01-29-06 1:49  •  Fasting

Wendy: Many of the world religions and beliefs discuss fasting. I have never fasted, however the topic came up in church recently. Have you fasted? How do you do it? What are the standards you use? How long do you fast?

Fasting can be abstaining from just about anything, but usually people mean a food fast so I'll stay there.

I do 2-3 day liquid fasts (i.e. I only consume liquids, no solid foods). Some people take that a notch further by only allowing water. In general, if you are of at least mediocre health a three day fast will present no physiological problems. If you have issues (dibetes, etc.), ask a doctor.

The 2-3 day fast is a very convenient format because it gets you past the immediate hunger stage into the actual fasting state and you can start Friday morning and end Sunday night without disrupting the rest of your life.

Here are some tips.
Eat a light meal Thursday night and break your fast on a light meal Sunday night.
Don't do anything more strenuous than a light walk.
Unplug all the phones, unplug all the tv's and radios, turn off the cell, let the kids know there is going to be a quiet weekend.
Have what ever you might need so you don't have to shop for a day or two after the end of the fast. Give yourself some reentry time.
Drink a lot of water, even if you allow juice.
A lot of people like to observe silence during the fast.
Most people enjoy a bit of ceremony before during and after.
Keep it 'light'. If you get too serious about it the universe will mess with you just to yank your chain.
Fasting with some one is a good way to bond. Have a special friend or friends over for the weekend.

Some people have difficulty with fasting, particularly people with eating disorders.
Don't fast if you have problems with food.
This is not a diet, it is a spiritual exercise in want and giving up/letting go.
I'd start to be concerned if I was fasting more than once a week, usually I find once every six months is fine.

Remeber you stop feeling hungry, but its just a defense mechanism to keep your body going. Also, you are in an altered state of consciousness which can become unexpectedly profound with NO WARNING. Don't drive! Don't consume intoxicants! Don't do dangerous physical activities like scuba diving or rockclimbing! Do dust off your common sense.

Three days or less is important especially if you are doing a just water fast. Eventually your body begins to deplete its reserves in dangerous ways so don't go more than three days without some one who is familiar with you and familiar with longer fasts to guide you.

Sleep deprivation is far more mentally altering. Mixing this with a fast and chanting/prayer is the essencial ingredients to a vision quest. This is a non trivial endevor. Don't try it without some one you trust to help watch and keep track of your body and you will need more reentry time.

Most religions have specific methods of chanting/praying that are approved, check with a priest. This can be quite rewarding to mix with fasting though it can cause far more altering of your conscious state.

If something freaky happens or some one seems to be having trouble coping, I don't recommend dialing 911 for a spiritual crisis.

Instead tip a friend off about your plans and give them a call if you need a reality check.

The fast can be quickly aborted by just eating a bannana or two. Bannanas have all the essential food substances you may have depleted, including potassium. Put the crisis on hold, put on your favorite soothing music, do a little light stretching, wait 15-30 minutes for the banana to hit and reevaluate the situation.

So there it is in a nutshell.

01-28-06 2:48  •  Dualism

Nolen: Catholics take mind-body dualism to a point that I would not be willing to go, but I find the separation useful and insightful. What's your take?

You might be interested in soft dualism (or functional dualism).

Basically it side-steps the essence question as uninteresting and says complex patterns, be they minds or software programs, act as if they have a degree of independence seperate from the underlying hardware. (For example, you can capture ideas in a book, back up and restore software, etc. Even thought is fully dependent on implementation in a physical substructure for its functioning.)

Soft dualism tends to go hand-in-hand with connectionism and the concept of emergent properties.

Of course this is a pragmatic and hence materialistic approach, though it is by no means a hardline reductionist position.

That would make things like souls a natural phenomena and you might have to make your soul from the patterns of your life instead of it being innate in some way.

But then I've long felt Louis Armstrong knew more about soul than all of xtianity combined.

01-27-06 3:45  •  Poem of the Gods

TwoWings: Do you find themes that fascinate you running throughout the religious texts?

Told I was blind without gods,
I went looking in books for gods but found only ideas.
I once thought I saw god in a brook.
But realized I was only seeing the brook itself.
So I took off my god colored glasses and realized
I wasn't blind after all.

01-24-06 8:60  •  Vegetarian diet

Veganesh: Most religions promote vegetarian diet, don't they?

After my cat and I watched a commercial which assured us that deep sea fish and massive herbavors are the tastes cats naturally crave, we both agreed that if humans want to stay off the list we better keep our predation skills sharp.

So I've become a militant lacto-ovo-pesco-carno-avo-puerco-vegan.

And since any one who disagrees with my diet usually dies of starvation after a few weeks, I know it is mandated by god.

01-24-06 2:34  •  Baha'i Faith

TwoWings: I am in the Baha'i Faith. Now, in my religion it is the belief that there has always been only one divine religion.

And of course, yours is the best representation of that one divine religion.

Welcome to being part of the problem.

TwoWings: So, many religions could be said to be an offshoot of one another.

Which is not only untrue, it is a profound disrespect for those other religions.

Even if there was only one mountain in the whole universe, that doesn't mean that two distinct paths to the top are "offshoots" of each other. The many have nothing in common except their goals.

TwoWings: Does this mean that all religions are divine? No. A religion that is from a mortal's mind is not divine. A religion revealed from a Manifestation of God (one who is able to perfectly reflect God's spiritual essence) is said to be divinely inspired, this is my understanding, as a Baha'i.

Welcome to being part of the problem, part two.

Since you are not god, I don't see how you truly know what is divine and what is not. Nor do I see that god must only manifest in ways you understand and approve of.

In short Baha'i is just another vying competetive faith trying to scramble to the top which has adopted some ecumenical verbage as part of is attempt to garner the worshipers of other faiths. It doesn't actually welcome or embrace those other faiths as equal to itself and it sees itself as both standard and judge by with other faiths may be condemned.

TwoWings: I don't know why you are always so very angry at the Baha'i posts

Just lucky I guess. I think part of it must be the raw freshness which leaves the hypocracies closer to the surface. Of course mysogyny always ticks me off too and the smug dismissal of other faiths while claiming to embrace them...the pretending your faith is something special while expressing loads of insecurity.

TwoWings: You have often stated that you don't have a religion and that you don't believe in God. You choose the best for yourself. I choose the best for myself. I believe in God. I believe He has a distinct plan for humanity. I believe that He has had one religion and only one religion from the very moment He created the very first thing He created. I believe this through the Writings of Baha'u'llah.

You believe...you believe...
You believe in a lot of crap, but you don't seem to actually know anything.
If you did know something, it wouldn't be necessary to believe at all because there would be incontravertable evidence.

While I occasionally indulge in fantastic beliefs for my amusement, or the amusement of others, I do not choose to impose those fanatasies on you.

Don't just believe. Bring me this god and let him do his own talking. If he has a plan, he can explain it for himself. If he is so stupid he can think of only one religion, then we can sit down and work on some fresh ideas. We can also free him of the absurd notion that he created anything. Things just are. Neither created, nor destroyed. The writings of Baha'u'llah are no better than the writings of L. Ron Hubbard or any other religious fantasy write, like say "Q."

TwoWings: Baha'u'llah wrote the scripture of the Faith all before 1892, and the laws before 1863. He proclaimed women equal to men, He proclaimed slavery ended, He proclaimed no more clergy.

This is NOT a mall religion, picking a little bit of this from one religion and some of that from another. It isn't MAN MADE. It is God made.

It is man made from stem to stern. There isn't one iota that is made by any one else.

Let's just presume a deity as you claim for a moment. What is the language of god?
What medium does god's word get expressed in?
Reality. The universe.

The closest any one has ever come to translating the word of such a god into english would be physics.

If you have words in a book, it is instantly known to just be the work of some guy.

If he claims it is god's word he's either dangerously delusional or a liar, or both.

TwoWings: If you don't believe in God, there is no reason to take offense.

Except for the fact that you insist on offending me.

TwoWings: For you, Baha'u'llah can not be who He proclaims Himself to be because He says He is the Manifestation of God, a being you don't acknowledge as existing.

Ah, but the extremely gullible can become quite dangerous when provoked by such madmen.

TwoWings: I don't "know" what is divine...

Exactly. And yet you proclaim your empty beliefs like given facts.

You don't know and you suppliment this ignorance with holy books, written by other men who don't know.

Go find out. Them tell me something you do know.


Loki: You said, "The closest any one has ever come to translating the word of such a god into english would be physics. "

Well put! This'll make the third thing you've forced me to plagiarize from you.

01-23-06 1:17  •  Reason for Existence

Steve: I don't believe in God anymore. And yet, I know that everything exists for a reason.

Evolution is a theory that defines all aspects that support survival as the undenyable reason for their being. This may seem a bit subtle, so please bear with me.

Reasons, all reasons, are functions of the mind.

Being preceeds having a mind which preceeds the capacity for reason.

Causality is not transparant to reason. Simply because you can examine an effect, you do not necessarily get access to its causes, or to make it more poetic, the past is cloudy.

The universe is also not fully deterministic. There are quantum and other events which cannot be fully grasped by reason.

Therefor you cannot claim that you can know that there exist reasons for your existence. All you can know is the fact of your existence because it is self-evident. Exactly how this came to be can be alluded to, but not truly known.

Evolution is not a set of reasons, it is a set of observations which describe a process.

That is one of the differences between science and religion. Science is based on what is, and what is needs no reason to be, because it is in its own right.

Religion tries to claim things which aren't, actually are, and it does this by substituting "reasons for existing" for actually existing.

For example I have a rock here. You can come here and examine my rock because it actually exists. The rock is self-evident and we don't have to "prove" it exists. It actually does exist on its own, independent of any proofs for or against.

I don't have any god here. No one does and so the religious develop extrodinary and convoluted "proofs" and "reasons" for why you should believe what isn't here, actually is.

If there actually was a god none of that would be needed. The god would be self evident and able to communicate its essence on its own, just as the rock does simply by being.

01-17-06 1:17  •  Work vs. Ethics

Tehara: How do you balance work and ethics?

Wendy: Alright, when I worked in retail management, I HAD to have good work ethics. I fired thieves and busted friends shoplifting. I had to set an example of honesty and integrity for my young employees, since the older employees were usually the ones I was having to fire for theft! You think, what good does that do the world? Training up honest employees will help keep your costs at the register down.

I don't know Wendy.

Those thieves you fired, did you pay them a living wage?

Having to bust friends for any reason doesn't sound like right livelihood as I understand it.

Wendy: In most retail facilities 7 out of every 10 theft incidents is done by an employee.

And every one knows that retail doesn't pay clerks enough to live on.

Are engineers more moral? No. They are just better paid so they have no need to steal like that.

Wendy: If everyone fed the world and clothed the homeless, who would be left to fix the leak on the old ladies toilet next door?

I can live with that consequense.

Tehara: Ahhhhh.... Swarm...... you kill me. Most thieves/ employees make a choice to steal.


Tehara: Employee wages may not be stellar...

As in "not enough to live on in our society, qualifying you for food stamps and medicare if you have kids, living in poverty without healthcare or any hope of retirement" kind of not stellar, while rich people with more money than they could ever need get richer and you have no chance to enjoy any of the stuff that passes through your hands every day.

Tehara: …but there are certainly ways to live an honest life.

Sure, by not participating in our unjust society, but that's more than most people are up to.

Tehara: It's not even typically about the money or what they need, it's just an adrenaline rush.

How would you even begin to know what its typically about?

Tehara: They steal and don't realize they just "spent" their bonuses.

Oh, like they were going to get any of that money.

Tehara: What kind of friends would come into my store and try to steal out from under me?

Wendy's friends, apparently. If you think she has poor taste in friends, talk with her about it. But if they are her friends, having to bust them is not right livelihood as I understand the term, just like busting members of your family is not right livelihood.

Theft is not right livelihood either, but her friends doing wrong does not justify her own wrong.

Tehara: Is our society is getting so wishy washy that we don't expect ANY ONE to pay for their crimes?

You always pay for real crimes, that is part of what makes it a crime.

If you don't pay the people who work for you a living wage, you end up with thieves for employees.

Wendy must live with having busted her friends.

Tehara: Do you see a trend with our inability to continue disciplining our children and the increasing violence in younger ages? Accountability, my friend....it isn't a dirty word.

You think that adult violence is the answer to youth violence?

The real accountablility is already inherant in the system.

Your fake accountability to feed your own vindictiveness is just part of the problem.

Tehara: You must be in a bad mood; you aren't even using logic here, just an emotional retort.

I think you do not fully appreciate what it is I'm saying here.

It is not an emotional retort, but a completely different way of approaching the subject than you may be familiar with.

Anne Marie: Now, if we were talking about people stealing food to eat or blankets to keep them warm while they sleep on the streets we would have a different story here.

So if its theiving you approve of that's ok, but if its theiving you don't approve of you'd turn in your own mom?

However, I wasn't discussing the thieves or their motives.

I don't really care why they are stealing.

I'm interested in the fact that retailers have created conditions which foster theft, either by attracting and retaining the wrong people or by creating conditions in which people not normally prone to theft begin stealing, or both.

If stealing is a crime, fostering those thefts is equally criminal.

I'm also sympathetic towards Wendy's plight of having to live with having busted her friends.

Tehara: If a person were to take a job as a police officer and they subsequently got a call to investigate criminal activity in a neighborhood where they knew they had family and friends, they would still go investigate. No?

Definately not if it actually involved family or friends. They would recuse themselves due to the obvious conflict of interest.

Tehara: It's heartbreaking if it is someone you know, but that doesn't change the fact that the act of breaking a law was committed.

It also doesn't make it your responsibility. The only exception I would make would be if there was an immediate and obvious danger of injury.

There are some things worse than breaking the law and betraying your family and friends is one of them.

Tehara: When I was tired of trying to find a way to live on retail wages, I moved to another job.

Exactly my point. They failed to pay enough to retain a good employee such as yourself and yet they bitch about only having bad employees.

Theft is the price you pay for not paying the price to keep better people.

Tehara: People do it all the time. It's a choice....stay or change.

Yes, the people who can do it all the time, and the people who are stuck steal stuff instead 7 out of 10 times. The only people who can change that are the employers.

For example William-Sanoma makes a big deal about treating their people well. Benefits, decent pay, humane treatment and no 7 out of ten employees stealing things. You can see the difference in the people who work there. They don't look like they work in a gulag the way Walmart employees look.

Tehara: I'm not going to condone theivery or looking the other way.

I never said anything about condoning anything. I said busting your friends is not right livelihood as I understand it.

You can not condone something and let the person know it without busting them. You can even sever the relationship and let them know the friendship has ended if that is what you must do.

But I suggest that if you are ever in this sort of situation that you strongly consider where your first loyalty lies.

A person who will not stand by their family and friends through thick and thin is in serious need of re-evaluating their priorities.


01-18-06 11:17

Wendy: You wanna know what got stolen by my friends? Let me tell you... I had a Staff Sergeants wife stealing CD's and DVD's by slipping them into her baby's stroller, UNDER her baby! Plus...

Nope, I have no desire to know what was stolen or who stole it.

However what you say and how you say it does precisely prove my original contention that you were not engaged in right livelihod.

What you have yet to see is this was never about them, it is about you.

You are bitter about what happened. The events still haunt you. They have eroded your trust in fellow employees and friends who had nothing to do with what happened.

Right livelihood is one which does not cause these issues in your life.

I should note that this is not to be construed as any kind of blanket condemnation. Right livelihood is more a matter of fit.

Wendy: When I busted that one particular friend, she begged me not to turn her in, meanwhile I was telling her that she was committing a federal crime with her baby in tow, which in the states would be immediate removal of her child from her custody until a hearing was held.

So not only did you betray your friend, you were petty and cruel. No wonder your conscience bothers you.

Wendy: Her loyalties were not towards me, therefore what did I owe her? I have a loyalty to my company who pays me for a job. If you steal from my job, then you are no longer my friend.

It is both what you owed her and what you owed yourself.

She was your friend. Perhaps you chose poorly who to be friends with. Perhaps she made a mistake in what she thought your friendship entailed. The fact remains, however, that she was you friend.

As long as she was your friend, that friendship bound you not to betray her.

If stealing ended the friendship then you needed to tell her that, perhaps even give her a chance to make amends, but at least let her know that the special trust and bond of your friendship had ended and would not protect her further misdeeds.

Does this mean she would have "got away" with something? Yes it does. That's called you taking one on the chin for the sake of a friend. Its is part of what a good friend is willing to do if it becomes necessary. Is part of the risk of being a friend. Its necessary because people make mistakes and this gives your friend a chance to realize her error and make appropriate amends to show she values your friendship and the risk you take more than the CD.

But as long as she is your friend, turning her in is a base betrayal of your friendship at least as low as her expecting you to cover her theft. You are putting the value of a CD over her as a person and a friend.

Wendy:I have no issues whatsoever with busting a thief. I don't care who you are.

Ah, but that isn't true now is it? For example, you said: "I have nothing against a starving man stealing a loaf of bread out of desperation."

So you are willing to excuse complete strangers if you approve of their rational for stealing, but a friend gets a trip to the big house.

Wendy: There was that German bitch who stole...

If you don't like her, why build a shrine to her in your mind?

Wendy: I have a loyalty to my company who pays me for a job.

No you don't. That is why they pay you, because you have no vested loyalty to them and they have no vested loyalty to you. Your relationship is based on contract, not loyalty. This is why you can have the relationship terminated with impunity at any time.

You have loyalty to your family and friends first and your community second.

There is no contractural relationship here and no payment to bind the contract. You bond is your loyalty... your willingness to stand by them good or bad in spite of if you approve or disapprove until that bond is released.

Not because of anything you owe or are owed, but because of your personal honor and integrity.

Wendy: High ethical standards in business are reflected in high ethcal standards at home.

That is nice to say, but what does it mean?

Is it actually a high ethical standard to place the value of a cd above that of a friend?

Is it really a high ethical standard to betray a friendship for pay?

Is it a high ethical standard to have no mercy for those who trust you?

Is it a high ethical standard to keep friendships only so long as they are covenient and obedient to your will?


01-18-06 3:30

Tehara: I wouldn't lose my job and jeopardize my little girl's security of a home because someone else made the wrong decision.

Then you are worthless as a friend and and your girl will never understand what Jesus meant when he said, "No greater love hath a man than this: that he would lay down his life for his brother."

Jesus' friends were not good law-abiding people, they were scum. The worst of his society. Thieves, prostitutes, tax collectors, the lowest of the low.

Did he turn them over to the law for judgement?
Did he cast the first stone?
Or did he forgive them, give them another chance even at the risk of his own life, even to the point of being tortured and killed himself?

There are things more important than a roof over your girl's head.

A roof can be found or made, or you can just get wet and watch the stars together.

A mother who actually walks the walk of Jesus and would risk all for the sake of her friends is a gift to her beyond price or payment.

Tehara: You wax poetic and bring in my own religion/beliefs to try and make me look like an ogre.

I am not trying to make you look like anything.

I am explaining a very fundimental point about friendship and family which seems to be eluding you.

Tehara: The state would take my daughter away from me for choosing another person (criminal) over the safety and protection of my daughter...

Would they?

Tehara: She has seen me struggle with friends who made bad decisions.

And yet the state failed to take her away for your act of compassion.

Tehara: the friend was dismissed.

Dismissed is not arrested. I also doubt seriously that you have managed in our society to never break the law. It is practically impossible to be that law-abiding.

Tehara: Let me know when you choose to be homeless or to have your children taken away because someone else would drag you down.

I chose what I believe in over the $95K job I had. Came close enough to homeless to go through bankruptcy and lose my home.

Tehara: You have children. Would you choose a friend over them?

I don't choose my friends over them. I choose my friends with them.

I'm not frightened by a bit of adversity. I have been on the edge of death a couple times. I know what it's like and I know what a friend is worth. When I say stand by them it isn't some theory, it's something I've done.

Let there be no doubt that betraying a friend to the authorities over petty theft and then taunting her while she begs for mercy in front of her child is beyond the pale.

Wendy: "Laying your life down for your brother" does not mean allowing your job to be lost to allow your brother to commit a sin against his fellow man.

I don't recall any conditions and caveats that is has to be convenient.
I don't recall Jesus being here only for the uptight, upright, letter-of-the-law types.

That woman was your sister and you threw her to the jackels.

Don't think you can hide in the bible, Jesus was quite specific about these matters:

But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.

For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. ...

Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?


Did you forgive her seventy times seven times or did you cast your sister into prison?

Did you offer her your cloak? Did you buy the DVD's for her that your sister could be free from from the sin of theft? Did she mean so little to you?

Did you have the least pity, show the least mercy or do anything to help your friend?

Even us pagans will do what we can to help a friend.

How hard it must be on a Christian who is called to do even more yet cannot even do as well as the pagans for a friend and sister in Christ?

Wendy: It means protecting your brother from persecution from others, not PROSECUTION.

It means protecting your brother. If he is persecuted, you protect him from that. If he is prosecuted, you protect him from that. Whatever ill may fall his way you stand as a shield and a comfort as best you can until you fall.

That is love, loyalty and friendship.

Wendy: You seem to be someone with questionable ethics.

You wish.

Wendy: I have a high work ethic, which is sadly lacking in most of America.

I don't know about what "most of America" you are talking about but my work ethic was enough to take me to the top of my field working with such companies as Conoco, IBM, and NASA and I held a Secret clearance.

I'm telling you, if you put work before family and friends, you have no ethics.

You only have work and it will be a cold comfort when your work is done.

Wendy: Money is not my main motivator. I am not saying it isn't a motivation, because you have to have money if you wish to have a roof over your head. If you choose to live outside, then more power to you, but don't expect welfare if you aren't willing to work, because I despise that as well.

Luckily it doesn't matter much what you despise.

Wendy: Besides, I do choose family. I fought long and hard with the CPS to get the children taken away from my brother.

If you really chose your family you would have his children, not CPS.

Wendy: I even refused to take textbooks that "friends" asked me to take for them to the univeristy to sell back, because I had a strong feeling they had stolen those books, even though I had no proof.

You seem to have particularly sleazy taste in friends or you are absurdly paranoid. I spent ten years in the university system and never had such problems.

Wendy: Your ethics are questionable to me.

Thank god!

Wendy: You have proven yourself by your words to be an individual I could not trust, neither in business or in a civil setting.

You already don't trust people and you aren't the least trustworthy.

The people who know me trust me greatly and I trust them equally.

Wendy: Your word has no value, because you are willing to bend your ethics in order to please a human being.

Here is where you are most mistaken. Valuing people, and first and formost family and friends, is my ethic. If I name you friend and you need something I have, you can have it. If you have trouble, I will help. No strings attached.

Wendy: By allowing a friend to come and...

Ah, but you weren't allowing a friend to come and do anything. You caught and stopped her from doing it. That is in agreement with what you were supposed to do, according to Jesus. But what happened after that is another story.

You could have chosen to do what was right by both your friend and your employer, but you chose to screw your friend. You betrayed her.

You could have done what your faith calls you to do. But you betrayed your faith.

Instead you sold her out for your 30 pieces of silver an hour.

Wendy: If you were my employee, and I had proof that you allowed something like that to happen without discussing it with upper management and reaching a resolution that your company could agree with, then I would have grounds to fire you, and I would.

You were the managment and you didn't try to help reach a resolution that your company could agree with, you threw her to the dogs.

Wendy: An untrustworthy person is not someone I want in my customer service department with control over people's credit accounts and billing. An untrustworthy individual is not one I want working in my vault where $45,000 or more change hands twice a day.

$45K is chump change. I was entrusted with equipment in the millions and made decisions which affected the company for millions and was entrusted with sensitive information vital to the health and wealthfare of the company.

Wendy: Whew, thank goodness you don't work for my company.

I seriously doubt your company could afford my services or capture my interest.

Wendy:so I am supposed to stand by a friend who commits a crime?

Yep, that it exactly.

Wendy: Yet, they weren't supposed to stand by me.

Their failings do not justify or excuse your failing.

Wendy: Food, real food and not snacks, is the only crime I am willing to forgive. No other crime is excusable.

Then that is how you will be judged, no?

Wendy: Ethics reach farther than sticking up for a friend who is committing a crime, especially when it is a federal offense.

No nothing reachss farther ethically than not betraying your friend and that doesn't mean you have to stick up for their criminal activities either.

Who gets officially offended is irrelevant.

You realize that you are no different than Judas here.

His friend was committing crimes against his government. Crimes so serious that the punishment was torture and death. Judas turned him in as his law required. He even got paid well for it. Like you he was troubled by what he did.

Wendy: I think Swarm is misguided at best, and just plain insane at worst. I will never let someone get away with a crime if I know about it, because I refuse to be forced into being an accessory after the fact for friendship.

Tehara: Anyway, Wendy was being a friend. I ask my friends to call me on anything if they think I've done wrong.

So you think that friends should call each other on something they think is wrong.

I have no problem with that and agree.

But that is not what Wendy did.

She didn't call her friend on it and say look this isn't acceptable, put that back and don't come in here any more.

She had her friend arrested and tormented her in front of her child while she begged for mercy.

And then she has the gall to claim that is ethical behavior.

Well I am calling her on it.

It is not ethical behavior nor is it acceptable. And that is not only from my point of view it is also the view expressed in her own holy book.

Tehara: I said wrong, not criminal. People know when they choose something that is wrong but maybe not criminal vs when they choose to commit a crime. They already know better, and yet they choose.

So? I'm not discussing them. I am discussing the nature of friendship and loyalty.

Tehara: Wendy never tormented anyone.

That is not what Wendy said. I quote:

"When I busted that one particular friend, she begged me not to turn her in, meanwhile I was telling her that she was committing a federal crime with her baby in tow, which in the states would be immediate removal of her child from her custody until a hearing was held."

Tehara: What happens when a person commits a crime and gets caught?

Lots of possible things can happen. It spans the gamut from a simple admonishment, to "go and sin no more" if Jesus catches you, to a wrist slap, to various forms of official embarressment, to being arrested and let off in some way, to being arrested and jailed if Wendy catches you and you are her friend.

Tehara: They pull out emotional cards--beg, plead, cry, etc. Don't your children do that as well?

Nope they don't, not even a little bit.

Tehara: As a parent, don't you stand your ground and tell them you love them, but there are consequences to actions?

Real consequences are self evident. Only invented consequences have to be explained like that.

Tehara: Wendy was telling the person what the natural consequences were.

No she wasn't.

Tehara: Stealing is fairly bad in biblical terms, so let's not bring the bible into this.

But stealing doesn't justify betraying a friend.

In fact it actually presents you with an opprotunity to forgive and help the person overcome the error of their ways.

How many time do you forgive? 70 times 7!
Even then do you stop at the first mile or do you walk the extra mile?
If he wants your shirt, give him your claok too!

Jesus was not a capitalist, he was not a law and order conservetive.
Jesus was a first-order bleeding heart liberal with no love for money or possessions.

Worried about the roof over your head? Give it away, take up your cross and god will provide.

Why do you covet glittering dust while you hate your bothers and sisters in their time of weakness?

But just for fair time let me tell you about one of those dead zen guys back when he was still kicken around.


The Master was sitting at his desk writing when a thief broke in.
Without even bothering to look up he said, "You can have the money in the second drawer."

The thief, a bit confused by this responce went to the second drawer and took the money there.

"Put some back, I have to pay taxes tomorrow."

The thief put some back.

Looking up the master said, "When some one gives you something, you should thank them."

The thief thanked him and left.

Later the thief was caught and confessed stealing from the master so the master was summoned to court to testify.

"I don't know what you are talking about. I gave him some money and he thanked me for it. That is all there was to it."

Later when the thief had served his time for his other crimes, he returned to the master to become his disciple and became a master in his own right.


What is it that you want Tehara?

Tehara: We don't even know how good or close this friend was....in Texas, we often call people friends when we have a bare acquaintance.

Wendy repeated has called her a friend.

I'm from Texas and I only call friends, friends.

Anyway, having lead an interesting life, I've known people who wanted to do, or did do, things where I felt the friendship was at an end. Sometimes those were criminal and sometimes they weren't. I've also kept friends where I felt even if what they did was reprehensible, the friendship was worth preserving.

For example, I had to break off a friendship because my best friend wanted to join the KKK and be a racist and I can't tolerate that even though it is technically legal.

I parted ways with another friend who wanted me to team with him as a mercenary "libertating" children from parents who had fled with them to Mexico.

Another friend decided to try his hand at armed bank robbery. He didn't actually harm any one and is contrite about it. I have kept in touch with him in prison and will see what's up when he gets out.

Another friend spent a thousand dollars of my money without asking. I let him know I prefer to be in on such decitions and we remained good friends until he died years later from cancer.

Where I draw the line is purposefully hurting other people, whether its legal hurting or not.

Anything else I can forgive a lot and there is room to work on a better solution.

But even if I don't agree, I don't just cut out at the first sign of trouble. My friendship means something.

Tehara: several of you would say---screw laws, your job, your family's needs, save the criminal?

No one has said that.

There are plenty of choices between the two extremes of joining in and busting them.

In not one of the above cases did I do anything even remotely illegal nor did I betray any of the trusts I had with those people.

Tehara: I happen to know that there are people out there who would feign friendship just to screw you....and as the friend, you may not know it until you got screwed.

Life is full of risks and then you die anyway.

For the sake of friendship I'm willing to take a few on the chin.
It weeds out the losers and my dad always claimed it builds character.

Besides, if you want to have kids, you have to get screwed.

01-16-06 1:16  •  Prudes

Timbo: Why is it okay for a villian in the movies to have fun as long as at the end he gets his commupance?

The prudes siezed control of power a long time ago and have held it ever since.

I suspect this is because everybody else has better things to do with their time.

Phil: I'm a prude and so far as I am aware I never grabbed any power anywhere. I just worry about Paris Hilton and don't get invited to parties.

What you are describing sounds more like reticent or reserved.

To actually be a prude you must not only be reticent and reserved concerning matters of pleasure, luxury, propriety and decorum, you must also insist on imposing those values on everyone else: by supporting blue laws, calling anything you disapprove of a sin and generally being an obnoxious busybody out to spoil the party for everyone.

This is why prudes are so interested in power. Without power they can't impose their impoverised will on everyone else and force conformity to their bleak existence.

Phil: I don't know what goes on at parties - presumably orgiastic use of bondage and crack. But I don't need to know - I'm a prude and proud.

You are certainly free to not know and your speculations certainly confirm this. But a true prude does know and it is like a dagger twisting in their gut. They know and they hate it that another might actually enjoy themselves. They are obsessed with a need to stop and punish severely all such miscreants.

And usually they have a deep and twisted desire to engage in said behavior themselves in the most depraved manner possible, which is why the leaders of the religious right are always good for a juicy scandal.

As long as your shyness or lack of interest in fun hasn't fermented into obsessive and demented hatred of all enjoyment, you aren't really a prude yet.

01-16-06 12:16  •  Your Writing

Anne Marie: Some people can't understand you! Why don't you write more simply? For example, there are those who will immediately glaze over the minute you use the word 'therefore'.

Yes, but they are not part of my audience. They gave up on me long ago and are pursuing other forms of entertainment which they find more enjoyable.

I am not here for every one. I am here for specific people who enjoy what I have to say and enjoy it a lot. Disappointing them simply to try and engage those who aren't interested would be foolish in the extreme and would diminish the quality of what I have to say.

Further, it would diminish the quality of my internal dialogue.

Anne Marie: The other component is the numerous use of uncommon wording and historical references that are simply not accessible to the general public. (and..I used the word accessible for a reason!)

I always seek to use my own words and personal experience for something if it is appropriate. Only when I can't do that do I then pick the most germain example I posess.

One person's obscure is another person's interesting fact. I enjoy interesting facts and I like sharing them. Also, the majority of them aren't really that obscure, they are just specialized and most people don't bother looking past their own narrow specialization any more.

Socrates taught geometry to a boy with no knowledge of math.