Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fighting For Self

I realized this weekend I am trained to question myself. An old lady hit me in a parking lot. From what I can gather she entered the parking lot directly in front of me and I never saw her. Oddly enough, it did no damage to my car, but did damage at least her bumper.

She came over to me and said, "YOU NEVER LOOKED!"

This is not true, of course. The question, in my mind, is when did she actually get there? And all the questions I am asked or ask myself are predicated on that. The lane was clear when I started backing out. As I backed into the lane, there were pedestrians- the presence of which seemed to be between me and where she claimed to enter. Additionally, there were people there who appeared to think she was speeding through the parking lot.

But everyone wants me to question myself (except for the witnesses, but they didn't seem legalistically inclined), including, I believe, my insurance company, even though they've got this set up where they appoint this person to supposedly defend you. I found myself quite frustrated with the questions- you become aware, for instance, that they are trying to establish you are still in the parking space, but I wasn't, so I'm trying to answer questions that imply that, by qualifying them. They don't like that. They get argumentative.

I know the impact happened when I was in first gear. Probably nobody cares. I bet the police officer just wrote it up as if I were backing out into her.

I am hoping there's video, and that the insurance company actually bothers to find it. I know I may be wrong, but I want proof, not people leaning on me to make statements that I can't make accurately because I don't know where she was. I was looking back, and she got around me, so that I was looking to my front when she hit me.

Whatever the outcome, if she continues to think she can drive this way, she will hit someone. There are many pedestrians in that parking lot, and you have to be careful, but she seemed quite content go round my truck without having a clue who or what might be on the other side.

My grandfather drove past the point where our family wanted him to. Family hid his keys and wouldn't help him renew his license; the state and insurance corporations? They let him keep going. Even on his deathbed with leukemia, he would start asking for his keys. He wanted to go to work. By then, of course, the family had more control.

So I stood up for myself. This old lady was not happy about it. In some ways I wasn't happy about it either. If I assume I am wrong, I can imagine I have more control. Additionally, I was raised that way- to constantly question myself, as Roman Catholics are through confession. I don't think it was supposed to be so debilitating as it has become thanks the virtual destruction of the sacrament via modern therapeutic approaches and lack of true confessors (i.e. priests who you confessed to for most of your life and who actually knew you).

Update: They are going to settle, based on an unsatisfactory combination of what the witness and the woman who hit me said. I can imagine the witness being led by my supposed defender- I don't dispute I backed out of a parking lot, but the key question is when was she there- I can't know because I didn't see her, but it sure seems like it was after I was done to me. I know I had shifted into first gear and was just about to start forward when I got hit. The insurance person just left a message with a scenario that denies that, saying instead I braked when I heard the horn, which was kind of ironic, because I looked around wondering where that was coming from- not thinking it could be from behind me because I had just been looking there- and then I noticed I my parking brake was still on. So I released it. Thanks, universe, for this tiny little contradiction of an incidental and likely unimportant truth.

If I get the name of the woman who hit me, I'll put it into google alerts. I figure she'll hit a pedestrian sooner or later.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Israeli History Disqus Appears To Not Want You To Know

In April, I had a puzzling situation in which comments related to foreign policy were blocked. The situation has happened again.

The Creative Minority Report posted Anti-Semitism at Fordham?

I responded:
Israel is a socialist country in which private property is ignored. Jews once lived in Gaza until the Israeli government decided it was politically advantageous to remove them and put Palestinians there.
A mere boycott of Israel is not evidence of anti-Semitism.

A certain ahad_ha_amoratsim asked:
Israel moved the Arabs out of Israel and put them into Gaza? What universe do you live in?

Yesterday I answered. The basic point of my answer was to link to the wikipedia page on Gush Katif. In case you don't feel like clicking, Gush Katif is in Gaza.

Suddenly, comments are being moderated. Yesterdays comment appears to be gone completely. I did another one. It seemed to disappear too. Now, maybe the site owners just turned moderation on, and went away for a while or whatever, but I got fed up with this thing and edited the original comment to read:

Israel is a socialist country in which private property is ignored. Jews once lived in Gush Katif until the Israeli government decided it was politically advantageous to remove them and put Palestinians there.
A mere boycott of Israel is not evidence of anti-Semitism.

I have just edited this comment in the hopes that my clarification will prove ahad_ha_amoratsim's comment is a foolish attempt to ignore the truth. Additionally, the fact that certain comments regarding foreign policy seem to disappear in Disqus worries me that perhaps those who are in charge of shaping American public opinion are in charge over there.

In small print, just above, Disqus is telling me:
Hold on, this is waiting to be approved by Creative Minority Report.


But I doubt it.

I think somebody understands that treating devout Jews in such an atrocious way woke many of us up to the fact that Israel is run by a bunch of socialist atheists. From a humanitarian standpoint, all they did was make the Palestinian prison a little bit bigger. It is strategically questionable too. Makes no sense, until you realize the politicians are in it for themselves. They want the people in fear and under threat, because it is easier to manipulate them that way.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Objective Versus Subjective: Having Life And Having It More Abundantly

It occurred to me in all this permaculture design there is another objective measure of life: life per square foot. Some of the gardener types go a bit nuts about this, and try to put in as many different plants as will grow. It is more than plants too, fungi, insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds- from the littlest microbiota to apex predators, if you've got system big enough. I imagine any farmers who want a good nut harvest probably need hawks that kill squirrels. Squirrels are awful, wasteful littering critters who like to grab unripe pecans off the tree and hurl them at my truck. I have never seen a single edible pecan come off that tree.

This is another objective measure of life and having it more abundantly. The God of the living, wants more living, if the old testament is any testament, so there's another, but obviously there are rules surrounding this- which ends up leading to a third objective measure, which I would suggest are obvious health indicators. The children of families in which the parents actually remain together, for instance. Or more direct measures, like muscle mass. Muscle loss is a near universal prelude to death. Sure, sure, people can get run over by a bus, but even there, muscle often affords enough protection to mean the difference between life and death.

The subjective measure is feelings. One is often able to achieve various awesome feelings as a side effect of achieving an objective measure, but the feelings themselves are no indicator. I was watching the first season of The Returned this weekend, which is French zombie series. The French are good with feelings. They'll write all sorts of plots that no American director would touch because the American knows his audience will start asking questions with the word 'how' in them. The French don't care, they are using the plot to drive the feelings; the feelings are what's on display. So obviously, various feelings were elicited in me while watching this show. Probably the most important one was wanting to know what will happen next, but then again, making sure I was sympathetic to various characters was important too.

But at the end of it, I had done nothing more than spend a few hours watching a television show. Feelings. No objective measure achieved. How was Church this Sunday?

The thing about objective measures too, as long as they are ordered properly- one leads to another. Life begets life. As complexity grows, there are more and more niches within which new life can grow. And these niches tend to be niches in stable systems that can last for a very long time.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Geoff Lawton went and found one of those huge swales made by one of FDR's work programs, which resulted in a self-seeded oasis in the desert. So this made me daydream of what could be done.

What if you could get some of those huge earth moving machines- I think they use them alot in Australia, probably in mining, but they ought to be adaptable to be made into swale making machines. For swales to be functional, some math needs to be done regarding how much rainfall, so there would quickly be these green bans in the desert of whatever size is determined to be optimal, but much of the desert would still be dry.

Alan Savory has been suggesting for years that the solution to desertification is properly managed grazing. While it may be true it could be done with grazing alone, Lawton's video suggests to me the process could be sped up considerably.

The cattle spread the biodiversity around, eventually making the parts that still look like a desert look more like the green oasis.

This is the exciting stuff. It is hard to get excited about trying to do something about my home, because my home is in a city, and there are all these damnable rules, many of which result in problems, like not being able to raise meat animals, and a multitude of slugs.

A Question for Those Who "Engage" The World

The guys over at Creative Minority Report let me know that Notre Dame Now Offers Spousal Benefits to "Married" Gays and Lesbians.

Notre Dame is supposed to be Catholic. Catholics are supposed to be Christians. Logically, this shouldn't even be happening.

Now, I have had these little discussions with various folks in about building a city. Now these folks understand this idea in a mystical sense, but one of the telling images I have in my mind is that God might tell them to do something, but then the devil will show up and says 'Evangelize!' The result, of course, is no city, nothing that would even iterate into a city, but instead a form of evangelization so devoid of Christian doctrine that it may qualify as new age crap.
See, these people seem to think that engaging with the 'world' rather than pulling away from it, is the way to effect the world. These people also appear to get quite the dopamine hit when they are socializing in large crowds, so maybe I was not actually dealing anything more than a junkie rationalizing his next fix.

Anyway, to the question- When will you walk away? Here's something I wrote about University of Minnesota back when P.Z. Meyers (a professor there) was desecrating the Eucharist:

All PZ shall prove is his own depravity, and perhaps inadvertently, whether or not the State of Minnesota still protects property rights. I do suggest any Catholics currently at the University of Minnesota watch the outcome of this very closely. It may behoove you to tranfer to another university. We may need to shake the dust off our feet a bit more often in future.

There are actually people at both of these places, who are in the People of Praise, who are mostly Catholic, but who appear to be suffering from this evangelical disease, which is actually just a progressive mindset dressed up in religious symbolism. I know some of them, which is why this question occurred to me.

They obviously have no effect on Notre Dame, unless one were to argue that they have had a negative effect and are in some small part responsible for how far this institution has fallen for providing 30+ years of ineffectual Christianity. Disengaging not only makes sense from a standpoint of self-preservation, it also makes sense from a creative standpoint, because you can't build anything while engaging.

Seriously, when do you walk away?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Can We Get A Blond Chick From Central Casting?

Somehow, after reading about some cameraman who has come down with Ebola, vague memories- about like, every photogenic white chick ever, who wandered off and created months of wall-to-wall coverage about them being missing- began to surface.
Eureka, I thought, we need a blonde chick with Ebola!
It has all the hallmarks of a successful media/propaganda campaign. Nightly photo-collage of college photos, maybe a little footage of her puking in a public place, followed by a media vigil outside some American hospital. Tune in, night after night, to see if she lives or dies.

And it is entirely believable to boot, since American women have begun to make wandering off into dangerous places a habit.

That Other God

Whoever wrote down 'thou shalt not have other gods before me' didn't believe in just one god. There were many gods, and then there was the Alpha & Omega, so it was important to prioritize.

The other gods of today are groups. Church, government, corporations, colleges, communities, occasionally even family, though family has usually been exploited by every other entity. They don't tell you that the group is a god, but they do tell you your relationship with God is mediated through these groups.

I have read the bible all by my little self, and I have noticed that this god is perfection, wants us to become perfect, and wants more of us to exist with a certain level of quality of life. Many of the rules people seem to dislike are there so that the next generation gets to be born with a decent chance not just to scrape by, trying to stave off hunger, but to have enough time to actually try to know God. I am not suggesting prosperity gospel here- suffering is part of living, but if one is going to have life and have it more abundantly, then it's probably a good idea for there to be two parents and some way for said parents to provide.

I think it has been going bad since the 1800s, but one of the things that sped all kinds of awfulness up is when corporate types figured out the young childless female is precisely the sort of conformist worker they want and need. It used to be that the corporations wanted married men- and by many measures this is still the sensible way to go. Married men tend to be more productive and since they feel responsible for the wife and kids, they'll put up with a lot more crap, and generally be more loyal. But you have to pay them a lot more, or else they'll move on, because of that same sense of responsibility to the wife and kids.

With young women, you can usually find a few wanting to try and prove themselves, and there are always more every year. College attendance is now overwhelmingly female. Nobody reads 1st Timothy, and when they do quote St. Paul, they pretend a bunch of women staying single during their fertile years is right in line with what he said, even though that is complete nonsense.

These are your gods now, and they are definitely before God. The more traditionalist mindset looks at the Church and say, well this was instituted by God and grew organically. Well, cancer grows organically too. Since the 1800s, when the nobility were routed, the bureaucrats took over. Where ever someone attempts the true calling of the Church, they get betrayed by those who should know better:

These friars are in jail serving a three year sentence without a trial. What could possibly justify such action? One can only surmise that they are determined to drive these men from the priesthood for the crime of 'crypto-lefebvrianism' and they will be not allowed any escape into a diocese. They want them gone.

Knowing the psychological hack job done on the conservative minded, many of these friars will attempt to hold on to the group- the Church. From a doctrinal point of view, the Roman Catholic church, like a lot of traditional churches, views itself as the 'one true church'. But there are very real evil and/or stupid men in authority, while there are equally many men with no authority who love God, and can no longer stand the incipient drivel coming from the pulpit. Where is the Church? I don't see why the Holy Spirit wouldn't be grieved by the incipient drivel either.

This idolatry of groups has been encouraged and the fruits are now showing. There are now two sorts of leaders: sociopaths and imbeciles. The sociopaths usually use the imbeciles, so the imbeciles are placed in traditional offices, where people can see them, and the sociopaths tend to run things behind the scenes. Those with a conscience tend to avoid leadership because they don't feel qualified. The sociopaths don't actually care about the groups, but use the sanctity with which it is imbued to their own ends. Eventually the group is destroyed, and they go on to some other group to do the same thing again.