"I think Reagan's policies were right. He got the economy going in the 80's."
-William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard

What universe are these people from? Saying that Reaganomics were good for America is like saying that Imperialism was good for England.

Selfless giving is one of the central concepts of Zen. It should be the central concept in any relationship. There is no quid pro quo between true friends, there is only thanks and generosity. It's good advice.


I had a dream that I was at Tak's apartment (in reality she has a house, but that didn't seem to matter to my subconscious mind) and we were taking things out of our car and she tried to take Pallas (my 17" PowerBook) out but she dropped it and the screen broke off. I was very perturbed and said something like "No! Godammit Tak, give it back to me!" And we started arguing about whose fault it was as I gathered up the peices.

I was told last night at a barbeque by a boozy bored housewife that I have sexy curly hair for a man. She had to be in her early thirties, but was acting like a complete sorrority whore flake, so it was mildly amusing. Also in attendance were Daniel-Son and his GF Mona, with whom I share a close rapport. I could go into a long rant here about how this Flake insulted Mona and I by asking a host of questions about our relationship, but I have another family function to go to very shortly, so I'll just say one more thing.

The BBQ last night was a going away party for a coworker. Our Submarine tends to attract a unique kind of character, usually one or two steps above the regular Joe, so whenever one of us leaves it drops the Decency Quotient of the city of Anytown by a measurable margin. David, you will be missed, and Good Luck in the City of Wind.


Hrmmm... using Safari to update my Blog seems to kill the archive links. This is most disappointing.

To balance that, though, a Mayan woman whom I work with on the Submarine reminded all of us that Ari "Demon Spawn" Fleischer has resigned from Dubya's turnip truck. Does anyone remember when Karen Hughes left? Well I do, dammit, and there was much rejoicing amongst the Liberal punditry, as well as Right Thinking People Everywhere. For years, we have had to endure this mans smarmy lecturing about President Bushs' "message," which has always been emphasized over his substance, which is nothing.

We could have elected the Sta-Puff Marshmallow Man to office, and with men like Ari Fleischer to interface with the public we would never have known what we were missing. It's a small victory, for there are a hundred clones ready to fill in for this most influential position. And, AND it is contrary to the Way to delight or dismay in one's circumstances. So I will mark this passing as I mark the setting of the sun, with serenity and understanding. But first, a shot of whiskey with the family to celebrate.
"The best way for America to be a hopeful place, the best way for America to be a -- the land of opportunity we want it to be is for neighbor to love neighbor just like you'd like to be loved yourself."

The choicest line from Dubya's speech was revealed to me at Confederacy of Dunces. His speech is riddled with nonsense like this, and people still think he's an excellent speaker? He's one of the least coherent people on the planet!

Gah. What would the Zen approach to this madness be? First, don't react emotionally. That's the sign that you're allowing your Self to be manipulated by circumstances.

Speaking of Zen, the Quote Of The Day for the submarine came when a 13 year-old boy passed by the shower stalls: "Daaaamn... there ain't no room to get with the ladies in here."


Does anyone else think it was incredibly stupid for Al-Qaida to send suiciders to Egypt? I mean, if they really want the support of the moderate Arab population in this crusade against the Infidels, isn't it kind of counterproductive to blow up people on both sides? All it proves is that these "martyrs" are only interested in glory for themselves, and in killing. This has less to do with God than it does power.

And what's the most extreme thing a Buddhist has ever done to protest? Light himself on fire? Let's just dump this proto-Christian bullshit; Islam, Judaism, Christianity, isn't it all the same God? A fat lot of good all this "faith" has done the world.
Konfabulator is fabulous fun. Now I finally have an attractive front end for iTunes and a miniature Gir dances to the music. One of the problems that I ran in to with this 17" screen is that I always felt like I was wasting all this usable space, but now a series of useful Widgets occupies about 1/5 of the left hand side where my Dock is, and the rest of the screen is full of Productivity.

Boring boring blah blah blahhhhhhhhhhhhh... dammit. Okay, a little Philosophy 101: ask anyone who believes in God if they think that He is All Knowing. Then ask them if they also believe that they as humans have free will. Logically, the two are mutually exclusive, because if God is timeless and knows the past, present, and future, then he knows exactly what you are going to be doing in the next instant. But if the future is knowable, then it is also pre-determined, which rules out freedom of action. I had this conversation with Aisling and Daniel-Son at 8:40 A.M. on our way to work (we're carpooling hippies) which was stimulating and refreshing. We also made fun of Calvinists.


I'm extremely disappointed about the news that Aaron Sorkin will not be returning to write The West Wing for the next season. With the tremendous plotline they started, I think that's a damned shame, for I fear that no one will be able to replace the wit and intelligence he infused the show with. Mr. S, you will be missed. But kudos to John Goodman for being scary and belligerent.

The fine folks at Blogger are transmuting the service into something more reliable, so perhaps the archives will be fixed soon. If not, I might actually have to write someone and email about it...


Tak sent me this madness. Am I surprised? No. Disturbed? No. Entertained?

Me mum made a point about religion the other day that was prompted by the news that a woman had nearly shot her son to death following a spiritual crisis. I was reminded of it also when Dave Letterman had as guests those two helo pilots who were shot down in Iraq. When asked why they were still alive, both replied "God."

Anyway, here's the point. When your sense of self and happiness relies almost completely on some external source of support, whether it's God or a lover or a bag of Chee-Tos, the second that source fails you (which always happens), you're hosed. When you pray and pray and pray and God doesn't respond via text message, or your lover leaves you for a hoe-bag jazzercise instructor, or the fat in your arteries causes your blood pressure to skyrocket, these are purely external problems. External to your sense of Self, which very few people seem interested in developing. It's hard to admit that the only person who can ever really make you happy is yourself, because we've been taught that such an attitude is selfish. Well, I say it's more selfish to depend on others to make you feel good.

If your happiness depends on the circumstances of your life, then you will always be a victim. There is nothing more pathetic than a person who believes that God has failed them, and nothing scarier than a person who believes that God works for them.


There's really no good reason for me to be here, typing anything at all. What I should be doing is sleeping. Hey, that sounds like a real neat idea.

Now here comes the shocker: for once my mind is blank. Or, more precisely, it is not actively seeking distraction, which is what most people devote their lives to. Shit, is that true? What do we need to be distracted from?


This SPAM was so fabulous that I just had to share it:

"Exhausted of dating spoiled women?" Then the message is just a bunch of jibberish, which might have been designed to work malignantly on the soft pink underbelly of someone's vulnerable system, but since I'm on OSX 10.2.6, I've nothing to fear from these minions of Lucifer. Eat my BSD shorts, suckwads!


"The Bush administration has backed a bill before Congress that would exempt the Pentagon and defense contractors from environmental regulations requiring the cleanup of toxic waste, saying that compliance would hinder military readiness. Hearings are to begin next week."

-USA Today (full article)

Hey, aren't we supposed to be the good guys? I'd like to see the text of this legislation myself. Lemme see if I can find it tomorrow.


An excellent film: Better Luck Tomorrow. A typical coming-of-age high school teen flick, except this one - unlike everything to come out of Hollywood in the past decade - is actually really good. The characters are fairly stereotypical, but for once I'm okay with that. I knew guys like this in high school, everyone did. Sometimes, stereotypes exist for a reason. But the real power comes from how you're drawn into the world of the main character, however outlandish his situation might seem to most of us.

Also, I really dig the fact that there was no nice and tidy wrap-up at the end. Plenty of issues are left unresolved, and we are allowed to imagine for ourselves how things will turn out for our protagonists. It was a breath of cinematic fresh aire.
A few fantastic random thoughts.

This was on a bumper sticker Aisling and I ran across today on our way home from Work. My question is, what happened to the "o"s?

May my mind be clear.
May I live fearlessly
In the Mind of Readiness.
May I rely on nothing
Save Emptiness.

- Ji Aoi Isshi (courtesy DailyZen.com)

I watched Tough Crowd this evening because Dennis Leary was on it, and he's almost always funny. The third segment of the show was supposed to be a skit that Colin Quinn set up, about Viet Nam and something related to what's going on in our world today. But when another guy ran into the scene and said "Hey guys, I just got back from a firefight. It was louder than Led Zepplin 2!" the whole skit quickly degenerated into a conversation about when 2 had actually come out, and it was hilarious. Sometimes the best comedy comes unscripted.

Of course, something like South Park has to be scripted, and I laughed myself silly at the ice cream-crapping alien taco. Again the world shows me that it's best to balance the two.


Fwiiisssssshhhhh - straight down the drain. I have this sinking feeling that I totally wrecked what could have been a really cool friendship, and why? Because, ironically, I don't know when to shut up.

I talk about half as much as most other people I know, since I've always thought it was important to have something to say before you open your mouth. It's the same way with writing. Some people obviously just love the sound of their own words, but if there's no purpose behind them other than to take up space, then it's merely wasteful.

Despite my caution, some rare idiotic gem manages to slip loose once in a while, and the thing takes off like a missile and wrecks whatever is in its path. It's happened before, and knowing myself, it will undoubtedly happen again. When it happens in person it's usually possible to do damage control, laugh it off or blame it on drink. But when the comment in question is written, it takes on a life of its own, and sometimes I can hardly believe what I've done. It's like kicking a rock into the street and watching a car slide on it and go careening into a lamp post. Only this wasn't a rock, it was a rather rude and insulting remark, and it wasn't a car, but one of the coolest individuals I think I've ever met.

We make mistakes, and hopefully, we learn from them and grow as people. This particular life lesson I should have learned long ago, and maybe that's why the price was so high this time. That doesn't mean it isn't painful, and a damned shame.


Yay. It's a rare thing when you can say that a sequel surpases the original in quality, but X2 does. I went to see it. You should go see it too.

Now that I'm done advertising for a heartless megacorporation... hmm, well, we get our tortilla shells delivered by a local that makes them by hand, and we're busy spreading the good word about her services, so I suppose that counts as a blow against The Man. In all things, balance.


I was taught a very important lesson recently, but it took me a while to recognise it. When I did, of course, I felt like an arse.

No one has a lock on the Truth. If anyone did, they'd probably be sacked as soon as they opened their mouth because the Truth is the last thing anyone wants to hear. Fortunately, none of us actually know the Truth, we just have what we think are good approximations. It is a powerful instrument, and it should not be used carelessly, or without regard for the consequences.

All too frequently I open my mouth without regard for the consequences, something that I think happens too much in our cell-phone connected Society of Gossip. Humility in all cases must be the rule rather than the exception, and when we start to think that we know better than anyone else what this life is about we break that rule to the detriment of all. I was careless with what I thought was the Truth, but as it turns out I'm just another shiester posing in the body of a man who thinks he knows what he's doing.

I don't know the Truth. I'm just painfully, suicidally honest, and I am trying to learn that honesty is not a license to say whatever you want. Think before you speak.


Utilising the advanced broadband networking capabilities of my Submarine, I was able to sign on to and evaluate the new iTunes Music Store. It is delicious. It's everything an online music service should be; cheap, easy, clean, and fun. It worked perfectly, even if all the albums aren't loaded just yet. I can forgive Apple for this, as Daniel-Son and I did a quick calculation that indicated - based on the figures Apple is providing - that they would be making available roughly 6.87 Terrabytes of completely legal musical candy. Moly Holy, that's a lot of candy.

We're using Pallas for watching a movie this evening, so there's just one more thing I want to get in before we go offline. "I don't need no wheels, I don't need no gasoline, 'cause the wind that is blowin' is blowin' like a smoke machine. If I said to you that I was lookin' for a place to get to, 'cause my neck is broken and my pants ain't getting no bigger."

Oh, and a short message to Tak: you are a foul, foul temptress for sending me a link like this one. She's no Boss 302, but Wow. That's a Car, man. Wow.