I know I am but what are you?

image

“All religions are equally false and equally true, depending on how you use them. You can use them in the service of the ego, or you can use them in the service of the Truth. If you believe only your religion is the Truth, you are using it in the service of the ego. Used in such a way, religion becomes ideology and creates an illusory sense of superiority as well as division and conflict between people. In the service of the Truth, religious teachings represent signposts or maps left behind by awakened humans to assist you in spiritual awakening, that is to say, in becoming free of identification with form.”

On the heels of Hobby Lobby, Jewish Deli owners follow soup.

When discussing Obamacare, Joshua Flickenstein, the owner of J’s Deli said, “We are tired of Obamacare forcing us to pay for heart disease treatment and medication to employees who eat bacon for breakfast, lunch, or whatever.”  People in the Jewish community are getting really frustrated about the new healthcare law also known as Obamacare.  The complaints are numerous especially among tea party conservatives.  Mr. Flickenstein went on to say, “Ever since Obamacare started they built several new Wendy’s restaurants near my deli. Some of my employees have been whorishly sneaking around at eating Baconators for lunch.”  Mr. Flickenstein said his concern is how he can afford to pay for heart transplants for all the people that work for him.  “The best part of running a restaurant is paying my employees 2.13 and hour and I still charge them 14.50 for a sandwich.”  He says that he doesn’t believe that people should eat bacon because it says not to (eat bacon) in the bible.  I asked him where in the bible it says that.  He casually tells me, as he places two soup bowls down on the table, that he doesn’t know where it says that, but that is what his Grandma Ruth has always told him that’s what it (the bible) says.  He tells me that the soup is his Nana’s famous vegetable soup and has secret ingredients.  Mr. Flickenstein laments, “I am afraid that with all the changes and Obamacare that will no longer be able serve Nana’s vegetable soup.  They are forcing bacon and communism on us as a people.  Why should I pay for heart surgery and all that?”  Mr. Flickenstien is afraid after 20 years of business he will be forced to close his doors forever.  “The Baconators are too much fat and cholesterol and even the Son of a Baconator isn’t that much better.  It isn’t fair,” he continued.  “Hopefully, Hobby Lobby will win in the Supreme Court.  I want to travel to the courthouse wearing my ‘Eat Mor Matzah Balls’ T-shirt for the verdict.”  Well, we will just have to wait and see.  Stay tuned.

Take the Money and Run

the dukes of moral hazzard

Republicans and Democrats alike have backed the same failed materialist techno-narcissistic pro-corporate PR-machine policies with “growth at all costs,” debilitating rational selfishness, and a nefarious embracing of a Dukes-of-moral-Hazzard business model.  Ethics, behind closed doors, is something you flush down the toilet along with your brains.  The whole machine will eventually grind to a halt.  It is going to happen piece by piece rather than a big spectacular Hollywood style explosion.

Banksters.

Eric Holder said, “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy…”

SAY WHAT?

We can’t prosecute Too Big To Fail Jail institutions even though they broke the law.   Matt Taibbi writing about HSBC sated, “For at least half a decade, the storied British colonial banking power helped to wash hundreds of millions of dollars for drug mobs, including Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, suspected in tens of thousands of murders just in the past 10 years…The bank also moved money for organizations linked to Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, and for Russian gangsters; helped countries like Iran, the Sudan and North Korea evade sanctions; and, in between helping murderers and terrorists and rogue states, aided countless common tax cheats in hiding their cash.”  He also notes, “Yes, they issued a fine – $1.9 billion, or about five weeks’ profit – but they didn’t extract so much as one dollar or one day in jail from any individual, despite a decade of stupefying abuses.”

This should be the new definition of insanity.

Chase and the London Whale.  UBS and Libor Scandal.  Corzine and the MFGlobal scandal.  The Raj Rajaratnam scandal.  Goldman Sachs thinks everyone but themselves are “muppets” that they can knowingly sell garbage to.  And on and on.   There isn’t one single adult running the system.  These are the largest subsidies in the world and people are complaining that someone bought junk food with food-stamps.  You would go to jail longer for stealing a couple boxes of Tide from Wal-mart than people who have screwed around with trillions of dollars and millions of people’s lives.  I guess the Steve Miller Band is right, we’ve got nothing better to do.

This here’s a story about Billy Joe and Bobbie Sue
Two young lovers with nothin’ better to do
Than sit around the house, get high, and watch the tube
And here is what happened when they decided to cut loose

They headed down to, ooh, old El Paso
That’s where they ran into a great big hassle
Billy Joe shot a man while robbing his castle
Bobbie Sue took the money and run
Go on take the money and run

SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Only in America

logic

Logic?  Who needs logic when you have an assault rifle pointed at everyone’s head?  I just don’t see why there can’t be more research done on violence, especially with guns.  The NRA released a video calling Obama a hypocrite for having Secret Service guard his daughters at school. Why shouldn’t the PRESIDENT of the United States have Secret Service guarding his daughters?   Just because the President has gun toting Secret Service protection then everyone else should too because that would be fair?  I’m not sure that you can fight ignorant behavior with more ignorance or fight gun violence with more guns.  Only in America can you drive down to Wal-Mart in your over-sized pick-up and park in a sea of asphalt to buy an 18 pack of beer, a semi-automatic rifle, and a set of plastic NASCAR mugs made in China.  Where is the logic in that?

There certainly are reasons to be concerned that Washington is taking more and more steps to limit freedom.  The debate needs to framed logically and not with the tough guy act of prying weapons from someone’s cold dead hands.  Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People by shooting them with a gun.  Some people think the Government should register guns.  Probably not going to happen anytime soon.  Some people think the Government should register “stupid people.”  The Government has already done that and they have given them a number.  I think it is called a Social Security number.  One way or another and at one time or another we would all make that list.  Just because a person has something to make them feel more in control than they really are doesn’t make it so.  A wise man can admit there is much that he does not know and does not need to fear death so much that he forgets to live.  That is the only thing that is certain in this world.  SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Let’s Play Pretend

Band-aids.  The fight over taxes is really full of ABSURD arguments.  However, it seems that we just like to fight about entitlements, redistribution, and lack of fairness which all seem to be symptoms of a larger disease.  Let’s not attempt to treat the disease, but put band-aids with Cartoon characters on the symptoms, like we are all still nine.   Let’s ignore that people pay towards all that God-Forsaken concrete and asphalt out there with gas taxes and that the young pay social security taxes for the old.  Let’s ignore our reliance on energy companies and utilities to provide gas, water, heat, and electricity – and those taxes.  Let’s ignore that a single mother might be raising two children on a teacher’s salary of less than 50k a year and has to pay for ALL of these things on top of her mortgage or rent.  Let’s forget about the taxes she pays when buying necessities – like backpacks, books, and clothes – for her children.  Let’s also ignore the fact that no one is doing anything to address the schemes and rackets going on within the financial system and inflationary taxes.  Certainly, let’s play pretend the steering system is NOT broken and hand out boxes of band-aids.

Responsibility?  Any politician who lays out specific goals and then will pledge to give all the money he or she made back to the Government or a Charity and then only accepts minimum wage for their services – if they fail to accomplish those goals – would deserve my vote.  You can call it leadership, “individual” responsibility, or just plain patriotic.  There is NO POSSIBLE WAY that blaming failure on “The other side of the aisle” is going to solve anything.  SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Rule #12 If you’re in a hole, stop digging!

The “news” is reporting that college grads are having a very hard time finding work.  They say that about half will not find jobs or will end up under-employed.

“Everyone tells you what’s good for you. They don’t want you to find your own answers. They want you to believe theirs.”

Other generations, especially Boomers, were “lucky” to have been working in the largest period of growth in history due to cheap and abundant energy.  It will be very tough to listen to the advice of older generations because they do not know how to deal with decline or slower growth because of the inevitable rise of energy costs.  Why? Because EVERYTHING costs more.  More to grow, more to make, more to ship, more to build.  The “wise” will learn to find happiness and it most likely won’t be as superficial as their parents.  This CAN be done and, in fact, it is probably much easier than that college biology class that you took.  Just be sure that if you are digging a hole try not to dig yourself in deeper by listening to crappy advice.  SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Deciphering HR Buzzwords

Many people are asking, “I am currently looking for a job and I am having trouble deciphering what the HR psychobabble means on the application,” can you help me out?

Sure, Astrid, the Square Root of Zero Intern, would love to help you out by offering you excellent advice:

Must be willing to work in a FAST-PACED environment:

We will not take the time to train you.

Must be DEADLINE ORIENTED:

You will be 9 months behind after your second day in the office.

Looking for a candidate with AN EYE FOR DETAIL:

Quality control? What quality control? In other words, you will need to take the blame for their crappy product or service.

Excellent COMMUNICATION SKILLS:

The management communicates to you in a cryptic and vague manner because they pretend to be “too busy” to give you all the “details” and, you, will need to decode.  You know, like the Da Vinci code?

Candidate will provide VARIOUS OFFICE DUTIES as necessitated by the management:

Pretty much, anyone can boss you around for their own particular satisfaction and laugh about you when they are pretending to be holding important “planning” meetings.

Ya!? Always happy to help. Love you! xoxoxo Astrid

Lost! Please Help

Print and post!  Ten easy steps to success.

Step 1.  Print multiple copies of the above graphic (legal size recommended).

Step 2. Ask the I.T. department how to print on legal sized paper.

Step 3.  Hit yourself on the head for not knowing how to print on legal sized paper.

Step 4.  Borrow or steal a staple gun or stapler.

Step 5.  Go outside.

Step 6.  Take a minute to let your eyes adjust from staring at a computer screen.

Step 7. Place the paper against an object made of wood with one hand and with the other hand use the stapler to attach it.  Hit yourself on the head if you don’t know how to use a stapler.

Step 8.  If you forgot to move your hand and stapled yourself, hit yourself in the head with the stapler.

Step 9. Step back and admire your work.

Step 10. Run away before someone catches you.

That’s it!  Now forward it to your friends so they can help.  Just sit back, put your feet up on the desk and wait for a call.  If someone asks you what you are doing, just tell them you are waiting on a existential and metaphysical delivery from the G.O.D. because you are non compos mentis and have a really long row to hoe.  Assure them its all under control. SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Walking the Dogma

We humans make up our own beliefs, just like squirrels hide nuts.  It is part of our nature.  Each of us are the screenwriters for the dramatic story of me.   But, just like getting lost in a book or a movie we forget that it is all made up.  Unless you are God, or A God (depends on your religious dogma), then everything you are, or believe, is only half of the truth.  These half-truths and our failure to recognize them are what has become dogmatic knowledge.  What does it mean to be rich or poor?  Good or bad?  Who am I?  What is my political affiliation?  These are questions that we all get to make up the answers to.  If you wanted to believe in rational self interest then you could point to and quote Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.  But, believing in that as the highest philosophical point of Ayn Rand, and accepting it into your life, is just like taking a trip around the world, stopping halfway, and then going back home.  YES, you traveled the SAME distance as someone going ALL the way around the world, but you forgot the other HALF of the earth.  We make up our beliefs and find evidence to support it.  Life is a dance between objective and subjective.  Not knowing the difference is ignorance, or dogmatic knowledge.  It is a simple concept, yet most people can NOT do it wholeheartedly on a daily basis.  It is easy to say yet almost impossible to do.  It is these half-truths that are the reason for most of the conflict in the world.

“When I see that I am nothing, that is wisdom.  When I see that I am everything, that is love. My life is a movement between the two.”- Nisargadatta

The Copernican revolution turned science on it’s head.  No longer was the Earth the center of the Universe.  It is time for a Copernican revolution of our religious dogma.   What is God?  God is reality and truth.  Humans are subjective and illusory.  We are a part of nature, but unlike nature we have Free Will.  It is your own Free Will that puts a BIG dog on a leash and then drags you around, chasing squirrels.  SQUAREROOTOFZERO

My smartphone is smarter than your smartphone

My little smartphone.  E-mail, Internet, Texting, and POWER! in the palm of my hand.  I can bend the will of the World to my demands!  Oh, smartphone. How could I ever live with out you?  You tell me where to go. You tell me when to go.  Wonderful and smart little smartphone.  You wake me in the morning and play me a lullaby to sleep.  You play games with me when I’m bored and never leave my side.  You are like magic.  But cool magic, not like rabbit out of a hat magic.  Or when someone pulls a silver dollar out of your ear.  More like picking the winning lottery numbers magic.