Monday, September 30, 2013

I Ching: Hexagram 60 - The Lines, Part 6

Six at the top means:
Galling limitation.
Perseverance brings misfortune.
Remorse disappears.


If one is too severe in setting up restrictions, people will not endure them. The more consistent such severity, the worse it is, for in the long run a reaction is unavoidable. In the same way, the tormented body will rebel against excessive asceticism. On the other hand, although ruthless severity is not to be applied persistently and systematically, there may be times when it is the only means of safeguarding against guilt and remorse. In such situations ruthlessness toward oneself is the only means of saving one's soul, which otherwise would succumb to irresolution and temptation.
Translator of this version of the I Ching is Richard Wilhelm. If you missed any posts in this series, please utilize the I Ching label below.

Not So Fast

Trey Smith

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and a longtime defender of the National Security Agency, unveiled plans Thursday for legislation designed to rein in some aspects of the NSA’s controversial domestic surveillance programs.

At a rare open hearing of the intelligence panel, Feinstein said her legislation would limit the NSA’s access to the so-called metadata it collects on Americans’ cell phone usage and would seek to codify the legal standard under which such data could be searched by NSA workers.

The legislation also would require the NSA to reveal more details about its use of the information it collects under two U.S. laws, the USA Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, including making annual reports to Congress on how many times NSA searches its database of cell phone information.
~ from NSA Defender Feinstein Bows to Growing Political Pressure by Ali Watkins ~
Wow. If even Diane Feinstein is offering reform legislation, it must mean that the tide is turning in the halls of Congress, right?

Not. So. Fast.

Staunch defenders don't turn into opponents overnight. The job of a staunch defender is to minimize the damage that reform legislation might entail. While other members of Congress have floated legislative proposals with teeth, Feinstein wants to short circuit such attempts by offering legislation with few or no teeth at all. She wants to create the facade of reform without actually bringing about much of any substantive change.

And there is a crucial political reason to do this. As the two sides debate more substantive legislation, she can offer her bill as a "compromise" between the two sides. And let's face it. When the public is clamoring for change, most politicians want to appear as if they are listening -- they want to be re-elected, ya know. Consequently, legislation that sounds like substantive change, but really isn't, is very popular in such situations.

Mark my words. Feinstein's legislation will be among the most water-downed and open-ended of the various bills submitted. If you want to see the NSA reformed, it is the one bill you should not support.

Afternoon Matinee: Protest - Wake Me Up When September Ends

Performed by Green Day





Summer has come and passed, the innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends
Like my father's come to pass, seven years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends

Here comes the rain again, falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again, becoming who we are
As my memory rests, but never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed, the innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends
Ring out the bells again, like we did when spring began
Wake me up when September ends

Here comes the rain again, falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again, becoming who we are
As my memory rests, but never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed, the innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends
Like my father's come to pass, twenty years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends

Here comes the rain again, falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again, becoming who we are
As my memory rests, but never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

Wake me up when September ends
Wake me up when September ends
~ from Lyric Wiki ~

Taoist and Buddhist Tweets 89

Ta-Wan


Anyone recognising the truth 
could not bear for someone to act as if inferior,
would laugh at someone acting superior,
and would respect all in nature 
from fly to fish as a living equal in Tao.

You can check out Ta-Wan's other musings here.

Bit by Bit - Chapter 22, Part 6

Trey Smith

Heaven and earth have their great beauties but do not speak of them; the four seasons have their clear-marked regularity but do not discuss it; the ten thousand things have their principles of growth but do not expound them. The sage seeks out the beauties of Heaven and earth and masters the principles of the ten thousand things. Thus it is that the Perfect Man does not act, the Great Sage does not move - they have perceived [the Way of ] Heaven and earth, we may say. This Way, whose spiritual brightness is of the greatest purity, joins with others in a hundred transformations. Already things are living or dead, round or square; no one can comprehend their source, yet here are the ten thousand things in all their stir and bustle, just as they have been since ancient times. Things as vast as the Six Realms have never passed beyond the border [of the Way]; things as tiny as an autumn hair must wait for it to achieve bodily form. There is nothing in the world that does not bob and sink, to the end of its days lacking fixity. The yin and yang, the four seasons follow one another in succession, each keeping to its proper place. Dark and hidden, [the Way] seems not to exist and yet it is there; lush and unbounded, it possesses no form but only spirit; the ten thousand things are shepherded by it, though they do not understand it - this is what is called the Source, the Root. This is what may be perceived in Heaven.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
Many people believe that there is an invisible hand that, like a conductor, orchestrates the world around us. For me, I tend to lean more toward an underlying principle that each life form shares, but does not literally orchestrate anything.

To view the Index page for this series, go here.

So Brave and Yet So Timid

Trey Smith


Last week the US Senate held another hearing about the NSA and their mass surveillance programs. While most of the Senators lobbed softball questions at NSA officials, according to Glenn Greenwald, two asked more substantive questions -- Democrats Ron Wyden and Mark Udall -- and these two have been sort of warning the American public about NSA excesses for some time.
Those two spent years publicly winking and hinting that the NSA under President Obama was engaged in all sorts of radical and abusive domestic surveillance (although - despite the absolute immunity protection they enjoy as Senators under the Constitution - they took no action, and instead waited for Edward Snowden (who had no such immunity) to bravely step up and reveal to the American people specifically what these two Senators kept hinting at).
In a manner of speaking, these two Senators have acted so brave and yet so timid at the same time.

In terms of the elite Washington power brokers, they have been courageous. Though both have been encouraged by their colleagues and the President himself to keep their mouths shut, they have steadfastly drawn attention to the fact that what NSA officials and members of the Obama administration say is not altogether accurate. Basically, they have pointed out repeatedly that a lot of lies have been told without necessarily calling them lies.

But while one could characterize them as being brave in a limited sense, they concurrently have been chickenshit cowards! Though they have known the truth from the lies, they have hidden themselves behind the idea that they aren't allowed to discuss classified information in public. As Greenwald makes abundantly clear, this assertion simply isn't true! The US Constitution grants them virtual immunity for anything they say -- at the very least -- on the floor of the US Senate.

In others words, rather than hinting at improprieties, both have had numerous opportunities to spill the beans. They have had numerous opportunities to bring the truth to light. Despite these repeated opportunities, they each chose to duck for cover.

So, it is hard to pat them on the back for being cowardly heroes of democracy and transparency.

I Ching: Hexagram 60 - The Lines, Part 5

Nine in the fifth place means:
Sweet limitation brings good fortune.
Going brings esteem.


The limitation must be carried out in the right way if it is to be effective. If we seek to impose restrictions on others only, while evading them ourselves, these restrictions will always be resented and will provoke resistance. If, however, a man in a leading position applies the limitation first to himself, demanding little from those associated with him, and with modest means manages to achieve something, good fortune is the result. Where such an example occurs, it meets with emulation, so that whatever is undertaken must succeed.
Translator of this version of the I Ching is Richard Wilhelm. If you missed any posts in this series, please utilize the I Ching label below.

Building on Zhuangzi II

Scott Bradley


I've been dancing around Lusthaus's major theme in "Aporetics Ethics in the Zhuangzi" (Hiding the World in the World) now for several posts and I am now going to make a final stab at summing it up.

An aporia is a point of absolute undecidability (unknowability). Using skeptical arguments — that all distinctions, moral or otherwise, are perspectivally determined, for instance — Zhuangzi brings us to the point of aporia — we don't know for sure what is 'right' and what is 'wrong'. This does not become an occasion for a complete dismissal of all knowing (radical skepticism), however, but rather a foundation for ethical action — “going along with the present 'this' ('right')." This is because Zhuangzi is a "critical thinker" whose elimination of certain propositions by way of skeptical argument is for the purpose of finding the 'best' way, rather than to discard all ways. He arrives at an ethical (what should we do?) conclusion by way of an epistemological one (how do we know?) because both questions share the attribute of being merely discriminations of the mind.

This seems logical enough on the surface and we can affirm it on that basis, but somehow I think it completely misses the spirit of Zhuangzi. It seems to suggest that Zhuangzi has arrived at his way by means of logical argument, and nothing could be further from the truth. His "Illumination of the Obvious" is a phenomenological appreciation of experience that ultimately is an affirmation of life, not of the machinations of the mind. This is the whole point. It is very much like his knowing of the happiness of fish — he knows it because he sees them doing what they do. Huizi wants to establish rational grounds for this — something that Zhuangzi, nor anyone else, can do. Zhuangzi makes the necessary leap that is the affirmation of life (as, in fact, does Huizi who asks Zhuangzi how he knows because he too knows). It is ultimately a mystical move. Reason cannot go there. Common sense, in this sense, is a mystical movement. (Since all is Mystery, how could it be otherwise?)

The Illumination of the Obvious is Zhuangzi's amplification of this basic dimension of human experience which we all exercise but largely fail to fully appreciate. We are rooted in life, and life is beyond understanding. Ultimately, Zhuangzi suggests we take an affirming and mystical plunge into life. That's all. Release into the human experience; flow with the way things are; accept the "inevitable"; harmonize with the life experience by disallowing the mind's propensity to reject and denigrate what it does not 'like'. All the rest follows from this.

You can check out Scott's writings on Zhuangzi here.

BP - The Science Behind Greedy CEO Psychopaths


Sunday, September 29, 2013

I Ching: Hexagram 60 - The Lines, Part 4

Six in the fourth place means:
Contented limitation. Success.


Every limitation has its value, but a limitation that requires persistent effort entails a cost of too much energy. When, however, the limitation is a natural one (as for example, the limitation by which water flows only downhill), it necessarily leads to success, for then it means a saving of energy. The energy that otherwise would be consumed in a vain struggle with the object, is applied wholly to the benefit of the matter in hand, and success is assured.
Translator of this version of the I Ching is Richard Wilhelm. If you missed any posts in this series, please utilize the I Ching label below.

A Dud of a Blow Job

Trey Smith


After listening to a week's worth of nasty predictions about the weather, we really dodged a bullet. While South Bend was hammered by the storm -- strong winds and nearly 5 inches of rain in 24 hours -- it fortunately didn't make it as far north as Ocean Shores. While our crew of 4 had to deal with rain and wind on Moving Day, it was nothing out of the ordinary for autumn on the Washington Coast.

Though the weather wasn't half the impediment that we anticipated, it still was a long and back-breaking day. My old body is so worn out that I'm taking today off.

~

After we finished moving our furniture and belongings into our new apartment, we treated our two helpers to a big lunch at a local pizzeria. When Della and I lived in Aberdeen about 6 years ago, this restaurant was our favorite place to eat in Ocean Shores. On the drive up, we raved about the quality of the food and both of us were REALLY looking forward to eating there.

Well, we did eat there...but the great pizza we remember wasn't so great! In fact, on a scale 1 - 10, I'd rate the pizza we had at about a 5. It just goes to show that you can't always judge the present by the past. Things change and not all those changes are for the better.

Afternoon Matinee: Protest - Save the World

Performed by George Harrison





We've got to save the world
Someone else may want to use it
So far we've seen
This planet's rape, how we've abused it
We've got to save the world

The Russians have the biggest share
With their long fingers everywhere
And now they've bombs in outer space
With laser beams and atomic waste

Rain forest chopped for paper towels
One acre gone in every hour
Our birds and wildlife all destroyed
To keep some millionaires employed

We've got to save the whale
Greenpeace, they've tried to diffuse it
But dog food salesmen
Persist on kindly to harpoon it
We've got to save the world

The armament consortium
They're selling us plutonium
Now you can make your own H-bomb
Right in the kitchen with your mom

The nuclear power that costs you more
Than anything you've known before
The halfwit's answer to a need
For cancer, death, destruction, greed

We've got to save the world
Someone's children, they may need it
So far we've seen
The big business of extinction bleed it
We've got to save the world

We're at the mercy of so few
With evil hearts determined to
Reduce this planet into hell
Then find a buyer and make quick sale

To end upon a happy note
Like trying to make concrete float
Is very simple knowing that
God in your heart lives

We've got to save the world
Someone else may want to use it
It's time you knew
How close we've come, we're gonna lose it

We gotta save, we gotta save
Gotta save the world
~ from Lyric Wiki ~

Taoist and Buddhist Tweets 88

Ta-Wan


I asked my dog what she'd like to do for her birthday and she said she had nothing to wear and no money, but wanted to have a nice run by the river and chew a stick or two.

I thought this was a great idea.

I asked my sister and she said her husband had exams, they were moving house soon, work was stressful and she may not get home in time to even have a rest before her birthday was out.

I thought "and you, human, are the smart one?"

You can check out Ta-Wan's other musings here.

Bit by Bit - Chapter 22, Part 5

Trey Smith

Knowledge said to the Yellow Emperor, "I asked Do-Nothing-Say-Nothing and he didn't reply to me. It wasn't that he merely didn't reply to me - he didn't know how to reply to me. I asked Wild-and-Witless and he was about to explain to me, though he didn't explain anything. It wasn't that he wouldn't explain to me - but when he was about to explain, he forgot what it was. Now I have asked you and you know the answer. Why then do you say that you are nowhere near being right?"

The Yellow Emperor said, "Do-Nothing-Say-Nothing is the one who is truly right - because he doesn't know. Wild-and-Witless appears to be so - because he forgets. But you and I in the end are nowhere near it - because we know."

Wild-and-Witless heard of the incident and concluded that the Yellow Emperor knew what he was talking about.

~ Burton Watson translation ~
There are far too many Wild-and-Witless among us. They pretend to know the secrets of the cosmos and they expend much verbiage in telling us how much they know without actually saying anything at all. At the end day, however, it would appear that they are just as clueless as the rest of us! So why do we shower these nitwits with fame, money and power?

To view the Index page for this series, go here.

Another Example of Our Two-Tiered Justice System

Trey Smith

The FBI has recommended only 2,001 white-collar cases for criminal prosecution so far this fiscal year, on pace for a nearly 7 percent drop from last year, according to a report Tuesday by a research group affiliated with Syracuse University.

It would be one of the lowest years on record and would extend a years-long trend, according to government data obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, or TRAC.

Typically, the FBI investigates potential wrongdoing and recommends cases to the Justice Department, where federal prosecutors make final decisions about whether to file cases.

Despite concerns about widespread wrongdoing on Wall Street, the number of white-collar prosecutions recommended by the FBI has plummeted 45.2 percent in the past decade, according to government data obtained by TRAC.

It's not for a lack of resources. The number of criminal investigators has risen, to 13,812 this year from 11,097 in 2001. (emphasis mine)
~ from FBI Pursuing Fewer White-Collar Cases, Group Finds by Walter Hamilton ~
Think about this. We have heard example after example of how Wall Street has run roughshod over the world economy and yet the number of white-collar investigations/prosecutions has fallen by nearly 50 percent! That would be like a community being plagued with armed robberies having the local police department focus their attention instead on litterbugs.

You want to know why white collar criminals act with increased impunity? They KNOW that the government isn't scrutinizing their behavior. If you are aware that there is little chance that you will be held personally liable for playing loose with OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY, you will not only continue to do it, but you will take even greater risks. What's to stop you?

I Ching: Hexagram 60 - The Lines, Part 3

Six in the third place means:
He who knows limitation
Will have cause to lament.
No blame.


If an individual is bent only on pleasures and enjoyment, it is easy for him to lose his sense of the limits that are necessary. If he gives himself over to extravagance, he will have to suffer the consequences, with accompanying regret. He must not seek to lay the blame on others. Only when we realize that our mistakes are of our own making will such disagreeable experiences free us of errors.
Translator of this version of the I Ching is Richard Wilhelm. If you missed any posts in this series, please utilize the I Ching label below.

Building on Zhuangzi I

Scott Bradley


As mentioned earlier, Dan Lusthaus's stated purpose in his article "Aporetics Ethics in the Zhuangzi" (Hiding the World in the World) is to demonstrate that Zhuangzi is a "critical thinker" who uses skepticism to arrive at "positive, affirmable claims" so as to indulge in "prescriptive discourse". I also admitted that I found his arguments hard to follow, at least in actually demonstrating this stated purpose. Nevertheless, he provides many helpful insights into Zhuangzi's philosophy and the Zhuangzi generally.

On the issue of whether Zhuangzi was a radical skeptic or not, the arguments tend to go beyond me. I take refuge, however, in believing that these discussions are largely beside the point; Zhuangzi's real purpose was never to establish a rational or antirational foundation for his leap into Mystery. That would be to burn his launch pad; it would be to depend on something, and not just anything, but the rationalizing mind which he sees as the principle source of our alienation from the process of life. The "antirationalist" epitaph that has been assigned to Zhuangzi is largely correct, but to make of this a foundation for his philosophy is to render his antirationalism rationalistic. Skepticism that rests its case on a rational demonstration of its position is rationalistic whatever its conclusions. This parallels the existentialist's antirationalism that ends in despair for lack of the rational, which to say, consequent to his rationalism.

Thus, I think I agree with those who say that Zhuangzi's skepticism was primarily therapeutic, that he argued in this vein not to prove that we cannot know anything for sure, but to help us move beyond the belief that something needs to be proven. If we become absorbed in this philosophical discussion, however, we overturn the whole point of his argument, namely that life is beyond argument.

You can check out Scott's writings on Zhuangzi here.

TYT - Profit Guaranteed By Quotas For Private Prisons


Saturday, September 28, 2013

I Ching: Hexagram 60 - The Lines, Part 2

Nine in the second place means:
Not going out of the gate and the courtyard
Brings misfortune.


When the time for action has come, the moment must be quickly seized. Just as water first collects in a lake without flowing out, yet is certain to find an outlet when the lake is full, so it is in the life of man. It is a good thing to hesitate so long as the time for action has not come, but no longer. Once the obstacles to action have been removed, anxious hesitation is a mistake that is bound to bring disaster, because one misses one's opportunity.
Translator of this version of the I Ching is Richard Wilhelm. If you missed any posts in this series, please utilize the I Ching label below.

There's Still a 5 Percent Chance They Are Wrong!

Trey Smith


When it comes to most things in life, 95 percent is considered to be almost a certainty. If the weather forecast calls for a 95 percent chance of precipitation, most people accept it as given and prepare accordingly. If a student scores 95 percent on a test, that student is almost certain to earn an A. Almost any team in any sport that won 95 percent of the time would have the best record.

It seems that the only time when 95 percent is considered far too low of a threshold is when it comes to global warming/climate change. Climate change deniers grab hold of the 5 percent of uncertainty and parade around with it like it means something vastly important. While many see a political candidate who garners 51 percent of the vote as achieving some sort of a mandate, somehow the 95 percent certainty that most of the climate change we are experiencing is human-caused represents no mandate at all!

Odd how it seems to work out that way.

Afternoon Matinee: Protest - Peace Train

Performed by Cat Stevens





Now, I've been happy lately,
Thinkin' about the good things to come
And I believe it could be;
Something good has begun.

Oh, I've been smilin' lately,
Dreamin' about the world as one
And I believe it could be;
Some day it's going to come

'Cause out on the edge of darkness,
There rides a peace train.
Oh, peace train take this country.
Come take me home again.

Now, I've been smiling lately,
Thinkin' about the good things to come
And I believe it could be;
Something good has begun.

Oh, peace train soundin' louder.
Glide on the peace train.
Ooh, ah, ee, ah, ooh, ah.
Come on, now peace train.

Yes, peace train holy roller.
Everyone jump on the peace train.
Ooh, ah, ee, ah, ooh, ah.
Come on, now peace train.

Get your bags together.
Go bring your good friends too
Because it's gettin' nearer;
It soon will be with you.

Now, come and join the livin'.
It's not so far from you
And it's gettin' nearer;
Soon it will all be true.

Oh, peace train soundin' louder.
Glide on the peace train.
Ooh, ah, ee, ah, ooh, ah.
Come on, now peace train.
Peace train.

Now, I've been cryin' lately,
Thinkin' about the world as it is.
Why must we go on hating?
Why can't we live in bliss?

'Cause out on the edge of darkness,
There rides a peace train.
Oh, peace train take this country.
Come take me home again.

Oh, peace train soundin' louder.
Glide on the peace train.
Ooh, ah, ee, ah, ooh, ah.
Come on, now peace train.

Yes, peace train holy roller.
Everyone jump on the peace train.
Ooh, ah, ee, ah, ooh, ah.
Come on, come on, come on.
Yeah, come on, peace train.
Yes, it's the peace train.
Ooh, ah, ee, ah, ooh, ah.
Come on, now peace train.
Peace train.
Ooh, ah, ee, ah, ooh, ah.
~ from Lyric Wiki ~

Taoist and Buddhist Tweets 87

Ta-Wan


As soon as we are talking about them and us,
peace can only deteriorate.

You can check out Ta-Wan's other musings here.

Bit by Bit - Chapter 22, Part 4

Trey Smith

Knowledge said to the Yellow Emperor, "You and I know, but those other two that I asked didn't know. Which of us is right, I wonder?"

The Yellow Emperor said, "Do-Nothing-Say-Nothing - he's the one who is truly right. Wild-and-Witless appears to be so. But you and I in the end are nowhere near it. Those who know do not speak; those who speak do not know. Therefore the sage practices the teaching that has no words. The Way cannot be brought to light; its virtue cannot be forced to come. But benevolence - you can put that into practice; you can discourse on righteousness, you can dupe one another with rites. So it is said, When the Way was lost, then there was virtue; when virtue was lost, then there was benevolence; when benevolence was lost, then there was righteousness; when righteousness was lost, then there were rites. Rites are the frills of the Way and the forerunners of disorder. So it is said, He who practices the Way does less every day, does less and goes on doing less, until he reaches the point where he does nothing, does nothing and yet there is nothing that is not done.'' Now that we've already become `things,' if we want to return again to the Root, I'm afraid we'll have a hard time of it! The Great Man - he's the only one who might find it easy.

"Life is the companion of death, death is the beginning of life. Who understands their workings? Man's life is a coming-together of breath. If it comes together, there is life; if it scatters, there is death. And if life and death are companions to each other, then what is there for us to be anxious about?

"The ten thousand things are really one. We look on some as beautiful because they are rare or unearthly; we look on others as ugly because they are foul and rotten. But the foul and rotten may turn into the rare and unearthly, and the rare and unearthly may turn into the foul and rotten. So it is said, You have only to comprehend the one breath that is the world. The sage never ceases to value oneness."

~ Burton Watson translation ~
"Those who know do not speak; those who speak do not know." We find much the same line in the Tao Te Ching. It points to the fact that a genuine understanding of the Grand Mystery is beyond words. I'm not suggesting that there is anyone who truly understands, but, if they did, how could a person explain it to others so that it could be understood?

To view the Index page for this series, go here.

Blow Job

Trey Smith


As I pen this post Friday night, the forecast for tomorrow -- moving day -- is about the worst forecast for this type of thing. They are predicting that we may receive upwards of 3 - 4 inches of rain to go along with a high wind warning and flood watch. As to the wind itself, here is what the National Weather Service predicts:
Saturday Wind Strength: South Winds Of 30 To 40 Mph With Gusts Of 50 To 60 Mph For Coastal Communities And 60 To 70 Mph Near Beaches And Headlands.
As it so happens, our itinerary begins in a coastal community -- South Bend -- and then moves to north to a beach community -- Ocean Shores. So, chances are that tomorrow (well, today, when you read this) is going to be one hellacious day. Not only will I be fighting the wind while driving over the Willapa Hills in a 16 foot moving van, but once we reach Ocean Shores, it will be a stern challenge to keep our furniture and belongings relatively dry as we move them from the parking lot of our new apartment complex to our apartment (about 50 yards away).

You know, we made every effort we could to move before the rainy season started. But this is how life goes sometimes. For the most part, the overall process was out of our hands. For example, as I've already shared with you, we got screwed over by our Neighborhood U-Haul dealer and so we didn't complete Phase 1 of the move today (remember, I'm writing this on Friday) as planned. Had we been able to secure the U-Haul on Thursday, we would have missed the violent storm that will roll unto the southwest Washington coast on Saturday.

While the confluence of events that has us moving on the worst day possible (over the last 120 days or so) is irritating and frustrating to max, it is what it is. Getting mad and losing one's cool won't change the weather or make the day go by any better. We will head out early in the morning and hope for the best. That's about all we can do at this point.

I Ching: Hexagram 60 - The Lines, Part 1

Nine at the beginning means:
Not going out of the door and the courtyard
Is without blame.


Often a man who would like to undertake something finds himself confronted by insurmountable limitations. Then he must know where to stop. If he rightly understands this and does not go beyond the limits set for him, he accumulates an energy that enables him, when the proper time comes, to act with great force. Discretion is of prime importance in preparing the way for momentous things. Concerning this, Confucius says:

Where disorder develops, words are the first steps. If the prince is not discreet, he loses his servant. If the servant is not discreet he loses his life. If germinating things are not handled with discretion, the perfecting of them is impeded. Therefore the superior man is careful to maintain silence and does not go forth.
Translator of this version of the I Ching is Richard Wilhelm. If you missed any posts in this series, please utilize the I Ching label below.

Still More on the Butterfly Dream IV

Scott Bradley


When I was a kid I had this sudden idea (insight?) that at death one becomes a new consciousness without the transference of identity. I have never been able to understand it well enough to put it into words. Even now, the statement above says "one becomes", which of course suggests a transference of identity. When I told my mother, she said this was not a new idea, but simply the belief in reincarnation. I knew immediately that this was not what I had 'seen', but was unable to better articulate it from then until now, more than fifty years later.

Perhaps one way to try and get a handle on this is to take consciousness as primary and identity as secondary. You and I are absolutely different identities, but we share the experience of consciousness, and it is consciousness that determines identity rather than the other way around. The source of your 'I-me' is really the same as that of my 'I-me'. One can lose one's 'I-me', one's particular identity, but consciousness continues as a completely other 'I-me' identity.

I obviously have made little progress in the attempt to articulate this. Perhaps in another fifty years as another 'I-me' 'I' will have more success, but language does not seem capable of saying anything without reference to identity; a word stands for something.

All this comes to mind because in Zhuangzi's butterfly dream story the conclusion tells us that Zhuangzi and the butterfly are definitely two separate identities. If this is the case, then the identity of both is exceedingly tenuous, to say the least. Zhuangzi does not 'become' a butterfly; he ceases to be Zhuangzi; the butterfly never was Zhuangzi; there is no discernible connection between them.

This observation is not intended to tell us how things actually are; how could we possibly know such a thing? It is therapeutic. It is intended to help us to release our grip on our identity now, in this life. Why? Because Zhuangzi identifies this addiction to being a someone, a someone who must ever strive to try and be a someone in a context of absolute groundlessness, to be the cause of so much of our individual and collective grief.

The Inner Chapters of the Zhuangzi are little more than a ‘how to manual’ that might best be put in the ‘self-help’ section of the library. I know I say this ad nausea, but it is essential to the ‘how to’ and the ‘help’ that we realize this is not intended as a metaphysical explanation of things or a way to be ‘saved’ from the stark implications of death. Reality remains Mystery.

You can check out Scott's writings on Zhuangzi here.

MR - Big Gun Cartel: Why Gun Control Legislation Does Not Pass Congress


Friday, September 27, 2013

I Ching: Hexagram 60 - The Image

Water over lake: the image of LIMITATION.
Thus the superior man
Creates number and measure,
And examines the nature of virtue and correct conduct.


A lake is something limited. Water is inexhaustible. A lake can contain only a definite amount of the infinite quantity of water; this is its peculiarity. In human life too the individual achieves significance through discrimination and the setting of limits. Therefore what concerns us here is the problem of clearly defining these discriminations, which are, so to speak, the backbone of morality. Unlimited possibilities are not suited to man; if they existed, his life would only dissolve in the boundless. To become strong, a man’s life needs the limitations ordained by duty and voluntarily accepted. The individual attains significance as a free spirit only by surrounding himself with these limitations and by determining for himself what his duty is.
Translator of this version of the I Ching is Richard Wilhelm. If you missed any posts in this series, please utilize the I Ching label below.

What Were They Thinking?

Trey Smith

On September 7, 2013 Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said to the 125th session of the International Olympic Committee, the following:

Some may have concerns about Fukushima. Let me assure you, the situation is under control. It has never done and will never do any damage to Tokyo.

This will surely be remembered as one of the great lies of modern times. In Japan some people call it the “Abesolute Lie”. Believing it, the IOC decided to bring the 2020 Olympics to Tokyo.

Japanese government spokespersons defend Abe’s statement by saying that radiation levels in the Pacific Ocean have not yet exceeded safety standards.

This recalls the old story of the man who jumped off a ten-story building and, as he passed each story, could be heard saying, “So far, so good”.

We are talking, remember, about the Pacific Ocean – the greatest body of water on earth, and for all we know, in the universe. Tokyo Electric Power Company – TEPCO – has been pouring water through its melted-down reactor at Fukushima and into the ocean for two and a half years, and so far the Pacific Ocean has been able to dilute that down to below the safety standard. So far so good. But there is no prospect in sight of turning off the water.
~ from Some Facts You Should Know About Fukushima by Takashi Hirose ~
When I heard that the IOC awarded the 2020 Olympics to Japan, my first thought was: What were they thinking? Japan is home to the worst nuclear accident in history and the IOC wants to invite the world to go there? That seems to me like a recipe for disaster.

Imagine the IOC voting to hold the summer Olympics in New Orleans just after the Hurricane Katrina or the Gulf oil debacle. That would have been a crazy decision too.

Hey, as long as the IOC is making irrational choices, why not pick Damascus or Baghdad for the 2024 Olympics. I'm sure people would be safe there!

Afternoon Matinee: Protest - Hole In The Sky

Performed by Black Sabbath





I'm looking through a hole in the sky
I'm seeing nowhere through the eyes of a lie
I'm getting closer to the end of the line
I'm living easy where the sun doesn't shine

I'm living in a room without any view
I'm living free because the rent's never due
The synonyms of all the things that I've said
Are just the riddles that are built in my head

Hole in the sky, take me to heaven
Window in time, through it I fly

I've seen the stars that disappear in the sun
The shooting's easy if you've got the right gun
And even though I'm sitting waiting for Mars
I don't believe there's any future in cars

Hole in the sky, take me to heaven
Window in time, through it I fly
Yeah

I've watched the dogs of war enjoying their feast
I've seen the western world go down in the east
The food of love became the greed of our time
But now I'm living on the profits of crime
~ from Lyric Wiki ~

Taoist and Buddhist Tweets 86

Ta-Wan


Was the best thing,
at the best time,
the most excellent fun time,
just the greatest part
of the most wonderful great thing
that ever happened to you… planned?

You can check out Ta-Wan's other musings here.

Bit by Bit - Chapter 22, Part 3

Trey Smith

Knowledge, failing to get any answer, returned to the imperial palace, where he was received in audience by the Yellow Emperor, and posed his questions. The Yellow Emperor said, "Only when there is no pondering and no cogitation will you get to know the Way. Only when you have no surroundings and follow no practices will you find rest in the Way. Only when there is no path and no procedure can you get to the Way."
~ Burton Watson translation ~
One of the chief problems with defining Tao (in English) as the way is that it suggests that there is a singular fixed path that each of us must endeavor to discover. What this story points to -- Scott writes about this theme often -- is the path we seek is no path at all or, to put it another way, it is a free flowing path that is different for each of the ten thousand things.

To view the Index page for this series, go here.

We (Kind of, Sort of) Matter, But You Don't

Trey Smith


Four US Senators -- 3 Democrats and 1 Republican -- have drafted a bill to rein in the NSA and its pervasive surveillance apparatus. In general, this is welcome news and it shows that the disclosures by Edward Snowden may yet bear fruit. However, while these senators are concerned with the violation of rights of American citizens, the Guardian reports that "there is limited, if any, support in Congress for limiting the NSA's ability to monitor or gather evidence on foreigners."

In other words, while a movement appears to be growing to limit the massive amount of spying on innocent Americans, innocent citizens of Australia, Brazil, Belgium, China or Somalia are shit out of luck! No one seems to be championing YOUR right to privacy.

Consequently, American Exceptionalism is alive and well. Because we are Americans, we should be excluded from mass spying because we are (sort of, kind of) exceptional peons. The rest of you aren't exceptional, so you will have to put up with Uncle Sam's Big Brother. But don't be mad or cross. Big Brother Uncle Sam will continue to spy on you to protect you...from yourselves.

I Ching: Hexagram 60 - The Judgment

LIMITATION. Success.
Galling limitation must not be persevered in.


Limitations are troublesome, but they are effective. If we live economically in normal times, we are prepared for times of want. To be sparing saves us from humiliation. Limitations are also indispensable in the regulation of world conditions. In nature there are fixed limits for summer and winter, day and night, and these limits give the year its meaning. In the same way, economy, by setting fixed limits upon expenditures, acts to preserve property and prevent injury to the people.

But in limitation we must observe due measure. If a man should seek to impose galling limitations upon his own nature, it would be injurious. And if he should go too far in imposing limitations on others, they would rebel. Therefore it is necessary to set limits even upon limitation.
Translator of this version of the I Ching is Richard Wilhelm. If you missed any posts in this series, please utilize the I Ching label below.

Still More on the Butterfly Dream III

Scott Bradley


Zhuangzi dreamt he was a butterfly that didn't know it was Zhuangzi, and Zhuangzi, upon waking, wondered if he might possibly really be that butterfly now dreaming he is Zhuangzi. But if he is that butterfly, then the butterfly's dream is more authentic than the dream of Zhuangzi since the butterfly in its dreaming is not so sure of its identity as the one dreamt by Zhuangzi.

It's fun to think of these complexities, but they really miss the main point of the story which is that identity is a passing phenomenon to which we need not cling. "Surely, Zhou and a butterfly count as two distinct identities! Such is what we call the transformation of one thing into another." (2:49; Ziporyn)

Lusthaus (Hiding the World in the World, p. 170) picks up on what is most important about this distinction between these two identities, their "nontransference". There is no one identity that changes identities. A meta-Zhuangzi does not transform from Zhuangzi to a butterfly and back again; every identity is discrete and unique. Zhuangzi is only Zhuangzi and the butterfly is only a butterfly; they are not one and the same, but "two distinct identities". But then every identity is also, consequentially, momentary and empty. The point of the story is to shake us lose from our clinging to identity altogether.

Reincarnation, as I understand it, suggests a meta-identity, a "soul", that transmigrates from identity to identity. This is the antithesis of what this story teaches. It is not that Zhuangzi does not entertain the possibility that there is some kind of continuity were an absolute, we are in need of such remedial exercises.

This is convenient for us who do not wish to give up our identity, and thus we spin elaborate schemes wherein we pretend to give it up while simultaneously assuring its perpetuation. "I and the ten thousand things are one" becomes a 'me' that continues as 'one' or 'part of the one'.

Is it saying too much to suggest that death is the end of a particular identity? Yes; we do not, cannot know. Nevertheless, as a therapeutic exercise it seems necessary to say it. It's all good and well to say we "do not know", but until that 'not-knowing' becomes so real in us that we do not cling to identity as if it were an absolute, we are in need of such remedial exercises.

You can check out Scott's writings on Zhuangzi here.

TYT - Why Is A Socialist Begging Corporate America?


Thursday, September 26, 2013

One Big Dud!

Trey Smith


I was anticipating not having any time to write tonight because I would be working fervently to load our U-Haul for Phase 1 of our scheduled move tomorrow to Ocean Shores. However, this cannot be done without a truck and, after several aggravating hours today, U-Haul failed to deliver the truck! Not only did we end up with no truck, but our U-Haul Neighborhood Dealer at the Raymond Shell station was extremely discourteous and unfriendly during the process. Though it was HE who kept making mistake upon mistake, he acted like we were ruining HIS day.

All is not lost. We've rented a truck instead through Penske Truck Rental in Aberdeen. We'll load the truck Friday and do the move Saturday...during our first forecasted gale of the season (predicted 55 mph winds). Oh joy! Not only will we get to do TWICE AS MUCH driving, but we get to do it during a monsoon.

I Ching: Hexagram 60 (Chieh)

above K'AN THE ABYSMAL, WATER
below TUI THE JOYOUS, LAKE


A lake occupies a limited space. When more water comes into it, it overflows. Therefore limits must be set for the water. The image shows water below and water above, with the firmament between them as a limit.

The Chinese word for limitation really denotes the joints that divide a bamboo stalk. In relation to ordinary life it means the thrift that sets fixed limits upon expenditures. In relation to the moral sphere it means the fixed limits that the superior man sets upon his actions -- the limits of loyalty and disinterestedness.
Translator of this version of the I Ching is Richard Wilhelm. If you missed any posts in this series, please utilize the I Ching label below.

Eew! What a Track Record

Trey Smith

The National Security Agency secretly tapped into the overseas phone calls of prominent critics of the Vietnam War, including Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali and two actively serving US senators, newly declassified material has revealed.

The NSA has been forced to disclose previously secret passages in its own official four-volume history of its Cold War snooping activities. The newly-released material reveals the breathtaking – and probably illegal – lengths the agency went to in the late 1960s and 70s, in an attempt to try to hold back the rising tide of anti-Vietnam war sentiment.

That included tapping into the phone calls and cable communications of two serving senators – the Idaho Democrat Frank Church and Howard Baker, a Republican from Tennessee who, puzzlingly, was a firm supporter of the war effort in Vietnam. The NSA also intercepted the foreign communications of prominent journalists such as Tom Wicker of the New York Times and the popular satirical writer for the Washington Post, Art Buchwald.

Alongside King, a second leading civil rights figure, Whitney Young of the National Urban League, was also surreptitiously monitored.
~ from Declassified NSA Files Show Agency Spied on Muhammad Ali and MLK by Ed Pilkington ~
We've known for years that the FBI spied on MLK and Ali, but now we know that the agency tasked specifically with gathering FOREIGN intelligence was doing the same damn thing! And it had nothing to do with violence or terrorism; both were targeted simply because of their political viewpoints.

But I don't think that's the big story here. No, it is the revelation that the NSA was spying on two seated US Senators and, as Pilkington points out, one of them was an ardent supporter of the Vietnam War. It certainly makes you wonder if other classified documents might show that ALL members of Congress were being surveilled.

Of course, the current NSA will say these are "mistakes" of the past. The agency has reformed itself. Bull! The revelations of the past few months show otherwise. Today's NSA acts just as brazenly now as before.

If I was a current member of Congress, I would be damn worried that the NSA is monitoring all of my communications. It is bad enough that the NSA is spying on the unwashed masses here and abroad, but there is every reason to believe that they are spying on the power brokers as well.

Afternoon Matinee: Protest - Sixteen Tons






Some people say a man is made out of mud
A poor man's made out of muscle and blood
Muscle and blood and skin and bones
A mind that's weak and a back that's strong

You load sixteen tons, whattaya get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
St. Peter don'cha call me, 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one morning when the sun didn't shine
I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine
I loaded sixteen tons of number-nine coal
And the straw boss said, "Well bless my soul!"

You load sixteen tons, whattaya get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
St. Peter don'cha call me, 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one morning, it was drizzlin' rain
Fightin' and trouble are my middle name
I was raised in the canebreak by an old mama lion
Can't no high-toned woman make me walk the line

You load sixteen tons, whattaya get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
St. Peter don'cha call me, 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

If you see me comin' better step aside
A lotta men didn't, a lotta men died
One fist of iron, the other of steel
If the right one don't getcha then the left one will

You load sixteen tons, whattaya get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
St. Peter don'cha call me, 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store
~ from Lyric Wiki ~

Taoist and Buddhist Tweets 85

Ta-Wan


Philosophy: When you settle on a label, you loose your suppleness.
You stiffen up and wait for the world to consume you.

You can check out Ta-Wan's other musings here.

Bit by Bit - Chapter 22, Part 2

Trey Smith

Knowledge, failing to get any answer, returned to the White Waters of the south, climbed the summit of Dubiety Dismissed, and there caught sight of Wild-and-Witless. Knowledge put the same questions to Wild-and-Witless. "Ah - I know!" said Wild-and-Witless. "And I'm going to tell you." But just as he was about to say something, he forgot what it was he was about to say.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
A lot f people act like they are in the know, but as soon as they start yammering, it should be apparent to the discerning individual that they don't know what they are talking about!

To view the Index page for this series, go here.

Be Careful What You Publicly (or Privately) Say

Trey Smith

A well-known and highly respected Yemeni anti-drone activist was detained yesterday by UK officials under that country's "anti-terrorism" law at Gatwick Airport, where he had traveled to speak at an event. Baraa Shiban, the project co-ordinator for the London-based legal charity Reprieve, was held for an hour and a half and repeatedly questioned about his anti-drone work and political views regarding human rights abuses in Yemen.

When he objected that his political views had no relevance to security concerns, UK law enforcement officials threatened to detain him for the full nine hours allowed by the Terrorism Act of 2000, the same statute that was abused by UK officials last month to detain my partner, David Miranda, for nine hours.

Shiban tells his story today, here, in the Guardian, and recounts how the UK official told him "he had detained me not merely because I was from Yemen, but also because of Reprieve's work investigating and criticising the efficacy of US drone strikes in my country."

The notion that Shiban posed some sort of security threat was absurd on its face. As the Guardian reported Tuesday, "he visited the UK without incident earlier this summer and testified in May to a US congressional hearing on the impact of the covert drone programme in Yemen."

Viewing anti-drone activism as indicative of a terrorism threat is noxious. As Reprieve's Cory Crider put it yesterday, "if there were any doubt the UK was abusing its counter-terrorism powers to silence critics, this ends it."
~ from UK Detention of Reprieve Activist Consistent with NSA's View of Drone Opponents as "Threats" and "Adversaries" by Glenn Greenwald ~
If you are Muslim and you hold views that are counter to the US/UK, you better keep such views to yourself! That's the message of this detention and others cited by Greenwald. In fact, when it comes to an opposition to the use of drones, you don't even have to be a Muslim! You represent a "threat," nonetheless.

If anyone STILL thinks that this mass surveillance apparatus is focused strictly on anti-terrorism, your head must be so far up your arse that you will never be able to extricate it. In recent months, it has been revealed that the NSA (and GCHQ) regularly spies on journalists, the UN, long-time allies, state-run corporations (i.e., Brazil's chief oil company), leaders of sovereign nations (e.g., Brazil and Mexico), and just about everyone else. Unless we all are considered potential terrorists, it is more than obvious that this ubiquitous spying isn't tied to terrorism at all.

Conservatives have long been concerned with a nonexistent blueprint of the UN to create a world government. The fear is that such a world government would deprive red-blooded Americans of the freedoms (i.e., the right to own as many guns as humanly possible) they hold dear. To counter this fear, such conservatives have been ardent supporters of the military-intelligence-industrial complex.

It is more than ironic that the very institution these folks cherish is the one that is trying to create a quasi world government in secret. When you know what everyone else is up to, it makes it that much easier to control and/or manipulate them. You don't have to declare yourselves as a de facto world government, but it leads to much the same result. You get to call the shots and anyone who opposes you is quickly threatened, bribed, blackmailed, detained, imprisoned, tortured or dispatched with by one means or another.

I Ching: Hexagram 59 - The Lines, Part 6

Nine at the top means:
He dissolves his blood.
Departing, keeping at a distance, going out,
Is without blame.


The idea of the dissolving of a man's blood means the dispersion of that which might lead to bloodshed and wounds, i.e., avoidance of danger. But here the thought is not that a man avoids difficulties for himself alone, but rather that he rescues his kin-helps them to get away before danger comes, or to keep at a distance from an existing danger, or to find a way out of a danger that is already upon them. In this way he does what is right.
Translator of this version of the I Ching is Richard Wilhelm. If you missed any posts in this series, please utilize the I Ching label below.

Still More on the Butterfly Dream II

Scott Bradley


We are considering Zhuangzi's butterfly dream in the context of Dan Lusthaus's discussion in "Aporetics Ethics in the Zhuangzi" (Hiding the World in the World). So far, the point has been made that Zhuangzi's awakened condition wherein he is aware of having dreamt he is a butterfly who was unaware of a Zhuangzi is to be preferred over the latter. It is through doubtfulness that we release into mystery.

However, Lusthaus goes a step further and, if I understand him aright (I find his arguments difficult to follow), suggests that the forgetful experience of the carefree butterfly represents Zhuangzi's ‘purported’ ideal condition which he now dismisses as just more dreaming. "This story treats the 'philosophy' of Zhuangzi with deep irony."

I have two problems with this idea that this story it is a negation of the Zhuangzian ideal condition as typically understood, that is as carefree wandering. The first is that there seems to be a straw man in here; for although the butterfly does in many ways suggest the Zhuangzian ideal, it lacks the essential awareness of the dreaming which also typifies Zhuangzi's sage, and thus cannot be said to truly represent that ideal. The dismissal of the butterfly, therefore, is not a dismissal of Zhuangzi's ideal condition, but of its misrepresentation. That Zhuangzi's ideal condition is itself a dreaming has never been in dispute; if it was ever thought to be anything else, then it has failed to abide in 'not-knowing'. The point is to awaken to the dreaming, not from it. Zhuangzi is perfectly happy to admit that his way is but another way of dreaming, albeit a happier one.

Secondly, there is always a danger in getting too pedantic with this text; this is not scripture, and every jot and tittle need not be so over-analyzed that they can overturn the larger meaning of a passage, or as here, the entire Inner Chapters. A. C. Graham comments on how Zhuangzi seems to have been one of the first philosophers to compose on his feet. This is not a well-laid-out treatise, where each word is carefully chosen and every possible implication considered, but a spontaneous expression of his thought, as messy as life itself.

You can check out Scott's writings on Zhuangzi here.

GRTV - Staging the Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I Ching: Hexagram 59 - The Lines, Part 5

Nine in the fifth place means:
His loud cries are as dissolving as sweat.
Dissolution! A king abides without blame.


In times of general dispersion and separation, a great idea provides a focal point for the organization of recovery. Just as an illness reaches its crisis in a dissolving sweat, so a great stimulating idea is a true salvation in times of general deadlock. It gives the people a rallying point-a man in a ruling position who can dispel misunderstandings.
Translator of this version of the I Ching is Richard Wilhelm. If you missed any posts in this series, please utilize the I Ching label below.

One Man's Dirty Dozen

Trey Smith


As you all know, I like to feature snippets of articles (with the idea that many of you will utilize the link to read them in their entirety) and then offer my own comments about them. Every now and then, I share an entire article and that's what I'm doing in this case. The list below is not all inclusive or exhaustive. If you and I were compiling such a list, we might list different things. That being said, I still think it is a fine list! (Note: The bold emphasis is mine.)
An Even Dozen Signs We're All Nuts
by Jaime O'Neill


12. Bradley Manning is in jail. Dick Cheney is not.

11. The six Wal-Mart heirs possess more wealth than the bottom 40% of families in this country. Or, in other words, six surrealistically-rich people who say they can’t provide decent wages or benefits for their workers have more wealth than roughly 160 million other Americans combined. Much of that Wal-Mart wealth is directly attributable to the ways U.S. taxpayers subsidize the Wal- Mart labor pool, offer tax breaks, and tilt the playing field so that so much wealth flows into those few hands. Six people. Think about that, if your own head isn’t too far up your nether orifice, then think of the people and policies that created such disparity.

10. Michelle Bachmann is on the House Intelligence Committee.

9. The highest-paid public employees in 26 states are college football coaches.

8. Rush Limbaugh has a net worth of nearly a half a billion bucks, and he is the most listened-to ignorance-and-hate-purveyor in the nation, with some 15 million regular listeners. He has two semesters of college under his rather lengthy belt, and according to his mother, he “flunked everything.”

7. College grads in 2011 left college with an average debt load of $26,000 apiece. That figure has gone up since then.

6. Justin Bieber made $55 million in 2012.

5. Doug LaMalfa, Louie Gohmert, Mike Spence, and Darrell Issa all serve or have served in the U.S. House of Representatives, and if you don’t know why those elected representatives constitute an example of our having our heads up our asses, then you’ve probably got yours up yours.

4. The news media actually cover things Donald Trump says.

3. According to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, veterans of the U.S. military are killing themselves at the rate of nearly one per hour. Among American teenagers, suicide is the third-leading cause of death, right behind homicide and accidents.

2. House Republicans have held more than 40 votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but have not proposed a single bill to create jobs.

1. On the morning I was compiling this list, 13 people were shot to death in the nation’s capital. Since terrorists struck the U.S. on 9/11/2001, more than 300,000 Americans have lost their lives to guns — more than 100 times as many people as the number who died when the World Trade Center fell. We’ve spent well over a trillion dollars fighting terrorism, but we live with the threat of random terror in our schools and on our streets on any given day. That’s just the price we pay for “freedom,” I guess. Or so the NRA would have us believe, as they corrupt our politicians and subvert popular support for gun control sanity.

Afternoon Matinee: Protest - Cortez The Killer

Performed by Neil Young





He came dancing across the water
With his galleons and guns
Looking for the new world
And that palace in the sun.

On the shore lay Montezuma
With his coca leaves and pearls
In his halls he often wandered
With the secrets of the worlds.

And his subjects gathered 'round him
Like the leaves around a tree
In their clothes of many colors
For the angry gods to see.

And the women all were beautiful
And the men stood straight and strong
They offered life in sacrifice
So that others could go on.

Hate was just a legend
And war was never known
The people worked together
And they lifted many stones.

And they carried them to the flatlands
But they died along the way
And they built up with their bare hands
What we still can't do today.

And I know she's living there
And she loves me to this day
I still can't remember when
Or how I lost my way.

He came dancing across the water
Cortez, Cortez
What a killer.
~ from Lyric Wiki ~