Sunday, June 30, 2013

I Ching: Hexagram 40 - The Lines, Part 2

Nine in the second place means:
One kills three foxes in the field
And receives a yellow arrow.
Perseverance brings good fortune.

The image is taken from the hunt. The hunter catches three cunning foxes and receives a yellow arrow as a reward. The obstacles in public life are the designing foxes who try to influence the ruler through flattery. They must be removed before there can be any deliverance. But the struggle must not be carried on with the wrong weapons. The yellow color points to measure and mean in proceeding against the enemy; the arrow signifies the straight course. If one devotes himself wholeheartedly to the task of deliverance, he develops so much inner strength from his rectitude that it acts as a weapon against all that is false and low.
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.

Is Your Network "Clean"?

Trey Smith

The US army has admitted to blocking access to parts of the Guardian website for thousands of defence personnel across the country.

A spokesman said the military was filtering out reports and content relating to government surveillance programs to preserve "network hygiene" and prevent any classified material appearing on unclassified parts of its computer systems.

The confirmation follows reports in the Monterey Herald that staff at the Presidio military base south of San Francisco had complained of not being able to access the Guardian's UK site at all, and had only partial access to the US site, following publication of leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The Pentagon insisted the Department of Defense was not seeking to block the whole website, merely taking steps to restrict access to certain content.

But a spokesman for the Army's Network Enterprise Technology Command (Netcom) in Arizona confirmed that this was a widespread policy, likely to be affecting hundreds of defence facilities.

"In response to your question about access to the website, the army is filtering some access to press coverage and online content about the NSA leaks," said Gordon Van Vleet, a Netcom public affairs officer.

"The Department of Defense routinely takes preventative 'network hygiene' measures to mitigate unauthorized disclosures of classified information onto DoD unclassified networks."

The army stressed its actions were automatic and would not affect computers outside military facilities.
~ from US Army Blocks Access to Guardian Website to Preserve 'Network Hygiene' by Spencer Ackerman and Dan Roberts ~
Hmm. Now why do you think the military would block reports from The Guardian about the NSA scandal? Maybe they don't want their personnel to get any "crazy" ideas?

I don't know about you, but I find the "network hygiene" explanation to be farcical. I personally know that military computers are not that closely guarded when it comes to the world wide web. Our tracking software has turned up visitors from time to time whose IP address indicates they are from (the US Department of Defense). Sometimes personnel have arrived here after doing a search on something related to Taoism, but just as often, they arrive here because of my left wing political commentary.

Since I have been writing a lot about what I call spygate, maybe (in our own small way) we can offer military personnel a way to get around these government censors!

Afternoon Matinee: Protest - Mr. Roboto

Performed by Styx

Dōmo arigatō misutā Robotto
Dōmo arigatō misutā Robotto
Mata au hi made
Dōmo arigatō misutā Robotto
Himitsu wo shiritai

You're wondering who I am
(Secret, secret, I've got a secret)
Machine or mannequin
(Secret, secret, I've got a secret)
With parts made in Japan
(Secret, secret, I've got a secret)
I am the modern man

I've got a secret I've been hiding
Under my skin
My heart is human, my blood is boiling
My brain IBM

So if you see me acting strangely
Don't be surprised
I'm just a man who needed someone
And somewhere to hide

To keep me alive
Just keep me alive
Somewhere to hide
To keep me alive

I'm not a robot without emotions
I'm not what you see
I've come to help you with your problems
So we can be free

I'm not a hero, I'm not a savior
Forget what you know
I'm just a man whose circumstances
Went beyond his control

Beyond my control
We all need control
I need control
We all need control

I am the modern man
(Secret, secret, I've got a secret)
Who hides behind a mask
(Secret, secret, I've got a secret)
So no one else can see
(Secret, secret, I've got a secret)
My true identity

Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto
Dōmo (dōmo)
Dōmo (dōmo)
Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto
Dōmo (dōmo)
Dōmo (dōmo)

Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto
Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto
Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto
Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto

Thank you very much, oh, Mr. Roboto
(Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto)
For doing the jobs that nobody wants to
(Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto)
And thank you very much, oh, Mr. Roboto
(Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto)
For helping me escape just when I needed to
(Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto)

Thank you, thank you, thank you
(Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto)
I want to thank you
(Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto)
Please, thank you
(Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto)
Oh, ya

The problem's plain to see
Too much technology
Machines to save our lives
Machines dehumanize

The time has come at last
(Secret, secret, I've got a secret)
To throw away this mask
(Secret, secret, I've got a secret)
Now everyone can see
(Secret, secret, I've got a secret)
My true identity

I'm Kilroy!
~ from Lyric Wiki ~

The War Machine Keeps Rolling Along

Trey Smith

Spending cuts have been applied by Congress to both military and non-military spending.

In my view, the military cuts are much too small and the non-military cuts should not exist at all. In the view of most liberal organizations, the military cuts -- like the military spending and the military itself -- are to be ignored, while the non-military cuts are to be opposed by opposing all cuts in general.

But, guess what?

The spending limits on the military are being blatantly violated. Both houses of Congress have now passed military budgets larger than last year and larger than is allowed under the sequester.

Meanwhile the sequester is being used to cut away at all that is good and decent in public policy.

In fact, the House Appropriations Committee proposes to make up for its violation of the law on military spending levels by imposing yet bigger cuts to non-military spending. And what's the harm in that if all cuts are equally bad?

The sequester, like the anti-torture statute, the war crimes statute, the Fourth Amendment, the First Amendment, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, or the U.N. Charter, turns out to be one of those optional laws.
~ from Sequester Optionally Applied Only to Good Things by David Swanson ~
National politics has become little more than smoke-and-mirrors. Shared sacrifice? Not really. Equal standing before the law? Nope. Leakers not tolerated at all? Depends on whether it is deemed by the powerful to be a good leak or a bad leak. Constitutional protections recognized? Don't make me laugh.

You want to know why Congress doesn't hold the Obama administration's feet to the fire re the NSA scandal? Because they just as wantonly break the law too. As Swanson shows, they have upped the ante on the military-industrial complex when, by law, they are prohibited from doing so.

Hey, but who can stop them?

The old adage is true. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Bit by Bit - Chapter 17, Part 11

Trey Smith

"From the point of view of preference, if we regard a thing as right because there is a certain right to it, then among the ten thousand things there are none that are not right. If we regard a thing as wrong because there is a certain wrong to it, then among the ten thousand things there are none that are not wrong. If we know that Yao and Chieh each thought himself right and condemned the other as wrong, then we may understand how there are preferences in behavior.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
Each one of us has preferences -- things we like or choose over other things. For example, when it comes to eating, I prefer almost ANY food item over tuna fish (a food I absolutely detest). This does not mean, however, that there is anything inherently wrong with tuna. Tuna has its place in the overall order of things just as I do. I simply would prefer not to eat tuna fish...or smell it. Phew!

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

Outrage and Apathy

Trey Smith

The insidious nature of American Exceptionalism can best be illustrated by how far too many Americans view two similar events and yet have completely different reactions. In an article about the uneven cuts originating from the sequester, David Swanson notes,
Shooting children in a U.S. school is a crime. Dropping a missile on a foreign school is something more like law enforcement.
Let that sink in. In both instances, we are talking about the senseless deaths of innocent children. In both instances, we are talking about parents who sent their vibrant little ones off to school and only to return to collect a body bag. In both instances, we are talking about heinous acts that will scar families and communities for life.

One of these acts is deemed deplorable, while the other is deemed as little more than a part of "war". One of these acts generates compassion across the nation, while the other elicits little more than a collective yawn, if that much.

It is easy to understand why most non-Americans today view Americans with less than sympathetic eyes -- our sense of morality is skewed!

I Ching: Hexagram 40 - The Lines, Part 1

Six at the beginning means:
Without blame.

In keeping with the situation, few words are needed. The hindrance is past, deliverance has come. One recuperates in peace and keeps still. This is the right thing to do in times when difficulties have been overcome.
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.

Just Now (Revisited)

Scott Bradley
Original post date: April 1, 2011

Why do we all seem to think that Reality is something other than the reality we are? Why do we believe that reality is not Reality?

Why do we believe we must become different than we are? Achieve something. Transform. Be saved.

Why do we forever divide the world?

I would suggest that it is intrinsic to our self-consciousness — to see ourselves we must in some way be other than ourselves. Self-awareness is, I believe, the mother of duality. That's our reality, the way we have evolved.

This self-awareness is a wonderful experience, but it does necessitate quite a bit of hunger and suffering, much as the size of the human head causes much pain for a woman in childbirth. We need not make value judgments about the way things are — they simply are.

Perhaps we have the potential to transcend duality and realize peace in Oneness. But are we ever really anything but this Oneness? Is a rock not a rock because it does not know it's a rock? Is there no One Reality because some realities do not realize that they are also Reality?

We are never other than what we seek — not just a potentiality, but in actuality. Nothing deviates from Reality, because nothing is not that Reality. It is always just now, just as we are.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

TYT - More Teen Boys Suffering From Eating Disorders Too

Saturday, June 29, 2013

I Ching: Hexagram 40 - The Image

Thunder and rain set in:
The image of DELIVERANCE.
Thus the superior man pardons mistakes
And forgives misdeeds.

A thunderstorm has the effect of clearing the air; the superior man produces a similar effect when dealing with mistakes and sins of men that induce a condition of tension. Through clarity he brings deliverance. However, when failings come to light, he does not dwell on them; he simply passes over mistakes, the unintentional transgressions, just as thunder dies away. He forgives misdeeds, the intentional transgressions, just as water washes everything clean.
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.

Beans and Carrots

Trey Smith

The same ancient text that condemns unto death same-sex unions also condemns unto death those who work on the Sabbath, those who plant different crops side by side, and those who wear clothes made from different threads, with nary a word of condemnation for the institution of slavery or the brutal subjugation of women...and as long as there are people whose personal hypocrisy moves them to cherry-pick lines from that ancient, outdated text to justify their hatred (while wearing cotton-polyester blend shirts at the office on Saturday after fiddling with the beans and carrots and potatoes and cucumbers in their garden), we will never truly be free of it.
~ from He Can Marry, She Can't Vote: Another Day in Deranged America by William Rivers Pitt ~
If one believes the Holy Bible to be the unvarnished word of the everlasting Almighty, how can any upstanding Christian man or woman descend on Walmart on a Saturday or Sunday (depending on which is viewed as the holy Sabbath) to buy, buy, buy?

For a period of my early adulthood, I lived in Arkansas -- smack dab in the Bible Belt. When the Blue Laws were lifted -- they impeded the god of moneymaking -- the good Christians among us wrung their hands. But though they wrung their hands and shook their heads, it stopped few of them from flocking to all the commercial centers as soon as church let out! They would go prancing down the aisles throwing crap in their shopping carts just like all those hedonistic atheists!

It amazes me that this one prohibition -- homosexuality -- which is given scant mention in the holy text receives SO MUCH attention from fundamentalist Christians. Jesus never uttered one word on the topic. There are only 3 or 4 different verses where the subject is broached at all. Yet, by the way these fundamentalists focus on it, one would think the main purpose of the Bible is warning against the "evils" of same-sex intimacy.

What illustrates the preposterous nature of this supposed major indictment is that other prohibitions -- some of which are listed alongside the few brief lines on homosexuality -- are almost completely ignored. Rivers Pitt notes a few of them. There is another one (from Leviticus or Deuteronomy, I think) which states that a woman on her period must be shut away for a certain length of time. Why don't fundamentalist pastors rail about these and how modern society is disregarding the holy word?

But the one thing that should make ANY rational human being understand the arbitrariness of this supposed "holy" text is that, while homosexuality is condemned, slavery somehow gets a free pass. A man kissing another man is wicked, but one human being owning another human being is a-ok in God's view?

If that is His view, I don't share it and I am certainly not going going to worship a being with such a capricious moral standard!

Afternoon Matinee: Protest - Metal Drums

Performed by Patty Larkin

From the time he was a kid, Mark O'Donnell and his buddies would
Play in the pasture
Out behind his neighborhood there were acres of vacant land
And they played as only children can
Ooh, in the pasture

Out in the long tall grass, metal drums were lying in the broken glass
The kids would play with the stuff inside of them
They'd crawl in and roll around, end up spinning around on the open ground
Ooh, of the pasture

Ooh, they were playing with the metal drums
Aah, banging on the metal drums
Ooh, beat that metal drum a little faster

In the town of Holbrook, Mass, you're lucky if you got the chance
Working a good job, making a few bucks
And it's Baird and McClair, they run that chemical plant down there
Ooh, by the pasture

Joanne O'Donnell had five kids and all but one of her kids got sick
She was hard pressed for answers
And on the other side of town, there was a street where all the doctors found
Every other woman died of cancer

News broke like a lightning bolt across a red-hot sky
In the blue T.V. light Joanne O'Donnell cried
Seemed like the kiss of death
Hung in the air when a whole town found out
They'd been poisoned for years

The environmental plan put the site on the list of the big top ten
To the tune of sixty-three million
Thanks to the women and the wives, there's a chain link fence up eight feet high
But that won't bring back their children
As for Baird and McClair, all the soil from the ground to the bedrock down there
Was ruined by the bastards
Thanks to the corporate kind, they protected their assets - they're doing fine
Too bad about the Holbrook disaster

Beat that metal drum a little faster now, beat that metal drum now
Beat that metal drum now, beat that metal drum
~ from Lyric Wiki ~

Chalk Talk

Trey Smith

A protester is standing trial on criminal vandalism charges in San Diego, and faces a sentence of up to 13 years in prison if convicted, for a scribbling a series of anti-bank slogans in chalk on a city sidewalk.

Mayor Bob Filner has denounced the prosecution of Jeff Olson, 40, a man with no previous criminal record, as a waste of taxpayer money and an abuse of power that infringes on First Amendment free speech protections in the U.S. Constitution.

"This young man is being persecuted for thirteen counts of vandalism stemming from an expression of political protest that involved washable children's chalk on a city sidewalk," the mayor said last week in a memo to the City Council.

The city attorney, Jan Goldsmith, defended his pursuit of the case in remarks published on Thursday in the U-T San Diego news website, saying: "We prosecute vandalism and theft cases regardless of who the perpetrator or victim might be."

"We don't decide, for example, based upon whether we like or dislike banks," Goldsmith added. "That would be wrong under the law and such a practice by law enforcement would change our society in very damaging ways."
~ from San Diego Protester Faces Vandalism Charges for Sidewalk Chalk Drawings by Marty Graham ~
This is absolutely ridiculous! I'm not talking about the supposed "crime" and potentially lengthy sentence, though both of those are ridiculous too. No, I'm referring to the city attorney's silly statement.

The very idea that a prosecutor (or city attorney) doesn't have any discretion in who he/she prosecutes is laughable, though not so much for one Jeff Olsen. We live in a nation where rampant criminality in Washington D.C. is no cause for charges, let alone investigation. We live in a nation in which major financial institutions have been allowed to foreclose on people's homes illegally and they were provided with a free pass by the Obama administration. We live in a nation in which spy agencies can thumb their noses at the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution without the slightest bit of worry that any legal trouble will stem from it.

I bet that, if we were to take a look at all the potential crimes that have crossed city attorney Jan Goldsmith's desk, we would find many that he has chosen NOT to prosecute. So, to say that he has no discretion, is a BIG FAT LIE. Unless the man is a complete doofus, he damn well knows it!

Bit by Bit - Chapter 17, Part 10

Trey Smith

"From the point of view of function, if we regard a thing as useful because there is a certain usefulness to it, then among all the ten thousand things there are none that are not useful. If we regard a thing as useless because there is a certain uselessness to it, then among the ten thousand things there are none that are not useless. If we know that east and west are mutually opposed but that one cannot do without the other, then we can estimate the degree of function.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
In my view, nothing can be useless because everything has its place in the overall scheme of things. A certain thing may not be useful to you or me, but it is useful for someone or something else. None of us are wholly independent actors.

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

Real Life Tao - Every Writer Has a Point of View

Trey Smith

All journalism is advocacy journalism. No matter how it's presented, every report by every reporter advances someone's point of view. The advocacy can be hidden, as it is in the monotone narration of a news anchor for a big network like CBS or NBC (where the biases of advertisers and corporate backers like GE are disguised in a thousand subtle ways), or it can be out in the open, as it proudly is with Greenwald, or graspingly with Sorkin, or institutionally with a company like Fox.

But to pretend there's such a thing as journalism without advocacy is just silly; nobody in this business really takes that concept seriously. "Objectivity" is a fairy tale invented purely for the consumption of the credulous public, sort of like the Santa Claus myth. Obviously, journalists can strive to be balanced and objective, but that's all it is, striving.
~ from Hey, MSM: All Journalism is Advocacy Journalism by Matt Taibbi ~
It's not just journalism either. Every blog and website advocates a point of view. In fact, I will go a step further. Every writer -- whatever age or level of ability -- is advocating something. We are all subjective creatures and our subjectivity is almost impossible to mask.

What a writer chooses to include or exclude underlines their point of view. This is as true for journalists as it is for speechwriters, songwriters and poets!

It drives me crazy when people admonish others for not being "objective," like there is an untethered truth out there waiting to be grasped. Even if such a thing existed -- I personally don't think it does -- not a one of us could see it because we would approach it with our own set of prejudices and preferences. As soon as we tried to grasp hold of an objective truth with a subjective mind, that truth would evaporate before our eyes!

That's why Laozi wrote, "The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao." He understood that whatever we may say about the Grand Mystery is filtered through our own subjectiveness. Of course, that was his subjective opinion! ;-)

This post is part of a series. For an introduction, go here.

I Ching: Hexagram 40 - The Judgment

DELIVERANCE. The southwest furthers.
If there is no longer anything where one has to go,
Return brings good fortune.
If there is still something where one has to go,
Hastening brings good fortune.

This refers to a time in which tensions and complications begin to be eased. At such times we ought to make our way back to ordinary conditions as soon as possible; this is the meaning of “the southwest.” These periods of sudden change have great importance. Just as rain relieves atmospheric tension, making all the buds burst open, so a time of deliverance from burdensome pressure has a liberating and stimulating effect on life. One thing is important, however: in such times we must not overdo our triumph. The point is not to push on farther than is necessary. Returning to the regular order of life as soon as deliverance is achieved brings good fortune. If there are any residual matters that ought to be attended to, it should be done as quickly as possible, so that a clean sweep is made and no retardations occur.
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.

Beware the Smile of Eli (Revisited)

Scott Bradley
Original post date: February 28, 2011

Beware the Smile of Eli!
It lurks everywhere,
But mostly within,
Where it vies for our lips,
Upon the world to beam
And warm us within.

Beware the Smile of Eli!
We know it without;
It makes our hearts cringe!
Yet dwelling within it fills us with pride,
How vast is our wisdom,
Our insights so deep!
A sage among sages,
One of the wise.
Do they not praise us,
Bid us enter their fold?

What is this smile so foul yet so fair?
Why spirituality itself,
Did you not know?
Wisdom and insight,
Care and concern,
All in the grasp of a heart self-involved.

Spirituality itself,
Our most holy grail!
How it betrays us,
Or it we betray.

How can we know it
This smile so false?
That we know at all is answer enough.
It is spirituality self-aware,
Wisdom wise to itself,
Care convinced of its care.
Hard-won insight brims;
We have so much to share!

How great is our nurturing,
Our intentions so pure,
To be a sage of true standing,
A sage among sages,
Known to ourselves
And others as well.

Beware the Smile of Eli!
It lurks everywhere.
But mostly within.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

TYT - The IRS Scandal, Totally Debunked

Friday, June 28, 2013

I Ching: Hexagram 40 (Hsieh)


Here the movement goes out of the sphere of danger. The obstacle has been removed, the difficulties are being resolved. Deliverance is not yet achieved; it is just in its beginning, and the hexagram represents its various stages.
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.

American Pravda

Trey Smith

The Edward Snowden leaks have revealed a U.S. corporate media system at war with independent journalism. Many of the same outlets — especially TV news — that missed the Wall Street meltdown and cheer-led the Iraq invasion have come to resemble state-controlled media outlets in their near-total identification with the government as it pursues the now 30-year-old whistleblower.

While an independent journalism system would be dissecting the impacts of NSA surveillance on privacy rights, and separating fact from fiction, U.S. news networks have obsessed on questions like: How much damage has Snowden caused? How can he be brought to justice?

Unfazed by polls showing that half of the American rabble — I mean, public — believe Snowden did a good thing by leaking documentation of NSA spying, TV news panels have usually excluded anyone who speaks for these millions of Americans. Although TV hosts and most panelists are not government officials, some have a penchant for speaking of the government with the pronoun “We.”
~ from Snowden Coverage: If US Mass Media Were State-Controlled, Would They Look Any Different? by Jeff Cohen ~
I grew up watching Walter Cronkite and Huntley-Brinkley.  I couldn't wait to read the morning and evening editions of the Kansas City Star newspaper.  News reporting was different back then.  Reporters actually challenged government pronouncements.  Imagine that!

I must admit that these days there are almost no mainstream sources that interest me anymore.  They just repeat government talking points.  If I do happen to read or watch them, I discount about 90 percent of what they have to say.

The newspaper I read most often now is The Guardian (which includes the magnificent Glenn Greenwald).  Other news sites I frequent include David Sorota's columns at, CounterPunch, The Smirking Chimp, This Can't Be Happening, Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic, Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone and, of course, The Young Turks.  In addition, there are numerous other sites and writers I check in with less frequently.

I'm not interested in what almost amounts to state-run media.  What about you?

Afternoon Matinee: Protest - In A World Gone Mad!

Performed by Beastie Boys

In a world gone mad it's hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

Mirrors, smokescreens and lies
It's not the politicians but their actions I despise
You and Saddam should kick it like back in the day
With the cocaine and Courvoisier
But you build more bombs as you get more bold
As your mid-life crisis war unfolds
All you want to do is take control
Now put that axis of evil bullshit on hold
Citizen rule number 2080
Politicians are shady
So people watch your back 'cause I think they smoke crack
I don't doubt it look at how they act

In a world gone mad it's hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

First the 'War On Terror' now war on Iraq
We're reaching a point where we can't turn back
Let's lose the guns and let's lose the bombs
And stop the corporate contributions that they're built upon
Well I'll be sleeping on your speeches 'til I start to snore
'Cause I won't carry guns for an oil war
As-Salamu alaikum, wa alaikum assalam
Peace to the Middle East peace to Islam
Now don't get us wrong 'cause we love America
But that's no reason to get hysterica
They're layin' on the syrup thick
We ain't waffles we ain't havin' it

In a world gone mad it's hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

Now how many people must get killed?
For oil families pockets to get filled?
How many oil families get killed?
Not a damn one so what's the deal?

It's time to lead the way and de-escalate
Lose the weapons of mass destruction and the hate
Say ooh ah what's the White House doin'?
Oh no! Say, what in tarnation have they got brewing??!!!!???!!
Well I'm not pro Bush and I'm not pro Saddam
We need these fools to remain calm
George Bush you're looking like Zoolander
Trying to play tough for the camera
What am I on crazy pills? We've got to stop it
Get your hand out my grandma's pocket
We need health care more than going to war
You think it's democracy they're fighting for?

In a world gone mad it's hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight
~ from Lyric Wiki ~

Mr. Ray IV (Revisited)

Scott Bradley
Original post date: December 5, 2010

My faith had long been at risk and it was not my time at the House of the Dying Destitute that led to its demise. But it was the final pull of the trigger that put an end to that particular misery. My day of liberation from the bonds of at least one belief was nigh at hand. The long journey through the dark tunnel of disbelief toward primal trust and thankfulness was about to begin. I began to reel. I staggered in a wilderness of doubt and despair. My commitment had been total. My fall complete.

Mother Theresa. A saint. God’s best effort. A scour woman mopping up the foul leavings of the devil’s revelries. No. Theism no longer bore the ring of truth or the consent of conscience. Nietzsche opined that every great religion outgrows itself. And though there are none that have not, their bonds endure.

The Temple of Kali lay close at hand and I joined the pilgrims passing by her ghastly image. There was no face to be seen, but three huge eyes and a long, lolling tongue of gold. Yes, and a golden ring where might have been a nose. Four arms she had. In one hand was a sword and in another a severed head. This is the Sword of Divine Knowledge, scholars tell us, and the head the human ego which must be slain before moksha, liberation, can be had. I know not. I know nothing. Only I was struck by the symmetry between these two temples dedicated to Mothers proclaiming the divine, one bringing compassion and the other a sword. Yet the suffering went on indifferent to both.

It has been said that there is a divine light that sometimes shines in Nirmal Hriday. And indeed, I have seen such a light. But there are well placed skylights high above which shed a peculiar ephemeral light that ever seeks unsuccessfully to penetrate the brooding gloom.

Long have I pondered Camus’ Stranger, awaiting the dawn and the sure guillotine. He peers through the bars at the fast fading stars and for the very first time bares his heart to the ‘benign indifference of the universe’ and finds there a brother. Empty of purpose. Empty of meaning. Empty of caring. Empty of virtue. Empty of belief. Empty of self. Zen masters tell us it is ever right before us, Reality. And so it is — if only we have eyes to see. If there is liberation from our universal bondage, it comes not through the pursuit of purpose or meaning, the attainment of saintliness, or the exercise of virtue , but through the realization of the hollowness of all things and every human endeavor.

Thankfulness arises, from an empty heart.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

Bit by Bit - Chapter 17, Part 9

Trey Smith

"From the point of view of differences, if we regard a thing as big because there is a certain bigness to it, then among all the ten thousand things there are none that are not big. If we regard a thing as small because there is a certain smallness to it, then among the ten thousand things there are none that are not small. If we know that heaven and earth are tiny grains and the tip of a hair is a range of mountains, then we have perceived the law of difference.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
What is a human being to an ant...or a humpback whale? What we view as significant differences among those of our species might well be lost on other life forms. By the same token, most people can't tell one ant or one whale from another.

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

TYT Extra - Obama's Insider Threats: Leaking to the Press is ESPIONAGE

Trey Smith

I thought about writing a post on this issue, but Cenk Uygur covered it so well in the video below that I strongly urge you to watch it. (Who knows? I may write about it later.) The article he references can be found here -- It's an eye opener for sure!

I Ching: Hexagram 39 - The Lines, Part 6

Six at the top means:
Going leads to obstructions,
Coming leads to great good fortune.
It furthers one to see the great man.

This refers to a man who has already left the world and its tumult behind him. When the time of obstructions arrives, it might seem that the simplest thing for him to do would be to turn his back upon the world and take refuge in the beyond. But this road is barred to him. He must not seek his own salvation and abandon the world to its adversity. Duty calls him back once more into the turmoil of life. Precisely because of his experience and inner freedom, he is able to create something both great and complete that brings good fortune. And it is favorable to see the great man in alliance with whom one can achieve the work of rescue.
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.

Mr. Ray III (Revisited)

Scott Bradley
Original post date: December 4, 2010

Is compassion nothing more than the cultivation of virtue at the expense of another? Does the saint use the suffering poor as monks might imprison thousands of chickens to fund their spiritual quest, or another raise cattle for the flesh on their bones?

He had one last thing to tell me as his mind steadily dimmed throughout the day, but I did not hear him clearly and fear that I did. “I raped my sister,” I thought I heard.

It was Durga Puja, ten days in which straw effigies of the mother goddess of Calcutta are carried and worshiped in long processions throughout the city. I jumped a trolley and slowly swayed back to the Brothers’ House through crowds of pilgrims coming to pay homage to Kali, goddess of time and change, and alter-aspect of the selfsame Durga, the Divine Mother as Warrior. Yes, there were other Mothers in Kalighat.

The next day was Saturday and I went on an errand to the old factory. Sunday was mass for the Brothers and a day off for me. Thus it was on Monday that my eyes immediately fell on the empty pallet. He was gone and I hadn’t said good-bye. I would find him behind the cistern. This was an experience I could have done without. Many things in Calcutta came to a halt during Durga Puja and the collecting of the dead was one of them. I did not expect to find a full house. Nor one so befouled by the stench of rotting human flesh. But I entered just the same.

I remember saying good-bye and sorry to Mr. Ray, but in honesty I don’t remember his face. It is the image of twin stillborns that fills that place. One hopes they were stillborn. In any case they, like many before them, were left on the doorstep of Nirmal Hriday, “Pure Heart”, because the mother could not afford the wood to cremate them.

“Well, he got his wish — he left,” said Sister Luke when she saw me leave the morgue.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

TYT - Teacher Accused of Sex with ELEMENTARY School Student

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I Ching: Hexagram 39 - The Lines, Part 5

Nine in the fifth place means:
In the midst of the greatest obstructions,
Friends come.

Here we see a man who is called to help in an emergency. He should not seek to evade the obstructions, no matter how dangerously they pile up before him. But because he is really called to the task, the power of his spirit is strong enough to attract helpers whom he can effectively organize, so that through the well-directed co-operation of all participants the obstruction is overcome.
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.

TYT Extra- Glenn Greenwald vs Meet the Press and Complacent Reporting

I'm dealing with some fairly severe vertigo issues (completely clogged right ear) and so I'm having a real difficult time concentrating. The upshot is that I may not be writing as much as usual until the medicine starts to work. So, I will be sharing more of The Young Turks videos -- ones that deal with some of the current issues in the headlines. ~ Trey

Afternoon Matinee: Protest - Eyes on the Prize

Performed by Bruce Springsteen

Paul and Silas were bound in jail
Had no money for to go their bail
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Paul and Silas thought they were lost
Dungeon shook and the chains come off
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Freedom's name is mighty sweet
And soon we're goin' to meet
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

I got my hand on the gospel plow
Wouldn't take nothing for my journey now
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

The only chains that a man can stand
Is that chains of hand on hand
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

I'm gonna board that big greyhound
Carry the love from town to town
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Now only thing I did was wrong
Stayin' in the wilderness too long
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

The only thing we did was right
Was the day we started to fight
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

The only thing we did was wrong
Staying in the wilderness much too long
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on
The only thing we did was right
Was the day we started to fight
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Ain't been to heaven but I been told
Streets up there are paved with gold
~ from Lyric Wiki ~

Mr. Ray II (Revisited)

Scott Bradley
Original post date: December 3, 2010

There was a boy still in his teens terribly afflicted by cerebral palsy who was doing well. He had been here several times before — a recidivism ordained by the gods. He graduated to the old factory where the recovering were received. But he was soon back and after great suffering his body went behind the cistern.

There was a man seemingly strong save for the grey-green puddle of gangrene that was his thigh. The French doctor, a volunteer with Medicins sans Frontiers, said he could still be saved and so we took him to the College Hospital in hopes of a speedy amputation. He died of dehydration a few days later, forgotten and without water in some corner of the ward. I remembered how thirsty he always was.

And then there was Mr. Ray. I felt that I got to know Mr. Ray. The Fasting Buddha was a dilettante compared to his fleshless body. He could not eat. He would not eat. “Please, let me starve,” he would plead when threatened with an IV. Yes, he spoke in perfect English; how I don’t know. And he was well read. How so? I asked. “I got old books from the paper collectors,” he told me. And his occupation? He rolled bidis. Now a bidi is a uniquely Indian cigarette. It is a tiny bit of tobacco hand-rolled in a tendu leaf, is in the shape of an elongated cone, and costs about one tenth of a cent. There are more lowly occupations, but they were done by the untouchable and unnoticed.

Mr. Ray made a point of telling me that he was soon to die. And he was. You saw it in his eyes, a distinct, but distant glow, like a light disappearing into the night on a mission I could not know. And as we talked he began to confide in me, his last witness. “Do not tell the Sisters,” he told me, “but I am a Christian and gave them the name Ray so they would leave me alone.” Now “Ray” is a venerable Hindu name in the State of West Bengal. “I don’t want their meddling and I don’t want a Christian burial.”

“Please, I need one favor, please,” said Mr. Ray on his last day save one. “Please take me back to the street where they found me. I did not ask to come here. Here, they rob me of my dignity. They profit from my suffering. It is what makes them holy. They are using me. Why should I not die as I have lived? I just want to die like a dog, as they found me.”

Was it cowardice or wise discretion? I don’t know, but I failed him. I did go to Sister Luke, the indomitable boss, and related his request without the commentary. I knew it would do him no good.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

Bit by Bit - Chapter 17, Part 8

Trey Smith

The Lord of the River said, "Whether they are external to things or internal, I do not understand how we come to have these distinctions of noble and mean or of great and small."

Jo of the North Sea said, "From the point of view of the Way, things have no nobility or meanness. From the point of view of things themselves, each regards itself as noble and other things as mean. From the point of view of common opinion, nobility and meanness are not determined by the individual himself.

~ Burton Watson translation ~
If there is some entity that looks down on our world from beyond the heavens, all forms would look like nothing more than grains of sand. It would be like pictures of our planet taken from space. You could see the basic shape of the continent and oceans, but nothing specific and distinct.

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

Be Wary, Be Very Wary

Trey Smith

Consumers like new innovations that make our lives more convenient. Remember the quaint old days when people made purchases with cash or checks? That's now been replaced by the ubiquitous debit card. Remember the days of yore when the only time you could answer the phone was when you were at work or home? Now your phone goes wherever you go. Yes, technology has made our lives more comfortable, but it has also made it easier for corporations and the government to track our movements, obtain a good deal of personal information and even manipulate the lives we lead.

Take, for example, the innovation of the bank (debit) card. When these cards first began coming out in the 70s, we were sold on their convenience. By carrying a bank card, they told us, we didn't have to walk around flush with cash or go through the hassle of trying to get stores or businesses we didn't typically frequent to accept our checks. What's more, using them was free! So, we were sold on their convenience and low cost.

Once the use of bank cards became nearly ubiquitous, the free part mostly went away. Today there are all sorts of fees and surcharges attached to them. In the long run, financial institutions are profiting more from the use of bank cards than they ever did when we stuck to cash and checks. But there is another insidious aspect to bank cards that was never advertised: All purchases made with these cards are now recorded and tracked!

Who can get their hands on this personal information? We don't precisely know! It is assumed that our bank has access. We know through various news reports that our banks often sell our information to others. But there is another institution that can now access those records too. The government! Government spies -- both federal employees and hundreds of thousands of contractors -- can see almost everything we purchase from a night of phone sex to a box of toothpicks.

And this should make us wonder: Was this the true intent behind the introduction of bank cards all along? Were we duped into thinking this was all about saving money and convenience instead of its true purpose of providing corporate and government access to our purchasing behavior?

Think about cell phones and other internet-connected electronic gadgets. Again, we were sold on their convenience and again we are now being tracked and our personal information is made available both to corporations and the government.

Cloud computing is now in vogue. Store your personal information in the cloud, they tell us, and you can access it everywhere you go. But so too can corporations and the government! In fact, for government spies, it is a lot easier to slurp up your private information from a cloud than it would be from other sources.

Another new innovation is vehicle telematics. One such system, OnStar, is offered by Chevrolet. In the event of an automobile accident, OnStar can determine your location and contact emergency personnel, if needed. If your vehicle begins to malfunction, the OnStar system can remotely ascertain the mechanical difficulty. If your vehicle is stolen, OnStar can assist the police in tracking it down. Pretty cool, huh?

But there is a downside as well. Because your vehicle is connected to the internet, corporations and the government can track your movements. They can conceivably listen in to your conversations inside your vehicle. Worst of all, according to Richard Clarke, vehicles equipped with such telemetrics can fall victim to hacking!
The peculiar circumstances of journalist Michael Hastings' death in Los Angeles last week have unleashed a wave of conspiracy theories.

Now there's another theory to contribute to the paranoia: According to a prominent security analyst, technology exists that could've allowed someone to hack his car. Former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism Richard Clarke told The Huffington Post that what is known about the single-vehicle crash is "consistent with a car cyber attack."

Clarke said, "There is reason to believe that intelligence agencies for major powers" -- including the United States -- know how to remotely seize control of a car.

"What has been revealed as a result of some research at universities is that it's relatively easy to hack your way into the control system of a car, and to do such things as cause acceleration when the driver doesn't want acceleration, to throw on the brakes when the driver doesn't want the brakes on, to launch an air bag," Clarke told The Huffington Post. "You can do some really highly destructive things now, through hacking a car, and it's not that hard."

"So if there were a cyber attack on the car -- and I'm not saying there was," Clarke added, "I think whoever did it would probably get away with it."
In all honesty, when I heard about Hastings' death, this was my first thought! The circumstances of the accident simply didn't sound very plausible to me. Considering who Hastings was and the kind of in-your-face investigative reporting he did, my first thought was some kind of remote-control sabotage. Until someone definitively proves otherwise, I am sticking to my initial thought.

More generally, I am learning to be very wary of supposed consumer innovations. Over the past few decades, almost every one that has been sold as a benign method of making our lives more convenient has concurrently had a nefarious side to it. Whenever a new idea is advertised these days, the first question that pops into my mind is: What is the corporate or government angle? Is this truly about ease of use and convenience or something else altogether?

I Ching: Hexagram 39 - The Lines, Part 4

Six in the fourth place means:
Going leads to obstructions,
Coming leads to union.

This too describes a situation that cannot be managed single-handed. In such a case the direct way is not the shortest. If a person were to forge ahead on his own strength and without the necessary preparations, he would not find the support he needs and would realize too late that he has been mistaken in his calculations, inasmuch as the conditions on which he hoped he could rely would prove to be inadequate. In this case it is better, therefore, to hold back for the time being and to gather together trustworthy companions who can be counted upon for help in overcoming the obstructions.
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.

Mr. Ray I (Revisited)

Scott Bradley
Original post date: December 2, 2010

My train, the Rajdhani Express from Delhi, pulled into Calcutta’s Howrah Station in the dark, early morning. It had been a two day journey and I was glad it was over. I rolled up my sleeping bag and secured it to my backpack. And then I saw that my leather satchel was not where I had just set it. Gone. Camera. How many Greek drachmas? Traveler’s checks. Passport!!

So began my sojourn in Calcutta. Less than a year before I had graduated from seminary. I had been accepted into a doctoral program in philosophical theology at GTU in Berkeley. I wanted to study liberation theology and somehow apply it in the world. But first, I told myself, I should go back to India and touch again what had become for me emblemic of all poverty.

I don’t remember how I found my way to Nirmal Hriday, but the path changed my life. This was Mother Theresa’s “First Work”, a former pilgrims’ hospice attached to and donated by the Kalighat Temple of Kali. And here the “Dying and Destitute” were brought when found just so in the streets of Calcutta. Here it was intended that they should die in dignity. I soon found myself housed on the roof of the Brothers of Charity domicile and daily working the morning shift in care of the wards.

There were as many as thirty in the men’s section; I never saw the women’s. Need I describe these men? Yes, I guess I do. All were indeed destitute; most were indeed dying. I dispensed medicines for tuberculosis, leprosy, parasites and I don’t know what else. I applied lotion to their wasted bodies to fight the scabies. I washed their bodies and helped to carry the same when lifeless to the tiny morgue behind the water cistern.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

TYT - What Ammo Do Snowden & Greenwald Detractors Really Have?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I Ching: Hexagram 39 - The Lines, Part 3

Nine in the third place means:
Going leads to obstructions;
Hence he comes back.

While the preceding line shows the official compelled by duty to follow the way of danger, this line shows the man who must act as father of a family or as head of his kin. If he were to plunge recklessly in to danger, it would be a useless act, because those entrusted to his care cannot get along by themselves. But if he withdraws and turns back to his own, they welcome him with great joy.
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.

No Potty Breaks for You!

Trey Smith

There was a story in the news yesterday about a Texas State Senator who was conducting a one-woman filibuster against an abortion bill. While people can have different opinions about abortion, the part of the article that knocked my socks was this:
To be successful, Davis must talk for 13 hours, during which she will not be allowed to sit, lean or take any breaks to go to the bathroom or eat. She is only allowed to stop speaking when listening to questions.
Really? She can't even go to the bathroom? 

Who came up with such a stupid rule? 

Is that even healthy?

Afternoon Matinee: Protest - War Is Good

Performed by Corporate Avenger

It's like the powers that be have totally outlawed living the natural way
the way we were ment to live. You know if you wanna hunt or you
wanna fish you know you gotta be on land. And if your some where
on land you're trespassing against someone these days and they'll put
you in jail. So if you wanna hunt, or fish you gotta have a license, and
in order to get a license you gotta work. And when you work they take
a portion of your pay, the sweat off your back and funnel it towards
their military machine of killing and death and sorrows.

Not a child of Adam and Eve
I don't need to believe in the wrongs from rights
In your schools and in your brains
You're so insane you claim you're right
You say war is good, and war is right
Another mother crys tonight alright

A killer, you keep workin, and working, and working and they keep
taking, and taking, and taking. They'll throw you a few little crumbs
they'll give you a home, a car, a television, a vacation. Someday you
may even have a bank account that you're scared to lose.

You steal the sweat right off my back
You load me up with lies not facts
Still you do not answer for five hundred years of lies and sorrow
You say war is good, and war is right
Another mother cries tonight
War is good, war is fun
Steal my money build your guns

It's like you never really own anything, you're just holding onto it.
Cause when you die the government comes and takes away half of
what you worked for, even though they already taxed you for a large
percentage. They funnel all that money to their coffers, which go
mostly to weapons of destruction. As the metal burns and the powder
catches on fire destroying the sacred lights of human beings who were
put on this Earth to grow together in a sacred manner. It's all a bunch
of bullshit actually.

Take it to another level.
War is good, war is right
Another child cries tonight
War is right, war is good
Until its in your neighborhood
War is good, war is right
Another father dies tonight
War is right, war is fun
Steal my money build your guns
Take it to another level
~ from Lyric Wiki ~

Discrimination Is Back in Vogue

Trey Smith

As if the growing NSA scandal is not enough, the US Supreme Court decided to get into the act yesterday. By a 5 - 4 vote, they struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Now it will be that much easier for states to discriminate against certain voters -- the very thing this Act sought to prevent.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the minority, read out a stinging dissent from the bench: "The sad irony of today's decision lies in its utter failure to grasp why the VRA has proven effective," she said.

"Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet."
In all honesty, I am rather ambivalent about this decision. On the one hand, I am against discrimination based on a whole host of criteria. It is wrong to single out a group of people based on nothing more than the color of their skin or their sexual orientation. However, on the other hand, voting these days is mostly an exercise in futility. The monied interests handpick the candidates for the voters to choose from and the candidates who garner the most votes typically don't live up to the pledges made to those voters. So, all that may be lost here is the illusion of making a difference, instead of the actual ability to make a difference.

There is no question in my mind that this is a bad a decision, but it's a bad decision about a system that already is rotten to its core.

Bit by Bit - Chapter 17, Part 7

Trey Smith

"Therefore the Great Man in his actions will not harm others, but he makes no show of benevolence or charity. He will not move for the sake of profit, but he does not despise the porter at the gate. He will not wrangle for goods or wealth, but he makes no show of refusing or relinquishing them. He will not enlist the help of others in his work, but he makes no show of being self-supporting, and he does not despise the greedy and base. His actions differ from those of the mob, but he makes no show of uniqueness or eccentricity. He is content to stay behind with the crowd, but he does not despise those who run forward to flatter and fawn. All the titles and stipends of the age are not enough to stir him to exertion; all its penalties and censures are not enough to make him feel shame. He knows that no line can be drawn between right and wrong, no border can be fixed between great and small. I have heard it said, `The Man of the Way wins no fame, the highest virtue wins no gain, the Great Man has no self.' To the most perfect degree, he goes along with what has been allotted to him."
~ Burton Watson translation ~
There are no great men or women, in this sense. The construction of the ego will not allow it. The closest we come to this ideal is as newborns or the very old just before death.

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

One If By Land, Two If By Sea

Trey Smith

I am sure that most of our American readers are familiar with Paul Revere's Midnight Ride. As the story goes, Revere was to inform the sexton of a church in the Concord, Massachusetts area as to whether British troops were coming by land or sea (actually, the Charles River). The sexton was then to shine one or two lanterns to alert the citizens in the neighboring town of Charlestown. Revere was then to ride through the countryside warning friendly colonists along the way.

I mention this historic tale in reference to something currently in the news. Democratic Senators Ron Wyden (OR) and Mark Udall (CO) are being hailed by some because they have tried to warn citizens for years that something wasn't kosher about the NSA's various surveillance programs.

In my book, neither warrants being called a hero. Their so-called "warnings" were always vague and never included anything specific. When faced with protecting classified secrets versus defending the US Constitution, both chose the former. Even though both men indicated that they believed the US Constitution was being violated, neither showed the courage nor fortitude to stand up tall to tell the American people what the hell was going on. No, such courage was shown by Edward Snowden, not them!

Since Wyden has taken the lead on this issue, I thought I would illustrate this situation by replacing Paul Revere with him. Thus, that historic event might have gone something like this.
When Ron Wyden received the secret information from operatives, he decided to change plans. He went to the church of the sexton and stood up in the bell tower and yelled over and over again, "Somebody is coming. Somebody is coming." After a while, he attracted the attention of some area townspeople who came to the church to ask him some questions.

Wyden: Somebody is coming! Somebody is coming!

Person #1: Are the British troops coming?

Wyden: I didn't say it was the British. All I said is "someone."

Person #2: Okay, so who IS this someone?

Wyden: I am not at liberty to divulge that information.

Person #2: What do you mean by that?

Wyden: I mean, I can't tell you.

Person #3: Can you at least tell us if it is friend or foe?

Wyden: It is one or the other.

Person #1: What good is it to know if "somebody is coming" if you won't tell us who it is?

Wyden: Look, I'd really like to tell you, but I just can't.

Person #4: Can't you give us a little hint?

Wyden: Hmm. I can tell you that the someone who is coming is not currently here. Satisfied?

Person #3: What kind of answer is that! Of course, the people who are coming aren't here. If they were already here, then they wouldn't be coming!

Person #1: Can you tell us why they are coming?

Wyden: Sorry, but I can't tell you that either.

Person #2: Great! Somebody -- whose identity we don't know -- is coming and we don't know why this unknown somebody is coming.

Wyden: True, but you do know that somebody IS coming.

Person #1: Is this coming imminent, like tomorrow, or is it more like a few days from now?

Wyden: It could be in a few hours...or it could be next month.

Person #3: Well, which is it?

Wyden: I'm not at liberty to say.

Person #4: Could you at least tell us if this somebody is coming by land or water?

Wyden: I think it's one or the other, but it could be both.

Person #5: Alright. Let me see if I have this straight. Some unknown person or persons who are not here now is/are coming. You won't tell us when this somebody is coming. You won't tell us why this somebody is coming and you won't tell us how this somebody is coming. All you will tell is that somebody is coming.

Wyden: Yes! You've got it. I just wanted to warn you all that somebody is coming, so you wouldn't be caught off guard.

The townspeople decided that Wyden had consumed too much ale. They dispersed and went back to their homes. When the British troops showed up the next day, everyone was caught off guard. The rebellious colonist leaders were put in the stockade and the rebellion never recovered. Many generations later -- in 2012 -- one of Wyden's descendants was elected to the House of Commons as a representative of the North American British Colonies.