Tuesday, December 30, 2003

The King of Hearts is Dead!


Alan Bates as King of Hearts
The King of Hearts is Dead

Two shining lights went out this week, and the the great Stage of Life on which we unfurl our vague operas reflects less brilliant hues without them. Hope Lange was beloved by all who saw her, as she seemed to perfect mom, wife, friend and sister. But Alan Bates was eccentric, and not nearly so easy to define. I would suggest that he was, indeed, the King of Hearts...and as such probably felt that this warring world was not as good as an asylum, and thus checked out of this world, and into that asylum in the sky...where angels dance and sing their highest play, without the dread thump of marching boots.

I will miss our beloved king. May he rest in Peace. And may another King of Hearts come and rescue us from the mean masters who keep the players in uniform.

Life is fractal. Abhors a straight line.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Doctors and Generals say "No!" to Bush. Shouldn't you?


Doctor Dean / General Clark


The Future is in your hands.
Use them to vote wisely.
Exuberance is better than terror.
And it is better to be loved than hated.

The Media will vote their pocketbooks.
Not yours.
Don't let them tell you what to think about.
Every mind is valuable.
And the best are indifferent to money.

The government should be the special interest
for those who have no special interest.
For and by the people...

Bush is deaf and blind to submillionaires.
The people.
You and me.


Vote Democratic in '04!
Do it for your mother!

Monday, December 22, 2003

BULLETIN! George W. Bush is Bigger than Jesus! Contagious Rioting Spreads Globe!

How the name of Howard Dean has become synonymous with the investment of our very selves by Iddybud

Yehudit

The Gospel of Thomas



Sunday, December 21, 2003


Juliet by Waterhouse


"Elbow pads is awesome."
- Giambatista Vico, Nuovo Scienza, 1567

Bush Approves Arafat's Assassination

Bush declares: "We must get rid of Arafat"
Israel's security cabinet approved Arafat's "removal" in September, with one minister even suggesting that he could be assassinated, but Washington warned Israel not to attempt to expel him.

Bush was non-commital about Sharon's speech, saying that he would wait to see what happened on the ground.

"Speeches are good things, but they are words. I am waiting for action," he was quoted as saying.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Did Bush Know about 9-11?

At the press conference on 9/15/03, a reporter asks about Dean's comments that Bush had 9-11 foreknowledge...



Anyone who saw the press conference must surely have thought Bush's response...strange. See the video yourself here.

And read and see much more on the "mysteries" of 9-11 here.

No Americans were killed by Saddamites under Clinton


Saddam was a tyrant. It is a good thing he is no longer in power.
How many more tyrants are there that we can remove? 10? 20? 100?
Hell, all we have to lose are a few hundred billion dollars, a few thousand poor Americans, and a few hundred thousand foreigners. A real bargain! At least for Bush's 1%ers...who not only refrain from actually fighting the wars, and who also refrain from paying for it...they are actually PAID for it! Big time!

So look out poor people! He'll trade you in for cash any day.

Watch the Lips: They hold back lies


The lips betray the lies held back. Look at pics of other RepCons!

A few decades ago I was talking to the photographer, Richard Avedon, who said the darnedest thing. He said that you can tell a Conservative (or maybe he said Republican) because he will have thin, pursed lips. After years of pondering and noticing this phenomenon, I have come to the realization that they have thin lips because they are trying to hold back...something. Usually lies. I know...I remember doing it myself.

Pay attention to the images you see of these politicos, and ask yourself: What are they holding back.

I think it goes deeper though. I think they are sending signals to their co-conspirators to keep their mouths shut. Not unlike that image of the gun pointing face-on with the words, "Whistle Blower" above it...so prevalent in the early months of the Bushreich.

Yesterday, I was reading a post on the Freeper site, FreeRepublic.com. One of the wingnuts had the moniker, "DenyDenyDeny".

How sad to have to live a lie, much less a whole host of them.

Long live luscious-lipped liberals! Sunlight of the world!

Bad Weather Follows Bush to Wright Brothers Centennial


Mr. Bush travelled to the Outer Banks today in order to participate in the Centennial of the first flight by the Wright Brothers...and it was rained out.
Sound familiar? His inaugural was rained out, as were a host of other events associated with Bush. Weather has basically sucked since Bush was Selected. But Gore warned us of Bush's effect on weather:

Al Gore also made two predictions for Wednesday's mood and weather. He then asked which of the two the people at the rally preferred. "You wake up early on Wednesday morning with a headache. Look out the window outside your window and there is a cold, driving rain with sleet and hail tapping on your window. The clouds have blackened out the dawn. You get out of bed slowly and walk toward the door and you stub your toe along the way. You push the door open and the newspaper is soaked through and through and is stuck to the front stoop. You peel the newspaper off and hold it up to the light in the gloomy darkness and through that light you barley make out a headline that says Bush wins."

The crowd booed and then Gore offered his second alternative.

"Now, imagine that on Wednesday morning, just before you awaken, a golden shaft of sunlight flickers on your eyelids," he continued. "You awaken refreshed and feeling wonderful. The aroma of fresh-brewed coffee wafts in from the kitchen. There are fresh cut flowers by your bedside table. Kathy Mattea is singing on the radio. You leap out of bed and dance your way to the front door. You hear birds chirping on the front porch. The sunlight is now making your face feel warm. You reach down and pick up the newspaper and it says Gore, Lieberman win."

The crowd cheered and then began to chant "We want Gore."


Well...his prediction was true...and it has remained true. The weather, the environment, it seems, is like 7-Up. You like it, It likes you.

And Bush has no respect for the environment. And it doesn't much care for him either.


Let's not make the same mistake twice!

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Who wants to live like a Republican? Gephardt and Lieberman!



Both Dick and Joe have said: "If you want to live like a Republican, vote for a Democrat".
Well, thanks but no thanks. I live, and want to live, like a Democrat. I am comfortable in my own skin. I do not envy Republicans. Envy is their albatross. But if you guys want to...by all means...join Breaux. Go to Zell. I mean, Joe! You're a nice guy, but Chris Parnell you're simply not. And a damn shame. He's one of the few lights left on TV.

General Clark had a choice. And he is wealthy enough to live any way he wants. But what did he choose? He chose to live like a Democrat, and, in fact, to BE one. And he was proud of his decision. Lieberman seems embarrassed...and way too beholdened to Daddy Warbucks to be of much use to the guardians of the grail; the common well. Gephardt is a better Democrat, but he is too wooden and mechanical to represent conscious Democrats -- whose very illumination keeps America from sinking into darkness and corruption.

Short-sighted Lieberman sits there, amid boos and swindling (Oops! Freudian Slip!), I mean dwindling numbers, and spews the very ads the Republicans will launch against Dean when and if he rises to the Number 1 or Number 2 position. (I'm beginning to think a Clark/Dean ticket would be the strongest, given the zeitgeist they would be inheriting.)

Ogilvy could do no better than Lieberman and other "Democrats-in-name-only". Boys, snap to before the door snaps shut. Act your age not your shoe size.

One thing we bloggers know is that there are people who just cannot act like a gentleman, and try to win honestly and honorably, without resorting to self-destructive behaviors as viewed from the Party and the People.

Take a hint. Clay Aiken was voted best-behaved person of the year. Forget that he came in second. He wins nevertheless. Was not that first competition just a preliminary? An Iowa Caucus? Has he not been at least as much a winner has Rubin? And why? Because he was gracious and kind.

Be gracious and kind to one another. Treat each other like Clay. You may be amazed at the response. And win or lose...you still win.

A president doesn't just solve math problems (thank God especially now!). He or she has to be a shining example of what is best in America, because it is his or her face that means far more than a mere flag to our friends and neighbors abroad.

We need to truly restore honor and integrity, and a host of other virtues to America and the White House. Be the example. Be the Miracle.

You all have been given great gifts.

Pay it forward...

Yet another Bush lie: "I inherited a recession"

...and when Bush said that to Diane Sawyer, what did she do?
She moved on to another question.

Good job, Diane! A real journalist!

According to economists, the recession began in March 2001...under Bush's watch.

Why do so many people hate Barbara Walters?

And she thought people hated Martha Stewart!

Barbara Walters used to have such class. What happened?? Now she is reduced to generating hateful buzz against Martha Stewart and collecting bucks by sitting on "The View".

Personally I think she is jealous that Letterman may like Martha better...

Girls!

David Horowitz Exposes Grover Norquist as a Possible Terrorist Aid

Sure Grover Norquist looks evil, but who would have thought that he actually was? Here is a damning article by David Horowitz on Grover's shady buddies and their shenanigans:

A few questions arise:

- Is this just an ego battle?
- Is Horowitz just "thinking with his blood"?
- Is Norquist really a facilitator to Islamic extremists?

And perhaps more importantly...

- Is Norquist just a fall guy to keep the heat off the White House?

For more on this, see Iddybud, who summarizes the article quite well.

mudshark has a point there!


I couldn't help but be amused by this post from the ever-amusing Mudshark:

PRACTICAL GOOGLEBOMBING
Atrios and his regular commenters have been busy thinking up variations on Old Fashioned Patriot's "miserable failure" project of a couple months ago...this time the search terms are unelectable and vast right wing conspiracy.

Now, no offense to these fine people -- because, hey, I love the idea myself, as I've posted before -- but after giving this a bit of thought, I'm thinking there just might be an even better way to do it. The conclusion the ol' Mudshark has come to is: if ya wanna spread what some folks call memes (yeah, I know, I said I wouldn't use that word) about Shrub, then ya gotta use search terms that people will actually search for -- say, when doing research for a term paper or whatever. I mean, yeah, he may well be unelectable (without the aid of Diebold, at least), and he's indisputably a miserable failure, but how many people are actually gonna type those phrases into a Google searchbox?

Here's the way you do it, y'all:

FASCISM (or FASCIST)

WAR CRIMES

MACHIAVELLIAN

TOTALITARIANISM

1984

DRAFT EVASION

ALCOHOLISM

COCAINE ADDICTION

...and as one commenter states, it takes longer to Googlebomb more common words and phrases, so remember to use these (and more...use your imagination!) on comment and message boards as well as main blog pages. So whaddaya waitin' for? Let's go!



Monday, December 15, 2003

My vote for the New Weblog Showcase

From The Truth Laid Bear's New Webblog Showcase:
It's Craptastic!: What is the Point?

Congrats to Crappy who has apparently beaten Anti-Anti-War.
As an anti-anti-anti-war kinda guy, this makes me ebullient. Yay! I'm excreted!

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Breaking News! 750.000 US Dollars and Top 1%er Saddam Hussein FOUND

750.000 US Dollars and Top 1%er Saddam Hussein FOUND Wallowing in Money, Karma & Humiliation inside a Filthy Hole in a Backward Country In the (snicker, snicker) Middle East

The ever-nutty Middle East kecked up their posterboy for riches today, and all the poor bastard had on him was a gun, a change of clothes, and a stack of American cash amounting to, oh, seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars. My guess is that hideholes in Iraq don't take Visa, otherwise he would have put it on credit, like every other sucker.

Let this be a lesson to anyone who thinks they can horde riches, kill innocent people, and strut around like a cock-of-the-walk. These are not the ingredients of a virtuous life.
This is the behavior of a megalomaniac. And megalomaniacs suck.

Do Americans horde riches? Do Americans kill innocent people? Do Americans strut around like cocks-of-the-walk? Generally, no. And unfortunately those that do wind up in positions where they can get more bang for their buck...which they also get.

We are not innocent, as a nation. Our leaders have put innocence to rest. Not to the extent that Saddam did, but enough that I would suggest that we question our own little megalomanias.

Why did Saddam feel like he needed great palaces in order to be happy and whole? Indeed, why does anyone? Maybe Saddam bought into the myth of that equation. And sadly many met their death that Saddam might actualize his ambition and greed.

Is there something innately wrong with ambition and greed? Something wrong with championing the overdog?

But alas, I wax philosophic. Today is a day for celebration, or at least relief that a murderous dictator has had his comeuppance.

Here's to an end to dictators! Long live the underdogs!

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Blogs and Blogrolls for Bush

Blogs for Bush
People who champion lying, cheating, stealing and warring. The Goofuses of the world.


Blogroll for Bush
The Blogroll For Bush is a growing list of bloggers all over the internet who support our President George W. Bush and want him to be reelected.
Footmen for the Lying Liars

Shut your Keiko

Free Willy now truly free



GOOD RIDDANCE!


(just kidding!)

Contentment with poverty is fortune's best gift

Riches and Honour are the handmaids of Disaster



"A Gentle Wind"

A gentle wind fans the calm night;
A bright moon shines on the high tower.
A voice whispers, but no one answers when I call:
A shadow stirs, but no one comes when I beckon.
The kitchen man brings in a dish of lentils:
Wine is there, but I do not fill my cup.
Contentment with poverty is fortune's best gift:
Riches and Honour are the handmaids of Disaster.
Though gold and gems by the world are sought and prized,
To me they seem no more than weeds or chaff.

~Fu Hsuan translated by Arthur Waley


See Jude's excellent illustration of this great poem at Iddybud.

When will America be Allowed to Grow Up?

Nasty Language on Live TV Renews Old Debate (TechNews.com)

When will America be allowed to grow up? Like other countries. Must our people forever be regarded as children and sheep? Ooh bad language! If you hear it, you will go to Heck! Give me a fucking break!

Friday, December 12, 2003

Death of Credentials: Part Two

Got this in the mail. Think it originated on Buzzflash.
Pretty much sums up the death of credentials in America....



RESUME: George W. Bush
The White House, USA

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE

Law Enforcement: I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine in 1976 for
driving under the influence of alcohol. I pled guilty, paid a fine,
and had my driver's license suspended for 30 days. My Texas driving
record has been "lost" and is not available.

Military: I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I
refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug
use. By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid
combat duty in Vietnam.

College: I graduated from Yale University. I was a cheerleader.



PAST WORK EXPERIENCE:

I ran for US Congress and lost.

I began my career in the oil business in Midland, Texas in 1975. I
bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas. The
company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.

I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that
took land using taxpayer money.

With the help of my father and our right-wing friends in the oil
industry (including Enron CEO Ken Lay), I was elected Governor of
Texas.



ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS GOVERNOR:

I changed Texas pollution laws to favor power and oil companies,
making Texas the most polluted state in the Union.

During my tenure, Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most
smog-ridden city in America.

I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions
in borrowed money.

I set the record for the most executions by any Governor in American
history.

With the help of my brother, the Governor of Florida, and my father's
appointments to the Supreme Court, I became President after losing by
over 500,000 votes.


ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS PRESIDENT:

I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one
billion dollars per week.

I spent the US surplus and effectively bankrupted the US Treasury.

I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in US history.

I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any
12-month period.

I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the
US stock market.

I am the first president in US history to enter office with a
criminal record.

I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one year
period.

After taking-off the entire month of August, I presided over the
worst security failure in
U.S. history.

I am supporting development of a nuclear "Tactical Bunker Buster," a
WMD.

In my State Of The Union Address, I lied about our reasons for
attacking Iraq, then blamed the lies on our British friends.

I set the record for most campaign fundraising trips by a US
president.

In my first year in office over 2-million Americans lost their jobs
and that trend continues every month.

I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.

I appointed more convicted criminals to administration than any
president in US history.

I set the record for least amount of press conferences than any
president since the advent of television.

I presided over the biggest energy crisis in US history and refused
to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed.

I presided over the highest gasoline prices in US history.

I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in
duty benefits for active duty troops and their families -- in war
time.

I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to
simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 million people)
shattering the record for protest against any person in the history
of mankind.

I've broken more international treaties than any president in US
history.

I'm proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any
administration in US history. My "poorest millionaire," Condoleeza
Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.

I am the first president in US history to order an unprovoked,
preemptive attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation.
I did so against the will of the United Nations, the majority of US
citizens, and the world community.

I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest bureaucracy
in the history of the United States government.

I am the first president in US history to have the United Nations
remove the US from the Human Rights Commission.

I withdrew the US from the World Court of Law.

I refused to allow inspectors access to US prisoners of war
"detainees" and thereby have refused to abide by the Geneva
Convention.

I am the first president in history to refuse United Nations election
inspectors (during the 2002 US election).

I am the all-time US and world record-holder for receiving the most
corporate campaign donations.

My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends,
Kenneth Lay, resided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in
US history. My political party used the Enron private jets and
corporate attorneys to assure my success with the US Supreme Court
during my election decision. I have protected my friends at Enron and
Halliburton
against investigation or prosecution. More time and money was spent
investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than has been spent
investigating one of the biggest corporate rip-offs in history.

I garnered the most sympathy for the US after the World Trade Center
attacks and less than a year later made the US the most hated country
in the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history.

I am first president in history to have a majority of Europeans (71%)
view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and security.

I changed the US policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded
government contracts.

I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden
and Saddam Hussein to justice.

RECORDS AND REFERENCES:

All records of my tenure as Governor of Texas are now in my father's
library, sealed, and unavailable for public view.

All records of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my
bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public
view.

All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-president,
attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and
unavailable for public review.

Please consider my experience when voting in 2004 -

Thursday, December 11, 2003

War and Serial Killing: Not the same thing.

War is also Parallel Killing

Some people want to equate war and serial killing, and there can be made fairly convincing arguments to that point...but war is not serial killing. War is much worse, at least in its outcome. War is not just serial killing...it is also parallel killing. And no matter how hard marketers try to make it out like something praeternatural, it is, in many ways, quite an unsavory repertoire of behaviors. It's a darned good thing everyone does not find it appealing. Most probably wish it were made obsolete. Like land mines.
But I jump ahead....

The soldiers are not to be faulted for their having to do the deeds of those in leather chairs. Rather, the folks in comfy chairs ought to grow a conscience and then vow to spend their remaining years fighting to avert and prevent war...and in its vaccuum...spread peace. A positive. Really. Ask any disinterested collateral.

Democratic Contenders: The best political talent in years

Democrats should be proud. Indeed, America should be proud.
And why stop there... The world should be proud.

America is blessed by getting to choose among so many good and great men, as well as the radiant Moseley-Braun. The question is: How do you choose?

But let me first jump to another point, and that is: What will become of the losers?

I say let them all agree that all will be included within whatever administration might save America and the world from poor Mr. Bush's sad rapine and pillaging of America and the world's treasures. As General Clark aptly said: We should be buying oil on the world market. He didn't go on say "instead of steal it." He is a gentleman as well as a general. Gentlemen do not steal. It is in bad form. Impolite. Inelegant.

But we are promoting stealers. Not only stealers, but stealers who will allow even Americans to die for their plunder. At least it seems this way to me. Halliburton is worse than a plantation. A soldiers pay is a slap in the face, already sunworn and bloodied by war.

We want to protect and preserve life. Not hurl lives into the flames. Every body is a temple, cradling a soul. Not empty shells. Say no to empty shells. In every stripe.

Long live souls and temples.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Gore Endorses Dean. Will Clinton endorse Clark? Or will it be Dean/Gore?

Al Gore has apparently endorsed Gov. Howard Dean, MD for the President of the United States of America. Will Clinton now endorse Clark, as a way to push the two (Dean and Clark) together? Dean/Clark in 04? Or will Dean ask former Vice President Gore to continue his good work as VP...so as to be the best prepared President in American history? Dean/Gore in '04?

If it is Dean/Gore...I hope they consider drafting General Clark to take up the mantle currently held by that other great General, Colin Powell...

Dream teams! Guaranteed!

But, again...find a good place for all those running, or should have run. From Edwards (Attorney General) and Kucinich (Dept of Peace), to Robert Redford (Interior) and Ralph Nader (Corporate Watchdog Czar).

It would be a damn shame if someone as good and talented as, say, John Edwards should go home empty-handed...especially when you consider that he would do good and great things with his hands, heart and mind.

All the best minds and talents should step forward and offer their help.

Gaia says so. Well maybe. She would if she had a mouth.

Even Homelands are on loan from God


Anonymoses Cometh



Wise Leaders,

Imagine you and your beloved family are retiring for the night, warming your hearts and hands by the common fire. Your family has tended this land for generations, and you are the expert steward for your piece of land.

Your name is Sanchez, and your home is in Mexico, but the year is 1840. And your part of Mexico is now what is called "California".

You do not approve of these newcomers who are laying claim to the land you have tended for so many generations. You think the whole matter ludicrous. You even have papers.

The newcomers come anyway. In great number. And before long, you are chased from your home and called an alien. And since you never played the game of the newcomer, you are called an illegal alien...even though you have never left the area you have always inhabited.

This sort of situation happens again and again. It is happening right now, in our lifetime. It is obviously a problem.

In some cases, the rich simply throw the poor out. In other cases, the cause is that of homeland, and a claim thereto.

One might think that Mr. Sanchez would have a claim to his land, having nursed and nurtured the land for generations. Yet what if someone else comes up with a deed that claims prior ownership?

May we always remember at least the possibility that all things are loaned to us, so maybe, one day, we will quit killing each other for these borrowed goods.



There are many angles and arguments for both sides of these perennial questions.


I would like to posit a solution. It comes from Meister Eckhart, who reminds us that nothing is meant to be thought of as permanent, and all "ownership" should best be thought of as a borrowing. All things are on loan from God. Even homelands.

Granted, this presumes that all people believe in God, which is clearly not the case. But I don't think this is necessary to understand, because of death...all things are transitory.


If you go to Los Angeles today, you will not even have a clue that it was much like Mr. Sanchez' farm not that long ago. Some day, Iraq might look, and sound, like today's L.A.

May we always remember at least the possibility that all things are loaned to us, so maybe, one day, we will quit killing each other for these borrowed goods.

Stuff that no longer fits

This is stuff that will no longer fit on the new template. I am still upset about the mixup, and wonder who hit the wrong switch. Anyway, here is the stuff:
salonified blogs

These are some of the blogs recommended by readers of TableTalk at Salon.com.
Agonist
ArmedLiberal
BeetleSympathy
Billmon
T.Bogg
Calpundit
CitizenCites
Claremont Weblog
Command-Post
Counterspin
BarryCrimmins
Cursor
DailyKos
DearRaed
Digbysblog
DisgustedLiberal
Ehrensteinland
FailureIsImpossible
TheGrandOldParty
HermesPress
Insurrection
JaneGalt
JubileeIraq
TheLeftCoaster
LetterFromGotham
LiberalOasis
LinkPopularity
LyingSocialistWeasels
MainstreamList
MajorBarbara
J.Marshall
Maxspeak
MingReport
MyPhD
NathanNewman
NewLeftBlogs
Nuisance
NealPollack
Quasipundit
Rittenhouse
RogerAiles
SalonBlog
SDSessions
SDPP.org
RobertScheer
SkyeDreams
SlicedAndDiced
SmirkingChimp
TAP Alternate
Usn-dem-vet
Vaara
WealthBondage
WorldCrossing/WebX




CONSERVATIVE BLOGS

In order to be fair and balanced, I now include some of the better conservative and right-leaning blogs:
American Prowler
Thomas Sowell
Walter Williams
Best of the Web
InstaPundit
DailyPundit
Andrew Sullivan
Zonitics
Croooow Blog
Regions of Mind
The Daily Rant
Indepundit
Minor Groove
Poor and Stupid
C-Log
VodkaPundit
Lileks
Jim Miller
Virginia Postrel
USS Clueless
Cut on the Bias
Protein Wisdom
Man Without Qualities
Insolvent Republic of Blogistan
Midwest Conservative Journal
Blissful Knowledge
Hokie Pundit
Coyote at the Dog Show
Cranky Professor
MWO Watch
LeftWatch
John Ellis
Craig Schamp
Volokh Conspiracy
Blogs of War
Campus Nonsense
Little Green Footballs
Bjorn Staerk
Tim Blair
Happy Fun Pundit
OxBlog
Right Wing News
HawkGirl
La Blogatrice
Education Weak
Daimnation!
The Razor's Edge
Blogs of War
Bo Cowgill
broc7
Bucket o' Rants
Ben Fischer
Hoystory
Media Minded
Rodger Schultz
Jane Galt
Truth Bomb
Gut Rumbles
Pejman
Samizdata
A.I. Rottweiler
Big S Blog
Accuracy in Academia
Amateur Economist
Great Questions of Economics
EconoBlog
Whigging Out
More Than Zero
North Georgia Dogma
Random Thoughts
Brothers Judd
Safety Valve
Silfray Hraka
Possumblog
Belligerent Bunny
Site Essential
Vermont Reactionary
Light of Reason
Natalie Solent
Red Letter Day
N.Z. Bear
Shark Blog
Recovering Liberal
Overtaken
Adventures in Bureaucracy
Jeff Jarvis
Spoons Experience
Opinions Galore
Power Line




MY HALF:
My half of the argument on old forum debates. Quite surreal in places.
Here are some blogs and columns from the Anonymoses archives:
- The Fifth of July:Why Consequences Matter
- Dennis Miller: The Ted Nugent of Comedy
- Before there were Dixie Chicks, there were The Beatles...
- Bush Administration Embraces Fascism/Bats 14 For 14
- Patrick Kennedy Admits to White-Collar "Crime"
- Fueling the "Recovery"
- Fake Giant among Real Pygmies
- Is Big Media Irrelevant?

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

FUTURE COLUMNS

- Killer Mules of Tokyo
- Indo-European Roots & Berries
- Amerigeddon: Fact or Fiction?
- The Tao of Chimpy
- Unpresidented
- The Feng Shui of National Security
- Is Memory Evil?
- How 911 Caused the World to Stay the Same
- Chimpy vs Chomsky
- Why Joe Sounds Constipated



Blogger Oxytocin is tracking flashmobs, the phlogosphere and other wondrous topics.



"To be in the world, but not of it, free from ambition, greed, intellectual pride, blind obedience to custom, or awe of persons higher in rank; that is the Sufi ideal."
- Idries Shah
Indeed. That can describe the Democratic ideal...



PROJECTS BY ANONYMOSES:
GENEALOGY
Beckwith Genealogy





"If I were alive, there is a slim chance I would read Anonymoses. But there you go..."
- Clara Bow, the original "It-Girl"


NOTABLE AUTHORS

Chinua Achebe
Alfred Alcorn
Martin Amis
Donald Antrim
John Barth
Donald Barthelme
Richard Bass
Hugo Adam Bedau
Alexandra Boris
David Bowman
Susie Bright
John Cage
Ethan Canin
Noam Chomsky
Robert Coover


Guy Davenport
Philip K. Dick
Brian Eno
Jeffrey Eugenides
Karen Joy Fowler
Robert Fripp


William Gass
William Gaddis
William Gibson
dgk goldberg
Peter Gomes
Alan Gurganus
Jim Harrison
Alan Hollinghurst
Nick Hornby


Danilo Kis
Milan Kundera
Elmore Leonard
Lynn Margulis
Armistead Maupin
Cormac McCarthy
Jonathan McVity
China Mieville
Rick Moody


Flann O'Brien
Ben Okri
Tom Robbins
Dori Sanders
Sam Shepard
Todd Siler
Lee Smith
Terry Southern
Neal Stephenson
Bruce Sterling


Alexander Theroux
Frederick Tuten
Earl Thompson
William T. Vollman
David Foster Wallace
Robert Anton Wilson

I am disappointed...

My blog has been eaten. At least the blogrolls and fave links. This makes me cross.
Guess I'll start all over again...
Apologies for those lost in the screw-up.
$%*#$%#

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Googling "Miserable Failure" Leads to White House

Go to Google
and search the term, "miserable failure". Use the "I'm feeling lucky" function. It will take you to the White House...

Thanks to Rob for turning me on to this nugget.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

A positive vote for gentleman Todd of Dangerous Liberty

A positive vote for gentleman Todd of Dangerous Liberty

Dangerous Liberty is up for a vote in the political blog category at Truth-Laid Bear's New Blog Showcase, and, because of his calm, gentlemanly response to my heavy-handed condemnation (a rare gift in today's discourse)...I am voting in the affirmative...with blessings that he will use his gift for the good of humanity. Best of luck, Todd! And please consider my offer! We are always looking for, and looking out for, good people...

Monday, December 01, 2003

Wealth, Fame, Power, Success & their root in Fear

Bah! Humbug!

Recently, members of the lofty League of Liberals have had to come to grips with certain humbugs...at the bidding (and bitching) of some hominid who goes by the moniker, Truth-Laid Bear. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when dealing with those who are a little too worried about wealth, fame, power, and success. They are all fueled by fear...

Enjoy!

THE IMPORTANCE OF LIVING
by Lin Yutang (Chinese Nobel Prize Winner)

from "Passion, Wisdom and Courage"
"There is a wealth of humbug in this life, but the multitudinous little humbugs have been classified by Chinese Buddhists under two big humbugs: Wealth and Fame... From my own observation of life...the great humbugs of life are not two, but three: Fame, Wealth and Power. There is a convenient American word which again combines these three humbugs into the One Great Humbug: Success. But many wise men know that the desire for success, fame and wealth are euphemistic names for the fears of failure, poverty and obscurity, and that these fears dominate our lives."
...

from "Good Taste in Knowledge" (same book)

An educated man, therefore, is one who has the right loves and hatreds. This we call taste, and with taste comes charm. Now to have taste or discernment requires a capacity for thinking things through to the bottom, an independence of judgement, and an unwillingness to be bulldozed by any form of humbug, social, political, literary, artistic or academic. There is no doubt that we are surrounded in our adult lives with a wealth of humbugs: fame humbugs, wealth humbugs, patriotic humbugs, political humbugs, religious humbugs, and humbug poets, humbug artists, and humbug dictators..."

Does this not describe the Republican Party in its current devolution?

Be fearless, wise Liberals! Without these humbugs weighing us down, we really can reach new vistas. I'm excited at the prospect.

Leave the egos to fight over their piece of the Egospheres and Egosystems. It is what the fearful do.
Con te partiro!

Carpe Millennium,
Anon

CNET to delete a million songs from MP3

World's Dumbest Company is a real Art Killer



I'm pissed. And not so much for my own efforts, but for all the efforts of the thousands of (mostly) independent artists who have poured their souls into MP3.

Here's just one example:

MP3 artist, Woody (Bigger Than The Beetles), has been delighting Charlotteans for severals decades, and has been sharing his work on MP3 for a few years now. In the '70s, he would delight us on the guitar and piano and voice. Now he has all manner of synthesizers to help him achieve his goals -- which he still does spectacularly. He is no upstart, no Back Street Boy. And he is not only a fine musician and composer. He has been dazzling us with his visual art for an equal number of decades. Decades! A true Renaissance Man and genius.

Now being flushed out of the system. Along with perhaps a few hundred thousand others. What utter foolishness. Ticks me off!

I helped to get Woody onto MP3 several years ago, and he has had over 13,000 hits on his (and my) site. (Occasionally I would put my own music there.) He has been able to meet kindred spirits while sharing his immense gifts. (One could also put their art up as well, and he designed his own "album covers", so to speak. All digital, mind.

But CNET is gonna toss him out on the street, in order, I suspect, to allow mediocrities to rise and flourish. Very BushWorld! Not, however, respectful of intellectual property, Art, or human capital. Idiotic in those departments.

Someone should sign 2/3rds of the artists on MP3...and reap the windfalls. Not discard them like so many casualties of war.

CNET can go to Hell. They are fecal coliform. They deserve to fall. Let them.

http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/44/bigger_than_the_beetles.html
http://artists.mp3s.com/info/44/bigger_than_the_beetles.html
Music by Anonymoses and Bigger Than The Beetles.

MP3 STATIONS BY ANONYMOSES:
http://stations.mp3s.com/stations/300/best_of_charlotte.html
Charlotte, North Carolina is a mecca for some of the best musicians and composers in America. Included are: The Spatulas, Chaucer Wells, Hudson Welch, Frocky Jack, The Superficials, Mercybox, Djinn, Rose and Roland, Mari Moon Band, Jason Hausman, Linsday Smith, Ishi, Chakras, Chrystal Armentrout, and more.

http://stations.mp3s.com/stations/300/mandelbrots_brain.html
The Most Experimental Minds on MP3 and in the world...
Enjoy the work of some of the best musical minds in the world as they weave themselves into an evolving fractal of sound and experience. Hailing from all corners of the globe, these generous creators have unwittingly gathered themselves into this soundtrack of the novel-to-be bearing the same name. And should, God-willing, the novel ever become a screenplay...the soundtrack will, with good fortune, be contained herein. I hope you enjoy these selections. They flow through my head day and night!

Music by Justin D. Scott, The Flaming Lips, Robert Fripp, Josh Joplin Band, Li Li, HarS, Frocky Jack, Adrien Belew, Gao Feng, Hudson Welch, Olivier Fuchs, David Cross, Lu Zhao, Ya Tung, The Push Stars, Infected Mushroom, Tom van Oostrom, Bassic, Raby, Metascape, doctorbinky, Diastereo, Fractalia, Carrie Lynn, Bowie and more...

http://stations.mp3s.com/stations/301/worlds_sexiest_dance_jams.html
Music by Erin Evermore, Paulina Rubio, Elly K, Nora Jones, Jim Beckwith & Native Vibe, Kari Nelson, Lindsay Smith, Pink, Nina, Sabra Callas, Ryan Adams, Michelle Branch, Mercybox and more.

EXTERNAL LINKS:http://itvibe.com/default.aspx?NewsID=1076
http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,7983045%255E1702,00.html
http://www.stereophile.com/news/120103mp3
http://www.avnonline.com/issues/200311/newsarchive/news_112203_4.shtml

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Musicians around the world want to send Bush packing

A-Listers and scores of others are sick of the bullshit



Bruce Springsteen, Jethro Tull, Lou Reed, James Taylor, Dave Matthews, Moby, Michael Stipe, Radiohead, Blur, Travis, John Mellencamp, Green Day, NOFX, Tom Morello, Dixie Chicks, Don Henley, Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, Bigger Than The Beetles, Aborted Mozarts, Bushitler, Dave and the Rockets, and hundreds of other bands and musicians are getting out the message. And it doesn't look good for Bush. The Resident that is. Bush the band is fine, as is Kate Bush. We love Kate. Can she change her name though? Just kidding.

Culture precedes politics...unless that culture is backward. In that case Progress washes over. The Bush "culture" of backwardness is just a bunch of hoohahs in deepest Texas. Time for us cultural elites to show the way. Lord knows Bush hasn't a clue!

Although they may not had said as much, you and I know that Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young. the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Genesis, Yes, the Grateful Dead, King Crimson, Van Der Graff Generator, Faust, Psycho Serious, Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil, Return to Forever, John Coltrane, Stockhausen, Berio, Ginestera, Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern, David Hykes, B-52s, Cars, Led Zeppelin, Steppenwolf, Eels, the Chieftains, Andrea Bocelli, Sarah Brightman, Madonna, ELP, Robert Moog, Strawbs, Gryphon, Lou Ford, David Moss, Fred Frith, John Zorn, Flipper: The Bird, The Floyd the Barbers, 9 Inch Peepees, Monkey, Beetle, Ten Years After, Jesse Colin Young, the Eagles, Lou Harrison, Pink Floyd, Wear Egos Apollo, Smiths, Depeche Mode, Thompson Twins, Beth Orton, Bjork, Roberta Flack, and just about anyone else worth their salt...is against Bush's re-election.

Yes, there is Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood on his side, but they suck, and are not very edifying. Only nationalistic and sentimental. Yuck! Phooey!

The forces of Light are tiring of Bush's murderous pillaging of the globe and its resources. They really should be ashamed of themselves. Arrogance and Egoism, as well as fear and greed, keep the Bushies from seeing the big picture.

Music and Art will lead us out of this darkness.

But it doesn't stop there. Any sculptor, writer, poet, playwright, painter, architect, or creative...who actually creates...is more than likely against Bush. And why? For one thing, they see Bush as the opposite of a creator. And rightly so. He is a destroyer. But he is also that other antonym to creator...a reactionary. [See Robert Fritz on the two orientations.]


Now with the arrival of Liberal Radio, maybe we will see some of these musicians insist that they only be played on Progress Media or other of the budding Liberal stations. Watch where the ears go then! Clear Channel will sink like a stone...weighed down with dross.

We at Anonymoses hope that they use their pool of talent and genius in all the creative arts, and lay waste to the moribund Wingnut Radio.

Looking for an investment? The world, and at least half of America, is demanding a change. This may be one of the better first beginnings.

Here are a couple of links you may want to see:
http://www.rollingstone.com/news/printer_friendly.asp?nid=19029&cf=1603

http://www.punkvoter.com/home/home.php

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Bob Roberts, MP3, and the Music Clear Channel Won't Play


The Times are a-changing...back!



I just came back from a tour of the wondrous A-Changin' Times (ACT) weblog
which set fire to my cerebrum, particularly within cortical islands awash in music...one of my first and enduring loves. And I was wondering if this could be the end of our pride and glory.

When one compares, for example, the songs from the golden age of music...when Hendrix, Quicksilver, CSNY, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Buffalo Springfield, and more than a few others were doing the job our Media is supposed to do...with the songs of today's commercial radio, one has to wonder...where the nuts? In both senses actually. It is, in a way, nutty to speak truth to power. One might get a spanking, locked up, ostracized. It may impact the bottom line.

And yet people, musicians and artists stood up anyway. The Beatles, like the Dixie Chicks after them, had their music burned, stamped upon...immortalized. And yet even the brave Dixie Chicks would never write such lyrics as the following:

___________________________________
What About Me?
by Quicksilver


You poisoned my sweet water,
you cut down my green trees,
the food you fed my children
was the cause of their disease.
My world is slowly falling down,
and the air's not good to breath,
and those of us who care enough
we have to do something...

Oooooooooooooo! what you gonna do about me?
Oooooooooooooo! what you gonna do about me?

Your newspapers, they just put you on,
they never tell you the whole story.
They just put your young ideas down.
I was wondering...
could this be the end of their pride and glory?

[REFRAIN]

I work in your factories, I study in your schools,
I fill your penitenturies and your military too,
and I feel the future trembling
as the word is passed around...
If you stand up for what you do believe,
be prepared to be shot down.

[REFRAIN]

I feel like a stranger in the land where I was born,
and I live like an outlaw and I'm always on the run.
I'm always getting busted, and I got to take a stand,
I feel the revolution must be mighty close at hand...

[REFRAIN]

I smoke marijuana, but I can't get behind your wars,
and most of what I do believe is against most of your laws.
I'm a fugitive from injustice, but I'm going to be free,
cause your rules and regulations...
they don't do a thing for me.

[REFRAIN]

I feel like a stranger, in the land where I was born,
and I live just like an outlaw, and I'm always on the run.
And though you may be stronger now, my time will come around.
You keep adding to my numbers as you shoot my people down...

[REFRAIN]

___________________________________

It's as if the REFRAIN were meant as a cautionary punctuum...(So I like to make up words! You can figure the meaning) serving to put an end to music as revolution.

But it never really ended. It has simply left the airwaves, and has wound up in places like MP3, which I heard will be shutting its doors in early December.

This, I suspect, is a product of a confluence of forces. The Music Mafia, who wants a piece of every song released...and the Political watchdogs who can't stand the freedom of expression going on over there.

How stupid can you get?

Is intellectual property lost on these guys? Do they not realize they are turning away a thousand Elvises? Killing a thousand geese with golden eggs?

Apparently all their stock is in Clay Aiken and Britney. Harmless kids with nothing to say.
Flashes in the proverbial pan.

It was not ever so...

During the late '60s and early '70s, we had some hip stations here in Charlotte that would play Quicksilver, Lennon's "Working Class Hero", CSN's "Ohio", "Chicago" and "Cathedral" as well as a host of other songs that challenged the status quo.
But these went by the wayside...at least until recently, when Dave -- one of the better DJs from the golden years -- returned...bringing his music with him. Now at least some of the old iconoclastic anthems can be heard again.

But MP3 is still going away...and who will take up their mantle?


Must we concede to a Bob Roberts future? I don't think so. But I am the eternal optimist. When I powwow with my nephew and his friends, I see a mirror of the same idealism of the historically hip, and realize that many of us in the historically hip category...are still, in the main, hip. We just need to be reminded at times. These are such times.

Together we make quite a constituency. One mustn't let down our guard, since it is their lives we are protecting and providing for.


We have seen the Internet Revolution gobbled up and discarded by moneyed interests. Many excellent sites and services have been removed from the table simply because people chose money over their webchild.

The powers that be want us to get all our information from TV and Radio and Print, and they are making sure there are less and less of these...looked at from the top.
They want us to have to go through gatekeepers and jump through hoops if we dare to want our word published.

The Clinton Administration opened up more freedoms than we can imagine...and now they are in danger of being taken away. Imagine going back to a time where nearly all your news and music is canned and stamped for approval. Dark Ages II.

Don't be surprised if this scenerio comes down the pike: The Internet is brought to its knees by an attack by terrorists. Will we be certain who those terrorists are? If one follows the money, one might see that the short-term beneficiaries are the Big Media and Bush Inc. And together they can say anything they want.

I hope this never comes to pass. We could not sustain such an attack on our now most important freedoms.

Long live freedom!
Bring back the music...



Friday, November 28, 2003

The Art of Worldly Wisdom

THOUGHTS TO THINK


The Art of Worldly Wisdom
Balthasar Gracian

To the extent that you have to exist in the world...


"The real danger of a world in chaos is the unhinging of your own integrity." - Gracian

FROM A REVIEW
Over 300 years ago, this worldly Jesuit priest, counselor to kings, the genius of his age, made a careful study of the powerful and elite who managed to prosper. Today, his words and thoughts still speak eloquently to the need for ethical behavior in our chaotic world. His writings were later confiscated and banned by the Church, but his wisdom survived.

The greatest minds of Europe, Friedrich Nietzsche and Arthur Schopenhauer, drew inspiration from his writings.


Balthasar Gracian's The Art of Worldly Wisdom

A few choice maxims:



28. Be common in nothing.
Especially not in taste. It is great and wise to be ill at ease when your deeds please the mob! The excesses of popular applause never satisfy the sensible. There are chameleons of popularity who find enjoyment not in the sweet savors of Apollo but in the breath of the mob. Secondly, do not be common in intelligence; take no pleasure in the wonder of the mob, for ignorance never gets beyond wonder. While vulgar folly wonders, wisdom watches for the deception.

32. Have a reputation for being gracious.
It is the chief glory of the high and the mighty to be gracious, a prerogative of kings to conquer with universal goodwill. That is the great advantage of a commanding position - to be able to do more good than others. Those make friends who do friendly acts. On the other hand, there are some who fix themselves on not being gracious, not on account of difficulty but due to a bad disposition. In all things they are the opposite of divine grace.

34. Know your strongest quality.
Know your pre-eminent gift - cultivate it and it will assist the rest. Everyone would have excelled in something if he had known his strong point. Notice in what quality you surpass and take charge of that. In some people judgement excels, in others valor. Most do violence to their natural aptitude and thus attain superiority in nothing. Time enlightens us too late of what was first only a flattering of the passions.

37. Keep a store of sarcasms and know how to use them.
This is the point of greatest tact in human intercourse. Such sarcasms are often thrown out to test people's moods, and by their means one often obtains the most subtle and penetrating touchstone of the heart. Other sarcasms are malicious, insolent, poisoned by envy or envenomed by passion, unexpected flashes that destroy at once all favor and esteem. Struck by the slightest word of this kind, many fall away from the closest intimacy with superiors or inferiors that would not have been the slightest shaken by a whole conspiracy of popular insinuation or private malevolence. Other sarcasms work favorably, confirming and assisting one's reputation. But the greater the skill with which they are launched, the greater the caution with which they should be anticipated and received. For here a knowledge of malice is in itself a means of defense, and a shot foreseen always misses its mark.

40. Gain people's goodwill.
It is a great thing to gain universal admiration, but greater to gain universal affection. It depends on natural disposition but more so on practice; the first is the foundation, the second then builds on that. Great gifts are not enough, though they are thought to be essential - win good opinion and it is easy to win goodwill. Kindly acts are required to produce kindly feelings - do good with both hands, good words and better deeds, love so as to be loved. Courtesy is the politic magic of great people. First, lay the hand on deeds and then on the pen - words follow swords and the goodwill to be won among writers is eternal.

52. Never be upset.
It is a great aim of prudence never to be embarrassed. This is the sign of a real person, of a noble heart, for magnanimity is not easily put off balance. The passions are the humors of the soul, and every excess in them weakens prudence. If they overflow through the mouth, the reputation will be in danger. Let us therefore be so great a master over ourselves that neither in the most fortunate nor in the most adverse circumstances can anything cause our reputation injury by disturbing our self-possession but rather enhance it by showing superiority.

64. Avoid worry.
Such prudence brings its own reward. It escapes much, and is thus the midwife of comfort and so of happiness. Neither give nor take bad news unless it can help. Some people's ears are stuffed with the sweets of flattery, others with the bitters of scandal, while some cannot live without a daily annoyance no more than Mithridates (Mithridates VI, 132-63 BCE, King of Pontus, is said to have taken small doses of poison to immunize himself from it in an event that it might be used in an assassination attempt) without poison. It is no rule of life to prepare for yourself lifelong trouble in order to give a temporary enjoyment to another, however near and dear. You should never spoil your own chances in order to please another who advises but keeps out of the affair.

65. Cultivate taste.
You can train it like the intellect. Full knowledge whets desire and increases enjoyment. You may know a noble spirit by the elevation of his taste. Only a great thing can satisfy a great mind. Big bites for big mouths, lofty things for lofty spirits. Before their judgement the bravest tremble, the most perfect lose confidence. Few things are of the first importance, so let appreciation be rare. Taste can be imparted by personal intercourse; it is great good luck to associate with the highest taste.But do not profess to be dissatisfied with everything; this is the extreme of folly, and more odious if from affectation than if from unreachable ideals. Some would have God create another world and other ideals to satisfy their fantastic imagination.

87. Culture and elegance.
We are born barbarians and only raise ourselves above the beast by culture. Culture therefore makes the person; the greater a person the more culture. Thanks to this, Greece could call the rest of the world barbarians. Ignorance is very raw - nothing contributes so much to culture as knowledge. But even knowledge is coarse if without elegance. Not alone must our intelligence be elegant, but also our desires, and above all our conversation.Some people are naturally elegant in internal and external qualities, in their thoughts, in their words, in their dress, which is the rind of the soul as their talents are its fruit. There are others, on the other hand, so gauche that everything about them, even their most excellent quality, is tarnished by an intolerable and barbaric want of neatness.

88. Let your behavior be fine and noble.
A great person ought not to be little in his actions. He ought never to pry too minutely into things, least of all in unpleasant matters. For though it is important to know all, it is not necessary to know all about all.One ought to act in such cases with the generosity of a gentleman, with conduct worthy of a gallant person. To pretend to overlook things is a large part of the work of ruling. Most things must be left unnoticed among relatives and friends, and even among enemies. All superfluity is annoying, especially in things that annoy. To keep hovering around the object of your annoyance is a kind of mania. Generally speaking, everybody behaves according to his heart and his understanding.

90. The secret of long life.
Lead a good life. Two things bring life speedily to an end: folly and immorality. Some lose their life because they have not the intelligence to keep it, others because they have not the will. Just as virtue is its own reward, so is vice its own punishment. He who lives a fast life runs through life to its end doubly quick. A virtuous life never dies. The firmness of the soul is communicated to the body, and a good life is not only long but also full.

92. Transcendent wisdom.
I mean in everything. An ounce of wisdom is worth more than a ton of cleverness is the first and highest rule of all deeds and words, the more necessary to be followed the higher and more numerous your post. It is the only sure way, though it may not gain so much applause. A reputation for wisdom is the last triumph of fame. It is enough if you satisfy the wise, for their judgement is the touchstone of true success.

106. Do not parade your position.
To boast about your position is more offensive than personal vanity. To pose as an important person is to be hated - you should surely have had enough envy. The more you seek esteem the less you obtain it, for it depends on the opinion of others. You cannot take it, but must earn and receive it from others. Great positions require exercising a sufficient amount of authority - without it they cannot be adequately filled. Preserve therefore enough dignity to carry on the duties of the office. Do not enforce respect, but try to create it. Those who insist on the dignity of their office, show they have not deserved it, and that it is too much for them. If you wish to be valued, be valued for your talents, not for anything obtained by chance. Even kings prefer to be honored for their personal qualifications rather than for their station.

109. Do not be censorious.
There are people of gloomy character who regard everything as faulty, not from any evil motive but because it is their nature to. They condemn all - these for what they have done, those for what they will do. This indicates a nature worse than cruel, vile indeed. They accuse with such exaggeration that they make out of motes beams with which to poke out the eyes. They are always taskmasters who could turn a paradise into a prison - if passion intervenes they drive matters to the extreme. A noble nature, on the contrary, always knows how to find an excuse for failings, saying the intention was good, or it was an error of oversight

122. Distinction in speech and action.
By this you gain a position in many places and win esteem in advance. It shows itself in everything, in talk, in look, even in gait. It is a great victory to conquer people's hearts. It does not arise from any foolish presumption or pompous talk, but in a becoming tone of authority born of superior talent combined with true merit.

125. Do not be a blacklister of other people's faults.
It is a sign of having a tarnished name to concern oneself with the ill fame of others. Some wish to hide their own stains with those of others, or at least wash them away; or they seek consolation therein - it is the consolation of fools. Their breath must stink who form the sewers of scandal for the whole town. The more one grubs about in such matters the more one befouls oneself. There are few without stain somewhere or other. It is only of little known people that the failings are little known. Be careful then to avoid being a registrar of faults. That is to be an abominable thing, a man that lives without a heart.

127. Grace in everything.
It is the life of talent, the breath of speech, the soul of action, and the ornament or ornament. Perfections are the adornment of our nature, but this is the adornment of perfection itself. It shows itself even in the thoughts. It is mostly a gift of nature and owes least to education - it even triumphs over training. It is more than ease, approaches the free and easy, gets over embarrassment, and adds the finishing touch to perfection. Without it beauty is lifeless, graciousness ungraceful. It surpasses valor, discretion, prudence, even majesty itself. It is a shortcut to accomplishment and an easy escape from embarrassment.

128. High-mindedness.
This is one of the principal qualifications for a gentleman, it spurs us on to all kinds of nobility. It improves the taste, ennobles the heart, elevates the mind, refines the feelings, and intensifies dignity. It raises him in whom it is found. At times it even remedies the bad turns of fortune, which turns itself around because of envy. High-mindedness can find full scope in the will when it cannot be exercised in act. Magnanimity, generosity, and all heroic qualities recognize in it their source.

114. Never compete. Every competition damages your reputation.
Our rivals seize occasion to obscure us so as to outshine us. Few wage honorable war. Rivalry discloses faults that courtesy would hide. Many have lived in good repute while they had no rivals. The heat of conflict revives and gives new life to dead scandals, digging up long-buried skeletons. Competition begins with belittling, and seeks aid anywhere it can, not only where it should. And when the weapons of abuse do not effect their purpose, as often or mostly happens, our opponents seek revenge and use them at least for beating away the dust of oblivion from anything that is our discredit. People of goodwill are always at peace, and those of good reputation and dignity are of goodwill.

174. Do not live in a hurry.
To know how to separate things is to know how to enjoy them. Many people finish their fortune sooner than their life. They run through pleasures without enjoying them, and would like to go back when they find they have overrun the mark. Postilions of life, they increase the ordinary pace of life by the hurry of their own calling. They devour more in one day than they can digest in a whole lifetime; they live in advance of pleasures, eat up the years beforehand, and by their hurry get through everything too soon. Even in the search for knowledge there should be moderation, lest we learn things better left unknown. We have more days to live through than pleasures. Be slow in enjoyment, quick at work, for people see work ended with pleasure, pleasures ended with regret.

192. A peaceful life is a long life.
To live, let live. Peacemakers not only live, they rule life. Hear, see, and be silent. A day without dispute brings sleep without dreams. Long life and a pleasant one is life enough for two - that is the fruit of peace. He has all that makes nothing of what is nothing to him. There is no greater perversity than to take everything to heart. There is equal folly in troubling our heart about what does not concern us and in not taking to heart what does.

203. Know the great people of your age.
They are not many. There is one phoenix in the whole world, one great general, one perfect orator, one true philosopher in a century, one really illustrious king in several. Mediocrities are as numerous as they are worthless; eminent greatness is rare in every respect, since it needs complete perfection, and the higher the species the more difficult is the highest rank in it. Many have claimed the title Great, like Caesar and Alexander, but in vain, for without deeds the title is a mere breath of air. There have been few Senecas, and fame records but one Apelles.

232. Have a touch of business sense.
Life should not be all thought, there should be action as well. Very wise folk are generally easily deceived, for while they know out-of-the-way things they do not know the ordinary things of life, which are of real necessity. The observation of higher things leaves them no time for things close at hand. Since they do not know the very first thing they should know - and what everybody knows so well - they are either esteemed or thought ignorant by the superficial multitude. Let therefore the prudent take care to have something to the businessman about him - enough to prevent him being deceived and so laughed at. Be a person adapted to the daily round, which if not the highest is the most necessary thing in life. Of what use is knowledge if it is not practical, and to know how to live is nowadays the true knowledge.

245. Have original and out-of-the-way views.
These are signs of superior ability. We do not think much of someone who never contradicts us; that is not a sign he loves us but rather that he loves himself. Do not be deceived by flattery and thereby have to pay for it, rather condemn it. Besides, you may be given credit for being criticized by some, especially if they are those of whom the good speak ill. On the contrary, it should disturb us if our affairs please everyone, for that is a sign that they are of little worth. Perfection is for the few.



http://www.tigertom.com/ebook/power/dem/classic/gracian.html

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Arrogance is a Disease that often leads to War



The Yin and Yang of Conservatism


The 7 States of Sickness
(from "Natural Healing Through Macrobiotics" by Michio Kushi)

1. Fatigue or Tiredness
2. Aches and Pains
3. Blood Diseases
4. Emotional Disorders
5. Organ Diseases
6. Nerve Diseases
7. Arrogance


FURTHER EXPLANATION

1. Fatigue or Tiredness - The major causes are lack of physical exercise plus over-eating and over-drinking, particularly meat and sugar.
2. Aches and Pains - The nervous system starts to weaken.
3. Blood Diseases - Thought incurable, these can often be cured by proper diet.
4. Emotional Disorders - This category includes problems such as irritability, impatience, upset, anger, anxiety, worry, fear, and uneasiness. A healthy person is not bothered by negative emotional states. If we become angry even once a year, we are not completely healthy. Ideally, we should not become angry even once during an entire lifetime.
(This was written before The Great Dewakening; The Current Unpleasantness. It could be argued that anger,as a defense mechanism, should be reserved for such times as these...although I much prefer Gandhean Satyagraha to vehemence and anger. Besides, there is always the Butterfly Effect to consider, as well as the even more subtle Taoist notion that one need not lift a finger, or make any ripple in the material world. A vision, well-wrought, can change minds and worlds effortlessly, internally. I digress...)
5. Organ Diseases - Organs begin to degenerate.
6. Nerve Diseases - Dullness, forgetfulness, social crimes.
7. Arrogance - This occurs when we try to separate ourselves from nature and the universe, and happens in one of two ways. The first is yang arrogance, and it appears in the form of a domineering, conquering, or self-insistent personality which tends to drive others away.
This yang arrogance is what George W. Bush, and many on the flagrant right-conservative site of the dial, have digested...although it occasionally takes root among those left of center...at which point they become neo-cons, after having passed through Dennis Miller.

"The yin type of arrogance shows itself in the form of withdrawal or a refusal to listen. Many of the elderly and and those who consider themselves devout or religious suffer from this form of arrogance. This type of person is usually not open to the opinions or suggestions of others."

Kushi continues: " Arrogance is actually the underlying cause of all human sickness and unhappiness and is at the same time the end point of the first six stages. Ultimately, all people who suffer from arrogance commit suicide by dying an unnatural death, either through sickness, war, accident, or other causes. The basic purpose of macrobiotic healing is to cure arrogance."

So here we have it. The explanation of what is today called "Conservatism"...although the only thing these folks are concerned about conserving is their ego; their arrogance -- whether it be in the form of Bush-style brashness, or the quieter, more obscurantistic hard-headed self-righteousness exhibited by the more reposed.

Arrogance is a killer...of self and others. It incorrectly places the ego where God, the Tao, the spirit, Stewardship, Magnanimity, or whatever name you call it, should be.

An image came to me last night which made me laugh. It was of a party where the brashest, most arrogant person arrives first...and every succeeding person had to one-up every preceding person. Imagine a Foghorn Leghorn, an Ahnold...followed by increasing degrees of Ahnoldness or Fogginess, if you will. How obnoxious can one party get?
Could such a party bear any fruit? Would any come out alive?

Arrogance is a perennial problem among those in power. We see it in the upper chambers of government and business...and we see the rotten fruit.

Arrogance is not to be confused with confidence. Post-docs are confident. Those with lesser degrees are arrogant...if I were to draw an analogy from the Academy. Those with a little education tend to be the know-it-alls, while the truly educated...continue learning. No room for arrogance when one is so outwardly focused.

arrogance and posterity

There is, I believe, a type of arrogance which might not be unhealthy, and it was discussed in Schoenhauer's essay, "On Genius". Here Schopenhauer talks about the "arrogance" of the writer or artist whose work is intended for posterity...or as some have said...that for whom one writes after having been rejected by the commercial presses. The "genius", as Schopenhauer says, may try to adjust himself to his times, and to the "artists" and critics of the day...but he will never attain greatness for having done so. His or her "arrogance" allows this de-gravitation, so to speak, from the chauvinism of contemporaneity.

Such folks are not in competition with one's regulars, but are rather in league with the guiding lights of the ages. Fixed stars, not shooting stars.

If one must be arrogant, let it be the kind of arrogance borne of having moved beyond one's own mere life or lifetime. The Mr. Creasotes of the world will eventually eat themselves to death. Not our concern.

I'll end with a quote that could well describe most liberals. It is from a book called, "How to be a Gentleman", by John Bridges.

"A gentleman never makes himself the center of attention. His goal is to make life easier, not just for himself, but for his friends, his acquaintences, and the world at large."

While a Conservative may succeed in getting to the point where friends and acquaintences are included within their sphere of concern...they always, always, fall flat on the last point. It is this point where Liberals go far beyond the current crop of Conservatives...at least among the more outspoken of them (there are always exceptions, of course) and shine as the true gentlemen and gentlewomen of our age, and, at times, all ages.

So rather than try and out-arrogate the RepCons...we can simply continue being the worldly gentlemen and women we are. Win or lose, we set the example, and live it. Simply living it will make for a better world. Is this not a worthy goal? Need we really be in some public driver's seat? The driver's seat is overrated...

The "Driver's Seat" is Overrated

At the end of "Beelezebub's Tales to his Grandson", Gurdjieff makes the following analogy of who and what we are:

Picture a Stagecoach. It is the body, and optimally we will keep it in good working condition...but this is not who we are. Sorry Ahnold!

There is also a Horse which moves the Coach forward. The Horse is our Will and Emotions. But it is not who we are. Sorry Adolph and George!

Then there is the Driver. He tells the Horse where to take the Coach.
The Driver is our brain. But it is not who we are. Sorry, Mr. Roverer!

Say what? We are not our brains either?? What gives?

The West, according to Mr. Gurdjieff -- who, after all had at least a double-digit IQ -- has forgotten the Passenger: The one who tells the Driver where to take him. When the Passenger gets to his destination...he gets out. And we mourn the carriage!

But there will be more carriages. Count on it. SUVs even...especially here in The United States of Biggie-Size-it. But we are not our cars, our carriages, our horses, or our brains. We are, as they say, souls who happen to have a body...not the other way around. For these few...when they die...they really die. But we are the animation; the passenger. And it is here where we all meet and interpenetrate within the supraphenomenal goo; the Eternal Thou; Ethernal Tao; Jones.

The passenger knows no arrogance. Arrogance is reserved for the carriage, the horse and the driver. Drive Miss Lazy! Time is but a material concern.