Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Disappearance of the Universe

I am reading a book called, “The Disappearance of the Universe,” by Gary Renard. It is quite fascinating. The author claims that he is visited by two ascended masters who tell him the mysteries of the universe. While I agree with most of it, parts of his characters’ reasoning is very flawed. According to them, this physical universe is an illusion (like maya, in Hinduism), that was created by our separation from God or the Holy Spirit. Um…but we ARE God and the Holy Spirit, so how can we be separated? Here are a few of my other critiques from the beginning of the book:

pp. 13-14—“Life is a tale told by an idiot” is a pessimist’s portrayal of the world. Our impermanence and mortality are part of what makes this world so beautiful. The fact that we rot and crumble only makes us more precious, not gross or wrong. “Your world is quite impressive until you learn to really look.” Actually, it becomes more impressive when we learn to really look. The fact that everything in this world is dependent on everything else is an example and metaphor for what God really is—our interconnected web of dependence with everything else in the universe.

p. 16—I’m so sick of every major religion in the world denouncing physical existence as either a punishment for past errors, or, in this case, a strange natural consequence for the mistake of “distancing ourselves from the holy spirit.”
“The unconscious mind is under the domination of a sick though system that is shared on both a collective and individual level by everyone who comes to the false universe….” First of all, just calling it a false universe suggests a separation from the “real universe” that is simply impossible.
It is almost revolutionary, nowadays, for someone to see life as beautiful, as a gift, instead of a curse. That is simply because of the sick mindset NOW that has evolved over thousands of years. Humans haven’t always seen the universe in that way.
And I am sure that other creatures in existence don’t see things that way. It wouldn’t occur to them to separate themselves from nature. Our mindsets became unnatural AFTER we psychologically cut ourselves off from the natural world—not BEFORE.

p. 17—“Your good times in this world are only good in comparison to your bad times.” This is not true. Yes, the CONCEPTS of good and bad exist because of our dualistic nature, but you can have a truly wonderful experience that you know is wonderful without having to compare it to anything you’ve experienced before.

“Contrary to popular belief, babies aren’t born with a clean slate—they are born negative.” (Paraphrase) First of all, this is in no way popular belief. Everywhere I go, some obnoxious person wants to tell me that humans are born inherently evil. It would be a breath of fresh air if this belief were popular.
Second of all, that is total bullshit. I was a very, very happy baby, and I know others that were even happier. To a baby, everything around them is wonderful, and life is wonderful. There are many explanations for why some babies aren’t as happy as others, but the fact is that many are very pure. I became jaded and cynical when I was older, not when I was born. It was as a result of the world I grew up in, not the physical body I obtained.

“People need to stop focusing on saving the world, and work within themselves.” (Paraphrase) In a world that’s in a bad way already, you are encouraging people to only focus on themselves. This may have worked a while ago, but now things have gotten so bad that everyone has to make up not only for the problems they’ve caused in the world, but for a few other people as well. Because the fact is that most people don’t do anything and so those that do, have to make up for those that don’t.
Maybe if everyone healed themselves 100%, then the world would be a better place. But it takes help from other people to heal, and humans are social creatures; we are only parts of the whole. Our focus on individualism is already unhealthy.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Abortion Just Isn't the Big Issue

For god's sake, when will we wake up and start protecting the children we already have instead of the unborn children we don't yet have?!!!!

Well, I agree that not all aborted babies are a bunch of cells; some even become fetuses. But many are a bunch of cells. If the condom breaks and I become pregnant, sorry, bye-bye. I'm not destroying my college career and chance at life and my relationship with my boyfriend to have a baby. Once it's actually a baby, then yes, you can put it up for adoption. But I think there are millions of other things that this nation should focus on and take responsibility for. And it's not our business to impose our "morals" upon other women, when god knows what they're really going through! Giving birth is an exhausting, life-changing, and sometimes dangerous event. If you believe that every baby is wanted, then if you are accidentally pregnant, you have that baby, I have no problem with that and I applaud you for your bravery. But making laws that prevent women from living their lives the way they see fit is not okay in my eyes.

MANY abortions are from 1) Incest and rape survivors and 2) poor people and minorities. It does not reflect irresponsibility on the mother's part. It reflects how horribly messed up our society is, and pregnancy prevention is where you'll find solutions, not forcing a woman to go through with a pregnancy.

If you are concerned with "unwanted" babies, then look into adoption or helping out children who have already come into this world. This nation is so obsessed with preventing the death of an unborn fetus or embryo, but doesn't give a damn about the children already in this world.

Note: I wrote this in response to a woman's email to me that I had to be responsible for my own actions if I were to ever get pregnant. "Responsibility," meaning to her, have an unwanted child.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Have You Seen the Little Piggies?

I had an argument the other day with a guy about how to bring about real change. He was saying change has to happen outside the system, because otherwise we will just be contributing to and perpetuating the current system. But in order to feel that way, you must see everything in the current system as inherently flawed. Our nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations have quite a bit of redeeming value, and if we dismiss all the change and effort going on within the system, we're losing a lot of power.
We can't all just split off into little intentional communities. There are many misinformed and uneducated people out there who we'd be leaving out. People in ghettos who can't afford to move, and "Poor White Trash" who don't know better than to follow Bush's every word, but are actually good-hearted people, would be left behind in the mess.
One part of the system, capitalism, is inherently flawed, because it is individualistic, and humans are collectivists by nature. For hundreds of thousands of years, we have worked within societies with collectivist states of mind. We are social creatures; taking ourselves out of the collective social structure to rely on individualism (and, therefore, ourselves individually) is unnatural and destructive. It has led us to the "each man for himself" mentality, along with patriarchy, apathy, and dwindeling compassion.
It appalls me and shocks me to see so many people think of individualistic, selfish lifestyles as "normal". "Why would I want to donate that dollar to charity? I'm using it to go out to eat." "Electric-hybrid car? Psshht, I'll take a luxury car instead."
At the same time, we're (or some of us are) struggling back toward that collectivist, help-your-neighbor mentality. Why are hybrid cars in such high demand if they aren't an economic investment, at least not right now? Because, they're ecologically sustainable, and more and more people are beginning to care. People feel bad when they say no to charitable donations.

Have You Seen the Little Piggies?

Everywhere there's lots of piggies
Living piggy lives
You can see them out for dinner
With their piggy wives
Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon

What I find the most amazing, yet not surprising, is that at my work, the people who donate the most to "Stars of Hope" (charities that help children with cancer, other debilitating illness, and provide after-school care) are the people in the lower classes. The more obvious it is that someone is rich, the less likely they are to donate. I'd say black people donate the most. Old, rich white people and Asians donate the least. There was one guy who, in response to my asking for a one dollar donation, said, "Am I wearing my wealthy shirt today?" sarcastically. What an idiot! Do you have to be wealthy in order to donate a dollar, especially when you're already spending a ridiculous amount of money to go to the movies? "I'm trying to save up. I don't spend my money on anything." Well then, don't go to the movies! Hello!
I just can't believe all the ungrateful little assholes out there, with their, "Get a job, you lazy bum!" and "The Government's stealing my money for those lazy bastards!" Meanwhile, the Government's stealing our money to make bombs and bombs and...more bombs, and did I mention bombs? And while they spend so much on defense, they don't spend anything on protecting those soldiers, most of whom are lower-class. The only way for them to pay their ways through college is to join the military...if they survive, that is. You wanna know what the lazy poor people are doing for this country? They're doing all the dirty work, going out and risking their lives in the name of "freedom", and many of them soon discover it is really in the name of a couple more years till Peak Oil. How dare we pacifists want them to come home, when they're out there fighting for our oil! Those Republicans really are the ones "supporting" our troops, by keeping them in Iraq! That's what "supporting" means, didn't you know? Supporting is Killing. War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Preach on, Bush, preach on!

In their eyes there's something lacking
What they need's a damn good whacking

Friday, June 24, 2005


I hate diamonds. They disgust me. "Only her eyes will sparkle more." Barf puke puke. It's a fucking rock that's not even uncommon; it just takes immoral behavior like terrorism to obtain the stupid things from deep mines. Buy a fucking cubic or austrian crystal! They look the same, unless you're gonna look at your ring under a microscope all the time. Save the children in Sudan some of their parents...maybe they don't have to be orphans after all. God this society sickens me. BUY BUY CONSUME CONSUME SLEEP SLEEP MARRY REPRODUCE...wait, I'm now reciting John Carpenter's "They Live". Good movie. Gluttony comes in different forms--not all of which are obesity. Fucking rich fucks with their fur coats and their "get a job you lazy bum" when they're not even working. Goddamn President with an IQ at most half of mine and the average American's...not that that's saying much. PEAK OIL. It's gonna happen, there's gonna be a severe depression created by an energy famine, and it's happening within the next couple years. No one knows about it. All this Government cares about is its own profits, keeping its dwindeling petroleum, lying to the American public. Man, if the media only covered a quarter of what is really going on. Election fraud. The Downing Street memo. PNAC--oh yeah, that one would be popular with the American people. Cover-ups and silences and complete media blackouts about global warming and environmental issues. These people aren't even human beings. I'm done for now.

Monday, June 20, 2005


White people are so scared of black people; they bulldoze out to the country and put up houses on little loop-de-loop streets. While America gets its heart cut right out of its chest, the Berlin Wall still runs down Main Street seperating East Side from West.
Nothing is stirring, not even a mouse, in the borded up stores and the broken-down houses. So they hang colorful banners on all the street lamps, just to prove they've got no manners, no mercy and no sense.
And I'm wondering what it will take for my city to rise; first we admit our mistakes and then we open our eyes. The ghosts of old buildings are haunting parking lots, in the city of the neighbors that history forgot...
I remember the first time I saw someone lying on the cold street, I thought, this can't just be happening, this can't just be true. But I learned by example to keep moving my feet. It's amazing the things that we all learn to do.
So we live by denial like lambs to the slaughter, serving empires of style and carbonated sugar water. And the old farm road's a forelane that leads to the mall, and our dreams are all guillotines waiting to fall...
And I'm wondering what it will take for my country to rise; first we admit our mistakes, then we open our eyes. Or let me just oppose to one last dumb decision: America the Beautiful is just one big subdivision...

If you know who wrote this song, write a comment.

Monday, June 13, 2005

I am a Realist

It is sometimes assumed that "Psycho Hippie Liberals" (to jokingly quote someone I met online) are quite naive. I'd say, that's very true, and so is everyone else in this stupid country. But seriously, I'm actually a realist. Just because I have positive, sometimes optomistic views of human nature, does not mean I don't know what's going on.

Martin Luther King, Jr. cheated on his wife. Ghandi refused antibiotics for his wife to save her life, then chose to take them when the same infection threatened his own. Despite all this, they are two of my biggest role models. Why? Because of what they did do for the people of this world. I refuse to be bogged down by the "real world" and complain about little details of everything.

Einstein was an asshole to women. I just get tired of it. Do you want to hear all my flaws, and then tell me what a horrible person I am, and how regardless of what I do for this world, I will only be seen for my flaws? If I could read your mind, trust me, I could find your problems too.

I love my life, and all the horrors and wonders in it. I love humanity both despite and because of what we're capable of, and trust me, I know what we're capable of. I am not a "tolerant liberal" who thinks that people should be free to do what they please. I'm not such a cultural relitivist that I feel that it is okay for women in certain Muslim countries to be treated like less than human, or that because the Aztecs were an indigenous culture, they should have been allowed to keep conquering more peaceful, egalitarian societies in MezoAmerica. They were no better than the Spaniards. I don't think children should be allowed to "explore sexually" to the point that they have intercourse when they're twelve and have never had a realistic talk with their parents. I don't think the pedophiles have just as much of a right to seek out young boys as grown-ups do to seek out other grown-ups. These are things that I despise about some people who call themselves "liberals."

In fact, I don't believe in tolerance at all. I believe in acceptance. I do not "tolerate" same-sex couples, or black people, or different religions. I accept them as just as legitimate as my own sexuality, ethnicity, and spirituality. But I have a rule: "Do what thou wilt and harm none." That is what I think "liberal" should mean. That is why it is not "liberal" to be okay with Aztecs pillaging other indigenous cultures, Muslims treating women like shit, or sexual practices that harm people and are nonconsentual. I call that apathetic, not liberal.

So what does all this have to do with? Basically, I think we should pick our battles. Abortion isn't as important as orphaned, starving children. MLK, Jr. cheating on his wife isn't as important as Bush sending us to war without reason and a million other things he did. Keeping our economy "intact" while destroying the environment isn't as important as having a sustainable economic system. Etc.

I am aware of the horrors of this world. But for god's sake, you should measure your complaints and whinings against what you've actually done for this world. If your ratio of complaints to activism is disproportionate, you should rethink your attitude, and your lack of action. I'm sick of apathy. You know who the majority of this country voted for? No one. That's right. We voted for, "Let the most corrupt and powerful person take office, cause I don't give a damn." That is the equivalent of voting for Bush.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Human Nature

You simply cannot determine human nature by observing humanity today. You must realize that industrialized culture hasn’t been around for more than 200 years, and our species is over 100,000 years old (to use conservative estimates). I think over time, we've been corrupted past anything natural. The way we treat each other isn't a result of something inherent; it's from thousands and thousands of years of abuse, passed down through the ages. Of course, that's all my knowledge of psychology and anthropology talking.
As for Milgram’s experiments, they do nothing more than prove that, at the time they were taken, in the society they were taken, people have the inclination to not question authority. In our society today, we are taught from birth to obey authority, and many of us have been taught that authority figures may override our morals. The reason that some people don’t obey authority unquestioningly is twofold: 1) They weren’t just taught morals (authoritarian), but they were shown why those morals are important (authoritative) and 2) They were taught to value their individual insights and beliefs, and to simply question the intentions of others before agreeing with them simply because of who they are. I bet that if you took the San Bushmen (an egalitarian group that is slowly diminishing) out of the Kalahari Desert of Africa, and put them in the Milgram experiment, that none or few of them would keep pushing the button until the person was “dead”. It does not make sense to take more meaning out of the Milgram experiments than Milgram intended; to explain why people were brainwashed in Germany so easily. The experiment took place in a country not too different from Germany, when you get down to it. It is no less scientific to assume that minorities (i.e. black people, Latinos and American Indians) are stupid, because on average, they score lower on IQ tests. You have to take it into the societal context.
Simply put, humans are past the point of being able to blame cruel behaviors on "nature". We separate ourselves from nature and claim to be above it, and yet at the same time, say that we have no control over what nature intends for us. We must choose one or the other. And we must take responsibility for our cruelty to each other and to nature, or our species is not nearly as intelligent as we think we are.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


I think one of the great things about my relationship with my Bible (The Last Vampire series by Christopher Pike) is the fact that at first, I didn't like the main character, Sita. I think that really means something; it shows that the books made me think. I just did a Google search on Alisa Perne (Sita's pseudonym for the 1990's), and came up with one website for Sita fans. It was pretty cool; I wondered if any of them hadn't like Sita when they were first introduced to her. Some said they liked her because she was sexy, or could control other people; this was one of the reasons I didn't like her at first. I am obsessed with the idea of free will (especially my own), and Sita's ability to manipulate those with weaker wills disturbed me.
What touched me most of all were two things: The fact that, despite her amazing power and long life through the ages that I envied, all Sita wanted was to be human, living with her husband and daughter back in India 5,000 years ago again. And the fact that, throughout 5,000 years, Sita changed minimally as a person, but by the end of her life, in the 1990's, within the few months that the books take place, Sita evolved dramatically. It was an amazing metaphor for humanity. We are such amazing creatures, so beautiful and powerful, yet in order to end our explosion of pain and suffering, we must go back to who we were at the dawn of our species. Each one of us, individually, grows in a different way, but years may pass where we feel we haven't changed, and then days may pass when our lives are changed forever. When I read the series, my own evolution of emotions was amazing, and it was directly linked to the books.
Sita was the scourge of many people for millenia, but in the end, she sacrificed herself to protect the humanity that she loved, and truly identified with, more than any vampire. Humanity is so ugly and evil at times, yet my love for it is similar to Sita's; sometimes I wish I had lived for thousands of years to see how we matured, or changed; to see our progresses and mistakes, almost as a child grows up alongside her peers, and watches them mature with her.
And in the end, with all this hate and anger boiling up inside me, I just want to protect humanity; yet I must realize that I am not its mother, but a single cell within the organism. I cannot protect and nurse humanity, just as a cell cannot protect and nurse an organism. All cells must work together to create a balance. One cannot be stronger than the others.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

About Me

Here's an edited version of things that I have emailed to people, that I feel are particularly relevent in explaining who I am.
I have a very pagan-influenced spirituality. I took my ideas from many different religions, and left out what I didn't like. I agree with the Buddhist philosophy that everyone must find their own path. I believe that getting rid of depression relies on what’s in us, not what’s outside, and no one can claim an outside source “saved” them. We have great potential, and there’s no telling what we can do if we use our minds to the extent that we can. I have a very positive view of humanity, but at the same time I'm a realist, and I'm aware of the horrors that we're capable of. I'm actually very good at science, and very scientific, and at the same time I believe there is something more to the universe than its parts. I have a generally very holistic view of the universe and the way things are, which is actually a part of new scientific theories that are coming about (ones that dismiss a lot of Newtonian ideas about the "mechanistic" way in which the universe functions. The more spiritual, supernatural part of my spirituality has a lot to do with mythology, and I use it more symbolically than actually believing it literally. My "gods" are aspects of the universe; they aren't individual supernatural beings unto themselves. I love intellectual reading, but have trouble finding an author that I whole-heartedly agree with, sometimes.
I read Ishmael, and it had some good points, but what he said about the cause of overpopulation turned me off. He made it sound like overconsumption was the DIRECT cause of overpopulation, when it is not. Overconsumption by industrialized countries causes them to abuse resources from Third World countries instead of their own. This causes famine, disease, etc. in the Third World countries. When your children are constantly dying, you need to keep making more so the loss isn't as horrible. Also, in Third World countries, having children is an investment (You have more people in your house who can work and make an income), whereas, in industrialized countries, it's a drain on one's income. Quinn makes it look like overconsumption directly causes overpopulation, when actually it is only one cause, and it is indirect. Also, I don't appreciate his simplistic demonization of "taker" society, and idealization of "leaver" society. As someone who knows a lot of anthropology and ecology, I find it to be more complex.


Spirit Animal Test Sitakaliism Test Paganism Test The Liberal Test

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Environmentalism Needs to Stop Being a Class Issue

It’s very easy for environmentalists like me to sometimes become shortsighted and see everything in terms of black and white. Hunters are bad; environmentalists are good. Anyone who degrades the environment is bad; those who seek to conserve it are good. But what many of us fail to see is that this is a class issue, as much as it is an environmental issue. When conservatives complain about liberals being “elitists”, they are not getting this idea out of thin air. At least as far as environmentalists go, the conservatives are right.
Think about it. Environmentalists are not just asking people to be outraged at our current ecological situation; we're asking people to do something about it, which is very productive. Unfortunately, what we seek from other people sometimes costs more money than they have. We preach that we must only buy organic foods, recycled products, fair trade and so on, which, as we’ve noticed, all cost a great deal more money than the less politically correct products. Yes, cheap labor coffee is evil; yes, Foster Farms and KFC treat their chickens horrendously, but they cost less, and people gotta eat. Even if they’re vegetarian, we still ask that they buy fair trade and organic products.
Then we come to hunting and logging. The CEOs of logging corporations are rich and can afford to treat the environment better, but the people who work for them are trying to make a living. If we simply ban logging without giving alternatives, those people will permanently lose their jobs. As for hunting, many hunters hunt for food. It’s a lot better than cooping up some poor cow in a tiny cage and letting her rot in her own feces, yes? These hunted animals, delicately put, are “free-range”. If they are endangered, we must offer an alternative to hunters before taking their food away.
What about cars? Do low-emission and high gas mileage vehicles cost less than the average car? No. When it comes to more environmentally sustainable cars, the investment is ecological, not economic. As for hybrid vehicles, take this example: If someone were to buy a Honda Civic Hybrid, which costs $5000 more than a regular Civic, s/he would have to put 300,000 miles on his or her car before the high mileage started making up for the $5000 difference.
A lot of working-class and poor people have a hard time identifying with environmentalists, because on average, we’re middle-class. They resent our demands for buying PC foods and products, because they simply cannot afford them. We take their apathy toward our cause as simple ignorance and greed, but is it more than that? By definition, lower-class people tend not to be as well educated as middle-class people, so we need to educate them about the environmental issues that we’re facing. But we also must combine environmental justice with economic justice, because logically, one cannot exist without the other.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Environmental Health Doesn’t Just Benefit Liberals

© Sunday, 02 May 2004, by Sitakali from The PeaceWorker

Liberals and progressives are at times blamed for being “overzealous” about the environment and making up conspiracies and controversies where there are none. Response to an article about a Pentagon report on global climate change showed the same blame and outrage. The Pentagon report articulated that it was only speculative and gave worst case scenarios, but also recognized that many of the scenarios were probable.
The article entitled, “Leaked Pentagon Report Warns of Coming Climate Wars” in the April PeaceWorker was written by two reporters from the Observer, and was first published on February 22. The Pentagon report suggested that global warning was potentially a greater national security threat than terrorism. The article has received a lot of publicity since then, both positive and negative. Many believe it blew the Pentagon report out of proportion and that the report never was secret or suppressed.
According to the article, former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) whistleblower Jeremy Symons said the report was suppressed for four months. This may have been inaccurate, but regardless of whether the Pentagon report was suppressed, Symons also referred to a 2002 EPA report that was severely “edited” by the Bush administration. The annual reports had previously always included updates on global warming, but that update was stripped from this EPA report.
An email, written by Myron Ebell of the Exxon-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute to Phil Cooney, senior official at the White House Council for Environmental Quality, explained how to play down an EPA report -- the first report where the U.S. admitted that humans are contributing to global warming. Suggestions included firing the head of the EPA, Christine Whitman. According to Ebell, “…we made the right decision this morning to do as much as we could to deflect criticism by blaming EPA for freelancing. It seems to me,” he added, “that the folks at EPA are the obvious fall guys, and we would only hope that the fall guy (or gal) should be as high up as possible…Perhaps tomorrow we will call for Whitman to be fired.”
The White House is going to dismiss global warming, whether or not it is a national security threat. The Pentagon report was never sent to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Former EPA administrator Russell Train put it bluntly:
“Having served as EPA administrator under both Presidents Nixon and Ford, I can state categorically that there never was such White House intrusion into the business of the EPA during my tenure. The EPA was established as an independent agency in the Executive branch, and so it should remain. There appears today to be a steady erosion in its independent status.”
The Bush administration insists that global warming isn’t real -- and even claims that the environment is in better shape than in the past.
Why then do scientists think that by 2025 50% of the world’s population will face water shortages?
Why is it that:
· The American Geophysical Union resolved that “human activities are increasingly altering the Earth’s climate... scientific evidence strongly indicates that natural influences cannot explain the rapid increase in global near-surface temperatures observed during the second half of the 20th century.”
· According to a study by the University of Maryland and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the melting of Arctic Sea ice over the last 46 years has less than a 0.1 percent chance of being caused by natural climate.
· Carbon dioxide levels are twice as high as they were during ice ages, and methane levels are five times as high, according to the National Center for Scientific Research in Grenoble, France.
· The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that concentrations of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere have increased by more than 25 percent since before the Industrial Revolution. Roughly half this increase has occurred during the last 35 years.
Proven or not, global warming is a coherent theory that has been approved by top scientists around the world. Yet, the Bush administration’s ideas of helping the environment are to:
· Allow three times more mercury emissions from power plants than current law allows.
· Allow 50% more sulfur emissions (which cause acid rain) than current law allows.
· Send a letter to Congress saying that Bush wouldn’t support new controls on global warming pollution from power plants—the largest U.S. source of carbon dioxide emissions (a greenhouse gas), which account for 10% of carbon dioxide worldwide.
· Dismiss the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
· Increase the use of coal, oil and natural gas, fossil fuels that contribute to 80% of U.S. global warming pollution.
Despite the daunting facts, there are things that can be done to slow the process of global warming. Legislation to clean up power plants and raise fuel economy standards would stop the growth of U.S. global warming emissions within 10 years. A bill called the Clean Power Act was introduced by Senator Jim Jeffords (D-VT), and would limit emissions of pollutants from power plants. The bill has bipartisan support from 19 co-sponsors. The government could introduce more energy- and cost-efficient clean energy sources, which would address the U.S.’ energy needs. The Kyoto Protocol would help countries around the world cut down on greenhouse gas emissions everywhere. The Protocol has been ratified by 100 countries, including Canada, UK, Germany, Israel, Denmark, and Italy.
The U.S. is far behind the rest of the world when it comes to helping the environment. The rest of the industrialized nations have vowed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to their 1990 level. As the rest of the world embraces sane and efficient ideas, both economically and ecologically, America’s power and reputation are falling rapidly.
I know that everyone has their differences in opinion, but I hope that we all agree that we want the human race to survive, and to ease suffering as well as possible. This world is not a happy place, environmentally and socially. Americans tend to be uneducated and, being the largest superpower in the world, it is our responsibility to have an influence on our own society, as well as set an example for the world.
If only the conservatives and liberals, the progressives and the reactionaries, could stop screaming at each other and listen, we might learn something about each other, the world, and what changes are the most necessary.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The What Gender Are You? Test

I just saw Kingdom of Heaven, an Orlando Bloom movie, so this was hillarious to see after taking a gender test:

The What Gender Are You? Test
by leop123
You are 55% male!

If you're a guy: You're about as masculine as Orlando Bloom

If you're a girl: You're about as feminine as Orlando Bloom

Note: 0% male means you're all female, 100% male means you're all male. Okcupid won't let me change the name of the variable depending on your score.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

The I-Don’t-Give-a-Shit Attitude is Getting Kind of Old

Yeah, the word is screwed up. Yeah, there’s suffering. Now shut up and do something about it.

A growing epidemic in America today is apathy. When people feel overwhelmed with the horrible things that are going on in the world, they usually do one of three things: become part of the corruption, try to become active against it, or become apathetic. Unfortunately, many of the people who become apathetic are the ones with consciences; who would become active if they thought there was any hope.
Much of the “outcast” culture is made up of those who have lost hope; the gutter punks, the Goths, the druggies. Many Goths get into existentialist philosophy (more nihilist, actually), and obsess over death and suffering. Life sucks, so why bother? There’s nothing you can do about it. When I argue with them, they tell me to look at history. Who has always prevailed throughout history? The corrupt. I try to tell them that’s not true. Most of human history has not even been recorded. It’s gotten to the point where we’re trying to prevent global disaster, and we need people to become active. It’s no longer, “Save the poor Spotted Owl,” but more, “Save ourselves before there’s Armageddon!” More people have a voice now than in any other time in history; more people have gone through school and are literate now than in any other time in history. This is the time that we can and must rise up.
A lot of apathetic people have been misinformed. They need to be educated. We have seen the power the media has with telling people slanted truths and controlling their opinions. The American public is unaware of what’s really going on in the world; it was so shocking when the Twin Towers were hit—“I don’t understand. Why would anyone want to hurt America?” one person’s reaction was shown on the news. A teenage girl was filmed saying, “I’ve always thought of America as some big super hero. How could anyone have done this to us?” Do these people really not know what we’ve done to other countries and other people? Do they really think that everything’s just fine and dandy, and the planes crashing into the World Trade Center was a freak incident?
The truth is, had this been any other country in the world, a large building being attacked by terrorists would not have come as such a surprise. We’ve been sheltered for too long.
The people in this country who have consciences and are aware of what is going on can be divided into two groups: those who take action, and those who are apathetic. Sadly, apathy has become endemic in our country. We feel overpowered by this corrupt government and don’t see a point in trying to do anything. But if all the apathetic people in this country got together and took action, we would have a huge movement on our hands.
We complain that there’s nothing to do. Yet that’s because nothing is happening to us. The starving in third-world countries have no choice; they struggle every day. Don’t we owe it to them to do the same?
America has a remarkably low voter turnout. Many complain that the youth don’t care nowadays. But, within this century, the highest voter turnout was in 1960—64%. The last presidential election had barely 50% of the voting age go to the polls. So how relative is “nowadays”?
At Antioch College, my fellow students are much less apathetic, but most of the reasons people go there is to create social change. Even in Berkeley, California, where I’m from, I tire of worrying that every time I make a comment about taking action or going to a protest, I get people whining and moaning about how nothing’s going to help. Why don’t you go to India, look some starving kids in the eye and say the same thing?
I think a lot of it actually has to do with ignorance. Seeing this world in all its nasty forms is draining on anybody, but there are people working all over the world to change it.

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere
Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow...

How to Save the World Chapter 1: A Passionate, Semi-Psychotic Rant from Sitakali

Okay, so here’s my cure for the world, to end all suffering. Ready? It’s quite simple, really. We just need to stop being assholes to each other. Everyone preaches, “Love thy neighbor,” and we all think that’s so sweet and profound, and then proceed to tell the next man on the street to “Get a job, you lazy bum!” You think telling him that is going to change his life forever? You think he hasn’t tried? That’s your fucking contribution to society? While you strut down ritzy North Michigan Avenue in your ankle-length mink coat, Banana Republic shopping bag in hand, you wonder to yourself, “Why do they bother me? Don’t they realize I don’t have any money to spare? What did I ever do to them, anyway?”
The answer to that, my pretty, is that you don’t care. You feel horrible for all the starving and malnourished children in Africa because you know it’s so unfair, but when it comes to your fellow human being two feet away from you, shivering in the 30-degree Chicago wind, you just don’t give a damn. At least not enough to actually do anything.
So you can’t give a $5 bill to every homeless person on the street. I understand. But the first step is acknowledging that they’re there—maybe smiling or saying hi or something. This way, you’re saying, “You’re human, and so am I.” Good for you. Now that you know that, you can let yourself feel shitty about the situation they’re in. Because they’re human, and they deserve that mink coat just as much as you do.
A couple anecdotes:
1. After being interviewed for a job at Neiman-Marcus in the rich part of town, as I walked out of the building, I came across a woman sitting on a ledge, crying. As I looked closer, I saw she was holding what looked like a 4-year-old child. I went up to her awkwardly and put a dollar in her jar. Then I asked, “Is there anything besides money I can give you?” She replied, “Food for him.”
I wasn’t familiar with the area, so I asked her where I could get food. She pointed toward a mall with a McDonald’s, and told me just to get food for her kid. I said, “Well I’m sure you’re hungry, too,” but she shook her head and insisted it was just for the kid. “I just need to keep him warm,” she said, and burst out crying again.
So I got him 10 Chicken McNuggets and some hot tea. But the whole time, I was observing the fancy designer outfits and Armani suits walking casually past this grieving mother and her child. Just another tragedy of the streets.
Judging the income level of that neighborhood and how poor the homeless woman and her son were, I’d say my income was closer to hers than to those passing by her. Yet I, the middle-class student, stopped to talk to her, while the richest people in the city decided not to bother; they didn’t have time, and they couldn’t afford to help her, anyway.
This story wasn’t supposed to paint me as the good guy in the midst of a horrifying world. Quite the opposite; I barely did anything at all, and if more people did what I had done, they would realize how true that is. If I wanted to be a hero, I’d fly off to Sudan and help the orphans there build homes and jobs. I was being a citizen of my country—helping other citizens, and thus, a citizen of the world—helping other citizens.
2. I had found a very temporary job trying to get paying sponsors for children in third-world countries. The job was degrading and discouraging. 8 hours on the streets approaching as many people as possible, asking them to support children in far off countries, I began to feel as if I might as well have been panhandling. 60-70% of the people I approached were in quite a hurry to be somewhere, or nowhere, it was all the same to me. The other 30-40% just didn’t have enough money. Some were looking for jobs, some were homeless, some were wearing fancy black suits and carrying briefcases—it didn’t matter; in this wealthiest country in the world, they were all broke.

Saturday, May 07, 2005


She saunters over to the maroon computer chair, long, dark hair flying as she shakes it from her face. She puts her two small hands on the seat of the chair, trying to climb in like a cat, without moving the chair from the desk. She trips into the seat, banging her left knee on the desk, and collapses sideways in the chair. "," she grunts.
Ah, yes, and if you liked that, I have more. I write like James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, and Francine Pascal, all in one. My riveting words are painted on the page artfully, like cheap tempera paint mixed with glue.
So enough with the sarcasm already. Here's a parody of Full of Grace by Sarah McLachlan Real lyrics to Full of Grace

Full of Shit (The Rich Tourist's Prayer)
The water here's warm and bitter
It tastes like moldy cheese
Every time that I take a breath
It comes out in a sneeze
I feel just like I'm leaking
And I claw for the toilet seat...
There's nothing growing in this dry land
I didn't know food could taste this bland
In the darkness I cannot see my hand

Oh civilization and good Western values
Come and take me from this pit
I know there are places much better than this
Full of shit

"It's pretty this way," you say,
Having seen this place before
But I can't see what you're talking 'bout
You stupid, liberal whore
It's just that I've stayed too long
In the same old dirty shack...
There's nothing but skinny children here
I clutch my purse, run away with fear
And for God's sake, doesn't anyone have a beer?


Thursday, May 05, 2005

The VampireOwlCat Speaks

Yes, the VampireOwlCat speaks. And what does she say? I've never had a blog before; in fact, I only started a LiveJournal yesterday. So I thought, I should get some friends on my LiveJournal, and I invited my friend Mary. And then she invited me to her blog. So it's kind of like I'm following her, or something. Anyway, I read her blog, and I realized how incredibly smart she is, or how dumb I am, or both. She analyzes things way better than I do, even though I have a very analytical mind (my mother's a therapist, and I've been in therapy for 16 years, for Christsakes). What to write....
I love vampires, I have (and act like) a cat, and my spirit animal is an owl. So that explains my blog name. Sitakaliism is the religion I made up for myself, so that explains my screenname. Okay, I'll explain my religion.
So I was really depressed when I was thirteen or fourteen. Well, before that, too, but I had suicidal thoughts when I was thirteen and fourteen. Then my friend, this guy that I had had a crush on in the eighth grade, was found dead floating in the Berkeley Marina, apparently an OD on a hallucinagin stimulant called belladonna (or Deadly Nightshade). So that was bizarre. I had been a wannabe semi-goth, and I was fascinated with vampires.
One thing that I did not like about vampires, especially in the whole Anne Rice thing, was that they seemed to have no respect for human life; rather, they treated them like vermine. So I skimmed through a bunch of books until I came upon a sophisticated piece of literature: The Last Vampire, by Christopher Pike. Actually, he's a couple steps up from R.L. Stine, but it grabbed me. It was about a 5,000-year-old vampire named Sita, and she was a vicious killer. I didn't like her; she was pompous, a total bitch, and completely full of herself. As the books went on (it's a series of 6), you got to know her character a lot better, and by the second book, I liked her a lot. She was complex, and she had been through a lot. Anyway, I want to say this as quickly as possible...basically, she wanted no more than to be human again, even after 5,000 years of developing amazing powers that made me see her as a goddess. And she became my goddess; Sita, the goddess of protection, in my religion. I really didn't do her justice; I just didn't want to blab too long. The series changed my life, and I became more spiritual, more in tune with myself, and eventually began to love myself. I also began to see life in a new light, and I loved life as well. Yay! Happy ending.
So now I'm 21. Funny how the turning points in my life are in sevens; I moved across the country to Berkeley, California from Nyack, New York when I was seven; I came out of a suicidal depression and developed my own spirituality when I was fourteen; and now, I'm taking a leave of absence from Antioch College (the only place I can really call my home), living with my parents in Berkeley, once again. Did I mention I'm lonely and miserable? All I want is to be back with my boyfriend that I love so much, and at Antioch with all my friends. My boyfriend is transferring to another college, but we still plan on being together.
Whew! Aren't we glad we're done with that? I'm not sure how good I am at Mary's type of pontification while writing. I'm more of a journal kind of person. Even though I'm very political and constantly arguing with other people. See you later, cyberspace!