiose for a rock album, so be it. But know that, for all the manicured eloquence of the constitutionally mandated report President Obama delivered in January, the new Bruce Springsteen album, "Wrecking Ball," captures more raw emotional truth about the state of the American Dream than any politician ever could.
These first years of the millennium have been extraordinarily trying, especially for a nation that had passed a quarter-century in relative peace. Then came terror. Then came wars. Then came economic meltdown. And in the last, we were galled to find that what had brought us to the brink of ruin was the greed, corruption, mendacity and predatory practices of giant money houses and that we were now required to save them from the consequences of their misdeeds because they were too big to fail.
Meantime, we failed right, left and sideways, as jobs went away and money grew tight, as horizons receded and hope shriveled down to a wrinkled shell of itself and people who'd never asked for all that much to begin with -- a fair chance to earn their own bread, care for themselves, house themselves -- found their aspirations padlocked behind them, their dreams set out at the curb. In a nation where corporations are people and fetuses are people, actual people could not catch a break, nor even much in the way of empathy.

Read the full article...

Springsteen Captures The State Of America | National Memo | Breaking News, Smart Politics

Monday, January 16, 2012

Abraham-Hicks 2.0

Is There a New Abraham-Hicks in Town?

Esther, Jerry and Abraham Hicks
With the death of Jerry Hicks, Esther Hicks has aggressively reinvented the platform. Abraham-Hicks 2.0 takes a look at the changes.

Transitioning Abraham-Hicks


In an earlier article, I asked the question: Does Jerry Hicks Death From Cancer Mean The End Of Abraham-Hicks?  It should, but I don't think it will. Reality has won out over the wish.

In fact, the transition from the old, much-loved Abraham took place once already: when money and fame from first came rolling in. In a scene from that transition, an associate recalls Esther telephoning late at night after a workshop. "They gave me a standing ovation," she cooed.

Abraham, purportedly the real star of the show had already been shoved aside by 2005.

Something new: Jerry and Esther Hicks Spiritual Money Tree, Stories Behind the Abraham-Hicks Teachings and the Law of Attraction

Esther and Jerry Hicks shared with the public the news of Jerry's serious illness in the spring of 2011. Given some of her earlier antics on stage and his confiding that he'd already lost fifteen pounds from a slight frame, it seems likely that he was ill longer than announced, partially explaining Esther's going native and abusing paid workshop attendees.

If Esther's going a little crazy with Abraham signaled the next big reinvention of Abraham-Hicks, Jerry's public expression of illness accelerated it.

Reformatting for Abraham-Hicks 2.0


With her husband sidelined and no longer providing intros and support for the Abraham-Hicks workshops, Esther Hicks began to take liberties Jerry Hicks had not allowed her, discarding her decades old barefoot country preacher garb for a flashy new set of clothes. The clothes aren't astonishing in a normal context but for the publicly dowdy Esther Hicks, they were.
Abraham-Hicks 2.0


Abraham-Hicks 1.0

Before
and After


Of course, no explanation was given nor about other physical changes in the layout of her stage performance.

With the real brains of the works gone, Abraham (as presented by Esther Hicks) quickly showed that she had never been the smart one of the pair. Adding to a list of already questionable "insights," Esther explained to an anxious mother that she should not be worried about her sons unwillingness to share toys. 

She compared the brat to Jesus who, according to Esther, did not waste time worrying about other people's "toylessness," leaving viewers to wonder what Jesus she might have been talking about.

Then, she topped it. To the same mother of the same kid, she rebuked her for her trying to prevent her son from kicking their cat. The cat, Esther wisely explained, was teaching the child. 

More recently, in a riff that seemed to have no other purpose than to turn off followers, in her first solo appearance after Jerry's death, Esther Hicks had Abraham spouting the virtues of copyright protections. 

Some followers had been induced by the law of attraction to copy her online workshops and share them on torrents. This disrupted the flow of money Abraham's teachings and forced the Abraham-Hicks Publishing operation to seek legal remedies, something Abraham-Hicks 1.0 said was never advisable. 

Contradictory as this was, she went on to top herself.


Abraham-Hicks 2.0 In Full Bloom


Although Kyra, the skeptic behind Kyra Speaks predicted Esther would come up with something "adorable" to mark Jerry Hicks death, it still surprised when, in her first trip back on stage, she outright channeled him, presenting him as a merry quipster in the middle of the spiritual preaching. 


In twenty-five years of ever-evolving (some would add, increasingly contradictory) workshop appearances, Esther had always claimed that the one-hundred "nonphysical entities" that made up Abraham always spoke in one voice through unified blocks of thoughts she received in trance and translated, never had a single entity, not even Jesus who she claimed was one of them, ever spoke independently. 

Then, Jerry did. And not only that, he was credited with what Esther and her audience was a witty comment, after which she announced, "That was Jerry."


True, she'd alerted attendees that Jerry just might appear, but here, Abraham-Hicks 2.0 got launched. There was no turning back.


In following workshops, apparently backing off after a hail of criticism, Esther stuffed Jerry back into silent mode on the death side of creation, but showing her knack for saying things that appear really stupid and ill-considered, she took a strong turn toward cult development in her closing remarks. 

Here is the latest Abraham Hicks unforgettable quote: "And we would like to speak on behalf of Seth, and God and Jesus and Buddha and all that have come before, and take it one step further into clarity and say that all of us from non-physical are having this moment."

Now, she claims to speak on behalf of God, Jesus and Buddha. What's next? How do you top the divinity?

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