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New Jersey!

A big ole group of high New Jersey officials, including Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano were arrested this morning, for charges including corruption and money laundering.

Peter Cammarano.jpg


Dramatic, I said to my coworker.  Yes, he replied with a giggle.  There’s something about political corruption that brings out the “tsk” in us, and the busting up of a crime scene by the FBI feels kind of oddly satisfying.  Is it because we revel in justice served and corruption revealed?  Is it because we identify with the sweaty and hard-working FBI agents, pacing around yellow-lit rooms until 4 in the morning, rearranging pieces of evidence until the truth puzzle is solved?  Should we actually be feeling the gravitas of the persistence of corruption and compassion for the families of those arrested (whose lives probably feel pretty ruined right now)?

Last night at Hardcore Dharma Ethan advised us to try and note how many times this week we had the thought “People are unreliable and the world is screwed up.” In minute ways from 9pm in the evening (leaving the class) until 11:07 in the morning (writing this post) I’ve probably thought that about 74 times, not including thoughts about this scandal in my homestate of Yerz. 

Sometime I wonder if we collectively use these kind of political-corruption-reveals to reinforce our generalizations of “us against the world.” How should a dharmic person react to this kind of sensational news?

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Jamie G.

posted July 23, 2009 at 5:13 pm

In one ear and out the other.

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posted July 23, 2009 at 9:16 pm

This reminds me of Elliot Spitzer and how after years of excellent crime fighting he decided that being a trick* wasn’t such a bad thing. I wonder how many times was he exposed to prostitution and how many times did he said no. Until one day that sexy devil crawled on his shoulder and whispered, “go ahead baby, just do iiiiiitt”.
These days when I see those politicians or anyone else for that matter get caught for corruption. I find myself unable to get angry with them. I feel bad for them. Not bad enough to say they shouldn’t be responsible but bad enough because I understand.
I know my own habitual patterns. I know how hard it is to change them. Most of the change is in fractional increments. (which btw is perhaps the reason why the Buddha mentions fractions in the Suttas) Most of the time when I’m rubbing up against my own patterns I’m failing.
So when I see the grand spectacle called “the news”. I understand that most folks aren’t yet able to relate to those people. (I used to not be able to relate either) But I believe if they really reflected on there own limitations they will perhaps see what’s really going on. Then quickly find
themselves grateful that it isn’t on the evening news.
*a john, a man/woman who decides to pay for sex. Can be with a prostitute or with someone who demands some sort of payment, monetary or otherwise.

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posted July 24, 2009 at 10:59 am

How I want to react is to say “We are all human and I want to see the humanity in everyone”…
I believe the sensationalism with which the media reports such stories is part of our need for stimulation, excitement, etc.
I like the reminder to examine my mind for how many times I encounter the “People are unreliable and the world is screwed up” thought. I would like to change that to “We’re all in this together”, and to turn my thoughts more to my own part and responsibility in creating the kind of world I want to live in.
Thanks for this discussion…

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posted July 24, 2009 at 11:15 am

For me there is no “THEM”

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