Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How Socialist is the Pledge of Allegiance?

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend! In that vein of Patriotism and Nationalism and memorialism, I give you:

The Pledge of Allegiance. As many of you (should) know, it reads as follows:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an oath of loyalty to the national flag and the Republic of the United States of America, originally composed by Francis Bellamy in 1892. The Pledge has been modified four times since then, with the most recent change adding the words "under God" in 1954. The latest update is a detriment to the Federation of these United States, it was when instituted, albeit lacking at the time in obvious reprisal, but especially now as things have changed and it's become more of a thorn in the finger, infecting our solidarity as a mixed people and a "tossed salad" nation.

Do we really need to be relying, even if only done to achieve votes as it typically the situation at this time, on the mystical in guiding our diverse nation? Allow me to help you with closure on that question: No.
Students swearing the Pledge on Flag Day in 1899

Now this will really drive some conservatives nuts:

Bellamy was a Socialist. 

So, the most American of pledges people say, are socialist. :) Too funny, if you ask me. The original was:

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

The Pledge was supposed to be quick and to the point. Bellamy designed it to be recited in 15 seconds. As a socialist, he had initially also considered using the words equality and fraternity but decided against it - knowing that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans.

That is a solid pledge and should never have been changed, as it actually covers all American citizens and is actually more American in my view than the revised version.

Some have wanted to substitute the revised words "Under God" with "Under Law" an even worse idea as it raises the concept of law to that of God, at least in many people's minds and when conservative administrations take over as we've seen (Nixon, Reagan, Bush jr., funny, they're all Republicans) we seem to lose civil liberties and freedoms.

This next part is verbatim and should be known by all Americans, especially if you are going to go all crazy about being American. From Wikipedia:

"In 1951, the Knights of Columbus, the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization, also began including the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. In New York City, on April 30, 1951, the Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus adopted a resolution to amend the text of their Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of each of the meetings of the 800 Fourth Degree Assemblies of the Knights of Columbus by addition of the words "under God" after the words "one nation."

"Over the next two years, the idea spread throughout Knights of Columbus organizations nationwide. On August 21, 1952, the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus at its annual meeting adopted a resolution urging that the change be made universal and copies of this resolution were sent to the President, the Vice President (as Presiding Officer of the Senate) and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The National Fraternal Congress meeting in Boston on September 24, 1952, adopted a similar resolution upon the recommendation of its president, Supreme Knight Luke E. Hart. Several State Fraternal Congresses acted likewise almost immediately thereafter. This campaign led to several official attempts to prompt Congress to adopt the Knights of Columbus’ policy for the entire nation. These attempts failed.
Pres. Harry Truman
"In 1952, Holger Christian Langmack wrote a letter to President Truman suggesting the inclusion of “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Langmack was a Danish philosopher and educator who came to America in 1911. He was one of the originators of the Prayer Breakfast and a religious leader in Washington, D.C. President Truman met with him along with several others to discuss the inclusion of “under God” and also “love” just before “liberty and justice”.[citation needed]

"At the suggestion of a correspondent, Representative Louis C. Rabaut of Michigan sponsored a resolution to add the words "under God" to the Pledge in 1953.
Students pledging to the flag with the Bellamy salute.

"Rev. Dr. George MacPherson Docherty (left) and President Eisenhower (second from left) on the morning of February 7, 1954, at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church.

"Prior to February 1954, no attempt to get the Pledge officially amended succeeded. The final successful push came from George MacPherson Docherty.

Some American presidents honored Lincoln's birthday by attending services at the church Lincoln attended, New York Avenue Presbyterian Church by sitting in Lincoln's pew on the Sunday nearest February 12. On February 7, 1954, with President Eisenhower sitting in Lincoln's pew, the church's pastor, George MacPherson Docherty, delivered a sermon based on the Gettysburg Address titled "A New Birth of Freedom." He argued that the nation's might lay not in arms but its spirit and higher purpose. He noted that the Pledge's sentiments could be those of any nation, that "there was something missing in the pledge, and that which was missing was the characteristic and definitive factor in the American way of life." He cited Lincoln's words "under God" as defining words that set the United States apart from other nations.

"President Eisenhower, though raised a Jehovah's Witness, had been baptized a Presbyterian just a year before. He responded enthusiastically to Docherty in a conversation following the service. Eisenhower acted on his suggestion the next day and on February 8, 1954, Rep. Charles Oakman (R-Mich.), introduced a bill to that effect. Congress passed the necessary legislation and Eisenhower signed the bill into law on Flag Day, June 14, 1954.

"The phrase "under God" was incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance June 14, 1954, by a Joint Resolution of Congress amending §7 of the Flag Code enacted in 1942."

End Wikipedia citation.

So, the pledge including "God" is actually a mostly Catholic invention.

I submit that we should have a separation of Church and State in this country and that what differentiates us from other non secular countries is our ability to accept all and treat everyone with equal understanding and consideration under and by, the law. However, justice being blind, we need more than that and to have the words "Under God" detracts from that because for some reason when you put God into the picture, people use that to insert their own biases and treat people as less if and when different.

We should be able to speak out against wrongs, be they commited by or in the name of, our Country, our or another's God, or people for reasons religious or other. When you are dealing with so powerful a concept as an omnipotent God figure, you decrease the protection of the people by the mere nature of that concept and that never has a place in a democracy devoted to the people being the end all be all of the society. "The People" are not those generally accepted, or the "In Crowd" or those rich or in power. Eliteism creeps into any and all levels of a society and this needs to be countered by any and all means.

That is not to say I am saying we should seek communism, or even absolute socialism for that matter as I do not. Communism does not work because of the greed inherent in Human beings, evolved from the need to acquire to subsist through hard times. Socialism is already prominent in our Government and Society and is not bad, total or absolute socialism is. The rich and powerful do not like the concept of helping everyone in society as it costs them. But it doesn't cost those dying from lack of food or healthcare, they simply die and are no longer a worry, concern or cost to those in power. And those in power include those upper middle class to upper upper class.

No one should be receiving free handouts to live. If anyone gets help, it should be for a reason and until they can be independent on their own unless they are not capable. But no one should be suffering in America to the extent that some of them do, either. On the other hand, our prison system is designed purposely to give a free handout, if you want to think of it in that way, and then simply turn those interred out back again into the populace when they are released from their term, rather than holding them away from society for a reason, to train them out of their situation, so they can become independent and no longer have a need to seek crime as a lifestyle choice or method of income. We tend to lock people up like animals and then expect them to shape up when they are released.

In coming back around to the Pledge of Allegiance, we need a pledge that EVERYONE can get behind, not just those who think they are the betters in a society. And so the word "God" needs to be removed. It is not so much as removing God as many religious types will see it, but putting the pledge back to its original form so that all citizens are included. You do not even have to swear on a bible in court any longer but can choose another book or simply state that you will tell the truth and have it made understood that if you should be found to be lying, you will suffer the consequences. Something that is missing when you swear to God. Courts should not be concerned with you suffering for lies in the afterlife but in this life and immediately.

So, think about it.

Only, I would change the phrase, "my flag", to "our flag". Really, we don't need any more separation than necessary in our citizenry, just between Church and State. We should all see it as "our flag", "our Nation", "our Responsibility" to be a good Citizen and be behind what our country stands for, to feel motivated to keep it from running astray away from our base principles of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

And I've seen too many, for too long, getting between good, law abiding citizens, who in some cases have been made to be law breaking citizens for no good reason, in those simple principles being perverted by the authorities that be.

"I pledge allegiance to our Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Monday, May 30, 2011

Anti-Squatch Music Festival?

The People's Festival

"Can't afford Sasquatch? A Spokane 21-year-old and his high school friends think they have the answer for you." Read the Inlander.com's Leah Sottile's article here. No really, read this, then go there, then read that.

Anti-Squatch Festival

Austin Mell is a character, there's no doubt about that. I've known him for a couple of years now. He is always thinking up interesting stuff. But he and his friends have come up with a very good idea.
Austin, the guy who had enough courage to step forward and propose the idea of anti-(sa)squatch as well as organized and help put into motion the events of which some of us partook. Even though the performers and attendees did something too. - Wraith Snow

There has been a lot of talk in the NorthWest about how the Sasquatch Festival has started to suck and has lost its roots. I've been hearing this from the kids who have gone to it the past few years or longer and well, it's lost some of its originality, its "specialness".

javascript:void(0) Yes, it's definitely an event. Maybe even an event to attend but it depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for what it was originally all about, well, you should probably attend an entirely different festival.

In fact, this year, there was one. Fifteen miles south of Spokane, Washington. I wasn't there, I only just heard about it, but I know Austin and I thought I should point this idea out here. Kind of help along the movement, you know? No, I haven't been to Sasquatch, I've never much been into things of that size. I like smaller venues, less renowned artists. I prefer the grass roots of things. Even big bands admit that once you get to a certain size, somthing gets lost.

That's why Pearl Jam used to throw impromptu shows like one at the Crockadile downtown Seattle years ago. People showed up and hey, Pearl Jam is playing tonight, awesome! There are many more examples of bands doing things like that. My point is, they do that for a reason. Because to be really big, like Sas is, is to lose something you still crave.

It's something you just can't get or feel in a festival the size of a Sasquatch. Should Sas be killed? Perhaps not. That isn't the point. The point is, those who started loving it, have lost interesting. And you have to ask yourself, why?

I think Ausin and his friends have hit the nail on the head. Or smacked the rock star in the face with his guitar. What a concept, throw a festival with good people, art and artists that are trying to make it at reasonable people's prices.

Kudos to Austin and friends!

Now, what's next on the horizon? Because once you get on a roll, well, don't stop. People are counting on you.
From Inlander.com

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!
What to do on Memorial Day? Well first of all, what is it?

Wikipedia defines Memorial Day as:

"Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (May 30 in 2011). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates men and women who died while in military service to the United States. First enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War, it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars. By 1865 the practice of decorating soldiers' graves had become widespread in the North. The first known observance was in Boalsburg, Pa on October, 1864, and each year thereafter.

"On Memorial Day the flag is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

"Memorial Day often marks the start of the summer vacation season, and Labor Day its end."

There are many people traveling around to see family, spend time in the great outdoors, and general fun mayhem and anarchy. Drinking, camping, extreme sporting, etc. Just remember, go nuts, but be safe. Professionals have always played the odds and consider calculated risks. Inebriation and sport is fun, but be smart and do it in such a way that you cannot get (too) hurt. Be sure you have help available to the possibility level of how damaged you can get. First aide, both skill and equipment is a good thing to have available.

Camping requires fire usually in some form. Do not burn down a forest.

Travel is usually involved. Be considerate (no road rage, take your time, plan with time buffers so you don't FEEL like killing that idiot in front of you or the fool that just cut you off. Remember that this is a time to have a good time, but to have a good time you survive to think back on at the next Memorial Day so that you are alive to have a memory to begin with and still have all your limbs and family members and friends to enjoy it with.

It is also a good time to get some things done around the house for you "staycation" types. Maybe people are choosing to vacation home due to the current financial situation. Do not just simply work all weekend. Take time to blow off some steam, then you'll be even more fresh at work next week. We all need down time. Exchanging your day job for your work on the house/yard job may give some pleasure, but for some it will just be another job and you need your time to do nothing, do fun, experience the new, novel and entertaining.

Do something extraordinary, out of the ordinary. Even go do something you don't really want to do, if you've never done it before. Never seen a 3D movie? Pick one, go see it. Take yourself out to dinner, or with a friend or loved one. If you are broke, try to expend a few bucks, it will be a good investment. If not, plenty of free things are available. Simply, go for a walk. But go walk miles somewhere. I've had some of my best times doing that. Walking around Seattle at night, suddenly going in this or that place.

I've had completely unexpected adventures that way. I saw a football player bounced off a brick wall by the biggest bouncers I've ever see at JR's Cafe in Pioneer Square; he was being a drunk ass and even his friends tried to tell him to knock it off; I was picked up by an out of town rock band with a "posse of bitches" (their words, and yes, the girls too) and they took me with them all over town in two vans of people. Then I've seen things that were just laughter invoking or odd or interesting. And the next day I woke feeling I'd had a grand adventure.

You don't have to spend a lot of money, drink, or do anything unnatural. Just something unusual. Break out of your rut if you're in one, and who isn't? Have some fun. Take a little while to think about how you got here, who spent what so you could be here, or live this lifestyle, or live in this country that yes, could be better, but certainly could easily be worse. Many lived and died and gave the ultimate sacrifice for your freedoms. Pay them back by making them proud they gave for what you (and I) got for it.

Have fun. Be appreciative. Be sane (okay, get a LITTLE crazy) and be safe.

Have a Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Weekend Wise Words

Be Sharp! Be Brilliant!

Humorous definition of the day from the Urban Dictionary's pending bin:

Also known as the Church of the Pure Purple, Purpleism is an absurdest pseudo religion started in the Pacific Northwest of America decrying the unaesthetic in life as a reaction against all the stupid religious nonsense going on in the world.
Some of the tenets are:
-No killing over religious issues.
-The Religion Purple Priests are never taller than 2 universal cubits and 2 palms (or for US Standard, 3'6") because that puts their eyes at precisely the right point to be able to see clearly, The Color Purple, as it is most visible at that height off any horizontally planed surface.
-As there can be no nothing, something must exist. Therefore, the concept of God is a non-sequitur.
-Purpleism is most notable near Universities.
In Cinema/Media:
-"Pan and scan" (what is sometimes misleadingly called, "full screen") is an outright sin. --Language / content should never be altered. Only the director has that right, and even that should be greatly limited.
-Nudity is not ugly or offense, people that think it is, are.
-Sound should be standardized so you are never blasted by changing channels, or when you go from a show to a commercial. Commercials that break this rule should lose their access to the television (or radio, etc.) medium.
-Love someone for themselves, not for who they "should" be, or for who one wants them to be;
-Find a way to communicate to your partner, Exactly, as precisely as possible anyway, Who it IS that you are. 
"I went to Temple Purple today and we discussed Purpleism."

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tiger Mom, Amy Chua, has gotten a bad rap by Western Moms and Dads

Amy Chua wrote the notorious book, The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom. She has been trashed repeatedly over her theory of child-rearing. But let's take a look at her from a different angle.

"In Disney movies," she says, the [studious kid] always has to have a breakdown and realize that life is not all about following rules and winning prizes, and then take off her clothes and run into the ocean or something like that. But that's just Disney's way of appealing to all the people who never win any prizes. Winning prizes gives you opportunities, and that's freedom — not running into the ocean."

I thought as a parent that I didn't want to raise my kids the way I was raised. I think a lot of people since the 60s thought that. But I think what we missed was that yes, our parents were harsh, but they were right too. Rather than take the best of what they did and use that, we kind of through out the rule book and came up with a lot of nonsense ideas, touchy feely crap and we screwed up our kids. I have never been big on competitive things. But there are some good things about it.

I don't believe in being harsh on my kids, but tough love, with love, might be the right thing. Kids don't like being told what to do, parents don't like being the bad guy, but perhaps we all need to tough it out and get it done. America's kids are lagging too far behind in the world. We need to kick some ass and take names, to push our kids to the top.

However, we do NOT need to be pushing them into the top schools, making them crazy about how they perform in grade school. in pre schoole. But we should get them the best schooling possible. We should make them do their MATH.

First and foremost, they need to learn CRITICAL THINKING.

They need playtime, but they need school time, lots of it. One thing my kids did get, was homework, they finished it. They got good grades. There were problems, there were issues, but they are really bright, smart and excellent critical thinkers now as adults.

What they are lacking in if anything, is that motivational factor that I got from my parents. Not something to push them into suicide, or trying to be a CEO, the President, or something like that, but to focus, to achive a goal, and finish whatever they start. Not to have to "be" somebody, but to be themselves, to decide what they want, to go get it, and to be happy.

My parents didn't give me all those things, but neither did I give my kids all those things either. I think, I hope, all parents try their hardest, do their best for their kids. I know I did, but I also know many parents who didn't, who thought they did but were too self centered, self serving, to actually go the distance all the way for their kids.

So I think Tiger Mom is right. And I think we should take a closer look at ourselves. Read her book. Make up your own mind. Do for your kids what your parents didn't do for you, and what you won't do for your kids. Recognize your failings, and stand up to the bar, raise yourself up to your standard and your kid's standards.

We need more. Our kids need more from us. Let's give it to them.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Christian vs. an "unbeliever" Argue the point - Special Ed.

Currently there is an ongoing argument on a Facebook page. I posted about the nutbar Harold Camping, an innocent comment, an update if you will.

My cousin responded with another innocent comment. Then her friend, someone we've both known since high school, for my cousin she may have known her earlier even. I responded to her friend. Then she responded to me and that, was where things began to go downhill.

A religionist's view of the Godly
I feel that most Christians, most religious types in general, have an idealized idea of Life, God, and religion. Pretty divorced from reality, which is the purpose. To explain away the unknown, the fearful you cannot do anything about. They cannot accept that we are bags of water, made of meat, are really no more important than any other life form, other than we have an opposable thumb and can rationalize and consider our own death. Two things that have lead to great things, I agree.

But does that make us so important just because we can invent God to explain those things we cannot truly stand to consider? Okay, No is the answer. People seem to have a need to be lead. So, follow this. Life is precious, because it exists. Magic exists because we do not understand physics, or because we have imaginations. Religion is based upon magical thought. Buddhism in my mind is not, but even there, over the centuries, people have forced it into that box also.

Try to forgive the grammar, the rambling and such, as this was not written to be published but was a live interchange between two very disparate people.

Just remember, Ghandi, wasn't Christian. And no, that has no bearing on anything here....

This can't happen

Here, in it's ongoing entirety, regardless of how badly it makes me look, is what transpired:

I initially posted:

Word has it that Harold Camping has said that there will be earthquakes all around the world on May 21, 2011 at 6 pm in each country's time zone, meaning the earthquakes would be at different times. In karibati its already May 22, 2011 and there were no earthquakes. :)

Then my cousin posted:

And we are both still here :-)

And then, her Christian friend posted:

He is a loon....and he has given Christians a bad name, as people tend to like to view us like he is...but we are not, and the Lord will return...but we all know that we do not know when, and only God knows. He is not slow, as many people t...hink...He is giving people time to repent and be saved, because he takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. But, yeah...this guy's a nut ball...But do not mock the Lord because of some crazy guy. Just sayin....


Since no one does know when the time will be...or when they will take their last breath....we are all one breath away from eternity with God or eternity in Hell. And that is what is true. ♥

I responded:
O'Sensei Morohei Ueshiba Founder of Aikido
Being essentially a Buddhist, an Aikidoka (or, Aikidoist) and for all intents and purposes an Atheist [author's note: I might say I'm not, but then "believers" get carried away because they cannot understand my reasoning].... I mock mostly a nutcase. Camping now says that this will all happen in October.

The friend responded:

And people will do the same thing they did with this last one...sad innit? Sorry you are those things.

I replied:

You do realize that is condescending, right? I was raised catholic, head alter boy, born again christian, studied religions and the bible, for more than the first half of my life, have a BA in psychology, phenomenology, and studied classical and Asian philosophies and physics. I have a fairly good idea of what is going on. :) I welcome you to believe whatever you like. Please don't think I'm uninformed or have made poor decisions on eschatology, revealed religions or magical thought by way of organized religious organizations.

She replied:

I know you were raised Catholic, as was [your cousin and my friend]...and I am sorry for that as well. It is a religion based on works, and you guys are not the only ones that have come out of it messed up about Christ, and that makes me sad for ya. It is not condescending at all...I truly am sorry that you are in those things, because they are lies and I hate to see anyone roped in and perishing. It is tragic, and needless, and that is just as sad as the people who buy into the Camping garbage.

Basically, them's figtin' words, and so I then replied:

Uh, really? So, I appreciate then "intent" behind your words, but you really don't see what you are saying in the way you are saying what you are saying. If you see what I'm saying. :) Catholicism is messed up, but it has done some people some good. It has also lead people astray, and has lead to the murders of millions over the centuries. Another well intentioned organized religious movement based upon yet another "desert religion" such as Judaism, Islam and Christianity. You have to take many things into consideration if you are going to randomly believe in a form of thought.

Christians form their beliefs off of the bible, but if you look into where the bible came from, how it was put together, what books they left out, destroyed in th interim until the bible became the law of the land at pain of death, and the murders perpetrated upon those who believed in the books that were not included in the bible because they portrayed Jesus too much as a man, you have to question the basis of your primary word, and the beliefs that came from those, and the changes put into place over the centuries in using the bible as a form of thought control.

As you are sorry for me because of my believing in the best of Buddhist thought, and it's own inquiry upon itself. "If you see Buddha upon the path kill him", refers to what the Buddha originally said, which was when you are taught things previously unknown to you, especially in absolutes like the God concept, question it and use your own mind to see what is foolish.

And so, in reciprocation, I have to feel sorry for not only all those who are addicted to religious and magical thought but to desert religion believers in particular. There is something about religions born of a tough environment such as the desert, with highly ignorant peoples, as those were, in ancient times where knowledge in general had much to do will fear of the unknown and a omnipotent concept to protect them, that begets such convoluted beliefs. Asian philosophies were far more succinct and avoided the magical far more than those more ignorant tribes of the deserts in the middle east.
Emperor Constantine
Constantine's Council of Nicaea
The council of Nicaea and Constantine himself, as were the missionaries throughout history, were a blight upon humanity. But then, people should have the choice to believe whatever nonsense they want to believe, but merely because the nature of the human makeup, requires tolerance, otherwise, we degenerate into murder and what we see in the Muslim fundamentalist terrorists.

Christopher Hitchens and brother Peter

Of course I wish everyone well in their endeavors. I'm just saddened, as is Christopher Hitchens and his type, by the lack of rational minds throughout the cultures of religious organizations and individuals. Hopefully in the end, religion will eventually die out and Humankind will be elevated to the sane and useful. We waste far too much time, money, and resources in elevating individuals and organizations (who don't pay taxes) on religious considerations when ethical and philosophical would be far more useful.

I'm awaiting her reply....

I got her reply....

Like I said...it is really sad. :-( So much knowledge and so little of it applies nor can save. Maybe you aren't used to someone being genuinely sad for the state of your soul, but I truly am. The cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. And that is really heartbreaking to me. And to God, as well. He will convey that when you meet Him face to face, I am sure.

I guess I will just leave you with this, and then we can have different conversations...;-))


I hope you will take it seriously, but if not...I tried. ♥

‎1 Corinthians 1:18 -- For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Like I said, ain't gonna happen, too bad....
My reply:

It's good that you have found something in your life to give you focus and direction. For myself, justifying something from within its own paradigm doesn't supply support something that is necessarily real. If you have ever read the Urantia book, it too is justifiable in it's own logic and amazing texture and sophistication. Yet in looking at how it was created and from whence is sprung into this world, it becomes obvious what happened and just how much it should be given credence, or not.

We all need something to hold onto and have a belief of something beyond ourselves, which lightens the burden. Since we have to get through life and be as highly functional as possible, which is also best for culture and the species, I laid to rest my desires to correct or rectify those of false faith decades ago. False in being misinformed and believing fiction.

What I found was that it is important to enjoy the journey, to find a way to be happy in life. Since we all live within a delusion anyway, I'm not sure how it matters whether it's true or real or not. As long as we do our best to do no harm, then we can consider it good. Things sound far better from the outside looking in. But once you get on the inside looking out, you see the problems.

The old adage that a prophet is never listened to in his own village, supported by the story of Jesus, that is to say, Yeshua, has a great deal of relevance. It was pretty disillusioning to find out how easily the bible falls apart once you look at who, how and why it was put together. It was built for the purpose of controlling a crumbling regime, it's that simple. Same with the Qua'ran (Koran).

Faith is a strong force, we just need to be careful that we are aware of what we aim it at. I asked my mother once, why she believed some of the nonsense she believed and she said, my parents taught it to me so I know it is right. Yet, she was happy in her own delusion. In the end, however, it was what destroyed her. That and mental illness I suppose. Drugs were just a symptom. Christianity is dysfunctional unless you pick and choose what makes it work for you, but if you pay attention to what is taught and what is written, it falls apart pretty quickly; that is why the new testament was put together, because the old was completely dysfunctional.

Well, you see, you can't quote from something to justify its existence, relevance, or truth. You have to go outside of it. Learn how it came to be. Otherwise, you set yourself up for being misled. Who controlled the bible for millenia? What is the meaning of the words back when it was written, and before, for the parts that were word of mouth until they were written? What was said, misremembered and incorrectly written? Who changed what for their own purposes.

How do you know what you believe, based upon "the word" really is the word? I suspect, if Yeshua (Jesus actual name, if you called him "Jesus" he wouldn't respond, you see, anymore than you would if your name was Yeselda and someone called you, Jane). came back now, he wouldn't even recognize what he started, certainly he wouldn't recognize who Jesus is, by name or intent.  It's an amazing book, don't get me wrong, but not to base religions on. I think for myself, I would just prefer to find a more positive life evoking way of viewing the world. I find it sad that those middle eastern religions are so death oriented, so self consuming.

Again, I don't mind people believing what ever they want, I just react to their trying to place judgement upon a fellow delusional human in saying their delusion is superior to my own and thereby, feel "sorry" for me. And that's about it. So, if nothing else, we can agree to disagree. The problem is, you can't do that, can you. Not really. It's intrinsic in the religion. Once you organize a religion, you begin to kill what was good about it and those in charge get their own agendas and greed takes over, greed of money, power, spiritual eletism and a creedo not to question. 

At this point, someone else joined in:

OK, I'm going to say something. Firstly, nobody should apologize anyone else for being the way they are. That isn't very enlightened, next; Dude, you quoted someone to make your point too. I personally thing that if God is infinite, then all that is real and potential is God. Science studies the body, and the mind cannot be contemplated to full understanding because there is more information than any collected of human minds can understand. Let alone ascended beings.

Now, if there is a "God" separate from the physical universe and consciousness network of all sentient and tran-sentient life forms, then it would be divorced from the whole by not "being" the whole. It would be assumed that to create and not be the creation at the same time, you are limited in your connection. If this is so, we can assume it is possible for a Supremely powerful being to exist eventuated the actual creation of the universes. 

This being could create "realms" such as heaven, hell, purgatory, and more. However, the concept of God has been developing and becoming more and more complicated which each genetic evolution of our species. So at some point, our future assumptions of God will out ride the assumed "Creator God' manifest state and move into a "Non separate-non creator entity." This would be a God that always has been that IS the mono universe of universes which has not created anything, but has been and always will be all the could be. 

In the fourth dimension, and moments and events are happening at the same time in different geographical locations. The universe was never created, it has always been, therefor there is no need for the presumed God creator to exist outside our own creation of this entity. This God does in fact exist, but the only effect it has on the universe, is that which the human thought creators allow it to effect based off the rules we give it. This changing from one mind structure to the next.

My reply:

I suspect there is some validity in this contention. :)

His reply:

I think I covered everything I was wanting to say. There is a God if you want there to be. Outside of the mind, there really is no need for a true "God" outside some form of Chief operating executive keeping the form of all existence in tac...t. However, there would be no "body" form separate from the universal structure being maintained. A universal "spirit operator-consciousness collective" is completely possible. The soul within the machine. Outside of this, there is no need for a "Mother/Father" entity. Additionally, I doubt something like this entity or any other has a single gender if holding to this dichotomy at all.

My reply:

I like to think about the ants, and yes this is off topic but interesting. If they have a supranatural communicative connection, beyond sound, body language, etc., would that neural net connection be considered by them, to be their God? It would take on a form for them, that could be construed beyond themselves, even though it is only them. Yes?

His reply:

That is what I am implying yes. We create what we think God is. If there is a God, No species, no matter the time period, will ever fully understand this metaphysical, meta mind being. For it is not separate from the creation. The creation it self may also have no limit on the whole yet there is limit to individual forms within the design. Similar to a Mandelbrot fractal.

My comment:

Nuff' said. There will be no agreement with the nice Christian lady and the weird Buddhist guy. People are different and there will always be those who think their reality presupposes another's. It's what makes this world go around. And that's okay. The trouble comes in when others want to force their beliefs in whatever way they find appropriate. We need to be able to agree to disagree. Or there simply is, no hope.

Hugh Hefner's issues with his High School Administration

Hugh Hefner, so well known the world over for decade after decade, as the creator and owner of Playboy Magazine, the Playboy Clubs and the Playboy Mansion. But he wasn't always that guy. Before all that, when he was in High School, he was by his own admission and statement, "the best jitterbugger in the class". And so began Hef's struggle against the restrictive Puritan Ethic in America. And thank God he did.

Here is Hef's letter to the editor of his High School newspaper on the topic of the restrictive school dances:

Dear Ed:

I think the Friday night dances are a great idea, but they have one big fault. They're too "old-fashioned"! Keeping the dances respectable is certainly necessary and swell, but we can keep them that way and still have some solid dancing. The majority of the students who dance prefer jive, but the moment you start even a simple jive break, someone steps up and stops you. And it's not because the band can't play hot music -- then can -- but they are told beforehand NOT to play it. This situation has caused a definite drop in attendance. If the Friday night dances are for we student, why not give us the kind of music we enjoy?

As we all know, Hugh went on to build an empire in Playboy Magazine all around the world, and products and productions. It's no secret that this issue with the kids feeling claustrophobic by the restrictions of those in charge, has been going on forever. Even graffiti in ancient Rome over 2,000 years ago spoke to the same kind of attitude between the young and the old.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Schizophrenic Nature of America

America is a dichotomy of life views.

One is Puritan in nature and therefore thinks work before pleasure and asexuality before sexuality. 
 But then there is the Libertarian view of Freedom, the Pursuit of Happiness, and an attitude of "Don't Tread On Me!"
This is obviously a schizophrenic attitude, but it serves a very good system of weights and balances. The problem with this format, however, is that where the Libertarian attitude says I don't agree with you so let's talk about it, the Puritan attitude says, I don't agree with you, and therefore we shall not talk about it, or discuss it in anyway, and you should be punished for even having that attitude I disagree with.

This is not a functional or healthy way to be. Tolerance, understanding, compassion, trying new things, setting limits by individual, by trial and error, by the tests of function and dysfunction, by insight and experimentation, these are the ways to be healthy. To simply say that there have been philosophies built in ancient times, that have proven dysfunctional beyond their functions, is disproportionate to rational thought or scientific inquiry.

Although a Libertarianism may lend itself to excess, Puritanism lends itself to being closed off, ignorant, fearful and paranoid merely by the format of its existence and design.

I think if America were a woman, She would see all this. She would be nurturing. She would expect the best of us, but help us when we were down. She would be Mom, Girl Friend, Spiritual counselor, Friend, Lover, Sister, Pal, Legal Adviser.

Bottom line, she would be understanding, compassionate, solid. And now a days, we need a friend like that, more than ever.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cassavetes on Failure

“The most difficult thing in the world is to reveal yourself, to express what you have to. As an artist, I feel that we must try many things - but above all we must dare to fail. You must be willing to risk everything to really express it all.” - John Cassavetes

John Cassavetes is most notable as a pioneer of American independent film. His films are noted for their use of improvisation and a realistic cinéma vérité style.

John was certainly a great force in the Acting and Film Arts, though perhaps unseen by most until later, except by those closest to him. Vulnerability is intrinsic in what we do in the Media and Entertainment Arts. We open ourselves to the slings and arrows of frequently, those less knowledgeable, insightful, and compassionate, for what we do. But when it all comes together what comes out of it is simply amazing. We go through years of enduring painful efforts, to fail repeatedly and continue to pick ourselves up and try again. It is journey that is a sharpening stone that hones one's abilities and capabilities to the cutting edge for what we our Art is. And the public reaps the benefits of those efforts, in the end, being the culmination of what and why we do it.

For those who these are not the reasons for why they do it, there will always be those many who have and will fall by the wayside in giving up and being dashed on the rocks of critical deconstruction, never arriving at that coveted destination of critical acclaim. Sadly, for some, that will only come years after their demise; but I would argue, it is still worth the effort.

That being said, family and friends, loved ones must have a pinnacle of consideration in those years of trial and effort. Or it can cause you the pain and emptiness leading to a premature end that it has brought to many before you. Live life, love others, be open, be honest, be heartfelt in all your efforts and let those that love you have a place in that life, a hard life though it can be. In that way, even if you were never to achieve your dreams, you will have a life there to fall back upon in a cocoon of care, appreciation and affection.
December 9, 1929 – February 3, 1989
About Cassavetes: "An alcoholic, Cassavetes died from cirrhosis of the liver in 1989 at the age of 59. He was survived by wife Gena Rowlands and three children (Nick, Alexandra and Zoe). Cassavetes's son, Nick Cassavetes, followed in his father's footsteps as an actor and director. In 1997, Nick Cassavetes made the film She's So Lovely from the She's Delovely screenplay his father had written. The film starred Sean Penn, as John Cassavetes had wanted. Alexandra Cassavetes directed the documentary, Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession in 2004 and in 2006 served as 2nd Unit Director on her brother Nick's film Alpha Dog. John Cassavetes's younger daughter, Zoe Cassavetes, wrote and directed the 2007 film, Broken English, featuring Rowlands and Parker Posey." - Wikipedia

Monday, May 23, 2011

Skunked by "The Rapture"? Forget The Tomato Juice

After the failure of the Rapture happening for the World, perhaps it would be best if everyone went to experience the Grace and Grandeur of the out of doors?

First, I've heard that some Christian families had sold everything expecting the Rapture (The Rape?) and gave it all to Harold Camping's church expecting to be gone in Saturday's Rapture. So, is he now going to give it all back? A spokesman has said that he really doesn't know yet. Doesn't know yet? Should there really be any question about it? I'm thinking, Jail Time for Fraud, or just for common sense?

Okay anyway, if God exists any and everywhere, wouldn't God most likely be easiest to experience in Nature? Regardless, you can get a feeling for the Godly, in Nature. But one does have to beware of the terrible possibilities along with the wonderful ones. That is, the wildlife. Christians and religionists tend to forget, we are animals, to the animals, we are meat. Carnivores, Bears, wolves, coyote packs, snakes, even people of a criminal or unstable nature in the woods, and skunks....


Oh yes. Have you ever had to deal with that? If you haven't, good, you're lucky. If you have, you know. I need say no more. That is a nasty thing to deal with. Small dogs, especially Terriers, have been known to die from getting sprayed by a skunk, if it hits them where they get their lungs coated with it. I can't even imagine what a nasty death that would be.
But for the most part, most people don't have to deal with that. Typically it is a near miss, or a pet gets sprayed for messing with a skunk. Getting rid of that smell is hard and no one seems to know what works, only what old wive's tales that have filtered down from generation to generation and typically don't work.

I've only had a few run ins myself. The worst was my German Shepherd. He came home one day reeking to high Heaven as they say. But it was obvious to me, that he didn't really get a full dose, only a partial one, and that was bad enough. What gets you isn't so much the smell, it's the smell, over time.

After a while, especially if you get away from it for a little while, then come back to it, like you get the dog in the bath tub, leave a kid with them to hold them in there, then run around the house looking for something to cut the smell while you make phone calls to family and friends, or hit the internet quickly to find a quick fix, and all you come up with is someone saying, douse it with quarts of tomato juice. I can tell you from experience, that doesn't work. That one time, someone did come up with something weird, and I tried it, and after a few repeated baths, it kind of worked, but not really.

Now the funniest run in I had was at Flaming Geyser Park in King County, Washington. It was a work picnic for my wife at the time. We both had picnic's that day, one in the morning for my work, and one in the afternoon for hers. I worked for a high tech group doing data transaction management, computer and web site work; she was a horse trainer and riding instructor. My group were techies, her's were cowboys and horse people. Both of us wanted to pull teeth at one another's picnic. Mine paid all the bills, but of course, we had to leave mine with people I had fun with, as were the kids, and go to hers where we were pretty bored, but had to be there to make the clients happy. Mine dealt with coworkers, hers were kowtowing to clients. Mine was more fun, simply put.

So while she was off talking to clients, I was with my son and daughter, trying to have fun. They were bored, I was bored. While we were sitting near some bushes and trees on a blanket at one point, eating food and just hanging out, my young daughter said, "Dad, look! How cute!"

I turned to look at what she was looking and talking about and there, the last thing I would ever have expected to see, about five feet in front of us, was a mama skunk and her three little skunketts. Yes, unbelievably cute, but, I mean, I couldn't believe it. Like a cartoon character just hit with a baseball bat,  I momentarily saw stars, just thinking about driving home with two kids (hopefully not two kids and a dad) reeking of skunk spray; not to mention what mom would have had to say ("How could you have let this happen?" did I say we're not married anymore?).

All I could do was say, "Don't move. Don't talk, or talk softly. Don't move quickly." We just sat there. The mama skunk looked at us and decided we were neither stupid or harmful and just continued on her way. My son wanted to bolt, being the older of the two kids. But I forced him to not move with a look. The skunks, luckily, made their way from one part of the foliage to another, at which point I said, okay, slowly get up and moveeee away from here."

And we did. One of the closest calls I've ever had. More scary than the parachute I had fail on me one time with a "cigarette roll" (compression twist) "function" ("malfunction" I don't know why we called malfunctions "functions").

Even more fear invoking than the attack of the Sea Cucumber I weathered through once at forty feet down while SCUBA diving off of Fox Island near the Narrows Bridge off of Tacoma, Washington.

However, not all of us are so lucky. Are we? I know because some people out there are nodding their heads who have been through a skunk attack.

Well, good news is available. Here is the solution for a skunk attack. It's not perfect, it's not immediate like another spray, it's not something you can make up and store for a possible attack, but it's something, and it works.

Here you go, a Skunk Spray Decontamination mixture that works, better living through chemical interactions:

1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide
quarter cup of backing soda
1 or 2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap

All the best to you in your dire time of need, should you ever need it.

Here is some more information on the topic if you suddenly have the desire to increase your education on Skunks:
From Science Friday at NPR
Here are a couple of other sites:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Well, it's Rapture time. Missing you guys already....

Message to my Earthbound friends: It's RAPTURE Time!

I sit now on high here with "the Dude", watching all that transpires below us on Earth and I do miss all of you my friends. You know, if you look around you, you probably won't see anybody missing, because, well....
The Dude Himself
We were all quite surprised up here how few people actually got Raptured today. I count, uh, one, two, three... about eight of us. Not one Fundamentalist among us, either. Surprising, yes?

Actually surprising just who got left behind and I never expected me to be sitting up here.

I've already put in for a day pass so I can come back and visit, and maybe hide out among you because it's unbelievably boring up here.

By the way, the only virgins up here are all like 72 years old and really annoying chatterers; some look a bit like Cenobites, actually. And no, if you're asking, no Osama Bin Laden up here.

Well, at least you can know, you now only have 1,000 more years of a Godless Earth before the absolute end. I do wish you all well. And yes, having that get out of jail free card", is pretty awesome, or will prove to be. Hang in there, you'll see what I mean soon enough.