Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Stupid Question...

¡Hola! Everybody...
There’s much to write about these days. For example, there is a clarification in order re: the latest GOP misdirection: the Puerto Rican Defense League (now known as Latino Justice). I should write that the SCOTUS did not “overturn” Justice Sotomayor, or that the test in the Ritchie case actually does not measure one’s firefighting ability. there is a long overdue post on the real discussion of universal health coverage -- and it seems that all the “compromise” going on will most likely result in a monstrosity of public policy.

But I’m tired and most people really don’t give a good goddamn anyway... and we will continue to get less for more.

* * *

-=[ Questions 101 ]=-

You see things that are and say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were and say ‘Why not?’”

-- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

I was taught that the only stupid question is the one you don't ask.

Why? An excellent question…

It’s a question I have been plagued by since as far back as I can remember. I’ve learned to ask other questions -- sometimes looking in the dark for newer questions, or questions not asked. I am a born skeptic, a doubter, a trouble maker by nature -- “un mas que jodes, un travesio.” At various times in my life I have been deemed unfit to live among the free and a bit deranged, to boot.

But along the way I have learned that questions are the very substance of who we are and what we do. I have learned that almost everything we do, every decision we make, is a response to an inner question. It’s unfortunate, I often think, that “Questions 101” is not a regular feature in our classrooms. But then again, does the status quo really want to nurture questioning in our young?

One of my favorite books, Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, deals with this issue of questions. In it a massive supercomputer is designed to give the ultimate, the absolute answer, an answer that would explain “God, life, the universe, and everything.” But the computer takes seven and a half million years to do this, and by the time the computer delivers the answer, everybody has forgotten the question! So, nobody remembers the ultimate question, but the ultimate answer is: 42 (what?).

This is amazing! Finally! The Answer! So wonderful is the answer that immediately a contest is held to see if anyone can come up with “The Question.” Many profound questions are submitted, but the final winner is: How many roads must a man walk down?

Reflecting about “spirituality, life, the universe, and everything” is pretty much what my life has been about -- the unexamined life, in my book, is an unworthy one. Of course, the answer may be not as clever as “42.” Perhaps the answers deal with matter, life, mind, and spirit, and the underlying evolutionary currents that seems to unite them all in a pattern that connects. The “Web with no Weaver,” as one of my favorite philosophers, Ken Wilber, likes to put it.

For some time now, I have tried to embody this spirit of questioning. I guess part of my personal mission is to prod others to question, to look for the unasked questions and to try to understand who decides what questions will be asked and why. I think that’s part of my motivation for posting my rants -- I want people to ask, to question, to investigate their lives. If I were to to die today, I would like to believe that I made some difference in the lives of the people I touch. I would want people to say, “He was a crazy motherfucker, but he cared, and he made me think (or “He hurt my ass.” LOL!).” Or something like that.

In this crazy world all we can be sure of is the punch line to this grand Cosmic Joke we call life -- death. In the midst of all this uncertainty, we grope for meaning or something that gives us a foundation of sorts. Sometimes this clinging is the core of our pain, sometimes having no meaning in one’s life is a key component to pain. So then, this is my meaning -- my mission: to rattle the cage a wee bit, to ask the unasked question and to ask you, dear reader and friend:

Why not?

We -- the curious, the apathetic, the wounded, the lonely and the happy -- are all somehow compelled to mass in order to create meaning together. We huddle together and tell our stories by the fire to ward off the dark. But in order to avoid the Kool-Aid we must dare to ask the questions that need asking and support each other somehow when the answers are harsh or painful.

I remember a time when that was called community...



Monday, June 29, 2009


¡Hola! Everybody...
I was very busy today -- out in the field. I was walking by the NY’s court district right after the Madoff sentencing was handed down. I snapped this photo -- this is your MSM at work...

* * *

-=[ Generosity]=-

“I should be content to look at a mountain for what it is and not as a comment on my life.”

-- David Ignatow

I work for a non-profit and at the heart of our mission is to work towards helping the members of the communities we serve to “empower themselves.” It’s a serious responsibility cutting across all levels for those concerned. After my own spiritual awakening, I made a decision to make service the centerpiece of my life’s mission, and I realized that not all of my motivations were as pure as I would like to think. There’s a dark side to service and I see it all the time, both within myself, and in my colleagues.

In Buddhism, there are different levels of generosity. One starts at the level of giving because you will amass spiritual “points” for the afterlife or at some point out there somewhere. Some give because they hope they will reap some benefits. Others give, and this very much prevalent, because it gives them a sense of identity: “I’m a good person, see how I helped the helpless little natives?” Others give because religious dogma dictates they give. These are the evangelicals who give if you accept their God and their beliefs. It may not be overt, but the pressure to submit is there. There are many reasons, both good and bad, for service.

I think what’s more important than the service is the motivation underlying the movement to serve. For the most part, service is flavored by what stage of development one is serving from. Service from the egocentric (I care for myself) stage will look and feel much different from service from a person who works from an ethnocentric (I care for my tribe, my country, my nation) and that, in turn, will be different from a person who operates from a worldcentric view (I care for all human beings, regardless of race, color, sex, or creed). Service is a tool and wielded by the misguided can do more harm than good.

I’ll attempt a clearer example: Let’s say you are at an ethnocentric stage of development and you have a moment of awakening or spiritual experience of being one with everything, you might interpret that as an experience of oneness with Jesus and conclude that no one can be saved unless they accept Jesus as their personal savior (this is the “ethnocentric interpretation – you must belong to this one group in order to be saved -- and, no, I am not a Christian). Have a spiritual experience at the ethnocentric stage and it will only make you more ethnocentric

See how it works? You can be at any stage of development, experience the same life-changing event and you will interpret it according how you perceive the world. Now, let me see if I can piece this all together. We all know examples of reborn Christians who have had very powerful spiritual awakenings; they glow, they are radiant, and they are fascists. This is because they are still at the ethnocentric stage, and, bless them, think Jesus is the one and only way. But there is hope yet, research shows that the more spiritual awakenings you experience, the more quickly you move through developmental stages.

So, what the fuck does this have to do with self-centeredness of service, you ask? LOL! Well, the teachings of Jesus and others remain relevant today because of the emphasis on service, what I consider a form of prayer in action. People, it’s easy to utter prayers, doesn’t take much effort, really. However, when our spiritual life is about getting something or arriving at some destination it reinforces the feeling of having a need -- of not being there yet. Wanting anything, including a mate, or spiritual enlightenment, works to solidify a universe in which you are missing what you want.

The only cure for this endless and painful quest is service and gratitude, period. LOL… Fucked up, huh? I mean I always thought it would be Halle Berry, but she’s not returning my phone calls these days.

Here’s one level of service as described the Buddhist literature (and echoed in many religious disciplines): Compassionate service. Compassionate service only comes about from doing the inner work to the point where it takes no morality or effort at all. If you put your finger in a flame, it takes no effort or willpower to pull it out. You feel the pain, and the action is spontaneous. When your sense of self expands to include other things aside from the sack of flesh you call “you” and expand your circle of life, you feel those close to you as yourself. When a mother sees her child in danger, standing in the path of an oncoming car, for example, she does not need religious dogma to know what to do. The intimacy she feels with her child makes her action spontaneous. As our ego membrane becomes thinner, and one recognizes The One Spirit everywhere, all things become more intimate, the connection stronger. Everyone becomes a part of us -- one humanity. It is only then that we live in Jesus’ teachings, and the Buddha’s, and Krishna’s too, and the teaching lives in us.

Service, Compassionate Service, is the only true prayer.



Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Sermon [Profanity]

¡Hola! Everybody...
How is everybody?!! LOL I had a great time with some frie4nds at yesterday’s baby shower. A good friend of mine is having his first bay -- he’s only 1-2 younger than I. gotta love his optimism! LOL The weather was good and there was plenty of opportunity for me to indulge in one of my fare pastimes: flirting! I’m off to wander the streets of the city...

I caught these cloud formations this past Friday, while on a date with a woman I will n3ver date again -- ever. People all over stopped in the street to look and marvel at these clouds. My camera is a good camera, but is not meant to capture nuances, but I tried...

* * *

-=[ Profanity ]=-

I cuss all the time. I’ve been known to drop f-bombs even in a professional context. I enjoy using profanity in my writing. I use fuck like a good cook uses condiments: sprinkled liberally here and there to add emphasis or tone or color.

One thing, though, 99% of the time I don’t use profanity as an expression of anger. For me, saying fuck is just something natural. I like the profane; it’s part of my path. I think people let me get away with my use of profanity exactly because it isn’t grounded in anger. “Skillful” speech -- the commitment to refrain from harming verbally -- is one of my precepts. It’s also one of my weaker aspects, though I really don’t believe I am a verbally abusive person. I will, however, “call a muthafucka out” in a NY minute. LOL

I was taught the following exercise a few years ago. Actually, it was a different exercise, but I have adopted it for my purposes here...

Think of the dirtiest cuss word you know. Whatever that word is, say it loud (make sure alone! LOL!). Say it several times. After a while, say “I love you,” imagining that you are with someone you love. Say, “I love you,” several times, con ganas -- with feeling.

Alternate between saying your dirtiest and “I love you,” until you can say the dirty word with as much love, openness of heart, and gentleness as “I love you.”

If you can, do the exercise with someone you trust -- a friend or lover, alternate saying your nastiest chosen profanity and “I love you” out loud, until he or she feels your love equally expressed through both expressions. Choose another nasty word, and repeat this process. Nassy word, I love you, nassy word, I love you... until the felt expression of your love is carried equally by both expressions.

After transforming profane words into messengers of your love, practice saying every word that you speak, from this moment until you die, in a way that feels like “I love you,” to whoever hears it. Use this practice to develop the ability to become aware when you’re speaking without love. Return to this exercise, starting with the filthiest word you can think of, until you can speak every word, once again, as a message of love.

This may take some practice -- for me it has taken decades. But I love the process...



Saturday, June 27, 2009

Trips to the Sun

¡Hola! Everybody...
Okay, so I’m not happy with the extra 20 lbs I gained this winter, so I’m going to make a gift for myself and starting a light running program. Nothing major -- run three times a week. I’m feeling too “stuffed” and lacking in energy.

It finally stopped raining! LOL I’m off to a baby shower today.

* * *

-= Nows [no. 8]=-

If you come out and play with me,
little girl,

I will give you...

deep massages,

two blankets every night,

a rose in every color of your mind,

a gallon of honey,

three thousand trips to the sun,

my tongue, my tears, my love, my loyalty...

and my friendship for all your life.

All rights reserved ©

Friday, June 26, 2009

The TGIF Sex Blog (Cheating)

¡Hola! Everybody...
By now, there are literally tens of millions of blogs and messages, articles, and news shows dedicated to the passing of Michael Jackson. The best I can say is that I cannot judge MJ (nor do I want to). Very few of us would be able to handle the glare of the spotlight thrust upon MJ since the age of five. Under such scrutiny, which one of you can say you would not be humiliated by something rattling in your closet?

MJ was a human being who shared his remarkable creative gift with millions. In the end, I can only judge him by the inherent joy that was emblematic of his art. His actions will reverberate throughout time long after we are all dust in the wind. RIP, Michael...

* * *

-=[ Can’t We Just be friends? ]=-

... A very dear friend.

-- Governor Mark Sanford on his Argentina Tail

Watching the Sanford press conference debacle I actually laughed at the above quote (Yeah, right! you don’t shtup your friends, buddy!). But it got me to thinking... can married men and women be friends with the opposite sex? Some (such as myself) would say it’s not impossible; others would say it’s impractical (or question the desire to do so).

One of my best friends is a married woman. We’ve known each for years. While we certainly don’t hang with each as we used to before her marriage, we do keep in touch regularly and sometimes we even go out for brunch or a movie with her husband’s blessing (“Please!” he’ll joke, “take her somewhere, Eddie!” LOL!). However, I will readily admit that ours is a rare and beautiful relationship based on mutual respect and love. I would never want to do anything that would result in the betrayal of her (and her husband’s) implicit trust. I think we all get off on the fact that we’re close like that.

I’m sure there are others that have managed to pull it off, but for some it can be risky, and the cynical among us might as, “Why take the risk?”

Nothing is wrong with married people wanting opposite-sex friends. Actually, I believe it is abnormal to have only same-sex friends. I guess the important question here is if you’re able to handle the responsibility that comes with the relationship. We always believe we can handle a temptation until we discover that we cannot.

I don’t believe that having an opposite-sex friend puts you in danger of emotional and sexual infidelity. The friendship doesn’t cause the action, if you’re having thoughts of infidelity, they will occur whether you have opposite sex friends or not. What an opposite-sex friendship will do is make you confront that issue at some point or another.

If spending “quality time” becomes a way of relying on a friend in the way that you should rely on your husband or wife, then that is a problem. Having that emotional closeness to another person at the exclusion of your mate could result in you feeling emotionally closer to your friend than to your spouse, paving the way to an intimacy that might lead to a physical affair. Again, if this is happening, it’s not the friendship that is the cause. Rather, it might be a sign that you’re making certain unhealthy choices for some unknown (or known) reason. Of course, there’s always the chance of becoming physically attracted to a friend. Only one of the two of you needs to initiate the physical contact, and once started, you may not want to--or think you are able to--stop.

When I was married and attending university, I was surrounded by very young, very attractive women who were beginning to explore the boundaries of their sexuality. I have a rule of thumb with certain things, it’s called “people, places, and things.” If I want to avoid drinking, for example, I avoid, people places and things that might tempt me to drink. One big mistake with infidelity is that we think we can resist the temptation until we realize (often too late) that we can’t. Sometimes we aren’t as strong as we believe, which is how infidelity starts. If you know that you may be tempted by a relationship outside your marriage, or that you have an ego that you need to constantly feed with attention from the opposite sex, then you can probably guess that if your “friend” is right there willing and able, you might not resist.

That’s why I used to avoid college women like the plague. My ex and I would laugh at some of the things that happened -- the attempts at seduction, the propositions, etc. and yes, I would share these things with my wife at the time because I wanted it all to be transparent.

For me, any relationship should be predicated on implicit trust. I like to think that my ex never thought for a moment that I would cheat on her. Our relationship evolved to the point where we took different roads, but there was never any betrayal of trust. And I have many women friends, something my ex handled quite well. In fact, some of my friends became her friends and I would accuse her of stealing my friends! LOL!

Honestly, yes, we (men and women) can be friends, but only if the persons involved are secure in their emotional needs and sufficiently evolved.

On the other hand, so many affairs start with two people who thought they were just going to be friends, thinking that all they were going to do is have innocent interactions -- that as long as they’re not having sex, everything is fine. It is ... until it’s not.



Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Shadow Knows...

¡Hola! Everybody... Whew! Because I suffer from an incurable curiosity, I turned on the TV machine this AM to a show I normally refuse to watch -- Morning Joe, on MSNBC. I wasn’t expecting anything new from these media jackals, but I was curious to see how far they would contort themselves in order to spin Gov. Sanford’s philandering and Gawd-awful press conference. I have to say I was disgusted. While readily admitting the sins of this neocon creep, their gist was, “They were out to get him.” They being everybody from SC GOP hacks who hated him for being a “maverick,” to a media all too willing to engage in “gotcha!” journalism. WTF?!!

* * *

-=[ The Unbearable Darkness of Light ]=-

That which we do not bring to consciousness appears in our lives as fate.
-- Carl G. Jung

Mark Sanford, Newt Gingrich, Mark Foley, Larry Craig, catholic priests as serial buggerers of boys... Ahhhh... the long and storied tradition of right-wing religious hypocrisy! Reflecting on the most recent neoconservative moral crime wave, I am reminded of how simple conceptualizations of “good vs. evil” often lead to a perversion of morality. By separating evil from good, the light from the dark, we condemn our dark sides to the recesses of our unconscious and in that way they gain power over our actions.

Take the Iraqi war, for example. The rationale for that war was framed in simplistic terms of the “evil doers” versus us. It’s the “us” against “them” mentality. Such language means we’re busy creating an enemy, oftentimes an enemy with no grounding in reality.

If only it were so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere committing evil deeds and all that was necessary is to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them!


It’s a child’s moral understanding of the world, people, that stands in contrast to a mature, evolved sense of morality that understands that the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who among us is willing to destroy a piece of their own heart?

I like to say that repression is a poor substitute for morality. Behind the repressed darkness lies that which has been rotting inside of us. You witness this when a member of the Morality Police is caught with their pants down (or their hands in someone else’s pants/ panties). A great example here is the Clinton/ Lewinsky affair (referenced these past 24 hours more times than I can count). After Clinton was vilified for the “BJ heard around the world,” it was discovered that his greatest critics, those who moralized most vociferously, were themselves engaging in adulterous affairs while they were sermonizing the rest of us! Newt Gingrich and Mark Sanford come to mind, both of whom had more than a few choice words for Clinton and anyone else caught fuckin their cabana boy.

One primary purpose of religion is to define wrong and right and to prescribe human moral behavior accordingly. Every religion has its way of slicing the moral pie into good and evil; the more razor-sharp the slice, the more “clear-cut” the ethics.

In a black and white universe of “evil” versus “good,” right and wrong are two distinct paths, one leading to heaven (and virgins!), the other to hell (anal sex with “been-there-done-that sluts” LOL!). The so-called true believers of any tradition say it’s an either/ or choice. As the Dylan song famously says, “You got to serve somebody. It may be the Devil, or it may be the Lord. But you got to serve somebody.”

We vilify the dark at our own expense, because light and darkness aren’t separate, they define one another, the light contains darkness, and darkness contains light. In other words, we must learn to love even that which we like least in ourselves or suffer an existential alienation. Growth -- true growth -- means integration. Christians have not done well with integrating their dark sides. This is part of the reason we see so many Christian fundamentalists failing to live up to their own ideals.

Christian theology has not always done well in acknowledging the darkness. This influences the capacity for higher-level stages of moral reasoning. If you are striving to be perfect and pure, everything depends on achieving absolute purity and perfection. In this way, we fall into the trap of adhering to a perfection that leads to a rigid perfectionism. This form of speculation creates an image of God that is foreign to the human heart. A god thoroughly purged of anything that we consider dark. When we try to live up to the standards of a God that is purely light, we take away from our ability to handle the darkness within us. And because we can’t handle it, we suppress it. And the more we suppress it, the more it takes on its own life, because we have not brought our consciousness to bear upon the dark. Before we know it, we’re in serious trouble.

Just ask mark Sanford...



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hiking, Barbie Dolls, and Cuss Words

¡Hola! Everybody...
::Yawn:: Gee, I think I’ll just disappear for a few days without telling anyone -- family members, friends, nor employers -- where I’m going. Since I’m so privilege, I’m sure I will still have a job upon my return. Man! Sometimes you just can’t beat being light-skinned and in a position of power! I love being white (looking)!

* * *

-=[ Breaking News ]=-

The medium is the message.
-- Marshall McLuhan

Seriously, which one of you smart-alec libruhl progressives told Governor Sanford to take a hike?!!

It’s not nice to take advantage of simpletons just because they don’t believe in evolution.

In case you don’t have a TV machine, internet(s) access, or cable, the top right wing-nut of the state of South Confederate -- I mean! -- Carolina, Governor Sanford, went missing for a few days... not even his wife knew for sure where he was.

Faux News is reporting that this was a secret abduction and Sanford was sent to one of the “re-education” camps Michelle “the twat” Bachmann warned us all about. It’s said he’s now down with Obama’s health initiative and wants to suck some “serious libruhl dick,” just to develop the right amount of empathy.

Glenn Beck was seen utilizing Ken & Barbie dolls in an attempt to justify the alternative rumor that Sanford was seen holing up in a men’s bathroom stall in NYC’s Penn Station -- this being Gay Pride Week and all. Larry Craig, Mark Foley, and John Ensign all gathered on the Capitol steps in a show of support. Also present where Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh, both notable proponents of traditional marriage, having attempted it with several different wives.

The O’Reilly report alleging that Sanford had discovered Al Qaeda operatives in the Appalachians and was actually leading a naked elite fighting team to flush them out, is unsubstantiated, though O’Reilly stands by his right to say whatever the fuck comes out of his gray-haired anus. “If that fuckin crying bitch, Beck, can play with fuckin dolls, I can pull anything I want out of my arse and claim it’s true!” he said.

Obama was excoriated for advising chickenhawk neocons to STFU. “I’m fucking this kitty, you just hold the fuckin legs, bitches,” he stated during a forceful press conference. His public flaying of Sen. McSame was also similarly criticized and PETA is looking to file charges against Obama, citing his serial propensity “to swat flies” as unthinking and very human.

In other news, reports that Webster is considering replacing “fail” with “Bush” turns out to be true. A Webster spokesperson stated, “Look, people have been substituting FEMA for fuck since Katrina, and now people are substituting Bush for fail. As an institution, we need to keep up with the times.” I like the sound of it, and the feeling is palpable, don’t you think:

“Man, I Bushed it on that test.”

“Son, do your homework, you don’t want to grow up to be a Bush now, do you?”

Works for me!

In addition, the phrase “ya betcha” has taken on a different meaning in the world of adolescent sex education...

Well, let me get the FEMA out of here before I Bush this job. Yawls play nice, now, and remember: it’s not nice to make fun of neocons, they can’t help themselves.

Ya Betcha!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009


¡Hola! Everybody...
I wrote a few months back, but it needs re-stating... Some people, when faced with evidence refuting their frame of reference will eschew the evidence and keep the frame. After years, I am firmly convinced such people will never be able to think in an original manner. I have my own special pet name for such people...

* * *

-=[ Necons & Healthcare ]=-

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. Broad, wholesome, charitable views cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth.
-- Mark Twain

It never fails: whenever the national dialog comes to the issue of universal single-payer health care for all Americans, neocons predictably spew out the usual myths.

Any talk about changing one of the most expensive and least effective health care systems in the industrialized world brings on the cries of “socialist!” These are usually the same people who blame blue-collar working stiffs (instead of predatory lending practices and derivatives) for our financial collapse and who most likely voted for a dimwit like Palin.

In other words... idiots.

First, they tell me that health care is not a right. They say it’s each individual’s responsibility to provide for his or her family. “Don’t take my money!” they squeal. This is just another excuse for neocons to look down on the poor who cannot afford the “luxury” of medical insurance. It makes them feel superior. But the irony is that it isn’t just the poor who can’t afford medical insurance. You might have insurance and the muthafuckas running the show won’t let you get life-saving treatment!

In any case, my response to the cunts and twats (aka neocons) is to point out that health care is indeed a basic human right as articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which the United States is a signatory.

Article 25(1) of the UDHR states:

“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

But human rights standards don’t tend to sway the cunts and twats. After all, these are the same people who praise and defend the practice of torture. Nah, rights don’t mean a damned thing to neocons. That’s why they’re cunts and twats in the first place.

Their favorite rallying cry is the accusation of “socialism,” as if that’s a bad thing. The radical right (aka cunts and twats) too often (and very stupidly) equate socialism with Communism or Marxism, which are not the same as socialism. They fail to see that national single-payer health care managed by the government would not be much different from our current system of socialized libraries, socialized fire departments, and socialized police departments. These services are paid for with our tax dollars, and they’re readily available to us when we need them. It’s all for the greater good. Not just for the corporate good, but the greater good.

But what the cunts and twats love to do the most is wave the flag and tell us that we must not change our health care system because the U.S. offers the very best health care available.


Here, too, they need a bit of education. In fact, the United States ranks 37th in the World Health Organization’s rankings of the world’s health systems (below Malta, Iceland, Saudi Arabia, and numerous other countries that would surprise you).

Additionally, as a recent report suggests, “the costs and performance of the U.S. health care system have put America’s companies and workers at a significant competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace.” Simply put, Americans spend a lot more on health care than other countries, but along with getting an inferior product, we aren’t as healthy. In addition, we put our industries at a disadvantage. How would automakers in the US, for example, have fared if they had the same advantage of universal healthcare systems of foreign automakers? That seems to confirm the World Health Organization’s assessment of our less-than-stellar level of care, with the added issue of how we’re paying so much more to get so much less. Corporate profits over the health of the people. God bless America and Corporate KKKhristianity!

That brings me to my final point: many neocon types describe themselves as “Christian.” Well, wasn’t Jesus all about healing the sick? And, I’m far from a scholar, but from my take on how the bible describes his ministry, I don’t think Jesus ever charged a penny for his healing services. (Lazarus would still be payin’!)

I have yet to see a valid, logical response from the assorted twats and cunts to this last point.

And I don't expect to.



Monday, June 22, 2009

The Chains of Fools

¡Hola! Everybody...
I need to stop working weekends! Having only one day off sucks dead dawg farts. It seems I have no rest. This is a busy time of the year, what with the end of the fiscal year upon us and the unending parsing og budgets.. anyway, all this stops me from writing for myself...

* * *

-=[ Entertaining Ourselves to Death ]=-

Reality doesn't bite, it's our perception of reality that bites.
-- Anthony J. D'Angelo

I have lived long enough to witness the fabrication of the greatest lie ever told: “Reality TV.”

What’s his name, Orwell, is doing a triple Salchow as I write.

Of all the shackles we willingly wear, two of the most powerful are those of spectacle and illusion. the chains we wear today are expensive, they have names like Coach, Hilfiger, and Chanel. That our ancestors fought to rid themselves of the brands we so readily accept (and pay huge sums for), has to be one of the greatest and tragic ironies in history. What difference does it make whether your chains are made of iron or gold?

Chains are expensive, as are surveillance tools and armed guards. A less expensive, more efficient strategy is to keep the slave entertained. Sublimation is the best cure for rebellion. Give them something inconsequential to think about or a dream that leads to a dead end.

I love sports, but I also know that sports as spectacle are perfect for these ends. More people will watch the Superbowl than an election. Shit, Ferdinand Marcos distracted a whole revolutionary movement in the Philippines by hosting the Thrilla in Manila, the epic battle between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali.

And while even the Romans knew sports are good distractions, we all know sex is better. Movies, celebrations, mud-slinging elections, or even a grisly string of murders are excellent distractions that work to pacify the masses.

All the while, you’re paying for gaudy trinkets embedded with the names of your masters, and for the most part they are nothing but the modern equivalent of shackles.

There is a way out, but it will take your turning away from the glow of the television screen and actually looking at reality.



Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathers, Sons & Daughters

¡Hola! Everybody...
My fathers were good, if flawed, human beings, but they gave much.

Happy Fathers Day, everybody...

* * *

-=[ Fathers, Sons & Daughters ]=-

What have you done with the garden that was entrusted to you?
-- Antonio Machado

I had two fathers and possibly more. I had uncles, older cousins as well as elders from the community who were to me as fathers in some respects. But the two that were most influential was my biological father, Edwin, and my stepfather, Vincent. Both were polar opposites of one another.

My father was almost all yang: penetrating intelligence, extroverted, creative, charismatic -- he was everything a little boy wanted as a father. I adored him -- worshipped the very ground he walked and I wanted to be just like him. My father passed on to me the gift of the thirst for knowledge and I could never repay him for that. My father’s example taught me that there was a higher purpose in life and he taught me love for knowledge, beauty, and truth.

My stepfather, Vincent, was almost all yin -- he was easy-going, definitely not cerebral, loved doing things with his hands, and loved music. As a child, he would take me to his various jobs and brag to his friends and co-workers that I was a genius. Then he would say something like, “Go ahead, ask him anything,” and his co-workers would and I would almost always get the answer right. He used to get a big kick out of that. Vincent, instead of resenting my intelligence, supported it. Any other man would’ve felt insecure, but not Vincent, because he was easy going almost to a fault. Not that he was a pushover, he wasn’t, he had the hands of a carpenter, large and rough, and I ad seen him knockout a man much bigger than him with one punch. He was just less confrontational than my father. Vincent’s example taught me dependability, consistency, “showing up” as he used to put it.

These days it’s popular for talking heads and politicians of all stripes to go on at length about fathers and fatherhood. On one side, there’s the myopic notion that almost all social ills can be placed firmly on the shoulders of fathers -- or “absent” fathers. Of course, this is just a form of scapegoating. Sure, fathers are important in the development of young minds, but a father being more “present” doesn’t automatically translate to a better, more just society.

I once created a leadership development workshop that utilized relationship-building skills. Leadership is about being able to connect to people, not forcefully leading them by the nose. Whenever I would ask the participants to list what they perceived as leadership qualities, nurturance -- the core skill for relationship -- was almost never mentioned. When our culture emphasizes breadwinning and individual success for men at the expense of caregiving, the welfare of children is at risk. A father’s absence influences the son and daughter’s development of social skills, self-esteem, and attitudes towards achievement. But more importantly, our culturally warped understanding of masculinity contributes to various forms of maladjustment, such as lack of impulse control, incompetence, dependence, and irresponsibility. The son of a psychologically absent father experiences a weakened identification with what it means to be a man, and the daughter experiences a weakened relationship to the masculine principle.

Yet, in the name of family financial and psychological welfare, our legal system emphasizes the importance of the father’s job, and therefore his absence, and award child custody to the mother nine times out of ten. When societal attitudes are unsupportive of the father’s active involvement in the family, then we see the fragmentation of family relationships so common today.

Don’t misunderstand my point: I am not advocating for some vague notion of “men’s rights.” I am saying that we -- all of us -- need to redefine what it means to be a man.

In the end, we are all flawed creatures. We all make mistakes. As for myself, I would say that if you were to ask my son, he would give at best a mixed review. More likely, I don’t think he would characterize me as a “good” father. And he has good reasons for his view. I guess I too am human. I guess what is important is not to get too stuck in who’s “wrong” and who’s “right,” but to do the right thing at the right time because it is the right thing to do at that moment.

And yet my own experience leaves with the feeling that a good father requires more than getting the task done right. Perhaps fatherhood is more about being who you are and revealing that vulnerability to those you love. When I reflect on the relationships between fathers, sons, and daughters, I am reminded of the words of the poet Rumi: “Out beyond rightdoing and wrongdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” My son will one day be a father and if he can take even a little of what my own teachers gave me, then he will be a man, for ultimately, it’s only men that can initiate boys into manhood.



Saturday, June 20, 2009

"Your Head Demands... "

¡Hola! Everybody...
It’s raining, a good day to spoon somebody... LOL Me? I’m working... but I’m grateful I can work at something I’m passionate about.

Yawl be good, ya heah?

* * *

Nows [no. 17]

Your head demands
a new equation everytime.

One moment
your flexed eyelids
proclaim your mind a vault,
and the final click
of those tumblers is deafening.

But sometimes you give way,
flaking rust like the cliche
of a complaining screen door
unaware of its own transparency.

But just now --
this very moment...

I dipped gingerly
into your tender and muddled mind
as into a warm bath
to muse a while,
restore myself,
and soak.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The TGIF Sex Blog [Totem & Taboo]

¡Hola! Everybody...
I won’t be around much today, so don’t expect me to post outrageous comments to your blogs. LOL!

I think I’ll clean my apartment this weekend! Enjoy yours...

* * *

-=[ Sex, Symbols & Taboos ]=-

In the classic short story, The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, the inhabitants of a small town gather on a bright sunny day. It’s the day of the lottery

alluded in the title. The whole town congregates -- entire families, young and old -- everyone. As the events unfold, the reader is horrified to learn that the winner of the lottery will be stoned to death. The last words uttered by the victim, as her neighbors, family members and friends descend upon her are, “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right...”

The story can be interpreted in many ways. It can be said to be an allegory on what happens when people mindlessly follow outdated cultural practices. Or it can be about mass hysteria brought upon by lack of critical thinking. I tend to see the story as an illustration of how we sometimes find destructive ways to vent drives we find abhorrent or that we fear. Holding the lottery and stoning the winner to death is symbolic of what happens when we rely on repression as a response to normal human drives.

One such drive is the sex drive, an irresistible force, if not for every individual every time, then for the species as a whole. It has to be in order for the species to survive. Such a powerful instinct often has to be repressed by the rational mind, or transformed -- sublimated into some other activity, such as art or religion, or expressed through a confusing and often contradictory code of symbols and obsessions.

Sometimes these dislocated patterns of images and activities are intensely personal, as with a fetish (ass! LOL); and an individual’s failure to indulge his or her compulsion can cause anguish and suffering. Often, such expressions of sublimated sexuality are common to an entire culture, and become the focus of social ritual -- such as initiation rituals (or witch burnings). In this case, the failure to perform them correctly can be held to blame for a whole range of personal and natural disasters.

Throughout history, great minds have explored these issues -- the mysteries of the mind and social and cultural practices. Several stand out in the Western tradition. One such figure is Sigmund Freud. Now, Freud gets a lot of bashing these days, and he was vilified during his time to dare to postulate that children were sexual creatures. Even now, 150 years later, in the face of proof, people here in the US still can’t wrap their little minds around Freud’s theories. Furthermore, very few people have ever read him. And while no one is a pure Freudian in the classical sense (even Freud famously quipped that he wasn’t a “Freudian”), any criticism of Freud is done while standing on his shoulders.

Yes, there is much to critique about Freud, but it will not be done here. That’s another blog (even a book! LOL). I’ll give a little synopsis on Freud today because he’s such an important figure in the contemporary construction of human sexuality.

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) had a huge ego and he once described himself as one of a trinity of revolutionary thinkers who deconstructed the god-like pretensions of humankind. The first was Copernicus (1473-1543) who proved that humanity was not at the center of the universe; then Darwin (1809-82) showed that humanity was not created in God’s image but was descended from ape-like creatures; and finally Freud, with his exposition of the unconscious mind, demonstrated that only a fraction of human thought is rational.

In Totem and Taboo (1913), he traced the whole genesis of art, religion, and culture back to a sublimation, or redirection, of sexual motives and the resulting guilt that arises from them.

In the subconscious, Freud located the pleasure principle, a set of desires and impulses instinctually driven and mostly sexual in nature. Because these desires are disorganized and often dangerous or destructive, they have to be controlled by the rational, far-sighted reality principle of the conscious mind. The unconscious also contains a repressing mechanism, which can bury the memory of traumatic incidents with the result that, unlike ordinary memories, cannot dissipate over time. Instead, they linger as a powerful, recurring motivating force on an individual’s behavior, which can give rise to “hysterical” symptoms such as paralysis or hallucinations. (As a side note, a look at the history of the dildo lends this theory some validity.)

Often misunderstood to the point being perverted (due to Freud himself and the translation of his works from German to English), psychoanalysis is the process of uncovering these latent memories and their emotions, so that they can be experienced and forgotten normally.

According to Freud, everyone is born with a sex drive (libido) that is “polymorphously perverse” -- meaning that humans are born with unfocused sexual drives, taking sexual pleasure from any part of the body. The sex drive has no “natural”(<-- loaded word!) object: the structure of an adult’s libido is determined during the several stages of infancy, during any one of which things can go wrong, causing traumas or perversions. The oral stage is characterized by the baby’s pleasure in suckling and a sense of loss when the breast is withdrawn. The anal stage is when the child associates pleasure (and creativity) with the conscious control of its bowel (it’s not nice to call it the neocon stage!), before it enters the phallic stage and discovers genital masturbation.

At this stage, both boys and girls are supposed to feel they have phallic procreative powers, and believe they can give their mothers a child, or even produce one from their own anuses. This leads approximately at the age of five or six to the Oedipus complex, when the desire for an incestuous relationship with the mother creates a fear of (and a repressed wish to kill) the father.

Boys develop a castration fear; girls discover they are already castrated, develop penis envy, and may resent their mothers for bringing them into the world incomplete.

There’s a lot of cultural baggage in all this (especially bias against the female -- biases that were addressed by later female psychoanalytical thinkers), but many of Freud’s theories have been borne out through empirical research. Additionally, most of Freud’s theories were controversial when he named them, and some have become more controversial since, but his influence on Western thought is immeasurable.




If you would like a readable journey through contemporary psychoanalytical thought, try the excellent Freud and Beyond.

Freud saw the human personality as being composed by three distinct, but interrelated parts: the id, the ego, and the superego. He also used the metaphor of the steam engine to describe the tension caused by these three parts. My professor used characters from the popular TV series, Star Trek:

Bones, the emotional and passionate doctor, symbolizes the id. Freud described the id as “a chaos, a cauldron full of seething excitations... It is filled with energy reaching it from the instincts... ” While poor Bones wasn’t exactly the id in that sense, he did operate from a gut instinct. “Jim! You can’t give the order to annihilate a whole planet, for god’s sake!”

Spock’s character personifies the superego, the part of our personality that strives to act in a socially appropriate manner. The Super-ego controls our sense of right and wrong and guilt. It helps us fit into society by getting us to act in socially acceptable ways. Spock’s answer to Bones would be, “But we have to destroy the planet for it is logical.” LOL

Finally, we have the ego, Captain Jim Kirk, the part of our personality that is the referee between the id and the super-ego, trying to make certain that the needs of both the id and the super-ego are fulfilled. It is said to operate on a reality principle, meaning it deals with the id and the super-ego; allowing them to express their desires, drives, and morals in realistic and socially appropriate ways. Captain Kirk would take into consideration both Bones’ plea for compassion as well as Spock’s compelling argument for logic.

And there you have it: Freud and Star trek! LOL

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Neocons, pt. I

¡Hola! Everybody...
Ok, first? Stop it with the beating up on PETA. They ain’t say nuthin’ too harsh. OTOH, what I noticed immediately was that the brother snatched the fly right out of the air! As my friend, Rippa, noted that is some ninja shit right there! LOL

BTW, while we’re talking about swatting flies, the SCOTUS may very likely trash the Voting Rights Act. Yeah, that’s right... today. Let's see you take your black or brown ass to the election booth next time!

Which reminds me... time to take the kid gloves off, eschew the Astroglide, and shove some truths up the neocon gazoo! While they’re reeling from two consecutive electoral defeats and the specter of having to face the cold facts of their failed economic policies, I want to kick these bastids while they’re down (because I do not fight fair).

First in a series (to be posted next week) -- a [brief] history of the modern neoconservative movement. Or...

* * *

-=[ Of Cuckoos & Neocons ]=-

Facts are stupid things.

-- Ronald Reagan, 1988, a misquote of John Adams, Facts are stubborn things.

The best analogy I’ve heard regarding the neoconservative movement is the one using the nesting habits of the cuckoo bird. Cuckoos employ a rather interesting reproductive strategy involving what is known as “nest parasitism.” Briefly, the female cuckoo lays an egg in the nest of another species of bird (after first removing an egg from the host’s nest). Upon hatching, the baby cuckoo goes on to banish the remaining eggs and hatchlings of the host, at which point it becomes the sole focus of the host parent’s interest.

By now you’re probably asking why the host parents don’t push out the alien egg before the troubles begin, or at the very least abandon the parasitic baby cuckoo once it has grown to a size far larger than host parents themselves.

The problem, of course, is that birds lack the thinking skills necessary to recognize the parasite. They take note of the eggs, of the sight of a baby bird’s features and cries, and follow a “care for egg/hatchling in nest” instinctual pattern. It does not demand much of a masquerade on the part of the cuckoo to abuse the host’s instincts. All that is necessary is the initial neural imprinting by the parent host on the baby parasite’s signals.

One cannot help but be struck by the remarkable parallels between the nesting line of attack of the cuckoo and the infiltration of the conservative movement beginning in the 1970s by the neo-conservatives or “neocons.”

Just as the parasitical cuckoo bird ingratiates itself into the nest of an unsuspecting host, eventually driving out the rightful offspring, so did the neocons come to dominate, to the point of exclusion, what passes today for “conservatism” and “the right.”

Intelligent men and women assure me that there are reasonable conservatives capable of logic, so this will be the only point I will cede on their behalf. Next week, I plan to post a series of blogs showing that the neoconservative movement, which came into prominence during the Reagan years, is a mutation of true conservative ideals. I will also show that neo-conservatism grew out of racist and classist ideology. I will show that neo-conservatism is characterized by a resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality; and that some of the common psychological factors linked to neo-conservatism include fear and aggression, dogmatism, and an intolerance of ambiguity

First, I have to begin with the Biggest Lie -- the myth of Ronald Reagan. I have had it up to here

::grabs testicles::

with the constant idolization of what was in fact an incompetent (and very likely mentally impaired) president. In the pantheon of the neocon iconography, Reagan is only slightly lower than the Baby Jesus.

What? ::blank stare::

Even Reagan disciples like David Stockman have long since admitted that no one was home at the Reagan White House, that then-Vice President George Bush the Elder was out of the loop, and who today in the right mind could deny that the “Trickle Down” approach to tax reform was a disaster? Even Reagan shill Peggy Noonan admitted in her book “What I Saw at the Revolution,” that he didn’t “really hear very much,” and that his appearance of constant good humor was connected to his deafness. He missed much of what was not said directly to him, but he assumed it was good.

In other words, he was not all there -- senile!

Now, I don’t say this to poke fun at a very serious disease, Alzheimer’s. I know people struggle with this disease and I am aware of the suffering it entails. However, we had a president who was quite likely not all there and his adherents constantly attempt to paint him as something great when in actuality, he set in motion many of the dynamics that have contributed to the collapse we’re now experiencing. It didn’t start with Bush the Younger, it started with Reagan.

Hopefully, historians will prove less easily convinced, I dunno...



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Teachings of a Free Man

¡Hola! Everybody...
Whatever happened to the art of the question? Whatever happened to why? These past two days have been very hectic, leaving me little time to write...

I have a series of blogs on the racist roots of the modern neoconservative movement half done. Those I will post next week... stayed tuned.

* * *

Freeman, 1959

-=[ Freeman ]=-

... Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

-- Langston Hughes, A Dream Deferred

My father’s best friend for a long time was a man named Freeman. Freemeng (as my Puerto Rican relatives pronounced his name) was an African American man from an upper middle class family. He was what we would call back then a bohemian -- a free spirit/ thinker. I often wonder if Freeman was his real name, or if he chose that name for himself. Or maybe his parents chose to name him so in order to emphasize the inherent right to freedom we all are entitled to as human beings. I never knew...

I did know he was a nice man, always kind and gentle. He and my father would engage in deep topics. Everything from Marxism to Castro, education to jazz -- nothing was beyond their reach. My music teacher, Mr. White, often joined them. Shoot, the poet Allen Ginsberg lived in our building, but I think my mother didn’t like him because he had a penchant for walking around naked Howling his poetry. LOL!

Sometimes my mother, not having enough to feed them, would feed them pegao. Pegao (literally meaning, “stuck”) is the rice that -- yup! -- gets stuck to the bottom of the pot. It more financially stable homes, pegao was usually thrown away. For Nuyoricans, it was part of our staple -- nothing was thrown out! Feeling somewhat embarrassed at not having enough, my mother would tell Freeman and Mr. White that it was Puerto Rican fried rice and they loved it! It got so they wouldn’t eat my mother’s real rice -- they would insist on the pegao. LOL!

I would learn a lot from these men even as a little boy, as I would sit on my fathers lap with my ear to his chest, so that I could feel the vibrations of his voice through my ear. This was the 60s and everything was fodder for questioning. Blacks and Latino/as were asserting themselves, challenging the racist status quo; women were questioning gender roles, gays and lesbians were beginning to implement the strategies learned from the civil rights movement and using it for their own cause; an unpopular war fought under false pretext was raging -- it was a heady time. Our ramshackle apartment was always filled with thinkers, artists, activists, my elementary school teachers, and all kinds of characters.

Yes, I am a radical progressive. I am left of anyone you know... those days, and men like Freeman and my father, shaped my worldview. Here’s something I learned from Freeman. And perhaps this explains why he was called Freeman...

The history of black Americans and other people of color is often presented in contrast to general (white) American history. Blacks are too often portrayed as passive victims in an otherwise brilliant display of democracy and American expertise.

Slavery, Jim Crow, and racism are issues that beg to be swept under a rug in Mississippi somewhere. It those crackers, the history books seem to be saying, or (better yet) it was the ignorance of a long time ago, but that’s old news, this is post racial America.

It was Freeman’s point that this compulsion to deny or marginalize the black American experience did harm to everyone in our society. To begin with, he explained, the black American experience was not an aberration. American Indians were slaughtered for their lands. Landless citizens (even white ones) along with all women were denied the right to vote for many years. Homosexuality is still a black mark against many of our citizens.

Freeman taught that the black American experience is the history of America. His position was that the struggle of the marginalized to survive in the face of blinding hatred is in part the key to the understanding how we all can escape the chains of modern America.

I think if Freeman were alive today he would say that white Americans are learning today what the black race learned long ago the hard way: not to believe the corporate hype. People of color have been hearing those lies for hundreds of years. We take the media with a pinch of salt, and we know that many of our social institutions serve the more fortunate. We know the word retirement means getting old means you’re going to get tired of trying to make ends meet.

After World War II ended, there descended an extended period of prosperity for the middle class. Poor people and people of color suffered more because there were few opportunities for us to rise above the level of manual labor. And so we were forced to keep the historical memories of survival alive while others got along with a newfound confidence in the value of the dollar and the fact of perpetual labor. While others looked forward to comfortable retirement and brighter tomorrows, the ghettos were busy studying survival and revolution.

These studies can benefit almost everyone today. At least I believe that’s what Freeman would say.



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Willful Ignorance

¡Hola! Everybody...
Yes, I am still here, more contrarian than ever, thumbing my nose at the hypocrites, committing crimes of the heart, and saving damsels (okay! Okay! I know sodomy is not considered a good deed... ). Warning: some of my posts will be dangerous to your ignorance.

I will be gone for most of the day, so play nice kiddos. Today I mourn a death...

* * *

-=[ Ignorance & the Death of Reason ]=-

To be ignorant of one’s ignorance is the malady of the ignorant.

-- Amos Bronson Alcott (1799–1888)

American teacher, philosopher, writer, reformer

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

-- Derek Bok, president, Harvard University

There are two things which cannot be attacked in front: ignorance and narrow-mindedness. They can only be shaken by the simple development of the contrary qualities. They will not bear discussion.

-- John Dalberg, Lord Acton

Due to a national tragedy -- the death of Reason -- today’s notes will seem more strident than usual. I offer no apologies for that. Reason died a horrible, tragic and unnecessary death. And please hold your prayers! If you want to offer condolences, I appreciate it, but I would rather that instead of praying, or extending your condolences, I hope that today you make a pact to learn, or help someone learn something new today.

In this way, you honor what Reason’s life was about.

That is how Reason was; she always stood for the value of education. She dedicated her life to it, and she had many flaws, believe me, but the worst was the one she and I shared: an absolute abhorrence toward ignorance. She detested, most especially, that people paid more attention to their cars than to developing their critical thinking abilities. Her mission was to open the eyes of the willfully ignorant -- those who shunned her presence

Alas, she failed…

We were raised poor in some of the worst neighborhoods in the country, but Reason always valued education. She and I were both “smart,” but she always said I left her in the dust when it came to the brains department. However, I know that was just Reason’s way of reinforcing my thirst for knowledge. She showed her love by her actions and not through mere words or religious dogma.

When I was growing up, other kids would often make fun of Reason and me because we were “smart.” Moreover, throughout my life, I have been the recipient of personal attacks because people perceive the manner in which I express myself as condescending. However, Reason taught me that most of those attacks come from people who, loathing their ignorance, attack others instead of attacking their own ignorance.

For a time, Reason stopped talking to me because I decided to fit in and ignore my intelligence. Eventually, many years later, we came together again and she was the most happiest when I entered university and graduated first from NYU and when I was accepted to Columbia later. She was the one that taught me the responsibility attached to the gift of intelligence and she made sure I understood that the responsibility is to give it back, to give back to the larger familia, La Communidad.

Today, I choose to honor reason by questioning everything and prodding others to do the same. She never let me forget that was my responsibility, no matter how much I fought to deny it and tried to “fit in.” And for that, I am eternally grateful. I love you Reason. Your absence is felt all across this land of ours.



Monday, June 15, 2009

Right Wing Hysteria & Moral Cowardice

¡Hola! Everybody...
Life is a celebration -- each day is another opportunity to deepen that celebration... or not. LOL

* * *

-=[ Moral Cowardice ]=-

Man, you are a died in the wool dumb ass. Please tell me that you do not consider the killer of DR Teller a move by a right wing extremist.....it was a crime by a CRIMINAL, plain and simple, and ALL efforts to make it into something it was not, the lone action by a lone gunman, not associated with any conservative movement, have failed.

-- An example of “reasoning”

This was the opening salvo from a twat who, when confronted with facts tying recent killings to the White Nationalist Movement, ran crying to his site, wrote a blog about me, and then cried and whimpered that I was mean (and a racist to boot! LOL I just love it that neocons are now experts on racism). I believe this individual and individuals like him are moral cowards...

But before I continue, I must admit to a huge mistake. After some thought, I have come to the conclusion that classifying the perpetrators of recent hate crimes by white supremacists as “mentally unstable,” does a disservice to all those Americans who suffer from mental illness. The vast majority of citizens suffering from mental illness never go out on killing sprees. Most, in the face of debilitating illness, go out and function just as the rest of us, never harming a soul.

These so-called “lone gunmen” are not crazy, psychotic, or mentally imbalanced. They knew exactly what they were doing. They are definitely angry -- but they are angry about very specific things, and in very specific ways. For example, each one picked targets that suited their political goals -- political goals shared by massive movements. They stashed weapons and they carried out their premeditated acts of violence.

There’s a consistency to the ideology of these angry, armed, white males and the common thread that ties them together is white supremacy and right-wing hysteria.

If we heard the exact same story of a black or Latino/a and it was discovered that the individual had ties to a Black or Latino/a Nationalist movement numbering in the tens of thousands, I’m willing to bet this fool and people who think as he does would be shooting black and brown people on sight, no questions asked.

They are not crazy, solitary gunmen and women; they are part of a fascist movement composed of moral cowards. No... These fascists -- America’s homegrown terrorists -- are not unhinged; they are perfectly sane individuals taking neoconservative ideology to its conclusion. In this way, they are an extension of fascist ideology in the same way that groups of Klansmen are extension of that ideology. It is an ideology undergirding a well-organized and sizable political movement in America.

In the coming days, I will show that the neocon movement is predicated on racist notions of white superiority. The core thrust of modern conservatism comes from modern-day pseudo-scientific “research” no different in empirical validity from 19th century eugenics and head measuring. Furthermore, these attempts to scientifically validate racist ideology have been given almost free reign on the editorial pages of some of the most influential newspapers and journals.

Georges Santayana famously said that those who refuse to learn from the past, are condemned to repeat it, and we ignore the actions from the well-organized far-right at our own expense. One need only take the lessons Santayana was referring to -- the lessons of fascisms and the hell they wreaked during WW II. Hanna Arendt wrote extensively of the symbiotic relationship between propaganda and fascists movements. One cannot breed without the other. Even shit needs flies...

Speaking of which, here’s an interesting response to my link on the White Nationalist Movement (quoted verbatim):

By and large it is liberals who have as much in common nowadays with this guy than do most conservatives. After all it is popular to be anti Israel, and pro hama's. -- An Idiot

I chose this particular nugget of “reasoning” because it is a prominent meme running rampant on the neocon blogosphere these days. It is really quite simple (or simplistic):

Right-wing propagandists are pro-Israel.

The American Left is anti-Israel.

Therefore, a white supremacist is a left-wing extremist!

Or as one responder put it:

All cats die.

Socrates died.

Socrates was a cat.

The dire lack of logical reasoning by the talking heads and their sheeple on the right is par for the course. Limbaugh has made millions using logical fallacies, as has O’Reilly and the rest of their hate talk comrades. Recently Glenn Beck of Fox News stated that, “What they’re missing is: The pot in America is boiling. And this is just yet another warning to all Americans of things to come.

Actually, Beck has it right: the pot is boiling, but it is boiling because of people like Glenn Beck, ranting hysterically every night about impending apocalypses of various forms -- looming “liberal fascism,” the “economic meltdown.” Obama, every white supremacist’s nightmare, is coming for your guns and a class of inferior people has stolen the America that you once knew. In this way, fascist ideology, interchangeable with neocon principles, gets credence and emboldens those on the far right. Guns sales since Obama’s election going through the roof -- and it ain’t happening in East LA or Brownsville, Cabrini Green, or Harlem.

Propaganda and fascism -- one cannot thrive without the other. In creating the black and brown face of evil, we help dehumanize those faces, making it easier to justify their extermination.

This is taking neoconservative ideology to its logical conclusion. In this way, frequent MSM commentator Pat Buchannan, a Holocaust denier himself, can advocate setting up snipers on our southern borders with nary a whimper from journalists.

Combine hate radio, hate websites, hate podcasts, and a crisis economy where people feel they are losing all they have, and we see the beginning of a perfect storm of hate crimes and murders committed by a significant percentage of millions of stable, hate-filled who have been primed to move from sullen bigotry and anger to violent criminal action

A social security check arrives late. A bounced check starts bank charges that end up costing hundreds of dollars and the movement gains momentum, blaming immigrants, blacks, Jews, gays, war protester-- and the next thing you know we are seeing dead people on national TV. And those millions of other Americans afflicted with fascist hate are seeing one more case of a person letting go, unleashing the hate that the extremist media has built up...

Anti abortion people attempted to put on a “shocked” face, publicly denouncing the murder of Dr. Tiller.

The Washington Post reported that John de Nugent, white supremacist friend of the Holocaust Museum murderer James W. Von Brunn, “called von Brunn a genius but described the shooting as the act of ‘a loner and a hothead.’” “The responsible white separatist community condemns this,” he said. “It makes us look bad.”

Yeah, right... Sounds like my man up there in the epigraph, doesn’t it?

What it does is it exposes such thinking as the moral cowardice that it is.



[un]Common Sense