Mistaking a Nomination for an Appointment

Katrina vanden Heuvel set off the twitters with this:

WH (& others) indicate Elizabeth Warren 2 be nominated next week to head Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Kudos 2 all who worked 4 her.

While I agree with vanden Heuvel that those who have worked thus far to make sure Warren gets the position deserve kudos, they don’t, IMO, deserve a celebration, yet.

After all, given what happened with Dawn Johnsen, a rumored nomination is a long shot from getting the position. Especially in the wake of Obama’s recess appointment of Donald Berwick to run Medicare, ostensibly because the health care reform bill presented some urgency that necessitated a recess appointment.

How is fixing our financial system less of an emergency? How, given the number of people still underwater on their mortgages, is this not critically urgent?

And anyone celebrating anything less than Warren in the position is accepting less than the Administration can give, on its own.

According to the bill’s language, the Treasury Secretary has sole authority to build the new agency before it’s ultimately transferred to the Federal Reserve. That includes anointing a person to head the effort on his behalf, and under his authority. The interim head would serve until the President’s nominee is confirmed by the Senate.

That person could be Elizabeth Warren.

And the legislation doesn’t appear to contain a deadline for a Presidential nomination, experts say, which means Warren could start the agency from scratch, put her people in, begin cracking down on predatory and abusive lenders, and initiate a culture that would put consumers’ interests above those of the nation’s most powerful financial institutions.

In short, she could set a tone the agency will follow for the next several years without the administration needing to fight a potentially drawn-out confirmation battle that could stall Obama’s pro-consumer agenda.

Sure, Liz Warren’s appointment might excite a bunch of people in the middle class heading into mid-terms, even as it pisses off the much less numerous bankster class. Even assuming giving the middle class something to be happy about is a bad thing politically, why would incumbency be one?

The Administration can put Liz Warren on the job, today, to deal with the emergency of the ongoing abuse of real people by the banksters. Or, the Administration can decide doing that is not all that important, and it has the time to wait for the do-nothing Senate to take action.

But I would submit that rumors of a nomination are no cause for celebration when we know nothing is preventing the Administration from putting Warren in the position, today. Because anything short of an outright appointment–particularly given the rumors that suggest the WH agrees Warren is the best person for the job–is simply dismissing the urgency of the ongoing financial crisis for the middle class.

  1. bobschacht says:

    According to the bill’s language, the Treasury Secretary has sole authority to build the new agency before it’s ultimately transferred to the Federal Reserve. That includes anointing a person to head the effort on his behalf, and under his authority. The interim head would serve until the President’s nominee is confirmed by the Senate.

    Yes– but what has received little notice so far is that the Treasury Secretary is not waiting for the President’s nominee; he has already started building the new agency… on his own terms and in his own way. I tried to draw attention to this in a comment a few days ago, but no one seemed to notice. In short, if Warren does get the nomination– as I truly hope she does– Geithner is already building hedges around her that may thwart her own ideas about how the agency should be structured. And there is no one who knows better how the agency should be structured than Warren. Fie on Geithner.

    Bob in AZ

    • Kassandra says:

      Thanks. I have a long term memory like flypaper, so I’ll be watching. Maybe that’s the reason for the delay, so Giethner can render the thing totally useless/ineffective …sorta like HAMP

  2. alinaustex says:

    [email protected]

    Could Professor Warren undo what Secretary Geithner has already put in place to thwart consumer protection -and if not would Professor Warren still take this very important position?

    Ever since Secretary Geithner demanded that We the People cough up our hard earned tax dollars so as to be AIG’s unregulated and unrestricted ATM machine -and thus keep all the counter parties such as Duestche Bank 100 per cent whole – I have not trusted Timmy for any thing that would protect the middle class. Loaning money to GM to save American jobs is one thing – but simply paying off a bad bet placed by a huge corporate international bank -will thats not spending our money wisely . Fie on Geithner indeed .

    • boohoowho says:

      Could Professor Warren undo what Secretary Geithner has already put in place to thwart consumer protection -and if not would Professor Warren still take this very important position?

      The same thought occurred to me last night. Sec. Geithner is already busy staffing the agency with his anti-regulatory/free market lackeys; the CFPB isn’t totally independent anyway; the administration and Congress don’t appear to really support Warren — which all adds up to being crippled before even starting. Why should she even accept the nomination?

  3. puppethead says:

    Gibbs is busy punching hippies with glee, I don’t expect Warren to get anywhere near actually being appointed. This seems like a Rahm tactic—throw a bone to the left by pretending to nominate Warren, then let her wither on the vine without lifting a finger. But hey, they tried (even though not really). Then they’ll claim they just have to go with their “alternate” choice, Harold Ford, Jr. (I kid, sort of).

    The White House thinks the left is stupid.

    • wavpeac says:

      Perhaps it’s off topic but I think fits the general meme that Obama and his administration are awfully hard on the left. That comment about the left needing to be drug tested just about put me through the roof. What a divisive way to feed the stereo type…and to completely invalidate any complaints from good hard working people about Obama’s lack of success. Perhaps I complain for the following reasons:

      1) my husband is a union electrician working in a multi million dollar ball field while the city is going bankrupt and laying off police officers. Glad for the job but 250 guys sit the bench. The heat index has been over a 110 all week with high horrible humidity. The corporate contractor (non union) that hired the union crews won’t give them carts to carry their tools, (but get the job done FASTER), forgot to refill the water jugs on the second tier where my husband was working yesterday for the last and hottest 3 hours of the job, and uses a program of 3 strikes your out for any little mistake. (this keeps all those guys with a job from complaining about conditions).

      2) Maybe I complain because my mortgage company GMAC as I am getting out of a chapter 13 bankruptcy says I owe more than I did when the bankruptcy began despite the fact that I paid off the debt through the bankruptcy judge and added extra to my payments. And their is no way to stop it but to sue and pray that they can’t defend these bogus fees well enough to get me booted from my home. (but that’s a grey area and my lawyer hopes the climate has changed but notes that in Nebraska these cases often do not end well for the consumer).

      3) Or maybe I complain because I got a hospital acquired MRSA infection 10 years ago from a surgery that did not cause blood poisoning until this spring. Then, I had surgery to repair the problem and remove the infection and prosthesis and acquired two new bugs in the surgical suite. This has prevented me from working. (I am self employed) and even with insurance the medical bills are well over our heads.

      Couldn’t it be that we complain because we are suffering…and maybe it’s not because we are drug addicted??

      I am really, really angry now.

      • behindthefall says:

        I don’t know how you and your husband face it. I shall be counting my blessings with gratitude this morning, having read your post. This isn’t even capitalism anymore; it’s feudalism, and a sloppy, don’t-care feudalism at that.

      • emptywheel says:

        Don’t know if it helps, but I heard Warren say over and over at NN that one way or another, she will keep fighting for people like you. She’s the real deal.

        • wavpeac says:

          I know she is…in watching her interviews and her writings about the problem it is clear to me that she understands both the macro and micro level of this problem. I am keeping my fingers crossed…but we all did this in regard to Dawn Johnson…and my crossed fingers just didn’t get the hoped for result. My current standby…”we’ll see”.

        • bobschacht says:

          Absolutely! At NN, Warren spoke about her own family’s roots, and spoke about middle class issues with passion and commitment. And…she’s smart, and articulate.

          She is, indeed, the real deal.

          Bob in AZ

          • fatster says:

            Bob, I am unable to find your article of just a few days ago over at Seminal. There was some interesting discussion that your article stimulated about leadership and direction. I can’t find the article. Could you please provide the link for me? Thnx.

              • fatster says:

                Many thanks! It was an inspiring article, Bob. It really got people thinking, and earnestly searching and interacting in trying to sort through the challenges that lie before us and the likelihood of success from various approaches. You deserve many kudos for that article. The soul of a teacher!

                • fatster says:

                  If you have the time, do read this, Bob. It seems to flow from certain themes you and some commenters were making, and it does address what I perceive to be the vacuum we face (which is why I was asking questions in the comments about leadership qualities):

                  “Time is short. The stakes are enormous. The nation is angry. The jobs are dying. The mood is depressed. . . . There is revolution in the air. The epic political question of our times is who will lead it.”


                  • bobschacht says:

                    Yah, that’s a pretty good rant.

                    * We need more people like Elizabeth Warren and Dawn Johnsen in power, and fewer people like Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner.
                    * We need more representatives like Alan Grayson and Dennis Kucinich, and a Progressive Caucus in Congress that actually takes positions and fights for them.
                    * We need Democratic Senators to get moving.
                    * We need a Congress that takes its responsibilities seriously.

                    And us folks out here in the boonies need to let our representatives know how we want to be represented.

                    Bob in AZ

                • greenwarrior says:

                  Yes, I really appreciated Bob’s article as well. May our authentic selves shine forth in our quest to have our world be a healthy, just, beautiful, sharing place to be.

                  • fatster says:

                    I hope Bob will consider another article that will prod people into thinking more about the concept of leader and the energy and intent of the collective that creates and sustains true leaders. Blindly following someone who claims to be a leader is to walk right into a trap. I guess I’m somewhere in between Dylan’s “don’t follow leaders, watch your parking meters” and the variously-worded quote attributed to Ledru, “There go my people. I must hurry and catch up with them for I am their leader.”

                    Shine on!

                    • bobschacht says:

                      Thank you for your kind words. I was helped in the effort to which you referred by two book reviews that provided the grist I needed for my mill. I will take a look at the links you provided, and you may send me other links directly (so that I don’t miss them here) at bobschacht AT infomagic DOT net.

                      Candidate Obama got the formula exactly right during his campaign. But once he was elected, something changed, although I know that there are some vocal folks here who don’t believe that anything changed at all.

                      Do you remember the Sci Fi classic series of books, Dune? One of the key elements in the story was that certain gifted people have what they called The Voice (always badly implemented in the movies based on the books) such that when said gifted persons use The Voice on you, you find their directives so commanding that they must absolutely be obeyed, no questions asked. For me, its as if sometime during the first or second week of his administration, someone with The Voice spoke to Obama, and voided Obama’s lovely campaign rhetoric.

                      It should be noted that prophets and other charismatic leaders often do not make good administrators. A very different skill set is required. Imagine what would have happened, say, if Jehoakim had said to Jeremiah, “Gee, you’re right. I’ve been governing Judah all wrong. Tell you what, I’ll resign and put you in charge. I’ll just take a vacation.” How do you think Jeremiah would have done as King?

                      Jesse Jackson and Dennis Kucinich have both run for president. Jackson actually did much better than Kucinich has, but neither would win. I think both can speak prophetically, but would either be a good administrator?

                      [BTW, would Obama’s successful run for president have been possible without Jesse’s previous effort? Chew on that one for a while. I think Jesse’s run was a very important precondition.]

                      The last sentence of your comment focuses attention where it should be: on the relationship between a leader and his/her followers. Its a delicate dance, especially if the leader achieves a position of power.

                      Bob in AZ

                    • fatster says:

                      Will do, Bob. Appreciate the compliment very much. *blush*

                      Keep typing away, you’ve got valuable things to say.

    • seaglass says:

      Aren’t we? We bought his BS line hook line and sinker. He’ll find out how stupid we are next time. He thinks he can just kick us around and we’ll vote for him again , but he’s wrong. Clinton got our vote because the economy stupid. But, it’s looking like Obama isn’t going to see any kind of economic turnaround in his 1st and last term. Can you say Jimmy Carter Barry? Not that he cares, how bad can it be for him he’s already won the lottery.

    • figaro says:

      Spot on! Warren will never get the job. No way in hell will the corporate powers allow it to happen. More kabuki for the brain-dead progressives who will no doubt claim this as PROOF that Obama is one of us. “Leave Obama alooooooone! He’s doing everything he can and it is just the mean Republicans and those damn Blue Dogs that are stopping him from being seated at the right hand of GOD.”

      • knowbuddhau says:

        And over on the left hand of god, in the seat reserved for the devil himself, who’s that guy with the shit-eating grin? Looks like Rahm, from here.

    • greenwarrior says:

      First there was Rahm calling us f*ing retards. Now there is Gibbs, quoted in the Hill article you linked to:

      “I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested,” Gibbs said. “I mean, it’s crazy.”

      So, to the two of you I ask, “What part of we-who-voted-and-worked-for-Obama’s-election-don’t-like-being-betrayed is it that you’re complaining about?”

  4. RAMA says:

    We’ll know Obama is finally serious about doing something about the economy when he fires Larry Summers. Otherwise, everything else is eyewash, including Warren’s nomination. We’ve seen lots of top-drawer folks nominated, and some even appointed, only to see their nominations allowed to wither or their advice and expertise when appointed ignored. I’d vote for Obama again because the alternative simply does not bear thinking about. But I’ve come to the conclusion he cares much more about being liked by his opponents than he is committed to doing what needs to be done to save the nation’s economy and its soul.

    • nycterrierist says:

      When you say you’d vote for Obama again ‘because the alternative, etc. etc.’
      You give them no motivation to stop these shenanigans.
      I can see why ‘the WH thinks the left are stupid’.
      no offense intended to you, at all.
      We need to stop enabling their cynical calculations that we have no where to go. Even if we don’t! it’s better than being played, taken for granted,

      • knowbuddhau says:

        My thoughts exactly. That strategy reminds me of codependency.

        No offense to you, personally, RAMA. You’ve accurately expressed what many feel and do r/t voting for the lesser of two evils. I used to feel the same.

        The galling way Obama/Biden fake fight for our interests has shown me the light. No more co-dependence for me, thank you. (BTW, I was esp. bad at it while working as a dementia care nursing assistant. It’s a common affliction that burns out many a fine caregiver.)

        Ask yourselves, does the following fit?

        Codependency or codependence is a tendency to behave in overly passive or excessively caretaking ways that negatively impact one’s relationships and quality of life. It also often involves putting one’s needs at a lower priority than others while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others. [1] Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including in families, at work, in friendships, and also in romantic, peer or community relationships.[1] Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, and/or control patterns.[1]

        Codependency describes behavior, thoughts and feelings that go beyond normal kinds of self-sacrifice or care taking. For example parenting is a role that requires a certain amount of self-sacrifice and giving a child’s needs a high priority, although a parent could nevertheless still be codependent towards their own children if the care taking or parental sacrifice reached unhealthy or destructive levels.[1] Generally a parent who takes care of their own needs (emotional and physical) in a healthy way will be a better caretaker, whereas a codependent parent may be less effective, or may even do harm to a child.[1]

        Codependency does not refer to all caring behavior or feelings, but only those that are excessive to an unhealthy degree.[2] [Source: Wikipedia: codependency.]

        When the ones with the real political power, Us, defer to the lesser of two evils, is that an example of allowing an abuser to continue abusing, just as long as we get a few treats now and then?

        Doesn’t that give them the freedom to be as evil as they like, and win, just so long as they give us the impression that, here or there, they’re an iota or two less evil than the other guy?

        How ’bout we add another ballot choice: “Not good enough.” I hear some states have a “none of the above” choice. That’d work, too.

    • figaro says:

      I’d vote for Obama again because the alternative simply does not bear thinking about.

      Way to stand up for your core beliefs.

        • figaro says:

          That’s what Rahm and the beltway boys are counting on. They’ve got you right where they want you. Your only choice, or so you seem to believe, is either voting for the Democrat, who, if he had an R next to his name you would be calling him a corporate whore, or vote for the Republican.

          But you have another choice. You have a couple of other choices actually. You could withhold your vote and let them know that their actions are hurting you and that you won’t support their Republican-lite agenda, or you could vote for an independent and get your message out that you are an independent thinker and not willing to tow the party line, or you could vote them out of office by voting for the Republican and hope that the next Democrat to run for office learns the lesson that he or she has to EARN your vote.

          Change doesn’t come from doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If you really cared about change, you wouldn’t be so quick to throw your support behind the guy who is clearly not on your side.

          • BayStateLibrul says:

            No #1, I would never vote for a Republican because they are assholes.

            No #2, I’m not a fucking Independent, I’m a Democrat.

            I would never call anyone a corporate whore cuz we need corporations since

            they create jobs. Jobs are key.

            Not voting is a sell out.

            Your theory doesn’t work in the real world.

            Look at Brown from my State.

            People wanted to send a message, what fucking message, and we ended up with a dickhead as a Senator…

            Obama was elected and is President for four years… give him some slack.

  5. Kassandra says:

    The economy is going back into a slide because of State employment cuts. Thanks to Pelosi and the blue dogs before Memorial Day recess.
    Nobody knows whether they’ll have a job tomorrow and Obama, as usual, dithers in doing one decent thing for the American people.
    Probably has something to do with campaign funds promises.
    It’s hard to wrap the mind around the greed of these “people”; they just seem to think they should still be able to romp all over the economy with no strings attached.
    It’s hard to wrap the mind around the blatant dishonesty of our president…of course, we know he just a Bilderberg puppet, but a few fewer lies would be welcome.

    Hey, might as well be frank before the internet tubes are shut off for good.

  6. Frank33 says:

    The President at his best, has shown himself to be lazy and not a fighter. The “Democratic Leaders” in Congress are as bad, doing the bidding of their Corporatist masters. There is a reason nothing changes, except the war profiteering increases. Also, see HuffPo.

  7. brendanx says:

    Vanden Heuvel is earnest, emotional and naive. I cringe whenever I see her representing the left on tv.

  8. phred says:

    Thanks for this post EW. Obama wants Warren as much as Johnsen and the public option and real financial reform and closing Gitmo and the restoration of the rule of law and… and… and…

    Gibbs can punch me all he wants. Rahm can keep calling me “fucking retarded”.

    But I’m curious, why do they think that will get me to vote for their candidates?

    • Peterr says:

      They don’t. They think it will make middle-of-the-road folks vote for their candidates, and bring in more corporate campaign contributions.

      Will it bring in more votes and dollars than they lose? I suspect we’re about to find out, over the next couple of months.

      • phred says:

        I think they are going to be in for a rude awakening. From what I can tell from my more moderate friends, relatives, and acquaintances, there is little happiness with Dems these days.

        I’m starting to think Gibbs and company are completely delusional. They seem to think they are just one good speech, one spiffy campaign ad away from the cheering crowds of inauguration day. They really seem to think all their troubles are simply related to inadequate messaging, insufficient p.r.

        How can they not know that giving money hand-over-fist to corporations during a time of record unemployment isn’t going down well in Peoria? How can they not know that not fixing the mortgage fiasco is causing real hardship among their supporters. How can they have overlooked that not doing a thing about the outrageous cost of healthcare (assuming you have insurance, which a lot of people still don’t) continues to lead to bankruptcy and death?

        Honestly, raging lefties like me are the least of their worries. It’s the middle of the road crowd driving the semi who are staring at the Dems like it is a skunk blinking at them with its hind end parked right on the yellow line.

        • bmaz says:

          I’m starting to think Gibbs and company are completely delusional. They seem to think they are just one good speech, one spiffy campaign ad away from the cheering crowds of inauguration day. They really seem to think all their troubles are simply related to inadequate messaging, insufficient p.r.

          That is a very legitimate problem; they do really seem more about the gloss than the substance it is meant to shine.

        • alibe50 says:

          They think we will have no other person to vote for. Obama and his ilk stole the Democratic Party and now we seem to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. No way out, they think. Maybe they are right, but maybe they aren’t.

    • BayStateLibrul says:

      Warren is who we need at the helm.

      Shouldn’t we be happy with this news if it turns out correctly?

      If Warren gets stymied in her position she will resign, at least she

      seems to be that type of person.

      I’m crossing my fingers.

      • phred says:

        Warren is who we need.

        The sticking point is “if”.

        When Warren is at work in her new post, I will cheer as loudly as my little fingers can type ; ) But as EW has clearly shown, we’ve been punked before. Repeatedly.

        • BayStateLibrul says:


          “Sports predictions are the last refugee of dimwits”

          Same for Obama politics?

          What will come first, Brady getting a haircut or Warren’s appointment?

          • bmaz says:

            Warren’s appointment does not do diddly shit for me; they will not act on it in good faith. If they do get her in, they will marginalize and humiliate her. I am beyond being salved by the token of Elizabeth Warren. And anybody who believes she will be confirmed and allowed to roam free really doing her job is an idiot.

            • BayStateLibrul says:

              “If every college football team had a linebacker like Dick Butkus, all

              fullbacks would soon be three feet tall and sing soprano.”

              Man, you’re going after the Obama administration with the intensity of


              I’m giving you a 15 yard penalty for unsportsmanlike behavior…

                • BayStateLibrul says:

                  Is it all bullshit?

                  One never knows..

                  Thoughts, words, and deeds.

                  …As the shadow follows the body,

                  as we think, so we become”

                  From the Dhammapada

            • temptingfate says:

              On the other hand I pretty much agree with your statement and award you 15 yards and a free field goal kick.

              The time for believing that Team Obama is doing anything besides playing out the clock on a Warren appointment is past. If she gets an appointment it will be after Geithner and the rest including Dodd have made sure that they have protected their friends and part-time employers.

  9. ShotoJamf says:

    But I would submit that rumors of a nomination are no cause for celebration when we know nothing is preventing the Administration from putting Warren in the position, today.

    Healthy skepticism. It ain’t over ’til it’s over…

  10. fatster says:

    Why we need her and why they don’t want her.

    Elizabeth Warren Uncovered What the Govt. Did to ‘Rescue’ AIG, and It Ain’t Pretty

    “The story of American International Group explains the larger catastrophe not because this was the biggest corporate bailout in history but because AIG’s collapse and subsequent rescue involved nearly all the critical elements, including delusion and deception. These financial dealings are monstrously complicated, but this account focuses on something mere mortals can understand—moral confusion in high places, and the failure of governing institutions to fulfill their obligations to the public.”


  11. wavpeac says:

    I just want to add that the very first thought I had when I read the article that Warren would be nominated…was “yah, that’s what they did to Dawn Johnson”. It’s hard to imagine that Obama would put someone who understand the full extent of the problem into a position where they could do something about it. The truth is that this is not a behavior he has demonstrated so far.

  12. temptingfate says:

    Team Obama knows it has done a lot for the left but can’t get the love so of course they blame the professional left for their failures.

    PCCC is now pressing Obama to nominate Elizabeth Warren, a hero to the left, as the first head of the new consumer protection office created by the Wall Street reform bill.

    While visibly frustrated, Gibbs did not specifically name any of the White Houses’s liberal detractors by name.

    Good thing the profession right has been so supportive. Or maybe just the profession posers who talk that lefty talk. This is the problem with the well documented Team Obama clique. They are living in a DLC manufactured plastic bubble and can’t understand why anyone else would be angry for over promises not kept and failures predicted. Never expect people to see the truth when their paycheck depends upon hoping it will go away.

  13. knowbuddhau says:

    I see we’re nearly on the same page of the playbook, temptingfate. ; }

    Wouldn’t a field goal allow Lucy to pull it out at the last minute?

    I vote for first and Goooooooooooooooal! Plus their wide deceivers have to leave the field. And the judicial blockers, too.

    Crossing the goal line, however, is still up to us.

  14. wavpeac says:

    So…I am taking punches from corporate America…bleeding profusely from the head and barely able to defend myself. Here’s Obama/Gibbs/ standing on the side lines yelling “Hey you! Cut that out!”. I need a leader…I need someone who is willing to risk their freakin’ neck for the sake of what is valid, and LEAD me to safety by stopping the punches!

    As to codependency…I have made this argument time and again. He’s a people pleaser…and pretty ineffectual at “leadership”.

  15. knowbuddhau says:

    Oh my, you’re pulling that tired trick? Since all is impermanent, all is constant flux and change, who’s to say what’s bullshit and what’s the truth?

    Yes, intentions materialize realities. We inform them, fill them out, from within. But that doesn’t mean we can’t know the meaning of words.

    It’s like the wave-particle duality nature of fundamental particles. Over short enough spans of space-time, we do appear particulate; and over longer spans, we are waves of energy. SO, which is our “true” nature? Can’t say without some context.

    Suffering there is, yes, but no ‘one,’ no cellf-imprisoned soul that exists apart from nature, that is The Sufferer of All Sufferers.

    Here’s the most important implication of my understanding of Zen: Suffering exists (it’s the friction between the Flow and the Vessel, so to speak), that’s an immutable fact of being human.

    But the shape of that suffering is up to us.

    Even though, essentially, our nature is like that of whirlpools in the same body of water, where lines of absolute division are not found, we still can plainly see that I am typing these words right here, and others are typing elsewhere. We are separate, but not absolutely divided. We all arise from the selfsame source.

    Yes, it’s a mystery, this strange ability we have, to be aware of our own roles in our own becoming. Unlike all other earthlings, as far as we know, we’re the only ones aware of the fact that ultimately, we are the phenomena we only seem to look upon from the outside. That’s an optical illusion. Through us, the cosmos knows itself. In that sense, there is neither ‘self’ nor ‘other.’

    Don’t let that fool you into thinking there’s nothing to be done, no ‘one’ to do it, or no way of making sense of the world we materialize from within our intentions.

    As we say in Zen, just do it. (As for what to do about what ails us today: this right here, creating this shared narrative of our shared awareness of our shared becoming, is already doing it. ; }

    • fatster says:

      Pardon me for this intrusion. “Since all is impermanent, all is constant flux and change, who’s to say what’s bullshit and what’s the truth?” Each of us defines what’s the truth and what’s bullshit by our pronouncements and actions. Heavy-duty stuff, implying lots of responsibility. And what we say and what we do are subject to interpretation by others as we interact to sort out truth and bullshit.

      How do you determine what’s bullshit and what’s truth? I like this one, supposedly said by the Buddha right before he dropped his body: “All things in this world are subject to constant change. Be mindful, and strive on.”

      Being mindful is the key.