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BeyondGeography's Journal
BeyondGeography's Journal
November 30, 2018

GM Lordstown prayer service

The pain is deep and real. Please watch with respect and hold the snark.

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

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