Monday, October 13, 2014
Thursday, April 18, 2013
*These drugs have a zero residue limit in most applications.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
The rise of atheism and the fall of God reflects the deepening chasm that prevents humanity from being human
In the beginning, something created what we call the universe and life. Theistic religions call that something “God” while atheists call it “something.” If atheists think or believe that science will someday reveal the genesis of life and the physical world, then atheists have faith that science will eventually deliver the answer. They have faith in science. If an atheist believes that we will never know, the atheist is also engaging in an act of faith — faith that mankind cannot ever discover the answer.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
The long overdue conversation about the iniquitous inequity within capitalism’s illusory meritocratic class structure finally exploded into the global discourse with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Conversely, the embedded impotence and wastefulness of an enabling and codependent national government thrust into the spotlight with the Tea Party campaign. Neither of these will have any lasting effect, and here’s why.
What is The System? The System is the Internet in real life — the world wide web personified. It is the interconnectedness of institutions, infrastructure, corporations, nonprofit organizations, utilities, governments, foundations, universities and, most importantly, mainstream media.
The System can not, in any real and permanent way, be challenged. Too many people benefit from its current structure and genuine change threatens the status quo. People in positions of power would never give up their seat at the head to allow honest reform. What’s in it for them? Herein lies the double-edged sword of capitalism. It motivates people to be successful, creates jobs and generates wealth, while simultaneously establishing a culture that nurtures questionable practices and exacerbates the class divide.
There’s nothing I’d like more than to systematically dismantle 80% of global corporations in the fields of banking, insurance, finance and investments, health care and hospitals, communications, industrial farming, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas and coal, garbage disposal, wastewater treatment, genetic seed-making, food and drink manufacturing, retail behemoths, entertainment and mass media (did I miss any?). Many of these system-elements began under an idealized vision to create a better society, but human greed created an atmosphere where profits superceded service. This mentality invades all aspects of society, from the small businessperson to the federal government.
Ayn Rand argued that a society which nurtures a human being’s latent selfishness is a society that prospers. Unfortunately for humanity, this is true, but only if we define “prosper” as it relates to material wealth. There certainly are other faces of prosperity — spiritual, mental, physical, social, historical, natural. A country with little material wealth, such as Ethiopia or Bolivia, has more historical and natural wealth than most developed countries combined. And yet, we, as the West, see them as “poor” or “impoverished” or “Third World” or “developing” (as if a country has to be developing to be considered a country. What if a country wants to stay the same as it has for thousands of years?).
I would argue that we are the poor ones — reliant on a system that nurtures selfishness instead of one that creates community.
If the entire system collapsed, everything we rely on would be destroyed. Our toilets wouldn’t flush, our refrigerators wouldn’t get cold. There would be no fuel for our cars or generator. Food would cease to be produced. Chaos would permeate everything we touch. Who would survive this fiasco? People with genuine life skills — farmers, hunters, builders, maybe doctors.
Specifically, indigenous people who have lived the same way for millennia would become rulers of the world. Not that it’s a title they seek, nor would they even know they held that position. They wouldn’t even realize what has taken place on a global scale until Westerners came to them trying to steal their land and livestock in a furious illustration of the classic “I want what you have only because you have it and I don’t” syndrome, the infamous Western plague on the world.
This is why Barack Obama, a president whom I felt would usher in genuine change, failed. I fell victim to rhetoric, as do many of us when it comes to taking politicians at their word — a seriously unfortunate mistake that should not be a mistake at all. Obama tried to pander to all sides because mainstream media told him he had to, that he couldn’t go in there with an iron fist and demand change as he would be seen as an ideologue, and would quickly become a pariah.
So he pandered and stumbled. The wars escalated. Banks got bailed out. Health care is now a crises rather than a concern. Israel still dominates Palestine. The list goes on. That’s not to say he hasn’t done anything good, but his mistakes outshine his accomplishments. Why? Because anyone who truly challenges the system will be taken out of the system, in one way or another. Obama’s fear, if not his ego, kept him from pursuing what’s right, so he fell for what’s expected.
For me, Occupy Wall Street was a breath of fresh air, even if half the people talk as if they’ve never read a book and were only there for the cheap weed and drum circles. I don’t resonate as much with the Tea Party, but I do agree that our federal and state governments need to be smaller, more efficient and accountable.
The problems in government reflect the problems in socialism, and the problems in the private sector reflect the problems in capitalism. A perfect society is an illusion because, as Ayn Rand said, people are innately selfish.
We can learn to love and be genuinely selfless, and there are plenty of good people in the world, even in the United States. It is quite possible that a genuinely good American can compete with the most altruistic people in the world, if only because to be good in America is akin to being a thriving lamb among lions. However, as the saying goes, one bad CEO spoils the pool of good CEOs. And there are plenty of bad executives to solidify that sentiment.
Like people, not all companies are bad. Some treat their employees like family and are an example for the rest of us. But this is an expensive proposition, and the temptation to fill our pockets to secure the future of our immediate blood relatives can be too strong to ignore.
If we are a single human family, we certainly don’t act like one. It amazes me that health care is not a basic human right, and that there are people in the United States who would rather see someone die because they didn't have insurance than actually help that person with their medical expenses. It amazes me that we still kill each other over ideas and land, that we act as if one culture has rights that another doesn’t. Why we force countries into debt under the guise of development while enslaving them to corporate interests.
How can we look at our neighbor in need and offer conditional help? It’s as if a person were drowning and our proposition was to them: We will save you, if only you work for me, buy your bread from me, live in my house and pay me rent with the salary I pay you.
How can we all not be ashamed of ourselves? It’s mind-boggling. How can we all sleep at night, knowing that the entire Iraq and Afghanistan war budgets would be enough to practically feed the entire world’s starving population for a lifetime? How can we stand by and watch pharmaceutical companies invade indigenous nations and enslave the populace to their venom while raping the local land of its resources to produce the venom?
Why do we allow companies such as Monsanto to own life, to patent creation, to give them the powers of a god, and then allow these companies to go into indigenous nations under the guise of establishing food security when in reality it enslaves the people to its profit structures? Why do we let for-profit companies own water rights?
Why do we allow governments to be corrupt to the hilt, to get away literally with murder? How is it possible that our military still uses mercenaries? Why do we allow hospitals to charge us ridiculous fees and let insurance companies rape us of our dignity?
The questions are never ending, and the answers don’t even matter. What we need is renewal by cleansing our minds. Our perceptions need a complete overhaul, that’s what matters. The lenses through which we view the world need to be changed. We should no longer see our neighbors or foreign cultures and people as “others” but as true brothers and sisters, in the most natural definition of the term.
If you are Christian, for the love of Christ, act like one. Be one. Ninety-five percent or more of people who call themselves Christian are merely going through embedded motions. Love your enemy as yourself, remember that one?
If you are a Muslim, for the love of Allah, act like one. Be one. Submit yourself to the will of Allah, knowing that Allah is a loving God. God does not need you for his wrath, for he has plenty of methods to express his anger (and plenty of reason to also) that don’t require human violence. If you want to kill infidels, kill first your perception of an infidel, and kill your illusions of the infidel, not the physical body of the infidel.
If you are a Buddhist, be one. Just be. If you are Taoist, be one. Let the river take you where it may. If you are Hindu, let Shiva destroy your material being so that you may be reborn as a spiritual soul.
If you are an agnostic, pursue truth and meaning and never let fear or ego prevent you from seeking understanding. If you are an Atheist, wallow in the joy of the pursuit of knowledge, and seek your own unity with your brothers and sisters. We are all dust, a flash in the pan, a brief sprout of grass on the infinite prairie of time.
If you are an Occupy Wall Street person or a Tea Party participant, let go of your anger and frustration and realize that true change begins internally, with a revolution of the mind. The easiest change starts with physical change, by living differently. The system will change if there is nobody to support it.
Don’t pay your taxes and don’t vote. Establish alternative currencies. Grow your own food. Make your own business. Embrace entrepreneurship. Create your own language. Unplug completely. Use the tools that are available without becoming a slave to these tools. Establish your own sovereign nation by seceding from your country. Avoid hypocrisy at all cost.
Maintain integrity, but keep your ego in check. Your decision benefits you, but you are merely a vessel on the greater vein of a greater organism called social change. We cannot fall victim to the endemic hubris that defines every major society throughout human history. We are all important individuals, but we are even more important as humanity. After thousands of years of completely fucking up our role as stewards of the Earth, it’s time we realized our purpose and lived it.
The Occupy and Tea Party movements will not win, but they also will not lose. The polarization of American politics threatens the status quo, but it also threatens real change. The world is not black and white, and until we can see colors, we will always remain stuck in the illusion of the “other.”
Let’s see the colors for their beauty, not judge them for their differences. We don’t have to radically remove ourselves from society as I suggested, but that is a physical way to ignite change within ourselves. We can all revolutionize our minds, but it is no simple task. It takes courage, strength, and fearless determination. It takes acceptance of humility, and active interpersonal and extra-social engagement.
Until we can all look into the eyes of a wheelchair-bound person and not feel pity but instead feel strength, or until we can watch a murderer and not feel revenge but instead feel forgiveness, or until we never again walk past a helpless person and ignore their cries for help, we will always fail as human beings.
Let’s be human, for once in our lives, and freaking love each other.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Saturday, October 30, 2010
FROM THE FUTURE: Phoenix, Ariz. Nov. 3, 2010. Madness swept the country on the evening of Nov. 2, as voters turned out in record numbers to cast their ballots in what has become the most derisive election year in recent history.
But not a single pundit predicted the unprecedented victory of Paris Hilton’s fingernail cleaner, Rufus Berkowitz. “The Berk,” as he calls himself, received 79 percent of the vote in his home state of Arizona, and became the first legally retarded individual to be elected to public office in the United States.
“Arizona is [a] good state,” The Berk said in his victory speech at the Hooters near Metroman Mall in Phoenix. “Is really, really, really good that those dumb [expletive] ain’t gonna run the show.”
Arizona voters seemed thrilled to have The Berk as their next governor.
When Javier Perez heard the news he took off running like a madman, belting Spanish phrases of jubilation as police officers chased him around the block screaming for his identification. After a thorough background check, DNA analysis and full-cavity body search, the authorities released the 31-year-old painter from Mesa. But Perez would net let the police ruin this special day.
“This is a great day for everyone,” he said, as he removed a wedgie. “Not only is The Berk gonna clean house, he’s gonna make sure that all Mexican laborers get free sandwiches on Fridays.”
The Berk’s passion for Friday feedings of the entire Arizona populace was one of his main running points. Republican incumbent Jan Brewer was shocked at The Berk’s sweep of the election.
“I’m appalled,” Brewer said at her loser’s press conference. “It’s as if the great people of the state of Arizona would prefer to have a retard running things than Mr. [Terry] Goddard or I.”
Democratic candidate Goddard was equally bemused.
“You can’t have a person run the state who can’t even count to 10,” he said. “It’s just not good governance.”
When The Berk learned of his adversaries’ statements, he was filled with anger.
“I can count to 10,” he said. “One, two, [three], four, five, [six], [seven], eight, nine, 10,” he said, to a mix of thunderous applause and confused stares. “Eat that [expletive] Goddard!”
For Linda Brown, a retired court clerk, there was nothing interesting about Goddard or Brewer, but The Berk’s platform spoke to her core values. “Those two don’t have a clue, but The Berk’s a real man,” Brown said, over tacos and tequila at Don Juan’s Taco Taxi in Phoenix. “I worked for the state for 41 years, and I gotta tell you, there’s nothing but crooks and thieves running the place. It’s time for a change. Go get ‘em Berk!”
The Berk also promised to criminalize farting in public, with suggested penalties ranging from forced readings of Sarah Palin’s book Going Rogue, to changing the 13,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs in Al Gore’s mansion. Although harsh, The Berk claims these consequences will deter people from emanating disagreeable odors, a fact which The Berk said “causes the ozone to get [expletive]-up.”
Perhaps the leading factor in The Berk’s win was his impeccable military record, according to political analyst Darryl McCombs of the Nuremberg Institute for Genocidal Rehabilitation and Organizational Education. “A NIGROE poll taken a week before the election indicated that The Berk was favored because of his 139 confirmed kills in Iraq,” McCombs said in his busy office in Waco, Texas. “People also said that they felt like they could trust him, because Paris Hilton trusted him for several months with her fingernails – which aren't even insured!”
As an independent, The Berk stole votes from both sides of the isle, eliciting a fury in the House and Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that she almost choked on her organic tofu tuna veggie burrito when she heard the news of The Berk’s victory. “I’m just glad he’s not coming to Washington,” Pelosi said at her sweatshop in Indonesia. “Arizona could use a little shaking up. Isn’t cocaine legal there?”
The Berk raised an impressive $342 million for the campaign, receiving money from donors such as Mariah Carey, Ryan Seacrest, Hugh Hefner, Lady Gaga, that creepy midget guy whose in all those movies, and Rush Limbaugh. In a statement, Limbaugh said that The Berk is “the right man for Arizona.”
“Listen, all this talk about intelligence is moot,” Limbaugh said. “If intelligence was a prerequisite for public office, how in the hell did George W. make it? Wait a second, are we on record?”
Not to be outdone by stupid statements, Sean “P-Ditty Daddy Corn Puffs” Combs said that he couldn’t believe that a “cream-colored man who hates tacos can be elected in Arizona... But I like the dude. He smells like Purell. I like Purell.”
After Combs’ statement, Purell donated $50,000 to Combs’ charity, Get Out and Vote Even if You’re Uninformed. The Berk was also endorsed by Purell, as well as Walmart, Nike, McDonalds, Starbucks, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the countries of North Korea, Iran and Israel. “Thank God for Citizens United!” The Berk said, in a rare moment of lucidity.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that he was thrilled to finally have something in common with Israel.
“Arizona, although part of the Zionist conspiracy, represents cool stuff,” Ahmadinejad said at a press conference for men. “If The Berk can take Arizona, maybe there is hope for United States and their scantily clad, cleavage-laden, voluptuous, curvy, nipples...” Ahmadinejad then quickly ran off the podium, holding his groin and muttering incoherently.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mostly agreed with Ahmadinejad. “I sometimes have spontaneous emissions as well,” he said. “But only since we’ve been resettling in the Gaza Strip. It feels sooo good to be bad!”
When asked about The Berk, Netanyahu said that he respects the man’s straightforwardness and honesty. “He tells it like it is,” Netanyahu said, over pork sandwiches and oysters overlooking the destruction of squalid Palestinian houses. “Arizona needs a straight shooter, someone who can kick out all the immigrants. That’s the kind of man I would want in my government.”
At the top of The Berk’s list is to establish a public-private partnership with K-Y Brand to develop a sexual lubricant using DNA from pop superstar Madonna. “I used to bang Madonna,” claimed The Berk. “I used to bang all sorts of chicks. I had a threesome with Pelosi and Palin. I don’t discriminate.”
The Berk said that his goal is to save women the “trouble of getting turned on.” Sales of the lubricant will fund sex education in public schools, and could help to reduce tax rates. “It was Palin’s idea,” The Berk humbly admitted. “She’s truly brilliant.”
Palin could not be reached for comment, but her assistant’s personal assistant’s spokesperson said that “Mrs. Palin has never slept with Mr. Berkowitz. She only sleeps with her relatives, and she clearly has no polak in her blood.”
The Berk begins his four-year term in January. He is divorced three times and has nine children by seven mothers, and three children through sperm donations to gay couples.