The Marina Dock Newsletter August 2003
Dear Marina Dock members
and patrons alike,
to some analysts, the recession ended 21 months ago. I like the
idea, but it's just hard to swallow when you stack it up against
reality. The other problem I have with this piece of officialdom
is: "If the recession is over, where's the beef?"
I recently saw my alter ego, Alan Greenspan, before "The
House Financial Services Committee", taking some hard questions
from some very irate legislators about this so called recovery.
When asked about the stock market being a predictor of every economic
recovery since the World War Two, he responded wryly "the
stock market has predicted ten of the last six recoveries."
It appears our ratio of debt to GDP is over 4%, whereas
in Europe it is set at 3%. A high ratio of debt to GDP = rising
interest rates = slow economic growth. I have to say the only
part of this theory that interests me is debt. That, I can definitely
relate to. The other thing that puzzles me, when it comes to linguistic
semantics in the political forum, is that you never hear the word
"depression". It's always "slump", "downturn"
or "economic adjustment." When you have millions of
people unemployed in California, combined with the flight of technology
and service jobs and a dysfunctional political culture, to me
it conjures up images of 1933. So, what do we do?
Necessity is the mother
For many years now I
have subscribed to a fundamental spiritual axiom that it's "through
giving that we receive." Don't get me wrong, like everything
else related to change in the early days, this concept was easy
to understand but difficult to practice. Then, over the last couple
of years "goaded by sheer necessity", I put this theory
to the test more and more. Now, I fear I may have crossed the
line from benevolence to madness. Over the last couple of weeks,
when our take for the day dipped below that of a City cabbie on
a Monday night, I decided to go out and spend some money on a
couple of fairly decent buffets. When Marina Dockers asked what
the occasion was, I responded, "We are here, we are alive,
and for that I am grateful." Joe Morgan, the baseball Hall
of Fame, once said "if you ain't happy with what you got,
you ain't gonna be happy with more." Thank you Joe. The day
after the buffets we got two decent memberships, which not only
paid for the buffets but our PG&E bill as well ($400.00).
There used to be a joke around AA some years ago that "when
we talk to God it's called prayer and when God talks to us, it's
called psychosis." But is this always the case? Surely there
are exceptions like "OK, God doesn't really talk to us but
maybe God demonstrates to us, in all kinds of ways, the power
of faith and giving." This takes me into our next topic and
hopefully answers the question "Have I lost my mind, am I
slowly descending into what I choose to call Marina Dock Giveaway
Madness?" This whole idea of giving and receiving got me
excited, you know like when something baffles you for years and
then suddenly you have a breakthrough. I stayed awake all night
working on how I could best utilize these insights. I started
to think about getting other businesses in the neighborhood involved.
After all, we are obviously not the only ones "dying on the
vine." This is what I came up with.
For a two-year
$500.00 membership or donation you will receive:
A) From The Anonymous
Place on Lombard Street, a leather-bound, burgundy or black,
Third Edition of The Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous).
This is the work-study edition with the original text and a
B) A triplated blue/black or red/black anniversary chip with
gold trim. It has the Serenity Prayer on one side and a circle
with the acronym HOW, and it will have your number of years
C) Dinner for two
at D Den, the Thai restaurant next door to the Marina Dock.
This dinner will consist of an appetizer, main course, dessert
and a beverage.
For a one-year
membership or donation of $265.00 we are offering:
A) A gold-plated anniversary
chip from The Anonymous Place. This is also a beautiful chip
with the Serenity Prayer and the embossed circle/triangle, and;
B) A dinner for two
at D Den.
For a six month
membership or donation:
You will receive an
original version of The Big Book with the red and yellow dust
jacket. This edition has wide margins and the original version
of the Steps.
In addition to all of
this, two year and one year memberships or donations will receive
one hour of relaxation / meditation with Swami Satyambrananda.
Swami was born in India, educated in the Vedic tradition and scriptures
and has been teaching meditation and relaxation for over thirty
years. He has given instruction at City College and the California
Institute of Integral Studies. He has also taught stress reduction
and anger management classes at Stanford University School Of
Medicine. Swami, by the way, is at The Marina Dock at 7.30 pm,
every Sunday night.
There is a lot to digest here, but we have to be generous and
bold if we are to get to November of 2004. The way this will work
is when you pay the membership or donation, we (the Marina Dock)
will issue you with a receipt, which you can present to the business
owner and in turn you will receive your gift(s).
An opportunity to pledge
If anyone wants to pick up any of these (or other) expenses in
the form of a pledge, it would be more than appreciated and we
will acknowledge your support widely, if you wish:
- Coffee costs $800.00 a month (the supplier is the Castro Cheesery
on Castro Street in San Francisco).
- PG&E bill is $400.00 a month.
- Garbage and water bill is $300.00 a month.
- Printing and mailing of the newsletters, etc. is about $500.00
If you need more information
on any of these offers or pledges, inquire at the counter. Speaking
of support, we'd like to acknowledge the kind support of
and Symantec in providing us with free licenses for Norton's Internet
Security software at the recent San Francisco Compumentor Computer
Security Day for Non-Profits.
With great sadness
My first sponsor, and
fellow Irishman, the great Dan McC, passed away a few weeks ago
in Sonoma County. Dan was built like a Sherman tank and had a
personality and lust for living that knew no boundaries. A big
robust guy who simply exuded the joy of living and the AA way
of life, he could never be described as refined or urbane but
he knew how to give. One time, many years ago, he showed up at
the, then, Dry Dock on a Christmas Day to find English Gayle and
myself laughing and cracking jokes. He came through the door and
was so happy to see us that he bellowed out in his thick Kerry
accent "Well! Well! I don't know who God is, but I know where
He works." He gave so much. Goodbye, Dan.
Anthony T. Murray ("Irish