Saturday Caturday

It’s bitterly cold here in Buffalo, only 8 degrees as I write, with a clear blue sky & a bright sun that makes the white snow sparkle. It hurts my eyes to look out the window, it’s so bright.

I went into the spare room to put away some papers in the file box & generally straighten up & I found Radar stretched out on the floor vent, enjoying the warm flow of air.

Democracy Vs. Republic?

Man, I hear this ALL the time! A really good break-down of the debate. “…if you think these people are indifferent toward democracy, you couldn’t be more mistaken…it certainly wouldn’t hurt their cause any to convince a large part of the public that democracy never even existed in the first place.”
From what I hear, lots of people already believe that.

The Propaganda Professor

It’s bound to happen. Mention something about protecting American democracy within earshot of a right-winger, and you are pretty much guaranteed these days to get a canned response like this: “America is not a democracy, you libtard snowflake moron! It’s a republic!” This is a snappy comeback intended to “own the libs”, but all it actually does is demonstrate ignorance and gullibility.

Saying that a nation is “a republic and not a democracy” is like saying that an animal is a dog, and not a mammalian quadruped. Because democracy and republic are not at all antithetical or mutually exclusive. Rather, a republic is a particular kind of democracy: namely a democracy in which citizens elect representatives to make laws on their behalf.

As the entry for republic over at Britannica states:

republic, form of government in which a state is ruled by representatives of the citizen body. Modern republics…

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R.I.P Thích Nhất Hạnh

I learned of Thích Nhất Hạnh many years ago when I was in the Cleveland Dharma Study Group.  He was one of many Buddhist masters whose books I read & cherished.  I am very sad to hear of his passing.

SONGNGUTAITRAM

by Đinh Trường Chinh
kính tiễn Thích Nhất Hạnh trở về với quê hương đích thực. tin ông ra đi trong một ngày tuyết lạnh nơi tôi ở, mút phía bên kia địa cầu…
thank you so much for your words of wisdom.
“The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.
Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful…How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow? It is natural–you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow
Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free …
To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be…

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Our Naive Assumption

A must-read.

On The Fence Voters

Brooking’s Lib began his last essay by asking why anyone would ever vote for a Republican. He then went into great detail about why Republicans represent a clear and present danger to America today. He concluded his essay by asking, “Am I wrong?” No Jeff, you’re not wrong. You’re 100% correct. I’d like to offer some additional thoughts I’ve had for quite some time however.

To answer your question simply, people vote for Republicans because they like what they’re hearing from Republicans. That part has never changed.

But many things have changed. Things are very different now. We see what’s happening on the news, we read about it and we feel it in the air. We’re at each other’s throats and we literally hate each other. Many say it’s not impossible that we’re heading for another civil war, and it wouldn’t surprise me because the hatred and feelings of justification…

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Saturday Caturday

This is my newest problem. When I got Yule presents for the cats, one of gifts I bought for them was a pack of cat treats. Usually, I keep these kind of things in the pantry with the rest of the cat food but I put this pack in the upper right hand drawer of my desk, in which I keep my eight-year-old Nikon camera, the cord I need to attach it to my laptop to upload pics, & other cords for the laptop. Sometime before the holiday, I put one of the jingle bell ornaments that Radar had gotten off of the tree & was playing with when I wanted to nap … so on Christmas afternoon, after the kitties had obviously had gotten bored with their new toys, I opened up my desk drawer to give them their other holiday gift. When I opened the drawer, of course the jingle bell that was in there made its jingly sound, which alerted Radar, & when I picked up the cat treats package, both cats were RIGHT THERE.

I don’t know why I kept that package in that drawer. I should have taken it right out of there immediately & put it into the pantry where it belonged. & that jingle bell … well, I put it back into the toy box earlier this week, but I was wicked delinquent on that one, too.

So now, whether or not there’s cat treats in the drawer or not, whenever I open this drawer, for any reason, the cats come running. & I admit … I keep a pack of cat treats in the drawer because … I like the cats running to my desk. I admit it. I’m a slave to my cats. LOL

It just happened. I opened the drawer to put away my camera & the cats came running. So I gave them a little treat.

I guess I’m my own worst enemy. But hey … I would be one sad, lonely woman without Radar & Bobby.

Makara Sankranti and Sesame Sweets

I have never heard of this festival before. The world is filled with wonderful celebrations.

Kaushal Kishore

Today is the day when the Sun enters the constellation of Makara (Capricorn). It’s celebrated as Pongal, Bihu, Bhogi and mostly as Makara Sankranti in India to express gratitude to Mother Earth for providing sustenance in the form of grains and other edibles, and also to the farm animals, especially the cow, which is worshipped and treated as mother. We are the only mammals who drink the milk of other species.

This festival is important, because a  society can survive without rocket technology, but not without agriculture. This day of gratitude and celebration of the bountifulness of the earth and nature is a beautiful Indian festival that all environmentalists, irrespective of the religion and geography, should participate in.

This is celebrated by flying kites, lighting bonfires, bathing in holy rivers, worshipping Lord Sun, making, eating and distributing sweets made from sesame (til) and jaggery.

Now on a…

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Nguyễn Văn Thiện | Bits and pieces of shattered sound fell from the seventh level of clouds (54)

I love this poem

SONGNGUTAITRAM

By Nguyễn Văn Thiện, translation by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

Bits and pieces of shattered sound fell from the seventh level of clouds, by the time they reached the tip of Mount Chư Mang they were no longer whole, they were much like the whisper of a blood cell through a vein. Y pointed at the sky, exclaimed for no reason at all, so it’s the warm sunlight, but is it that far away? A drop of cold dew landed on the wing of his nose as though it was some kind of consolation, just before it evaporated with the last rays of settled winter sunlight.
_____
Những âm thanh vỡ vụn từ tầng mây thứ bảy, rơi xuống đến núi Chư Mang thì đã không còn nguyên vẹn nữa, nhỏ xíu như tiếng hồng cầu đi trong huyết mạch. Y chỉ tay lên bầu trời, hỏi trống không, ừ…

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Thursday Artworks

I found this artist via Edge of Humanity Magazine. His name is Albert Enz & he lives in France. He is self-taught as an artist.

This is abstract art at its finest. The colors are brilliant. I would love to see this work in a museum. It’s always different when you see a painting large & commanding & you can approach it from different angles & really see it. Experience it the way it’s supposed to be.

But hey, it’s OK on the internet … better than not seeing it at all.

photograph from https://gallery.edgeofhumanity.com/portfolio/albert-enz/

To view Albert Enz’s website & the galleries of his paintings, click this link ~~~~> https://www.enzartpaintings.com/