Friday, December 18, 2009

Do, or do not. There is no 'try.'

- Jedi Master Yoda

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Coming Out of the Other Closet

(Translated from the Spanish original: Saliendo del Otro Closet; may seem like the wording is awkward at times but this was dont to faithfully preserve the meaning of the original)

My god, My god, Why have you forsaken me?
- Jesus, in Matthew 27:47

My admiration for the holy man of Nazareth mixes with dry cynicism with regards to the god of the Bible. I am today certain that Jesus, if he did live, must have flirted with atheism at some point.  I say this based on the shocking comments that he made in John 8:44 where he called the god of the Jews 'the devil', 'father of lies' and 'a murderer'.

Coming out atheist must have been unthinkable in a society where women were stoned to death on the streets by religious fanatics.  These thoughts must have produced a huge inner battle which the Nazarene settled by reinventing his idea of God. I'm afraid I don't have whatever it takes to pull that one off.

Let me first start by admitting that many good things have come from religion: that cannot be denied. However, the burden of homophobia is so heavy, even more than 1,600 years after Constantine enshrined anti-gay hatred in the Bible, the Muslim terrorist zeal is so hostile, and the anti-science creationist movement is so ludicrous, that one has to laugh at the clowns that religion so readily produces for our amusement and horror.

The reality of it is not so funny: our democratic and secular traditions, our educational system, our rights, our liberties and our safety are all being challenged by the ultra-religious, who have special protections, a special tax status, and who alone call it their privilege to reject gays and to be bigots without there being, so they say, any moral reprehension to their bigotry.

There are literally thousands of reasons for my rant: I'll merely share a fraction of them. Moses inaugurates the tradition of terrorism in Exodus 32:26-29 by having 3,000 killed for not sharing his beliefs. Then, in those verses he praises the Levites for acting on his orders and killing their own brothers and neighbors.

Among the other violent incidents associated with this most despicable prophet, I can mention Numbers 15:32-36, where a man is found picking logs for a fire during a shabat and is brought before the totalitarian theocratic warlord Moses, who finds him guilty of the terrible crime of working during the shabat and has him stoned to death accordingly, acting of course not of his own accord but as the self-appointed personal ventriloquist of Jehovah. This is how people lived under Moses and his Law: people must have been utterly fear-ridden after witnessing this.

We may even excuse these savages from the Bronze Age, in view of the rudimentary levels of civilization that surrounded them, but today there are people whose lifestyles are not too different from that of Moses and his people. Moslems, with their obstinate, baseless theistic speculation, their marrying of little girls to old men, their frequent loyalty to absolutist regimes, and the violent vulgarity of their superstitions, are far more difficult to forgive today as we enter the Space Age. They are Moses' legacy in our day.

What's more, the incentives that Muhammad offered to his correligionaries in exchange for killing people of other religions were quite ignoble: he was well aware of what hid in the dark crevices of his soldiers' minds. The 72 virgins are not mentioned in the Qur'an but are in the hadith, and are generally considered a reliable tradition which is accepted by most Moslems. Perhaps tits and champaign are not too much to ask if you've been brain-washed, taunted and intimidated into giving your life in order to advance the cause of theocracy.

Then there's homophobia. I conjure up visions of mad priests chanting formulas in Latin while they cook gay men alive during the inquisition; the hate crimes commited by minors raised in hostile anti-gay homes; the peculiarly high rates of homelessness and suicide attempts among gay youth; and so many other voices that history (and modernity) silenced.

No one should be surprised that the homelessness and suicide attempt rates among gay youth are high: parents and churches convince children that if they're gay, they are not worthy of love, even of God's love, that God has destroyed entire mythical cities in his fury against gays, and that if they turn out to be gay they will never be accepted by their family and society. Anyone's spirit would be broken if left without even the ideological resources to survive homophobia.

I thought that as a Hare Krishna, I would be saved from turning into an atheist because here is a religion with strong theistic tendencies which is entirely divorced from the Abrahamic tradition and their vulgar pretensions. But the Guru, Prabhupad, was also homophobic, mysogynistic and he held many anti-science opinions.

In Vaishnava forums online, messages posted by dissidents often magically disappear, and one is told that one must never question one's Guru. I hate and profoundly distrust absolutist worldviews. I am a Westerner and I expect any religious tradition that I engage in to respect my intelligence: there is an unsurmountable wall for me to climb in this Guru-chela structure and relationship.

I love the Vaishnava faith, but I will not accept the inability to respectfully question a figure in authority and to openly disagree. Above all, I know that for many gay youth in India, their experience of Vaishnava homophobia is probably not too diferent from Christian homophobia in the West. Gays are expected to either lie about who they are or remain celibate: that is the official, cruel doctrine at ISKCON. I can not, in good conscience, legitimize a tradition that holds such an anti-gay policy.

Upon closer observation, I noticed that behind my attachment to Hindu theism, lied an elephant in the living room that I could no longer ignore: there is in our society a stigma against atheists, one of the most hated groups in our country, which is not only unfair but also rooted in the same ideologies that are challenging our precious, cherished traditions of secularism and democracy. Atheists, like gays, must come out of the closet.

It seems like the stigma is diminishing, thanks in part to 9/11 and a series of cultural changes, including the best sellers that followed it. Prominent among them is The God Delusion and other literary works, and there is what has been labeled 'the New Atheism' movement, which is mostly a reaction to recent events and developments in the Western World.

In view of all this I've had to ask myself: Why should I be held hostage by the same religious prejudices that I constantly criticize?

Many are atheists and won't admit it even to themselves. They're in the closet and in denial. In my case, for instance, for many years I entertained New Age ideas and sort of painted God in new colors. I redefined him to oblivion.

Many people say "I am spiritual, but not religious". They find this agreeable and easier for people to digest than to say they're not religious, or that they're atheists. But a theist who does not believe in a personal deity is not a theist: an energy field is not a personal God. We should not need to commit acts of self-sabotage and mental or rhetorical tricks of this kind. That, I believe, is infantile, dishonest and ridiculous.

I pulled together data on frequency of prayer from over 50 countries, and found that countries where people prayed more frequently had lower life expectancy and scored lower on the Peace Index. They also had higher infant mortality, homicide rates, and levels of corruption, and had more AIDS and more abortion. That's pretty conclusive.
- From the article Why some countries are more religious than others, by Tom Rees
The above cited article by blogger Tom Rees is quite interesting and worth reading. It's based, in part, on a previous study by Gregory S. Paul entitled Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies.

In learning about statistical data and the correlation between religiosity and societal health, levels of education and other hard data, one thing that stands out is that Scandinavian countries are the closest to what might be labeled a utopia here on Earth, and yet in Sweden, for instance, about 85 % of the population is atheistic. Time and again, when we quantify the violent crime statistics, the rates of abortion and other data, we find that, compared to other countries that are more religious, the Scandinavians are better off.

One interesting recent detail that is worth mentioning here, in line with my criticism of New Agey attemps at respectability through theism, was the conversation between Oprah and a group of Danish women during Oprah's visit to Denmark to figure out why they were the happiest people on Earth. She had a hard time believing that they were happy atheists, and even suggested that maybe they did believe in God, but they called it something else. It was all so foreign and unimaginable to her.

But yes, in countries like Finland they have unthinkable things like universal free education, even up to the university level, and universal medical coverage. Overall, Scandinavian countries not only have the lowest violent crime rates and the smallest prison populations but they also enjoy the highest levels of literacy on Earth: 100 %.

They do not exhibit the serious symptoms of dysfunction that the more religious countries exhibit, like the levels of violent crime, the levels of dysfunction and the prison populations that we have in the US, which is the most religious of all the developed countries.

Worse yet, rates of crime are higher in the more religious southern US, and the most religious ethnic group (African Americans) is also the one that exhibits the most symptoms of dysfunction and makes up an exageratedly disproportionate percentage of the prison population. The abundance of churches in the black communities may not be a sign of salvation but a symptom of dysfunction, a sign that people are trying to sedate themselves, that they're trying to evade their reality somehow. Perhaps it's culturally sanctioned psychotherapy. Whatever it is, surely there must be a healthier way because it has not really transformed the population that it serves according to its claims.

I also observe, time and again, that across the board the most religious countries often tend to be more hostile to democracy and human rights, and they tend to have the lowest educational performance. In the most extreme of religious societies, places ruled by superstition such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, the women are routinely denied access to an education, sometimes they can't even drive a car, gays are executed in public and so is anyone who cannot believe in Islam and is willing to admit it.

In Nigeria, which is one of the sorriest god-fearing societies in the world, members of two foreign religions that were brought there by colonial powers, islam and christianity, are constantly killing and attempting to destroy each other and there are recent news of a genocide of more than 1,000 children among the 15,000 who had been accused by Christian churces of witchcraft. Maybe they were autistic or epileptic?

In view of all the data and empirical evidence that is available to me, I have concluded that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an atheist. I looked in the mirror recently and I had to admit that I had slowly and unexpectedly become an atheist. I could no longer honestly say that I believed in God and, although in honestly at the time it was not what I would have wanted, I was at peace with this and in fact I realized that I had been an atheist for quite some time.

It was probably the result of the 2008 election in California where gay marriage was voted out, because that's when I could no longer deny that as long as Christians (and Mormons) have political power, they will continue to attempt to destroy the reputations and even families of gays and that I was forever unable to trust Christians again even if they seemed friendly. They will always try to turn back time and take away our progress, if and when they have the chance. I have to admit that something died within me as I pondered this.

But I have to go still further back to September 11 of 2001. I started morphing into an atheist back then. I lost the ability to think of theism as inherently morally superior, as innocent and as wholesome as society had led me to believe it was. And in the end I lost the ability to believe that God was a real force outside of our imagination.

Innocence shares its cradle with ignorance. Ignorance is bliss, yes, but like fellow atheists have pointed out: should we envy the happiness of a drunk person? By coming out atheist what I am saying is that I do not want that old innocence anymore, and the ignorance that it arises with, that I am glad that I lost it and can be sober and honest about the nature of religion.

I want to continue to awaken, to see things as they are. I want to use Buddhist teachings and methods within a secularized, naturalist (meaning, non-supernatural) context in order to neutralize a bit of the cynicism that comes with being a grown up, er, an atheist :) because I've seen many ugly truths and I'm aware that that can be detrimental to one's character.

I prefer the freedom and freshness of naked reality without using religious illusions to escape. I prefer to not pay the high price we pay for the false hopes of religious beliefs. I boycott religions as a conscious consumer :) and I know that I have the strength it takes to move beyond false hopes because I have seen them for what they are.

Even the innocent and heartbroken Jesus, hanging from the cross, hesitated. Some people think theists have a softer heart than atheists, but atheism, for someone who has believed all this life, is also a moment of human vulnerability.

Not only that, but after he hesitated he said 'It is done', maybe resigning himself to the price that he had paid for wanting to defend the good name and the good reputation of a God that moments before didn't seem to be there. Few Christians are willing to try to contemplate those last few moments of realization in the life of their divinized cultural hero. Like Richard Dawkins, I too am an atheist for Jesus and I too think that Jesus would be for atheists if he lived today.

I am surprised by the fact that it has not been depressing but liberating to come out atheist. I am at peace and happy. If any one of my readers has considered seeing the world with the glasses of atheism, my advise is to not fear the cultural stigma. It isn't harder or easier to be an atheist. It's simply a more lucid, more honest, more sober way to live.

Junk Science Used to Justify "Kill the Gays bill"

Friday, November 27, 2009


As the holiday season approaches, people of different religions and cultures celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Pancha Ganapati or other alternatives. Humanlight is a secular, Humanist version of the late December festivities for non-religious people. Here is more on the holiday:, and and there's an introductory video on youtube on the holiday also:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Biblical Family Values

I'm repulsed by Christians who use the Bible to legitimize homophobia by claiming that the Bible teaches 'family values', which is one of the most absurd, insulting things I've ever heard. The Bible was written by a primitive people who stoned women to death on the streets for adultery and yet allowed men to have multiple wives, and who ordered the stoning to death of disobedient sons.

Jacob had multiple wives (chapter 30 of Genesis depicts how he had sex with his two wives and two slaves - these are the four mothers of the 12 tribal patriarchs of Israel), not to mention kings David and Salomon who had a harem with both women and eunuchs or transgendered women. There are girls getting their dad (Lot) drunk and having sex with him. There are brothers selling their little brother (Joseph) into slavery out of jealousy. Who would have a mind twisted enough to call these attrocities 'family values'? The Torah even gives us the price of a woman (50 silver coins, see Deuteronomy 22), should we decide we want to sell our sisters or daughters.

If by family values we mean 'heterosexual marriage', then we read accusations from Paul, who never met Jesus and did not share his values. He states in his letter to the Romans that the cause of homosexuality is ... idolatry. Like modern religious foes of gay rights, he does not feel that he has to provide evidence of this link that he claims to exist between homosexuality (or any form of sexuality for that matter) and idolatry. Today we know that no such link exists, in fact most gay people who are coming out today were raised in monotheistic traditions, and the 800 million practitioners of Hinduism, a polytheistic tradition, show no higher ratio of homosexuality than the rest of humanity.

Paul was evidently expressing the prejudices of Jews of his own generation, who believed that all gay men were temple prostitutes. However, his lies ended up in the Bible and have been repeated by ignorant and hateful homophobes and his fabrications have become 'Bible truth' by virtue of having been included among the Biblical texts and being mindlessly repeated over and over for centuries.

Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men.

- Romans 1:22-27

Further study of this text also reveals that Paul believed that it was GOD himself who turned idolaters gay, which would necessarily mean that gayness is not a choice, but a God-given condition, which he nonetheless labels as shameful although he believes it's God's will that gays be gay ...

But Sarah ... said to Abraham, "Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac."

- Genesis 21:10

The events concerning Hagar and Ishmael, the true firstborn of Abraham, are also shocking from the perspective of true family values. The intrigue generated by Hagar having Abraham's child and the jealousy of his first wife Sarah led to the EXILE of Hagar and Ishmael into the desert, where they could have died from hunger, thirst, or even from a serpent or scorpion bite. A single woman and a child with no protection in the desert, in those days, was unthinkable.

The irresponsibility of Abraham, his treachery towards his own son, and his inability to say no to Sarah, do not in any way communicate family values to me. If my father, under the spell of the whispers of one of his wives, had cast me and my mom into the desert with the serpents, it would have taken me many years to forgive him, if I ever did forgive him. Patriarch Abraham was what we today would consider a deadbeat dad.

Regardless of how many times you repeat the mantra 'Biblical family values', that will not turn the Bible into a document that teaches family values. That is simply dishonest, particularly when you ponder the modern meaning of this notion that Christians conceive. The Bible does not even teach monogamy. It does not even teach heterosexuality as the only ideal, but the status of an 'eunuch' is promoted, a status which includes sexual minorities - and this not only in the teachings of Jesus, but even of Isaiah (chapter 56).

That eunuchs were not thought of as celibate is plain when we consider characters from history such as Bagoas, the 'favorite' of King Darius and, later, of Alexander the Great whose effeminate beauty was scandalous and world renouned. Eunuchs often entertained kings and soldiers returning from war with music and performances ... and with sex. The later notion that an eunuch was a celibate person, which became the common Christian conception of the eunuch, originates with none other than Paul.

Jesus himself did not favor marriage, much less heterosexual marriage, as an ideal, nor do we see him in any way putting out his energy protecting the 'nuclear family' like some Christians do today (clearly not in imitation of Christ). Said behavior is therefore, literally, unChristlike. Instead we see him flatly denying his family access to him when they came to see him saying that those who follow him are family to him. If he came to us today and did this, his message would be labeled as pro-gay propaganda by modern conservative Christians

In the book of Matthew he says: 'There are eunuchs who are born such ... it is better for these to not marry ... let him who can accept this, do so.' We see Jesus instead clearly defending the rights of sexual minorities to what in those days represented a non heterosexual lifestyle!

But then, WHAT IF the state had to recognize that monogamous heterosexual marriage is a Christian institution?

WHAT IF we concede that, even if we know it's a fallacy? What then becomes of marriage, being a religious institution, in a SECULAR society with SECULAR laws?

Having established the fallacy of calling our modern institution of marriage by the label "Christian", then that means that we have to deal with the modern conservative Christian insistence, based on openly mystical, supernatural and theological proclamations that are not shared by everyone in the country, that marriage is a religious, and furthermore Christian, institution.

If we concede that it is, then clearly the boundary between religions and the state was crossed when marriage became recognized by the state, and marriage should therefore be either abolished, or a comparable, but secular, separate institution needs to be put in place by the state so that Christian marriage can remain sacred and heterosexual for the Christians while the state is able to recognize only those people who enter either 'civil unions', 'contracts' or whatever the secular version of marriage ends up being named.

This idea has been proposed before and is making more sense to me now, as I realize that in Islam (and early Mormonism) polygamy is practiced, and since Muhammad their prophet practiced it, millions in the Muslim world would never dare transform that tradition. Muslim Marriage is between one man and up to four wives! That's how it was in Muhammad's time and that's how it will always be!

Not only that, but Muhammad's youngest wife was six, and then nine years old when she consummated the marriage with a 60 year old Muhammad. If marriage is to be considered a sacred and religious institution, then the state better respond with a modern alternative that is more rooted in our modern taste and sensibilities than in millenia-old Semitic traditions that are starting to become seriously dangerous to our democratic, secular, modern values as more Muslims bring their traditions with them into the Western world, and as Christians are beginning to feel that secularism is bad and that it is their place to dictate our secular laws and to turn the USA into a land where people fear their God.

By challenging the secular nature of our laws and imposing a religious model of marriage on everyone, religious or non-religious and of every denomination, what they are doing is in fact not only articulating a modern, superstition-based RELIGIOUS marriage but also killing secular marriage and leading us non-religious people to propose a new institution to replace it at the state level, one that is based not on the laws in Deuteronomy that appraise women at 50 silver coins but on the radical contemporary idea of equal relations between all men and women.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

It was interesting to watch the movie Where the Wild Things Are ... just as news were flashing about a boy whom, they thought, had been taken away in a balloon by accident. The whole story was so outlandish! But it was the timing that I thought was interesting.

Joseph Campbell, the mentor of George Lucas and a lifelong mythology enthusiast, used to see linkages between random events and how they affected the collective psyche of humanity. He was heavily influenced by Carl Jung and his school of analytical psychology.

Joseph Campbell, being a mythographer, was naturally a great storyteller and it was very easy for him to weave meaning into things. One of the main Joseph Campbell stories that I remember was his story about the Earthrise pictures, that is, the pictures that were taken from the moon by the Apollo missions as they saw the Earth rising in the lunar sky.

He explained that this was an epiphany because throughout all of history humans have imagined their Gods as celestial objects. Astrology and mythology were linked intricately in the human psyche. The planets have the names of deities. Now the Earth, we confirmed, was a Goddess also. She was a majestuous heavenly object.

At around the same time as this picture started circulating, the Catholic Church announced that the dogma of the Assumption of Mary into heaven had been declared official doctrine of the Catholic Church and that Catholics had to adhere to this belief. Classical Greeks used similar imagery for their deified mortals. Campbell saw a connection between these two new feminine faces of Divinity and their new status, just as the feminist movement of the sixties and seventies was blossoming and changing human civilization forever. All of our assumptions about womanhood were about to be turned upside down.

According to the Jungian school, there is a collective psyche, and according to Joseph Campbell all of these symptoms in the culture indicated that something was stirring in the collective mind of humanity, something that was feminine, sublime, numinous and powerful, that it was awakening and that there would be no turning back.

I watched the movie Where the Wild Things Are with a friend the day it came out. To me, the movie dealt with child psychology and how children sometimes cope with stress by escaping into their imaginal realm.

But if I was to draw a link with the balloon incident (which took place, curiously, on the eve of the debut of the film) like Joseph Campbell did with the Earthrise and Assumption of Mary incidents, it seems to me like there is a new myth that is being born, an archetypal image that is being constellated in the collective psyche, of a child who was almost spirited away but returned, having gained wisdom or insight from the experience. It is a hero's journey dealing with the evolution of the puer aeternus, the eternal youth, in our culture.

The tendency of the puer aeternus is to be an idealist, to run away from responsibility and reality. I think of Peter Pan, of Michael Jackson, of men who never grew up. Now, I see that he experienced the running away but retains his groundedness. We do not have to fear losing him to the imaginal realm. He can discern the difference between imaginary and objective reality.

The writer of the book on which the movie Where the Wild Things Are is based mentions that the movie is made in such a way that it respects children. Looking at all the crazy things that are being done to children everywhere, from marriage of little girls to grown-ass men in the Muslim world, to the frequent gang-rape of girls in Sudan and South-Africa, child abuse by church and laity everywhere, and even slavery of children in sweatshops in China, India and elsewhere, I'd say that any advance in human rights for minors would be welcome.

It is the misery of the children that produces the need to escape reality, to go 'where the wild things are', and the incentive to never come back ... which ultimately produces dysfunction. If we alleviate said misery, we will find that children are better able to live happily and be wholesome and productive.

Hopefully these are all good omens.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Exodus 22:18 and the Women's Holocaust

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
- Exodus 22:18

Jesus himself said that we 'should know them for their fruits'. I have at times turned this rhetoric around on Christians in my arguments with them and studied the fruits of their own scriptures and the people who wrote them. In addition to the order to commit genocide against gays in Leviticus, I believe that Exodus 22:18 is one of the thorniest verses in the whole Bible, in terms of its fruits.

The month of october always conjures up (for me, at least) Western society's collective memories of the dark ages and the inquisition, particularly the burning of witches, which is a very unpopular subject even today, and many people like to dismiss it saying that those were remote times. I believe it's important to keep it alive in our memory. Should our descendants dismiss the Jewish holocaust when the II World War seems remote enough?

More to the point: Why do we use the word holocaust when we refer to the Jewish tragedy during the II WW, but not when we refer to the inquisition? Clearly we do not want another mass extinction of a whole people, be they Jews or Gentiles. It's no less obscene to think of what the church did to women during the feudal age, yet the rhetoric in the history books is absolutely dishonest when it comes to the genocide of women.

According to some estimates, up to 9 million people, 80% of whom were women, died during the inquisition. This may seem exagerated, but we should keep in mind that this happened over around 300 years, so many generations saw these events, many generations of children had to watch their mothers, aunts and grandmothers being burnt, and there were entire villages in France that were wiped out by the Christian church, including Trière where it is said that no one was left alive, and an adjacent village where only about two people survived, apparently due to the fact that they celebrated festivals that were considered Pagan.

The genocide of women should also be compared to the burning of the Library of Alexandria, except that their cultural treasures were intangible and oral knowledge. With those women, died an entire culture, customs died, traditional songs and fairy tales died, even kitchen recipes died, and the knowledge of how to use certain herbs and medicines. The same herbs that are today used by the pharmaceutical industry, were known by many of these women. A paranoid, murderous, neurotic clergy burnt all of this, and the momentum of thousands of years of European cultural history and infrastructure was halted when they mass murdered all those women. The cultural soul of Europe died, literally, to be replaced by something that was dictated by Christian priests.

The church was particularly worried about the midwives, who challenged their god's will when they tried to relieve the pain of giving birth, which was their god's particular curse upon the women in retaliation for Eve's transgression. They were also accused of propagating abortion and family planning practices ... some things never change.

What's worse, the burning of women was very lucrative for the church. Lawyers made money, people who worked for the legal machine of the inquisition had to be paid, and greed was often the main reason behind the accusation of witchcraft: all of the property of women who were massacred by the church became church property. This is why it so happens that many of the victims were widows: they had no one to protect them and many of them had inherited some property that the church wanted.

We're living in a post-colonial era and history should be told from a more honest perspective. October is the month when we're invaded by imagery of witches: it's plain wrong to forget the voices and the memory of the women who were categorized as witches in feudal Europe, and what those events mean. People were cooked alive due to greed, stupidity, intolerance and superstition. A huge lesson of History (or HERstory, in any case).

We shouldn't want the Jewish holocaust to be forgotten, but also we shouldn't want the holocaust of the women to be forgotten. It should be treated with the same level of solemnity as the Jewish holocaust. Hallowe'en should be reclaimed as an occassion to remember the ghosts of the female ancestors of Europe and their trials and tribulations. This should be a time to tell their story.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


The song Amalia (No Quiere Ir Ebozo) (which translates roughly into 'Amalia don't wanna go husband' in 18th century Black Caribbean Spanish), might be based on a true story of an enslaved African woman who was sold or given to marry against her will and separated from her family. Her voice and story persist today in this sad, but beautiful, wailing bomba - which is an ecstatic Afro-diasporic musical genre from the Spanish Caribbean island of Borinquen.

In addition to the compassion that it awakens and the natural, organic flow of the song, I think one reason why I love this song so much is because history was told to us from the perspective of the conquerors. The conquered, often not even knowing how to read or write, had no other resource outside of their music, and so they danced their pain away. Amalia is a song which was preserved in this way: it is memory which is reproduced in the body of the bomba dancer. It is a dramatized, danced, intangible historical document. The ancestors dance and raise their voices, long forgotten, and tell history from their viewpoint through bomba, and now with the magic of the internet the whole world can hear them!

Amalia was popularized by salsa giant Willie Colón, then by legendary performer Héctor Lavoe. The version in this video is from William Cepeda, from one of the most well known bomba families in Puerto Rico.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One of my Favorite Christians

The view of the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world is a barbaric idea based on a primitive concept of God that must be dismissed.

- Liberal Episcopalian Bishop John Shelby Spong

Monday, September 21, 2009

Songbirds and Roosters

... I'm here
so care for me
laugh with me
while I'm near smile just for a while
I'm here
so die with me
smile with me
while I'm near smile just for a while ...

- Robi Draco Rosa

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

R.I.P. Patrick Swayze (aka auntie Vida Bohème)

... p to the r to the n to the cess ...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Be a light unto yourself;
betake yourselves to no external refuge.
Hold fast to the Truth.
Look not for refuge to anyones besides yourselves.

- Buddha, shortly before dying

Monday, August 31, 2009

“Perhaps I myself am the enemy who must be loved.”

Carl Jung

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Contemplative Science

What the world most needs at this moment is a means of convincing human beings to embrace the whole of the species as their moral community. For this we need to develop an utterly nonsectarian way of talking about the full spectrum of human experience and human aspiration. We need a discourse on ethics and spirituality that is every bit as unconstrained by dogma and cultural prejudice as the discourse of science is. What we need, in fact, is a contemplative science, a modern approach to exploring the furthest reaches of psychological well-being.

- Sam Harris

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I fight authority
Authority always wins

- John Cougar Mellencamp

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Let us live most happily
free from hatred in the midst of the hateful;
let us remain free from hatred
in the midst of people who hate.

Let us live most happily
free from dis-ease in the midst of the diseased;
let us remain free from dis-ease
in the midst of dis-eased people.

Let us live most happily
free from restlessness in the midst of the restless;
let us remain free from restlessness
in the midst of restlessness.

Let us live most happily
possessing nothing;
let us feed on joy
like the radiant Gods.

- Teachings of Lord Buddha in Dhammapada 15:1-4

Monday, August 10, 2009

Don't be afraid to be weak.
Don't be proud to be strong.
Just look into your heart,
my friend.
That will be the return to yourself,
the return to innocence.

- a song by Enigma

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A cheerful heart is good medicine

The recent article Feeling Stressed? Why You May Feel It in Your Gut, touched on a subject that I've been considering for many years, ever since I read that metaphysics teacher Connie Mendez mentioned in one of her books that ulcers and cancer in the stomach are oftentimes caused by a chronic history of strong, toxic, volatile emotions. The study appears to indicate that high stress levels increase the activity of pain receptors in the guts.

Later on I observed that, at least for one neighbor of mine who died of stomach cancer, the link was probably right on: she was a very unforgiving person, one who would always hold grudges even for apparently insignificant reasons. A history of negative emotions will probably generate serious stomach health issues.

Aboriginal, Hindu and Chinese systems of medicine resonate with this truth. The idea is that there is no real boundary between the spirit, the emotions, and the body and that all things affect each other within our body-mind complex. The healing system of accupunture is based on this understanding that all of our parts are connected in many, very subtle ways.

The Vedic medicinal system understands the chakras to be energy centers within the body which carry out all kinds of subtle functions in addition to those accepted by Western medicine. The stomach chakra in particular is considered to be the emotional plexus, which explains why emotional shocks produce knots in the stomach and the inability to eat. Humans are not just bone and flesh: our thoughts and emotions are things that move within our bodies and affect everything else, as the movie What The Bleep Do We Know so plainly explained in detail.

What this means is that, by LITERALLY listening to our guts, we are literally putting an ear to the ground of our emotional self. The stomach chakra is where the emotions dwell and make themselves known.

Presumably, a healthy tummy would also support a healthier emotional life. The culinary traditions that associate emotional states with foods and how they are prepared are not only popular in India, where food lovingly cooked for God is considered transcendental and known as prasadam (literally, God's mercy). In the West, we have also incorporated language into how we eat that reflects an intuitive understanding of the link between our states of mind and our food: the notion of 'comfort foods' comes to mind. Emotional eating is also linked to several very serious eating disorders such as bullemia and anorexia, which can claim human lives.

The wisdom tradition contains numerous passages linking health with states of consciousness:

A happy heart makes the face cheerful,
but heartache crushes the spirit.

Proverbs 15:13

A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

- Proverbs 17:22

And, of course, aboriginal American spirituality speaks of God's grace as medicine and is a botanical, medicinal tradition very much concerned with natural physical and emotional health and its origins in Spirit. Like the wisdom tradition, aboriginals also link Spirit and states of consciousness with health.

Then there's the etymological origins of words like spirit (from Latin for breath, life-force). Right breathing is the foundation of the various yoga and zen meditation systems, the positive health effects of which are well documented.

In Latin, anima is another word for soul and it's linked to animosity, animation, animated, and with levels of energy and vitality in general. Shamans believe that sometimes sick people who lack vitality, do so because their soul has left them.

People who are habitually bad-tempered in colloquial Spanish are said to have a 'mal genio' (a bad spirit). People who are fed up and angry, in English, also speak of being 'sick of' a person or situation. Much more can be said of the shamanic therapeutic uses and origins of these notions. Suffice it to say that words evoke, and originate in, the depths of the human psyche and should be studied carefully: it is in these forests of unexplored rhetoric that our hidden thoughts, emotions and inner drama can be found.

Since Spirit and health go hand in hand, methods of stress relief, both religious and secular, should therefore be all considered medicinal and spiritual practices. Acts of laughter, of joy, social interaction between friends and family, forgiveness, creativity, exercise, all carry a kind of natural medicine, quite literally. They all support not just the emotional health, but the bodily health as well.

In addition, drinks and foods that lift the spirits, that act as mood boosters without harmful side effects, can safely be considered sacraments, because the boundary between nutrition and medicine is non existent in them.

In my religious tradition, we are told that we should ONLY eat prasadam. That is how important eating spiritualized food is to us.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


- Mayan proverb

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The international meat industry generates roughly 18% of the world's greenhouse-gas emissions—even more than transportation—according to a report last year from the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization ... Global meat production is expected to double between 2001 and 2050. Given the amount of energy consumed raising, shipping and selling livestock, a 16-oz.T-bone is like a Hummer on a plate ... If you switch to vegetarianism, you can shrink your carbon footprint by up to 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide a year, according to research by the University of Chicago. Trading a standard car for a hybrid cuts only about one ton—and isn't as tasty.

From Skip the Steak, a Time Magazine article by Bryan Walsh

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The world spends 12 times more on military expenditures than on aid to developing countries.

- from the movie HOME

Friday, July 3, 2009

"We do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children"

- Native American proverb

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Celibacy did not come from the mouth of our Lord. It came from somebody in the Catholic Church saying 'Look, these popes are having babies, and these babies grow up and they want land'

- Dennis Leary, during a Larry King Live interview

The discussion concerned Padre Alberto and his recent marriage to a woman whom he was seen making out with at the beach. Now in recent articles TV&Novelas, a Spanish celebrity magazine, is making claims that Padre Alberto is actually gay, that his wedding was arranged to hide his true sexuality, and that he was also caught in the middle of foreplay with a former Colombian co-worker at a radio station some time back. I personally don't know what to make of this priest ... to me, this whole epic just goes to show that God has a sense of humor.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P. Michael Jackson

His voice was the soundtrack to my generation ... may his spirit find bliss!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Vegan Certification

I was very very happy to find out today that there is indeed a Vegan certification program comparable to the Halal (for Muslims) and Kosher (for Jews) certification programs. According to, it is "applied to foods, clothing, cosmetics and other items that contain no animal products and are not tested on animals".

I've been praying to Krishna for this program, and even recently sent a respectful letter to the editor of requesting a Hindu version of Halal and Kosher, after watching the movie Earthlings and seeing the way that cows are slaughtered even in supposedly Kosher slaughterhouses. Cow slaughter is hellish no matter what it is labeled.

In fact, last week we had a rather uneasy challenge in our temple. One of the Westerner devotees in the Spanish group (an Argentinian) challenged the person giving the sermon with regards to consumption of milk, cheese and yoghurt. It IS hypocritical to criticize the treatment of cows in dairy farms while at the same time purchasing these products, which finances the activities of the dairy farm industry.

The problem of this double standard is particularly visible among traditional Indian devotees, not so much among Westerners who convert to Krishna Consciousness. This is due to the traditional use of yoghurt among the Hare Krishnas in seasoning, cooking, in raitas (yoghurt-based salads) and lassi (mango and yoghurt shakes). Cheese is also used in cooking, and milk is consumed regularly.

In Vaishnava tradition, devotees frequently romanticize about Mother Cow's milk by comparing it to a human mother's milk. Traditional Hare Krishna farms, however, treat cows like royalty. The abuse that takes place in secular farms, the separation of the newborn calf from the mother, the seclusion and lack of sunlight, and unnatural diet that cows are fed, are not the norm in Indian farms. Hence, there is clearly a need among devotees to wake up, and to treat cow secretions produced in Western dairy farms as non acceptable, as per religious ahimsa (non-violence) standards.

The Vegan label is important not only for the consumer but for makers of products. It tells them that there is a market out there that is called 'Vegan', that there are people out there who under no circumstance will buy things that were tested on animals, or that somehow generated cruelty to animals in any way, shape of form.

The certification program is not perfect: it allows for machinery to be shared with non-vegan products. However, since Veganism is only now emerging in the culture and is not yet considered mainstream, the purpose of the certification program is to create increased visibility for the anti-cruelty movement and to ensure that in the future there will be an increased number of Vegan-friendly options for consumers.

Please support Vegan businesses! Buy Vegan clothes and food!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Coming out of shame :-)

Parents seem to also have their own coming out process, which can be a difficult one. After years of appearing embarrased of his gay daughter, Cheney has finally spoken out saying that he backs gay marriage.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Is a Hamburger as Bad as a Hummer?

It's refreshing to finally see the attention that mainstream media is paying to the huge effect that meat-based diets are having on the environment, and that these truths are not confined to sites like This article by mentions removing beef from our diet as one of the most important things that we can do for the environment:

Beef. It's What's Not for Dinner.

Meat production causes more environmental harm than any other food -- from the fertilizer (usually derived from fossil fuels) to the feed (enough to feed dozens of people) to the greenhouse gases (yes, cow burp is potent).

Suzanne Shaw from the Union of Concerned Scientists explains that most of our cattle come from Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) that don't work with nature: They confine animals away from grazing, they feed them food that isn't natural to their diets, they create huge amounts of waste that doesn't become fertilizer for farms but often runs off into waterways, contaminating drinking water and killing fish and other aquatic life.

If Americans just cut back on the amount of meat we eat, it would have a huge impact on global warming emissions nationwide. Follow Michael Pollan's mantra: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." He means real foods -- that is, unprocessed foods like those your grandmother would recognize.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Super Foods

After watching the documentaries The Future Of Food and Earthlings, which deal at length with showing us the effects and the suffering generated by the unconscious, and oftentimes cruel way in which we produce our food, I have slowly been incorporating new eating lifestyles into my diet, including not just vegetarianism but living foods.

Rawfoodists are people who believe that the ideal is to eat food that is raw, or living, and largely plant-based: the living foods lifestyle is based on a diet that includes plants, seeds, nuts, ripe fruits, raw vegetables. Marine plants and vegetables are included in this diet.

Their argument for this has to do with the fact that our ancestors evolved on this diet, and that when most vegetables are cooked, many essential nutrients and enzymes are destroyed. This is true, for example, in the case of tomatoes which, when cooked, lose their vitamin C content, which is a mood booster that strengthens the immune system. Raw tomatoes, by the way, are a lot tastier than cooked ones.

Another lifestyle that has been gaining momentum argues for the consumption of superfoods: these are foods that offer a ridiculously high nutritional value, and therefore provide people with much more energy and are more efficient than the traditional SAD diet. SAD is an acronym used among rawfoodists which means 'Standard American Diet'.

I want to share this with my readers because I'm a Gaudiya Vaishnava (we're better known as the Hare Krishnas), and I strongly believe and have observed the significant effects that the things that we eat, and even the manner in which we prepare or cook them, can have on our moods and our states of consciousness.

Our bodies already have the wisdom to heal themselves, to work at an optimum level, and even to produce ecstasy - not just orgasmic ecstasy, but religious experiences of altered awareness that can be cultivated through yoga.

What I've learned studying the science of yoga is that there is no supernatural: spirituality is natural. All of these ecstatic and religious experiences happen within the body: they entail the proper use of attention, of breath, and millions of chemical processes which occur at the cellular level and are beautifully detailed in the film What the Bleep Do We Know!?, and in the book Ecstasy Is a New Frequency, by Chris Griscom.

Hence, naturally, we can understand the importance of the quality of fuel that our body burns: the consumption of efficient foods increases our body's ability to function at all levels, and even to produce higher, happier, more alert and alive moods. Simply scientifically observing how the body behaves after each meal and snack will make anyone aware of this.

I have felt it most with raw cacao and with yerba maté. Processed cacao becomes chocolate, which is a universally known food, but few people know that cacao in its raw form is the most nutritionally rich food in the planet. When processed, cacao loses a huge portion of its nutritional and medicinal value. In addition to this, raw cacao has a negligible, almost non existent, amount of caffeine, and it's good for the heart and brain.

Raw cacao, by itself, is bitter but flavor is easily enhanced. When consuming cacao, I usually either eat the raw cacao nibs (they're basically raw chocolate chips) with a sweetener (either agave nectar or honey). I've also discovered that they can be eaten with other nuts or raisins. A simple mix of unsalted, roasted peanuts with raw cacao nibs tastes great.

Yerba maté is also bitter, but much more enjoyable (although some people say it's an acquired taste). This Amazonian herbal concoction is the green tea of South America. It's so rich in nutrients that it can be used to replace a meal. Many dieters use yerba maté for these properties. Many asthma patients also attest to its health benefits.

There is also a cultural layer to the superfoods phenomenon: new traditions are entering American culture via these foods. Maté, in the traditional way, is sipped through a straw (the bombilla) from a gourd, which is known as the maté, proper. The South American ritual of sharing the maté among friends follows its own protocol. It's like sharing the pipe of peace, or perhaps like the Asian tea ritual, but it's more of a social event and a bit more informal.

The mood enhancing ingredient in cacao is theobromine. Theobromos literally means 'food of the Gods'. Cacao was said to be brought to Earth by the Gods of the New World. It has a very interesting history: its beans were used as currency and were considered sacred by the Aztecs.

In the case of yerba maté, its mood enhancing compound is mateine, a peculiar South American herbal version of caffeine, which is very similar to caffeine but does not produce its negative side effects such as heart palpitations and nervousness. People with cardiac health issues who must avoid caffeine often replace it with maté.

These chemicals (mateine, theobromine) produce a natural high; a lucid, alert state of mind that I've often felt at the temple while chanting the mahamantra. They're the dietary equivalent of the runner's high. One feels alive, full of energy, and genuinely happy.

Some of the most opulent meals that I've ever prepared, used quinoa. It's a versatile Peruvian seed which looks and is used as a grain but has a mild nutty flavor. It is cooked in the same way we cook rice or couscous, it's a complete protein, rich in minerals, easy to digest and takes a very short time to cook. I've noticed that I feel very satisfied after eating quinoa, and that I tend to eat less often.

In my kitchen, I have color-coded quinoa preparations. My favorite recipes are green quinoa (with cilantro and spinach), golden quinoa (with corn), and quinoa with gandules. These are all based on Latin American rice recipes which have been adapted to use quinoa instead of rice.

My white quinoa, or coconut quinoa, I have to say stands out as well in terms of flavor, but I do not make it as often. It is similar to rice pudding, and it's a decadent desert that one never has to feel guilty about.

Because there is already so much information about these and other superfoods out there on the internet, I will not elaborate any further, except to use a metaphor that super-food guru David Wolfe used once: super foods are like the super heroes of the food industry. They're exceptionally nutritionally rich, strong and powerful, and they save people's lives.

Friday, May 1, 2009

"Like a gold ring in a pig's snout ..."

Like a gold ring in a pig's snout
is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.

Proverbs 11:22

According to this article, Miss California USA paid for Miss California Carrie Prejean's breast implants just weeks before the competition.

Her big boobs, however, did not save her from her own outdated bigotry. After expressing anti gay feelings, she lost to a more intelligent contestant.

Update 1: Citing allegations that the current Miss California breached her contract, the head of the Miss California USA organization Shanna Moakler has quit, saying that she no longer believes in the organization. In addition to her same-sex marriage comments, there emerged semi-nude photos which Donald Trump did not find "racy enough to warrant her dethronement" ...

Update 2: ... but then finally (June 10th 2009 update), she was let go due to breach of contract.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Future Of Food

The Future Of Food is a sobering documentary on genetic engineering, the patenting of seeds by large corporations that want to monopolize food, and some of the dangers that await humanity in this globalized era.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

When we resolve
to evolve,
our problems dissolve.

- Michael Bernard Beckwith
When I see beings of wicked nature
oppressed by violent misdeeds and afflictions
may I hold them dear
as if I had found a rare and precious treasure.

The 14th Dalai Lama

Gathering Storm Spoof

Parody of the Gathering Storm ad.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Rosa María

Robi Draco Rosa is one of my favorite artists. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Innumerable suns exist. Innumerable Earths revolve around these. Living beings inhabit these worlds. - Giordano Bruno, 1548 -1600 (burnt at the stake for heresy)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Most blest is he who lives free and bold
and nurses never a grief,
for the fearful man is dismayed by aught,
and the mean one mourns over giving.

Havamal, Verse 48

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ogres, Trolls, etc = Neanderthals?

I was watching the documentary Journey of Man which deals with the discoveries made by the Genographic Project regarding the early migratory patterns of modern humans.

The film does not go into detail about other hominid races, like the Neanderthal and the Flores hobbit, but it occured to me that as these migrations took place between 60-15 thousand years ago, there were other hominid races in Africa, South Asia, and Europe not mentioned in the documentary, and that many of the myths and fairy tales that we received from the ancestors probably originated from these exchanges.

The program indicates that humans arrived in Europe 40,000 years ago from Central Asia, not via the Turkey route that we would expect. We also know that Neanderthal man did not disappear in Europe until 30-25,000 years ago. This means that for a period of between 10-15,000 years, Neanderthals and Humans coexisted in Europe.

What the program does not indicate is that Neanderthals were most likely the reason why humans waited so long to inhabit Europe - this was their territory. In Norse myth, there are several hominid races that appear to live in separate garths or territories, which means that the people who originated these myths knew of certain boundaries which were dangerous to cross, beyond which there was hostility (Jotunheim, Alfheim, etc.) or which were simply territories of another people ...

We have no way of knowing what was the nature of interaction between the two species. We know that they were unable to produce offspring if they intermarried, and that for many thousands of years they were neighbors in Israel and surrounding areas because some fossils have been found in close proximity and aged to around the same time - so that there was some interaction in some places.

But beyond that we do not know if there was hostility or animosity and how much, if one species enslaved the other, if there were slave uprisings or intermarriage, if they hunted mammoth together or hunted each other, etc. These would be interesting things to look into.

Some Neanderthal remains show signs of cannibalism ... and humans still consume chimpanzees and monkeys in many parts of the world, and we have evidence of human cannibalism in Papua New Guinea, so even the idea that humans literally hunted the Neanderthal to extinction and consumed them is not so far fetched and should be considered as one possibility.

Maybe what Norse myths call Swartalf (Black Elves), Ogres, Dwarves, Trolls, etc. were real members of a species. Maybe these mythical beings are based on historical encounters with Neanderthals or even other races? Maybe after they died out the stories about them became more magical and mythologized?

In the epic of the Ramayana, from India, we see primitive humans and an ape race fighting together against a common enemy. This, today, is unthinkable. The closest surviving hominid is the bonobo ape, who is more humanlike than other chimps, his head is more round and walks already on two legs for long periods of time, but has not evolved language skills, etc.

The Flores man (so called hobbit) may have been an isolated population but, if Indian travelers did come across them, it would not have been unthinkable that some of them were either taken as prisoners or enslaved, or that many of them may have migrated into India in remote times and coexisted for some time with ancient Indians. There is no archeological evidence of man in India 40,000 years ago, yet we know people were there from the findings of the Genographic project, which traced the Y-chromosome of one man in South India to the same group of people who eventually colonized Australia, which indicates coastal migrations.

What this means is that absence of archeological evidence should not be a reason to discard human and hominid activity during that age because genetic evidence shows that there was a coastal migration in spite of lack of an archeological presence.

The documentary Journey of Man also makes mention of the fact that during the Ice Age, the ocean levels were lower and migration between the islands all the way to Australia would not have been so dangerous as it is today because the shorelines were not as spread apart - which also tells us that fossil records from the Ice Age should be found undersea.

If this is the case, then it may be that the monkey-God Hanuman and the race of apes that is mentioned in the Ramayana (they were fighting in alliance with King Rama against King Ravana) may be based on actual hominids who lived as neighbors of humans in the ancient past in South India.

Indian folklorists have made much of the fact that the bridge that the apes and men built between South India and Sri Lanka can still be seen from outer space - and it's true: the shallowness of a path in the water is evident.

The Ramayana is interesting also in that it presents us with an elaborate APE CULTURE - like the fact that when the monkey king Rakshasa died, his two sons fought to see who'd become the alpha male, "as required by ape law".

Ramayana also indicates that the territory of the ape people had watchers at their entrance and that they had an army, which resembles the organization of a human village or city, and that they were very intelligent strategists and politicians. Which is a bit too sophisticated for apes: and so it should not be ruled out that Ramayana may have included characters that historically were Neanderthals or Flores men. If this was the case, I am inclined in favor of Neanderthal man who was more bulky and physically stronger than humans, since according to the Ramayana it was the ape race that did most of the hard labor during the construction of the bridge.

The Yeti legends of the Himalayas may also refer to ancient Neanderthal man since Yeti had white skin, and we know neanderthal had white skin and blond or even red hair. The monkey God himself, Hanuman, is depicted as 'golden-hued' by his devotees. At the end of Ramayana, Hanuman is said to have 'retired' and gone to the Himalayas.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


What a fucking asshole!

"Spirit tells me Fidel Castro will die in the nineties ... the Lord also wants me to tell you in the mid nineties, about '94-'95, GOD will destroy the homosexual community of America (APLAUSE) but he will not destroy it with what many minds have thought it to be, he will destroy it with fire ... " - Benny Hinn, Con-man and Televangelist

Monday, January 26, 2009

When Colombus came, that was the First World War ... By the end of the 2nd World War, in America we were only 800,000. From 60 million to 800,000! So we were almost exterminated here in America. - Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Native American elder
Haggard faces more gay-sex accusations

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
No one but ourselves can free our minds

- Bob Marley's Redemption Song