Tree-Hugging Dirt Worship

March 25, 2012

Resist!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — paragardener @ 8:13 pm

Reposted from Jesse’s Cafe Americain.

The White Rose
Third Leaflet
Munich, 1942

Salus publica suprema lex
The good of the people is the law of the land.

All ideal forms of government are, of course, utopias.

But a state cannot be constructed on a pure ideal, a theoretical basis; rather, it must grow and ripen in the way an individual human being matures. But we must not forget that at the starting point of every civilization the state was already there in rudimentary form. The family is as old as man himself, and out of this initial bond mankind, endowed with reason, created for himself a state founded on justice, whose highest law was the common good.

The state should exist as a parallel to the divine order, and the highest of all utopias, the civitas dei, is the model which in the end it should approximate. Here we will not pass judgment on the many possible forms of the state – democracy, constitutional monarchy, and so on.

But one matter needs to be brought out clearly and unambiguously. Every individual human being has a claim to a useful and just state, a state which secures freedom of the individual as well as the good of the whole. For, according to God’s will, man is intended to pursue his natural goal, his earthly happiness, in self-reliance and self-chosen activity, freely and independently within the community of life and work of the nation.

But our present “state” is the dictatorship of evil. “Oh, we’ve known that for a long time,” I hear you object, “and it isn’t necessary to bring that to our attention again.” But, I ask you, if you know that, why do you not act, why do you allow these men who are in power to rob you step by step, openly and in secret, of one set of your rights after another, until one day nothing, nothing at all will be left but a mechanized state system presided over by criminals and fools?

Is your spirit already so crushed by abuse that you forget it is your right – or rather, your moral duty – to change this system? But if a man no longer can summon the strength to demand his rights, then it is absolutely certain that he will perish. We would deserve to be dispersed through the earth like dust before the wind if we do not muster our powers at this late hour and finally find the courage which, up to now, we have lacked. Do not hide your cowardice behind a cloak of expediency, for with every new day that you hesitate, failing to oppose this offspring of Hell, your guilt, as in a parabolic curve, grows higher and higher.

Many, perhaps most, of the readers of these leaflets do not see clearly how they can practice an effective opposition. They do not see any avenues open to them. We want to try to show them that everyone is in a position to contribute to changing this system. It is not possible through solitary withdrawal, in the manner of embittered hermits, to prepare the ground for the overturn of this “government” or bring about the revolution at the earliest possible moment. No, it can be done only by the cooperation of many convinced, energetic people – people who are agreed as to the means they must use to attain their goal. We have no great number of choices as to these means. The only one available is passive resistance.

The meaning and the goal of passive resistance is to topple National Socialism, and in this struggle we must not recoil from any course, any action, whatever its nature. At all points we must oppose National Socialism, wherever it is open to attack. We must soon bring this monster of a state to an end. A victory of fascist Germany in this war would have immeasurable, frightful consequences. The military victory over Bolshevism dare not become the primary concern of the Germans. The defeat of the Nazis must unconditionally be the first order of business, the greater necessity of this latter requirement will be discussed in one of our forthcoming leaflets.

And now every convinced opponent of National Socialism must ask himself how he can fight against the present “state” in the most effective way, how he can strike it the most telling blows. Through passive resistance, without a doubt. We cannot provide each man with the blueprint for his acts, we can only suggest them in general terms, and he alone will find the way of achieving this end…

Please distribute this as widely as possible.

March 21, 2012

Supreme Creaming Barr in “Americans Elect” Delegates

Checking Out Americans Elect

Americans Elect is an organization that ditches the primary / caucusing nightmare in favor of secure Internet voting as a means for nominating a Presidential candidate. They are avowedly nonpartisan, but are seeking ballot access similar to that enjoyed by many of the parties. Americans Elect was founded and funded by managerial multimillionaires, and according to its bylaws the Board of Directors actually holds most of the control over the nominating process, thus rendering the Internet voting little more than a fraud! So, you know, I figure they deserve as much chance as the two major parties, since they’re pretty much all guilty of running the same type of scam…

I was intrigued by Americans Elect’s promise to match me with politicians who hold similar views, based on my answers to survey questions. First, I gave them basic info like my name and e-mail address. Then, they asked me creepy security questions, like “which of these corporations have you been associated with?” If they knew the answers, I assume that any data miner out there would know. Once I got into the matching process, I found myself craving for the “gold” merit badge, so to earn it I slogged through 200 grindingly similar survey questions.

They matched me with Ralph Nader as my top pick. Nader and I have pretty compatible views, I’ll grant, but he needs to stay out of electoral politics since being blamed for Bush’s win over Gore. Never mind that the Socialist candidate also got enough votes to tip the scales to Bush; never mind that Republican politicians dispatched thugs to stop vote counting with threats of violence in the Brooks Brothers Riot; never mind that five members of the Supreme Court committed treason with their indefensible and blatantly partisan ruling in Bush v Gore; everyone thinks that it was somehow Ralph Nader’s fault, so he needs to keep his talents directed elsewhere.

In second place was Rahm Emanuel! Emanuel is one of these sleazy characters who drifts between government and banking jobs, making millions through graft, inside information and usually fraud. While Emanuel was a director of Freddie Mac, the company was plagued with scandals. The entire B.o.D. earned remarks of censure from the Office of of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. The Obama Administration denied a FOIA request to open Freddie Mac’s books from Rahm’s time there (circa 2000), which comes as no surprise because Emanuel served as Obama’s Chief of Staff. Getting rid of banking corruption and government acquiescence is pretty close to my number-one issue, but it’s not an issue that registers with the Americans Elect algorithm. This is no political eHarmony, let me tell you.

The Presidential Contest that Really Matters

I was pleased this morning to visit Misinformed Citizen’s of America and find that Vermin Supreme is collecting Americans Elect delegates as a draft candidate (49 so far). With his platform of mandatory oral hygiene, a pony for every citizen and time travel research (to be used for killing baby Hitler), he is edging out lesser-known political figures like Jeb Bush and Paul Krugman (48 each), at least since I cast my vote this morning. Roseanne Barr, running also for the Green Party nomination, has collected only 25 “Americans Elect” delegates.

I want to see Supreme get at least 66 supporters on Americans Elect, which may be enough to put him ahead of Noam Chomsky (65 supporters). Noam Chomsky is no fun anymore, and he just keeps on framing American foreign policy in terms reflecting the Vietnam fiasco. Vermin Supreme, by contrast, glitterbombed Randall Terry. The future of everything hangs on Supreme vs. Chomsky as much as it hangs on the ultimate “winner” in the race for Chief Marionette. At least the minor characters have distinguishable platforms! Some of these people speak as their own thinking person, not as a mouthpiece for interest groups with bribes of campaign dollars and inside information. So how to weigh a choice between real people who can’t win, or trying to choose a winner from amongst self-lobotomized programmable sponsorship-seeking zombies? I’ll throw my lot in with human intelligence, thank you, and be defeated with enough integrity to be able to go on living. Someday, the people may even begin to win against the zombies — it’s normal to lose before you start winning, for what that’s worth.

But I have to tell you Green Party people, Roseanne Barr is a bit of a loose cannon. Doesn’t she know that she splits Vermin Supreme’s vote and risks ruining everything?

March 18, 2012

Spot Perseids Aug. 12-13

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — paragardener @ 2:09 am

The Perseids are reliable, abundant annual meteors that splash Earth’s sky every goddamned year as numerous shooting stars. This year they peak around August 12-13, nights with a morning crescent moon (meaning zero moonlight for some while after the sun goes down), but they stretch out for weeks before and after. The best place to see them is any place in the Northern Hemisphere with little light pollution and a fair chance of clear weather. Maybe camping? Sailing? Trekking on camel?

flee populated areas

World Light Pollution Map. Credit: P. Cinzano, F. Falchi (University of Padova), C. D. Elvidge (NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder). Copyright Royal Astronomical Society. Reproduced from the Monthly Notices of the RAS by permission of Blackwell Science.

 

 

March 17, 2012

Sky Worship Part Two: Terrible Sacrifice

Filed under: magic, science, Soapbox — Tags: , , , , , , , , — paragardener @ 4:51 pm

Sometimes I hear Christians, such as Alex Jones, criticizing Paganism because of its tradition of worshiping nature, even to the extreme of sacrificing humans. As if the history of Christianity  is anything to be unthinkingly proud of… Inquisitions, Crusades, blah, blah blah. We don’t sacrifice people anymore, and anyone who does so is way outside of neopagan norms!

Many people who believe in an ancient, magical worldview believe that you can harness the life force of a sacrificial victim to politely bribe a god. For instance, Christians believe that Jesus of Nazareth had to sacrifice himself, like a lamb, to save people from sin and Hellfire. Caribbean Santeria practitioners sacrifice chickens and so on in prayer, reflecting the traditions of their Pagan African ancestors (although they are Christians). The animals’ death-blood is received by a heavenly saint who, hopefully, grants favors.

I don’t believe that sacrificing some random chicken’s life gets you any favor with the gods (or saints). I think that most of you readers are with me on this — if not, I can respect our interesting differences. A chicken has its own feeble consciousness, and how can you really possess or own that to sacrifice it? When members of Yakuza (aka “The Japanese Mafia”) really offend their boss, they atone by performing Yubitsume, chopping off the last segment of their little finger at the knuckle. Now that’s  a sacrifice.

Well, if I need all my digits, and I can’t bleed out a chicken for Gaia or cast a virgin into the volcano, how am I then to worship nature? I do  believe that it’s a spiritual discipline to respect nature, learn to go with it, and avoid trampling on it for shallow or short-term purposes. I think that this attitude is also in line with rational activity and Christian belief.

Christians believe that God gave the Earth to people to “steward,” which means “take care of.” Even if God gave us the Earth as a gift for our own use, He would be pretty pissed off to see how we’ve been abusing that gift. Imagine, for instance, the God had given you a book. Would you tear pages out for kindling and toilet paper, or would you treat it carefully? Oh? How then is it okay to blow great big motherfracking holes in the crust of God’s Earth, mow forests down, or fail to recycle your batteries? (aside: when Rick Santorum says that we are to “wisely husband the Earth’s resources,” it makes me imagine the Earth as a battered wife.)

What I’m saying is that the natural world is sacred, as goddess incarnate, or God’s creation, or more simply as something full of wonders that supports our lives. And, the only sacrifice that does the world any good is to be more aware of the things around you and to try to take care of them better.

And so at last I come to my point: Shining lights into the sky and blotting out the stars is really, really blasphemous. Anyone who believes that God, um, separated the sky from the Earth with a “firmament,” or that there are celestial gods up there, or that human beings have the birthright to look upwards with wonder, has got to be with me on this one. Remember the scene in Roots, when Kunte Kinte’s dad hoists the baby up to face the starry sky, and says “Behold! The only thing greater than yourself!”? That scene would be pretty lame in most parts of the world today. “Behold! Those two fuzzy lights peeping out from behind the pollution are the only things greater than yourself, I guess.”

So here is the sacrifice demanded by God, Astarte Queen of Heaven, and human decency alike: don’t shine your lights into the night sky! Myself, I have an obnoxious 200- or 400-watt yard light, which my mate feels keeps the dogs safe when they are playing in the yard at night (this since the street light on the corner burned out). The temporary solution: I make sure to turn it off before bed. When the blinky sucker soon burns out, I’m going up a ladder to tear out the Metal Halide bulb’s ballast, put in a giant “compact” fluorescent bulb (energy savings) and stick a reflector or hood on it so that no light is directed upwards or straight out at the neighbors. This assuming I continue to lose the argument over the value of lighting up the back yard in the first place.

Basically, there is no sacrifice in cleaning up our “light pollution.” If you eliminate unneeded lights, wire lights to motion detectors, or direct light downwards, you are saving energy, thus money. You just have to summon up the human energy to do it.

For more information, you can check out the Dark Sky Society (free membership!) and International Dark-Sky Association. Organizations like this really help when things have to go beyond individual action, for instance, to help campaign for a city government to respect anti-light pollution principles with their street lights and municipal buildings. Recently, the Headlands, on Lake Michigan near the Straights of Mackinaw, was declared a Dark Sky Park, and more and more localities are adopting dark-sky legislation. More laws? Well, we don’t have any special right to blot out each others’ sky, do we? In any case, the Dark Sky people can provide you with the practical information about reducing your own light pollution.

All right, I’m done preaching and telling everybody how to live their lives. For today. Imagine, though, if the sky over your suburban home looked like this!

Image of the night sky above Paranal on 21 July 2007, taken by ESO astronomer Yuri Beletsky. A wide band of stars and dust clouds, spanning more than 100 degrees on the sky, is seen. This is the Milky Way, the Galaxy we belong to. At the centre of the image, two bright objects are visible. The brightest is the planet Jupiter, while the other is the star Antares. Three of the four 8.2-m telescopes forming ESO's VLT are seen, with a laser beaming out from Yepun, Unit Telescope number 4. The laser points directly at the Galactic Centre. Also visible are three of the 1.8-m Auxiliary Telescopes used for interferometry. They show small light beams which are diodes located on the domes. The exposure time is 5 minutes and because the tracking was made on the stars, the telescopes are slightly blurred. This image is from Wikimedia Commons, for "share and share alike" use.

March 7, 2012

Sky Worship

Filed under: music, science — Tags: , , , , , , — paragardener @ 6:21 pm

Sometimes, from my Detroit home, I can see most of the stars of Orion or the Big Dipper. It probably helps, that vast areas of the city are depopulated or street lights don’t work. Goddess damn, I love this city.

How alienated you are from the sky is some gauge of how alienated you are from nature. For example, I sometimes watch a TV documentary about astronomy and/or old superstitions, and the question is asked, “Do the phases of the moon have an effect on human behavior?” To ask this question at all indicates some cluelessness. Go camping for a month and you will have a certain answer.

Not too long ago, Freelearner showed my on her i-Pad astronomy app how the full moon rises at sunset and sets at sunrise and the new moon rises and sets with the sun. Not only is the full moon bright, it’s out all night. On a clear night, there is light everywhere and campers can wander flashlight-less, stay up late and get into mayhem. On a new moon night, you’ve got only campfires and starlight to see by. People without electricity have to stay close to home. (The reason for the moon’s phases synching with its position on the day or night side of the Earth is really obvious once you see it. Get out two balls and a table lamp and figure it out — remember Earth turns once a day, the moon takes a month to travel around it, and watch those shadows…)

Singers, poets and other drama queens love talking about the stars. Enjoy some tunes about outer space.

Spaceman by 4 Non-Blondes — how did they know to write a personal theme song for me?

Moon in the Sky Called the Moon by B-52’s — a great live recording, but no video.

Big bonus points for referencing the Van Allen Belt in song!

See the Constellation by They Might Be Giants.

Crap, another morning wasted blogging. Time to go and slave under the accursed Day Star. May you come back as a guy made of dots and lines!

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