NSA Spying and I’ve Resumed My Buddhist Practice

Lord Buddha

I was going to go on a long rant regarding the House and the Senate both utterly failed, yet again, to represent the interests of the American people. Now, our sexist, racist, bigoted so-called “President” will sign it into law. The “it” being the extension of the NSA spying program. Instead of going off on that rant, I’ll just leave this link HERE and let you see for yourselves. I’ll instead focus this post on why I’m not going to rant about it.
I haven’t mentioned anything about it on the blog for several reasons, but now I’ll write about it a bit. I’ve picked up my Buddhist practice again. By again, I mean that I had stopped for a long time and looking back I can see the effect not practicing had on me and it wasn’t good. Now that I’m practicing again I feel better. It’s no miracle cure

I Should Be A Hermit Because I Don’t Understand The Rules

The Hermit

Why do psychiatrists charge so much? It’s not a rhetorical question. I’d really like to know. I could understand it better if they actually did or told you something that was new or life-changing, but (in my experience) they don’t. They only tell you what you already know. Perhaps now and then it’s something you’d never really thought about because it’s simply part of your “normal” but not everyone else’s. But even that is rare. They may phrase things differently to make you see something in a different way but it’s certainly not life-changing. No, they do what every other doctor does and simply throw drugs at you. Drugs that have horrendous side effects. Psychiatrists differ from psychologists in that they are doctors who can and do prescribe drugs but have also gone to school longer to study psychiatry. They tend to look at things a bit differently than psychologists.

Defeating GPS Tracking and Signal Triangulation

Spying

I was thinking about how smartphones can be some of the most sophisticated surveillance devices ever invented. What with built-in GPS, wireless signals that can easily pick out your location via triangulation, mobile “towers”, and so on, it’s no wonder that privacy is now something one has to work at to achieve now. Privacy is no longer something we can just take for granted any longer. Smartphones also come with built-in browsers that corporations use to track you across the Internet so they can target you with ads specific to your interests. I’ve heard so many people remark how they mentioned something in an email and suddenly they start seeing ads about that very thing. I’ve noticed this too. Then there’s the U.S. government’s mass surveillance program(s) that scoop up vast amounts of data about you every single day. Every phone call, every email, every text… anything you do with

Toxic People

Toxic People

I saw a tweet on Twitter today that really resonated with me. It was about removing toxic people from your life in order to allow yourself to be happier and healthier. A person doesn’t have to be violent, abusive, or anything extreme to qualify as toxic. Someone who simply doesn’t appreciate you regardless of how much you reach out would also qualify as toxic. If you’ve ever heard the excuse, “Sorry, I just haven’t had time…” over and over again then that’s a pretty obvious sign that the person making the excuse really means they don’t have time for you. There can be no denying the fact that people make time for those they care about. If you’ve reached out to someone time and again via calls, texts, emails… however you’ve reached out and they consistently fail to even acknowledge you then that is a person you should probably seriously

Online Privacy and Anonymity in an Age of Tracking

illegal spying

Due to the ongoing and completely inexcusable (not to mention illegal) government surveillance and its newer, sneakier, and nastier methods of carrying out said surveillance and attacking computers I have moved back to Linux. I used various distros of Linux and even some of the BSDs for decades until I got a shiny new laptop some time ago with Windows 10 on it and decided that I could ease up a bit on my demands regarding an OS and its security. Well, that’s over now. After using and getting to know Windows 10 I decided it couldn’t be relied upon for any real level of security, much less anonymity when I wanted it. Using a “flavor” (distro) of Linux won’t, in and of itself, protect you from most of the more sophisticated attacks and surveillance methods but it is a vast improvement over Windows. In order to achieve a reasonable

I Am A Survivor

Me in the Moonlight

“You are a survivor.” Those are the exact words one of my shrinks said to me years ago. I think the words hold truer now even more than when he spoke them. I have survived the deepest, darkest places of my psyche. I have survived headlong plunges into utter madness and clawing my way back up again. I survived the night I put a loaded, chambered .45 to my head, pushing it so hard against my head it hurt. I don’t know why I put the gun down but the fact is that I did. I survived plans to hang myself. I have survived motorcycle crashes, one of them serious. So, yes, I think the shrink was right. I am a survivor. But now I am trying to more than simply survive… I am trying to thrive.
Over the last few days something has changed within me. It is impossible to

Mental Discipline And Physical Fitness Are Good, The Federal Government Is Bad

fuck the government

—- I wanted to write about two completely different topics but couldn’t decide which to write about so I chose to write about both. So this is sort of a double post, two topics. —-
It’s been a long while since I’ve posted anything but if anyone is still reading I haven’t been idle. I’ve been learning a lot and trying to improve my life. I’m frequently astounded by the power of the mind. I’m also fascinated by the mind-body connection, for example, how assuming certain postures effects your mind/mental state. I’m not talking about yoga postures… just simple adjustments to the way you are holding your body. Like when feeling down or nervous people tend to hunch over. I’ve read this is an unconscious physical response to protect the heart, lungs and so on. But by keeping this posture one only perpetuates the problem causing it. If one changes posture,

Odin

I don’t know why but an experience I had some time ago has been on my mind a lot lately… like in an OCD sort of frequency. I have sleep apnea and sometimes it gets very bad. I don’t know why I have it other than it seems to run in my family. I don’t have a CPAP because you have to undergo a sleep test to get one and I don’t even have a quarter of the money those costs. Anyway, one night it got really bad, probably the worst it had ever been or has been since. It actually woke me up. I was trying to inhale but couldn’t and by the time I had woke up my oxygen level must have been pretty low because there was excruciating pain in my head and chest. I was beginning to panic because this was worse than any time before

Sudden Realization And Self Improvement

Choosing better

Within many meditative traditions “insights” are common, perhaps even the goal in some cases. The most well-known meditative traditions in the West are the myriad of Buddhist traditions and among them the top two most well-known, I would bet, are Zen and what is termed “Tibetan Buddhism”. The Buddhist traditions are not, however, the only game in town. Meditation has become so mainstream that it is being taught and practiced everywhere from the corporate world to the prison world. With good reason I might add because it works if done correctly and regularly. But it has also become so commercialized that words and phrases such as “mindfulness”, “being present”, “living in the moment” and so on have become mere caricatures of the wisdom they once pointed to. Whenever I see or read and advertisement using those words or phrases, or see an article with them in the title I catch

Religion, Spirituality, And Education As A Weapon

No clear answers

Ah, the topics of religion and spirituality. Things that are never far from my mind. I separate the two because I don’t believe they are the same. So many questions, so many years of study and research to find answers to those questions only to come up with more questions more difficult than the previous ones. I equate religion with dogma, ecclesiasticism, and hierarchy. Spirituality, on the other hand, is personal, healing, sustaining, and free of dogmatism. At least that’s the way I define and view the two. Every religion, without exception, has rules or dogma. Even those more recent on the religious landscape that claim to be free of all dogma while ironically proscribing one thing or another. Spirituality, as previously mentioned, is (at least to my mind) something profoundly personal and there is no hierarchy, priests, priestesses, or anyone else to tell you how you should think and