Monday, August 28, 2006

The Duckworth event went well. Something like 40+ people showed up. Duckworth decribed her tour of duty in Iraq, her injury, and her recovery and answered questions on energy independence, Bush's impeachment (she's currently against it), the estate tax, political change at the local level, Amtrak, and many other topics. Even the most right-wing members of my family were extremely impressed, and even converted. The experience was altogether uplifting.

They took some pictures and I'll post them when I receive them.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The amazing technicolor mailing.

Which is, of course, composed completely of lies. Duckworth has said that she is considering voting to repeal Bush's tax cuts for the top tax bracket. Most of these mailings went to people that are not in the top tax bracket. Therefore, for the vast majority of people who received the mailing, it was a lie. And since Roskam undoubtedly realizes all of this, it was a deliberate untruth, or a lie. Doesn't Roskam's right-wing faction of the Anglican church require honesty from its members?
Introducing... Republicans for Duckworth .
Tammy Duckworth must be doing pretty well — people are starting to tell lies about her.
To her credit Duckworth does have an impressive background. Besides serving her country in Iraq, she has a BA in political science and a Master’s in International Affairs. However, she has recently made headlines, refusing to debate her election opponent, Republican State Senator Peter Roskam.
For that sentence to be true, it would have to say:
...refusing to debate her election opponent at all of the forums that he proposed.
Duckworth has accepted four out of seven debate venues. The ones she did not accept were partisan affairs, like the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry. With these tactics, Roskam's campaign reeks of desperation.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

You know that great big scary terrorist plot last week to blow up airplanes in the sky and kill thousands of people simultaneously which forced the FAA to take everyone's lip gloss? It's sounding slightly less scary to Kevin Drum. Let's keep an eye on future news reports on this subject and see of it turns out to be another Bush Bamboozlement™.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It occurs to me that Rupert Sheldrake's theory of morphic resonance could explain religious phenomenon like holy sites and pilgrimages. Holy sites could contain substances that could alow pilgrims or meditators to 'tune into' various fields or awareness not possible at other locations. No supernatural entities are necessary.

Sheldrake's theory is basically a powerful theory of subtle energies, and is what Wilber (without crediting the source) has co-opted or popularized in order to create his 'post-metaphysical' Wilber-V model.

Back to Cognos training...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I will be hosting a coffee for US Congress candidate Tammy Duckworth at my house on Sunday, September 27th at 2 PM. If you can come, please do. Email me for directions.

UPDATE: It will be from 3 to 5 PM, not 2 to 4.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Monday, August 07, 2006

A lot has been happening this summer, but I havent been posting much. I've been trying to write an essay about my trip to Crestone, Colorado, where I attended lectures by William Irwin Thompson. That trip has led to renewed interest in Bateson, Rudolf Steiner, Aurobindo, Gebser, and chaos theory. and to a decrease in my interest in Wilber, which had been waning since I discovered Thompson in October 2005. The whole "Wyatt Earp" fiasco only increased the velocity of my descending opinion of Wilber.

Then Alan Kazlev published his critique of Ken Wilber, which underscored the differences between Aurobindo's system and Ken Wilber's Advaito-Mahayana-Daist conception. (Wilber, of course, paints his own system as congruous to Aurobindo's.) This led to a renewed interest in the post-Wilberian integral movement.

Then I saw Morris Berman on CSPAN-2's BookTV plugging his new book Dark Age America. Somehow I have remained unaware of Berman until now, so I started reading his The Re-enchantment of the World which is about Batesonian holism and the scientistic turn Western Civ has taken since the Renaissance.

The thing about Berman's talk that really resonated with me was his view of the West as in a crisis that is primarily spiritual, rather than one that is primarily environmental, strategic, or economic.

Then there is the congressional race in my district, which could be one of the hottest in the country. Tammy Duckworth, a heavily wounded Iraq War vet is running against Peter Roskam, an ultra-conservative Republican whose allies include Dick Cheney and soon-to-be-convicted criminal Tom DeLay. I'm helping Tammy out in my own little way.

Anyway, what occurred to me during Quaker meeting yesterday was that one problem with Democrats is their embrace of secular scientism. This has allowed Republicans to (falsely) paint themselves as the party of traditional values and, by default, of spirituality. That's why Barack Obama's embrace of religious language is such a profound and important step.

In addition, I've been reading Jean Gebser's Ever-present Origin, Jeffrey Kripal's Kali's Child, Rudolf Steiner's Knowledge of Higher Worlds, and Bill Thompson's The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light. And I've been engaging in various debates on Wikipedia on Peter Roskam, Pseudoscience, Nietzsche, Ramakrishna, etc. Great films that I have seen this summer include V for Vendetta and Deepa Mehta's Water.