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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Follow-Up

My daughter's family did not lose power in Maryland, even though the wind beat at them and it rained from Sunday to Tuesday morning. She said that the Derecho storm back in the spring was much, much scarier: the rain was blowing sideways and the winds were brutal.

Most of us forgot this.
She said that that storm probably knocked down most of the weak and dead trees, cutting the power back then, and that is why they made it through Hurricane Sandy with no loss of power.

Once again, I marvel at a country where a presidential election can be held without mentioning the dangers and costs of the new type of climate.

It was too much like The Day After: Manhattan being flooded by the sea, feet and feet of snow, rain, and vast destruction.

We cannot afford any government by people who are opposed to Science.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Deeper Truths

Chapter 1
A Mr. Gingrich mentioned over the past few months in re some political or moral-cum-political issue that his position, although not scientifically true nor implied by the logic of a sequence of steps from premises to proof, was an example of a "deeper truth".

Herein the "deeper" is akin to Chomsky's "Deep Grammar" in that it (1) is underlying and as such forms a more ancient foundation, and (2) is seemingly intractable to scientific proof or logical demonstration, other than a demonstration following from premises which themselves are "deeper truths".

I think we all are familiar with such truths. The existence of God is such a truth nowadays to most of the Believing populations: not scientifically based, and not derivable by logic from the states of affairs of the world, and is either derived from metaphysical premises or a leap of faith, which at some critical point leaves the logic behind and jumps into the air... hopefully with wings.

Most of us with Belief Systems who are cognizant of the strengths of Science, and who give respect to those strengths, realize that our belief in God is not based on a Science which changes as that which it observes more and more delicately and minutely changes. We do not like the idea of our God possibly being dethroned by such a knowledge, however effective it is in the affairs of the world. Therefore, we establish our belief in the existence of God as a "deeper truth", or a "higher truth".
(From such a belief in "higher truth" we easily slide into notions as "higher power" and other arcana.)

As I have stated before, I do not believe in God; I expect God.

By disestablishing my belief systems, I found that I do not have to have recourse to making statements about deeper truths, but merely live my life exactly as I did before..., only unimpeded with the idea of personal belief systems about God.
I pray and meditate as before, but I do not generate sayings and statements like "I believe in God.",  no more than I go about saying "It is 3:00 PM, and - since I believe in the US Postal Service and its Carriers - I had best go to my mail box and receive their blessings of letters and whatnot."

In a metaphor of the senses, God is a "taste" of creation which pervades everywhere, not a intelligent design sauce plopped over the foodstuffs.

By allowing myself the brazenness and cheekiness to say "I know!", I have eliminated the need for all such belief systems. Of course, having said "I know!", I also realize that the way to any such truth is dependent upon the individual knower, and each knower might come up with truths that are substantially different from mine, influenced by the entire history of their being.
Allowing for such individual differences - and respecting them as being as valid as my own ("valid" in our sense of "valid within the quasi-logic of deeper truth) - I am tolerant in the extreme, yet I do not necessarily thereby embrace a position of maintaining the status quo, for as much as I live by my lights and affect the lives of others, I modify those other for good or ill. Such is the social nature of the network of our intelligences.
In a Christian perspective, I would say that I spread the word, but do not do so in the way of the Apostles, who believed that the End of the World was imminent, and haste could make no waste in such an event. Ever since that time, the Christian dogma has predominantly been spread in such an eschatological manner, justifying compulsions and cruelties with a vague haste necessary to anticipate the end of the world.
(There never was a strategic business plan for such things saying that spreading the gospel must be done by TV mega-churches or a season in Europe preaching to the benighted RCs in France or by religious orders.)

Chapter 2
Deep truths stem from our emotional bonds; they are based on intensity of affection, not on science nor logic. As such, the truths themselves must and do reflect the nature of their genesis in the emotions.

We have spoken of Irony as a wheel which turns the world: Irony being the great reversal, where we see the mighty cast from their thrones and the lowly raised; we see the spectacle of the Meek inheriting the Earth! Irony.
Irony is a cycle. It is not a regular cycle, such as the rotation of the Earth about the Sun; it is an irregular cycle. Irregular as it may be, it is clear that "what goes around, comes around". It is clear from our own recent "Tower of Babel" episode of 2008 that "irrational exuberance" leads to a fall, .

The basis of the cycle lies in the emotional nature of deeper truth.
Emotion is polar, and is at least bipolar, and may be tri- or quadri-polar... or more.

As Emotion cycles between Love-Hate, or Attraction-Avoidance, so do the "truths" based upon the quasi-logic of Deeper Truths.

All Deeper Truths cycle from existence to non-existence, from exuberance to depression, and from boom to bust. All our behavior based on such emotion truths cycles between its extremes. Most Individuals cycle between states of fullness (plerosis) to an emptiness (kenosis), between satiety and craving. Now we may love our God, later we may curse Him for our suffering. Now we may be rich, later we may be poor... and make no mistake that Economics is exempt from these cycles, for we already mentioned the "irrational exuberance" which led to the Bust of 2008.

The Bipolarity (at least) of Emotion forms the Cyclic nature of Deeper Truth.
If you rely on deeper truths, you will go from Feast to Famine; it may take hundreds of years, but the Ironic Reversal of Fortune will come about. Rome and Assyria are but memories.

The only way to escape from the Cyclic nature of life is to live Truth and avoid Deeper Truth.

The 800 Lb. Gorilla

Hurricane Sandy has punctuated a presidential campaign that not even once mentioned Climate issues.

If we ignore these issues, they will not ignore us.

As the effects of Climate multiply, their escalating costs will undermine any attempt at fiscal stability.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

I was driving home yesterday from D.C.
We passed at least 200 electric company repair trucks going through Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Western Maryland on their way to point East.

We were on Interstates 270, 70, 76, 80, and 75. We had left at 6:00 AM to avoid the storm. It rained, there was fog in Pennsylvania, and there was hydroplanning again (just as there was on our trip out) on the Ohio Tuurnpike... the wind was stiff, and it was wet, but it seems that there are some spots on the Ohio Turnpike that have unsafe wear-courses.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

If I Were a Republican...

... and I have played as fast and loose with the truth as they have, then I, too, would have trouble remembering what actually was the truth... or where it lived, the name of the street, or at least an intersection... possibly a landmark, a church or a bar.
But I could not anymore.
It's just like when I refer to Mr. Justice Thurgood Marshall (as I did this morning on the way to the store), I have said "Thurogood " (sounding like "thorough good") so many times, I can't recall which is what.


I do not have a sense of certainty about God.
However, I do have certainty.

This certainty keeps me on course, as if I were navigating by the stars at night.
The celestial mechanics do - in a sense - draw me onward, yet I am not a child of the stars; the stars are remote from me, they are not kin.
They do not lead, for they are not entities which exhibit leadership behavior. They allow me to sail my course; they draw me on by allowing me the possibility of success.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Stockholm Syndrome News

Now that the rich, wealthy, and sometime obtuse (the prime example being Mr. Trump) have demonstrated their ability to kidnap the entire News process for their own nefarious schemes, we are left wondering where the real News is going to come from in the future.

Mr. Trump managed to kidnap the News, plain and simple. He did not kidnap FOX And Friends, for they want to be abused, but he did manage to kidnap the rest of the Media, just as he has showed us that he could do before.

The Media is easily ensnared. The entire TV News industry shows clear signs of Stockholm Syndrome: like Patty Hearst, they have developed an affection for their "captors". Just let a Trump or a Palin come up with another poorly-thought-out wheeze, and all the channels are there to cover the breaking story.

If the News can be so easily manipulated by the rich and their performing celebrities, it is more akin to the Filth that the conservative pundit John Derbyshire compared pop culture to in 2002 (
Well, Mr. Derbyshire - if you're still out there - all our culture is pop, even the parts that used to be considered serious. I think that's the real meaning of the word "wonk", pop-serious... just like Mr. Ryan is considered a policy "wonk"... pop-serious.

Wonk Culture.


I do not, on the other hand, understand Palin:
Palin also suggests that Romney and Ryan can be responsible for an epiphany on this country's fiscal standing. "America desperately needs to have a 'come to Jesus' moment in discussing our big dysfunctional, disconnected, and debt-ridden federal government," says Palin...
from Tea Party Central.

I forget the chapter and verse dealing with "big dysfunctional"... stuff.


I understand what he is saying.

I disagree with people who wish to use the political process to inflict their religious beliefs upon other people.

Unpleasant Quasi-Truths

I am reading some old columns of John Derbyshire  (A conservative view of the world today in the National Review. One is entitled Unpleasant Truths

I read:
Pop culture is filth. It is now completely degenerate. Why do you never hear anyone humming a current pop song any more? Because none of them is hummable, or even worth bothering to remember. What is the main topic on TV sitcoms and “dramedies”? You know what. Why do you stand in the aisle in Blockbuster muttering to yourself: “There isn’t a single damn movie in here I want to watch”? Because Hollywood produces nothing but crap, crap, crap.
Si jeunesse savait, si vieillesse pouvait. The saddest true thing ever said (by Henri Estienne, 1531-98). Translation: “If youth only knew, if age only could."...
Obviously all pop culture is not filth. I have told the story how I fell in love with Rap in 1984 on Jone's Beach in New York, then came back to Detroit and found 20 Rap tapes for sale locally - it had not yet migrated from the coast.

I consider Grandmaster Flash's New York, NY to be a masterpiece of poetry:

New York New York, big city of dreams
And everything in New York ain't always what it seems
You might get fooled if you come from out of town
But I'm down by law and I know my way around...
I still hum it and sing it, mostly to myself.

Certainly since then, music has changed, but there is always some genius hidden in the celebrity crap of pop culture; not just Rap, all pop culture.

Mr. Derbyshire got into trouble last year with racial remarks. I believe, however, he is a paradigm of a prevalent type of conservative today in that he has sampled little of the diverse life about him, found the small sample wanting, and establishes a "truth" where Plato would have moaned "Opinion, man! That's o-pin-yon!"

I think the saddest commentary about the modern day within Mr. Derbyshire's piece is the fact that he feels it necessary to translate a French quote. We have certainly come a long way down from the good old days.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Syria, Russia, and Romney

On August 28 Sheikh Said Afandi, acknowledged spiritual leader of the Autonomous Russian Republic of Dagestan, was assassinated. A jihadist female suicide bomber managed to enter his house and detonate an explosive device.

The murder target had been carefully selected. Sheikh Afandi, a seventy-five-year old Sufi Muslim leader, had played the critical role in attempting to bring about reconciliation in Dagestan between jihadist Salafi Sunni Muslims and other factions, many of whom in Dagestan see themselves as followers of Sufi. With no replacement of his moral stature and respect visible, authorities fear possible outbreak of religious war in the tiny Russian autonomous republic. [1]

The police reported that the assassin was an ethnic Russian woman who had converted to Islam and was linked to an Islamic fundamentalist or Salafist insurgency against Russia and regional governments loyal to Moscow in the autonomous republics and across the volatile Muslim-populated North Caucasus region.

Ethnic Muslim populations in this region of Russia and of the former Soviet Union, including Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan and into China’s Xinjiang Province, have been the target of various US and NATO intelligence operations since the Cold War era ended in 1990. Washington sees manipulation of Muslim groups as the vehicle to bring uncontrollable chaos to Russia and Central Asia. It’s being carried out by some of the same organizations engaged in creating chaos and destruction inside Syria against the government of Bashar Al-Assad. In a real sense, as Russian security services clearly understand, if they don’t succeed in stopping the Jihadists insurgency in Syria, it will come home to them via the Caucasus.

We need to start to understand the internal religious warfare in Islam, and we have to understand the part that various agencies of our government are playing in it.

Our dependence on Saudi oil enriched a number of our citizens and corrupted them into allowing the intolerant Wahhabi version of Islam to gain power in Arabia. We compounded this error by assisting Wahhabi jihadists against the USSR and Russia, and intolerance gained power in Afghanistan, also.

We have sowed the fields ourselves with the seeds of discord, then sent our children to fight there.

... and Romney believes Russia is our main geopolitical enemy.

We are our main geopolitical enemy!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lance Armstrong 1

So far I am unimpressed by the case against Lance Armstrong.

I am very unimpressed with the USADA report, which promises much but delivers nothing but the testimony of other cyclists who took drugs, and who may have been under pressure by the USADA to give the testimony the USADA was looking for.

There! I just wrote an unsubstantiated innuendo that is similar to most of the USADA report.

I am not sure what constitutes proof of drugging in a sport wherein everyone was using drugs, and the agencies responsible for overseeing things could not seem to keep up to what was going on.

I think the USADA, feeling that it was losing control, chose the nuclear option.

Moribund Blogs

Sacrifice Today: The Month of Quecholli, Day 2

Aztec Sun God Whose Tongue is a Dagger of Sacrifice

Wisconsin is pushing to lead the nation in sacrifice to the gods who reign over the subcutaneous introjection of metallic objects into sacrificial humans.
There have been 2 mass sacrifices to the gods so far this year in Wisconsin, one in Milwaukee in August and just recently one in Brookfield at a beauty spa. Three were sacrificed at the spa, and four people were deprived of their status as victims by medical treatment.

The Sound of Gunfire is the Music of Xibalba!

The Lords of Xibalba (bloated by disease and putrefication) Dance.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Favorite Swears

By Caligula's Tomb!


A sartagine in matellam!  (from the frying pan into the chamber pot)

Did Orwell Foresee Paul Ryan?
In the Danville, Ky., debate, Ryan said, “We could have more easily identified the free Syrian army, the freedom fighters, working with our allies, the Turks, the Qataris, the Saudis, had we had a better plan in place to begin with working through our allies. But, no, we waited for Kofi Annan to try and come up with an agreement through the U.N. That bought Bashar Assad time.”
The Saudis!!??!!

The Saudis are the propagandizers of Islamic fundamentalism in its Wahhabi form. The Saudis are the oppressors of the Sufi tradition, the harsh taskmasters of the Shi'a, and the destroyers of ancient monuments.

What kind of a foreign policy is it to on one hand fight terror inspired by uncompromising fundamentalism, and on the other to encourage its spread?

It is the self-seeking policy of  Permanent War... wherein War is Peace and Love is Hate.


Stop The Drivel

Cease and desist!

Stop saying things like "Ayn Rand's philosophy is simplistic" and "Ayn Rand is a philosopher for those ignorant of philosophy".

Ayn Rand is the Devil's Handmaiden.

Understanding Art

Werner Herzog posed the question whether we can understand the artist across the abyss of time.

I suppose one might add a chasm of distance to that abyss, but time is more infiniter than distance could ever be.

I do not think the experience of Art leads to understanding of the artist; I think it leads to understanding oneself as a participant in the intelligent life: in sharing the intelligence of a being who fabricates an unusual and complex semaphore of their experience in the midst of creation, while the rest of us stand mute - or, at best, repeat the maxims and adages we learned at our elders' knees.

We do not wish to understand the artist; we desire to comprehend ourselves.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A John Wyndham Moment

She-who-must-be-obeyed was watching an interlude of  Call The Midwife on PBS.
As I walked past, I glanced at it and thought, "Ah, The Cuckwich Midwives."

"Village be damned!", I muttered.
She fixed me with a stare as unfriendly as a sharp pike.
"Hush, Montag!", she said.

Why I Dislike "Belief Systems"

Piranesi did a series of drawings entitled I Carceri, The Prisons.

"Our assumptions always become a prison to our possibilities..."

Our assumptions and our belief systems, as we foppishly call them. Belief systems, indeed!

The quote continues, "...,and the mid-nineteenth century's assumptions about the role of women in society turned the world of intelligent, thoughtful women everywhere into a grim, dank dungeon from which they yearned most desperately to escape."

Bram Djikstra, Idols of Perversity, Oxford University Press, 1986, New York.

How many people today are in prison? How many whose lives are lived in a grim, dank dungeon? How many desperately yearn to escape?
We are imprisoned just as the soul of Jacob Marley was, doomed to drag the chains of our assumptions, belief systems, and world views to our graves.
Contrary to the opinion of many people, we are not best served by striving to create coherent "belief systems", for any coherence we achieve is on the surface; we do not go deeply into the realms of the soul.

Faith is better.
Faith is tougher.
a reprint from 2010

Friday, October 19, 2012

Scalia's Historical Police

In the post
we talked about disturbing revelations about President Thomas Jefferson.
It was during the 1950s, when historian Edwin Betts was editing one of Colonel Randolph’s plantation reports for Jefferson’s Farm Book, that he confronted a taboo subject and made his fateful deletion. Randolph reported to Jefferson that the nailery was functioning very well because “the small ones” were being whipped. The youngsters did not take willingly to being forced to show up in the icy midwinter hour before dawn at the master’s nail forge. And so the overseer, Gabriel Lilly, was whipping them “for truancy.”
Betts decided that the image of children being beaten at Monticello had to be suppressed, omitting this document from his edition. He had an entirely different image in his head; the introduction to the book declared, “Jefferson came close to creating on his own plantations the ideal rural community.” Betts couldn’t do anything about the original letter, but no one would see it, tucked away in the archives of the Massachusetts Historical Society. The full text did not emerge in print until 2005.
Betts’ omission was important in shaping the scholarly consensus that Jefferson managed his plantations with a lenient hand. Relying on Betts’ editing, the historian Jack McLaughlin noted that Lilly “resorted to the whip during Jefferson’s absence, but Jefferson put a stop to it.”

In my opinion, this short passage completely refutes the absurd theory promoted by Mr. Justice Scalia that we can understand with precision adequate for legal decisions what was going on in the minds of certain individuals (the framers of the Constitution) more than 200 years ago.

Scalia describes himself as an originalist, meaning that he interprets the Constitution of the United States as it would have been understood when it was adopted. According to Scalia, "It's what did the words mean to the people who ratified the Bill of Rights or who ratified the Constitution."[6]

We rely upon the work of historians to preserve the Past.
Mr. Scalia's legal philosophy requires an unchanging realm of the Past, a Platonic realm which never varies, never fades, nor ever dimishes; it may be ignored, but it is always there to be discerned by people like Mr. Justice Scalia.
Mr. Justice Scalia's philosophy pretends that it can cordon off certain important areas of the past, as if historians place a tape saying "Historical Police Order - Do Not Cross" around a crime scene.

The evidence of the Past is always contaminated by every sentient entity that comes into contact with it

When it comes to interpreting what went on in the Past, everyone has access to the Evidence Room...
The Chains of Evidence are always broken, the evidence is always compromised.


Tigers! Tigers! Rah! Rah! Rah!

Last Night in Detroit

We saw the last game in Maryland, having arrived at my daughter's house about the time of 5th inning.
The Tigers led the Yankees by a score of 6 to 0, and the fans were warming up the brooms for a sweep of the series. I wish I had payed more attention to them all year, because they seem to have some formidable talent, but you know (or maybe not know) the story of the year that Major League Baseball and I went Splitsville.

I was singing (in my head... not out loud) a great and complex sports song that was exploded into existence in the 1968 championship year, the year the Tigers beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the Series:
(The original of 1968 had the name "Cardinals" in it, of course.)

Tigers, Tigers! Rah! Rah! Rah!
Yankees, Yankees! Boo! Boo! Boo! 
  (repeat two times)

Tigers, Tigers! Rah! Rah! Rah!
Yankees, Yankees! Boo!            
          (repeat two times)

and it goes to a catchy little tune, and I looked for it on the YouTube,  but could not find it...
... time going on, fast forward, pages of the calendar appearing and being discarded...

It finally popped into my head, and the tune is  

Chinatown, My Chinatown

played at a peppy fight-song pace.

And it may be the Cardinals again they play this year!

Drafting the Ultra-Orthodox in Israel

The Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, has announced plans to draft thousands of Ultra-Orthodox students into the army – a move that could set him at loggerheads with the religious parties in the run-up to a general election in January...

There are some interpretations of Quantum Theory which support the existence of an infinite number of universe.

Each yeshiva student  is a quantum spiritual experiment.

Each student of the Law creates a universe at every second of their voluntary absorption into the Torah.

Ta Meta Ta Dogmata

...or,  Metadogmas

Metadogma is what is beyond dogma.
When someone says that all life is one, they are not attacking dogma. They are not saying that there are not three persons in the Trinity, nor are they holding that the Son is not co-substantial with the Father, nor are they saying that the Spiritual Nature of Christ was in some sense superior to the Human...

Metadogmatic statements are beyond dogma and belief.

These are statements about belief and the hearts of men and women.

To understand the heart, we have to understand the structure of emotion - formal and semantic and pragmatic.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


I will never understand that large - very large - group of people who cannot listen to what other people say, rather they sit like rockets or missiles taking on fuel and feverishly anticipate the launch of a new version of what-they-have-to-say.

Unfortunately, I have many such in my family.

They are the ones who respond to being yelled at by radio and TV entities, the commentators, pundits, and pseudo-journalists, who provide them with the itch to regurgitate, which they then do.

I know because I do it myself. Every time I read the Huffington Post, I know that I am running breathlessly into the side door of the church, throwing some choir apparel over my head, and racing up the back stairs to the choir loft to join the others in being preached to.
I am well aware of it, and I like to do it.

I have had people with whom I have had conversations come back and ask me why I cannot stand Paul Ryan. By now I tell them that they should know, and I refuse to waste my breath anymore pretending that they are listening to me.
I mean, I'm like everyone else, and I think my ideas are pretty good... sort of the top shelf of stuff and gee-gaws from the Notion Store.

Communication is truly an art we have never mastered.
What we have now for Media is more like Hit-Ya-Upside-The-Head rather than communication.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I often see things with an agricultural perspective. I am not much of a farmer, nor even a gardener, but growing things and the interrelationships between them all fascinates me. I could stare for hours at fields and trees, and divine the course of hidden streams by the poplar interruptions among the wheats and soy beans.

I wrote this poem this week:


scarlet clover
sowed in October
in the orchard twice;
try and keep the hens out,
they pick every green leaf

and totally ignore
barley by the hellebore,
which grows now quite tall -
but what will the bees? eh?
when all the clover's gone?

comb honey
brings no money...
sez the Michigan Farmer;
but comb sales have been brisk...
all's left is candled junk...
and common sense for fools.

what will we do when clover is gone?
sometimes the powers that be predict disaster, but things go well, and we know that often they predict
limitless progress and wealth, and things go awry.

I do not believe that the best and brightest know what they are doing in this country.
The only things worth doing are ignored or disparaged, and we shall go the way of scarlet clover.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The 51% Declares War

There have been a series of misleading newsletters and messages sent out by various politically minded CEOs that have told their workers that if they dare to vote Democratic, they will be most probably subject to loss of their jobs, either by the vagaries of markets or by the direct fiat of the CEOs who will be enraged and seeking revenge:

Koch Industries, the Wichita, Kan.-based company run by the billionaire Koch brothers, sent a voter information packet to 45,000 employees of its Georgia Pacific subsidiary earlier this month.
In it was a letter, dated Oct. 1, from Koch Industries president Dave Robertson implicitly warning that "many of our more than 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences" of voting for President Obama and other Democrats in the 2012 elections, a list of conservative candidates the company's political action committee endorses and a pair of editorials: one, by David Koch, supporting Mitt Romney, and the other, by Charles Koch, condemning Obama....
I repeat that there is NO political common ground with these people. Mr. Ryan himself said a few years ago that he sought no unity, rather he sought a clear-cut partisanship... as clear as Romney's 49%... as clear as Lenin's Bolsheviks.

I said years ago that these people seek to balance the deficit upon our backs, and they seek to recoup their fortunes with our blood.
(It sounds like a time of prophecy, does it not?)

note: my percentage may be wrong, but the only clip art was for 51... thus is history determined.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Purpose of Prayer

The purpose of literal and spoken prayer, whether silently or aloud, is to become free of literal prayer.

The purpose of Scripture is to become free of Scripture.

Atheists are not free from either; having thrown prayer and scripture aside, the fear of God yet rises up to bedevil them.

To anyone who says that the Scriptures of any religion are the inspired word of God and cannot be transcended, I would agree, for Scripture is not transcended. However, in its fulfillment it is no longer apart from me, we are no longer in an "I and Thou" relationship.
The new relationship is not "I and Thou", nor is it "Thou" nor is it "I".
It is the freedom of years of work and struggle.

There are many people today who are so enthralled by the reality of Prayer or of Scripture or some other manifestation of Religion, that if the freedom of their enlightenment were to knock on their door, they would fear to answer.
The spiritual struggle has an end in human terms, in human time.
Religion is the struggle, but there is an actual goal and attainment beyond it.


I woke up today a parasite... shades of Kafka!

I was one of the Romney 49%.

He had expressed my parasitism "inelegantly".

The remark, inelegant or not, reflects a common mindset of modern conservatives in America; no one in the room in which he spoke was shocked by it: it was uttered amidst general assent.

It's Ghostbusters, man!
The Republican Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man comes as the Destructor!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Altar Boy From Hell

The VP Debates

Let me get this straight:  Paul Ryan had a story about children injured in a car crash, and he told this story in order to debate a man who had lost a wife and daughter in a car crash?

Is Mr. Ryan saying that Mr. Biden does not have dibs on car crash stories?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Tradescantia Zebrina

I have a Tradescantia Zebrina (commonly: Wandering Jew plant) that grows very well, and that I am partial to. With our frequent absences this year, it had been stressed out due to the 2 1/2 month drought we had around here.
I am looking into getting a "Botanic Little Rascal", such as pictured above, to allow my Zebrina to truly wander and become a nomad.
picture:  mammoth

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


I sat through a marathon viewing of Lark Rise to Candleford...

I groaned finally that I could not endure anymore  FlicksKrieg!


Thinking About Certain Christian Beliefs

An argument about the concept "personal Savior".

There is nothing "personal" nor idiosyncratic about Jesus: it is not "my Jesus" one should talk about, for that is as specious as talking about "my truth".  What does it mean when the same people who tend to argue against "moral relativism" turn about and endorse "salvation relativism"?

If you be a Christian, you believe Jesus to have saved mankind from the effects of Original Sin, an effort in which each one of us plays little or no part.
However, in your own personal life, you must save yourself.
The role played by Jesus in this endeavor is very different from the role of "savior" in Original Sin; it is at least as different as "Jesus died for your sins" is from "Jesus will die for your sins".
And to say that "Jesus died for your sins" is not strictly true, rather "Jesus died for your propensity to sin".

And so on...
I personally feel that the notion of a "personal savior", particularly the Southern Baptist concept of it, is a form of religious and moral group-relativism disguised under the cape of doctrinal rigidity.
By group relativism, we show that we wish to include the dynamics of groups into the relativistic philosophy. Usually we speak of individual moral relativism, such as saying "That is true for me."
It is different when the group acts as if  "That is true for us."

Whereas individual relativism may be seen to lead to moral anarchy, group relativism appears rigid, and these appearances have more to do with individual versus group dynamics than they do with any of the philosophies or moral beliefs involved:  philosophical and reliigious rigidity are functions of group dynamics, not of logic internal to the philosophical beliefs... even if the philosophy is formulated to be unyielding and compulsive to obedience... the language is a residue of the primary engagement of coercion between human entities.
pix: bigthink

Romney and Syria

Mr. Romney has called for arming the Syrian rebels outright.

This puts him on the side of Saudi Arabia, the forcing garden of fundamentalism.

It also creates a new "Afghanistan" as a battle ground for foreign jihadists right on the Mediterranean. I think what Romney - and his eminence grise.... or his Professor Snape, if you will - Mr. Netanyahu of Israel see in this conflict is the eventual creation of a Sunni Islam state in Syria which will an effective counter-balance against Hizbullah and Iranian influence.

Their entire plan is predicated upon keeping the new Syria in a state of unrest and political turmoil, which will lead to an eventual break-up into autonomous regions: Sunni Islamic, Shia Islamic, Alawi, Kurdish, Druze, and all the rest.

The price of this ghastly fairy tale is something I cannot bring myself to endorse.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

The Unemployment Rate

There will be later corrections. I expect the 4% decline to amend itself to a 2% decline.

It is illogical, however, to expect nothing to happen, and the rate remain static.

It is partisan to believe the rate should increase in order to assist one's political views, such as the wise and elderly Jack Welch does.

If there is chicanery, provide the proof. The plausibility of political manipulation of the unemployment rate  based solely upon one's political feelings is a very poor proof.

Furthermore, there should be no insinuation that government workers who work independently of political parties are corrupt and their work is tainted.

Experimental Spirituality: various thoughts

Science is the greatest achievement of the human mind, being a complex of philosophy that is verified by experimentation, and is jointly pursued by a large group of individuals.

Religion's turn is coming. Religion presently is philosophy, theology, and doctrine ( "Talking the Talk"), and it does not do any verification procedures ("Walking the Walk").

When one is on a spiritual quest, one learns how to verify, not to associate or reinforce. Spiritual verification starts by emptying out (kenosis). Then it proceeds by filling up (plerosis).
One of the main and obvious problems in the world is the mixture of politics and religion, for it is impossible that a political being stay or become religious; the political being cannot empty out his soul and begin anew, like the religious being will do.

Politics is paradigmatic for Being-in-a-Society, whereas Spirituality is the paradigm for Being-Outside-a-Society and either staying outside (monastic orders) or returning to society (arhats)...
Religion, then, is the human endeavour of combining both Spirituality and Politics. That which people find repellent in Religion is mostly due to the political side: the wars and intolerance and acquisitiveness.

Religion may only be made purely spiritual by applying the experimental method, which is trial and error, such as the Jesuits followed by studying Ignatius Loyola's spiritual exercises, or the procedures of Zen monasteries, or the way of Sufi.

If Religion does not transform the individual or society or the world for the better, it is not religious; rather, an exercise in persuasion or compulsion or obsession.

Science seeks to establish a Theory which completely describes Nature.
Religion should seek to dis-establish Theory, which dis-establishment completely describes the Moral Nature.
Forgive me for underlining and emphasizing certain paragraphs, but as I go back over these posts, I realize the fact that you, the reader, already know, and that is that these are often too long, windy, verbose, and mixed up.
If there is any point that I think sort of sums up die gantseh Megillah, I will try to emphasize it.

The Candidates' Debate

It's called "firing up the troops" and getting them off their backsides. If they aren't fighting mad mad enough to throng to the polling booths, I'll let get mad at me, and let them realize we all got to do this together.

The next meeting will be different.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Choose Yer Poison
A federal judge has dismissed a case by an American Indian tribe that blamed beer sellers and makers for chronic alcoholism on their reservation.
Judge John Gerrard said there was "little question" that sales in a bordering Nebraska town had contributed significantly to the problem.
But he said federal courts did not have the jurisdiction to hold brewers or stores responsible.
The Oglala Sioux tribe [South Dakota] sued beer stores and manufacturers for $500m (£309m).
The lawsuit alleged that the stores and beer makers had knowingly allowed alcohol sales to residents of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which has banned alcohol since 1832, fully aware it would be smuggled to drink or resell.
The Oglala also argued that the beer distributors supplied the White Clay, Nebraska stores with "volumes of beer far in excess of an amount that could be sold in compliance with the laws of the state of Nebraska"...
There is no war on alcohol addiction; too bad.

Around here in Michigan, the people of the State had a grassroots campaign to repeal the ban on buying booze before noon on Sunday; we really needed our Sunday morning shot.

Or did we? The Liquor Lobby - like so many other lobbies - own the State of Michigan, just like they own Nebraska and South Dakota.

That is the reality of Democracy today.

Banks and Our Society

The London Inter-Bank Overnight Rate, or LIBOR, is no longer to be allowed to be overseen and set by banks in London, because the banks in London - like everywhere else - have shown that they cannot be trusted.

for more on good old US banks and their shenanigans.

Make you really want to vote fer Romney.

Ade Ileke 50: The Old Woman of Money Lake, Volgograd

Барышня на берегу Волги,
время и войны, она подросла старая,
подросла старая, время... войны...
Она смотрит, даже сейчас:
Она смотрит за моряками,
Mоряки, которые не стареют...
и все, кто умерли в Волгограде

A young lady on the banks of the Volga,
time and war, she grew old,
grew old, time... war...
She watches even now,

watching for the sailors;
sailors who did not grow old...
and all who died at Volgograd.

apologies for my wretched Russian.

Monday, October 01, 2012

The Virtue of Incivility

Unfortunately, I have more to say on Mr. Ryan, a person whom I dislike more with each passing day. Perhaps his contempt for us is what pushes me, a contempt such as that he exhibited yesterday when he responded to a pointed question about his "tax plan" by ignoring it and saying that the "math" would take too long to explain to all and sundry.

Too long have we groaned and wept about partisanship and incivility between political parties!

Incivility towards politicians such as Mr. Ryan is the only thing which will keep us alive.