Culture, Motivational, Religion

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer dies at 75; speaker truly lived ‘the wisdom of the Tao’

Dr Wayne W DyerDr. Wayne W. Dyer passed away over the weekend. He was 75 years old. The speaker and author was often referred to as a “self-help guru,” but in some sense that distinction does not do him justice. The term “self-help guru” can conjure up images of men who find ways of helping themselves — to other people’s money. Dr. Dyer was no con man. He was a student of the spiritual world who became a master. One does not need to agree with everything a man like Dr. Dyer says in order to admit that he was an excellent teacher.

In memory of Dr. Dyer, here now are a few excerpts from his book ‘Change Your Thoughts — Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao’:

Living from the Void:

Consider the paradoxical term nonbeing as you ponder your own beingness. You’re comprised of bones, organs, and rivers of fluids that are encapsulated by a huge sheet of skin molded to hold you together. There’s definitely a distinctive quality of beingness that is “you” in this arrangement of bodily parts — yet if it were possible to disassemble you and lay all of your still-functioning physical components on a blanket, there would be no you. Although all of the parts would be there, their usefulness depends on nonbeingness, or in Lao-tzu’s words, ‘what is not.’

Imagine lining up the walls of the room you’re presently in, with all of the elements present: Without the space of the center, it’s no longer a room, even though everything else is the same. A clay pot is not a pot without the emptiness that the clay encapsulates. A house is not a house if there is no inner space for the exterior to enclose.

A composer once told me that the silence from which each note emerges is more important than the note itself. He said that it’s the empty space between the notes that literally allows the music to be music — if there is no void, there’s only continuous sound. …

Ask yourself what makes a tree, a tree. The bark? The branches? The roots? The leaves? All of these things are what is. And all of them do not constitute a tree. What’s needed to have a tree is what is not—an imperceptible, invisible life force that eludes your five senses. You can cut and carve and search the cells of a tree endlessly and never capture it. — (Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Change Your Thoughts — Change Your Life. Hay House, Inc., 2007. 53-54)

Living by Emulating the Sea:

“Be humble. Never put yourself above others or see yourself as superior to anyone. The highest power is a yielding valley. Become a servant, not a dominator. When even the tiniest waterways are left alone, they uniquely carve out a path that leads them to the sea. And the great ocean never lords its greatness and power over the rivers and streams: It doesn’t rise above them and demand devotion, nor does it threaten them with punishment or extinction if they refuse to cooperate. The sea knows instinctively that the streams and rivers will naturally gravitate toward that which stays low.” — (Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Change Your Thoughts — Change Your Life. Hay House, Inc., 2007. 313)

Although the loss of Dr. Dyer will be felt by many, it is comforting to know that those closest to him realize the end is also the beginning:

“Wayne has left his body, passing away through the night. He always said he couldn’t wait for this next adventure to begin and had no fear of dying. Our hearts are broken, but we smile to think of how much our scurvy elephant will enjoy the other side.”

Rest in peace, Dr. Dyer. You will be missed.

Culture, Hollywood, Music, Politics

Kanye West announces 2020 presidential bid: ‘We da Millennials, bro’

Kanye West 2020Kanye West announced at the MTV Music Awards on Sunday night that he plans to run for president in 2020. Viewers would have saved a lot of time if they had followed the Twitter feed of yours truly.

I wrote on August 12: “America can no longer tell the difference between a political pugilist and a narcissistic peacock. I wonder when Kanye West will run…”

Kanye West campaignI did not say “if” Kanye West will run — I said “when.” The American Idol presidency started with Barack Obama and its mutation now exists in the form of Donald Trump’s current popularity. And, while the future is not linear, one does not need to have mystical gifts of prognostication to see the very real possibility of a Kanye West political campaign.

Mr. West said Thursday:

“We da Millennials, bro. Dis is a new — dis is a new mentality. We not gonna control our kids with brands. We not gonna teach low self esteem and hate to our kids. We gonna teach our kids dat they can be somethin’. We gonna teach our kids that they can stand up for dey self. We gonna teach our kids to believe in themselves. If my grandfather was here right now, he would not let me back down. I don’t know what I’m fittin’ da lose after this. It don’t matta doh, cause it ain’t about me. It’s about ideas, bro. New ideas. People with ideas. People who believe in truth.

And yes, as you probably could’ve guessed by this moment, I have decided, in 2020, to run for president.

Kanye West 2020: We may not be able to master the English language, but we can master the world! We ain’t fittin’ da lose cause we fittin’ da win, bro!

Sometimes a man needs to hit rock bottom before he realizes that he has a serious problem. On some level I hope that Mr. West launches a serious presidential run with his “new” ideas (that are actually quite old). Maybe then it will sink in with enough people that America is a very sick nation. Or not, and we can continue our embarrassing slide into irrelevance.

Health, Obama Administration, Politics

Crossfit trainers get Obamacare comeuppance: Panniculus-afflicted bureaucrats hungry for regulation

Crossfit TwitterYears ago I helped manage a gym in Washington, D.C. A friend of mine introduced me to Crossfit well before it had a national cult-like following, which meant a couple years of odd looks from bystanders at the local track. Being conservative in the nation’s capital truly made us a rare breed. Regardless, the point is this: We told anyone in D.C. who would listen that Obamacare would bring unintended consequences. We (and millions of other Americans with an understanding of basic economics and human nature) were ignored, and now Crossfit trainers are feeling the pain.

The Washington Post reported August 23:

New regulations, being written by and for the nation’s capital city, will create a registry of all personal trainers in the District only. But they are expected to become a model that winners and losers in the fight believe will be replicated elsewhere.

The credit — or blame — for the newfound urgency can be traced in part to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. A variety of workplace wellness programs and preventive health-care initiatives called for in the law could soon translate into rivers of billable hours for those with credentials to keep American waistlines in check. …

An obscure group of D.C. regulators — the Board of Physical Therapy — is preparing to release rules that could send a shock wave through the American fitness industry. Fearing the outcome, some of the loudest voices in the field have decided to go on the offensive. They are calling the process into question and urging city lawmakers to pull back or even halt the effort with threats of drawn-out legal battles. …

Under a bill passed unanimously last year by the D.C. Council and signed into law by the mayor, the District’s Board of Physical Therapy was tasked with writing the new regulations. The board plans to release its rules next month, seek public comment and then publish them as law. And the heat is on: The District is behind in the process ordered in the legislation. By a strict reading of the law, no personal trainer is operating legally in the nation’s capital because the deadline to register has passed.

The uncertainty over the coming rules is weighing heavily on many who make their living in the industry, especially through CrossFit, which has thrived in a heretofore unregulated space.

The Post adds that “lawyers and lobbyists are engaged in a no-holds-barred fight to shape the nation’s first-ever rules over who has the right to tell someone else how to exercise.”

Doesn’t that sort of say it all? The industry has survived for decades perfectly fine without panniculus-sporting bureaucrats policing the fitness landscape. Now, suddenly, a board of physical therapists is writing rules that will have far-reaching effects. Ask your Magic 8 Ball what the chances are that the new regulations will heavily benefit physical therapists who are hampered by the success of Crossfit. My guess is that the answer will come back “Ha! Ask me a real question. That’s too easy.”

The fact of the matter is that the internet exists. It helps millions of Americans every single day make sound business decisions. As Crossfit continues to grow and thrive, the industry will continue refining the process of separating the wheat from the chaff. But to D.C. regulators that isn’t good enough.

The Post continued:

“We all have heard anecdotal reports of injuries, sexual misconduct and misrepresentation of titles by persons claiming to be competent in that area,” [Senora Simpson, chairwoman of the D.C. board and a physical therapist] testified before a D.C. Council committee. She called the lack of any registration or licensure of personal trainers “a nationwide failure.”

Ms. Simpson’s anecdotal evidence doesn’t means squat (pun intended). Crossfit would not have a rabid (and growing) following if such anecdotal evidence was even worth mentioning. The real reason for D.C. regulators to get involved in the industry is easy: control.

Here is another way to think about it for those who enjoy video games: Do you remember that giant hand, Wallmaster, from the Zelda games that would grab Link? That is the government. It must control every aspect of your life. The clawing hands of bureaucrats never cramp, and they’re always itching to grab something new. In this case, Crossfit is the victim.

Zelda WallmasterNote to liberal Crossfit fanatics: Blogs like this tried to tell you about the crushing weight of the government regulation. You blew off the warnings, and now it doesn’t matter how strong you are — the dead weight of Obamacare isn’t coming off your chest without a lot of help. Think about that in 2016 and beyond.

Defense, Obama Administration, Politics

Obama, guy who said ‘core principle’ is ‘never…to divide,’ now calls his critics ‘the crazies’

Obama core principle divideIt was only June 1, 2015 that President Obama said one of his “core principles” is to “never engage in a politics in which I’m trying to divide people.” The commander in chief must have let his stomach get flabby on his vacation, because he is now calling political opponents “the crazies.”

Politico reported Monday:

Ruddy from the sun, Obama described himself as “refreshed, renewed, recharged — a little feisty.”

And he delivered, recounting the ride he and Reid had just taken from the conference to the fundraiser in his up-armored presidential limo, where they talked about old times and getting back to Washington to “deal with the crazies in terms of managing some problems.”

The line evoked the late Dean Acheson, who as secretary of state liked to refer to opponents of Harry Truman’s foreign policy as ”the primitives.”

Getting the Iran deal through Congress will be Obama’s major hurdle coming into September.

Likely incoming Democratic leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is against the deal, as are a number of other Hill Democrats. Obama’s already been under fire for saying opponents of the deal have made “common cause” with Iranian hardliners, with Republicans pressing him on whether he’d lump Democrats into that group along with the GOP.

If you are a Democrat or a Republican who thinks it is a bad idea to give Iran’s Holocaust-denying rulers billions of dollars in sanctions relief — money they say will be used to undermine U.S. foreign policy — then Mr. Obama considers you one of “the crazies.”

Obama BuzzfeedOne week Mr. Obama is tweeting pictures of himself sending out magical unicorn-like rainbow waves from his right hand, and the next he is calling out “the crazies.” If media were honest, then reporters would call out the guy who campaigned on “hope and change” for his hypocritical behavior. Unfortunately, most mainstream media outlets appear to encourage work that is better suited for Orwell’s Ministry of Truth.

White House RainbowMr. Obama’s rhetoric is prime example of the Law of Attraction in action. For roughly eight years the president of the United States has demonized his opponents as some variation of “the crazies.” Failed Republican nominee John McCain and others like him have done exactly the same thing (e.g., McCain referring to “the crazies” who want a secure border). For close to a decade, Washington, D.C.’s so-called masterminds have told millions of patriotic Americans that they are kooks and nuts; the righteous anger of these voters has now boiled over and they are embracing men like Donald Trump.

In many ways, it feels as though a perfect storm is gathering. If it comes to pass, then the political “leaders” who have shown nothing but contempt for the legitimate concerns of millions of Americans will bear much of the blame.

Activism, Climate Change, Politics

IFLScience: Where green activists go to wish everyone (but themselves) death

IFLS Super PredatorAnyone who watched Popeye growing up will remember his phrase “That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more!” That is how countless fans of science ironically feel while reading stories shared by the editors at “I Fucking Love Science.” The site, which was started by Elise Andrew, has well over 21 million followers. Admittedly, much of the content is interesting. The problem is that often times what is shared is a.) political claptrap masquerading as science, or b.) ridiculously packaged for clicks instead of accuracy. To make matters worse, its doomsday fare attracts environmental activists who wish everyone (but themselves) an early death.

IFLS comments section compilation

“We need a global pandemic that wipes out 80 percent of the human population,” says John Elliot. What are the odds that Mr. Elliot believes he should be part of the 20 percent that survives? Magic 8 ball says “Bet the wind farm on it.”

“We need to be extinct,” says Juanka El Lokopro, with the obligatory sad-face emoticon.

“Humans are a virus,” says Sara Haddox.

Go through any doomsday post shared on the “I Fucking Love Science” Facebook page, and you’ll find that it is in no short supply of self-loathing activists who are really excited for people to die — as long as it’s not their friends and family doing the dying.

IFLScience earth story

Check out the post “Humanity has already used an entire earth’s worth of resources this year,” and once you get done laughing you’ll realize that “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn actually buys into such absurdity. Sadly, the administrators closed down the comments section for that particular story. I wonder why…

IFLS Ice Age

Perhaps the most peculiar thing about rabid IFLS readers is that they also tend to be the most hostile towards religion. They hang on Neil “tall tale” deGrasse Tyson’s every word, which is fine, but it begs the question: If God does not exist, and we’re all just a bunch of sentient cosmic accidents, why does it matter if humans are “super predators” or if we use “an entire earth’s worth of resources” in a year?

If free will does not exist, then environmental activists really should not get mad that a dentist killed a lion in Africa for $50,000 — he couldn’t help himself. According to the atheist environmentalist, hunters are merely puppets acting out the demands of atoms and molecules bouncing around inside their heads. If there are no universal truths that can be discerned through logic and reason, then it really doesn’t matter if a man chooses to look after a rare tiger or opts for something entirely different (e.g., mounts its head on a wall).

The moral of the story here is that while IFLS is an interesting website, it should be called IFLPTS (I Fucking Love Politics, website-Traffic…and Science). Its editors tend to conflate their opinion with scientific fact, and its readers are often the kind of people who make fun of others while simultaneously wishing for global pandemics.

Who are the radicals: Guys and gals who agree with the editorial point of view of this blog, or guys like IFLS’s John “We need a global pandemic that wipes out 80 percent of the human population” Elliot? Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Comics

Dan Slott’s Renew Your Vows souffle falls flat; Regent, Sinister Stooges collapse tasty cake in 4th issue

Regent Renew Your Vows SpiderManA souffle that falls flat in the oven is usually going to keep its good taste, but on many levels it is still considered a disappointment. Dan Slott’s 4th issue of The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows is just like a souffle that begins to collapse before the oven timer rings. The main reason for this is Regent, who continues to weigh down the story.

Issue 4 of Renew Your Vows reveals that Mary Jane and Annie were shuttled away from danger by Mockingbird and The Prowler, who are working for S.H.I.E.L.D. Their escape was made possible by Jonathan Ohnn (aka: The Spot), who is also working for the organization.

Spider-Man, however, does not fare as well. He and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sandman are captured by Regent, who uses telekinesis to immobilize them.

“And no, little man. It’s not fair at all. It never is when you battle a god,” Regent replies to the accusation that he isn’t fighting fair. It is not long afterwards that the souffle begins to deflate.

“I am a good man, Peter. Before you die, I want you to know that,” Regent tells his captive. He then says that he needs Peter’s spider-sense to battle Doctor Doom, who has become a near-omnipotent god on Battleworld. Although Peter calls this “insane,” in all likelihood there isn’t going to be a plot twist to make Mr. Slott’s idea any better.

Perhaps the second most embarrassing thing about Renew Your Vows is the way the Sinister Six has, arguably, become the Sinister Stooges. Not only does angry-Pete dispose of them with ease, but now his daughter is able to literally take out Shocker, Kraven, and Boomerang with eye-pokes and crotch-shots. In the middle of a story about an Orwellian police state, readers abruptly get Slottian hi-jinks; Kraven says “Gnyah!” when he’s kicked in the testicles. Mr. Slott should have gone all the way and had Annie say “Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk!”

Renew Your Vows 4 AnnieIn short, Renew Your Vows is still the best thing that Dan Slott has written in awhile. Fans have more-or-less gotten what they wanted out of the tale (e.g., strong MJ, Peter acting like a man instead of a man-boy), and Slott’s worst instincts have mostly been corralled. The Renew Your Vows souffle may not be the prettiest thing in the world, but it is still worth $4.00 if you’re a fan of The Amazing Spider-Man.

Side note: I would be remiss if I didn’t say kudos to Mr. Slott for his use of The Spot in this issue. I first came across the character as a kid while reading my brother’s collection of Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man. Even though he wasn’t treated as a serious villain, his powers fascinated me. He always seemed like a character with untapped potential. It was nice to see Jonathan Ohnn appropriately used here.

The Spot Marvel

Obama Administration, Politics

An open letter to James Comey and the FBI about Hillary Clinton’s missing server Snapchat joke

Hillary Clinton Snapchat email jokeDear FBI director James Comey and the men and women of the FBI,

By now you know that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s response to turning over her personal e-mail server to FBI investigators was to mock their work with a Snapchat joke at a campaign event.

“You may have seen that I’ve recently launched a Snapchat account. I love it. I love it. Those messages disappear all by themselves,” Mrs. Clinton said at an event in Iowa.

As an American who respects the rule of law, I interpret this joke as a giant middle finger to the FBI. It is the mark of a woman who thinks “My husband plays golf with the president while visiting Martha’s Vineyard. You won’t touch me. You can’t touch me.”

Obama Clinton Golf APGiven that the inspector general (IG) for U.S. intelligence agencies revealed Top Secret information had passed through Mrs. Clinton’s private server, and given that at least 305 more documents have now been sent to different agencies for review, I am pleading with you to respond to Mrs. Clinton’s rhetorical “Screw you” as you do to every other American who acts like they are above the law.

To every young FBI agent out there I ask the following questions:

  • What would happen if you somehow managed to have Platte River Networks set up your own private e-mail server, and then used it to conduct day-to-day operations?
  • What would happen if Top Secret information and hundreds (perhaps thousands) of classified documents passed through that server?
  • What if your supervisors found out about your private e-mail server and then you tried to wipe the device clean, held onto it for months, and only then turned it over to investigators?
  • Where would your career be after all of this, and what would happen if you joked about it in public?

In order for the great American experiment to work, citizens need to have faith in the system. When powerful people openly flaunt their ability to play by a completely different set of rules, civil society breaks down. When a politician’s behavior is so grossly irresponsible that the FBI needs to get involved to figure out if national security was compromised — and then she makes cavalier jokes about the matter — it sends the wrong message to anyone who cares about the future of the nation.

Mr. Comey, the pressure put upon you by well-connected people to make this all go away will be great. It must be hard to look at President Obama playing golf with Bill Clinton immediately after the FBI took Hillary’s private email server, and then move ahead with honesty and integrity. Mr. Obama has non-verbally asked the FBI to take the easy wrong instead of the hard right.

Now, more than ever, it is incumbent upon you to remember that the FBI motto — Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity — exists for a reason. I pray that you will go where the evidence takes you and do what is right.

Best,

Doug