Monthly Archive: March 2005

Conquerors always call themselves liberators.
– Sami Abdul-Rahman – Kurdish leaders enraged by ‘undemocratic’ American plan to occupy Iraq, Independent, 2/18/03

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When governments state that certain events have not happened, and yet we have the victims before us to testify that they did, government loses its credibility, and it loses its authority. We see before us today governments that lack natural authority and have to make up for that by the use of force. They do not have the support of the people because they are not trusted by the people. We hear many fine words seeking national unity, cooperation and harmony, yet, almost in the same breath orders are given to military units to shoot civilians, protesters are rounded up, many disappear, many are tortured. No government which governs by the use of force can survive except by force. There is no going back because force begets force and the perpetrators of crimes live in fear that they might become victims in their turn.
– Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo – Reconciliation Speech of 24/2/99 at St Mary’s Cathedral Hall, Sydney, NSW

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We used to have a War Office, but now we have a Ministry of Defence, nuclear bombs are now described as deterrents, innocent civilians killed in war are now described as collateral damage and military incompetence leading to US bombers killing British soldiers is cosily described as friendly fire. Those who are in favour of peace are described as mavericks and troublemakers, whereas the real militants are those who want the war.
– Tony Benn

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Herein lies a riddle: How can a people so gifted by God become so seduced by naked power, so greedy for money, so addicted to violence, so slavish before mediocre and treacherous leadership, so paranoid, deluded, lunatic?
– Philip Berrigan – Source: Hell, Healing and Resistance Veterans Speak

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15 Things You Probably Never Knew or Thought About

1. At least 5 people in this world love you so much they would die for you.

2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.

3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you.

4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don’t like you.

5. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.

6. You mean the world to someone.

7. If not for you, someone may not be living.

8. You are special and unique.

9. Someone that you don’t even know exists loves you.

10. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.

11. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look: you most likely turned your back on the world.

12. When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you probably won’t get it, but if you believe in yourself, probably, sooner or later, you will get it.

13. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.

14. Always tell someone how you feel about them; you will feel much better when they know.

15. If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they are great.

A Minute: They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hou r to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them. Take the time… to live and love.

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The Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance first appeared in 1892, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus landing in the new world. The original stated: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands; one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In 1924 it was modified to say: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and the Republic for which it stands; one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Then once again in 1954 the pledge was changed again to: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and the Republic for which it stands; one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Folks, the original never used God. Why is that? Its because the nation was not built on God. It was built on the work of many. Fellow Witches and Pagans when you pledge allegiance use the 1924 version. America is a melting pot of people, cultures and RELIGIONS.  The 1924 version is the most correct for the nation. America was built on land and hard work; even non-Christians did the work.

We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
– George Orwell

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They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality,
because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of
them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice
what was happening.
– George Orwell

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Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and
murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure
wind.
– George Orwell

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The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by
his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing
about them.
– George Orwell

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Read George Orwell’s “1984” online.

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When the President starts lying he begins to need evidence to back up
his lies because in this democracy he is questioned on his statements.
It then percolates down through the bureaucracy that you are helping
the Boss if you come up with evidence that is supportive of our public
position and you are distinctly unhelpful if you commit to paper
statements that might leak to the wrong people.

 The effect
of that is to poison the flow of information to the President himself
and to create a situation where a President can be almost, to use a
metaphor, psychotically divorced from the realities in which he is
acting…
– Daniel Ellsburg to the US Senate on Foreign Relations, May 13, 1970

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“The
most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one
fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly…it must confine
itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.
– Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Propaganda Minister

The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.
– Daniel Webster – (1782-1852), US Senator

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The
whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so
certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
– Bertrand Russell, philosopher, mathematician, author, Nobel laureate (1872-1970)

Be not intimidated… nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.
– John Adams – (1735-1826) Founding Father, 2nd US President 1765

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Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your Honor. That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse.
– Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

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In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell.
– Justice Black. NYT v. US. 403 US 713

It has been a productive Winter.  Now that it is time to come out of my cave, I find many changes have been made.

My participation in CERES and APA has been eliminated.  It’s sad
to learn that bigotry exists among my co-religionists; you would think
they would be more interested in protecting against that.  But I
suppose we’re people too.

My participation in Asheville Homeless Network is about to skyrocket —
one couple is leaving the area, which will leave me as the last elected
official, and there is too much work to be done to just drop it.

My two real-life support groups have been cancelled for different
reasons.  There is still a local Recovery, Inc. group for me to
attend, so I’ll be all right.  There will be a Leadership Training
class in Asheville this summer, which I fully intend to participate in.

I’ve started a Pagan Men’s Group online, and intend to bring it into
being as an actual meeting in Asheville and help the non-Asheville
members start their own corresponding groups.  If you’re
interested, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HolyMoly and check it
out.

At the present time, I am Owner of 8 different Yahoogroups on a variety
of topics, in addition to being a member of several others. 
That’s enough work for me to do.  I’m also Organizer of 3 local
Meetups (http://www.meetup.com ).  I manage 4 websites
(BlindLemmingChiffon.com is still under construction, but it’s looking
good).

And oh, yeah, there is the matter of my wonderful, beautiful, loving
wife.  That’s taking most of my time, and I can’t tell you how
deliciously that time is spent.

“Life.  Don’t talk to me about life.” – Marvin the Paranoid Android, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Hugs,
Me

Do not believe in anything simply because
you have heard it. Do not believe simply because it has been handed down for
many generations.  Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken
and rumored by many.  Do not believe in anything simply because it is written
in Holy Scriptures.  Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of
Teachers, elders or wise men. Believe only after careful observation and
analysis, when you find that it agrees with reason and is conducive to the
good and benefit of one and all. Then accept it and live up to it.”
– Buddha

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The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those
who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and
relearn.
– Alvin Toffler

As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.
– U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864 – (letter to Col. William F. Elkins) – Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY)

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They (corporations) cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed, nor excommunicated, for they have no souls.
– Lord Edward Coke

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criminal, n. A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation.
– Howard Scott

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The following is from this week’s Placebo Gazette, written by Douglas Farrago, M.D.

About 2 years ago, Diana and I were on a cruise through the Western
Mediterranean aboard a Princess liner. At dinner we noticed an elderly
lady sitting alone along the rail of the grand stairway in the main
dining room. I also noticed that all the staff, ships officers,
waiters, busboys, etc., all seemed very familiar with this lady. I
asked our waiter who the lady was, expecting to be told she owned the
line, but he said he only knew that she had been on board for the last
four cruises, back to back.

As we left the dining room one evening, I caught her eye and stopped to say
hello. We chatted and I said, “I understand you’ve been on this ship for the
last four cruises.”

She replied, “Yes, that’s true.”

I stated, “I don’t understand,” and she replied, without a pause, “It’s cheaper
than a nursing home!”

Now the facts:

The average cost for a nursing home
is $200 per day. I have checked on reservations at Princess and I can get long
term discount and senior discount price of $135 per day. That leaves $65 a day
for:

Gratuities which will only be
$10 per day.

I will have as many as 10 meals a day if I can
waddle to the restaurant, or I can have room service (which means I can have
breakfast in bed every day of the week).

Princess has as many as three swimming pools,
a workout room, free washers and dryers, and shows every night.

They have free toothpaste and razors, and free
soap and shampoo.

They will even treat you like a customer, not
a patient. An extra $5 worth of tips will have the entire staff scrambling to
help you.

I will get to meet new people every 7 or 14
days.

TV broken? Light bulb needs changing? Need to
have the mattress replaced? No Problem! They will fix everything and apologize
for your inconvenience.

Clean sheets and towels every day, and you
don’t even have to ask for them.

If you fall in the nursing home and break a
hip, you are on Medicare. If you fall and break a hip on the Princess ship,
they will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life.

Now hold on for the best! Do you want to see South America, the
Panama Canal, Tahiti,
Australia, New Zealand, Asia, or name where you want
to go?  Princess will have a ship ready to go. So don’t look for me in a
nursing home, just call shore to ship.

P.S. And don’t
forget, when you die, they just dump you over the side at no charge!!!

Meditations with Native American Elders – February 27

“The Old Ones have always said that no matter who despises or ignores
you, no matter who keeps you from entering their circles, it is right
to pray for them because they are like us, too.”
-Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA

You don’t know how an apple tastes until you taste it. You don’t know
what a fish tastes like until you eat it. You don’t know how it is to
be a woman unless you are one. You don’t know what it means to have a
baby until you have one. So it is with the natural laws. An example:
the natural law of forgiveness says, if you hate someone, pray for the
person to be blessed with happiness, joy and all the blessings of the
Great Spirit. You will not know about this law unless you do it. The
natural law says love others as you love yourself. If you hate yourself
or feel guilt in some area of yourself, you will tend to judge and
condemn your neighbor. You cannot give away what you don’t have. You
teach your children by your example, not by your words. The natural
laws are written in our hearts.

Great Spirit,
teach me how
to look into my
heart.

By:  Don Coyhis

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We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful
words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of
the good people.
– Martin Luther King Jr.

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Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

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I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us
with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
– Galileo Galilei

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All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second,
it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
– Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
 
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Often war is waged only in order to show valor; thus an inner dignity
is ascribed to war itself, and even some philosophers have praised it
as an ennoblement of humanity, forgetting the pronouncement of the
Greek who said, “War is an evil in as much as it produces more wicked
men than it takes away.”
– Immanuel Kant

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If a war be undertaken for the most righteous end, before the resources
of peace have been tried and proved vain to secure it, that war has no
defense, it is a national crime.
– Charles Eliot Norton

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It is part of the moral tragedy with which we are dealing that words
like “democracy,” “freedom,” “rights,” “justice,” which have so often
inspired heroism and have led men to give their lives for things which
make life worthwhile, can also become a trap, the means of destroying
the very things men desire to uphold.
– Sir Norman Angell (1874-1967), 1956.

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No one is more dangerous than one who imagines himself pure in heart; for his purity, by definition, is unassailable.
– James Baldwin (1924-1987) Notes of a native son, 1955

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When faced with a choice between confronting an unpleasant reality and
defending a set of comforting and socially accepted beliefs, most
people choose the later course.
– W. Lance Bennett

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It is foolish in the extreme not only to resort to force before
necessity compels, but especially to madly create the conditions that
will lead to this necessity.
– Benjamin Tucker, Liberty, May 22, 1886

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The feeling of patriotism – It is an immoral feeling because, instead
of confessing himself a son of God . . . or even a free man guided by
his own reason, each man under the influence of patriotism confesses
himself the son of his fatherland and the slave of his government, and
commits actions contrary to his reason and conscience.
– Leo Tolstoy, Patriotism and Government

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A modern gentleman is necessarily the enemy of his country. Even in war
he does not fight to defend it, but to prevent his power of preying on
it from passing to a foreigner.
– George Bernard Shaw

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It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country
is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificually
induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant
propaganda of fear.
– General Douglas MacArthur, Speech, May 15, 1951

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A Buddhist Priest Expresses the Buddhist Perspective on Punishment
http://www.stophitting.org/religion/buddhistPunish.php

COLUMBUS, OHIO, March 1, 2005: Rinzai Zen Buddhist Priest, Kobutsu
Malone, writes very candidly in this article about punishment in any
form, corporal or psychological. Reverend Malone says, “The deliberate
infliction of pain on an individual in response to an action after it
has occurred can in no way change the effect of the original action nor
can it serve to educate or awaken the individual. The physical or
emotional pain or injury of punishment done to a child or an adult
creates only fear and trauma. It not only damages the person being
punished, but it damages and enslaves those who inflict the punishment.
The abuse of physical violence visited on anyone is a deliberate act
which scapegoats the person through lack of control over our burden of
internalized oppression.” Reverend Malone also elaborates on the
prevalence of violence in North American culture, “Arrogance and
aggression permeate our society, our history, our religious traditions,
our so-called ‘judicial system’ to the point that we can not dare to
even question the premise of punishment without drawing shocked
response from our fellow citizens. We live in a nation surrounded by
violence, we worship violence and the infliction of pain in our
entertainment, in our day-to-day interrelationships with each other.”
Over time Rev. Malone points out that punishment leads to oppression
out of fear and, when the oppressor is not around, resentment, rage, or
anger are expressed by the person being punished. Alternatively, the
individual being oppressed may take the imposed violence out on someone
else and the cycle of violence continues. Rev. Malone sums it up, “The
only truly effective and successful methods of dealing with correction
of behavior comes through compassionate communication, comprehension of
social responsibility, education, restraint and discipline. Punishment
simply does not, and has never, worked.”