Tuesday, July 22, 2008

On The Importance of Living (and not dying or killing)

The Importance Of Living The Importance Of Living by Lin Yutang

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Lin Yutang, Rumi, Martin Buber, Lao T'se, Jesus, Buddha, Rabindranath Tagore, Gandhi...these are the words that can heal our troubled world. In a sensationalized world, the reader of Lin Yutang's great classic will learn how to enjoy merely sitting, lying in bed, reading, writing, walking, and nearly everything one can do that harms no other or self.

For my money, the most important part of "The Importance of Living" is where he discusses, at some length, the non-soldier, and all the good and necessary qualities contained therein. Not exactly a non-soldier, but a scamp, and a "wayward and incalculable" scamp as he lovingly calls it, is, an essential spice in life, and, he argues, to be particularly treasured. As Erich Fromm once said: "Civilization began with an act of disobedience, and is likely to end in an act of obedience."

Lin Yutang, Rumi, Martin Buber, Lao T'se, Jesus, Buddha, Rabindranath Tagore, Gandhi. Where is the soldier? Where the follower?

Libraries and bookstores are filled with books praising soldiers and dutiful followers. I needn't add to it, lest future generations think that is all there is. One mustn't forget the lowly but wise huckfins of the world, for they are the flowers that get mowed down, but surrender their scent and beauty even as they die.

Dr. Yuyang's words are as if spoken to you by a trusted friend. I'd even say that his style might well serve as an excellent alternative to the hateful spew emitted daily on really bad radio stations like WBT, who fill the air with Rush and other serial prevaricators.

You will not regret having purchases this book, and you will probably never part with it either...especially now that China is playing a larger and larger role in our present and future. Have at it. Enjoy your transformation.

View all my reviews.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Permabush: The New Dictation - Genocide or Suicide...that is the question?

From the BUSHWORLD SOLUTIONS series...
Presenting Solution #23
"When you find yourself in a hole, create conditions whereby you must continue digging."

In this episode, we find a Philip Atkinson, who suggests that GW Bush be made the permanent president. That's Right. Wait until the stock market of presidencies hits rock bottom, and then make the bottom the exemplar and permanency. Sound daft? Risible? Ludibund? Well read on, Chong! There is more here to tickle your angst-bone than in all the scrawled blepherospasms of Kafka (not really but it could happen, and sounds good) and besides you probably have nothing to do anyway, or at least you shouldn't, because I know you work hard all day in the bright sunlight...but alas, I digress...

(with editorial comments in bold italic, and areas I would like to highlight in regular italic.)

Author: Philip Atkinson
Source: The Family Security Foundation, Inc.
Date: August 3, 2007

Conquering the Drawbacks of Democracy
By Philip Atkinson

President George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States. He was sworn in for a second term on January 20, 2005 after being chosen by the majority of citizens in America to be president. Don't you feel like going to sleep already?

Yet in 2007 he is generally despised, with many citizens of Western civilization expressing contempt for his person and his policies, sentiments which now abound on the Internet. This rage at President Bush is an inevitable result of the system of government demanded by the people, which is Democracy.

The inadequacy of Democracy, rule by the majority, is undeniable - for it demands adopting ideas because they are popular, rather than because they are wise. This means that any man chosen to act as an agent of the people is placed in an invidious position: if he commits folly because it is popular, then he will be held responsible for the inevitable result. If he
refuses to commit folly, then he will be detested by most citizens because he is frustrating their demands. OR the manifestation of his or her vision can be so glaringly beneficial to humanity that the people do not mind being gently led into a more peaceful and loving garden. NOT led into fighting and killing just so a handful of suits reap ungodly profits, while other children of God are murdered and forced to kill their brothers and sisters, while destroying all lifeforms on earth in the process, including water and air. Oh ye Gods of Pollution! Oh ye GOP!

When faced with the possible threat that the Iraqis might be amassing terrible weapons that could be used to slay millions of citizens of Western Civilization, President Bush took the only action prudence demanded and the electorate allowed: he conquered Iraq with an army.

This dangerous and expensive act did destroy the Iraqi regime, but left an American army without any clear purpose in a hostile country and subject to attack. If the Army merely returns to its home, then the threat it ended would simply return. If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit.

The wisest course would have been for President Bush to use his nuclear weapons to slaughter Iraqis until they complied with his demands, or until they were all dead. This is the wisest course? Why stop there? The wisest of the wisest would nuke the whole world, nay, universe until it complied, or was totally dead. Then there would be little risk or expense and no American army would be left exposed. But if he did this, his cowardly electorate would have instantly ended his term of office, if not his freedom or his life. How do they come up with this stuff?

The simple truth that modern weapons now mean a nation must practice genocide or commit suicide. This is not even a complete sentence, not to mention the cold misanthropy. So Mr. Atkinson is so paranoid and precious that he thinks that "to be or not to be" is a question that we get to decide...for everyone. Genocide or Suicide? This is the Republican Vision? The Mission Statement? Where is the better Feng Shui? Where the peaceful garden? Where is the love? The caring? The stewardship? The community? All those things that better people create and maintain? Anyway... Israel provides the perfect example. If the Israelis do not raze Iran, the Iranians will fulfill their boast and wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Yet Israel is not popular, and so is denied permission to defend itself. I'm sorry. The ignorance is deafening. In the same vein, President Bush cannot do what is necessary for the survival of Americans. He cannot use the nation's powerful weapons. All he can do is try and discover a result that will be popular with Americans.

As there appears to be no sensible result of the invasion of Iraq that will be popular with his countrymen other than retreat, President Bush is reviled; he has become another victim of Democracy. Blame the victims!

By elevating popular fancy over truth, Democracy is clearly an enemy of not just truth, but duty and justice, which makes it the worst form of government. President Bush must overcome not just the situation in Iraq, but democratic government. Exhibit A

However, President Bush has a valuable historical example that he could choose to follow.

When the ancient Roman general Julius Caesar was struggling to conquer ancient Gaul, he not only had to defeat the Gauls, but he also had to defeat his political enemies in Rome who would destroy him the moment his tenure as consul (president) ended. Does he smell war crimes tribunal? And not just for big daddy? Is this the source of paranoia?

Caesar pacified Gaul by mass slaughter; he then used his successful army to crush all political opposition at home and establish himself as permanent ruler of ancient Rome. This brilliant action not only ended the personal threat to Caesar, but ended the civil chaos that was threatening anarchy in ancient Rome - thus marking the start of the ancient Roman Empire that gave peace and prosperity to the known world.

If President Bush copied Julius Caesar by ordering his army to empty Iraq of Arabs and repopulate the country with Americans, he would achieve immediate results: popularity with his military; enrichment of America by converting an Arabian Iraq into an American Iraq (therefore turning it from a liability to an asset); and boost American prestige while terrifying
American enemies. Are these not the machinations of Evil?

He could then follow Caesar's example and use his new found popularity with the military to wield military power to become the first permanent president of America, and end the civil chaos caused by the continually squabbling Congress and the out-of-control Supreme Court. Not just the United States of America at this point, I notice.

President Bush can fail in his duty to himself, his country, and his God, by becoming "ex-president" Bush or he can become "President-for-Life" Bush: the conqueror of Iraq, who brings sense to the Congress and sanity to the Supreme Court. Then who would be able to stop Bush from emulating Augustus Caesar and becoming ruler of the world? For only an America united under one ruler has the power to save humanity from the threat of a new Dark Age
wrought by terrorists armed with nuclear weapons. No offense, but we are that power and that threat, and Bushworld IS the darkening of the light. The I Ching has said that time and again. Since 2000. Take it up with the Ching. Strangely, I always knew that Bushworld was anti-tao, against nature and spirit, and its subtle interplay, and this document lays it all out. I only hope we have the good judgement and graces to consign it to the wasteheap of horribly bad ideas.

Digby, who has also been tracking this, found these gems:

"The merits of the great new plan are being debated over at Free Republic right now, and here are a few responses in favor of the proposal:"

a.. "I can see why they took his piece down. Some of his views are a wee bit off the right edge. He actually espouses some of the extreme measures that the extremists on the far left enjoy falsly accusing President Bush of plotting."

b.. "The difference between a democracy and a monarchy is that in a monarchy you only have to put up with one idiot."

c.. "What exactly is crazy about what Mr. Atkinson is suggesting? He's actually framing a very common-sense principal: If democracy is destroying America then democracy needs to go. And, personally, there are very few of us here on FR who wouldn't like to see the lands of Allah turned into a glass parking lot. In fact, I'm saving a bottle of non-alcoholic champagne for when it happens."

Conservative think tank: Bush "a victim of Democracy"
NeoCon Think Tank documents show president bush as the new Caesar
Think Tank Calls For Bush to Be Dictator For Life
Madness in Consideration
Think Tank Calls For Bush to Be Dictator For Life
conquering the drawbacks of democracy - Philip Atkinson
Iran: H. CON. Res. 362| Take Action Time.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Harvard Square @ Google Earth in 3-D

Google Earth now has photorealistic 3-D buildings that you can create and add to Google Earth. I'm only just now learning how to create these buildings and environments, but someone with more architectural wherewithal might meet with great results...and a possible career at transferring the 3-D world onto the new globe.

Harvard Square from Google Earth (a clip)