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Yoga Korunta

Life & Politics

Location: United States

One learns, as nothing endures but change.

13 December 2009

The Paradoxical Commandments

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs, but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.

The Paradoxical Commandments were written by Kent Keith in 1968, when he was 19, a sophomore at Harvard College. They were part of The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council, his first booklet for high school student leaders.


02 December 2009

No excuse for tainted meat

Clark Behind The Headlines
From HLN's Money Expert Clark Howard

Have you heard about this E.coli outbreak that killed two people and made hundreds more sick? It’s because of a food processor in New York that had to issue a recall on a huge amount of ground beef. They weren’t testing for a strain of E.coli that was banned 15 years ago.

If you remember, in 1993 there was a deadly E.coli outbreak involving the fast food chain Jack in the Box. And as a result of that, the U.S. Department of Agriculture banned this strain of E.coli from meat and introduced new rules for companies to test their products. But they made it voluntary. Well, a lot of meat companies, including this big one in New York State, came under pressure from the slaughterhouses and suppliers and decided, “Yeah, well, we're just not going to test for that.” And as a result, you have people dead who wouldn't be, and people hurting who wouldn't have been. Inexcusable.

It is so third world that we have the ability to prevent these illnesses and deaths, and just because of financial interests of meat packers, we don't do it. But a few retailers are making an effort. Costco Wholesale processes its own meat, and it fully meets the advisory guidelines and tests everything they put on the shelves. It’s just something where you think, why would a business cut corners like that and why would the meat industry have people lose faith in the safety of the food supply just to shave a penny here or there?

You know, in capitalism, businesses that mess up get punished by the marketplace. And often they get destroyed like the people who sold tainted peanut products. But the fact is, the people that get sick or die are still sick or dead.

The answer is very, very simple. The Department of Agriculture needs to make mandatory the inspections for the E.coli strains that they know are deadly. Think about if it was your kid who died because some meat processor decided to cut a corner and not test its product to make sure it's safe. I find that very upsetting.


16 November 2009

A Cat in Heaven

A cat dies and goes to Heaven. God meets Kitty at the pearly gate and says, "You have been a good cat all these years. You can have anything you desire. All you have to do is ask."

"Well," said Kitty, "I've lived all my life in a New York office and all I had to sleep on were marble floors."

"Say no more," says God, and instantly a fluffy pillow appears.

A few days later, six mice are killed in a tragic accident, and they go to Heaven. God meets them at the gate with the same offer he made to the cat.

"All our lives," the mice say, "we've had to run. Cats, dogs, women with brooms have chased us. If we had roller skates, we wouldn't have to run anymore." God says he can take care of it and, instantly, each mouse is fitted with a beautiful pair of roller skates.

A week later God checks on Kitty, who is asleep on his pillow. God gently nudges him awake and asks, "How are you doing? Are you happy here?"

"Never been happier," says Kitty, stretching and yawning. "And those meals on wheels are great, too!"


12 November 2009

Death And Dying: Nature Is Selfish, Get Over It

Deborah Calla, www.theloveprojectinc.com, creator, writer/producer of feature films and TV programming
Posted: November 12, 2009 01:33 PM

I have always thought when people passed away that the ones left behind cried for the fact they would not have the person they loved in their lives any longer. The truth is we cry for not having that person but we also cry for all they will never get to do and to experience; new presidents, newborns, love, restaurants, films, political and social changes etc.

I once read that nature is selfish -- a powerful but truthful statement. Nature doesn’t stop for anyone or anything. No matter what is happening in our lives people still rush to work, fight wars, make love, waste time and the world goes through tsunamis, global warming, sunsets and sunrises.

It is so brutally shocking when our lives are falling apart and the rest of the world does not seem to notice. The first time I really experienced this was when my husband was lying in a hospital bed fighting for his life and I went for a walk around the hospital. I needed air and sunlight after spending three days locked up in his room without leaving.

As my body walked my mind was still tied back to what was happening in that hospital room, but all the people walking by me didn’t seem to notice or care. They laughed and carried on like nothing was happening. I wanted to stop and tell them “Don’t you know what’s happening? My husband is fighting for his life. How can you just carry on? ” But of course I couldn’t do that. The truth is that everyone has their drama, small and big, at different times in their lives and nature doesn’t care and it doesn’t stop. But that is how life is; it has its own force.

It is so important to live life for what we think is important and brings us the greatest amount of happiness and satisfaction and not fall victim of any type of fictional or social interpretation of what life should be or look like.

Life is what it is and it’s to be lived to the fullest at every moment because things can change on a dime. This is by no means a gloom and doom statement. It is actually beautiful and powerful and it can be simple to live by making every day count and being in the moment. If the moment is talking to a friend, then let’s dedicate the time to the friend. Let’s not think about what we need to do after we leave our friend. Let’s be in the moment. If the moment is making love, let’s not think about what happened before and what will happen after. Let’s be in the moment and try to let our body and mind experience every feeling and sensation.

We are so often in a hurry that we miss out on fully experiencing what happens to us until something tragic happens and we realize that we have rushed through too much and now have much to regret.

So while nature is selfish and life will continue on no matter what happens to each one of us, we can make our own lives count by dedicating our journey to ourselves. Our best friend lives within us, and it is actually ourselves. We are the only ones who will never leave and will always hear our thoughts and feelings and know everything that there is to know about US. So why not give our best friend the best life possible by letting ourselves truly experience life by being in the moment? Think about it.

Follow Deborah Calla on Twitter: www.twitter.com/debcalla

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10 November 2009

Tuesday is Fryday!

Sniper John Allen Muhammad executed

By Jeanne Meserve and Mike M. Ahlers, CNN
November 10, 2009 10:39 p.m. EST

John Allen Muhammad, 48, was executed for the D.C. sniper attacks in 2002 that left the Washington area gripped in fear.

Officials say John Allen Muhammad had no final words before his execution. Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine said he found "no compelling reason" for clemency. Muhammad, 48, said he was innocent before execution; he's declared dead at 9:11 pm ET. Supreme Court refused to hear Muhammad's appeal on Monday.

Jarratt, Virginia (CNN) -- Washington-area sniper John Allen Muhammad was executed Tuesday by lethal injection, a Virginia prisons spokesman said.

He was declared dead at 9:11 p.m., said Larry Traylor, director of communications for the Virginia Department of Corrections.

"There were no complications; Mr. Mohammad was asked if he wished to make a last statement," he told reporters. "He did not acknowledge this or make a last statement whatsoever."

Mohammad, 48, said nothing from the time he entered the death chamber accompanied by guards, Traylor said.

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine denied a last-minute clemency request Tuesday for Muhammad, the mastermind behind the Washington-area sniper attacks of 2002 that terrorized the nation's capital.

During three weeks in October 2002, Muhammad and accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo, then 17, killed 10 people and wounded three, while taunting police with written messages and phoned-in threats and demands.

"Having carefully reviewed the petition for clemency and judicial opinions regarding this case, I find no compelling reason to set aside the sentence that was recommended by the jury and then imposed and affirmed by the courts," Kaine said in a written statement.

"Accordingly, I decline to intervene."

Kaine's announcement came a day after the Supreme Court declined to intervene in the case.

During two trials -- including one featuring testimony from Malvo, whose youth meant he was not eligible for the death penalty -- and in years of appeals, Muhammad professed his innocence.

Muhammad's attorney had argued his client was not given sufficient time to file his final appeal, but said Tuesday -- after the high court and the governor declined his request for a stay -- that he would make no further efforts to delay the matter.

"We respect their decisions and will make no more legal efforts to stop this process from going forward," said lawyer Jon Sheldon in a written statement. "In its effort to race John Allen Muhammad to his death before his appeals could be pursued, the state of Virginia will execute a severely mentally ill man who also suffered from Gulf War Syndrome the day before Veterans Day."

Muhammad met Tuesday with J. Wyndal Gordon, who was his former stand-by attorney in his Maryland trial, in which he represented himself.

"His attitude was strong, it was sturdy," Gordon told reporters. "Mr. Mohammad maintains his innocence in this case, and he always has. He is not remorseful, although he does extend his condolences to the families. What these families went through is tragic in every level. Given the injustices in this case, what Mr. Mohammad went through is equally as tragic."

Gordon said he does not consider Mohammad to be insane. "However," he added, "I am not a psychiatrist or a psychologist."

The lawyer said Muhammad's last meal was "chicken and red sauce, and he had some cakes."

Gordon predicted earlier Tuesday that Muhammad's strength would continue until his final moments.

"I expect that he will come into his death bed with this head held up high," he said. "He is not a broken man and even on his death bed, he will express his righteous indignation for his own execution."

Muhammad, who opted not to select a spiritual adviser, met during the afternoon with his immediate family. He was to meet with his attorneys later in the afternoon, said Traylor.

Muhammad's first wife, Carol Williams, showed a letter in which he asked her to visit him on his execution day. "Carol, I miss my family for the past eight years," he wrote, referring to the time he has been incarcerated. "I don't want to be missed the day that these devils murder my innocent black ass."

Williams said Tuesday's reunion was to be their first in years, though they had communicated by letter and spoken by phone.

"Basically he wanted me to just let his kids know that he loved them very much and to just tell me some different things, that he was sorry that he never gave our marriage a chance to work, because he was having an affair," she said. "So basically he was just apologizing."

Asked about his father, Lindbergh Williams said his feelings about the death penalty had not softened with the approach of the execution. "If you commit a crime, you can pay the time," he said.

Asked whether he believes his father regretted what he did, the younger Williams said, "Yes, I really do."

Mildred Muhammad, the sniper's second ex-wife and the mother of three of his children, told CNN on Monday that she last saw him in 2001 at a custody hearing and had not sought to visit him in prison.

"I had emotionally detached from John when I asked him for a divorce," she told CNN. "And my emotions were severed when he said that you have become my enemy and as my enemy, I will kill you."

She has asserted that she was her ex-husband's target, and she blamed the first Gulf War for changing his personality.

"He went from someone who was always happy, that knew what direction he was going in, and was focused, to a person that was totally confused, depressed all the time, and didn't know how to do or get to where he wanted to be."

She said he never received counseling after his return to the United States.

But lawyer Gordon disputed her account, saying that Muhammad "was absolutely not affected by his time in the Gulf War. We did discuss that."

CNN Supreme Court producer Bill Mears contributed to this report.

Burn, baby, burn.


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