Minutiae
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"Chuck Norris doesn't read books; he stares them down until he gets the information he wants out of them."
- ChuckNorrisFactsdotcom

Sunday, October 22, 2006
I have nothing against religion or mythology. I have quite a bit against sectarianism, religious warfare, gender apartheid, and suicide bombings.

Ahem, attend please:
The 40,000 year-old oral-tradition of the
Aboriginal Dreamtime is a direct parallel for:
Plato's Cave Allegory

Gnosticism, Kabbalah, "ancient mysticism," and Taoism are as old as all the big Eurasian civilizations.

Existentialism is as old as all human mythology. Then, every once in a while, a new weirdo comes along claiming to have the latest version of the directly revealed Word of God. (Little has changed. Saudi Arabia didn't ban slavery in the kingdom until 1962.)

Sometimes this is an improvement and the followers make good neighbors. Sometimes this devolves into a cult of personality and poisoned Kool Aid.

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Sacred magic rocks:
Blarney
The Stone of Scone
The Cube House of Adam as rebuilt by Abraham
The place where Adam was made
The Wailing Wall, or the remains of the Second Temple

Sleeping Hiding or "Occluded" messiahs just waiting for our direst hour to return and lead the faithful to their rightful glory...

Rachel versus Leah...
The good meek loving self-sacrificing lamb...
The scheming fertile matriarch...

Magdalene the "whore," versus Aisha "the Mother of Believers"...
Mary Magdalene
Aisha

Doubting Thomas versus (women are dirty sinners and lack souls, but hurray for non-seeing belief in a guy you never met as an incarnation of God,) Saint Paul:
Thomas
Paul

Ancestor worship, ritual, and the cave passage to the underworld:
Rachel's tomb
Magic red string
Symbolic red ribbons
Symbolic red poppies
The resting place of the ancestors.

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And 2000+ years of sibling rivalry and sectarian holy war.

The Holy Bloodline
The Black Madonna

Too many Wives
Institutionalized anachronistic cultural and religious Pedophilia
Sibling rivalry, and deadly earnest competition for prestige and slander.

Zealous followers and the religious duty to engage in Holy Jihad
The Golden Age
The Long Humiliating Emasculinization

Anti-immigrant sentiment and the League of Nations/ United Nations historical NIMBY roots of modern anti-semitism disguised as "anti-zionism"

Leave us the hell alone!
We're clearly superior to everyone else!
Fascist Manifest Destiny

We're gonna drive you Jews into the sea!
No, THIS TIME we're gonna wipe you all out!
From constitution to Theocratic terror-sponsoring state.
Make peace with the Jews and Die!
You do NOT have the right to exist.
Sure we can talk nice.
You still don't have a right to exist.
You elected who?
We have a God-given Right to possess nuclear technology, oh and Israel will be annihilated in a storm some day soon...

Do you get what you're seeing?

posted by Rachel 10/22/2006
. . .
Ha ha it is to laugh.

posted by Rachel 10/22/2006
. . .
Watching TV, I exclaimed and pointed. "That's awesome they have a pill for
Alzheimers now!"

Without even the slightest pause, Benno replied. "Yeah, but they'll forget to take it."

posted by Rachel 10/22/2006
. . .
Aren't you tired of this arms race?
Aren't you tired of spinning faster and faster on this hamster wheel of stupidity?
Well let's get back to some basics.

There is nothing new under the sun in terms of ideas. There are endless refinements of culture and technology, but every stupid idea has a parent idea. Every extreme variation on a theme had a root somewhere. Let me show you the roots.

Public education and harm reduction have historically and empirically been proven to be the only effective methods to actually mitigate the harm done through the universal pursuit of human drives and aims, through the use of tools. The only solution to awesome power is voluntarily controlled and balanced power. We were the first to develop the A bomb. We used it twice to get Japan's attention, and we haven't had to use it since.

Money is not the root of all evil. The love of money is not the root of all evil. The love of money to the exclusion of people, is the root of all evil. Treating people as things is the root of all evil.

Beware the workaholic who has no friends or family. Beware the narrow vision of the bean counter. Most decisions, but especially those involving large amounts of money will affect other people. You MUST take that into consideration.

People are not slaves. People are not tools. People are not inventory. People are not livestock. People are not merchandise. If you exploit people and treat them as slave labor, you'll get crappy quality and they'll spit in your food. Or your customers will defect enmass for the competitor who offers slightly less hassle.

The tighter you try to build a wall around the human drive to be free, the more determined people will be to tunnel under it or knock it down. The inescapable prison, the insurmountable mountain, the un-crossable wasteland; all of these labels are merely challenges to human nature. Much like safety and security.

Every human who is old enough to talk is an independent autonomous being. All parents rue the day their little angel discovered the word "no." Obviously, there exists a period of years during which that autonomy must be carried by proxy in a parent or caretaker. But if you are ever to infringe upon or override the autonomy of another person, whatever age, you should be prepared to defend the ethics of that decision in a court of law.

If you think you could make Judge Judy and a dozen of your peers understand why you made the decision that you did, go ahead and do it. Don't hesitate to force someone out of the path of a speeding bus. Don't hesitate to force your toddler into the bathtub. There are no guarantees. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, but for heaven's sake look before you leap and think before you act.

If you're going to use a gun against another human being, you had better be willing to accept the fact that you will in all likelihood end up in a courtroom on trial for murder. Your entire life will be put under a microscope. You will likely face at least $100,000 in legal fees EVEN IF YOU WERE 100% IN THE RIGHT. Even if you did absolutely everything correctly, taking another life will ruin yours for at least a year, probably much longer. So don't do it unless you have no other choice.

More children are killed each year in the United States by parents or caregivers than are harmed by strangers. More children drown in buckets each year than are killed with firearms. Statistically the home is more dangerous than the outside world.

The familiar is where we get complacent. The average tenure of Law Enforcement officers killed in the line of duty is seven years. Rookies don't get killed. The guys who've been around long enough to "know what they’re doing" get killed.

Most accidents happen within a few miles of home. Most emergency room visits start in the kitchen or the garage. Why? Because they're full of sharp dangerous tools that we get complacent with. Because we've used that knife or Cuisinart or chainsaw dozens of times, and we've lost all of our fear of it.

Most children remember being terrified of some tool that belonged to a parent. Some little boys think that mom's sewing machine will start up on its own and sew right over tender little fingers. Some little girls think that the lawn mower will suck her feet in and chop off all those pink little toes.

Some grownups think that guns will leap up off the shelf and shoot someone. Some think that farm equipment is just waiting to suck in and mangle some 12 year old farm kid. And every single grownup remembers being bitten by a tool that they had forgotten to respect. Be it a fan that cuts a finger, or a paper-cut. Be it burning hair or fingernails on holiday candles. Or be it a high-heeled foot slipping off the brake pedal and rear-ending the car in front.

Everybody knows why driving drunk is a bad idea. As it turns out, driving after 24 hours without sleep is just as dangerous and irresponsible. Driving while sobbing and fuming about that fight with a boss or a boyfriend is just as foolish. Driving while mediating between backseat squabbles is dangerous. If you misuse a tool you will regret it. You may break or ruin the tool and you may injure or kill yourself.

But how much more horrific is the idea of spending every day for the rest of your life knowing that you killed someone? How appalling is the idea of taking another life over a mistake or selfish carelessness? This is why I lost mucho grande respect for Dick Cheney after he shot a friend in the face.

That man should have been down on his knees in the street thanking god for the mercy that he didn't drunkenly kill a friend. That man should have been white as paper. That man should have been shaking. He doesn't take a shotgun seriously, I hope he never ends up as the Big Red Button pusher.

Everyone who handles guns on a regular basis will have an accidental discharge at some point. That's why there's more than one rule for gun safety. If you follow all the rules and break just one, your gun may go off accidentally, but you won't kill anyone. For someone to get shot, more than one saftey rule has been broken.

I know a 14 year old female duck hunter. She had her first accidental discharge last year. She scared herself and was freaked and crying. But she shot in a safe direction, and no one was hurt. Compare and contrast with the goddamn VP.

posted by Rachel 10/22/2006
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