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September 17, 2007





here's another example of whacked priorities

from the feature "findings", the last page in harper's. this tidbit from the march 2007 issue:

"canadian researchers discovered the dichloroacetate, or DCA, a cheap simple drug that has been used for years to treat metabolic disorders, also happens to kill most cancers; unfortunately, DCA is not patented, which means that most pharmaeutical companies will have little interest in carrying out clinical trials using the drug."


Life's whacked out.
But full of warm fuzzies in the most horrible places.
I believe that's where and when God meets humanity.


i wish we could meet him in more places where so much is at stake.


But then you watch a NYT report on dioxin in Vietnam
and see and listen to the victims of another of America's sins... in the name of war. It takes a saint like Thich Nhat Hanh to make sense out of it. Total compassion towards enemy. How is it that the West, the Christian West, misses the point made by Jesus?


I pray for that too, zero.

Monte Asbury

Bravo - I found these words reassuring. Here are a couple of lectionary sermons that went in similar directions. And, like I say, it sure is comforting to hear someone else saying it!
Unrespectable Jesus (
Citizens of another nation



Amen! I'm glad there is someone else out there who equates the statement "Caesar is Lord" with pledging allegiance to the American flag. The church I attend did just this on the 4th of July Sunday. I felt really awkward just standing there while everyone else pledged their allegiance to another. It was kinda sad. Speaking of which, do you guys/gals feel comfortable pledging your allegiance to the Christian flag and/or the Bible? The first seems like I'm pledging my allegiance to a state or institution/organization while the latter seems to be an example of bibliolatry. I don't think I like pledging my allegiance to any of them.


great article on business and ethics.


What a doozie of investigated and tested opionated information. Makes me humble in my own self righteousness and judgement towards others.

Not just about "business" but also about religions:

"...the authors suggest conscience is individually meaningful, and affected by emotional processes. They say the psychological angle may be heretical to some ethicists -- but I think the personal angle is even more heretical to most business thinkers, stuck in modes of alignment and processes, where "conscience" is an alien concept.

The article has meaning beyond ethics. Look at this pattern. People think they are more ethical than others; and they rewrite their past (and future) ethicality relative to current actions.

This is also a pattern not just of ethics, but of self-orientation."

Such is sooo relevant to our spiritual/religious/existential lives. makes for an "opening", as Quakers say. Thanks.


In other words, we cannot separate our ethical selves from our business selves and etc. about selves integrated into wholeness... lest we produce a schzophrenic religion of false piety and phony worship if done in blind faith at best while very hellish at worst if done intentionally.


definitely. if we separate ourselves we are just trying to have it both ways. i have long wondered how people can act badly and it's excused as "just business". but aren't we who we are no matter what we do? anything else is just plain wrong. prime public example at this time is smirk. oh, it's not good. not good at all. no wonder everything is so messed up.


Printed below comes a statement about ethics from "The Meaning and Value of Death" by Ira Byock, MD, a Quaker and leader in hospice and palliative care movement. ("Journal of Palliative Medicine" 2002)In my opinion it is the positive side of looking at our ethics WHILE the truth of the matter the article zero printed is the realistic everyday side. It is sad to me that only through suffering and death do we come to a meaningful ethic. It is sad that many cause much death and suffering for their own gains in this world... and surely they have no concept of what is meant below:

"In a 1978 article entitled, The Ethics of Terminal Care," Harold Vanderpool asserted:

"These four fundamental features of human worth -- respect for the individual, inclusion in comunity, concern for the body, and considerations of a broader purpose -- are offered as ethical guidelines for terminal care."

Ethicist Laurie Zoloth-Dorfman has written:

"Cleaving to another, recognizing that the other is the bone of the bone and the flesh of the flesh that is given in common, locating the mutual body as the site of the moral gesture is fundamental to ethical reflection... it requires a radical rethinking of all that occurs to the other. All of the yearning, all of the loss, is in fact, my loss. This responsibility for the narratives great and small, for the dreams of the other, for the temptations of the other, for the responsibility of the other, creates a mutual commandedness. The encounter is intensely personal. The death of the other, the illness of the other, her vulnerability, is your own."
-- end quote.

With this point of view and knowledge of life in general how can anyone support any set of ethics not addressed in the Ten Commandments? The Sermon of tne Mount comes from the wisdom concerning suffering and death. I believe an interpretation of Christ's suffering and death can be easily seen through the lenses of these ethicists' opinion about how humanity comes to end of life issues as a whole with looking for blessedness in poverty of spirit, mercyfullness founded in forgiving, mourning one for another founded in a living love and loss, a desire to be in a community of Godliness and righteousness and justice. Where are America's ethics in her leaders' politics and religions?? Where is their humanity? I believe they are so much in denial of reality of human existence that they are nothing more than a curse on the living.


yes, it takes death, often, to get people to care about how they conduct their lives. but that urgency soon passes as life becomes "normal" again. i don't know. so manny claim christianity or other faith, which insists a way of life that, for whatever reason, is ignored for gain.


That is so true. The author, Ira Byock writes, "The [Western] culture tends to avoid serious consideration of death and avoidance behavior is readily documented." He goes on to describe America's seemingly preoccupation with death and war in our "games and movies" which simply cover over any real attempt to address the powerful notion of death of ourselves and others. It trivilizes the meaning of and value of death to the living... meanings and values explicitely stated in Judeo/Christian scripture. Such as this un-mindfulness of reality gives humanity a calousnessness that can produce mass murder or justify the business ethics of tooth and fang lifting up the erroneous Darwinian paradigm of "fittest" rather than compassion. It seems George Bush and cronies fit the "fittest" model well.


zero, it gives me comfort to know you are still here and fiesty and observant as ever.
Where you reckon our leader is at?? Working hard teaching no doubt. I guess we are into a Quaker silent phase? Kate? :)


over the weekend, i watched a program on tibetan spirituality (history channel). their take on death is something. the body is only a vessel for the soul. as such, when a person dies, the body is prepared according to their beliefs, and then taken out to the hills to allow the vultures to eat the remains; to give back to the earth by nourishing others. i thought about how, even in death, our culture is all about whose got the most lavish, ornate marker in the cemetery. how humble tibetians are, how absurd are we!!!!!

yeah, i'm missing everyone too, david. til they return, it's you and me. (although i am going out of town tomorrow and i don't take the laptop!)

piggies and laughing frogs....


Travel blessings to you.

Cultural American death things are interesting. Halloween. Jack Frost. Christmas. Easter. Wall-Mart ethics covers'em all.

Thanks for the piggies and frogs.


read this article, david. it's long but interesting....wealth and happiness. it provides an interesting perspective.

you're welcome! have a few more.


Yes, we have entered a period of quiet meditation.....except, nobody told my kids.

I miss talking to you all. I guess we have no choice but to keep commenting on the last post.

Safe travels zero.

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