From the BlogMeet Ron

AUGUST 15,2017 OUR GROUP 23 OF MORNING HOTSHOTS

AUGUST 15,2017 OUR GROUP 23 OF MORNING HOTSHOTS
DAILY
 
Half Measures 
“Remember that we deal with alcohol – cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help, it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power – that One is God. May you find Him now. Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.” 
1976 AAWS
Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 58-9 
Thought to Consider . . . 
Take a walk with God.
He will meet you at the Steps.
==================
VERNON HOWARD
 
“The Truth in this class radiates out and touches that man in Europe,
the lady in Canada. It reaches that one person in 500,000 who has been
looking for this all their lives.”
 A Treasury of Trueness, # 119
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DAILY REFLECTIONS AUGUST 15
DIDN’T WE HURT ANYBODY?
Some of us, though, tripped over a very different snag. We clung to the claim that when drinking we never hurt anybody but ourselves.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 79
This Step seemed so simple. I identified several people whom I had harmed, but they were no longer available. Still, I was uneasy about the Step and avoided conversations dealing with it. In time I learned to investigate those Steps and areas of my life which made me uncomfortable. My search revealed my parents, who had been deeply hurt by my isolation from them; my employer, who worried about my absences, my memory lapses, my temper; and the friends I had shunned, without explanation. As I faced the reality of the harm I had done, Step Eight took on new meaning. I am no longer uncomfortable and I feel clean and light.
From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics
Anonymous World Services, Inc.
==================

“Life is infinite energy coupled with limitless creative imagination. It is the invisible essence and substance of every visible form. Its nature is goodness, truth, wisdom and beauty, as well as energy and imagination. Our highest satisfaction comes from a sense of conscious union with this invisible Life. All human endeavor is an attempt to get back to first principles, to find such an inward wholeness that all sense of fear, doubt and uncertainty vanishes.” 
― Ernest Holmes, The Art of Life
 
💌Forget me not… “You are the Love you been waiting for.” 
💌Your Creator
© John-Robert Coleman.2017

 (Peace) by Hamza El Din
The world shines about me,
luminous as the moon, smiling like a rose,
and a sweet benediction
flows through everything existing.
How beautiful life is.
I marvel at people who are not in love with life.
You, my girl, are beautiful,
and your beauty,
like the beautiful thought of peace,
belongs to the eternity.
Detest war and destruction.
When you go to the riverbank,
and the sun sets in the evening,
the waters of the river will be rippling softly,
and from a distance, in the twilight, you will see white sails.
A song of the boatman will come from there.
‘Today no suffering, no suffering.’
The world shines about me,
luminous as the moon,
smiling like a rose.
 
A COURSE IN MIRACLES 
ACIM Workbook Lesson 227 Insights
“This is my holy instant of release.”
Every moment is my holy instant of release. I don’t have to wait to be released from the tyranny of the ego. In every moment I have a choice. I choose either illusion or reality. Though choosing illusions blinds me to reality, reality remains ever present, unchanged by my choice to believe illusions are real.
 
If I experience a world of separation, it is because I have chosen it. It doesn’t seem like I have anything to do with its seeming existence. Yet in every moment that I am perceiving separation, it is because I am choosing to see it.
 
Hidden deep below conscious awareness is the desire for specialness that chooses separation over unity and wholeness. From that desire and choice I get everything that comes with the belief that separation is real: Conflict, loss, lack, loneliness, fear and guilt. These are but a few of the symptoms of having made the choice for illusion rather than truth. Gratefully the choice for illusion can never be permanent, for my mind remains eternally united with God. The memory of my Source remains with me forever, even though it may seem to be forgotten beneath layer upon layer of illusions. I may believe I have left God and experience it as so, but God has never left me. His Love still embraces me and supports me and calls me to return to the Home where I belong. I feel that call in my heart. It is the cause of all my searching.
 
While the ego directs me to search where I cannot find the Love and peace I want, the Holy Spirit is ever present, ready to guide me where I will find the release I seek. I am grateful for the Course, which teaches me how to recognize the false images offered by the ego. I am grateful it teaches me how to bring these images to the Holy Spirit, Who shows me they have no substance and no effect on the truth of What I am. With His help I lay them down, recognizing that what has no effect must not exist.
 
Every instant is my moment of opportunity. Today I am dedicated to practicing recognizing false images and taking them to the Holy Spirit, where He helps me release them in gentle laughter and joy. And thus I am released.
 
I quiet my mind and ask the Holy Spirit to bring me my holy instant of release. The Holy Spirit responds by bringing the Light of peace and a sense of well being into my mind. I feel washed in peace. I relax in its gentle presence. I rest from the busyness of the world.
 
I am reminded that there is nothing my holiness cannot do. And bringing me the holy instant is easy as my willingness grows to accept the truth. The truth is always in my mind, waiting for my acceptance. I open to it now. Behind every illusion, there God is. Behind every form there is wholeness. Behind every false idea lies the truth. Only God exists.
 
Today I would accept my holy instant of release. Today I would let illusions be released. Today I would be free of the limiting ideas of the ego. I would learn to laugh at them, for they could never be true. I would learn to accept God’s peace and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit, which always brings me my holy instant of release when I am ready to accept it.
 
And the more I practice this, the easier and more natural it becomes. That release, even in the temporary and incomplete way I allow it in my mind, is such an incredible blessing. I am left feeling as if God Himself has just given me a gentle kiss on the cheek and a warm hug. Wow! What will my life be like when I completely surrender to God’s Love and His Will?
© 2003, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
You may freely share copies of this with your friends,
provided this copyright notice and website address are included.
========================
It is not material things that should command our gratitude but life itself. We are the immortal offspring of Infinite Bliss. In bliss lies our true reason for eternal gratitude.
From the works of Paramhansa Yogananda
and Swami Kriyananda

Capitalism versus Democracy
‘Buchanan has developed a hidden programme for suppressing democracy on behalf of the very rich. It is now reshaping politics.’
 A despot in disguise: one man’s mission to rip up democracy
George Monbiot
James McGill Buchanan’s vision of totalitarian capitalism has infected public policy in the US. Now it’s being exported
 
• George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist
It’s the missing chapter: a key to understanding the politics of the past half century. To read Nancy MacLean’s new book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, is to see what was previously invisible.
 
The history professor’s work on the subject began by accident. In 2013 she stumbled across a deserted clapboard house on the campus of George Mason University in Virginia. It was stuffed with the unsorted archives of a man who had died that year whose name is probably unfamiliar to you: James McGill Buchanan. She says the first thing she picked up was a stack of confidential letters concerning millions of dollars transferred to the university by the billionaire Charles Koch.
 
 How corporate dark money is taking power on both sides of the Atlantic
George Monbiot
 Read more
Her discoveries in that house of horrors reveal how Buchanan, in collaboration with business tycoons and the institutes they founded, developed a hidden programme for suppressing democracy on behalf of the very rich. The programme is now reshaping politics, and not just in the US.
 
Buchanan was strongly influenced by both the neoliberalism of Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, and the property supremacism of John C Calhoun, who argued in the first half of the 19th century that freedom consists of the absolute right to use your property (including your slaves) however you may wish; any institution that impinges on this right is an agent of oppression, exploiting men of property on behalf of the undeserving masses.
 
  James Buchanan brought these influences together to create what he called public choice theory. He argued that a society could not be considered free unless every citizen has the right to veto its decisions. What he meant by this was that no one should be taxed against their will. But the rich were being exploited by people who use their votes to demand money that others have earned, through involuntary taxes to support public spending and welfare. Allowing workers to form trade unions and imposing graduated income taxes were forms of “differential or discriminatory legislation” against the owners of capital.
 
Business Today: sign up for a morning shot of financial news
 Read more
Any clash between “freedom” (allowing the rich to do as they wish) and democracy should be resolved in favour of freedom. In his book The Limits of Liberty, he noted that “despotism may be the only organisational alternative to the political structure that we observe.” Despotism in defence of freedom.
 
His prescription was a “constitutional revolution”: creating irrevocable restraints to limit democratic choice. Sponsored throughout his working life by wealthy foundations, billionaires and corporations, he developed a theoretical account of what this constitutional revolution would look like, and a strategy for implementing it.
 
He explained how attempts to desegregate schooling in the American south could be frustrated by setting up a network of state-sponsored private schools. It was he who first proposed privatising universities, and imposing full tuition fees on students: his original purpose was to crush student activism. He urged privatisation of social security and many other functions of the state. He sought to break the links between people and government, and demolish trust in public institutions. He aimed, in short, to save capitalism from democracy.
 
In 1980, he was able to put the programme into action. He was invited to Chile, where he helped the Pinochet dictatorship write a new constitution, which, partly through the clever devices Buchanan proposed, has proved impossible to reverse entirely. Amid the torture and killings, he advised the government to extend programmes of privatisation, austerity, monetary restraint, deregulation and the destruction of trade unions: a package that helped trigger economic collapse in 1982.
 
None of this troubled the Swedish Academy, which through his devotee at Stockholm University Assar Lindbeck in 1986 awarded James Buchanan the Nobel memorial prize for economics. It is one of several decisions that have turned this prize toxic.
 
Koch network ‘piggy banks’ closed until Republicans pass health and tax reform
 
But his power really began to be felt when Koch, currently the seventh richest man in the US, decided that Buchanan held the key to the transformation he sought. Koch saw even such ideologues as Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan as “sellouts”, as they sought to improve the efficiency of government rather than destroy it altogether. But Buchanan took it all the way.
 
MacLean says that Charles Koch poured millions into Buchanan’s work at George Mason University, whose law and economics departments look as much like corporate-funded thinktanks as they do academic faculties. He employed the economist to select the revolutionary “cadre” that would implement his programme (Murray Rothbard, at the Cato Institute that Koch founded, had urged the billionaire to study Lenin’s techniques and apply them to the libertarian cause). Between them, they began to develop a programme for changing the rules.
    
  The papers Nancy MacLean discovered show that Buchanan saw stealth as crucial. He told his collaborators that “conspiratorial secrecy is at all times essential”. Instead of revealing their ultimate destination, they would proceed by incremental steps. For example, in seeking to destroy the social security system, they would claim to be saving it, arguing that it would fail without a series of radical “reforms”. (The same argument is used by those attacking the NHS). Gradually they would build a “counter-intelligentsia”, allied to a “vast network of political power” that would become the new establishment.
 
Through the network of thinktanks that Koch and other billionaires have sponsored, through their transformation of the Republican party, and the hundreds of millions they have poured into state congressional and judicial races, through the mass colonisation of Trump’s administration by members of this network and lethally effective campaigns against everything from public health to action on climate change, it would be fair to say that Buchanan’s vision is maturing in the US.
 
 The Grenfell inquiry will be a stitch-up. Here’s why
George Monbiot
 
But not just there. Reading this book felt like a demisting of the window through which I see British politics. The bonfire of regulations highlighted by the Grenfell Tower disaster, the destruction of state architecture through austerity, the budgeting rules, the dismantling of public services, tuition fees and the control of schools: all these measures follow Buchanan’s programme to the letter. I wonder how many people are aware that David Cameron’s free schools project stands in a tradition designed to hamper racial desegregation in the American south.
 
  In one respect, Buchanan was right: there is an inherent conflict between what he called “economic freedom” and political liberty. Complete freedom for billionaires means poverty, insecurity, pollution and collapsing public services for everyone else. Because we will not vote for this, it can be delivered only through deception and authoritarian control. The choice we face is between unfettered capitalism and democracy. You cannot have both.
 
Buchanan’s programme is a prescription for totalitarian capitalism. And his disciples have only begun to implement it. But at least, thanks to MacLean’s discoveries, we can now apprehend the agenda. One of the first rules of politics is, know your enemy. We’re getting there.
 
Since you’re here …
… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.
 
I appreciate there not being a paywall: it is more democratic for the media to be available for all and not a commodity to be purchased by a few. I’m happy to make a contribution so others with less means still have access to information.
Thomasine F-R.
=========================
Sincerely,
Ron Richey
 545 Queen St.#701
Honolulu, Hi 96813

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