30 August, 2016

Larry Conley - Bio Poem


Lives in: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA, planet Earth, Milky Way.

Who is: Liberal, Inquisitive, Genuine, and:

Wishes to: facilitate improvement wherever possible; fight for the right whenever necessary; stand up for justice whatever the risk.

Dreams of: America being, indivisible, as good as its ideals with liberty, equality, prosperity, and justice for all.

Wants to: fulfill the roles of husband, father, friend, and citizen optimally.

Wonders: why so many find it so hard to do the next right thing and the next ad infinitum.

Dreads: failing to rise to a challenge when it truly matters.

Likes: soccer, hockey, volleyball, women, Spanish, reading, movies, classic rock, flowers, forests, and waterfalls.

Believes: in Dao and Zen, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the premises and promises of the American Republic.

Loves: his wife, his sons, his shelties, his cats, his friends, learning, the Pittsburgh Penguins and FC Barcelona, the struggle to achieve a better world for all humankind and quite often the Democratic Party for its noble goals and frequently worthy efforts.

Plans: to live as well as he can,t for as long as he can, and do as much as he can to make the world a better place than he found it at birth.

Core Convictions:  The known is a drop; the unknown is an ocean. We do not know what fate awaits us. We only know we must be brave, and fortune favors the brave!

As the Dao which can be named is not the eternal Dao, so the self that can be described is not the absolute self, but I tried to the best of my abilities to candidly and comprehensively set forth my understanding of myself. 

18 August, 2016

PA DEMS 2016 - Letter to the Editor Guide

If you want to help Hillary Clinton and Democrats across Pennsylvania, you’ve come to exactly the right place. We won’t be successful without Pennsylvanians getting involved and talking to your neighbors about why this election is so important. We are working together to build this campaign from the ground up and elect Democrats to offices across the Commonwealth, and one of the most efficient ways you can get involved is by writing a letter to the editor. In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get your family, friends, and neighbors writing letters.
Writing a letter to the editor (LTE) is easy and one of the most effective ways to reach a large audience to talk about the importance of the election and issues important to you.  LTEs appear on the editorial page, which is one of the most read pages in the paper.

Unsure how to write a letter to the editor? Follow these quick tips:
      Make it Personal. Editors want letters in their papers to be original and from a reader. Be sure that you take the time to write the letter in your own words and write about an issue that you care whether it’s women’s equality, racial justice, climate change, marriage equality, voting rights, investments in infrastructure, campaign finance reform, college affordability, or protecting Social Security and Medicare.
      Keep your letter brief. Letters should be concise but make sure your first line is catchy, compelling and attention grabbing! In general, letters should be under 200 words, 150 or less is best. Editors are less likely to print long letters.
      Use Facts.  When addressing specific issues, use as many facts as possible.  You can find out some facts about Republicans and their out-of-date policies as well as Hillary’s record at https://www.hillaryclinton.com/briefing/.
      Respond to an article or an issue in the news. Letters are most likely to be printed on topical and current issues.

You can learn more about Hillary’s vision for Pennsylvania and facts about her by visiting https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/.

If you have any questions or concerns about content, email letters@pavictory2016.org. Don’t forget to send us an e-mail us when a paper publishes your letter!

Ready to submit?
Please follow the submission guidelines for each newspaper. If emailing, please include your full name, your city of residence and telephone number.

LTE Submission Link
Alexandria Times-Tribune
The Allentown Morning Call
Altoona Mirror
The Scranton Times-Tribune
Bloomsburg Press Enterprise
The Bradford Era
Chambersburg Public Opinion
Clarion County Explore Clarion
Potter Leader Enterprise
The Doylestown Intelligencer
Bucks County Courier-Express
Lehigh Valley Express-Times
Erie Times-News
Gettysburg Times
The Harrisburg Patriot-News
Hazleton Standard-Speaker
The Indiana Gazette
The Tribune-Democrat
Lebanon Daily News
Times-News (Carbon/Lehigh  County)
Bucks County Courier-Times
Dauphin Press and Journal
Milton Standard-Journal
Montgomery County Times-Herald
Metro - Philadelphia Edition
Philadelphia Daily News
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Tribune
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Pottstown Mercury News
The Pottsville Republican Herald
The Reading Eagle
St. Mary's Daily Press
Twin Tiers Morning Times
The Scranton Times-Tribune
The Shamokin News-Item
The Sharon Herald
The Somerset County Daily American
Centre Daily Times (State College)
The Pocono Record
The Somerset Daily Item
The Daily Review (Troy County)
The Uniontown Herald-Standard
Delaware County Daily Times
Observer-Reporter (Washington County)
Wellsboro Gazette
The Daily Local News
The Citizens' Voice (Wilkes-Barre)
Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre)
Williamsport Sun-Gazette
York Daily Record
York Dispatch

09 August, 2016

Up to Us - Rise and Renew National Unity and Global Sanity

On March 19, 2011, a friend wrote these perceptive and provocative words - "The guilt belongs to you and me, the society of people lavished with riches. And what was built can be torn asunder by our own silence. It’s comin’ to our door, Baby. I know that. ‘Cause we only cared about our own appetites and fed ourselves plenty. Now the world has gone mad and I just need you to sing to me, Baby, while I try to pray for lost souls and scattered angels."

The insights are hers, but the emphasis is mine. What she said over five years ago, rings true more than ever today, She also cited Professor Andrew J. Bacevich from Boston University as follows: "Transformation is not something that outsiders can induce or impose or control. The process is organic, spontaneous and self-sustaining.”

For its faults and all its flaws, the American Constitutional Republic is a polity committed to and capable of continual improvement. While too many of us have too often been derelict in our duties as citizens and too immersed in our private lives and personal struggles, we have had the good fortune of honorable leaders who have at crucial moments recalled us to the "better angels of our nature." At such times, the polity in which we live has afforded us the opportunity to raise the level of our conduct and demonstrate the caliber of our character,

These splendid appeals to reason and benevolence merit prolonged attention. Let us never forget it is perfectly possible and eminently patriotic to fervently oppose divisive demagoguery and ardently oppose those who incite suspicion, resentment, hostility, and divisiveness among us. Let us be satisfied with a clear conscience as our only sure reward and go forth to lead the land we love in perfecting our union and fully achieving one nation, indivisible, with liberty, equality, prosperity and justice for all.

Now the trumpet summons us again as the barbarian is within the gates in the person of Despicable Donald Drumpf. This megalomaniacal demagogue presents a clear and present danger to the survival and success of the Republic, the perfection of our union, and the achievement of one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, Drumpf is the exemplar of self-absorption and personal aggrandizement. Even as he campaigns, he pollutes the political discourse with appeals to fear, suspicion, bigotry, and bellicosity.

These splendid appeals to reason and benevolence merit prolonged attention. Let us never forget it is perfectly possible and eminently patriotic to fervently oppose divisive demagoguery and ardently resist those who incite suspicion, resentment, and hostility among us.

In this context, I respectfully offer the following thoughts and observations.

It is easy to be hostile. It is risky to trust. In a world gone mad and a nation divided, free-floating hostility is a predictable response.

Hostility nourishes and supports the ego. Trust requires lowering one’s guard, risking disappointment, and testing one’s character.

Hostility can be very dramatic, complicated and sophisticated. It can make one appear quite impressive to others. It can camouflage cowardice and make bravado pass for courage. It drapes cravenness in the cloak of valor. It drowns out the whimpers of a quaking soul with the roar of rage.

Trust, on the other hand, is an expression of sincerity, humanity and composure. Others could be suspicious of our intentions, resentful of our efforts or envious of our fortitude.

Those who choose hostility, expend a great deal of energy and effort to maintain their state of rage. They stoke fear, suspicion, resentment, and bigotry in others in order to have a million mirrors for their own warped soul. By contrast, those choose trust actually, gain vigor and resilience from the additional options and positive perspectives this choice brings to light.

The choices between hostility and trust, enmity and amity are ones we all must make in each moment, repeatedly, day after day. Choosing the former rips and rends the social fabric; choosing the latter strengthens its warp and woof.

The far, far better course for our children, our nation, and ourselves is to run the risk of deception and disappointment and endure the errors and betrayals, which are, after all, humanity’s lot than to promote and practice aggression and suspicion. The first, more courageous, course offers the hope of revival and deliverance. The second, all too alluring, coursetoo commonly precedes cruelty and conflict. Whether we choose hostility or trust is completely up to us.

We, the people, are the true sovereigns in the Republic. Despite the relentless efforts of those who would divide us in order to rule us, we can strum the mystic chords of memory and summon to our aid the better angels of our nature. In years to come, will we look into the eyes of children we love about and tell them “We had the opportunity to make a difference, but lacked the courage to try?”

For the sake of the Republic and the land we love, let us rise and restore Power to the People. Let us remind Despicable Donald: "Time wounds all heels!"

Dao Is Never Done

Cosmos lays cloaked beneath apparent chaos; in all disorder abides a subtle order. All civilizations and all human beings, whatever their seeming cultural or conscious development, still harbor archaic remnants and tendencies beneath the stability and serenity. Just as the human body connects us with the mammals and displays numerous traits of shared evolutionary progress going back to at least the reptilian age, so human knowledge, understanding, wisdom, development, and culture are likewise products of evolution and vulnerable to devolution. The Dao is never done, and the story is never fully told while the world and life endure.

The way that can be named
is not the enduring way.
Dao is not the word; neither do our names
define nor limit us.
We, like truth, are not becoming;
we and truth are being!
Truth does not stop and start!
Truth streams and swirls.
The way of all truth
is the way for us all!
No one of us is what any one of us thinks.
No one of us is even what each of us thinks.
Neither is the whole truth or our full truth
what some say or what some call us.
Horrible slurs or noble honorifics
Hear all and heed none.
Neither the absolute truth
nor the fullness of our truths
are known or told until
time itself goes still!
DDJ Verse 1
R. Lawrence Conley