X Latest Writings Double Happiness Peaceful Revolution Connect with Me Recent Entries Archives
Where realism and idealism meet Tony Brasunas, author of Double Happiness

Five Reasons You Should Be Driving an Electric Car Right Now

Smoke from these horrendous California wildfires still blankets the enormous Sacramento-to-the-Bay region of California and poisons its 10 million residents. If you live in California, or only feel sorry for those who do, perhaps it’s worth considering right now how you are contributing to unhealthy air and how you can help us reduce air pollution.

What if a single action you could take today could improve the air in your home and in your community and also reduce climate change? What if that same action could possibly even help prevent more raging wildfires in the near future?

Your greatest contribution to poor air is quite possibly your choice of individual transportation. Transportation is responsible for a huge 40 percent of this state’s greenhouse gas emissions, and it accounts for (more…)

Share this

Be the first to comment >
Posted in Peaceful Revolution | Renewable Energy
by Tony Brasunas at 9:33 am on November 20, 2018

A 2018 Voting Guide for Thoughtful and Progressive Californians

Focused on the Bay Area

It’s that magical time of the year when the air gets chilly and we’re formally asked our opinion about our government. If you’re living in California — in the Bay Area in particular — I offer up my take on this election’s races below. Further down, below my recommendations, I offer some thoughts on the degraded state of our politics and media.

If you strongly support one of the two corporate political parties and also primarily follow the corresponding news media (New York Times, NPR, MSNBC for Democrats; FOX News, Wall Street Journal, talk radio for Republicans), you might find my writings and endorsements surprising or disappointing, as I increasingly see both parties and both sets of news organizations as corrupt, militaristic, and authoritarian (and occasionally helpful).

Or perhaps that will make my take on things particularly interesting to you.

One other thing: There’s no way to know whether your vote will count. Sorry! I desperately wish it were otherwise. But both major political parties have ensured this continues to be the case, and worsens, while blaming each other for it. I’ve researched this extensively and this is the biggest problem we face right now as a society as it prevents us from addressing nearly every other issue. I write more about this problematic state of affairs at the end of this piece. Please inform yourself about the dysfunctional state of our elections and vote counting, and the ways that its covered up.

Still, VOTE! Voting remains essential. More on that too in my full full voting guide for this election.

Share this

Be the first to comment >
Posted in Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 7:24 pm on November 4, 2018

I Actually See Both Sides of this Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation Circus

Certainly it’s akin to political heresy, but I see both sides of this Supreme Court confirmation hearings brouhaha. If you’re horrified by this statement, you’re probably one of the approximately 43% of the country who remain emotionally invested in one of the mainstream political parties.

Brett Kavanaugh appears to be an aggressive man, a serial liar, an aloof product of privilege, and altogether far too conservative — nay reactionary — in his legal decisions to be a judge in this country, let alone to join the Supreme Court. His opinions on surveillance and torture, to name just two, are far out of step with what most Americans want and believe. Whether at the heart of your political sensibility you more highly value liberty or progress, you should see that this man has no business making final decisions about the laws of this land.

As for sexual assault, there is way way more unreported sexual violence in this country than there are false accusations. (more…)

Share this

Be the first to comment >
Posted in Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 4:39 pm on October 5, 2018

If You’re Voting in this June 5 California Primary

Like christmas trees in windows and jack o’lanterns on front porches, your mailbox swelling with political mail signifies the arrival of a particular season of the year: election season. If you’re living in California, this bizarrely inspiring time is here once again.

I’ve written very little politically since the (unfortunate) political turns of 2016 and the (fortunate) arrival of my son, so take these voting recommendations with a grain of salt and a sprinkle of curiosity. In fact, I don’t have a particularly cheerful outlook on our political situation right now, and, worse, the reasons to believe that your vote will be counted fairly are decreasing, but I’ll discuss that at the end of this piece.

First, I do recommend you vote, and to see how I’ll be voting in Tuesday’s June Primary, please view my full guide here.

Share this

Be the first to comment >
Posted in Peaceful Revolution | Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 12:54 pm on June 3, 2018

The DNC is Attempting to Kill Off Another Progressive Movement

Establishment candidate Tom Perez chosen to lead the DNC

Today the Democratic National Committee defeated, once again, even the possibility of the semblance of progressive leadership in the party.

Rather than let Keith Ellison win, the DNC chose Tom Perez, a man who entered the race recently at the behest of establishment leadership, to fill the corrupt shoes of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Donna Brazile.

It’s an awful move, but unfortunately at this point it’s hardly surprising.

This selection basically says to voters and rank-and-file Democrats that yes, the party will give you more of the same, more status quo Wall Street-driven decisions, more superdelegates choosing nominees before races even begin, more tone-deaf weak corporate politics at the top, and more losses and more excuses for the next four years.

The way this all went down — so similar to what I saw in Philadelphia last year at the convention — shows that the DNC is more determined to defeat progressives than to defeat Republicans. Think about that. (more…)

Share this

Be the first to comment >
Posted in Peaceful Revolution | Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 12:22 pm on February 27, 2017

Monkeys, Demons, and Ten Days on a Cushion

Occidental meditation

(An account of a 10-day vipassana meditation retreat in 2008)

“Just observe,” said the guru’s voice. “Whatever the sensation, just observe.”

I had been seated cross-legged, eyes closed, for what felt like hours and had probably been at least 15 minutes. The pain shooting through my back was excruciating.

“Limit your awareness to the triangular area below the nostrils and above the upper lip.” He had a perfect Indian guru accent and said the word ‘nostrils’ as if it were ‘nose-strils’. It made me smile. My ‘nose-streels.’ I desperately wanted to know if anyone else was smiling, and so for the first time in what had to have been at least 18 minutes now, I opened my eyes.

There we were, 200 or so of us, seated silently on the floor of a vast, wood-walled, slightly drafty hall that was vaulted like a church, but if there was a Jesus up there above the raised dais on which sat the solemn ‘assistant teachers,’ He had been carefully and discreetly covered by white cloth sheets.

Down here on the floor, we meditators were seated in precise rows, as if on a chessboard. I was in spot F-9. The guy on my right, F-8, was starting to slouch forward, forward, to stretch his back. The guy right in front of me, E-9, was unmoving, a solid rock of a meditator. I was surrounded by men. On the other side of the ‘A’ row was an aisle, and the women were seated on the other side of the aisle. Indeed, throughout the entire ten days, the men and women were strictly segregated and we never saw each other. I discreetly glanced around me; many men were silently shifting positions in discomfort.

There were no smiles. (more…)

Share this

Be the first to comment >
Posted in Inner Life
by Tony Brasunas at 11:16 am on February 16, 2017