March 20th, 2003

run the fuck away

(no subject)

So yeah, suddenly I realize that I did play a big role in creating alot of connections. I catalyzed alot of relationships.

Most of which are gone now. Or at the very least, unrecognizable. I've also come to the conclusion that I must more strongly contemplate how the hell to not be a social shut-in. This week is an exception, I'm sick, tired, teaching a difficult class- when I get home I want to sleep, or at most, sit around and be unproductive.

However, aside from the occasional outing, I never see anyone.

To that end, and to the end of ignoring the world getting blown up for a bit, I vote for a trek to the Plum Blossom, Saturday, 7:00pm. If you read this, you're invited, and bring whoever you please. If you don't think you can go because of money, let me know- I'm getting a mucking big bonus for this class, and what good's that money if I can't share a bit of it? Also, that's a "off the top of my head" time, if anyone has a different preference, again, let me know, and we'll see what we can schedule.

Also, let me know if you're coming, becuase if I'm descending with a mass of people, I'd much rather let them know (a mass being six or more, and I'm hoping that my social connections are not so poor that I can't gather six people together) ahead of time, via a reservation.

Who's with me? Spread the word!
run the fuck away

(no subject)

Geh. My face is filled with snot. I can't really concentrate. I'm trying to invent an excersise on the fly that my students can handle. I want to practice trappening, to get some of the goo to drain. I'm trying to think of creative uses for compressed air to resolve this problem, but I'm thinking most of that would break blood vessels.

I want to sleeeeep. Fach.

On the war, I'm too out of it and frustrated to say anything that I haven't said already. Except that it's not a war yet. Congress has not delcared war. So, in theory, after sixty days, this could all be over. Yeah, right.
run the fuck away

(no subject)

So, I end class early because I'm on the verge of dropping into unconsiousness if I have to stand up and sit down one more friggin' time. Told Noah, he approved. Instructors passing out is bad for business ya' know.

At any rate, afterwards, my students loiter, and a few of them ask me, "Do you have the Java certification? Because it seems like you really know alot about Java."

As you may recall from last week's entries, no I don't. Though I must say, as I've taught this week, I realized that there was more about Java that I knew than I thought I did. I feel pretty schway. Aside from the hacking, the tired, the inability to concentrate or focus, and the congestion.

On an other note: Cate and I picked up Urban Primitives last night at Borders. This is by far the best piece of occult literature I have ever seen. It is matter of fact, practical, and applicable in a modern setting. It throws off the arcane, creates a metaphysics that jives with reality, and is just pretty schway. After I finish Cate's Secrets of Shamanism (crappy title, not so bad a book), that's my next priority. Over the past few days I've been mentally kicking around the idea of getting back into technoshamanism, as opposed to technomagery. I'm more a shaman than a mage, I can't take myself seriously enough. Besides, the maging has been leaving a resonance I don't like; I'm more belligerent, opinionated and forceful than I used to be. Nothing wrong with being forceful, except when it's a meaningless application of force.

So I'm kinda purging that resonance, and working more on the shaman aspect. A kind of Nietzchian shamanism, where gods are not denied, but emphasis is put on self achievement. There's nothing wrong with asking for help, but often, it's more fun to do it all yourself. The whole "go into the cave" aspect of shamanistic journeying has been replaced with "go into the subway" for me, and I have visions of an abandoned stretch of track six stories down, lit with high power LED glow lights, monitors, and a connection to an optical backbone. Tesla coils and other strange devices abound. Yeah, I know, I'm weird.
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run the fuck away

(no subject)

I just took a 2.5 hour nap. I am now breathing from both sides of my nose. Still coughing like a ninety year old with empheszema, but I can breathe! w00t!
run the fuck away

What is this for?

What are we fighting for? What do we hope to gain?

At first, it was to make the world safe from terrorism. We started this project by overthrowing the government of Afghanistan. Because killing people and instituting regime change stops terrorism. Never mind that most of the terrorists that the US has to deal with hate us for backing violent regimes that kill and oppress the people (like Israel). And so after that project was half finished or so, we ran off to do the same in Iraq.

Even though Hussein had nothing to do with 9-11, or with the Al-Qaeda, except to be mortal enemies with them. In fact, Hussein does very little to support terrorism, he doesn't have the weapons or money to spare on such things, in part due to sanctions.

Okay, even so, he has weapons that are prohibited by the UN security council. Except that, for the most part, that is untrue. And the entire purpose of the inspections wasn't a trial, to see if he had these weapons, then punish him, it was to uncover these weapons and force them to be destroyed.

But you can't deny that he is a bad man. He oppresses and kills his people. And this makes him different from every other two bit dictator in the world how? Why Iraq? But if we go in, and institute a democratic government (that the people of Iraq don't want, and wouldn't know what to do with) then the other nations in that region will see the benefits of democracy (or rule-by-the-majority (even if the majority is wrong)), and overthrow their dictators.

Just like if one nation falls to Communism it will cause a Domino Effect, and other nations will fall.

The biggest problem here is inconsistency (the inability to come up with a solid reason and make it stick), and unreasonable goals. This in turn feeds the biggest visible problem- the lack of international support.

What happens when this government that gets imposed does not recieve international support? Without recognition from the rest of the world, a government cannot exist. How does it engage in trade and diplomacy if the rest of the world refuses to acknowledge it?

But the biggest reason against this conflict (it is not yet a war- Simon (Congress) didn't say) is the effect on international relationships. One nation has decided it does not like the government of another. So this nation is going in, and enforcing its will upon this other nation. No matter that this is right or wrong. We have one nation deciding that it knows how another should act, and is using military force to impose this. This is vigilante action. Vigilantes are nice, they make us feel all squishy, knowing that a regular guy can go and make a difference. Ask the cops about vigilantes though. There's a reason that vigilante police are illegal.

There is a system in place. The purpose of this system is to create a set of rules that the citizens can live by. When someone fails to adhere to this system, the system itself has methods for correcting that action. If someone works outside of this system, it weakens the system itself. Imagine for a moment, if everyone decided that they had the right to overthrow governments that they didn't like. China decides that Cambodia is mismanaged, and decides to instate a new government. Saudia Arabia decides it doesn't like the government of Israel (oh wait, they don't), and overthrow it.

One nation has no right to dictate the behavior of another nation. We started the first Gulf War ostensibly because that is what Iraq was doing. It was imposing its own will upon Kuwait. The international community decided this wasn't appropriate, and acted to stop it.

I am against the war because we are going outside of the system. We are breaking the rules of common courtesy wtih unclear and unreasonable motivations. One nation cannot be allowed to put its rule over another. If a regime change from without is to be instituted in Iraq, it must be done with support of the community. There has to be an agreement, and the tools of the system have to be used in this arrangement. The UN has a system in place to deal with dangerous rulers. The reason this system has not worked is because of the lack of support from the US. People claim the system has failed, but the US has shown only a token interest in using the system.

We must obey the rules set out by the system, or we must work with the community to change the system.

Iraq has been oppressing its people for decades, and most of that time it had our support. People keep saying that we must act now, but at this point, we've been postponing so long that our haste is unwarantted. Why is it suddenly so important? Why can't the international community deliberate a bit longer, until an agreement can be reached that is amiacble to all parties?

The reason this entire action is so unclear is the amount of haste involved. The US is acting like a magician or a hustler, talking so fast that you don't have time to critically analyze its arguments, throwing down insults and maginalizing the people that don't buy those arguments.

History will bear me out, and show that the future consequences of this action are dire. The precedent that is being set is dangerous.

I've got more to say, but it's on a different topic, so I'll bear it out in another post.
run the fuck away

On Entering into War

This post is not anti-war, but instead, is meant to discuss some of the attitudes in war.

One of my biggest deep in the stomach reactions to this War is the way the public is dealing with this. Newspaper stands advertise their coverage with signs reading "WAR" where the letters have been patterned to look like an American flag. People talk about how we're going to kick some ass, and yes, I've seen posts in LJ where people lament that they don't get to see Iraqis getting blown up in the news. And not as a joke, or at most, a half joke.

War should always be entered into with a feeling of disgust. Whether the war is just or not, codoning war is synoymous with condoning killing on a grand skill. People are going to die. This is not a joke, this is not a game. This is not funny. War is never the right option, just a last resort. It is not something to take joy in, to revel in. Understand what is going on here. People, soldiers and civilians alike, are going to be dealt physical harm, suffering and death. Their lives will be thrown into chaos, their infrastructure will be nonexistant. They will lose loved ones.

Imagine for a moment, telling a mother that her son must die because their country is ruled by a bad man. Wether or not it is right to remove this man from power through military force is not an issue, try and think of her reaction. Try and think of your own, when someone tells you they need to put a bullet through your head because your leader is dangerous.

The question that gets asked by this mother is: "Why me? Why my son?" That question cannot be answered. There is no reason why it has to be her. But her suffering is real nonetheless. For her, there is no happy ending. What solace is freedom when those you would share that privilige with are no more?

People are going to die. This is unpleasant. This is abhorrent. Even when you find that there is no other option available, you must consider the people involved. If you are anything but disgusted by the prospect, our society has terms for you. Like "sociopath". The idea of War disgusts me, the idea that people aren't disgusted by it disgusts me. As you can imagine, I'm fairly disgusted at the moment.

All I'm asking for is a degree of empathy. To put on the other shoes for a bit. This is the foundation of a compassionate society.