Sunday, November 8, 2015

From IBT: German Surveillance Of Allies More Extensive Than Believed

German Surveillance Of Allies More Extensive Than Believed

Germany's surveillance efforts over its own allies included several U.S. agencies, numerous nongovernmental organizations and several U.S. and European diplomats, German magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday. The report reveals spying by the European power was systematic and went further than previously believed. The Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's intelligence service, spied on the likes of the U.S. Department…

Friday, November 6, 2015

From Newsweek: Why Did Ex-Gitmo Detainee Shaker Aamer's Return to U.K. Take So Long?

Why Did Ex-Gitmo Detainee Shaker Aamer’s Return to U.K. Take So Long?

Shaker Aamer spent more than 13 years at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. Held without charge or trial, he was the last British detainee left at the facility and caught the attention of human rights activists, U.K. politicians and celebrities alike. On October 30, the U.S. released him, some six years after he was cleared…

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Traversing the great divide - I'm going Home

Change will come
Change is here
Love fades out
Then love appears

Now my water's turned to wine
And these thoughts I have
I now claim as mine
I'm coming home

Change has been
Change will be
Time will tell
Then time will ease

Now my curtain has been drawn
And my heart can go
Where my heart does belong
I'm going home

"Reunion," Collective Soul (1995)

Well, I left my home in Georgia headed for the Frisco Bay…

Not quite…

I left my parent's home in Overland Park, Kansas, some 40++ years ago, at the age of 19, based on an urgent need to leave a less than healthy life and life style behind.  My brother, Jonnie, gone; Friends gone (including my oldest, best friend in the universe), familiarity gone, future bleak.  No motivation, no excitement, no growth - I was suffocating.

That "leaving"was filled with more than a little anxiety, fear, stupidity, poor judgment....  Not that it was stupid to leave but it was stupid to do it in the manner I did....

I ran from an offer to move West - an offer by my oldest, best friend in the universe - of life, love, adventure and complete uncertainty as to how the hell I would survive;  I ran to the East - what I believed to be safe, secure, stable, and filled with the newness of being miles and miles away from that stagnant life in a Kansas suburb.

Not the first error in judgment I would make by taking the wrong path to search for "Home". I lost so much more than I gained (including my oldest, best friend in the universe).

I have spent time “living” in multiple cities – Kansas City, Norfolk, Tulsa, Kirksville (really, Kirksville, MO, and even Trenton, MO, before that), San Diego, Denver.  I met great - and some not-so-great - people; saw beautiful - and some not-so-beautiful -  places; and picked up a bit of knowledge along my bizarre little trail.

I have visited many places - The Baja, LA, San Francisco, Portland, Boise, Salt Lake, St. George, Las Vegas (Steven King's, The Stand, pretty much says it about Vegas), Phoenix/Scottsdale, Taos, Santa Fe, Tulia (really, Tulia, TX), Chicago, Cleveland, New Orleans, Boston, The Carolinas, New York (City...The 5 boroughs though I only made it to 3, and out to the edge of Long Island).  I loved many of those cities and places (really, NYC is one of my favorite places to, Central Park, people. energy, intensity, music, art, architecture, history... The whole zeitgeist)

  ....But I never could quite find "Home."

I learned one thing (well, a lot of things but one glaring thing) - The West has always held me captive.  I feel lighter, shinier, healthier, happier the further West I go. The "why" of that makes little difference, I guess.   The Left Coast just feels right...

So, after 20 years of watching mountaintops and Denver skyline changes, I left my existence, my friends - well, my tribe (I have a few very, very, very good friends in Denver and others who gravitate there), and my "comfortably numb" to find "Home."

.... And maybe, just maybe, I have found it.

I have been Seattle bound for weeks, years, decades.

Sounds a little trite, doesn’t it?  A little cliché…

Not really.  I was never “Home” before.  I was always just visiting - comfortable in short jaunts and even more comfortable in long respites.  I just never was "Home."

In my youth, I was always looking for a way out of “here"...
As I got older, I was looking to go "there"...

Hard to get Zen-ie when one cannot find center and for me, that means the entire gestalt... Can't find Self without heart, soul, mind, body .... and "Home".

I know, I know...all you practitioners will tell me that location means nothing...
I submit, yáll have either been home all this time or never experienced home before.  Why did Baba Ram Dass base in Hawaii? Thich Nhat Hanh go to France? Adi Da go to Fiji? I can keep going here...

I've done "touch and goes" on "center" - Climbing trees with my brother; Fence sitting in the eastern pasture of my grandparents farm in Iowa; Sitting under a tree at Volker Park (now gone) with my oldest, best friend in the universe; Playing with old hippies at the annual Row Party on the valley desert floor, San Luis mountains, and visits to the Hot Springs next door;  Solitude on the beach at La Playa de La Fonda (K57 for those better familiar with that term);  Wandering the shoreline of Laguna Beach (pre-housing boom); Roaming the wooded trails at 11,000 ft - North Fork Reservoir, Mt. Shavano; Sitting in the lap of the Buddha while enjoying a chemically induced melding with the floor with friends (I'll leave that there).  All those touch and goes and never a place to land.

Home…..Is where I want to be and guess I’m already there...

I was in search of a thing without knowing.  I was realizing my "lost"and wandering being, again, and restless.  I get like that when I know I need to find "Home".

I retraced my roots to find my numbed soul and a new path - it was a bit more awe inspiring.   Like a bolt of lightning re-igniting a fire nearly snuffed out by complacency...

...And I found my oldest, best friend in the universe once again - after 40 ++ years of searching, he lives in...Seattle. Go figure.

9 days now since I pulled up in front of this little house....

I feel I am "Home"

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

'Safe Harbor' Ruling A Blow To US Tech Firms

'Safe Harbor' Ruling A Blow To US Tech Firms

The European Court of Justice has ruled that the Safe Harbor agreement, a key deal enabling U.S. technology companies to extract European customer data, is illegal. The decision is seen as a direct effect of the Edward Snowden disclosures, which revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency monitors digital communications in Europe as part of a…

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Cosmic Surfer is moving

...well, I am but the site will remain exactly where it is...
Back after the move...
Stay tuned

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Psychology Association Votes to Bar Members From Participating in Interrogations

Updated | The American Psychological Association (APA) voted nearly unanimously on Friday in favor of a resolution prohibiting its members from participating in national security interrogations. Retired Col. Larry James, the former top Army intelligence psychologist at Guantanamo, had the only dissenting vote, Democracy Now reports. The vote was taken amid the group’s 123rd annual convention…