The Church of Kharma Futures

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Archive for November, 2007

Rev’s Rant

Posted by revkharma on November 27, 2007

OK, sometimes things take an unexpected turn. Some friends and I were having a conversation. I was, as I often am, freely expressing myself. Let me try to set the stage a bit. There were several conversations which preceded this discussion:

Seems there is a young lady who, in her early twenties is a mother of a very young child. She had informed me that she was following a family tradition of sorts. It seems her mother had given birth to a daughter in her late teens, and her older sister had given birth at the same age, to a daughter. The tradition proved true, as she had given birth at the same age, also to a daughter. Further cementing the common bond, none of these women had a husband, and never did bring a father into the family.

I was later engaged in a conversation with someone else. She related to me that she had been invited to a baby shower. Images of cutesy toys, outfits, and gifts for mommy and daddy to be to enjoy with the new child. “Oh, no”, I was told. “There’s no daddy. She’s not married.” Who was putting on this celebration for her, a concerned friend? Wrong again! Her mom is hosting the baby shower. It seems as she is happy and proud her daughter, her unmarried daughter, is pregnant, and the father is nowhere to be found. I was uncharacteristically quiet while digesting this tidbit.

Now back to the conversation which is the point of this essay. Some friends and I were discussing the issues which both those conversations had brought to mind.

I was wondering how our society had wandered so far in such a short time. Within my own lifetime, I can recall that a young woman who became pregnant without benefit of a father or a marriage was secluded. There was still a sense of shame, of a need to go away and have the child in secret. Now such”indiscretions” are celebrated. Out of wedlock births ( funny how even that phrase seems so out of date) is no longer stigmatized. We encourage such things, without giving a thought to the consequences, to society in general and to the individuals whose lives are so directly and negatively impacted. Study after study shows that the life of children born to single mother families are more likely to be underachievers. Schooling is shortchanged. Income is greatly restricted. And the chance of such devastation being repeated is huge, continuing the path of economic, social, and individual life destruction into subsequent generations.

As I carefully voiced my opinions, I was interrupted. One of my conversation mates loudly interjected: ” Well, That’s all because the Catholic Church stops all those abortions.”

(Did I tell you he was liberal?) I turned and said “What does that possibly matter to the subject at hand?” “Because, the damn Church is so strict, and opposed to abortion, forcing those girls to have babies!”

First, let’s look at the internal logic here. He’s upset that the Catholic Church is opposed to abortion. The Church’s rules are strict. None of these women are Catholic. Even should they be Catholic, they have already shown a disregard for the “strict rules” of the Church by engaging in behavior also prohibited. None of the women in question seemed the least bit inclined to terminate the pregnancy. In fact, one of them had specifically and quite clearly told me she was absolutely and resolutely opposed to abortion. She simply would not ever consider ‘killing my baby’. So the oppressive rules of the Church, upon which he had so certainly fixed the blame, (if they were as totally omnipotent as he seemed to imply) would have prevented the situation in the first place. So the logic is totally out of synch with reality. (but who needs logic when smearing organized religion)

So, what’s going on here? He was employing what I have come to call the Liberal Logic for Arguments. Find an issue which you feel is a home run, and in which you can portray your opponent as heartless, cruel and (one of the worst sins in the liberal pantheon) Oppressive. No matter what topic is at issue, find a way to tag your opposition with the oppressive trait which you wish to demonize. It doesn’t matter if that’s not relevant to the topic. Simply smear your opponent, and push the issue. If you do so loudly and fiercely enough, you can change the debate to your pet topic, and bash your opponent as a proponent of whichever oppressive evil you have chosen to hate. This has a couple of distinct advantages. It stops the discussion from continuing and revealing that the position you are currently defending is indefensible and your argument baseless and without merit , and it allows you without any logic or proof to shut down your opponent’s argument while needing no evidence to support your own ideas. Stifle real debate and end discussion. Appear to win while actually losing. Neat trick.

The sad part here is that the real losers are not those taking a stand, a moral stand liberals find repugnant. The real losers are those who never will learn that their actions do, in fact have consequences. They will be told to blame the sorry state of their lives on some mythical institution which has oppressed them through it’s evil intent. There will be no intervention to prevent dangerous and destructive behavior, such as illegitimacy, to be celebrated and rewarded without regard for the long term havoc it can wreak on our society and more importantly on the individual lives which comprise our society. One final note:

The biggest difference between liberals and libertarians is that liberals seek to make a better society. Everything done by liberal big government is done, they claim, to perfect society. Libertarians wish to provide freedom for individuals. Permitting individuals to pursue freedom is anathema to liberals, who believe only group action can perfect society, not individual action. ( see the “New Soviet Man”, the “Aryan Super Man” or whichever current ism or therapy will free man from all his oppressive inhibitions and allow him to perfect his humanness and become a perfect modern man.)

One of the things we must always understand is that freedom includes freedom to fail. We’re not perfect, nor even perfectible. But we have proved time and again, that given the opportunity to actually see the results of our actions, we can learn from our mistakes, and grow. Sometimes we even grow into better people. Better people make for a better society.

Posted in Just talking | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Bring me a whiskey, in a dirty glass!

Posted by revkharma on November 16, 2007

I’ve never actually been able to find that line in any real movie, but just about anyone familiar with the western genre is probably familiar with it. Hard riding, hard living,and whiskey drinking seem to go together.

It seems that there is a mystique, a  character associated with whiskey drinking that simply is not associated with any other liquor. Whiskey connotes a lifestyle that is embodies by no other drink. Lets look at some, and then dig into whiskey itself.

 

Now there’s nothing really wrong with other liquors, I’ve had many of them. Somewhere I once read that the perfect vodka has no color, no taste, and no odor. Ok, then what is there to enjoy? That’s why there are so many different flavored vodkas out there. Add something to make it taste like something.

Then there is Gin. Now I’m a big fan of the Martini. When done perfectly, a Martini is about as close to a perfect cocktail as has ever been devised. (I will NOT discuss vodka martinis. Simply not a real martini.) But it is still a cocktail, a mix.

Rum, another story, but still, too often rum is a base for a mix. And I can somehow not get the idea of British Navy sailors, with their ration of rum. Some quote runs in the back of my mind about rum, the lash… and something else I don’t even want to remember.

Now the brown liquors… Whiskeys.. Scotch, Irish, and American whiskey, better known as Bourbon.. There is a drink with some definite personality all by itself.

Whiskey is designed to be drunk straight, uncut, and tasted. Not mixed, not flavored, not adulterated at all. It is a vital fluid. In fact the name whiskey comes to us from the Gaelic term uisgebeatha roughly, water of life. Somehow around the same time Scotland and Ireland managed to formulate whiskey, but pride of ownership traditionally resides in Ireland.

Scotch Whisky (traditionally spelled without the ‘e’) is made from malt which is roasted over an open peat fire, thus the famous smoky taste. The most well known Scotches are usually blended whisky, in which numerous malts are mixed, in specified proportions to achieve a uniform and consistent product from year to year. The now ubiquitous single malt scotches are exactly that. A single sample, not mixed. The advantage is, when well made a single malt has a far more complex and enjoyable character than any blend can ever hope to display. The various malts differ in obvious ways, much dependent upon the geographical region in which they are distilled. From the light, clean Highland malts to the strong and distinctive Islay malts, the various malts can be astoundingly varied in taste. For this reason, I have always preferred the Single Malts. I like something with flavor, character, and subtle beauty. In some cases, not so subtle: try a glass of Lagavullan some day for a real taste experience!

Irish whiskey is a bit different. The malt is roasted in closed kilns, sparing the malt from the smoke and peat flavor that predominates the scotches. Thus the Irish whiskeys have a much lighter and sweeter character. For pure sipping pleasure, I generally will prefer an Irish over most of the scotches, but it is a difficult choice.

The best known American whiskey is Bourbon. Sour Mash whiskey. Made from corn rather than the malt of the Irish or Scotches. There is a legend of Pastor Elijah Craig and his unwillingness to get rid of used barrels. It was his burning the insides to remove an unwanted flavor that first introduced the carmel color to his whiskey, distinguishing it from moonshine of others at the time.

Now the Bourbons have also begun to branch out, specializing in what have become known as Single Barrel or Small Batch. Just as a single malt scotch has a distinct flavor, the single barrel bourbons are as distinct from each other as Fords and Chevy’s .

To get a good sense of the difference, sample a couple. Bookers and Woodford Reserve. Both are single barrel, small batch Bourbons. Woodford, in it’s classy flat rectangular bottle is delightful, complex and quite smooth. Bookers, presented in a simple bottle, is entirely different. It is generally around 125 proof or more. After much sampling and discussing, and sampling again, I think I have finally found a good way to describe the difference. Woodford compares to the feel and sound of riding a powerful BMW bike. Strong, but civilized. The quiet power is there, but not openly on display. Bookers, on the other hand is more like an old Harley with straight pipes. It is strong, fun, and entirely worth the ride, with a noticeable roar to it as it finishes.

All the above information comes to me through careful controlled exploration and experimentation. I encourage you to do the same, and as I know this is an entirely subjective realm, provide me with your own experience and observations.

As always,

Keep the Faith

The Rev

Posted in Indulgences | Leave a Comment »

The Border

Posted by deaconkharmafuture1 on November 15, 2007

Thoughts on the border crisis…
The government of the U.S. has done nothing substantial as far as the border, of that, I think we can all surely agree. I would like to randomly muse on this topic and some points. When it comes to police forces we have an abundance. When it comes to traffic enforcement, we have that in spades. I was brought up on Andy Griffith and thought that was what police were. These days it’s revenue generation, busting college parties, ticketing speeders, nailing people for “felony taglight violations” (I kid you not, this is police humor) and how many police are allotted for traffic versus other non-revenue based service? Keep that thought humming while I shift gears.

So, we have the border that resembles, in my mind, a colander (aka strainer) being used to hold water. We know we have a problem. We even have evidence of Mexican military crossing our border. Why is this unchecked? Go back to the police model of today. Revenue generation, versus no revenue. It is more profitable, less time and energy to ticket your average speeder. Now lets not forget safer, both physically, and LEGALLY. A perfect case study in America hamstringing it’s own security is that deputy that barely missed getting run over by illegals(http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=54379) and when defensively fired his pistol, was prosecuted.

Revenue, hmmm, is that why we prefer to prosecute Americans for drugs yet all the while allowing drugs to be escorted into the country by armed Mexican military? So instead of handling things, we bait and switch. “War on Drugs”, a sham if we don’t cut the supply. Bait and switch? How about the war on terror and security “for American safety” but a porous border with 70 Americans kidnapped by Mexicans. All this from the border in one year. How many Americans were kidnapped by Saddam? This is not necessarily an anti-war statement, just a point I consider pertinent since we are talking American safety.

The “minuteman project” is a prelude and led me to a somewhat far reaching theory, though more credible to me every day. A theory is that citizens will take things into their own hands and retaliate. Some will seek to only defend, some will become vigilantes, and some will teeter precariously close to the very thing they despise, the American version of Mexican gang like activity and declare gang war on them. Unfortunately, if our government won’t come to our aid, perhaps they will come to the border for peacekeeping. Soon the border may be past boiling point.

One final thought, could this be anticipated? Expected even? I ask myself why the US government is contemplating giving advanced audio (listening devices), optics (night and thermal vision), and other equipment to Mexico to police their side of the border. Mexican military escorts of drug runners,(http://www.kvoa.com/Global/story.asp?S=4391092)(http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=43754) (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,182650,00.html) fully equipped with night vision, has been reported. Mexican military vehicles crossing the border armed… Could we be better equipping Mexico in anticipation of civilian response to the threat our government refuses to deal with directly? Or do we believe our government is actually daft enough to think the Mexicans will break with current trends, and actually use the equipment to police the border on their side?
You do the math…

Posted in Immigration | Leave a Comment »

Energy, Power and International Socialists

Posted by revkharma on November 12, 2007

Way back, when the Soviet Union collapsed, there were those who said we were going to get a ‘peace dividend’ from all the money we would not need to spend on the defense budget. It’s a noble idea, but pretty much not realistic. The international socialists just did not evaporate. They did not just give up, even though the machinery of the State that supported their goals went away.

I’m not the first to make this observation, but many of the leaders (and most of the followers) seemed to have moved into the Green movement. The environmentalist lobby has consistently thwarted much of the economic growth in the west, and now with the advent of Global Warming..oops Global CLIMATE CHANGE as a political cause, there is much more reason to fear international regulation of economics, particularly aimed at the USA.

Russia, following the breakup of the Soviet Empire, was a basket case: politically weak, economically staggering, militarily a non entity. (except for those pesky nukes!) They are now reasserting their demands for a place at the global power brokers table. Russia is right behind Saudi Arabia as the second largest holder of petroleum reserves in the world. They have asserted rights to mine the sea floor under the Arctic Circle, and seek to enforce control of any pipelines that cross it’s former captive states.

In the US, on the other hand, we are prevented from developing virtually any energy resources at all. Nuclear power has been halted, with no new power plants built in more than thirty years. Environmental lawsuits have prevented any new petroleum refineries from coming on line. The now infamous ANWR oil reserves have been locked away for fear of disturbing the sleep of a group of nosebots or some such nonsense.

We are prohibited from searching for oil off our coasts. The utter silliness of this is shown by the fact that China is preparing to drill off the coast of Cuba. The rigs will be off the coast of Florida. Probably as close or closer than if we were drilling for our own oil!.

They lost the Cold War, but it is beginning to look as if we have surrendered to the new Socialist Army without a fight. The propaganda war has been won handily. Russia is ascendant as a world energy superpower, and we are sitting by, hugging trees, crying over lost polar bears and watching the Russians as they continue to pull away from us.

Not a pretty scenario is it? Tell me what YOU think?

Keep the Faith!

The Rev

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments »

More discussion

Posted by revkharma on November 12, 2007

The first post is the germ, from which this “Church of ideas” has grown. It’s a way to start people thinking in a different way about almost ANYTHING.

We can only learn by observation and experience, interaction and by exercising our minds, and stretching our thoughts in new and different ways.

And, yes, The Rev is preparing a Kharma Futures Market. Details to follow. Watch for some current events chatter later in the day.

Keep the Faith!

The Rev

Posted in Kharma stuff | 1 Comment »

The Beginning

Posted by revkharma on November 12, 2007

How have you lived your life? Have you accumulated a huge amount of positive Kharma?
Or are you nearing the point, when you think you've built up a reserve of bad Kharma so large that lightning may start striking you at any moment?

The Reverend Kharma Future is here to help. We can even out the peaks and valleys in the Universe, creating a sense of Fairness and Balance throughout.

We here at the Church of Kharma Future will assist, acting as sort of a Kharmic Clearing House. Those of you with excessive Positive Kharma can offer it to those who have somehow accumulated an unfair balance of Negative Kharma.

In effect, you can do even more good by offering your Good Kharma balance to help those with a Bad Kharma balance. In the process you can also realize some material gains as well.

All in all, we here at the Church of Kharma Future will help to reestablish a more harmonic balance to the unequal and unfair balances that have evolved.
It's all about equity and Fairness. It's all about Balance. It's all about Kharma.
We can help.
Let's talk about how YOU can help restore balance to the universe.
We'll see if we can find some Good Kharma for you, to give you the Good Balance you deserve.

Kharma Futures will be a place for discussion on many different issues. Faith and philosophy,politics and world events, sometimes sports or even what The Rev had for breakfast.

Let’s start talking.
Keep the Faith!

The Rev

Posted in Kharma stuff | 2 Comments »