Monthly Archives: May 2007

Why there are laws against strangling your children

Greg at 8:45 : “I guess I need a binder for my senior project write-up”.

Me: “Uh-huh – – when is it due?”

Greg: “Tomorrow…”

Grrrr……. We walked out of Office Depot as they were closing the door….

But he has his binder and page sleeves. The idiot will now be up all night putting it together. Of course this is somehow my fault for not making him care enough about his grades.

Can I kill him now?

Poor little white male patriarchy

The Democratic Party

Near the end of the video, there was this exchange:

Bill O’Reilly: But do you understand what the New York Times wants, and the far-left want? They want to break down the white, Christian, male power structure, which you’re a part, and so am I, and they want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have. In that regard, Pat Buchanan is right. So I say you’ve got to cap with a number.

John McCain: In America today we’ve got a very strong economy and low unemployment, so we need addition farm workers, including by the way agriculture, but there may come a time where we have an economic downturn, and we don’t need so many.


O’Reilly: But in this bill, you guys have got to cap it. Because estimation is 12 million, there may be 20 [million]. You don’t know, I don’t know. We’ve got to cap it.

McCain: We do, we do. I agree with you.

Wow, Bill needs to go buy a great big SUV and a huge house to compensate for his tiny dick and his huge fear of being irrelevant.

Hey, white male patriarchy – get fucked.

Athenae has more on this trend:

Insecurity’s at the root of all of this. Insecurity and fear of challenge, on the athletic fields, in the classroom, on the radio, on the Internet. Insecurity on the part of the people who have for years held all the power, that the powerless might not just overtake them, but might also be better than they are. If a school administrator was really confident in his or her ability to address questions and moderate debate, he or she wouldn’t lock the environment down like Fort Knox at the slightest sign of adolescent dress-code rebellion (violence being entirely another thing). If male shitweasels like the PowerTool schmoes were really confident that they were as good as they say they are, they wouldn’t attribute their superiority to their alleged cocks. If Brian Williams was really confident in his journalistic achievements and career situation, he wouldn’t be worried about some guy in an efficiency in Queens with a bathrobe and an opinion. They wouldn’t be so godawfully threatened all the time.

And the people who are falling back on “But I’m male” and “But I’m white” and “But I’m credentialed” and “But I’m supposed to be in charge, the plaque on my desk says so” right now are doing so because deep down they know their authority and control are no longer good enough in and of themselves. They’re staggered by the idea that privilege might have to be earned, instead of bestowed on them as a birthright, and it contradicts the entire story that they tell themselves in their heads, about how they have what they have not because they’re any better than anybody else at any one thing but because they freaking deserve it. Butting up against somebody’s internal hero cycle is always a jolting experience.

They have to have reasons now, for why they do the things they do, and having to justify their existences is pissing a lot of them off. It’s only going to get worse unless people, when confronted with this lethal combination of narcissism and whining, start asking them point-blank, “Just what the fuck are you so afraid of, anyway?”

A bit more from Santiago Dreaming (sorry your comment got lost, my dear, but I loved your post so had to include it here too!):

“Another reason for this behavior can be found in Norman Doidge’s book, The Brain That Heals Itself. Doidge’s book is about the neuroplasticity (malleability) of the brain and how this plasticity declines as we age:

As we age and plasticity declines, it becomes increasingly difficult for us to change in response to the world, even if we want to. We find familiar types of stimulation pleasurable: we seek out like-minded individuals to associate with, and research shows we tend to ignore or forget, or attempt to discredit, information that does not match our beliefs, or perception of the world, because it is very distressing and difficult to think and perceive in unfamiliar ways. Increasingly, the aging individual acts to preserve the structures within, and when there is a mismatch between his internal neurocognitive structures and the world, he seeks to change the world. In small ways he begins to micromanage his environment, to control it and make it familiar. But this process, writ large, often leads whole cultural groups to try to impose their view of the world on other cultures, and they often become violent, especially in the modern world, where globalization has brought different cultures closer together, exacerbating the problem.

Sounds like Bush, Cheney, the Vatican, religious fundamentalis of all sects, and all those other middle-aged and old men in charge. I am sure this decline in plasticity is more prevalent in men. There seem to be more grumpy old men than grumpy old women in the world. Maybe this is one of the reasons why woman outlive men.”

The Eagle Will Rise Again

lolcat via Icanhascheezburger?

And I could easily fall from grace,
Then another would take my place
For the chance to behold your face

And the days of my life are but grains of sand
As they fall from your open hand
At the call of the wind’s command…

Many words are spoken when there’s nothing to say.
They fall upon the ears of those who don’t know the way
To read between the lines, that lead between the lines
That lead me to you.

All that I ask you
Is, show me how to follow you and I’ll obey.
Teach me how to reach you, I can’t find my way.
Let me see the lightLet me be the light.

As the sun turns slowly around the sky
Till the shadow of night is high…
The eagle will learn to fly.

And the days of his life are but grains of sand
As they fall from your open hand
And vanish among the land.

Many words are spoken when there’s nothing to say…
They fall upon the ears of those who don’t know the way
To read between the lines, by following the signs
That can lead to you…

But show me how to follow you and I’ll obey.
Teach me how to reach you, I can’t find my way.
Let me see the light…Let me be the light.

And so, with no warning, nor last goodbyes,
In the dawn of the morning skies,
The eagle will rise

— Alan Parsons Project

Dialogue (Repost)

Calling the Allies, Susan Seddon Boulet

I still talk in my sleep.
I still dream.
How can there be perfect stillness
When my brain’s so noisy?

We carry on a constant dialogue within ourselves. This is the origin of our problems.

The very word dialogue means talking between two sides. We could not have an inner dialogue unless there was a split in our minds. We all have two sides; as long as they are not united, we cannot attain the wholeness that spirituality requires.

Even with years of self-cultivation, it is not easy to tame the wild mind. One might appear to have attained perfect control in all waking situations, only to find endless turbulence during meditation and sleep. This is a sign of incomplete attainment. Perfection must be total.

The process of perfection is long and must be methodical. Although our efforts must be to the utmost, we must never risk repressing ourselves. Indeed, rather than shutting away the unpleasant or unruly aspects of ourselves, we must take them all out and examine them. Daily introspection brings harmony to all our facets. Those aspects that are bad can be dissolved. Those that are of advantage can be cultivated. This effort will take many years, but in this gradual way, we resolve ourselves with our subconscious mind and free ourselves from struggle and conflict.

Deng Ming Tao, 365 Tao

To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can’t see, can’t hear.
Can’t know except in moments
Steadly growing, and in languages
That aren’t always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe out, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
Inside us.
We pray that it will be done
In beauty.
In beauty.

“Eagle Poem”, Joy Harjo (Muskogee)

We create our own reality by keeping a dialogue going with ourselves about our world and what we perceive or imagine is happening. This is not necessarily a bad thing because it helps keep us grounded and able to relate to other people and the world in general (the ‘tonal’). The problem is when we get caught up with this inner dialogue and forget there is anything else. If we learn to turn off the inner dialogue we can reach a place of silence in which we contact our real inner power and purpose. We reach the world behind images, thoughts, fantasies, feelings, sensations and so on (the ‘naugal’).

There are many ways of doing this, and it appears as the central theme in most practical teachings. For a shaman, there is no more important goal than turning off the inner dialogue. Indeed Don Juan tells Carlos Castaneda that this is the most important goal in sorcery, for when it is achieved everything else becomes possible. In the Western Mystery Tradition, the same aim is described as one-pointedness. It is claimed that any thought which is held in this state of silence becomes a definite command since there are no other thoughts to compete with it.

In yoga, there are various practices which lead to the same goal. Firstly there is asana, controlling the body through various postures, then yama and niyama for controlling emotional reactions, then dharana for controlling the mind. These techniques have the single aim of achieving dhyana – which is turning off the inner dialogue, reaching a still, silent place within. Dhyana is the original root of the word zen, and the main aim of zen meditation is the same – to stop the rational mind and reach states beyond the incessant questioning, thinking and reasoning which holds us back from our inner peace and true identity. In Taoism the aim is again the same: in the Tao Teh Ching we are told that the tao resembles the emptiness of space; to employ it we must avoid creating an inner dialogue, which we can do through `making our sharpness blunt’.

Coloring Therapy

“When a warrior learns to stop the internal dialogue, everything becomes possible; the most far-fetched schemes become attainable.” — Carlos Castaneda

“The internal dialogue is what grounds people in the daily world. The world is such and such or so and so, only because we talk to ourselves about its being such and such and so and so. The passageway into the world of shamans opens up after the warrior has learned to shut off his internal dialogue.” — Carlos Castaneda

“If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It’s very important to be aware of them every time they come up.”
— Deepak Chopra

Yield and overcome;
Bend and be straight;
Empty and be full;
Wear out and be new;
Have little and gain;
Have much and be confused.

Therefore wise men embrace the one
And set an example to all.
Not putting on a display,
They shine forth.
Not justifying themselves,
They are distinguished.
Not boasting,
They never falter.
They do not quarrel,
So no one quarrels with them.

Therefore the ancients ay,
“Yield and overcome”.
Is that an empty saying?
Be really whole,
And all things will come to you.

— Tao Te Ching, 22

So what is the Tao, or any spiritual training, really all about? It is about becoming one – with yourself. Knowing your self, understanding yourself, and being able to calm and quiet yourself. And that is the beginning. Then you can connect with others – without judging, without blaming, without controlling, without the need for their approval. You become truly whole – truly able to deal with anything that comes your way, because you don’t have to worry about how you will react to it. You are the one in control of your own body, emotions and reactions. You learn to anticipate what will happen in a particular circumstance, you can plan for things. You learn how things work, how things naturally happen, and you give up trying to control them, because you know you can’t control the natural consequences of action and reaction. You stop blaming and judging others for the circumstances of their lives, their thinking, their illnesses and weaknesses.

You stop needing anyone else or even yourself to approve of what you do – but you do the right things in your life because you fully understand the consequences of doing the wrong things. Life becomes a natural process of growth, reproduction, gradual declines, and death, because that, underneath all the crap and bullshit and material things we build and try to comfort ourselves with, is what life is. You stop needing things, you stop needing approval, you stop needing to be right, you stop needing to control. You let go of all of these things, a little at a time, until you are left with you. And then, you begin.

History (Repost)

Stillness at Shiloh – Morris

Autumn trees swept with dawn
Look as if they’ve been lacquered,
Rooted around an old battlefield.
The mists linger here like ghosts.

There are still places where you can walk and feel a profound gloom. Such is the case with old battlefields. People died there. The force of their determination still resonates.

You can find such places in every country. Often no one builds anything there, even when land is dear. We say that we do not want to forget our dead. We say that there should be a memorial. Others say that the disturbance there is so great that the living cannot abide with the dead.

History is essential to our understanding of the present. Unless we are conscious of the way in which we came to this point in time as a people, then we shall never fully be able to plan the present and the future. We need to know what roots are still alive. We need to know how things came to be so that we can project from here. We also need to know the failures of the past so that we can avoid repeating them.

History is not always glorious. Sometimes our history is melancholy. We must accept that. This life is terrible and people do terrible things to each other. If we are to live for the sake of the good and strong, then we should have as much of a background as possible.

Deng Ming Tao, 365 Tao

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”
— George Santayana

“History doesn’t repeat itself – at best it sometimes rhymes” — Mark Twain

“People who make history know nothing about history. You can see that in the sort of history they make” — G. K. Chesterton

“History deals mainly with captains and kings, gods and prophets, exploiters and despoilers, not with useful men” — Henry Louis Mencken

“Remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall — think of it, ALWAYS.”– Mahatma Gandhi

“One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say” — Will Durant

“Computers have enabled people to make more mistakes faster than almost any invention in history, with the possible exception of tequila and hand guns”
— Carl Gundlach

“Isn’t history ultimately the result of our fear of boredom?”
— Emile M. Cioran

My son told me yesterday at lunch what he had learned from studying history. He said, “I want to make sure that when they put down one of those terrible things that happens, my name isn’t next to it”.

Heh. I done good raising this one…

Towel Day :: A tribute to Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

42 towel via Thinkgeek

Do You Know Where Your Towel Is?

Towel Day :: A tribute to Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical
value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Happy Towel Day!!!!

What kind of atheist are you?

What kind of atheist are you?

What kind of atheist are you?

You scored as a Spiritual Atheist

Ah! Some of the coolest people in the world are Spiritual Atheists. Most of them weren’t brought up in an organized religion and have very little baggage. They concentrate on making the world a better place and know that death is just another part of life. What comes after, comes after.

Spiritual Atheist 67%

Scientific Atheist 67%

Apathetic Atheist 58%

Agnostic 50%

Angry Atheist 42%

Theist 42%

Militant Atheist 25%

Via Pharyngula.

Bird on a Wire

Anyone know how to get a fledging bird out of the rafters? I have one stuck in my garage – the cat chased it in there yesterday and it’s too stupid to get out by itself…