Thursday, December 20, 2012


     Whenever I look at my watch these days it keeps reminding me that I've entered old fart territory.  A few things have happened during my 66 years that have been truly horrific.  So it's a bit confusing to me why the recent school shooting in Connecticut is having such a profound effect on me. I try to avoid marinating my brain in negative images so I tend to change the channel when the subject is shown.  Yet even now, each time I see a glimpse I begin to cry. Why this time and why this one? I don't really know.
     What I do know is that our society is in very deep trouble. We own more guns than everyone else on the planet.  We have more people in jail than any other country. We make movies that glorify violence.  Our children play video games that are astoundingly perverse and violent. We have politicians that talk about "legitimate rape."
     The NRA will defend to the death our right to bear assault weapons with unlimited supplies of ammunition. Yet they would never dream about being equally as passionate about participating in a societal change that would make it inconceivable for any of us to want to use one.
     The polarization in our society is not just about Democrats and Republicans.  There are numerous forces that actively work to ingrain a deeply felt sense of us and them. Carl Rove got an incompetent elected president two times with this tactic.  
     I worked as a Psychologist in a jail in the 70's.  The inmates were all class A adolescent male felons.  To qualify they had to have committed rape or murder. They had little or no difficulty in doing things to people that you don't want to know about. All one had to do to precipitate a fight with any of them is just utter the words, "Your mother." Isn't it fascinating that they could kill or rape your mother but you better not even mention theirs! Imagine a world in which all of them thought of all women as their sisters or mothers. That alone would probably eliminate more killing than any watered down gun control legislation we will see passed in a few months.
     Our society has not yet figured out how to cultivate the best that we have as humans. I'd bet any of you in America a lot of money  that you will not hear the word wisdom today. What school do you know of that teaches compassion.  What powerful forces actively seek to allow our children to feel for themselves the warmth and joy that comes from being of service to another? I don't believe that the existence of a gun is the real problem. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012


     There was for me a wonderful moment during the presidential debate on Tuesday night.  Mitt Romney had just made a statement and the moderator, Candy Crowley, immediately said to Mr. Romney, "That's not true." I can't remember the last time I heard someone who was functioning in the position of being a journalist actually doing their job. Most Americans now get what passes for news from television. As we all know the content of television is controlled by ratings. The networks are owned by the very same large corporations that have gradually gained control of our political process. "News" is therefore defined as whatever will generate the highest ratings rather than the information that is vitally important for us to have an educated electorate. That's why we know far more about what Lindsay Lohan had for breakfast than we do about the real consequences of Paul Ryan's budget plan.
    So thank you Candy Crowley for a brief glimpse of how great television could be.

Monday, September 17, 2012


     I am currently in Vail, Colorado.  While on a hike yesterday 5 people passed me on the trail.  They were rescue workers and they were going up to rescue a dog.  I was deeply touched to see these people on a late Sunday afternoon taking their time and energy to do such a lovely thing.

     And then I was struck by the dichotomy of what I was seeing before my eyes and the American political system.  Let me be clear, I have nothing against animal rescues.  I think it's beautiful to see. However I currently have two female clients who fear for their lives because of abusive husbands.  The rate of poverty in American is going up and if hunk Ryan has anything to say about our lives Medicaid and Medicare will be decimated.

     We have no money for people, bridges and education.  But we have all the money we need for cruise missiles.  I wonder how many people died of malnutrition and inadequate healthcare while these guys were saving the dog.   

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Fall Creek Falls, Tennessee, 10/09

Treat people and live amongst them in such a way so that when you die they will cry over you, and while you are alive they long for your company.
Traditional Muslim saying

We grow neither better nor worse as we grow old, but more like ourselves.
May Lamberton Becker

For NEW subscribers click here to receive the Dose:

     As many of you know every day I send out a photograph of mine along with two quotes.  I call it the "Daily Dose".  Above is a dose from ten days ago.  I first started sending out the dose in 1997.  At that time it was one or two quotes from  spiritual traditions around the world.  My intent was to show my readers the similarities of these traditions and also to help them find their own spiritual path.  I started including one of my photos after 9/11.  We were about to blow up Afghanistan I wanted to put a face on the Afghan people.  I had been fortunate to have traveled through Afghanistan in 1974 and 1975 and I was one of my favorite places on the planet.

     Today the dose is read every day by thousands of people all over the world and I'm the guy who not only composes and sends out the dose but I'm also the one who manually adds and removes people from my distribution list.  On most days this usually means adding a few people.  During an average week one or two people might ask to be removed.  I'm always curious about when and why someone would ask to be removed.  On the day of this dose five people asked to be removed.  So I asked myself what's so special about this dose?  The picture may not be my greatest but it's not particularly offensive.  The quotes on the surface seem benign.  And then it hit me.  The attribution for the first quote was that it was a Muslim saying!
     The continued intention of the Dose is to share the beauty of the world in images and words.  It is my hope that with sufficient contact we will become far more aware of our similarities than our differences.  Isn't it sad that at this point in our country (none of the people who dropped out were foreigners) we are so polarized that just the word Muslim would prompt some to stop receiving any information that might allow them to expand their field of view. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


   For the past twenty-five years or so many of my female clients have bemoaned the "fact" that the men they are meeting are all Neanderthals who are not capable of true intimacy.  They yearned to be able to have one conversation with a man who has actually seen their face.  Recently there has been a lot of talk about how much better and less violent the world would be if women were in power.  Well ladies it appears that the Grand Old Party is determined to have you in the position of putting up or shutting up.
     The wisdom of the the best that the Republicans have to offer us has presented us with a Congressional hearing on women's reproductive rights featuring a number of male "experts".  A number of Republican controlled states have attempted to force women to undergo uterine ultrasounds.  And now we are learning about the essential differences between "legitimate" rape and all other forms of rape.  I bet you didn't know that if you really didn't want to get raped your body would not let you get pregnant.
     Ladies, please help us degenerate men to see the folly of our ways.  Please demonstrate if there is any truth at all that you have the capacity to stand up for us all and stop this madness before it gets any louder or more pervasive.  Please show us with your votes that you are not all Michele Bachmanns.

     I was sent this link after I posted these comments.  Perhaps there is reason for hope after all:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


      Over the past weekend I had the misfortune to see the movie, “The Hunger Games”.  The movie was preceded by 7 coming attractions.  One was an animated film and the rest appeared to be trying to outdo each other in gore, brutality, and stupidity.  How staggering that our evolutionary process has culminated in an artistic endeavor about Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter.
     “The Hunger Games” was deeply troubling for me.  The thought of an elite ruling class that entertains itself on the suffering and death of the “little people” is no longer really science fiction.  The elimination of the draft in the U. S. has terminated any threat that the wealthy will ever have to dirty their hands.  With no threat to their own children they can so easily send “our volunteers” to do their bidding.  We appear to have all the money we need for bombs but none for social programs.
     I watch the Republican debates in horror.  Except for Ron Paul I have seen a bunch of old men trying to convince the universe that their genitals are so much bigger than Obama’s.  (I’d just love to see them all naked on stage.)  They scream for the destruction of Iran and talk so loudly about how Obama is an appeasing Muslim wimp.  Their rhetoric is very effectively picking up where Carl Rove left off.  There are now more militia groups in American than ever.  There are now more guns in circulation than ever.  This process of dividing and conquering is working.  Workers rights and unions are under direct and very clear attack in the states with Republican governors.  Women’s rights are under attack.  The ability of the poor and elderly to vote is under attack.  Medicare is under attack.  The lie is that the rich need their money so that they can create jobs.  It’s unbelievable to me that the masses have not noticed that the rich have gotten staggeringly richer over the past few years while the rest of us have lost our jobs.
     For me the thing that really sticks in my craw (wherever that is) is how all of  this is also guised under the pretense of “Christian values”.  The beauty of Christ was his love and compassion.  In Matthew 25:40 we are clearly told that, “… whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”  Somehow this has now been repackaged as “Socialism” and really bad. In my photography and in the Daily Dose my intent is to share a moment of beauty, a sense of connection between ourselves and others or our environment.  It is my belief that the more we know about others the more we can see ourselves in them and feel a sense of compassion.  For me this is a central core of my spiritual belief.  I don't understand a spiritual pursuit that results in separation and disdain.
     One of my friends has told me that “The Hunger Games” is a trilogy and there is a revolt in the second book.  I wonder how much worse it will have to get before the revolt is on CNN.