Saturday, November 26, 2005

"It's a quarter after Judas"

articles : Jesus Junk: My Take on Christian Memorabilia : Youthworker Journal:
"I own a rather large collection of Jesus stuff. I have 3D Jesus pictures, Jesus nightlights, and a coffee mug that looks black until you pour hot coffee in it, and then Jesus magically appears on the side.

My mother-in-law bought me a Jesus wristwatch for Christmas one year. I loved it. Jesus was in the middle with the names of the twelve disciples at the numbers.

'Hey Steve, what time is it?'

'It's quarter after Judas.'"

Bosnians agree: Commemorate Bruce Lee


Bosnians agree: Commemorate Bruce Lee |
"In the heart of Europe's war-torn Balkans, a land where it's hard to get people to agree on anything, there's one point of common ground: The new Bruce Lee statue will point north.

When it is unveiled in Mostar Saturday, the 5-foot, 7-inch bronze likeness will be the world's first monument to the late great martial arts star - edging out by one day a new statue going up in Hong Kong. Bosnia-Herzegovina is about as far as one can get from the Hong Kong streets where the Chinese-American film legend unleashed his fists of fury. But, in some ways, that's the point.

"He's far [enough] away from us that nobody can ask what he did during World War II, during World War I, or what his ancestors did under Turkey. He's ... not Catholic, not Orthodox, not Muslim," says Veselin Gatalo, head of Mostar's Urban Movement group. "Bruce Lee is part of our idea of universal justice - that the good guys can win.""

See, it's not napalm because it's jellied kerosene instead of gasoline... that makes it okay.

Suburban Guerrilla » ‘Ashamed to Be An American’:
"We were sitting at her sumptuous spread of leftovers and talking politics.

Her husband, a retired NYC cop and a Vietnam vet, was shocked when I told him we were using napalm and white phosphorus on civilians during the seige of Fallujah.

“They’re using jellied kerosene instead of gasoline, but yeah, it’s napalm,” I told him.

He shook his head. “You know, I dropped white phosphorus on my boot once and I couldn’t get my boot off fast enough,” he said. “You should see that stuff. It burns right on through, real fast. When you use it on people, it does the same thing. It’s like putting dry ice on someone’s skin.”

“Fallujah was like a recruiting program for terrorists,” I said. “The things we did to civilians there have guaranteed them volunteers for decades.”

“It just makes me feel ashamed to be an American,” he said.

“Yeah, I know. I never felt this way before.”

"Good luck to each of us who walks, crawls, steps or drags through any given time on this earth."

Pat Morita:
" the tender age of two, the young 'Nori' was stricken with spinal tuberculosis and was abruptly taken away from his family. For the next nine years, he was hospitalized at Weimar Joint Sanatorium in Northern California, and for a brief period at the Shriner's Hospital in San Francisco.

...During these formative years, Morita was told on a daily basis that he would never be able to walk. Eventually, four vertebra in his spine were fused. And because he was a real fighter, he would prove his doctors wrong by walking out of the hospital at the age of 11.

In an ironic twist of fate, America had entered World War two years earlier, after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Morita's family, like over 110,000 other Americans of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast (Hawaii was not subject to mass internment orders), were interned. Morita walked well enough to be picked up at the hospital by an FBI officer who transported him by car, train and bus to the Gila Internment Camp in Arizona.

Morita recalls: 'I remember he wore dark glasses and had a mustache and was carrying a gun. Imagine that. I think back to the ludicrosity of it all: an FBI man escorting a recently able-to-walk spinal tubercular 11-year-old to a place behind barbed wire in the middle of nothing!'

"I remember doing the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the school day. It was in a barracks. . . (I remember) my English class; and looking out the window and seeing the American flag waving, juxtaposed against a guard tower in the background, I had this sense of 'What's this all about?' Why am I saying 'liberty and justice for all'? I was too young to rationalize this, but I do remember that the hurt of bigotry began early on and was to last for many, many years. Whenever I think about it, it still hurts.

Shortly after graduating from high-school, he joined an aerospace company on the outskirts of Sacramento, where he worked his way up to becoming the head of the computer operations department. But after a number of years, Morita became discontented. His weight shot up to nearly 200 pounds which, on his 5-foot, 3-inch frame, made him look like, in his words, "a Japanese butterball." He did not have a college degree or specialized training and realized that he had reached the top of his then chosen career path.

So, despite having a good job with security, a four-bedroom home and a wife, child, mother-in-law and three household pets depending on him, he decided that he wanted something more out of life.

...One of the most critically acclaimed moments in the film is known as the "drunk scene" (Daniel-san races to Miyagi's house late one night after being bullied at a restaurant.) Morita recalls that the script merely stated that "Daniel finds Miyagi... three sheets into the wind. . .singing. That was it. No dialogue, no reason, no why. . . no nothing! Gimme a break."

Morita went to the director, John Avildsen, to ask about the scene. They were already in production and filming around it.

"I say, 'John, we got a problem. What's this scene all about? Three sheets into the wind, singing. -What?' God bless him forever for being receptive."

Morita suggested the use of a Japanese song he heard as a child in the internment camps. Then he added as a background, "How about every three or four years Miyagi allows himself the luxury of lamenting the son he never had, a son that was to be, a son that he would never see? But, while he was off at war, he learns that mother and child died from complications in childbirth as a result of the deplorable medical conditions present in the internment camp."

Morita also suggested that Miyagi was a 442nd vet and had received a Congressional Medal of Honor for valor in battle, which deeply troubled his psyche. "Why had he survived the horrors of battle while his wife and child died?"

All the answers to these powerful elements were supplied by Morita, but very few people were ever aware of his contribution to the scene, or of the parallels to his own life and images from his childhood.

Over the years, Morita formed many lifelong friendships with veterans of the 442nd and 100th. In fact, he has been made an honorary member of the 442nd, "C" Company, and was the emcee for their 50th anniversary celebration in Hawaii just a couple of years ago.

...Morita is often asked about his role as a "sensei" and the lessons he would like to teach. He wonders why people ask such questions of "an actor who is still struggling to find his own way in life. I don't think I was put on the earth in our time to perpetuate answers to these depth-of-soul-searching questions. Rather, if at all, maybe I've been put on this earth to merely raise these queries in the hearts of others as a result of my actorial interpretive skills- to simply pose these kinds of questions: not necessarily to answer them. Good luck to each of us who walks, crawls, steps or drags through any given time on this earth. Indeed, God bless us all!""

Naked. With Sword.

"ANTONIO BANDERAS was once forced to use the sword he took home from his first ZORRO film to scare off an intruder at his Hollywood home.

The Spanish hunk reached for his blade when he found himself home alone and heard someone trying to break into the house he shares with wife MELANIE GRIFFITH and their kids.

But he then had to act fast to make sure he was clothed by the time police arrived at the scene."

Pat Morita's hip, but no hippie

Stars & Stripes:
"Pat Morita's hip, but no hippie

By Kent Nixon, S&S staff writer
Pacific edition, August 25, 1967

Nisei comic Pat Morita isn't a campaigning politician, but if he were, and applause meant votes, he would have been unanimously elected at the Yokota NCO Club Monday night.

Morita, who calls himself the "Hip Nip," easily stuffed a stag night audience into his back pocket with rapid-fire spoofing and mimicry.

..."I know there are a lot of Texans here, there always are," he began. "I worked in Texas and I found out the letters LBJ really mean: let's buy Japanese."

"You may have heard that back in the States there are some people who are smoking grass. I don't know how you feel, but it's sure easier than cutting the stuff."

Turning to history, "The Japanese couldn't have been all bad during World War II. Look at all the movies Hollywood was able to make on account of them. The Indians weren't the only bad guys. Thanks to the Japanese and Geronimo, John Wayne became a millionaire."

On his visit to Japan, his second: "I had hoped that I could learn more of the language of my ancestors but the Japanese spotted that I'm an American so they all insist on talking in my language to brush up on their English. I haven't learned a word of Japanese but the trip is sure helping my English."

...Commenting on the hippie scene ("of which I'm really not a part. 'Hip Nip' just sounds groovy. A drummer laid it on me."), Pat says, "I don't knock. That's not me. Let's just say I appreciate flower power, but I don't arrange.""

Friday, November 25, 2005

"Both work and life should be much more than 'bearable.'"


:: Douglas Rushkoff - Weblog :::
"A Harvard Business School professor told me that more than half of his students leave their corporate jobs within two years, disgusted not just by the company for which they worked, but 'the whole world of business.' Invariably, they choose jobs or start their own companies in order to participate in projects they feel offer meaning and fun. In a recent study of American workers by the Radcliffe Public Policy Center, 64 percent said they would prefer more time to more money, and 71 percent of young men said they would give up pay for more time with their families.

In their crude efforts to make work more fun, however, most companies are missing the point. Employers are busy installing foosball tables, hiring chefs, and building gyms for their increasingly disgruntled employees, but these are just ways of trying to make a bad situation more tolerable. (or to coax employees into spending long hours away from home) A foosball table is not the sign of a fun place to work; it's a glaring symbol that work is not fun and employees need a break. Why would they rather be playing foosball than doing whatever it is they've been hired to do?

Many have argued that it’s immature and idealistic to believe that everyone,or even a majority of people,should be allowed to enjoy their jobs. In the words of one dark New York TimesOpEd piece, 'We're still just means of production....Work is often more bearable when we don’t, in addition to money, expect it always to deliver happiness.' The same might be said for life itself, particularly when our duty to perform an economic function extends from what we can produce to what we can consume. Both work and life should be much more than 'bearable.'"

Puppet Iraqi Government misses the memo; says "open season" on Americans.

Don't worry though. It's all going according to plan.

Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Iraqi Leaders Call for Pullout Timetable:
"Leaders of Iraq's sharply divided Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis called Monday for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces in the country and said Iraq's opposition had a ``legitimate right'' of resistance."

America, land of the free. Kinda.

Remember the good old days? When you had to actually be doing something wrong to get arrested? Or cops needed things like probable cause?

Deborah Davis :: home:
"One morning in late September 2005, Deb was riding the public bus to work. She was minding her own business, reading a book and planning for work, when a security guard got on this public bus and demanded that every passenger show their ID. Deb, having done nothing wrong, declined. The guard called in federal cops, and she was arrested and charged with federal criminal misdemeanors after refusing to show ID on demand.

On the 9th of December 2005, Deborah Davis will be arraigned in U.S. District Court in a case that will determine whether Deb and the rest of us live in a free society, or in a country where we must show 'papers' whenever a cop demands them.

...The reason why she was charged has absolutely nothing to do with security. The guard at the Denver Federal Center wasn't checking IDs against a 'no ride' list: there is no such thing. The demands made against Deb Davis were nothing more than a compliance test, a demand that she kowtow to officialdom. And lest we forget, having to show your ID is a search without a warrant.

...Deborah Davis responded to this compliance test in a way that would have made the Founding Fathers proud. She is being prosecuted for no reason other than being 'uppity' in the face of authority.

...Still, some Americans think that 'if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear'. Were the Founding Fathers criminals trying to protect themselves when they inserted the 4th and 5th amendments into the Bill of Rights? After all, nobody who hasn't done anything wrong needs to worry about being searched or being forced to testify against himself."

Faith is failure.

Stands to be repeated.

The Occult & the Experience of God - Pop Occulture:
"It strikes me that many people who turn from organized or mainstream religions towards occult paths feel the same conflict as the monk in the desert. They want to hear God’s voice, feel God’s hand on their shoulder. They want proof, they want evidence and direct experience. Faith to them isn’t enough; it’s a failure, an excuse not to strive." » The Apparat Programme: 7

Cool indie music. Follow the links for download/podcast. » The Apparat Programme: 7:
"The Apparat Programme
broadcast at ninety-six kilobits per second in broadband
7: a selection from Superburst Mixtape
by popular request"

Miyagi have hope for you.

Hey, what kind of belt do you have?
Miyagi: Canvas. JC Penny. Three ninety-eight. You like?

Rest in Peace.

"Karate Kid" actor Pat Morita dies - Yahoo! News:

Pat Morita, the Japanese-American actor who gained fame as the wise Mr. Miyagi in the "Karate Kid" movies and on the television show "Happy Days," has died in Las Vegas at the age of 73.

Morita, who was born in California and sent to a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II, won a supporting actor nomination for his portrayal of the witty karate mentor of a young boy in 1984's "The Karate Kid.""


For Thanksgiving Sandy whipped up a feast, sans turkey of course, us being the "vegetarian-except-seafood-what-the-hell-does-that-mean?" people that we are. Mashed potatoes, rolls and butter, stuffing, gravy, corn, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie... the works...

It was a starchy extravaganza!

It was of course followed up with the obligatory post-large meal nap, in the traditions of the founding fathers...

I really wanted to go whole hog and have a "real" Thanksgiving by breaking into the neighbors house, slaughtering them and then claiming I "discovered" a new land... or at least leaving some smallpox infected blankets on their porch... but Sandy just wanted to do the food thing.

Besides, the Japanese probably wouldn't have really appreciated such fine American customs.

Oh well, maybe next year.

'Why I Hate Thanksgiving'
By Mitchel Cohen

The year was 1492. The Taino-Arawak people of the Bahamas discovered Christopher Columbus on their beach.

Historian Howard Zinn tells us how Arawak men and women, naked, tawny, and full of wonder, emerged from their villages onto the island's beaches and swam out to get a closer look at the strange big boat. When Columbus and his sailors came ashore, carrying swords, speaking oddly, the Arawaks ran to greet them, brought them food, water, gifts. Columbus later wrote of this in his log. Here is what he wrote:

"They brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks' bells. They willingly traded everything they owned. They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features. They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of sugar cane. They would make fine servants. With 50 men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want."

And so the conquest began...

Terry Waite: Were my captors worse than the Guantánamo jailers?

Guardian Unlimited :
"As I left the classroom I thought it remarkable that more young people did not join 'terrorist' groups. The point I want to make is this: war, as well as being a blunt instrument, fails totally to deal with the root issues underlying terrorism. In the political realm it requires statesmen and women; individuals who can think beyond the next election and who have the wisdom that comes from making an attempt to understand cultures other than those of the west.

Western democracy has many attractive features and has brought manifold benefits. It takes no intelligence to recognise that it also has its dark side and that it cannot, nor necessarily ought it to be, exported to all parts of the world. If the optimistic statements made by some British and US politicians before the Iraqi war - when it was stated that the conflict would be concluded in weeks - were truly believed then one can only despair at the level of understanding demonstrated.

The destructive eruption following 9/11 has struck at the roots of democratic freedom. The arguments will continue for a long time about which particular category terrorist suspects belong to. The fact is that on the basis of suspicion alone people have been detained, and in some cases subjected to processes that should not be part of a civilised nation.

Let me give a personal example. I was detained by a group of hostage takers in Beirut because they suspected me of engaging in dubious political activity. They blindfolded me and kept me in poor conditions without any contact with the outside world. They subjected me to physical and mental abuse during a lengthy period of interrogation. Had I not been able to convince them of my innocence I would not be walking free today. What is the essential difference between the methods deployed by my captors, who were labelled terrorists, and those of the authorities that detain suspects in Guantánamo Bay and elsewhere? They have been detained on suspicion and treated in a way that no civilised nation ought to condone."

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Used Car Sales:
"' If you don't have something to do, pretend to look busy '

' you get paid more than I do, you pretend I'm looking busy '

This is what was rolling around in his head. Rich decided to take the day off.

Rich made good food. He worked out, smoked a fatty and had a hot tub. He caught up on his chores around the house. He listened to his favorite music, read a book and took a nap and yes, he masturbated.

Rich went to work a happy man the next day."

The Death Penalty

I've gone back and forth for years on whether or not I think the death penalty is a good ideas... It's tricky, because I think, and I tend to think a lot of people do, that you absolutely know that there are people who have done things that earns them the "shouldn't get breathe anymore" express train ticket.

But the problem is that once that decision and option becomes institutionalized, it becomes as screwed up as anything else. The Innocence Project has exonerated dozens of people via DNA evidence who were convicted beyond all "reasonable doubt." False confessions, crooked or lazy law enforcement personnel and judiciary.

There's just no way once you have it as an option, a legal option, that innocent people won't die sometimes.

Doesn't seem worth it. - Did Texas execute an innocent man?:
"Texas executed its fifth teenage offender at 22 minutes after midnight on Aug. 24, 1993, after his last request for bubble gum had been refused and his final claim of innocence had been forever silenced.

Ruben Cantu, 17 at the time of his crime, had no previous convictions, but a San Antonio prosecutor had branded him a violent thief, gang member and murderer who ruthlessly shot one victim nine times with a rifle before emptying at least nine more rounds into the only eyewitness — a man who barely survived to testify.

Four days after a Bexar County jury delivered its verdict, Cantu wrote this letter to the residents of San Antonio: 'My name is Ruben M. Cantu and I am only 18 years old. I got to the 9th grade and I have been framed in a capital murder case.'

A dozen years after his execution, a Houston Chronicle investigation suggests that Cantu, a former special-ed student who grew up in a tough neighborhood on the south side of San Antonio, was likely telling the truth.

Cantu's long-silent co-defendant, David Garza, just 15 when the two boys allegedly committed a murder-robbery together, has signed a sworn affidavit saying he allowed his friend to be falsely accused, though Cantu wasn't with him the night of the killing.

And the lone eyewitness, the man who survived the shooting, has recanted. He told the Chronicle he's sure that the person who shot him was not Cantu, but he felt pressured by police to identify the boy as the killer. Juan Moreno, an illegal immigrant at the time of the shooting, said his damning in-court identification was based on his fear of authorities and police interest in Cantu."

Nazi tech still killing us. Thanks Project Paperclip! You're swell!

BBC NEWS | Magazine | Project Paperclip: Dark side of the Moon:
"Sixty years ago the US hired Nazi scientists to lead pioneering projects, such as the race to conquer space. These men provided the US with cutting-edge technology which still leads the way today, but at a cost.

...All of these men were cleared to work for the US, their alleged crimes covered up and their backgrounds bleached by a military which saw winning the Cold War, and not upholding justice, as its first priority.

...And the paperclip which secured their new details in their personnel files gave the whole operation its name. Sixty years on, the legacy of Paperclip remains as vital as ever.

With its radar-absorbing carbon impregnated plywood skin and swept-back single wing, the 1944 Horten Ho 229 was arguably the first stealth aircraft.

The US military made one available to Northrop Aviation, the company which would produce the $2bn B-2 Stealth bomber - to all intents and purposes a modern clone of the Horten - a generation later.

Cruise missiles are still based on the design of the V-1 missile and the scramjets powering Nasa's state-of-the-art X-43 hypersonic aircraft owe much to German jet pioneers.

Added to this, the large number of still-secret Paperclip documents has led many people, including Nick Cook, Aerospace Consultant at Jane's Defence Weekly, to speculate that the US may have developed even more advanced Nazi technology, including anti-gravity devices, a potential source of vast amounts of free energy. "

Science fiction will save us! [Live long and prosper and may the force be with you.]

Back to utopia - The Boston Globe:
"In recent years, however, certain eminent contrarians... have lamented the wholesale abandonment of such utopian ideas of the left as the abolition of property, the triumph of solidarity, and the end of racism and sexism.

The question, for thinkers like these, is how to revive the spirit of utopia... without repeating the errors of what Jacoby has dubbed ''blueprint utopianism,' that is, a tendency to map out utopian society in minute detail. How to avoid, as Jameson puts it, effectively ''colonizing the future'?

Is the thought of a noncapitalist utopia even possible after Stalinism, after decades of anticommunist polemic on the part of brilliant and morally engaged intellectuals? Or are we all convinced, in a politically paralyzing way, that Margaret Thatcher had it right when she crowed that ''there is no alternative' to free-market capitalism?

...he invites us to explore an overlooked canon of anti-anti-utopian narratives that some, to echo Niebuhr, might find embarrassingly adolescent: offbeat science fiction novels of the 1960s and '70s.

Jameson, a professor of comparative literature at Duke, isn't talking about ''Star Trek' novelizations. Because of the Cold War emphasis on dystopias, Cold War writers like Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Samuel R. Delany had to find radical new ways to express their inexpressible hopes about the future, claims Jameson. At this moment of neoliberal triumphalism, he suggests, we should take these writers seriously - even if their ideas are packaged inside lurid paperbacks.

...Jameson, who's been writing about Dick, Le Guin, Delany, Brunner, and others in the pages of scholarly journals like Science Fiction Studies for 30 years, is reticent when it comes to the question of what makes a great anti-anti-utopian narrative. ''The talent or the greatness of science fiction writers," he said, ''lies in what individual solutions they have for a formal problem - the ban on graven images - that cannot be resolved. There's no universal recipe." But when it comes to the power of science fiction to spring us from what he claims is our current state of political paralysis, Jameson is enthusiastic. ''It's only when people come to realize that there is no alternative," he said, ''that they react against it, at least in their imaginations, and try to think of alternatives."

Can reading science fiction, I asked, help us decide between various utopian alternatives - urban vs. pastoral, statist vs. anarchistic? No, replied Jameson, insisting there are ''utopian elements" in each of these. What science fiction does afford us, he said, ''is not a synthesis of these elements but a process where the imagination begins to question itself, to move back and forth among the possibilities."

What contemporary science fiction author most inspires this ideal process? In ''Archaeologies," Jameson suggests it might be a former doctoral student of his, Kim Stanley Robinson, who wrote his dissertation on Philip K. Dick and whose popular trilogy, ''Red Mars" (1992), ''Green Mars" (1993), and ''Blue Mars" (1995), explores the political, economic, and ecological crises that ensue when 21st-century colonists from Earth begin terraforming Mars. Instead of asking the reader to decide on any one of the colonists' competing utopian ideologies, Jameson said, Robinson ''goes back and forth between these various visions, [allowing us to see] it's not a matter of choosing between them but of using them to destabilize our own existence, our own social life at present.""

Barney VS 2pac - Google Video

I laughed at this more than is probably healthy.

Barney VS 2pac - Google Video

What I Didn’t Learn at VMI by Jacob G. Hornberger

What I Didn’t Learn at VMI by Jacob G. Hornberger:
"By the time I was a junior at VMI, I had discovered how wrong I had been. Federal officials do lie. They lied about the fake attack at the Gulf of Tonkin. They lied when they said that U.S. troops were defending our freedoms in Vietnam. They lied when they said that 'the dominoes' would fall if South Vietnam fell. They lied when they said that the communists would end up taking over America if South Vietnam lost the war.

Today the lies are different but they’re still lying. There are little lies and big lies. There were the lies describing the Jessica Lynch ambush. There were the lies surrounding the death of Pat Tillman. There are lies saying that they didn’t use white phosphorus on the people of Fallujah. There are the 'We don’t torture' lies. And there was the 9/11 lie, which claimed that while foreigners love the U.S. government for what it does to people overseas, they hate Americans for their 'freedom and values.'

And there’s Iraq, a war that is not only enveloped by lies but is also infected through and through with lies."

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Jesus Apologizes for Faked Death Hoax

Jesus Apologizes for Faked Death Hoax | brainsnap:
"JERUSALEM, Israel - Jesus of Nazareth today formally apologized for hoaxing his own death two thousand years ago. At a conference held for the benefit of victims of religious deaths and wars, he denied rumors that the hoax was staged for insurance purposes.

'They were crazy times, there was a lot of political upheaval - I guess I was shocked that no one saw the funny side of the it. I was just trying to lighten things up. I wasn't trying to prove anything. I'm not that kind of guy. I'm a 'have faith' kind of guy not a 'here's proof' guy.

'Christ, what a misunderstanding,' he concluded, telling reporters that he didn't consider it to be really blasphemous if he used his name as an expletive."

"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November » The Anthropik Network:
"In the 1980’s comic V for Vendetta, V models himself in the image of that infamous terrorist. In an alternative timeline in which the United States and the Soviet Union destroyed each other in nuclear war, England survived by becoming a fascist dystopia. This government becomes the target of an elaborate plot devised by the terrorist and anarchist known only as V. Wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, V begins his campaign against the state by succeeding where Fawkes failed—blowing up Parliament.

...V is a very rare case as far as superheroes go—a superhero whose philosophy is openly anarchist. Most superheroes are dedicated toward upholding the law, which presents writers with a dilemma. How can they portray a person who is ultimately breaking the law by taking it into his own hands as enforcers of the law?

...For that matter, what gives any superhero the right to use the violent and destructive measures they so often employ?

...this idea of the greater good is how superheroes operate. The superhero is allowed to use any amount force to achieve his goals. No one else is.

...This is a theme that often crops up with Batman, who, depending on the writer, may be seen either as an agent of the state or as a masked vigilante. Frank Miller’s portrayal of Batman in the popular series The Dark Knight Returns deals largely with this issue of monopoly of force. The story features a Caped Crusader at the end of his years, having lost the support of the public and the government, engaged in a vindictive campaign to restore Gotham.

...Even in Batman, however, there is a constant need for comic book writers to reaffirm the legitimacy of the state’s concept of justice. V is the extremely rare example of a superhero who finds himself not only unaligned with the state, but actively opposed to the state. In this way it might be said that V for Vendetta actually has more in common with politically charged stories such as George Orwell's similarly dystopian 1984 than it does with the tales of V’s comic book counterparts.

Even more surprising is that V's concept of anarchy appears to be as accurate as it is eloquent. V is careful to distinguish between anarchy and chaos—between "the land of do-as-you-please" and "the land of take-what-you-want." And while written over 20 years ago, the ideas in V for Vendetta are just as important to audiences today, if not moreso.

V’s response to the concept of monopoly of force can be found in the poster for the film:

People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

"Order is inevitable, but laws and governments are unnecessary contrivances"

Order, Chaos, and What “Anarchy” Really Means » The Anthropik Network:
"'Anarchy' means 'rule by no one.' The '-archy' element indicates that there is still some kind of rule--only that no one is doing the ruling.

...Other forms of rule--monarchy, theocracy, democracy, whatever--are anything but. They have an ideological vision of what that order should look like, and they are intent on imposing that vision on the world. They want order, but they want their order. They want to shoe-horn everything into that vision, however maladapted it may be. Where anarchy's order is organic, their order is ossified; where anarchy's order is adaptive, theirs is reactive; where anarchy's order accepts others for what they are and builds a system around that, theirs builds a system, and violently pushes everything into it no matter how ill the fit. Anarchy's order is elegant and gentle; it gives meaning and context. Theirs is rudimentary and violent; it is oppression and despotism.

Order is inevitable, but laws and governments are unnecessary contrivanes, unnecessary evils that afflict us. They burden us without benefit, they drain us without giving anything back. They take, but they do not give.

Anarchy's order accepts humans for who they are, and does not need any higher, better form to work well. Adams commented that if men were angels, governments would not be necessary. Yet it seems to me that governments are not necessary because men are not angels--it is governments that require angels, and anarchies that require men."

Shamanic Christian thought...

The Shaman’s Vision » The Anthropik Network:
"If we depart from traditional views of Christ and instead look at the historical evidence of what Jesus actually said and did, the shamanic elements become even stronger. Consistently, Jesus undermined the basic 'brokered' nature of Roman society (see John Dominic Crossan, The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant) and urged his followers to end Roman power by denying the very principle of authority itself. He contested this primarily in the arena of religion, by denying the efficacy of the brokered religious hierarchy, instead teaching his followers to seek direct religious experience. In this way, Jesus was denying the very essence of civilized religion, and promoting the 'open source' spirit of shamanism and ecstatic religious experience, even within the cosmological context of Second Temple Judaism. As an ascetic and very likely an Essene (see my 2002 paper, 'Subversion Incarnate: Asceticism as Political Resistance in Roman Judea, 6 - 66 CE,' [PDF], also featured in the Vault), Jesus also may have engaged directly in the same ascetic practices for inducing such ecstatic states as ancient shamans.

This line of Christian thought was largely extinguished by Paul, who reinvented Christianity and the direct threat to civilization that it posed, as a civilized religion that supported the same mechanisms of hierarchy and control that Jesus gave his life trying to bring down. Paul did this by invoking Jesus' name as a godhead, while simultaneously either radically interpreting, reinventing, or (more often) simply ignoring everything Jesus taught. Jesus' shamanic influences were kept alive even to the smallest extent only by Christian Gnostics, who pursued the same ecstatic, personal, religious experience that Jesus instructed his disciples to pursue. Because personal religious experience is very difficult to control, this made the Gnostics a particularly hated enemy of the orthodox church, particularly after the final major reinvention of Christianity took place under the Emperor Constantine. Persecution of the Gnostics persisted for centuries until finally institutionalized, hierarchical Christianity carried the day through the violent eradication of all who remained true to Jesus' original, shamanistic message, and a judicious exercise of terror."

Possible Egyptian origins of Judaism

The Shaman’s Vision » The Anthropik Network:
"Enter Amunhotep III, who upon his ascension embarked on a radical campaign to destroy the Amun priesthood's power. He become a monotheist. Worship of the old gods was proscribed, their names banned, their priesthoods disbanded. Instead, Amunhotep elevated a minor artifact of the Heliopolitan cult of Ra--the sun-disk, or Aten--to the status of 'one true god.'

...This suggests an interesting origin of Judaism in Egyptian religion. It is worth noting that Psalm 104 is nearly identical to Akhenaten's 'Great Hymn to the Aten.' 'Moses' is a popular element in Egyptian names, meaning 'son of,' and is often associated with a god's name, as in 'Ra-moses,' or 'Thoth-moses.' This suggests that Moses may have been involved in Akhenaten's monotheistic revolution, and stricken the 'pagan' element from his name, leaving only 'Moses.' When the Amun priesthood returned to power and began its violent crack-down on the Atenists, Moses would have been wise to flee to the barely-controlled Egyptian frontiers. It is also wise for those under attack by society to band together with others under attack by the same society. There may have been a number of Atenists who looked to Moses for leadership for any number of reasons; Semitic slaves may have been their natural allies. It is curious that Exodus places nearly all of Moses' life in the Sinai peninsula, suggesting that Israel may not have been their originally-intended destination. Sinai, too, would have been on the fringes of the empire. They may have suffered pursuit, there, and then fled north.

There, they would have met David's 'Apiru. David may well have dreamed of making the jump from successful bandit lord, to regional chieftain. That would have meant transforming the 'Apiru into a real society, giving them a sense of unity and purpose. Moses and the exiled Atenists could have provided that. In return for protection and sanctuary, Moses' Egyptian exiles could have provided the 'Apiru with a religion to unite them as 'G-d's chosen people.'

Over time, two foundation myth cycles would have developed: one focused on Moses and their religious foundation, another focused on David and their political foundation. By the time these stories were set down during the Babylonian Exile, both would be sufficiently complete and complex that the authors would have reasonable concluded that they were sequential, rather than contemporaneous."

The Shaman’s Vision

The Shaman’s Vision » The Anthropik Network:
"Imagine, for a moment, what the world might be like if there was only one religion. Not a dogmatic creed you were forced to comply with, but a sort of 'open source' interplay of visions and ideas that not only encouraged, but demanded your active participation in creating an organic, evolving vision of the world. Imagine what such a religion might be like, if you were forbidden to simply take another's word for it, and you were required to experience the divine for yourself--a religion that required no faith in anything but your own experience of it. Imagine a religion based on dreams and visions, a religion that saw a world that was simultaneously sacred and profane but above all, alive. Imagine a world where you were not just an empty elite separated from your domain by the aloofness of power, but irrevocably enmeshed in a network screaming with life, a world where every stone and stick and blade of grass pulsed with a sacred spirit all its own. Imagine what such a religion might be like.

We don't need to use too much imagination to conjure up such an image, because not only did it once exist, it is humanity's natural state. That religion is today often called 'shamanism,' for the Tungus word for their most religious individuals. It is the root of all our modern religions--all of them are the descendants of the shaman's vision. It is the genesis of art, music, theater, philosophy, mathematics, science, and all those abstract things that we so often look to as the very best of our species' achievements.

...The "shamanic state of consciousness" (often abbreviated "SSC") is less a reductionist state, and more an integrative state. This boosts the mind's integrative abilities, allowing it to make connections between various ideas on analytical, metaphorical and other levels simultaneously. The value of non-analytical thought to make intuitive leaps that may be impossible through analysis alone has been evidenced at several points in the history of science. One striking example might be Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz, who added a new chapter to every high school chemistry textbook with his discovery of the benzene ring--a structure he discovered only thanks to the inspiration of a dream he had, wherein he encountered the ancient symbol of the snake eating is own tail, the ouroboros.

Winkelman shows that in the shamanic state of consciousness, the body's natural healing processes are activated in a significant manner. This is related to the placebo effect, in that the body is, in general, very good at seeing to its own treatment. For example, both the placebo effect and the shamanic state of consciousness result in the release of opioids. The placebo effect is well-known, but rarely given its due. Too often, we refer to "just" a placebo effect. Approved drugs must do better than placebo, but even our very best drugs--such as aspirin--can only narrowly edge out the placebo effect. Very often, up to 75% of a drug's effectiveness will be due to the placebo effect. The shamanic state of consciousness does not try to denigrate such a powerful healing function, but instead tries to use it to still greater effect. The SSC exacerbates the same self-healing processes as the placebo effect. When combined with the shaman's traditional role as resident ethnobotanist, this makes the efficacy of most shamanic ethnomedicine roughly equal to our own biomedicine.

These are the two primary tasks of the shaman: to heal, and to gain information from the spirit world. To do this, the shaman makes friends with the spirits and becomes, essentially, the tribe's ambassador to the spirit world."

Daniel Quinn's Food Race hypothesis

Systems Thinking and The Food Race » The Anthropik Network:
"One of the most basic concepts of the New Tribal Revolution is the realization of the Food Race. Essentially the Food Race is the name Daniel Quinn gave to the observation that every year civilization grows more food, which is inevitably followed by civilization being made of more people. In order to feed this excess of people we then grow more, which in turn causes an increase in the population. Daniel Quinn called this an 'experiment run 10,000 times,' which might actually be an understatement. But suffice it to say that we've tried this quite a few times now with no variation on the result."

The Thirty Theses » The Anthropik Network

The Thirty Theses » The Anthropik Network:
"The Thirty Theses

1. Diversity is the primary good.
2. Evolution is the result of diversity.
3. Humans are products of evolution.
4. Human population is a function of food supply.
5. Humans are neither good nor evil.
6. Humans are still Pleistocene animals.
7. Humans are best adapted to band life.
8. Human societies are defined by their food.
9. Agriculture is difficult, dangerous and unhealthy.
10. Emergent elites led the Agricultural Revolution.
11. Hierarchy is an unnecessary evil.
12. Civilization must always grow.
13. Civilization always pursues complexity.
14. Complexity is subject to diminishing returns.
15. We have passed the point of diminishing returns.
16. Technology cannot stop collapse.
17. Environmental problems may lead to collapse.
18. Peak Oil may lead to collapse.
19. Marginal returns ensures collapse.
20. Collapse is an economizing process.
21. Civilization makes us sick.
22. Civilization has no monopoly on art.
23. Civilization has no monopoly on knowledge.
24. Civilization has no monopoly on medicine.
25. Civilization reduces quality of life.
26. Collapse is inevitable.
27. Collapse increases quality of life.
28. Humanity will almost certainly survive.
29. It will be impossible to rebuild civilization.
30. The future will be what we make of it."

Sign of the Apocalypse - Politician tells truth - Airline Security Useless

Schneier on Security: Australian Minister's Sensible Comments on Airline Security Sparks Outcry:
"In a wide-ranging speech to Adelaide Rotarians, Senator Vanstone dismissed many commonwealth security measures as essentially ineffective. 'To be tactful about these things, a lot of what we do is to make people feel better as opposed to actually achieve an outcome,' Senator Vanstone said.

..."Has it ever occurred to you that you just smash your wine glass and jump at someone, grab the top of their head and put it in their carotid artery and ask anything?" Senator Vanstone told her audience of about 100 Rotarians. "And believe me, you will have their attention. I think of this every time I see more money for the security agencies."

The Immigration Minister also told of a grisly conversation with Mr Howard during a discussion on increased spending on national security.

Senator Vanstone said: "I asked him if I was able to get on a plane with an HB pencil, which you are able to, and I further asked him if I went down and came and grabbed him by the front of the head and stabbed the HB pencil into your eyeball and wiggled it around down to your brain area, do you think you'd be focusing? He's thinking, she's gone mad again.""

Inside the Madrasas

The New York Review of Books: Inside the Madrasas:
"'Bush has woken the entire Islamic world. We are grateful to him.'

...under Sami's vice-presidency have just imposed a Taliban-like regime on Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province, banning the public performance of music and depictions of the human form. The one exception to this, bizarrely, is the image of Colonel Sanders outside the new Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Peshawar. This was apparently because the Colonel was judged to be sporting a properly Islamic beard, and so was spared the iconoclasm imposed elsewhere.

...Across Pakistan, the tenor of religious belief has been correspondingly radicalized: the tolerant Sufi-minded Barelvi form of Islam is now deeply out of fashion in Pakistan, overtaken by the sudden rise of the more hard-line and politicized reformist Deobandi, Wahhabi, and Salafi strains of the faith.

...It is now becoming very clear, however, that producing cannon fodder for the Taliban and educating local sectarian thugs is not at all the same as producing the kind of technically literate al-Qaeda terrorist who carried out the horrifyingly sophisticated attacks on the USS Cole, the US embassies in East Africa, the World Trade Center, and the London Underground. Indeed, a number of recent studies have emphasized that there is a fundamental distinction to be made between ma-drasa graduates—who tend to be pious villagers from impoverished economic backgrounds, possessing little technical sophistication—and the sort of middle-class, politically literate global Salafi jihadis who plan al-Qaeda operations around the world. Most of these turn out to have secular and technical backgrounds. Neither bin Laden nor any of the men who carried out the Islamist assaults on America or Britain were trained in a madrasa or was a qualified alim, or cleric.

...the conclusion drawn by the most sophisticated analysis of global jihadis yet published: Understanding Terror Networks by a former CIA official, Marc Sageman. Sageman examined the records of 172 al-Qaeda-linked terrorists, and his conclusions have demolished much of the conventional wisdom about who joins jihadi groups: two thirds of his sample were middle-class and university-educated; they are generally technically minded professionals and several have a Ph.D. Nor are they young hotheads: their average age is twenty-six, most of them are married, and many have children. Only two appear to be psychotic. Even the ideologues that influence them are not trained clerics: Sayyid Qutb, for example, was a journalist. Islamic terrorism, like its Christian and Jewish predecessors, is a largely bourgeois enterprise.

...At the height of the Afghan jihad Ronald Reagan is said to have praised Mujahideen madrasa students as "the moral equivalent of the founding fathers [of America].""

“all time is present now"

Non-Prophet: [Guest Blogger] Daniel Pinchbeck: The Mayan Apocalypse:
"I was left wondering why Western culture found it necessary to drastically repress not only psychedelic chemicals, but the entire worldview of shamanism with its focus on intuitive and magical aspects of reality, represented by the burning of witches in the Inquisition, and the destruction of native traditions during Colonialism. It seemed to me that this suppression masked some deep ontological threat to the modern mind.

...Jung’s essay, "Answer to Job," one of the most important texts of the Twentieth Century, providing a psychoanalytic portrait of the Western "god-image," Jahweh, as he developed, in a dialectical relationship with his chosen people, the Jews, through the Old and the New Testaments. Jung notes that the Western god-image has been undergoing his own evolution – in the earlier works of the Old Testament, Jahweh often seems to have the personality of a primitive war-lord or despotic king, inciting increased consciousness by inflicting suffering on the Jews. Job is the first human being to recognize that the god-image is not simply beyond judgment and understanding, but contains antinomies, schisms within his own nature, that make him the "dark god" of the unconscious as well as a benevolent life-giving deity. According to Jung, Job’s realization forces a concomitant realization on the part of the god-image; the creator fears the skeptical gaze of his creature, and he is forced to incarnate as Christ, a manifestation of the "good god," as a dialectical compensation for his previous amorality. Jung realized that the incarnation of Christ was preparation – that the god-image intended to incarnate in the collective body of humanity, and that this event was approaching quickly. Jung saw the flying saucer phenomenon of the 1950s as a sign of an imminent transformation in the nature of the psyche.

...The process of Apocalypse involves a realization that Western civilization is founded on a fundamentally flawed conception of time. Through our solar calendars, desynchronized from natural cycles, and our technological projections, we have reified a conception of time as an unvarying linear extension akin to space, in which ultimate fulfillment or completion lies in a far-distant and undefined future condition. We are constantly projecting our hopes, dreams, and desires onto the future – acting as though the present moment is somehow insufficient, founded upon a lack or failure of being. Part of Christ’s mission on the earth was to directly challenge this misconception through his parables and elegant paradoxes. He said, for instance, “The hour is coming, and now is.” Christ spoke and acted from the perspective of what Gebser calls “origin,” the transcendent domain, outside of space and time, given rigorous formulation by quantum physics.

Indigenous groups such as the Hopi or the Australian Aboriginals live in a form of time that is vastly different from our modern conception of it. The Hopi have a “continuum consciousness” in which “all time is present now,” and events follow a pre-set pattern. `For the Aboriginals, there was never a “fall of man” into a degraded state. Every day is the “first day,” the origin point, and the purpose of their rituals and ceremonies is to maintain the perfection of creation. "

Well now, that's just different.

"Not what you were thinking the writer of a comic book that’s set in a 2021 America ruled by Liberals, a place where G. Gordon Liddy and Sean Hannity (of Fox’s Hannity and Combs) are biomechincally enhanced freedom fighters, fighting against President Chelsea Clinton and a culture that has all but eliminated Conservative thought would lead off with, huh?

Joining with a handful of other titles that have ultimately received more attention outside of comics than inside, Liberality For All is either a satire of Liberalism, a parody of Conservativism, or just a mad joke, and Mackey is laughing at everyone. Which makes Mackey either a genius or a lunatic – and he freely admits, the Liberality For All audience may still be split on the final verdict.

The first issue of the eight issue miniseries, Liberality (illustrated by Donny Lin) came out at the end of October, and perhaps the most anticipated comic of the season in some quarters – yes, even more so than House of M or Infinite Crisis #1.

No – you haven’t entered fantasyland. Since the announcement that Mackey was producing a comic set in a dystopian future, with the dystopia due to a Liberal administration taking the White House in 2000, he and his comic have appeared in more mainstream television spots, newspaper articles, and radio shows than…well, safe to say, all of the comic creators working for Marvel and DC put together.

...As Mackey explained, the inspiration for Liberality came from two prime sources, the first a painting entitled “Rush the Warrior” by Clyde Caldwell showing talk radio personality Rush Limbaugh as a battling barbarian, fighting a three-headed monster (with Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton, and Al Gore as the heads, while Liberty and Justice – aptly portrayed as hot babes are shown to be what Rush is defending); and a John Kerry bumper sticker from 2004’s election season that said, “Kerry for a Stronger America.”

“I saw the bumper sticker the same day that Kerry had made a comment about fighting a ‘more sensitive’ war on terror,” Mackey said. “That got me thinking about what this ‘other world’ would look like, one where Kerry was leading the country in a more ‘sensitive war.’ I started listening to a lot of talk radio, both right and left wing, and tried to come up with something that had elements of both the extreme right and extreme left.”"


Suburban Guerrilla » A Sense of Proportion:
"There are only two proper responses to assholes of either gender: ignore them – or decimate them.

...I don’t shock easily. And I’ve been known to call people of either gender “pricks” and “cunts”; I’m a writer, not the P.C. police. Because I’m not now and have never been an academic, I use those words for colloquial shock value – and I’ll defend to the death anyone’s right to do so.

(“That’s the sign of a weak vocabulary,” my mother will sometimes say after I cut loose with some rather colorful expression. “Well, I certainly blew that theory to shit,” I say cheerily. )

In far too many parts of the world, women are still routinely raped, tortured and rendered politically powerless. They’re mutilated, murdered and deprived of legal rights – and it’s official policy.

While American female political activists and writers of all stripes are without question the subject of conscious and unconscious bias, let’s not lump ourselves in the same harrowing category as women who are subjected to gang rape, ritual genital mutilation or the slave trade.

We’re in a bare-knuckles, to-the-death brawl against the forces of fucking evil – and oppressive sexist language is pretty far down on my list of priorities."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving [from Warren Ellis] » And Fuck The Turkey You Rode In On:
"Gnawing on a dried-out plucked buzzard to celebrate Britain chucking all the creepy inbred sandal-chewing God-botherers into boats and shipping them all off to a continent cursed by earthquakes, hurricanes and tornados?

...(P.S.: Brian Wood’s just reminded me of something. Why don’t the Americans give each other blankets as Thanksgiving gifts?)"

Overheard in the Office: The Voice of the Cubicle - 3PM Cigarette Break

Overheard in the Office: The Voice of the Cubicle - 3PM Cigarette Break:
"3PM Cigarette Break

Co-worker: My hubby can be such a dork. We went to the hardware store this weekend because we are refinishing our bathroom. So, I ask the hardware store guy, 'Where do you keep your caulk?' Hubby just stood behind me and snickered.

8400 Esters Boulevard
Irving, Texas"

World without Religion - Lifestyle - Duelling Gods:
"Can you imagine a world without religion? John Lennon did in his famous song Imagine, where he proposed that the end of religion was the way to peace. Two former Christian missionaries in Toronto are now using his song as their new mission in life.

They founded True World Care Inc. to urge people to 'be honest with themselves' about the shortcomings of religion, the 'horrors of fundamentalism,' and the problems with most of our religious texts.

A world without the Bible, the Koran, the Torah? It's a step in the right direction, say Alex Presenza and Roger Lapointe.

'TWCs founders, two God loving ex-missionaries, could not live within the contradictions, pain and pat answers brought on by blind faith and religious texts namely The Old & New Testaments, and the Koran,' they say on their website 'We've always heard it said 'it's all a matter of interpretation.' TWC is here to say 'it's the text's themselves!' '"

More X-mas'y truths...

The psychedelic secrets of Santa Claus:
"Although most people see Christmas as a Christian holiday, most of the symbols and icons we associate with Christmas celebrations are actually derived from the shamanistic traditions of the tribal peoples of pre-Christian Northern Europe."

"No God means the possibility of less suffering in the future."

NPR : There is No God:
"Believing there's no God stops me from being solipsistic. I can read ideas from all different people from all different cultures. Without God, we can agree on reality, and I can keep learning where I'm wrong. We can all keep adjusting, so we can really communicate. I don't travel in circles where people say, 'I have faith, I believe this in my heart and nothing you can say or do can shake my faith.' That's just a long-winded religious way to say, 'shut up,' or another two words that the FCC likes less. But all obscenity is less insulting than, 'How I was brought up and my imaginary friend means more to me than anything you can ever say or do.' So, believing there is no God lets me be proven wrong and that's always fun. It means I'm learning something.

Believing there is no God means the suffering I've seen in my family, and indeed all the suffering in the world, isn't caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn't bothered to help or is just testing us, but rather something we all may be able to help others with in the future. No God means the possibility of less suffering in the future."

Fair and Balanced

Suburban Guerrilla » Compare and Contrast:
"...the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, aggressively delving into alleged misconduct by the Clinton administration, logged 140 hours of sworn testimony into whether former president Bill Clinton had used the White House Christmas card list to identify potential Democratic donors.

In the past two years, a House committee has managed to take only 12 hours of sworn testimony about the abuse of prisoners at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison."

The War on Vague Concepts and Tactics

"Does anyone understand what 'war on terror' means? The country was attacked by a murderous association of Islamic fundamentalists led by Osama bin Laden. Last we heard, he was still alive and well, probably in some cave in northwestern Pakistan. That's a long way from Iraq.

The president says that Iraq is a test of our nation's resolve, that anything less than victory will confirm the enemy's view that America lacks the stomach for a fight. But 'stay the course' doesn't play as a strategy when the course seems to lead nowhere. What is victory in Iraq? When will we know we've won? When the simmering, low-level civil war we've ignited sparks into full flame and somebody takes over the country? When a new government in Baghdad declares its eternal brotherhood and friendship with Tehran?"

"I apologize to Jennifer Garner and her pool boy Ben Affleck for involving them in my fantasies." is not even the weirdest thing about this article.

ABC News: Man Who Kept Dead Mom in Freezer Sentenced:
"A recluse who kept his dead mother in his freezer and shot at his neighbors when they came to his door was sentenced to seven years in prison Monday.

...Obviously it's a very serious crime. On the other hand, he had some unique issues in his upbringing that contributed to it which are probably treatable," District Attorney Scott Horne said, referring to Schuth's isolated childhood and hermit-like existence as an adult. "We all learned how to deal with minor conflicts because we're taught and brought up to do that. He wasn't."

Schuth has said he fantasized about being married to "Alias" star Jennifer Garner. At his sentencing, he said: "I apologize to Jennifer Garner and her pool boy Ben Affleck for involving them in my fantasies.""

The Real Story of Christmas - truths to makes fundamentalists heads explode

Hellenic News of America:
"The Real Story of Christmas

The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. Many peoples rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight."

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Catholic Church, exporting perverts all over the world.

Missionary's Dark Legacy - Los Angeles Times:
"...Since then, 85 Alaska natives from 13 villages have filed claims against the church for alleged abuse by six priests and two lay missionaries from 1956 to 1988.

The flood of allegations has led to speculation that the Eskimo settlements were a 'dumping ground' for abusive priests and lay workers affiliated with the Jesuit order, which supplied priests and bishops to the Fairbanks diocese.

'It's like the French Foreign Legion — you join rather than go to prison,' says Richard Sipe, a former Benedictine monk who is an authority on clergy sexual abuse and has served as an expert witness in hundreds of cases, including those in the Eskimo villages. 'I was absolutely convinced this happened in Alaska.'

...Now the men must prove their claims. As victims of clergy sexual abuse across the country have learned, reconstructing events that occurred decades ago in secret is a daunting task. For the Eskimos, the job was complicated by the church's initial insistence that there was no record that Lundowski had ever volunteered for the church.

The villagers and their attorneys dug through church archives, family photo albums and old letters looking for evidence.

Roosa came across a grainy copy of a 1975 church newsletter that listed participants in a training program for deacons in the Diocese of Fairbanks. It included a photo of a bald man with horn-rimmed glasses. The caption read: "Joe Lundowski, 59 yrs., Stebbins."

This was proof that the church had trained Lundowski as a deacon and knew he was serving in Stebbins.

In the same file, Roosa found a 1965 letter by a senior Jesuit stating that the church "should have gotten rid of [Lundowski] a long time ago."

The letter was written three years before Lundowski arrived in St. Michael by Father Jules M. Convert, then in charge of the Jesuits in Alaska, to Father Jack Gurr, chancellor to the bishop of Fairbanks. Convert began by asking for a shipment of food for his men and more nails to complete the building of a village church, but most of the letter was devoted to his concern about Lundowski.

Convert expressed dismay that the bishop in Fairbanks, Theodore Boileau, had moved Lundowski from one village to another after receiving "complaints" about his conduct."

Rushkoff on Social Currency

:: Douglas Rushkoff - Weblog :::
"That's why, in spite of growing fears that we are living in a materialistic society, social currency almost always wins out over pure ownership as a motivator for buying. For the majority of consumers, their cars, electronics, and even their sneakers are ways of communicating to and connecting with other people. In an almost Darwinian competition for survival, products that serve as social currency succeed, while the ones that don't, fail."

Sunday, November 20, 2005

A church I could get behind...
"Doubt Is Their Co-Pilot
Los Angeles Times, USA

More Americans are shunning traditional religions and turning to upstart faiths such as Universism, whose sole dogma is uncertainty.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — It takes a certain amount of audacity to found a religion.

Ford Vox does not look audacious.

A tall, slightly stooped medical student, Vox speaks in a mumble and rarely lifts his eyes. But if he lacks confidence, that only makes him all the more qualified to lead his flock because Vox, 28, has created a religion for people who know only that they know nothing.

Universists1 might believe in God, or might not. (Personally, Vox thinks he does.)

The only dogma they must accept is uncertainty."

Corporations, government, conservatives, liberals...

The Viscount LaCarte: What I Believe:
"I'm going to post about this soon, (I hope) but in a nutshell we are faced with the following:

1) You mistrust government more than you mistrust large corporations.
2) You mistrust large corporations more than you mistrust government.

Conservatives usually lean to the former; liberals the latter.

This then, is my jumping off point for today’s post.

It isn’t that I haven’t met any good and decent conservatives; indeed I have. The good and decent ones care about playing fair, good values and their families. But they believe in a fallacy. The fallacy is that unbridled capitalism, free from government regulation will yield a higher standard of living for more people than government regulated capitalism. They point to mismanaged, wasteful government programs as evidence that supports their beliefs. They miscast liberals as being naive and ignorant, who think of the government as a benevolent parent caring for her citizens.

Conservatives also believe that high taxes on the rich are punitive. They use words like “socialism” and “communism.” They think that liberals want to rob from the hard-working entrepreneurial rich people, and give their money to lazy poor people who want to be rich but are unwilling to work for it.

I can’t speak for all liberals, but that isn’t what I believe at all.

I think that governments are corrupt. I think that corrupt people are attracted by political positions, and that oftentimes those corrupt individuals prosper as a result of their political positions. I am as sure of this as I am of the fact that if I place my hand in a pot of boiling water it will hurt and I will suffer burns.

The thing is, I believe that the statements above are also true if we substitute the words “corporations” for government and “corporate” for political, only to an even greater degree.

It isn’t that I trust government to do the right thing. I absolutely don't. It is that I trust powerful corporations to do the right thing even less. Why? Because in a Constitutional Republic, the government is accountable to the people, and politicians can be voted out of office.

A conservative will invariably argue, “Corporations are accountable to the people in the free market. When they misbehave, the consumer will spend their dollars elsewhere. The market takes care of itself.”

And there in lies the rub. This is only true if the corporations are regulated by the government and forced to play fair. When corporations are free from regulations, you get powerful monopolies, price-fixing, workers being stripped of their rights. One only needs to explore how Amercian corporations conduct themselves in third-world nations to confirm these words.

First, I'd like to say a few words about taxes.

Taxes are not charity. They are like rent. You rent the protections of your government. The idea of the progressive tax system is simple really. Never mind that poor people don't have any money so they can't pay as much as wealthy people. That is academic.

The progressive tax system presumes that the richest people have more to lose and more to protect than poor people. They need the police, the military, the roads and all the services of government to a greater degree than the rest of us. Who would have to most to lose to the Communists or the Theocratic Muslims if they invaded the USA and there was no military to protect us? A poor person living in a slum or Dick Cheney?

...One of the things that the conservatives do is debate an issue in simple, unrealistic terms. "Abortion is bad. Women shouldn't get them." "Government is corrupt. Get them off the backs of big business."

A liberal, such as myself argues like this: "Abortion is bad, but what happens when we make it illegal? Will the problem just go away? Will women who are not in a situation where they can raise a child no longer risk an unwanted pregnancy by abstaining? Is this realistic? What will happen to women who find themselves in dire straits with an unwanted pregnancy? Will she have the baby and find a way to raise it? Will she give it up for adoption? If she is poor and has no access to good healthcare, what will happen then? If she keeps the baby, how will she work and make enough money to provide for her? " These are tough questions. The best answers I get from pro-life people are "Well, she should have thought of that before she got pregnant!" Agreed, but still, there she is. When I say I am pro-choice, it isn't because I think "Abortion is good." I think abortion is bad, but I think that the alternative of making it illegal would be even worse."

Birth Control

Clothed [in joy]: Here, PLAY WITH THIS!:
"Shopping on a Saturday afternoon, is the best form of birth control. EVER.

'Mommy, can I have it? Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssse. Mommy, say yes. Mommy, say yes. Mommy, say yes. Mommy, say yes. Mommy, say yes. BUY IT. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. I. WANT. IT.'"

The Gospel According to St Carlin

George Carlin:
"I figured out years ago that the human species is totally fucked and has been for a long time. I also know that the sick, media-consumer culture in America continues to make this so-called problem worse. But the trick, folks, is not to give a fuck. Like me. I really don't care. I stopped worrying about all this temporal bullshit a long time ago. It's meaningless."

Best. Parenting. Ever.

Father wakes up children with chainsaw after night of watching horror movies.

Follow the link.

Putfile - Badparents

UFC News - BJ Penn, Tito Ortiz, Ken Shamrock, Frank Mir return in 2006

Between Rounds:
"Never say never.

During the pay-per-view broadcast of UFC 56, Zuffa President Dana White announced that two former champions will return to the Octagon in 2006 - Tito Ortiz and B.J Penn.

...Rumors have it that Ortiz will make his return against 'The Ultiamte Fighter' winner Forrest Griffin before taping the show. That fight will purportedly serve as a lead-in for Ortiz to serve as a coach for season three of TUF. Ken Shamrock will serve as the other coach, and the show will buildup a rematch between the two much like Season One did for Chuck Liddell's rematch with Randy Couture.

...Lastly, White announced that former heavyweight champion Frank Mir would return from his terrible leg injury and face Andrei Arlovski in 2006. White did not mention any dates for the fight. "

Joe Rogan V Wesley Snipes in the UFC?

MMA WEEKLY - Your #1 Source for Daily MMA News, Interviews, Multimedia, and More:
"There was buzz of this rumor on several forums today and has had this confirmed in the past hour. MMAWeekly Radio Host Frank Trigg talked briefly with Joe Rogan this afternoon to see if there was any truth to the rumor.

'It's 100% true...' Rogan told Trigg via the telephone. 'I want the fight and now it's up to Wesley Snipes to accept.' Snipes is a black belt in tae kwon doe and has trained in martial arts for years studying Karate, Kung Fu and Capoeira.

Rogan was a four-time state Tae kwon do champion before pursuing a career in show business. Rogan earned a black belt at 15 after just two years of training. At 19 he won the US Open Tae Kwon Do Championship, and later as a lightweight champion went on to beat both the middle and heavyweight title-holders to obtain the Grand Championship.Rogan also trains regularly with submission specialist Eddie Bravo.

Rogan said on the Underground Forum earlier in the day quote 'As for Snipes motivation to fight, he wants to rejuvenate his action movie career...' Other motivation for Snipes is the fact that he owes millions of dollars in back taxes. Snipes hasn't had any new movie offers and needs to pay back taxes and hopes this kind of fight could re-launch his career."

Semmy wins the K-1 GP in impressive fashion

MMA WEEKLY - Your #1 Source for Daily MMA News, Interviews, Multimedia, and More:
"TOKYO, November 19, 2005 -- Dutch fighter Semmy Schilt turned aside three challengers to win the K-1 World Grand Prix '05 Final at the Tokyo Dome tonight. The 32 year-old Seidokaikan Karate fighter recorded a convincing unanimous decision in his first bout against Ray Sefo, and went on to KO Defending Champ Remy Bonjasky in the semis, then Glaube Feitosa in the final to emerge triumphant."