But first . . .

LETTER FROM SENDAI

Fred Stanback: “This is from someone I don’t know about someone else I don’t know, but it’s worth sharing.”

☞ Yes, it is:

Hi folks,

I thought you might like to read this letter from a friend of my brother’s who is living in the upheaval in Japan. It presents another perspective, and attitude, that touches me.

Scott

Date: March 13, 2011 3:55:14 AM EDT
Subject: Blessings

Hello My Lovely Family and Friends,

First I want to thank you so very much for your concern for me. I am very touched. I also wish to apologize for a generic message to you all. But it seems the best way at the moment to get my message to you.

Things here in Sendai have been rather surreal. But I am very blessed to have wonderful friends who are helping me a lot. Since my shack is even more worthy of that name, I am now staying at a friend’s home. We share supplies like water, food and a kerosene heater. We sleep lined up in one room, eat by candlelight, share stories. It is warm, friendly, and beautiful.

During the day we help each other clean up the mess in our homes. People sit in their cars, looking at news on their navigation screens, or line up to get drinking water when a source is open. If someone has water running in their home, they put out a sign so people can come to fill up their jugs and buckets.

Utterly amazingly where I am there has been no looting, no pushing in lines. People leave their front door open, as it is safer when an earthquake strikes. People keep saying, “Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days when everyone helped one another.”

Quakes keep coming. Last night they struck about every 15 minutes. Sirens are constant and helicopters pass overhead often.

We got water for a few hours in our homes last night, and now it is for half a day. Electricity came on this afternoon. Gas has not yet come on. But all of this is by area. Some people have these things, others do not. No one has washed for several days. We feel grubby, but there are so much more important concerns than that for us now. I love this peeling away of non-essentials. Living fully on the level of instinct, of intuition, of caring, of what is needed for survival, not just of me, but of the entire group.

There are strange parallel universes happening. Houses a mess in some places, yet then a house with futons or laundry out drying in the sun. People lining up for water and food, and yet a few people out walking their dogs. All happening at the same time.

Other unexpected touches of beauty are first, the silence at night. No cars. No one out on the streets. And the heavens at night are scattered with stars. I usually can see about two, but now the whole sky is filled. The mountains are Sendai are solid and with the crisp air we can see them silhouetted against the sky magnificently.

And the Japanese themselves are so wonderful. I come back to my shack to check on it each day, now to send this e-mail since the electricity is on, and I find food and water left in my entranceway. I have no idea from whom, but it is there. Old men in green hats go from door to door checking to see if everyone is OK. People talk to complete strangers asking if they need help. I see no signs of fear. Resignation, yes, but fear or panic, no.

They tell us we can expect aftershocks, and even other major quakes, for another month or more. And we are getting constant tremors, rolls, shaking, rumbling. I am blessed in that I live in a part of Sendai that is a bit elevated, a bit more solid than other parts. So, so far this area is better off than others. Last night my friend’s husband came in from the country, bringing food and water. Blessed again.

Somehow at this time I realize from direct experience that there is indeed an enormous Cosmic evolutionary step that is occurring all over the world right at this moment. And somehow as I experience the events happening now in Japan, I can feel my heart opening very wide. My brother asked me if I felt so small because of all that is happening. I don’t. Rather, I feel as part of something happening that much larger than myself. This wave of birthing (worldwide) is hard, and yet magnificent.

Thank you again for your care and Love of me,

With Love in return, to you all,
Anne

AERIAL BEFORE AND AFTER

Kathy Allan: “Hard to express the devastation in words alone. Pull the black line on the right of each picture with your curser to see the after.”

COLBERT ON GINGRICH, PAWLENTY

I don’t know who the Republican nominee will be, but it won’t be Newt Gingrich or Tim Pawlenty. (Click each to see why.)

And now . . .

MADDOW’S SPECIAL REPORT

There’s a concerted, billionaire-financed power/wealth shift from the middle class and poor to the top 1% (really, the top 0.01%).

Rachel lays it out in last week’s special report.

She goes Republican governor by Republican governor:

How Texas is making it hard for young people to vote (because they vote Democratic) but extra-easy for old people and concealed-weapon-permit holders (because they vote Republican) . . . How Florida is raising taxes on the poor and elderly to fund tax cuts for corporations . . . How Wisconsin and Indiana, Idaho and Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania are all working to shift power from the people.

All four segments of the report are worth watching even if Rachel is not your normal fare. I’ve watched Glenn Beck and listened – lots – to Rush Limbaugh. You owe me.

It starts here – about shifting wealth and power from the middle class to the best off . . .

. . . continues here – about suppressing the Democratic vote.

. . . and here (briefly) – about Michigan’s plan to axe local elected officials they don’t like, simply by fiat.

. . . and then here – about tap water that catches on fire and a Pennsylvania plan to keep it that way.

#

I owe you answers to some of the thoughtful counterpoints you’ve sent lately . . . plus Guru’s latest thinking on our speculative basket. Traveling tomorrow, but hope to have something Friday.

 

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