Hindu Gods and Goddesses

Friday, June 26, 2009

Decided to post this rough mapping of a journey I endeavored to Northeast from Wyoming on a whim to find someone beautiful I once scarcely knew, then got prodded or led or subconsciously self-guided to trace with my further migrations an interesting pattern, as you can see below . . .

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In Defense of Women's Rights--Let Them Be Veiled If They Wanna

I have often heard self described feminists and bigoted people alike decrying the Muslim custom of adult females wearing burqas, i.e., loose covering clothing, head cover and veil.

While I would certainly agree that the compulsory wearing of a veil is an injustice, by the same token I can quite convincingly argue that for a woman to be forced to wear something covering her breasts is a similar injustice.

For many women of the Islamic faith, wearing a veil offers a sense of privacy and security and dignity.

The exceedingly intolerant attitude expressed by French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, as well as at least one notable Minister in Great Britain is indicative of how far this world has yet to go in terms of basic respect for the harmless choices of individuals who wish to express their faith.

Now as far as my own aesthetic is concerned, I can appreciate woman from fully covered to completely unclothed, and endeavor to maintain respect at all these levels.

Of course I am not inaccurately categorized as a hippie, and go to Gatherings and other such places where naked people walking down the pathway are a common sight, and without any indecencies and with complete respect involved.

Respect is of primal importance, for whatever category or gender of people in whatever state of dress or undress.

(1920's vintage photo)

So if a woman wishes to wear a burqa, or has a want to go naked, she ought to be allowed to do so, with respect expressed on both sides of the equation. Admittedly their are seemingly places where the later is not so safe, and also places where the former is not so safe--both indications of how far our world has to go till human dignity reaches its true potential.

(Woman bicycling in Iran)

Monday, June 22, 2009

China's Beats America in at Least one Environmental Policy

If you have been keeping up with my blog posts, you ought to know I have a big issue with plastic bags. Though I will admit to using (and then re-using) plastic bags to some small degree (as alternatives are generally unavailable here and I am exceedingly poor--I mostly use grocery bags for trash bags, and try to atone for this use of a major polluter by picking up Safeway or Walmart bags whenever I chance notice one dangling in a tree or floating by on its way to kill marine life), in general in our world they are a terrible pollutant, as the massive swirls of plastic trash in the Pacific attest.

Well, of all the nations to be a leader in anything environmental, China has banned these hazards to marine life and major non-biodegradable litter nuissance, and has reported a 66% decrease in the use of plastic bags!

For whatever can and should be said regarding China's excessive use of extremely polluting coal-fired power plants, at least they have made a move to eliminate one significant source of wildlife harming pollution by reducing the use of the plastic bag.


The Land's Circulatory System . . . Help Keep those Arteries Clean

The Yampa River in Colorado is in trouble--again!! Though once saved by the efforts of the Sierra Club and others who wish to see one of the western United States' last free flowing rivers remain free, once again mineral and farming interests are seeking to dam or divert this wonderful and beautiful (and rare) free-flowing river.

(Yampa River in Peril)

Though some of this nations rivers are in better shape than they were fifty years ago, as rivers on fire are not so common as they were in those days, their are still threats to the health and purity of this countries once pure and clean waterways.

(River on fire story)

Please write to the appropriate regulatory authorities and representatives to congress to save the Yampa, and to call for the restoration of our nations waters, as well as to pressure foreign governments to preserve and restore their rivers and lakes.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Contrast: Elections Stolen in US, A Few People Complain; Election Stolen in Iran . . .

I cannot help but notice the irony of the recent protests in Iran over fraud in their national election, in comparison to the relatively weak response here in the supposed land of the free when two presidential elections in a row were stolen (2000 & 2004).

In Iran, hundreds of thousands pour onto the streets to protest their fraudulent election . . .


And here in the states? A few cities had some small protests after the obvious frauds of the 2000 and 2004 elections, and at least one of these was brutally and illegally halted. Below, some footage of one of a few significant protests after the fraudulent 2000 presidential election. Police brutally arrest a number of Bard College students peacefully marching the day after.

Yeah, in comparison to many other places in this world these days, the United States is neither the land of the free nor the home of the brave . . . with a few exceptions.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Religion is one of those most contentious issues globally, an issue that spawns wars, and regardless of attempts to maintain otherwise in many increasingly (overtly) secular societies, religions are an underlying cause of a majority of largescale conflicts globally.

I was at one time a Christian minister--Southern Baptist. I found some semblance of community and some degree of friendship amongst those I came to know in the context of church life. Now I must add, these associations and friendships and community connections do not compare to the honest and true friendships I made over several years of wandering amongst hippie circuits, smoking bowls of nuggets or shwag with numerous "strangers" across the country, dancing ecstatically to jam bands, and spending time in the wilderness with dready-headed, mohawk sporting, flowy-skirt-wearing freaks and unshaven sexy hippie mommas. Nonetheless, at a time in my life when I was in need of friendship and support, some sort of spiritual impetus, etc., "conventional religion" provided a modicum of these things. It was whilst studying at a Baptist university, however, that I came to realize something didn't quite add up with the evangelical (or Christian in general) version of life and death. The Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions were all hiding something--their origins in the ancient religion of India (see posts entitled, "The Hidden Origins of the West" and "One, Two, Three, What Are We Fighting For?").

Another popular faith (especially these days), Buddhism, though not without many merits, is still wanting in my opinion. Though Buddism does not generally deny that the Buddhist religions stem from Sanatana Dharma ("eternal teachings"--the proper name for the "Hindu" religion(s)), Buddhism denies two tenets that I find quite primary: the belief in the eternal divinity present within each and every, आत्मन् Atman, and the belief in the supreme and abiding divine nature of existence and source of Being, ब्रह्मन् Brahman.

Native American religions--or at the least their peoples--can likewise be traced to a cultural source in India (see post entitled, "Maybe Columbus Was Right After All").

Though I suppose it doesn't necessarily follow that the source of most the other religions of the world is the "most true," my personal experiences and the historical facts both lead me to embrace various of the many traditions of India above any other set of religious beliefs.

The concept that Sanatana Dharma is universal, and is as much a science as a religion adds much weight to the merits of these most ancient abiding religious traditions of this world and others (if you believe the accounts of the vimanas--"flying machines of the gods" told of in the Vedas and various of the epics of India: see posts entitled "Ancient Nuclear War . . . Blasted Back to the Stone Age" and "Ancient Flight"). And the notion that the practice of right action (dharma) is more important than specific modes of worship or belief in dogmas is also one of the more appealing and abiding concepts of sanatana dharma. That Hinduism teaches ahimsa (non-violence) and to a greater degree than just about any other of those religions that teach the same, exhibits the practice of non-violence in everyday life adds much merit to the case for sanatana dharma. I should add that much of the teachings of India have been diluted by so many invasions, there are still core teachings that are the source of most of the other popular religions of this world.

I am not advocating that any of you readers "convert" to these practices, I would suggest doing yoga for mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing--oops! I guess I just advocated following sanatana dharma, for yoga (yoke, union) is the core of the teachings of sanatana dharma--returning to unity with the good divine Self.

Atman %{A} m. (variously derived fr. %{an} , to breathe ; %{at} , to move ; %{vA} , to blow ; cf. %{tma4n}) the breath RV. ; the soul , principle of life and sensation RV. AV. &c. ; the individual soul , self , abstract individual [e.g. %{Atma4n}] (Ved. loc.) %{dhatte} , or %{karoti} , `" he places in himself "' , makes his own TS. v S3Br. ; %{AtmanA@akarot} , `" he did it himself "' Ka1d. ; %{AtmanA@vi-yuj} , `" to lose one's life "' Mn. vii , 46 ; %{Atman} in the sg. is used as reflexive pronoun for all three persons and all three genders e.g. %{AtmAnaM@sA@hanti} , `" she strikes herself "' ; %{putram@AtmanaH@spRSTvA@nipetatuH} , `" they two having touched their son fell down "' R. ii , 64 , 28 ; [see also below s.v. %{AtmanA}] ; essence , nature , character , peculiarity (often ifc. e.g. %{karmA7tman} , &c.) RV. x , 97 , 11 , &c. ; the person or whole body considered as one and opposed to the separate members of the body VS. S3Br. ; the body Ragh. i , 14 Ra1matUp. ; (ifc.) `" the understanding , intellect , mind "' see %{naSTA7tman} , %{mandA7-} ; the highest personal principle of life , Brahma (cf. %{paramA7tman}) AV. x , 8 , 44 VS. xxxii , 11 S3Br. xiv , &c. ; effort L. ; (= %{dhRti}) firmness L. ; the sun L. ; fire L. ; a son L. ; [Old Germ. {a1tum} ; Angl. Sax. {oedhm} ; Mod. Germ. {Athem} , {Odem} ; Gk. $ , $ (?).] &42279[135 ,1]

brahman n. (lit. `" growth "' , `" expansion "' , `" evolution "' , `" development "' `" swelling of the spirit or soul "' , fr. 2. %{bRh}) pious effusion or utterance , outpouring of the heart in worshipping the gods , prayer RV. AV. VS. TS. ; the sacred word (as opp. to %{vAc} , the word of man) , the Veda , a sacred text , a text or Mantra used as a spell (forming a distinct class from the %{Rcas} , %{sAmAni} and %{yajUMSi} ; cf. %{brahma-veda}) RV. AV. Br. Mn. Pur. ; the Bra1hman2a portion of the Veda Mn. iv , 100 ; the sacred syllable Om Prab. , Sch , (cf. Mn. ii , 83) ; religious or spiritual knowledge (opp. to religious observances and bodily mortification such as %{tapas} &c.) AV. Br. Mn. R. ; holy life (esp. continence , chastity ; cf. %{brahma-carya}) S3ak.i , 24/25 S3am2k. Sarvad. ; (exceptionally treated as m.) the Brahma8 or one selfexistent impersonal Spirit , the one universal Soul (or one divine essence and source from which all created things emanate or with which they are identified and to which they return) , the Self-existent , the Absolute , the Eternal (not generally an object of worship but rather of meditation and-knowledge [738,1] ; also with %{jye4STha} , %{prathama-ja4} , %{svayo4m-bhu} , %{a-mUrta} , %{para} , %{paratara} , %{parama} , %{mahat} , %{sanAtana} , %{zAzvata} ; and = %{paramA7tman} , %{Atman} , %{adhyAtma} , %{pradhAna} , %{kSetra-jJa} , %{tattva}) AV. S3Br. Mn. MBh. &c. (IW. 9 , 83 &c ,) ; n. the class of men who are the repositories and communicators of sacred knowledge , the Bra1hmanical caste as a body (rarely an individual Bra1hman) AV. TS. VS. S3Br. Mn. BhP. ; food Naigh. ii , 7 ; wealth ib. 10 ; final emancipation L. ; m. (%{brahma4n}) , one who Prays , a devot or religious man , a Bra1hman who is a knower of Vedic texts or spells , one versed in sacred knowledge RV. &c. &c. [cf. Lat. , {fla1men}] ; N. of Br2ihas-pati (as the priest of the gods) RV. x , 141 , 3 ; one of the 4 principal priests or R2itvijas (the other three being the Hotr2i , Adhvaryu and Udga1tr2i ; the Brahman was the most learned of them and was required to know the 3 Vedas , to supervise the , sacrifice and to set right mistakes ; at a later period his functions were based especially on the Atharva-veda) RV. &c. &c. ; Brahma1 or the one impersonal universal Spirit manifested as a personal Creator and as the first of the triad of personal gods (= %{prajA-pati} q.v. ; he never appears to have become an object of general worship , though he has two temples in India see RTL. 555 &c. ; his wife is Sarasvati1 ib. 48) TBr. &c. &c , ; = %{brahmaNa@AyuH} , a lifetime of Brahma1 Pan5car. ; an inhabitant of Brahma1's heaven Ja1takam. ; the sun L. ; N. of S3iva Prab. Sch. ; the Veda (?) Pa1rGr2. ; the intellect (= %{buddhi}) Tattvas. ; N. of a star , $ Aurigae , Su1ryat. ; a partic. astron. Yoga L. ; N. of the 9th Muhu1rta L. ; (with Jainas) a partic. Kalpa Dharmas3. ; N. of the servant of the 10th Arhat of the present Avasarpin2i L. ; of a magician Ra1jat.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I sit down near the tracks near everyday, and though the emissions spewed from the top of the engines is not nearly so noxious as the old coal-burning trains, the pollution from diesel and gasoline engines are still amongst the largest sources of air pollution in the United States and worldwide. So I feel I must share a thought, a simple dream for a better world . . .

Imagine if the trains ran on algae-based biodiesel, and used vegetable-based hydraulic fluid and lubricants instead of toxic petroleum-based products . . .


Emission Type B100 (100% biodiesel) B20 (20% biodiesel blend)

Regulated Emissions

Total Unburned Hydrocarbons -67% -20% Carbon Monoxide -48% -12% Particulate Matter -47% -12% Nox +10% +2% to -2%
Non-Regulated Emissions Sulfates -100% -20%*
PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons)** -80% -13%
nPAH (nitrated PAH’s)** -90% -50%***
Ozone potential of speciated HC -50% -10%
* Estimated from B100 result
** Average reduction across all compounds measured
*** 2-nitroflourine results were within test method variability (more)

The ozone (smog) forming potential of biodiesel hydrocarbons is less than diesel fuel. The ozone forming potential of the speciated hydrocarbon emissions is 50 percent less than that measured for diesel fuel.

Sulfur emissions are essentially eliminated with pure biodiesel. The exhaust emissions of sulfur oxides and sulfates (major components of acid rain) from biodiesel are essentially eliminated compared to diesel.

Criteria pollutants are reduced with biodiesel use. Tests show the use of biodiesel in diesel engines results in substantial reductions of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter.

Emissions of nitrogen oxides stay the same or are slightly increased.

Carbon Monoxide -- The exhaust emissions of carbon monoxide (a poisonous gas) from biodiesel are on average 48 percent lower than carbon monoxide emissions from diesel.

Particulate Matter -- Breathing particulate has been shown to be a human health hazard. The exhaust emissions of particulate matter from biodiesel are about 47 percent lower than overall particulate matter emissions from diesel.

Hydrocarbons -- The exhaust emissions of total hydrocarbons (a contributing factor in the localized formation of smog and ozone) are on average 67 percent lower for biodiesel than diesel fuel.

Nitrogen Oxides -- NOx emissions from biodiesel increase or decrease depending on the engine family and testing procedures. NOx emissions (a contributing factor in the localized formation of smog and ozone) from pure (100%) biodiesel increase on average by 10 percent. However, biodiesel’s lack of sulfur allows the use of NOx control technologies that cannot be used with conventional diesel. Additionally, some companies have successfully developed additives to reduce Nox emissions in biodiesel blends.

Biodiesel reduces the health risks associated with petroleum diesel. Biodiesel emissions show decreased levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and nitrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (nPAH), which have been identified as potential cancer causing compounds. In Health Effects testing, PAH compounds were reduced by 75 to 85 percent, with the exception of benzo(a)anthracene, which was reduced by roughly 50 percent. Targeted nPAH compounds were also reduced dramatically with biodiesel, with 2-nitrofluorene and 1- nitropyrene reduced by 90 percent, and the rest of the nPAH compounds reduced to only trace levels
(mostly copied from http://www.biodiesel.org/pdf_files/fuelfactsheets/emissions.pdf, based on an abbreviated summary of the EPA's testing).

What if all the fuel used by so many diesel rigs and train engines were 50 or more percent less polluting than current petroleum based standard? And if most or all of the fluids (for hydraulic pumps, etc.) were vegetable-based, and nearly no concern as pollutants? Imagine non-toxic transportation!!

This would certainly be a move in the proper direction, as enough biodiesel from algae could be produced in a much smaller area than is currently directly impacted individually by the coal industry, grazing land, or the oil industry--which has in the last thirty years held leases for 229 million acres in the Western United States alone, compared to the 9.5 million acres that would be necessary to produce enough biodiesel to provide fuel for the entire transportation needs of this country, even if every gasoline car were replaced by a biodiesel burning vehicle!! (See previous post entitled "What Would It Take To Make Enough Algae-Based Biofuel To Supply All U.S. Vehicle Needs?")

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Television Toxic Waste

Today is the day millions of televisions become useless, and as a result millions of these will be thrown away, creating a toxic hazard that will leach lead and mercury and other poisons into the soil.

The Federal Government made the rule that forced the switch to digital from analog, thus making tons and tons of televisions with toxic materials obsolete (without the converter boxes). I have read that this had a great deal to do with big business profiting from the shift. Some manufacturers offered a voluntary "takeback" program to recycle the toxic shit in TVs, while others made no such effort (see link below for a related article on GreenBiz.com).


It is clear if the government is going to force this change that creates tons of toxic waste, it ought to be responsible for the recycling and appropriate management of this waste.

In the meantime, if people are going to enjoy the priviledge of technological gadgets, it is their responsibility to do their best to appropriately dispose of these items in a manner that will not harm the environment.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Henry Ford's Hemp Car


Yes indeed, the first to mass-produce automobiles developed a hemp car, built of hemp resin and wheat. Unfortunately, Ford was an anti-semite and Nazi sympathizer. This does not detract from the significance of the fact that America's first major automobile producer developed a prototype car made of the plant that may well be one of the most important factors in saving our forests, reducing dependence on petroleum, and helping create an environmentally friendly economy.

Hooray for hemp!!!
And yeah for marijuana, too!!!

FDA and Big Tobacco

The Food and Drug Administration has just been given the power to regulate tobacco, as well they should be. I just hope they use that power to deal with the real issue of what causes cancer in tobacco users. It is not anything intrinsic in the plant, and though some of the additives that some of the tobacco companies put in their products may be carcinogenic and should not be allowed, those may not be the most significant cause either. Indeed, according to research I have done, it seems the primary culprit is the RADIOACTIVE FERTILIZERS that are used on tobacco crops.

A few years ago, the assassination of a Russian journalist in England made the headlines. His assassins used the highly toxic and radioactive element Polonium to kill this vocal opponent to Putin and the Russian mafia. Upon reading an article or watching a news report about the nature of this poison (can't recall which), it was noted that the only means through which people are normally exposed to significant amounts of this element (which is actually present in miniscule trace amounts in most soils) is through tobacco use.

I did a bit further research and discovered that the Polonium gets into the tobacco by means of the phosphate fertilizers used on the tobacco crops, that is acquired from crushed apatite minerals (which makes rather lovely crystals, by the way).

As these fertilizers are applied to the soils, the tobacco plants absorb high levels, which are then transmitted to the tobacco user.

Polonium maintains high levels of Alpha radiation, which unlike the more familiar type of poisonous radiation, Gamma radiation, Alpha radiation cannot easily be absorbed through the skin. Once Alpha radiation gets into your system, however, it reeks extreme havoc, causing cancers at very small levels.

As it turns out, the tobacco industry knew about this hazardous chemical in the fifties when the use of such fertilizers was on the rise--and correspondingly, so were cancer rates among tobacco users. And though these companies have at their disposal the means to remove said toxic element from the fertilizers, they ceased any such endeavors because of the cost. Of course a simple and the correct solution would be to grow organic!!

Anyhow, I am not advocating that anyone pick up smoking--even of organic tobacco--except perhaps via the respectful and reverent Native American Indian tradition, which views tobacco use as sacred, and proscribes very specific rituals in the use of tobacco.

Even pure, organic tobacco may still cause emphazima, and as tobacco constricts blood flow, it can still contribute to heart attacks and strokes.

I am stating the fact that now that the FDA has the ability to regulate the production and distribution of tobacco, it is the responsibility of said agency to stop the use of these radioactive fertilizers on tobaccco . . . and for that matter, to stop the use of said fertilizers on FOOD!!!!!

Yet again, our ancestors had it right regarding plant production: LOCAL AND ORGANIC!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Don't Fence Me In . . .


Just read an NPR article on thier website that tells the plight of so many ungulates across the globe that are threatened by barbed-wire and other nuissances to the freedom to migrate (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105165068&ft=1&f=1025).

Here in Wyoming this becomes obvious once you see the rotting corpse of a pronghorn dangling from a barb on a cattle fence.

Though pronghorns (often called "antelope") can often slide under some fences, and are--despite common wisdom--sometimes able to jump barbed-wire fences (I've seen 'em do it), the proliferation of fences across the west, and across the world, are hindering the natural migrations of many species of animals, and thus endangering their existence.

If you've ever watched Dances With Wolves, you have some idea of the way of things across the Great Plains of America (Patala, the name the less damaging colonizers from India gave this land--see post, "Maybe Columbus Was Right After All . . ."). The great herds of Totanka (Lakota for "Bison") by the millions migrated across the expanse of the open prairie . . .


That is, until the cruel decimation of these great herds by the colonizers from Europe, as is illustrated by this photograph of a pile of bison skulls that I believe I recall was taken in or near Cheyenne.

[by the way, one aspect of the Dances With Wolves cut I am not at all fond of is the use of the rifle, though I must admit that as a child I used to fantasize about going back in time and stopping the white man by bringing the Native American Indians guns--not a very good idea, in retrospect]

Regarding the division of the Great Plains by so many fences, I recall a plan that was proposed a few years ago that suggested connecting the many smaller refuges across the Midwest, from Minnesota to Oklahoma (if I recall correctly), in a great refuge with corridors that would allow the restoration of a migratory route for the American Bison.

Regarding the issue of the continued menace of fence-building across the West, largely caused by the irresponsible fencing of subdivided ranches into "ranchettes," a simple solution is to restrict the use of wildlife harming fences on these properties that are usually about 40 acres.

To build a barbedwire fence or other wildlife obstacles every few hundred yards equals death to many creatures that used to roam freely across the expanse of the land.

Species across the globe are hindered by the irresponsible building of fences.

Please consider, and give a shit folks!! Write your legislators and contribute by whatever means you might to stop the decimation of the majesty of the great migrating herds across the globe.

If you gotta buy your little piece of land to live out in the peaceful prairie or majestic mountains, don't fence it, and build a natural house without the use of toxic and environmentally damaging materials. Someday, the house you build will fall to ruin, and if there is fiberglass and other non-biodegradable materials, these will become a hazard for wildlife and the environment generally in years to come.

Consider the impact of every aspect of your actions and edifices on the land and the animals who live there!! Do the research, and live with minimal impact!! And in fact, these perameters ought guide all our lifestyles, whether we live in the cities or out in the wilder lands of our beautiful world.