well said.

Compassion is the radicalism of our time.

~Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

Okay … is it just me … ? Since reading and discussing the many concepts in Tocque’s essay the other day, I’m now seeing either the word compassion, or the idea, all over the place! lol.

A scattering of sentences, maybe paragraphs, from here and there this morning, that leaped out at me as being especially well said…  Follow me.

And, please! feel free to add any of your own pearls!

Word of the day: mendacity.  

from Former Harper’s Magazine editor Roger D. Hodge talks with Harper’s Scott Horton… below are a few choice snippets of Hodge’s responses to Horton’s six questions.

on Citizen’s United decision:

The decision is an aggressive assault on anemic and insubstantial restrictions that have failed to prevent the corporate dominance of our political system; consequently, although it is likely to encourage some highly political corporations to spend even more on electioneering, Citizens United mainly serves to clarify the brute fact that our political system is little more than a plutocracy.


on Obama’s paradoxical health care ‘reform’:

We’ve seen much the same thing with ObamaCare. As with the Iraq War, Obama has merely redefined the mission. Far from being the universal health-care system that the country needs, Obama’s health program is best understood as a bailout of the private health industry that seeks to guarantee some 30 million additional customers for insurance companies and continued obscene profits for large drug manufacturers. The paradox here is that in a system aiming at universal coverage, the actuarial role of insurance companies, which is to determine the precise odds of paying unprofitable claims on a given class of customers, has become obsolete. Although the law contains some praiseworthy measures, for the most part it merely entrenches our system’s most irrational elements.


on pseudo-con’s:

The absence of authentic conservatives in our politics serves to ensure that our national debates are largely carried out in the realm of fiction; pseudo-conservatives take on pseudo-liberals in symbolic battle over cultural ephemera when what is really at stake is which of the two corrupt parties will win the privilege of representing the interests of the superrich.


on class warfare:

The singular achievement of America’s wealthiest individuals has been to convince a large portion of the citizenry that their own interests are served by maximizing those of the superrich. A glance at income statistics over the last thirty years will suffice to refute that proposition. Americans like to pay lip service to the virtues of competition and the pursuit of self-interest; what could be more American than an organized assertion of material self-interest by the vast majority of our citizens against those who have plundered our commonwealth?

Excellent little piece by Horton, go read the whole thing. Hodge’s book looks good … The Mendacity of Hope: Barack Obama and the Betrayal of American Liberalism.  Wonder how soon it’ll hit the library.

So I’ll close with this one-liner by Joseph Heller, from Catch 22:

Anything worth dying for, is certainly worth living for.


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  1. how many miles per gallon these guys get?


  2. 26000 lb. capacity with listed range of 1,840 miles. So about 14 gal per mile and I would guess thats at a cruising speed, not fighting or in afterburn.

  3. Or some of it.

    Science fiction today is filled with motifs of survivalism.  Popular science shows today are similar.  Not all of this is bad.

    Deep down we know something is unsustainable and our mindless entertainment conveys this. (which I admit I am counter to the sensibilities of some on Docudharma because it’s kinda my lifeline).

    Not all of it’s bad inasmuch there is a sense of desperation nuggetized therein.  As a culture, we sense the profound isolation we’ve inculcated in ourselves and there seems to be a sense that, by necessity, that’s coming to an end — because survival in a world of dwindling resources just cannot be achieved in a highly individualistic way.  Getting to know our neighbors is “in”, shutting ourselves off from the world is “out”.

    There was a science fiction story I read a long time ago — oh I wish I could remember what it was — but it was a world in which teleportation was the norm.  Everyone lived inside their own worlds and when they wanted to visit a different place — zap and they were there.  And the irony as that while people were living in worlds of their own making — the outer world was steadily turned into a giant trash heap, but almost no one even knew this was the reality, so successfully had they cut themselves off from the world.

    Anyway, due to my job and my life circumstances, I realize how deeply this all affects my mindset.  I sometimes go days, even weeks, without interacting with any other human being in a meaningful way in person.  That has tapered off somewhat with my dad being here.  But psychologically we can sometimes be so alike that it can be more like cloning myself than interacting with a truly different individual.

  4. …the highest virtue and value in many, if not most, or even all religions.  As relgions grow through time, they also grow in the emphasis on compassion.  In the Christian Bible, this is seen easily in the transition from Old to New Testaments.


    The Christian Bible’s Second Epistle to the Corinthians is but one place where God is spoken of as the “Father of compassion” and the “God of all comfort” (1.3). The life of Jesus embodies for Christians the very essence of compassion and relational care. Christ’s example challenges Christians to forsake their own desires and to act compassionately towards others, particularly those in need or distress.[4] Jesus assures his listeners in the Sermon on the Mount that, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” In the Parable of the Good Samaritan he holds up to his followers the ideal of compassionate conduct.


    The heritage within Western Christendom of compassion as the principle of charity has resulted in recent times in the growth of remarkable charitable phenomena such as Oxfam, Médecins sans Frontières and Live Aid with global reach and budgets of millions of dollars. True Christian compassion, say the Gospels, should extend to all, even to the extent of loving one’s enemies.


    us Hindu traditions, compassion is called DAYA, and is one of the three central virtues.[5] The importance of compassion in the Hindu traditions reaches as far back as the Vedas, sacred texts composed over a period prior to 1500 B.C. While the early Vedas sometimes glorify war and the worship of the war god, Indra, Indra too is compassionate towards humans & humanity, though he is war god, he is discompassionate towards Asuras – The evil people who cause sufferings to human race, the later Vedas demonstrate a greater sensitivity to the values of compassion. The central concept… to compassion in Hindu spirituality is… ahimsa… Ahimsa is …translated…  as “refraining from harmfulness.”


    Compassion is that which makes the heart of the good move at the pain of others. It crushes and destroys the pain of others; thus, it is called compassion. It is called compassion because it shelters and embraces the distressed. – The Buddha.[7]

    Compassion or karuna is at the transcendental and experiential heart of the Buddha’s teachings. He was reputedly asked by his personal attendant, Ananda, “Would it be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is a part of our practice?” To which the Buddha replied, “No. It would not be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is part of our practice. It would be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is all of our practice.”


    The ultimate and earnest wish, manifest in the Buddha, both as archetype and as historical entity, is to relieve the suffering of all living beings everywhere.[8]

    The Dalai Lama has said, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”


    compassion arises by entering into the subjectivity of others, by sharing their interiority in a deep and total way. It springs up by considering that all beings, like ourselves, wish to be free from suffering, yet despite their wishes continue to be harassed by pain, fear, sorrow, and other forms of dukkha.”[9]

    At the same time, it is emphasised that in order to manifest effective compassion for others it is first of all necessary to be able to experience and fully appreciate one’s own suffering and to have, as a consequence, compassion for oneself. The Buddha is reported to have said, “It is possible to travel the whole world in search of one who is more worthy of compassion than oneself. No such person can be found.”


    Compassion for all life, human and non-human, is central to the Jain tradition. Though all life is considered sacred, human life is deemed the highest form of earthly existence. To kill any person, no matter their crime, is considered unimaginably abhorrent. It is the only substantial religious tradition that requires both monks and laity to be vegetarian. It is suggested that certain strains of the Hindu tradition became vegetarian due to strong Jain influences.[10] The Jain tradition’s stance on nonviolence, however, goes far beyond vegetarianism. Jains refuse food obtained with unnecessary cruelty. Many practice veganism. Jains run animal shelters all over India: Delhi has a bird hospital run by Jains; every city and town in Bundelkhand has animal shelters run by Jains. Jain monks go to lengths to avoid killing any living creature, sweeping the ground in front of them in order to avoid killing insects, and even wearing a face mask to avoid inhaling the smallest fly.


  5. I’m not able to post the last two which I had included n this:



      Islam   ……….

    As soon as my machine quits balking, I’ll be back with those…

  6. http://charterforcompassion.org/

    • banger on October 7, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I like that concept. In fact, the whole political game is now obviously phony resembles professional wrestling writ large. I don’t mean that everybody in politics is a cynical employee/actor of the oligarchy because I think there are varying degrees of those sorts of connections. But, as a whole, the political sphere right now is a fake system that is largely scripted. Vote Democratic because the Republicans are barbarians and vote Republican because the Democrats are socialists who want to take your money and give it to black people. Meanwhile the media commentators act like sports guys and gals–sorry, that’s an insult to the sports enthusiasts because sports, for all its problems is far more honest and open to alternative opinions within the media and a least has a semi-solid relationship with reality.  

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