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Togo of Grand Smials
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A very fine fellow points me to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Husky

I point him to http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=blow%20off

All he can think is that he's been assaulted.

Why would I possibly say more. Liars only hear lies; cheaters only see cheating.

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As a young man working at CBC I was more than pleased to be asked to do sound for Charlie Austin's ensemble during the Edmonton Jazz Festival.

Had I not been on duty at CFS Gander during the time we over-threw Salvadore Allende's democratically elected government in Chile I'm sure I would have pursued more opportunities like the one Charlie gave me. The story continuesCollapse )

We create meaning in the world. By itself it's nothing more than heaps of facts, mountains of facts, oceans of facts, entire universes of facts. From our subjective experience, we create meaning.

I certainly know I cannot trust any conventional entities, neither institutions nor individuals. But I know I can trust jazz. And I know I can trust its performers. And I know I can trust my belief that we can come to understand.

Right wingers will say that I'm wicked and evil and say that I'm a leftie. Lefties will say I'm mal-adjusted and have a bad attitude and make it seem like I'm anti-social. Bottom-line: they're dishonest. Probably cowards. Maybe psychopaths, but more likely bullies ... sycophants. They're vampires, ready to suck the living blood right out of anybody, anytime, for what ever reason suits them. You could say I'm the werewolf, always having to steel myself to do battle with vampires.

Tonight I had cause to think back to when I decided to put on the uniform of my country's army, to train infantry, to train airborne, to pursue a military career. I had my reasons, oh so many years ago. And tonight when I went over them I found the reasoning sound.

When the time came for me to acknowledge and confront the deep sources of societal dis-ease, I did. It almost tore me apart. But when it came time for me to accept what lay ahead of me, there was no "almost"; I exploded like a crystal goblin.


Which of these frightens you more? The the corrupt prosecuting attorney who's out to get you as part of the faceless bureaucracy? or the corrupt defense attorney who's working in the corrupt system on behalf of the man or men who beat you, smashed you, and tortured you after destroying your home and killing your family?

We should get rid of the police and the judiciary? neither cops nor courts? Get rid of administrators, legal framework, government structures, rule and regulations, so those who already have power can remind us why so many fought and died for so long to establish democracy?

Does anything like that make sense? What makes sense to me is this: twisted minds come up with crazed solutions to their crack-pot views on how things are. They're either cowards frightened of the psychopath's bullies, or bullies and sneak-thieves themselves, hoping to profit from the psychopath's chaos.

But bottom line: citizens aren't called to be prosecuting attorneys, or defense attorneys ... no more than they're called upon to be werewolves, or vampires.
Citizens are called upon to be honest community members, judging by the lights of their own experience, in a jury of their peers. That's called community.

People's excuses for not doing that: that's how you can know them for who they really are as individuals.
How you deal with that ... avoid, evade, distort, deny ... that's what makes you corrupt, in your own way. Whether coward or sneak-thief or bully or sycophant or psychopath, however folk become vampires, I remain as I am ... as need be. You might say I'm a werewolf; I'd say that all depends how you see things. And when you hear me say that, you'll very likely think I have a bad attitude, or I'm just insane. Because you dare not think about that for even a moment: very likely you'll lurk back and twitch, like a vampire in a shaft of sunlight.

Just how it is. Just how I expected it to be.


Early report: "25 dead, 5 missing, many injured at Thrangu Monastery. Main new temple, one shedra building, and part of library completely destroyed." (Early estimates: 1,200 dead with 10 times as many injured.)

"Thrangu Monastery has been completely destroyed." is the word from the Thrangu Emergency website"

"The town of Yushu, as I remember it, is gone. 90% of the buildings are down, many people are trapped. There are no stores open, no water, no food. The dam has a crack and is being drained."

* "Eye-witness Report from Earthquake" from Shambhala Times
"Khenpo Tsering of the Surmang Monastery was able to call Lyndon Comstock of the Konchok Foundation to report on the devastation in the Surmang area. The full report of their call is below.

Khenpo said that Jyekundo (the closest city to Surmang) is completely destroyed. He said that probably 95% of the buildings in the city have been destroyed. He said that, if anyone has seen the movie 2012, it looks like that. Even some of the more recent larger buildings collapsed. He said that a six or seven story building collapsed like the World Trade Center.

Khenpo said that about eight hundred bodies that have been pulled out of the rubble so far but there are thousands more bodies still buried in the collapsed buildings."
* Thrangu Tashi Choling Monastery Destroyed - links and resources from Rinpoche.com
* Kham / Qinghai / Tibet / China Earthquake Update
* Thrangu Emergency Fund at ThranguEmergency.org; Messages from H.E Thrangu Rinpoche
* Jeykundo earthquake disaster relief fund at Konchok.org
* News feed via google

Just copy this and paste it in (using the "Embed" function):

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<param name="movie" value="http://widgets.clearspring.com/o/4a37fac83c457251/4ab3da7a2a6667b1/4a381495a8801718/5b499d94/-cpid/501d1fd5e0b5cfe1">
<param name="wmode" value="transparent">
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The classic case I encountered in the literature is this: an Australian woman is drawn out to describe her views and opinions concerning Aboriginal people. Over the course of interviews, with the method being applied to explore the "variance", what she says can clearly be seen as belonging to two "heaps". One heap consists of utterances that are, if only very mildly, sympathetic. The other heap is comprised of utterences that are, foundationally, prejudiced.

The first thing to note is that there's nothing "flaming" about the prejudiced statemets. The material is substantially racist, but it is stated as though reasonable and balanced ... nothing obviously inflammatory in the style.
And with the "sympathetic" statements we find something similar; these are almost as under-stated as they are vague.

And now we get to the crux of the matter: the attributions in the "racist" heap actually cross over into the "sympathetic" heap. If there's "variance" in the attitude, I read a consistent set of foundations. What qualifies the reference group for "sympathy" is the same set of attributes used in the racist heap to qualify them for scorn. The difference in attitude is an attitude towards an invariant set of characteristics, characteristics which (need it be said?) are actually not supported by sociological data. (That a large proportion of a visible minority are living in poverty is not evidence that this group is characteristically lazy or pre-disposed to criminality!)

One aspect in particular here attracted and held my attention, given my project's brief and mandate. (I.e.: how do we generate, support, and nurture wholesome community? Design and deploy a community decision making system that serves this end.)
Setting aside motive (I think in both cases the woman aimed at image maintenance; she wanted to be seen / known as thoughtful and considerate.) I imagined how she, as presented, could be subjected to manipulation, with her two heaps of variant discourse utterances serving as hooks.

And what came to mind was this: the "sympathetic" heap seemed to me the stuff of "Damned with faint praise"; though the material was cast as benevolent it was actually presented as a basis for paternalism. (I can practically hear her, voice shrill, lamenting how "Those people are never grateful for what we're trying to do for them" or some such.) The Aboriginals were presented as being "other" by their nature, and requiring integration for the reason of their being distinct. The "sympathy" was actually patronizing and superior. So these utterances set the stage for the imposition of authoritarian activity ... in the name of "doing good for others". There was something like pity in her words, but nothing like a call for justice.
The "prejudiced" set of statements were, essentially, defeatist. The attributions were so substantial and so fixed that ... except for wanting to seem caring ... the situation was to be accepted as hopeless.

In neither of the heaps was there any jingoistic call for some sort of "crack-down". And yet both heaps (or either, played individually) could serve the support the most draconian policy decisions e.g. eugenics.

My contention is that "debate" of the facts absent appreciation for subjective narrative will only lead to polarization. The participant in this experiment exhibited a consistent world-view, regardless of variation in her discourse. Any policy position that challanged that world-view would, necessarily, threaten her attempts at image maintenance and would, probably, give rise to energetic reaction.

"I can see how you'd form that view; it does look that way from here" is very different from, "You're closed minded on this, but actually the facts aren't at all in support of your position".

I can't care about those people (from an authentic sense of solidarity) and not care about this one (because she makes my skin creep).

"[T]o flourish, humans need to develop virtues of independent thought and acknowledged social dependence"

In "Dependent Rational Animals: Why Human Beings Need the Virtues" under "the conditions for human flourishing", Alasdair MacIntyre notes that, "The virtues of rational agency need for their adequate exercise to be accompanied by what I shall call thethe virtues of acknowledged dependency" including, as Carol Taylor points out in her "Health and Human Flourishing", "the attentive and affectionate regard for others".

Slightly related: What boosterism doesn't account for: BalkanizationCollapse )

Happening now in Edmonton: "Transforming Edmonton" Open City Workshop; live-cast c/w chat

* search Twitter for #OpenYEG hashtag

back to UserProfile: BenTremblay --19:26, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Cyanide & Happiness

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