Sunday, March 6, 2011

swimming sideways (raos)

I don't believe in any of that divination stuff -- it is not a deity to believe in or not. I use it as appropriate to my purposes.
There are layers of realities, a multi-dimensional universe far more complex than we have yet to understand. Beings originating on other planes ('branes) can communicate, there are interactions between the realms. Often we who become aware of these other-dimensional beings think of them as gods.
Ride the current
Breathe the moment
Embody radiant energies
streaming live

Of course there is method and reproducible results in the practice of science, as in the practice of magic, or most practices. We still interpret those results, create the experiments to find the results, that we choose and pretend that what we are not looking at isn't there to be seen.
Don't blame me. It's just the way the game is played.
Or, go ahead, blame me. It is, after all, a game of blame, counter-blame and who bullies best. Play that tune and watch the world burn -- quite a spectator sport.
Ayn Rand, aside from being a way too simplistic philosopher, was a wretched writer. I am always saddened by those who equate libertarianism with her followers. A great libertarian fiction writer, as far as I am concerned, was Robert Heinlein. His Jubal Harshaw from Stranger in a Strange Land taught me everything I needed to know about to become (in whatever small way) a champion of freedom.
It is far too commonly thought that expressing an opinion that is different from another's is a definition of spreading hatred. We really do need to improve language skills.
Religion is about community. It is about holding people together within a common framework based on shared mythology. As such, it can provide all manner of benefits social, psychological, spiritual, economic, and entertainment -- you know, community. However, community is not only about religion. Community can come together based on any shared mythology, or simply shared space and interests.  "scientists" sneer at other religions because they have adopted science as their faith. They were not properly taught that Science is not some overarching god. It is the ongoing historic and combined acts of conscious beings attempting to develop a system of labels and experiments to better understand our environments. Experience is the reality we are attempting to "know" by categorizing and developing structures of information. We do well to remember: "The map is not the territory."
Caught in the wilds of winter
Fresh breath a mist of spirits
in the wind
I am dancing spinning
chill elegance into
dark dreams beyond question
beyond desire
Cold as death
Yet lively dancing
snowflakes veiling vision
into clarity
Perhaps we could supplicate the war gods for visions of peaceful honor.  Perhaps if we work with them, we can co-create a different archetype, not of harm and destruction but of espirit de corps of protection and brave exploration.
Most creature have what might be called a moral sense. Humans have turned it into a virtue with words and customs and laws and a whole plethora of human type expression. That's what we do; we make up stories and stick to them. That doesn't make us more moral, and only more responsible in the sense that we have measures of what we call responsibility. The big thing, though, is that people are not a monolith. We each have our own histories, experiences, and ways of being in the world. Not only each different individual, but each individual at different times and circumstances acts in different ways, takes on different philosophies, rationalizes different behaviors, and is more or less responsible or moral.
So many Christians clearly believe in subjugating women. Don't get me started on the Hindus, or even the fundamentalist Jews. Subjugation of women is based on a patriarchal philosophy which seems to have swept through the world and still has strong hold. Plenty of people of all of these, and other, faiths do not hold with subjugating anyone. It is not about the religion, but the individual mindset. 
Let us be honest, shall we? There are plenty of people of all faiths and no faith who do horrid things, with all kinds of rationalizations. Stop blaming the religions, and put the blame where it belongs. It is well past time to instill a consciousness of individual responsibility.
Marriage is a contract and as such can be regulated by the state. It is not about religious beliefs, and is about morality in the sense that it is about commitment to a relationship. If individual religions want to define the marriages they bless in any way that pleases them, fine. There are many churches that are happy to officiate for commitment ceremonies between nonheterosexual participants. Hey, I don't much like my neighbors' marriage (heterosexual) -- they scream at each other all the time and are generally obnoxious. Doesn't mean they haven't a right to that relationship, to commit themselves to it, and to have it honored by the state.
Flesh-ripping cast stones carry
crashing forward unwritten moments
eternal dilemmas,
unforgiven missteps,
private epiphanies meant for
a more expansive world
Tiny tethers, teachers, feelers
feathery, warm, effusive
carry keys of gold and myrrh
balms of wisdom kept afloat
through drought and storm
Just as long as she pushes that baby out. We don't need all those whiny weak women, enticing our men to waste their essence on sex. Once the kid is no longer unborn, it ought to be on it's own, toughen up, learn to be personally responsible and not entitled to entitlements. That's how we make our nation strong, don't you know?
They got pics of fetuses? We can raise that with pics of abused children.
The Yippies would know what to do:
turn the protest into a party;
surround the hate groups with flowers, and love
Sing and dance and make a racket
They won't know what to make of it
They'll try to shout out "HATE!" --
drown out their silly songs with roaring anthems
to peace and fun ~
Generally speaking, people are violent because that is what they have learned works -- not on video games or movies or novels, but right here at home where the violent giants rule.
Emotional immaturity is rampant. It really is time for the grown-ups to start making grown-up noises and let us all know this kind of behavior is not what is expected of us.
Children, when raised by anyone with a modicum of social consciousness, are a huge responsibility -- a responsibility not to be entered into lightly (as is often said in marriage ceremonies). The idea of forcing people to bear children that they have no interest in raising, or no resources with which to raise well, sounds to me like large-scale child abuse. For those misogynists who want every female to pay for the audacity of biology (you know, the don't play if you don't want to pay attitude of personal responsibility), it isn't the woman by and large who suffers as much as the children, and the rest of society that then must deal with the damage thus caused.
As to being outbred by (no doubt to their minds inferior) "races," (setting aside the whole issue of humanity as one race), being burdened by too many mouths and not enough food is not out anything us.  As far as I have been able to discern, the best cure for human overpopulation is education of the women. To win as the superior nation, we need not more, but better educated citizens.
The basics, structures for hanging learning – reading, writing, basic math, critical thinking, legal philosophy, cultural history, citizen responsibility, scientific method, business practices, resource management, interpersonal behavior, physical training – team projects that utilize the skills being modeled and explained, team teachers available to work with students individually and with teams to help them organize, acquire resources, find answers to their questions, mediate disputes, give encouragement and useful critique.  Make use of the resources available in the immediate environment (libraries, museums, infrastructure, parks, businesses, government offices, natural environments, people willing to share their knowledge).
Develop flexible structuring; respond to the immediate; keep it real. 
Schools are used as propaganda houses for all kinds of interests, creating less light and more heat totally contrary to an atmosphere appropriate for actual, you know, learning useful skills like critical thinking, scientific discovery, or appropriate personal interaction for productive project creation.
Maybe public education, not governmental education, is what we need. Anyone else remember the "Free Schools" -- people who actually care enough to put action to their concerns can put together teaching cells, mutual homeschooling, neighborhood learning centers -- whatever you like

We ought to be heading toward a time when no one goes to college, but we have facilities for lifelong learning.
Community health clinics could be directly responsive to local needs and be paid for with public/private/subscription/foundation funding. Thus everyone could have access to appropriate medical care with the intention of improving the general health of the community -- yet all we want to talk about is partisan divisiveness.
It seems to me we go about this disease thing in the wrong direction. Yes, I suppose it helps to know what we are fighting. But generally we ought to be increasing the health of the person, not killing the disease. No matter how rare the condition, if we look to what is going wrong in the host organism, and what to do to make that function appropriately again, the disease organism can be whatever.
There are all kinds of environmental and health policy issues affecting health. Perhaps our well-touted high cost of healthcare ought to be ameliorated by sufficiently taxing those who contribute to unhealthy conditions.
We think of money as something like gold -- something we can own and hoard. If we would think of money as an exchange of labor, we would have a clearer idea of both money and the value we create.
Why not admit that wealth is based on labor and key units of labor to money -- not such a difficult task with computer aid. Money, exchange value, is not about useful objects or intrinsic values -- it is by its nature arbitrary. We do not exchange, ultimately, gold or diamonds, or even designed pieces of paper. What we are ultimately exchanging is the labor put into objects/ideas/resources that makes them useful or otherwise objects of desire. Why not get rid of this fiction of saying it is otherwise which only leads to poor resource management and insane worship of a place holder?
Yeah, why gold? Just because an accident of history has made it precious in our minds, so are other things.
Gold has intrinsic value, and human value as a useful commodity. Exactly why it is not so good as a standard for currency, since that gives an unrealistic value to a useful commodity.

What makes anything valuable is our appreciation of it. Intrinsic value belonging to nature does not seem to matter to us much.
If WE don't appreciate it, it is not valuable to US. We are talking about human values, not even homo sap. values, but 21st Century Western Civilization values. Of course gold, and mice and trees and stars and people have intrinsic value apart from anyone's (or group's) appreciation. But we don't base our valuation on that.
Somehow the fictional people took over, made us their slaves. They magically translated our work into a fiction called money and took our value away to be won here and there if we can manage to effectively play their game. Could be made into a major motion picture.
Blaring lights crescend silent mist
Hear them echo, careening
out of this dimension's stricture
Lawless as breeze, as wind
Was it really better then, back before the blaring headlines telling us to be afraid?
I could fall into a roaring spell
encounter fantastic sense and pain
caught up like waves of eternity
tossed helplessly
enclothed in frozen rain
such ecstasy
refreshes me
to leap again
It amuses me (in the way that it has become so hard to tell comedy from the merely everyday occurrence) that George Soros is portrayed as some kind of anti-Christ.  Soros' main thrust in his foundations has been about personal freedoms -- which the tea partiers claim to favor. The vilification and obfuscation of such as the Koch's is a far different matter.
It seems to be (at least in modern US politics) that the Democratic administrations actually do the fiscally conservative things, but have that obfuscated by partisan blather. The Republicans have a lot more leeway for acting irresponsibly and getting kudos for being realists.
I think it would help if public figures would admit that we are not going back to the "old" economy in the 21st Century. Instead of making it about "jobs," local agencies could make it about teaching unemployed people how to find niche markets or even normal markets for their skills, and how to improve the skills that they can market.
New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce recently gave a presentation to Congress explaining the economic situation in terms of an average couple in debt trying to get a bank loan to pay their expenses which are larger than their income. He wisely said that we can't save our way out of the deficit, but must grow our way out -- which I have been saying for some time. What he doesn't seem to get, though, is that the US is not in the position of an average couple or small business looking for bank loans. The US income is not directly dependent on sales or wages for income, but on whatever method Congress decides in passing our budgets. The US needs a great improvement in the general wealth of individual citizens to grow an economy that can pay off debt and provide for the general welfare. Simply cutting taxes and regulations, as the Congressman suggested, won't do it. We have had low taxes for the upper class since GWB, and what is considered a better business environment since Reagan. Where are the private sector jobs? Oh, yeah, in China and India and such. A race to the bottom against poor countries is not going to send us anywhere but down. It's not an all or nothing proposition on taxes. Taxes can be lowered on the lower earners, and temporarily raised on the higher earners while we figure out the best mix. Regulations do need to be examined and made more clear, concise, and limited to what is actually useful. US debt, as he pointed out, has gone from mostly domestic to mostly foreign creditors. Why is that? Why can't a concerted effort be made to get American people (regular and fictional, i.e. corporations) to take on our debt, to be the beneficiaries of those incomes from interest payments while being those who stand to benefit from bringing that debt down? There are a great many policies that could help to grow this economy in win-win-win ways -- yet those who have the power to create and implement sane governance seem to be happier bickering.
But don't you understand? We NEED, I say NEED in the most excruciating way these corporations to destroy our resources, treat our workers like domesticated beasts, bring us all to our knees in worship, because, you know, they GIVE us jobs -- actually allow us to do their bidding for as little recompense as the traffic will allow, pitting our wage against those of 3rd world dictatorship regimes.
We don't need no stinkin' rich folk dough. We need what used to be called good old American ingenuity. You know, figure out a better method, or hype up a better entertainment, or find more ways to buy low and sell high. Cut off the upward flow by turning the attention and the profits in another direction.
Those who must spend more of their income on necessities ought to pay less taxes. Then, if the wealthy need, you know, roads or educated workers or a legal system, they can pay to make it happen. If we need roads, or education or cops on the beat, we can work to make it happen. Stop being a serf
Now explain to me again about the Republican call for small government.
The Republicans are right in that job growth is about psychology. Their particular psychology, however, is skewed toward corporate interests rather than those of the country as a whole.
In the internet age we can each be our own business, or form businesses together with little or no capital. Ingenuity is the human response to changed environments. Ingenuity is badly damaged by rote work and strict classifications.
To have a healthy economy, we need a general public that feels happy about engaging in economic activities: working, spending, investing, creating and growing businesses, enjoying the fruits of their labor. The old feudal order is way out of date, and if going back there is the conservative agenda they haven't learned from history.
Collective bargaining rights for any workers is an issue of the human right to collectively assemble and address common positions. Are our rights only within our individual shells? Of course we have the right to work together in union, to join our voices to common cause. In what other way could democracy exist? 
Everyone is so happy to accept the myths presented by the anti-government (but, Governor, aren't you being paid by the taxpayers?) shouters.  State Senator, says government employees are on the dole? I guess we know how he feels about his job. 
Perhaps he just assumes that all "government workers" are as incompetent as he.  Real workers? Like the bookies on Wall Street? Or the lobbyists in D.C.? Or the lawyers for BP? Or the mercenaries and others who destroy for profit? The real nonworkers in the government are, of course, those bad actors of Congress going for the gold on their version of "American Idol" on the so-called news media (and the talking heads that promote them), the elected officials, living large off the public trough, condemning those civil servants who do the daily work of keeping government for the people.
Political figures need public support to stay in office. If we the people think it is just fine that they continue these games, they feel justified in doing so. Part of the problem with partisan uproar and vilification is that when everything is magnified it becomes more difficult to discern the real problems and solutions.
To be held accountable, there must be those who hold you so. If we felt there would be a good enough pay-off to doing the work to gather the evidence to hold reps. accountable, what would that good enough pay-off need to be?
I don't know that anything government controls is mishandled. I mean, pretty much people mishandle a great deal, but government people sometimes get it right like any of us. Again, being private sector does not make one instantly smart and aware, or responsible, or accountable. It's more about who is watching, and whether those watching are responsible enough to make a difference.
Of course the President knows there are federal spending problems. He ran against GWB's profligate projects. Apparently, having attained the office, however, he can start to understand the complexity of government and how simple solutions are just not that simple.
Enough of this hysterical Obama bashing. There is no "plan" to "share the wealth" by this very pragmatic politician. The idea is to improve the infrastructure upon which we work, thus increasing the wealth.
Certainly neither Democratic nor Republican partisans en masse could be called anything like heroes. Here we fling our rocks and rotten fruit back and forth while the world burns.
Instead of all this partisan bickering and who needs to cut whom, let's have an adult discussion about waste in government. We may find we can do better financially by doing a better job of providing the services the people do want that are best provided by a central, public system which actually is about providing services rather than promoting ideologies.
We cannot get out of the debt through saving. We have to grow our way out. We cannot do that in an economy based on a few megacorps and masses of un- or under-employed. We need the kind of psychology that leads to an exuberant economy.
As far as the deficit, that is basically a budgeting problem. The solutions, though, are more in the realm of figuring out how best to get the results we want rather than imposing false savings in partisan hysteria. 
If all government programs (including the military) had to justify all their spending, it would probably be quite easy to cut the outflow part of the budget down to a very reasonable level.
We like to believe that our institutions, like the military, exemplify our values. Maybe we are not clear enough on just what those values are? 

We need to keep our arms to ourselves, and not need to pay for so much warfare, or corporate welfare. Repurpose arms and hands to the efforts that actually make us strong, like clean environments, healthful commodities, caring communities, enlightened self-interest and individual freedom.
Rather than adding to the deficit, Social Security payments are used to cover general expenses. The money thus taken from the trust fund is meant to be repaid with government securities. Thus, if we were not taking in the SS payroll taxes, we would have much higher deficits. As far as the scary impending dry up (you know, when we only have minimal workers mostly at minimum wage trying to pay for the old folks' high off the dole lifestyle), we can easily get the money to keep SS afloat by ending the cut-off for higher incomes.
Bad fiscal policy from Republicans? Who'd a thunk it?

It's the same old lame name game. "Conservatives" one would think would want to conserve that which has proven to be worthwhile, to be responsible stewards of our planet and its resources, to encourage the best of each of us, to take care that any policy not cause ill and therefore think long and well before instituting change, most especially to conserve our hard won freedoms in the tradition of liberty for all with nurturing of common cause and common ground. Yet, in today's cynical dictionary, a conservative is apparently one who espouses rigidity in the name of plutocracy.
Life can be terrifying. Recognizing that life is inescapable and unpredictable makes us incredibly vulnerable, and can invoke feelings of anxiety, hatred and fear. We may say we fear death; but what we fear is the afterlife life. Mindfulness can help us to feel more in touch with our essence, less a hapless wanderer in the dark. When we truly embrace life, death is just another aspect of that life, as in unconditional love.
Why spend this time catastrophizing
over when inevitably it will all fall apart
Maximize the now
 It is easy to get caught up in cyclic behavior. You might hope it is a spiral that will send you out into a new direction; but, no, just back to that same old part of the plot circle again, older and no wiser. Maybe the way out of the circle trap is to stop treading along and make a clean break across, or even out? Perhaps in just little ways -- bit by bit becoming a more magical reality.

Far too ephemeral for incorporation
I am but a crazy artiste
with desire for my words to be read
making metaphoric noise on the World Wide Web
in effort to be seen.
Thanks for looking ...

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