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  • hardie karges 6:18 pm on June 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Brexit, , Lexit, politics, UK   

    Brexit Through the Gift Shop, Lexit thru the Green Lane (‘Nothing to Declare’)… 

    The Union Flag: a red cross over combined red and white saltires, all with white borders, over a dark blue background.“Bernie Sanders on Brexit: The World Economy is not Working for Everybody” (minor HuffPo headline from the day after the Brexit vote). Get it? Got it. Bernie is a ‘Leaver’, albeit for different reasons than Boris and Nigel; or at least he’s not a clear-cut ‘Remainer’, not even as much as Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, who held his nose and shut his samosa-slot, and meekly supported the ‘Remain’ bloc, only after forty years of protesting the EU and only after his own rise to power. Damn by feint (!) praise, perhaps?

    Yes, there was also a leftist ‘Lexit’ (‘Left Leave’) vote, with the same goal as Brexit, just another reason and another season for getting there. This is the difference between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, and ultimately the reason I couldn’t support Bernie, even though his ideals are closer to mine than Hillary’s. (More …)

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  • hardie karges 6:23 pm on June 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , politics,   

    Religion, Linguistics and Politics: the Muslim Problem is an Aryan Problem… 

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    The ugliest church in the world: Kabul, Afghanistan

    When you think of Islam, you generally think of the Mideast, and all things Arab.  Yet more than half of the total Muslim population lies to the east of the Shatt al-Arab, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and that line that separates Iraq from Iran, Arab from Aryan, them from us.  Huh?  Aryan?  Us? What gives?

    Yes it’s probably no accident that the most problematic of Muslims are our own not-so-distant relatives.  You’ve heard of the Beverly Hillbillies, right?  But what about the Kandahar Killbillies?  Yes, it’s true: one of the peskiest terrorist problems in the world comes from our own relatives from the same original ‘hood out back on the steppes, on a different stairway to a different Heaven, even if exactly the same Semitic god… (More …)

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 9:20 am on June 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      The opposite to labelling and stereotyping … pro-evolutionary, you might say, showing how language is a wordhoard that art can use to reconstruct old ways of looking.

      • hardie karges 9:25 am on June 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        According to prominent micro-biologist, language and DNA function almost exactly the same, in terms of evolution: “no reason why they should, but they do…”

  • hardie karges 11:12 am on June 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , politics,   

    Religion 201: Lessons in Humility, Messages for Humanity… 

    Christian God

    Christian God

    “Man is the measure of all things.”  Protagoras (c.490-420 BCE) is the author of that statement, and—with all due respect—I’d say that’s the beginning of the end of us humans as spiritual animals, and the mark of our ascension to the status of corrupt malignant city-dwellers, masters of our own private little domains and little else.  On the one hand, it is a statement of the relativity of all perceptions—okay.  On the other hand, it is a statement of our ignorance and arrogance—ouch!

    We imagine that we are masters of the universe, creators of the cosmos, and lords of the lower two hundred—countries in the world, that is. This is nothing but human hubris, of course, and nothing could be further from the truth.  We live at the mercy of our machines, possessed by our possessions, in the thrall of our inventions and our inventiveness, in love with ourselves and our selfishness, enraptured by our images and our imaginations.  We wallow in our memories and our comforts and our conveniences.

    We Westerners admire ourselves, our successes, our ambitions, our madness, without even questioning the whys and wherefores of it.  We climb naked rock faces, while smiling all the time, oblivious to the danger, addicted to the climb, always looking for a faster computer and a more easily programmable car, pushing envelopes and shuffling papers, rejecting our traditions and annoying our neighbors.  Ego rules! Nobody wants to be the follower, everybody wants to be the Alpha male, while ending up the Alpha a$$hole. (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 9:03 am on April 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , politics,   

    Religion Meet Politics, Soul Meet Body: Buddhism as the Perfect Socialism…. 

    IMG_1663

    Room with a view in Thailand’s temple city of Phetchaburi…

    I’ve always been struck by the existence of what I call ‘village communism’, that primordial system around the world which keeps people more or less equal by virtue of jealousy, tradition, goodwill or convenience. It has nothing to do with democracy BTW, not unsurprisingly, which, despite all the advance hype, pretty much promotes just the opposite—vast inequalities… and vast loneliness, every man for himself. You are mostly alone in this capitalist democratic world, like it or not…

    So in the traditional societies, with cities just one step up from the village, the old guild divisions still remain, with certain sections devoted to a certain craft or specialty. Now I can’t say with certainty why that is, but the result is that everyone stays at more or less the same level, copying each others’ products, and keeping a good eye on each others’ customers. Ever heard the old adage: “location location location”? This is similar to a central market even when there is none (though that is likely the origin): so no one has the advantage of location, not really, not much.  They’re all more or less equal…

    IMG_1674

    Temples everywhere in Thailand

    The ultimate in village socialism, though, of course, is family, in which the family unit is not just a spatial unit occupying certain locations of varying importance, but a spiritual unit, too, a multi-generational anchor that occupies both time and space, and firmly, too. Ever played the Asian chess-like game ‘Go’? It’s like that, occupying space and time bit by bit in an ever-increasing complexity that provides an anchor like a tree’s roots, no reinforcing rods necessary. In Asia they love their blood ties, spouse optional. In the West we love our sometimes dubious choices made in the heat of passion…

    I always thought that socialism and communism were much more appropriate to Asia than Europe for this very reason, that the societies there were so much more inter-twined and sharing to begin with, starting with the family. From there it’s a short hop to uniting those families by religion, or politics, or both. This is especially appropriate now that families are so much smaller than they used to be, down from a dozen to a few per generation, within the last one or two rounds, generally speaking, at least in the case of Thailand, with which I am most familiar. So what does this have to do with Buddhism?

    IMG_1665

    Temple in Phetchaburi, Thailand

    Buddhism is perfect for this role, with its de-emphasis on the individual. The West, America especially, is sick with individualism, which, if carried to its logical extreme, gives you something like Election 2016, with its air of despair and its climate of hate, culture gone to the dogs, with any and all civility singularly lacking. In the future—tomorrow—true sharing will be a necessity, not just the pseudo-sharing of an Uber ride or a VRBO stay. That’s not sharing: that’s vanity, driver at your fingertips and somebody else’s house at your disposal. True sharing utilizes public transportation—and hostels…

    A true socialism is an economy of sharing, by definition, and requires near-equality, and no poverty. That can’t work in societies with vast incomes and vast income differentials. Within tightly-knit societies that is less likely, since class systems function by means of class divisions. You can’t maintain an equality with people from whom you are divided. Tightly-knit societies advance together—or not…

    The old industrial model of socialism is outmoded and outdated. We need updated politics and religion for the digital age—and the future. The great monotheistic religions have a Book. Buddhism has thousands. We can create what we need, and we need it now more than ever. The separation between church and state is an illusory pipe dream, and probably ill-advised at that…

    The trick is for the predominant belief system to be inclusive enough to accommodate all sorts of individual and group tastes and predilections. Labor and management should not be at odds with each other in the perfect system, nor should sects or sexes. The true city of God would allow many paths to meet uptown at the temple to pray, and many jobs downtown at the office to work—for similar pay…

     
    • kaptonok 11:49 am on April 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      In Bankok population fourteen million souls one million live in poverty. It is a world center of finance and business.
      So what you might call western ways are prevalent in Thialands biggest city.
      Do not be deceived by apperances quite recently Buddhist monks have been found to be suffering from obesity a western purge.
      Human nature all over the globe is the same it may hide under different labels or dress itself in the thin veneer of religion but basically it has not changed.
      What sort of communism have we got in China? Why its capitalist communism dressed in the old clothes of Marxism.

      • hardie karges 1:20 pm on April 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Only one million in poverty in Krung Thep? Maybe more, I’d guess. But when I refer to Western and Eastern ways, I’m referring to traditional distinctions. Obviously those break down as the world gets smaller and more crowded. Thailand up-country is very different from BKK. And yes, I definitely don’t consider modern China as the model for socialism, nor would Marx, I don’t believe. Thanx for your comment, very accurate… 🙂

    • davekingsbury 8:48 am on April 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      As always, hugely inclusive … posts like this help me focus on the creative synthesis we need to overcome our vast problems … I’d come up with a secular religion, if it wasn’t a weird oxymoron!

  • hardie karges 10:36 am on March 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Nixon, politics, , ,   

    You think 2016 is violent? This is nothing. The peace-loving 60’s were violent… 

    me @Jorge'sThe 60’s took ‘it’ to the streets.  We were young; we were hip.  We knew more than ‘they’ did.  ‘They’ were over-30, therefore suspect of collusion with ‘the man’, ‘pigs’, ‘whitey’, Nixon.  That’s the name that came to be associated with the forces of repression more than any other.  He just looked the part.  The ‘movement’ had its anti-Christ.  It all started innocently enough in the early 60’s with racial integration and affluence.  Here was the strongest country in the world, lecturing the rest of the world on the evils of repressive Communism and Socialism, maintaining a system of apartheid that contradicted its own stated goals and ideals.  This was a country once the symbol of freedom in the world, bathed in the fire of revolution, playing FTSE with some of the most repressive regimes the world has ever seen, i.e. Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, etc.  The symbolism was not to be lost on everyone, certainly not on New York ‘beatniks’ and intellectuals inspired by folk music and high on the ideal of equality.  The US was affluent now; there was money to spare, and therefore money to share.

    JFK was like Mao lighting the fire, inspiring scads of Red Guard freedom rider intellectuals to go down South and show those rednecks what democracy was all about.  Notwithstanding the hypocrisy of northern milk-fed liberals pretending to teach a lesson to their lessers after the New York Draft riots of 1863 and race riots in many Northern cities in the years during and following WWI, still surely the time had come for a change.  Well, give them an inch and they’ll take a mile, of course.  No sooner had the Voting Rights Act been passed in 1965 than the situation got worse than ever, and the word ‘riot’ entered the common vernacular.  But something even bigger was brewing.  A little insignificant country in Southeast Asia was airing its dirty laundry in public and causing a lot of upset nerves to the rest of the world in the process.  Vietnam will do that to you. Cảm ơn bạn. Không có gì.

     (to be continued)

     

     
    • davekingsbury 7:40 am on March 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Timely reminder … you guys had the draft, which must have made things more intense … but so many social advances came out of that era.

  • hardie karges 7:50 am on March 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , politics,   

    The Swedish Word for Peace is ‘Fred’… 

    If you think things are bad in Brussels right now, imagine what it’s like in Syria, every day, or Palestine, every year… Pace سلام שלום Hasîtî शान्ति Barış 和平 Мир สันติภาพ Paz

     
  • hardie karges 8:29 am on February 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , politics, secular humanism   

    Secular Humanism? Yeah, right: Gimme Religion, and ASAP… 

    IMG_1184

    Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka

    For better or worse, Bernie, “We’re-All-In-This-Together” is not a religion. Spirituality? Maybe, but I doubt it. Nice try, though. It’s okay to be Jewish, you know. It doesn’t mean anything bad, as long as you’re not a tool of the modern state of Israel. So feel free to clarify that, ASAP, but obscuring your ethnic origins by muddying up religious waters is not helpful…

    So Bernie sounds like a ‘secular humanist’ to me, and not a ‘practicing Jew’. But I’m not interested in politics right now. I’m interested in religion. So is ‘secular humanism’ a religion? Naah, not really. Why not? They’re all just belief systems, aren’t they, ‘secular humanism’ and every religion? So what’s the difference? Does a religion have to have a God? Buddhism doesn’t really have a God, and Islam allows no images of one. Hinduism has loads.  So what’s the difference?

    Short answer: plenty. In fact, secular humanism DOES have a God, and its name is mostly ME. That’s the difference, and that’s the opposite of what religion is all about. Religion is all about being a part of something bigger than you, and secular humanism is all about individuality, and individualism, specifically this individual, and all too often (drum roll here, please): ego.  God help us. (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 11:19 am on February 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , politics, revelations   

    Religion 491: Revelations Now… 

    You know, Billy: we blew it.”–Wyatt (Captain America) to Billy in the movie ‘Easy Rider’, c.1969

    You had one job”– popular ‘post’ on a popular ‘social media’ site in the pre-Collapse Late Anthropocentric Age, called ‘The Book of Faces’. Archaeologists and anthropologists are still trying to determine its significance.

    IMG_1559Those words from ‘Easy Rider’ have probably echoed through your head once every five or ten years if you ever saw the movie and/or happened to have grown up in the The 60’s, and though the meaning may have never been clear then, the meaning is certainly clear now. When all the epitaphs have been written on and all the stories have been told, about our Anthropocentric Age, the verdict is clear: we blew it. We had it all and we blew it. All we had to do was be stewards of the land, watching over and taking care with respect and foresight, and what did we do? We blew it, man…

    Cogito ergo sum was Rene’ Descartes proud take on the human condition. “I think, therefore I am.” In retrospect maybe it should have been: ‘I waste, therefore I am.’ For that is what defines us, our arrogance and our lack of foresight, our taste for blood and our terrible math. We were supposed to go forth and multiply, and instead we went forth and divided—oops! Now here we are wondering what went wrong while we shop for the latest app for our smart-phones and the latest fashion accessories for our hair, without so much as a second thought to any connection between our consumption and our condition… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 11:57 am on August 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: gay, homosexual, , politics   

    Religio-Politics: Queer, Questioning, and the Quid Pro Quo (No, I’m not gay)… 

    L-G-B-T… wait for it… Q! That’s the single letter that strikes fear in the hearts of many conservatives, tea-partiers, ‘publicans, and other assorted sinners, but not same-sexers, for whom that ‘Q’, for questioning—or queer—speaks volumes louder than any SCOTUS or any scrotum ever could. Genetic ‘questioning’ does not fill volumes in the field of microbiology….

    No, this is the Golden Age of Homosexuality, by any measure, as now the facade of genetic responsibility and/or deniability can be dropped, and we can continue our sexual experimentation forthwith, limited only by our imaginations—whoopee! Order me a case of KY Jelly tout de suite… ‘Gender-fluid’ is the hottest buzzword in sexuality today, and basically indicate that many of us could go either way—depending, presumably, on mood, fashion, or followings… (More …)

     
    • Kc 4:32 pm on August 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Ha, R and I went to do a STORYCORPS interview for NPR. they gave us papers to sign and asked for our gender, r chose bi, i chose queer. what does it matter. yes, plenty of people are still getting laid. Why, I laid myself, just yesterday morning, does that count? as for PDAs, you must’ve forgotten our own, at JSU, decades ago, we PDAed around every corner…….

  • hardie karges 12:06 pm on July 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Greece, politics   

    Greece on the installment Plan… 

    So I guess Greece figures that Europe needs them more than they need Europe–interesting theory; hope that works out for them…

     
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