Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Breaking the Code

Thom Hartmann's book got me thinking about words and how they are used as tools of power by people in power.

Once upon a time, when we borrowed money (say, to buy a house) the borrowed money was a debt. But the word debt has a problem - in the Biblical sense (Matthew 6:12). The people in power NEVER forgive debts - thus a debt become a "financial obligation."

Now many blind right-wingnuts like to thump their Bibles because they do not know (OR CAN NOT KNOW) what is expressed therein. President "W" Bush signed the biggest rewrite of U.S. bankruptcy law - taking away the possibility of anyone keeping a roof over their head when the real estate bubble popped!

So with the Tea-Baggers and the Moral Majority we get nothing short of a rewrite debt forgiveness [PDF] in the Lord's Prayer! What power they have!


And Rush, puffin' cigars with the junk bond king.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Last Teaching Of The Buddha

"The demon of worldly desires is always seeking chances to deceive the mind. If a viper lives in your room and you wish to have a peaceful sleep, you must first chase it out.

"You must break the bonds of worldly passions and drive them away as you would a viper. You must positively protect your own mind."

Almost 30 years ago, I first gave this lesson. And today, I give the lesson again. Where you have a corrupt and perverted churches harming children and youth, you must avoid supporting them in any way. Do not let their representatives into your house, let alone your family life. They are really after more than just money, they want to take over your mind or those of your children! Just as you find chanting "hare Krishna" distasteful, so too should you find "Hail Mary."

Most people can see this in the cult of the Hare Krishnas or the JWs but miss it in the Cult of Mary.

"Following 70 years of intensive excavations in the Land of Israel, archaeologists have found out: The patriarchs' acts are legendary, the Israelites did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, they did not conquer the land. Neither is there any mention of the empire of David and Solomon, nor of the source of belief in the God of Israel. These facts have been known for years, but Israel is a stubborn people and nobody wants to hear about it." MORE HERE

Contrast the above paragraph with the Discovery of Lumbini

If you have managed to retain some modicum of control over your own mind - WAKE UP!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

the trinity of physics

1) Mass and Energy are one and the same thing in different states - like ice and water. Ice is like the matter (particle) and water is like the energy (electromagnetic).
2) Time (or the convenient myth of time)
3) Space (or the convenient myth of space)

Let us take space as a given. The farther away - in distance - we are from singularity, the greater is the elapsed time. Let us take time as a given. The the greater the elapsed time, the farther away - in distance - we are from singularity. Thus, time and space are inseparable.

A long time ago, I commented on the 'shadows on the wall' in the COBE temperature map. I theorized that as the big crunch was finished, our particular big bang passed through at least a few galaxies that had not yet reentered the singularity point - or barrier of black hole collisions (as far as that goes).

Then, there was the question of the singularity crunch - in which (outer ring) particles (protons,electrons, and neutrons) begin to break apart (leaving quarks to collide in a thick soup). This process was explored in 1956, at Berkeley. Particle physics would have to break at that period of time (at approximately 500 Mev) and then quark physics would take over. Next, quarks (sub-particles) would be bound in tightly packed collisions (inner circle) so that the Higgs field would collapse (above 130 Bev) and, in the absence of time, singularity (the inner dot) could occur. Time breaks down and only one Plank's loop of space - singularity - would remain. That is a single spinning ring! Proof? Here it is:

This cosmic worm hole is the space to all space, devoid of time altogether. HERE is an alternate theory (which I address below).

Spin? In the big bang?

So, at one extreme, you would think we would go to an ultra cold-dark still entropy (all mass, no energy) and at the other extreme an ultra hot-bright spin (all energy, no mass). But alas, not all of the energy is converted to mass in the cold-dark still phase (some motion remains) and not all of the mass enters singularity in the hot-bright spin phase (some mass lingers). Without some mass, spin would lack a critical dimension - length* (it's perpendicular to the red 'line' in the dot. In true singularity, there would be only a point with no length/width/depth dimension. The overall conceptual model is somewhat akin to this. Hot - bright - spin and cold - dark - still are extremes that, in our universe, simply do not quite exist. The secret to the big bang - to - big crunch is in the endless motion...

Hmmm... spin without mass (~pure energy) passing through singularity and rotational creep (~pure mass) without any heat (energy) at maximum expansion. Could it be?

Space is likely toroidal - like a donut. The "Dot" is just the tiny center of the donut hole. As matter is accelerated faster than the speed of light, space folds back on itself and the big crunch follows. Therefore, there is no time of a beginning and no time of an ending. We are endlessly recycled - in a somewhat sloppy manner. The three quanta states entering/leaving singularity are just the breakdown of (1) nuclear physics, the breakdown of (2) sub-particle quarks, and the breakdown of (2) time/space passing through space alone [singularity]. Time is created anew and it is time alone that separates the [unseen] parallel universes (dark matter?).
Big bangs are constantly happening - in quantum time. Parallel universes are constantly expanding while others, moving faster 'than the speed of light'*, are collapsing through singularity into yet more big bangs.
We are clusters of quantum consciousness within an incremental time. There is no reason to doubt that there are countless other clusters of quantum consciousness within other not quite countless parallel universes. We can estimate the mass of the whole system - 95% of the mass being shared in perhaps 20 parallel universes not altogether unlike our own (e.g. ~5% per universe +/- 0.025%).

*length exists because there is motion without time - or motion between time quanta at the moment (for lack of a better word) of singularity. Singularity moves (spins) in the absence of time - within the interval between two time quanta.

All of this aside, there is another model besides the toroidal model.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Buddha in the closet?

"The forms of Buddhist writings are not simple. Their forms of composition and meaning(s) are respectively immeasurable and infinite." source

I often paraphrase this concept. Buddhism teaches nothing. Buddhism shows you how to teach yourself. It is the earliest known form or metacognition.

see definition 1
Now you know why Real Psychologists® are either openly or closeted Buddhists.
see definition 2
see definition 3

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An obvious embellishment...

The cast of characters below is an obvious (and common) embellishment used to make a 12" story 10 feet tall. Historically, it is far more reasonable to assume that there were 125 followers - a huge crowd in that day and age.

Furthermore, regionally minted punch-mark coins that were specifically minted to support Buddha and his mission still exist today.
So, in his life, the Buddha had a huge following and monastery - numbering well over 100.

Thumbnail Time-line

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Baby pictures!

People wanna show baby pictures.

Now THIS is a baby picture.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Evolution of Scientology

So, who was Mr Crowley? A few claim he was a freemason. The record has him as irregular as constipation.

But, to his credit, Jack Parsons - of JPL fame - was his student!

Enter one Navy Dude.

Together, they worked to make a "Rosemary's Baby."

Notice the Commodore? LOL

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Americans are ignorant about religion.

Researchers from the independent Pew Forum on Religion phoned 3,400 Americans and asked them 32 questions about the Bible, Christianity, world religions, famous religious figures, and constitutional principles governing religion.

Those who scored the highest were atheists and agnostics. The results were the same even after the researchers controlled for factors like age and racial differences.

“I have heard... that atheists know more about religion...,” Mr. Silverman said. “Atheism is an effect of that knowledge, not a lack of knowledge...”


Monday, September 13, 2010

Iconoclasts v. Iconophiles.

In a late score, the Iconoclasts remain locked in a tie score with the Iconophiles.

Byzantine iconophiles, or image-lovers, believed that the icons were holy, and not solely devotional objects. Iconoclasm, or destruction of images, was the most significant issue affecting Byzantium between 717 and 787. Today, we no longer find images in Xtianity. You could not buy one if you wanted to.

Don't forget Our Virgin of the Grilled Cheese.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Declining Celebration of Stupidity.

“Stupidity is infinitely more fascinating that intelligence,” Mr. Chabrol once observed. “Intelligence has its limits while stupidity has none. To observe a profoundly stupid individual can be very enriching, and that’s why we should never feel contempt for them.”

Thursday, September 9, 2010

“The Whole Shebang” (1997)

“Religious systems are inherently conservative, science inherently progressive.”

Religion and science don’t have to be at war, but we can stop setting them up on blind dates.

“This may be an instance where good walls make good neighbors.” source

Another reason to keep our "Wall of Separation" between church and state.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Coming to terms with terms...




Satori - understanding - when you have digested some conflict the wave it once made will never crest so high again.

Kensho is the Japanese term for a sudden realization. This is more of a resolution for some conflict than just a general understanding.

Enlightenment - this is what you may get when you die. Gautama, in death, became enlightened - the Buddha.

As I stated before, it has long been my understanding that to ask a monk: "Are you enlightened?" is very closely akin to asking: "Will you die (immediately)?"

A Bodhisattva, for example, is someone on the path to enlightenment or Buddhahood.

So, by definition, a Bodhisattva is not enlightened.

Then I thought about Dhyāna: or the stages of concentration in meditation. The Buddha passed through successive jhanas before he reached enlightenment - that is he even ate the spoiled meat and subsequently died of food poisoning. His consideration was not for his own health or well-being but rather the rudeness he would be showing his host by rejecting an offering of food.

Finally, before passing away, the Buddha said:
"Perishable are all conditioned things, but the Truth will live forever! Work out your Liberation with diligence!" source

Thus, Gautama became the Buddha. In this story, Gautama is spoken of as the Buddha because we are not living in the moments before his death. He is already dead and he will not return. Gautama is, at this moment, the Buddha.

Consider the following fable:

An old monk asked a young monk: "Are you enlightened?"

The young monk responded: "Why, yes!"

The old monk rolled his eyes and asked: "Already?"

Enlightenment is a journey more than it is a destination. The journey ends when the journey ends and not before.
Last night, I was ask: "Do Buddhists believe in an immortal soul?"

I replied: "Although I only speak for myself, as a liability, yes."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It is strong support...

In 133 years of record keeping, this has been the hottest June, July, and August on record in Japan. more The recorded data matches the predicted data for global warming and a runaway greenhouse effect.

Well, it will be an interesting end to our lack of population control.

If you are under 30, don't worry. The odds are it will be the temperature that gets you and not war, terrorism, earthquake, or disease. You might also get swept away by a flood, tornado, or hurricane but unless you live in those effected areas, it will just be high temperatures. It (increased heat deaths) will all come to a close in the next 25 or 3o years... wait and see. (But don't plant a tree!)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

“the Faith element.”

There is an issue beyond ignorance and stupidity - it is called militant stupidity. And there is enough militant stupidity to find a home in every corner - even fringe Buddhi$t corners.

We need to lay a foundation by first reading: "Jesus killed Mohammed: The crusade for a Christian military."

Next, before I react further, we need to read the reaction of another, non-Buddhist, commenter. It is here: Among military chaplains, fundamentalism is taking hold

This is a serious matter. The very first amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America guarantees us BOTH the freedom of religion and the freedom from religion.

Recently, a friend returned from Nepal and he brought me this Buddhist Shrine. It is from Tibet where religion is contrary to the law of China. People live in fear of being discovered. Some in Islam (Northern India, Pakistan) demand conversion (to Islam) or death (of the infidel). Here's a picture:

Here is another picture of that same shrine (next to a dime).

Click on picture for bigger view.

Think on this. "Whay is the difference between fundamentalism and militant stupidity?" Is it a big difference? I seriously doubt a difference.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Teabonics - a new Lingo!

Teabonics is a new language. These folks just ain't gonna get it nohow!
Some Politicians go along with these folks!

And the Religious Right-wing nuts are in the mix.

If you think there is an easy way out, I have some bad news:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ham Salad, revisited.

Once upon a time, there was a culture that borrowed things. This culture borrowed objects, people, and stories. This culture shined the objects, reinvented the people, and localized the stories (folklore). This culture was the everyculture, dating bback to the last ice age of around 12,000 years ago. We were only saved from freezing by Mammouth farts!

What has this to do with Ham Salad, you ask?

Well, the Buddhists borrowed from the Hindus (Harrapan Culture). Many Mohenjo-Daro sculptures are meditating in the lotus position. As you were previously told, "The Jewel is in the Lotus of the Heart." So, let us put the 'jewel' (Buddha) in the Lotus (flower).
Next (after counting the five semi-circles at the top of the Lotus Flower) we will substitute a sacred Buddhist fruit (pomegranate) for the Buddha and call it Hamsa!

All that work was no work at all!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Om Mani Padme Hum

"Om Mani Padme Hum" is variously translated. What it means to you depends upon what you want it to mean.
It roughly means "The Jewel is in the Lotus of the Heart."

Om ma ni pad me hum is an important mantra in Buddhism. It is the six syllable mantra of Avalokiteshvara - the Bodhisattva of compassion. The Dalai Lama is said to be an incarnation of Avalokiteshvara, so the mantra is revered by his followers.
* Om purifies bliss and pride (the realm of gods)
* Ma purifies jealousy (the realm of jealous gods)
* Ni purifies passion and desire (the human realm)
* Pad purifies ignorance and prejudice (the animal realm)
* Me purifies poverty and possessiveness (the realm of the hungry ghosts)
* Hum purifies aggression and hatred (the realm of hell)

It is often found written on antique Swastikas.

The word Swastika is Sanskrit: su, meaning well, and asti, meaning to be. (Be well.)

Be well.

deo vindice: 'an absurdity in bronze.'

How does one translate the phrase deo vindice? It is engraved on the Confederate Seal. Most Southern Folks think it means God will vindicate. But it doesn’t.

Vindex (of which vindice is a form) could mean "protector" or "champion." And it could have been that the intended meaning was "with God as our champion."

But in classical Latin vindex often means "punisher." In this light, deo vindice becomes "with God as our punisher."

The term Deo Vindici was the creation of a House resolution fixing the motto as 'Deo Duce Vincemus'. Mr. Semmes moved to substitute ' Deo vindice majores aemulamur.' 'Deo vindice' was finally triumphant."

In the speech made by Mr. Semmes on that occasion: "MR. PRESIDENT…The committee has been greatly exercised [emotional] on this subject, and it has been extremely difficult to come to any satisfactory conclusion. This is a difficulty, however, incident to the subject, and all that we have to do is to avoid what Visconti calls 'an absurdity in bronze.'

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Great, Mysterious Mantra

The Maha-Prajna-Paramita-Hridaya Sutra

This have I heard, at one time the Buddha - with many Bodhisattvas and a company of Bhikshus - was staying at Rajagaha on Mt. Gridharakuta. The Buddha was sitting apart absorbed in Samadhi. The Ven. Sariputra, influenced by the Buddha, spoke thus to the Noble Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara:

"If a son or daughter wishes to study Prajnaparamita (perfect wisdom), how is he to do so ?

The noble Avalokitesvara replied to the Venerable Sariputra:

"If a son or daughter wishes to study Prajnaparamita, he must first expel the idea of ego-selfness. Let him think thus: Personality? What is that? Is it an enduring entity? Or is it an element that will pass away? Personality is five grasping aggregates: form, sensation perception, discrimination, consciousness, all of which are by nature empty of substance.

Because form is emptiness, emptiness is not different from form. Also, sensation is emptiness, emptiness is not different from sensation. Indeed, emptiness is sensation.

Also, perception is emptiness, emptiness not different from perception. Indeed, emptiness is sensation.

Also, discrimination is emptiness, emptiness is not different from discrimination. Indeed, emptiness is discrimination.

Also consciousness is emptiness, emptiness is not different from consciousness. Indeed, emptiness is consciousness.

Thus, O Sariputra, all things having the nature of emptiness have no beginning and no ending.

They are neither faultless nor faulted; they are neither perfect nor imperfect.

In emptiness there is no form, no sensation, no perception, no discrimination, no consciousness.

There is no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue; no sensitiveness to contact, no mind.

There is no sight, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no mental process, no object, no knowledge, no ignorance.

There is no destruction of objects, there is no cessation of knowledge, no cessation of ignorance.

There is no Noble Four Truths: no pain, no cause of pain, no cessation of pain, no Noble Path leading to the cessation of pain.

There is no decay and no death, and no destruction of the notion of decay and death.

There is no knowledge of Nirvana, there is no obtaining of Nirvana.

Why is there no obtaining of Nirvana? Because Nirvana is the realm of nothingness.

If the ego-soul of personality was an enduring entity it could not obtain Nirvana.

It is only because personality is made up of elements that pass away, that personality may attain Nirvana.

So long as man is seeking highest perfect Wisdom, he is still abiding in the realm of consciousness.

If he is to realize Nirvana, he must pass beyond consciousness.

In highest samadhi (meditation), having transcended consciousness, he has passed beyond discrimination and knowledge, beyond the reach of change or fear; he is already enjoying Nirvana.

The understanding of this and the acceptance of this is Prajnaparamita.

All the Buddhas of the past, present and future who attain samadhi, (Budh) awake to find themselves realizing Prajnaparamita.

Therefore, O Sariputra, anyone seeking self-realization of Prajnaparamita, the Transcendent Truth, the Truth that spans the troubled ocean of life and death: that safely carries all seekers to the undiscovered country, from whose bourn* no traveler returns must listen to the Mantra, the Great, Mysterious Mantra: O'om gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi, svah!

Gone, gone to that other country; safely passed to that other country, wake up there, with a cheer."

O Prajnaparamita !

So mote it be.

*There are two derivatives of bourn. Bourn from old French means "boundary" which is often the attributed meaning of bourn in Shakespear. However, the old English meaning is "river".

Country is also variously translated into 'realm' or 'shore.' All that is being communicated on and about this point is the passage from here to not here or perception to no perception - or specifically from form to emptiness. (There is no distinction among any of them.)

Other readings: one, two, three.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

कापितोलिस्म फॉर Weenies

It's time you had some fetchin' up about capitalism for Weenies.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Buddsism as Moral Science

Consider the third of the Five Precepts:
Kamesu micchacara veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I will train to refrain from wrong-doing with respect to sensuality.

To recycle from 2 posts ago:
The Latin word mōrālis relates to individual manners. Moral virtue is the middle way between excess (hedonism) and deficiency (complete deprivation). Being moral is conforming to a personal value system and having consistency in your decisions based on a mechanism with foundations in responsibility and balance.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cut from a different bolt of cloth...

A Kesa is a symbolic robe made from discarded sheets once used to wrap bodies before cremation. These were found along the banks of the Ganges River, where the dead were cremated and the soiled sheets discarded. A kesa made in this way represents the transformation from the lowest of fabrics to the most holy (sacred). It's a kind of spiritual alchemy for the cloth.

A Kolomo is a wide sleeved monk's robe. Traditionally the kolomo is hand made from the cheapest material - hemp cloth - that has been discarded. The kolomo is very personal to the monk since each monk stitched the patches of hemp cloth (a coat of many colors) together and died it in indigo (indigo aigi or kasane aigi).

"The Joman period (before 300 A.D.) had kimono which were made of hemp and were loosely fastened with no distinction between male and female clothing."

Kasane aigi is the inner layer of a kimono set, of two or more pieces, worn traditionally in Japan. The practice of wearing aigi, however, ceased with the criminalization of hemp farming following WWII. Hemp Kasane aigi last for centuries and they become softer as the centuries pass.

The Rakusu is a small kolomo/kesa worn during work periods. The rakusu may also be worn for zazen.

Words often have two meanings: kesa is Sanskrit for hair.

And, if you don't like it, you can kesa my asu.

Japanese word Asu means tomorrow.

Friday, July 23, 2010

From Deva to Devil to Jesus

When the Levitican Law Cult was demonizing a Deva of India they could not have known that, in later years, Byzantium would bring Mithras back as Jesus.

But Karma works like that - in ironical metaphors. And, as long as you keep a liberal education out of the classroom, no one is the wiser.

Mithra (or Mitra) is often paired with the deity Varuna.

Kipling was a fan of Mithras.

So, let us first demonize Mithras:
Isaiah 14:12 (KJV): “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”

Lucifer is not a proper name, but is merely a Latin word for ‘morning star.’ And the morning star being refered to is the planet Venus. Lucifer means light-bringer, from Latin lux "light" + ferre "to bring." The word Lucifer is found in only once in the Bible -- Isaiah 14:12!

And then, let's bring him back:
Rev 22:17: “I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” (David here refers to the planet Mercury* or 'house of DwD' delta invert delta).

Rev. 22:16 and 2 Peter 1:19 clearly state that Christ Jesus (oiled fish) Himself is the “morning star” and the “day star.” Both the NIV and the RSV attribute the Lord’s names to the Hindu Deva Mithra! But, having borrowed it from the Zoroastrians, it makes sense - and dollars too.

There is even a conspiracy theory drifting (as a fart in the wind).

There is much to be hidden from the profoundly ignorant lest it destroy them altogether - and diminish the magnitude of cash flow as the offering plate passes.

There are two morning stars (planets) Mercury and Venus. Mercury's transits scribe out a hexagram. Venus' transits scribe out a pentagram. It's just plotting planets - astrology. Vedanga Jyotisha is a 13th c. BCE Hindu document which gives the methods of calculating the two shapes. Even that ancient indigenous work refers to Surya (Venus) and Chandra (Mercury).

Mercury (the house of DwD - Hindu Chandra) is closest to the heavenly father - deus pter (the sun) later corrupted into Zeus and Jupiter. Surya, Mitra, Lucifer, Jesus, or the ‘morning star’ is Venus - not a star (which generates light) but a planet (which reflects light).

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Universe is a Donut

I'm not talking about Dunkin Donuts here, I'm talking about a universe with no beginning, no ending, and the illusion of a big bang and expansion. Arthur M. Young was confused - but sorta on to something. This toroidal model for the universe solves a lot of perceived problems. What was there before the big bang? It was the same thing - call it the dharma wheel - turning or passing through the various phases.

The possibility exists that all elementary particles are resonant patterns of spatial energy in a grand toroidal universe. All "matter" may be NOTHING more than a harmonious organization of the nothingness of space arranged in specific acoustical patterns by consciousness. At this moment, it is not an entirely open and closed case.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jumping Josaphat!

Philip Hitti mentions in "History of the Arabs" that during medieval times in Europe, there was a widely-circulated religious romance fable called "Jehoshaphat and Barlaam". Based largely on this fable, both the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches canonized Jehoshaphat, a "Hindu Prince". Apparently the fable actually described events in Siddhartha Gautama's life, who is known to occidentals as the Buddha. Jehoshaphat, it seems, is none other than the Buddha himself, which actually means that Buddha has been canonized twice as a saint in the christian religion.

see also: Barlaam and Josaphat in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Shooting the Bull since '53

It says 19 SCHIESSEN 53. And the rare bronze is of a Brahma Bull (actually two of them). In the tradition of words having multiple meanings, schießen means "to shoot" while ein Tor schießen means to score (shoot) a goal. And in colloquial American English shoot the bull means merely to bullshit. However, the knowledgeable are able, through bullshit¹, to score points in conversations with the unlearned without so much as raising an eyebrow. This elevates bullshit to an art form worthy of appreciation in my crowd. Hint: it's the WIG.

Ah yes, the Brits and the Americans - two peoples separated by a common language - and the catastrophic failure in the gulf.

Now I think this is worth mentioning today because so many 'would-be Zennies' bullshit² - not out of that simple joy so often found in twisting the 'common language - out of the sheer weight of their ignorance. This latter type of bullshit is an effort to plug that pot hole of ignorance. It works well wherever the gene pool runs shallow. Now ignorance is not all bad. In a beginner's mind, we are told, many possibilities exist. Unfortunately the possibility of picking up and reading a few books a month is not one of them. Thus, many folks choose to dwell forever in ignorance and THAT is different from "Beginner's Mind." Therefore, in the hand that has yet to set foot into the virgin forest, ignorance is a universal starting point. Why more than a few find ignorance a suitable point of termination is a mystery to me. Wait and see.
There's more than one way to herd an ox. 1935 version.
Ignorance is a tremendous burden to carry. Read a book, any book, and a different book every week (or two) throughout your remaining time. Who knows, you might learn something worthwhile.

Q: How would a disinterested third party tell bullshit¹ from bullshit­²?
A: A disinterested third party does not engage in the exercise to begin with.

1) Pulling one's leg. Chumming a fish (Xtian).
2) Speaking with authority out of ignorance (see a republican, speaking at all).

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

ABC: Anywhere but California

There is a closely kept secret in California - people are leaving in droves. It seems that it is 30% more expensive to live here while the pay is only about 10% more than neighboring states. But what really did it was the greedy republicans who thought they could buy and flip a house for big profits but got trapped when the bubble broke. Officially, 1 in 8 is unemployed. If you count all the illegals hired by republican contractors, it's closer to 1 in 5 people are out of work. We don't have an illegal worker problem, we have an illegal employer problem! These illegals exported their earnings to Mexico - unlike the legals who would have spent it locally. Besides, for the next decade, our most talented and educated need to relocate - overseas. That's where the republicans (e.g. Jack Welcher) - starting with Reagan - outsourced the core jobs, engineering work, and manufacturing.

Although no definitive studies have been done to date, it seems the most conservative areas were the hardest hit. The eastern valley folks in Modesto, Turlock, and Fresno drank the investment cool aid and now are off to points east, south, or both. And many of those republicans are leaving simply to avoid the embarrassment of being wrong (again) and flat broke to boot! People with real wealth did not risk much - if any - on speculation.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Finger, pointing at the moon.

Hotei (a fat Chinese Santa Claus character), pointing at the moon. In ancient China, a fat belly was the sign of prosperity and good fortune. That was before diet soda and high-fructose corn syrup.

Dogen, ultimately, is just another finger pointing at the moon. Dogen presents an approach (actually, quite a few) to holding one's finger while pointing at the moon. Dogen wrote, in addition to Shobogenzo, Eihei Koroku, Shinji Shobogenzo (a.k.a Shobogenzo Sanbyakusoku or tMana Shobegenzo), and other works.

There are many superstitions regarding pointing at the moon.

Lest we all forget, it's not about the finger, the approach, the person who points, or the moon.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Fan Club

This is a complete photo essay regarding my fan club.

The 1987 S-VHS Roll Out Fan. The advertising doesn't matter, the picture is nice.

Shiro likes this one the most (Dogs only see shades of gray).

This one is too traditional, somehow.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Republican oil industry loyalists...

Democrats say Republicans would rather apologize to BP than hold company accountable. By The Canadian Press (CP)

WASHINGTON — The Democratic National Committee says Republicans are oil company loyalists who would rather apologize to BP than hold it accountable.

The Democrats' ad includes a clip of Republican Rep. Joe Barton apologizing to BP. The Texan apologized to BP executives after they met with President Barack Obama.

Barton took back the apology and Republican leaders have distanced themselves from it, but Democrats have painted Republicans as being oil industry loyalists. The DNC says Republicans should stand up to oil, not show sympathy for a company whose destroyed oil rig is spewing tens of thousands of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico every day of the week.

Copyright © 2010 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.
Yes, one must go to Canada to get real news.

Note: While in Congress, Barton has received $27,000 in campaign contributions from BP and $1.4 million from the oil and gas industry.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Touchdown Jesus (a.k.a. Big Butter Jesus)

That odd statue in Ohio known as Touchdown Jesus - because of the statue’s arms - will be rebuilt after it was struck by lightning and destroyed. Officially called the "king of kings statue" by the Solid Rock Church (a franchise?), burned to the ground after being struck by lightning - an act of god. Church officials announced a plan to resurrect Touchdown Jesus . The obnoxious Jesus statue was also called "Big Butter Jesus" by locals because of the creamy color of the decaying plastic coating. Following a second erection, touchdown jesus will be back.

There is another, older, touchdown jesus.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hellow? Another WAKE UP call?

Why was this statue, known as "touchdown jesus," destroyed by lightening?
*God, whether he goes by the name of Allah, Jehovah or Tinky Winky, hates ostentatious displays of faith. This 62-foot statue was an aesthetic abomination, an anathema to true spirituality. (The end-time abomination includes an idolatrous image at a new temple.)
*The Almighty was upset because Jesus was constructed out of styrofoam and fiberglass instead of marble or gold.
*The Supreme Being was furious that a million bucks was wasted on a styrofoam statue, instead of the money being used to feed the hungry and heal the sick (raise the dead, cast out republicans).
*The Heavenly Father doesn't do a good job protecting his children. He is incapable or unwilling to prevent earthquakes, floods and hurricanes that kill millions, he can't even prevent lightning from destroying a kitschy statue.
*There's no deity looking down on us, and the rain falls in equal parts on the just and the unjust. Lightning sometimes destroys orphanages and hospitals, and sometimes it destroys brothels and cheesy representations of Jesus. Bad things happen to good and bad people with the same random probability as good things happening to good and bad people. There is no coin; there is no finger to flip the coin.

These merchants of stagecraft weep not for their lost statue, but for their lost market share. (Ezekiel 27:36).

If anyone wuz 2 ask me, I'ld say: "I think the attic was empty."

Know what I mean?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Stay in school. There is nothing else to do.

In October 2009, 70.1 percent of June 2009 high school graduates were enrolled in college. Recent high school graduates not enrolled in college were in the labor force (well, 70% of them).

Recent High School Dropouts

Between October 2008 and October 2009, 383,000 young people dropped out of high school. The jobless rate for recent high school dropouts is 55.1 percent, compared with 30 percent for high school graduates not enrolled in a college or trade school.

From the Bush crash of October 2008 to October 2009, the real unemployment rate rose from 11.9 to 15.6 percent. The convoluted numbers you hear on radio & TV [LOL] have happy spin on them and so those numbers are artificially low.

The unemployment rate for high school students, at 25.8 percent in October 2009, was about twice the rate for college students (12.2 percent). In other words, 87% of the college students that want to work can find employment.

"Graduating from college proves nothing!" (said one who would not know).

"Graduating from college proves you finished something that you started."

"Graduating from college proves a point about diligence, maturity, and the ability to complete what you start."

That follow through has value to a potential employer.

Friday, June 11, 2010

THAT Shot a Hole in THAT Myth.

Now I had a fair to middlin' fetchin' up as a First Christian - until I was 11 or 12 and could think just a bit on the independent side.

So for a moment, ever so briefly, as a youth, before I knew what hypothetical even meant, I considered the creationist view in Genesis (which, btw, I found out later was one of the last chapters written in the OT). [p.s. Heads up on "Deo Vindice."]

Then I became a minor fan of things that fall out of the sky - polycrystalline black diamonds (a.k.a. carbonado). When you want to carbon date these things, you can't. They are too old. They predate creation. Here's one, now. You might want to click on the above picture for a closer look.

Besides Carbon (which is abundant throughout the universe) there are other elements inside. What you might want to do to date the carbon and captured gasses is just BLAST some of that stuff out of the black diamond using a very high speed focused particle beam. You know, a 600 microsecond long proton beam at 100 Million electron Volts should do the trick. Then all that vaporized material in the ejected tiny plasma cloud could be quickly analyzed inside the target chamber and an estimation of the age of aggregation could be made. Well, there is a pin hole 'entrance wound' and a real blast of an exit wound.
Proton Beam Entrance Hole (above).

Proton Beam / Carbon + Hydrogen Plasma Exit Hole (above). [Ouch!]

Well, that little gem (which could have ended up no more than a puff of vaporized dust (had the beam struck a slightly different spot) is somewhere between 5 billion and 5.2 billion years old. That's 5.1 bya +/- 100 million years within a certainty of 97.5% - for those who care. I care. I like it - it is physical evidence that the old boys who composed the two creation myths in Genesis 1 & 2 were just spinning a bedtime yarn. And that certainly works for me. Zzzzzzzzzzz....

Here's a detail of that little hole for the optically challenged. Click on above picture for bigger view.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Freedom of Religion

Freedom of Religion is alive and well in Arizona.

Thank whatever gods may be that Darwinism is being practiced by people with a craving for inbred stupidity. Now I am not being critical. Darwin himself (or hisself, for the illiterate among you who are unable to read this) observed the phenomena.

"Darwin could have published his theory of evolution in the early 1840s, but something stopped him in his tracks. In 1844, Robert Chambers anonymously published Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, a quasi-scientific book supporting evolution. The reaction to it was fierce. Even one of Darwin's own mentors, Adam Sedgwick, wrote a scornful review. Historians differ on whether this episode caused Darwin to put his own manuscript on hold. Besides the harsh response to Vestiges, another factor in Darwin's thoughts may have been the tumultuous political landscape in England's mid-19th century. Chartists (members of a working-class empowerment movement) were demanding such radical concessions as the right for every adult male to vote, and the abolition of property-ownership requirements for membership in Parliament. Landed gentry, if Darwin and his friends could be called as much, were nervous, and progressive-sounding theories didn't help." source

In short, if one is a republican and one THINKS, the thinking part must be secreted for a more politically correct opportunity in which to reveal [gasp] the thinking.

"Darwin observed his children as closely as he monitored "apes in the London Zoo," to see which inherited traits they displayed. Sure enough, all of them fell victim to his own defective digestive condition. His eldest daughter died at age 10 with severe gastrointestinal problems, and one after another, the remaining seven children fell ill at about the same age. "Over a period of 15 years, Darwin discovered how heredity works when first cousins marry," says Moore.

Darwin's five surviving sons became actively involved in the eugenics movement. His son George compiled statistics on the offspring of first-cousin marriages and also checked lunatic asylums for traits of inferior human beings. His youngest son Horace, the sickliest of the lot, started an engineering company to make anthropometric instruments used in measuring body parts to assess genetic quality. And both sons worked closely with Francis Galton, founder of the eugenics movement in the 1880s, which was hailed as "a new basis of moral obligation." source

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Standing Ovulation for Easter.

It's just not an intellectually impoverished song - hard rock for simpletons on the gullible extreme of the lunitic fringe - it's the same old hook. Do we get it?

Easter is such a seminal holiday that the female hormone estrogen (egg maker) was named after it. This band deserves a standing ovulation - drop an egg for this garage band! At least they (apparently) avoid getting stoned.

"Easter, well Oster, predates Christianity, it was a pagan fertility holiday - hence those eggs and bunnies and the springtime thing..."

WTF? Look on the bright side! It's nothing to get cross about.

Jesus Arrives... Jesus Departs...

He'll be back...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Day After Oil!

Many people are good at denial. Very good. We produce about as much oil today as we produced in 1950. And we should consume less oil than we consumed in 1950 - but we don't.

Oil is a finite resource and one day - soon - oil will be scarce, very expensive, and for use by the very rich only. THAT - in part - is why the rich are stripping the equity out of the middle classes and creating a vast new pool of poverty.

Now I am not saying this is good or bad, I'm just saying it seems like the emerging vision of the future that the John Galts have for the moochers. Some take a different view. While the middle class still has the right to vote (and there is a move by the elites to get another vote for every $20,000 in net worth that they have) there remains the possibility of conversion to photo voltaic "solar panels." Maybe like Japan. Or maybe on a smaller scale, like Germany.

Back in 1979, President Jimmy Carter did the unthinkable: He installed solar panels on top of the White House. The green addition was used to heat water for the staff eating era — and usher in a new era in American innovation and independence from foreign fossil fuels.

Republicans are idiots. Idiots. And there are so MANY that they fight to the top ten spots!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Praise Stupidity, Amen!

Today, a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses were handing out comic books in the local plaza. A local John de Arms was attempting to get them to move along as their presence is not all that good for business[PFD]. Well, I wondered up, stopped, coughed & spit and said:

"Damn! That medicinally resistant TB!"

Apparently, their deity has an exemption from protecting them from THAT ONE as they high-tailed it outta there so fast that the draft sucked up the trash.

The John de Arms laughed & said: "If you had medicinally resistant TB, the county board of health [PDF] would have you quarantined!"
"Yep," I said. "I know that and you know that, but THEY didn't know that."
He said: "Praise stupidity!" (To which I said: "Amen!)

Then he asked: "When does that allergenic bronchitis let up?"
My answer: "Even next week, or next month works for me."

Sometimes, it's better to avoid silence.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Consensus Reality isn't Reality at all.

Consensus reality is merely that (myth) which is accepted as reality by any group of individuals in a given place during a given time. The very use of 'consensus reality' is, with the rare exception, disparaging. It typically implies that the ‘consensus reality’ is reasonably false. (The phrase "consensus reality" may also be used to refer to a generally accepted belief - a belief by most, for example, in a creation myth.) [Not to be confused with reasonable belief.]

The theory of reality enforcement holds that a belief should be enforced or promoted through various means including sanctions applied against those who challenge the belief - for any reason. A classical example being that "The KJV is the true and inspired word, etc."

Believers in reality enforcement are typically sympathetic to anti-psychiatry and would describe involuntary commitment as a form of heresy (as in the course of treatment the patient may be encouraged to abandon beliefs the psychiatrist considers to be delusional). Mental health codes in some states (USA) specify that a diminished capacity to recognize reality is a significant part of the standard for determining mental illness - something to which believers in [consensus] reality enforcement would most obviously object.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Emily Rose was actually Anneliese Michel. From her birth in 1952, Anneliese Michel was a ‘religiously nurtured’ young girl. Her life changed in 1968 when she had a Grand Mal epileptic seizure. A neurologist at the Psychiatric Clinic Wurzburg diagnosed her with "Grand Mal" epilepsy. Because of the strength of this type of epileptic fit, and the depression that followed, Anneliese was admitted for treatment in the Psychiatric Clinic.

As soon as her epileptic fits began, Anneliese started seeing devils during her daily prayers. In the fall of 1970 (age 18), Anneliese developed the belief that she was possessed (this would eventually become the consensus reality). Thereafter, she needed no other explanation for explaining 'the visions' during her prayers. Anneliese also reported hearing voices saying "stew in hell". She mentioned her demons to the doctors only once, claiming that they were giving her orders. Since she believed the doctors were unable to help her, Anneliese experienced a transference from little faith in medicine to complete faith in Catholicism. It was an error with deadly consequences.

In the summer of 1973, her parents shopped various and sundry catholic parishes for the rite of exorcism. Their requests were invariably rejected and they were advised that Anneliese should continue with medication and Psychiatric treatment. It was explained to her parents that the process by which the Church determines a possession (Infestatio) was strictly defined, and until all the criteria was met, a Bishop would not approve the rite of exorcism. The requirements included an aversion to religious objects, speaking in a language the person had never learned, the display of supernatural powers, and so on and so forth. [Anneliese had none of these characteristics.]

By 1974, Father Ernst Alt requested a permit to perform the exorcism from the Bishop of Wurzburg. The request was rejected. The fits did not diminish, and her behavior became even more erratic. At the house in Klingenberg, she insulted, beat, and bit other members of her family. She refused to eat normal food, slept on the stone floor, ate spiders, flies, and coal, and began drinking her own urine. Anneliese began acts of self-mutilation; tearing off her clothes and urinating on the floor became commonplace. Hospitalization was not the preferred option for a family of complete devotion to their faith.

After finally somewhat buying in to the 'consensus reality' in September 1975, the Bishop of Wurzburg, Josef Stangl, provided Father Arnold Renz and Father Ernst Alt with 'an order' to perform "The Great Exorcism" on Anneliese Michel. It seems that Anneliese would be saved from several demons, including Lucifer, Judas Iscariot, Nero, Cain, Hitler, and others. From September '75 until July '76, one or two exorcism sessions were held each week. During the initial time of this intense new attention, Anneliese would go to school, take her examinations at the Pedagogic Academy in Wurzburg, and attend a couple of masses a week at the local Roman Catholic church.

The epileptic seizures, obviously, did not stop. Without her medication, she would more frequently find herself paralyzed and then unconscious (classical symptoms of the grand mal seizure). The erstwhile exorcisms continued over many more months, always with the same old prayers and tired incantations. Anneliese, entering the helpless-hopeless phase, now completely rejected food. Her knees ruptured from the obsessive genuflecting she compulsively performed during the now daily exorcisms. Approximately 40 (now notorious) audio tapes recorded much of the proceedings [or festivities, if you will].

The last day of Exorcism was June 30th, 1976. Anneliese was suffering from Pneumonia. She was running a high fever. Exhausted and unable to physically genuflect herself, her parents held her up and carried her through the necessary motions. "Absolution" is apparently the last word Anneliese spoke to the two exorcists.

Anna Michel recorded the death of her daughter on the following day, July 1st, 1976, and at noon, Father Ernst Alt informed the authorities in Aschaffenburg. The Klingenberg festival of the macabre had thus ended. Once informed, the senior prosecutor immediately began an investigation. It took more than 2 years to to bring Annaliese's case to court. Anneliese's parents and the two exorcists were accused of negligent homicide. The "Klingenberg Case" would be decided upon just two questions: What was the cause of death for Anneliese Michel, and who was legally culpable?

According the forensic evidence, "Anneliese starved to death". Specialists claimed that forced feeding just one week before her death would have spared Anneliese's life. One sister told the court that Anneliese did not want to go to a mental home where she would be sedated and forced to eat (Remember that Anneliese was 24 years of age).

The exorcists tried to prove the presence of the demons by playing the tape recordings. The 'demon' who called himself Hitler spoke with a Frankish accent (Hitler was Austrian). Those few present during the exorcism had no doubt about the "consensus reality" of the presence of demons - it was "the generally accepted belief" among all four.

The psychiatrists, who testified only by court order, spoke about the "Doctrinaire Induction". They demonstrated (from the recorded tapes) how the priests had provided Anneliese with the contents of her psychotic behavior. As a consequence, her subsequent behavior was merely 'validating her demonic possession.' They also testified that Anneliese's diagnosed Temporal Lobe Epilepsy had facilitated the development of her psychosis.

The verdict was nowhere close to being as harsh as many expected. Anneliese's parents and the two exorcists were found guilty only of manslaughter resulting from criminal negligence (the least responsible form of culpability) and aiding in the withholding of necessary medical treatment. The four were sentenced to a brief 6 months in jail (three years was typical for a manslaughter conviction at that time). Her parents, however, were immediately released on probation. Thereafter, a commission of the German Bishop-Conference, after reviewing the incident, declared that Anneliese Michel was not possessed.

However, because of the growing regional "consensus reality" following this case, Anneliese's body was exhumed eleven and a half years after her burial, only to confirm that she had decayed normally thereby rendering immediate beatification somewhat out of the question. Her beatification landed on the back burner - so to speak.

Beatification (from Latin beatus, blessed, and Latin facere, make) is a recognition by the RCC of a dead person's accession to Heaven and their capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name. A beatified person is given the title "Blessed".

Regardless, her grave became a place of pilgrimage for believers - that their blessed Anneliese Michel actually fought Lucifer, Judas Iscariot, Nero, Cain, Hitler, and so forth. Whatever. We should wish them all well - and remind them each to keep taking their meds.

Remember: "Anything that can not be rationally explained can be irrationally explained." see THIS


The formula for reasonable inquiry consists of just four steps:
1. State the claim. Write it down to nail it down! (Unreasonable claims are dynamic-frequently change when subjected to critical examination).
2. Examine the Evidence, if any, for the 'nailed down' claim.
3. Consider Alternative hypotheses. (Consult educated outsiders). (e.g. Avoid consensus reality participants).
4. Rank (put in order), according to the 'Criteria of Reasonable Adequacy', each Hypothesis.
Go through these four steps any time you're faced with an extraordinary claim. (e.g. Anneliese was possessed.)

Reject dualism (e.g. Sex is good or bad, beer is good or bad. Sex is sex and beer is beer). Dualism, like belief, only confuses the core issue of the extraordinary claim.