Wednesday, November 30, 2005
-from Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, signed at Tripoli November 4, 1796 and ratified without debate by the U.S. Senate June 10, 1797.
Full treaty text: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/diplomacy/barbary/bar1796t.htm#art11
The authorship of this text is often ascribed to either George Washington or John Adams by history, law or philosophy scholars. Example and bibliography: http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/quotes_founders.html
Read a concise, masterful dissection of this debate and the place of this document in it in the December 2005 issue of Mother Jones:
Finally, in the holiday spirit, think about buying a super-bargain ($10!!!) subscription to this awesome publication for a friend or family member (disclaimer: I have no ties whatsoever, financial or otherwise - except as a loyal subscriber - to Mother Jones): http://www.motherjones.com/subscribe/
May truth find you ever hungry for more,
Sunday, November 27, 2005
In that spirit, I pose a (rather lengthy - sorry!) philosophical question for whoever out there might like to discuss/comment:
As I (and I imagine each of us) deal with my own personal version of trangenderism in my own way, is it possible to peacefully mix past and present? In my case, I am struggling with what parts of my old self to discard or place distance between, and what parts to hold onto. I mostly have made choices so far by instinct; by what feels right and what doesn't, but I am unsure if those judgments have been tainted by my desire to fit in more - to be more of what is stereotypically considered a woman.
I do find the idea of severing many of the ties to my male past appealing; enabling me to more cleanly create myself anew and escape the labels of gender bigots. On the other hand, I don't want to act or think a certain way simply because of a desire to more closely adhere to some archaic set of socially conditioned beliefs about gender roles. I find these choices facing me every day - many are no brainers, but others pose murkier conundrums.
As a lesser example, I have been thinking lately about my relationship to sports. It's self-evident to me that for some sports that I did previously maintain some lesser interest in (golf, basketball, hockey), I no longer feel that interest. For others (baseball and football primarily), the (often testosterone-based) pleasure I gain from them is still strong. What I wonder mostly is if over time even my interest in baseball and football will fade, and if so whether this is a choice that is pure reason-based or influenced by hormones and or pervasive gender role stereotypes. And in the end if I do shed most of these past enjoyments, will there still be a kernel left over of the person that started this journey?
I am, of course, a strong proponent of free thought and making decisions as distanced from social pressures and fears as possible. So I find myself brought back to relying on instinct and an examination of my feelings when partaking and having no clearer understanding of why I make some of my choices. I realize much of this is pure speculative and unproductive overthinking, however, anyone have thoughts they want to share on this?
Friday, November 25, 2005
Time for a Whitley CD jam session tonight...
Peace and harmony,
Thursday, November 24, 2005
2. You cannot attend a "town hall" meeting with our democratically elected president if you hold a belief that is opposed to any held by that man's administration:
...and the reason that the majority of we ordinary citizens will never have a chance to meet our democratically elected national representative is that he refuses to let anyone with an open mind or a dissenting view within about 37,000 feet of his "royal" presence...
What's next - must all drop to their knees, head to the ground whenever this emperor's motorcade passes by or when Air Force One passes overhead?
But complaining about these abuses of power will not resolve them - instead we must engage our neighbors, co-workers and family members in civil, informed discussions of these issues and promote the basic need of any democracy - open government by and for the people. We must write letters to our local political and religious representatives and letters to the editors of local and national news organizations that question the actions of our representatives. We must take to the streets in non-violent protest, despite the fact that the fundamental freedom to gather and address grievances to our government has been strictly curtailed by that same government...
All hail King George! Seriously, our government is looking more and more like a haughty monarchy ruling over the cowering peasant masses every day. Their most powerful weapon in this power struggle - religion.
Same way the kings and emperors of old used religion, piety and ignorance to instill fealty in their overworked and underpaid countrymen: playing to their dual fears of being ostracized socially and financially, of being labeled a heretic, heathen, socialist, terrorist, atheist, liberal - take your pick.
Future generations will come to their senses though, and perhaps look upon this period in history as the "Second Dark Age" - even though it must be pointed out that in many, many aspects (excepting the parallel climates of heightened fear, religious radicalism and death in religion's name) neither this nor the first dark age were universally dark... :-)
ps: happy turkey day - go Cowboys!!!
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
The battle: gentle, sensuous, slow, intimate and sweet vs. rough [and no I don't (necessarily) mean physical harm as much as driven by a powerful, often intense but short-lived lust], impersonal but passionate, needy, kinky, hormonal and guttural. The rub is that what really gets me off emotionally is the former. And this type of sexual contact definitely feeds into pleasurable physical stimuli because the last two times I had an orgasm it was mostly slow and gentle touching that set it off and it didn't involve penetration. Plus these last few instances blew away in intensity and length any orgasm I ever experienced as a boy. But it seems that not having had penetrative sex in a very long time is wearing me down on some level, despite the fact that I can't get a functional erection, do not really like anal and have little if any desire to have random sexual encounters. Still, I sometimes find myself craving a more, how shall I say, experimental? instinctual? animal-like encounter. I just have no idea how that might happen, what form it would take and most importantly for my instant-gratification-addled mind - when!.
Can I remain a neutral, mediating figure in this epic siege for my body and soul? I think so. I certainly hope so. Until then I remain holed up (in self-exile?) in my remote castle, behind thick battlements and with attackers (or suitors?) harrying me from all sides, but stocked and ready for the long haul if that is what is needed to stay alive and win this war of pleasure-attrition.
I just realized in reading what I wrote that I used far too many military analogies for someone who abhors violence. Guess it's my old medieval history background rearing its oft-neglected head. But then again, all life is shackled to the cycles of destruction in order to thrive and procreate and I'm no different in my own way, so fuck it, right?
From the front lines of a for the moment idle battlefield I will bid you, my faithful reader, adieu (wow - I'm laying on the affected 19th century wordiness fucking heavy now! :-)
In peace and pleasure,
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Now, there is certainly nothing wrong with being skeptical - in fact that trait is essential for maintaining a rigorous scientific method able to get at the most plausible explanation of the world around us; the statistically most probable unadorned physical truth given the results of repeated and repeated again objective scientific observation and experimentation. Does that mean that bias does not enter into science? Hell no - just the fact that we're observing something with a purpose or hypothesis in mind changes what is being observed in often unknown ways. It is also basic human nature to apply our own beliefs towards our work ethic. But probable, plausible and physical are the key terms here I think.
Science at its most basic is defined as: "the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding...knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena" [from: Merrian-Webster Online Dictionary]. In other words it is the goal of science to understand the physical processes that make us and the universe around us work. This includes the mental processes that form the structure for our thoughts. It does not generally include ideas based purely on myth, philosophy or religious belief, such as the existence of the soul, life after death, moral systems, etc. (except, I suppose, how physical systems might effect those beliefs).
And hence, that is why I do not think any incarnation of "intelligent design" should be included in the "science" curriculum. Does that mean it should be excluded from education altogether? Not at all. It should be discussed in detail in religion and social studies and perhaps modern history. But intelligent design, at its core is an idea based on a religious belief (that there is an unknowable intelligent agent behind the order-chaos of our 'verse).
But back to the original purpose of this entry: uncovering the seedy side backgrounds and corporate/political/religious associations of the tiny minority of scientists who are the nay-sayers in crucial social debates that have an overwhelming scientific basis and agreement among the vast majority of experts, like evolution, global warming, environmental health, logging and forest stewardship, contraception and reproductive rights and many more. In short - many (not all) of these skeptics have dubious scientific credentials and or close relationships with conservative religious and corporate organizations that are opposed to these scientific findings. There is also usually a compelling financial component; these people are paid well for their services in the art of what I call "bizarro-world scientific method." Here's one recent example in all it's sleaziness:
Finally, if you want to see detailed outlines of specifically how the Bush administration and his conservative-minded scientific hacks have distorted science in the name of capitalism, religion, and or politics, check this out from the prestigious Union of Concerned Scientists:
Specific Examples of the Abuse of Science:
Now go enlighten yourself and then your neighbors and colleagues about this stuff!
Hopefully in truth and peace,
Friday, November 11, 2005
- I wanted to do it for various, and I would assume typical in this situation, reasons. Not least among them being the wad of cash being thrown my way to do it.
- Hey - I missed the first 30 years of being a girl and most of the rites of female passage and so while my relative youth and decent looks still allows, I decided to revel briefly in my femininity.
- I was also interested in the adventure of it; 0f testing my sexual limitations and exploring a realm for which I only have a very, very distant and thin, theoretical understanding. Although to be honest, the porn adventure, while certainly for the most part fun and exciting, didn't really give me much insight into the "industry" and thats fine with me.
- Jon, the photographer and site owner, is an awesome person and a total professional and made me feel totally at ease prior to and while doing the shoot. Plus I got to tour a bit of Boston and check out legendary clubs Jacques and Manray.
- I'm still trying to figure out my sexuality (just a friendly reminder - gender and sexuality are completely separate issues) and so exposing myself and using a large dildo on myself on camera (that happened to have a heavy real doll attached to it..lol) was not a big deal. My face is already plastered all over the net, so a couple more, just more revealing, images, doesn't make a difference to me.
- As you might have surmised from the general tone of my blog, I am anti-authoritarian. My natural instinct; my default reflex, is to give the bird to any moral convention or social mores that I can (and that I myself am comfortable dissing), primarily just so I can stick it to those that wish to impose their close-minded belief systems on the rest of us.
- This is reaching, I know: diversity and freedom of expression are the core values of any open and free society...
Hmmm...reading back what I just wrote I highly doubt I have assuaged the curiosity, indignation and or consternation of some of my gentle readers regarding pornography, eroticism and my tiny imprint on its vast, mostly underground existence. To be honest, I'm sort of ambivalent about the whole thing; neither elated nor ashamed of the final product. It was a chance at a new experience; a new sensation. And I took it and do not regret it at all.
Monday, November 07, 2005
In response to a question about his administration's drive to stop congress from outlawing torture, "Our country is at war and our government has the obligation to protect the American people," Bush said. "Any activity we conduct is within the law. .." [http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/11/07/bush.torture.ap/index.html]
"God loves you, and I love you. And you can count on both of us as a powerful message that people who wonder about their future can hear."—Los Angeles, Calif., March 3, 2004 [http://www.slate.com/id/76886/]
He thinks he's on a par with his god and he thinks his word is law in wartime (a war that if Bush has his way will never end!)...?