liveonearth: (moon)
We might think, as we become more open, that it's going to take bigger catastrophes for us to reach our limit. The interesting thing is that, as we open more and more, it's the big ones that immediately wake us up and the little things that catch us off guard. However, no matter what the size, color, or shape is, the point is still to lean toward the discomfort of life & see it clearly, rather than to protect ourselves from it.
~Pema Chodron
liveonearth: (moon)
The First Wave Extinction, which accompanied the spread of the foragers, was followed by the Second Wave Extinction, which accompanied the spread of the farmers, and gives us an important perspetive on the Third Wave Extinction, which industrial activity is causing today.  Don't believe tree-huggers who claim that our ancestors lived in harmony with nature.  Long before the Industrial Revolution, Homo sapiens held the record among all organisms for driving th emost plant and animmal species to their extinctions.  We have the dubious distinction of being the deadliest species in the annals of biology.
--Yuval Noah Harari in Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, 2015, p74.
liveonearth: (moon)
I think this may be part of the reason that so many people have defaulted to supporting tRump.  At a gut level he gets it, that somehow the religion of Islam is motivating some people to kill bunches of hedonistic rich oblivious Americans.  We are The Great Satan, after all.  Our women roam around half naked.  We drink alcohol and eat so much that we can't get out of our chairs.  The Muslims who hate us find plenty to hate.  And the teachings of the religion are harsh.  Unforgiving.  Granted, most religions have some myths and stories that motivate hateful actions.  Most religions have a few fundamentalists whose simplistic interpretations lead them to extreme beliefs and behaviors.  Islam has a lot of people like that.  I am certain that the followers of ISIL think that American Muslims who don't help their cause are apostates, no better than the rest of us.  So given that there are quite a few Muslims who think we all deserve to die, and several at least who've been successful at violently killing Americans, being afraid of Muslims sounds kind of reasonable.  If the Dems don't admit to this, and begin teaching Americans about how they've been attempting to quell the fears of peaceable Muslims in order to prevent religious based warfare, they are missing the boat.  Blaming the Pulse shooting solely on easy access to guns is missing the very important point that currently there are a lot of people with this religious background who are motivated to kill.  We need to study them, to understand them.  They are not necessarily insane, they simply live in a different reality dictated by a different culture.  There are also a lot of Americans who are not Muslim who share their distaste for gays, their disrespect for loose women, and their instinctive hatred of other races.  Maybe you should be afraid.
liveonearth: (old books)
It's been decades since I read Siddhartha but it had a strong effect on me.  In my youth I was a philosophy major and a seeker, trying on different religious and spiritual approaches.  Eventually I arrived at myself, at the now, at the goals of non-attachment, awareness, compassion, adaptability.  I adopted bits and pieces of many philosophies, most notably Buddhism and Hinduism, without becoming a believer in reincarnation, heaven and hell, or any of the other dogmas.  New age religion in the US is very much a groovified hand-me-down from the culture behind these religions, and reincarnation is the most common belief system I encounter among people who pretend that they are enlightened.  More appealing to me is the stark realism of the German philosophers.  "To exist is to be in the way".

In Demian Herman Hesse suggests that the truth is not any of these religious structures, the truth is something far simpler, but harder to live.  It is not easy to go through this world stripped of comforting beliefs.  Hesse says we create gods and then we fight with them.  Many of his ideas are reminiscent of Nieztsche, for whom I've always had a soft spot.  He is the German philosopher who said "God is dead" and pissed off generations of religious people.

The protagonist of Demian is a young man named Sinclair, and his story begins when he is only 10 years old.  He is early at becoming aware.  Demian is a character who helps him, initially simply to avoid a predatorial character, and later to begin to think critically and to trust in himself.  When they are schoolmates Demian suggests alternate interpretations of Bible stories, especially the one about Cain and Able, and the mark of Cain.  By the end of the book I was thinking that I too must bear that mark, because I have never been a joiner, never been willing or able to submit to authority or dogma.

This book would make excellent reading for a teen who is beginning to sort out a path through all the competing authorities.  It does not provide a blueprint, but it does say that you must find your own path, and that it won't be easy or comfortable.  When Hesse first released this small book in 1919 it was in pieces in a magazine, and anonymously.  Why didn't he want his name attached?  Why didn't someone recognize his voice and thoughts, when they are so distinctly his?  Perhaps it is because Demian is also a commentary on the sadness of war, on the fruitlessness of giving lives for some shared ideal which might be bunk.  Some of the things he writes harken to the Jungian concept of collective consciousness, for example the shared premonitions of the onset of world war one.  Do we really share a consciousness, or do we simply share some of the same inputs, and arrive at some of the same intuitive conclusions?  Jung and Hesse did.

The most fruitful thing a person can do is to become themselves, I agree with Hesse on this point.  To be with people who are also themselves, this is a very satisfying thing.
liveonearth: (critter 2)

Don't forget: We live during the least violent time in all of recorded human history. We have done this by abandoning tribalism and embracing the, cosmically speaking, very new ideas of compassion and empathy. What we are seeing are the death throws of an old morality, where honor and vengeance and the death you could inflict were how you judged yourself as a person.

So the proper response to a terrorist attack shouldn't be hate or bloodlust, but pity; pity for a group actively choosing to be forgotten and disregarded by the long eye of history.

--Keegan Blackler

liveonearth: (Hands w/ Lotus)

President Obama certainly inherited a mess in the Middle East. But his foreign policy has never broken decisively with the fatal conceit of the Bush administration: that America has the final and decisive say on the nature of the regimes in the Middle East. Obama has kept the imperial premise of American politics, without the will to commit the strength needed to actually make them effective.

-Michael Brandon Dougherty 11/3/15

http://theweek.com/articles/586515/obamas-catastrophic-syria-folly

liveonearth: (Homer Simpson "D'oh!")
You can always count on the Americans
to do the right thing -
after they've tried
everything else.

--Winston Churchill, first person to be made honorary US citizen
liveonearth: (microbes)
In the field, some practitioners will pack an open wound with black soil to help it heal. You can get black peat that is used for this purpose and others. It is not pasteurized or sterilized in any way; it is full of living organisms. After the battle of Shiloh in the US civil war, soldiers whose wounds glowed in the dark had better survival. The organism (Photorhabdus luminescens) that was growing in their wounds came from the guts of nematodes living in the soil. Presumably this organism outcompeted the pathogenic ones. This kind of antibiotic mechanism cannot be ignored when antibiotic drugs are increasing ineffective.

More about the biology, and the source, behind cut. )
liveonearth: (turtle mistake)
I learned how to play chess from my father who beat me until I refused to play ever again. I didn't play again for many years. Now I will play, but only quick games in which people make more mistakes. Myself included, of course, but I am OK with that. Far as I can tell this really only works against beginning players.

The nutshell of my approach to speed chess:
Think just two moves out (think while the other person is evaluating their moves)
Examine the other person's last move in terms of attack, defense, opening and closing of lanes
Examine what my possible moves are in same terms
Build and maintain open lanes of power
Keep the pressure on (attack with every move if possible)
liveonearth: (Donkey)
War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.
--Ambrose Bierce
liveonearth: (moon)
Just yesterday I finally stopped ignoring the Middle East and looked up a few things. Like who is Shia and who is Sunni. And who has nukes and where. And what exactly an Islamist is. It was....a useful exercise. Anyone else out there taking an interest in this juncture of history? I'm ready to be educated.

It just seems to me, after one *ok a fraction of one* day of looking into it, that the majority Sunnis in most of the Middle East have been supremely frustrated trying to deal with their less conservative, more secular Shia neighbors. And it seems clear to me that America has at least attempted to enact a separation of church and state, even though those words do not appear in the constitution. It was in the First Amendment to the US Constitution that Congress was to "make no law respecting respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". As wikipedia points out, lots of nations have this idea in their code, and there is a great range of shades of gray in its execution. Here in America we do fairly well, but nowhere near a perfect score. For one thing, the constitution has no control over the states and what local laws might be passed. Which may be how we have gigantic crosses along Interstate 5 in Washington State. Not so different from other places, where religion is supposed to guide personal and political life. Here we seem only able to elect Christian presidents. We like to think that we are above it, but we are surely not.

So I know I am rambling and I will call it quits. If you have an opinion about what is the crux of what is going on--in Syria, Turkey, Kurdistan, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Russia or any other involved party, feel free to comment and tell me! I'm building a mind map.

**Created Syria tag.

QotD: Water

Feb. 5th, 2013 06:56 pm
liveonearth: (desert sand)
Whiskey is for drinking;
water is for fighting over.

--Mark Twain
liveonearth: (Luke Skywalker et al c light sabers)
The use of combat drones overseas divides Congress, but not in the usual partisan way.

Supporters of the “war on terror” in both parties tend to support the use of unmanned aircraft that often try to assassinate terrorism suspects. But libertarian Republicans have teamed up with civil liberties-backing Democrats to oppose the drones.

Now, the partisan trenches have been crossed by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D – Ohio, and Rep. Ron Paul, R – Texas, in order to force the administration to release its legal justification.

The two mavericks who are leaving Congress at year’s end have introduced a resolution of inquiry — legislation that is used to compel specific documents from the administration, and must be considered by the committee of jurisdiction, or on the House floor, within 14 legislative days.

Since the legislation was introduced on November 28, it could come before the House this year, which means that the administration will be forced to turn over the legal justification it uses for the strikes, including any memos from the Office of Legal Counsel.


SOURCE
http://www.opednews.com/populum/linkframe.php?linkid=159916
liveonearth: (Default)
I read this that is the fastest spreading viral video of all time. Of course there is controversy around it. As far as I know Joseph Kony really does kidnap kids and make them into murderers and sex slaves. So why not make sure he goes down this year? I like it. World community comes to bear on bad apple because of youtube. What next?

However hardly anybody is giving money to the cause. We all feel rich enough to share the link, but we, myself included, don't feel rich or involved enough to give money to a far-away cause. How can we induce world-tribe behavior? Can it be done? Or is it antithetical to true human nature? We are tribal, but it appears to me that our tribe is not extended by way of computer or television screens. I think that we need to touch and smell each other to feel that the other is part of our tribe.

I can't help but to wonder what happened to this man to make him so vicious. He is human too. How did his compassion get stripped away?
liveonearth: (peace sign)


This video is intended to inspire people to try yoga, but the music speaks even more loudly for peace. It's a reggae tune, I think by Trevor Hall. Pretty inspiring. =-]
lyrics to the song: Where's the Love )
liveonearth: (moon)
HOMEWORK ATSDR CSEM
Taking an Environmental Health History
atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/csem.asp?csem=17&po=o (or pdf on moodle
complete post-test questions 1-8 by next class

class on week 11 is when we get the take-home final
due friday week 12
homeworks will be reviewed over Thanksgiving
and notice given to students who haven't complete them
no homeworks will be graded late

ACAM & AAEM conference in PDX this week
Marianne Marchese is speaking, 2002 NCNM grad
her book: 8 Wks to Wmns Wellness
notes (melanoma notes integrated from this date back, radiation notes integrated from this entry to radiation protocol) )
liveonearth: (kiss kiss bang bang)
The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.
--G. K. Chesterton

Nothing in life is quite so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.
--Winston Churchill

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