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November 2000


Previous Issues

January 2000
February 2000
March 2000
April 2000
May 2000
June 2000
July 2000
August 2000
September 2000
October 2000

For technical support for these newsletters, please e-mail: arachne@pantarbe.com

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We Hope To See You At Our Next Celebration

Sunday November
4-9 PM
Carl & Lida Sloan's House

For directions: Please phone (206) 324-8094,
or Bob Olson at (425) 747-3879.

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Art Sharing
Sunday October 8, 2000, Kafka's Kastle

Bruce Taylor read his new short story “The Understanding” and an excerpt from his novel Edward: Dancing on the Edge of Infinity. Bob Olson read the magazine article “An Echo of Prayer” (translated from Japanese). This narrates the escapades of lady Buddhist monk Jyojun Yasuda – from The Longest Walk, through her experience with Native American fugitive Dennis Banks and the building of Peace Pagodas. Her story includes miraculous adventures in walking across the United States and fasting in the frozen snow outside the Federal Penitentiary in South Dakota as she learned about Buddhis among American Indian people. (Jyojun has been a very dear companion of Bob’s friends Michio and Elle Kohjima. Their Buddhist sons arranged for his Covington Library program.) Rich Fisher presented a comedy routine ”The Perrier Song”. Audience included: Mike Pryor, Roberta Gregory, Pippin Sardo and Seiko Olson, together with Jim and Jane Ensign (Bob & Seiko’s friends from Chattanooga, Tennessee).

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Other Stuff

NOTICE: The Cost of FOKUS Newsletter
For a few months our expenses were dramatically reduced when we were able to E-mail half of our newsletters. However, complications with different software applications kept many of our readers from getting their copies. So, starting with our December newsletter, those of you who were getting your copy at no cost via E-mail can obtain yours from our website on www.pantarbe.com. These will be printed the last week of each month. Please let us know if this creates a problem for you.
Each month we send out from 60 to 85 newsletters. So far Bruce Taylor has borne the brunt of our mailing expenses. Depending on the size of our mailing this cost can run up to $75.00. That includes Lazerquick printing, collating & stapling, postage and self-adhering label sheets.
If you want to continue having your FOKUS Newsletter mailed we are asking for a $15.00 annual contribution. For thos who have already contributed we really appreciate your help and no contribution is necessary.
WE want to be able to offer the FOKUS Newsletter to everyone interested; but we haven't heard from many of you. PLEASE CONTACT BRUCE OF BOB to let us know if you want to remain on our mailing list. (If $15.00 is a little steep for you let us know.)
If we do not hear from you, and you are not obtaining your newletter on www.pantarbe.com, this will be the last FOKUS newsletter you will receive.
We look forward to hearing from you. Bob Olson at (425) 747-3879.
Online Publisher's Note:
All possible effort will be made to post FOKUS Newsletters here in a timely fashion, and in a manner compatible with most of your computer systems.
For technical assistance, please email: arachne@pantarbe.com.
For questions and issues on newsletter content, please e-mail: fokus@pantarbe.com.
Also, (my plug...) while you're here, feel free to explore Pantarbe.com, a web site sharing the same spirit of creativity as FOKUS. For more information on Pantarbe.com, please e-mail: info@pantarbe.com
-- Thank you, Ben Miller

On the morning of Saturday, November 4th, Bob Olson will be presenting a two-hour mini-workshop on creative writing at Covington Library, 27100 164th Ave SE, Covington, WA. All ages welcome. Bob will give some writing exercises and read some of his own work, including an excerpt from his book, Memories with a Christmas Attitude, which has become popular in King County Libraries.

Remember: December 16 & 17 – the tree-lighting ceremony at Index while staying at The Bush House. Any interest?

Mystic Visions' electronic newsletter Visions & Voices Monthly seeking articles that relate to the craft of writing. Also seeking short fiction and poetry (must contain elements of science fiction/futuristic, paranormal, fantasy, time travel, prefers fiction and poetry to also contain elements of romance.) Please read GL on website before submitting! http://www.mysticvisions.com/vvmonthly.htm

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Bruce Taylor's Editorial: Arrrrrghhhh!

What a horrible choice. As my friend, Todd Christoffel, commented a few days ago, the Republican idea of diversity is that Bush and Cheney come from different oil companies. Arrrrrgh! What a choice! What a miserable choice we have with basically a conservative faction represented by Bush/Cheney and the liberal faction, Gore/Lieberman of the same corporate-dominated Republicrat Party! This is totally insane! There is no choice; not where you have basically a one-party system, which supports 2% of the population owning 80% of the wealth in the country. Ralph Nader calls it for what it is: an Oligarchy and a Plutocracy. (Oligarchy: a form of government in which the supreme power is placed in the hands of a small exclusive class. Plutocracy: a government or state in which the wealthy rule). This is ghastly! The only viable choice is really between the Republicrats and Ralph Nader and the Green Party. And why isn’t he getting more coverage? Why haven’t we heard more about the 12,500 who showed up at his rally in Minneapolis? Or the 10,500 who came to Portland? Or the near 10,000 who showed up in Seattle at the Key Arena who were happy to spend $10.00 just to hear him. (I was there.)

This guy is excellent, articulate, honest and just lays it out there. Regarding what’s going on, what has happened here in the U.S. and what Nader is talking about: when the Constitution was written the big concern was separation of church and state. The framers had utterly no idea that there would ever be anything like a problem with the merging of Corporate Power and State Power. How could they possibly know? But this is what has happened, and as Nader pointed out, “the Government is on sale to the highest bidder.” i.e. look at how much money goes into the campaign war chests. It’s all funded by special interests and P.A.C. money. This is no longer representative government. This is government by how much money special interests spend to literally buy power, from representatives who spend money to literally buy votes, using images and “sound bytes” that have nothing to do with reality or who the candidates really are or represent. And now we have this non-separation of corporation and state. To make it worse, three Supreme Court positions are to be filled by the next president. Do we really want a Republican president, heading a Republican-dominated Congress, to have that kind of power? For basically what it means is that the conservative wing of the Republican Party is squelching the more liberal wing of the same party. And it means that The Social Contract in place will be dismantled.

So who’s gonna debate the issues? How on earth can this form of government be representative, much less "democratic"? Nader and the Green Party represent the ideas that belonged to the formerly liberal Democratic Party, and believe in keeping the Social Contract going. Remember that Nader’s the guy who has made driving, for example, safer, which is something you gotta appreciate every time you get in your car and know that the chances of your gas tank exploding in a collision are much less had Nader not been around. This guy has, more than anyone, watched out for people by his consumer advocacy role, and, as such, fits in well with the political giants of Magnuson, JFK, Roosevelt and others who have made this country more tolerable and egalitarian for everyone, not just the few.

If we elect Gore it might not be so bad, hopefully, but what an awful choice! The best guy we have, Nader, is kept from the debates because, guess what, the debate commission was created by Democrats and Republicans who hardly want someone as articulate as Nader to spoil their fun of a vacuous debate. They cannot risk talking about real issues, such as globalization, gutting of the Environmental Protection laws, a $10.00 minimum wage, universal health care with affordable medicine, pro-choice on abortion, legalizing marijuana, ending the war on drugs, public funding of elections, withdrawing US membership in the WTO, public control of TV & radio, ending corporate welfare, and more funding for the arts. These are a few of the things that Nader wants to talk about, and are the subjects that need to be talked about, but you won’t hear talked about by Bush/Gore & Company.

If Ralph Nader was allowed in the debates, after five minutes of listening to him the lackeys of the Oligarchs would risk getting bounced out of office, and they ain’t gonna let that happen. Yet, hearing Nader, and Buchanan -- all the presidential candidates -- debating, is exactly what must happen. To not do so means people aren’t getting the information they need to make intelligent choices. And that is exactly what the Oligarchs don’t want: you to have information to make intelligent choices. Basically, it’s censorship by omission and being ignored. Aarrrrrrghhhhh!

And if we all vote for Nader, the guy we should be voting for, we just end up getting Bush elected.

For your own information, you might just look at what Ralph Nader has to say. Try the Sept. 28th issue of The Seattle Weekly, the September issue of Harper’s, as well as his website: http://www.votenader.org or call 206-329-2441. (There is a bright side, however, everyone I’ve talked to admires Nader and despises Bush and Gore.)

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Review By Bob Olson:

Dean Koontz’s TV mini-series Sole Survivor

Today’s horror -- an airline crashes, blows up in flames, and there are no survivors. Wait a minute! Families of the victims are contacted by one strange woman who seems to have miraculously escaped (in her seat with a little girl) totally unscathed. This lady, Rose Tucker, brings a message of faith and hope. Then, relentless secret government agents kill her contacts. Former crime reporter Joe Carpenter has lost his young wife and daughter in the crash and becomes dysfunctional in his anxiety. He seems her only hope. (Sole Survivor by Dean Koontz aired in Seattle on Fox TV KCPQ-Channel 13, September 13 & 14.) What a show! High quality mini-series seem to provide the best showcase for Dean’s thrillers. TV Sole Survivor had fine actors well directed, with a good script. A rare treat. Too often producers rely on special effects to entertain an audience while using mediocre actors in a poorly directed senseless script. Billy Zane (from Titanic) starred as the distraught journalist. His anguished despair was believable. Gloria Rueben (of ER) was both mysterious and compassionate as Rose. Rachel Victoria became convincing as the strange little girl. John G. McGinley (the villain in Koontz’s TV Intensity) was positively delightful. What a fiendishly sociopathic villain. I loved to hate him.

Sole Survivor was the best-acted mini-series I have seen. My only question would be: Where do you get government agents so suicidally stupid as to obey every command of a scary guy like McGinley?

If you haven’t read the book Sole Survivor, please check it out. The book conveys Dean’s spiritual faith better than the film, and miraculous survivors do exist. I can tell you about a few just as unbelievable as Rose Turner.

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Comments From The Experts

Someone asks, "Whom do you write for?" I reply, "Do you read me?"
If they say, "Yes," I say, "Do you like it?"
If they say, "No," then I say "I don't write for you."
-- W.H.Auden

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Last updated:  November 26, 2000