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Editorials, Fun with numbers; and Responding to Orlando

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PISA shame
Comparative 2010 PISA test scores. Numbers by the UN, graphic by Erick Simpson Aguilera.

Fun with numbers for a nation that flunks math

Panama’s education system is world-class horrible, intentionally so because an inbred ruling elite sees everything as a zero-sum competition and has rigged things in the hope that their kids get a special advantage over everyone else their age. But it’s no way to run a society or its economy.

It’s worse yet when the government and the corporate mainstream media play to the widespread ignorance.

For example, when the lead story in La Prensa is that Panama’s public debt is up to $21.415 billlion, which is $7.749 billion more than it was four years ago. With most of Panama’s economic sectors slowing down and the regional economy across Latin America and the Caribbean a mess, it ought to be cause for concern.

But not to worry, says the Ministry of Economy and Finance. On the ministry’s composite of ratings issued by bond rating agencies — mostly before the Panama Papers revelations and the Waked bust — across the region only Chile has a lower perception of risk than does Panama. Gee, numbers based on the hunches of the companies that didn’t see the 2008 financial melt-down coming — OBVIOUSLY those kind of statistics can’t lie. Or at least it should be obvious to anyone who learned what the powers that be wanted him or her to learn in Panama’s public schools.

 

Orlando: better the jab to the nose than
the roundhouse that hits someone else

“We should keep the pressure on ramping up the air campaign, accelerating support for our friends fighting to take and hold ground and pushing our partners in the region to do even more,” [Clinton] said.

“We have generals that feel we can win this thing so fast and so strong, but we have to be furious for a short period of time, and we’re not doing it!” Trump complained.

A mean, abusive security guard in a dead end job with a multinational corporation went into a downward spiral and shot more than 100 people on his way down. He was allowed to purchase a weapon that should not be readily available in society. He pledged allegiance to the world’s most obnoxious organization in the course of his death mission, on which he alone sent himself.

There is no doubt that the Islamic State is doing its utmost to incite life’s hateful losers to do such stuff. It is properly part of the world’s indictment. More serious counts are genocide and slavery, crimes against all humanity for which any nation may try and punish any perpetrator. The world did not need the Orlando massacre to justify war against the Islamic State.

But do we lash out in rage, carpet bombing towns that the jihadis control to kill innocent people who already have to endure the fanatics’ rule? Do we arm “our” jihadi fanatics to fight against “those” jihadi fanatics? Do we restore Western colonialism and issue orders from Washington about which people will hold which ground and follow which policies there?

Before the shooting started in Orlando there was ample reason to give any significant Islamic State leader the same status as Nazi war criminals had. The nightclub attack does not change that. These people must be politically, religiously and militarily defeated and hunted to the ends of the Earth and to the ends of their lives as the most dangerous of criminals. But lashing out in blind rage is never a good way to fight.

It seems that neither of the presumptive presidential nominees of the two major US political parties have much to say about discrediting the ideas that are at the core of the jihadis’ appeal, about marginalizing their movement within the cultures of Islam. It seems that neither of them convey a sense of restraint that keeps Americans from trying to fix that which it is not up to Americans to fix, that keeps Washington from trying to govern that which Washington can’t govern.

Does President Obama have the balance right? Probably not, but that he is trying to strike balances among contending powers in Syria and Iraq while limiting direct US participation does at least indicate a basic sense of reality. That’s something that’s lacking in the discourse of those whose first and only response is to bomb somebody else whenever a maniac with some real or claimed international tie explodes into a violent rage in the USA.

 

Bear in mind…

 

Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.
Margaret Atwood

 

It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value.
Arthur C. Clarke

 

Before a war, military science seems a real science, like astronomy. After a war it seems more like astrology.
Rebecca West

 

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Prudence and a bit of panic in the face of the flu

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Seguro Social would do well to put English and Chinese subtitles on such videos, but with the graphics this message should be understandable to many people who do not understand Spanish.

The flu: prudence and a bit of panic

by Eric Jackson

From whence this reporter usually writes, looking through the window in the morning’s first light, not long after the roosters have announced their presence to the world, there begins this procession of people walking up the muddy footpath from the hollow. First it’s mostly men, including SUNTRACS members getting the early bus to construction sites mainly in the beach communities, some as far away as the capital. The neighborhood’s working women tend to have jobs closer to home, so they follow a bit later to catch buses to jobs in Penonome, or in Anton or beyond. Then come the school kids, the youngest with mothers escorting them, heading to the local elementary school while the high school kids head for the bus stop en route to schools in Anton or Penonome.

This past week, however, the traffic has altered. Hardly any kids have been going to school. The ministries of health and education may be telling us that the flu outbreak that took off with the belated advent of rainy season is a concern but not such a big one, that schools are open as usual and above all, don’t panic. But at the government health care facilities people have been showing up at droves to get flu shots, at public and private schools attendance is way down and the official death toll of confirmed flu deaths is up to 22.

The problem is that we don’t know precisely what we are dealing with here. It seems like the A(H1N1) strain of influenza, but what doctors are seeing are on the whole more severe symptoms than had been previously reported from that and La Prensa has reported that most of the flu patients tested have come up negative for that particular strain. Samples have been sent to the US Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta for evaluation and advice. The combination of deaths and the unknown is a sure formula for fear. One with a bit of scientific and historical knowledge will understand that influenza strains tend to mutate as they spread — sometimes becoming more dangerous, sometimes more benign — and surmise that we are probably seeing a recent variation here. That would likely mean that the vaccines, which are not formulated to precisely what ails Panama, would be a bit less effective but would still be better than nothing, offering immunity to most and less severe symptoms to many of those who get sick anyway. But doctors are not gods and most government officials and journalists are not doctors, and the rumor mill is not known for its subtlety. Both reasonably and beyond reason, many people are afraid.

Leave it to the government to panic.

The administration’s woes are partly unrelated. As the flu outbreak spread, the first lady was to go to New York for a UN General Assembly session on HIV and AIDS along with Health Minister Javier Terrientes. But Terrientes, begging off about another commitment, sent the vice minister, Miguel Mayo, instead. That other commitment was a trip to Chicago to see the Panama versus Argentina soccer game, in the company of another government employee, the minister’s female companion. When President Varela found out about it he was not amused, called Terrientes onto the carpet about it, at which point the minister resigned. That came during the course of a cabinet shuffle that was ongoing anyway, but at a terrible time in the Ministry of Health. The replacements were orderly: Dr. Mayo moving up to the minister’s spot, the ministry’s secretary general Dr. Erick Ulloa moving up to the vice minister job.

Meanwhile, during that transition the Gorgas Institute’s Dr. Néstor Sosa held a press conference to announce to the selected rabiblanco mainstream media reporters that unspecified “false information” about the flu situation is circulating in the social media and that a criminal law against economic sabotage by way of unfounded and damaging rumors would be invoked. He claimed dibs for the government as the only source of proper information about influenza. “Let us remember that the Penal Code provides for prison sentences for those who spread false news or rumors for the purpose of affecting national or economic security,” Sosa warned, as if the parents ignoring his advice and keeping their kids out of school — or anyone else — has that specific intent.

As people moved offices in the health ministry and word from Atlanta was pending, the public health care system pretty much ran out of vaccine. But fresh supplies were coming from France and elsewhere and flu shots will again be available at most public health facilities on Saturday.

[Editor’s note: Wash your hands with soap and water more often than you usually do. Avoid crowds to the extent that you can. If you have any flu or cold symptoms, don’t leave home unless they are so bad that you need to seek medical attention. Don’t share eating or drinking utensils. Show more reserve than is the friendly Panamanian norm, by avoiding handshakes, kisses and embraces for the moment. Know that the flu shots are safe and probably helpful. It is quite possible, you see, to be reasonably prudent without having all of the information that you would like to have at your disposal.]

 

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Miranda, Corre fría la sangre de mis venas

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Río TabasaráCorre fría la sangre de mis venas

por Ricardo Miranda G.

Corre fría la sangre de mis venas, cada paso que doy es una tortura,

Palpita silencioso mi corazón.

Observo como agonizas…

Me traiciona mis sentimientos y me dan ganas de llorar y me pregunto que mas me falta hacer para no verte en estas condiciones?

Que mas puedo hacer?

Mas tu silencio me deja con un nudo en la garganta…

Ya no eres aquel que deja escuchar tu rugir.

Rugir que pregona la libertad, la libertad de mi alma.

La reivindicación de mis huesos, herencia de mis ancestros.

Mi amado bien cuyo valor no existe…

Solo dejas sentir el olor de la muerte que te rodea… Espero un poco mas…hay un silencio total.

Ya no me respondes… no me dices nada.

Me duele el corazón… mas decirte quiero que esos cantos tan bellos recodaré por el resto de mi vida y también tu dulzura que poco a poco se pierde en la lejanía…

Tengo tus recuerdos que hace que me ahogue el sentimiento…

En cada paso que doy lo único que me quedan son las esperanzas.

Es agobiante mi tristeza, se aguan mis ojos…

Mis enemigos me observan, nuestros enemigos se ríen.

Están seguros de que van a ganar…

No se cuanto mas puedas soportar.

En este momento cuando te veo a punto de sangrarte completamente.

Decirte quiero que desde lo mas infinito de mi corazón gritare con voz de trompeta Tabasara LIBRE.

 

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Abandoning the old in what was the CZ part of Curundu…

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I'm Number 6! I'm Number 6!
Excellency Number Six in a minor governmental hierarchy used to park here. That was in Panamanian government times, after the old warehouse’s reversion to Panama from its prior existence in Canal Zone times.

Part of Curundu, now in the way of the National Police headquarters expansion

photos by Eric Jackson

 

Old cop cars as organ donors
The National Police already have a presence in the dilapidated area of the old Canal Zone part of Curundu. It’s where they have their vehicle maintenance shop, a small fleet of junk cars and paddy wagons that are cannibalized for parts, and where they park some of the trucks they have seized in raids.

 

ferocious attack cat
The whole neighborhood is patrolled by feral cats. But these days the members of this feline force are fewer and healthier, thanks to interventions and collaborations by cops and other government workers in the area and Spay Panama.

 

what China isn't buying these days
Scavengers are still finding things to take, without a great deal of interference from anyone. During this photographer’s visit a man was collecting ceiling panels.

 

Led Zep never played here
Somewhere now, or in our primitive past, has there ever been a denomination that considers this a stairway to heaven?

 

Isn't he the guy who...?
You never know what people believe, or whom you might meet, in a place like this.

 

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The Panama News blog links, June 15, 2016

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The Panama News blog links

AP, New challenges for boat captains with expanded Panama Canal

Bayano digital, Denuncian plan de privatización del Canal de Panamá

Hydro International, New electronic navigation charts needed for expanded canal

Hellenic Shipping News, New Panama Canal isn’t expected to attract more tankers

South China Morning Post, HK company defies Nicaragua Canal doomsayers

GCaptain, Ship detained after launching drone in Suez Canal

SB Nation, Wild soccer action as Panama beats Bolivia

Video, Messi et al rout Panama

Goal.com, Chile 4 – Panama 2

TVN, Gobierno amenza sanciones para informes falsas sobre el gripe

La Estrella, Un viaje a Chicago y la renuncia del ministro Terrientes

NDTV, US sanctions threaten 167-year-old Panamanian newspaper

COHA, The Panamanian government damns the Ngabe-Bugle Comarca

Lexology, Developer’s claim against Panama rejected for jurisdiction maneuver

Videos, Foro FRENADESO sobre los Panama Papers y el caso Waked

Australian Financial Review, The Panama Papers and Turnbull’s $3 million windfall

Colombia Law & Business, Who is on the Clinton List and can they get removed?

Bloomberg, SEC won’t pay for Panama-based Canadian hustlers’ adventure

AFP, Millions of Latin Americans may fall back into poverty

Eyes on Trade, US agro exports lag under trade deals

Campanella, Generation Jobless

China Post, Tsai hoping for stronger Taiwan-Panama ties

Nikkei Asian Review, US strings in Tsai visit to Panama?

Xinhua, Promueven en Panamá reunificación de China bajo nuevas condiciones

Caribbean News Now!, Marijuana conversation advances in CARICOM

Página 12: MORENA, nuevo actor en México

The Independent, Massive swing to Brexit

BBC, US embassy’s rainbow flag prompts criticism in Jamaica

Christian Science Monitor, Panama’s original nations use drones to protect their land

STRI, Evolution painted onto butterfly wings

Telemetro, Instituto Gorgas envía al CDC de Atlanta cepa del virus de la influenza

Khor, Facing up to the world’s health crises

The New York Times, Is shell shock more physical than emotional?

Video, Electric eel shocks imitation predator

E&N, El cambio climático amenaza a los patrimonios de Latinoamérica

Science Daily, Saving North America’s salamanders and newts

El País, Hallado el primer fragmento del asteroide que cambió la vida en la Tierra

Fortes & Chazkel, Latin Americanists say “no” to the coup in Brazil

Video, Bill Clinton’s eulogy at Muhammad Ali’s funeral

Video, Attallah Shabazz’s eulogy at Muhammad Ali’s funeral

Video, Rabbi Michael Lerner’s eulogy at Muhammad Ali’s funeral

Blades, Los sucesos de Orlando

ANSUR, Mandatarios de la región repudian atentado en Orlando

Calvo, Estados Unidos: prohibido ser inocente

Aronson, How the FBI’s pursue-every-lead policy allowed the Orlando shooting

McLaughlin, A warning: Senator Leahy’s story about J. Edgar Hoover

Stiglitz & Schiffrin, Learning from Nambia

 

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Saturday morning at the farmers’ market in Curundu

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market 1
Loading a small grocer’s pickup truck.

Saturday HQ for small business and smart shoppers

photos by Eric Jackson

It was to be moved out to Juan Diaz by the Martinelli regime and part of it was torn down to make room for the adjacent new Electoral Tribunal headquarters. We could argue and analyze why the move never happened and how good or bad a thing that failure (or delay) has been — some other time. For now the Mercado de Abastos stays where it is, slightly expanded here and there, quite a bit more chaotic, but still the bastion of small-time capitalism that Panama City’s more discerning and budget-conscious consumers ought to know.

market 2
Piva nuts — or is it piba, or pixbae, or palm peach? These are a local starch staple from antiquity, a palm fruit that’s wonderful in many ways, but for starters steam them, peel them, remove the seed and dip the pieces in garlic butter before eating.

 

market 3
Part of a week’s stock for a mini-super.

 

market 4
Wholesale oranges and coconuts.

 

market 5
No, she is not shopping for El Renacer’s most infamous resident.

 

market 6
She also sells wholesale, but here she works the retail market.

 

market 6
A moment’s break in the heavy lifting for a mom and pop food importing business.

 

market 8
Outside, a mural celebrating the revolution of a business-wise indigenous nation that has a mostly agricultural and fshing economy.

 

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Castro, Puerto Rico: la crisis desnuda pasadas mistificaciones

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boricuas
Boricuas protestan desde arriba. Foto del archivo por Tito Kayak.

Puerto Rico: la crisis desnuda pasadas mistificaciones

por Nils Castro

Diez años de recesión han rematado en la insolvencia del gobierno de Puerto Rico y la quiebra de la economía del país. El drama boricua empezó antes que la crisis global que en 2008 emergió en Wall Street, y ahora contribuye a hacer más transparente pero más insoluble la situación de la isla. O, para ser más exactos, que ahora destapa el fracaso fiscal y económico del régimen colonial, tragedia social en la que ese régimen ha atrapado a la nación puertorriqueña, y hace imposible resolver el problema mientras ese régimen subsista.

La situación, entre otras consecuencias, no solo ha disparado la pérdida de empleos y el deterioro de los ingresos, sino la mayor estampida migratoria que la isla haya sufrido y el colapso de sus instituciones públicas. Por ejemplo, las familias quedan sin seguro de salud y los hospitales sin insumos, y solo en el año 2015 más de 3,000 médicos abandonaron el país. Un efecto de ese colapso en el campo sanitario es la proliferación del zika que, a su vez, amenaza al turismo, rubro que aún funcionaba.

La deuda pública del Estado Libre Asociado pasa de 72 mil millones de dólares, según su gobierno. Ella viene de que por más de una década ese gobierno financió sus actividades contrayendo deudas, hasta agotar su crédito. Con una reacción demasiado tardía, ahora el Congreso de Washington considera la propuesta de crear por cinco años una Junta de Control Fiscal para reestructurar dicha deuda y reordenar la administración de la economía del país. Los integrantes de la Junta serían nombrados por la Casa Blanca, y su prioridad será garantizar el pago de la deuda a los bonistas de Wall Street, incluso en detrimento de los servicios sociales a la población de la isla.

Esa Junta tendría la facultad de aprobar el presupuesto, la emisión de leyes y las inversiones en infraestructura por encima de los órganos y autoridades electos del gobierno local y de la opinión pública boricua. Es decir, representa la intervención directa de Washington en el manejo de las funciones medulares del gobierno puertorriqueño y la cancelación de su supuesta autonomía. Esto exhibe al llamado Estado Libre Asociado (el ELA) como una farsa y hace más ostensible la relación que de veras existe entre ambas partes.

Como observa Rubén Berríos, mientras el interés de Estados Unidos era multiplicar la dependencia y los préstamos para mantener esa colonia a flote, el ELA prevalecía. Pero ahora su prioridad es cobrar esos préstamos.

Tarde y mal salen a despotricar contra la Junta los líderes y candidatos de los dos partidos tradicionales del sistema colonial, el autonomista Partido Popular Democrático (PPD), que busca mantener el estatus colonial del ELA como un territorio que pertenece a Estados Unidos sin ser parte de ese país; y el anexionista Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP) que aboga por convertir a la isla en un estado de los Estados Unidos.

Ambos ven la Junta como un escollo, el primero porque reduce al gobierno a la figura de un monigote pintado en la pared, y el segundo como un desvío que los aleja del propósito de ser parte de la Unión norteamericana.

Para decepción de los autonomistas del PPD, Washington no asume el papel de gastar en sacarle las castañas del fuego al sistema endeudado sino el de tranquilizar a los acreedores. El discurso de que harán lobby por continuar siendo un ELA sin Junta pertenece a tiempos pasados y, al final de cuentas, un colonialismo sin Junta fue, precisamente, lo que hundió a la isla y su pueblo en su presente crisis.

Y por lo que se refiere a los anexionistas del PNP, integrar a Puerto Rico como un nuevo estado de la Unión es algo que está muy lejos de interesarle a los norteamericanos. Sin importar cuánto pudieran votar los isleños por ser parte de Estados Unidos, ningún gobierno ni ningún congreso de Washington ‑‑ni la mayoría de sus electores‑‑ estarán dispuestos a admitir a una isla latina y quebrada en su Unión. Esa no es una opción que dependa de los electores boricuas, como tampoco dependería de los votantes mexicanos o los centroamericanos.

Trasnochadas mistificaciones. Como señala Berríos, la causa del problema no es la Junta sino el régimen colonial; rechazar la Junta es necesario pero eso dista de ser suficiente.

La cuestión radica en que la comedia política del ELA, cuya evolución lo ha convertido en tragedia, no cabe entre las opciones viables del Siglo XXI. El ELA es un fantasma de tiempos agotados. La única alternativa real es pactar un proceso descolonizador conducente a hacer de Puerto Rico una república independiente, soberana y sostenible. Opción que, por otro lado, ya dejó de contradecir los intereses norteamericanos, y antes bien ayudará al Washington actual a resolver un problema que hoy solo puede agravarse.

 

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Boff, Amidst the present darkness

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BoffAmidst the present darkness open
yourself to the Light from the Highest

by Leonardo Boff

After weeks of political turbulence, dominated by dense clouds of distortions, the desire to destroy and visceral rage, but fortunately with some flashes of light, we write this meditation about the Light. For cosmologists, light is still an impenetrable mystery. We only have the barest understanding of it, as waves and particles.

Independently of the question about the nature of light, we profess a firm belief that the Light has more force than darkness. The small flame of a match is enough to ban darkness from a whole room.

That is what has moved us to courteously and reverently publish this small reflection.

From the depths of the universe emanates a mysterious Light. It touches our head, exactly where we have the hard section that separates the right side of the brain from the left. This separation is the source of our dualities, feelings on one side and thinking on the other, on one side the analytical ability and on the other, our capacity for synthesis. On one side. our sense of objectivity, and on the other, subjectivity; on one side the world of the ends and on the other the universe of meaning an spirituality.

The beatific Light from the Highest suspends the division of our brains and creates a union. We think lovingly and love thoughtfully. We work at writing poems. We combine art with leisure, but with a condition: that we open ourselves completely to the Light from the Highest.

  • Welcome the mysterious Light that runs through all the universe and comes to you! Let it run through your whole body, through your head, your eyes, lungs, heart, intestines, and genitals. Let it descend through your legs, detain it in the knees, and hold it for a moment in your feet, because your feet support you.
  • And rise with the Light, passing through your whole body, guide her once again to your heart, so that from there the good feelings of love and compassion come to you. Have her rise to the center of your head, to what we call the third eye. She will bring you brilliant thoughts. Finally, let her rest on the top of your head.
  • From there the Light will fill your whole body with light. And it will open you up to the whole universe, giving you the sensation of being one with the Whole. The dualities will be overcome, you will have the blessed experience of the original unity of everything that exists and lives. You will know the peace that is the integration of the parts into the Whole and the Whole in the parts. And from you will emanate a light like that of the first moment of creation. You will know, at least for an instant, what it is to be happy in plenitude.
  • Finally, be grateful for the transforming presence of the Light from the Highest. Let her go towards the womb of the Mystery whence she came.
  • Listen also to this advice: Be always prepared to welcome the light, because she never stops coming. And if less than your whole being has been opened, the light will pass you by and you, curiously, will feel empty, sensing a lack of significance and meaninglessness.
  • When you welcome the most blessed Light you will always irradiate goodness and benevolence. And everyone will feel good by your side.
  • Open yourself totally to the Light until you yourself shall fully become light.

 

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Lerner, Grieving for Orlando et al

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Orlando vigil
Vigil for the victims of the Orlando shootings. Photo by Fibonaci Blue.

Grieving for Orlando, for GLBTQ, for Muslims, for America

by Rabbi Michael Lerner — Tikkun

We at Tikkun reaffirm our commitment to the safety of and respect for the GLBTQ community.

“They” are “us”–we are both straight and gay and bi and trans, Jewish and Christian and Muslim and Buddhist and Hindu and earth-based religions of every variety, young and old, religious and secular humanists and atheists.

We will not let any sector of “us” get scared that the rest of us will abandon them. Just as I said at Muhammed Ali’s funeral that Jews will stand with Muslims in the face of growing Islamophobia (all the more needed now that some politicians are trying to use the horror of mass murder of gays in Orlando by a supposedly Muslim young man to justify repression against Muslims), so we will not let gays become an “acceptable” target for the haters. Not gays, not anyone.

We are one global “we,” and we must never let any part of us become the target that is somehow made a “legitimate” target.

But true solidarity needs to go beyond standing with the victims of hate crimes, homophobia, Islamophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, xenophobia and all the other variants of hatred. True solidarity should lead us to the imperative to develop strategies to heal the distortions and pains that lead people into communities of hate.

Our strategies must separate the hateful behavior from the pain in people that underlies their misdirected rage and sometimes violent actions. We must develop ways to speak to those deep psychic wounds and hurts and show people that there are better and more effective strategies to deal with those pains than to act them out on others, whether that acting out be in the form of demeaning or raping or making war against others, or in the form of mass politics of hatred.

That’s why in the Fall 2016 issue of Tikkun I’ll develop a whole approach to understanding these movements of hate and demobilizing them. I’ll lay out a strategy for an Empathy Tribe — not an empathy that brings us to an understanding that leads to passivity, but an empathy that can guide us to most effectively demobilize the hatred and redirect people’s pains in ways that could actually help alleviate them.

Not for a moment will this empathy entail lessening our outrage or commitment to fight against and resist every form of demeaning some “other.” And this is precisely what the interfaith and secular-humanist-and-atheist-welcoming Network of Spiritual Progressives takes as one of its major foci — training people to become outreach organizers for empathy that can, over time, disempower hate and disconnect the inner allies of anger that gets manipulated into hatred, but to do so without disempowering our righteous indignation and desire to resist all forms of “othering.

So you are invited to learn about our worldview and approach to healing, and then join our Network of Spiritual Progressives and become part of a movement dedicated to developing the strategy and powerful interventions that will empower our most loving and caring selves and help us learn how to liberate that part of others who on the surface look like they are “too far gone.”

But right now, our grieving takes precedence over our strategizintg. So as a rabbi, I pray for the speedy recovery of the survivors of the Orlando massacre, for healing for the families of those who suffered loss or have a loved one now fighting for his or her life, for the whole glbtq community who are once again faced with the possibility of being open targets, for Muslims who are unfairly being blamed for the actions of one murderer (though we never find the media and the right wingers blaming all whites when it is a white man who is the murderer), and for all Americans.

We pray that Americans will move quickly and decisively toward eliminating all those assault rifles and mini-machine guns in the form or automatic weapons, and we pray for an end to the demeaning of others that is often part of the causal chain that feeds the murderous impulses of a few mentally deranged people who act out their murderous fantasies.

Let the healing begin!

 

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Harrington, Vuelve Bernal al radio

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BernalRegresa al radio el Dr. Miguel Antonio Bernal

por Kevin Harrington-Shelton

Mientras el país encara la peor crisis de su historia –ya NADIE en el mundo confía en su institucionalidad– Panamá sufre una falta de liderazgo absoluta.

Don Juan Carlos Varela continúa fuera de contacto con la realidad; la clase política prefiere ocuparse con la repartición de las mieles del poder; el clero no cree que tengamos problemas; y los medios cierran filas con los políticos — para distraernos de la realidad que aquí ya nadie cree en nadie.

Y menos en la libertad de expresión: ninguno de los periodistas que la apoyaron para La Estrella y para El Siglo, hicieron igual cuando al tercer día de gobierno del presidente Varela se privó de la misma al Dr. Miguel Antonio Bernal.

Y a medida que avanza este gobierno anti-democrático, parecido pasó a Julio Miller, Candelario Santana, José Blandón, y otros. Y la campaña de saturación mediática pagada por el gobierno sobre la Ampliación (y lo que le seguirá….) comprueban que en Panamá no se da cabida al disenso contra la versión oficial de los hechos.

Ejemplo: ¿A usted se le ha informado a cuánto ascienden los ingresos que el Canal ampliado entregará al Tesoro Nacional y cuánto se destinará a las OTRAS esclusas que se planifica agregarle a la Ampliación?

Por la falta de orientación es que el señor Varela ya no mete UNA. Y con su falta de sentido común no cesará en sus desatinos, hasta que vea destruido lo que queda del país que legaremos a nuestras futuras generaciones.

Felizmente –y una vez más– a partir del lunes 13 de junio el Dr. Bernal retoma el micrófono a sus propias expensas (sin financiamiento oficial alguno), para difundir el sentido común sobre nuestros problemas nacionales.

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Twitter: @alternativapty

 

Bernal entonces

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