alright. let’s talk about it then.

Let it go, Big Media. What Rev. Wright says and does only matters to you. It only matters to the American people because you keep bringing it up. If you brought up the war more often or the John Yoo “torture memos” more often or social inequality and injustice more often maybe Rev. Wright would have less of a reason to be so pissed off.

shameless promotion

I think it is safe to say that usually, when we have a meal in front of us, we can’t wait to dig in, to satisfy our hunger. We don’t care where the food came from, no time for that, it’s time to eat! “Itadakimasu” is a chance to stop and reflect on all the causes and conditions that made this meal possible. Not only did someone have to prepare the food, but all the ingredients needed to be manufactured, distributed and sold, so everything from the plants and animals that produced the ingredients to all of the people that harvested, collected, packaged, delivered, and sold had a part in this meal.


this has been an especially weird week. i’ve spent a good amount of time coding. which is always something of a brain-melting experience. yesterday, i spent five working one simple script that ultimately failed. so i gave up and went back to my original version which, while not doing all the cool things i want it do, works. and working is better than not working. at any rate, staring at a computer for that long does things to you. and one of them is that it gets you promoted.

is it november yet?

But forget all that! It doesn’t matter anymore who wins. The guy they’re running against is going to pull a fast one over on the American people by sounding like everyone’s favorite, if slightly belligerent, crazy-old-cook of an uncle. Sure, Uncle John’s a little messed up in the head (hell, he was a POW), but he’s a good guy. He wouldn’t do anything to hurt us. Let’s look the other way and vote for him. But looking the other way means overlooking, as Trippi says, the fact that he no better than Bush, just dressed up in a different costume. And right now, the most important thing the Democrats can do is stop pounding each other over the heads and start pounding him over the head. Please. Enough already.

fundamentalism rears its ugly head (part two)

Here’s an observable phenomenon in human society. Essentialist descriptions of “the other” allow us to denigrate them and boost ourselves up. Essentialist conceptions of human populations make it easy for us to claim that we have the market cornered on how to live and how the world should be. Essentialist conceptions of the world lead to fundamentalist beliefs about us versus them. Fundamentalism invariably leads to fascism. And fascism leads to the suppression of ideas, violence, and death. Regardless of the essentialism or fundamentalism being argued for. Even if Sam Harris is right — that there is no god and people like me with our naive superstitions are pre-literate buffoons — that won’t change the fact that his fundamentalism can only lead to one place. Fascism. Maybe it’ll be a better fascism than the one we got, but it’ll still be fascism.

fundamentalism rears its ugly head (part one)

Therefore, one of the greatest challenges facing civilization in the twenty-first century is for human beings to learn to speak about their deepest personal concerns—about ethics, experience, and the inevitability of human suffering—in ways that are not flagrantly irrational. Nothing stands in the way of this project more than the respect we accord national/ethnic identity. While there is no guarantee that rational people will always agree, the irrational are certain to be divided by their politics.

that which is all around you

Years and years ago, when I was first just starting out on my own particular Buddhist quest, I bounced around a lot, dabbling in different types of Buddhism both individually and with others. Nothing really stuck, of course, and I often felt alone, even if I wasn’t. I often had this weird sensation that my particular experiences, opinions, thoughts, whatever, were somehow so different from the “normative Buddhist experience,” that I would wonder if I was even supposed to be a Buddhist at all.

injection protocol

We … agree that petitioners have not carried their burden of showing that the risk of pain from maladministration of a concededly humane lethal injection protocol, and the failure to adopt untried and untested alternatives, constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

privacy, choice, and sledgehammers

I really do believe that it is when we believe that we have no choice — when we believe that we have no ability to change our behavior — that we give up our choice, we give up our free will. As long as we remind ourselves that we can change our our destiny, we still have the power to do it. When we deflect this responsibility to some other, omniscient force, we’re done. Game over. They’ve won. So you can worry all you want about people invading your privacy. Just remember that you’re the one who’s letting them in.