The "Tossing Our Hat Through the Ring" Rants

March 20th 2003 to May 7th 2004 (year-long in protest, in apathy, and in annoyance)

don't write america off yet

dear world,
    please forgive america its current warlike stance.
    you must know that this is not our general mood all the time, or even very often.  even now in the very beginning of this war of unknown duration on iraq, we are not a warlike people at heart.
    the september 11th tragedy drove a lot of people over the edge.  until then, global conflict might have seemed to them something that was only on television and never really involved americans unless they happened to be unlucky or stupid enough to be in a volatile region of the world at the wrong time.  that illusion is now shattered forever, hopefully.  people of this country very much realize we are immersed in the world, not living above it on some heavenly plane.
    that being said, a lot of people are still in a very unhealthy mental place where they're trying to find the right donkey to pin the blame on.  used to be osama.  then al qaeda.  then terror.  right now terror's incarnation of the season is saddam.  next season it could be north korea.  after that it could be lotus eaters.  only as long as it's anyone besides ourselves or besides the random chance that a bunch of fanatics hatched a devastating plan that worked.
    that's why some of us now feel like we're the world's purgative.   we will somehow flush the bad terror out of the global colon like a nice dose of psyllium husk.
    but it's not true.  bad emotions are here to stay.  they're part of our mental makeup.  it would be nice if there were no terror, but our crusading around the globe to piss on fires that we ourselves have lit isn't going to conquer terror.  only reaching a peaceful and vibrant state of mind allows one to avoid dallying in fear and terror; when one can no longer be terrified, that is the end of terror.  this doesn't come from either end of the barrel of a gun.  instead it comes from getting your mind together and fully functional.
    some now feel that all our years of supposed american good will were just a big charade, a marketing game, a long con job.  but it's not true.  even when we're being mealymouthed hypocrites one moment, there's sometimes that flash of good heartedness hidden in there too.  a downplayed embarassment when it's a true feeling of compassion, and contrarily, a widely proclaimed media event when it's just as false as a marketing campaign.  you know when it's genuine, like when a shipment of vaccine comes in to cure a plague, when a shipment of edible food comes with no strings attached and little fanfare, when doctors and medicine are sent to an earthquake devastated area.  these bits of help come from people who are genuinely compassionate, and they don't ask for an award or acknowledgement when they do it (if they're genuine).  they just do the right thing and don't brag about it.
    so, it's particularly painful for americans who genuinely believe we've got something good to offer the world (besides eternal war against an emotion) to hear all the blandishments about liberation and improvement of the iraqi condition, as bombs are simultaneously dropping in their capital city.  true liberation comes from a belly that's not empty and from mental peace.  let's hope that this kind of liberation is really what we end up giving iraq, even though it sounds like a big shell game right now, with all the greedy loathesome possibilities for the "true reasons" for our actions seeming so obviously the case at times.
    what i'm really hoping for is not some granting of indulgences for america's behavior based on patriotism for the "homeland".  it comes instead from a patriotic feeling for the whole world.  it's this simple fact: we all need to live together peacefully.  starting wars to force a peace seems to be the head-up-butt wrong approach for that goal.  we appear to be sailing madcap towards a vortex of increasing global instability concluding in hellish chaos, rather than landing on the golden beaches of the democratic utopia that the president claims is on the charts.  we've got to hope for peace, no matter how vile we might personally feel towards particular leaders in nations here or there.  despite their hawkishness, we have to hope that the overall global situation does actually improve.  it's not american patriotism, it's because there's no other option.  there are no international wars any more--there are only civil wars between different parts of our precious earth, our home planet.  we've got to stop this fratricide as soon as possible and start acting like enlightened primates again instead of brutish "mud" flingers and back stabbers.
    the only thing i think i've really seen proved so far, which i was a little bit unsure of before, is that when a massive war machine is built, it cannot avoid being used for war unless it is destroyed or dismantled.  certainly nothing much is keeping the iraqi war machine from being used to abuse iraqi citizens.  not so similarly, but nonetheless, the american military is a massive and powerful thing.  but is the might of america good for the planet?  should any one government (that is, a region of the earth bounded by imaginary lines called borders) have the power to destroy the entire earth?  i don't think so.  if i could wish for one thing, it would be this:

        that the united nations be put in charge of earth's military might,
        that they would never ever use it except to defend citizens of our planet from aggressors,
        that they would have the wisdom to know when one must fight and when one must not,
                the latter being far more frequent in a sane world,
        that they could prevent an inhuman devil from ever controlling an entire nation of earth civilians again,
        that there could be an end to this volatility which increasingly lurches us towards an irreparable cataclysm, and
        that we could indeed realize we're only hurting ourselves when we hurt each other
                --like it or not, this planet's STILL the only one we've got.

please understand this completely--we need all the extant cultures of earth to survive; we can't live with just one meme.   the true iraqi lifestyle is a valuable thing and i hope it can be remembered after hussein is smashed (as it seems from this incomplete vantage point that he soon must be).  things have been too fascist and uptight in iraq for a long time under saddam, let's hope the country gains new liberty and social health.  it is just as crucial that the true american lifestyle--realizing your dreams by working at a good job while being a free soul in a country of liberty--be preserved.
    i implore you, i beseech you, when america wakes up from this nightmare, when it collectively decides that the world has been punished enough, that you all in the world try to forgive us.  it will be even harder for us to forgive ourselves the temporary bloodlust, and for us to heal those we love who've been consumed by hatred and ill will.  i beg no mercy for those of us who wreak war on others out of a liking for it, but instead for those of us who don't want war on earth and who strive against it as much as they are able.  but face it, when one man has all the power of a nation, the potential for abuse is tremendous.   it's a lesson every nation must learn one way or another--i fervently hope the lesson comes as painlessly as possible whenever and wherever it is learned.

thanks for listening,
an earth patriot (and an american).
[posted 3/20/2003]

(Alternate Reality Timeline) February 16th 2003 to May17th 2003
The Gruntose Moment retires to here.
Some Ways to Avoid Starting a War

(1) Realize that what is possessed by another is not yours;
To have something rightfully, one should earn it.
(2) Forgive the mad spoutings of ill tempered minds;
The nurses and a lot of medicine should be on their way.
(3) Examine the basic principles in your religion;
Isn't there anything about loving others in there?
If not, perhaps your religion sucks.
(4) What does the world think?
Make sure that you're not a sole aggressor.
(5) Fantasies should not be allowed to drive your behavior;
Be certain the weapon you think you see is not a banana.
(6) Civilians get pissed off and willing to fight you when they are shot at;
Learn to leave them alone.
(7) A very powerful person should be gentle;
A very weak person should be amenable to compromises.

(Posted February 16th 2003)

November 23rd 2001 to January 25th 2002

Set Your Time Machine to 1984
by Otto Czezylfarfen

Is terror stronger than freedom?
Is it stronger than democracy?

Osama bin Laden probably thinks so.
John Ashcroft definitely thinks so.

How much of an impediment does the warrant request process really pose in an investigation?  In cases where an ongoing investigation needed information protected by the warrant process, how many requests for warrants have been turned down?  Signs point to nearly none.

But now, Ashcroft and others propose that they just can't do anything without getting all these hindrances to their power disposed of.
Our rights.
That's what they are disposing of.
Can we do anything?
Well, there's a point when it's finally, ultimately too late to stop the fascists from seizing total power.  I really don't know if it's already too late or not.  All I know is that the citizens of the United State of America who love their freedom and believe it's real MUST stand up to these repeated infringements.

The government can now track our web surfing habits at a whim.  All that's required is suspicion.
The government now can eavesdrop on privileged attorney-client conversations.  If a judge orders it, any information they find can be turned over to the prosecution.
Feeling the chill yet?

They [the Nazis] came first for the Communists,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
    and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
    and by that time there was no one left to speak up.
          -- Martin Niemueller
When they came for the Fourth Amendment I didn't say anything
    because I had nothing to hide.
When they came for the Second Amendment I didn't say anything
    because I didn't own a gun.
When they came for the Fifth and Sixth Amendments I didn't say anything
    because I had committed no crimes.
When they came for the First Amendment I couldn't say anything.
          -- Urine Nation News, Spring/Summer 1993

...then they come for you & me, and since there weren't any free thinkers left to stand up for our right to believe and think what we choose for ourselves, we were tossed in a death camp for speaking out against the new world order, just because it seems wholly foul, proctocratically wrong-headed, and to be paving Satan's highway to world domination and earthly destruction...?
Let's hope not, or those terrorists really did win.

September 11th to November 22nd 2001

There Are No Words
by Otto Czezylfarfen

All terrorists in the world must now kill themselves.  No arguments.
Just do whatever it takes to remove your filthy selves from this planet.

Anyone who kills an innocent must kill themselves a thousand times over.

Any persons who want to harm others should first harm themselves and
see how it feels.  If you still want to harm another, keep harming yourself.

Burn in the roasting fires of the core of the sun for what you've done.

Your beliefs, if they led you to bomb and maim, can go eat shit.

June 24th to September 10th 2001

Capitalism Stimulates Primarily the Greed Cortex
by Otto Czezylfarfen

How will I ever survive without my cell phone,
my television, my cable tv,
my computer, my electronic organizer,
my car, my house,
my concert tickets, my stereo, my headphones,
my CD collection, my tape collection, my record collection,
my beer bottle collection,
my liposuction, my laser eye correction surgery, my face lift,
my sauna, my massage table, my scented oils,
my carpets, my ceiling fan, my plate glass windows,
my designer sports shoes, my spandex jogging wedgie, my wrist weights,
my tennis court, my swimming pool, my horse farm,
my concrete government buildings, my massive monuments,
my corporate takeovers, my captains of industry, my generals at war,
my destabilized democracies, my covert chilean coup,
my penchant for dictatorships, my peacefulness in the states,
my news of war everywhere else,
my washing machine, my clothes drier, my dishwasher,
my bidet, my bird bath, my garden hose,
my thirty pounds of extra fat, my seven course meal,
my gooey caramel nougat bar, my fluorescent green sparkling sugar water,
my chocolate malted, my tuna burrito, my massive meatballs,
my steak wrapped in pork stuffed into a chicken,
my vomitorium,
my yard, my mailbox, my wheelbarrow, my garden tractor, my combine,
my bush hog,
my pickup truck, my drunken rampages,
my games and diversions,
my lack of a moral or ethical sense,
my incredible lusty desire for more cash,
and those little chocolate covered espresso beans?
But at least I can still find time to bitch about my hard f*cking life.

May 22nd to June 23rd 2001

We welcome a new guest editor for a series on Politics and Governance. Please put your hands together for Otto Czezylfarfen, the county veterinarian for Livotskstka, Smensk Republic.

Communism Is the Religion of the Hive Mind
By Otto Czezylfarfen

     Insects follow a doctrine similar to Communism.  The only worshipful thing for an insect or for a communist is the state, and all benefits and punishments proceed from it.  However, just like a hive, communism does have its queens.  These are the leaders of the party, whatever they are called, be they premiers or chairmen.  In China, for example, the general secretary is at the top of the food chain.
     China is a great example of Communism's effect on a country.  China has gone from being a land where many people think independently to being a tragic, almost brainwashed land of reduced culture where only the top leaders are allowed to even think at all.  The party members are actually proud that they had a "cultural revolution", in which they threw away thousands of years of wisdom.  The government is actively involved in a program of propaganda that is aimed at convincing all citizens that things are just perfect and that the party's policy is perfection. The common people are discouraged from stating their own differing opinions by the most horrible of means, including torture and death.  Anyone who saw the Tianamen Square Massacre knows that the Chinese Communist view on social control is running over its citizens with tanks.
     But what do those autocratic leaders think most about?  Is it... serving the people that their Communist doctrines swear are the real beneficiaries of the Communist system?  BZZT!  No, the party leaders think mainly about maintaining their own power.  They control ruthlessly and without respect for the individuals to whom Communism pays lip service.  If Communism somehow respects "the people" but not "the person", then it has absolutely failed in its own stated aims and must be demolished.  Today.
     The Communist party leaders are hypocrites too.  They don't believe the religion of Communism any more, except that they believe it should be followed absolutely by all of those groaning under their weight.  Capitalism is decadence, they say, while munching away at the most delicious meals and living in the most sumptuous palaces.  But clearly what the Communist party leaders like is owning all the money, which is actually the Capitalist ideal also.
     But the most specific religious aspect of Communism that I detest is its claims that there are no higher virtues or truths than itself.  Thus it is a religion, not a science, not a political creed.  In a way reminiscent of science fiction, Communism tries to predict the final best state of the world and the people in it (which is, that they will be Communists.  Funny how Communism predicts its own preeminence).  This is a prognostication that can only be true in the mind of the religious zealot, for facts take care of themselves and cannot be predicted with absolute surety.
     Communism claims that all religions are poisons, that they are opiates for the people.  What then of itself?  We see that if Communism's claims are true, then Communism is itself a poison because it establishes a horse-blinder style world view which attempts to propose itself as the be-all and end-all of existence.
     Once a state heaves hard into the Communist herd (or mandates practice of any other monism), it is like falling into a singularity.  Since the state is considered perfect by definition, there is no rebelling against the state without committing what is called treason or without becoming what the state calls insane.  This is a trendy fascist facet of many western Democracies too, unfortunately.
     But here is a fact all governments must observe carefully: if only the criminals have any freedom in a governmental system, then it is the system itself that is criminal.  Any free state must leave all freedoms in the hands of the people, except where those freedoms infringe on the freedom of others.  Murder, rape and theft (to name a few real crimes) are not freedoms; they are depravities committed by an evil mind.  These are the main things a government must prevent through law and enforcement; otherwise, there is just chaos to rely on.  But go no further governments!  Do not take the insurance actuary's approach to governing.  People will always find their own causes for being criminals...  Punish only the crimes and not theoretical pathways to those crimes.
     Another part of the religious doctrine of Communism is that Capitalism is evil and must be abolished.  Oh heavens, yes, for people to follow their own natural instincts to own property and protect it from theft by others is clearly wrong-headed somehow.  That is another flaw most governmental systems have; they swim against the stream of human predispositions.  It is NOT in human nature to murder, I would assert, but it IS in human nature to expect one's good efforts to have a payoff that becomes one's own property.  A government that tries to deny human nature is swirling down the flush toilet of history.
     But the Communists do deny human nature and propose that we should all just give up our personal needs and work exclusively for the benefit of the state.  The gag being that we are helping ourselves and others by doing this.  But that really means giving up all our possessions and effort to the few insectile queens that run the state.  They benefit.  No one else does.  Except that universal poverty is provided for the citizens by the state.  Thanks so much.
     Communism really does change things... instead of having pockets of starvation and pockets of wealth in one's country, we can instead have a flat-headed, bland-thinking, nearly starving populace for the workers, while having a tiny, ultra-wealthy, dominating clique that tells everyone else what to do.  Surely this is such a great advantage over the iniquities of the past.  The middle class has been conveniently eliminated in a return to the feudal fiefdoms of the European dark ages, while the powerful elite class rules with a plutonium fist.
     Now I would make this challenge to the party leaders of the Communist parties:  If you really believe your own religion, you would take a vow of poverty and live among the people in a humble way.  You would also honestly and persistently fight for the promotion of the people's real needs over your own, making the common man first in all concerns, while making yourself and the other party leaders last in consideration.  Will you do this?  No, I doubt you will.