124 Slices
Medium 9781576757611

Life in a Tipi

Thom Hartmann Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

From The Prophet’s Way: A Guide to Living in the Now

Every day people are straying away from
church and going back to God.

—LENNY BRUCE

MY BEST FRIEND THROUGH SCHOOL WAS CLARK STINSON. WE met when we were 13, and instead of pursuing the normal pastimes of teenagers we spent our time studying Sanskrit (we had an old study-guide book I found in my father’s library), reading The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and arguing minutiae of the Bible. Clark’s mother was interested in metaphysics and shared with us a book called Autobiography of a Yogi. Years later, when I went to Detroit with her and Clark to attend an initiation in Kriya yoga by Yogacharia Oliver Black, the oldest living disciple of Yogananda, I recognized Yogananda’s Kriya technique as identical to an ancient Coptic exercise that Kurt Stanley had taught us years earlier, called the Cobra Breath.

I introduced Clark to Master Stanley, and Clark and I began a serious study of spirituality. We were both in our late teens by then, and Clark had recently married. I was recovering from a painful breakup with a girlfriend, and we agreed that to do our spiritual work best we should seek isolation.

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Medium 9781576756270

Chapter 14 The Identity Code

Thom Hartmann Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where
individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated,
communication is open, and rules are flexible—the kind
of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.

— VIRGINIA SATIR

When we communicate, there is a story, a storyteller, and a listener. The story travels from teller to listener, from writer to reader. Without people telling and listening, writing and reading, there would be no communication.

We began this book by talking about the importance of story. In part II we talked about the different ways people interact with the world, the way some people are primarily visual, some primarily auditory, some primarily kinesthetic, and so forth. In part III we talked about the importance of recognizing that someone else might not have the same response we have to a story and what techniques we can use to try to match their response to ours. In all of these discussions, we assumed that the person who is reading, or listening to, or experiencing our story has just one identity. We talked about ways people are different from each other, but we haven’t yet talked about the different identities we each carry around inside ourselves.

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Medium 9781605095592

CHAPTER 12 Unequal Uses for the Bill of Rights

Thom Hartmann Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Of the cases in this court in which the Fourteenth Amendment was applied during its first fifty years after its adoption, less than one half of one percent invoked it in protection of the Negro race, and more than fifty percent asked that its benefits be extended to corporations.

—Justice Hugo Black, 1938

THE STATISTIC IN THIS CHAPTER’S EPIGRAPH IS SOBERING INDEED. IT SAYS corporations sought protection under the Fourteenth Amendment a hundred times more often than did the people it was intended to protect. And this is not a victimless shift—there have been real and substantial consequences. In the years following the Santa Clara decision and the cases that referred to it, companies have used their personhood rights in an amazing variety of ways. What follows in this chapter is a small selection.

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. noted in the landmark 1919 Shenck v. United States case that shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater does not constitute free speech; the Bill of Rights guarantees that a person’s opinion can be expressed, not that there are no limits on what one can do. But consider how this fundamental freedom has been bent by corporations since Santa Clara.

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Medium 9781605097060

Chapter 9 Put Lou Dobbs out to Pasture

Thom Hartmann Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of their right to join the union of their choice.

—Dwight D. Eisenhower

BACK IN THE LATE 1980S, WHEN I RAN AN ADVERTISING AGENCY in Atlanta, a multinational corporation approached us about producing its internal newsletter, a monthly eight-pager about the company’s goings-on in the United States, Mexico, and Japan. Not surprisingly, they wanted the newsletter produced in English, Spanish, and Japanese.

For our small agency trolling for clients, this corporation was a big fish—it could provide a good shot of cash for what was then a startup business with a half dozen employees—so I put a help-wanted ad in the local daily newspaper, the Atlanta Constitution-Journal, for a graphic designer who was also fluent enough in those three languages to know how to set type and where to hyphenate words (the company was providing us with the text in the three languages). It was clearly a search for a needle in a hay-stack, so I was totally shocked when a young man showed up on our doorstep, claiming that he was a graphic artist with fluency in all three languages.

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Medium 9781576754634

Chapter 5 Thomas Paine against the Freeloaders

Thom Hartmann Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Most Americans these days don’t remember why (or when) we instituted a progressive income tax or why taxes even matter in society beyond the obvious issue of paying the cost of government functions like police and fire departments. They don’t realize that the Founders of our republic had a visceral and intense concern about multigenerational accumulated wealth and the ability of great wealth to corrupt democracy itself.

Americans today know that none of the supposedly “rich” founders left great fortunes. The foundations that bear the names of people who lived in the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries are the likes of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation. There is no Jefferson Foundation or Madison Foundation. Americans know this—but they don’t know why.

Most Americans also don’t realize that a middle class is created and maintained by direct intervention in the marketplace by a democratic government, including laws protecting labor, defining minimum wage, and taxing great wealth.

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