Friday, May 19, 2006


What is Meta-Magick?:
"...the main thrust of “magick,” as we are discussing it here, is as a mental discipline. It is a means of first perfecting the self so that the things that one may do will be done with power and effectiveness. This has always been the aim of magick: to understand the relationship between our consciousness and the world, in a way that allows us to re-create ourselves in healthy and practical ways. Our understanding and self-perfection allows us to fit into the world so well that we can influence it in accordance with our will."

Your true-life look at the modern American military.

Overheard in the Office | 3PM Scientific Inquiry:
"Sergeant: But seriously, what would happen if the sun turned off?
Soldier: Well, you'd still have like, millions of years while the thing cooled off.
Sergeant: Naw, f*** that, like what if God threw a circuit breaker?

Lieutenant walks in

Soldier: Hey LT, you ran a nuclear plant before you came in the service, right? What would happen if someone popped the circuit breaker on the sun right now?

Lieutenant has a pained expression on his face.

Sergeant: Seriously, we're not gonna let this go until we have an answer from a reputable source.
Soldier: We could go on like this for the rest of the deployment.
Lieutenant: Alright guys, it's like this...

[...2 hours of nuclear physics, relative theory, thermal conductivity of the Earth's
mantle and crust, and every crackpot theory to counter the former three...], I'm never asking LT another question, ever.
Lieutenant: Good, 'cause I wasn't gonna answer it anyway.

Mozul Airfield

Yeah, this is gonna be really good TV

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. From the NBC upfronts...

Emotions versus Behavior

Peaceful Warrior:
"'Nothing wrong with anger or any other emotion. Just pay attention to how you behave'- Socrates"

The Real Old School

Very, very cool.

Boing Boing: Old time swing dancer video set to hip-hop:
"This video shows a pair of extraordinary gifted swing dancers from some black-and-white era set to modern hip-hop with a lot of eerily serendipitous synch-ups between the music and the video. The dancing is nothing short of amazing and set to the contemporary music, it's even nicer.

...Laurence (and many others) sez, "The dance they are doing is, in fact, the Charleston.""

Get this video and more at

Brilliantly Funny.

Boing Boing: If "The Ten Commandments" was a wild teen comedy:
"'Ten Things I Hate About Commandments' is a mash-up trailer for a John Hughes style teen comedy, using footage from the Charlton Heston version of The Ten Commandments. It's masterfully done, and milk-out-the-nose funny. "

Making Aquaman Cool.

This actually looks pretty good. Can't believe it didn't get picked up compared to some of the drek that gets on TV.

But hey, the CW has new episodes of Reba! And Seventh Heaven! Way to go CW!

Morons, I swear to god.

More info here:

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Warriors VS Reality. Reality - 3, Warriors - 0. That'd be Russia V Afghanistan, US V Vietnam and US V Iraq, for those of you playing at home.

Fred On Everything:
"People ask how we got into our splendid mess in Iraq and why we can’t get out. The question is a subset of a larger question: Why, since WWII, have so many first-world armies gotten into drawn-out guerrilla wars in bush-world countries, and lost? Examples abound: France in Vietnam, America in Vietnam, France in Algeria, Russia in Afghanistan, Israel in Lebanon, etc. Why don’t they learn?

The answer I think is that militaries are influenced by a kind of man—call him the Warrior—who by nature is unsuited for modern wars. He doesn’t understand them, can’t adapt to them.

The Warrior is emotionally suited to pitched, Pattonesque battles of moral clarity and simple intent. I don’t mean that he is stupid. Among fighter pilots and in the Special Forces for example it is not uncommon to find men with IQs of 145. Yet emotionally the Warrior has the uncomplicated instincts of a pit bull. Intensely loyal to friends and intensely hostile to the enemy, he doesn’t want any confusion as to which is which. His tolerance for ambiguity is very low. He wants to close with the enemy and destroy him.

...The Warrior, unable to see things through the eyes of the enemy, or of the local population, whom he quickly comes to hate, wants to blow hell out of things. He detests all that therapeutic crap, that touchy-feely leftist stuff about respect the population, especially the women. Having the empathy of an engine block, he regards mention of mutilated children as intensely annoying at best, and communist propaganda at worst.

...War is war. You kill people. Deal with it.

If you point out that collateral damage (dead children, for example) makes the survivors into murderously angry Viet Cong, the Warrior thinks that you are a lefty tree-hugger.

Today, the battlefield as understood by the enemy, but seldom by the Warrior, extends far beyond the physical battlefield, and the chief targets are political. In this kind of war, if America can get the local population to support it, the insurgents are out of business; if the insurgents can get the American public to stop supporting the war, the American military is out of business. This is what counts. It is what works. The Warrior, all oooh-rah and jump wings, doesn’t get it. Vo Nguyen Giap got it. Ho Chi Minh got it.

Thus the furious, embittered insistence of Warriors that “We won Tet of ’68. We slaughtered them! We won, dammit! Militarily, we absolutely won!” Swell, but politically they lost. It was a catastrophe on the order of Kursk or Dien Bien Phu. But they can’t figure it out.

The warrior doesn’t understand what “victory” means because he thinks in terms of firefights, courage, weaponry, and valor. His approach is emotional, not rational. Though not stupid, he is regularly out-thought. Why?

It’s not mysterious. An intelligent enemy knows that America cannot be beaten at industrial war. So he thinks, “What then are America’s weaknesses?” The first and crucial one is that the American government enters into distant wars in which the public has no stake. Do you want your son to die for—get this—democracy in Iraq? You diapered him, got him through school-yard fist fights, his first prom, graduation from boot camp, and he comes home in a box—for democracy in Iraq?

However, the Warrior does not grant the public the right to grow weary. For him, America exists to support the military, not the other way around. Are two hundred dead a week coming back from Asia? The Warrior believes that small-town America (which is where the coffins usually go) should grit its teeth, bear down, and make the sacrifice for the country. Sacrifice for what? It doesn’t matter. We’re at war, dammit. Rally ‘round. What are you, a commy?

To the Warrior, to doubt the war is treason, aiding and supporting, liberalism, cowardice, back-stabbing, and so on. He uses these phrases unrelentingly. We must fight, and fight, and fight, and never yield, and sacrifice and spend. We must never ask why, or whether, or what for, or do we want to.

...Cowardice? I was on campus in 1966 on a small, very Republican, very patriotic, very conservative, very Southern campus. The students, and their girlfriends, were all violently against the war. So, I gather, were their parents. Why? Were they the traitors of the Warrior’s imagination? No. They didn’t want to die for something that they didn’t care about.

This eludes the Warrior. Always, he blames The Press for the waning of martial enthusiasm, for his misunderstanding of the kind of war we are fighting. Did the press make Studley a paraplegic? Or kill the guy with all the tubes who died in the stretcher above me on the Medevac 141 back from Danang? Did Walter Cronkite make my buddy Cagle blind when the rifle grenade exploded on the end of his fourteen? Do the Warriors think that people don’t notice when their kids come back forever in wheelchairs?

They don’t get it."

Choicepoint. Another Evil Bastard [TM] in collusion with your government.


The company's name came up because of the Bush regime's getting caught with their hands in the data jar: spying on Americans, sucking our phone records into data bases where George and Dick can peruse them at leisure, without warrants.

ChoicePoint's the big banana in the data game, with fat no-bid contracts with Big Brother Bush's agency and the Department of Fatherland Security. (Homeland? Deutschland? Whatever.) Other governments, including Mexico, threatened ChoicePoint operatives with arrest for their use and misuse of data, but Dick and George like'm just fine. That's because ChoicePoint provides just the data that suits their needs -- not necessarily accurate, but accurate is not what is needed.

For example, ChoicePoint is the company that gave Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush the list of Florida voters, most of them Black, which were removed as "felons" before the 2000 election. The list was ridiculously inaccurate -- these were innocent citizens -- but those African-Americans lost their voting rights anyway and Jeb's brother thereby took the White House.

That's not nice, what Jeb and Katherine did -- but ChoicePoint kept silent. In return, they received a high, and highly suspect, fee for their "work."

And that's dangerous. Because, after ChoicePoint selected our president for us, our president selected them for no-bid jobs to save us from terrorists -- which they do by keeping track of us...

Suffering. Or not. Either way.

Peaceful Warrior:
"'Life is not suffering; it's just that you will suffer it, rather than enjoy it, until you let go of your mind's attachments and just go for the ride...' - Socrates"

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


"Eternity is not something that begins after you are dead. It's going on all the time. We are in it now." - Charlotte P. Gilman

Wisdom from comic books.

That's right. Comic books. I said it.

Via JSA:

Some people are just unhappy with their lives. Or afraid. They can't figure out how to make things better -- so the only thing left to them is to tear things down.

"“We are a nation of laws,” Bush declared, although it was unclear if he understood the words."

This Modern World » Blog Archive » Bush dispatches the National Guard to defend the border with Reality:
"In a move White House staffers describe as an attempt to shore up his far-right base, President Bush last night announced his intention to send National Guard troops to defend his administration’s increasingly fragile border with Reality.

In a prime time speech broadcast live only by Fox News Channel and the Outdoor Life Network, Bush attempted to raise his sagging poll numbers back into double digits by employing the words “initiative,” “comprehensive,” and “solution,” spoken as if they were somehow related to the rest of the speech.

In last night’s address, the president took his case to the American people that Reality is “out of control,” and as a result he is dispatching “five schmillion” National Guard troops to patrol its borders.

“We are a nation of laws,” Bush declared, although it was unclear if he understood the words. “Reality is always welcome within our borders, when it is willing to cooperate with our laws and obey our commands. But Reality cannot enter this great nation in an uncontrollable tide. Therefore, tonight, I am announcing a comprehensive solution initiative.”"

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

How Shoes Cripple Our Feet

Watching the Tsuyazaki Jr High students get ready for sports day... at least half of them run barefoot, on dirt tracks with tiny bits of stone and gravel. And they're fast too. Reminded me of having read about people who run marathons barefoot and the school of thought that shoes weaken the feet instead of protecting them. I think there's probably a lot to be said there. Certainly the guys I train with at the dojo have far stronger and more flexible feet and toes than I do, and much moreso than the average Westerner, I'd think.

Running Barefoot, Flat Feet:
"However, if your feet are flat, arch supports in shoes are NOT going to make your arches stronger. That's like trying to strengthen your ankles by putting your ankle in a cast!"

How Shoes Cripple Our Feet:
"...foot trouble among children is almost always caused by shoes, and that most adults' foot trouble would either not exist or would be much less bothersome if properly-shaped shoes had been worn during childhood or, better yet, if those people had gone barefoot (or the equivalent)...

I have since examined thousands of children's and adults' feet, both in the United States and in foreign countries, determined to learn to what extent shoes can disable naturally healthy feet. I have conducted numerous tests in accredited hospitals and published my observations in widely distributed medical journals, presenting my views for the scrutiny and criticism of other doctors. There is now no question in my mind but that THE MAJOR CAUSE OF FOOT TROUBLE IS THE TYPE OF SHOES WE WEAR.

There is nothing astonishing about this theory. What is astonishing however, is that while the cause of foot trouble is so evident a child could understand it, few persons know about it. Most people continue to acquire permanently and unnecessarily deformed feet simply because of the evolution of a fashion which started a hundred years ago...

My father was born in a rural district in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was not until he was fifteen that he owned a pair of shoes. During the warm weather he went barefoot, and in the winter he wrapped a kind of burlap around each toe and over the foot; after that he put on a felt-type boot. Never in those years were his feet damaged. My father today, at seventy-five, has more physical vigor in his limbs and gets less tired than many shoe-crippled youngsters fifty years his junior.

How different it was when I first began my chiropody practice in 1933. Husbands used to bring their wives to my office complaining that the women were crippling their feet. The wives would explain that they could not go out in the street in flat-heeled shoes because it was unstylish-they would rather suffer pain than be comfortable. Whenever the subject of women's styles in footwear came up, people would throw up their hands in horror and say, "That's one subject you can't talk about reasonably with a woman.""

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

The show I'm probably looking forward to the most this next season... Read an early draft of the script and it's like watching Sorkin's best episodes of Sports Night. Praise Jesus. » And So To Bed:
"I just read a draft of Aaron Sorkin’s STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP and it is so finely balanced and perfectly judged that I’m about ready to kill myself. Good night."

Defamer, the L.A. Gossip Rag: Here Come The Upfronts: Aaron Sorkin To Be Crowned NBC's Savior:
" is widely expected that the network will formally anoint Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing and the new, highly buzzed-about drama Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip Live From A Soundstage In Los Angeles, California, as the Peacock Messiah. But don't think that the folks at NBC didn't perform their due diligence (Executive: 'So, Aaron, are, you know, things?' Sorkin: 'I'm not making my own crack anymore.' Exec: 'Welcome to the NBC family.') before putting their fate in the hands of the famously troubled showrunner."

I'm an idiot.

[You are too.]

Peaceful Warrior:
"'We're all fools together... It's just that a few people know it; others don't.'- Socrates"

GeekCheck 101

Non-Geeks move along... nothing to see here.

Comic Book Resources - Comic Book News, Reviews and Commentary - Updated Daily!:
"Howard Chaykin believes the Oans are highly evolved Smurfs.

And in what may be my favorite comic news of the year thus far...

Look for The Question to get his own series from Greg Rucka."

Hope they put Burchett on art. All hail the legacy of Denny O'Neil. Now if they'd only get Rucka to write a Richard Dragon title too.

Still working on it...

The Lazy Way to Success: Thoughts on Finding One's Calling:
"A calling is not merely a profession or job. That is too superficial a definition. A calling must embody a higher purpose. It must involve service. It is the avenue through which one makes the greatest contribution to everyone else.

As a result, a calling affords an individual the greatest possible growth, success, and happiness.

I believe each of us has a calling and we are all endowed with the necessary talent, creativity, intelligence, and insight to find it and to fulfill it.

Tragically most people don’t even believe they have a calling in life. Instead, most everyone “works for a living,” which really means most everyone “suffers to survive.” People have created an unhappy, unhealthy, and unsuccessful world for themselves. And then they turn around and teach the younger generation this same fruitless pattern of behavior, claiming hard work is a virtue, as if there is some great benefit to suffering.

The solution to finding your calling isn’t complex. It is contained in the answer to this question: What do you give, the giving of which fills you with great happiness?"

Pity Sandy

'Cause I'm like this too.

Though I had never thought about it as "needs to make up right away." Maybe because growing up in the household I did, I saw what it was like when people never made up.

Unable to find the happy medium, that's me.

Dr. Ben Kim's Blog: Tidbits From My Life:
"One of my many weaknesses is that I find it hard to give people (like my wife, younger sister, and dad) personal space after an argument. My need to feel accepted and loved is sometimes too powerful to override, even in fully recognizing that they need time to be alone. Put another way, I'm the type of person who needs to make up right away."

Monday, May 15, 2006


Comic Book Resources - Comic Book News, Reviews and Commentary - Updated Daily!:
"Okay. So. I am in a suit. I do not like suits. I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy. A suit makes me feel like I'm wearing a costume designed to strangle. My shoes are slippery and feel like torture devices. Ties are the equivalent of a dog collar and leash for humans. "

True Karma

Peaceful Warrior:
"'Every action has its pleasures and its price. Recognizing both sides, a warrior becomes realistic and responsible for his actions.'- Socrates"