Opinion | You Should Meditate Every Day – By Farhad Manjoo – NYT- David Lindsay on Aikido


By Farhad Manjoo
Opinion Columnist, usually Covers Tech, NYT
“Because I live in Northern California, where this sort of thing is required by local ordinance, I spent New Year’s Day at a meditation center, surrounded by hundreds of wealthy, well-meaning, Patagonia-clad white people seeking to restore order and balance to their tech-besotted lives.

In the past, I might have mocked such proceedings, but lately I’ve grown fond of performative sincerity in the service of digital balance. It’s the people who haven’t resigned themselves to meditation retreats who now make me most nervous, actually.

Which brings me to my point: It’s 2019. Why haven’t you started meditating, already? Why hasn’t everyone?”

David Lindsay:

I have not tried meditation in decades, but I have returned recently to practicing Aikido at the New Haven Aikikai – Fire Horse Dojo, but this time without the breakfalls. Aikido is a modern version of ancient Japanese and Chinese Ju Jitsu, and it includes serious meditation as preparation for strenuous tumbling exercises, needed when you are thrown off your feet by your partner. It also teaches one how to disarm a violent opponent who is stronger than you.

For decades, I have argued that our police forces would be vastly better equipped to serve, if they were all required or incentivized to study this East Asian art of disabling a stronger opponent, by using thier own strength to bring them to the mat without actually damaging them.

Of all the martial arts I have studied for decades, it is the one which most closely resembles ball room dance.


via Opinion | You Should Meditate Every Day – The New York Times

Opinion | The Democrats and the Caravan – by David Leonhardt – NYT

By David Leonhardt,  Opinion Columnist,  Oct. 23, 2018

“When white working-class voters focus on the white part of their identity, the Republican Party benefits. When they focus on the working-class part, the Democratic Party benefits.That’s a simple rule of thumb that explains much of contemporary American politics — including Republicans’ new focus on the caravan of Central American migrants moving north through Mexico. President Trump and other top Republicans cynically understand that they are helped by images showing large groups of immigrants hoping to enter the United States without documentation.How should the Democrats respond? I think they’re doing it wrong so far.”

David Lindsay:

Thank you David Leonhardt. I was about to write something in line with your thinking. I said Sunday night in effect, I have a horrible feeling the Caravan is a blessing from heaven for the Republicans and Trump. He is harvestsing it for optimum bounce, while the Democrats silence is going to cripple them with far more people than just Trump’s base which will be galvanized.
Image: A caravan of migrants traveled through Guatemala en route to the United States on Wednesday.CreditCreditOrlando Estrada/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images


The party is trying to ignore the caravan of migrants. That’s a naïve mistake.

Opinion | Kavanaugh Will Kill the Constitution – by Paul Krugman – The New York Times

I have watched almost half of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. He is a great salesman, and a terrific friend, and listener. But, I think he is too extreme to be on our Supreme Court. As usual, Paul Krugman sharpens my knowledge and analysis. He wrote:
“Remember, Kavanaugh cut his teeth working for the Starr investigation into Bill Clinton — a genuine witch hunt that consumed seven years and tens of millions of dollars without finding any evidence of wrongdoing. And he personally spent years obsessively pursuing crazy conspiracy theories about the suicide of Vince Foster.

Then he spent time working in the George W. Bush White House, which made torture a routine part of policy. In his 2006 confirmation hearing for an appellate court judgeship he declared that he played no role in those decisions. Was he telling the truth? The answer might lie in those thousands of pages of records the Trump administration is refusing to release.

Strange to say, however, he emerged from that experience as someone who believes that presidents can’t be subject to legal investigations.

Meanwhile, Kavanaugh accumulated a record as an appellate judge — one that places him far to the right on everything from the environment, to labor rights, to discrimination. His anti-labor views are especially extreme, even for a conservative.

So who is Brett Kavanaugh? If he looks like a right-wing apparatchik and quacks like a right-wing apparatchik, he’s almost surely a right-wing apparatchik. Which brings us to the coming constitutional crises.”

I was deeply moved by the testimony of three children on day three. One was shot at in Florida by an assault rifle. She pulled a dead student over her body for protection. Kananaugh ruled that assault rifles could not be banned. One was an asthmatic in Maine. Kavanaugh ruled multiple times to role back clean air regulations.

Opinion | The Cosmic Joke of Donald Trump’s Power – by Frank Bruni – NYT



“A death in the family. A punch to the gut. The announcement of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement felt to me and many people I know like both of those, but even more so like something else: a sick cosmic joke.

How much power will a president with such tenuous claim to it get to wield? How profound and durable an impact will such a shallow and fickle person make?

Donald Trump barely won the White House, under circumstances — a tainted opponent, three million fewer votes than she received, James Comey’s moral vanity and Russia’s amoral exertions — that raise serious questions about how many Americans yearned to see him there.

But he’s virtually assured of appointing as many judges to the Supreme Court as each of his three predecessors did and could reshape Americans’ lives even more significantly. It’s the craziest dissonance. The cruelest, too..”


David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | Pending Approval NYT comments.
Hi Frank, This was so depressing, I had to speed read half of it. But I find it also empty. I heard a brilliant comment on NPR this morning, on another depressing discussion of the fall of the supreme court and the expected fall of Roe V Wade. The caller identified herself as about 65, mid western, and Catholic. She said, I don’t think the GOP wants to undo Roe v Wade, because they need it. If they overturn it, tens of thousands of Catholics, including almost all of my relatives, who only vote for the GOP because of this one issue, will no longer have to support them, and will return to the democratic party. In my gut, I suspect that she is right. This echos a right wing journalist from the midwest who wrote about 15 years ago, that Roe V Waded was disaster, because its opponents organized and took over one state house after another. The fall of Roe V Wade will be the best thing for Democrats since the New Deal. The issue will go back to the States, where 50 % of the population are women, and over half of the population supports choice, and other basic civil right, like environmental protection. It would be a sad day, but it is also the day after Alexandra Ocassio-Cortez took a primary in NYC. According to the Huffington Post, Ecowatch, and In These Times, she is a hard-liner on fighting to mitigate climate change, and wants a Green New Deal, that does for sustainable energy, what the Marshall Plan did for Europe after WW II. DL bogs at InconvenientNews.Wordpress.com

Talking Climate Change Blues by David Lindsay

 © 2016

1)  Have you heard of,  Bill McKibben    /  not trying to be funny and I ain’t kidding.

This fellow got steamed, under the collar  /  when he noticed the planet getting hotter and hotter

He noticed some problems, heard solutions  /  Many scientists said it was carbon pollution

It wasn’t just about,   how a few people felt  / Al Gore showed films of glacier melt

The Antarctic loses ice, and the Arctic, forsooth  / An inconvenient pointer to the scientists truth.

Hurricane Sandy,     with a rising sea    / flooded New York, and New Jersey.

Chorus) The folks at Businessweek Saw, the damage was horrid

                                     /They put on their cover, It’s Climate Change Stupid

Wake up, my friends, cataclysms are forming

                                   / Our world is threatened by Global  Warming!

2) McKibben likes to quiz, eany meany miney moe/What do you think are the numbers to know

Three hundred and fifty, and four hundred/ these are the numbers the scientists thundered.

I asked a young man,  selling solar panels / he looks blank, smiles like a camel

We need to know, these numbers says McKibben  / or we’ll be faced with Armageddon.

Parts per million, is the technical print   / Greenhouse gases is another hint.

All around the world,   the oceans are  rising  / while the coral reefs are slowly dying. (from acidification)

Chorus) The folks at Businessweek Saw, the damage was horrid

                                     /They put on their cover, It’s Climate Change Stupid

Wake up, my friends, cataclysms are forming

                                  / Our world is threatened by Global  Warming!

3)    Remember when Katrina, hit New Orleans?  / People died, many drowned, the  hoods all cleaned.

We thought it was big, then Sandy and Haiyun  (Haiyan)  / bigger droughts and fires, hurricanes and taifun

Hurricane Sandi,  in New York City  / the water hit the subway and it wasn’t pretty.

My friends lost their house, the neighbors too  /    60 billion dollars went up the flue.

But we ain’t see nothing, like Tacloban  / a Philippine city blown down to the ground, and then drowned.

For New Orleans, our military froze, / for Tacloban, our military rose.

Their Heroes. — Al-le-lue Ya-hoo  /  Forty nations came to their rescue.

Chorus) The folks at Businessweek Saw, the damage was horrid

                                     /They put on their cover, It’s Climate Change Stupid

Wake up, my friends, cataclysms are forming

                                  / Our world is threatened by Global  Warming!

4) We’re hoping James Lovelock, got it all wrong / and we’ll be here centuries with dance & song.

Three hundred and fifty,   parts per mill,   /  The Scientists think is sustainable

Who are these scientists, sounding so strange /just the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Two hundred seventy-five, normal for long time, /Till we burned coal and oil, and spewed out the grime.

Four hundred parts per mil now, we are courting disaster, /Today, tomorrow,  and in the hereafter.

Doomsday approaches, but you can relax, /if you work real hard and pass a carbon tax.

And a methane tax,  and sell it to the Chinese.  /     Oh yeah, the Chinese!

In Beijing the air is, thick as molasses /While the kids are getting sick from the greenhouse gases

So start walking, or riding your bike, /cut your carbon footprint, and we’ll be all right,

Hopefully,    If it’s not too late./ And all the greenhouse gases we deflate.

And reduce our numbers, duck and roll  /  With a Marshall Plan for population control.   If not,

The lucky ones, will make to the morgue  /  It is time to check out Three Fifty dot org.

Chorus) The folks at Businessweek Saw, the damage was horrid

                                     /They put on their cover, It’s Climate Change Stupid

Wake up, my friends, cataclysms are forming

                                     / Our world is threatened by Global  Warming!


Talking Climate Change Blues © 2016 can be found at David’s blog #1, InconvenientNews.wordpress.com,  and with guitar on Youtube.




A Lesson in Hillary Clinton’s Loss in Michigan – The New York Times

“Mrs. Clinton’s falsely parsing Mr. Sanders’s Senate vote on a 2008 recession-related bailout bill as abandoning the auto industry rescue hurt her credibility. As soon as she uttered it in Sunday’s debate, the Democratic strategist David Axelrod registered his dismay, tweeting that the Senate vote wasn’t explicitly a vote about saving the auto industry. Even as reporters challenged her claim, she doubled down in ads across the state. As The Washington Post noted, “it seems like she’s willing to take the gamble that fact-checkers may call her out for her tactic Sunday — but that voters won’t.” ”

Source: A Lesson in Hillary Clinton’s Loss in Michigan – The New York Times

My comment at the New York Times:
HIllary Clinton does well when she bravely explains complexity, which is hard to do in short 1 minutes clumps in a TV debate. I have read economists defend NAFTA. It wasn’t the big job killer, the jobs leaving the country was happening any way. NAFTA lessened the pain by getting trade partners to lower some of their tariffs, so the US might compete in parts of the market. She should not back down from tough stands that require more than a tweet to explain. She had better be careful not to appear to curry too much to Hispanics who want us to let in all immigrants. Some of us progressives are serious environmentalists. Zero Population Growth is now called Population Connections. We want to end illegal immigration, and out of control population growth. We want to rewrite the 14th constitutional amendment, that says any child born in the USA is automatically a citizen. It appears that Hillary is taking bad advice. Trying to trash Bernie Sanders with half truths and twisted reports, is bad for her image, and reduces the number of his supporters who will help take the fight to the Republicans. besides being unethical, it is harder to use cheap dirty political tricks with the scrutiny of news organizations and fact-checking organizations. Her positions are more likely to happen than Bernie’s. Both candidates need to spend more time attacking the Republicans as anti-science, and build each other up.

It’s Not Too Late! by David Brooks – The New York Times, Lindsay’s Comment

“Back in the early evening, before the current panic set in, Republicans understood that Ted Cruz would be a terrible general election candidate, at least as unelectable as Donald Trump and maybe more so. He is the single most conservative Republican in Congress, far adrift from the American mainstream. He’s been doing well in primaries because of the support of “extremely conservative” voters in very conservative states, and he really hasn’t broken out of that lane. His political profile is a slightly enlarged Rick Santorum but without the heart.On policy grounds, he would be unacceptable to a large majority in this country. But his policy disadvantages are overshadowed by his public image ones. His rhetorical style will come across to young and independent voters as smarmy and oleaginous. In Congress, he had two accomplishments: the disastrous government shutdown and persuading all his colleagues to dislike him.There is another path, one that doesn’t leave you self-loathing in the morning. It’s a long shot, but given the alternatives, it’s worth trying. First, hit the pause button on the rush to Cruz. Second, continue the Romneyesque assault on Trump. The results on Saturday, when late voters swung sharply against the Donald, suggest it may be working.Third, work for a Marco Rubio miracle in Florida on March 15. Fourth, clear the field for John Kasich in Ohio. If Rubio and Kasich win their home states, Trump will need to take nearly 70 percent of the remaining delegates to secure a majority. That would be unlikely; he’s only winning 44 percent of the delegates now.The party would go to the convention without a clear nominee. It would be bedlam for a few days, but a broadly acceptable new option might emerge.”

Source: It’s Not Too Late! – The New York Times

Dear David Brooks. Thank you for a brilliant piece. Unfortunately, I read down the Comments in the Readers Picks, and some of your critics are clearer than you are. They are right, that there is no deep bench, or that there was any serious variety of positions on serious matters, with the exception possibly of Donald Trump. I gravitated towards Kaisich, but others say that underneath his golden veneer, he has many of the same positions as the other anti-science dwarves. He accepts that climate change is real, but not sure that is is caused by human activity. As a fan of yours, who agrees with you and Tom Friedman, that we need two viable, healthy parties for a healthy democracy, I recommend that you read carefully the critics in the comments, and imagine that the undecided convention look outside the 17 dwarves. It might be too late to revive the party of Lincoln, but if the convention wants to keep their party alive, they need someone of Lincoln’s stature. There aren’t many names that come to mind. Michael Bloomberg and Colin Powell are the only ones I can think of. Was Arnold Schwarzenegger concerned about climate change? Is Alan Simpson still kicking? Are there any Republican civil rights leaders, like the deceased John Lindsay?

Paul Krugman has written that the Republican party in now a serious threat to the small chance the world has to address climate change in time. The current GOP is a threat to life on earth as we know and enjoy it.