Friday, April 22, 2011

Limit them to two terms! Here's why...

Curtis & Leroy saw an ad in the Starkville Daily in Starkville, MS. and bought a mule for $100.The farmer agreed to deliver the mule the next day.

The next morning the farmer drove up and said,"Sorry, fellows, I have some bad news. The mule died last night."

Curtis & Leroy replied,"Well, just give us our money back."

The farmer said, "Can't do that, sorry. I went and spent it already."

They said, "OK then, just bring us the dead mule."

The farmer asked, "What in the world ya'll gonna do with a dead mule?"

Curtis said, "We gonna raffle him off."

The farmer said, "You can't raffle off a dead mule!"

Leroy said, "We shore can! Heck, we don't hafta tell nobody he's dead!"

A couple of weeks later, the farmer ran into Curtis & Leroy at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store and asked,

"What'd you fellers ever do with that dead mule?"

They said,"We raffled him off like we said we wuz gonna do."

Leroy said, "Shucks, we sold 500 tickets fer two dollars apiece and made a profit of $898."

The farmer said,"Good Lord, didn't anyone complain?"

Curtis said, "Well, the feller who won got upset. So we gave him his two dollars back."

Curtis and Leroy now work for the government.

They're overseeing the Bailout Program.

Limit all politicians to two Terms.

One in office.

One in prison.

[Forwarded by Olivia de Haulleville]

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Yay! I've converted to Islam. Now can I be Chief Minister?

Another case of much ado about nothing

Many years ago I met a Sufi master whose profound understanding of Islam truly impressed me.

But before I continue with this story, let me state that almost all the Muslims with whom I have had close friendships have either been Sufis - or were gravitating towards a mystical interpretation of Islam. The mystical approach is experiential and private; whereas ritualistic religion is regulated by public behavior and therefore tends to be tribalistic in nature.

I find it impossible to have an intelligent conversation with fundamentalists of any persuasion - whether Muslim, Christian or whatever. This is because fundamentalism is antagonistic to intelligence. Wherever violence erupts over religious differences, fundamentalism is invariably the root cause. Brawn and brute force override brain and heart when independent thinking is suppressed.

Looking up the word "fundamentalism" in my trusty digital dictionary, I found this concise summary:

"Islamic fundamentalism appeared in the 18th and 19th centuries as a reaction to the disintegration of Islamic political and economic power, asserting that Islam is central to both state and society and advocating strict adherence to the Koran (Qur'an) and to Islamic law (sharia), supported if need be by jihad or holy war."

There you have it. Fundamentalism is basically an outward manifestation of ego insecurity. An entire tribe or nation can suffer from ego insecurity and seek refuge in hardline dogmatism and fanaticism. You could say it's a pathological condition and, as such, can be quite easily cured - once the hidden hand behind the reactionary forces is revealed and surgically amputated.

In every case you will find that the chief puppetmaster isn't even a believer. He cynically exploits the gullibility of the mindless mob and manipulates its collective pain-body through control of the mass media and law enforcement.

Coming back to my Sufi friend who enlightened me about the essence of Islam. He pointed out the significance of a triconsonantal syllable in Arabic and Hebrew which expresses peace, harmony and wholeness: the Arabic SaLaM and Hebraic ShaLoM are the commonest embodiments of this key to being truly muSLiM.
Sin-Lam-Mim (Arabic: س ل م‎ S-L-M; Hebrew: שלם‎ Š-L-M) is the triconsonantal root of many Semitic words, and many of those words are used as names. The root itself translates as "whole, safe, intact."
Note that this triconsonantal syllable forms the root of the words "Islam" and "Muslim." This places the frequency of peace, harmony and wholeness at the very core of Islam and any sentient being that consciously aspires towards attunement and harmonization with the Whole of Existence is intrinsically Muslim.

When one has embraced the essence of Islam, no other rules apply. All observances, injunctions and rituals (specific to a historical and sociocultural context) immediately become irrelevant and meaningless and fall away of their own accord. As such, Islam in its pure, essential form can be said to be the ultimate guide to attaining cosmic equilibrium and liberation from illusion. This is precisely the teaching of wu-wei found in the Tao Te Ching and it corresponds perfectly with the highest aspirations of Zen Buddhism. It also resonates effortlessly with the concept of yoga or sacred union with the Godhead or Source.

What about the name "Allah"? Does it have a special meaning? My learned friend explained that the word, written as Al-Lah means The Great Void - or The Nothingness from which Everything was born. In other words, Source.

Every Tibetan Buddhist aspires to return to and consciously merge with The Great Void. The Nothingness is a key element in Chaos Theory which postulates that Order (structured existence or an actualized state of being) emerges either randomly - or as a focused expression of desire and will from the Primordial Chaos (Infinite Potentiality). It all makes perfect sense to me.

The mystical understanding of Allah and Islam frees us from a narrow and limited distortion that can only lead to divisiveness and discord. Indeed, the way my Sufi friend explained Islam made me instantly receptive and I realized that this was truly a sophisticated philosophy with universal appeal and cosmic wisdom. No compulsion, no harsh and punitive rules, no exclusivity.

Alas, the crafty hoodlums who rule over unthinking mobs must of necessity opt for the most demented, inane and constricted interpretation of any belief system in order to have any control over the untutored passions of their flock. They will set up formal councils and academies to determine the parameters of belief and behavior and vigorously persecute (and even execute) anyone who preaches any form of "deviancy" from the orthodox doctrine.

We have seen what the Spanish Inquisition (which lasted from 1478 till 1834) was really about - the brutal and violent suppression of religious dissent and heresy for the benefit of a corrupt and greedy ruling elite. In this day and age we need a Malay Inquisition like we need a hole in the pocket.

Allahu Akbar! The Nothingness is All! So why so much ado about NOTHING?

[First published 1 February 2010]

Monday, April 18, 2011

Aminah Dastan: grown up and ready to fly!

Believe it or not, Aminah Dastan is Malaysian. Of Afghani-Irish parentage, Aminah grew up in Malaysia. I met her on Tioman Island when she was all of 12 and her brother Salim, 10.

Salim is a consummate musician in his own right - plays darabukka, djembe, guitar, keyboards and has composed musical settings for his beautiful sister.

Both moved to Dublin a few years ago but return often to Malaysia. Aminah's brilliant and exquisite debut album, Caravan Trail, was produced by Mike Bloemendal in 2004. No longer available in the shops, but you can download from Itunes, Rhapsody, Napster, Emusic, GroupieTunes, or Amazon MP3.

Look forward to seeing you again soon, dearest Aminah! Come jam at the River!

"What is it about Malaysians and sodomy?"

That's what one commenter asked on 27 October 2009 in relation to a blogpost titled BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS. This was my response. I just re-read it a few minutes ago and feel it's worth highlighting...

The subject of sodomy goes pretty deep. If you're interested, do some research on how the ancient male priesthoods initiated their novices. Imagine, a 10-year-old boy's first sexual experience is being buttfucked. How does that affect his sexuality and attitude towards women?

The name of the game is CONTROL through keeping the masses in a state of perpetual anxiety, guilt and confusion while bombarding them constantly with erotic imagery embedded in billboards and TV ads, indeed, wherever they look. The line between erotomania and erotophobia is so thin you can't see it.

Why sodomy? Well, healthy, mature, heterosexual lovemaking can result in our becoming enlightened and liberated from the social matrix. When the feminine and masculine energies fuse without inhibition, guilt or power plays, true yoga or sacred union is achieved, and that's when we begin to reclaim our inherent divinity.

The question arises: can gay couples experience the same ecstatic fusion of their biofields? Yes, of course, because we are able to switch polarities, becoming either Yin or Yang in relation to others. So when two men or two women join bodies, minds and souls, one takes on the male energy while the other becomes the female.

On the soul level, male and female are interchangeable fields - one electric, the other magnetic.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Oil palm will lead to widespread ruin

Millions of acres of healthy rainforest have been logged, displacing and destroying the livelihood of thousands of indigenous people. All for what? Apart from timber profits, corporations with political connections are recklessly planting oil palm, hoping to cash in what was, for a while, a boom market.

This is what has caused Sarawak to lose almost 90% of its prime forest during Taib Mahmud's 30-year tenure as chief minister.

Once destroyed, the rainforest will never again be the same. In their rampant greed, these ecocidal speculators are wiping out what took nature more than 130 million years to grow. They may reap massive profits in the short term, but how long will the palm oil bubble last before it bursts?

KFC to stop using palm oil
(7 April 2011)

KUDOS TO KFC! Fast food chain KFC is to stop frying chicken in palm oil. The company says it is removing the vegetable oil from deep fat friers to gain a "double benefit" by reducing climate change and heart disease.

Used widely as a cooking oil, palm oil employs hundreds of thousands of people in developing countries but has a poor health and environmental record. Forests in Indonesia and Malaysia have been cut down to make way for plantations and the oil is high in artery-clogging saturated fat.

From this month KFC will use high oleic rapeseed oil at its 800 outlets in UK and Ireland, at an estimated cost of £1m a year.The move will cut levels of saturated fat in its chicken by 25 per cent, according to the company. Mark Bristow, head of KFC food assurance said: "Switching to high oleic rapeseed oil means not only can we offer our customers the benefit of reduced saturated fats, but the assurance we're doing everything we can to lessen our impact on the environment."

KFC added: "The global expansion of the palm oil industry has been a contributor to the destruction of tropical rainforests and peat lands to make way for palm oil plantations, which has inadvertently caused large amounts of greenhouse gases being pushed into the atmosphere." KFC will still use palm oil in fries, buns, tortillas and hash browns, but said it had begun talks with suppliers aimed at getting them to switch to alternatives or source only sustainably-certified palm oil.

Since the The Independent disclosed palm oil's role in deforestation two years ago, many retailers and manufacturers have agreed to buy supplies certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Campaigners want the European Union to force food firms to list palm oil as an ingredient because it is often listed as 'vegetable oil' on packs. Click here to read about's campaign to press for palm oil legislation.

For my Lady Gugu....

... and all who still believe in the sacredness of love.