Thursday, 30 June 2011

New Mini-Series: Female Gaming: Interview 1: Ditty-Kitty

My first mini-series for the North Signal is... Female Gaming! This is a mini-series, made up of several interviews (undecided on how many). The first interview is with an officer of probably the largest all-female clan, Femme Fatale, who is known as 'Ditty-Kitty'. So, here it is: my first interview and post on The North Signal

1. Well first off, Hello, and thanks for joining us. Well we know you are a Officer of [ F ], when did you first hear about [ F ] and what was your first reaction?
1. Well, I met MsFlashBang (the clan leader) in December 2010. It was after a game of Domination (on the game MAG). She asked me to join [ F ] and thats how I found out. I was so excited to know there was so many girls playing!

2. What is it like being in [ F ]? Do you think you play like any other clan?
2. It's great, the girls are fun, good and we work great as a team. We all work together great, so yes, as well as any other well as any functioning clan does.

3. How long have you been playing with [ F ] and what has made you stay there?
3. I have been at [ F ] for 7 months, and the teamwork, the girls and I really am proud to be in [ F ]. Estrogen Power!

4. In-Game, when people realise your a girl, do they treat you any differently?
4. People usually make fun of my name (Ditty-Kitty), but usually after they realize I can carry my weight (do good) they stop. Most off the time I get treated like every other bluedot (friendly) does.

5. There aren't many games that have playable female characters. Do you think that every game should have playable female characters? 
5. That is a total dissapointment, I think more games should have playable females and hopefully someday this happens.

6. Duke Nukem Forever has been critized for what happens in the game involving women. They has also been a Woman Rights campaign against it. Would you join in the campaign or would you be happy to play the game the way it is?
6. I would play the games as it is. I am all for woman rights but when it comes to game and stuff, I don't want them censored. I say, you don't like what happens in a game, don't play it.

7. How long have you been gaming and what was the first game you played?
7. I have been playing games regularly since I was 4. My first game was Super Mario 3.

8. What appeals to you most in gaming?
8. I have a lot of fun gaming, the great stories, it's competitive, social. What's not to love? My favorite is how competitive it is.

9. Who do you think are better are gaming: Men or Women and why?
9. I don't think enough women gamers are on the scene yet, to compare to men. I am all for women gamers but men out number woman in games 10x over. I mean I am rooting for woman to out game men, but for right now I would have to say men just because they out number woman by so much.

10. What do you prefer: The Xbox 360, PS3 or Nintendo Wii, and why?
10. I am going to say Nintendo is my all time favorite console, I am and always will be loyal to Nintendo, I grew up with them. But for online gaming, PS3 all the way. I like Nintendo, because they are innovative and new, never scared to go  out the norm. They are just lacking in he online and 3rd Party support. As for the PS3, I love the online and they have great support.

Thanks for joining us, and have a great gaming career.
Your welcome, and thanks for the interview!


And that's a wrap for interview one!! When will the second one be posted?

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

buddha's rosary

This is probably one of the most interesting topics that I discovered many years ago.

Until now we have talked about our mind and our essence; but still we need to dig more about them and you will notice that those are the basis on which the rest of the concepts will land at the end.

Well, let’s start….
If we already established that our mind is something outside our physical body and brain, and it is complemented by our essence which will unify and become a soul at some point; having agreed with that: don’t you think that those two should have more years of existence than our physical body? There are so many thing we know that were not learned here in this world!
For example, is there any occasion in your life where you felt you already went through something or visit a place even if it’s the first time? (Déjà vu ), or when you meet someone you feel like you already know this person and you realize that this person shares many things in common with you, why is that!?
It is simpler than you imagine actually…. Mmmm Not really! I was kidding; the concept we are about to talk is one of the most (not the most but one of them) complex and controversial topics in the list, and will require you to keep an OPEN MIND!!! So, bear with me and allow your MIND and ESSENCE understand it.

The mind and essence are our real being and they combined together have a name you know?
Our real name.. not this name given by our parents to our physical body; This real name was the one given by our creator; you can find this type of concept in many other cultures and religions around the world like Buddhism, Masonic Gnostic, Dogon/Shinto, Hinduism, Rosicrucian, Maya, Inca and Aztec; all of them believed in our real name, all of them fight across their lives to find their truth BEING and in that way to have a direct connection with GOD, during their journey they also discovered two powerful concepts: Evolution and Involution, but more interesting they also believed in the reincarnation, so among many spiritual manuscripts those cultures explained that the reincarnation can be in both direction an evolutionary reincarnation or an Involutionary reincarnation.


Among all the species in the universe there are ones that are evolving and there are others that are involving, and to add more complexity to this two concepts, all these cultures and religions also discovered that inside of each species are individuals that are evolving and others that are not (involving). Sounds complex eh!?... the first time I went through all this I felt my brain (the brain not the mind) crashing trying to understand this new concept.

Well, for now we already know that our real being have many more years than our physical body, AND!!! More important that our BEING has been in many other physical bodies and species during all its existence!! Impressive conclusion don’t you think?.. well yes, but hold on, that means that I in my previous life could be a dog!?, or a fish?, OR a ROCK?... well is not that simple and is not a disorganize evolution/involution process after all; the evolution process takes many thousands of years going from the simplest form of existence to the more complex (human in our case), let’s see it in this way (I’ll keep it as simple as I can): when our BEING was born (our very first existence) was not deployed into a human vehicle immediately, it was necessary a maturation process, BUT that Being was not allocated (linked) directly to that previous vehicle, instead of that our being existed in other place or dimension just linked at certain level with this vehicles, this allowed our being to be aware of certain things, like time, day and night…etc. simple things, this will be the case to be linked to a plant for example, but as the learning process starts to demand more knowledge our BEING goes from this simple organism to another one more complex, let’s say a dog, then at this point the link between the being and this new body gets more complex, and we will see things like emotions, sadness, happiness, love, anger…etc. So our Being starts to learn more about all these new concepts and is able to interact with the world in a more palpable way than before but that level is not enough. The link between our being and our human vehicle is the ultimate link because we feel not only emotion, we receive enlightenment, we are intelligent, we are able to discover or invent new theories, we can analyze them, correct them, share them…etc. and it is here where our real BEING has the opportunity to achieve 100% of perfection, to become a superior BEING, a Light master, an Angel, a Demon.. depending of what culture/religion are we investigating the names for this reached level changes, but the objective is the same, to become pure and part of GOD.


So, how many chances do we have to achieve this objective, this is the easy part, and the answer is on the Buddha’s rosary… 108 opportunities!!!, our BEING has being linked to each vehicle 108 times on each species; make some numbers to see the importance of this. We are pretty old right?... to jump from one species to another takes 108 recurrences. That means we have only 108 reincarnations as humans to achieve the perfection and after that we will need to wait a lot of time (thousand of centuries) to be able to be linked into a vehicle (equivalent to our current human body) that allow us to achieve that objective again. That is the reason why we need to setup a clear target in our life, white or black but no grey, we need to evolve not to involve!!, MEN of GOOD, MEN of LIGHT.

All these cultures/religions were aware of that, they discovered the 108 recurrences that our being has to go through each vehicle, and yet more important they realized that the opportunity to cut that cycle and reach perfection is while your BEING is linked into a human body, Yes this belief system says that if our BEING reaches the perfection the cycle will be broken and a no other vehicle is needed for the eternity; Brilliant!.
The question that comes to my mind now is: Why all this was forgotten?
Why all the humans are spending their lives without knowing this and why they are not aware of what is our real objective?
Did we covered all this on purpose?.

To finish this chapter, the last piece of information coming from one of the Buddha manuscripts says that most of us are living their last recurrences, this means that a big part of these BEINGs are between the recurrence 100 and 105, so the chances that we have to reach perfection are about to end. Nevertheless I would say to you: Don’t waste your time, don’t be afraid to try new things, don’t give up yet until your last heart beat, take those last 8 or 3 lives left and do something good with them!.

I’ll see you on my next lives!.
-From a Buddhist point of view, the actual experience of death is very important. Although how or where we will be reborn is generally dependent on karmic forces, our state of mind at the time of death can influence the quality of our next rebirth. So at the moment of death, in spite of the great variety of karmas we have accumulated, if we make a special effort to generate a virtuous state of mind, we may strengthen and activate a virtuous karma, and so bring about a happy rebirth.-
- the Dalai Lama-
"Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists."

Blaise Pascal



Friday, 24 June 2011

The Netherlands take a stand

Over the past two years a court room battle over the freedom to criticize one of the worlds largest ideological blocs was won. In this battle the sometimes controversial, and always flamboyant Geert Wilders was the central figure.
Mr Wilders is the leader of the 'Freedom Party' and has been the subject of a criminal investigation for several years. The reasons for his legals woes would make most North Americans take note: He SPOKE the wrong words. He was accused under the ultra modernist 'hate-crime' laws of the Netherlands that make it illegal to incite violence or target a particular group for derision.
The Hate law's main purpose, it seems, is to silence opponents to modern Dutch / EU social engineering programs. Eugenics and immigration seem to be the main reasons and protected ideas under this act; Abortion, euthanasia, and mass migration of low wage workers.
This time it imploded. This time, the speaker would not be silenced.
Mr Wilders has been acquitted on ALL counts!
What does this mean? ... and what did he say that was so bad it resulted in charges?
Well let's start with what he said!
Did he call for a Crusade against Muslims? Did he demand their deportation or killing?
No.
Wilders said that purist, unreformed Islam is not compatible with Western Democratic ideals. He said that Islamic teaching have inspired hatred and countless acts of terrorism across the western world. He said that this is because in the Muslim Holy Book, the Koran, there is justification for violence, misogyny, slavery, and worse. He compared the Koran to Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' which is banned in the Netherlands under the hate propaganda laws. He called for the ban to be extended to the Muslim Book as well, essentially making the point that if European works promoting the genocide of Jews were to be banned, as Hitler's book is in the Netherlands – then so should Arabic ones calling for a Genocide of ALL non-Muslims (starting with Jews).
Wilders did not make these claims 'out of the blue', standing on box in front of a mob of skinheads. The left-biased media gives that impression, but it is FAR from true. Such coverage is of the 'fellow traveller'.
Actually it is quite the opposite: He made them in Parliament as the head of the leading opposition party. He was backed by statistics, Historians, police, Koranic verses, scholars on Islam, and ex-Muslims, and even moderate Muslim migrants (notably MANY women). His ideas were amplified by the killing of Theo Van Gogh, a filmmaker critical of Islam who was butchered in broad daylight on an Amsterdam street, the terror attacks of the early 21st century, the Paris Intifada, and the Mohammed Cartoon fiasco.
Also to back Mr Wilders argument there was a large catalogue of critical media on religions OTHER than Islam, that are completely accepted as a right of expression, even if not based on facts – as Mr Wilders work was. Calvinist works were cited, for example.
How can the Netherlands accept the elitist and violent edicts of the Koran, and not criticism of it was the main thrust. The logic of this argument was inescapable, even to the Uber-Liberal Dutch Bench.
Wilders popularity has GROWN, not decreased. The PEOPLE of the Netherlands LIKE Mr Wilders, and can relate to his position.
In short, the man was not worrying about being offensive to those he found an offence to his way of life. His position has been that he is defending that way of life from foreign ideas harmful to it.
For that perceived possible offence, he was taken to task and charged.
Wilders work, it was asserted by the prosecutors, was designed/intended to incite hatred and rage against Muslims in particular and immigrants in general. The truth/validity in his statements was only of secondary interest. Let me be clear here: The court was NOT really interested in whether Mr Wilders assertions were true, but rather in whether they were made to incite/direct public hatred at a specific group; to make a scape-goat. Very special attention was payed to a film, Fitna, the Mr Wilders had produced in which the Koranic verses calling for Jihad and the effects of the verses on real Muslims are explored. Lines or 'Surahs' of the Koran are posted beside images of real Muslims acting the edicts out, calling for war and genocide. It is truly a disturbing video, and just over 7 minutes long.
But who is showing hatred here? Was Mr Wilders spewing hatred or was he EXPOSING hatred.
The court decided, after YEARS of deliberation, appeal, and overturn – the case was dropped and re-prosecuted THREE times – that Mr Wilders was EXPOSING hatred. They finally found Mr Wilder's totally innocent. They have acquitted him. That is not a 'not guilty' verdict, that is an 'innocent' verdict. We are left to assume that after YEARS of prosecution and three trials, there was not ONE SINGLE aspect of Mr Wilder's film or speeches that the courts could disprove as libel, and thus a hate-crime. The facts DID matter, it seems. Perhaps not on paper, but in practice.
This is a good thing for those who cherish freedom of expression, and good on many levels!
That leads us to 'What does this mean'?
Quite simply put this means that people in the Netherlands are now LEGALLY able to interpret the Koran and criticize Islam. Islam is now just like any other religion in that nation, and will no longer be afforded a special protected status. Modern 'moderate' Muslims will have more freedom, and the rest of the Dutch people can be critical of extremism.
These are concepts we take for granted in Canada and the USA, and much of the Western World. Take for granted, mind you! While the Dutch move away from these restrictions, our left moves toward them. Terms like 'Islamophobia' become more and more popular in the English speaking world. In the world of phobes and philes there can be no neutrality. One is attracted or repelled. Anyone who speaks against the HUGE Islamic influence on our culture, diets, laws, and even our cherished 'secularism' can be quickly branded as an 'Islamophobic bigot'. Perhaps not actually charged with a crime, but derided and sneered at by the likes of Bill Maher, MSNBC, the Huffington Post and all the other PC darlings of the leftist dogma.
But nobody ever calls those who appease Islam 'Islamophiles' in the media, do they?
Maybe it's time we do?
Congratulations, Mr Wilders!
A victory for comm sense, and common law!


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

To live and die – as a Jack Ass...

Ryan Dunn, one of the icons of the potty-humour troupe 'Jack Ass' died in a tragic vehicle accident this week, causing much media buzz. While most has been respectful and even insightful, much of it has been very unbalanced.
On the one hand we have people praising this young man as if he were a genius or saint, and excusing his excesses. On the other we have people mocking his death – as if it were one of his gags. In my view both takes are equally unrealistic.
First this man was skit comic, not a world changing genius. Some found his act funny, others saw it as a sign of the infantile nature of modern pop-culture. Whatever the take it was just comedy, and not even the high-browed pseudo-intellectual stuff. Jokes about poo and pee, boobies, wieners, and gays are not exactly satire. In fact many could argue that these antics lead to all sorts of copy-cat behaviour, thus reducing the level of humour. Many comedians fall in this last group. Was he funny? Yes. No doubting that – he had legions of young fans.
Secondly he was no saintly character. He was not a philanthropist, educator, or man of deep philosophical inclination. His drunken escapades prove that point without further digging the dirt.
But these points do not give license to those people who openly mock his death.
He had a family, friends, and a girlfriend of many years. He was not a joke, but a living man.
To mock him while the corpse is still warm speaks volumes on the mentality and morality of those 'fans' and detractors.
So where I am going with this? Well. I would suggest the man died as he lived, as self-proclaimed 'Jack Ass'. He took nothing too seriously – not even jumping into a $90K car drunk and doubling speed limits in residential areas. He did not think of his passenger, or the other motorists/pedestrians he could have killed– just the FUN of it all.
Now equally care free types have fun with his death. In truth, he may not have disapproved.
Before anyone gets offended, I am not saying 'he deserved this', nor am I saying 'he asked for it', I am just saying Dunn died the way he lived: Selfishly.
His last act in this world was vehicular manslaughter – the negligent killing of his friend, and that is decidedly UNFUNNY.
Would anyone be shocked if I, as a soldier, were to be killed at war? Would there be any incredulity at the death of a firefighter in a fire? No. While there may be more meaning to these deaths, they are just part of how myself or the firefighter LIVED.
So what can we take away from this? If you wish to die and be remembered as a responsible person who had purpose and meaning to their life, then your best bet is to live like one and to promote such living.
It is no guarantee you will die that pleasantly or in a meaningful way, it just greatly improves your odds of it.
If you should be lucky enough to die in your bed as an old person, you will at least leave some memories of that life with those who love you. If you live like a Jack-Ass even such a quiet and peaceful death will not add meaning to what you did while you were here, and you will be remembered as a Jack Ass, even if it is as a loveable one.


RIP MR Dunn & MR Hartwell.
Thanks for the all laughs.

It is easier to just be STUPID

(WARNING – IT ASSHOLE ALERT)
Does your brain get tired trying to figure out all these deep and complex issues we face today?
Are there challenges to you beliefs, do they make it hard for you to converse with other people who think differently than you?
Are all these politicians talking about boring stuff?
Do 'old' people piss you off?
Why not just go with the flow and be STUPID?
It is easier to be stupid than EVER!
Just think about it (not too much): We can't ALL be smart can we?
And if we are all to be equal, we must all be STUPID! DUH!
But how do we get there?
Well, let's start with redefining stupid, in fact let's avoid that word at first.
We will start using 'ignorance' and 'ignorant' as an insult. Ignorance, we will say is the REAL problem. Ignorance is why people do bad things..right? I mean if I did not know there was cops who are against theft or murder, I might just steal and kill right? So, people who are ignorant are bad guys, but only BEFORE they get to see all the stuff we have and learn the rules...right?
So stupid is just the same ignorant now. And we are ALL ignorant in some way.
Next we need to do a little work on our language.
It is too complicated for many ignorant people, and we don't want them left behind – so we must dumb down our language too! Why use so many big words, when the ignorant folks wont understand? The idea is complex you say? Then SIMPLIFY it! “The war in Afghanistan is dragging on” becomes “War is bad”. The “Taliban are fighting a fierce ideological war” becomes “The ragheads are bad”...see? It's easy! How about “that guy is brilliant at maths” to “fucking nerd”? Or “what an athlete! If he could only get his grades up” becomes “Jock”. These words and ideas all existed before, true – but now they can replace the BIG words and ideas, instead of enhancing them (sorry BIG word!).
See you brain is more relaxed already!
Okay so some words, we can change. How about our lifestyles? I mean if we keep running into these 'smart' people, wont they make us feel .... er.... not so smart? Sure! So how do we get past this?
Well, let's let the machines help us there. They can be smart for us!
Those smart guys invented machines that can make us ALL look like we know what we are talking about -even correct our spelling, and if we start to feel...er...ignorant, we can just turn it off, or redirect the browser to another place that is more friendly. 'Debate' is now an open-to-all argument, and the majority can easily drown out the minority – even if they could be right!
Those guys in Castles who had a big Church with guys in Hoodies and red-hot pipes did it! The guys with the Camels do it, so why can't we? Must be ignorance. We will learn to do that too! In the mean-time we can call the people who disagree names and bully them. We could even make up new names for bullying and insulting – like 'flaming' when it's done on the web, and maybe 'dissing' when face to face. Yo! I like it!
What about Uni you say? What if I go to college, how can I still take the easy STUPID route?
NO PROBLEM. Everyone gets a pass now that we are all stupid.
We have for a long time. Even your prof will most likely ACT stupid, even if he was born with that 'smart' disability! If he doesn't – if he asks questions instead of giving you the answer – he will be in trouble! Besides, they way it is set up now is you just all pretend to agree – even if you don't understand. Acceptance is more important that understanding!
Sure, you may have to head to France or Europe or whatever its called, as they are always way ahead of us backwards rednecks. Sure they may talk funny, but they sure know how to be STUPID! They have even found ways to be stupid with BIG words! That is like the space-atom-bomb of DUMB!
Okay, I know what you're going to say now (NO! 'Not cuz I am smart! I just have the internet!') that the country or culture thing will get in the way. No worries there my fellow cretins! The 'nation' and 'culture' are just dumb old things. THIS is the 21st century, and only ignorant people don't understand that the future is always better because their is more science and stuff. Culture is just stupid clothes, and we can make our own up – like 'thug' and 'Emo'. Holidays you say? Just a reason to get intoxicated and eat. Who cares what they 'mean'? Some dead dude jumps out of hole? So what? Some jerk has a revolution, so what? Some slaves got let loose, so WHAT? Let's get drunk and fuck yo. Opera? Fuck THAT – titty bar time!
Besides, Nations are a thing of the past, anyway right? They just have wars and stuff, and get in the way of contest rules. I mean, fuck I can't enter to win an ipod from China so WTF? I mean soon enough we will have spaceships and robots and they will stop all that stuff. We all know America is bad and stuff.
And what about the OLD people. Never mind them. They will all die soon. If they don't want to be STUPID, the thing to do is ignore them, and maybe even help them along. Some of them even shit their pants, yo!
I mean what did they do anyway? Just started wars and stuff. They had all those years and they never even had gaming consoles – that is ignorant! Besides their music sucks.
So, don't let the meaning of life, war, politics, science, philosophy, art, or poetry get you down, that stuff will all be explained by 'scientists' who specialize in STUPID!
Remember people: You can't all be smart, and you want to fit in, so even if you are unlucky enough to be 'smart' - it is WAY easier to just act STUPID.
Remember this one point, where it ALL starts: You are all that is important, and nothing exists but what you can see and agree with – and you are HOME-FREE STUPID!




Monday, 20 June 2011

In yo face 'meatbags'...

I came across the awesome little bit of prose dashed with philosophy when I was in University many moons gone by... it has stuck with me ever since. On Sunday, I received this in my inbox after returning from a rather sad memorial. It again struck a a cord deep within me! I hope it at least gets the folks thinking.

"Shall I tell you where the men are who believe most in themselves? The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums.
That drunken poet from whom you would not take a dreary tragedy, he believed in himself. That elderly minister with an epic from whom you were hiding in a back room, he believed in himself. If you consulted your business experience instead of your ugly individualistic philosophy, you would know that believing in himself is one of the commonest signs of a rotter (degenerate). Actors who can’t act believe in themselves; and debtors who won’t pay.
Complete self-confidence isn’t merely a sin; complete self-confidence is a weakness.Believing utterly in one’s self is a hysterical and superstitious belief.
Poets are commonly spoken of as psychologically unreliable; and generally there is a vague association between wreathing laurels in your hair and sticking straws in it.
Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets don’t go mad, but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers do; but creative artists very seldom. I am not in any sense attacking logic. I am only saying that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination.
The general fact is simple. Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross the infinite sea, and so make it finite.
The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.
And if great reasoners are often maniacal, it is equally true that maniacs are commonly great reasoners.
(Some have) said that free will was lunacy because it meant causeless actions, and the actions of a lunatic would be causeless. I do not dwell here upon the disastrous lapse in determinist logic. Obviously if any actions, even a lunatic’s, can be causeless, determinism is done for. If the chain of causation can be broken for a madman, it can be broken for a man.
The last thing that can be said of a lunatic is that his actions are causeless.
It is the happy man who does the useless things. It is exactly such careless and causeless actions that the madman could never understand, for the madman (like the determinist) generally sees too much cause in everything. He would think that the lopping of the grass was an attack on private property. He would think that the kicking of the heels was a signal to an accomplice. If the madman could for an instant become careless, he would become sane.
The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.
The madman’s explanation of a thing is always complete, and often in a purely rational sense satisfactory. If not conclusive, it is at least unanswerable. If a man says that he is Jesus Christ, it is no answer to tell him the world denies his divinity; for the world denied Christ’s.
Nevertheless he is wrong. But if we attempt to trace his error in exact terms, we shall not find it quite so easy as we had supposed. Perhaps the nearest we can get to expressing it is to say this: that his mind moves in a perfect but narrow circle. A small circle is quite as infinite as a large circle; but, though it is quite as infinite, it is not so large. In the same way the insane explanation is quite as complete as the sane one, but it is not so large.
There is such a thing as a narrow universality; there is such a thing as a small and cramped eternity; you see it in many modern religions. The lunatic’s theory explains a large number of things, but it does not explain them in a large way.
(Speaking again of the lunatic who sees conspiracy where others are carefree and careless). Suppose we grant the details; perhaps when the man on the street did not seem to see you it was only his cunning; perhaps when the policeman asked you your name it was only because he knew it already. But how much happier would you be if only you knew that these people cared nothing about you! How much larger your life would be if your self could become smaller in it.
How much happier your would be, how much more of you there would be, if the hammer of a higher God could smash your small cosmos, scattering the stars like spangles, and leave you in the open, free like other men to look up as well as down!
Contemplate some able and sincere materialist. He understands everything, and everything does not appear worth understanding. His cosmos may be complete in every rivet and cogwheel, but still his cosmos is smaller than our world. Somehow his scheme, like the lucid scheme of the madman, seems unconscious of the alien energies and the large indifference of the earth; it is not thinking of the real things of the earth, of fighting peoples or proud mothers, or first love or fear upon the sea. The earth is so very large, and the cosmos is so very small. The cosmos is about the smallest hole that a man can hide his head in.
For we must remember that the materialist philosophy is certainly more limiting than any religion. (While no idea cannot be broader than itself, eg, you are not allowed to believe in something that makes your idea false). But as it happens, there is a very special sense in which materialism has more restrictions than spiritualism. The materialist thinks me a slave because I am not allowed to believe in determinism. I think the materialist a slave because he is not allowed to believe in fairies. The Christian is quite free to believe that there is a considerable amount of settled order and inevitable development in the universe. The materialist is sure that history has been simple and solely a chain of causation, just as the (madman) is quite sure he is simply and solely a chicken. Materialists and madmen never has doubts."

'The God of Materialism' by Chen Wenling
From G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, Chapter two, The Maniac.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The argument on origins...so far

This post is meant as humourus and is in NOT inetended to reflect the true mind numbing range of this debate. It is a jest, and in good faith. I

The argument on origins...so far

Bronze Age
Creationism: The world is too complex to be designed by sheer chance, therefor it was designed by the Gods (or God – but that is not fashionable yet, unless you are a Chaldean, Egyptian, or Jew)
Atheism: Nothing exists but what we can see, feel, hear, and touch. I may not even be real, and this argument is a figment of your imagination!
Creationism: Some things are too small to see, some to quiet to hear, and some to removed to touch, but they exist just the same.
Atheism:Whatever, retard.
Classical Age:
Atheists: We have PROVEN with mathematics that the Gods do NOT exist....uh wait a second what is this negative stuff, and what is.... wtf (jumps off a cliff in Italy)
Polytheism: Wait! Don't do it! Oh shit...we had a rebuttal. Oh well, let's focus on those barbarians shall we? Hang on a minute: Did he eat the mushrooms?
Medieval period
Atheism: Okay now we have you! What about EVIL? EH? Well? Don't wait for the translation!
Theism: Evil's very existence proves that Good must exist. If these things are not man made paradigms, then they must exist by themselves...why? Who decides what is 'good'? Why God of course – the Creator!
Atheism: WHAT – EV – ER! Hey, are you guys lighting a fire or something?
Renaissance
Atheism
: Okay, I am not trying to be a jerk or anything, but there is evidence the world is older than the Bible says it is... well at least what I think it says... does it say anything about that?
Theism: Sure, the Bible was written by men. The dates could be off, and the method could be metaphor. Why not study some theology and see what you make of it.
Atheism: Okay... Oh shit this is pretty good stuff. (changes his name to deism and meets a girl)
The 'enlightenment'
Atheism: HA! Now we have got you backwards cretins! We have created a new faith, in the state. We have Turned your 'Notre Dam' into our temple of reason. The age of MATERIALISM is born!!!
Theism: Make sure not to lose your heads over all that.
Atheism: What's that? We will never – chop- ..... (interrupted by Mme Guillotine)
The Victorian Period
Atheism: (after repeating all previous arguments) Okay THIS time you're FUCKED. We have finch beaks and protoplasm, what do you have Mr God guy? Eh? Come on now, or did they not teach you how to speak in the monastery?
Theism: Cambridge a monastery? We have purpose, meaning, the soul, and our traditions. Besides what on earth is 'protoplasm' and what did the finches turn into? Just longer beaked finches? Oh... neat.
The modern age to present
Atheism: AHA! Not only did all pour previous arguments destroy you completely (but you are somehow still oppressing everyone!) but we have a new one now – the BIG BANG! We can prove that the universe was a void, formless, and with out purpose! Then there was light and EVERYTHING came for NOTHING all at once – time space, everything...so how's your God now? DEAD maybe?
Theism: Reads like Genesis... and almost ALL creation epics. Thanks! We needed that.
Atheism: You people are really too much, it's almost like you're cheating! Who's helping you with this crap? Alien theists? Maybe it is the 'right wing'??? EH?? Never mind you probably have a brain disorder.
Present
Atheism: Now your toast, Senor Divinity. We have mapped the DNA code and found massively complex instructions that design the anatomy of every living thing, we have mapped the brain and found out that the brain is a computer, earth was probably seeded by aliens, and we have physics to prove that other realities exists...well, scratch that last one. Our tests PROVE that all traits are just functions of the brain. Being gay is a disorder and inherited, religion is a throwback, and emotions are easily medicated. Anyway DNA and the brain = your toast!
Theism: Okay...sure. The DNA is a code of information. Where did it come from, and who or what encodes the information, and for what end purpose? A design requires a designer and a function. The brain a computer? Okay, where is the 'user'? As for the 'disorders', how do you propose to 'treat' them? Maybe you just want to breed out those gays and religious types. As for the physics, we have been saying that all along. You call it M-theory, we call it the Supernatural. Aliens, why not? We have all sorts of mythology about that type of thing. Want to address string and wave theory? Maybe the quantum field?
Atheism: NO! Why would I, idiot. You only know about that stuff because of modern western science!
Theism: Sure, that's true! And we only have modern western science because of the Theist classical and Christian civilizations. And what about the Norse and Celtic faiths?
Atheism: You people are trapped by your false morality (an illusion) and cannot hope to ever see the real freedom that is non belief ! Your tiny minds have been the cause of all the horrors in history, and you DARE take credit for science!!! ???You and those toga wearing ASSHOLES?! Vikings? Druids? PUH-LEASE! They were better than you, but I am WAY better than them! Besides, they scare me...JERK! (performs the obligatory materialist sneer). Your children should be taken away, as you are abusing them by exposing them to and limiting them with your superstitions!
Theism: Morality is not false, it is essential. History is not ours alone, and while we admit our guilt freely, and issue apologies - will the New Atheists do the same for Social Darwinism and the various genocides committed by these 'free' minds (or should we say brains?) such as the Nazi, Chinese, Korean, Cambodian, Soviet, etc etc? Methinks not.
Children will be better with strangers and no culture? I see why morality is a problem for you, as I see why moral authorities higher than your own are a problem. “thou shall worship no other God but me”, eh? We will stick to the real deal, thanks – humans are brilliant, but just NOT up to the task.
Atheism: You bat-shit crazy, bipolar, passive aggressive, faggot er, I mean redneck, whitetrash, cracker. Soon enough you will see! Atheism is coming back in a big way...hey who's that guy with the Shamagh and the knife glaring at me and my stuff? Whats with the green flag? Oh never mind, at least he not a ZIONIST or a Corpse worshipper!
Theism: Well, I guess we will have to continue this later...we have supper with the Deists, Pantheists, and Agnostics. We would invite you along, but we know you think we are all idiots and would be embarrassed by our silly traditions and clothes. Anyway, looks like you have company too. Again, don't lose your head over this stuff. God bless, and have a good life.
Atheism: Fuck YOU and your God!!!! Nothing exists but what I can sense. You deluded bastard, the people of the ..... The adhān (Muslim call to prayer) drowns out the rest.
Agnosticism: Holy shit, man. What's with him?
Theism: He's fanatical about his beliefs.
Deism: Can we get a pizza?
Theism: Sure, what do you want on it?
Deism: Make me one with everything! 
Pantheism: Smart ass!


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Thoughts from the War – a series.

Thoughts from war are the first published excerpts of a potential upcoming memoirs. They will focus on ideas that presented themselves to me while active in service.
These ideas are my own and relate to thoughts, concepts, and a general awakening of my consciousness that took place during the most recent Afghan War between the years of ad 2001- ad 2006.
They reflect a rough version of the final edit, and I hope those of you on these social networks I share in enjoy or take away something. Many of you have asked me about my military experiences, and I have been deliberately vague. Unfortunately, I will have to continue to do so about some very critical details, but this small series may open some windows – if not doors – and shed some light on those experiences and what they made of me, your friend and narrator.
Dates, names, places will be deliberately altered in accordance with the secrecy act, and some of the more gruesome details edited for this excerpt– but the sentiments and ideas will be raw and pure.
Please keep in mind the larger work has been assigned ISBN and is under a copyright.
If anyone wishes to reproduce this work in detail, please contact me.


Part 1
Eye for an Eye, or to turn the other cheek...

It was in that second summer that so many new ideas seemed to form. I was a robot no longer. Once I had accepted that I (my mind and soul) would survive and began to actually deal with my new tasks, the MEANING of what was happening started to surface....
......
A very cynical and smart-assed comment made to me in the theatre of War sticks with me to this day.
It should shock me I suppose, but when I reflect on it there is often an accompanying smile; or more correctly a smirk.
A young and enthusiastic sergeant after being given a rather dangerous detail to deliver to his men and ordered to pursue those orders with utmost vigour proclaimed: “F--- going medieval on their ass, I am gonna go OLD TESTAMENT on their (chain of expletives and slurs) asses.”
The reference to going medieval (in case the reader has been living in a cave for 30 years) is from a Tarantino film 'Pulp fiction', and is an exclamation of the intent to do serious violence. The 'old testament', I suspect was intended to amplify or even exceed the medieval levels of violence from Iron age to bronze and even neolithic stuff.
The young sergeant was not a religious guy, he was just well educated and making a joke with a captain he knew was somehow vaguely Christian. He later explained to a mutual friend and comrade, “I had never seen the old man get preachy or anything – it was just known that he was a man of faith. We knew it, the enemy knew it too.”
Old, eh? Young to average for a captain in these forces in those days, at almost 34, but that made me 10 years his senior....Old.
I'll admit, he made me laugh – and with that the tension of the room broke, and this relieved the staff.
So much so that I recall one of the lads broke wind (farted).
I recall that I approved of his 'Old Testament' approach and replied with a laugh in my voice: “Just don't break ALL the tablets, Sergeant'.
It was a reference to Moses breaking the commandments (literally) in the OT, and I think he got it after a minute or two – as there was a delayed chuckle and the response 'just the good ones, Sir'.
Impious, irreverent, irreligious and utterly human.
The sergeant did his job well, and there was no need for any smiting or bronze age brutality – and that is, I suppose, why I can afford to smile or chuckle about it.
But this little exchange has had a profound effect on me.
Not a totally religious one, as the reader may suspect, but a long introspection – a look inside.
You don't have to be a Christian to understand the ideas behind the two concepts or takes on reciprocity (give and take / golden rule) in the Old part of the Bible and the new.
One take, an eye for an eye, exhorts the central concept of giving back what you take, and the other the concept that we WILL get back what we put out, by 'turning the other cheek' to nastiness and violence. There are several sayings even the most secular and non religious person educated in the western world will be familiar with (at least until they strip away ALL culture) that go like 'eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth' , or adversely 'do unto others, as you would have done unto you', or the even more enigmatic but some how sensible command to 'turn the other cheek' if struck! There are similar coexisting sentiments in some of the more advanced (ancient!) Eastern religions, mysteries, and philosophies also.
How can BOTH these principals work so well as to be encoded in moral codes for thousands of years? How can they coexist without contradiction?
Does an 'eye for an eye' not counter 'turn the other cheek'?
Well, as I have come to understand since those days: No.
They do NOT contradict, but rather reinforce one another. Rather than inhibiting the effectiveness of the 'opposite', they actually seem to lend further balance to the equation. A kind of psychic (or reduced/simplified to psychological for materialists) equilibrium.
I will explain how I came to this conclusion while still at war.
On one hot summer night in that strange orange and pink of the evening that can only be experienced at such altitudes, a group of young men serving with a reservist regiment came across a hideous find.
They had uncovered, while searching what appeared to be a weapons cache / store, a group of hideously mutilated bodies. One of the men on the scene believe one the bodies to belong to an interpreter from an nearby outpost. They seemed to be local men, judging by their clothing and ethnicity.
Horribly, this kind of thing was not too unusual, and so I found myself, with my commanding officer and the regional commander, in a tent erected as a makeshift morgue bearing witness once again to men who had been killed by people the knew in horrible ways over some petty conflict, or as in this case, the victim's willingness to work with the forces of change and progress.
The stench of the men eviscerated before us was almost unbearable, even for someone who was used to combat. I can still smell it now when I think on those scenes.
The horrified and utterly sad expressions on their faces forever frozen images of their last moments on this earth. I must admit, a rage began to grow in me as I looked at these rather modern dressed and well groomed (for locals) reduced to fouled and polluted cuts of meat.
A sane man would not do this to an animal, let alone his neighbours of many years.
It turned out, with some investigation, that these men hailed from a local settlement where people under my direct command were responsible. So we took a drive the next morning, dark and early – before prayers, before even the relatives of the dead had been notified – to meet with 'our guy', an intelligence contractor with one of the major NATO countries. This inside man, an expert at his trade for over 20 years, had already figured out where those responsible where gathered spent from their previous nights carnage. My report was called in, and was given a free hand. I was, however, advised to exert 'prejudice' and 'set examples' for the region. I knew what this meant.
The sergeant's joke jumped to mind. I was to go 'Old Testament' on their ass.
This was not simple meanness or revenge, it was seen as a way to deter, or prevent through fear of reprisal, any further vigilante killings and the kangaroo courts that are empowered by them.
Three teams were organized rapidly and efficiently in the predawn ink, and two engaged the target, a crude square building designated as a Mosque. The third, and largest, teams task was to rapidly evacuate as many civilians from the area as possible, as a firefight was expected. This was not done politely.

The LAV, stationed near a makeshift paddock, blared loud music in Urdu from an announcement system, and doors were battered in. Children screamed, women begged, old men gave us the look of death. It was a little hell before a great one. A fighter raid, in simulation.
The people were not moved far, just out of range – just out of immediate danger. In all there was perhaps 30 of them all together. Once they saw the maple leafs on the vehicles the seemed to calm down , and begin to beg an explanation from the interpreter.
I could see them clearly from my position, as I could see groups one and two neatly in position near the entrance way to the mud brick 'Mosque.' Inside there was arguing and eventually, as we knew they would the 'fighters' came pouring from the main doorways. We knew they would. Despite the ideology these brigands preach, we knew the real reason they had done such murder was to take possession of the dead means puny wealth. They wanted their women, animals, and what little money they had.
Greed made them suspect betrayal and raiders. As they rushed fourth, calling on the name of God, they were met with the horrible realization: These were not fellow wild men, these were soldiers! Again I saw that look of defeat and horror, profoundly sad flood across their faces – and again it was frozen.
The instant the first fighter lifted his battered rifle above his wast the buzz of suppressed fire filled the air. Like a hundred balloons bursting, and a dozen cameras flashing in the dawn light. The death of the fighters was captured by my eyes as if in a strobe lit disco – frame by frame. Group One had performed perfectly. They fighters stood no chance.
What did this make you feel, some may ask.
I am shamed to say, nothing. Perhaps some pride in the effectiveness of my men, but I was numb to the death.
I had wanted to feel justice, or even revenge had been done.
We had delivered an eye for an eye, and we had been fast and clean – unlike the fighters laying dead in the dust. But something was not complete.
Completion came in the form of an unexpected attack, and my only knife wound of the campaign.
As the smoke settled, and the stink of gunfire, blood, and human waste spread – I walked with the radio man and two rifles to the 'Mosque', and Team two. The Mosque was clear, I was assured by a young man with a French-Canadian accent. We walked inside and saw the bedrolls still laid out. The place stank of urine, and we surmised the fighters had simply pissed in the corners that night. Such piety!
As I approached the rear rooms and what appeared to an area to prepare food, I was suddenly thrown off my balance.
A boy of perhaps 10 or 12 had jumped from behind a stack of large boxes, and plunged a 3 inch blade into my shoulder between my armour and by sling. Only his boyish strength held him back from burying it's full length and only luck (grace?) prevented a major blood vessel from being slashed.
What precision! If he had been six inches taller, I might not be writing this.
Pain mixed with pure rage. I lifted the boy up to the bare light bulb with by good arm, suspended by his wrist that had held the bloody knife. He writhed, kicked and screamed 'Die you Crusader DOG!' in native Pashto.
I was not fluent, but I knew enough of the common slanders to know these words. One kick hit me near the still embedded pocket knife and I released my grip. Instinctively, I grabbed my own blade, with my now free hand and kneed or tripped the boy as he attempted to flee past me, and towards the fire groups.
He was a child, this was a place of worship – even if it was defiled – and yet I felt a very deep desire to avenge myself and the men in the tent on him. But then I heard whimpering, weeping.
Not the boy – he looked at me defiantly, full of the same kind of outrage I was. It was an old man. Hiding behind the same boxes. My hand was stayed. The boy backed into the corner, as a medic and and several men from Group Two rushed in. I grabbed the boy by the scruff and hurled him at the old man, who caught him and embraced him, as if to protect him.
I slouched back on the boxes as the medic berated me for being forward and demanded I return immediately to station for attention. I had not lost much blood or any sensation or movement, and so was not that concerned. Much yelling and apologizing, not the least from the young NCO who had assured me the building was clear, was going on. But my attention was entirely on the boy and the old man. I ordered the interpreter to ask why the boy 'had been so brave'? The old man responded that the boy had been taken by the raiders and 'trained' to be one of them.
I now began to see a boy not much younger than my own son before me. Not an enemy, but a child.
The old man explained in a terrified voice: They had killed his father, and forced themselves on him mentally and physically. He was now fanatically devoted to them. 'Like their dog'. He begged for the boy to be let go. He claimed the raiders has killed his son and grandson years before, and wept when he said he simply could take no more 'boys dying'.
The old man had been in the 'Mosque' begging for the release of the boy the night before, and had been beaten for it. He had returned, he claimed, at almost the same time to 'free him before prayers'. He knew they would kill him for it, and said he did not mind if we did either – so long as we allowed the boy his liberty. He calmed at that thought, and simply looked at the floor in submission; while holding the boy.
I was stunned.
This poor old creature.
What had he seen? I waved away the medic at the first moment it was sane to.
I steadied myself before the old man, and had the translator relate that I would not only free him, but I would have them both brought to hospital with me – to be released to the Afghan authorities. Now the translator came undone too. Our translator thanked me and laid the blessings of Allah on me, as he was inclined to do when being approving – even of a good coffee. But it was more this time, his eyes were wet. He was touched. I had never seen this in him before. It was the moment we became friends, as we still are today.
The translator's, whom we shall call 'Droon' (his call-sign in those days), friendship was one obvious benefit, but there were so many I could not possibly hope to relate them all here.
Sufficed to say: The echos of those deeds that day resounded through out my action in Afghanistan.
My men came to understand me better, my enemies (rather paradoxically)to both fear
and respect me, and the locals to understand my intent.
I found was welcomed into many settlements and homes after that night. That following Christmas eve, I was sent a message of thanks in the form of a truce and food from a local warlord (now an alliance tribe and NATO ally). Such a religious truce is extremely RARE in Afghanistan, our holy days usually a preferred time of attack.
For a long time I just did not GET it.
I had been merciful – a concept seen as weakness in the eyes of my enemy – so why should I be respected?
The answer, when it presented itself, was simple: For I had shown strength also.
I had returned violent force with violent force, and only tempered it with mercy when mercy had begged me to do so.
Justice had not given away to blind revenge. Fear was thus tempered with respect.
Coyote Recon LAV
(basically a redesigned Piranha LAV)
That was it, it was complete now.
Justice had been done. The hollowness gave away to purpose.
The boys face was not frozen, he had struck me and I had 'turned the other cheek'.
Mercy, and a secession of violence was the catalyst and the transformation from 'meaningless violence' or even 'revenge' to 'war' was made.
The boy was taken to hospital and cared for a by a fantastic husband and wife doctor team from Australia. They grew so attached to the boy, they took him into foster-ship and eventually adopted him.
It has been almost 8 years since that summer.
Many things have been revealed, much of it by the boy himself. He now goes by the name of Aman (Pashto for 'hope') and lives with his adopted family in another part of the world all together. |
Aman speaks fluent English now, and we are still in touch.
He is studying to become a history teacher, as I was before the war, and plans to visit me and my family at our homes. I look forward to the day the boy who almost killed me can tell that tale to my son(s) and most importantly: why we are BOTH still here.
The true horror of his days as a captive of the Taliban is incredible, and another tale entirely – his own to tell. But, the horror all ended, he has said many times, that day I 'turned the other cheek'.
That act of mercy and transformation of rage and violence into love allowed him to truly be free. Not just him.
We thank each other for this, as that act of mercy changed us both and forever.
As for the old man, his story is not as happy.
He was strung up by fighters four years later, for refusing to disclose the location where the local women had hidden (a nearby cave they discovered anyway).
Nobody will remember him in a generation or two. There will be no medals or monuments for what he did, no parade. Only myself, Droon, Aman and a few of the lads present in that dusty settlement will remember, and we will all pass too... in fact two of the lads are gone already.
But, this old man was a real hero in my eyes, and all I ever saw him do was 'turn the other cheek'. I suspect his reward is elsewhere...







Saturday, 11 June 2011

Neuroscience unchained?

A fascinating book, entitled The Spiritual Brain by Canadian Neurosciencentist Mario Beauregard argues the existence of a spiritual mind, or soul separate from the physical brain. Having read this book several times, I felt the connection between the subject matter and Aken Yedla's recent posts on the spiritual potential of the mind made it a good subject for a post. Anyone who is enjoying Aken's take on this would benefit from a look at this very interesting work.
Below is the first 12 minutes of the Audio Book version.
If you enjoy and would like get the whole thing, try here:
 http://www.amazon.com/The-Spiritual-Brain-ebook/dp/B000UZPH2Q
 or your equivalent national links! Enjoy :)

video

Friday, 10 June 2011

The Education System VS. The Skilled Trades

College, University, Medical and Law school. These were the things that were pushed upon us while going through the Ontario High school system. There's one big omission and if you read the title of this article you will know that omission is trades school. Why is this a taboo choice for the modern young adult? Is this the right decision by educators to steer the youth away from good old fashioned hard work? These questions and many more will be looked at in a different light. This will provide the insiders view to a modern day blue collar guy trying to make it in the white collar world.

I am a 27 year old male who has been in the trades for almost 7 years now. When it comes to welding, fitting, and fabricating if you can dream it I can make it. How did I end up this way? Well it sure wasn't on purpose. Going through school i was groomed to feel as though I would make it in the world of broadcasting. I have the ability to communicate with the varying degrees of humanity. From the swanky-est of swanky to the base-est of base I can in some way, shape, or form strike up a conversation of value. Upon completing high school and being accepted into a broadcasting course for college something didn't feel right to me. I loved the people I was studying with and enjoyed the hands on portion of the course but that's where it ended. For some reason I had to endure hours upon hours of lecture on how to react in situations, take notes, and pray to God that I retain the slightest bit of information come career time. Definitely not for me. With that in mind the decision was made, essentially drop out of college, pick up some extra shifts at work (I was a valet at the time), and redirect myself to something that would fulfill me.

It took me 2 years from that point to actually motivate myself into trades school. The scene at work (now a bellhop) was dismal. The money was good but there was no love for my work. The idea of going to welding school seemed more and more appealing each passing shift. So once again I made a decisive decision, I asked to go down to weekends only upon getting accepted into a local welding school. With a future uncertain family and friends boasted their concerns about such a drastic change. To be completely honest I had never been into much as far as manual labor was concerned. Nonetheless my mind was made up. I was going to be a welder. Sure enough once I started school I became in love with my new found abilities and trade. School went by in a flash. I was determined to make it and make it big (at one point i held over 12 government certifications). Getting work while being completely wet behind the ear was tough but it wasn't impossible. After some searching I was hired to a small shop. Looking back now it was one of the worst places I have worked but I needed to get my foot in the door somehow. After a month working there (maybe only did 2 shifts of actual welding) I was brought in the office and told i was being let go. That wasn't so bad, the part that angered me the most was how the boss man said that 'maybe this isn't your type of work.' I am completely fine with being let go from a job but don't you tell me what I can and cannot do. Hindsight though has showed me that his comments really lit a fire and drove me to learn fast and become as good as i can be. I'd like to bump into that guy one day and really thank him for his 3 and a half weeks of ban saw training and let him know how far I've come since then. That fire that was lit in me be some snide comments is the reason why I still do what I do.

Now that I'm in big industry I've started wondering, where are all the young guys? The ratio of old fellas to young bucks is staggering, and once you weed out the useless young guys its even more grim. I thought back to my high school days and really started to remember that no one really spoke of the trades with the importance that they actually carry. University this College that was the mantra. Fill the post secondary schools to the brim and let all those graduates fight over a slim amount of jobs. I have friends with business degrees working as salesmen in an electronics store. Is that what tens of thousands of dollars worth of education gets us? Instead why not preach the values and nobility of doing the things that most are too intimidated or scared to do. With skilled trades men gradually getting older, the baby boomers are getting closer and closer to retirement, we are facing a very serious issue here. Soon enough a large chunk of the skill labor needed will be severely under manned. Sure that's great for a guy in my position but the bigger picture is scary. Is it bad to encourage your kids to work with their hands? No. Is college and university the pre determined location for you? Definitely no. So when is the education system, as well as people in general, going to wake up and realize that the world is built by skilled laborers. Every office building has to get there somehow. Every ship or train that carries goods to the populous has to start out as raw materials at some point. We as a society need to embrace these things and nurture them. If we don't it will be like having too many chefs in the kitchen. Everyone will know what they want but nothing will get done.

This whole outlook is based on my experiences and that being said I am sure there are still places out there that are completely different to what I have seen, heard, and done. That being said this isn't a general over view of things across the board...just things where I live.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Election time, kids!


Okay so it is season of the twitch again, stateside.
There is a saying here  in the True North, that when 'the US shivers, we sneeze'. No, it's not about winters - It means that usually the two countries are connected by the same political maladies.
What ails the US, ails Canada too – and of course the reverse. This time it looks like the sneeze may come BEFORE the shiver. Hey! It happens.
Here in Canada we just endured yet ANOTHER election, and this just may be a foreshadow of what is about to happen in the USA. Sure the playing field is different, in Canada we have several official parties rather than two; but the underlying sentiment seems to be the same.

The history lesson:
In Canada we have just endured a decades long Liberal (party) rule. It was a BIG government rule under the Liberals. A rule infused with race politics, PC appointments, internationalist agendas, outsourcing, and LOADS of entitlements and vote buying corruption a la Acorn.
Canadians grew sick of it only after seeing it fail time and again, and MISERABLY.
That Liberal government finally crashed under a no confidence vote (got fired by parliament) in 2005. The sitting Prime Minister, RH Paul Martin, resigned his party post and the elections brought in a Conservative/Tory (party) government, as a minority.
This win was accomplish by a re-fusion of two parties: the Reform Party, and the Progressive Conservatives. Both were 'break-aways' or offshoots from the old Tory Conservative Party of Canada. In 2005 these two groups buried their differences and reunited to reform the Tories under the leadership of a certain Stephen Harper – now our PM.
In the years that followed the Liberals, then the 'official opposition' attempted to bring down parliament 3 times, and did so successfully- twice.
The first time was a no confidence motion that failed, and resulted in another minority win by the Conservatives. It was a non result and cost hundreds of millions of tax dollars.
The second was yet another political farce.
The opposition led by the Liberals and supported by the NDP (hard left socialist workers party) and the Bloc Quebec separatists/secessionists, attempted to hold the PM in 'contempt of parliament' for passing a rather boring and sensible budget. Again it cost hundreds of millions. This time, though, it blew up in their faces.
In a massive slide, the Tory party won a majority and the Liberals were literally destroyed. Reduced to a handful of seats (like cong. reps) and lost their position as 'official opposition' to the NDP. So did the Bloc! It seems the Liberals and Separatists made a deal with the socialist red-devil, and he came to collect.
Now the NDP is the official opposition for the first time ever, and the Tories rule with a super majority AND the Senate. The REAL right rules, and the REAL left sits in opposition. We have reversed course, it seems. I, for one, applaud that reversal.

The comparison:
Okay...so where the HELL am I going with this?
Why, 2012 of course! The next year will be ANOTHER media circus election! This time, thankfully, I am only a spectator...sort of. This election will be in the USA, our neighbours and trade partners. So it will affect us, both politically and news-wise.
Here's what I am wondering: Could we see a similar shift to the right in US politics as a BACKLASH to the uber-liberal and isolationist policies of the Obama administration? Could it be the promises made and broken (nanny state stuff) that could be enough to disenfranchise the centralist voters? And what about the Tea Party movement?
Obviously, Mr Obama has only had four years as opposed to a decade or more, and obviously the congress has already begun to swing right. So the parallel is not complete, but there is some BIG similarities.
First, as to the time, Canada's political scene is slow and steady, the US is much faster in it's shifts. So what could take decades in Canada may take only years in the US. That is not a value judgement, just an observation. It cuts both ways – can be good and bad for both. Swings and slides.
So the 'decades to years' part is not that big of a deal. Secondly the ideology of BIG government is present in both our past Liberal governments and the current US admin. In both nations BIG government is frowned upon by the population, who seem to be inclined toward individual freedoms rather than 'group identity' politics.
Worse still, BIG government is unerringly arrogant government, and like some dictator in a bunker, convinces itself it is loved and strong. It becomes blind to opposition.
That takes me to the final aspect, known here in Canada politically as Race Politics.
This I have to note, and I apologize if it causes any offence – I am simply being frank.
In Canada, the general sentiment on Mr Obama's election was he was elected on R&R: rhetoric and race. Many people, including myself, feel that Mr Obama's ethnicity HELPED him gain office as vast swaths of the US population voted for him out of racial loyalties and many more from post colonial guilt, sometimes called 'white guilt' – they feel bad about the slavery industry over 100 years ago. On the racial loyalties, can we imagine the media FRENZY if statistics showing 80%+ all white voters voted for the white candidate in FIRST ever election with a black candidate? The question is rhetorical, of course. On the white guilt witness the various 'ghetto' and 'thug' BS our kids,(of ALL races) are being fed to get a sense of just how far it goes.
Controversial? You bet ya! (Palin quote? NAH! She ripped us off)
The rhetoric was standard pablum: Change etc and really bears no real resemblance to policy or even reality, and so I will leave that for another post...maybe.
Anyway, it seems many folks in the States are waking up to this perceived image, if not taking that position themselves. It is still 'in the closet' and spoken in hushed tones, but it seems it is becoming an acknowledged fact that Mr Obama's title of the first Black President is being eclipsed by his image as the first RACIAL president – that is a leader who ran and rules on racial principals.
If there is one thing the US and Canada share, at least presently, it is a distaste for racial politics. Could this be the Achilles heal of the new-left in the USA? Could an alliance (or fusion) between the Republicans and Tea Party provide the voter momentum? Could the arrogance, BIG government policies, and racial tone of the current President be enough to counter his charisma (??) and rhetoric?
I hope so. As a neighbour, and often times friend, to the USA I would like to see steadier and less polarized minds prevail.
Good luck in 2012, USA!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Second Chapter: The Intuition

Today we will continue on our journey to discover why we, as humans, are such a special race.
And this next step brings is by necessity to our current topic: Intuition, or as it is commonly called “the hunch”.

Over the last four years I have learned that the MIND has a perfect partner: Intuition! Without intuition, the mind is unable to send us vital information that could not be, or would take too long, to represent as images, sounds, or words. Our intuition is a vital inner sense that we should pay more attention to and learn to develop!.

Many centuries ago eastern cultures (including the Buddhists, Hindus and Dogu/Shintos) famously separated the concept of the MIND from that of the HEART. They established that the HEART was the source of all our feelings and emotions. These feelings are an essential part of us. Again, they are not sounds, images, or words remembered or otherwise to be perceived or processed by the physical brain – they are there for our MINDs. Even the mind often has a hard time relating these feelings into words. In these ancient cultures the HEART was given a unique name, so that it would not be confused with the physical organ the heart (much as we have done in or discussion with BRAIN and MIND). The term they used was 'essence'. This aspect, the 'Essence', is like a little kid: it is selfish and instinctive and does not know right from wrong. It knows only what is right for itself, for survival.

Keep in mind, our concepts of right and wrong were implanted, in various degrees, in our societies to model our behavior. Don't take me the wrong way here, I am not suggesting killing is not wrong, but that this 'essence' has its own harsh and distinct rules. The essence knows that killing is wrong, in most adults, but it also knows that if you find yourself in imminent danger and you must kill in order to protect your physical body and survive – it will urge you to do so! It will ALLOW you to do so, instinctively. This fine difference between murder and killing is a very complex topic that we will hit on later on. I won't push THAT hard... yet!.



So let's run with that comparison – that the 'essence' is like a child.: Innocent. Good with everyone, smiling all the time, no spite, no notions of revenge, all pure love. Have you noticed this? I am sure those of you with children or young siblings will have. Little children, new babes are almost perfect. I would go so far as to say 99.9% perfect – at least until they reach that 'certain age'.
So what is missing? Well, it is exactly what we have just described! They are just pure love, they do not know right from wrong. THAT is the single objective of ALL the 'essence' of ALL time – to learn and become aware of Good and Evil. To understand those absolutes!.

In cultures where the 'essence' is understood to be an aspect of personality, it is believed that when it has finished the path and is aware of good and evil it merges with other aspects to become a SOUL. Again, I digress: This transformation is a later post along our journey. We will get there!.

Back to INTUITION! This mechanism is used by our 'essence' to let us know about certain, sometimes very subtle, things. Sometimes it is a warning – like a Spidey sense – letting us know about possible threats not quite visible to our minds and senses. Other times it reassures us that we are on the right path. 'I KNOW I got that right', is generally an intuitive statement. Each time you meet someone new, intuition will give you a 'feeling' about whether that person is reliable or not. Important decisions are often guided by 'gut feelings' and intuition.

So, obviously this intuition is a very useful tool for guiding ourselves along a good path in this life/world we live in, and we need to use it more often and effectively...but HOW can we learn to use this tool?

The answer to this lies in our ability to control our MIND. If your train yourself to control your MIND, as was described in the first chapter by using techniques including concentration, meditation, prayer, auto-observation, and by relaxing your mind with exercises such as Yoga (ed note? Or Tai-Chi), you will become more 'conscious' or aware of the 'essence' and thus be able to more easily FEEL it's warnings, praise, and delights. Once you begin to understand what is INSIDE you (not your guts!) the OUTSIDE world becomes much more simple to understand.

If you have full control over your MIND, you will have direct access to your essence and it, in turn, will start to interact through the INTUTION more often and more effectively. You will gain the advantages of being able to predict certain things, it will influence decisions correctly, avoid the wrong people, and you will find yourself on a correct path – one that you FEEL is right.

The correct path is never easy. (ed note – old saying 'The path to hell is broad and paved, while the path to paradise overgrown and uphill') It requires discipline, determination, and real hard work. You must be patient and open minded. You must want to be good and choose the right path. Unfortunately, I cannot demonstrate this to you – no one can. There is only one way to find out if what I am saying is true to you, TRY IT OUT YOURSELF!!
But, this is a good thing, really. You SHOULD experience these things yourself and NEVER blindly follow dogma!