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Part One

June 2019. Netflix releases When They See Us, Ava DuVerney’s superb miniseries on the Central Park Five case.190301-central-park-5-al-1256_15fefac610449b1d588e48c9c80c50ee.fit-760w.jpg?w=212&h=141&profile=RESIZE_710x

In the first two weeks of the month, the seventh African-American transgender woman is murdered this year. Another, Layleen Polanco, is found dead at Rikers Island Prison. A study reveals that twenty percent of cops post racist comments on Facebook. A Vallejo, California investigation concludes that cops who shot a black man 55 times in 3.5 seconds “acted reasonably.” A new book d

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Finding YOUR Way to Self Care

Ivanka Trump was widely panned for suggesting that busy mothers should get regular massages, because for many of us that’s just not realistic.

I myself, have never been into meditating. And if I don’t like something, I’m not going to end up doing it.

A friend says that people always tell her to slow down, but she’s a raging extrovert. Being around lots of people is what recharges her.

Self-care requires clarity about what we need. Not what others think, or what we’re “supposed” to do, or what exper

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Part One

I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars. – Franklin D. Roosevelt, 10/30/1940

In spite of the risk involved, however, in letting the Japanese fire the first shot, we realized that in order to have the full support of the American people it was desirable to make sure that the Japanese were the ones to do this so that there should remain no doubt in anyone’s mind as to who were the aggressors. – Henry Sti

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Hi everyone,
 
I wanted to let you know that my new book, Be Wise Now, officially launches today. 
 
What is Be Wise Now Be Wise Now is a guide to help you discover—and learn to use—your natural and acquired gifts and strengths so you can deal decisively with the obstacles that life delivers.
Here is what Bonnie Bright had to say about it:

"This book may well be the most important book you ever read! As a transformative, soul-centered coach, I will recommend it to everyone I know—peers and clients a

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 My point, once again, is not that those ancient people told literal stories and we are now smart enough to take them symbolically, but that they told them symbolically and we are now dumb enough to take them literally. ― John Dominic Crossan

Where were you (or your parents) on October 12th, 1944? If you were a teenage girl in the New York City area, you might have been in or, more likely, outside the Paramount Theater, 1940s-sinatra-on-train-70.jpg?w=139&h=139&profile=RESIZE_710xwhere some thirty to thirty-five thousand adolescent girls made such a commot

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Western culture emphasizes individualism and, therefore, being authentic and true to who we are. Who we are, of course, is influenced by others, who also may be influenced by us. Social neuroscientists have posited that humans evolved through interactions, as each person, each group, and each region shared their stories with others. And, human evolution is still occurring, and what we say and do is one of the many factors that direct its trajectory.

 

The “I” and the “we” involved in identity form

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I’ve been a sports fan my whole life. As an adult I coached little league and played softball and volleyball for 25 years. I used to love to go to baseball games. I don’t anymore. I used to have very good season tickets to major college basketball. I’ve given them up.

Oh, I still watch the Warriors and Red Sox on TV. Fortunately, I can mute the commercials and those horrible network announcers who never stop yacking. But even if I could afford decent tickets, I can’t go to live games any

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Goodbye, Great Barrier Reef


The Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, is the largest single structure on earth built by living organisms. A 2012 report showed that thirty percent of  it had already been killed off by ocean warming. Another 20 percent was lost in 2018. Half of the chain has disappeared into bleached, skeletal form, and this entire 2,600 kilometre chain of reefs off the northeast of Australia will all be dead within a decade. Eventually, (at least within this century) at least 9

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Spectacular Light

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The thing about living is light. It surrounds us, breathes through us – not in us but through us. The force of it is subtle as the New Mexico breeze I hardly notice under the hot summer desert sun then suddenly become acutely grateful for when under the shade of a hundred-year-old cottonwood tree.

 Light informs my psychotherapeutic work with patients who’ve suffered from complex childhood trauma, a terrible pain stemming from years of chronic abuse. There are horrid memories deposited in mind an

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Barry’s Blog # 14: The Royal Wedding

In April 2011 a million people gathered in London. News reporters showed that many were apparently weeping with joy. Broadcast in over 180 countries to perhaps 160 million viewers, the wedding was one of the most watched events in TV history. With an additional 70 million live internet streams, the Guinness Book gave it the record of “Most Live Streams for a Single Event”, beating out 2009’s memorial service for Michael Jackson (see below).

Hundreds of journalists described every conceivable angl

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Barry’s Blog # 31: The Race Card

The root of the White man’s hatred is terror, a bottomless and nameless terror, which focuses on this dread figure, an entity which lives only in his mind. – James Baldwin

As I considered the dark anniversary that is approaching, after all the writing I’ve done about race in America, it came to me as a shock of insight. It was so obvious, yet I hadn’t noticed it before. I was talking with a friend about white privilege, when he interrupted me and asked, “You’re not going to bring up the race card

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Every American president at least since Harry Truman, and arguably for much longer, has encountered a unique political dilemma created by two conditions. The first is a political reality. Capitalism and imperial expansion have dominated American politics since the beginning of the republic – and, if we are to properly understand the events of November 22nd, 1963 as a military coup – the end of the republic. In this context, all Presidents since Lyndon Johnson have been servants of the Deep State

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Part One:

Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. – W.B. Yeats

All that is solid melts into air. – Karl Marx

In a previous blog series I discussed how the gatekeepers of our culture exclude and demonize much progressive thought by associating it in the reader’s mind with bizarre right-wing claims, thereby delegitimizing both:

…countless websites and books devoted to narratives that marginalize anyone who questions the dominant paradigms of the culture. They typically do this by identifying “loony

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Part Three -- History and Myth

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. – Andre Gide

As both American history and American mythology have shown us, it is always easier to blame others – dark-skinned people or dark-web conspiracies – for our troubles than it is to admit our own complicity. Chapters seven and ten of my book discuss what I call the Paranoid Imagination, tracing it backwards to the roots of Christianity and forward to the very beginning of the American Republi

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Barry’s Blog # 33: The Predator

Psychologist, author (The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief) and ritual leader Francis Weller has evolved a useful psychological concept.

The Predator is a very common internal voice that means us no good. Sound familiar? It wants us to fail, setting impossibly high standards and then shaming us for not attaining them. Indeed, its message is that we never deserved peace, love, health or fulfillment, that the world is not interested in any gifts we might offer to

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When someone asks, “How are you?”, you might say, “Great!” or “I’m good” or “Hanging in there” or some such, and leave it at that. But if you are talking with a friend, loved one, or anyone who seems truly interested, likely you might share an anecdote about why you feel the way you do. For example, you might say:

  • I left my house at the normal time, just sailed along listening to great music on the radio, and got here early. Now I’m here with you, and that’s nice, too.
  • I’m nervous. I’m on the way
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Part One

To really understand our stubborn and increasingly dangerous attachment to the myth of American Innocence, we must become familiar with our heritage of what I have called the paranoid imagination, which combines eternal vigilance, relentless anxiety and literalistic religion with contempt for the erotic and tolerance for sadistic treatment of the weak or marginalized. Why these last two features? Because what we will not allow ourselves to desire becomes a vector of judgment, fear and ha

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Barry’s Blog # 7: The Outside Agitator

In America’s fevered, paranoid imagination the “internal other” as drug dealer tempts the good citizens and leads them from the clear air of the palace roof down into the basements of sin. But the terrorist, the “external other,” wants to tunnel under the walls and destroy the palace itself. Since long before 9/11/2001, the fear mongers have been in the lucrative business of reducing rational human beings to quivering children, willing to trade their celebrated freedoms for a thin promise of tem

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Lately, perhaps more than at any other time in recent history, Americans find themselves in a full-blown epidemic of “othering.” We are obsessed with cataloging the qualities of those individuals and groups who appear to embody everything that we cannot accept about ourselves.

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Pick one or more: Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Latino immigrants, transgender people, African-American teenagers, anyone at all from the Mid-East. Trump supporters.

But it is important, perhaps critical, to understand that w

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