Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


BeyondGeography's Journal
BeyondGeography's Journal
November 24, 2018

Bernard Glassman, Zen Master and Social Activist, Dies at 79

Bernard Glassman, an acclaimed American Buddhist teacher known for his social activism, died on Nov. 4 at a hospital in Greenfield, Mass., near his home. He was 79.

The cause was sepsis, his wife, Eve Marko, said.

Contrary to the stereotype of a Zen practitioner lost in meditation, Mr. Glassman was deeply active in the world and in trying to address its ills. His activism was as much a product of his Buddhist spiritualism as it was of the liberal Jewish tradition into which he was born; the two remained inseparable throughout his life.

Mr. Glassman “was one of the most important figures in ‘Engaged Buddhism,’ which applies Buddhist teachings to what many Jews call tikkun olam, the project of ‘repairing’ the brokenness in the world,” Jay Michaelson wrote in a tribute in The Forward after Mr. Glassman’s death.

Mr. Michaelson called Mr. Glassman “a Zen mensch.”

Mr. Glassman broke into pop culture, sort of, when he got together with the actor Jeff Bridges, a friend, to write a slim volume called “The Dude and the Zen Master,” published in 2013. Mr. Bridges played Jeffrey Lebowski, a California slacker known as “The Dude,” in Joel and Ethan Coen’s cult movie “The Big Lebowski” (1998).

When Mr. Glassman told Mr. Bridges that some Buddhists considered his character a Zen master, based in part on his enigmatic utterances (“The Dude abides,” “The Dude is not in”), Mr. Bridges agreed to collaborate with him on a book about the movie’s Zen lessons.

“Not being in — not being attached to Jeff or Bernie or whoever you are — is the essence of Zen,” Mr. Glassman explains in the book. “When we’re not attached to our identity, it allows all the messages of the world to come in and be heard. When we’re not in, creation can happen.”

...In 1982 he opened the Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, initially as a way to provide jobs for Zen students. He eventually hired anyone who wanted a job, regardless of employment history or arrest record.

The bakery was soon making brownies and supplying them to ice cream makers, supermarkets and restaurants; today its food processing plant turns out 35,000 pounds of brownies a day. Its slogan is “We don’t hire people to bake brownies. We bake brownies to hire people.”

Mr. Glassman (whose first marriage ended in divorce) and his second wife, Sandra Holmes, founded the Greyston Foundation, sometimes called Greyston Mandala, in 1989 to address community needs in Yonkers. Its programs provide day care, job training, produce-growing gardens, medical care and housing for about 5,000 people a year.

More at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/23/obituaries/bernard-glassman-dead.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fobituaries&action=click&contentCollection=obituaries®ion=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront

November 15, 2018

Marcia Fudge, Toying With Speaker Run, Slams Nancy Pelosi

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) is all but announcing her intention to run for House speaker against Nancy Pelosi, testing the waters Thursday by slamming Pelosi and putting race at the forefront of her campaign.

While she stopped short of officially throwing her hat in the ring during a sit-down interview with HuffPost, Fudge said she’s been “overwhelmed” by the number of people reaching out to support her potential speaker bid. She thinks the the opposition to Pelosi in the caucus is much greater than the 17 Democrats who have signed a letter saying they won’t support Pelosi to be speaker, and Fudge said if the vote were held today, Pelosi would be well short of the numbers.

“I don’t hate Nancy. I think Nancy has been a very good leader,” Fudge told HuffPost. “I just think it’s time for a new one.”

...Fudge pointed to Pelosi’s refusal to endorse in the race for Majority Whip, a race between current No. 3 Democrat ― and CBC stalwart ― Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), and Dianna DeGette (D-Colo.).

“But she wants our endorsements?” Fudge said of Pelosi. “Who has she endorsed?”

“We’re not feeling the love,” Fudge added.

...Fudge offered that one of the reasons people don’t like Pelosi is because “they see her as an elitist.”

“And I think to some degree she is,” Fudge continued. “She’s a very wealthy person, she raises a lot of money from a lot of other wealthy people.”

“Everybody wants to give her such big credit for winning back the House, and she should be here because she won. She didn’t win it by herself,” Fudge said.

“If we’re going to give her credit for the wins, why is she not responsible for all the losses,” Fudge asked, specifically pointing to the 63 seats Democrats lost in 2010 and the large majorities Republicans held in 2012, 2014, and 2016.

...Fudge also said she would be more bottom-up in her procedural approach than Pelosi. “Just think about what happened,” Fudge said. “One day after we win back the House, leadership comes out and starts talking about what’s going to be our first bill, what we’re going to do first. Did they talk to anybody?”

“Team means doing ‘What I want you to do,’” she said.

She offered that the top priority of Democrats might be protections for people with pre-existing conditions, it might be student debt, or infrastructure, or job creation. “But nobody, none of the doors I knocked on, none of the people’s hands I shook, said, ’You should make campaign finance reform your No. 1 issue,” she said.

More at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/marcia-fudge-speaker_us_5bed9033e4b03af89267a979
November 15, 2018

Democratic Rep. Fudge says she's 'overwhelmed' by support as she weighs speaker bid

Rep. Marcia L. Fudge said on Thursday that she is “overwhelmed” by the support from many of her colleagues for her possible entry into the race for House speaker, becoming the first Democrat to publicly acknowledge a challenge to longtime party leader Nancy Pelosi.

“Over the last 12 hours, I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of support I’ve received,” Fudge said in an interview with The Washington Post, adding that there are “probably closer to 30” Democrats” who have privately signaled that they are willing to oppose Pelosi.

“Things could change rapidly,” Fudge said with a smile as she sat in her office, with her phone buzzing nearby.

Fudge, 66, a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, said that she is building a diverse coalition as she mulls a speaker run, talking with allies on the CBC, moderate Democrats, and newly elected members.

...Fudge has been criticized by Pelosi allies and other Democrats for not co-sponsoring the Equality Act, which focuses on civil rights protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.

When asked on Thursday about her position, Fudge said, “They can’t find one vote, not one vote, that’s anti” LGBT rights. “I just don’t want to insert it into the civil rights bill. It should be a stand-alone bill and I’d support that.

More at https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/democratic-rep-fudge-says-shes-overwhelmed-by-support-as-she-weighs-speaker-bid/2018/11/15/01ae4dea-e8ea-11e8-bbdb-72fdbf9d4fed_story.html?utm_term=.995ef7e6f603
November 15, 2018

Rep. Marcia Fudge weighing a bid for House Speaker

Source: Cleveland.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Warrensville Heights Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge says she's considering challenging California Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker.

Fudge said she does not believe Pelosi has enough votes to win the job, as many newly elected Democrats promised not to support her. Opponents to Pelosi are seeking an alternative candidate and have approached her about the job.

"People are asking me to do it, and I am thinking about it," Fudge told cleveland.com. "I need to give it some thought and see if I have an interest. I am at the very beginning of this process. It is just in discussion at this point."

Fudge said voters backed Democrats because they wanted a change, and Pelosi doesn't represent that. Fudge is also dismayed that neither of the party's two top leaders, Pelosi and Maryland's Steny Hoyer, is a minority, and said an African American woman should be in leadership.

"When you look at the people who support this party the most, they are women and African Americans and especially African American women," said Fudge. "We keep talking about diversity, but there is nothing diverse about the top of our ticket. We have to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk."

Read more: https://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2018/11/rep_marcia_fudge_weighing_a_bi.html

November 2, 2018

Are worries over Latino turnout in the midterms too little, too late?

Beauty pageant winners waved, sirens blared, children blew bubbles and a float bearing Confederate flags trundled by, along with an SUV decorated with campaign signs for Republicans and a trailer plastered with banners for Democrats. Monarch butterflies flitted along the route.

A woman wearing a T-shirt promoting Beto O’Rourke, the Democrat running for U.S. Senate, handed out fliers with polling location information and told the children sitting on the curb in front of Resendez: “You get all of these people out to vote, okay?”

Resendez, 34, laughed and said, “Tell her you shouldn’t be doing her job!”

Amid the laughter came a sober reality, particularly for Democrats trying to reverse the Republican hold on Texas: That back-and-forth was Resendez’s first interaction with a campaign this year — and it came just 10 days before the election, and after the deadline to register to vote.

...This year, the country’s growing Latino population could again play a deciding role in races in Texas and elsewhere — and, once again, Latino activists say that Democratic and Republican campaigns have neglected to spend enough time and money directly encouraging Latinos to register and vote.

Latinos have long voted at lower rates than whites and African Americans. Only 45 percent of Latinos who are eligible to vote turned out in 2016, compared to 65 percent of whites and 60 percent of blacks. The rate was even lower during the two previous elections: 21 percent of Latinos voted in 2014, and 43 percent did so in 2012.

More at https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/are-worries-over-latino-turnout-in-the-midterms-too-little-too-late/2018/11/01/c3fa1f06-dcf5-11e8-b3f0-62607289efee_story.html?utm_term=.52cbee71e1cb
October 30, 2018

NY-19: Incumbent Faso trailing Delgado (D) in new poll

ALBANY - Democratic congressional hopeful Antonio Delgado holds a 5-point lead over Republican incumbent John Faso, according to a Monmouth University poll released on Tuesday.
The latest poll for the 19th Congressional District, which stretches from the Capital Region deep into the Hudson Valley, breaks down to 49 percent for Delgado, 44 percent for Faso, 3 percent for the two third-party candidates and 4 percent are undecided. When factoring a surge of Democratic voters similar to special elections over the past year, Delgado's support jumps to 51 percent and his lead grows to 8 percentage points.

In September, Delgado led Faso by 3 points in a Monmouth poll. Faso has never trailed in a poll conducted by the Siena Research Institute, which gave him a 1-point margin earlier this month.
"The Democrat has strengthened his standing in this race even though Republican interest has picked up over the past month," Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray said in a statement.

More at https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Delgado-has-narrow-lead-over-Faso-in-poll-13345903.php#item-85307-tbla-3
October 20, 2018

Hello lurking Trump and Randian dupes, here's some reading material for you

The Devastating Story Of How The Kochs’ Business Practices Hurt Real People

An excerpt from Dark Money by Jane Mayer, Chapter 4: The Koch Method: Free-Market Mayhem (120-123):

FOR TWENTY- ONE YEARS, WHILE THE KOCHS WERE FINANCING AN ideological war aimed at freeing American business from the grip of government, Donald Carlson was cleaning up the dregs their industry left behind. Stitched to the jacket he wore to work at Koch Refining Company, the booming Pine Bend Refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota, was the name Bull. His colleagues called him this because of his brawn and his willingness to shoulder the tasks no one else wanted to touch. “He wasn’t always the greatest guy or dad, but he got up every morning and went to work. He stepped up to the plate every day,” recalls his widow, Doreen Carlson. “If a job was too hard, they gave it to him.”

Beginning in 1974, when he was hired, Carlson worked twelve and sometimes sixteen- hour shifts at the refinery. Its profitability had proven the Kochs’ purchase of Pine Bend prophetic. It had become the largest refinery north of Louisiana with the capacity to process 330,000 barrels of crude a day, a quarter of what Canada exported to the United States. It provided over half of the gas used in Minnesota and 40 percent of that used by Wisconsin. Carlson’s job was demanding, but he enjoyed it. He cleaned out huge tanks that contained leaded gasoline, scraping them down by hand. He took samples from storage tanks whose vapors escaped with such force they sometimes blew his helmet off. He hoisted heavy loads and vacuumed up fuel spills deep enough to cause burns to his legs. Like many of the one thousand employees at the refinery, Carlson was often exposed to toxic substances. “He was practically swimming in those tanks,” his wife recalled. But Carlson never thought twice about the hazards.

“I was a young guy,” he explained later. “They didn’t tell me anything, I didn’t know anything.”

In particular, Carlson said, no one warned him about benzene, a colorless liquid chemical compound refined from crude oil. In 1928, two Italian doctors first detected a connection between it and cancer. Afterward, numerous scientific studies linked chronic benzene exposure to greatly increased risks of leukemia. Four federal agencies— the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Centers for Disease Control—have all declared benzene a human carcinogen. Asked under oath if he’d been warned about the harm it posed to his hemoglobin, Carlson replied, “I didn’t even know what hemoglobin was.”

In 1995, Carlson became too sick to work any longer at the refinery. When he obtained his company medical records, he and his wife were shocked by what they read. In the late 1970s, OSHA had issued regulations requiring companies whose workers were exposed to benzene to offer annual blood tests, and to retest, and notify workers if any abnormalities were found. Companies were also required to refer employees with abnormal results to medical specialists. Koch Refining Company had offered the annual blood tests as legally required, and Carlson had dutifully taken advantage of the regular screening. But what he discovered was that even though his tests had shown increasingly serious, abnormal blood cell counts beginning in 1990, as well as in 1992 and 1993, the company had not mentioned it to him until 1994.

Charles Koch had disparaged government regulations as “socialistic.” From his standpoint, the regulatory state that had grown out of the Progressive Era was an illegitimate encroachment on free enterprise and a roadblock to initiative and profitability. But while such theories might appeal to the company’s owners, the reality was quite different for many of their tens of thousands of employees.

Carlson continued working for another year but grew weaker, needing transfusions of three to five pints of blood a week. Finally, in the summer of 1995, he grew too sick to work at all.. At that point, his wife recalls, “they let him go. Six-months’ pay is what they gave him. It was basically his accumulated sick pay.” Carlson argued that his illness was job related, but Koch Refining denied this claim, refusing to pay him workers’ compensation, which would have covered his medical bills and continued dependency benefits for his wife and their teenage daughter. “The doctor couldn’t believe he was never put on workmen’s comp,” she added. “We were just naive. We didn’t think people would let you die. We thought, ‘They help you, don’t they?’”

In February 1997, twenty- three years after he joined Koch Industries, Donald Carlson died of leukemia. He was fifty-three. He and his wife had been married thirty- one years. “Almost the worst part,” she said, was that “he died thinking he’d let us down financially.” She added, “My husband was the sort of man who truly believed that if you worked hard and did a good job, you would be rewarded.”

Furious at the company, Doreen waged a one- woman battle to get Koch Industries to acknowledge some responsibility for her husband’s death and apologize. “I’m looking for some accountability,” she told Tom Meersman, a reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. For three years, Carlson pressed her legal claim. The company offered her some money but refused to call it compensation for a work-related death. It resisted until minutes before the case was about to be heard by a judge. And when it did finally agree to her terms, it did so only if she would sign a confidentiality agreement, keeping the matter private. “They never admitted it. They avoided court. There was no written record. They just gave me those little crumbs and told me to keep my mouth shut,” she recalled.

More than a dozen years later, Carlson’s confidentiality agreement had expired, and she could speak out. “I don’t think you could write what I think of Koch. You’re just collateral damage. It’s just money for them, and they never have enough.” Pressed about whether it was fair to pin the blame on the Kochs themselves, rather than on lower- level executives she dealt with, she retorted, “Charles Koch owns the refinery.” She went on, “And they want less regulations? Can you imagine? What they want is things that benefit them. They never cut into their profits. I hear they’re backing a lot of people politically, and I bet it’s all about getting rid of regulations,” she said. “But those regulations are for safety. It’s not to make your workers rich; it’s so they don’t die.”

October 15, 2018

Hillary Clinton: Monica Lewinsky Was "An Adult" The View

Joy Behar was not impressed.

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: NY
Member since: Tue Dec 30, 2003, 12:41 AM
Number of posts: 39,490
Latest Discussions»BeyondGeography's Journal