War is always a cost to the people

We do have one example in history where there was a dramatic cut in spending. It was after World War II. Because the spending was so high during the world war– it was cut almost 60% and people worried, the Keynesians said “oh we have to have more jobs programs, more jobs programs”. But by that time the malinvestment and the debt had been liquidated, the soldiers came home we didn’t have work programs and guess what, the taxes were cut as well and that was finally when the depression ended. It ended not when the war started, but when it ended. 

So don’t ever be tricked into believing that so many argue — because they use this as an excuse, they say that when you’re in a depression or bad times the only thing that will get you out of the depression is a war. That is absolutely not true. Don’t ever listen to them because morally that’s evil and that is the wrong thing to ever try, because war is always a cost to the people.

– Ron Paul in this video

Top 10 reasons why vegan life is better

  1. You feel better physically after you eat.

    How do you feel an hour after eating a cheeseburger and an ice cream cone? Compare that with how you feel after a salad with fruit and nuts? Vegan food is generally lighter. You experience fewer incidences of “food coma” and a bloated stomach.
  2. You feel better emotionally after you eat.

    Most of us realize, at a partially conscious level, that an animal had to die if we’re eating meat. And most of us care at least a little, whether we openly admit it or not. So after a vegan meal, you experience a little less emotional and cognitive dissonance.

    Why vegan and not just vegetarian? You might want to consider  the truth about what happens to dairy animals.
  3. You feel better intellectually after you eat.

    Well, assuming you know some things about the environmental impact of animal agriculture (including dairy farming!), when you eat vegan meals you know you’re doing something dramatically good for the world.
  4. You feel better energetically after you eat.

    This one might be a little far out for some to understand. But basically, when you eat animals you’re also consuming the energy of that animal. And typically, that energy is suffering, misery, and anguish, caused by their treatment as the mere property of a farmer or corporation. When you eat the animal, you are making that energy a part of yourself.
  5. Vegan you feels healthier.

    Animal foods are not necessary for health, and in fact they cause a lot of problems, especially when consumed at such high levels as has become standard. A well-balanced vegan diet, consisting of mostly whole plant foods and not too much processed junk, and paying attention to a couple basic health ground rules (such as supplementing vitamin b12), is a great way to maintain a healthy weight, a healthy immune system, and tons of energy.

  6. Vegan you is healthier.

    Think you need meat for protein? Think again. In fact, animal protein has been linked to increased risks of diabetes, some cancers, osteoporosis, and a host of other diseases of affluence. Think you need milk for calcium? Again, it’s a myth. Worried about heart disease? Not on a plant-based diet. In fact, it may be reversable by going vegan. Ever heard of trans fats? They’re in both meat and dairy, and they’re avoidable on a healthy plant-based diet. The jury is still out on whether vegans live longer, but it’s safe to say that you probably will be happier in your old age without a disease of affluence.

  7. Vegan you is nicer.

    Being nice to the innocent animals is a strong step towards better understanding human relationships. When you’re in the habit of shutting down thoughts about where your food comes from, it’s difficult to be sensitive to the full impact of your words and deeds as they affect those around you. By going vegan, you can begin to relax into being nice — it just comes naturally.
  8. Vegan you is more sensitive.

    Once you’ve gone vegan, you may begin to open up to a more compassionate side of yourself. Soon you may find this goes beyond compassion towards animals, and you feel more compassionate towards your fellow humans as well. This is big. I’m talking about world peace here.
  9. Vegan you is smarter.

    That’s right. I said smarter. When you’re blocking out certain thoughts because they’re uncomfortable—say, the ones about where your food comes from— you are actively suppressing a part of your mind’s natural ability to think. Remove the blockade, and you can think more creatively and clearly.
  10. Vegan you is happier.

    Once you’ve opened the door to your compassion, you’ve begun to allow yourself to feel. Feeling is the process of experiencing your emotions. The more you let yourself experience all your emotions, the greater your capacity for experiencing each one is. In this way, allowing yourself to feel seemingly “subtle” (or repressed) compassion increases your capacity for joy. This aspect is difficult to understand except by experiencing it. Why not give it a try? (or perhaps you prefer the Oprah version)

On not taking sides

I’ve donated to Ron Paul, and now I get letters all the time from right-wing organizations asking for money.

The latest one is Judicial Watch, some organization saying that we have to fight Obama’s “rampant corruption” and “compulsive secrecy”.. which rings some bells related to the Bush administration, but they certainly don’t mention that.

I guess they’re playing off people’s pre-programmed fears, ones that were implanted from years of veg’ing in front of the TV.

But these organizations don’t comprehend me at all, so their battle cries don’t begin to reach me. To me, the Ron Paul movement isn’t about Right vs Left, and it’s certainly not about “ousting Obama at all costs”, an attitude which by definition leads to sacrificing everything you stand for. It’s not even about winning an election, or having political power.

It’s about reshaping the conception of government. It’s about remembering that government serves the people, not the other way around. It’s about being humble enough to speak out for the truth, whether or not it agrees with one’s own political “profile”. In fact, if Ron Paul weren’t willing to call out the massively erroneous and hypocritical record of the Republican party, I wouldn’t support him.

In spite of what it may look like to these right wing organizations, I’m not a republican (or democrat), conservative (or liberal), on the right (or the left); I’m beyond even a “libertarian” at this point.

So many of these organizations want to make it out like Us vs Them. Our team versus theirs. Blue vs Red. A horse-race. Or an “epic struggle”. Whatever.

I won’t take sides, because I have no enemies; I have only friends. We’re all on the same team, we all ultimately want the same things; the challenge is not to win power, or even change people’s minds.. but to uncover the truth, to reveal how we’re all on the same page in the first place.

the source

In touch with the source of things
I know who wrote the laws of physics
we rewrite them together every day
To walk on water is no great thing
I eat rainbows for breakfast

If I awake tomorrow
to three suns
and penguins climbing purple trees outside
If I sit by a life-sized grasshopper with antlers
and bathe in liquid uranium
before retiring between the 4th and 5th dimensions
It would be a day like every other

today is Consititution day!

Today, September 17th, is Constitution Day. So I decided to read the Constitution! Go figure.

I was reading through Article 2 (that’s the part about the executive branch of government — the presidency), and all of a sudden I got to the end. I was like “what, that’s it?!” Indeed, there’s relatively little written about the presidency, and the powers enumerated are quite restrictive.

Here’s the abbreviated version of Article 2:

Section 1. There’s a President. He gets elected, he gets paid, and he swears to uphold the Constitution.

Section 2. He’s in charge of the army, he gets to pardon people and make treaties with Senate consent. He also appoints Senators to fill vacancies.

Section 3. He is a congressional cheerleader: he delivers the State of the Union, and makes policy recommendations. He executes the laws that Congress wrote.

Section 4. He can be impeached.

And that’s it!

So during presidential debates, all this talk about this policy and that policy (“here’s how I’ll fix health care!”), running the economy (“check out my business credentials!”), and starting wars (“I’ll make the world safe for democracy!”); all this talk is fluff in light of the actual powers of the Constitution. The president gets to cheerlead Congress on policy, but other than that he only has the right to enforce the laws that already exist.

So like, if you haven’t read the Constitution recently, you might give it a read. It’s really quite short and accessible.

Edit: Whoops! I forgot article 1, section 7: the president gets to veto laws.

What’s at the intersection of vegan, yoga, and political liberty?

In a word: ahimsa.

Ahimsa is the principle of non-violence towards all living things. Adopting a vegan diet and lifestyle is one of the strongest statements of ahimsa a person can make, wherein one refuses to participate in any action which is connected to violence towards a living being.

Not all yogis are vegan. However, those that are not tend to gloss over the teaching of ahimsa, or insist (incorrectly) that adopting a vegan diet would be himsa (harmful) towards oneself. One prominent school of yoga that puts forth veganism as the true statement of ahimsa is the Jivamukti school. Many others gloss over or do not understand the immense suffering caused by the dairy industry, and so recommend a vegetarian diet that includes milk.

Ron Paul is apparently not a vegan. However, he understands the principle of ahimsa, at least as it applies to politics:

One rule you have to follow: and that is, in order to make the world a better place, you have to reject the notion that you use violence and force to do it. You have to do it through persuasion. If we want to change the world, if we want to change the Middle East, if we want to change Africa, you do it by spreading ideas and through persuasion. But the most important thing we do is do our job here, set an example, so others would want to emulate us, and that should be our [goal].

 – Ron Paul (from this video)

There’s a reason for all this. It’s not just because somebody handed down the rule of ahimsa from on high. The reason to follow ahimsa is because it works. In the realm of politics, if you try to make the world a better place by force and occupying other countries, you get the “blowback” effect, namely, you create resentment and anger towards the occupying country. In the realm of inner peace and meditation practice, you cannot find peace on the inside without living peacefully on the outside, i.e. a vegan lifestyle.