The Prison State of America by Chris Hedges

prison bars

Chris Hedges is an author and social activist I read quite often.  I have a few books on my knowledge shelf penned by this cat.  In this article, he again explains the ‘slavery’ system inside federal and state prisons.

Chris Hedges:  “Prisons are not, finally, about race, although poor people of color suffer the most. They are not even about being poor. They are prototypes for the future. They are emblematic of the disempowerment and exploitation that corporations seek to inflict on all workers. If corporate power continues….if it is not impeded by mass protests and revolt, life outside prison will soon resemble life in prison”. Read Full Article: The Prison State of America

Recommended Reading

Derrick Bell: Faces at the Bottom of the Well 

Douglas A. Blackmon: Slavery by Another Name

Michelle Alexander: The New Jim Crow-Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

What the U.S. Should Be Fighting Instead of ISIS


By Coleen Jose

“This raises a question: Are Americans primarily concerned with [the Islamic State’s] atrocities or with the fact that Muslims are committing these crimes?” writes Musa al-Gharbi, an instructor at the University of Arizona and an affiliate of the Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflicts. “Even as the U.S. media and policymakers radically inflate [the Islamic State’s] threat to the Middle East and United States, most Americans appear to be unaware of the scale of the atrocities committed by Mexican drug cartels and the threat they pose to the United States…”  Read full article:  Here

MJ was Never Derrick Rose  


Recently, I mentioned Derrick Rose was a pioneer by sitting out thus controlling his health analysis.  However Rose received tags as being “Soft”,  “Malcontent” and “No Guts”.  More importantly, he was compared to MJ…(I’m a Lakers man), but MJ is the toughest professional basketball player I’ve ever seen.  Thus, Rose by some should have played and entertained the fan as MJ often did…because he was  ‘Just a Jock’.  Therefore if you’re not performing Rose, “What good are you?  This was implicitly and explicitly implied about an adult making decisions about his body.  I believe women have such rights in cases of abortion…wait…I digress.

Click forward to today, Rose as I mentioned is a pioneer…he stood up for his future health implications.  Yesterday, this alleged  ‘Just a Jock’ created headlines with his t-shirt on the national peace march on police brutality.  Again, we should applaud…Rose is a social justice pioneer not seen in MJ, Kobe, and previous mega-superstars.  I stand also in saying that MJ, Kobe and the likes are not vilified for their alternative principles by the author.  That would be completely unfair each person must decide their own stance.  But, as a former athlete if you  have not ‘suited up’ be quiet about professional athletes’ health decision.  You know as much about it as Charles Barkley on U. S. history.

I defended Derrick Rose because he deserved it.  We’re a nation built on free speech, why must professional athletes remain muzzled?  I suggest also if African-Americans male athletes want to lose the “Just a Jock’ tag than stand for something.  I commend Rose, Lebron James, and other athletes who taken such stances.  But I admire MJ just as much for not but driving toward ownership/commercialism.  He’s opened the door also for former players to own an NBA team.  MJ is a pioneer in his own ranks.  Each Rose and him took a stance thus I admire both.  It was their decision to make.

Not ours….


The Invisible Dragon    

Why Poor People Stay Poor


A friend from work passed along a good article on the plight of the poor.  The article touches upon how one cannot save money without consistent meaningful earning.

“It’s amazing what things that are absolute crises for me are simple annoyances for people with money. Anything can make you lose your apartment, because any unexpected problem that pops up, like they do, can set off that Rube Goldberg device…”  Click to read full article.

Tao Verse 20 Mental Scrabble

Tao Verse 20

Stop thinking and your problems will end.
What difference between yes and no?
What difference between success and failure?
Must you value what others value,
and fear what others fear?
How ridiculous!
In spring, some go to the park and climb the terrace,
but I alone am drifting, not knowing where I am.
I alone don’t care,
I alone am expressionless,
like a newborn baby before it has learned to smile.
Other people have more than they need,
I alone possess nothing.
Mine is indeed the mind of an ignoramus
in its unadulterated simplicity.
I am but a guest in this world.
While others rush about to get things done,
I accept what is offered.
I alone seem foolish,
earning little, spending less.
Others strive for fame,
I avoid the limelight.
Other people have a purpose;
I alone don’t know.
Indeed, I seem like an idiot;
no mind, no worries.
I drift like a wave on the ocean.
I blow as aimless as the wind.
All men settle down into their grooves;
I alone am stubborn and remain outside.
But wherein I am most different from others is
in knowing to take sustenance from the great Mother.
This is the longest verse in the Tao.  I usually open the Tao and a page appears.  This page appeared early morning.  I suggest a partial reading of the verse provides enough (1st paragraph).
“Stop thinking and your problems will end.
What difference between yes and no?
What difference between success and failure?
Must you value what others value,
and fear what others fear?
How ridiculous!”

I exist in this state at times.  Thinking myself into confusion and disbelief at life.  Wondering aloud on perceivable woes.  The strain bends like a rubber band and snaps me back and forth.  Yet, I challenge the torture albeit with exercise and friendship.  This quickly places my harmonious spirit back in step.  Why worry about the unseen or the unrealized?  Well, fear, social comparison, or ego would suffice.  For myself, I acknowledge immediately and work away.  Against digging a deeper hole.  I realize instability comes and goes.

Tao does not teach perfection

Its only message to let go.

what one imagines they control

is a slave to worldly thoughts.

one go here and there

never stable in mind or soul.

Looking only for guarantees

blaming others what they

do to themselves

External blame shields fear of being oneself.  In this ill-perceived loneliness helplessness reign supreme.  This is not the message of the Tao. One should have fellowship on a rock or a crowded concert.  It is the fear of being alone that kill living souls.  We’re afraid of the unknown and cry into pain and death.  Allow yourself to feel such ridiculousness and brush aside.  View peace and instability as the same.  They come and go, learn to live in Tao.  We cannot control anything, not even our breathing.


The Invisible Dragon