Thursday, June 24, 2010

End the Drug War

Why am I against the Drug War? All the closet stoner accusations, denials etc aside, my biggest complaint is that is accomplishes only one thing. It employs lots of law enforcement, and with them, generates lots of revenues via fines. It is funded by taxpayers.

It feeds on taxpayers to sustain itself, and it preys on taxpayers. There are over 20 million (end-users, not dealers), Americans who have been imprisoned over this controversial flower. They have criminal records. Millions have lost their homes, land, cars, jobs, and even their LIVES. Over this flower, and who should, and should not smoke it.

When Nixon assigned a special commission to study his Drug War idea, they told him the most dangerous thing about marijuana was the prohibition of it.

By prohibiting it, crime was bound to come in, and get worse as time went on. In 1944 the The La Guardia Committee refuted all of the government's "Reefer Madness" points, and spoke out against the dangers of prohibition of intoxicating substances. They were barely a decade out from the violence and insanity of alcohol prohibition and knew full well what would happen.

If it were unknown to science, and discovered in the rainforest today, we would marvel at it and immediately begin trying to figure out it's patentable biomedical secrets. We have inherited this War, and everyone is scared to death of this political hot potato.

Plain and simple. They lied about what it's effects are. It is REAL medicine. It's time for all the BS to go away, and for the American people to stop being prey animals for the prison industrial complex.

Tax and regulate like alcohol and tobacco. It's harder for teens to get beer and cigarettes than it is weed. There are laws against public intoxication. Flower, pill or alcohol, an experienced cop can tell.

It has removed millions of potential working Americans from the roles of the employable, by giving them felony records, for nonviolent crimes. For things that probably shouldn't be illegal in the first place. More people have died on our border with Mexico than we have suffered American Casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Gulf War combined. No one cares.

Just pretend like you don't know anything, and don't get caught. Repeat what the Official Doctrine is, the truth be damned.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I have worked outdoors, year round, for most of the last ten years. From drenched in sweat to clothes layered 7 deep and standing in snow. It's a very humbling experience to so up close and personal with the weather, being out in the elements nearly all day, just so others can sit back and be warm/cool.

Now that's not lame attempt to gain pity, it's just given as defining the perspective from which this post comes. I have an understanding of "suffering" that is quite unlike the vast majority of the rest of "you people". :) I can "feel hot" I have nerves just for doing that, they report their data to my brain. I feel hot. I sweat, so long as I keep water flowing, I can operate until I been to feel overly hot. For me I begin to notice I feel sunburned, not possible in the attic, but I don't care what I'm doing, even if its just one more screw. I go out, I drink water, I lay down and I wait until do not feel hot anymore.

It's all biomechanical function that will be required of someone else if I am not up to the task. Where most people go wrong is they have learned that sweating is suffering. So when the water begins to bead up on their skin, they also simultaneously fire up their Drama and Suffering subroutines. I've learned to smile and be happy I wasn't born 30,000 years ago, I get to go home at night and take a cool/warm shower and enjoy some comfort! And I sweat. In air conditioner duct fabrication you get cut, it's just part of business. One could possibly wear gloves, but the speed loss and frustration of fumbling with small screws will try any but the softest of hands. I just scrub them clean with soap and a nail brush and apply antibiotics. I'm learning to avoid stitches... they're expensive.

I remember once, this woman walks outside, complaining about how she's been suffering all night and couldn't sleep, her house was up to 76 the night before and had been climbing nearly one degree an hour!... And I believe the heat index was 110 or something like that. The unit was on the sunny side of the house on a windless day after an early afternoon shower. I was drenched with sweat before I even set my tools down next to the air conditioner. I don't mean drenched the way most of the world understands this to mean. I can take off my shirt and wring sweat out like it was dipped in a bucket of water. One thing I can do, and do well, is sweat. I can load up a cotton T-shirt in 15minutes if it's over 95. And for the most part, it doesn't phase me. So long as some bonehead doesn't come along and kick start my Drama Subroutine with some lame attempt at Heat Humor. I grew up southern, in a trailer park... there was no internet, no game consoles, and parents still had dominion of the television set, and mom was addicted to All My Children, which, ironically meant for an hour or two every day, her real kids were a nuisance! Every good child molester learns the favorite soaps of the kid's moms, trust me on this one. If the dishwasher guy starts asking when you're watching your favorite TV shows... get a broom and a knife and chase him out of the house... do not ever let this guy babysit for you.

When they come out with their cold drink joking about how hot it is, and how busy you must be, What it really means is, "why aren't you hurrying? My house is a sweltering 78 degrees" One can tell when the people are more concerned about how long it will take the service elf to fix the Magic Cold Thingy, than how busy he is or how long his work hours are... They're the ones that bring you a glass of ice water ...

and arrive with an umbrella to give you shade. I wanted to propose to that woman, but she was 73!. She'd been mowing her yard when I arrived and after I got started she went to get ice waters for the two of us. II wound up driving away smiling and shaking my head and wishing I was 30yrs older. Acted like she was offended when I offered to finish mowing the yard! It was pretend acting, but still, what a trooper! When I'm 73 I hope to be half as healthy and good natured.

So back to sweating. I listened to this audio course once that was about biological anthropology. It was like 34, thirty minute lectures, and so interesting I did not even play City of Heroes for nearly two weeks. (those who know me are rubbing their foreheads, as their eyebrows achieved Maximum Height Cramps). One of the conclusions that hung with me the strongest was SWEAT. God bless it! If He made me, I indeed am grateful for my sweat. According to the audio series though, we evolved the ability to sweat, and our very primitive ancestors didn't have to be very smart at all really, just clever enough to learn how to follow animals by their tracks, and carry water in skins or containers. The nuts and bolts of it are simple, large animals with furry pelts do not sweat. In the heat of the day, if a human being harasses an animal, preventing it from getting water, the animal will run until it falls down, it will die within 15 minutes. Not even a sharp stick or rock required. It's called Endurance hunting. I have used this understanding of my sweat to see my work in a more humbling way than I know how to explain. In a way, I guess, I'm proud that I sweat, or that I am cold sometimes. I never have to feel like I didn't earn my pay!

Last night when I sat down to wait for laundry to finish, I hit the BBC channel and it's a show about... my favorite thing, SWEAT and it's a bit about the bushmen of the Kalahari desert. They still hunt this way.

This short documentary clip is the exact bit I saw last night, I found it on YouTube

Summed up: guy chases big animal, guy sweats and drinks water from canteen, guy keeps animal from drinking water, animal runs, animal falls down and dies, no need to even stab with a sharp stick or bleed it to death with a sharp rock.

This is really the "evolutionary" advantage that has made us what we are today. Sweat. Food got easy after sweat. So when I find myself in an attic during the summer blowing insulation for people who earn sick money in Nashville.... I sweat, and I am content to be a good sweater, and rather than get tangled up with my Drama Subroutine and mix up a batch of Suffering, I pay very close attention to my body, and how long I'm in the heat, and how much water I drink. (apologies to my Xwife for suffering through the occasional hateful text message before I learned better)

Drama kills people in this line of work. So be proud of your sweat! Don't feel like your suffering just because you're body is having to do what it does best! DRink water. Endure. It's what Our People do. We sweat.

It's the ones that don't sweat anymore you need to watch out for... they've become better than what they are.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Unseen Hand of God

I've lost my religion these days, but my fall from grace wasn't led by anger or a desire to be immoral, it was through study and understanding, and I am now more of a biblical scholar than I ever was during the height of my True Belief. I no longer see religion as a magical gift to His Special Creation, nor as an organization of people whose primary benefit is to not have a real job, because they can con enough people into giving them money every week. I see that it is a little of both, and a lot of what's in between.

Religion gives some people a calmness and peace that an Unbeliever cannot comprehend. But for most people, it only does this sometimes. At other times it "prevents us from having fun". Most of the religious men my age, that I know, would have been more promiscuous, been a "player", when they were younger, if they knew life was going to turn out the way it did.

As an agnostic, whose walked the gamut of Christianity, I find that notion a bit abhorrent. Dishonorable. If I had it to do over, I probably would not even have had sex until I was 20, and I would have kept all notions of marriage out of my head as nonsense until after college!

I didn't understand how in control of my thoughts and behavior my primitive mind was. Most people do not.

But this morning I added another positive of God. While there may be a few downsides to the notion of God, religious wars and intolerance. The Unseen Hand of God moves us daily, even the Agnostic and the Atheist.

Scientists have observed for the first time, the self-assembly of "buckyballs". (geodesic dome houses are buckyballs) When they work with new nano-graphite materials they self-assemble into a variety of shapes depending on what gas they're cooking them in, or what temperature...

They were doing an experiment to make some buckyballs, and they got to see them forming up out of the "graphene substrate" a sheet of graphene, nanoscale graphite. And it just zips itself up! It's rather astonishing. The buckyball is the most stable graphene structure so it just kinda "happens". They don't fully understand why.

While I was watching it, I had the notion "It's as if the hand of God is assembling them before our very eyes." And it dawned on me, God's greatest power, where knowledge is concerned. Irregardless of whether or not He exists in reality, simply using the metaphor "As if the Hand of God assembled them" is enough to inspire great minds, Believer and UnBelierver alike, to look closer, to try to understand the mystery.

Throughout the last several thousand years God and Science have been at odds with one another, in a rather bloody and uncooth game of "crossing the line". Religion draws a line, "The Earth is Flat!" and back then, crossing that line could get you killed. "The Sun revolves around the Earth," Many people died to move this line for us, and today we all take it for granted that the Earth indeed moves about the Sun. And God is still with us, and the Heavens did not fall, and the Gates of Hell did not open up.

He's zipping up buckyballs before our very eyes and showing us a Universe larger than we can imagine, and probably chock full of life. And yet, we still fight over whose Book is True and invisible lines in the sand.

Monday, June 7, 2010


a friend of mine posted on FB

"Do People Really Care? I mean Really????...or do they just TALK THE TALK? Are People REALLY there if you have No Food? If you need your Electric Bill Paid? Need Diapers...or Formula? Or do People turn their heads and look the other way....Are You Really Selfless? or Selfish? Honest to God...I really do wonder..."

and it put a smile on my face because it's a question that often times plagues me while I'm worming around under someone's house installing air conditioning duct and chasing off spiders and dodging various kinds of poo. I have had a most unusual religious evolution and as a result, my understanding of the Bible is nothing short of Hersey of the worst kind. But it makes my world make sense to me.

I believe that all religions come and go, shrink and expand, fade and bloom because they have messages within them that speak to us. They help us make sense of this crazy world. They explain deep truths that help us survive and be better than the rest of the animals. They are very very dear to us, and most of us inherit ours from our parents.

Today we have a division between Americans, and indeed, some other parts of the world are involved deeply in very closely related issues. There are the religious conservatives who insist that the Earth is 6000 years old and it was created by the Hand of God as the special place for his only True People and it's (insert religious group here) going to heaven and everyone else is wrong. Then we have the Ancient Universers who embrace the Big Bang and scientific method.

We have everything in between and a whole bunch who don't give a dang.

So what's the truth of it? How much genuine personal thought have you put into it? Utilizing your own critical mind? Not relying on the testimony and instruction of others which has convinced you of your current belief? Using the information you have, and rendering your own opinion....

The archeological evidence is monumental. The fossil record is astonishingly measurable and predictable. DNA evidence is clearing up the amazing accuracy of Charle's Darwin's understanding of genetic heredity and species differentiation. Carbon Dating Deniers simply do not understand the math and theory involved. There is no doubt that it's not "accurate" every scientist realizes that today's measurements are subject to change if new information comes to light. But carbon dating is only off by a few percent. The believer though, cannot allow change. Or can they.

Galileo was forced to recant his teachings that the Sun was the center of the Solar System and that the official Church teaching of an Earth Centric Universe was the God's Honest Truth. He lived out his last years under house arrest and not allowed to teach. His books were banned until the late 1800's. He was lucky.

Giordano Bruno was a contemporary of Copernicus, he was one of the Great Minds of our planet and was burned at the stake and all of his writings were banned and possession of them was punishable by death.

the list of reasons for burning him were:

* Holding opinions contrary to the Catholic Faith and speaking against it and its ministers.
* Holding erroneous opinions about the Trinity, about Christ's divinity and Incarnation.
* Holding erroneous opinions about Christ.
* Holding erroneous opinions about Transubstantiation and Mass.
* Claiming the existence of a plurality of worlds and their eternity.
* Believing in metempsychosis and in the transmigration of the human soul into brutes.
* Dealing in magics and divination.
* Denying the Virginity of Mary.

burned at the stake, alive, and books banned!

I won't take you into the detail of the Flat Earth and the Round Earth, I know we all remember that one, and how most people thought it was flat, and then things changed, and it wasn't Heresy anymore, and now we all know better.

Problem is, no one wants to live in that "embarrassing generation" that has to come to grips with the transition.

Who among us believes the earth is flat, or that the sun revolves around the earth? Seriously.

the earth simply cannot be 6000 years old. I'm not exactly certain, but from the proposed 14.3 billion year old theory, our sun has gone through a number of gathering up and getting hot phases, explosions and reformations, it's in it's 5th life cycles according to current understanding. It takes 4 life cycles for the heart of the star to make iron from the hydrogen present at the Beginning. Each rebirth creates heavier elements in the inner heart of the star. (or is it 5 rebirths, someone will set me straight.)

without Iron you wouldn't have red blood.

And before you get all defensive, look at how much they got right, without having a telescope or math with arabic numerals! "In the beginning the universe was void and without form" "And he said let there be light, the there was light." Most of the creation myth could be loosely construed as a mythilogical account of human kind's movement out of the lost paradise of the Rift Valley in Africa, which is most likely the origin of the Garden of Eden myth. It's the birthplace of our ancestors. It went away due to Climate Change. The various species were scattered to the corners of the earth just like the Tower of Babel myth explains to us.

But you see, my Book of Genesis only needs two verses. In the beginning there was the Void, and God said let there be light.

How much more Amazing is a God who simply had to make some stuff and let it happen. The scientific evidence is stacking up deeper every day that throughout this vast universe, everywhere the conditions are right, and the big rocks don't destroy, there is likely life. We live in a shake and bake universe, and to me, that's more amazing than 7 days and the Hand of God. The Universe seems to be governed from one end to the other by mathematics and predictable attractions. We're only now finding out that all visible matter only makes up about 15% of what's out there! 85% of the universe is invisible to us because it's made so differently than we are, we can't interact with it!!!

Maybe God is over there trying to talk to us? Until we look I guess I'm going to have to remain without an opinion.

Carl Sagan felt that Atheists were a little bit silly, in that their disbelief in God was just as much a Leap of Faith as Belief in God. Until every corner of the universe has been uncovered, and there is no white beaded old man glad that we finally found him, I'm not going to form any Belief on the matter. To do so is to convince yourself that the Improvable is True. I worry this could upset one's entire cognitive function. This enforcement of a contrary belief system between the obvious and measurable and the accepted and invisible.

nature is my religion and my tiny humble place in the Universe has brought me a spiritual understanding of Life I cannot really explain well.

This isn't Creation vs. Evolution, reds vs. blues, or myth v. history. And when it comes to belief systems, it is our nature to be aggressively defensive, for our belief systems have served our forebears well enough to get us this far, to change it would be foolhardy! But the Earth stopped being flat, and the Sun stopped revolving around the Earth.

The Earth will eventually stop being 6000 years old. It's just a matter of which generation is strong enough to shoulder the embarrassment of waiting so long to challenge what our ancestors have demanded we believe, or die

My "studies" have been informal, I'm no one of importance or education. My recipe for wisdom has been very unconventional. I've read some book and have some audio books about biology, anthropology, philosophy, Early Christianity, and the Origins of Satan, and some Buddhism and shallow reading on half a dozen other belief systems, a psychology text book and a half, blah blay... and a whole lot of internal, dramatic turmoil and hard knocks... slowly add the ingredients while alternately stirring and beating, but do not allow it to rest, for 44 years. And then you'll have my understanding of things! We all have a different recipe. The more recipes you know, the better cook you become.

Our "modern" understanding of God is really very insulting to my understanding of God. If there is a God in my Universe, all he had to do was clap his hands and walk away. Instead of getting angry when Genesis is accepted as myth, understand that a myth is not just fiction. Myth is something far more elegant and magical. Myth is telling a truth, with a fiction. Because some moral and philosophical concepts are hard to understand when presented as dry words to an unprepared mind.

So a myth is utilized to convey a truth. My favorite example is the part of the Bible where Jesus sends his disciples to cross the Sea of Galilee while he remains behind to pray. He will catch up later. The weather is bad, and the boat is making no progress. Jesus walks on the water and saves them.

If you see the Bible as a history. Then that's exactly just what happened. Jesus walked on the dang water, and it proves he's the Son of God, and you should worship him and thank him for dying on the cross...

But what do you learn from this teaching, viewing it as a history. To fear/love Jesus' Dad, toe the line or else and you'll get into heaven. And by the way, pay your tithe and never mind what your kids are telling you we are doing to them, Satan is making them lie to you...."

If you take it as myth, you get the following from it. If you can embrace these teachings that Jesus has brought you, love your neighbor as yourself, give up your worldly belongings and help the poor and needy. Forgive your brother 70x7... etc Then you too, will be able to cross the stormy seas of life as though you're walking on dry land. No longer with the giant waves of emotional agony, and demonic lusts rule you! You will be able to take it all in stride and with gladness in your heart, just as if you were guaranteed eternal life in paradise. Amen.

I'm getting a little sarcastic, lol. I lost the original version of this in a tragic cut and paste indecent. I don't want to talk about it.

We need to erase this division between us. Is whose version of How the Universe began really so important that we must kill one another, or just judge and be hateful to one another? Dont' we have greater issues at hand that everyone needs solved, believe and unbeliever alike? For example, giant rocks from space. There's a real threat to all of us that makes gay marriage and abortion insignificant. But look at the anger and wasted time and money we spend on these things compared to protecting ourselves from what's Out There. We all know big rocks fall on the earth, and may kill us all, but whose book is True is more important to us?

Like my friend said. "Do people really care?" and for the most part, until one evolves mentally to understand the suffering of his neighbor, and not allow them to suffer if they can help it, then the answer is no.

I listened to this one audio book about Gnosticism. Certain early Christians believed that "Christ" represented the "noble character within". And if you think about it, until there is a Second Coming of "noble character within" It is going to be Hell, here, on Earth. And no matter how hard we pray, it won't happen until each one of us steps up to the plate.

I think the real reason the Jesus story spoke to so many people during it's rise to the mainstream, was that Jesus was an ordinary Joe. He was a construction worker. He really really believed in his religion, he had the balls to speak out, he was probably the first one to sell his belongings and help the poor. I have come to suspect that his public ministry began when he finished spending all his own fortune helping the poor and healing the sick.

If Jesus came into a quarrelsome house, and he spoke with the people, and instructed them in proper family interaction, he healed them, in fact, given the limitations of the language and the predominance of religion in their world view, there was only one way to explain the process of helping someone get over their anger problem was "casting out a demon of anger" it was viewed as a healing to teach someone to calm their troubled mind and get on with their life! He was a folk hero, a philanthropist who really believed in his God, and they killed him. They killed him because they didn't want the status quo upset The framed him, and killed him slow and horrible in front of God and everybody, over greed and power. And his only crime was his beliefs.

That pisses me off, even as an Agnostic! It makes me want to change my life, help people, be more like Jesus. He is a good role model, even if you don't believe.

But now we must come back to the Book. Much of it is myth now, and no longer history. How do we come to grips with this shaking of our belief system? Can society survive it? Will it ruin religion, will God die?

All I can say is, people have been predicting Armageddon every other year since Christ died. Christ himself expected the end to happen within 50 or so years of his death. When the Earth stopped being round, did religion perish? When the Sun stopped revolving around the Earth, did Chaos strike and Anarchy rule? No. But when these were all the politcal rage, those were the fears and concerns.

Just like today.

My prediction is that all but a few will be comfortable with a 14.3 billion year old Universe before too much longer. We will be educated that this 6000 year old Earth is a recent phenomenon and America's current romance with it was born out of McCarthyism and the Red Scare. During the 1800s and the Enlightenment, you would have been embarrassed to believe in creationism if you were having a talk in a restaurant. But the tides of reason change and often they're powered by emotion and greed.

And as for God and the Bible. I predict it will always be a Best Seller, and that it He will continue to speak to people and help them attain wisdom and humanly grace for countless centuries to come.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Happy birthday to me!

44. If you had asked me when I was 16 if I would be alive when I was 44, I probably wouldn't even be able to imagine life beyond the nuclear holocaust we all just knew was about to happen at any moment between the USSR and the USA, or the AIDS epidemic was going to kill all but the chaste... Yet here I am. Alive and fairly well all things considered. But it's just another workday amongst decades just like it, nothing at all like it used to be. Hell, if it weren't for the automatic reminder on Facebook I think only two people would have remembered! But I'm not complaining, I'm something of a recluse and to expect more would be unfair to all the otherwise great people around me, that I just don't spend enough time with to get invited to their birthdays!

But as this day has progressed, I've thought about birthdays and remembrances in a different perspectives. My X, who has custody of my kids and gets a substantial check, and has nearly every Friday off from work, not only didn't remember it was my birthday, offer to let me have a Friday to go be a grown up on but she's out with her new boyfriend, and will retire to her new cabin on a lake next to one of Tennessee's most beautiful landmarks (that I pay for with child support)for yet another romantic Friday night with boyfriend #11 since she met me, on her unending search for Mr. Romantical Superman...

But who is really missing out on what's important in life? I mean really, I'm about to head off to have supper with my daughters, the two most important people I'll ever know.

And I've had an epiphany of sorts, that sort of changed my whole perspective on life. My girls play softball, and they were wanting to get on the all-star team, so I had to explain to them that only the girls who have "their head in the game" will make it to the all-star team. And it dawned on me that my biggest challenge in life is that I do not have my "head in the game". Regardless of how fair life has turned out up until the very next second of your life, if you properly apply your mental abilities and physical abilities and "get your head in the game" tomorrow will be better, or at the very least, you'll have your eyes on the road again, and sooner or later, things will get better. But only if you keep your head in the game.

It's the damn drama of life that keeps most people's head's out of their games. As if any one of us has a "new problem" that hasn't been survived by who knows how many tens of thousands or millions of human beings before us? But we're born with built in mechanisms that monitor all interactions for fairness, and we're prone to be selfish, self-serving critters, without purposeful effort to the contrary. So drama happens to us and we loose the will to keep our heads in the game.

But that's not the end of the story, it's just the end of a chapter. Each one of us finds ourselves given the chance every day to stop. Just say no to Drama! Once a person frees themselves of all the emotional surges of a Drama reduced lifestyle then even a difficult life becomes bearable. If this isn't true, then why have all the poor people of the 3rd world nations not committed suicide by now? They understand something we've become too important to pay attention to.

And it dawns on me, that it's not your birthday that's important, so much as your Awakening day. What day was it that you woke up from a dramatic life ruled by the stormy seas of runaway emotions? That's the day we should go out and celebrate every year!