Monday, March 31, 2008

Mad Scientists?

I seem to be getting a lot of visitors from Seed ("Science Is Culture") Magazine coming over this week. They're discussing what I'm saying, or what to do about me - Attack? Ignore? Laugh? It would be hilarious if it wasn't so (potentially) frightening. I mean, liberals will do anything. As Andrew Klavan wrote (while remarking on the conversion of David Mamet to conservatism):

"He will come to find out just how small-minded, exclusionary and intellectually corrupt many on the left can be."

Or worse. What are scientists capable of? Sure, as one once told me (when I suggested they needed more backbone in the face of NewAge) they're "just a bunch of twits" but that's what makes Libs dangerous: they're fine as long as they think they're in control. But let them get an inkling the sands are moving under their feet, that their power might be an illusion, that their backs are against a wall - any wall - and then, they get crazy.

I've seen it practically every time I've posted a comment on one of the science blogs. They're hardly reasonable, or inquisitive - just hostile. Their minds are made up: no one knows more than them - about anything - and don't you dare suggest otherwise. They know a "fallacy" when they hear one (Oh, boy, do they!) but they don't seem to know much about life. Or conservatism, imagining us all as right-wing religious nuts and fascists.

The idea that conservatives, like me and Panda, could be amongst their ranks (he, as a doctor, and I as an atheist) must startle them because neither of us is a "typical" anything. What to do? What to do?

Here's my suggestion, Folks:

You might as well come with it, because I'm not going away, nor will I shut up - and, meanwhile, TMR's influence is spreading like paint.

And you don't want to get anything on that nice clean lab coat, now do you?

I'm Crazy. She's Crazy. You're Fucking Brilliant

"Define 'New Age Thinking'

Define 'Liberal'

Define 'Conservative'

'Those words mean whatever I want them to mean,' says the Crack Emcee."

-- Apparently another abused "anonymous" so-called science-y asshole of the Left, lost in an intellectual maze of his own construction, and thus, much more comfortable making enemies, with his assumptions and accusations, than learning. And all of this - his mindset, his anger, his lack of inquisitiveness - he blames on me, not NewAge, of course.

Here, let someone from your own side have a shot at it - a selection from Camille Paglia in 1998 - just to show you the similarities, since she and I are looking at the same "scene" (as a conservative, I disagree with her pro-NewAge conclusions). The difference is, having seen the future, I have the benefit of knowing I'm right. Also, if you read her whole column, there's even a bit where she says civilians who've never served their country don't know shit about protecting it - and might not be able to in the future - and I couldn't agree more with her, there, either. Unfortunately, like my accuser, above, Leftists seem incapable of shutting up, listening, and learning - it's all about them. Camille Paglia's wrong about a lot, but when it comes to thinking, she's tougher than the rest of you mental midgets combined:

Dear Camille:

After clandestinely watching the exiting crowd from the Dalai Lama's lecture here in oh-so-politically-correct Madison, Wisc., I am curious as to what your take is on such currently trendy cultural practices as eco-feminism, "natural living" and the broader New Age movement. I for one am paralyzed by the emphasis on "healing" -- are we all so hurt? -- the Mother Nature rhetoric, the narcissistic fetish for self-empowerment and the anti-urban, anti-sex ideology that seems to secretly lie at the heart of it all. What's the deal?

A gay male punk lost in the organic garden (save me ...)

Dear Lost Punk:

Insofar as the New Age movement follows directly from the visionary and prophetic side of the 1960s (which hailed a dawning "Age of Aquarius"), I approve of it.

As a college student, I became very interested in astrology, as well as esoteric folk-sciences like palmistry and Asian forms of divination like the I Ching. I loved the shift toward Asian theories of holistic medicine and Zen-based meditation practices, originating in California, with its rich heritage of Chinese and Japanese immigration. At its best, New Age trance music, which fuses Eastern and Western tonalities (in the Debussy manner), is gorgeous, though it has unfortunately degenerated into the monotonous banalities of Yanni and John Tesh.

We have the New Age movement to thank for the fact that Chinese acupuncture is increasingly an accepted therapy in orthopedic sports medicine and that nutrition is no longer confined to the female ghetto of "dieticians" but has been incorporated into the basic education of physicians. The back-to-nature element in the 1960s, while it had too much sentimental Rousseauism (which misses nature's destructive barbarism), also helped to sound the alert about toxic and carcinogenic pollutants in our air and water after the industrial revolution.

The complex mind-body continuum, which was neglected in Western medicine, with its Cartesian dualism, needs much more systematic investigation. Many apparently telepathic or occult phenomena -- another 1960s theme I have never surrendered -- can probably be explained in scientific ways, if a satisfactory experimental apparatus could be devised (as was attempted, with poor results, at Duke University).

What you find nauseating -- and I utterly agree with you -- is the grim, granola brigade in eco-feminism, with its rigid groupthink and hostile indifference to art. These are the sad-sack people who think the deadly earnest, message-mad Indigo Girls, with their ham-handed strumming, are great musicians. (Send for the vinegar and aspirin!)

The rise of the lipstick lesbians of the 1990s has certainly pushed that kind of separatist, political lesbianism to the periphery, but it still thrives, or should I say suppurates, in insular pockets like Madison or Northampton, Mass., which the tabloids like to call "Lesbianville, USA." Unfortunately, the lipsticks on the whole are so airheaded and have accomplished so little in artistic or intellectual terms that the fascist eco-feminists, with their outmoded communitarianism, still have the ideological advantage.

The worst aspect of this movement is, as you suggest, the obsession with "healing," which predicates modern life (where Western women are the freest of any in world history) as inherently destructive. At its origins, New Age was about expanding consciousness to cosmic range, integrating humanity with nature at its vastest and most awesome. Alas, today's New Age has shrunk down to pampering the wounded "inner child," yet another in the endless American parade of victims.

TMR speaking: Yea, I'd say she pretty much nails it - the 60's, the occult, obsolete feminism, Left-wing fascism, "alternative" medicine, radical environmentalism - all staples of TMR. How it keeps going (even in the science community) is a question you fools will have to answer for yourselves.

Dude Looks Like A Lady

Yea, yea: first there were "news reports" of a pregnant "man". Then, we got the tender photo above, of the swarthy fellow in question. But, now, we've also this little nugget to contend with:

Yea, yea: that's some "man" you've got there; sure is,....I guess that's the woman who got "him" pregnant too. (photos from The Daily Mail in London because feeding us bullshit - instead of correcting it - is apparently our paper of record's job)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Online Science Community: Under The Microscope With The Crack In It (A Series)

In the comments section of a post I recently did on Al Gore, I got challenged on three assertions I made about the science community. They went like this:
1) The science community is made up (almost overwhelmingly) by Leftists, and - like all Leftists - they're not really prone to questioning their own assumptions. Especially the assumption they're not affected by NewAge thinking. (They're too smart - ha, ha: this ain't an I.Q. test, folks,...)

2) They haven't studied cultism, or NewAge's pagan roots, and the sneaky way pagans work on/in society - meaning: how it's worked on them - very well.

3) Like everyone NewAge has affected, they want to be heroes, so they can tell the rest of us what's what.
Because of the way my challenger attacked me (insisting I come at the issue of NewAge thinking, and cultism, as a scientist would; kindly - or arrogantly, depending on your perspective - explaining what a "fallacy" is (man, do those guys love that word), displaying hurt that I would even question the science community's biases when skepticism is supposed to be science's game, etc.) I assume he/she is another Leftist scientist. But there's no way to be sure, because it was an "anonymous" commenter; it wouldn't surprise me though, since (as I just pointed out in my last post) if there's one thing most of the Left lacks, it's the courage to really stand up and be counted.

Ah, but I am starting to count. That's what my challenger asked me to do - analyze the evidence - and see if there's any conclusions that can be drawn from what I find. Keep in mind: I didn't really set out to do this today, but as I was surfing around the web, doing my regular reading, certain things did start to stand out and, since the guy/gal suggested I do it, it occurs to me this actually can be a "teaching moment" for everybody - if only to see themselves through my, admittedly conservative, and more cult-obsessed, eyes.

And one more (I think) very-important point: all the science blogs I'm about to savage like Conan (he-he, except for one) are places I visit because I like them. I don't visit them to punch holes in their theories, or to shake my head and think "these stupid Liberals" - I save all that for political sites. But I go to these blogs to (hopefully) read about some real ideas being discussed by intelligent people who are serious in their intent to get at some kind of truth through the use of the scientific process. Unfortunately - and, at this point, "needless to say" - that's not what I always find and it hurts. I feel really let down.

Also, before I do this, I'd like to add that I'm not picking-and-choosing which blogs I'm going after - these are just a few of the many blogs I've found to be the most popular science-loving, and skeptical, sites around. And (since I was first looking for answers, oh so long ago, regarding NewAge and cultish questions) their biases have blazed like search lights before a club opening.

So that's it. That's all the criteria I'm using.

O.K. - TMR's thoughts on the Left, NewAge, and cultism, in science and skepticism - here's what I got:

Well, first there's P.Z. Myers' blog, Pharyngula, which is subtitled: "Evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal". Hmm.

Shall I go on? Shall I belabor the point? Shall I make you, the reader, have to wonder which of the three categories I'm going to put good ol' P.Z. under? I mean, putting "ejaculations" and "godless" in the same sentence could, as I see it, indicate a tendency towards NewAge thinking (NewAgers love to think of themselves as atheists, even as they suck up to whatever Eastern drek is in vogue, because they stupidly assume atheism is merely their paganistic rejection of Christianity and not the whole "spiritual" kit and kaboodle. They really are like, "Duh" that way. And they like to fuck, but, mind you, they do it "spiritually" for the "energy".)

No, I seriously think the word "liberal" is enough to give P.Z.'s game away and I'll assume nothing else about him at this time, except - no matter how smart he may be in other areas, or whether or not (like a lot of Liberals) he harbors a desire to have his bearded face turned into a glazed doughnut - the man simply doesn't know how to vote in his own best interest.

Next up is one of my favorite blogs, Mike's Weekly Skeptic Rant. Mike has really disappointed me recently - not because of his obvious and regularly proclaimed liberal bias, but because he got rid of that cool picture of himself, smugly looking into the camera wearing Satan's horns (above) which I always thought was a hoot. I'd crack up every time I saw it but, for some reason, he ditched it for that new butt-ugly black-and-white thing; which only serves to remind me that, when it comes to Canadians, there's no accounting for taste (what happened to the photo, Mike?).

Another of the draws that "Big Heathen Mike" has - which I love - is his Friday Punch In The Mouth, which tells me the man ain't as liberal as he pretends. (Liberals hate violence of any kind - even when, or especially when, it comes to the defense of some principle, or even a human being - but not my man, Mike: he just let's 'em fly with the best of 'em, which one can really appreciate at the end of each week.) Why, the guy is even courteous enough to give instructions on how it's done right:

He also serves up excellent examples of, um, "technique":

Come on: a punch to the face doesn't get any better than that.

Unfortunately, like a lot of self-proclaimed liberals, Mike, too, is hung up on Christianity - really hung up on Christianity - so it can tend to taint his perspective on other important (and probably, from an atheistic perspective, more immediate) issues; like the Iraq War, or music (Message to Mike: Dave Matthews is really bad music, Dude. Don't let that shit happen again,....) I thought a guy who gives people a punch in the face just because it's Friday would know all this.

Anyway, as I said, I really do like Mike's blog a lot and, yea, he's another liberal - and a Canadian - but what the hell, he's open about all of it, so I'm in the guy's corner. I just wish he'd bring that photo back: I loved that thing.

Now we come to the Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dumb of the skeptic world: Chris and Mike, The Brothers Hoofnagle. (Yea, "Hoofnagle." Can you believe it?) I've been so offended by this pair (actually, that's not true: Mike is the truly offensive one) that I did a post, a long time ago, specifically about their blog, Since then I've tried to put the knowledge it exists out of my mind.

Are the Hoofnagle's liberal? You betcha. To the point of disgust. And the whole cultish denialism thing - equating people who deny Global Warming to people who deny the Holocaust - is just as offensive.

I really don't have much good to say about anything Mike Hoofnagle is involved in (I hear, Heaven help us, he's getting into medicine). As a matter of fact, I dislike the guy so damn much I'm not gonna speak on him anymore, or put a link to his blog (or a tag in this post) because the less said the better. I mean, I understand: starting out in life, with a name like "Hoofnagle", things must have been hard - but he coulda changed it - and he didn't. So now, no matter how much shit he talks, he's obviously filled with a self-loathing that he can't help but lay on people. But I have news for him: the rest of his bullshit is just more icing on his life's fucked-up cake. My only advice is that he and P.Z. Myers might consider putting an ad on Craig's List together or something. You know, for "frosting."

And finally (for now) comes one of the Queen Bees of the science world: Orac, Orac, Orac, of Respectful Insolence. (All hail, Orac.) This guy is one of the more interesting cases out there in Science World:

On the one hand, he can come off as an extremely reasonable and likable guy, putting the boot to groups that deserve a swift kick to the keester, like creationists and those silly (yet dangerous to children) antivaccinationists. On the other hand, Orac IS a liberal, and - even though he does a regular feature called Your Friday Dose of Woo - I've always found him to be kind of a NewAge apologist. Actually, that's not a totally accurate description, so let me clarify:

Much like being an agnostic gives believers a bit of wiggle room (what do you mean, you're not sure there's no god?) in the time I've known of Orac, he has from time-to-time been pretty credulous when it comes to the picture of normalcy that NewAge cultists have tried to paint for themselves. Now, this could be because of what I perceive as the man's overall attempts to be decent, and fair, but - being a liberal - it also stinks up the joint with the sickly-sweet smell of male cowardice.

Of all the science bloggers, who have been at it for a while, Orac is probably the best positioned to be a major general in the fight against NewAge influence in science and medicine: he's young, quite knowledgeable, and quick with a quip when he needs one. But he's, also, so caught up in the liberal culture of the scientific community that he can't see the forest for the trees. Even he seems to recognize it, like recently, when he mentioned a Panda Bear, M.D. post on "alternative medicine" that forced him to admit the major difference in their approaches. Orac said:
"Panda's muscling in on my territory and doing a frighteningly good job of it, too. I may not always agree with his politics (in fact, I frequently don't), but he definitely knows how to deal with woo."
Yes he does. Muscling in on your territory? Dude, he's kicking your fucking ass. He's wiping your territory off on his pantleg. He's taking the candy from the baby - woo-wooing the whole time - and there ain't shit you can do about it, Dad, because - let's face it - you ain't man enough.

And, oh please, let me be the first to point out that he's doing it using the exact same approach I've been asking people like Orac to assume from the very first (I say "asking" because they've, mostly, been so full of themselves - based only on their knowledge, and use, of big-assed words - that they've always demanded some form of subservience before they'd even consider the wisdom of anybody who couldn't be bothered to show off):

Panda Bear speaks clearly, and repeatedly makes it known that NewAge shit is whack - all of it - no further discussion necessary.

Panda Bear clearly, and repeatedly, makes it known that NewAge nonsense should be referred to as "nonsense".

Panda Bear clearly, and repeatedly, makes it known that those NewAge medical and scientific beliefs and practices that involve cultists should be called "cults" - not "quasi-religious", or "spiritual", or whatever other wannabe-respectful term the liberal scientists have been searching to use, so as to, both, avoid saying the word and/or to avoid the appearance of prejudice. But your dumb asses should be prejudiced: the NewAgers are attacking you in your own fucking house!!!

Panda Bear clearly, and repeatedly, criticizes the medical and scientific communities for falling for NewAge - with the same bravado he uses on NewAge itself - and he judges hospitals especially guilty for taking the "easy money" that is, obviously, the life blood of the whole NewAge enterprise.

Oh, and Panda Bear has TMR on his blogroll, while clearly, and repeatedly, telling everyone to read the damn thing, so they can understand NewAge, politics, and a whole bunch of other things some of you science assholes know waaay too little about - like how to treat people when they come to you for help.

You heard me: TMR doesn't exist just so science folks can troll, and point, and say, "heh-heh" (like they're Beavis and Butthead, and I'm science's circus freak because I actually suffered something bad because of NewAge) it's here because your stupid asses might actually need to learn something. Yea, from little ol' me. (Imagine that.)

Not only has the science community's behavior over the years been stupid, and juvenile, but it's been (excessively) cruel: you guys are a fine example of Liberal Fascism. I first came to you for help. And what did I get? You called me names; you took potshots at my divorce (how hard is that? I'm divorced - Ooohh); you joked about NewAge - which is, mostly, all you do - and right in front of me, when I told you I had a death involved and it wasn't a laughing matter. What are you guys doing now? Going on about whatever other "study" is out? (A "study" of homeopathy? Are you kidding me?) You guys may see yourselves as defenders of some great ideal but, let me tell you, from where I stand, you are nothing like how you see yourselves. You're not even close. It's no wonder woo is making inroads into science and medicine, because, honestly, the only people buying what you're selling is you. Everybody else is ignoring you.

Personally, I think it's wild - and fitting - that a conservative, Christian, veteran of the United States Marines (Hooah!) and not one of the many wonderfully wimpy atheists from England (i.e. Richard Dawkins, etc., who I love) is the one to finally open Orac's eyes to his own (major) failings in this regard. I just wish it coulda been me.

But - as we're all seeing in this presidential campaign season - for some mysterious reason, being a passionate black guy, and one that's trying to be on the same American team, just doesn't seem to cut it in Liberal circles,...though no one can exactly put their finger on why. I figure it's just the liberal tendency towards hypocrisy. I mean, isn't hypocrisy really the shame of Liberalism - or what they're calling being "progressive"? Whatever. That's a problem for someone else - I'm a conservative - and I gotta go.

I hope this very first post in this series has indicated *something* worthwhile to y'all in the science community (a lot of libs so far) but, I imagine, it won't. I expect the usual sniping, nitpicking, name-calling, and assorted cheap shots you typically fall back on, but that's O.K. - I'm a big boy - and haven't been given any reason to expect anything better. You're Liberals, Feminists, NewAgers, and Wimps.

Hardly the types that can handle The Macho Response

Part II can be found here.

The Democratic Campaign: Roaring Like A Lion

Oops - I should send a shout out to the Neo-Neocon for this video: it's only right, right?

And Laura's Going To Lead All The Libraries,...

"George W. Bush and/or George H.W. Bush bought hundreds of thousands of acres in Paraguay, adjoining a similar spread owned by the Unification Church's Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Both massive parcels are hidden within a remote South American wilderness atop the world's biggest freshwater aquifer adjoining a secret U.S. military airbase. Oh, and there's a special non-extradition law to protect the Bush/Moon families as they enjoy their old age and run drug/weapons smuggling rings, safe from American justice. And they'll own all the drinking water in the world, or something."
-- Ken Layne, describing the "greatest weirdest Bush conspiracy" on

Nobody mentions Laura Bush very much - because she's no Hillary Clinton - so, in honor of the First Lady, I'd like to add this other arresting photo I found:

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dick Dawk's Science Rap (Yeeaaa, Booeeey!!!)

With dope-ass cameos by The Ultra CD, MC Hitch, Daddy Dennett, and the rest of The Atheist Crew,...

State of the Union

"The always-brilliant [Tracy] Ullman imitates some seriously foolish human beings,...and has a sharp eye for the precise ways in which Americans are ludicrous and laughable and deliciously self-satisfied, and she knows just how to demonstrate our vanity to us, whether she embodies [global warming fanatic] Laurie David bragging about her friend's minivan that runs on 'cadavers and goat shit' or an African celebrity who adopts an American boy to save him from 'dying of stupidity',...In another episode, [anchorwoman Linda] Alvarez cheerfully tells the camera, 'Coming up after the break, five things in your refrigerator that can kill you!'"

-- From Heather Havrilesky's review of "Tracey Ullman's State of the Union" (10 p.m. on Showtime)

Another Passionate Pastor, Valiantly Saving Souls, And Doing It One Breast At A Time

RIVERSIDE, Ohio - Police say a pastor who was reported missing from his home in western New York has been found - at an Ohio strip club.

A police officer patrolling the K.C. Lounge parking lot Friday morning in the Dayton suburb of Riverside spotted out-of-state license plates on 46-year-old Craig Rhodenizer's car.

The FBI and New York authorities had been searching for Rhodenizer, who disappeared Wednesday after telling his wife he was getting his computer fixed at Best Buy. Rhodenizer is the pastor of a church in Lyndonville, N.Y.

Detective Matt Sturgeon said Rhodenizer was disoriented when confronted by police and said he felt "emotionally guilty."

-- The Associated Press

Yea, but I bet he also felt "spiritually refreshed",...

[photo, above, of Jimmy Swaggart in his heyday.]

Driving People Crazy With Worry - Don't Forget About That - That You Can Do As Well: Yes, That Seems To Definitely Be An Option Now'a'days

"The average American produces about 20 tons of the major greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) every year. That might sound like a lot — and Americans do have among the biggest carbon footprints in the world — but the entire world emits around 27 billion tons of CO2 each year, through transportation, electricity use, deforestation. Look at those numbers for a moment, and you'll realize there's very little that any of us can do on an individual level to stop climate change. Live like a monk, take away your 20 tons — stop breathing if you'd like — and you'll barely scratch the surface."
-- Bryan Walsh, writing for TIME Magazine.

Because (As We All Know) The Simpsons, Britney Spears - And The Feel Of A $5 Bill - Can Fuck Up Your Judgement About Everything

MOSCOW (AP) - Seven women who had holed up in a cave for months [with] other members of a Russian cult awaiting the end of the world emerged Friday night and were being treated by emergency workers, regional officials said.

More than two dozen others remained behind but were expected to come out as early as Saturday, the governor's office said.

About 35 members of the Christian cult entered the cave near the village of Nikolskoye, 400 miles southeast of Moscow, in early November to await the end of the world, which they expected in May. They threatened to detonate gas canisters if police tried to remove them by force.

The vice governor of the Penza region, Oleg Melnichenko, said in televised comments that the seven women came out voluntarily, carrying satchels with their belongings. He said the cult leader, the self- declared prophet Pyotr Kuznetsov, was brought from a local psychiatric hospital to help persuade the women to leave.

He said the women walked on their own nearly a mile to a prayer house, where emergency workers were talking with them, the RIA-Novosti news agency reported.

"There is no reason to urgently hospitalize any of them," Melnichenko was quoted as saying.

Another official in the governor's office, who gave only his first name, Alexander, said the other cult members still in the cave were expected to give up their vigil, perhaps by Saturday. He said four children, reportedly under age 2, were among those in the cave.

Melnichenko said officials feared that melting snow could eventually lead to the collapse of the cave, but there was no immediate threat to those who remained behind.

Officials had repeatedly enlisted the help of priests from the Orthodox Church in an effort to persuade the group to leave, communicating mainly through a small chimney pipe that poked up through the snowy hillside.

Earlier this week, Melnichenko told reporters that some of the cult members had indicated they might leave the cave on Orthodox Easter, which is April 27.

Kuznetsov has been charged with setting up a religious organization associated with violence. Earlier this week, officials said they had seized literature that included what appeared to be extremist rhetoric. He has been confined to a psychiatric hospital since November.

An engineer from a devout family, Kuznetsov, who goes by the title of Father Pyotr, declared himself a prophet several years ago. He left his family and established the True Russian Orthodox Church and recruited followers in Russia and Belarus.

He reportedly told followers that, in the afterlife, they would judge whether others deserved heaven or hell.

Followers were not allowed to watch television, listen to the radio or handle money, Russian media reported.

[underlined emphasis TMR's]

Friday, March 28, 2008

Quackery: I Nose It When I Sees It



Any questions?

Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf?

"I think that those people are in such a tiny, tiny minority now with their point of view, they’re almost like the ones who still believe that the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona and those who believe the world is flat. That demeans them a little bit, but it's not that far off."
-- From Al Gore's up-coming interview, on 60 Minutes, where he disses Global Warming skeptics while declaring himself the "P.R. agent for the planet"

"[Naomi] Wolf has become an image consultant, Time reported,...Vice President Al Gore paid Wolf thousands of dollars a month for advice on presentation, from the tones of his speeches to the color tones of his wardrobe. The Washington Post relayed that Wolf 'has long contended that earth tones are more 'reassuring' to audiences'' and that she is 'the person behind Gore's recent wardrobe change.'"
-- From Jodi Kantor's 1999 article on Naomi Wolf in

O.K., Naomi says earth tones are "reassuring" (where'd she get that from?) and, now, Al is wearing brown and he's all fired up for yours truly to "save the planet" - if I don't do as he says, I'm crazy, right? So, my hippie-dippy nature-loving friends, what in the world could this one lone city-dwelling nigga have for you to combat that shit?

Well, though I was born and raised in California, I've lived in, and studied, Europe - really studied it - and, heavens to Betsy, I read. So, prepare to get your minds blown, assholes:
* p. 9: The four significant social reform groups of this era were: Wandervogel (free spirit/migrating bird); Naturmenschen (natural men); Lebensreform (life reform); and Monte Verita (mountain of truth), the community at Ascona, Switzerland; a precursor to Esalen in Big Sur, California.

* p. 61: The people of Ascona refused eggs, milk, meat, salt and alcohol. Nature cure was a powerful idea in the German mind, and was a widespread and profound rebellion against science and professionalism.

On August 20, 1903, a newspaper in San Francisco, California published a large article about Ascona/Monte Verita, describing the people and their philosophies. This was certainly one of the first times that detailed news of the European counter-culture had reached the California coast.

Although Ascona died out after 1920, the spirit of it was reborn in California at Big Sur in the 1960s, with Esalen Institute becoming a "Monte Verita" on the Pacific.
-- From "A Pictorial Anthology from Germany to California: 1883-1949", which I got - along with that cool (and eye-opening) 1917 photo of back-to-nature German proto-hippie Bill Pester in California - from Chris Locke's awesome Mystic Bourgeoisie. He got the photo from a site called Hippie Roots and the Perennial Subculture. There you can find this quote as well:
"Germany had always made a virtue of their late submission to Latin civilization and had glorified the natural man and woman with all of their virtues and vices. Over 2000 years ago (about 51 B.C.) Julius Caesar noted of the Germans: 'The only beings they recognize as gods are things that they can see, and by which they are obviously benefited, such as sun, moon and fire; the other gods they have never even heard of.'"
Those "ancient teachings" are some pretty hippie shit,...

So do you get it yet? This is leftover pagan shit, y'all! Al and Naomi just put earth-toned lipstick on a NewAge pig! (And Al is looking rather piggish these days,...)

But - I know you're going to say it - science (which I claim to love) supports it! True, but my talks with scientists have taught me three things:

1) The science community is made up (almost overwhelmingly) by Leftists, and - like all Leftists - they're not really prone to questioning their own assumptions. Especially the assumption they're not affected by NewAge thinking. (They're too smart - ha, ha: this ain't an I.Q. test, folks,...)

2) They haven't studied cultism, or NewAge's pagan roots, and the sneaky way pagans work on/in society - meaning: how it's worked on them - very well.

3) Like everyone NewAge has affected, they want to be heroes, so they can tell the rest of us what's what.

Don't you dare forget any of this, people - especially the desire to slander the non-believers as the whack-jobs:

Like Hillary Clinton's presidential "inevitability"; the Left's ability to end the war after winning both houses of government; the bogus claims about "over-flowing landfills", or any of the other bullshit beliefs the Left has sold as accepted fact, I'm pretty confident Global Warming, too, will come apart. If I'm wrong, I'll admit it - hey, I'm just one black guy: merely "a tiny, tiny minority" (in more ways than one) - but, if I'm right, this should be the final proof needed that, for the last 40+ years, Americans have been played for suckers in a world-wide NewAge scam to shift our priorities, from what's really important to mankind, to what those with pagan-based beliefs have desired for thousands of years. Watch:

Like all scams, it's only a matter of time, and the blow-back for something of this magnitude - just for the sheer arrogance of believing they could force Europe's medieval mindset into America's modern era (and almost got away with it) - should be ferocious. Just like when this latest round of bullshit began:

Land Of The Lost

"[Charles] Dalton is what you might call a career spiritualist. Raised Catholic in Baltimore, he switched to Hinduism as a teen and moved to Hawaii, where he learned yoga and ate a strict diet of sprouts and tofu. Eight years later he became a Buddhist. Then he moved to Berkeley to work as a massage therapist. Dalton found out about the laws of attraction fifteen years ago, after answering an East Bay Express personal from someone who wanted to study the teachings of best-selling author and motivational speaker Esther Hicks.

In his meet-up group and private consultation business, Dalton provides distilled versions of Hicks' teachings — cribbed from a CD of recorded lectures and a series of books with titles like
Ask and It Is Given — along with lessons gleaned from Rhonda Byrne in her popular 2006 book The Secret, which followed on the heels of an ubiquitous self-help DVD of the same name. All of these texts promote a similar "Law of Attraction" — the notion that "like attracts like" — with slight variations in presentation. Hicks, for instance, claims that her entire text is received from a group of divine beings, collectively dubbed "Abraham." Several of these guides became publishing phenomena. Most popular of all was The Secret, which garnered fervent endorsements from Larry King, Ellen DeGeneres, and Oprah, who assured, in a 2006 interview with King, that "the message of The Secret is the message that I've been trying to share with the world on my show for the past 21 years."

Dalton, who typically starts his group off by chiming a Tibetan bell and plays meditation music throughout, says that he actually knew about the law of attraction years before Byrne rendered it a household name. But he doesn't begrudge her success. After all, Byrne and Hicks gave him the ammo to turn a spiritual muse into a bona fide business venture. He's in good company. Other entrepreneurs like Walnut Creek massage therapist Tamara Shulim and Alameda life coach Nicola Ries Taggart have launched their own consulting businesses or meet-up groups, some of which reprise teachings they got from the bestsellers."

- From an East Bay Express article describing how the uncredentialed citizens of the San Francisco Bay Area are maintaining a strong attachment to, and starting businesses based on, the magical thinking woo of The Secret long after the fad has passed.

The Posse's Arriving

"Ottawa has cracked down on dozens of Canadian-based scams promising cancer cures or treatments that do nothing for the naïve other than separating them from their money and potentially harming their health by luring them away from legitimate medical care,...we’re told that similar Internet sweeps of fraudulent health claims are now also being conducted in the USA and Mexico as part of a continent-wide initiative to root out scams. Agencies in each country also target misleading medical advertising in all forms, and the penalties can be substantial."

- From the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) website

Our Long National NewAge Nightmare Is Over: Ding, Dong, The Witch Is Dead - Hillary Rodham Clinton's Campaign Of Terror Is Now Finished

GI Joe,...wrote in to a news blog: "Actually Mrs. Clinton was too modest. I was there and saw it all. When Mrs. Clinton got off the plane the tarmac came under mortar and machine gun fire. I was blown off my tank and exposed to enemy fire. Mrs. Clinton without regard to her own safety dragged me to safety, jumped on the tank and opened fire, killing 50 of the enemy." Soon a suicide bomber appeared, but Mrs. Clinton stopped the guards from opening fire. "She talked to the man in his own language and got him [to] surrender. She found that he had suffered terribly as a result of policies of George Bush. She defused the bomb vest herself." Then she turned to his wounds. "She stopped my bleeding and saved my life. Chelsea donated the blood."

- From Peggy Noonan's column on Hillary Clinton's lies finally catching up with her in the Wall Street Journal

Listen Here, Satan, You And I Have Got To Have Ourselves A Little Talk About The NYT,...

To kill a man, Alejandro Gallegos García explains, all you need is a black cloth doll, some thread, a human bone and a toad. Oh, and you must ask the devil permission, in person, at a cave in the hills where he is said to appear.

Assuming you have these things, plus the green light from the prince of darkness, you simply lash the doll to the bone, shove it down the unfortunate toad’s throat, sew up its lips and take the whole mess to a graveyard, reciting the proper words.

“The person will die within 30 days,” Mr. Gallegos said matter of factly, as if he were talking of fixing a broken carburetor. (The toad dies too, by the by.)

“There exists good and bad in the world, there exists the devil and God,” he went on, turning a serpent’s fang in his rough fingers. “I work in white magic and in black magic. But there are people who dedicate themselves only to evil.”

From James C. McKinley's article on witchcraft in Mexico, which appeared in The New York Times. (1950's style portrait of "Satan" by The Crack Emcee)

Just a few thoughts on this piece: why does The New York Times keep feeding us this kind of shit? Is their credibility so shot full of holes they just don't care about their reputation anymore? I mean, if I needed to read the words of some idiot from Mexico, talking some "Mary Window in the bathroom" bullshit, can't I just give a fucking illegal immigrant some bad acid and cut out the middleman? Do I really need a newspaper for this? They're not going to do anything about it, so why bother covering it? And, considering this exact same type of scam was just debunked in India (which I notice the NYT didn't bother covering, just as they don't do anything on the work of James Randi or any other skeptics) isn't the NYT just announcing it's editors are as gullible as the next fool?

Next, in the article, they say this bullshit artist, Alejandro Gallegos García, "melds European and native traditions in his work, a special brew of occultism he learned from his uncle." Got that? They said it: "occultism". So there is a world-wide cadre of believers in the occult - it's not just my imagination - and it's got European traditions (also not just my imagination). One guy, Héctor Betaza Domínguez (who calls himself a "“master of occult sciences") says "people come to see him from all over Mexico and from major cities in the United States" so I ain't imagining what I'm finding, here, either. Why isn't the NYT asking hard questions about that shit? What are these people doing? Why do we allow these fruit loops to move amongst us, anonymously, spreading their nonsense and messing up the lives of people who are unaware of what they do? Check out this quote from the same article:

The Rev. Tomás Alonso Martínez has the unenviable job of parish priest in a town best known as a haunt of the devil and witches. “It’s farce,” he said, “a lie, a fraud.”

In his five years in Catemaco, Father Martínez says he has seen so-called witches practice all sorts of confidence schemes, extracting money from gullible and vulnerable people.

One common trick is to tell someone he is hexed and then remove the hex for a fee. Another is to tell people they are sick, then offer them a traditional cure for an outlandish sum.

“They attribute to themselves power they cannot have,” the priest said. “The fundamental problem that exists with these people is that there are people who believe them. Anyone can set themselves up as a witch.”

Got it? These are criminals, who prey on the gullible, but nobody goes after them. So they freely cause all kinds of havoc in the lives of the innocent - the "collateral damage" - the people who don't know their friends, family members, whoever, are indulging in this nonsense and funding quackery, criminality, and domestic mayhem. The cost to individual lives, not to mention society, has to be enormous.

This whole enterprise - the article, the "practitioners", the gullible - make me sick to my stomach. Good people are getting hurt. But all it means to the likes of the NYT is a chance to run another "human interest" story. The bastards:

Newspaper investigations used to also be known for doing some good.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It's The Latest Fucking Thing

*Click on the artwork to enlarge.

This Buddhist goes up to a hotdog vendor; gives him a $20 and says, "Make me one with everything." The vendor fixes a dog with the works; hands it to the Buddhist, and says "Change comes from within."

Yea, I got a million of 'em, but a shout goes out to Elizabeth for this one - Ha! - comic relief, indeed!