November, 2013

Nov 13

Treason at the News Networks?

It could be there are limits to journalism, limits to transparency…It’s all over the news so I’m not adding to the publicity in any significant way–the CIA attempted to recruit (perhaps succeeded in some cases) Guantanamo inmates, so it could release them as sleeper agents implanted in al Qaeda and in the Taliban. There are aspects of the story that make these agents identifiable. To me, reporting on this is really irresponsible. *Choosing* not to make something like this public is not censorship, it’s discretion. It’s a sense of responsibility. But CNN and friends don’t care that now this is revealed, if any of these agents are out there in the field, they’re likely to be taken, tortured, and executed by Jihadists. And who knows what other American agents, American citizens, British agents, and others who might’ve been working with these agents, could be compromised and endangered?

Suppose these agents hadn’t been exposed…they might have obtained intelligence about planned terrorist attacks against the USA and its allies. It goes on and on. This story, in my opinion, should not have been made public.

And consider this: if terrorists have gotten hold of nuclear weapons or have plans to …like plans to seize the nuclear weapons built by Pakistan… these agents might’ve revealed those plans…might’ve saved an American or European city. Millions of lives could be at stake.

It’s possible that the American news media has committed a form of treason.

Nov 13

Farm Animals, Slavery or Symbiosis? Ah. It Depends…

I part company with vegans when they insist all farm work with animals is slavery. Is it slavery when little birds peck parasites off of hippos? It’s synergy; at its best it can be a kind of cooperation. A flock of sheep, if it’s not used for meat, is protected, given a pleasant place to roam, is sheared every so often and they seem to like being sheared. It’s symbiosis, sometimes, between man and animal.

A horse can carry us, and love its work and its rider if it’s treated well and not over used. Horses are sometimes abused–as at race tracks, or endlessly pulling carts in Central Park–but other horses are often doted over and given lovely, protected lives.

As for cows …It should be possible to create a humane and yet profitable dairy. At my house we don’t eat meat (except select fish) but we do consume some dairy–yet it’s getting hard to justify. It seems that even at organic dairy farms they take away the calves from the cows right away and sell them for veal; they KILL the cows after five years because they’re not able to produce milk anymore and the dairy business can’t afford to take care of non profitable cows. But when I was a boy my aunt and her friends had small dairy businesses, and they didn’t do either thing. If the cow got old they put it out to pasture. But on a large scale that’d be hard to do, profitably. Still if you kept it small enough…I wonder if one could also have an “adopt a cow” thing going where people with some spare pasturage could take in cows past milking age…

I think it could be quite successful on a scaled down “local produce” model…

Anyway, I shall conclude by quoting CJ Cherryh: “Nature is not kind. Certain species have grown up with us, as changed from their original form as we are. If you want them not to be dependent on us even for birthing their young in some species, you are 10,000 years too late with the objection.”

Nov 13

Wasting Energy–Inside Myself

Energy drinks, energy pills. Everyone wants to feel energetic. If we’re healthy we have enough energy but we waste so much we don’t know we have enough, or so it seems to me. As one gets older, it becomes a greater concern, as one feels less energetic. But I find that I’m constantly wasting energy in my body through pointless muscular tension. I’ve always been like that–so has everyone else, really. We’re just unaware of the needless tension we cultivate in ourselves so we don’t know how much energy we’re wasting. (Right, it’s sort of like energy waste and conservation in civilization, but internal, bodily). If I turn my attention toward the needless tension it gradually shuts off and I feel more energetic because I’m no longer squandering my strength. We *need* some tension, of course, or we’d flop over like The Scarecow without his propping stick. But when I observe myself, I see I’m constantly wasting energy on stress tension.

Unnecessary muscular tension, at least in me, usually arises from free floating anxiety. If a fire alarm goes off I’m going to feel a tension response in my body, when I hear the clangor, and that adrenaline release is there for a good reason–but it’s as if a fire alarm has been clanging for most of my life, and I don’t consciously hear it so I don’t realize I can switch it off. I’m unconsciously aware of it–so I get a tension response to that forgotten but incessant alarm bell.

But that emergency, whatever it was, is long over. No need for the alarm at the moment.

Nov 13

Depends on Which Identity They Want to Steal

I was joking with someone about all the mail piled up on the table by our front door, that I like to leave it for the identity thieves, so I can be non-identified. It’s a spirituality joke, like the Zen master in the hamburger joint, “Make me one with everything.” I do work, inwardly, on non-identification a lot, but the term does lend itself to misunderstanding. Some people might think it means a detachment to such an extent that one has no feelings, one becomes a sort of emotional drone. But no. I like what a rinpoche said (Laurie Anderson was mulling this one over), “The trick is to be able to feel sadness without being sad.”

The underlying idea is that the true self feels it, but it doesn’t identify with it–only a lower, false self identifies subjectively to the point of being carried away. The real self can pick and choose *where* to let itself be carried away…and how far.

Nov 13

It Doesn’t Matter What War it Was…or Wasn’t

It shouldn’t matter to us what war a veteran fought in–or risked fighting in, if they served between wars. It doesn’t matter if they were in a ship, or in a base far from the action. The Iraq war was not a popular one, and for good reason, but every vet who served there should be appreciated on Veteran’s Day–and should get VA help and a good chance at a job after their service. Same goes for Vietnam vets and Korean War vets of course. Veteran’s Day is for them as much as for World War One or WWII vets. They didn’t make the policy; they were simply told, this is where you can serve your country in the military. And so they did. About 5000 service personnel lost their lives there. Some who survived were maimed; they lost limbs or had other egregious injuries; many suffer from PTSD, also an injury. Same goes for the war in Afghanistan, however you feel about it, or any other war, any type of military service. If they served, we’re grateful for their service. Coast Guardsmen, too, by the way, serve their country in uniform, often risking their lives to save others. They’re also part of the line of defense should we be at risk of invasion. . .

Nov 13

The Trail into this Blog

This way! Over here! No, over here! I’m behind this rock! Oh just come around it and see…no, no, I’m not, I swear–I’m not naked. I’m dressed. Come on, this way…yes, down this path…watch out for the bear droppings…I did tell you to watch for it…This way…slippery here….be careful! Come on, ’round here…! This way! Come along! Here, over here! I’m in plain view, behind this shrub…up this path…oh stop whining, it’s not that steep…here, let me help you up…I’ll get you a bandaid for that later…okay, this way…jump over this…I said jump OVER it! We’ll get you a towel…when we get there. Through here. Yes there’s light in here…somewhere…no, no, it’s not going to collapse, these timbers have been standing a hundred years, why would the mine collapse now? Don’t touch that! Come on, this way…up this ladder…well it didn’t break when I was climbing it…here, let me help you up…yes, you see, we’re coming out on top of the hill now! Don’t step in that hole, you…oh dear. Are you okay? Hello? Can you hear me? I’ll get a rope…I have one here in case anyone steps in that hole…come on, up the rope…I’ll get you some salve for those blisters on your hands later. That’s it! Now, this way! Through here! You see? Great, isn’t it? Oh wait, this isn’t it. I think it’s this way. No, I’m sure now. Come on…oh come on, it’s just a little farther. Follow me! Just…follow me!