Chopra on Mumbai

I read an interview Larry King did with Deepak Chopra on the horrific terrorist attacks in Mumbai today. I thought his words were very interesting, and right on the money, at least in my limited understanding of international world relations.

“You know, there’s 1.8 billion Muslims in the world. That’s 25 percent of the population of the world. It’s the fastest-growing religion in the world. We cannot, if we do not appease and actually recruit the help of this Muslim world, we’re going to have a problem on our hands.

And we cannot go after the wrong people, as we did after 9/11, because then the whole collateral damage that occurs actually aggravates the situation.”


“There is a potential impact of a lot more carnage. But it can be contained. And right now, one of the questions, you know, after I heard Barbara Starr talking about how coordinated this is, that there are militant groups that cross international boundaries, is who is financing this? Where is the money coming from? We have to ask very serious, honest questions. What role do we have in this? Are our petrodollars funding both sides of this war on terrorism? Why are we not asking the Saudis where that money is going that we give them? Is it going through this supply chain to Pakistan?

It’s not enough for Pakistan to condemn it. Pakistan should cooperate with India in uprooting this. They should be part of the surgery that is going to happen.

It’s not enough for Indians to blame Pakistanis. Indians should actually ask the Pakistanis to help them.

And it’s not enough for us to worry about Westerners being killed and Americans being killed. Every life is precious over there. We have got to get rid of this idea that this is an American problem or a Western problem. It’s a global problem, and we need a global solution, and we need the help of all the Muslims, 25 percent of the world’s population, to help us uproot this problem.”


“India at this moment has to contain any reactive violence from the fundamentalist Hindus, which is very likely and possible. So India has to condemn that by not blaming local Muslims. They have to identify the exact groups.

And the world has to be very careful that they don’t go after the wrong people. Because if you go after the wrong people, you convert moderates into extremists. It happens every time, and retribution against innocent people just because they have the same religion actually aggravates and perpetuates the problem.”



Things I am currently thankful for:

1. A grandfatherly firefighter I worked with a couple of times in Nevada called to check on me yesterday, to see how I was post-job-collapse and see how my Thanksgiving was going. He said, among other things, that they had been having an unusual rash of suicides in the county since October, and although he didn’t say it, I’m sure he just wanted to check on me to make sure I was doing alright after recent events. I thought that was so sweet. I told him how soft my landing had been after the company closed, with finding great work so quickly, and he said that in the People’s Republic of Berkeley, where he grew up, that was called karma, and that I deserved it for what I had been doing for the fire service. It was an out-of-the-blue phone call, and one I am thankful for.

2. I’m going to see my grandmother in Harlingen this week. I love my Arlington grandmother, who we have always spent Thanksgiving with, but the last couple of years we’ve gone to Harlingen instead, and I have to say that I’m glad for the change. I get to see MiMi all the time, but I only get to see Grandma a couple of times a year. She has been forgetting a lot lately, and that is going to be hard to be around, but I’m glad to get to spend some time listening to her stories. The ones she can remember, anyway;)

3. We had an early Thanksgiving at my parents’ house on Sunday, because in Harlingen, we will be patronizing Luby’s. I got to see my aunt, uncle and cousins, who I really wish I saw more often. It’s so interesting to see my genetics at work in another nuclear family.

4. Hearing the words “President-elect Obama” and “the Obama administration” peppering conversations these days is so fabulous. I have absolute faith in no politician, but I have much more peace these days knowing someone will at least be trying to help clean up our air and food supply and inspiring others to do the same.

5. Handy sewing-machine-wielding friends who fix my broken stuff.

6. I went to the Prop 8 protest with Beth and Deanna last weekend (pictures on that to come), and it was nice to be around intelligent, passionate people making their voices heard for something they believe in. I went, above all, because it was a peaceful protest, not done out of anger but to simply make those in power – and those in the communities around them – aware of the displeasure over the outcome of and scare/purposeful-misinformation tactics used during California’s recent election. It was an honor to be among them for a little while. I see people in other countries with views that differ from the ruling party suppressed forcefully by those in power, and it was lovely to see people able to speak their mind in a peaceful way. I even thought the counter-protest was great, in the sense that they were able to speak their mind as well, even if I don’t agree with them. And the Dallas police stood surrounding us, not as a threat, they said, but to protect and stand with us. I think that’s just great.

7. You. Happy Thanksgiving!

Top Ten Fabulous Things of the Week 11.8.08

1. Barack Obama is the next President of the United States! I’m so excited, for many reasons. I’ve never been a bumper sticker fan (just my Apple sticker), but several months ago, I added an Obama ’08 one to the back of the Blazer, along with a “COEXIST” sticker, with the letters made up of the symbols of the major world religions (I’m a Christian, but I’m quite convinced if Jesus were here, he’d be promoting a bit of peaceful co-existence right about now!). All of a sudden I look like a raging liberal, although I’m really quite moderate. I’ve gotten a lot of grief for both stickers in recent months, and it’s so nice to feel vindicated – I might be a minority in Texas, but the country is with me, and I have never been more proud of my country.

Obama Web

2. My roommate broke out the old-school Nintendo this week and has been playing Mario Brothers 2, and it is fabulous! What those early game designers could do with 8 bits. No blood, no gore, no gangsters. Just 8-bit mushrooms and a pair of overalls. Gaming simplicity at its finest.

3. I’ve been having some back and leg pain recently, so at the behest of my doctor, I bought a pair of Mary-Jane Clarks to wear to work instead of my low heels. And OH MY GOSH, they are like walking on clouds. They’re more comfortable than flip flops. Heck, they’re more comfortable than FEET. When I bought them, the salesman said, “It is so nice to see women buying comfortable shoes.”

4. Seeing Jesse Jackson and Oprah crying as Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech on Tuesday night in Chicago’s Grant Park.

Obama speech

5. I went to dinner with some old work friends last night, and an army showed up. There must have been at least 40 of us there, some from years before me that I had never met. We filled up the entire back room, stayed for 3 1/2 hours, and had a great time. And the best part is that I actually have a job to tell people about when they ask what I’m doing! One woman said that they were lucky to have gotten me, and I thought that was sweet. That company was kind of like Hotel California – you could check out, but no one ever really left. It seems to be a large network of people who have filed in and out over the years, but most of them stay in touch, and that will be nice over the coming years, to be part of a large network of people in the business.


6. I went to see the Impressionists exhibit at the Kimball in Fort Worth last weekend, and it was great. The Monet haystack series was there, as well as some water lilies and the foot bridge. Van Gogh’s self-portrait and the bedroom in Arles were wonderful. I didn’t realize it, but he painted that second version of the bedroom that was there from an asylum, right before he died. My sister and I stayed in Arles on our Europe trip last year, so that was really neat to see. “Paris Street; Rainy Day” was there, and it is gigantic! There were gobs of Renoirs, and of all of them, his still-lifes were the most amazing for me in person. That man could make a grape look absolutely luminescent without making it seem unreal. All of them were so much more luminous in person than you can see in prints – all those short brushstrokes in all those colors. Amazing.


7. I just learned that Starbucks doubled their orders of Fair Trade coffee, which is great news for the Fair Trade industry and poor coffee farmers all over the world.

8. I’m kind of an Internet Petition Warrior. I may not have a lot of money to donate to the organizations I want to support, but I sign a lot of petitions to get things done over a range of issues. As a result, I get a LOT of e-mail newsletters – the ACLU, Organic Consumers Association, Center for Biological Diversity, etc. There are so many battles to be fought that reading them can be a bit depressing sometimes. After the election, though, they were all so positive and celebratory, because we now have a President-Elect with a decent environmental record, one who understand the importance of the organic family farm, the threat of climate change, and the preservation of citizens’ rights under the Constitution. Who knows how much he’ll get done in office in reality, but it is SO NICE to know that he will at least try, and I finally feel like I’m on the winning team, for once.

9. I’ve been asking Herb Mart for months to please carry the flavor of Kombucha I buy most often (at least 4 per week). It’s cheaper there, but Central Market is the only place I could find the mango flavor. Finally, after months of telling them I’d buy it from them if they’d stock it, they finally did! Such a teeny, tiny level, but it’s nice to actually affect change.

10. “Every aspect of our lives is, in a sense, a vote for the kind of world we want to live in.” – Frances Moore Lappe