Recent comments

  • I am tired of the corruption in politics and poor choices we are given.   13 hours 43 min ago
    Quote Paul Chicago:

    I am tired of politics and having sub-par choices for elections.

    Then be the choice. Start at the bottom, learn the ropes, become known, move up. The local school board is a good place to begin.

  • Mysticism   13 hours 43 min ago
    Quote sawdust1:

    I learned to think about things in a different way.

    Don, I think we all did. But the New Managment seemed to be juxtaposed the more material marketing schema that arose, and instead of the visionary dialouge it turned into good Democrat bad Republican 'farme' and in my view just another selling of the oligarchy that controls the Stasi State apparatus we now have under Obama and Bush before him.

    Now that I am not involved in my own enslavement to the status quo, I just focus on my bioregion and ignore the noise from bought and paid for politicians.

  • Boston, MA Orange Line Subway - Worse in the World?   13 hours 44 min ago

    A few weeks ago, I took some people around Boston, MA. We used the subway to get around...they never wanted to use the subway again. They said it is worse than what they have in their old country (third world). The subway system of Boston is worse than third world countries.

  • Boston, MA Orange Line Subway - Worse in the World?   13 hours 48 min ago

    There is no reason to pay taxes in a state that does not reinvest in the businesses around their own state.

    http://www.bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2014/10/half_bil...

  • Boston, MA Orange Line Subway - Worse in the World?   13 hours 48 min ago

    I could not imagine Boston, MA without the Big Dig. The traffic jams start in other states leading to Boston, MA (Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire). The people that work in Boston, MA have to participate in a 2 hour commute to work every day. The reason why? The realestate around Boston is valued in millions of dollars. The companies of Boston, need to do employee surveys because if the companies move from Boston, the company could save money on leases and other costs.

  • Time to Rethink the War on Terror   14 hours 1 min ago

    It's been thirteen years since 9/11 and I can still remember President Bush saying to the American people, "We must not allow terrorists to change who we are!"

    Ironically, that's exactly what he did.

  • Mysticism   14 hours 11 min ago

    Wow, ZZ, you must be psychic! ;-} And yes, that's one of my favorite TV programs of all times! Stimulates my amygdala.

  • Mysticism   14 hours 22 min ago

    I get wild birds approaching me a lot as well. And One in particular, just yesterday, a huge black crow came over to me and was telling me "Feed me". Since it was in a National Park with big signs all over the place that warned against feeding the wildlife and threaten violators with a $5,000 fine I decided to ignore the crow. And right after that a squirrel came up to me, right at my feet, and he was saying to me "feed me" but I declined for the same reason I didn't feed the big black crow.

    I had read about this woman who lived in a wooded area not too far from a National Park who fancied herself as an animal lover and, despite being warned about the dangers of feeding bears, did it anyway. She was eventually mauled by one. It's sure a great thing to be able to communicate with the animals. People imagine all kinds of fanciful things about their ability to talk to the animals until the animals misunderstand exactly what you said to them. ;-}

  • Mysticism   14 hours 25 min ago

    Ahem, where have all the skeptics gone, long time passing…(sorry Palin...didn't see you there) so, I’m still here, still resisting the irresistible longing for meaning derived from the poetic beyond. It’s such a feel-good thread, I can hardly stand it, but I’m ready to apply some theme music to it, just to remind myself to keep things light.

    Well, don’t get me wrong: I truly admire the capacity of some participants here to take meaning, joy and poetic expression from their interactions with nature, or strange coincidences, dreams, or the complex and delicate cloth of experience. I think such a capacity must be an art, a talent, that perhaps hasn’t been named yet— “metaphysical sensibility” doesn’t cover it, for me; nor does “psychic,” nor philosopher, nor mystic. Those imply a reality, one I don’t actually subscribe to. To my mind, it’s more like poet, plainly enough.

    Having said as much, I’m glad nobody has flatly stated their experience establishes fact, and themselves as psychics. So far, as far as I can see, that has been implied, only.

    My bent favors intuition over clairvoyance. I see intuition as the mind’s non-linear, non-rational connecting of dots, a power that often happens during those transitional mental states between waking and sleep, or sleeping and wakefulness, or may happen while one is fully awake, or asleep. Still, rather than ascribing supernatural causes to it, I prefer to listen to the scientists who can explain intuition by neuroscience. In any case, I think the mind is creative enough to take myriad of bits of information, put them together in a way that makes sense to whoever’s brain contains them, and come up with INSIGHT. Or not, depending on the person. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnagogia

    Anyway, suffice it to say, don’t give up on the brain and its bodymind beauty and creativity, before jumping to conclusions.

    With that in mind, a lovely essay: Dude, Where’s My Frontal Cortex? by Robert Sapolsky.

    And this: http://skepdic.com/refuge/harmarchive.html

    And this: http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2005/03/how_do_you_prov.html

    Quote nimblecivet:

    Zenzoe has been a major influence on my thinking so I am glad that she found some value in what I wrote on the other thread.

    Nimblecivet, thanks so much, though I have to wonder whether my "major influence" has directed your thinking to the opposite of my opinions, rather than to concurrence? I am aware of those times when you and I were not at all on the same page, not that that's a crime. It happens. I can say back at you, however; I have often found your posts to be extra brilliant, which pretty much makes up for those times when I haven't any idea what you're talking about. ;-)

  • Mysticism   14 hours 28 min ago

    True that time is linear however that's not what changed the community that once inhabited this place. Hartmann was an author when I first joined the board. He participated on it. He wrote about enviornmental and spiritual issues. I came here because my friend Jan encouraged me to read something Thom wrote. Jan is a lovely person who has been a friend of mine for decades. She is very spiritual and she's always tried to awaken that in me. She's failed as many of you may remember.

    Back to why this board is no longer the place it was. As an author, Thom attracted people to his board who were generally well read. Some were professional, some highly educated. It was a time of expansion for me because I was generally considered to be a workaholic who had little time for more cerebral persuits. It was an interesting place and I made many friends both in Europe and the US, from every political perspective. I learned to think about things in a different way.

    Then came the radio show, aimed at the mass market, solicitations for sponsorship, marketing and for Thom a broader appeal and perhaps an opportunity to influence more people and change some minds. Good for him. The radio show brought with it people who were more political, less interested in intellectual pursuits and more interested in the sport of political jousting. Prior to the radio show, I was the lone conservative voice. After the radio show there were quite a few, one of whome, my friend Brian still participates here I believe if he hasn't been banned for the two hundredth time.

    As the arguements got louder, the owners of the board Louise and Thom felt the need to regain control of the political content. Many of the Europeans, Andger and Usha specifically didn't fit into the new American radio model. Many of the conservatives were considered to be either ill mannered or ill tempered and were disinvited.

    Time is linear but the board evolved as Thom's career evolved. I had told people early on that I was a participant on a message board owned by an author. I never told anyone I particpated on a message board owned by a talk show host. It doesn't have the same ring to it.

    I don't miss the old board but I do miss some of the people on it and the opportunity to meet people and make friends who live outside my daily routine.

  • Pensions Instead Of College-99 Pension Perks   14 hours 55 min ago

    Why is this "new news"? Union public union pension funds are breaking every city in America. The unions have been padding jobs, promoting themselves a couple of years before retirement to get higher up in the pension ladder, and faking disability claims for dozens of years. Check the stats on the Long Island Railroad disability scam. Hundreds of millions in fraudulent payouts.

    Most cities now have a freeze on hiring any new union workers and are only putting part time workers on staff. It helps on two fronts. Health insurance, and union pensions.

    Public employee union greed (at the top) has destroyed American city budgets, and the workers are going to get screwed. If any pitchfork marches are organized, they should head in the direction of the union bosses homes.

  • Mysticism   15 hours 1 min ago

    Earlier from ren:

    "There was a sense of pleasant struggle around something, a living awareness of some ineffible sort we were all trying to keep intact, now absent for me for the most part on the Internet. Remember how we tried on that other board we created, and then everyone went to FB? It died of a sudden here, the way anthropologists describe the the ending of an intact, preconquest culture as its cultural integrity dies once its been infected by civilization. I imagine the Brits did that in many places, like in India. Not just the Brits of course. It can die all at once the way a plague can mercilessly kill an entire village and all the living that was taking place just before. A mystical loss."

    Well said (and struggling to just come up with those two words proves the point, I'm afraid).

    I've been reading this thread and finding so much that has resonated in unexpected ways. I will just have to digest it for awhile before I can share anything that might add to the conversation.

    On nature and things and mysticism and the environment, I believe that the writings of Jane Bennett have much to say, or at least offers aids in conceptualizing the tensions, conflicts, and possiblities for constructive action. (But alas, it has been some time since I read her.)

    "Visions are broad and varied but what one does with the experience after you cross a threshold is paramount. I think Ren has spoken about this as well. What interests me is how it effects change in one's life afterword."

    NMHiker

    That's the tough question, Chris. At this point in life, I wonder if I have missed too many opportunities to be truly transformed by experiences, mystical and otherwise, when I have been given and even been infused with "some information from Spirit or personal healing or both" yet have failed to "bring the gift Spirit has bestowed back into the community" or even retained it in my body, mind, and spirit.

    Perhaps I have not experienced or allowed myself to experience "Spirit" in a sustained way. A few recent, even startling times at the Threshold have been more like suddenly being drenched in flashes of sunlight, but dappling, sun and shadow and subdued daylight through the clouds, dancing back and forth but never catching me long enough for anything but brief moments of clarity, insight, and peace. I do not know whether that makes any sense, but this topic and what many have written have triggered memories of recent flashes of light that I was on the verge of forgetting.

    More later if I can get my mind working again in full thoughts. I had forgotten what community was once like in some online places.

    K.

  • Daily Topics - Thursday October 23rd, 2014   15 hours 35 min ago

    The Congress was modeled on the British Parliament. The House of Lords was the more powerful house of Parliament at the time, and the U.S. Senate was given stronger powers than the House of Representatives. The Federalist Papers explain that the House was expected to accrue power over the course of centuries, just as the Commons had.

    The House of Lords lost influence by a threat in 1832 of increasing the size of its membership enough to change the outcome of a vote. The Lords knew from then on that they had better not deviate too much from what the Commons wanted. The Lords' official power was severely reduced by a law passed in 1911.

  • I am tired of the corruption in politics and poor choices we are given.   15 hours 36 min ago

    The corrupt Illinois policians are about to drive me from this state! Most are Dems, but yes, George Ryan is also in prison, right next to Blago. So the Republicans are not skeaky clean either!

  • Good Article on Why Fox News is Popular.   15 hours 39 min ago

    Just remember the poll that came out recently that showed that the of the main stream talking heads (not Fox News or MSNBC), 90% vote for for Democratic Presidential candidate every year. This is during a time eriod when the popular vote is pretty close to 5050.

    Do you really think that bias does not come out in what they report and how they report it?

  • "Ninth Circuit’s neutrality questioned on gay rights"   15 hours 44 min ago
    Quote mjolnir:
    Quote drc2:...I still don't quite get what the payoff for mjolnir is ...
    My pay-off is obeying the word of the deity we both profess to worship. Your's is... well, you'll have discuss that with God when you get there.

    So we FINALLY get down to what you're on about. What god thinks about it all.

    It's about fuck'n time joiner.

  • "Ninth Circuit’s neutrality questioned on gay rights"   15 hours 51 min ago

    Your metaphor would have a small bit of relevance if Matis had stopped with the first analysis of the 11 cases picked by the lawyer, but he didn't. His third analysis stripped as much "observational" bias from the study as he thought was possible. I don't have the bona fides to argue with that and I don't believe you do either.

    If there is some glaring systemic fault with the way in which he did the study I'm sure statisticians on the ideological Left will be lining up to point it out. So far Google yields nothing on that front.

    Your continued insistance that the study is faulty simply because of the parameters used to pick the cases is a logical fallacy. Without defining variables it is virtualy impossible to analyze anything

    Quote mdhess:You are a sucker!
    ...for pretty women, fast horses and good Ky bourbon. ;-)

  • Forget about "Pubic Opinion" if You Want to Live!   15 hours 51 min ago

    We have 8 days left in October. How many Americans have died from Ebola at this point?

  • What's The Best 30 Sec Argument That Can Convince Dems To Vote?   15 hours 52 min ago
    Quote ulTRAX:
    Quote captbebops:But what I've been encouraging is voting for third party candidates from local to state. Revolt by kicking over the tables and mixing things up.
    For third parties ever to take root, we need to change the electoral system that keeps them down and perpetuates 2 party rule. If your state permits citizen referendum, then maybe some changes to the state constitution might be in order... a reform to permit proportional representation for the state legislature. Then if a party, say the Greens, get 10% of the state wide vote, they'd get 10% of the seats in one or both houses.

    The point is not for third parties actually winning the election but to disrupt it. You can see by the polls that folks in the US dislike BOTH parties. The Dems particularly need to ask themselves what they did to deserve that. The public has also gotten wise to career politicians who appear from nowhere even though they were in office, who about a year before an election begin proposing and passing legislation just to get re-elected. That isn't working so much anymore. It reeks of opportunism.

    It's possible our whole electoral system is way outdated and we need something for the 21st century not something that worked in the 18th.

  • Canadian Gun Violence   15 hours 59 min ago
    Quote douglaslee:

    Canadians have guns, they hunt a lot, just not people. Assault rifles are for hunting people and Canadians have no use for them.

    What?

    http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/2012/12/17/assaultstyle_...

  • Mysticism   16 hours 13 min ago

    Ahem, yes it's cool.

    What I think I'm trying to say though is mysticism or no, ones 'feeling' of the currents of whatever environs one finds themselves in is paramount.

    Aah, as I said earlier. The littles birdies picked a poor choice for a messenger. lol

  • "Ninth Circuit’s neutrality questioned on gay rights"   16 hours 19 min ago
    Quote drc2:...I still don't quite get what the payoff for mjolnir is ...
    My pay-off is obeying the word of the deity we both profess to worship. Your's is... well, you'll have discuss that with God when you get there.

  • Non profit hospitals are a myth   16 hours 29 min ago

    I didn't know Yelp reviewed hospitals, will wonders never cease.

  • "Ninth Circuit’s neutrality questioned on gay rights"   16 hours 31 min ago
    Quote drbjmn:

    It's 512 to 1 that 9 heads (or tails) will occur from 9 flips of a coin. (I chose because close to the 441 number)

    Does the number 512 have anything to do with how often it could occur, or in which attempt?

    A BALANCED coin has those odds of happening.

    That's just one, of an infinite number of ways the same ratio could be achieved, and yet not as unlikely.

    Were one or both of the "biased" judges assigned every time?

    Do we REALLY have to keep arguing about what is the REAL agenda here?

    I see in another thread that you studied "stats" a few years ago so you know what I mean when I mention the Law of Large Numbers. I never had any formal study in this field but having dealt blackjack and roulette for a number of years I can assure you that I'm very familiar with "runs" of luck.
    Given a sufficiently large number of trials the odds ALWAYS come back to the "house edge" built into the game. In the case of roulette that edge is something like 7+ %. Within reason the house isn't concerned with an anamolous event (a single bet or series of winning bets) they are more concerned with "throughput", the number of spins in an hour or hands dealt on the blackjack table. I've seen luck run "hot and cold" many times. Maybe that's what this was, a simple run of bad luck for traditional marriage folks. Maybe it was something else entirely. What I know for a fact is that the odds ALWAYS come back to the "norm."
    Quote drbjm:Were one or both of the "biased" judges assigned every time?..
    No, of course not, I don't have it in front of me but I think it was 6 out of 11 cases for one of them, 4 or 5 out of 11 for the other and both on a couple or something like that. That's out of a field of, I believe, 20 something in 11 cases since 2009.
    Matis calculated that, given ever benefit of the doubt, the odds against that happening are 61 to 1. His third analysis tried to remove every variable that would influence the result and included a greatly expanded sample of cases and the odds ballooned to 441 to 1.
    I've said this a half-dozen times already - This isn't proof of anything! - but it gives the "appearence" of a flawed selection process. Fairness in the judiciary is protection for ALL of us.

  • Attacking atheism   17 hours 1 min ago

    Hi!

    I will look into Stalin's religious side. I was not aware of that but as a communist nation I understood they were atheists.

    But my point was not debating who's done more damage between religious folks and atheists. ( Because I agree that religion did a lot of damage)

    The thing that gets to me is while we can talk a lot about bad stuff the catholics did, we need to aknowledge as well good stuff that came out of religion too. I think it's only logical. As a non religious guy I have nothing to gain from this.

    But my real name is Nadim and I'm from the town where the driver killed the military guy. Since my name is arabic, I already got crap ( in a teasing way) already. I know honest muslim bac there will have a hard time because unfortunatly this town is a does not really like intellectualism and most people listen to the equivalent of fox news in quebec.

    The guy who ran over the military was not arab, he was a typical quebecer. Before ¨converting¨ to islam he was a (according to reports) a douchebag, prone to rage and aggresiveness.

    My friend (who's wife is a nurse and was working at the hospital when the injured arrived) told me that this guy got ripped off by people. His small business was not going well and he was rambling about how being muslim was the only was of saving his family from hell.

    The guy was obviously crazy and/or dumb (and probably not educated). I don't think he was religious at all. He used religion as an escuse for violence. The guy's name was Martin. But it's people with middle eastern background who will get problems. I always read people defending attacks on Islam by saying ¨Islam is not a race¨ it's true. But I'll get a lot more bad jokes and crap as the other Martin of the world.

    Anyway my whole point is that blaming religion for bad stuff is as easy as blaming lack of religion for bad stuff. It's too easy as a world view. It creates problem and divisions. People of a certain faith will be guilty by association because of a simple world view.

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Time to Rethink the War on Terror

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When Eric Holder eventually steps down as Attorney General, he will leave behind a complicated legacy, some of it tragic, like his decision not to prosecute Wall Street after the financial crisis, and his all-out war on whistleblowers like Edward Snowden.