The most safe space is within Free-Speech

Kudos to Lewis Black for discovering- if in a meandering and tepid fashion- the central role played by free speech in the maintenance of a democratic civil society.

The current chaos felt by most of us since last Nov 8 has more than a few of our fellow country folk shouting down constitutionally protected ‘hate speech’ and swinging bike locks at ‘fascists’.

If Mr. Black and the rest of us can successfully rehabilitate the notion of moral absolutes: who knows?

Maybe we can even start having a little gratitude for this opportunity to engage in earnest conversations about our collective future.

Put this paper down now, and go seek out a conversation with a friend that could not be more different than you politically. Stick a sock in your ‘feelings’ and really listen to her/him. See if you can learn something.

I dare you.

A robust commitment to the self-evident morality of free-expression – if a bitter pill for some- offers our best chance of arriving at a more just and equitable America.

When any of us begins to equate speech that we do not like, with ‘violence’; we slip down a slope where it is too easy to swing bike locks at another in defense of a utopia only we can see.


Will the ushering in of a New Age require any: Übermensch of Kallipolis?

Ken Wilber, for sure, is a brilliant force of nature. Like most of us though, he also suffers from some ,on occasion, blind-spots in his awareness of self. This is becoming evident to more than a few of us, the author of this below piece, included:

I chose this piece for its deferential, yet critical tone. Look for me to take a similar tone as I begin the long work of getting, to the degree I am able,  two particular camps to form a healthy synergy. ‘Integral Folks’ and those of us committed to exploring the developmental and more academically rigorous legacy of the late Dr Claire W Graves.[Dr Don Beck’s old scholar partner] have, I very much believe ,no less than the keys that will unlock the future of humankind.

I intend to devote a large part of my remaining life , and new media brand, to this task.

Who will be the successor to Noam Chomsky?

It doesn’t necessarily have to be an academic with the intellectual capacity to take forward the ideas of how societies are best served that have been articulated by Dr Chomsky. Just someone who understands the nature of power and the potential of abuse of power when unrestrained. I think Glenn Greenwald might be that person. I saw them together on stage one time and their arguments, though different in perspective, were seamless.

Tom replies:
We do not need more endless explorations of the numerous horrors humans have visited on other humans, as our species traces its evolutionary trajectory. No more prizes for predicting the rain, only prizes for building the ark. Chomsky, suffering from the limitations of his reducing all to the power relations between individuals within societies, as his ilk typically does; misses the telos at work here. One day I hope to square off with him on how wrong he is in his estimation of the work of GWF Hegel. His refusal to acknowledge a world-process [i.e. Spirit] at play here, for me, is what leads to his never-ending iterations on E Timor, US power, etc, without ever giving any practical advise, on reaching a more equitable humankind.


What the 2017 Democratic Party can learn from Vince Lombardi.

“The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.” Vince Lombardi

Professional sports teams, due to the heavy investments in procuring the IDEAL WINNING line-up, have little fear in making necessary course corrections. The Democratic Party has done little ,it seems to me, apart from BLAMING EVERYTHING, EVERYONE else, in lieu of the requisite soul-searching needed to begin a long process in digging itself out of a hole. The hole created last Nov 8, by the most abysmal crushing it has suffered from the GOP since 1928. What gives?


CHOICES: Personal and Political

A new friend of mine rose up this afternoon, and in a huff, excused himself from our weekly philosophy group. This was a continuation of some group tension, that first arose last week as I worked to explain my 18 month support of Sen Bernie Sanders ,culminating in an eventual vote for Donald Trump. I have decided that it is not my job any longer, to justify this to those that are clearly just still processing understandable upset, at having gotten behind such a flawed candidate. It will now be on all of you, to explain how you let yourself be fooled into ignoring the populist ardor that had been so on display since the spring of 2015.



In the Spirit of this Winter Solstice season; I wish to offer up a tale tonight to my Sisters and Brothers so authentically passionate concerning the subject of #BlackLivesMatter. Here in my home of Austin, Texas- only minutes ago- I was approached by an officer of APD [Austin Police Dept.] and asked ‘out of the blue’ to speak softer and I quote “..move around..”. The dear friend that had stepped away for a moment- missing this whole exchange -asked why I had missed an opportunity to- having been ‘innocent’ of anything- make an issue of this. I told him that having observed this officer; who had just driven up near this friend’s apt. complex to- I suspect- investigate some complaint- looked like a man needing to do something. I let him do something. I answered something like: ‘Right On, God Bless’ and he returned to his squad car and left.


On Election 2016, Ken Wilber, and the ‘Integral Zombies’

Ken Wilber is such a hero to me, I can barely find the words.

Having said this, after being sent a recent Raquel Torrent piece on Wilber; I feel a burning need, to check-in with the below.

Election 2016:

American ‘Neo-Liberalism’ with its focus on a GREEN multi-cultural
inclusion [Stronger Together] and its yoking this to long-discredited
‘free-market’ dogma [unhealthy ORANGE ‘innovation’] is to blame for
the rise of Bill Clinton’s frequent golf buddy as our President Elect.
This 2016 campaign season had exhibited a ‘fire in the belly’ populist
tone; beginning in the spring of 2015.

I will suggest here -to any of we ‘Second Tier’ observers, that the
first time Sen Bernie Sanders turned out a [red/GREEN] crowd of 28,000
in a Madison, Wisconsin stadium,in May or June of 2015, the ‘novelty’
of a 2016 political chaos was clearly ‘off the charts’.

That this notion had been so opaque; to the entire ORANGE/GREEN
mainstream pundit-o-cracy; living in the bubble of a NYC/DC ‘Media
Amen Chorus’: I find quite entertaining and more than a little

And now on to Ken. I have been following his work since 1995.

I first came across his:”Sex, Ecology and Spirituality”: it was
nothing less than an epiphany for me. I could not put in down for
days, until I devoured every word in it. End-notes and all.

I have since also devoured most of his other works: ‘Grace and Grit’, twice.

I only include all this detail as a preface to- I believe- my justified
and increasingly critical view of Ken and his Boulder, Colorado

This recent Raquel Torrent piece on Wilber; YIKES, but where do I begin!?  Rather than review the entire mess; I will zero in on a point or two, of how Ken: ‘force of nature’, brilliant, for sure; is at the very least- naive politically.

To wit:

Wilber: “Hillary has an enormous amount of experience but her politics
from the beginning have been highly tilted not really to integrative
stands but to a sort of extreme lefties point of view.”

I will first note that her ‘experience’ had been overrated. The fact that she was
acting out of the infamous ‘Clinton Rules’ [rules are only for we
‘Prole’s’] in spewing U.S. state secrets for God only knows how long is
unforgivable. Her IT configuration was both unprecedented; and at
least in the case of that Blackberry: Verboten. She had been warned.
Lucky for her Obama was more concerned with his legacy than justice

As to the ‘extreme leftie’ thing, in a word: Nonsense. I decided long
ago: ‘far-left’? GREEN with cranky RED: ‘Revolution Now!’

Ken ,have you ever even read: SPIRAL DYNAMICS!? I found my copy on Amazon ‘used’ for $16.00 plus shipping.

I can loan it to you. Just ask.

Hillary Clinton  -far from exhibiting a GREEN center- is a dyed- in
-wool mendacious ORANGE opportunist. [‘I’m With Her’] GREEN provides
her cover.[breaking the Ultimate Glass-Ceiling’]  Look to the widely
published WikiLeaks 2016 exposes for confirmation. The Democratic
Party infrastructure-at least as it is currently constituted- is no

And lest anyone forget; when a President Bill Clinton de-coupled ORANGE
‘Innovation’ from BLUE ‘Truth Force’ with the signing of the
‘Securities Modernization Act’ it only took less than three decades to
seize-up GLOBAL credit markets, no? The dutiful wife offering him up
as her ‘economic adviser’!? Fool me once.

I’m with Her? We, the ‘Basket of Deplorables’ thought differently.
Yes, Tom the ‘BernieCrat’ here, voted GOP for the first time in my 58 years.

The GOP came by President Spray-Tan honestly. The Democrats? Please!

“The problem with integral practitioners is that they have relegated
this entire Gravesian conception to a “values line”,..” comments Said Dawlabani of the MEMEnomics Group in an ‘Integral Critique’ not long ago.

I found an old YouTube of Ken. The context was of how a robust
ethical/moral stance will be so Integral to our future. That these
v-MEMEs as I took it to mean, were so vital in getting ‘correct’; in
that we are literally laying down future habits.

Uh, ‘cheat to Win?’ No thank you, Mr. Wilber.

Said had also mused that:”..Integral Theory is mostly
philosophical/Intellectual and out of touch with political, economic
and social reality. Its elitist views are rarely applied to solve
problems in a First Tier world. Because of their thin, elitist, and
personal growth focused nature they can easily become closed systems
that only embolden the very shadow they’re trying to come to terms

In my experience with the only ‘Integral Salon’ I have been a part of ,here in Austin,Texas, the focus ALWAYS seems on be on the [upper left of AQAL map] the interior space of the
practitioners. [123 Shadow Work, etc] On occasion maybe talk turns to
home, family, co-workers, or Austin at large. [lower left AQAL] I have
not attended one for sometime now; it got to be a little frustrating
being the sole advocate for any foray into the right/exterior side of

A funny aside: a GREEN woman- who shall remain nameless here -once
scolded me , for posting a reference to Dr Don Beck; on this groups ’email
listserv’. I had to explain to her these missives were hardly out of
bounds in a listserv named “spiral-dynamics-63′.

You cant make stuff this funny up.

Is it more funny than Ken’s past associations with say: Adi Da, Andrew Cohen, or in citing his influence on a now past President; whose economic policies were no small part of drying up funding for some of Mr. Wilber’s pet projects?

I am here made mindful of a writer friend’s: ‘Law of Perverse Outcomes’.