Comments

Episode-1337- Listener Calls for 4-18-14 — 91 Comments

  1. I remember back in junior high/high school english class, Poe was one of the few 19th century poets we enjoyed.

  2. Hi Jack
    I was slightly disappointed that the discussion regarding heat pumps only dealt with heat pumps which used liquid. The site which got me interested in geothermal is a Nebraskan man who’s heating his 5000+ sq foot house and huge greenhouse (in which he is growing citrus and avocado etc) for over 20 years with AIR, not any sort of liquid. It seems well documented as working well, and supposedly is both much cheaper to install and to maintain than systems using liquid.
    Possibly there would also be fewer issues with such things as mineral buildup in the system and possibly mold. Even clean water will support bacterial action if allowed to sit in any sort of pockets, which would happen in a water based system if the power went down for an extended period of time and the heat pump was shut down as a result.
    Anyway, it would have been nice to have this type of geothermal system discussed as well.

  3. Jack I really thought we had a constitutional republic.

    And what is this about a grand son?

    • We have a constitutional republic in the form of a democratically elected republic. Just about every nation has a “constitution”, there is no magic in that, what is says is important and if the government follows it more so.

      This nit picking stuff is just that, nit picking.

      Is the US a republic? – Yes
      Is the US a democratically elected republic and therefore a democracy? – Yes
      Is the US a constitutional republic? – Yes
      Is the US either a pure or representative democracy? – No

      Is Jack Spirko a Ukrainian? Yes
      Does Jack Spirko also have German Ancestry and Polish as well? Yes
      Is Jack Spirko a pure blooded Ukrainian? NO
      Does the last question mean Jack isn’t a Ukrainian? No
      In spite of all this, is Jack Spirko an American? Yes

      So I am both a Ukrainian, raised mostly by first generation immigrant Grand Parents. But I have other blood lines in my family make up, I am a US citizen so I am both an American and a Ukrainian as a human being.

      The United States elects all law MAKERS and hence it is a democracy, the government is bound by a constitution and formed as a republic so it is a constitutional republic. Just because it isn’t a pure democracy, doesn’t mean it isn’t a democracy.

      Most people don’t even know what a republic is,

      “A republic is a form of government in which power is exercised by the public at large, and affairs of state are a concern of the public sphere “.

      We in the liberty movement have been duped into believing that the word republic is some how magical. It isn’t.

      As for grand son thing. My son is practically married at this point, about to move in with his girl friend. He is conducting himself like a father with his girl’s son. Said boy now calls me Papa Jack, so I guess that is that.

    • I agree people are fed up.

      However, I disagree with an important specific of the Bundy situation. The cattle aren’t being removed for lack of payment. They were being removed anyway (supposedly to make room for the desert tortoise.) The other ranchers in that area have already been removed. Same thing would be happening if he had paid, except then he would be violating a contract by having signed one.

      This is fairly evident in the court documents, which repeatedly talk about why the BLM wants the cattle off the land.

  4. One of the short stories we studied in school was the Tell-Tale Heart. I was hooked! That was my first exposure to E.A.Poe and what I consider classic American Gothic.

    P.S. thanks for the breakdown of the Bundy situation. I was concerned less with who was right or wrong, and more with just how dangerous and potentially explosive the situation was. I was relieved that the knee-jerk hot heads stayed home or otherwise checked themselves. I am forced to wonder how many inside the D.C. beltway shook their heads in dismay when it (supposedly) ended peacefully, muttering “what the hell!” Or, perhaps my tinfoil hat is on too tight? 😉

  5. “Damn the facts”

    Nailed it. As far as I’m concerned guys like Bundy turn a worthless patch of sand and rocks into something productive by grazing his cows there. If A. Jones story about Reid is true, more power to the Bundys.

  6. Jack,

    Can you perhaps elaborate on your comment regarding the Texas armed forces being just as powerful as WW2 Germany’s–not now but during a Q&A show.

    Thank you.

    • It is pretty simple, just in total fire power capability. They don’t have the man power or numbers of vehicles but modern weapons are far more powerful and accurate. What do you think one squadron of F-18s can do compared to WWII planes?

      What is one M1 Abrams compared to a Panzer?

      Do you know what MLRS is?

      Texas is armed to the teeth! Add to it in a break up Texas would likely claim all regular Army, Airforce and Marine Assets in its borders.

      • And those forces are at the command of the governor and not the president? Or does it pretty much depend on the generals and which way they line-up?

        Thanks.

        • Technically both, you take an oath to the constitution and to follow the orders of officers, non coms, the president and the Governor in the Guard. The real question is where will the loyalty lie? As I Texan I DON’T have any doubts! I hate Perry, but I hate the District of Criminals more, I expect most feel that way in this State.

  7. I highly recommend ‘Little Brother’. Read it last year in my young adult literature class. Easy read, only 350-ish pages. Awesome if you love dystopian SciFi, or to get kids thinking about computer security, government intrusiveness, etc. Though, as a native Californian and being from the SF Bay Area, found the California government’s pro-liberty actions towards the end to be highly fanciful…

    And, yes, Poe is awesome.

  8. To the caller who asked about storing gasoline in an apartment. You should verify that you’re not violating your lease agreement. Chances are it is a violation.

  9. I like some Poe. Some of his stuff is just way to far out there. Although it has been 20 years since I read his writing. I do have one book with his complete works. So I might give it a try again.

  10. Jack, I liked reading Poe when I was in school.

    And I agree on Ted Bundy, but I still support him. The states won’t solve these problems. Like you said its two mafia families fighting over the paydays.

  11. Like poe the Gideon bibles they give away are good for codes page verse word or letter if need to spell a word not in there

  12. Hi Jack,

    Happy Easter (and you can expect some slow web traffic today due to the holidays).

    RE: People who jump on technicalities at the expense of the main point.

    Formal debate classes at the collegiate level are known for this tactic. From the very first day of class in September, the professor will dock points from you if you get even the tiniest technicality wrong whenever it’s your turn to stand at the head of the class and face off with a debate opponent. And after the semester REALLY get rolling, the other students in class will start verbally pouncing on you from their seats, heckling you, and inciting cruel chuckles from the rest of the class. And the professor ENCOURAGES this sort of hostile atmosphere in the classroom. This is especially true in law school where the professors are trying to force students to become verbal masters in the debating ring as preparation for courtroom discourse. The stress and pressure from this vicious environment is meant to be a very cruel crucible for refining students’ ability to speak as flawlessly as possible.

    The upside to this sort of training is that anyone who has ever survived a high school/college debate class tends to go through life with a very sharp listening ear, discerning when a speaker just said something a little off. This is a good thing because it fosters critical listening skills and makes for an excellent jury pool in my opinion, as well as a voting base of people who really do listen to what a politician actually said.

    The downside to this is that some people just get so darned nasty about it!!

    Now … as for the dude on Facebook who made an ass of himself … part of me doubts he ever took a formal debate class. He simply learned how to be nasty via this tactic. And all it takes is for a kid or a teen to suffer a cruel reprimand ONCE from either a peer or a teacher, and that kid/teen will grow up to be petty and needlessly picky as well.

    Meanwhile … here in the age of the internet … that nasty tactic is alive and well in the arenas of message forums and blogs and other social media. The same cruelty applies.

  13. Regarding the question of heating /cooling using the earth here is a site which specifically explains the design for greenhouses, it’s apparently worked really well in Montana and Alberta. They will do consulting but it’s explained pretty well and materials, etc are all spelled out, as they are hoping people will build their own… the earth is the heat exchanger, doesn’t use anything but a couple of thermostatically controlled fans. (once the infrastructure is in)
    http://sunnyjohn.com/indexpages/shcs.htm

  14. Regarding the question of heating /cooling using the earth here is a site which specifically explains the design for greenhouses, it’s apparently worked really well in Colorado and Alberta. They will do consulting but it’s explained pretty well and materials, etc are all spelled out, as they are hoping people will build their own… the earth is the heat exchanger, doesn’t use anything but a couple of thermostatically controlled fans. (once the infrastructure is in)
    http://sunnyjohn.com/indexpages/shcs.htm

  15. The discussion about a/c systems can go a bit further.An a/c system is merely a heat exchanger.The freon that moves through the system picks up heat from the inside and dissipates that heat out into the atmosphere.The freon is still in a gas form as it approaches the compressor.The reason it gets hot is because it gets compressed back into a liquid state that still contains the heat it pulled from the inside.The air passed by the evaporator is not cooled because it is passing thru and being cooled by the cold evaporator,it is because the heat is being removed by the evaporator into the freon and it is removed by the condenser.

  16. Jack said, “Gandhi was a dick”.

    If you read “Modern Times” by Paul Johnson (historian) you will find that, in fact, Gandhi was a dick. That is a judgment call but a reasonable one.

    The media of the time tended to gloss over Gandhi’s “inner dickness” and made popular his more acceptable side. You have to know that the wool was being pulled over someone’s eyes when the movie “Gandhi” was being sponsored by the National Film Development Corporation of India which is an agency under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Government of India.

    In other words… the film was a propaganda from the government of India. Don’t take it as fact.

    Alex

    • I looked at this article here about Johnson’s take on Ghandi.
      Paul Johnson on Ghandi

      basically it seems to say:

      Ghandi could have only existed because of the conditions brought on by the British empire
      – ok, maybe .. that means he is bad ?

      Ghandi was obsessed with food and going to the bathroom:
      – It is true that constant removal of waste from
      the human body is a good thing. Nutrition is important though
      not the only aspect of health

      “Ghandi turned against his wife and children, indeed against sex itself”:
      Steffan Molyneux seemed to imply Ghandi was a sexual deviant, but
      this part seems to indicate the situation was more complex. Perhaps it has to do with what I would suggest is part of the old school asian mindset held by some that is not well understood by many westerners.

      “Hand-weaving made no sense in a country whose chief industry was the mass-production of textiles”:
      hey wait, I enjoy growing spinach when I could buy it cheap at the grocery store. I enjoy getting outdoors with my chain saw for exercise. I also see people running down the street to go no where just so they can raise their heart rate.

      Ghandi seems to be known mostly for non violent protest which I am not sure he or his supporters claim always works. In fact I think Ghandi was against gun control instituted by the British, however the media seems to want
      to ignore that ..

      • Well… there seems to be a reticence to criticize Gandhi but every leader is a mixed bag with some good and some bad. The good part about Gandhi is that he handed out one-liners to the press and the press loved him for it. If you are trying to start a country it takes more than one man and his supporters were pushing him forward since he was an agreeable face on the Indian revolution.

        His religious position were somewhat questionable but nothing too terrible. I would use caution if I were trying to follow him religiously.

        He was generally a hypocrite in the sense that there is no justification in calling Gandhi a pacifist. He led troops and fought in battles in South Africa as I recall my reading.

        He also roused serious animosity amongst the various opposing groups within India. Every time he spoke, thousands died. Of course, HE didn’t kill them. Nor did he tell anyone else to kill them, but if every time I opened my mouth, thousands died, I shut my —-ed mouth. Know what I mean?

        He also favored the caste system in a serious way, working hard to set aside certain jobs for those terrible, oppressed people mostly because he believed them to be unworthy of anything better and by setting aside those jobs he justified further discrimination by setting the ceiling on their ability to every get out of their caste. “This high and no more” would seem to be the rationale. In the short-term it was a kindness but in the long term it was a kindness that killed further reforms.

        And frankly… the general opinion of his fellows was that if they did everything Gandhi wanted to do, government could not possibly work. He’d kill everyone, so they listened politely and humored him and then did what was best.

        One famous quote that still sticks in my mind (and seems to have been expunged from the Internet) is from Paul Johnson’s “Modern Times”, page 471…

        “As one of his circle observed: ‘It costs a great deal of money to keep Gandhiji living in poverty.'”

        It might be worth reading another book of a more general nature regarding following the gurus of India. It is entitled…

        “Karma Cola: Marketing the Mystic East” by Gita Mehta.

        It’s eye-opening.

        Alex

        • Ghandi seems to have been sent to jail many times, though he did not always serve out his terms. I think the British opened fired on crowds of people, restricted travel, implemented curfews and so on. Ghandi was against those things and protested them peacefully yet he was not political in the sense that he did not really have a political solution, he was just against certain things the British did and wanted to end them.

          Ghandi did champion non violent resistance, but he never had the view of many liberals who equate non violence with a ban on all firearms and that sort of thing, but somehow he is associated with that.

          As I said, I find certain aspects of the east to be inspiring as well as Kabbalistic (Jewish) mysticism which has many eastern elements. Although I often don’t agree with quite a number of western interpretations of the east, I do often find a number of certain religious writings to be inspirational as well as certain gurus, but not all. I find listening to the story of Ghandi to be somewhat inspirational at times as well, but it may not be at the top of my list.

          I may have heard some of the other types of criticisms but
          I have no other thoughts at the moment. Ghandi was not a libertarian or a strong believer in a capitalist type system, but he was not a communist though perhaps you could argue that he was a kind of socialist in some sense.
          It seems sort of like a religion to equate anyone who is not a big pro free market capitalist with being an idiot or something. After all, capitalism has some value, but when you are old and dying and leaving the world, how much free market you leave behind you may not be the biggest thing to think about.

        • I think if Ghandi was involved in the Boer war, it may have been as a medical aid; However his pacifist attitude developed more so late in life and the Boer war was much earlier.

    • As I Paul Johnson said (paraphrasing)… Gandhi was like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. He had good intentions but once he got something started he just couldn’t stop it and it usually got out of control… hundreds, then thousands then tens of thousands died.

      It didn’t take a genius to figure this out. It would seem he didn’t care… and that makes him a … well… I know what that makes him. You can make your own call.

      Gandhi volunteered to organize medics during the Boer and Zulu wars… but to PROVE that Hindus were MANLY enough to go to war. The British thought that the Hindus couldn’t handle war and since the only way to prove that the Indian Hindus were up to the task was to volunteer in the medical corp, Gandhi did that… but the purpose was to get Hindus into the battle.

      Regarding the British firing into crowds I am unaware of any specific cases of that happening but I don’t doubt that it did. In any riot situation where the masses are coming at you, you pick up your gun, aim and fire. You don’t have a discussion with the crowd.

      This certainly happened at Kent State. The National Guard were nice guys but poorly organized and a cascade of poor decisions ultimately led to the death of innocents. When the crowd surged toward the National Guard, they had no choice but to shoot because a mob acts differently from individuals. I’ve seen it happen. A mob is something quite different. It was either shoot or be killed themselves.

      Regarding Kabbalah, I study Kabbalah. It is easy to be misled by it. I do not recommend it and in fact I warn people against it. You don’t want to end up like Britney Spears. Right? Don’t worry about her. There will be someone there to pick up the pieces but will there be someone there to pick up the shards of YOUR broken life? I doubt it. So… unless you know what you are doing (and about 99% of the people interested in Kabbalah DO NOT) I suggest leaving it be. There are a lot of OTHER things you should be doing first in the mystic realm… like getting that whole “bread and butter mysticism” that Mom always talked about when she told you that you ought to pray about that. Get that down first.

      It’s kind of like preparing for that asteroid strike or zombie apocalypse. Sure. It might be a problem some day but if you are going to expend effort to prepare, prepare for the most likely stuff FIRST. Then, once you are squared away with that, move on to the more complex stuff.

      That is why a recommend reading the book “Karma Cola”. It stands as a warning that what you see in the West as “The Mystic East” being sold to you by balding fat guys in flowing robes can bear little resemblance to what passes for mysticism in India. That doesn’t make it all bad. Just use your head.

      And… regarding your book budget… get a library card. Most of my reading comes from checking out library books and reading them.

      Let me look at our library listings here in Austin, Texas… a medium-sized city…. yep…

      “Karma Cola” call number is 954.04 ME and is available at the Central Library (Faulk Library).

      “The Jew in the Lotus: A Poet’s Rediscovery of Jewish Identity in Buddhist India” Call number 296.39 KA, is available at the Central Library.

      “9 1/2 Mystics: The Kabbala Today” by Weiner, Herbert, call number 296.16 WE, is not available at the moment but you can place a hold on it if you care to wait.

      “India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy” by Guha, Ramachandra is an excellent book. I enjoyed it immensely despite the unavoidable flaws the author rightfully points out. Call number 954.04 GU, and is available at the Manchaca branch but it is checked out at the Central library.

      “Modern Times” by Paul Johnson… great historian and author. Call number 909.82 JO, and available at the Central library.

      I hope this helps.

      Alex Shrugged

      • I am well aware of kabbalah and all the controversy and various interpretations surrounding it. This spans from freemasons, occultists, new agers, orthodox jews and all the various interpretations. Maddona and the like have a very new age interpretation that never apealed to me.

        I studied various books by David Shenkin, Arey Kaplan, Sepher Yitzerah, various parts of the Zohar and so on. I had lively discussions with Ariel Bar Tzadok, a very orthodox Jew who runs koshertorah.com both on the phone and on AOL message boards back in 1995 or so and he is a well known kabbalist. I think he has been on TV maybe once or twice. I’ve done various abstract meditations and kind of left my body once. These days I practice Kriya Yoga as taught by Yogananda and many of Yoganadas approaches are very similar to many Kabbalistic methods and as many Jews do seem to acknowledge a connection with the east. Yogananda is kind of a blend of Christian/Hindu in other ways and prayer is a big part of the approach as well. At any rate I have probably read at least 20 kabbalah books and had all kinds of debates on the topic, but I don’t read kabbalah books so much anymore. I am heavily influenced by it and have used the tree of life for memorization or meditation.

        The bhagavad gita is acknowledeged as one of the most important hindu scriptures. It was studied by Thoreau, Emerson, Ghandi, Einstien and many others. Like the bible or any such book, it has wide interpretations ranging from Hari Krishnas (equivalent of Jehovah witness) to however many other numerous sects there may be. Einstien I believe had alot of praise for Ghandi also.

        Ghandi tried at least in his later days to have a very non violent approach to protest. When some hindus became violent he called off the protest and he told them to find another leader if that is what they prefered. It did not appear to have political aspirations in the sense of many. People who are assasinated also seem to often be the more innocent types.

        It is true there are particular things not generally known about Ghandi, but I am not sure what the libertarian thing is on that currently and it concerns me that there may be a distortion going on here that is not well founded. The British fired on crowds just to teach them a lesson and many where brutally beaten for breaking brittish laws with regard to gathering salt from the ocean violating arbitrary curfews and so on.

        I have several Ghandi books on my IPod, two by Easwaran Ekkenhart one of which is

        http://www.amazon.com/Gandhi-Man-The-Story-Transformation/dp/0915132966

        another is this one which must be 10 or 15 hours long. I have listened to many parts of it in bed or while walking:

        I am very busy trying to find a job and involved in various programming projects. I appreciate your encouragement to read this book. I am only somewhat curious as I am very familiar with all these sorts of books and the only thing that would really satisfy my curiosity might be to travel to India someday ..

        • I am going to use some of surfivor’s remarks as a jumping off point to make some remarks of my own. Nothing I say here should be construed as direct advice to anyone.

          OK… here we go…

          Gandhi, like every leader of note, was a mixed bag. Abe Lincoln was a mixed bag of good and bad. We tend to idealize figures of the past in the hope of carrying away some lesson for ourselves. Please continue with that.

          I will not be following Gandhi. I think he was a fool but even a fool can be profound from time to time. If folks want to follow him, I will not object but know that there are better organized people to follow.

          Regarding Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) and the various people who teach it, I don’t teach it. I mention it from time to time. I study it, but not for the purposes that most kabbalists study it. The vast majority of people who gain benefit from it, use it as a self-help program. They don’t get too deep into it and as long as one holds it at arm’s length it will do no harm.

          For the purpose of self-help for the general reader, I recommend the book “Practical Kabbalah: A Guide to Jewish Wisdom” by Laibl Wolf. For those in the know, you will shudder at the title. Rest assured. This is a Chabad/Lubuvitcher book. The author pre-digests everything for you and will not mislead you. You can look it up at Amazon and read some of the first chapter. It is basically a self-help book.

          The other book I recommend on Kabbalah for the general reader is “Jewish Meditation: a Practical Guide” by Aryeh Kaplan. That is the EXACT title and it is the ONLY book I recommend for the general reader from that author. All his other books are technical and unless you can read Hebrew, probably useless.

          (But Alex! The book is in English! It says so on the cover!… Yeah. Sure it does. but like virtually every Kabbalistic work, the author makes sure some knucklehead is not reading this stuff for fun so he writes out the most important stuff in Hebrew or Aramaic. If you can’t read some rudimentary Hebrew, don’t waste your money.)

          For a book on the history of Kabbalah I recommend “Nine and a Half Mystics: The Kabbala Today” by Hebert Weiner. Weiner is not Orthodox, but his writing style is good and he doesn’t get too deep into anything. He is covering the basics.

          Do I recommend Kabbalah at all? No. I don’t. One can be easily misled by it unless one is well grounded in mainstream religious thought, over 40 years old and is a parent. That speaks of a mature person who generally won’t lose his head. One should also have a teacher to guide you.

          I am very careful about the authors I read on this subject. I don’t read the books of Yehuda Berg. I will read books by Daniel Matt and a few others that I won’t mention here.

          Regarding Ariel Bar Tzodok (seems like a pretentious name but that is what he calls himself), I downloaded his free audio podcast on “Redemption”. About a minute into the podcast he predicted the END OF THE WORLD and gave the date and time…

          6:12 AM (EST), December 21, 2012.

          And then he says that the bad news is that when the old world ends, a new world will start up right after that and it will be “in the same crappy state that the old one was in.” (I think that is an exact quote.)

          The people I respect in Kabbalah don’t talk like that. I might talk like that… but then again…. I’m not teaching people Kabbalah.

          So… do what you think is best but unless you are Jewish, I suggest NOT pursuing Jewish Mysticism. If you ARE Jewish, I recommend Chabad/Lubuvitch. You can find them at just about any college campus. They are here at the UT campus in Austin, Texas and Rabbi Levertov knows me well mostly because I coordinate with him on the weekly visits I make to the county jail. (I do volunteer chaplain work).

          I am NOT a Lubuvitcher and I don’t agree with some of the things they do. In fact, I vehemently disagree with some of them, but I am glad to join them if they need a minyan. They pre-digest the Kabbalah and they are prepared to speak to the non-observant Jew.

          I hope that helps.

          Alex

      • Ghandi was considered to be a Saint by many:

        “Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.”

        – Albert Einstien (On the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 70th birthday.)

        ======================

        Einstien’s letter to Ghandi:

        Respected Mr. Gandhi

        I use the presence of your friend in our home to send you these lines. You have shown through your works, that it is possible to succeed without violence even with those who have not discarded the method of violence. We may hope that your example will spread beyond the borders of your country, and will help to establish an international authority, respected by all, that will take decisions and replace war conflicts.

        With sincere admiration,

        Yours

        (Signed, ‘A. Einstein’)

        I hope that I will be able to meet you face to face some day.

        Gandhi’s response

        LONDON,

        October 18, 1931

        DEAR FRIEND,

        I was delighted to have your beautiful letter sent through Sundaram. It is a great consolation to me that the work I am doing finds favour in your sight. I do indeed wish that we could meet face to face and that too in India at my Ashram.

        Yours sincerely,

        (Signed, ‘M. K. Gandhi’)

        • Einstein would forget to wear socks with his shoes.

          He was a most unpleasant man to anyone who suggested they knew more than they actually did. If you had a question and if you were a plain man he would be patient with you and answer. He was especially good with children.

          No woman could stand to live with him.

          Every great person is a mixed bag of good and bad. You have to decide if the good is good enough to outweigh the bad that comes along with it.

          I read the book “Einstein: His Life and Universe” by Walter Isaacson. It is an excellent biography and it explains why a brilliant man like that couldn’t get a decent job at a university but had to accept a job at the patent office evaluating other people’s original work. (FYI… he was a PAIN IN THE… uh… he was sometimes difficult to work with.)

          I also recommend reading “Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein’s Brain” by Michael Paterniti. I really loved this book. When Einstein died, the doctor doing the autopsy STOLE EINSTEIN’S BRAIN! I’m not kidding. The book is about the man who put the brain into a Tupperware and drove it across country to return it (or present it) to one of Einstein’s children. Excellent read.

          Alex

      • – “Jewish Meditation: a Practical Guide” by Aryeh Kaplan

        I have that book ..

        Mostly I had friendly debates with Ariel Bar Tzadok and various people on the AOL message board. At that time it was never about when the world would end. Ariel believed that if you don’t follow the 613 mitzvot then you can’t study or glean anything from kabbalah basically. After a friendly discussion with Ariel about Abraham Abulafia who seems to have somehow predicted or been involved in the death of a pope because the pope didn’t like or agree with Abulafia but then the pope just up and died.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Righteous_Priest

        “He set out on a messianic mission to Rome to convert the pope to Judaism. The pope ordered him burn at the stake, however the day before he entered Rome the pope died of an apoplectic stroke. Abulafia claimed to have killed the pope by invoking the name of God.”

        I was well aware of this incident, and though I am christian and not particularly anti catholic I was sympathetic to the suffering of Jews under the inquisition which I felt there was some connection here so I told such to Ariel and then he instructed me to call him on the phone. I talked to him on the phone and he recommended I look into a local (reformed) Rabbi to study kabbalah with. This Rabbi however had told me if jesus meant anything to me then I should not study kabbalah with him but I could come down and attend torah study or services which I did. I actually like many commentaries on the reformed torah and bought a copy. I did not agree with some of the views of this reformed group, in fact they had a basket of free condoms. After I told Ariel that this Rabbi had married two lesbians, Ariel became outraged and said many terrible things saying he did not care whether this reformed cleric was a jew or what and instructed me to post on the kabbalah board to renounce this rabbi. I simply stated what I knew about the lesbian marriage ceremony on the kabbalah board ..

      • People can take or leave ghandi if the like, however I think there is plenty of historical evidence regarding his non violent protests. The other stuff is largely true where ghandi was mainly considered concerned with hindus and not other races at least early on, but one should not infer all sorts of things based on that alone when there is actual evidence of events from that time as below:

        During the salt march some 60,000 or 80,000 hindus where arrested:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_March
        “Over 80,000 Indians were jailed as a result of the Salt Satyagraha.[5] However, it failed to result in major concessions from the British”

        also:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jallianwala_Bagh_massacre

        The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, also known as the Amritsar massacre, was a seminal event in the British rule of India. On 13 April 1919, a crowd of non-violent protesters, along with Baishakhi pilgrims, had gathered in the Jallianwala Bagh garden in Amritsar, Punjab to protest the arrest of two leaders despite a curfew which had been recently declared.[1] On the orders of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer, the army fired on the crowd for ten minutes, directing their bullets largely towards the few open gates through which people were trying to run out. The dead numbered between 370 and 1,000, or possibly more.


        Dyer was initially lauded by conservative forces in the empire, but in July 1920 he was censured and forced to retire by the House of Commons.[8] He became a celebrated hero in Britain among most of the people connected to the British Raj,[9] for example, the House of Lords,[10] but unpopular in the House of Commons, that voted against Dyer twice.[11] The massacre caused a re-evaluation of the army’s role, in which the new policy became “minimum force”, and the army was retrained and developed suitable tactics for crowd control.[12] Some historians consider the episode as a decisive step towards the end of British rule in India,

  17. Jack we all want to know what you think about current events like the Bundy Ranch fiasco. Maybe you could devote 30 mins a week to your take on current events.

    Thanks

  18. I pretty much agree with the Bundy ranch analysis ..

    I tried to watch the Steffan Molyneux video on Gandhi. Certain aspects of what he is saying is not anything unknown or hidden. Basically it is a cultural thing on the age of women and things of that nature. Although how often someone sleeps in the same bed as a woman does not always indicate how much sexual activity has gone on (I am not implying that none of the such went on). I have heard this discussed before by Hindu people where the Asian attitudes about sex are different from western behaviors.

    I found it hard to watch the video, mostly because the first 10 minutes Molyneux talks about himself, then he talks about Ghandi’s wives and girl friends for 10 minutes. By the time he got to anything political I was tired of watching (even though I fast forwarded). I will have to perhaps look at it some more later. I have to admit I have never been a fan of Molyneux.

    I do find it perhaps funny in a way where folks at free talk live go out of their way to defend books written by homosexuals on how to seduce boys and gay rights seems like such a sacred cow in those circles that they can hardly never stop talking about. We also seem to pretty much be heavily influenced by Greek Philosophy in this country and Greek Philosophy is taught at all kinds of college levels and yet that society had all kinds of men sleeping with boys.

  19. I watched a little more of the Molyneux video. I did listen to Molyneux once on Alex Jones where he toned down the atheism a bit and I enjoyed the conversation.

    Anyway, so Thomas Jefferson had slaves also, as did I guess Europeans and Africans. I sometimes think however about what Alex Jones had said is that the old world version of slavery was falling out of favor and that slavery in the south would have eventually disappeared anyway.

    What little I know about Ghandi is that he was a proponent of various religious systems such as Hindu, Buddhist, Christian at least in certain ways.
    I have heard that one of Ghandi’s disciples runs a place where lepers are taking care of:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baba_Amte#Dedicated_work

    “Amte founded three ashrams for treatment and rehabilitation of leprosy patients, disabled people, and people from marginalized sections of the society in Maharashtra, India. On 15 August 1949, he started a hospital in Anandvan under a tree. In 1973”

    ======

    Buddhism started in India and the Buddha allowed people of all castes (classes) of society to become Buddhists or monastics which is said to have had a strong impact and many Buddhist have always followed that. Many Hindus have also stated that the caste system of today is a perversion of what the original intent was in ancient times. I have also heard that India was a very rich and diverse society before the British Empire. Molyneux in that video says alot of things that I don’t think would be easy to sort out just exactly what the truth is, though I wouldn’t say that he is completely wrong and I am not sure either he or myself knows enough to figure it all out.

    I am less certain about Ghandi, though I find many works by the Dalai Lama, Yogananda and some other Hindu and Buddhist writers from that region to be quite inspiring in some ways to help one get through life etc. Since the Dalai Lama and Yogananda had alot of praise for Ghandi, I tend to assume Ghandi had a number of admirable traits. I won’t go so far as to say he was perfect or something like that. I think I had heard Ghandi did alot of work to try to keep Muslims and Hindus from conflict and opposed the breakup of India in Pakistan/India

    • And you won’t hear Stephan applying hero worship to Jefferson either. I think you are missing the point.

      • It seems like Ghandi is referred to in unflattering terms. I already started somewhat of a reanalysis as I have some Ghandi stuff on my IPod. It is an interesting story, but I am more influenced by others than by Ghandi.

        It seems like Paul Johnson implies that perhaps the British Empire was kind of a soft tyranny. That may be true to a large extent. Ghandi admired British culture while in London, but in South Africa he was thrown off a bus, beaten once, and was in jail for 2 m0nths another time. That is how far I got on one of my Ghandi books while out walking in the woods today and it is a long story all in all. Ghandi seemed to enjoy his time in jail where he did alot of reading. If the British Empire was a kind of soft tyranny then perhaps Ghandi’s methods where somewhat consistent with how to deal with that and where “soft”. At any rate, I would not characterize Ghandi in the same way as Paul Johnson or Molyneau.

        I also think Ghandi may be mischaracterized to some extent by Western Liberals as was Martin Luther King. King for instance was very anti war but that is never mentioned and Ghandi appears to have never been in favor of gun control etc ..

      • Perhaps one might think that India as a country is not that well off after Ghandi, but then what does that mean ? I am not sure, does it mean Ghandi should have advocated violence ? Does it mean all other countries should adopt the USA model of government ?

      • “Does it mean all other countries should adopt the USA model of government”

        I don’t think so, Canada is a hybrid of the American model, we have a Constitution, but we are a member of the Commonwealth, and some would say part of the Monarchy. I *think* our system has served us well, albeit we are on the socialist side of things; taxed high, but I am generally satisfied with it overall

    • In a recent posting above I recommended a book that I will repeat here…

      “Karma Cola: Marketing of the Mystic East” by Gita Mehta. It opened my eyes to the pitfalls of India. It applies to Gandhi although I don’t recall her mentioning him at all.

      FYI, I am offline until Tuesday night. I’m observing Passover.

      Alex

      • I will take note of the book, but I am not budgeted right now to buy books and I have too many books and not enough shelves anyway.
        I may google the author sometime just to see what comes up etc

        I am pretty well aware of many of the gurus and scriptures of the east

  20. I have to disagree with air source heat pumps. They are quite popular up here in Prince Edward Island. Typical sizes are 22,000 BTU, and they are effective at heating to -20c. My co-worker has one and it adds about $80 a month to his existing oil bill. A tank of oil up here is over $1000. His total cost was $4400 cdn. He went from three tanks of oil a year to a little over one and a half.

    http://www.tradewindsecoenergy.com/

  21. Jack; I thank you with all my heart. Recently took a new job as a truck driver and since I was 100 episodes behind, loaded them all onto an mp3 player and while driving have been catching up with back-to-back episodes of TSP. What a breath of fresh air! I feel sane again bathed in your voice of reason, logic and common sense.

    Now that I am home for a minute I pulled up the youtube of The Revolution is YOU

    you made in 2009. Very encouraging and delightful!

    I discovered you about episode 275 and it took 3 shows for me to realize I need to support this guy Jack so he can keep doing what he is doing. When my MSB expires (I paid ahead) in a year or 2 I will renew because you need gas in the tank to keep the wheels turning and keep on doing what you are doing.

    Thank you!
    Suggest you invite Dave Canterbury as a guest, have a couple beers and make an episode. That’d be a blast.

  22. Great episode!

    Thank you for addressing the Democracy vs Republic issue. I was rather disheartened to see the comments I read on multiple sites regarding that article .
    9/10 comments were all about us being a Republic with hardly a mention of the
    the fact that our system is completely bought out.

    I’ve been MSB since the second episode I heard…sometime back in late 2010. Gotta say I agree with you on about 85% of your opinions, that’s a first for anyone. Cheers Jack, keep up the great work!

  23. The precept that America is a republic does not come from any quote. It comes from the fact our Founding Fathers made it clear they were striving to prevent us from becoming a pure democracy, because it is mob rule. There is a reason FDR had so much trouble with the SCOTUS, enduring 10 rulings against his NRA and New Deal. Everything he did was unconstitutional. He actually threatened to destroy the SCOTUS by stuffing it with his Socialist cronies if they didn’t allow him to use the Constitution for toilet paper. He openly stated many times that he had no respect for the Constitution and didn’t believe in any limits on federal or presidential power. If he had gotten his way, every president would have opened more positions on the bench and stuffed the Court with cronies. We would probably have had 2,000 Supreme Court Justices by now and the SCOTUS would just be a political vassal of the presidency. They saved the Court by backing off but sacrificed the Constitution and our constitutionally limited federal government, opening the door for the Great Society and many other unconstitutional, unsustainable leech programs. Today, 86 million Americans work a 40 hour private sector job, while 148 million Americans receive “benefits” from leech programs. Soon, there will be another 78 million on SS. That is what happens in a democracy unrestricted by constitutional limits of power. The leeches outnumber and therefore outvote the workers. It is armed robbery by proxy through the vote. Such is a pure democracy, unhindered by constitutional limits on governmental power.

    The “elite” may have a dangerous amount of political power, but they are dwarfs cowering in the shadow of the giant mob of armed robbers who use the power of the vote and the force of government to collect their loot, amounting to trillions a year. This is partly why the lower 50% of tax filers pay zero federal taxes and the lower 70% pay in less than the federal government spends on them each year. The rest is explained by politicians buying votes with stolen money. Since FDR, all national elections have been advance auctions on future stolen goods. This is what happens when a nation stops being a constitutionally limited republic and becomes a democracy.

    • And not a damn thing you said supports in anyway the contention that the US is not a democracy. We are simply not a pure democracy. Quit quibbling over bullshit and pay attention to the reality!

  24. Ah, Poe!
    A. Caplet composed a piece based on the Red Masque of Death. It’s one of my favorites now.
    For anyone with a hankering for Poe inspired culture:

  25. Either you have trouble understanding English or you have trouble thinking. Have you ever bothered to read the Federalist Papers? According to the man called the father of the Constitution by historians, James Madison, the federal government should be so limited that it should deal almost exclusively with foreign affairs and leave the domestic issues to the states. About 80% of the federal budget is unconstitutional and has been for generations. The idea that it is just semantics and it doesn’t matter if we are a constitutionally limited republic or not is just plain silly and extremely naïve. It Matters!

    • @Lowland Farmer, that is about limiting what the Federal Government does and adherence to the Constitution. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHETHER OR NOT THE US IS A DEMOCRACY. We are, we just are not a representative or pure democracy.

      This is nonsensical quibbling, while the fact that we are actually an Oligarchy is ignored. By the way an Oligarchy is a type of REPUBLIC, there is no magic in that word. Again REPUBLIC IS DEFINED SIMPLY AS – “A republic is a form of government in which power is exercised by the public at large, and affairs of state are a concern of the public sphere “.

      Again being a republic which ELECTS ITS REPRESENTATIVES VIA A DEMOCRATIC PROCESS, makes the US a DEMOCRACY in the form of a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC.

      You know those in the “liberty movement” often call liberals “libtards” with good reason. Though I have to say this type of nonsense makes me wonder if we don’t also have “libertards” among us.

      You keep arguing but you keep ignoring the entire point, first of the situation, (THAT WE ARE NOW CONSIDERED AN OLIGARCHY) and second that we are a democracy in that we elect our officials with a democratic process. You quote founders you go on and on, but you do not address the point.

      One can be both a democracy and a republic. Just like a dog can be both a Sheppard and a Collie.

      If we were NOT A DEMOCRACY, leaders would be appointed or perhaps elected by a “ruling class” from among themselves. Again NOTHING YOU SAID ABOVE REFUTES ANYTHING I HAVE SAID, NOT ONE THING.

  26. Silver & Gold: In the final question, you discussed finding a local store from which to purchase small quantities so that shipping doesn’t eat you up. But you outdid yourself when you found JM Bullion, since they offer free shipping on ALL orders, regardless of quantity. We should still try to order quantity, though, if only to reduce JM’s overhead so they can continue to pass on relatively low-margin metal to us.

    I’m not sure if I HTML’s this appropriately for a blog comment, but here:

      • @Angus, JM has a 100 dollar minimum on orders. That is the only way they can do free shipping and not end up broke.

        • Ahh… I never saw anything saying that, but that completely makes sense for their bottom line. I was curious how they supported that. I’ve never tried to buy just one from them or Mulligan just because I wait to buy for the market and my too-small “pot o’ silver’n’gold money” builds up to the point so I’m ready to order.

  27. I am a big fan of Poe. Started out as a requirement in middle school but I have been a fan ever since.

  28. Actually, I have argued that America is too much a democracy since FDR! People are allowed to commit armed robbery just by voting, and that is EXACTLY the kind of thing our Founding Fathers tried to prevent. I have also put the lie to the idea we are an oligarchy. It is the masses voting for more leech programs that eat up most of the federal budget, and the masses push for most of the new regulations, including gun laws, not the “elite.” Some of the rich may be pushing for more gun laws, but it’s the voting masses that will get it done, not the wealthy. Most of our problems are BECAUSE we have been more of a pure democracy than our Founding Fathers intended, and it’s been that way since FDR. What I am pointing out is CENTRAL to most of our problems today, especially the loss of freedoms. You are just arguing semantics.

    Since the vote of the masses is where the REAL power is, America is not run by a small cabal, and therefore we are not an oligarchy. Most people who think that bring up the Jews as the source of all evil in the world. And pointing out America is supposed to be a constitutionally limited republic and not a pure democracy is important. America started down the road to ruin when it got away from that.

    • You are still avoiding the points.

      1. Long before FDR we elected officials. We were a democracy the day we were founded, we are sort of kind of one today.

      2. Saying we are not an Oligarchy, doesn’t prove anything. You haven’t refuted one thing in the study, which I doubt you even read, so you don’t even know what it says.

      3. You said since FDR we have too much democracy, hence you just said we are a democracy.

      Lastly your crap that America has been on the road to ruin since we got away from that, shows the real problem you have. You are an idealist in the constitution, you think that if only we did what it said we would be just hunky dory. The reality is much of what people call unconstitutional today, isn’t.

      Again though you are not arguing the point, you are simply rehashing the same crap.

      Our nation is a constitutionally limited republic. It is not limited enough and the limits are crossed daily that is a problem WE BOTH AGREE WITH.

      That doesn’t mean shit as to whether or not we are a democracy or not. It really doesn’t.

      Oh and bringing up the jews? WTF, no one said anything about that. This shows your mentality and why you are entrenched in a war about definitions vs. facts.

    • And I never once said America was a pure democracy, I said over and over that it wasn’t. Basically your entire argument is an epic failure.

  29. Re: gas storage in an apartment.

    Possible solution: propane

    It sounded like the caller did not have the generator purchased yet. If this is the case then perhaps a mulitfuel generator that can take gas and propane would be an elegant solution. I would be much more confident about keeping a couple NEW tanks of propane than any jerry can of gas in an apartment.

    • Agree. The multifuel generator will allow him safely store fuel in his storage room event of a SHTF event, he scavenge gas. The can could him evicted from apartment.

      • For the gas guy – He should store the gas in his car. Just always keep your car full of gas, learn to siphon it out when needed. Keep an empty jerry can in the apartment when the power goes out just siphon out a few gallons from your car and put it in the generator. The gas in your car is always rotated, safe, and in compliance with your apartment rules. Siphoning is easy. taking 2-5 gallons from your car is barely a quarter of a tank on most cars.

  30. I get compost from a company that sells it in bulk for $48 per cubic yard. They basically empty a front loader’s bucket into the back of my truck. Not cheap but close to my house. The I discovered Loews compost in bags.

    Here is the tip. Loews sells the same compost for $3.40 for a 2 cubic bag. The difference? The bulk compost I have to shovel-off the truck into a wheelbarrow whereas the compost from Loews I get to unload in bags. I yard of compost fills about 6.5 wheelbarrow, each wheelbarrow takes about 25 shovels to fill. It’s a big difference on the back.

  31. RE: The Rs being different than the Ds.

    Amnesty will be passed under 3 Red Houses. Republicans are hurting for votes outside their base and will try to mend things with Hispanics by passing amnesty. Moreover, amnesty will be passed close to 2018, if the midterm elections look bleak, or close to 2020 to ensure re-election of their candidate.

  32. Jack,

    I am late listening to the podcast, but wanted to say I have been a fan of Edgar Allen Poe since I was a boy. Thanks for a great show as always.

    Jim

  33. I make compost in Rubbermaid bids, and get dark, rich compost in a little over 2 weeks time.

    I start with grass clippings and leaves I saved up from the prior fall, but any dead plant matter will suffice, including shredded paper (which I use if I don’t have leaves on hand). Then I regularly add kitchen scraps and after there’s a good layer of that in there, I add more grass clippings and leaves, etc.

    The trick to getting the compost to decompose quickly is a special mix of beer, soda, and ammonia. Apparently it’s been something of a “thing” for awhile, but I discovered it on YouTube under the heading “drunken composting.” Making sure each layer in the bin is wetted with this mix speeds up the aerobic reaction.

    My bin has holes drilled into the bottom, along the bottom rim of the bin, and along the top edge. I keep the lid intact to prevent rain from falling on it. Once the bin is full I start a second bin. I turn the first bin with a pitchfork once a week and usually by the second turn, sometimes a few days longer, maybe even a third week, I have rich compost that I then bag and store for use in the garden and then start all over again.

    Even if it does take three weeks to finish, it’s much quicker than the traditional pile method, the bin system is neater and keeps most pests out (I actually haven’t noticed any at all). Larger piles made in the usual way can actually get usable compost in 7-10 days.

    To apply the beer-soda-ammonia mix, I pour the contents into a garden sprayer attached to my hose and wet down the pile. The recipe is (1) 12 oz. can of regular cola, (1) 12 oz. can of full-strength beer (but any cheap swill is fine, though don’t use craft beers…then again, why would you?!), and 8 oz. of ammonia. Voila! Drunken composting!

    Rich

  34. To demystify the ‘Stock Market’:
    The ‘stock market’ is a STORE where you can buy stocks.
    A Stock is a piece of paper that says you own part of the company that has issued the stock, and spells out any legal rights you may have regarding the company (such as ‘to vote in an election of board members’).
    There are two ways you can make money in the stock market. The ‘old way’ is that by owning the stock, you can receive a portion of the company’s profits (a ‘dividend’). The ‘new way’ is via a change in the price of the stock.
    I consider (and call) buying a stock to receive a dividend, an ‘investment’. And buying a stock hoping the price will change a ‘speculation’.
    When investing in a stock (buying so you will receive dividends) you’re looking at how much of a dividend the company usually sends out and at the price it is selling for to determine if you should buy it.
    Example:
    The stock is selling for $10. The divided is usually $0.50 per share per year. You’re looking at a 5% return on the purchase of the stock.

    Now, the speculation side is different. You believe the stock is ‘cheap’ because of a ‘hot tip’ you received via an email or a CNBC hack. Or because Goldman Sachs says so.. 😉
    So you go down to the track.. I mean the stock market, and bet on Lucky Lucy.. oh, I mean Facebook.
    See the problem?

    Now here’s the fun/nonliberty part. The STORE is owned by a huge powerful corporation.
    So to make sure that you MUST buy your tomatoes, I mean stocks, in their market, they got a law passed that says unless you’re a rich person, you have to buy your tomatoes from them. If anyone else tries to sell you tomatoes, they’ll be arrested. Rich people are different, and can buy their tomatoes anywhere they want (these are known as ‘accredited investors’).
    This is of course to ‘protect the children’, and ensure that people who are too stupid to invest their money, will only lose it in THEIR casino. Monopolies are awesome.. for the monopolist.

    I’m not going to get into ‘public offerings’ as I’m sure someone like John P will be going into it at some point. =)

  35. I wrote a history segment on Abulafia It didn’t make the podcast but it is probably worth reading now with the discussion on Kabbalah.

    It is at TSPWiki.com. Search for the year 1292.

    The section in question is entitled “Britney Spears, Madonna and “Bee Season””.

    The movie “Bee Season,” is a good if a little slow. At the center of the movie is a family following the ways of Abulafia. You will see one of them destroyed, one of them misled (from the parent’s intent for his child), one with nothing and one fulfilled. That is what I am warning about.

    I’m going on and on about this because it has come up and I think such subjects should be addressed and not avoided. I’m warning most people against it. I benefit from it, in a sense, but I am not recommending it.

  36. probably not to many people on TSP are interested in meditation ..

    I used to do some meditations on hebrew letters and their abstract archetypal meanings, but I had some difficulties with that. After my father died I couldn’t really meditate the same way for a long time. After that I got into some buddhist mindfulness meditations for a while ..

    Yogananda has some breathing exercises and meditations on the sound of the mother letters such as ohm which is similar to some other meditations I used to do from kabbalah books years ago.

    There are similar warnings on kundalini yoga and things like that, but it could be also based on what people want to get out of it. People who have impure intentions or doubts should work on those first. One guy said he was surrounded by a bright light and it scared him, but someone else said so many other people might have wished they could have experienced that.

    Maddona I think was influenced by Phillip Berg. He at one time did seem to have kind of an interesting book out, but I was never really interested in Maddona and probably her world view is vastly different than mine.

    I do find it interesting that all kinds of occult societies that seem to be tied into running the world from behind the scenes are into some kind of dark kabbalistic interpretation such as Albert Pike “morals and dogma”. Pike was the leader of scottish freemasonry in america. I sometimes felt like investigating these people is kind of up my alley since I studied kabbalah books for many years. I tried to connect with some kabbalists at one time, but as I mentioned it didn’t quite work out.

    • Regarding meditation in a survival situation… it is of medical value. Here is my story and I’m sticking to it…

      As I came down the stairs I knew something was wrong. I wondered if maybe I had an upset stomach. I went to the kitchen, peeled a banana and ate it quickly, hoping that would fix the problem. My wife was on the phone so I sat down in the living room to let it work.

      Suddenly, I felt a crushing pain in my chest!

      I fell out of my chair and onto the floor gasping for breath. The pain was horrific. My son saw me fall and held my hand. The pain was not letting up. I didn’t know what it was but it was doing a VERY good imitation of a heart attack. My eyes widened as I looked into my son’s eyes. I took three deep breathes in preparation for the meditation of my life and passed out.

      For all intents and purposes I was not breathing. I suspect I actually reduced my breathing to a bare minimum but frankly I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to my body. I escaped the pain through meditation… AND SCARED THE LIVING SNOT OUT OF EVERYONE… including the paramedics.

      I was the wonder of the ER. (Generally speaking, it’s not a good thing to be an “interesting case” in the ER.) The nurse on duty knew exactly what I was doing. I was reducing my pain through meditation…. apparently the very thing this nurse had been advocating for years.

      As it turned out, it was not a heart attack. I had an imbalance of electrolytes similar to what happens to long distance runners when they don’t drink their Gatorade. It can kill you. It sure beat the heck out of me.

      I had never attempted to maintain a deep meditation like that for so long before. I’ve done it for brief periods like maybe 2 minutes or so, but not for hours. But it was that practice in deep meditation that saved me a lot of pain.

      In case no one has seen the point of this story… I didn’t have to use pain medication. I’m not absolutely sure but I think they could have done some minor surgery on me right there with minimal muss and fuss. If you are stuck in a survival situation without pain medication for a severe hurt, knowing how to drop into a deep trance can be very helpful.

      Of course… it’s not for everyone and I didn’t learn it as a pain management technique but it sure came in handy that day… and other days when I needed minor procedures done in the doctor’s office.

      I am not kidding. I can scare doctors with this stuff because it looks real weird. Makes ’em nervous. Know what I mean?

      Alex

  37. I almost joined a freemason blue lodge as well. Mostly I wanted to hang out and chat with people who might know something about kabbalah. I had the check written out and everything but for some reason I heard something about the ritual initiation that made me change my mind ..

    I go to a messianic temple once in a while. These are jews who became believers in jesus and they do a service in hebrew. People there at least know what kabbalah is so I like to go there sometimes and occasionally a discussion on kabbalah or something related may occur

    • The vast majority of so called “messianic Jews” are not Jews. They are folks who have an interest in things Jewish and pursue those interests as a group. I call them Christians since they follow Jesus and from my Jewish point of view that loosely defines what a Christian is. I’m not sure how Christians view them. Frankly, I’d rather be in a room full of Bible-thumping evangelists than hang out with these guys.

      Your choice, of course.

      BTW, I have nothing against Bible-thumping evangelists. Please continue to thump away. I am always glad to greet folks who come to my door to express themselves in this manner. I am polite. They are polite and we always learn from each other.

      Alex

  38. Excuse me. I mistook you for an adult. I have been “talking” above your head and IQ level. You seem to have a severe problem with being able to actually THINK. “Libtard?” I have met a lot of people online who are so stupid they don’t know they are stupid. We have a democratically elected representative republic, or we HAD one before the Socialist, anti-Semite, racist FDR used the Constitution for toilet paper to buy votes with leech programs. Did a SINGLE American voter vote directly for Obamacare? NO! They voted for or against Obamacare by voting for Obama if they wanted it or for someone else if they didn’t want it. That is a REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC! It is retarded BS to say otherwise.

    To claim it makes no difference is BS and just plain stupid. You have this attitude that you know it all, when you are too young to know much of anything about anything, yet you have an opinion about everything. That wouldn’t be so bad, but you are often profane, vulgar, disrespectful to your elders and nasty about your know-it all attitude. You complained about someone on the Net being nasty, and then you do the same thing. You hint that I’m a “libtard” and post silly indirect insults that would get you stomped into a bloody mud puddle if you said it in person while displaying a COMPLETE lack of understanding of our system of government and espousing a victimhood mentality that would make welfare leeches proud. I’ve seen vids of you; you’re a butterball fat boy. Even though I’m a lot older than you, you would NEVER talk to me with disrespect in person. Now be a coward and ban me from your silly little site. Then, of course, you will insult me more after I cannot respond. Typical cowardly little fat boy.

  39. Where did you learn meditation ? I have gone into deep meditation states before, but it’s not always like that when I meditate. I sometimes have imbalances because I may work on the computer for several days and then go surfing or cut a bunch of firewood so my metabolism changes alot all of a sudden.

    I am all aware of the controversies around messianic judaism, they have various magazines and issues and all but I don’t follow it too closely, but it seems like there is always something going on on that front. Quite a few messianic jews where raised jewish and some where disowned by there families when they became believers in jesus. It’s a particular movement but also not always as conservative as some christians but still with a conservative flavor. Quite a few jews I think tend towards liberal on certain issues .. I am not sure I know of any hardcore libertarians who are jews or if they are I am not sure what sort of jews they are .. I see some websites say that there are alot of jewish libertarians however, I guess maybe I mean religious jews ..

    • I come by those deep meditative states naturally. I study Kabbalah to control them… not to make them come about. Such states can be disruptive to one’s life as you point out.

      So-called “messianic Judaism” has the same problem that “Islamic Christianity” would have. There comes a point when you’ve crossed the line into being something else. From a mainstream Jewish perspective so-called “messianic Judaism” is Christianity. They tend to talk about it being “fulfilled Jews”. That is somewhat like calling Muslims, “fulfilled Christians.” I’m sure Christians would react badly if Muslims tried to sell them that load of goods. Jews react by rejecting such people. I meet them in jail in the course of my chaplain duties. As a chaplain I am bound to help anyone who asks for help: Christian, Jew, Muslim or so I follow my pledge while in that capacity.

      Regarding the political nature of various Jewish movements. In general Liberal Jews (Reform/Conservative/Reconstructionist/Humanist) allow their religion to reflect their politics which is usually liberal politics. Orthodox Jews and Traditional Conservative Jews tend to be politically conservative. The reason is probably because Orthodox Judaism takes basic principles of law very seriously. Thus people who take the Constitution seriously will seem familiar to Orthodox Jews. We approach the law in a similar ways.

      I am an Orthodox Jew and probably more libertarian than politically conservative.

      Alex

      • I can get into deep meditative states sometimes, but if I am preoccupied with something, too tired, or I ate too much sugary foods sometimes it is less likely to happen. For some reason if I send money to the salvation army, then latter on I have tend to have positive experiences when I meditate. A couple of years ago I was having more deeper states, but when I was working at this company and being very busy, I did not seem to have as much regular time to meditate as I did previously. Alot of the interesting inspirational material I was reading over and over sort of got a little stale as well because after reading it many times I lost some interest in it and some of my motivation to meditate more came from that. Meditation can have certain interesting aspects such as Tibetan Buddhists can generate body heat and walk barefoot in the snow or certain Yogis are said to be able to hibernate or change their heartbeat rate, but generally meditation is done for religious reasons, to find peace of mind, enlightenment, connect with god etc more primarily

        I won’t give my lengthy analysis of Islam, though I don’t know that any Islamic Christians exist except maybe Bahai or something.

        Orthodox Jews would seem to be against liberal social constructs where libertarians would differ on that. I have many conservative leanings but am more moderate generally. Even though I think abortion is wrong, I did not vote for George Bush because I didn’t like him on many other issues ..