August 30, 2018

Happiness vs. greed: “Money won’t change you but…”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 5:51 pm

Good grief, there certainly seems to be a whole lot of important Tibetan Buddhist lamas coming to visit NorCal these days. Perhaps they are here to show their compassion for us after all these horrible wildfires. In any case, Tenzin Lungtok, the seventh Ling Rinpoche, just gave a talk to the U.C. Berkeley community on the importance of happiness and compassion — and here’s my full report on the event (including my excellent commentary of course). Sorry that it’s so long but Ling Rinpoche had a lot of important stuff to say.

BTW, the seventh Ling Rinpoche is a direct reincarnation of the Dalai Lama’s senior tutor who died in 1983 — so this Ling Rinpoche is rather young, only 33 years old.

The very first thing he talked about was Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Shocker! “They live in conditions that are very poor, very wretched over there.” Yeah, they do — thanks to the USA, which caused all that misery in the first place. And even now, American war profiteers seem to be desperate to start even more new “wars” and to also keep the same old tired ones going.

“And in the United States itself there is no war,” Ling Rinpoche continued, “but there are many problems in the mind here, even among the wealthy.” Especially among the wealthy. Some of those guys are bat-dookie cray-cray!

“Is all this happening because of karma, and is thus unavoidable?” Apparently not. “In fact there are things we can do to change all this for the better — we can become patient, tolerant and satisfied with what we have. But here in America there is the problem of greed.” No shite, Sherlock.

“Attitudes like greed create problems, and because of these problems we simply don’t have minds that are capable of contentment.” Apparently kindness is the key to contentment. “And if we can’t find what we want by kindness, we may turn to lies and violence — and also to trying to keep others from getting what they want as well, in order to feel more superior to them.” Rinpoche may be on to something here. That does seem to be America’s main attitude right now. Our neighbors are homeless and dying of hunger? Hurray! Now we’re better than them.

“And because of greed, then we lie, we steal, we kill.” This is starting to sound very familiar as well. What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine too — that seems to be Washington’s main approach to governance in the last five decades. Or is it six? Or seven? I myself have devoted my life to protecting justice against greed. Greed is the main predator on justice? Why am I not surprised.

Then Rinpoche goes on to say that this all-about-me attitude basically sucks eggs. “It is a narrow way of thinking.” For sure. No future there.

“Fighting and arguing with others is a major part of this type of thinking. Naturally we all want happiness — there’s nothing wrong with that. But we don’t know what we need to do to be happy.” Yeah, well. Americans could begin by not financing the slaughter of babies in Syria, Gaza and Yemen. That would be a good start.

“We need to make our minds more open and expansive.” Snap! “Not just thinking about ourselves. We need to be more concerned with the world in general.” This is good stuff. But then, oops, my pen ran out of ink. New pen please! Hope I am getting this all down correctly.

“If our attitude is more open and expansive, we can stop problems and achieve far-reaching goals.” World peace would be a good goal, right? This is where you are spozed to nod your head up and down, America. But apparently not.

“If you have an expansive attitude, things go better.” Narrow thinking? Not good. “The results are always problems.” Just look at the swamp that America has created in Afghanistan — and Flint.

“A lack of contentment and blaming others is a large cause of our problems.” The immigrants did it! The Russians did it! Not. “If we learn to take responsibility for our own blame, problems can be solved. Otherwise our minds become distracted away from seeing what is actually good — distracted by greed and desire.”

Then he talked about work. “People here do it for salaries, housing, cars, etc. They don’t even think about if they are actually enjoying their work.” How many Americans are stuck in yucky boring dead-end jobs? But I myself have a job that I like right now — I’m working on becoming a better person. And also trying to be more patient with jerks.

“Morality is good,” he continued. “Morality, concentration and wisdom.” Hmmm. Perhaps it is time for Americans to start choosing their leaders because they are wise. Nah. Never happen. But maybe it could….

“Technological development is not enough to enjoy a good life. Look at all the people in more developed countries who are not happy.” And also look at all those happy people in that technological desert Bhutan for instance, far happier than us. “Of course technology does help — but in a limited way. To obtain far-reaching advances, we really need to develop the qualities of the mind.” Xfinity and Apple won’t make us happy. Not really. Let’s place our bets on kindness instead.

“For example the kindness of our parents, our teachers and our friends have done more for us than technology.” We would never have even reached adulthood without their kindness. That type of kindness is even more better than gold-plated toilets and really fast cars. “Loving kindness is priceless.” And it’s harder to come by as well.

“There is too much violence, crime and war in the world. Whether you accept religion or not, loving kindness and compassion are important. Affection for others. With these tools, all the problems in our world could be solved. And we could all receive real, genuine happiness. No more problems in the world.” Boom. Done and dusted. Works for me.

“If you see something, if you see an injustice, do something. Of course we should protest if someone does something wrong — but not hate them. And we should feel even more compassion for people who lack kindness.” Because they are losers, duh!

“And if you have made mistakes in your life before? Then take that occasion to learn from them. And treat others as you would treat yourself.” Unlike what Christian hypocrites in Washington do today. “And be kind to yourself as well — but avoid self-cherishing because that only leads to anger.” Bottom line? “We depend on all others for our happiness.”

Then someone asked about what to do when comparing oneself unfavorably to all those beautiful people on TV? “Then just turn off the TV,” he said with a smile.

And during the Q&A that followed, I too couldn’t resist standing up. “I always make all my decisions based on whether or not what I was planning to do might benefit the most sentient beings. So thank you for coming here today because hearing your talk definitely benefited more sentient beings than if I had just sat home and watched TV.” He smiled at this too. “But my question is, what do you see happening in the future — say five or ten years from now?”

Ling Rinpoche answered that he was not a soothsayer or fortune teller but that the way to a better future is, “Don’t be attached to the results. Just do what you can, try to keep benefiting all — and then act!”

I was so impressed with this young guy who speaks like a wise old man that I grabbed up one of those traditional white offering scarves that you are supposed to give to lamas and ran after him to the elevator like some desperate Beatles fan from the ’60s. “Wait! Wait!” I cried. But the elevator closed in my face — but then me and my friend went off to buy tacos on Telegraph Avenue and got all greedy for guacamole.

PS: We also ran into a Palestinian friend of mine on the Avenue who told us that Israeli colonialists were now offering money to Palestinian Israelis in Jerusalem if they would move off to that hell-hole the “settlers” have now created on the West Bank. Hey, that’s way better than just straight-up murdering them, right? Although I do gotta admit that Palestinian Israelis living in the West Bank are a hecka lot vulnerable to getting murdered. Money won’t change that fact either. James Brown nailed it.

Perhaps Israeli colonialists are doing all this killing because they are not very happy? Too greedy? Perhaps they should switch to loving kindness instead!


August 23, 2018

I want to live in a world where innocence is valued…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 11:34 am

Frankly, it is clear as day to anyone with eyes to see that we currently live in an ugly monstrous world, one where greed, pollution, corruption, lies and cold hard murderous steel have become our top priories and most precious values. Must it always be this way? Will we ever live in a world like the Garden of Eden again?

Did we ever live there in the first place?


And to clearly see what our lost world of innocence looks like, we don’t have to travel back to 18th-centruy Tahiti or to the ancient Black Hills of the Lakota before Custer — nothing like that. All we have to do is look at that happy smile on the face of the nearest well-loved toddler as she looks at our world with new, bright, shining, trusting eyes. We’ve all been like that once. We can all be like that again.

There is no reason on earth that the human race is required by law to devote all of its savings, material goods, slick justifications, hopes, desires and dreams to military hardware, prisons, land-grabs, power plays, earth pollution and being just plain all-out mean — when other alternatives clearly exist.

Think about it. Why must we freaking die in order to finally live in an idealized heaven instead of what we are currently doing — endlessly prolonging this power-mad grubby dishonorable war-mongering treacherous murderous Hell that we now call modern life? Why indeed — when there is clearly a precious lovely beautiful meaningful alternative.

We’ve lost our way. Is it too late to find it again? Good grief, I surely hope not.

PS: Where to begin to change our world for the better? Let’s start with the American military’s excellent example. “Thank you for your service.” Literally. Our military has it right — socialism for all! Free housing, free food, free medical care, early retirement, great pensions, free job training and free education. “Be the best you can be!”

Sure, you get shot at occasionally — but in the meantime? Socialism at its finest hour (with the exception of corporate welfare, of course — no one does socialism better than American corporations!)


Cold-hearted I.C.E gets its freak-out on (again)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 11:32 am

There I was, sitting in an immigration-hearing courtroom on Sansome Street — with my jaw dropped in shock. I’d arrived at the courtroom late, having been summarily distracted by the beauty of the San Francisco waterfront on my way over. The immigrant’s attorney had stood up to plead the immigrant’s case. But where the freak was the immigrant himself?

“I’m sorry,” said the judge. “Your client has just been shipped off to the I.C.E. processing center in Aurora, Colorado. He will not be here today.” Yikes! I just got back from there. The place is a dump.

“Nobody informed me of that,” replied the surprised attorney. His jaw probably dropped too. The immigrant’s wife burst into tears. She was seven months pregnant, a high-risk pregnancy at that.

“I object to this sudden change of venue,” said the attorney — as well he should. We all did. The courtroom was packed with the immigrant’s supporters. Who knew that our guy had already been kidnapped without legal warning? Their jaws all dropped too.

The judge was sympathetic. “I am sympathetic,” he said. “I will continue working to bond your client out. I.C.E. has the authority to bond him out at any time or even to release him altogether — instead of just holding him in endless detention.” And making us taxpayers pay for it too. That’s just mean.

But why should I.C.E. do something low-life like that anyway? Apparently I.C.E. has been ordered from the top down to turn American immigrants’ lives into Living Hell — by any means that I.C.E. can dream up. So I.C.E is just obeying orders. And I.C.E. has really gotten its freak on behind it too.

So much for “Give me your tired, your poor…whatever.” Apparently America no longer needs anyone else with “a yearning to breathe free”. And, based upon their illegal actions since even before the Gulf of Tonkin lies and “fixing the intelligence” in Iraq, the American military-industrial complex no longer seems to need any of the rest of us to breathe free either. We are all being screwed.


Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world. And while you’re at it, please buy my books.


August 17, 2018

There’s no future in it: Why hatred is a big waste of time

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 4:22 pm

I used to love to travel the world. The whole world was my oyster. I used to be a fabulous war correspondent who happily went off to dangerous military hot-spots like Afghanistan, Honduras, North Korea, Syria and Iraq. And then my 401K money ran out and that was that. It takes a lot of $$$$ to be an overseas war correspondent (unless of course one is willing to lie and in that case you can get hired on the spot by the New York Times).

So then I started justifying why I could only afford to travel around the USA by telling myself that I was heroically exploring the “Belly of the Beast” itself, the American colonialist beast that had actually brought us all these terrible “wars” in the first place — everything from that terrible massacre in the Philippines in 1901 up to and including those murderous flowers of death in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Juarez, Honduras, Palestine and Libya right now.

But I soon ran out of the money to be able to do even that and couldn’t even afford to travel to Vegas — let alone Boston or Honolulu. I really wanted to go to Brownsville for instance, to try to help the heart-broken, sick and possibly-dying babies who have been kidnapped by ICE along the Texas border — but even that seems just one bank account too far. Plus I never seem to win the lottery either.

And then a friend of mine told me about some ancient Native American ceremonies that frequently take place right around here, almost in my own back yard — and so I began to travel inward instead, with the help of a lot of drum-beating and lack of sleep to all hours. It was cheaper, closer to home and didn’t pollute the air.

So. What did I learn on my recent inward journeys? That if someone’s heart and soul is filled up with past hatreds, then there is no more room for any future wonderfulness.

By dwelling on racism and bias and sectarianism and political schisms and religious feuds and climate-change denial and sexism and “war” and all that other burdensome junk, then Americans have given away, thrown away, ditched, dumped and voluntarily sacrificed their own precious ability to focus on what comes ahead — and to make it better than what came before. More sparkle-ly, more productive, more user-friendly, more fun!

PS: I have just enough frequent-flyer miles left right now to get me to St. Petersburg, Florida, for the annual BoucherCon book conference there, starting on September 5. And I can also stay in a friend’s teardrop trailer — while gleefully contemplating all those free books being given away at the conference.

And I also will be crossing the Gandy Avenue causeway to Tampa in order to ask for an interview with Leonard Peltier’s legal team. Yes, Leonard is still being locked up in jail for crimes that he didn’t commit — been locked up for over 40 years now. But that’s American injustice for ya. Nixon may be dead but CONINTELPRO is still alive and well and rejoicing that Leonard is still trapped in a bleak high-security prison just outside of Tampa.

And I just checked out Peter Mattiessen’s book on Leonard from the Berkeley Public Library — you know, the book that the FBI spent eight long years in court trying to suppress its publication. Should be a very interesting read.

Florida, here I come.

Reporting from Tampa and St. Petersburg might not be as glamorous as reporting from Yemen or Syria or Gaza but the protagonists are the same in both places — American colonialists and their sleazy blood-thirsty friends. Yuck!

August 8, 2018

Why sanctioning Iran is a stupid idea…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 8:40 pm

Every weekend I trudge down to the Berkeley flea market to get a deep-tissue massage from Dr. Zhu and his staff. Just 20 bucks. Best deal in the whole Bay Area. And while I was wandering around other stalls at the flea market afterward, I got to chit-chatting with some older guy regarding my latest favorite hot topic — cut-throat world banking and cold-hearted central banks..

“It’s not what you think,” said the old man. It isn’t? “No. There aren’t a whole bunch of huge central banks in the world. There is really only one — the hegemon super-bank. That’s the only central bank that really counts.” What? My wonderful Berkeley co-op credit union doesn’t count any more? Humph.

“Hundreds of years ago, top banksters met in Antwerp and decided that the most powerful country in the world should also be the site of the most powerful bank in the world — because said hegemon bank would be safest that way. And thus, after World War II, this super-bank was moved to the United States because everyone in the bankster mafia back then agreed that America was [literally] da bomb. Breton Woods and all that shite sealed the deal.

“But now, by mutual agreement, the world’s main hegemon super-bank has been moved again. It is now located in China.” Okay. If you say so.

Does that mean that, because it is no longer located here in America, that America no longer runs the world? Apparently China now runs the world? “Bingo!” And even American banksters are aware of this too?

“Absolutely. Top banksters here used to send their kids to Exetor or Andover and then on Harvard. Now they just hire Mandarin-speaking nannies, send their children to the University of Beijing and buy them fancy condos in Shanghai — hoping to catch some crumbs from the table of Rothchilds gone Asian.” Who knew?

“But in order for China to truly and completely run the world, two other things need to happen,” continued the old man. “Billions of other people need to recognize China’s new power — and billions of other people need to start dissing on America so that it will lose even more of its power.” Suppose I agree with you? Just suppose?

“The king is dead, long live the king, as the old saying goes. But that will only happen when America’s banking power is completely diminished.” And so? The guy was starting to lose me here — but only because the BBQ chicken three stalls over smelled really good.

“And so here is where the Trump administration comes in.” Hmmm…. “Think about it. Trump has systematically done everything he possibly can in the past two years to make the world hate America. He’s kidnapped (and/or murdered) babies, moved the American embassy to Jerusalem, slept with hookers, screwed the environment, nominated Bret Kavanaugh, advocated coat-hanger abortions, denounced the Paris climate accord and given racists and fanatics a cozy new home. But Trump was actually hired to do just that — and I gotta say that he’s doing a hecka good job at it too.”

But what about the nuclear deal with North Korea that Trump brokered? Didn’t the whole world love that? “China orchestrated that one completely. All Trump had to do was show up. They coulda just sent over a cardboard cut-out of Trump. Same effect. China wins.”

But what about Russia? “The whole world loves Russia right now because Russia does things that make sense. Putin is a hero. So by dissing Putin and constantly screaming their lungs out about this crazy RussiaGate fantasy, Americans just look like fools. Mission accomplished. Again.” Seriously? “Yep.”

So how does all this current bankster-born hype apply to the Middle East? “Piece of cake. China finally stepped in regarding Syria and so sent a clear message to Israel, Britain and America that China was in charge of Syria now — and if America and friends didn’t like it, they would very soon be without any banks at all.” China can do that? “You bet your boots that it can.”

But what about all of America’s military might and nuclear arsenal? Does that not count for nothing? “That illusion would last about two seconds if China’s hegemon bank crossed the USA off its financial dance card. We Americans would be far too busy trying to get roofs over our heads and searching dumpsters for wilted lettuce to even think about funding a military complex.”

But what about Israel? “China’s interference in Syria has also sent a clear message to the Israelis too. Netanyahu and friends can either choose to get with the program or else keep their star hitched to the sinking American ship. I bet you anything that the Israelis will soon see the light. They are total opportunists, have no loyalties at all. They will kiss China’s butt in a nano-second now that they’ve seen the handwriting on the (wailing) wall. They don’t care about religion. They care only about being bitch to the current top dog.”

The same holds true for the Saudis, I bet. No matter how much oil they produce, they’d still better watch their backs. They think that they are Allah’s gift to the world? Not. Nobody likes them either and they are definitely not in either Allah’s or China’s good graces right now. Or mine.

But what about Palestine? “Just you watch. Suddenly Israelis will start calling Palestinians their BFFs — if that’s what it takes to make China happy. Israelis will even start sucking up to Hamas and even start welcoming Freedom Flotillas to Gaza with open arms, serving their crews tea and bagels on deck.”

But what about all those sanctions on Iran? “That’s just a joke — a joke on America. Iran will simply turn to China for everything that it needs, making China even more powerful and leaving Europe bereft of cheap oil and America sucking its thumb. Just that one simple act by China in Syria has showed us all that.”

But what about all those Giants T-shirts that are being sold over there at the flea market stall next to the chicken? “Ha! Bad example. They too are all made in China!”

PS: Speaking of kidnapped babies, I recently picketed a humongous ICE “processing center” in Aurora, Colorado, where dozens of the parents of those 700-odd kidnapped babies are being concentrated into internment “camps” — a thousand miles away from their precious little ones.

And wanna know where so many of our income tax dollars are being kidnapped off to as well? At least the ones that haven’t already been kidnapped by banksters and war profiteers that is? Look no further. Our dollars are serving as ransom to pay for all those freaking ICE facilities all over America. Millions and millions of our very own income tax dollars went into building that gigantic monstrosity in Aurora. And I made this video to prove it too.


August 4, 2018

Madam Jane predicts: “You’re in the poorhouse now…”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 2:10 pm

Madam Jane invited me over for high tea yesterday — even though she was on a gluten-free kick and the petit-fours were all made from almond flour. I ate them anyway. Not bad.

“In the future,” said Madam Jane, “things are going to be different.” Of course they will. It’s the freaking future. Duh.

“In the old days, cavemen mostly relied on weapons to defend their turf. In the future, however, only smart people will survive. But this is going to be a problem for America in the future. In the future America is going to be a nation of dumb-asses.” Oh.

“The most successful nations in the future will only be those who encourage the abilities of all of their citizens.” Well you surely can’t say that is true about America right now, a country that has systematically ground down the human potential of its Black people, Native Americans, women, Latinos and even poor White people — systematically ground that potential right into the dirt. Everything tangible and even intangible here has been systematically stolen, funneled, gambled, stripped, given up and/or handed over to America’s very top elite.

“A nation that eats its own cannot last,” continued Madam Jane. Oh hell. I don’t want to be anybody’s lunch.

“At this point in time it pretty much looks like America’s military power will rule the world forever — both at home and abroad. But that’s just silly.” Silly?

“It’s just plain silly to think that America’s Nazi-like domination will last forever. All people, whether they are Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus or even atheists, will simply get tired of being hit over the head and bossed around. Americans will ultimately end up going from being the world’s dominant boss-men to living in the world’s biggest poorhouse. You heard it here first.”

“Very interesting,” I replied. “Thank you for that amazing prediction. Are there any petit-fours left?”


Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world. And while you’re at it, please buy my books.


Make friends with immigrants: You’re gonna need their help!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 2:07 pm

There I was, happily thinking that my life was safe and secure. I had a roof over my head, a car that (sort of) worked and lived within walking distance of a great public library. But then I got an e-mail in my inbox predicting the end of the (financial) world. Oh rats.

“Americans are over two hundred fifty TRILLION dollars in debt right now,” said the e-mail. “Our five largest banks own over 200 trillion dollars in derivatives but only have 20 trillion dollars in assets. That kind of financial shell game is dangerous. It can’t last. The greatest depression in history is heading our way. Hunker down and buy gold.”

Derivatives? Huh? I had always thought that foolish spending on barbaric “wars” would be the cause of America’s ruin. Who knew it would just be our very own greedy banks that would do us in, happily allowing our country to rot from the inside.

“So what else can I do to protect myself — seeing as how buying gold isn’t exactly an option for me right now?” I immediately e-mailed back.

“One good thing you can do immediately is to make friends with an immigrant.”

But why?

“Because immigrants and refugees know basic survival skills. You don’t. When the greatest financial catastrophe in history arrives, you are going to need immigrants and refugees far more than they are going to need you.”

Immigrants and refugees, fleeing from America’s cruel colonial realities in faraway places like Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen and in places closer to home like Mexico and Honduras, know how to survive when the going gets tough. Do we couch-potato Americans know how to survive and “make something out of nothing” too? Not so much.

Hey, wait. That’s not entirely true. I know how to plant tomatoes. “Yeah but can you milk a cow, make candles and soap, entertain yourself without your SmartPhone or TV, cook without a microwave oven and build a house?” Er, no.

PS: I just got back from Aurora, Colorado, home of one of the largest and most totally scary I.C.E. “processing centers” in America. Three whole city blocks long and another whole city block wide — with no windows and only one door. On a cold, wet, rainy afternoon last week I kept my eye on this GEO-run prison-for-profit where dozens of the parents of ICE-kidnapped children are being held. Disgusting.

“First we have a government that feels free to kidnap immigrant children and, when that works out so well for them — will they also feel free to kidnap our own children too?” That is the question that every decent American mom should be asking herself right now.

700 immigrant children are still separated from their families right now. Remember back when your own parents, grandparents or ancestors were immigrants too? Even my Cherokee ancestors were once immigrants here. Even Black slaves were (brutally involuntary) immigrants. For better or for worse, there would be no freaking America at all without immigrants.

PPS: Breaking news: An immigrant toddler just died — shortly after being released from an ICE kiddie jail — due to a serious respiratory infection that she had contacted there (and probably from a broken heart too). My first question is, “How many babies have died inside ICE kiddie jails — dead babies that we aren’t being told about?”

For more information on how you can help save our kidnapped children, here are some great websites with good ideas on where to start:


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