Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Set Back

Severe depression over the weekend.  Let me describe the pain: It's like life is worthless, there's no point in going on, that I'll never achieve my goals, that even if I do it will be hollow and unenjoyable, that I'm totally alone and isolated.  Well that last part is objectively true, though I did try making phone calls to my friend Mike B. who was down in LA.  He works for Gencon and was taking in the gala Star Wars celebration.  He has the career and the luck we all dream about. 

But back to me...

So I look within to see if there's any cause for the pain.  Is there anything causing it?  And the result of my introspection?  Zip, nada, nothing.  So, intellectually I have to tell myself that it will pass.  So what got me there?  I started to obsess about what kind of car I needed to purchase when my T-Bird finally has to be replaced.  What would it be?  A diesel or a hybrid?  I wouldn't get another gas-powered vehicle.  Not right for the planet.  And I want to do everything I can to reduce the US dependency on foreign oil.

So I was down to three choices: a Ford Escape Hybrid, a Jeep Liberty Diesel, and the car I really, really want: the Mercedes Benz M 320 CDI (diesel).  Unfortunately, I could have both the Ford Escape and the Jeep Liberty for what it would cost to purchase the Benz.  My mind just went around in circles--like the maelstrom in Pirates of the Caribbean. 

Or, I could just try to get along without a car.  Ain't that a concept? 

I could save probably $300 a month if I didn't have a car.  And the bird spends most of its time garaged. 

But the real source of the pain--it must be bio/chemical.  How can it be anything but?  These are not issues of dire concern.  Not like a horrible medical condition or the death of a loved one.  But just feelings of personal worthlessness and isolation. 

Not all alone time is bad.  As a writer I have to spend a lot of time alone.  Solitude=good.  Isolation (hiding out)=bad.

Thus I am forced in the end to use my brain.  If I cannot control these feelings, where they come from, nor how to put them aside, then I must convince myself that it is a temporary situation.  They will pass.  And that gets me through. 

I'm feeling much better today, for which I amgreatly relieved. 

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Can't Quite Shake It

Mood still run-down.  Trying desperately not to get grandiose with my checkbook and purchase a big ticket item in order to lift my spirits.  Went to the Lenovo site last night and ordered a 1GB memory upgrade for my stinkpad.*  I'm trying to breathe new life into it so that I don't plop another $2000 of unsecured debt down on a new one.  It's perfectly good, useable.  There's no reason to upgrade yet.  It's still under warranty!

*To clarify: I LOVE my Thinkpad, and I will probably never own anything but.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

False Prophets

I think it's important to separate the shepherds from the flock.  Is it possible to gain salvation from a tainted source?  I expect it is, because God is a loving God.  And besides, it is impossible for me to judge what lives in the heart of another.  So I accept the fact that my Mormon and Islamic fellow citizens are children of God, even though I believe that their prophets are false.  I suppose those are fighting words to some. 

But it goes deeper for me.  Suicide is a sin.  Murder is a sin.  When the followers of Jim Jones drank the potion in the jungle, did they lose salvation?  I cannot judge.  I do not know what was in their hearts.  Their leader was, beyond doubt, a false prophet.  The same was true of David Koresh.   The fruit of their prophecy and revelation was not life, but death.  Through their guile and deceit they obscured the truth, but that does not mean that all their followers shared their taint. 

The same is true for Islam and the the Latter Day Saints.

Monday, May 21, 2007

This is the verse that settles it...

St. Paul is a troubling individual, but here's the nitty-gritty (from Galatians):

    8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

The word gospel to me here means "revelation", and as such, it invalidates both Islam, which preaches that Christ was not divine and Mormonism, which purports to preach a gospel of a risen Christ in the New World.  The Galatians quote is especially damning for Joseph Smith--all but mentioning Angel Moroni by name.

But it is interesting to consider Mormonism a middle-eastern Religion.  It is full of Jewish mystical symbolism as well as Freemasonry and Illuminati symbolism.  As two of the most rapidly growing religions in the world, what may occur at some far flung distant time when they lock horns with each other?


It rained yesterday like we were in the tropics, like it was monsoon season: a steady downpour all...day...long...

Today is gray and cool.  If it were sunny, we would be swimming in pollen.  Hmm--isn't this thrilling?  Blogging about the weather. 

I'm feeling lazy today...

My favorite Microsoft Word hot keys:  Ctrl+m to move the margin right.  Shift+ctrl+m to move the margin left.  Ctrl+t to create a hanging indent.  Ctrl+0 to put a line of blank space above a paragraph.

Never say my blog isn't educational.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bad Funk

Whoa, back after a particularly bad funk.  HOA voted on a $1 million special assessment to complete repairs to the building envelope and contain water intrusion and it really sent me into a tailspin.  Haven't really been able to function for a few days.

Last night went to the park and saw a lousy game.  Left when the Mariners were down by 5.  Saw Ichiro steal one base, but that was it.  Ate an entire bag of Kettle Korn.  Ugh. 

Jerry Falwell died.  Hard not to feel a little schadenfreude.  He was a polarizing figure in politics.  He had a stupid mouth: "buy kruggerands" "tinky-winky is gay" "liberals and lesbians caused 9/11" etc.  You don't ever want to WISH death on someone, because of what that WISH may do to your own spirit.  But when death happens anyway to such a perverse figure, and one feels a sense of rapture in response--it's difficult to subdue. 

But in better news, it's Norwegian Constitution Day.  When I was growing up in Decorah, Iowa, it was called Norwegian Independence Day, but that was a misnomer.  Norway separated from Denmark, but they fell under the aegis of Sweden (after the battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's defeat--Denmark was an ally of France).  Norway wasn't fully independent until just before WWI.  But they did get a new Constitution on 17 May 1814.  In any event, it's a day to snack on lefse and think of the old country.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Sophie's Choice

Authoritarianism.  Shall we pause for a moment to remember Sophie Scholl?  Sophie was a student at the University of Munich and was arrested in February of 1943 for distributing anti-Nazi propaganda.  After a show-trial before the notorious judge Roland Friesler, she and her brother Hans were sentenced to death for treason.  Their treason was passing out mimeographed articles critical of the Nazi regime.  Friesler's court, the Volksgerichtshof or people's court, was an extra-constitutional court which was formed by the Nazis for the prosecution of political crimes.  Freisler was judge, jury and prosecutor all rolled into one, and no appeal was possible.   Although Sophie and her brother were told by their lawyers that a death sentence would be carried out no sooner than 99 days after their trial, the siblings were led directly from the court to Stadelheim prison where they were executed that very afternoon.  Sophie was 21 years old.  She and her brother Hans were allowed to meet with their parents briefly before they were taken away and they shared tearful farewells.  Can you possibly imagine yourself in their shoes?  Close your eyes and put yourself in their place for a moment.  Your beautiful daughter is about to be taken away and beheaded for passing out a tract.  You will never see your handsome son again, your precious children are about to be murdered by YOUR OWN GOVERNMENT! 

It was never the intent of the Nazis to be sadistic or barbaric or cruel for its own sake.  It was their intent to be firm, to be united, to be one among many following the vision of the great leader. 

Sophie was taken into a courtyard before her executioner, Johann Reichhart, who was a professional, from a dynasty of ax-men which went back eight generations, and who kept meticulous records from the beginning of his career in 1924 to the abolition of capital punishment in Germany in 1949.  In all he executed over 3,000 souls.  Sophie said, "The sun is still shining."  She then was placed upon a bench, face down and her arms and shoulders held down by two assistants.  The fallbeil was then fitted past her neck and released.  The heavy blade, already raised and set before the prisoner had arrived, descended.  The death took three seconds at most from the time the prisoner entered the courtyard.

Reichhart was justifiably proud of the fact that he minimized the suffering of those who he was called upon to kill.  And though he was a dedicated Nazi and a true believer, he knew that something wasn't quite right with the government that he worked for.  When the Allies were approaching, he pulled off the side of the road on a bridge, and threw his fallbeil, his portable guillotine, into a ravine.  Reichhart was denazified after the war, and lived until 1972, advocating until he died for the reinstatement of capital punishment in Germany.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


The government that governs best is that which governs least.

Join with me, friends, in the party of Gridlock.  My party, Gridlock, stands for one thing and one thing only: anti-authoritarianism.  Thus, at all costs, we must try to keep the President of the United States and the congressional majority of two different parties.  It matters little which party occupies the White House, as the position has become increasingly imperial and authoritarian in the past century.  When the President and Congress are at each other's throats--they don't have the energy to strangle US.  Join me, my friends.  Leave ideology behind.  We must end the political/military/corporate hegemony of America before we all wind up slaves to the government.  We must take back our country.  Don't give them another "great white leader."

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Al In Hot Water

Al Sharpton is drawing fury over his denigration of the Mormon religion.  While I have rarely met a Mormon I didn't like--on an individual basis you understand--if I believed that Joseph Smith was other than a 19th Century charlaton/con man/failed novelist then I would belong to the Mormon church.  Actually, I believe he was a fraud, a deceiver, a libertine who wished to aggrandize himself at the expense of others, enjoy the fruits of other men's wives, and not have to toil very hard at all to make his living.  He may have been interested in occult, i.e., (hidden, mystic) frou-frou and bric-a-brac from the late 18th Century, including Freemasonry or Illuminatus, and the Spiritualism movement.

None of this questions any Mormon belief in God.  We cannot judge what is in a person's heart, now--can we?  Judge not, lest we be judged.  But, no rational person can hear the story of the authorship of the Book of Mormon, etc. and possibly believe it.  Too much ink, real and virtual, has been wasted on this pathetic cult.

Jim Webb

My thoughts yesterday on the occupation of Iraq were inspired by Senator Jim Webb's response to GWB's veto of the war spending bill.  I thought to myself, "what inspired brilliance!  This guy should run for president!"  Jim Webb is the junior senator from Virginia who ran as a democrat in the last election.  I recall there was a minor dust up when conservative tight-sphincters found blue passages from some of Webb's novels and suggested that anyone with such a lurid imagination wasn't morally qualified to hold elected office.  Of course, he won anyway. 

To parse the language here is very interesting.  During Vietnam, which was a war, the government called it a "police action" or "conflict" in order to lessen the impact of the onus of a continuing military intervention overseas.

Having learned its lesson from Vietnam, now they sell the conflict in Iraq as a "war" even though it's clearly not a war but rather a police action, i.e. it is trying to stablize and pacify a nation hell bent on tearing itself apart.  Webb is using the correct terms to describe what's really going on there.  There is no "war" because there is no "enemy."  You can't go to war with an invisible enemy or an invisible feeling of discontent or a general feeling of ill will or an attitude of disrespect toward the U.S.

Bring our troops home.  Struth!



That's the word all of the the members of parliament would shout at various times in the course of the one-act play by Tom Stoppard "New Found Land", which is a political farce and I believe the word is a conjunction that means "it's the truth."  Well I'm going to co-opt it for my blog, because it's so much more elegant than izza truth. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

A Pox on Both Their Houses

At this point, it seems clear that a democrat president and a democrat congress is a certainty in 2008.  Why does that NOT have me jumping for joy and crying with glee?  Because I know that absolute power breeds corruption and the democrats are no more immune to it than the GOP.  Although I gave money to the democrats and so I am a defacto member of the democrat party, I would like to think that I'm not a liberal, that I cannot abide the far left fringe any more than the wacko right wing of the Republican party.  The good news is that the far left wing is likely to get just as much out of the democrats as the far right wing was out of the republicans, namely: nothing.

Izza truth.  We are not currently at war.  When GWB appeared on the deck of the air craft carrier and announced Mission Accomplished, that "major combat operations in Iraq were over."  He wasn't lying.  That was the truth.  The war was over.  Specifically, the government with whom we were at war had fallen and we were victorious in that quaint old 19th Century idea of warfare.  But the people of Iraq just didn't lie down and play dead.  Then the Bush administration perpetrated a bait and switch on the American people.  Rather than declaring victory and coming home, they engaged in a program of nation rebuilding.  Remember Richard Bremer?  Remember how Halliburton was going to reconstruct the Iraqi infrastructure?  Well that fell through because of the insurgency, and the Bush Administration shifted gears and conflated the war against Saddam's regime to the war against terror.  The rapidly expanding civil war between the Shiites and the Sunnis also further destabilized our efforts to reconstruct the nation, and it is now hopeless.  It is time to stop calling this a war--to call it what it is: an occupation, and to acknowledge that the direst prognostications of those who speculated that war in Iraq would lead to civil war and urban guerilla tactics have come to pass and to acknowledge that the Bush administration fought a brilliant 19th Century war three years ago to defeat Saddam Hussein but that their attempts to stabilize and reconstruct postwar Iraq have been utter failures, and to bring our weekend soldiers home.

Now--this is where we have to go from the 19th Century into the 21st Century.  We need to look at the lessons of Mossad.  We need to use intelligence androot out terror at the source.  When we find terrorist training camps we need to bomb them, no matter where they are.  We need to do this and damn the consequences.  Mistakes will be made but we must take this war to them using their tactics.  Exterminate them, quite frankly.  Although we need to keep in place the proscription against the assassination of sovereign heads of state, we do not necessarily need to proscript the assassination of terrorist masterminds who have no sovereign legitimacy.  We need to be very pragmatic.  If they give themselves up, then we also need to give them more to look forward to than Guantanamo Bay!

Izza truth.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Truth Is...

Truth Is...

I heart a hypocrite.  That's why I love it when a senior state department official is forced to resign when his name is connected to a high priced panderer in Washington DC.  But I love it even more when he's the spokesbushie for abstinence only education!  Hooray - hypocrisy on parade!  Do what I say, not what I do!  And make sure that all those massages are abstinently therapeutic, and the only "release" is muscular!!!  And be equally sure it aint that one-eyed trouser muscle, neither. 

Izza truth.