Whorled View

December 1, 2008

The Dalai Lama: At odds with marriage & family

I read somethings today that the Dalai Lama said that really highlighted what a clueless mindset comes from living like a hermit-king.  I’m not quite sure why the Dalai Lama is regarded as a great sage of wisdom but I wonder if another reason the media worships him (while disparaging the original pacifist, Jesus Christ) is because of his anti-marriage and anti-family message.

The only people I know who honestly think [celibacy] is “better” than marriage because marriage involves sex, are embittered losers who have a purely self-gratifying interpretation of human sexuality.

Similarly, only self-absorbed people who are clueless about human intimacy would think that “[attachment] towards your children, towards your partner,” is “one of the obstacle or hindrance of peace of mind”.

The Dalai Lama said both of these things though … and nonetheless it seems he gets more respect and reverence today than any other religious leader dead or alive.

Now, I’ll admit when you have kids that seem to be doing everything you’ve taught them not to do, including screaming and crying over practically nothing while in your face is anything but peaceful, but “peaceful surroundings” is entirely different than “peace of mind”.

For example, the times I had the least peace of mind were times when I was most detached from commitments and relationships around me like when I was nearly 30, still single, and trying to figure out where I fit in the world.  What’s more, I’ve never felt more peace of mind than when in a committed interdependent relationship with whom I could share everything, despite the fact that I was overwhelmed with far more commitments than I’d ever had.  Peaceful surroundings is not peace of mind.

At first glance, this wouldn’t seem like an issue worth tackling: the fact that the Dalai Lama says marriages and family attachments prevent peace of mind, as I’m happy to leave people to believe anything so long as it leads them to do good (Matt 7:16), but I’m convinced this idea forwarded by the Dalai Lama is one of the most destructive ideas ever.

The mere idea that the family unit is bad, or at least the idea that it has some harmful effects for society, especially with regard to peace is ludicrous and should be loudly repudiated.

What’s even more disturbing to me is that this idea seems to be one of the fastest growing doctrines of men today.  It’s growing quickly and becoming wildly popular to deride the traditional family unit and family oriented policies.

Calling family commitments the enemy to peace of mind and contributing elements to murder and suicide (both assertions of the Dalai Lama) is remarkably clueless.  It’s akin to calling religion the root of all the atrocities of mankind.

You’ve heard that, we all have, that religion is bad because terrorists kill in the name of God, or that the “Holy Wars” were done in the name of Christianity.  The argument is so absurd as to mock reason, and yet seemingly intelligent people make it, completely disregarding the fact that murder and violence is almost unanimously condemned in all mainstream religions, and that hypocrisy is a reflection on the soul of the hypocrite, not the religion which is corrupted in the process, and that people will justify the same atrocities by any vehicle they can find be it a tradition, political philosophy, or just plain old prejudice.

Now we see those same kinds of irrational arguments being promoted by the media to disparage traditional families and traditional marriage, with the Dalai Lama as thier prophet.

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November 4, 2008

I’d Celebrate More, Were It Not For Mob-Rule

Along with McCain I think our Founding Fathers also would agree that Obama is a good man and a good father, and as another human being we need not fear the man (even though I’m less than thrilled with much of his platform and his voting record – that’s beside the point).  Having an African American as president is an hallmark for equality that should be celebrated … and I’d have a much easier time doing that were it not for some elements of what Thomas Jefferson called mob-rule.

Before I go much further, I want to say that I believe it’s entirely possible that Obama would have been elected without the following elements in play and I fully support him like any president as if he would have been.  My point is, that these elements were in play, and that’s a shame.

If our founding fathers were raised in the same cultural climate as all of us they’d be thrilled with an African American winning the election, assuming democracy worked like it was supposed to.  That said, I think they’d be rolling in their graves if they saw the 3 powerful dynamics that have adversely affected the vote this year:

1) Two phrases I find disturbing are: “they [insert special interest group here] deserve it”, and “it’s about time”.

I can only hope for the sake of democracy that these phrases only are uttered in appreciation for the man that Obama is, not the office that he now holds as if he was entitled to it by virtue of his race.  I hope that every vote cast for Obama was done with complete disregard to the body he was born into.  Entitlement and preferential treatment based on someone’s color or sex in the election process seem at odds with the kind of democracy that our founding fathers envisioned.

In modern times most people seem unfazed, and even embrace entitlement as a viable reason to vote for someone based on whether they be female, a racial minority, ethnic minority, religious minority, physically handicapped, sexually-different or from any other historically disadvantaged group of people.  It almost seems that if you do not embrace entitlement as a viable reason to vote for someone then you might be called a bigot.

It wasn’t always that way.  Were our founding fathers bigots because they did not think that the body someone was born into entitled them to hold public office?  They were trying to get away from just such a thing after dealing with the British monarchy.

2) I just can not envision our founding fathers targeting transient individuals who are usually just too lazy and/or too disinterested to get registered and go to vote.  Tt seems our Founding Fathers were far more pragmatic and republican in nature than they were idealist and democratic.  The government they formed was not a pure democracy but a constitutional republic with democratically elected representatives. Thomas Jefferson himself, along with most others of his day, called democracy “mob-rule” because he understood common man has neither the time, patience, or desire to really understand the dynamics of facilitating a free and thriving society.  They understood that the nature of politics was very complex and thereby formed a government run entirely by representation of those who have the time, patience and diligence to study and understand the issues.  I’m sure they’d expect voters to do the same and would never wholesale promote uneducated voting.

Tell me, when you vote and there are two names up there for school district administrator and you have no clue … do you guess?  Or do you leave it blank?  The more democratic thing to do is to leave it blank, yes?  Then why would you encourage someone to vote who hasn’t studied nor has any intention to study about the characters and platforms of any of the candidates but simply wants to go with the flow?  You might as well guess on those items and politicians you know nothing about … it’s the same thing.

3) Complete unmitigated and unabashed bias throughout the so-called “free” press.  If you don’t have extended cable (basic cable only gives you the major networks), you are only served by the big 3: ABC, NBC, and CBS.  According to the Center for Media and Public Affairs 10 times more people (composed equally of republicans and democrats) feel those networks have been biased toward Obama than those who feel it’s been biased toward McCain.  In addition late night pundit and comedian jokes have been favoring Obama’s ticket by a factor of 7:1.

Item #3 would not be such a big issue were it not combined with item #2.  It seems Thomas Jefferson was right … and those who’ve historically pretended to champion the causes of Thomas Jefferson may have been the very same who’ve fulfilled his prediction: that all democracy at one point or another will turn into mob-rule.

Having an African American for a president is cause for celebration for the hallmark of equality it represents, but I only wish it would have happened without these dynamics.  I think it sure would have been possible, but then we’ll never know now will we?

November 3, 2008

Go ahead & insult me: Tell me to vote.

Do you go around telling your friend to take a leak or they might wet their pants?  Do you go around telling people to remember to breathe in case they might accidentally suffocate?

You don’t?  Well then please don’t tell me to vote.

Just because you auctioned off your grey matter doesn’t give them the right to sequester your vote.

As for me, and those of us who don’t have to be told to vote … we’ll make an educated decision.

I know it’s well intended, and honestly, I’ve been told to vote by some of the most wonderful, intelligent, and savvy people I know. In fact I know of no stupid people who are reminding me to vote. I also know I should take their encouragement as a compliment … obviously they think I’m going to make a wise choice or they would not want me to vote.

But I just can’t help but think that if you need to be told to vote then you don’t have a clue enough to make a wise decision who should run your government.  It’s just simple math.  Person needs convincing = can’t think for themselves = bad votes = bad results.

We might as well choose our officials with a random number generator.  That’s not democracy.  In fact, letting the most impressionable intellectual-push-overs determine election outcomes results in a huge bias toward the opinions of popular media.

So here’s my advice: stay home if you sup entirely from the boob tube and decided to vote because an actor or actress will insult you if you don’t.  If that’s the kool-aid that you drink then chances are I know who you’re voting for, and believe me … you don’t want to throw your vote away on someone of whom you really know very little.  If you’re letting someone do the thinking for you stay home.  Just because you auctioned off your grey matter doesn’t give them the right to sequester your vote.  Give them what they deserve: nothing.  Stay home.

As for me, and those of us who don’t have to be told to vote … we’ll make an educated decision.

Or, you can stop drinking the Koolaid and make an intelligent choice, but if you have to be told to vote I’m guessing there’s not enough time for you to do that.  It’s not too late though.  Start here: http://www.google.com/search?q=msm+kool+aid

September 29, 2008

Subprime Woes: You can thank the Democrats – repost

Filed under: Blogroll,economy,media,Politics — lullabyman @ 2:10 pm

While democrats have been trying to get political advantage from the current financial crisis the underlying facts belie their position. It was democrats, not republicans, that set the ball in motion and pushed it faster and faster until it crashed into wall street and shattered the market. A few videos to help describe how it happened:

That said, I don’t think anyone should make a vote punitive. Look what happened 2 years ago … the public sent the republican congressmen packing for purely punitive reasons and has the democrat congress done any better? Ask yourself, “am I better off than I was 2 years ago before they were in power?”

If you want results then make your vote constructive not punitive.  If you make it punitive though, make sure you know who’s really to blame.  This all started long before Bush, and democrat congressmen were as much or more to blame as republican congressmen.

Identifying racism or sexism … A Test

“… I won’t necessarily think you’re racist or sexist, but … some of your other recipients might not be as forgiving as me.”

My last entry was critical of Obama.  I’ve been just as critical of McCain (see “McCain debates Hillary, lovingly“).  Honestly, I would be equally critical of both more often if I found an excuse to do so, but I feel compelled to help even the playing field, and unless you’ve been hiding under a rock you have to admit that the MSM has been one sided.  If, for example, Palin had said that FDR did the fireside chats by TV then NBC, CBS, and ABC would have had a field day about it, but when Biden said that exact thing last week the only place you heard about it was on Fox news – a news outlet that liberals spitefully despise because they feel it tramples on their rights to deceive distort and dissuade the public on an otherwise monopolized news market.

But I’m getting off topic.

Sexism and Racism still exists in the media … and especially in non-professional media, such as grassroots email campaigns.  There are guilty people on all sides of the fence, and I think it’s pretty despicable whenever I see it regardless of who does it.  By the same token there’s a lot of posturing by calling certain comments or positions racist or sexist, as was recently done by McCain’s Fiorina when she freaked out about the “lipstick on a pig” comment- that she acted so offended was also despicable in my opinion.  Then there’s even posturing by accusing whole parties of posturing when it was only one person, as was done by nearly all liberal leaders accusing the republican party of posturing when it was only Fiorina who was freaking out.  That, in my opinion is equally despicable.  Now I’m just waiting for someone posturing by accusing me of posturing by accusing liberals posturing about Fiorina posturing about Obama’s benign “lipstick on a pig” comment.  If you’re not thoroughly confused now … let me just say this: there’s been way too much posturing on the issue of sexism or racism if you ask me.

“If you don’t really care whether people think your racist or sexist then you might not care to do this test. Maybe you’re confident that none of the recipients would ever consider you racist or sexist. Don’t be so sure.”

The bottom line is that there needs to be some kind of simple method whereby one can easily detect and determine the level of racism or sexism in a given comment.  I think I’ve come up with such a method:  You must imagine the comment in a completely sex / race neutral setting then ask yourself “is it just as funny or does it make just as much sense as before?”  If it is just as funny and makes just as much sense then it’s neither racist nor sexist.  If however, if it seems to loose some of it’s edge then perhaps it has some sexist or racist overtones.

For example: You get an email where a photograph shows Obama and Palin photoshop’ed in, and the photo is supposed to be funny.  Now imagine that Hillary had been nominated and so she was in that picture instead of Obama.  Does the picture still make sense? Is that photoshop’ed photo just as funny, or did it totally loose it’s edge?  If it’s just as funny then congratulations … what you have there is a genuinely funny article, otherwise it’s probably just racist or sexist (or both) and if you spread it around you will offend a lot of people – don’t kid yourself.

“… let me just say this: there’s been way too much posturing on the issue of sexism or racism if you ask me.”

So what?  Well, this method could be useful if you forward a lot of political opinions or content to friends and family.  Before you forward on that cartoon see if it passes the above test.  If you don’t really care whether people think you’re racist or sexist then you might not care to do this test.  Maybe you’re confident that none of the recipients would ever consider you racist or sexist.  Don’t be so sure. Most people live by the motto “actions speak louder than words” and many think that forwarding someone else’s words makes them your words.

I won’t necessarily think you’re racist or sexist, and in fact I’m more likely to conclude that you simply didn’t think twice before sending on that email with little regard to how it might offend others.  We all do thoughtless things, and it doesn’t make you a bad person to do so, myself being the prime example as I do thoughtless things all the time … but like I said, some of your other recipients might not be as forgiving as me.

September 16, 2008

Bush-Doctrine Schmoctrine

I learned something pretty funny that I thought I’d pass on.  If you caught Charlie Gibson trying to be a barely-tolerant condescending snob to Sarah Palin for not knowing what the “Bush Doctrine”, you’ll think this is hilarious: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/12/AR2008091202457.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

“… if Charlie Gibson using a more obscure definition for “Bush Doctrine” isn’t funny enough … Gibson got the document wrong and Palin got it right, and after reading it I can only guess he’s never read it himself.”

In short, according to the originator of the term “Bush Doctrine” (coined even before 9-11) the definition Gibson used in the interview is NOT the original definition (Bush Doctrine: one-sided foreign policy), neither is it even the most widely understood definition (Bush Doctrine: spreading democracy throughout the world).  It is however the moveon.org favored definition (and a mangled definition as I’ll show in the next 2 paragraphs) used by ultra-liberal organizations in a way that misrepresents Bush’s policy on preemptive strikes.

Yes, if Gibson using a more obscure definition for “Bush Doctrine” isn’t funny enough, if you actually read the document to which Gibson refers to for his narrow definition (http://web.archive.org/web/20080307001029/http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss/2002/nss5.html) you’ll discover that the document is more about what Palin said than what Gibson said.  That’s right: Gibson got the document wrong and Palin got it right, and after reading it I can only guess he’s never read it himself.  Palin said the document was about protecting us from extremists, whereas Gibson wrongly thought the document was about preemptive strikes against any nation we found threatening.

“In other words, the document and Bush’s policies have never allowed, let alone advocated preemptively striking simply any nation that we might find threatening.”

Preemptive strikes was just one of the many strategies in that document, including additional strategies such as “enhance diplomacy” and “build coalitions”, but more importantly the document is very specific that it applies only to rogue, terrorist-sponsoring states who target civilians and non-combatants for terrorist activities.  In other words, the document and Bush’s policies have never allowed, let alone advocated preemptively striking simply any nation that we might find threatening.

Kudos to Palin for not being so narrow minded and misinformed and rude as Gibson seemed to be.  Double kudos that she wasn’t a condescending snob about enduring such a tedious interview with someone simultaneously so clueless and full of himself.

“I think we’ll start tuning into CBS, as apparently the ABC anchor is just as misinformed and unprofessional as those found on NBC.”

We’ve been getting our daily world news from Charlie on ABC World news report, but after this shameful display I think we’ll start tuning into CBS, as apparently the ABC anchor is just as misinformed and unprofessional as those found on NBC.

Edit: Sadly, CBS then proceeded with Katie Couric’s heavily edited and one-sided interrogations (Biden nor Obama got any) … seemingly trying to out do ABC in their efforts to sway the public to their opinion.

September 8, 2008

We were Soldiers. Out on Video. It will change you.

Filed under: Blogroll,defense,media,Politics,Sociology,war — lullabyman @ 7:01 pm

It’s actually been out on video for a few years.  I Tivo’d it the other night.

There are a lot of movies I want to watch, not because I look forward to watching them, but because I think I should because I know they will change me for the better.  Schindler’s List for example is one of them …  I don’t want to watch it but I think I should.  I still haven’t seen it.  I probably won’t until I can Tivo it because it’s just not the kind of movie you set out to rent.   When you go to rent a movie you’re typically looking for something fun and entertaining – at least that’s what I do.

“We were Soldiers” is another war movie – but unlike Schindler’s list I didn’t anticipate going away with the sick uneasy feeling expect to have with Schidler’s list.  I’m not sure why … perhaps it’s because I know a lot more about WWII than the Vietnam War.  Perhaps it’s because although 56,000 soldiers were killed in Vietnam, which is an unimaginable tragedy, in WWII 6 million Jews were slaughtered in concentration camps (2 out of every 3 European Jews) which is mindboggling in it’s devastation and then made all the worse because they were all civilians who were mostly women and children.

Anyway, often before I Tivo a show I’ll check out http://www.imdb.com for it’s rating and “We were Soldiers” was rated a 6.9, which is pretty good, but not exceptional, so I clicked on the rating – that will show you a distribution plot to see how people rated it.  Wow.  If you ever check imdb.com you should always click the rating.  I don’t know how they came up with 6.9, but if you look at the distribution you’ll see that 50% of watchers rated it an 8 or higher (1/3 of those gave it a ’10’).  So I then read the comments.  Those who were in Vietnam as soldiers commented again and again that with this film Hollywood finally got it right.  I agree with them that all the romanticizing the directors did with “Pearl Harbor” and other war-movies was distracting if not downright bothersome to me.

In summary, “We were Soldiers” is a true story about a general and his Brigade in Vietnam in 1965 as they were dropped right in the middle of the Viet Cong against some unbelievable odds.  It showed what happened back home with the families on base, and what happened to those who lived through it on the battlefield (mostly young men), and it showed the character of the people who fought it, and how they thought, and exactly what they did.

If you’ve ever wondered about what Veterans think about war in general then it’s probably a good movie to see.  I think with McCain on the ticket, and considering that he was a prisoner of war (although the movie didn’t go into that experience) it might  help you understand his views.  The general impression and understanding that you get at the end is that war Veterans, no matter how they feel about any particular war, will all basically have the same opinion about war in general.  In other words, if you want a president that will only engage in War when absolutely necessary then it seems you should want a man who lived that experience in a very real and personal way.  They all go into war differently with different attitudes and perceptions and goals.  They all come out however with a very similar opinion: War is hell and is something you do not engage in lightly.

One other thing: I don’t care how tough you are.  You’d better have a handkercheif or box of kleenex nearby.

July 14, 2008

9 Troops Killed – How many soldiers is that?!

Check out the definition of a Troop:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/troop

Notice something strange?  With 14 possible definitions, every single definition indicates that a troop is more than one person.  So how many people died when 9 troops are killed?  Well, let see if the minimum for a troop is 2 soldiers (and more likely 4 to 50), then with 9 troops killed that’s at least 18 soldiers, or more likely 36 to 450 soldiers … right?

WRONG.

Apparently when you’re the one who gets to create the news you can redefine words at your whim and fancy to mislead, confuse, and persuade.  In this case, whenever the mainstream media talks about “troops” being killed, it seems that according to the media a troop is one soldier.  That’s right.  One soldier.  So apparently if you’re in the news corp you can refer to Private Smith as Troop Smith (kind of like Trooper Smith except that “Trooper” sounds like only one person, and that’s not really what the media is going for).  Now, Troop Smith, is in my meager understanding a Troop of multiple Smiths, but then I’m just a regular guy who just reads dictionaries.  What do I know?  I’m not the all-knowing media.

Also when you own the media you’re allowed to ignore existing and more suitable words that the ones you redefine or make up, especially if they don’t serve your purpose.  You can, for example, ignore the word “Soldier” which, like “Trooper”, sounds like only one person.  That’s not good if you want 9 Soldiers to sound like even more than what they already are.

Someone correct me if I’m wrong – but 9 soldier deaths (as horrible as they are), is mathematically far far less than 18 soldier deaths , or (what fits the definition more closely) anywhere from 36 to 450 soldier deaths, which has a lot of shock value.

Just something to think about next time you read X-many troops killed.  Don’t be fooled by the mainstream media.  Instead, just get out your dictionary and a pen and write in there after definition number 14:

15) troop – what the msm likes to call one soldier when they want the number to sound really large.

June 24, 2008

Apology to those who were offended

I removed my post about my criticism of Carlin from yesterday because I’ve since come to realize many people saw him as family and are in pain or feel a sense of loss with his death. I was wrong to reason that there’s been and will be so many platitudes and pandering this week and next that my little pip-squeak contrarian view was okay to voice at this time.  I was wrong and I’m sorry.

February 8, 2008

Watch the Anti-Mormon-flavored PBS program “The Mormons”, or not

If you missed it 10 months ago don’t despair … recently reshown (as was “September Dawn”) to coincide with Romney’s epic struggle against the msm-nominated McCain , you can watch it Monday night on PBS.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about the most one-sided and history-selective treatment of the Mormon church that has ever been wrongly portrayed as a balanced treatment of the church. I actually don’t have a problem with all the anti-Mormon media that honestly admits that it intends to be highly critical and not give a balanced view because at least those treatments are at least honestly disrespectful. I’ll take honest disrespect over dishonest respect any time of the day.

But this one pretends to be something that it isn’t: Balanced. Some history: A couple years ago producers of the PBS series “American Experience” approached the Mormon church with a proposal to produce a “balanced” view of the Church in a 2 part documentary. Church leaders obliged and were interviewed as promised. Boy were they surprised when it aired.

Apparently “balanced” meant that they would give the same amount of time to a couple church leaders and BYU professors, as with excommunicated members, as with apostate ex-mormons, as with a couple of non-mormon intellectual critics, as with a couple evangelical anti-mormons, as with a non-representative members who made bad decisions or had ideas that weren’t backed up by official doctrine, and then they gave like 5 minutes to one good-representative lds family (out of 4 hours). So if you combine the time spent on negative and critical messages compared to positive messages the ratio was something like 5:1.

That would be fair I suppose if the church does 5 times more damage than it does good, but if you look at the statistics of Mormon communities you’ll find quite the opposite dynamic: the presence of the Mormon church (at least statistically when you look at family values, crime, suicide rates, graduation rates, education, etc) has a tremendously positive effect on communities. Christ said “By their fruits shall ye know them” (what I like to call the divine litmus test), but for whatever reason this maxim is never applied to modern-day Mormons or modern-day Mormonism.

I blogged on the program when it first aired back in May of 2007. You can read my summary of it if you don’t want to waste your time to find out how one-sided and selective it was (see here for part 1 and here for part 2).

Don’t get me wrong – it was done very professionally by Hollywood standards, narrated by a well known actor (David Ogden Stiers, the uppity surgeon from Mash) with nice camera work, with the deceptive appearance of good research, commentary by self appointed experts sitting in comfy chairs in wooden walled offices, paranoia enabling sensationalism, and most of all: artistic liberties (ie. innuendo, fact wrangling, and most of all: extremely selective history coverage).

So if you watch it then please remember the divine litmus test (“By their fruits shall ye know them”) when you consider what most of your Mormon neighbors are about. What do THEY do? How to THEY act? Then consider the amazing social statistics of communities with lots of Mormons compared to anywhere else. If you’re an atheist and thus don’t like the idea of “By their fruits shall ye know them”, consider this adage: “Actions speak louder than words”. It means the same thing. Our beliefs guide our actions and words so you can really get to know us by what we do on a daily basis.

Otherwise you can watch a million programs called “The Mormons” and never still have a clue what a “Mormon” is. Don’t be scared … we won’t bite, and we probably won’t even convert you. In fact we’d love to give you the other side of this documentary so you will truly have a “balanced” perspective.

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