Monday, December 21, 2009

CAN ANYONE OUT THERE RENT, LEND OR SELL ME A DECENT CAR?

It's a long story, which I'm tired of telling. But the end of it is that I do not have a viable vehicle. And I need one starting on December 29th.

Anyone got a car they wanna get rid of?

Contact me at spoozilla@gmail.com.

Thanks! And Happy Winter Whatever!!

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

HOW DARE YOU! THIS IS A 1981 HONDA!!!

Skeeter said...

can you drive a stick?

Anonymous said...

Bicycle!

Good Practice.

Harry said...

Skeeter,

A pogo stick? He's no spring chicken, man.

Regards,

H.

Anonymous said...

Some cocky Teen looks over at older guy in the gym-showers and feels pretty meagre in comparison to the schlong that's suddenly presented itself before him.

After a deflationary period, the Teen kicks his mojo back to life, consoling himself with the thought that he has, after all, got some growing room left, and so gets on with the business of sizing up in every other way too.

Years pass. Ex-Teen, now fully grown, finds himself in the same gym-shower looking over at schlong guy again. Nope, still falling short.

After another deflationary period, Ex-teen does some serious investing in weights and sports cars. And what not.

At the height of his powers, ex-teen loses some all important promotion to the 'top-spot' to a guy who can now afford pretty much anything better and bigger.

To make matters worse, he finds, while in the work shower one day, that his nemesis is an almost perfect Adonis, with a schlong larger than even that chirpy old gym-shower-guy from way back.

To make matters even worse, during the awkward promotion party, he discovers that Adonis had been engaged to his wife. They had parted ways only a few months before getting married: he, a Harvard Educated, thrice decorated ex-Marine, who couldn't commit himself fully to her at that time, such were the scars of war and his 'one-eyed' commitment to 'bleeding it out' for a year in Africa for the Red-Cross; she a 'silly, and once impetuous, girl who could only see betrayal in his youthful idealism', and who had broken the engagement off in a hastily scrawled letter to Somalia, before uprooting to Paris for a year 'to gaze up at the Eiffel Tower until I found myself'.

Ex-Teen puts two and two together. "Ah. So HE was the 'first love' with the 'really nice cock' she'd once mentioned, while drunk," he mumbles to himself, while reaching for the Viagra.

On one balmy night, and in a particularly I'm-cool-with-anything smile on, Ex-teen inquires about the previous night's 'size not being everything' croon, with what he knows about Adonis's 'massive' endowment.

She explains to him that it wasn't 'massive' -- that if it had been, it would have been 'too often too painful to accommodate.' No, it was just 'perfect', she adds, her eyes drifting into the distance.

Which wasn't really what he was fishing for, of course. Ex-teen still has dick issues, along with a lot of others.

It does, though, seem to provide him with some tiny insight into a problem his newly tea-total mate -- who's got back into Zen-- is having with the whole 'student exceeding the master' question.

He's now come to terms, you see, at least with the notion that his perception of Adonis's cock size had exceeded, in all its huge-ness, the fact of the matter: no more than a good 8.5 - 9 inches with, it must be admitted, an almost admirably solid girth.(He'd quickly arrived at a clear picture of its one-pointed wakeful state, even as it had dozed there, before him, dripping and winking soap suds through the silver clouds of pock-marked steam.)

For it had occurred to him, that week, that in some distant and weirdly intimate way, it was he who was, and always had been-- how to put it-- a very, very big boy.

Massive even. If not yet a 'real' man. No, his Pa had let him know, after his wife's affair with Adonis and the subsequent divorce, how he'd always had an inkling he'd never be one of those.

His Pa had seemed a little more shrunken that day.

His Zen mate has the bigger card board box to sleep in, by the way, and a rye-injected Moon too.

Brad Warner said...

I can drive stick and prefer it. I do have a bicycle. But this is Los Angeles county and you can go only so far on a bike.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Osho, who was given all these Rolls-Royce motorcars by his followers ;) Just kidding.

Anonymous said...

I'd buy new if I were looking for a car
good deals are out there and you're getting old for this problematic car scene
get one with good warranty and good mileage
extend the warranty
you'll enjoy your ride
It's a treat to get in a car and not wonder if you'll get there

gniz said...

Agree with last anon about getting a new car. Hopefully if your credit's not fucked, you can get a good APR on the financing, but my credit was shitty and I still got a brand new Toyota Corolla a couple years back.

So happy I did that after all my used car woes. Seriously, get a new car if possible.

Mumon said...

I don't suppose you've heard of Craig's List.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

New

unless someone is giving a 'classic' car
I talkn' style here
LA women like nice cars
you want a woman to take you seriously then you need to not be less than serious about the reliability and the comfort of your ride
this represents your whole approach to a whole world of things
I too used to think automatic roll up windows were silly but then my arm got messed up those things sure are handy parking structures toll booths border checkpoints
get a new car and drive. X country with your girl
road trip in new car: doesn't get sweeter

apocalypto said...

Brad: Gniz is right. A new Toyota corolla for the working guru makes a lot of sense..

$205 Lease for 36 months, $0 down

$145 Lease for 36 months, $1,997 down

If that isn't pimping enough, Osho's Black Kimono is for sale.

Anonymous said...

Thinking over the year and Big Thanks (tm) are in order to Gniz: your blog is great reading, great issues and I really look forward to it
Brad's blog is better for it
I very much appreciate the time in research you and Nella Lou put into your well written pieces
it is quite the gift
merci bien

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

Get a used car, get some tools, get a Chilton's car manual, and get your butt to work. One of the almighty "zen" experiences is that of repairing your own vehicle.

Anonymous said...

Zen and the art of keeping a piece of shit car running..

gniz said...

Hey Anon,

Thanks for the compliment. Just trying to do my part ;)

Anonymous said...

Brad, you just need to steal a car. I realize alot of people in hippy-dippy La la land say that stealing is never the answer. But the sad fact is that stealing a car is often the best solution to a complex human problem like yours. If you say that stealing is never the answer, you're just hiding from the facts. After we come to understand why stealing works so damn well we can start to build a world where stealing is not necessary. Stealing is bad, not doubt about it. But if you want to end stealing you need to acknowledge that as things stand right now, stealing is all too often necessary.

Yeah, I know that according to Gautama Buddha we are not supposed to take what is not given. But Gautama Buddha expressed that stuff in a way that was uniquely his own, that came from his distinctive personality. So you don't have to study his teachings in order to understand it. We are all buddhas and express that in our own ways. Gautama chose to express it by saying you shouldn't steal. But since I'm manifesting the same universal force spirit goo, I can say it's ok to steal a car if you need to. That's the teaching that flows through me. I'm not bound by those old teachings that may or may not have been given by Gautama. Steal a car, Brad. That's the answer.

Brad Warner said...

Dear Anon who tried badly to parody what I said... It's very beautiful to say that war is never the answer. I wish that was true. It is certainly true that war is never the ultimate answer. But it's a sad fact that war works very, very, very well sometimes.

Why is that? What do YOU have to do with that? What do I have to do with that? These are the important questions. War is YOUR responsibility. It is MY responsibility.

To deny the way human civilization actually operates will not get us anywhere.

Jinzang said...

War only works well for the side with all the weapons, not for the poor people whose country is getting blown apart. Ask a family that's lost a child or a parent how well the war has worked for them.

conprome said...

Jinz - it seems North Americans often only have in mind recent 20th century attacks by the USA on smaller, less militarily 'advanced' nations, whose "country [gets] blown apart".

Very many wars, throughout history, throughout the rest of the world, have been fought between pretty 'evenly matched' forces, where the phrase "the side with all the weapons" doesn't apply. And, of course, many people have been maimed and killed on both sides.

Not an argument for or against, you understand, just correcting a false premise.

gniz said...

Jinzang, Brad isn't saying war works the way you think he is. Stop taking everything so literally, you should know better.

Krishnamurti said...

War is the spectacular and bloody projection of our everyday life, is it not?

War is merely an outward expression of our inward state, an enlargement of our daily action. It is more spectacular, more bloody, more destructive, but it is the collective result of our individual activities. Therefore, you and I are responsible for war and what can we do to stop it? Obviously the ever-impending war cannot be stopped by you and me, because it is already in movement; it is already taking place, though at present chiefly on the psychological level. As it is already in movement, it cannot be stopped- the issues are too many, too great, and are already committed. But you and I, seeing that the house is on fire, can understand the causes of that fire, can go away from it and build in a new place with different materials that are not combustible, that will not produce other wars. That is all that we can do. You and I can see what creates wars, and if we are interested in stopping wars, then we can begin to transform ourselves, who are the causes of war.

What causes war – religious, political or economic? Obviously belief, either in nationalism, in an ideology, or in a particular dogma. If we had no belief but goodwill, love and consideration between us, then there would be no wars. But we are fed on beliefs, ideas and dogmas and therefore we breed discontent. The present crisis is of an exceptional nature and we as human beings must either pursue the path of constant conflict and continuous wars, which are the result of our everyday action, or else see the causes of war and turn our back upon them.

Obviously what causes war is the desire for power, position, prestige, money; also the disease called nationalism, the worship of a flag; and the disease of organized religion, the worship of a dogma. All these are the causes of war; if you as an individual belong to any of the organized religions, if you are greedy for power, if you are envious, you are bound to produce a society which will result in destruction.

turtestr said...

@anon @ 2.32 -

"I'm not bound by those old teachings that may or may not have been given by Gautama".

Correct. We are all free to steal, or recommend stealing, sincerely or sarcastically, as we wish; to be "bound" by teachings that may or may not have been given by Gautama, or not. I choose not to consider myself bound by the teachings of G Buddha or anyone else. Perhaps that way I'm less likely to get involved in intractable conflicts - with people or things. (BTW, I thought it was a pretty good parody ;-))

@Brad, or any other volunteer -

It is very beautiful to say: "War is YOUR responsibility. It is MY responsibility" but I've no idea what that means. I live a pretty simple, solitary life these days; I've not fought in a war; the conflicts I've been involved in are rare, personal, and peacefully resolved or forgotten. I'm not involved in any form of political agitation or campaigning; I don't protest or march. I've been physically aggressive once. I'm doing my best to live a quiet, contented life. I don't think I'm so unique. Yet there is war.

Would you, Brad, or somebody else please explain how I am "responsible" for war. I'm asking sincerely, and would appreciate a specific answer, not "If you can't see that you are everything, get back on the zafu".

(@ krishnamurti -

Thanks for your explanation. It sounds convincing, but I'm not convinced. Of course people make war, so, in some sense, it is "an outward expression of our inward state". But not many inward states are "greedy for power" or "envious" to the extent that results in armed conflict - even thieves and robbers are a small group in society. Most of us are peaceful and our conflicts well contained. So I'm not so sure that wars are "the result of our everyday action". I suspect there are other, qualititively different factors that produce war.

So would someone please clarify how I am responsible for war.

turtestr said...

Make that "...physically aggressive three times (once when I was 10)."

...and I don't drive either. Sorry.

Ran K. said...

To Brad's last comment:
(4:24 PM)

I do not deny that war is sometimes "the answer", - i.e. the right thing to do.

But it's not enough for the fact to be that war works however well (- sometimes) to justify that.

We should still consider what are, or are not, the alternatives.

Had it been otherwise we might come to terrible conclusions.

I do not deny that "to deny the way human civilization actually operates will not get us anywhere" but we should think realistically, not abstractly.

As for the comment to which Brad was relating: - (Anonymous, 2:32 PM) It makes me think of the story in Luke 19, 28-36.

("The Lord needs it".)

- I myself stole bread once, (twice, - actually) when having nothing to eat.

Sometime stealing is the answer.

- But it is better not to tell people this because they would interpret it as much more often than it really is.

Uchiyama Roshi speaks at length (in "Opening the hand of Thought", I don't remember where exactly) about a monk (who was later to become a master) who stole from the monastery kitchen at the time he was the cook since the monks were starving.

Both Uchiyama Roshi and Master Dogen see the action of this monk as correct.

I wouldn't agree with them, on this particular point. - I think the monk was not trusting his master, and the master used this distrust in order to trick him.

However - the point is that it may in some circumstances be the right thing to do - and I am not questioning how rare the incident may be.

Nishijima's quote is in place - "no rule is our rule" - as long as we don't try to make a rule out of it.



One last remark - Still yet - for people who can not see what Brad is trying to say - it may actually be better not to follow his idea altogether.

Some people will be offended - but intellectual understanding is not understanding - and it is just those who oppose to this idea - who will get it altogether wrong if they try to follow it.

(Not only of course.)

apocalypto said...

"War only works well for the side with all the weapons, not for the poor people whose country is getting blown apart. Ask a family that's lost a child or a parent how well the war has worked for them."

Jinz: Brad saying that war works well is designed to get a reaction from some people.. If he really wanted to go 'guru' on you, he could have said war is a beautiful thing. But I don't think he really wants to stir up that hornet's nest. All he is saying is that there are no black and white issues ever in war or peace. Even the despicable Burmese junta can make a reasonable argument for their outrages. Sometimes keeping the peace involves disturbing it for a time. Sometimes you really do have to destroy a village to save it. I know you know this and I know you know that Brad is a peaceful person. Any sane person knows war is horrible and is to be avoided at all costs. I think Brad is an optimist who takes a long view and senses that humanity should be trusted.

apocalypto said...

Hey Brad, Check out this amazing service.. 1-800-TAXICAB

Brad Warner said...

I basically agree with that quote by Krishnamurti. I am all for stopping all war forever. Please don't misunderstand that.

But I think the peace movement in general does not take any real responsibility for war. They think that war is caused by other people. They think that if everybody would just be like them, wars would stop. I've seen this attitude in operation thousands of times.

And this attitude is exactly the attitude that causes wars -- the attitude that you are wrong and the solution is that you must be like me.

Also, in the present state of humanity, frankly I would not want to live in a country that did not have a strong military. There are truly rotten people out there. And I'm glad to have a military whose job it is to keep those people at bay. It's sad to say this. But it's demonstrably true.

I have great respect for people in the military (well maybe not every single one of them in every single military, but in general). It's an honorable and necessary profession. All of us owe them a great degree of gratitude for allowing us to live in a (mostly) peaceful society at the risk of their own lives. It is naive to believe in the illusion that we could dismantle all of our armies today and still live in a (mostly) peaceful world.

This is a really complex problem. It's not something anyone can solve in the comments section of a blog.

But I'm in Mexico and I still need a working car when I return. That's my immediate problem!

ncates01 said...

berto!!!!

ncates01 said...

suh-weet. my name got posted!!!!!!
k gotta take a shower, good doctors. get that narcissism in check. anyway,hey, people dont suck so much after all, even me. (perhaps especially)

the end.

turtestr said...

Brad -

"...the peace movement in general does not take any real responsibility for war. They think that war is caused by other people. They think that if everybody would just be like them, wars would stop...this attitude is exactly the attitude that causes wars -- the attitude that you are wrong and the solution is that you must be like me."

So war is the fault of everyone who's ever disagreed with someone else? Clearly not.

I'm not a pacifist, in that I too am grateful for an army that will defend me if ever I'm attacked by hostile types seeking to make me like them, against my will. I might even join the home guard and do my bit. But to argue that pacifists are responsible for war just because they disagree with those who feel war is an ocassional, regretable necessity is...silly. By definition, pacifists won't fight. If no one fights, there is no war, say pacifists. It may be an idealistic position, but the logic can't be faulted.

Diagreement is not armed conflict.

gniz said...

Turtestr said: "So war is the fault of everyone who's ever disagreed with someone else?"

I really don't think that's Brad's message here at all. He's talking about a state of mind in which people believe in rigid right and wrong, which taken to a logical extreme, will eventually lead to war.

I don't have a major issue with Brad's point, but in a sense I still think he misses the boat.

I think there's also the distinct possibility that we justify wars and violence post-hoc because we have reasons that go beyond intellectual rationalization for waging war.

turtestr said...

gniz wrote, re what I wrote -

"I really don't think that's Brad's message here at all."

I very much doubt it too, gniz...at least I hope it isn't...but that's pretty much what he wrote. I'm just trying to understand exactly what his point is, and I've only got the words to guide me.

You wrote (perhaps Brad means) "...people believe in rigid right and wrong, which taken to a logical extreme, will eventually lead to war."

But I don't think the "logical" extreme of strong opinions is war. In most situations it isn't. I often believe I'm right, and others are wrong, but aware that they think just the same, I choose to drop it. Like most people, I don't pick up a machete. I think the same could be said about Bush, Blair and Obama - in their private lives.

I've a hunch that armed conflict between nations arises from a different place.

apocalypto said...

Some people will maintain that getting involved in any war is always senseless. That would only be true if whole world lived by that thought.

But no government should ever decide to take a country to war because of what might be gained. That is criminal.

"old dog" said...

Buddhism teaches us to recognize and try to avoid dualistic thinking. Dividing human behavior into "war" and "peace" is dualistic. By placing oneself into the category "against war" on forces a dualistic condition on all other beings - either in or not in that same category.

War exists. It's easy to be "against war," but harder to do something about it. Even soldiers are "against war." How many lives will it save to stand on a street corner with a candle or picket sign? How will "peace activist" behaviour eliminate the root causes of the current conflicts on earth?

If every American Soldier were brought home today, there would still be bombs and shooting tomorrow.

anon777 said...

"But to argue that pacifists are responsible for war just because they disagree with those who feel war is an ocassional, regretable necessity is...silly. By definition, pacifists won't fight. If no one fights, there is no war, say pacifists. It may be an idealistic position, but the logic can't be faulted."

I had this discussion with a lady years ago. I told her I would refuse to serve in any armed service. She said; 'But what if eveyone felt that way?' My reply; "There would be no war."

What she (and probably Brad and others) really meant was what if all americans felt this way. That is totally different. For this reason I mostly agree with Brad's assessment of the peace 'movement'. During the cold war I knew many people who were really opposed to nuclear weapons and felt "we", as in the u.s.a., should immediately get rid of them. I did not support those protestors at all. If the U.S. had unilaterally disarmed as a nation, that would have invited disaster. Either the Soviet Union would have invaded or obliterated the u.s.

If two enemies are facing one another with guns, it is not compassionate to suggest that one of them put their gun down. My own position is that I do not support any armed service at all. I'm not any more or less against the u.s. maintaining an army than I am pakistan. I live in the u.s. I do not consider myself an american. It would be the same were I to have been born in France or Japan. It's not as though a nation of people will suddenly attain enlightenment and put down arms. Delusion knows no national boundary.

I agree with Brad about the uselessness and perhaps even harmfulness of a 'peace movement'. That is not the level on which to solve the problem. There is no political solution, as the Police sang. The solution is for each of us to find. I'm not a pacifist as an ideal. I would likely kill or hurt anyone that attempted to harm myself or loved ones. Pacifism as an ideal is also part of the problem...as all ideologies are part of the problem.

Jinzang said...

This attitude is exactly the attitude that causes wars -- the attitude that you are wrong and the solution is that you must be like me.

Necessary, but not sufficient. The Internet is full of people who are passionately sure they are right and the other guy is wrong. I haven't heard of a case where one went to another's house and sprayed it with machine gun fire. World peace is not endangered because I disagree with you.

There are truly rotten people out there.

The great villains our media constantly warned us about were Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea. Do you think it a coincidence that three of the four sit atop large oil reserves owned by nationalized oil companies?

I'm glad to have a military whose job it is to keep those people at bay.

Exxon and the other oil companies are grateful for our military as well.

It is naive to believe in the illusion that we could dismantle all of our armies today and still live in a (mostly) peaceful world.

The United States spends as much on its military as the rest of the world combined. How can anyone think that level of expenditure is for the defense of our country? If we took half the money and spent it on food, clean drinking water, and medicine for impoverished people in the Third World, we would eliminate these problems and greatly improve the safety and security of this country.

This is a really complex problem.

The details are complex, the basic principles are obvious. It's just that no one wants to think them through, because it goes against our comforatable way of thinking. It's much like vegetarianism.

Jinzang said...

Buddhism teaches us to recognize and try to avoid dualistic thinking. Dividing human behavior into "war" and "peace" is dualistic. By placing oneself into the category "against war" on forces a dualistic condition on all other beings - either in or not in that same category.

Buddha constantly pointed out that some actions lead to suffering and others lead to happiness. It's all through the sutras. Doing so is not dualistic. Does war lead to suffering or happiness? The answer is obvious.

turtestr said...

anon 777 wrote:

"I had this discussion with a lady years ago. I told her I would refuse to serve in any armed service. She said; 'But what if eveyone felt that way?' My reply; "There would be no war."

What she (and probably Brad and others) really meant was what if all americans felt this way."

Surely not!

Is the USA really blind and deaf to the existence of the rest of the world?

(Just heard on UK TV): War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.


Jinz - Your first point I made a while back, but I can use the back-up. The rest of your post introduces economics into the debate - about time. But I don't believe economic interests (eg access to oil) necessarily equate with greed, and it's too easily assumed they do. The west currently depends on oil. Denied access to oil, the western world, dependant on technology fuelled by it, would collapse: many millions would suffer. It's not difficult to argue that safeguarding western oil interests is absolutely a matter of self-defence.

Jinzang said...

It's not difficult to argue that safeguarding western oil interests is absolutely a matter of self-defence.

I disagree. The oil is going to be sold to someone, if not to the United States, then to Europe or China. Oil is a fungible good and the oil that China buys frees up other oil from countries friendly to the United States. Oil producers and oil consumers are both dependent on each other and the reality of the world economy makes sure it will be available. It's war that makes oil unavailable.

turtestr said...

You may well be right, Jinz. I only said the point wasn't difficult to argue. It may be a poor argument, but it clearly has its committed adherents, most of them are in positions of power and influence.

Bottom line, surely, is what can I - any of us - do about the situation, other than have an opinion about it?

Any suggestions?

Jinzang said...

Support politicians and media that are working for peace and not their opponents. The opportunities now are greater than they have ever been.

"old dog" said...

... some actions lead to suffering and others lead to happiness. ... Does war lead to suffering or happiness? The answer is obvious.

It is easy to practice the compassion of watering flowers. It is harder to practice the compassion of pulling weeds. The beautiful weedless garden that requires no work exists only in our minds.

When it is my turn, I will go pull weeds. Please continue watering the flowers for me.

"old dog" said...

anon 777 wrote:

"I had this discussion with a lady years ago. I told her I would refuse to serve in any armed service. She said; 'But what if eveyone felt that way?' My reply; "There would be no war."


One person refusing to serve will not end war. But one person serving honorably and applying compassion to the activities of war can prevent cruelty in that war.

anon777 said...

Let me guess, old dog. You are or were in the military?

All of your talk about pulling weeds sounds like those japanese zen masters saying nothing compares to the compassionate taking of life when it comes to bodhisattva practice. Only for them, the americans were the 'weeds' that needed pulling.

One person not fighting will not end war. One person not hating will not end hate. One person not beating their children will not end child abuse either. Obviously, these won't end until all of us end them.

Prevent cruelty in war? What war itself is not cruel, however ideologically justified?

Do you suppose the japanese people felt safe during WWII knowing their military was there to protect them from the evil world around them? Did the Russians feel grateful during the cold war that their military was there to protect them from the imperialists? The chinese? The germans under Hitler? Were the early american settlers happy to be protected from those godless indian savages by their glorious military?

These are not complex issues. People just perform amazing mental acrobatics in order to not see what is in front of them. The rationalizations are complex and interminable.

My brother-in-law fought in Vietnam. I have 3 close family members fighing in Irag & Afghanistan right now.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. The oil is going to be sold to someone, if not to the United States, then to Europe or China. Oil is a fungible good and the oil that China buys frees up other oil from countries friendly to the United States. Oil producers and oil consumers are both dependent on each other and the reality of the world economy makes sure it will be available. It's war that makes oil unavailable.

That and growing competition for a resource that's getting increasingly difficult to find, extract, and distribute in the volumes "needed":

The Oil Drum

turtestr said...

I asked:

"...what can I - any of us - do about the situation, other than have an opinion about it?
Any suggestions?"

And Jinzang replied: "Support politicians and media that are working for peace and not their opponents. The opportunities now are greater than they have ever been."

What does "support" involve? A cross on a paper once every few years? Volunteering to put leaflets through letter-boxes? Sending donations? Suggesting that others 'support' too, via blog comments, for example?

What does "working for peace" involve? Making speeches? Putting leaflets through letter-boxes? Visiting war-torn countries, expressing outrage and sympathy?

Sorry, but none of these things strike me as likely to make a lot of difference. They haven't done so far, and 'the peace movement' has been around for a couple of millenia at least.

I've noticed that most politicians who, when younger, made their reputations as anti-war activists find their ideals overcome by realpolitik as soon as they enter office. I guess they find they have to deal with the world as it is, and not as they'd like it to be, and somehow this seems to involve maintaining an army and occasionally sending it into action. Why, do you think, does that keep happening? (BTW, I'm British, Jinz - not everyone who reads or comments on this blog lives in the USA ;-)

Those of us who feel strongly will protest, express opinions and support like-minded politicians... and those who don't, won't.

We'll see what happens.

Rich said...

Happy Holidays! May peace, love and happiness fill your world every day.

Anonymous said...

Dennis Kucinich wants to ban handguns but carried one himself in and out of office in Cleveland. I don't believe he is quite the peacenik you believe him to be Jinz.

"old dog" said...

Prevent cruelty in war? What war itself is not cruel, however ideologically justified?

Violence does not equal cruelty. If I punch you in the face at a bus stop that's cruelty. If we are in a boxing ring punching one another in the face, that's violence, but not cruelty. If you kick me in the 'nads during a boxing match, that's cruelty.

Armed warriors killing armed warriors is violent. But not cruel. Armed warriors raping civilians, killing their family and burning down the house is cruel.

Armed warriors at a checkpoint trying to prevent armed warriors with "suicide vests" from killing civilians is not cruel. Armed warriors attempting to enforce the laws of decency and civilization is not cruel.

Meanwhile, armed warriors with carbombs and suicide vests are trying to kill civilians.

Where is the cruelty? Which activity is decreasing suffering and which activity is increasing suffering?

anon777 said...

How about if there simply are no armed warriors? Not ours, not theirs. No armed warriors. The dance goes on, attack, counterattack. Until or unless you step out of it altogether.

My Vietnam vet brother-in-law never talked about the war. He'd never even told his wife of many years about his experiences. He's a quiet man and not given to violence at all.

One night we were playing billiards and drinking beer. He sat down and began to tell me about Vietnam. He told me about killing children because they might be harboring a bomb. He told me about killing young women villagers because you couldn't be sure they weren't the enemy. He was still not sure what the right thing to do would have been. He was carrying much guilt.

My Cousin, now dead, told me of liberating the concentration camps in Germany. About how he and his friends raped the surviving women. It was common practice, he said most of the guys did it. This was the 'good' war.

My nephew, recently back from Afghanistan (and leaving again in 2weeks) just told me about berating his fellow soldiers for shooting civilians simply because they looked at u.s. military personel 'funny'. He's a sargeant. This wasn't WWII or Vietnam, it happened a few weeks ago and the media never hear of it.

All soldiers are not evil people, most probably believe they are doing good on some level. All ideologs believe this. The Soviets believed they were liberating eastern Europe from the tyranny of capitalists. For idealists, the ends justify the means. Killing in order to stop killing. Much like some protesters in the 60's throwing bombs for peace. Anything can be justified. Just ask Dick Cheney about how well torture works or how it is sometimes the 'answer'.

I hold no ill will toward you old dog. I love my military family members too. peace out, lol.

"old dog" said...

How about if there simply are no armed warriors? Not ours, not theirs.
Nice idea. Let's see if we can get the other guys to go along with it.

The dance goes on, attack, counterattack. Until or unless you step out of it altogether.
If we step out, the dance goes on. The hatred, the anger, the intolerance and violence goes on, with or without us. In theory, the US presence is Afghanistan is an attempt to end the dance. The "enemy" in this war doesn't care who dies, and even kill themselves, using themselves as disposable weapons.

Denying or ignoring the violence doesn't make it go away.

Nathan said...

Gotta love all the efforts to prop up warfare as inevitable, necessary, and "realistic." Lots of gyrating to stay in the comfort zone of the known.

Brad's right about a lot of the "peace movement" though - I stopped protesting, marching, etc. for the most part because there was plenty of hateful speech and feelings being expressed towards those who supported and participated in wars. Not helpful in my opinion.

As for the repeated questions about what to do? Here's a long list of not very related options that may or many not produce more peace.

1. Be kind to a stranger. Many strangers.

2. Stop watching hours of TV and believing the stories about our supposed "enemies" coming to get "us."

3. Do Metta meditation for yourself, your friends and family, the community, nation and world.

4. Get out in your community, volunteer, help build organizations that address systemic poverty, racism, classism, and all the other isms that are destroying lives and leading to wars.

5. To those who think state-sanctioned warfare (very different from an individual defending himself/herself) is somehow necessary, admit to yourself that you might be wrong.

6. To those who are pacifists, or non-violent actionists, remember that brow beating and inflamed arguing that condemns others is also a form a violence.

7. Raise your children in non-violent ways, and teach them how to solve conflicts without violence.

8. Stop defending the past.

9. Go out of your way to read about people and groups doing peace-promoting actions.

10. Join those groups, or talk to those people, and learn what they're doing and how it might be effective.

11. Stop using the sutras, the Bible, the Koran, or any other spiritual text to defend warfare.

12. Learn all you can from veterans of war. Even if you disagree with their views of it, you can learn a lot about what happens to people in actual combat.

13. Stop believing in enemies coming to get you, even if there might be people who want to kill people like you.

14. Use your imagination to see a world without war, and how we might get there, knowing it's not going to happen anytime soon. (i.e. put that vow to liberate all beings into action in your mind first, and then work from what vision comes, letting go of all possibility of fruition.)

15. Stop thinking you have all the answers, and that nothing will ever change.

16. Do your best, but don't assume that anything you do will ultimately help.

17. Love the one(s) your with. Right now.

18. Use civil disobedience, wisely.

19. Don't assume that any vision you'll ever have of a peaceful world is what it is. Visions, like teachings, are only pointers.

20. Disagree with others passionately, but kindly.

turtestr said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Nathan, but I'm rather stuck in being who I am :-)

Anonymous said...

Brad paraphrased:
"How do you support war?"

Um, by paying taxes?

Also, instead of standing armies
fighting foreign wars,
we could have
armed citizens defending our own homes
rather than stealing
others' oil overseas.

Anonymous said...

Merry Xmas!

anon #108 said...

I want hypertext lessons for Xmas :(

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqOfXumI18A&feature=related

rojola said...

Brad, whats with the gmail address? Is doubtboy at mac still your mail address? Just send you a mail there about a documentary you should check.
And about the car, I would get a hybrid car. They are supposed to be clean and also save you a lot of cash on gas! Very zen if you ask me ;-)

anon #108 said...

Rojola!!

You've no sense of occasion!
Don't you recognise a finale when you hear one??

I despair.

Kyla said...

Anon777 had a very illuminating comment which cuts throught all the hypothoses and pontificating with real life examples. I chose this quote as example:
"My Cousin, now dead, told me of liberating the concentration camps in Germany. About how he and his friends raped the surviving women. It was common practice, he said most of the guys did it. This was the 'good' war."
Anon's comment really left me speechless.

Anonymous said...

LA may be a big place, but so is Japan and it didn't seem to retard the development of Zen for those old guys to walk from place to place.

You could get on the bus?

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