Over the past nine years I have obsessed over the news. I've done this at the expense of everything else. During those 9 years I've had so little social interaction that I can't even hold a conversation anymore. While you were spending time with friends, going on vacations, watching tv or movies the chances are good I was reading the news from every source I could find. So what have I learned from this experience? First of all, at our base level, human beings are animals, and in some cases even worse. Hell you could even argue that we make animals look enlightened, because they're all instinct while we can think and reason and yet with that wonderful gift we still do such horrible things to each other. The second thing I learned is that the majority of us are happy to let anything happen to anyone and go along with anything so long as it doesn't disturb our day to day lives. Hell, for many the only cause they'd stand up for is to shut someone else up for standing up for something and rocking the boat, potentially making their lives uncomfortable. As far as I can tell, most would rather be ignorant sheep in the lap of relative luxury, even if it means sacrificing their future or the future of everyone for comfort now. If history has taught us anything, it is that if you don't stand up for what is right, everything slides into slavery and decay. Civilization Requires maintenace and guardians and an engaged population. Without them... Thirdly, and I mean this sincerely, everything is breaking down. From every level. Societal, environmental, economical, political, every system is in the process of collapse. What will you do to protect yourself? Fourthly, I've tried to do my part. I am stating this from ignorance - i wasn't there - but this, given population density and instant communication technology and fast travel by planes (how many years did Caesar spend sailing between Rome and Egypt with no cell phone?) - this has to be the most interesting period of history in the history of the world (Grant Williams, at least, would agree with me). So I attempted to catalog it for future generations. I've downloaded millions upon millions of news publications, educational materials, entire sites, blogs, comments in the hope i could save them for the future and people could learn from them. Finally, I'd love to leave you with a message of hope, but that would be a lie. In the beggining of this journey there was always this glimmer of light pointing toward a brighter future--one where pain and poverty faded into history. For awhile there, I did see this light, faint and far away for sure, but always there. But as the years went by and I delved deeper into the human condition and learned more and more that light that was always constant, started flickering and sputtering, and it wasn't long after that that it went out for good. We will destroy ourselves. But take heart, no life means no pain. And that is the ultimate lesson i've learned after all this time learning all I can. No more children weeping and starving in the night, no more abuse, rape, or neglect. No more hatred or greed or unfounded egotism. Just null. When you add it all up and plug it into a bar chart, the pain and suffering of the world bar reaches high into the heavens, while the joy and happiness bar doesn't even escape earth's gravity. There is no justice in this. A system so imbalanced, where a few get to enjoy life at the expense of the most who feel the worst life has to offer does not deserve to stand. But going back to what I said earlier, you will defend your right to feast, even if it means the other 99% of your fellow human beings starve to death while wallowing in the darkest misery. And for that alone, humanity has no legitimacy. Null means no one feels anything. Embrace it. Null is the only true justice. The pain and suffering quotent of the world far far far outweighs the laughter and joy. There really is no contest. We will destroy ourselves, but we will be better off, and to be sadly honest with you, the sooner the better. And remember, this is coming from someone who was paying attention while you were vacationing... I hope you enjoyed yourself. -Jason Watton Update 06-08-17 5:02pm: maybe i am wrong, maybe there is hope. I see it in my son's face when it lights up with a smile - more beautiful than anything i've ever seen. Maybe I am wrong, I hope i am. Afterall, as i mentioned in a document on this site you could easily find and read but you haven't read and won't bother to: "she was burning in the sunset" just like an angel, just like my son whenever he smiles. When all is said and done, can beauty be worth more than all the darkeness, sorrow, and pain? You tell me.... Because I can only hope.

a fortiori
Sound and Fury
Lessons Learned
Metronome









tritorch balance




Dashboard

Terminal Delusion

Broken Ocean

Kingdom of Crime

Force Dynamics

Crisis of Realization

Strike at the Root

Apathy Tragedy

Logical Fallacies

Bias Spectrum

Non-Libertarian
FAQ


The Anti-Economy

Mind Contamination
Rated G


  Balance Wordplay    


tritorch balance


Introductory Note 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ______________



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As far as i'm concerned patriotism has only one useful connotation: Loyalty to your fellow human beings. This means that you treat others with respect and that you do not exploit them.

To all you vulture capitalists who ship your jobs to factories abroad in order to access slave labor from impoverished souls while leveraging their lax environmental laws so you can offload the cost and consequences of your pernicious externalities onto them: YOU are traitors.

Forget borders, race, creed, gender, or color: we are all one people, and those who would knowingly and maliciously exploit our ignorance or desperation for personal profit are traitors to humanity.

That is the true nature of patriotism: it transcends the petty trappings of tribalism. It is not blind allegiance to your imaginary state, but loyalty to your fellow human being - regardless of where they live - and to the biosphere which sustains them and makes their lives abundant and possible.

Would you work or allow your children to work for hours on end in sweatshops for peanuts, breathing in - up close, day after day - the same toxic chemicals poisoning your home and farmland while the profits of your labor are funneled to the executives of the very corporations exploiting and poisoning you, your loved ones, your neighbors, your friends? If your answer is "no" then you have no right to ask or expect anyone else to do the same.
-Jason Watton

"I hate patriotism... I can't stand it. It's a round world last time I checked."
-Bill Hicks

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        Give me four years to teach the children and
        the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.

        -Lenin

        With regard to the human mind, culture and
        peer pressure are the two most powerful
        forces in the universe.

        -i

I do not believe in choice. Where others see choice i see mathematical equations filled with variables the chooser has no control over which determine the choice for them.

Given that, I believe that it is critical to our future that we recognize this and act on the knowledge. For only when we can all come to an understanding that we tend to be only as moral and as fortunate as the circumstances our unchosen birth and development allow - the cycles of poverty and violence in poor neighborhoods bare this unfortunate reality - can we retire our damning pointing fingers and work to ensure that all environments are improved and that each of our unique needs are catered to.

If life and the choices derived from it are indeed nothing more than deterministic calculations, we must take that knowledge by the horns and work to improve those calculations for everyone.


Proclamation: I do believe in choice and on what grounds you make your decisions. I don't think it's even close to involuntary.


Ah but the grounds are always shifting beneath our feet aren't they?

You're assuming that you choose the grounds leading up to your choices, but you do not. Take the people you respect as an example: Had you been born during the slavery era your grounds for respect might have been how much whip skill your fellow plantation owner exhibits when doling out lashings to his slaves. Had you been on the boat with Columbus you may have respected the way your shipmates managed to rape the native Lucayan girls without getting a scratch. Had you been a settler, you may have admired the careful way your local soldier passed out the smallpox blankets to the Indians without catching the disease.

I know those examples sound provocative but they're not meant to be, nor are they an attack against you as they apply to everyone. Now you may be reflexively disagreeing or you may be soul searching and trying to figure out if - had you been born during those eras - you would have been capable of those things but if you are you're doing so from the vantage point of a different person than who you would have been if you had and as a result such speculation is useless. Furthermore, in the event that your unique physiological makeup did indeed prevent you from acting in that way regardless of the environment your psyche was fermented in (which is extremely unlikely) it still doesn't matter, nor does it make you any more righteous than anyone else. Why? Because you didn't choose your physiological makeup any more than the environment which sculpted it - you were merely lucky enough to hit the pick six in compassion roll of the genetic dice.

The alternative is to believe that if you had been there and raised in those same cultures and circumstances that you alone would have stood tall against the forces of immorality among millions who have not throughout history. That you are the ray of light in the darkness. The human embodiment of that shining city on the hill. That you, through your own innate virtue and purity, are simply impervious to corruption, cultural conditioning, peer pressure and propaganda, and never experience any of the ingredients of depravity which might steer your actions away from the moral: distrust, paranoia, fear, envy, greed, inferiority, superiority, hate. In summary: that you are just better than the countless unpitiable masses who - through clear fault of their own - failed to live up to the moral standards you specifically chose to adopt and would always adopt in all possible scenarios no matter your experiences, influences, or education level (wait, did you choose to adopt them or are they just your unchosen nature? There's a conflict here, can you see it?). Take a moment and try to get a handle on the level of narcissism and conceit such a view of your psyche requires in order to prevent it from collapsing in on itself from its own weight.

So now that we've established that the grounds from which you stand to make your choices are not of your choosing, let's drill down into the choice itself.

Imagine that you go to the ice cream shop and when asked what flavor you'd like you think about it for a moment and choose chocolate. Let's examine this scenario:

1) You didn't choose that you like chocolate. What pleases your taste-buds are not of your choosing.

2) You can only choose chocolate because coco exists.

3) You can only choose chocolate because someone decided to make it into ice cream.

4) You can only choose chocolate because someone distributes it and transportation exists to get it to you.

5) You can only choose chocolate because the earth hasn't been destroyed by a meteor.

6) Universe exists.

7) Universe supports life (and chocolate ice cream).

8) And on it goes.

So the grounds from which you stand to make your chocolate choice are not of your making, you are merely the privileged benefactor-ette of a society in a universe that managed to keep itself together long enough to fulfill all the prerequisites required for you to go home a happy chocolate ice cream customer.

But again, forget the grounds from which you make your choice and let's think about the choice itself. Imagine if after you made your decision for chocolate I reset the universe back to the point before you made your choice (i restored every variable in the universe to the state it was in prior to your determination), and you made your choice again. Do you think you would make a different choice?

What if i reset it ten more times?
A hundred?
Million?
Trillion?

Now stop and REALLY think about this. Would you ever make a different choice? If I kept resetting the universe till the end of time, would you ever decide differently?

Barring chaos theory (which we'll discuss in a minute), the answer is no, you would never make a different choice. In the same way that 2+2 always equals 4, the sum of all the variables leading up to that choice always equaled chocolate and the only way they could ever equal anything else - regardless of how many times I reran the calculation - is if one of those variables were changed. Thus the choice is deterministic: Merely the result of a mathematical calculation filled with trillions of variables not one of which you exercised even the slightest bit of independent control over. And just like the chocolate choice, every choice you have ever made and every choice you will ever make is on rails.

Those rails are a physiological makeup you did not choose interacting with an environment you did not choose which produces an individual in which every choice he makes is a calculation created from the fusion of both. When thinking of choice imagine a random number generator. The choice itself is the random number and can always be traced back to the seed (environment/physiological makeup interaction).

1) If the universe is reset and the choice itself or the result of the choice both stay the same then the choice and the result are both on rails. Thus it is not independent choice but a deterministic calculation filled with variables (like your tastebud's preferences) beyond your control.

Now you may be saying, "no sir, i'm sure eventually i would make a different choice because of the uncertainty principle (or chaos theory). Eventually enough wave functions would collapse a certain way and i would choose strawberry."

And sure that's certainly possible, but it doesn't make you any more capable of making an independent choice than you could before because all the uncertainty principle is doing is adding a sprinkling of chaos to the choice and you don't control the chaos any more than you control any of the other variables.

Or you may be saying you'd eventually choose another flavor because the human brain is special and can act independently of the universe around it, and the underlying mathematics which run it. In which case i say that sounds hard to believe, but if true you still don't control the randomness function of your brain any more than the chaos function of the universe, and as such your choices would still either always come out the same, or be randomized by a chaos engine you don't have the keys for or have a license to drive. By definition randomness can not be controlled.

But wait, why would it have to be random? What if during one of those universe reset thingys i simply changed my mind about chocolate and decided vanilla was the flavor for me?

Just think about what you're saying. You decided on chocolate. Out of all the available flavors, that was the one you desired the most. Even if it was like a really close match, with chocolate edging out vanilla only by the tiniest of hairs, chocolate still won. Heck, even if you couldn't decide and just picked one in what you thought was a random manner, chocolate still won. Free will cannot be a wishy washy type of deal and still be called free will. If you change your mind when nothing else has changed then you are not exercising free will. At that point something else is at work beyond your control, and you are just along for the ride (and getting gypped out of chocolate ice cream to boot).

2) If the universe is reset and the choice itself or the result of the choice changes then it is random. Thus it is not independent choice but a calculation that contains random "chaos" variables beyond your control.

All of this can be neatly tied together by remembering the movie Groundhog Day, and how Bill is able to bend the entire town to his will through trial and error. Figuring out how to manipulate someone was merely a matter of trying different combinations of inputs until he got the desired result - like opening a safe. Choice isn't choice when it's directed entirely by the whims of the environment you're in at the time. At that point it's merely a mathematical exercise, no different than a computer simulation or a boat with no rudder sailing on an ocean of pure fate. To recognize this all one has to do is take a glance at how trivial it is to manipulate and shape thought:

Grew up with dogs <---- Click Here
This Is Your Brain On Terrorism
Puppet On A String
Severely Abused
Live In A Cave (thought experiment)
People Can Be Convinced They Committed A Crime That Never Happened
Timing Affects Moral Decisions
Environment Affects Brain Structure
Income Affects Brain Structure
You Are Two
The King's Speech (2010)



Choice. Free will. Self-determination. These are the battle cries of us unimaginably privileged few who look down from our ivory perches and pass judgement on the actions of those less fortunate. We no more chose the circumstances leading to our charmed ascent to the top of that perch than those on the ground chose to live under our scorn. Worse still, most of us are completely oblivious to the very privilege which builds and maintains that perch. Morality then becomes an exercise in self-examination, awareness, and acknowledgement of that privilege (problem awareness), and then from that new perspective trying to understand why they live down there and we live up here (problem cause), and finally working to overcome it (problem resolution).

Sit back for a moment and try to quantify some of the benefits you've had throughout your life that others may have not had. Try to picture some of your key life lessons or experiences, and imagine how your life may have played out differently had you missed them. Zero in on some key moments that changed you and your perceptions for the better: A kind word perhaps, or a helping hand at a crucial moment when all seemed lost.

Think of a harsh admonishment from someone you admired that triggered a painful but profoundly useful period of introspection which helped forge your character. Remember the feeling of palpable affection you've received from those who cared about you and sacrificed for you. Think of that book you read or that movie you watched that changed everything. Who would you be if not for these things? Cage your ego and conceit and recognize that those experiences made you who you are, and that without them you would not be the same person in the same position. That without them you could just as easily be the one living at the bottom of that ivory tower. Embrace the fact that the sum total of your life has been completely out of your control, and realize that if i could independently go back in time and erase those positive life molding experiences: you would no longer be you .

And now - with that self examination still at the forefront of your thoughts - try to imagine someone so misfortunate they were never graced by any of them or - through no fault of their own - simply weren't wired to receive them (you don't choose what resonates with you). Imagine someone who far from experiencing any of these positive events at crucial moments in their development, instead endured the opposite. Using the insight you've just gained from your own self reflection, now try to fit into their alien shoes and understand them.

Understanding disarms judgement. With judgement disarmed your goals shift from retribution to rehabilitation, from reaction to prevention, from blame to empathy. We can make a global paradise - heaven on earth if you will. We can elevate each and every one of us to new heights and soar above those perches of unfounded egotism that bind and blind us. But first we must fully embrace understanding and then rigorously follow where it leads.
-Jason Watton / tritorch

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-

Don't tell me the sky is the limit,
when there are footprints on the moon.
-Paul Brandt

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-

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I've seen my buddies ambushed on the left and on the right
And their youthful bodies riddled by the bullets of the night
Where all the rules are broken and the only law is might

With our sweat we took the bunkers, with our tears we took the pain. With our blood we took the mountains & then gave them back again. Still, all of us are soldiers - we're too busy to complain.

When I reach my final campground in that land beyond the sun
And the great commander asks me, "Did u fight or did u run?"
I'll stand both straight and tall stripped of medals, rank and gun

"Sir, I followed all my orders and I did the best I could
It's hard to judge the enemy and hard to tell the good
Yet there's not a man among us who would not have understood

We took the jungle village exactly like they said
We responded to their rifle fire with everything we had
And when the smoke had cleared away a 100 souls lay dead

Sir, the soldier that's alive is the only one who can fight
There's no other way to wage a war when the only 1 in sight
That you're sure is not an enemy, is your buddy on your right

When all the wars are over and i'm nothing but a ghost
Count me only as a soldier who never left his post
With the right to serve my country as my one and only boast

When all the wars are over and the battle's finally won
Count me only as a soldier who never left his gun
With the right to serve my country as the only prize I've won"

As we go marching on
-C Company Feat Terry Nelson, Battle Hymn of Lt. Calley

-

If you're not ready to die for it, take the word 'freedom' out of your vocabulary.
-Malcolm X

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-

Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar.
-Julius Caesar

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------------------a fortiori------------------



Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
-Inscription at the base of the Statue of Liberty

-

Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates and men decay
-The Deserted Village

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There was a time once when 'knowledge' was seen as a rung in the ladder which leads to the floor where they keep the wisdom. Although evidently, there are some people nowadays who try to chop up the ladder - so they can feed the little fire they warm their hands over...

-

The wise man knows that he does not know, and the prudent man respects what he does not control.

-

Respect is not given.
It is taken.

-

After all is said and done, a lot more will be said than done.

-


-

Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.
-Eleanor Roosevelt. Reality TV, competition, and CSI like programs are SUPER food for your Id everyone...

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When Jonny comes marching home again he's unemployed, homeless, and suffering PTSD.

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When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why i dismiss yours.
-Stephen F Roberts

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-

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A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum proves that faith does not prove anything.

-


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Going to church makes you a Christian no more than going to a garage makes you a car.
-Dr. Laurence J. Peter

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-


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Economically speaking, it doesn't matter if it's moral or amoral.

Morally speaking, it doesn't matter if it's legal or not.

Legally speaking, it doesn't matter if it's right or wrong.

Realistically speaking, it doesn't matter if it's moral, legal, or right.

-


-


-


-


-


-


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-

The propeller is really just a big fan made to cool down the pilot in the cockpit.

You can tell this because when it stops you can see the pilot start sweating excessively.

-


-


-

If you have a barrel of sewage and add a teaspoon of fine wine, you get sewage.

But if you have a barrel of fine wine and add a teaspoon of sewage, you still get sewage.

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I met her when the world began.
Or was it last July?

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Ill sit and laugh with my friends at what we've all been thru,
but i still catch my breath when someone mentions you.

-


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Once there was a boy who gave a girl twelve roses. Eleven of them were real, one was plastic. Then he told her he will love her until the last one dies.

-


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'Go to father', she said, when I asked her to wed.
She knew that I knew that her father was dead.
She knew that I knew what a life he had led.
She knew that I knew what she meant when she said,
'Go to father.'
-Unknown

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I know... no one lives in the slums because they want to. It's like this train. It can't run anywhere except where its rails take it.
-Cloud Strife, Final Fantasy 7

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Is there a cure among us
From this processed sanity?
I weaken with each voice that sings
Now, in this world of purchase
I'm going to buy back memories
To awaken some old qualities

Have I got a long way to run?
Yeah, I run
-Collective Soul, Run

-

(Don't stop to speak or look around
Your gloves & fan are on the ground
We're getting out of town
We're going on the run
And you're the one I want to come)

Not to touch the earth
Not to see the sun
Nothing left to do but
Run, run, run
Let's run
-Jim Morrison, The Celebration of the Lizard



--------------Sound and Fury--------------



We no longer know the meaning of freedom. We have traded away everything to a false prophet. We refuse to see that belonging to a government is a fate far worse than any terrorist can reap; than any madman can sow.

The word of a terrorist has no power over us. The government's word is law.

In the name of security we will lose our security. In addition to the terrorist we will have the relentless uncompromising gaze of the government.

The power of the people is born from its freedom, and it is the people who must be the guardians of that power. It is from our freedom that we draw the authority to force our government to abide its boundaries. Through the guise of security we are slowly allowing our government to relinquish that authority, and ultimately, the government will know no boundaries.

Once we allow our freedoms to categorically run dry, we, as a people, will no longer have the authority to stand up to our government.

-Jason Watton

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9/11 was a horrible thing, and every single freaking thing done in its name has been much more horrible. The fact people keep accepting it as an excuse for unacceptable things is very sad.

As soon as someone tries to use 9/11 to justify yet another thing to encroach upon and destroy public rights and liberties (which is all but guaranteed anytime someone invokes 9/11), call them what they really are: terrorist sympathizer and abettor.

Remember, the entire purpose behind terrorism is to instill a sense of panic and fear in a population, in order to get them to act in a certain manner, so that said...

Anytime someone tries to invoke a sense of fear in the public, in order to pass some new law or legislation, they are doing the work of a terrorist.

Anytime someone tries to use 9/11 to keep people afraid, to justify what is being done 'to protect people', they are doing the work of a terrorist.

Anytime someone tries to claim that 'combating the terrorists' or 'protecting people from terrorists' justifies trampling all over basic constitutional rights, and the rights of the people, they are doing the work of a terrorist.
-Techdirt Forum Post

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When someone declares "people will die" as a justification for curtailing liberty, the correct response is "what are you suggesting - that liberty isn't worth dying for? That those who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms made the wrong choice?"
-Techdirt Forum Post

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Hmmm... so the terrorists can only be defeated by a consolidation of state and corporate power, the stripping of personal liberties, the militarization of the police, the proliferation of secret courts and watch lists, and the creation of an unconstrained surveillance state suspiciously prying into the bank accounts, communications, associations, and actions of all Americans?

The hell with it, I'll put up with the terrorists, thanks.
-Techdirt Forum Post

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It occurs to me that this whole game of characterizing people who are against U.S. government foreign policy and the erosion of personal liberty as "anti-American" is really something that should be met head on.

I completely reject the notion that my being against all of these wars of aggression, the torture, the emerging unaccountable militarized secretive thug police state, the secret courts and watch lists, the blanket warrant-less surveillance, the parallel construction and asset forfeiture -- I reject the notion that being against these atrocities makes me "anti-American". No, I am pro-American. I am in favor of the values expressed in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. Moreover, I am in favor of all the positive things to have come out of American culture: Hollywood's Golden Age of Movies, jazz music, Bob Dylan.... Writers, poets... the culture of open source software. Those things are all quintessentially American and I am in favor of them.

So I am pro-American. People like you are anti-American, because you are against the core principles that the country is supposed to stand for, a democratic republic, an open society with due process and the rule of law, a humble inward looking government constrained by checks and balances, a bulwark justice system more than strong enough to keep the tireless wolves of government tyranny at bay...

But people like you... You corrupt all of that by defending the indefensible all the while hiding behind a cloak of faux patriotism. You guys nauseate me. Really.

-Slashdot Forum Post

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Yossarian comes to realize that Catch-22 does not actually exist, but because the powers that be claim it does, and the world believes it does, it nevertheless has potent effects. Indeed, because it does not exist there is no way it can be repealed, undone, overthrown, or denounced. The combination of force with specious & spurious legalistic justification is one of the book's primary motifs.
-Catch 22 Synopsis

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...There is that wonderful story in the gospel of John where the scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus a women taken in adultery, and attempting to trap him, asked if the women should be stoned according to the law of Moses.

Christ did not answer straight away, but rather stooped down and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he didn't hear them. The Pharisees persisted, and after a time Christ lifted himself up and answered, "he that is without sin among you, let him first cast the stone at her." And again, stooped down.

For me, this seemingly distracted gesture -- the stooping down and writing on the ground -- is Christ accessing the God inside himself. Christ then delivers the line that dis-empowers his opponents - and what an extraordinary remark it is - and then stoops again to re-commune with God.

What Christ shows us here, is that the creative imagination has the power to combat all enemies; that we are protected by the flow of our own inspiration.
-Nick Cave, The Flesh Made Word

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An old Cherokee was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, "A battle is raging inside me ...it is a fight between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorry, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

The old man fixed the children with a firm stare. "This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person as well.

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee replied: "The one you feed."

_______________


There was a group of missionaries who tried to teach Aboriginal children about soccer. Those kids took to it like ducks to water - kicking the ball around all day...

But after about a week, those missionaries discovered to their amazement that the kids had changed the rules of the game - in such a way that at the end of the game, both teams had the same number of goals.

The Aborigines just couldn't for the love of them understand why it was that the whites had to turn literally everything into as race with ten people running - and at the end, there was one winner... And nine losers.

By the way - they see themselves as custodians of nature. And they have been around for a very long time...
-Unknown

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"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'

'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.

'I don't much care where--' said Alice.

'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.

'--so long as I get SOMEWHERE,' Alice added as an explanation.

'Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, 'if you only walk long enough.'
-Alice in Wonderland



-------------Lessons Learned--------------



About Learning Lessons

Most lessons in life are hard learned. Wisdom does not come free. You must fall before you can walk, and the blood you spill along the way is sort of a non-negotiable payment to the proprietor of that secret knowledge. But sometimes you can bleed too much. Sometimes the lessons cost more than you bargained for, and the knowledge gained turns out to be poison.

Truth and wisdom can be dangerous, and when the poison of reality infects us, we begin to build barriers and lie to ourselves to protect our fragile egos. This is an automatic self-defense mechanism, almost totally involuntary like breathing or blinking. We avoid the truth the way a skilled knife thrower avoids the pretty spinning lady strapped to the table. But every once in a while your true self is revealed to you, and depending on the strength and length of the lies you have been telling yourself, this unwanted revelation can crash your entire world down all around you. The moment when the knife stops thrilling and starts killing is the moment we all dread. So we live in fear. Always doing whatever it takes to feed the illusion and avoid situations where we must confront who we are... Instead of who we like to think we are.
-Jason Watton

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About Trust

You never really know someone. Betrayal is always on the table. The ones you thought you knew so well can always stab you in the back. There are no barriers, no shields, no walls, no nets. There is only your trust and the chance that someone you love will cut it into pieces.

Maybe you don't know the true meaning of trust, and maybe that is the problem. When you trust someone, you surrender to them a frail and delicate piece of yourself. You lower your defenses and reveal some of your heart and in doing so leave yourself naked and defenseless against the possibility that everything you think you know about them is catastrophically mistaken and at any moment a flick of their Judas blades can pierce your heart and your good intentions and shatter the world of illusion you had, up until that point, built around yourself like a protective cocoon. And all of this is just a simple matter of action and will. A digital response in a digital frontier: Yes or no or one or zero. And it is their action. Not yours. The very definition of no control. The definition of trust.
-Jason Watton

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About Perception
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About Entropy and the Limits of Control


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About Misunderstanding And Shattered Relationships

We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions.

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About Love


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About Words


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About Regret

At 3am when sleep is hard to find there is no distance between the darkness and all of the things you want to forget.

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About Bad Decisions

If you are going to fly to the sun, flying at night is not going to save you.

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About Honor


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About Balance

One person's "balance" is another's wildly corrupt, morally bankrupt, exploitative society. The use of the word often connotes that both sides of an argument are equally fair, and equally at fault, which is impossible.

Forget balance. Aim for the truth and correct your steering whenever needed.
-From a forum somewhere

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About Hollow Ideals


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About Idealism vs Realism

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what they should have for dinner.

Communism is a group of fat wolves harvesting the sheep in between Swedish massages.

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About Choice

The word "choice" tends to be hard to understand beyond a narrow scope. In capitalism (or at least in countries with a version of capitalism lacking an adequate safety net) the choice is: 1.) work, or 2.) starve. Now, that's a "choice," but in a pretty narrow sense. That's why moral and political philosophers distinguish between negative freedom and positive freedom. Both are important. If you can't choose to opt out of the system (while you, say, look for a better job, or go to school, or start your own business), you don't fully have your freedom do you? The children of wealthy families, for example, always have this freedom. They can go to school without working, take time to look for a good job without starving (or even experiencing discomfort), etc. Hell, they can even screw around "finding themselves" on year-long European excursions.

So, right now, many workers are faced with the choice of either 1.) working at a job that does little more than help ensure you won't starve (with the help of food stamps - a giant subsidy from taxpayers to WalMart), but provides no opportunity for advancement of even enjoyment of life, and 2.) starving. While the privileged few at or near the top, all those fortunate sons and daughters, may never have to work a day in their lives and will always live a life of luxury regardless.

True freedom and choice come in degrees, with those at the top - never a slave to their needs of food and shelter - having the highest amount, and those at the bottom having the least. Freedom is a scale.

-Slashdot Forum Post

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About Failing Empires and Shattered Civility

Our empire will fail. Corporate money and propaganda will engulf and corrupt everything around us, and what was once left of our proud justice system will shatter under the weight of plutocratic tyranny. In the name of security your right to a trial will be rescinded, your natural rights revoked, leaving nothing to stand between you and the feudal slavery of your forefathers and the intoxication of power will be complete.

We will give the fox the keys to the hen house and the rich will plunder it all and our once proud civilized world will fall to ruin all around us and everything we hold dear will be lost. But we--those programmed barbaric inhabitants of that once proud civilized world--will all be too busy staring at our smartphones to notice or care.
-Jason Watton

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About Grievers of Creation (And Deepest Desires)

I drove out to the desert.

I looked to the east and there was the night and the city of torment. I looked west and there was the sterile desert and blinding sun.

I turned away from the darkness and as I walked deeper into that dazzling ocean of sunlight and sand, I could feel my memories crumbling into the dust of the sand-sea. And one after the other there was no more torment, no more wicked city, no more night.

Step by step i walked deeper, trading away the chains of an uncompromising and brutal world for the stressless promise of the emptiness surrounding me. And as the chains fell away I watched with detached satisfaction as the shadow beneath my feet slowly began to fade on the sand.

This was what I had come for, what I traded everything for: The liberating nonexistence; the catatonic dream. The prosaic oblivion where old memories cannot survive and new memories cannot be made. The soft whisper as the clawing shackles of a wicked world crumble to nothing in the invincible face of an endless desert.

Looking ahead, I spotted God on the horizon and I knew He too was searching for peace. And I wept at the thought of a kindred spirit.

With triumph in my heart I ran to Him, but as I approached I began to realize that I could no longer remember who he was...

...And in the last moment before we both faded into blissful nothing, it struck me that God--the griever of creation--could no longer remember...

who I was either.
-Jason Watton

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About Heartache and the Loss of God

Let me tell you about heartache and the loss of God--wandering, wondering in hopeless night. Out here on the perimeter there are no stars. Out here we is stoned...immaculate.
-Jim Morrison



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For the angel of death
Spread his wings on the blast
And breathed in the face
Of his foe as he passed
And the eyes of the sleepers
Waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved
And for ever grew still

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My captain does not answer
His lips are pale and still
My captain does not feel my arm
He has no pulse nor will
The ship is anchored safe and sound
Its voyage close to done
From fearful trip, the victor ship
Comes in with object won

But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red
For on the deck my captain lies
Fallen cold and dead
-Walt Whitman, Oh Captain My Captain

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But I being poor, I have only my dreams
I have spread my dreams under your feat
Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams
-William Butler Yeats, Cloths of Heaven



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Wordplay