Saturday, May 13, 2006


'Fashion is something so ugly it has to change every six months' - Oscar Wilde


Peaceful Warrior:
"'Emotions are natural. Like passing weather. Let them flow and then let them go.'- Socrates"

"Nothing is gained by frightening yourself, and it is very destructive."

"...this is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what to take when. It is just because you are not ready to do what you should elect to do that time exists at all...

1. The first thing to remember about miracles is that there is no order of difficulty among them. One is not harder or bigger than another. They are all the same.

2. Miracles do not matter. They are quite unimportant.

3. They occur naturally as an expression of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense, everything that comes from love is a miracle.

...Sin is a manmade word with threat connotations which he made up himself. No REAL threat is involved anywhere. Just because "nature abhors a vacuum," which is true enough, it does NOT follow that "a vacuum is filled with hellfire." Nothing is gained by frightening yourself, and it is very destructive."

"The explanatory principle will save you from the fear of the unknown; I prefer the unknown, I'm a student of the unexpected."

Interview with John Lilly, of isolation tank and dolphin communication fame.

From Here to Alternity and Beyond:
"At Catholic school I learned about tough boys and beautiful girls. I fell in love with Margaret Vance, never told her, though, and it was incredible. I didn't understand about sex so I visualized exchanging urine with her. My father had one of these exercise machines with a belt worn around your belly or rump and a powerful electric motor to make the belt vibrate. I was on this machine and all the vibration stimulated my erogenous zones. Suddenly my body fell apart and my whole being was enraptured. It was incredible.

I went to confession the following morning and the priest said, "Do you jack off!." I didn't know what he meant, then suddenly I did and I said, "No." He called it a mortal sin. I left the church thinking, "If they're going to call a gift from God a mortal sin, then to hell with them. That isn't my God, they're just trying to control people."...

RMN: What about people who have developed a powerful physical and mental addiction, for example, to crack and cocaine, in some cases: even killing or stealing in order to fulfill their craving for the drugs.

JOHN: They'll kill and steal without the drugs, they live that way. The drug just gives them an excuse to do it. Read Freud on cocaine. He really knew what cocaine did but he was never able to say it in the presence of the psychoanalytic people. Psychoanalysis is all based on his cocaine experiences, every bit of it.

DJB: What do you think about this whole "War on Drugs" thing?

JOHN: We've been subject to the delusion that we should suppress drugs ever since Anslinger put marijuana on the narcotics list ill 1937. He was enforcing the laws on alcohol and that was repealed, so he looked around for something new and found marijuana. In an interview with Anslinger the interviewer asked him, "What if you were to smoke a joint?" And he said, "I would kill three people that I know." What a belief system! And he put all that in the law, you see. It's that insanity of certain people who don't understand what's going on.

...Objectivity and subjectivity were traps that people fell into. I prefer the terms "insanity" and "outsanity." Insanity is your life inside yourself. It's very private and you don't allow anybody in there because it's so crazy. Every so often I find somebody that I can talk to about it. When you go into the isolation tank outsanity is gone. Now, outsanity is what we're doing now, it's exchanging thoughts and so on. I'm not talking about my insanity and you're not talking about yours. Now, if our insanities overlap then we can be friends...

...All we do is construct simulations. I construct the simulation of you, for instance, and I turn this into words. But that simulation is nowhere near who you really are. Then I tell you what my simulation of you is and you correct it, and on and on. You cannot substitute words for the action of the brain, the action of thought or the action of mind. When I say mind I'm talking about the whole universe of stuff, see? It's not that simple...

RMN: Do you think that aggression is inherent in the human psyche?

JOHN: No. I once wrote a chapter called, "Where do Armies Come From?" Do you know where: they come from? Tradition. Kids learn that history is war, so they're all pre-programmed. If you read some of the history books, it's all about war, it's incredible! In my Latin class I learned about the wars of Caesar, when I took French I learned about the wars of Napoleon and on and on and on. What did we learn from Caesar? That you don't divide Gaul into three parts. What did we learn from Cleopatra? The you may have to kill yourself with an asp. If you start reading Italian history and you come across Leonardo Da Vinci or Galileo then the whole thing falls apart. They're individuals doing their thing and it's magnificent. And that's the only part of history that's interesting...

JOHN: When people start talking about "higher" states of consciousness I say, "In outer space there's no up or down."

DJB: It all becomes relative.

JOHN: No, it isn't even relative.

DJB: It isn't even relative?

JOHN: It isn't anything you can describe.

DJB: Now I'm thoroughly confused.

JOHN: If you stay around me long enough you're going to get a whole new language. Some people stay around me for a while and run away. I can't keep a woman here. They all get frightened sooner or later. I'm crazier than hell...

...They keep saying, "You've got to teach, you've got to learn what it is to be a human." So, I'm spending all my time now trying to learn this. You know, it just gets to be fun. I realized that certain humans have a lot of fun. On some day I said, "What is it to be human?" And they said, "To laugh more.""

Friday, May 12, 2006

Jesus Vs the Vampire Undead Army? Sold!!!

"Tim Seeley is best known as the penciler of dozens of Devil's Due books and the co-creator of the cult favorite Hack/Slash. Now he's strutting out another creator owned book with penciler Nate Bellgrade in a one-shot called Loaded Bible. The book is set in the near future where after America has become a fervent Christian nation, the usually quiet vampire segment of the population has made its move which caused a nuclear war. The only chance the world has left is the second coming of Jesus Christ. Now instead of loaves and fishes he's got a sword and pistols."

"...vile, worthless" cowardice.

Dukakis Hugging Moon Maiden:
"So Mary Cheney has a book out, where she states that in protest of the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage she didn't attend Bush's 2004 State of the Union Address and 'seriously considered' leaving her father's campaign. What can be said in the face of such bravery? 'Fuck you, you vile, worthless coward' doesn't quite seem to capture the appropriate response from those of us who can actually be bothered to give half a damn about gay rights."

Keifer Sutherland Vs Christmas Tree - The Video

He's my hero a little bit. And I don't even watch 24.

The Iranian Nuclear Program

The Dilbert Blog: Iran’s Nukes:
"I’m a distrustful, cynical guy, so my first impulse is to assume the Iranians are lying. But that would require me to believe that my own government is telling the truth, and that’s a tough sell too. I’m genuinely embarrassed to admit that it’s a toss up.

The part that really threw me is that the President of Iran says that their ruling mullahs have issued a fatwah (ruling) that says Iran won’t build nuclear weapons. I’m going to surprise you by saying that I think they mean it. I base that opinion on the following:

I think that the Iranian religious leaders value their credibility with their own people. It’s one thing to make outrageous and unsupportable claims about your enemies; that stuff is generally believed and has a low risk of being discredited within Iran. But it’s a risky lie to tell your citizens you aren’t building a nuke and then suddenly include one in the next parade. That’s flat-out lying, and it would make a mockery of the whole fatwah system.

This is not to say the Iranian nuclear efforts are innocent. I spent 16 years in corporate America and I can spot weasel-words half a world away, even in Farsi. I think the truth is that the Iranians plan to build all the capability to quickly slap together a nuke, but stop short of assembling and testing it unless there is a specific threat. That gives the mullahs some wiggle room to later issue another fatwah saying the situation has changed and now it’s okay to build some nukes for self defense. And they never need to lie.

In summary, I don’t think they’re lying when they say they have no plans to make nuclear weapons. But it’s a weasel truth."

If I could raise my hand via the internet, I really would.

I Can Do It! Seminar:
" of the running jokes at the conference was that speakers kept asking, “How many of you are considered the weird one in your family?” And everyone would raise their hands. It’s unfortunate that being spiritually open-minded and joyful is considered weird, but the simple truth is that being in this state often invites experiences that cannot be understood by people who are more traditionally-minded."

When you find something written by somebody else that exactly mirrors what you think, it's always a bit strange.

Words are useless, but there's this strange drive to share...

Of course, now I get why religious/political/ideological folks of whatever stripe are so annoying and persistent.

Words Are Meaningless and Forgettable - Pop Occulture:
"More and more all the time, I know that the Truth (or God or whatever you want to call it) has no regard for words, language, concepts or descriptions.

If anything, those things are the traps laid out for the unsuspecting and ignorant beasts wandering blindly throughout the ancient green forests of the Truth. You can spend thousands of hours (and I have) splitting hairs over terminology and inflection and viewpoint and all the rest. And where do you end up? Still firmly caught in the thicket of words, still twisted and turned around and confused.

So my problem is, I know that. I feel that. At times the futility of description overwhelms me, makes me literally sick. And here I am, still compelled to write. Still compelled to use language to explore ineffable Truths. But part of me worries that trying to wrap in words that which can’t be expressed is a violation of it.

...But sometimes all I feel like I’m doing is hacking madly at my own chains while they grow tighter and stronger. And at the same time, I’m decorating my cell, trying to make my imprisonment more comfortable, more inviting to visitors. It’s a strange paradox: I feel like I should be quiet and still and respectful of that which can’t be spoken, but I can’t seem to shut the hell up. And I have this weird urge to get everybody else talking too - and shouting and singing and laughing. Cause what else do we have, really? Maybe the ineffable really can’t be expressed. I’m willing to accept that. But maybe it can’t not be expressed either. Maybe it’s so filled with joy and noise and music and meaning and peals of bubbling, erotic, creative laughter that it simply can’t be restrained or stopped or diminished one single iota.

Maybe it’s not such a paradox after all. It’s simply life. It flows around and past our fears and guilt and misconceptions - however cleverly we’ve managed to construct them for ourselves."

Rarely does something make one actually spit-take.

Siskel and Ebert - Behind the Scenes | MetaFilter:
"'Protestants: people who sorta want a religion'"

Thomas Jefferson neck stabbing with a spoon.

Kung Fu Monkey: FISA in One Syllable Words.:
"To recap --The Administration actually admitted that it broke the law because a.) it involved too much paperwork and b.) the President can ignore any law he needs to, as long as he does so when, in his own personal judgement, he is defending the nation. The fact that this is an eternal war, where there's no end zone, no definable victory condition (as 'Terror' very well can't show up and sign the surrender papers aboard the USS Missouri), and the enemy is whoever the Administration declares, that should not worry you. After all, we promise, it's not you we're spying on. It's bad people.

Then, we found out it wasn't just NSA arcana. The President just picks and chooses which laws he's going to have the Executive Branch obey. And somehow we all moved right along. Given that and we couldn't rouse people, I have no hope of the public understanding the niceties of pen register laws...

I'm sorry you need a daddy, a priest or a king in the White House to feel better. That's not patriotism -- that's fear dressed up as patriotism...

Oh, and to save some time in the Comments section:

...Comment: 'This is no big deal, and you have to trust the people in power to do the right thing.'
Answer: Ahem. The entire FUCKING POINT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS THAT YOU DON'T 'JUST TRUST SOMEONE' BECAUSE THEY ARE IN POWER. Thomas Jefferson would stab you in the neck with a spoon if he heard you say that.

Comment: 'We need to catch the bad guys, and anything is worth --'
Answer: Have you secured the ports yet? Secured the chemical plants? Figured out a way to scan all the luggage on US flights? Worked out the kinks in the retarded 'No Fly' list? Started buying up some of the 2,000 loose nukes in Russia? Gotten first responders the equipment they need in case of emergency? Fixed FEMA and Homeland Security? Caught Osama Bin Laden? Tell you what, nail down the jobs that don't require you to wipe your ass with the Constitution first."

Creative Evolution

:: Douglas Rushkoff - Weblog :::
"The best and perhaps saddest thing I learned during the conversations that followed my last two posts is that speaking one's truth in the market-driven cultural landscape is now considered an 'act of courage.' That is to say, if the things someone says are unpopular in one way or another, it can cost them money!

Gay actors closet themselves (and find big cults to procure them fake wives) for fear of what disclosure would do to their box office draw. Singers who challenge the Bush regime's interventionist Iraq policies get harassed by angry conservatives. All this translates into an environment where the risk for political, religious, or artistic freedom is calculated mostly in dollars. 'What will it do to my career?'

...All this is my introduction to a couple of inspirational paragraphs an ITP student of mine, artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg wrote in her final paper, which took the form of a manifesto on Art and Freedom...

"We have to get over the last thirty years of disillusionment and realize that it is time to get back to work; it is time for action. We have been programmed to be passive, to believe attempts at societal change are futile, to feel consumed in the infinite layers of meaning and implications of our every gesture. We are so consumed by the implications of our actions we fail to make them. It is time to move on. It is time to refuse to be pushed into positions of infinite regress; time to refuse the art market, refuse artificial distinctions between disciplines and genres, refuse to be classified, packaged, advertised, bought and sold. It is time to be overtly critical, time to be loud and angry and aggressive. It is time to bring our work into the open. The end product is of no importance. It is the creative process and the fact of sharing this process with everyone else, destroying its mysteriousness, destroying its capitalist value that is vital.

"Creation is simply a mode of existence. Human beings are essentially creative but our creativity is stifled by the false authority of education and media that tell us how to think, tell us our impulses are incorrect or invalid or futile. We must approach creativity as a collaborative process of mutual exploration. There is no end goal, no ideas of progress or success or failure. There is only motion, interaction, curiosity and play. The idea is not to "change the world" ; the world is in a constant state of change. The idea is to direct this change in a way that allows human beings to recognize the reality of their freedom, creativity, and collaboration in the whole process."

Your tax money at work. » DONNIE DARKO Director Flagged As Terrorist By US Homeland Security:
"According to his official biography, Richard Kelly is the director of the acclaimed Donnie Darko, the writer of the less acclaimed Domino and a contender for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes film festival. According to the Department of Homeland Security he is a suspected terrorist who may now be prevented from travelling to Cannes next week.

Kelly, 31, appears caught in bureaucratic limbo after his passport was reportedly “held under review” by the US government. Sources suggest that the film-maker has been confused with another man, “James Kelly”, who is on the terrorist watch list. Kelly’s full name is James Richard Kelly.

Born in Virginia, the son of a NASA technician, Kelly made his feature debut in 2001 with the black comedy Donnie Darko, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. His latest picture, Southland Tales, is set in a dystopian Los Angeles paralysed by economic and environmental collapse. Ironically, the film is implicitly concerned with security measures taken by the US government after the events of September 11 2001.

“The paranoid conspiracy freak inside me is starting to think this has something to do with the film,” Kelly admitted yesterday. In the meantime he has enlisted his mother to hunt for documents that prove his American citizenship."

This would be funnier if Sandy and I didn't have a similar conversation, oh, say... every day.

Three guesses which role I get to play? First two don't count.

Overheard in the Office | 3PM Slushie Run:
"3PM Slushie Run

Coworker#1: Okay, I'm back.
Coworker#2: Where did you go?
Coworker#3: We went to get a slushie.
Coworker#2: What? Where's mine?
Coworker#1: You didn't say you wanted one.
Coworker#2: Well, must my slushie needs be known to everyone? I just can't believe you went without even asking me.
Coworker#3: How is she supposed to know if you wanted a slushie?
Coworker#2: I always ask her if she wants one when I go. I even give her money if she wants one. Oh, and look now. Now your're drinking it in front of me.
Coworker #1: Dude! You never said you wanted one. You even saw me walk out. Do you even want one?
Coworker# 2: No, I'm fine."

"It is one of the great superstitions of the human mind to have imagined that virginity could be a virtue." - Voltaire

Christian Virgins Are Overrated / Think sex and drugs destroy America? Try naive chastity. Oh, and "Purity Balls":
"There are these things. These unholy events called 'Purity Balls' and you should probably fall to your knees right this minute and thank a merciful and lubricious and happily polyamorous God that you do not know what they are and that you have access right this minute to vast quantities of wine to deflect their nasty karmic arrows because, you know, oh my God. But hey, free country.

Purity Balls. No, not some sort of newfangled spherical chastity device to be inserted using vacuum tubes and pulleys, but rather fancy creepy dress-up rituals taking place in towns like Colorado Springs and Tucson and Zoloft Jesusville, in which Christian dads rent a bad tux while their daughters, mostly teenagers but many as young as 6 or 7, get all dolled up in gowns from JCPenny and they all drive out to the airport Marriott and prepare to, well, lose their minds.

It begins. At some point the daughter stands up, her pale arms wrapped around her daddy, and reads aloud a formal pledge that she will remain forever pure and virginal and sex-free until she is handed over, by her dad (who is actually called the 'high priest' of the home), like some sort of sad hymenic gift, to her husband, who will receive her like the sanitized and overprotected and libidinously inept servant she so very much is. Praise!

Would that I were making this up.

...Premarital sex is evil. Female sexuality must be, as ever, contained, repressed, shoved deep down lest it tempt men to sin like gleeful pagans licking ice cream from the pierced nipples of the devil. Girls do not know how to handle their own genitalia and therefore must be taught -- by their fathers, no less -- how to dilute their sexual power in order to attract a sexually unqualified, God-fearing husband. You know, same as it ever was.

...Look, the plague of sexual incompetence plagues our land like a plague. It infects our schools, our popular culture, our presidential administration. The right endorses wanton sexual stupidity (and all ensuing miseries, drug addictions, divorces, stresses, gun fetishes, online porn obsessions) through failed abstinence programs, STD misinformation, refusal to support quality birth control and the relentless repetition of lies about sin and depravity and a shocking ignorance of the transformative spiritual power of sex. Purity Balls? Nothing but a sad celebration of that exact ignorance.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

How to deal with the gas "crisis".

Bring On The $6 Gallon Of Gas / It would revolutionize America. It would make us all better humans. But could you handle it?:
"...To hell with that. Make it 10. Ten bucks a gallon, no matter what the going rate for a barrel of light sweet crude. That would so completely, violently, brilliantly do it. Revolutionize the country. Firebomb our pungent stasis. Change everything. Don't you agree?

Here's what we could do: Give gas discounts to cab drivers (at least initially) and metro transit systems and low-income folks, those who have to drive their busted-up '78 Honda Civics to their jobs scrubbing restaurant toilets and flipping burgers and vacuuming the residual cocaine from the seat cushions of numb SUV owners. Everyone else, 10 bucks a gallon, across the board. Eleven for premium.

...Voilá -- gas crisis, oil crisis, warmongering agenda, pollution issues, road rage, traffic congestion, urban decay, oil profiteering -- all completely almost totally somewhat solved. Or at the very least, dramatically, gloriously shifted toward ... I don't know what. Something better. Something more humane, less greedy, more sustainable. Could it work? How outraged and indignant would you be to have to pay that much for gas? How long would that feeling last?

...What, too far fetched? Too implausible? Not at all. Sure, 10 bucks a gallon would be extremely painful for a while. Citizens would wail. Commuters would scream and stomp and die. But then we would do what we always do. We would evolve. Adapt. Systems would quickly transform, habits would instantly shift. It would be easier to implement than the goddamn mess that is Medicare reform, far easier than Lots of Children Left Behind, more viable and livable than the toxic existence of Homeland Security and the disgusting Patriot Act.

But of course such an idea is also, right now, absolutely impossible. It will never happen -- not 10 bucks, not six, not even a buck more per gallon -- and not just because no politician anywhere on either side of the aisle has the nerve to come out and suggest that Americans might actually need to drive less and conserve and make a change in their gluttonous habits. This is, of course, absolute death for a politician. Tell Americans what to do? Dare to suggest that they're doing something wrong, or that their behaviors are dangerous and destructive and irresponsible? Are you insane? This is America! We're flawless!

No, the primary reason such reform won't happen is because, simply put, we are the most entitled nation in the world, perhaps in the entire galaxy. Americans are trained from birth to believe we deserve as much as we desire of every exploitable resource on the planet, be it water or natural gas or oil, coal or salmon or steaks, Big Macs or diapers or iPods or bizarre varieties of blue ketchup. It is, in a word, perilous. It is also, in another, slightly more devastating word, our downfall.

Look, I adore cars. I adore driving and I cherish open roads and smooth horsepower and a musical exhaust note and I fully believe most German automotive engineers should be sent gifts of candy and Peet's coffee and porn. I would, like most everyone else, be absolutely loathe to give much of it up.

But you know what? Big freaking deal. I could learn to live without so much. I like to think I would be able to step back and see the bigger picture, realize what is and isn't absolutely essential, what does and does not absolutely define my identity and my life, modify accordingly and laugh/shrug/sigh it off in the process. In other words, I could make it work. And so could you."

“Man, what are you so angry about, Angry Liberal Guy?”


Boing Boing: Angry liberal guy rant:
"You might be saying “Man, what are you so angry about, Angry Liberal Guy?”

I’ve compiled a short (and by no means complete) list just so I could see it all in one place:

I’m angry about the shredding of the constitution…illegal wiretaps…falsified intelligence…secret prisons… use of torture as an accepted means of interrogation…Terry Schiavo…the war on science…denial of Global Warming…the fascistic secrecy of our elected officials… presidential signings that declare the President above the law…the breakdown of the wall between church and state…the outing of a clandestine CIA agent for purely partisan political gain…the corrupting influence of K Street… the total sell-out of the legislative process to corporate interests… appointments of unqualified cronies at every level of government…Harriet Miers…Brownie…Abu Ghraib… Scooter …the complete mismanagement of the war in Iraq…the lies about the complete mismanagement of the war in Iraq…the grotesque budget deficits… the pathetic response to Katrina… a civil rights division dedicated to undermining civil rights…an environmental protection agency that refuses to protect the environment… (Take a breath, Angry Liberal Guy.)

And I’m angry about a smug, simple-minded, incompetent, unqualified President, and a press that denies the obvious fact that we have a smug, simple-minded, incompetent unqualified President.

If these things don’t make you angry, I have to ask -- what the hell is the matter with you?

And what would it take to make you angry? -- C.B. Shapiro"

You are not your thoughts.

Peaceful Warrior:
"'The minds just a reflex organ. It reacts to everything. Fills your head with millions of random thoughts a day. And none of those thoughts reveal any more about you than a freckle does on the end of your nose. Your thoughts are not you; you are not your thoughts.'"

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Peaceful Warrior

Peaceful Warrior:
"'Develop the wisdom to know how to apply the right leverage, in the right place, at the right time. When you can do that, you can make a real difference in yourself and in the world. '"


Everyone does this all the time. Your memories are stories. So are mine. So are everybody's. You just make it up, for the most part.

Radical Mutual-Improvement » Blog Archive » Confabulation (Definition #3):
"Confabulation is what happens when your imagination works with your memory to generate a story, in particular it is the confusion of imagined details with true events. The interesting thing about confabulation is that you cannot avoid it. Imagination and memory are two heads of the same coin. Every time you access a memory, your brain will load it up into the imagination, fill in any missing details, and re-write it back into memory. As a result, stories will change and crystalize over time. "

In it alone, together.

You Are A Cog.: Refuge, Part Three:
"Ben Franklin said that we must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. In other words, if you're just going to be a selfish douche then you're bringing us all down. Fuck you.

You want to be happy.
Well, guess what – we all want to happy.
Pretty nice circle back on that one, huh?"

This is brilliant. News - International - German 'Robin Hoods' give poor a taste of the high life:
"A GANG of anarchist Robin Hood-style thieves, who dress as superheroes and steal expensive food from exclusive restaurants and delicatessens to give to the poor, are being hunted by police in the German city of Hamburg.

The gang members seemingly take delight in injecting humour into their raids, which rely on sheer numbers and the confusion caused by their presence. After they plundered Kobe beef fillets, champagne and smoked salmon from a gourmet store on the exclusive Elbastrasse, they presented the cashier with a bouquet of flowers before making their getaway."

Ah, American greatness...

The Lazy Way to Success: The Greatest Wealth:
"I read recently where researchers have found that Americans are significantly less healthy than folks in England. We Yanks have much higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, strokes, lung disease and cancer. Our blood pressure is higher and we die younger. This was consistent no matter what the income or education level.

...What factors explain this sorry state? Off the top of my head, I thought of a few.

1. We as a nation have abysmal eating habits. We eat deep-fried, processed, chemically altered, genetically-engineered, nutrition-free, highly sugared calories that are also laced with environmental toxins in the form of herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics, and chemical fertilizers. Yum!

2. We don’t exercise. Instead we watch mind-rotting television programs.

3. We indulge in an epidemic of bad habits.

4. We deprive ourselves of sleep.

5. We are unhappy in our roles as wage slaves.

6. We are under enormous occupational, societal, environmental, and militaristic stress.

7. Our health care system stinks.

Our health care system, which is really a disease care system, is controlled by drug companies whose approach to health is to sell wares that attack and/or mask symptoms while giving us a raft of undesirable side effects. These drugs cure nothing. But most horrific of all, these pharmaceutical companies have turned our nation’s doctors into pill salesmen and our medical schools into product training seminars.

The three concepts you won’t find taught in today’s pharmaceutically-sponsored medical schools are prevention, nutrition, and strengthening the immune system.
On the other hand, what you will find is this pill and this pill and this pill and this pill and this pill."

Monday, May 08, 2006

I would like this superpower....

The Dilbert Blog: Getting Abused Toward Success:
"My other superpower is that I don’t mind embarrassing myself in public. If I had to pick one quality that best predicts success (other than wanting to be successful) it would be the willingness to risk embarrassment.

Take this blog, for example. I could afford to pay an editor to correct all of my writing before all of you nitpickers notice that I can’t spell common words. Or I could save that money via a process that I call “not giving a shit.” Ka-ching!

A large part of being a big-time cartoonist involves live interviews on camera, and giving speeches to large crowds. Those activities terrify people that have a normal fear of embarrassment. Not me. If I’m going to embarrass myself, I want witnesses, and lots of them. The entertainment value seems wasted if only one person notices."

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Socrates Blog

Peaceful Warrior:
"'I call myself a warrior - a peaceful warrior - because the most important battles we fight are inside'"

The Russian System Guidebook

The Russian System Guidebook by Vladimir Vasiliev:
Excerpts:Ten wounded is better than one dead.

It helps to put your actions to words. In your own mind, this will help you understand principles better. Talking makes you more aware of these principles and their personal application. Talking and verbally examining some of these principles may be the key in getting a good start on mastering them.

...look above the head of your opponents.

There are no "good" habits and "bad" habits. Any habit is a problem.

10 Guidelines
1 Harmonize Your Life
2 Do Not Be Aggressive
3 Think Continuously
4 Do Not Rely On Rules
5 Understand That It's Not The Weapon That Does Harm, But The Person
6 Accept The Necessity Of Fear And Anger
7 Slip Away Without Breaking Contact When In Combat
8 Don't Be Self-Conscious About How You Look
9 Do Everything With Awareness And Relaxation
10 Always Perform With The Least Possible Effort

...holds life as sacred, even when it is the life of an opponent.

The quality of a life... is dependent on health.

Russian Health System
-Strengthening The Body With Water
-Cleansing The Body From Inside
-Proper Breathing
-Interaction With Nature


Pictures of pictures, that is. Our professional touristy photos from the trip to Yanagawa.

Chuck Palahniuk

Author of Fight Club.

"Self expression as a way to entertain people and change their reality"

Bangkok Tattoo

And a great sequel, too...

In Burdett's brilliantly cynical mystery thriller, the follow-up to Bangkok 8 (2004), Royal Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep is called in by his supervisor, hard-bitten Captain Vikorn, to investigate the murder of a CIA operative, Mitch Turner, found disemboweled and mutilated. The prime suspect is a beautiful bar girl, Chanya, with whom Sonchai believes himself to be in love. When Turner's murder turns out to be far more complicated than originally thought, Sonchai must deal with his boss's rages and Chanya's gradually revealed secrets, along with CIA agents who have come to investigate the crime, a Thai army general with whom Vikorn has been feuding for years, Yakuza gangsters, Japanese tattooists, Muslim fundamentalists and more.


Chanya had been watching the anguish pass and repass across his features. Now she said something that must surely have been the distillation of everything she intuited of him, of the West, of white men: "If you didn't torment yourself, there wouldn't be any difference, would there?"


A Christian, a Muslim and Buddhist... seemed to agree on all points. Only when they turned their gaze on the outside world did their perceptions differ. One day they passed over a mountain ridge to behold a fertile and populated valley below.

"How strange" said the Christian. "In village one down there the villagers are all fast asleep, whereas in village two they are lost in a hideous orgy of sin"

"You are quite wrong" said the Muslim. "In village one everyone is in a perpetual state of ectasy, whereas in village two everyone is asleep."

"Idiots" said the Buddhist. "There is only one village and only one set of villagers. They are dreaming themselves in and out of existence."

--'s the most literal illustration of Buddhist doctrine, which explains there is not one personality but a million modes of consciousness. Properly understood, an individual can choose any one of them at any time, although the enlightened choose none at all.


The great weakness of the West is that it has nothing with which to inspire loyalty except wealth. But what is wealth? Another washing machine, a bigger car, a nicer house to live in? Not much to feed the spirit in all that. What is the West but a giant supermarket? And who really wants to die in a supermarket?


...there are so many problems with Western society, but there may be one above all others that will destroy civilization. I speak of your inability to conceive that you might be wrong.


Well, it's very simple. It is not the country's problems that overwhelm you but your egotistic belief that you can be instrumental in solving them.


[Heroin]... It's not as addictive as TV, than which there is no greater mental pollutant. For centuries the white man was a passionate trafficker, even fighting righteous wars to uphold his sacred duty to alleviate the burden of existence for Asia's teeming billions with a drug already deemed dangerous to white men. [Ring a bell, Philip Morris?] Nowadays there's a lot more profit in prescription tranquilizers and home entertainment... think about it.

-- are a ramshackle collection of coincidences held together by a desperate and irrational clinging, there is no center at all, everything depends on everything else, you body depends on the environment, your thoughts depend on whatever junk floats in from the media, your emotions are largely from the reptilian end of your DNA, your intellect is a chemical computer that can't add up a zillonth as fast as a pocket calculator, and even your best side is a superficial piece of social programming that will fall apart just as soon as your spouse leaves with the kids and the money in the joint account, or the economy starts to fail and you get the sack, or you get conscripted into some idiot's war, or they give you the news about your brain tumor. To name this amorphous morass of self pity, vanity and despair self is not only the height of hubris, it is also proof [if any were needed] that we are above all a delusional species. [We are in a trance from birth to death.] Prick the balloon and what do you get? Emptiness. It's not only us - this radical doctrine applies to the whole of the sentient world. In a bumper sticker: The fear of letting go prevents you from letting go of the fear of letting go.


Nirvana: We look out on the world and see only a dust laden collection of homemade symbols. Those that fit our prejudice of the moment we keep, the rest we dump. We are distracted from distraction by distraction. Nothing is happening. Nothing has happened. Nothing will happen. Emptiness is the ultimate cahllenge; identity is for suckers. Says the Buddha: All meaning is realized, the universe is nirvanic.


Pushing Yourself to Power: The Ultimate Guide to Total Body Transformation

Life is movement.

No one should ever tell anyone how to live, pray, train, or eat unless he or she is an example.

Attributes of Dynamic Functional Fitness
Strength, Flexibility, Endurance, Speed, Balance, Coordination, Aesthetics


...consciously make a decision to never say anything about yourself that you do not wish to be absolutely true. Never underestimate the power of your words to heal or to destroy, to create and bring positive cricumstances into your life. In fact, good things can't help but happen when other people begin to regard you as a source of positive reinforcement and inspiration. have abundance in all areas of life, in order to move up to a superior level of life, in order to have the good things of life, your mind [intellect and emotions], body [the part of you that is seen in the physical world], and spirit [the you in control of the mind and body] must all be moving in the same direction. When that happens, what is commonly referred to as "miracles" begin to happen almost routinely.

...the simple point is this: Whatever you believe about yourself, both intellectually and emotionally, will determine who and what you become physically and spiritually. For that reason alone you must guard your thoughts, your speech, and all of your associations. If you surround yourself with positive reinforcement in what you see, hear, think and verbalize, and if you follow through with positive action - you will meet with a positive outcome. It is inevitable!


What makes you think I need or want someone else's approval or endorsement? Is it not the very earmark of a slave to have to beg permission of his master to do something or be anything? I'm not part of that crowd. Never have been. Never will be.


It's not up to me or any other person to determine what is right for you spiritually or to tell you what is the right and only version you must believe or th edenomination you must attend. Anyone who claims to have all the answers for you is on an ego trip, and you shouldn't give them the time of day. I know whereof I speak, because I grew up in an atmosphere where there were many self appointed preachers who were more than willing to tell other people what to think, believe and do. And in most cases the very people whom they were preaching at were already living more righteous lives than they were.

Bottom line: there are many people who would do themselves, God, and the people whom they preach at big favor if they just shut up. Am I saying you shouldn't share your faith? Absolutely not. The fact is that every person you meet is told through your actions, including your words, who you are and what your faith is. And those actions speak louder than any words you could ever speak. For you, me or anyone else to lay a religious trip on another person is to become nothing more than a pulpit pounding prophet of religious paranoia. And no one needs that.

I tell you this to warn you about those who use God's Word as a weapon for their agenda rather than as an inspiration for your transformation. No one has the right to determine your spiritual destiny except you and God. Remember that. Keep it in perspective and realize that every life is tough and every person is continually on a journey of self discovery.

Bangkok 8

Great book...

"When a U.S. Marine is killed in Bangkok, the task of finding the murderer falls to Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep, seemingly the only member of the Royal Thai Police Force whose idea of justice precludes his fellow officers' customary system of bribery. This assignment's especially important to the devout detective for during the investigation of the murder scene, the methamphetamine-stoked snakes that bit the marine also kill Sonchai's police partner, best friend, and Buddhist soul-mate Pichai. Sonchai's pursuit of revenge will team him with a sexually frustrated FBI agent and leave them at the mercy of yaa-baa-fueled motorcycle-taxi drivers as they hurtle through neon-lit Bangkok and into the labyrinthine and deadly machinations of the international jade and drug trades in search of the killer."


Thai Culture Explained, V3, Ch 29:

"Whereas your average Westerner does all he can to direct and control his fate, the latter-day Thai is no closer to adopting this attitude to life than were his ancestors a hundred or two hundred years ago. If there is any aspect of modern Thai psychology which continues to accept in toto the Buddhist doctrine of karma (so close to that Islamic fatalism often expressed by the phrase: It is written) it is surely in the conviction that que sera, sera. At first glance such fatalism may seem backward, even perverse given the dazzling spectrum of weapons Westerners now have in their arsenal against the vicissitudes of life; but anyone who spends much time in the kingdom quickly finds themselves questioning the wisdom, and even the sincerity, of Western attitudes.

When he has paid up his taxes, his life insurance, his medical insurance, accident insurance, retrained himself in the latest marketable skills, saved for his kids' education, paid alimony, bought the house and car which his status absolutely requires he buy within the rules of his particlular tribe, given up alcohol abuse, nicotine, extramarital sex and recreational drugs, spent his two week vacation on some self-improving (but safe) adventure holiday, learned to be hypercareful of what he says to or does with memeber of the opposite sex, the average Westerner may - and often does - wonder where his life went. He may also - and invariably does - feel cheated when he discovers existentially that all the worrying and all the insurance payments have availed him not a jot or tittle in protecting him against fire, burglary, flood, earthquake, tornado, the sack, terrorist activitiy, or his spouse's precipitate desertion with the kids, the car and all the spare cash in the joint bank account. True enough, in a kingdom without safety nets a citizen may well be brutally flattened by accident or illness, where a Westerner might well have bought himself a measure of protection, but in between the bumps a Thai still lives his life in a state of sublime insouciance. The standard Western observation is that the Thai is living in a fool's paradise. Perhaps, but might the Thai not reply that the Westerner has built himself a fool's hell?"


Our societies need to grow up. Globalization has caused the biggest increase in prostitution in the history of the world. This is a big story the media neglects because it's so politically incorrect. Uncountable women are on the game not because they need to be but because they choose to be. University students from Moscow sell themselves in Macao to make some pocket money. Chinese from Singapore fly to Hong Kong for the Christmas vacation to sell their bodies. Shanghai is awash with girls chasing the fast buck. Women from all over South America trade sex all over the world, epsecially in Asia and the West. You see British, Canadian, American and Scandinavian women in the escort business all over Bangkok. Why hasn't the media told the world just how popular a little private body-leasing has become even with the well-off young women from the G7 nations?

You tell every young woman in the country that it is her right to dress up, look sexy, have a mobile telephone, own a car, go on exotic holidays, and nine times out of ten there is only one profession that will bring her the money she needs to do these things. So who is the pimp, me or the West? I'm really about damage control, accepting the situation for what it is and giving the girls a better deal. Would I prefer a return to traditional Thai, Buddhist morality?

Actually, yes, but it's too late for that, the corrosion has gone too far, we have to deal with reality. Even the Buddha believed that.

...This kind of Western hypocrisy disgusts me, quite frankly. Why doesn't the BBC make a documentary on the rag trade, with all those women working twelve hours a day for less than a dollar an hour? What is that if it's not selling your body? The West doesn't care about the exploitation of our women, it simply has a problem with sex and at the same time they're using sexual tittilation to sell their shows. They love to embarrass middle aged white men who hire our girls. Western women can't handle it that their men get a better time over here. If they're too mean spirited to give their men pleasure, that's their problem. The bottom line is that it's about money. Thailand makes very little income from industries like the clothing industry - Western companies take the lion's share. But in the sex trade we see a true redistribution of global wealth from West to East.

That's what's got them so hung up.


Actually, the West is a Culture of Emergency: twisters in Texas, earthquakes in California, windchill in Chicago, drought, flood, famine, epidemic, drugs, wars on everything - watch out for that meteor and how much longer does the sun really have? Of course, if you didn't believe you could control everything, there wouldn't be an emergency, would there?


There are cultures of guilt and cultures of shame. The West is a culture of guilt, the East is a culture of shame.

In other words, in the East, you wait to see if the shit is really going to hit the fan before you deal with it.

Brilliant - "Hacker fears 'UFO cover-up'"

BBC NEWS | Programmes | Click | Hacker fears 'UFO cover-up':
"In 2002, Gary McKinnon was arrested by the UK's national high-tech crime unit, after being accused of hacking into Nasa and the US military computer networks.

He says he spent two years looking for photographic evidence of alien spacecraft and advanced power technology.

Gary McKinnon: I was in search of suppressed technology, laughingly referred to as UFO technology. I think it's the biggest kept secret in the world because of its comic value, but it's a very important thing.

Old-age pensioners can't pay their fuel bills, countries are invaded to award oil contracts to the West, and meanwhile secretive parts of the secret government are sitting on suppressed technology for free energy...

SK: Did you find what you were looking for?

GM: Yes.

SK: Tell us about it.

GM: There was a group called the Disclosure Project. They published a book which had 400 expert witnesses ranging from civilian air traffic controllers, through military radar operators, right up to the chaps who were responsible for whether or not to launch nuclear missiles.

They are some very credible, relied upon people, all saying yes, there is UFO technology, there's anti-gravity, there's free energy, and it's extra-terrestrial in origin, and we've captured spacecraft and reverse-engineered it.

SK: What did you find inside Nasa?

GM: One of these people was a Nasa photographic expert, and she said that in building eight of Johnson Space Centre they regularly airbrushed out images of UFOs from the high-resolution satellite imaging. What she said was there was there: there were folders called "filtered" and "unfiltered", "processed" and "raw", something like that.

I got one picture out of the folder...

But what came on to the screen was amazing. It was a culmination of all my efforts. It was a picture of something that definitely wasn't man-made.

It was above the Earth's hemisphere. It kind of looked like a satellite. It was cigar-shaped and had geodesic domes above, below, to the left, the right and both ends of it, and although it was a low-resolution picture it was very close up...

SK: Do you have a copy of this? It came down to your machine.

GM: No