Saturday, December 16, 2006


A Problem of Magical Conception, via Key23.
Magic, in my experience, is about the enhancement of the existing superstructure of your life and choices. It is there to make your daily life more full. Not easier. Not “better,” in the sense of toward some end goal of “the good life.” Magic is redefinition, lies, deception, manipulation, companionship, brother- and sisterhood, parentage, kinship, hatred, compassion, and kicking the other fucker when they’re down. Magic, like technology, like science, like language, like art, like driving, can be dangerous, if done in a number of very certain ways. It is not, in itself, anything. It is nothing, until you put hands, mind, heart, brain to it. It is words and potential, in potential, meaning nothing, until it is made.

Find your True Will.

Via tonya kay's blog - Do As Thou Wilt:
Magick being the conscious manifestation of your will. First you must Know Thy Will.

...So in my search to understand my true will so I can manifest it at all, I have mostly discovered that what I truly desire, at the base of everything, is to experience elation, unfaltering health, and Love with a capitol letter.

...I choose to believe in health. I choose to believe I innately and effortlessly see a path to health. I begin walking the path to health. I become healthy; my skin becomes clear and actually radiates a visibly alive glow. My mind grows outward in conceptual, communal thought. Odd pains and consistent complaints finally resolve themselves. I feel good. I like how I look. I attract others experiencing the same reality. My life really is of higher quality. Raw food, as a magickal system, works. And let's face it; magick isn't a religion. It is a method of reality manipulation. If it serves it is valuable. If it doesn't create what you wish to experience, it is discarded for something that does. Magick has no room for dogma nor tradition.

...Perhaps we are impressing upon our children how our bodies really are the ingredients we give them. The cupcake is eggs, sugar, milk and artificial flavors. The carrot juice is organic. There is no wrong way to build a body. The body will build. But mine is going to be constructed with only the highest quality ingredients. This is not a discount body.

...let me suggest that you are healthy, noncontingent upon food. It is your pure, natural state. it is your birthright. It is easy to feel good all the time. That's what humans are made to do.

Byron Katie on jealousy.

Counter intuitive, but fascinating.

Here is the secret...

[I love comics.]

Jack Kerouac and Steve Allen

Surreal but very, very cool.

And a worthwhile comment from over at Youtube:
Personally, I'm just amazed that there was a point in time where a popular talk show on network TV would have a writer as a guest and let him do a reading.

I mean, can you imagine Jay Leno asking about the distinction between poetry and prose?

Maybe we really did used to be less stupid.

Convincing others... of anything... is a losing script.

Via the Dilbert Blog:
As a practical matter, it’s almost impossible to prove or disprove anything to another person’s satisfaction. Sure, there are special cases where, for example, a mathematician or a scientist can prove something to another mathematician or scientist. But you and I generally can’t prove anything to anyone. If you want to know whether neutrinos are real, don’t ask me. I’ve never seen one. I can’t even prove who ate the last cookie.

Getting what you want.

Via Joe Vitale:
So, what's the secret to getting what you want?

You should know by now.

Not needing it.

You want to be in a place of peace.

You want to be grateful.

You want to be able to truthfully say... "I'm totally satisfied, I just want more!"

When you would welcome it but you don't need it, you begin to attract it.

It all begins by being happy right now.

And you don't need anything to be happy right now.

Friday, December 15, 2006

But YOU feel safer, right?

DHS Raids Grabbed Legal Workers
Union officials are outraged over a massive immigration sweep yesterday, which sent 1,000 Homeland Security Department agents -- some in riot gear -- to meatpacking plants in six states to round up immigrant workers suspected of using fake identification, but may have picked up legal workers in the process.

"Stormtroopers came in with machine guns, rounded [the workers] into the cafeterias, separated identified citizens from non-citizens, and then they took away all green cards and put non-citizens onto buses," regardless of the immigrants' legal status, Jill Cashen of the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UCFW) told me this morning.

Cashen said that reports from all six states confirmed that legal immigrants were among those taken away, and have not been returned. "We're still trying to find out where the buses went," she said. "Children have been left at church day cares. Nobody knows where these people are."

Today’s Rationale?
Nine days until Christmas…and Mommy just got dragged away in handcuffs for a bunch of show arrests. Nice.

The shifting rationale for the ICE raids on the Swift Meatpacking plants is making me very peeved. What began as a "raid on illegal immigrants" has morphed into an "identity theft ring" justification in the last 24 hours. Except, the numbers as released thus far, do not hold up for that justification

...So, let's see what we have here: a meat-packing company with a history of skating immigration laws (and allegations of them having some sort of scheme to import illegal workers from Guatamala) skates out of this scot free thus far.

Meanwhile, a mere nine days away from Christmas, these kids get the present of their parents being seized and hauled away, unable to contact them to let them know they are okay — with no time to make arrangements for their children's care.

And, in one case, a mother who was nursing her child is dragged off and cannot be located, while the child is left to deal with the consequences of being weaned against it's will by governmental agents.

...Family values party, my ass.

Idiots, I swear to god...

Trust your government, folks... they're on the ball.
Democrats’ New Intelligence Chairman Needs a Crash Course on al Qaeda
...the five-term Texas Democrat, 62, is facing similar unpleasant surprises about the enemy, this time as the incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

That’s because, like a number of his colleagues and top counterterrorism officials that I’ve interviewed over the past several months, Reyes can’t answer some fundamental questions about the powerful forces arrayed against us in the Middle East.

It begs the question, of course: How can the Intelligence Committee do effective oversight of U.S. spy agencies when its leaders don’t know basics about the battlefield?

To his credit, Reyes, a kindly, thoughtful man who also sits on the Armed Service Committee, does see the undertows drawing the region into chaos.

For example, he knows that the 1,400- year-old split in Islam between Sunnis and Shiites not only fuels the militias and death squads in Iraq, it drives the competition for supremacy across the Middle East between Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia.

That’s more than two key Republicans on the Intelligence Committee knew when I interviewed them last summer. Rep. Jo Ann Davis, R-Va., and Terry Everett, R-Ala., both back for another term, were flummoxed by such basic questions, as were several top counterterrorism officials at the FBI.

...Reyes stumbled when I asked him a simple question about al Qaeda at the end of a 40-minute interview in his office last week. Members of the Intelligence Committee, mind you, are paid $165,200 a year to know more than basic facts about our foes in the Middle East.

...The dialogue went like this:

Al Qaeda is what, I asked, Sunni or Shia?

“Al Qaeda, they have both,” Reyes said. “You’re talking about predominately?”

“Sure,” I said, not knowing what else to say.

“Predominantly — probably Shiite,” he ventured.

He couldn’t have been more wrong.

Al Qaeda is profoundly Sunni. If a Shiite showed up at an al Qaeda club house, they’d slice off his head and use it for a soccer ball...
Much more at the link.

Water - wet... Sky - blue... Politics - corrupt, useless and in the pocket of big money lobbyists...

Via the Washington Post, the inanity of bureaucracy, money and politics: Dairy Industry Crushed Innovator Who Bested Price-Control System
In the summer of 2003, shoppers in Southern California began getting a break on the price of milk.

A maverick dairyman named Hein Hettinga started bottling his own milk and selling it for as much as 20 cents a gallon less than the competition, exercising his right to work outside the rigid system that has controlled U.S. milk production for almost 70 years. Soon the effects were rippling through the state, helping to hold down retail prices at supermarkets and warehouse stores.

That was when a coalition of giant milk companies and dairies, along with their congressional allies, decided to crush Hettinga's initiative. For three years, the milk lobby spent millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions and made deals with lawmakers, including incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.).

Last March, Congress passed a law reshaping the Western milk market and essentially ending Hettinga's experiment -- all without a single congressional hearing.


Do you see what I see?, via Rigorous Intuition:
We all have our meta-narratives about Life, the Universe and Everything by which we interpret events and perceive trends. We need them if we aspire to critical thought, but we also ought to be conscious of them and of what they represent: they're the mental scaffolding to support our modeling of the world and to build a case about it, they are not the world itself. And so they need to be flexible, and we need to be humble enough to reconfigure them when necessary according to new evidence and fresh insight. If not, we can find ourselves in rabbit holes of our own making that resemble nothing so much as The Princess Bride's battle of wits. ("Truly you have a dizzying intellect." "Wait 'til I get going!")

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Batman infiltrates Russian Intelligence

The logo of the GRU [Russian Main Intelligence Directorate]. Via BoingBoing.

Freedom means having the freedom to fu*k up.

In response to NYC's transfat ban, via Reason:
Which reminds me of a comment I once heard another doctor make on CNN regarding smoking: "People who are making decisions for themselves don’t always come up with the right answer." In other words, freedom is all well and good, as long as people use it to make exactly the same choices I would make. This seems to be one of the main lessons taught in schools of public health.


Nerdcore - geek hip hop. MC Frontalot actually has some skills.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Never. Too. Late.

Rocky's Final Round
You don't need to talk to Stallone for long... "It nags me that I took the easy way instead of the high road," he says. "But everyone makes mistakes. I look around at people my age, and I can see it in their eyes—a kind of bittersweet reflection: 'I didn't live the life that I wanted, and now I've got all this stuff I want to say, but nobody wants to hear it.' I was feeling that, and if you don't get it out, it can become a beast that tears you apart."

..."I have things I truly regret," he says. "I had, on occasion, sold out. But don't I get the chance to recover?" In person, Stallone is a powerful physical presence, his face ragged with age, and his torso still a mass of dense muscle. Yet there's a gentleness to him. Even when he's expressing strong opinions, which is often, there's no anger in his voice. "I don't understand aging gracefully," he says. "I'll always be at war with that. I'd rather age ungracefully, kicking and screaming. Don't hand me down my top hat and walking cane. You know, I went to speak at the AARP—did you know that starts at 50?—and I said, 'Yes, youth must be served. After us. And we're going back for seconds and thirds'."

...Stallone's wish is that this last chapter in the Rocky legend will be a call to action for his own. "I'm hoping it triggers people who think their time has come and gone to say, 'Maybe I'd like to climb that mountain or open up that business or go back to school'," he says. "I mean, why not?" During the final credits of "Rocky Balboa," Stallone turns the camera on the fans. As the "Rocky" music rises, dozens of ordinary men and women, young and old, in frame after frame, reach the top of Rocky's steps and, with wide smiles, raise their fists in the air.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

PostSecret... cool.

Pizza-La brand Kani [Crab] and Mayo flavored Doritos.

Japan is interesting.

The chips, actually, weren't horrible. They tasted kinda like a bag of Old Bay seasoning.

I do this for fun.

Ry, a fine young [okay, my age, but I refuse to admit to aging] gentleman working on his doctorate [in 20th century poetry, no less - who says Renaissance men are dead?], and whom Kevin and I used to roll Jiu-Jitsu with on occasion, was visiting Fukuoka from his current abode in Tokyo, and was goodly enough to take the 20 minute train ride to Fukutsu for a workout. Also joining us was fellow Fukutsu ALT Jon, a terror in kickboxing, thanks to his TaeKwonDo background [one of the few I've met who can make his TKD functional] and together we all spent 3 or so hours, well... beating each other up.

Working the clinch...

Ry about to eat a knee...

"Smell my shoulder" says Jon. Or something like that.

Now, is this Ry effectively countering the takedown, or freaking out like a little girl?

This is not where I want to be.
Also, this picture makes my ass look fat.
Okay... my fat ass makes my ass look fat.
Shut up.


Now I don't wanna break my arm patting myself on the back...
But this... this is pretty.
Ry, meet high amplitude. And go for a ride.

Workout break!

Now Ry, I didn't mention this this afternoon...
but, the bottom of the mount?... yeah, that's not where you want to be...

The best part of this pic, as Jon and Ry work escapes from back control, is the fact that as I take the pic, Ry is totally focusing on the camera instead of the drill.
You vain, vain bastard :)

See, what this pic means is that I move too fast to be captured on film.
[Okay, it's just my crappy point and shoot camera.]

Ry has such pretty form.

And the official "We're finished working out" group photo.
Notice how vaguely uncomfortable Jon looks with my arm around his shoulder?
I'm married Jon, no need to worry :)

I now anxiously await the CD of high speed, high quality pics taken by Ry on his ridiculously expensive camera...

Deck the halls... lalalalala.....

Setting out the requisite Xmas decorations...

Sandy has stolen my pullup bar for her holiday joy.


From the comments section of something elsewhere:
The point has been made over and over again, but to raise a child in religion, to teach a kid that a magical man in the sky wants her to behave in a certain way or she will spend eternity suffering, is, unquestionably, child abuse.

No power in the 'verse...