Thursday, December 18, 2014

Goodbye Colbert Report, hello Network

Seth Auberon, Pat Macpherson, Amber Larson, Wisdom Quarterly; Eric Deggans (npr.org)
(CC) Dec. 18, 2014 - The Colbert Report's yard sale offers something for everyone, Pope Francis helps the U.S. bury the hatchet with Cuba, and Stephen reminisces with Phil Klay about Iraq.

Boundary-Pushing Late Night Hosts Move On — Colbert Up, Ferguson Out
There must be more to life than network TV.
(NPR) They both started their late-night shows in the same year, reinventing their respective corners of television by bending and sometimes breaking the rules.

But as Stephen Colbert and Craig Ferguson both say goodbye to long-running programs this week, only one has turned his showbiz rebellion into a launchpad for an even bigger TV platform [pushing David Letterman off his throne and eventually destroying Jimmy Kimmel in the ratings].

I loved Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central.
From the cover of Entertainment Weekly to [a final interview with outgoing warlord/president/CEO B.S. Obama and] shoutouts from James Franco and Michael J. Fox, everyone seems to be talking about tonight's finale of The Colbert Report. Including, to no one's surprise, the host himself.

(CC) Pres. B.S. (Barry Soetoro) Obama wows the Colbert crowd with charisma proving that there are two things he can't do -- stop wars or memorize jokes written for him, Dec. 9, 2014. But he's funny enough for a puppet leader.

But there's another long-running late-night host also saying goodbye this week.

Craig Ferguson (Sonja Flemmings/AP)
On Friday, Craig Ferguson hosts his last episode of CBS' The Late Late Show after nearly 10 years. His departure isn't getting much attention -- in part because he's leaving as CBS builds its new late-night franchise around Colbert, who will replace retiring legend David Letterman in the new year.

Both Colbert and Ferguson blew up the traditional talk show format, but each man accomplished it in his own, unique way. More + NPR AUDIO + VIDEO

You can't make your own goddesses!

I. Rony, CC Liu, Ashley Wells, Dhr. Seven, Crystal Quintero (eds.) Wisdom Quarterly; artist Andrea Abulencia (wanderingsoul39/deviantart.com); Ven. Tathaloka Theri (bhikkhuni.net)
Some hybrid-humans seem more deva than earthling (models.com/NYTimes Style Mag).
Devas in art as Greek and Roman gods and goddesses (wandering39soul.deviantart.com)
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Not just Spidey, I can too!
Can you create a goddess? Like resuscitate the Christian God's wife, Asherah? No, you can't make comic book heroes and heroines to do what you want people to do. Well, they could in ancient Greece and Rome (and the more ancient Indus Valley Civilization and India), but we can't now.

Why not? It's just not on. It's a, it's a, it's a nonstarter! What next, a "super" man? A "captain" America? A Latin, originally lesbian "wonder" woman?

No, no, it's a slippery slope. Once we get started going down that road, it could lead to anything, even Kaos. And we need Control. It's a throwback, it's regressive, who in the h*ll does Ram Devineni think he is? (Devi-neni? odd name for a man who gives birth like God/Ram and draws a new goddess as needed by society).

Could I become a Kami (spirit)?
Imagine a world where all ephemeral qualities were anthropomorphized, make like human, in the image of ourselves. Good gosh, it could lead to anything. A cherubic infant could represent the New Year. A fat jolly redcoated Satanist could represent Xmas spreading materialism and consumer-capitalism throughout the land. No, NO, we have to put our collective foot down. This stops here. It may not stop now, but here.

Mary, Kwan Yin, Santa Muerte goddess stylized tattoo (pinterest.com)
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The Amazing Transformations of a Buddhist nun
Ven. Tathālokā Therī "The Amazing Transformations of Arahant Theri Uppalavanna" as inspired and subsequently re-edited by Wisdom Quarterly
The Buddha had two female chief disciples, foremost in wisdom and supernormal powers, Ven. Khema on his right and Ven. Uppalavanna Theri on his left (BreenJones/flickr).
  
Born in a blue lotus (BLHD)
As with so many ancient histories, the nun Uppalavaṇṇā’s is one of many twists and turns, spanning vast reaches of space over the three periods time, tangled in the web of rebirths -- human, animal, and divine -- in connection with the Buddha.

Hers has long been a popular tale, retold in multiple texts, fascinating generations of listeners and story-weavers for more than 25 centuries.

And for good reason, as it continues to serve as a catalyst for exploration, inspiration, and insight. According to the ancient Pāḷi-text commentaries written around the 5th century CE Uppalavaṇṇā Therī ["the female monastic elder Blue Lotus Beauty"] was born into the family of a wealthy merchant of Sāvatthi (Sanskrit Srāvasti). She was extraordinarily beautiful like the dark blue uppala lily after which she was named as a fulfillment of her past life aspirations as well as those of the Buddha to have such a disciple.

Blue lotus lily (frank.itlab.us)
Her skin was said to be blue or golden like the calyx of the blue lotus, both colors associated with divine beauty and avatars -- incarnations of a deity into human form in this realm -- in Indian mythology.

Men lost their mindfulness when seeing her due to her extraordinary beauty and presence. When she came of age and began to consider marriage, such a stir began to occur that her father became afraid of civil conflict between powerful and wealthy suitors in competition for the honor of her companionship. Kings from all around India sent their proposals, such that he could think of no way to resolve whom to offer her to in marriage.

The idea came to him of her instead going forth into monastic life, to which she gladly and readily agreed, his idea falling on her ears as if it were an anointment of 1,000 times refined oil.

Ven. Uppalavanna rejects Mara.
Already familiar with the Buddha’s teaching, this exact aspiration was in her heart ardent and unfilled from the past finding a way to ripen in the present. She achieved enlightenment within a fortnight of her going forth into monastic life:

One evening, while the other nuns (bhikkhunīs) were out, she remained behind to practice the teaching. She lit a lamp to prepare the hall. She at down in meditation, concentrated her mind/heart on the fire element using a fire meditation-disc (tejo kasina). And all of her fetters (mental defilements) fell away. She realized the paths and fruits of an arhat, the pinnacle and complete fulfillment of the Buddhist Path.

Lakshmi/Uppalavanna, Saraswati, Radha (GWP)
"I have put down the heavy burden; everything that leads to continued rebirth has been rooted out. The aim for which one goes forth from the home to the homeless state, that aim has been attained by me -- all bondage is destroyed.

"My defilements are burned out; all [future] births are completely uprooted. Having severed my bonds like a she-elephant, I live without taints [of the heart]. Welcome, indeed, was meeting the Awakened One for me. I have attained the three knowledges. I have fulfilled the [goal of the] Buddha’s teaching." More

As beautiful as a budding flower calyx is the Buddhist nun Uppalavanna (chanyan).

India's new comic book heroine fights rape

CC Liu, Crystal Quintero, Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly; Rhitu Chatterjee (NPR, 12-16-14)
Heroic Priya on a tiger fights rape in Indian comics (Ram Devineni/npr.org)
Kali Kardashian with Kanye West skull necklace, Ma Durga (kunkle/filmsofindia.com)
A deva (fem. devi) is a diva, "shining one," goddess like Shakti (russelldunnepracticesmetta)
 
India's new comic book hero fights rape, rides on the back of a tiger
Angelic goddesses (srilankaguardian.org)
(NPR) Her name is Priya, and she is the star of a new graphic novel in India. After she is gang-raped, her family and neighbors shun her -- but then a Hindu goddess grants her special powers.

Two years ago to the day, a 23-year-old woman was brutally gang-raped on a moving bus in New Delhi, the capital of India. Three days later she died from her injuries.
 
Ma Tara as Kali, Parvati, Durga
The incident pushed millions in the city and all over India to protest the widespread violence against women. The protests led to tougher laws and empowered women to stand up against sexual violence.
 
And one man was inspired to create a comic book superheroine.
 
Ram Devineni, a New York-based filmmaker, gave life to "Priya," a survivor of gang rape who seeks to stop violence against females.
 
The story of a brutal gang-rape in India inspired Ram Devineni to create the superhero Priya.
Gang-rape in India inspired Ram Devineni
It started with a conversation with a New Delhi policeman in the days after the rape. "I asked what he thought about what had happened on the bus," says Devineni.

"I'm paraphrasing here, but he basically said, 'No good girl walks home alone at night,' which implies she deserved it or provoked it. I immediately realized the problem of sexual violence in India is not a legal issue but a cultural problem."
 
The Indian Goddess Lakshmi
After months of traveling around India talking to all sorts of people, including rape victims, about sexual violence, Devineni decided to create Priya.

Shunned by her family and village after she is raped, she takes refuge in the jungle and is stalked by a tiger. Parvati, a Hindu goddess, comes to her aid and grants her special powers that include fearlessness and a magical mantra that she uses to change people's minds. More
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Tibetan Buddhist representation of Kali with Hindu gods and goddesses of Tibet, revealing syncretism of Tantra, painted in Ladakh (India) murals (rishabh.asthana/flickr.com).

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Science: PLANTS can sing! (video)

Xochitl, Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells, Dev, Wisdom Quarterly; Coast to Coast with Richard Syrett and Prof. Magda Havas, Robert's Plant Band with Robert W. Connolly
Buddhism is a "forest tradition" born in the woods, cultivated and brought to fruition with the help of trees, plants, and peace and solitude of wild spaces (Alex Saberi/flickr).
(Robert's Plant Band, Dec. 13, 2014) Robert's Plant Band conducted by Robert W. Connolly

Musical Plants
The best musician is the elder Bonsai tree.
Magda Havas, Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent University, talked about her research into plants' ability to respond to their external environment and how electromagnetic pollution (from cellphones, towers, microwaves, routers, TVs, Blue Tooth, etc.) impacts them, human beings, and all living things.

Rock ruins plants, whereas classical helps.
Prof. Havas describes an experiment in which a galvanic skin response meter (lie detector/E Meter) is used to measure how various electronic devices cause physiological stress in plants and people. Plants hooked up in a similar way reacted to environmental stimuli with changes in conductivity as well, she explained.

Plants are conscious, sentient beings. This means the whole jungle/forest is alive and aware, even in the politically treacherous city office jungle  (greenplants.co.uk).
  
Plants are alive, aware, and aiding us.
A MIDI interface designed to convert this change in electrical conductivity into sound allowed the plants to produce music, Prof. Havas shows. "We had these plants hooked up in my lab...and suddenly they would start playing," she said, noting how it felt like they were conscious (aware), sentient (feeling) beings. Prof. Havas has audio and video of Robert's Plant Band (with Robert W. Connolly not the Led Zeppelin/"Manic Nirvana" crooner) conducted with a quartz crystal singing bowl.

I told them every Plant could sing.
Can plants sense the presence of humans? Can they react and demonstrate that they are conscious? Do plants have feelings? Can we prove with science what the mystics have been telling us for ages? 

Robert W. Connolly conducts Robert's Plant Band using a quartz crystal singing bowl because of quartz's ability to amplify subtle energy. Even common house plants are able to sing. They were grown using water electro-magnetized by Tesla coils, water which caused the plants to grow healthier and more quickly.
 
Our favorite Native American garden (Pitzer)
Polygraph lie detectors were customized to convert the electrical impulses created by these plants into notes using a MIDI device. Such notes can then be assigned to trigger different musical instruments. All of the music heard on this video at the outdoor pool were created by plants.

When a crystal singing bowl is made to resonate by Robert Connolly, the plants respond to his bio-electromagnetic fields. These fields have been amplified by the piezo-electromagnetic effects of the quartz crystal.
 
The jungle is alive with communication.
This process is documented in The Healing Field, a feature film about healing with sound, light and electromagnetic fields.

See the plants perform live with other musical performers at TeslaMania concerts (teslamania.tv), where Nicola Tesla's visions are materialized.

(Peter Mark Adams) The Healing Field by Peter Mark Adams a brief interview with the author of The Healing Field: Energy, Consciousness & Transformation.

How the USA was found: Native Americans

Xochitl, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly; Something's Happening (KPFK, Dec. 16, 2014)

Los Angeles State Historic Park, the Native American site of corn and raves (lashp.com)

Hopi/Anasazi Native American Butterfly Dancers at reopening of Homolovi State Park, reviving a decimated population and tradition, Arizona State Parks (community.azpm.org).
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Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (beacon.org)
Howard Zinn, author of the massively popular A Peoples' History of the United States, recommended to his editors at Beacon Press, a Unitarian imprint, to publish a book about the indigenous history of the U.S. and he recommended they ask scholar Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz to write it. Thus began seven years of scholarship and 50 pages of citations.

This is not a history of the First Nations people, the Native Americans ("Indians"), but a history of how the United State of America was founded through settler colonialism, a new kind of brutal capitalism, chattel slavery, and genocide.
See the Pacifica Radio Los Angeles archives by date and time (archive.KPFK.org)
(Deep Green Resistance) Derrick Jensen, Resistance Radio, with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
 
Settler Colonial Imperialism
Shut up, redskin, I'm honorin' ya! Yr welcome.
In what condition was the USA found by invading imperialist Europeans? We are told -- in a manner analogous to modern Israeli war crimes, occupation, and ethnic cleansing in Palestine -- that British colonialists went in search of a land and found this one empty.

So they began to occupy it, make friends with the few scattered "savages" (non Christians), extract its resources back to Europe, then undertake to own the place and make war with everyone else for it. The fact is that this land had 100 million inhabitants at a time when Europe only had 50 million. It was a paradise without European innovations, technology, disease, and corruption.

Imperialism (empire building through war, rape, pillaging, mass murder, and conquest) is how the United States was founded. The Louisiana "Purchase" doubled the size of the U.S. -- all stolen land from indigenous tribes in Oklahoma, and 15 future states like Arkansas, Mississippi, North, Dakota, South Dakota, north Texas, Colorado, Louisiana and the port city of New Orleans.

From the landing sites on the East Coast to Mexico on the West Coast, the genocidal invaders did not stop until they had taken the Kingdom of Hawaii and smaller islands in the Pacific.

Native American territories were divided up into "states" then united by DC, not in the U.S.
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Like Florida, LA belonged to Spain
Spanish territory was Los Angeles until the land prospector Baldwin took it after Bonaparte no longer cared. Cooper -- of Cooperstown, New York fame -- wrote The Last of the Mohicans and gave birth to the official U.S. "origin myth," a fantasy published in 1826. A 1992 movie keeps the fiction alive, masking our U.S. privileged white male Christian "landowner" genocidal reality.

Fiction: a popular novel and two movies
Our unique brand of ideological, class-based racism was brought into being as the elites told poor European settlers that they were "white" and therefore better than their neighbors. They should, therefore, join armed militias and slave patrols to keep the status quo and class divisions in place. Prior to that, as hard as it is for us to believe, the U.S. did not have conceptions and categories widely adopted today as if they were natural divisions. (Martin Luther King, Jr. makes reference to this a year before his assassination when he advocated for economic rights as more important than civil rights).


Cooper devised a fictional counterpoint to the reality of genocide that no one wanted to face or own up to. Instead, early American settlers clung to this new myth instead. Colonel Daniel Boone was lionized and used as an excuse for more illegal settlements by white Europeans and their African slaves. The fantasy?

Insult: British actor plays Native American
Indians melded, not mated, to the Nativized settlers, the last Mohican Indian handing over the country to his son Hawkeye, as if all Native Americans abdicated their ancient land to the violent new invaders by divine rite, manifest destiny, a secret covenant with God because this, not the Middle East, was the fabled "promised land" of their holy and much reinterpreted texts. Anglo "Americans" just "inherited" this land by "natural" means that God would like and approve of, and the Indians be damned. This is what we are taught, as very few know the real Indigenous History of the United States.

Jeb Bush is coming! More rightwing than W.

(Bloomberg Business) Dec. 16, 2014 - Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said today that he's taking another step toward running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Bloomberg Politics’ Mark Halperin reports on “Market Makers.”
 
The Republican Brain (Chris Mooney)
A right wing maniac, part of the royal Bush Dynasty, former governor of distorted and perverse Florida -- who speaks Spanish and is married to a Latina -- wants to be selected as the next president of the U.S., Inc. Are the capitalists biting, and will the rest of us go along with it without too many protests? Who would be vice president? Let's bring back Dick Cheney for another eight years.

Give me another chance, motherf*thers!
We have had many long years of disappointment attributed to liberalism, socialism, Islam, and Nazism but which are actually a continuation of Bush-Cheney policies. Obama has done everything within his power to promote the Bush agenda in the name of an "alternative," "change," and a "Yes we can" attitude. Why not swing even further to the right, going from George W. to Jeb (Johnny Ellis) Bush? If Germans had a choice, would they have voted Dolfie Hitler or Joey Goebbels?

(Giant Corporation Puppet Theater) Tonight's Show: "The Republican Debate" (TB).
    Jeb Bush announces he will "explore" presidential run
    (NPR) Jeb Bush, the former Republican governor of Florida and the brother and son of two former U.S. presidents, has essentially kicked off the 2016 presidential campaign with a pre-announcement announcement on Facebook. Saying he had conversations with his family [and their deep pocket corporate connections] about the future of the country, Bush said he had decided to "actively explore" a presidential run. He went on:...
    The G.O.P. pickup artist's guide (TMW)
    Will we take Karl Rove or keep watching MSNBC and pretending we are levelheaded moderates when all of our policies are to the right of former Republican presidents Reagan and Nixon? We have moved to the right of those icons because the who board is being moved to the right. There is no actual left wing representation, just nominal (by name only) "liberals" and "progressives." It's all relative.
     
    Republican extremists are ruthless, sensible, intolerant who will say anything to win.