Friday, November 21, 2014

U.S. Indigenous People's History (video)


Marilyn Manson involves Lana Del Rey in evil Eli Roth's rape fantasy (Sturmgruppe).

On this episode of "Uprising with Sonali" (Pacifica Radio/Free Speech TV): Courtney Morris analyzes breaking news of the day; Zoe Carpenter of the Nation Magazine summarizes the results of the 2014 midterm elections.

Moreover, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz shares details about her ground-breaking book, An Indigenous People's History of the United States.

Charlie's swastika tattoo was not a deal-killer for Star (right), far from it (NYDN).
U.S. superstar model, iconic beauty Marilyn Monroe, aka Norma Jeane Mortenson (AP).
AUDIO: L.A. school teaches in indigenous Nahuatl language

Mexico's ancient Mayan pyramids are calendars (yahoo.news.com)
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On a main thoroughfare in East Los Angeles, there's a brightly painted public school: Anahuacalmecac International Preparatory High School, part of the Semillas (Spanish for "seeds") school network. It teaches teenagers about their indigenous roots and culture. Students learn in Spanish and Nahuatl, incorporating Mayan mathematics and indigenous visual and performing arts. One course teaches indigenous diplomacy and youth leadership skills. Parents and grandparents are integrated into the student’s learning. More

Using LSD to escape from prison (video)

Wisdom Quarterly; Gabriel London (defriest.com), Amy Goodman (democracynow.org)(DemocracyNow.org) See Minute 37:13 for LSD episode and its unintended consequences.

Democracy Now! investigates the shocking case of Mark DeFriest, known as the "Houdini of Florida prisons" because he has tried to escape 13 times -- seven of them successfully. In 1979, DeFriest’s father died and left him a set of tools. He picked them up before they were probated. The teenager was arrested for stealing and sentenced to four years in prison. [The U.S. does not torture, for we are a land of law and order.] Thirty-four years later he is still there, having spent 27 of those years in solitary. [The U.S. does torture, but we call ourselves a land of law and order.] DeFriest spent much of it in the notorious “X Wing” of Florida State Prison (FSP), where he went for many years without seeing the Sun. DN! is joined by Gabriel London, director of the new film about the case, "The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest." More

Unindicted white collar meditator
If drugs fail to gain one one's freedom, might there be another way to escape the insanity, to escape to reality? What if it were possible to overcome the distractions -- external and internal -- and successfully meditate? All meditation is an intention in the right direction, but it is not all equally effective or ultimately successful. It matters what we do, what we intend, what we practice. "A pure heart," it is said in the opening verses of the Dhammapada ("Dharma Imprint/Path"), "brings happiness in its trail like our shadow that never departs" even when it seems not to be there. "An defiled heart," on the other hand, "brings suffering like the cart dragging behind the draught ox." Just to focus on the breathing taking place at this moment, not "thinking about" it but simply aware of it so fully that discursive thinking wanes and one is living directly in this moment, even if this moment seems from a distance to be unpleasant, is a great start. What do most of us instead? We look for substances and activities to blot out blissful reality, allow our mind/hearts to spin in the insanity we assume to be real, and yearn for more powerful hallucinogens, narcotics, sleeping pills, and forms of liquid and inhalable ignorance. Wouldn't it be so much better to Escape to Reality?
 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Climate chaos means cold weather, too (video)

Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan (DN!); Seth Auberon, Ashley Wells (eds), Wisdom Quarterly
Hello, HAARP. Snow sweeps USA like a Himalayan snow storm (Jos Martin/flickr.com)
(DN!) From hottest Oct. to coldest Nov., is Climate Change behind the extreme weather?

(ScattyCat Julie Trueman/flickr.com)
Record cold temperatures have been recorded across the USA this week. The most extreme weather is hitting western New York, where at least seven people have died.

At least six feet of snow has already fallen on parts of Buffalo, and another two to three feet is expected today. Tuesday was the coldest November morning in the country since 1976. 

Temperatures dropped below freezing in every state including parts of Hawaii [which is always frozen because it has the tallest mountain in the world with its base sitting deep in the sea, though not the highest mountian, which is either K2 in Pakistan or Mt. Everest in Nepal] on Tuesday and Wednesday. 
(Yorkshirepudding76/flickr)
This comes just days after NASA reported last month was the warmest October on record [which it announces after revising up temperatures and massaging the statistics in a worrisome way to align data with popular theory rather than dealing with the numbers just as they are].

Democracy Now! looks at the link between extreme weather and climate change with Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist who writes about weather and climate for Slate.com. More
Amys_column_default_640x360_2014
It was a dramatic scene in the Senate this week. As Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was presiding, announced the defeat of the Keystone XL pipeline, a Crow Creek Sioux man from South Dakota sang out in the Senate gallery. A massive people’s climate movement against extracting some of the dirtiest oil (tar sands) on the planet had prevailed...at least for now.

Angels don't play this HAARP
Aerial view of the HAARP site, looking towards Mount Sanford, Alaska 
HAARP, the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, is an ionospheric manipulation, weaponization, and weather control program jointly funded by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the University of Alaska, and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). See HAARP.net. Designed and built by BAE Advanced Technologies (BAEAT), its purpose was originally said to be to analyze the ionosphere and investigate the potential for developing ionospheric "enhancement technology" for radio communications and surveillance. The HAARP program operates a major sub-arctic facility, named the HAARP Research Station, on an Air Force-owned site near Gakona, Alaska. More 
 
The Military's Pandora's Box
Dr. Nick Begich and Jeane Manning (haarp.net)
(Dr. Nick Begich/Amazon)
This is a summary of the contents of a book that describes an entirely new class of weapons. The United States Navy and Air Force have joined with the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, to build a prototype for a ground-based "Star Wars" weapon system located in the remote bush country of Alaska.

People demanding answers about HAARP are scattered around the planet. As well as bush-dwellers in Alaska, they include: a physician in Finland; a scientist in Holland; an anti-nuclear protester in Australia; independent physicists in the United States; a grandmother in Canada, and countless others.

Unlike the protests of the 1960s the objections to HAARP have been registered using the tools of the 1990s. From the Internet, fax machines, syndicated talk radio and a number of alternative print mediums the word is getting out and people are waking up to this new intrusion by an over zealous United States government. More

Waiting for Ferguson (video)

Editors, Wisdom Quarterly; Associated Press; DDFRTV; Democracy Now!; Goodreads
With St. Nick's entry comes racial controversy: Police detained anti-Black Pete demonstrators wearing T-shirts reading "No to Black Pete" as St. Nicholas arrived in Gouda, Netherlands, Nov. 15, 2014. Black Pete (Dutch Zwarte Piet), the traditional black-faced sidekick of Santa Claus (Sinterklaas), walked side-by-side with yellow-colored "Cheese Petes" and "Cookie Petes," a nod to the city's most famous products, but also a concession to critics of the traditional Black Petes. The children's fairy tale that has delighted kids for generations is being framed as a very politicized debate in the Netherlands, where discussion about the place in society of immigrants has simmered for years. (AP/mail.com)
  "Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People" (Sundance, 2014)
Missouri: We were thinking we'd execute them then leave them lying around for everybody to see. At least that was the plan. Y'know, keep everybody in their place. Makes our job of keeping them down easier (dayandadream.com).
"F the police" reads the mailbox, but police intend to F the community (slate.com, Aug. '14)
Ferguson: police state racism, murder of Mike Brown, provoking riots (socialesteemmedia)


(DN!) A new film explores how African American communities have used the medium of photography to shape how they are represented. "Through A Lens Darkly" is directed and produced by Thomas Allen Harris, who shares his own family's history in the film. Allen Harris is also the creator of the related project, the Digital Diaspora Family Road Show. Both were inspired in part by the book, Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers, 1840 to the Present by Deborah Willis, who also produced the film. Allen Harris joins Democracy Now! from the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, where his movie premiered.

The Fire Next Time
(AudioGo) Like Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man, the great James Baldwin, author of and The Fire Next Time, tells it like it is in the 1960s, and we still have not learned.

Front Cover
The Fire Next Time
A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the U.S. and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two "letters," written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as "sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle...all presented in searing, brilliant prose," The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of our literature. 

(RYF) This is an excerpt from Baldwin's N-gger, spoken in 1969 in London about the Black experience in the USA and how it relates to the Caribbean and Great Britain.

Ferguson October: Thousands march in St. Louis for police reform and the arrest of killer-cop Darren Wilson

Return of the Ferguson War Zone?
Mo. Enacts State of Emergency ahead of Mike Brown Grand Jury
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency in advance of the grand jury’s pending decision in the Police Officer Darren Wilson murder case in the Michael Brown shooting. On Monday, Gov. Nixon issued an executive order to activate the state’s National Guard in response to what he called "the possibility of expanded unrest." Nixon cited the protests in Ferguson and the St. Louis area since Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was killed by police officer Darren Wilson on August 9. The grand jury has been meeting for nearly three months, and protests are expected to escalate if they choose not to indict. But while state officials say they fear violence, protesters say they fear a return to the militarized crackdown that turned their community into a war zone. As the grand jury nears a decision and all sides prepare for the unknown under a state of emergency, we are joined by two guests: Jeff Smith, a New School professor and former Missouri state senator whose new book is Ferguson: In Black and White, and Montague Simmons, chair of the St. Louis-based Organization for Black Struggle and a key organizer in the movement that has emerged since unarmed teenager Michael Brown’s murder.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Life is SO boring (sutras)

Ashley Wells and Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly; Ven. Nyanaponika Thera (trans.), The Four Nutriments of Life: An Anthology of Buddhist Texts (BPS.lk via accesstoinsight.org)
There must be more than this provincial life (Andrew Tavin/community.sparknotes.com).
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"All beings subsist on nutriment" -- this, according to the Buddha, is the one single fact about life that, above all, deserves to be remembered, contemplated, and understood [namely, that we are not independent of others and our environment, see Note 1].

If understood widely and deeply enough, this saying of the Buddha reveals indeed a truth that leads to the root of all [painful] existence and also to its uprooting. Here, too, the Buddha proved to be one who "saw to the root of things" (mula-dassavi) [2]. So it was thought useful to collect his utterances on the subject of nutriment (ahara), together with the instructive explanations by the teachers of old, the commentators of the Pali language Buddhist texts.
 
The laws of nutriment govern both biological and mental life, and this fact is expressed by the Buddha when speaking of four kinds of nutriment:
  1. edible food
  2. sense-impressions
  3. volitions
  4. consciousness.
It is hunger that stands behind the entire process of nutrition, wielding its whip relentlessly. The body [in whatever form one appears, dense or subtle], from birth to death, craves ceaselessly for material food. 

I am like totally bored, totally, so let's do something, seriously, before I like kill myself!
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Moreover, mind (mental processes, the heart, the immaterial components of existence collectively) hungers as eagerly for its own kind of nourishment, hungering and thirsting for new sense-impressions and  ever expanding universe of mental objects.
 
Craving (tanha, lit. "thirst") is the principal condition of any "in-take" or "up-take" (upadana, lit. "clinging, grasping") [3], that is, of "nutriment" in its widest sense. This is the first factor common to all types of nutriment, whether physical or mental.
 
The second common factor is the process of the assimilation of food. In the process of eating and digesting, that which was external becomes absorbed and internal. What was foreign matter becomes intimate, "one's own," and becomes identified with one's personality.

We are what we eat
Am I a fat cow hamburger? (Sean Norvet)
An old German proverb says: Der Mensch ist, was er isst — "We are what we eat" (lit., "The human is what he or she eats") [which suggests that meat eaters are themselves brutal animals or, at the very least, animal graveyards where corpses are deposited for worms to decompose].

And this applies as well to mental nourishment. Our mind also feeds on "external" material: on sense-impressions and variegated experiences, on the contents of the store-house of knowledge accumulated by the larger group, and on the precipitate derived from all these sources.

And our memories, when they become objects of mind (of the process of consciousness), are also as "external" to the present thought-moment as the ideas presented in a book. What cannot be absorbed by the system is discarded; thus, in the body as well as in the mind, there is a constant process of grasping and rejecting, assimilating and disgarding, identifying with and alienating from oneself.

When we look closely at this process of nutrition, physical and mental, we notice that it is not only the eater who consumes the food but, in the course of assimilation, also the food that devours the eater.

There is mutual absorption between them. We know how much people can be changed (for the better or, alas, the worse) by ideas they have absorbed and which finally have absorbed and consumed and possessed them.
 
I'm totally a unique individual! Totally!
These laws governing nutriment, physical and mental, are sufficient to convince a thoughtful observer how illusory the conception of an abiding "self, ego, soul, personality or substance" is. This alone should be enough to vindicate the anatta doctrine, the Enlightened One's unique, radically transformative, and liberating teaching of not-self.

Individualized life is, as Paul Dahlke says:
"neither a metaphysical 'I'-identity (pure spirit, pure subject, according to the soul-theory of the religions) nor a mere physical process (pure body, pure object, according to scientific materialism), but a nutrimental process and as such it is neither something which is in and by itself, nor something caused by another, but something that is maintaining itself: and all these so-called higher faculties of thinking and feeling are different forms of eating, of maintaining oneself."
I, addition to the vindication of the not-self or impersonal characteristic of existence, nutriment is a convincing teacher of the two other characteristics of existence, impermanence, and unsatisfactoriness.

Change, or Impermanence (anicca), is at the very root of the nutritive process which cries for constant replenishment of the food consumed. The bottomless gaping hole has to be filled again and again as long as the being lives. And it is no different with our mental hunger that craves for change and variety.
 
This repetitive monotony of the process of nutrition kept going by the urge to preserve life -- which should be enough to reveal the unsatisfactory, disappointing, and distressing (dukkha) nature of life, the tiresomeness of the tedious round of eating and being hungry again, of being stimulated and then almost immediately being overcome with craving for sensual pleasures/distractions again.

Hence a medieval Jewish sage was moved to say, "I am fed up with being hungry again and again, and I hunger after final satiety" [4].

This is the unsastisfactoriness or "suffering" inherent in the very function of eating, though it is mostly hidden by our habituation to this elementary feature of routine life.
 
The concrete "suffering" and "pain," also encompassed by this far reaching Buddhist terchnical term dukkha, involved in the search for food and getting it, is obvious enough to all. And this misery was, is, and will always be existence's constant companion. ...

1. Edible Food
Simile: A couple, starving in the middle of a desert, eat their infant child to enable them to reach their destination.
Just like the husband and wife in the Buddha's simile, humankind ever since it emerged/arrived on this planet has traversed the desert of life where food is our most urgent concern. As in that story, the stilling of human hunger is often heart-rending business -- sometimes for the callous "eater," sometimes for the hapless prey, and always for the sensitive observer.

Often our search for food, we destroy what is commonly dear to us, be it relatives or romantic relationships, friends or the ideals of our youth.

This is only one aspect of life: Life is not all a "desert"; it has a goodly number of oases where we can rest and enjoy ourselves to such an extent that we are likely to forget that we are surrounded by desert, which from time to time encroaches on these tiny oases and buries them. ...

2. Sense-Impression
Simile: A cow with its skin torn away, wherever it stands, will be ceaselessly molested and devoured by insects and other creatures in the vicinity.
If only I had superpowers and a motorcycle.
Like the skinned cow, we are ceaselessly exposed to the excitation and irritation of sense-impressions that come at us from all sides wherever we stand through all the senses.

The Pali word phassa ("sense-impression") literally means "contact" or "touch." But it is not any physical impact that is meant. It is the mental contact between: our senses, external objects of the senses, and consciousness.

Sense-impression, together with attention (manasikara), is the mind's first and simplest response to the stimuli exercised by the world of material and immaterial (mental) objects.

According to Buddhist psychology, sense-impression is a constituent factor in each and every state of mind, the lowest to the highest, occurring also in dream states and in subliminal states [liminal being that point where we would become self-reflexively aware] of consciousness.
 
Sense-impression is a basic nutriment. That is, it is a sustaining condition of life. And what is nourished or conditioned by it are feelings/sensations (vedana), which are living off of a multitude of constantly occurring sense-impressions and assimilating them as either pleasant, unpleasant, or indifferent.

1. Disappointment, 2. Craving, 3. Freedom.
This relationship also has a place in the formula of Dependent Origination: "Conditioned by sense-impression is feeling" (Pali phassa-paccaya vedana).

As long as there is craving for sense-impressions, which arises from unguarded feeling (vedana-paccaya tanha), there will be an unlimited supply of that foodstuff/nutriment to be digested by feeling.
  • [NOTE: "Feelings" do not refer to emotions. Emotions are formations (saṅkhāras). Feelings are just the basic sensations, whethermundane or supermundane, an  awareness that something is perceived as being pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. This may seem a trvial point to emphasize, but people make too big of a deal of "feelings" in discussions of the Five Aggregates as the components of existence without realizing that they are looking in the wrong heap. Emotions are very important in Buddhist psychology, but it is their sensation -- pleasant, unpleasant, neutral -- that is referred to as vedana.]
In an unending stream and in rapid alternation, forms (bodies), sounds, fragrances, flavors, bodily impacts, and mental impacts ("ideas, mental impressions, awarenesses, knowings") impinge upon us as long as we live.

It is the poignant awareness of that constant bombardment by sense-impressions that induced the Buddha to choose for the sense-impressions the simile of a skinned cow whose raw flesh is the target of swarms of insects and other creatures that cause intensely painful feelings to the animal.

According to the Buddha, any type of feeling (pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral) is bound to cause disappointment and conflict in one who has not yet freed oneself from attachment.

Painful feeling is suffering in itself; pleasant feeling brings suffering through its transience and its unsatisfying and unsatisfactory nature; worldly indifferent feeling produces suffering through the dullness and boredom involved in it. It is sense-impression that is the constant feeder of these feelings/sensations.
 
A Buddhist monastic Ven. Talaputta in ancient times, yearning to see still more vividly the burning and irritating nature of sense-impressions, was moved to exclaim:
 
"When shall I with calm endowed
Wisely see as caught in raging blaze
The countless [sights], sounds, scents, tastes, forms,
And contacts [with] mental things?
(Theragatha, Verse 1099, Talaputta) [5].
 
3. Volitions
Even I'm trapped by karma. -WW
Volitions (intentions, will, motivations) here means chiefly karma -- that is, rebirth-producing actions -- and the Buddha has compared it with a person dragged by two others towards and into a pit of burning embers.
  • In the listing of the Five Aggregates of Clinging (form, feelings, perceptions, formations, and consciousnesses) the fourth, sankharas, is often translated as "mental formations" then functionally-defined confusingly as "volition." This is very easy to unravel. There are 52 kinds of formations. Two of them -- feelings and perceptions -- are so important that the Buddha gave them separate treatment; the other 50 he lumped together as "formations" and gave the entire group of factors the name "volition" after the chief among them, "volition" (cetana, "intention," which is crucial to understand because it is the determining factor of whether a karma ("action") is wholesome or unwholesome.
  • SPECIAL TECHNICAL NOTE: There are actually eight aggregates (groups, heaps), always plural because they are heaps of nearly-but-not-quite identical processes. Form or body is singular because it is comprised of four of these aggregates -- the material qualities of earth, fire, air, and water (which are not things but qualities or characteristics like extension, support, cohesion, temperature, solidity, etc.). The remaining four are sometimes referred to collectively as "mind." There is no identity from one moment to the next in the impersonal process-of-becoming, of dynamic "being," of consciousness, of existence in any world or sphere within samsara. There are only constantly transient states of becoming, snapshots of which can be retroactively viewed and slowly examined in the mind door near the literal heart for the sake of insight to directly see that they are really discrete moments (cittas) and submoments not a compact unity. (See  the Abhidharma for details).
The two dragging forces are our karmic actions, good (but still deluded) and bad.
  • "Good" and "bad" are very easy to define in Buddhism but are rarely defined as if it were obvious to all when, in fact, their definitions are understood by almost no one: "Bad" (akusala, papa, unwholesome, unskillful, harmful) means motivated by greed, hatred, fear, or delusion. "Good" (kusala, means motivated by the large categories of nongreed, nonaversion, nonfear, nondelusion. We often loosely refer to something as "good" because we are not aware of our or other's actual underlying motivations, or because so long as one is not motivated by greed or hate that's "good enough." But delusion is actually the most harmful and most insidious intention/motivation, and fear (a kind of aversion usually lumped under the rubric of "hate" and at other times singled out by the Buddha as its own harmful category) follows a close second.
It is our karmic proclivities, our samsara-perpetuating volitions (intentions, cetanas), our plans and ambitions, that drag us irresistibly to that deep pit of samsara, the Wheel of Rebirth and Death, with its burning embers of intense suffering in various states we experience he and in lower planes of existence we could end up being reborn in. Hence it was said that volition, in the sense of karma (lit. in the sense of cetana, the motiviating intention behind an action), is the nutriment for rebirth on the 31 Planes of Existence within the Three Spheres (Sensual, Fine Material, Immaterial) of samsara.
 
Deluded craving is the lynchpin.
The nutriment volition manifests itself in our incessant urge to plan and to aspire, to struggle and conquer, to build and to destroy, to do and to undo, to invent and to discover, to form and to transform, to organize and to create.

This urge has sent us into the depth of the ocean and into the vastness of space. It has made us the most vicious of predatory animals and also enabled us to reach the lofty heights of a genius [genies, djinn] of creative art and thought.
 
The restlessness that is at the root of all that lust for activity and of the creative urge is the constant hunger for all Four Nutriments of life and for a variety of them on different levels... More

ENDNOTES
  • 1. See § 1: "Meditators, when a meditator becomes entirely dispassionate toward one thing, when one's lust for it entirely fades away, when one is entirely liberated from it, when one sees the complete ending of it, then that person is one who, after fully comprehending the goal [nirvana, which if one sees means one has become at least a stream enterer, i.e., reached the first stage of enlightenment where one directly knows-and-sees the path], makes an end of suffering here and now [even in this very life]. What is that one thing? 'All beings subsist by nutriment.' When a meditator becomes entirely dispassionate towards this one thing (nutriment), when one'slust for it entirely fades away, when one is entirely liberated from it, and when one sees the complete ending of it then, O meditators, that person is one who, after fully comprehending the goal, makes an end of suffering here and now. — AN 10.27
  • Sutta-Nipata, Verse 1043.
  • 3. See Translator's Note to § 3 (a), and The Wheel No. 17, p. 19 under "Clinging."
  • 4. Abraham ben Chisdai, in The Prince and the Ascetic (Ben-hamelekh we-hanasir). This is an old Hebrew version of the "Barlaam and Joasaph" story, which unwittingly was based on and carried the main features of the Buddha's life story -- from the Jataka Tales, where the Buddha is the Bodhisattva striving for supreme enlightenment -- through a major part of the medieval world. The Hebrew version has several distinct traces not only of the Buddha's life story, but also of Buddhist ideas, like the one quoted above. Only a comparison of the numerous versions of the "Barlaam and Joasaph" story could decide on whether these ideas were part of the tradition and common to other versions, or whether they originated in the Hebrew author's mind.
  • 5. Translation [here modified by Wisdom Quarterly] is by Soma Thera in His Last Performance, Verses of Talaputa Thera (Colombo 1943; available from Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy). See also the "Fire Sermon" (The Wheel No. 17: "The eye is burning, forms are burning, eye-consciousness is burning, eye contact is burning. The ear... mind is burning, [mind objects] are burning..."
  • Friday, November 14, 2014

    The Elephant That Got Away (video)

    This baby Dumbo will make a fine meal -- eaten alive and torn to bits by a gang of lions.
    (NY Post) A young, wild elephant somehow finds it in itself to fight back and so it survives an attack by 14 savage lions that want to tear it limb from limb.
    Dharma verses on The Elephant
    Acharya Buddharakkhita, Naga Vagga (Dhammapada XXIII), Dhr. Seven (ed.)

    Dhp. 320. As an elephant (naga, "powerful creature") in the battlefield withstands arrows shot from bows all around, even so shall I endure abuse. There are many, indeed, who lack virtue.

    321. A tamed elephant is led into a crowd, and the royal leader mounts a tamed elephant. Best among people is the subdued one who endures abuse.

    322. Excellent are well-trained mules, thoroughbred Sindhu horses, and noble tusker elephants. But better still is the person who has subdued him or herself.

    323. Not by these mounts, however, would one go to the Untrodden Land (nirvana), as one who is self-tamed goes by one's own tamed and well-controlled heart/mind.

    324. Musty during rut, the tusker named Dhanapalaka is uncontrollable. Held in captivity, the tusker does not touch a morsel, but only longingly calls to mind the wild elephant-forest.

    325. When a person is sluggish and gluttonous, sleeping and rolling around in bed like a fat domestic pig, that sluggard undergoes rebirth [and suffering] again and again.

    326. Formerly this mind/heart wandered about as it liked, where it wished and according to its pleasure, but now I shall thoroughly master it with wisdom as a mahout ("elephant tamer") controls with a restraint an elephant in rut.

    327. Delight in heedfulness! Guard well your thoughts! Draw yourself out of this bog of harm, even as an elephant draws itself out of the mud.

    328. If for company you find a wise and prudent friend who leads a virtuous life, you should, overcoming all impediments, keep company with that person joyously and mindfully.

    329. If for company you cannot find a wise and prudent friend who leads a virtuous life, then, like a ruler who leaves behind a conquered kingdom, or like a lone elephant in the elephant forest, you should go your own way alone.

    330. Better it is to live alone; there is no fellowship with a fool. Live alone and do no harm; be carefree like an elephant in the elephant-forest.

    331. Good are friends when need arises; good is contentment with just what one has; good is merit accrued when life is at an end, and good is the abandoning of all suffering (through the gaining of enlightenment).

    332. In this world, good it is to serve one's mother, good it is to serve one's father, good it is to serve Buddhist ascetics, and good it is to serve the holy persons.

    333. Good is virtue until life's end, good is confidence (faith) that is steadfast, good is the acquisition of wisdom, and good is the avoidance of harm. More
     
    Wild cat prowling near Disneyland, Paris
    Milos Krivokapic, The Canadian Press via AP via Yahoo.News via BigCats.com
    It looks like a tiger, a female lion, possibly a panther, but most likely an extinct lynx?
    .
    If they eat elephants, will they eat mice?
    MONTEVRAIN, France - A two-day search by police and military forces for a wild [big cat] roaming through French towns has come to one conclusion: it isn't a tiger [but it could be a lion].
     
    One theory is that it could be a lynx, an extinct cat that was reintroduced to France in the 1970s. But the public and Disneyland Paris, the main tourist attraction in the area, didn't seem too concerned on Friday by what officials were calling a security threat.
     
    In fact, if the search doesn't capture the animal soon, locals could begin seeing it less as an invader and more like a harmless Pepé Le Pew, the French skunk. Officials who had identified the cat spotted near a grocery store in a Paris suburb on Thursday morning as a panther tigris are now ruling that out. More + CBC News video

    Sex, love, comedy: Stephen Hawking (video)

    Pat Macpherson, Seth Auberon, Pfc. Sandoval, Wisdom Quarterly; Family Guy; UP UK
    Happy Thanksgiving from the Griffins and Wisdom Quarterly! (fox.com/family-guy)
    The memory of you will haunt me until I get caught in a sex club in California. Marry me!
    ("Family Guy"/Tram Bui) WARNING: Comical, possibly insensitive! Stephen Hawking appears in Clip #3, Min. 2:00. Reactions to "Family Guy" and treatment of disabilities. Pathologies to Power final: "Disability, Health, and Community" by Tram Bui, Robert Alleyne, and Jordan Saenz.

    (Universal Pictures UK) Trailer "The Theory of Everything" playing now in select theaters.

    (Last Week Tonight with John Oliver) Stephen Hawking proves he has a sense of humor beyond "The Simpsons," interview with John Oliver (HBO).


    CARTOON: Hawking discusses, "They Saved Lisa [Simpsons]'s Brain."

    More fun than hedonistic sex with call girls...oh, wait, Olympian McKayla disapproves.

    Native American stand up; CIA Killing

    Xochitl, Seth Auberon, Wisdom Quarterly; LASkinsFest.com; AirTalk (SCPR.org)
    LA SKINS FEST is a Los Angeles based film and music non-profit committed to presenting and facilitating independent film project, showcasing musicians, and dabbling in comedy.
    (FBM) Comedians Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah lead an all-star Muslim comedy tour across the country hilariously challenging religious, gender, and racial stereotypes. With added humor by Jon Stewart, David Cross, and Lewis Black.
      
    Really Killing Them: How to execute the perfect assassination as taught by the CIA
    Former CIA assassin Robert Baer, Larry Mantle (AirTalk, SCPR.org, Nov. 13, 2014)
    BaerCOVER.jpg
    CIA doesn't really murder...OH, it really does?
    To become a CIA assassin is to learn a series of calculated, meticulous steps that keep you, the killer, safe while your target sits comfortably unaware. And then there's the trickier matter of keeping you from getting prosecuted for violations of international law. How can it be done? A former CIA killer explains.

    Robert Baer explores the world of seasoned killers with his new book, The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws for Assassins, a journey that begins with his arrest for the attempted murder of Saddam Hussein and moves into the history and theory of political assassination. It's less "How To" and more "How I Did" with a little bragging thrown in.
     
    I love the CIA!
    This is Baer's fourth New York Times bestseller, one of which became the story behind the Oscar-winning film "Syriana." The basis for Baer's books is his own life experience as an assassin with the CIA. The Perfect Kill continues the trend as Baer reflects on his experience infiltrating and betraying Hezbollah and taking out its "revered bang man," Hajj Radwan.
    The laws of the assassin reflect the nature of their work: cold, duplicitous, and exact for all you would-be killers eager to work for the military-industrial complex. More + AUDIO

    Inside the Company: CIA Diary (Philip Agee)