Saturday, December 18, 2010

Gays May Serve in the Military

At last. What I dreamed about at the age of twenty-two has become law in the United States: gay men and women may serve in our armed forces. I remember writing an impassioned letter to a local newspaper columnist in support of gays in the military. That letter was never published--although the columnist came out in favor of gays in the military ten years later. Whether I sowed a seed or whether another persuaded him, I have no clue.

Sexuality is not a relevant criterion for military service. Nothing more needs to be said in defense of a self-evident assertion.

HRC sent me an email that noted, in part, "Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins have been our steadfast champions in this fight. Here's what Senator Lieberman said today that shows how your energy, your drive, your commitment and your focus have been behind every single step: 'This historic day has been seventeen years in the making and would not have happened without the leadership of Joe Solmonese and the Human Rights Campaign.'"

As far as I'm concerned, HRC is vindicated by this victory. I am glad that I have supported that organization.

Joe Lieberman, also, is somewhat redeemed by this in my eyes. He certainly has a new luster. I agree with Megan McCain that he would have been a far better choice for a running mate for John McCain than Sarah Palin. I probably would not have voted for them, but I would have studied the pair much more closely than I did McCain/Palin. Palin has but to speak for a minute in order to annihilate all interest.

The benefits of this prudent change in policy will be everyone in the United States, the allies of the United States, and everyone that will live in the United States or its allies in the future.

Perhaps gays may benefit, as well, although that is not at all clear to me. The military is about self-sacrifice. It is no picnic.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Sunday, December 12, 2010

An American Heroine

I read the obituary of a great American heroine, Adele Starr.

Not many people can look back on their lives with certainty that they made a difference. Adele certainly could have done so. She helped to make the world a better place.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Telemarketers

Telemarketers are lonely. Why else would they call, day after day, to leave a harsh automated message on one's answering machine? Out of compassion, I have decided to alleviate their loneliness by offering up their email addresses for anyone who is interested in being a pen-pal. Perhaps automated bots on the Internet can communicate with those who run automated bots on the telephone.

~*~ The Lonely Hearts List ~*~

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Remember: True Love Waits

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Savagery of the Enemy

It is not the statements or reactions of the U.S. government that makes one despise Wikileaks for aiding and abetting a traitor. Rather, it is the savagery of the Enemy -- Islamist terrorists -- who today disrupted the peace in beautiful and free Stockholm, Sweden.

Those of foreign origin who fail to appreciate the advantages of Western freedoms should be deported to their native lands in order to experience the contrast.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Good News for a Change

The media harps on bad news so much that it is refreshing to catch a thread of positive change on rare occasions.

I have become an admirer of our ambassador to the U.N., Susan E. Rice. The U.S. has introduced a U.N. resolution supporting LGBT rights. It is opposed chiefly by the savages from Africa and the Middle East, who wish to continue butchering their own citizens.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Soured on Wikileaks

The more I think about Wikileaks, the less I like it. I'm uncomfortable with the readiness that the founder has to reveal the private diplomatic communication of the United States. One can argue over whether the United States should be involved in certain areas of the world. But regardless of the disclosure, the United States will remain involved in those areas, for better or worse. The disclosure will have none of the results that Julian predicts.

Freedom of speech is a fragile liberty, new in human history. The powers-that-be will use Wikileaks as a pretext to stifle free speech elsewhere on the Internet, now and in the future. They are refining their censorship strategies and capabilities. The world will be a less free place as a result. I believe it is Julian who was short-sighted. He should have refused to publish the documents uploaded by the traitor at least for ten years, by which time their information would have grown stale, and current politicians replaced by new ones. The documents were mostly irrelevant, but moreover, his intellect was incapable of determining their relevance. Julian is a stupid man who thinks himself intelligent. Such men are among the most dangerous.

He has not been arrested yet because the powers are cunning and do not wish to make a martyr. They are playing for the hearts and minds, same as Julian. In the end, they will win. They are good at what they do. Julian is not. "Grab the headlines at any cost" strikes me as a poor strategy.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Africa, the Caribbean, and Homosexuality

I remember walking out of "Malcolm X," the movie, because it demonized all white people. Some of the blacks in the audience hissed at my mother and me as we left. I had gone to see the movie because I was curious about the man, wanted to learn about him, and the movie had received many positive reviews. I came away realizing that Malcolm X was a black racist, not like Martin Luther King, Jr. at all.

Homosexuality is not a racial issue, although some black ministers pretend that it is. They claim that most gays are white. It may be that most visible, well-to-do, celebrity gays are white. But homosexuality does not favor one race or the other.

I was amused recently at the story of a prominent black minister in Atlanta who is facing lawsuits from four young men relating to his alleged courtship and sexual relationships with them. He had been an outspoken foe of gay marriage and had denounced homosexuality from the pulpit. Isn't that interesting?

In reality, blacks can be just as wicked as whites ever were, when it comes to gays among their own race. A recent incident in Jamaica is just the tip of the iceberg worldwide. The Caribbean is no picnic, but Africa seems like a brutal environment for black gays. The only really enlightened country in Africa at this time is South Africa.

I think that, if roles had been reversed, and blacks had wielded the power long ago in the U.S., they would not have conducted themselves any better than the whites did. The current situation in the Caribbean and in Africa do not suggest any reasons to think otherwise.

The idea that "we're all equal" goes both ways. We're all equally good. We can also be equally bad.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Welfare for the Rich

If a rich man screws up due to incompetence, the government gives millions of dollars to him, and says, "I don't care what you do with it. Go on vacation for all I care. If you want more, just ask!"

If a poor man works hard, but falls on hard times due to the incompetence of the rich business owners, the government does not care. The poor man can lose his car, his house, his whole life.

This is because so many people vote Republican or for conservative Democrats that are Republican in all but name.

People vote Republican for a variety of reasons. Some rich folk are just plain greedy and want their taxes as close to zero as possible. Some hate the gays and want to keep them down. Some hate the brown races. Some think abortion is murder. An assortment of nuts go into the Republican cake. The result is that the government favors the rich business criminals who really own the GOP nine times out of ten. The American worker gets the short end of the stick.

*I can do middle-aged rage quite well, can't I?
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Childish Behavior over Wikileaks

Some of our leaders are acting childish over the Wikileaks situation, with the possible exception of Hillary Clinton, who at least keeps a sense of humor about it.

I think Wikileaks should focus on corporations, rather than the U.S. government. I don't really see any benefits arising from random disclosure of private diplomatic mail, much of it trivial. All it did was stir up the hornet's nest that is the Republican Party. They have a short fuse. Already they're calling for hanging. It's not surprising. I could have predicted the Republican response. They don't spend much time thinking about things before they reach for their guns.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Don't Believe the Songs

The media, in this case the music and video industry, push a palatable product, romantic love. Insipid formula plots typically imagine two strangers having sex, falling in love afterward, and living together forever afterward in perfect bliss. That is simply not the case nine times out of ten.

When I think back to my so-called lovers in the distant past, I think the sex in those days was meaningless, dangerous, in no way superior to masturbation, and depressing, because the individuals were in it for a cheap thrill akin to sniffing nitrous oxide. They moved on in short order, which made me feel like a party condiment.

Reflections such as the above are probably why so many prunes preach abstinence. I don't preach abstinence, but modified, compassionate abstinence. Abstain from sex with casual acquaintances, passing fancies, brief infatuations and the like. I was always hopping into bed with the objects of one-sided infatuations, who took what was offered and then moved on to conquer other lovers with their sole virtue, their face.

However, I hold that there is a slim possibility for a magical requited love. If there is a dear and intimate friend that one has known for a long period of time, let us say six months in this age of AIDS, and the trust in this person is strong, then all right, research safer sex together and learn all of the proper techniques and precautions, prepare with due diligence for the sacred rite, and then taste of the fruit of the gods and see whether it is all that. Knowledge of the risks involved spared me from a lifetime coping with the HIV virus.

I cannot understand young men that have a cavalier attitude towards the viruses and bacteria that seek to use, harm, and kill us. Microbes are the enemies of the human race. They will attempt to exploit the sex act to their own ends. One must not let them win. We are smarter than they are, but they are invisible to our sight. If one is unaware, or assumes that microbes are not a serious concern, then the parasites stand better odds of winning another host. Read, read, and read some more, and learn all about the enemy, and in that way our best weapon, intelligence, can be harnessed against our greatest enemy, microbes.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Friday, December 3, 2010

How to Manage Friends

There are people that I like to see every day. There are some people I'd like to be around all of the time. These are pleasant, reasonable, happy, calm people that like to be around me as well.

Then there are friends that one should only contact in moderation. Every day may be too much. They grow cranky and cantankerous for reasons that may not be at all apparent. Feeling bad, due to physical or psychological ailments, they lash out at others. If you happen to be around, you will get the sharp end of the stick. The trick is not to be around often. Familiarity breeds contempt. Let a day pass. A week. A month. The novelty of your next appearance may startle them from whatever mood they are in, and they may yet prove pleasant company once again. The trick is to cultivate distance, making oneself scarce.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

WikiLeaks, Rape, & So On

A certain government appears to be engaged in dirty tricks judging by the so-called rape charges against the founder of Wikileaks. People in power are incapable of curbing their indiscretions, because power is an addiction. They offer a road map into their souls that is a thousandfold more informative than anything available on Wikileaks.

I hope all of the facts of the so-called rape case are revealed in full, including any potential third parties involved in the accusations.

I am not impressed with the "rape" allegations, which have finally been made clear in the mainstream media, that the Wikileaks founder engaged in consensual sex with adult women using a condom initially, but did not stop immediately after the condom broke. First of all, condoms do not often break. If someone is using defective condoms, they should throw them away and purchase a different brand. It is important to avoid the use of oil-based lubrication. Water-soluble lubricants are better for the latex of the condom. Any person who engages in promiscuous sex should be aware of these facts. Second, the behavior of not-stopping would be difficult to prove in a court of law. No physical harm is alleged. Even if the allegation were true, it seems impolite, but not predatory or criminal in nature, and certainly not worth the attention of Interpol. The whole affair smacks of entrapment and mercenary motives.

It is a common and obvious trick to humiliate a political opponent with a false sexual allegation. This was done in Malaysia not long ago. A politician was accused of sodomy, which is to say consensual homosexual sex, in order to silence him. Sodomy remains illegal in Malaysia, punishable by caning or prison. The charges were bogus, but it seemed to be an effective tactic.

A few U.S. Presidents have had to find themselves a wife in order to survive in politics, because to be gay was thought incompatible with power. My best guess is that three of our Presidents were gay, although that may be a conservative estimate. I would not be surprised if a dozen were gay or bisexual. But it is difficult to know, since many are dead. A few relevant documents survive, however, justifying speculation.

I am amused by the claim made by some of our generals that gays should not be allowed into the military or, once there, tolerated. I would like to place them in the Persian army--as generals, to be fair, with no reduction in rank or privileges--serving under Darius, on the eve of a battle against Alexander. By day's end, they would arrive at a different conclusion.

For a long time, I have wondered why my species has so much difficulty grappling with issues related to sex and sexuality. I thought religion was to blame, but I did not know why religion should be at odds with sex or sexuality. Sex leads to more human lives, and if human life is sacred, the creation of God, why then should sex be embarrassing or taboo, in any of its forms?

Now that I have studied microbes, I know why. Lovemaking has been associated with disease for thousands of years, and even before our species evolved--millions of years, I suppose. There is more than HIV out there. Bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa, and even larger parasites exploit our lovemaking in order to infect us and use us as hosts. This is why men began to think that God frowned on certain sex acts, or even all sex acts. Whores were, apparently, punished by God with syphilis, gonorrhea, hepatitis, warts, herpes, and a thousand other curses. Disease was poorly understood. Not until the 1800s did men realize that microbes existed! Even today, some cling to the belief that AIDS is a curse sent by God.

Perhaps science will deliver us from our many problems with sex by one of two methods. In the first method, sex may become unnecessary. A new version of our species, designed by humans, may lack genitalia. Reproduction can be accomplished in the laboratory under controlled conditions. Even by enthusiasts, sex can be regarded as a non-productive waste of time and energy, besides the many other negative views that puritanical people take of it.

An alternative method may be the enhancement of our immune systems, so that we can defeat all the microbes that seek to use us for their own ends. We could conquer disease. I'm afraid that people prefer to focus upon conquering other people at the moment. Disease is regarded as a very low priority by our leaders. The trouble with microbes is they are invisible to the naked eye. We are wired to grapple with visible enemies, even when those enemies represent a tiny fraction of the threat posed by microbes.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Water for Elephants

I began reading a popular bestseller--that is, I think it's a bestseller. Inside the cover are two pages with nothing but accolades from the leading newspapers and authors of our time, including Stephen King, one of my personal favorites, for better or worse.

I was impressed by the intricate care that went into the storytelling. No one could dispute that the author labored over every word, scene, and setting. It is poetry, and I immersed myself and read more than I usually do and plan to read the rest today.

The only thing I found jarring was that the style was in contradiction to many of the "Writing Commandments" that I learned long ago, such as avoiding the use of cliches and avoiding sentence fragments. I suppose that is one reason Stephen King liked the work, because he violates the same rules with impunity. I suppose they are not rules anymore, not really. I think there is something cheap about using cliches on every page, though, and I don't think it's snobbery to think so.

However, the author obeyed the Commandment that I violate, which is to show, not tell, which requires more effort on the part of the writer, but is more effective at engaging the reader's imagination.

The author's style reminds me so much of Stephen King's that I sometimes feel like I am reading Stephen King. The American vernacular, as he likes to describe it.

I forget the title of the book. Water for Elephants, I think. It was given to me as a birthday or Christmas present a year ago, and I have finally gotten around to reading it.

If I had known that cliches were OK, then heavens to Betsy, I'd have been using them left and right, all the time. As it is, a few pass by my guard, but I throttle most of them before they get on the page.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Thursday, December 2, 2010

We Can Make It Even Better

To those who praise their country and think that we live a charmed life, I'd say, right on.

We're much better off now than we were hundreds of years ago, or even decades ago.

America is a better place to live than Russia, China, or Iran, by about a million to one.

But we can make the country even better by avoiding complacency.

Where there are societal injustices, they should be corrected.

Where there is corruption, we should introduce reforms.

Where there is a law that harms, rather than benefits society, we should change the law or remove it altogether.

Constant improvement or evolution is the name of the game and one of the chief advantages to our system of government.

This is the precise point where liberals differ from conservatives.

Conservatives pretend that everything's OK just the way it is. Maybe, for them. One of the problems is that they simply don't care about people other than themselves, or else they don't care enough. Sometimes things are not OK even for them and for their own kind, and they refuse to acknowledge that anything is wrong, simply because they have gotten used to the way things are, and don't want any change.

Change is good. Sometimes it is wise to change even if there are unforeseen consequences. One can always revert back to a previous way of doing things. The reluctance to change results in stagnation. Any programmer knows that software that is not constantly improved is eventually abandoned. It becomes obsolete, outmoded. Competitors arise that have better features. So it is with nations and cultures. Just because a certain plan has worked, to a certain limited extent, does not mean it cannot stand some improvement.

Conservatives are just stodgy. They lack a spirit of adventure. They are unwilling to try new things. They are frightened to death by anything that is new. Novelties are interpreted as threats. They exaggerate dangers and discount possible rewards.

I think an accurate method to predict a person's political sympathies is to ask them what foods they like. The liberals will eat anything or at least try anything. The conservatives have a long list of foods they won't eat under any circumstances. Conservatives are squeamish and react with disgust to many foods that are perfectly nutritious, safe, and yummy. Liberals learn to eat new foods outside of their usual diet. Liberals are willing to experiment. The sense of adventure has not been completely washed out of a liberal.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Conformity

There has always been one certainty that I felt I could depend upon, as sure as death and taxes, and that is that people will apply a magnifying glass to whatever it is that they feel represents a defect. If one is homosexual, then that fact is magnified and obsessed over to the exclusion of all other facts. I have encountered people at work and elsewhere that assumed that I had AIDS or led a promiscuous lifestyle or did any number of things. It is always the elephant in the room. If one supports the legalization of marijuana, or objects to random drug testing, then that is interpreted to mean that one is a druggie or at least a pothead. People leap to astonishing conclusions without bothering to reevaluate their preconceptions. I have become leery about getting to know strangers. In my experience, people extract one fact or the other, then go behind one's back and gossip in order to make themselves look better by comparison to the "bad" nonconformist. This is at least the case in environments where the majority are conservative Republicans. Even the so-called Independents or "moderates" will show a double-face in order to curry favor with the bosses. One can forget about ideals, confidences, or promises of any kind.

Beware of the back-stab. I began as an open and trusting individual, a typical "naive liberal," I suppose. My back suffered a number of wounds before I learned not to trust others with personal information of any kind whatsoever. I learned to be reflective like a mirror. In response to questions, I learned to say, "I don't know," or "Not much I guess," or "Maybe." Then I would follow up with, "How about you?" I had learned early on, and capitalized upon the fact that all people love talking about themselves most of all. They are not interested in me or in anyone else near so much as themselves. In this way I avoided divulging much of any information about myself. Perhaps it was a mistake in some cases. Perhaps I misjudged others from time to time, but "burnt once, twice shy," as the saying goes.

It is the rare individual who has even the slightest shred of a scruple. If someone discovers a bit of information they find amusing or interesting, one can count on the fact that, whatever their promises to the contrary, they will share it with everyone that they possibly can, until it becomes the most often repeated story in the office.

In my last job in the corporate world, I was hard-working and the tasks I worked upon were difficult. How difficult, I do not think most people would believe. There were men who felt envious and worried about how I made them appear, so they would bring up my sexuality in conversation with others, because they perceived that was my weak point, my key vulnerability where I differed from others, yet they were the same as others. They would harp upon this point again and again without fail, as though it were their favorite tune in the entire world. This was a recurring theme throughout my career. My work was good, but I was gay, and would not lie about it, and so that held me back. All that matters is whatever is popular and in fashion. If gay is not considered okay in the workplace, then it becomes a personal liability.

I remember the lazy do-nothings and know-nothings, and they sometimes made as much, or more money than I did, yet all they ever did was stand around talking with others with their pot-bellies hanging out, carrying a mug of coffee in one hand and groping themselves with the other. I wonder how many of these the company chose to hire instead of people like me, and whether that really benefited the company over the years. It does not seem to me like organizations care very much who does the work or who doesn't. All that seems to matter is who cozies up to whom and who seems to fit the mold. Perhaps this is why many companies produce little except mountains of paperwork and complicated schemes designed to fleece their customers, or take advantage of their workers or even their own investors.

I felt under such enormous pressure to be like the others in order to fit in and be accepted by everyone that I began dating women at one point. I have written about that experience before on this blog. I am not sure whether I kept the entry or deleted it. I don't care about the stories. I wish I could delete the actual experiences, which were painful, pointless and sometimes humiliating. I never lied to anyone and never pretended to be anything that I was not. That strategy, of course, doomed any potential chances, but I still believe that honesty is the only way to proceed in matters of the heart. Dishonesty may succeed better in the short-term, but it creates circumstances that can result in harm later on.

Gays are not immune to cant. I got into an online flame war once with a gay man that liked everything else about me, or so he said--he may have been lying--but objected to my mention of marijuana. I suppose his motive in scolding me was that he felt I was making the gay community look bad. He said the mere admission of usage meant that a person was worthless, and if that person were gay, then he could justifiably be called a "faggot."

Some people do reveal their true character when engaged in dispute with others. If my opponent chooses to hoist the Nazi flag, then far be it from me to dissuade him from doing so. I will let others draw their own conclusions. I find it an amusing insult, considering the source, and do not feel belittled by the word. There was a time, in high school, when the word "faggot" wielded malevolent power over my emotions, but my old wounds have long since scabbed over, and I developed a certain degree of immunity to the toxin. It remains an unpleasant word, much like the n-word would be to a black person, but it will certainly not keep me up at nights worrying about it. Usage of the insult reveals more about the user and his prejudices than the target.

Most people are not interested in debate or in considering rational arguments of any sort. They are only interested in the acquisition of personal power, popularity, and prestige. If there is an opinion they think will make them appear macho, intelligent, cool, hip, or "right with God," they will seize that opinion, and use it to place themselves above others in the pecking order. Self-image is what people are concerned about, rather than deciding what is real or what is false.

The idea of sobriety is naturally appealing, and the idea of being a drug addict is not, and so many people choose to believe in the Prohibition, not just of hard drugs but also of Marijuana, because they do not wish to be associated with "druggies" or "hippies". The question of whether Prohibition is correct and proper never occurs to them or seems irrelevant, and they are not willing to even consider any arguments. They are concerned with their own self-image as a decent, upright citizen. They wish to think of themselves a certain way, as being on the side of "Law n' Order," whether or not "Law n' Order" is right or wrong.

I am reminded of how slavery was accepted and defended throughout the South prior to the Civil War. Everyone wished to be associated with the good, genteel, well-to-do plantation owners. No one wished to be associated with the penniless, uneducated African immigrants. Arguments against slavery were rejected in the South with great ferocity, and those Southerners who opposed slavery in public were ostracized from their communities. Such is the way of H. Sapiens, a species much concerned with self-image, prestige and conformity. Lies do prosper for a very long time, even when questioned, and even when extensive, devastating and well-researched arguments are advanced against them. People simply refuse to consider reason. They cling to a certain way of thinking or rather, unthinking.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

More Revealing than WikiLeaks Ever Was

Wikileaks presents one with a difficult issue to grapple with, in part because its actions concern the principle of freedom of the press, which has a long and checkered history. Traditionally, newspapers have been at liberty to disclose certain things that might be regarded as secrets by our government. This has been permitted for the sake of the public interest, on the theory that the public has a right to know what its servants are doing. I think that, had the U.S. not been at war, the political reaction against Wikileaks would have been much less than it is.

There is merit in Joe Lieberman's argument that the documents published by Wikileaks were illegally seized. The mainstream media does not seem to make a point out of it, choosing instead to focus upon the content and the repercussions. In effect, Wikileaks was performing a wiretap without a warrant or even any authority at all. Had a government agency acted in such a way, it would seem like Big Brother. Do not U.S. diplomats have a right to privacy? Are diplomats supposed to operate in dread that their remarks made in confidence will be one day published?

However, all the documents revealed by Wikileaks are as nothing, next to the revealing statements made by some immoderate politicians and pundits calling for the assassination of the founder of Wikileaks. Such remarks have been made before in regard to other nonviolent civilians and often followed by the spilling of blood.

"Win at any costs" is improper, I think. Otherwise, how are we to be distinguished from the enemy? If we are good, then we should act so. Words alone are not enough. I believe the Obama Administration has handled the situation well, at least in terms of not making any violent and illegal threats. Sarah Palin, for her part, has criticized the Adminstration for its supposed incompetence and called upon the full capabilities of Nato to be unleashed against Wikileaks. One Republican lawmaker wants to classify the founder in the same category as Al Qaeda, opening up the possibility of assassination with potential collateral damage. These sentiments are all familiar and have been observed many times before.

The long-term results of the Wikileaks disclosure remain unclear to me. It may be that the disclosures serve, rather than harm, the interests of those who complain the loudest about it. That seems to be the suspicion of the Russians. The Iranians believe it is an orchestrated attempt by the United States to dupe them. I don't know what to believe. The Wikileaks will be valuable to scholars, however. They will be the primary beneficiary. Only when the reports can be digested, summarized and interpreted will the public really benefit from them. It seems like too much raw data for a layman. I have not been motivated to read them, so far, in part because I find the information depressing, as it tends to reinforce what I already understand.

I do have grave doubts about the ethics of stealing private documents from the government, particularly in cases where no crime was being committed, although it could be argued that turnabout is fair play, as the government performs warrantless wiretaps nowadays and engages in what used to be thought illegal surveillance and espionage against its own citizens. Nowadays the government even has the right to poke about in people's underwear for no reason other than they seek to board a plane.

I do trust Hillary Clinton's judgment, in general, in matters of foreign policy, and if she believes that the disclosure is harmful, then I am inclined to think that they might be so. I did not vote for her in the Democratic primary of 2008, but remain an admirer. In retrospect, perhaps I should have voted for her after all. Obama has been a disappointment on gay issues. I think that Hillary Clinton has been unfairly savaged by right-wingers for what seem to be irrational reasons or just because she is an outspoken woman. She is far more polite and diplomatic than Ann Coulter on the right.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Immersion

One of my problems, or virtues, depending upon how one looks at it, is my tendency to become completely immersed in intellectual work, whether it be writing, programming, or web design. Tunnel-vision results. I examine things so closely and intently that not much escapes me in the end. I see all, or close to all at least, although there are certain limitations relating to my skills and preferences.

I would say I'm a hard worker, because I'd rather work on what I consider to be meaningful projects than play games, read books, or watch television. I prefer active over passive entertainment much of the time. If I am not writing or coding, then I feel as though I am wasting time.

And I hate wasting time. What I fear most of all is not death. I fear the void: the emptiness, guilt and dread that comes from accomplishing nothing at all. The thought that I have wasted this existence. To exit this world without leaving any trace at all is my fear. If there is something in me, however trivial, that I think can be applied for the cause of good, then I want to apply it to its maximum potential.

I feel an urge to be productive, to excel, to do well, to make a good impression on others. Sometimes, I succeed in doing so. Occasionally I do fail. Sometimes results are mixed, and I am uncertain as to my evaluation. But I always try. And I keep at my work in isolation, even unpaid, without any encouragement, or with the thinnest token of appreciation. Maybe that means I'm a fool, a worker bee, a hack, a grind, and an overachiever, as others have called me. Who can be other than what they are? And what is the alternative? To do nothing? To idle away the hours in front of a video game or television set? What sort of existence is that? I prefer to create things, even if the creations are humble. I could not procreate, so I create in other ways to justify this existence. Otherwise, where is the meaning in life? To eat and sleep only? That is not meaningful.

I find myself falling into the same old traps, though. Sometimes I become too focused upon projects that no one else seems to care about. I am made to feel like Don Quixote by those who attach little or no importance to the projects. There are web sites I have worked on night and day. Sometimes I wonder if the effort is misspent or if it matters at all to anyone else besides myself. Perhaps it doesn't. I could be mistaken, a victim of tunnel-vision, failing to see the big picture because I am focused upon a thousand small details.

All may be vanity, but if so, there are many souls in the world engaged in similar occupations. I am not the only victim of make-work. Is it realistic to expect any appreciation or recognition at all in any of one's endeavors? How often does that happen? The billions of people in the world are all creating something, all working toward some end, and most labor without any feedback, or even in the face of blistering criticism, because it is their destiny. Because there is no "because." Life happens because it must. The universe happens because it must. How are human activities different from the interactions between oxygen and hydrogen? I think that everything is predictable, if one knows enough.

We are all slaves to one thing or another. Every one of us. I do not know anyone who is not a slave to something. Even those who number among my enemies, they too are slaves. It is because of the mortal existence. Life desires. What life desires varies, but it craves food and water, and at a higher level, power and prestige. Only the dead know perfect freedom, because they desire nothing. Life trades the freedom of nonexistence for slavery to the desires, which permit survival and thriving. We the living become slaves because we must in order to survive and thrive.

I sometimes find it difficult to disengage myself from a project, because work becomes a passion for me, an addiction. The government should ban work. There should be a Work Enforcement Agency to stamp out everything that leads to work, because it is more addictive than any drug. I suppose the government is doing its best in that regard. The unemployment rate is, after all, much higher now than when I graduated college.

I would like to have been a part of a team, at some point in my life, of people with a similar ideological and philosophical cast, who were trustworthy, honest and forthright. Instead, I found myself in various teams where cutthroat was the name of the game. No one trusted anyone else. I was amused by the paranoia I observed in others, until I felt it residing in myself. It is difficult to resist a prevailing meme for a long period of time. Complacency was rewarded, curiosity and innovation stifled. We engaged upon tasks that benefited no one save the shareholders, and only in the short-term, even in that narrow perspective. This is a common fate.

I think only in the distant future, if that, will it be possible for human beings to come together as teams where cooperation and cohesion is possible, rather than just hypothetical. Whether there will be a distant future for H. Sapiens is another question, and I haven't been optimistic about the answer. Although the Pax Americana has been surprising and encouraging, I don't know how much longer it can endure, with our economy and manufacturing sector in decline. American workers have footed the bill for worldwide security for decades, but such a high rate of expenditure cannot continue indefinitely.

I do resolve to improve in the art of disengagement. For me, all that is required is finding another project, preferably a better one. One must look for greener pastures. I don't kid myself that I can be without a project of any kind. I need something to ply my skills upon. My task involves finding a better project more suitable for me.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Alcohol vs. Marijuana

I think that the reason so many people praise, use, and condone alcohol, while in some cases rejecting, maligning and condemning marijuana, has to do with the appeal of evil. Alcohol unleashes meanness and cruelty. Marijuana promotes passivity, calm, and reflection upon one's self and the world. Some want to do evil. It is their desire. Alcohol assists them in that goal by silencing the voice of conscience and reason. Once that voice is silenced, another voice may be heard.

The powerful voice of Thanatos suggests death and destruction through wars, the poisoning of the environment, and the persecution of minorities, in a world where there will always be minorities of one kind or the other, whether religious, sexual, ideological, or racial. One by one the disciples of Thanatos would have us slain, imprisoned, wounded, diminished, or poisoned. "Divide and conquer" is the means. Alcohol functions as a lubricant, when ideology proves an insufficient force.

Marijuana is recognized by the forces of darkness as the antithesis to alcohol and alcoholism. It is the Amethyst, the antidote, and evil-doers seek to crush it beneath the iron hammer of violence. Violence is what evil-doers know, practice, and preach. Violence is their solution to every flower that would break the surface of the earth, and it leads to an end that they have already foreseen, a silent and dead Earth, a twin of Mars the planet and their god.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

It's About Time

Republicans depend on groups like the Family Research Council to "bring out the vote," because the primary Republican agenda, class warfare, does not.

Finally, the Family Research Council has been designated as a hate group. It's about time FRC was revealed for what it is. That Republicans have used them for so many years for political purposes is disgusting and symptomatic of the lack of ethics in the Republican Party.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments
techlorebyigor is my personal journal for ideas & opinions