Does the military hold the dollar up?

So claims Catherine Austin Fitts:
The Military Holds the Dollar Up
July 30, 2008 at 12:07 pm

My assessment is that 90% of the value of the U.S. dollar comes from the U.S. military. After we had our satellite systems in place, Cheney said “deficits don’t matter.” The US debt and deficit financing is no longer a debt system. It is a global taxation system....

Global treasuries and sovereign wealth funds, central banks and a variety of large institutions buy Treasury securities or hold dollars not because there is economic value behind them or because these financial assets are sound fiscally or in terms of credit.... If they don’t buy, they and their population will be subject to a wide variety of demonstrations of physical and financial force that will result in loss of life.
Could it be?


Signs of a Healthy Quaker Meeting

Meetings/congregations are healthy when…
  1. They resolve conflict and tension with attempts at healing and reconciliation.

  2. They have vision, direction, goals, follow-through and implementation.

  3. They have a missions mindset rather than an institutional or maintenance mindset.

  4. They welcome new ideas, creativity, and new leadership.

  5. They tend to elevate “Quaker faith” over “Quaker culture.”

  6. They provide adequate opportunities for people to grow spiritually and they provide a safe place for people to seek and ask questions.

  7. They foster healthy emotional systems and people, creating space for emotionally unhealthy people.

  8. They are solution-focused rather than problem-focused.

  9. They focus on the essentials and forsake the non-essentials.

  10. They have an ability to deal directly with one another in times of disagreement, change, and conflict.
Adapted directly from a post by Paul L. on Showers of Blessings, “Symptoms of a Crippled Meeting” that was inspired by, or perhaps reprinted from, a post on Quaker Renewal Forum. (The QRF post is no longer available.)


Origen's Goal Was Different

I've been meaning for some time to post about some of the interesting books I've read lately, by Geza Vermes, Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw, Doug Pagitt, and the editors of Plain magazine.

However, this week while Robin and the boys are away, I had time to attend midweek meeting for worship, and go to dinner with a friend afterwards for two hours, for some tasty Vietnamese food; and then to attend the Thursday night Quaker study group tonight. So I haven't had as much time for writing as I might have.

The Thursday night group is reading Quakerism: A Theology for Our Times by Patricia Williams. They're on page 60. Our group was bristling at some of the assumptions, and some of the projection of contemporary Quaker views back in time onto Fox and Barclay as quasi-original universalists.

On the BART ride home, I was reading Karen Armstrong's The Bible: A Biography and found passages in there that spoke to what we had been discussing. So I typed a couple of passages up and emailed them to people in the group. And I wanted to share this one here, too, since it's typed up already, from pages 111-112:
Exegesis brought the interpreter and his students a moment of ekstasis, a ‘stepping outside’ of the mundane. Modern biblical scholarship seeks to place a text in the worldly economy of academe, treating it like any other ancient document. Origen’s goal was different…. ‘The contents of scripture are outward forms of certain mysteries and the images of divine things,’ he explained. When he perused the New Testament, he was constantly ‘amazed by the deep obscurity of the unspeakable mysteries contained therein’; at every turn he came upon ‘thousands of passages that provide, as if through a window, a narrow opening leading to multitudes of deepest thoughts.’
For me, modern biblical scholarship definitely opens fascinating windows into the texts of the Bible. Yet the purpose in the end is to open the mysteries, not to figure out "the facts" underlying all these manifold bits of spirituality, morality, allegory, ritual, poetry, folklore, myth, history, and wisdom teaching which have been put together in the sprawling, puzzling, inspiring, and fascinating book called the Bible.


Truly stable systems expect instability

This quote could describe a healthy, spiritually vibrant Quaker meeting -- or any congregation, for that matter:
"True stability results when presumed order and presumed disorder are balanced. A truly stable system expects the unexpected, is prepared to be disrupted, waits to be transformed."
—Tom Robbins
I found this in the e-newsletter of david baker + partners, architects, a truly thoughtful and progressive architectural firm in San Francisco.


A New Sonic Universe is Expanding in Front of Our Ears - Byrne-Eno

A new sonic universe is expanding in front of our ears: new music by David Byrne and Brian Eno. I happened to tune into KFOG-FM's "New Music Thursday," which I almost never listen to, and quickly realized this monumental event was unfolding in real time.

The song "Strange Overtones" is available as an advance download from the website for the album, "Everything That Happens Happens Today": www.everythingthathappens.com
"This groove is out of fashion.
"These beats are 20 years old."
Just for fun I thought I'd provide the URL for the download so you don't have to sign up for the email newsletter like I did:
click click.


Chris presenting epistle

Western Friend (formerly known as Friends Bulletin) has a photo of me presenting the Early Elementary Epistle to the plenary session at Pacific Yearly Meeting. Click to enlarge...

From Western Friend's Pacific YM photo album on Flickr: http://westernfriend.org/photo-gallery/


Epistle in Three Parts

Early Elementary Program Epistle, Pacific Yearly Meeting, 2008

Part I

Part II

Part III


Tents at Pacific Yearly Meeting

We got back from Pacific Yearly Meeting yesterday and I downloaded some photos today.

This was the Tent of Meeting:

And here was the Tent of Sleeping:

Here is the Ten Year Old pogo-sticking:

And here is Six Year Old after having his face painted by his friend, Seven Year Old:

I was the afternoon teacher for the early elementary children's program and hope to blog about that soon, especially about the epistle we did together.

Overall, yearly meeting was a rich and personally rewarding experience for me as an individual, and yet at the community level, I also felt frustrated and aware of the "pinch points" for the community. I realized how much I identify with my meetings (monthly, quarterly, and yearly), and feel their joys and sorrows as my own! After all, they are.