Friday, October 29, 2004

I-don't-know-whether-to-laugh-or-to-cry item

I couldn't copy and paste the picture, so please go here: and scroll down to : "2004's Scariest Halloween Costumes".

P.S. I'd probably cry.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Musical Interlude

Sorry about the lack of blogging (Who am I kidding? Nobody cares), due to my mother having to go to the hospital. I'll tell you about it in a later post. But for now, the Emimem video: Mosh

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Daily Buddhist Wisdom

If, in your course, you don't meet
Your equal, your better,
Then continue your course
There's no fellowship with fools.

Dhammapada, 6, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Monday, October 18, 2004

Thursday, October 14, 2004

This is getting exciting!!

Somebody posting a comment on Daily Kos ( mentioned that, being deaf and able to read lips, he/she saw Bush approaching Kerry at the end of the last debate and asking for a meeting. Of course, speculations ensued: may be Bush has a terrible disease [Bell's Palsy (half of his face was paralyzed and drooling during the debate)? Premature Senility (incoherence and forgetfulness)? Muscular dystrophy (Frequent falls)?] and he wants to drop out of the race and pass the mantle on to Kerry?

Or may be he just wants to have a beer with the Senator?

Anyway.... Every instalment of this Presidential campaign brings new exciting developments: Bush is postponing his annual medical exam until after the election! Bush is wired! Bush is dying of a mysterious illness!! Who needs to watch soap operas on TV when you can follow the Excellent Adventures of Bush and Kerry As The Campaign Turns. Tomorrow's episode: Bush's pregnant evil twin is stricken with amnesia!!!

How do you expect me to meditate with so much turmoil in my brain...

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Holding Up Your Half Of The Friggin' Sky

Quote from Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate for 2004:

'I'm sick and tired of men who are so incompetent that every time they feel the heat because women are challenging them, they have to check their genitalia to reassure themselves. I'm not interested in that part of the anatomy. The issues I'm dealing with require the utilisation of what's above the neck. If you don't have anything there, leave me alone.'
You go, girl!!

When the karmic chickens will come home to roost

L'information ci-après, trouvée sur le site de Josh Marshall est vraiment la goutte d'eau qui a fait déborder le vase qui s'est ensuite cassé sur le dos du chameau.

Les employés d'une compagnie privée d'inscription électorale, appelée Voters Outreach of America, ont rapporté que des centaines de fiches d'inscription ont été jetées à la poubelle dans le cadre d'une vaste campagne de fraude visant les Démocrates. Apparemment, après avoir fait remplir les fiches d'inscription, Voters Outreach of America ne gardent que les fiches des Républicains et déchirent et jettent à la poubelle les fiches signées par des Démocrates. Les citoyens dont les fiches ont été éliminées à leur insu ne pourront pas voter lorsqu'ils se présenteront aux bureaux de vote et risquent de ne pas pouvoir se ré-inscrire à temps.

J'essaye de me mettre à la place des Américains qui sont en faveur du Président Bush et qui, comme moi, peuvent lire tous les jours des témoignages de tricheries et autres mauvais coups organisés ou appuyés par le Parti républicain pour favoriser la ré-élection de leur candidat: promotion ou soutien financier de la candidature de Nader afin de diluer les votes en faveur des Démocrates, intimidation d'électeurs noirs supposément plus enclins à voter pour M. Kerry, manipulation des listes électorales pour éliminer les électeurs susceptibles d'avoir des tendances démocrates, etc... Est-ce qu'ils se sentent coupables par association? Ont-ils un peu honte de l'immoralité de leur parti? Quelle valeur peut présenter une victoire gagnée dans de telles conditions?

Je suppose que ces Américains sont dans la même situation que les enfants dont les parents sont des menteurs éhontés ou des escrocs sans scrupules. Déchirés entre leur loyauté pour leurs parents et leur malaise devant les agissements de ceux-ci, ils sont incapables de condamner les parents et si ceux-ci sont attaqués, ils les défendront becs et ongles, comme de beaux diables. Si, comme moi, vous avez assisté à la Convention du Parti républicain à New York, vous avez sûrement été frappé, comme moi, par la ferveur fanatique et quasi-religieuse des partisans. C'est au même mécanisme d'auto-hypnotisme qu'ont recours les enfants de criminels ou les femmes battues, pour ne pas avoir à faire face à une réalité qui les forcera à vivre avec leur vraie nature.

Evening chant:

Life and death are of supreme importance.
Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost.
Each of us should strive to awaken.
Awaken. Take heed, do not squander your life.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


During the first Presidential debate, Mr. Bush's weird outburst («Let me finish!») and odd eye movements have led to speculations that he was wired. A picture of his back showing a very noticeable rectangular bulge under his jacket has been circulating on the Internet, with no convincing explanations given by his Administration.

Now I don't know and I don't care whether or not Mr. Bush received outside help during the debate. What I notice though, in reading the comments on every site that talks about this issue, is this seemingly concerted effort to shut down any discussion about the matter.

Why can't we talk about this? It's not like the Republican campaign has been a paragon of honesty and fairplay. Why would the idea of them cheating be so unthinkable? On the contrary, considering Mr. Bush's well known verbal handicap, it would be remiss of his handlers not to find a way to help him out. One frequent argument presented to prove that he wasn't wired was that, if he had been, he would have been more articulate and won the debate. Of course, that's nonsense. All the help in the world is useless when the «helpee» is beyond help.

What is the purpose of the debates anyway? If it's a forum for the candidates to explain their positions, why can't they show up with fact sheets, diagrams and statistics to prove their points? If it's an opportunity for the candidates to demonstrate their debating skills, what have Toastmasters' skills got to do with good governance? In the end, I think the debates are just another form of beauty pageants. The candidates are judged on how «presidential» they look, the colour of their ties, their relative heights, how good they are at memorizing and reciting their policy powerpoint bullets, etc... And then the obligatory hugs from the beaming spouses. Urgh!

Somehow, this doesn't look like a very efficient way to choose the leader of the richest and most powerful country in the world.

Death or Cake?

I like to read the Open Democracy articles (, especially the debates between writers/thinkers from various cultures and their American counterparts (I think it's called the Letters to Americans Project). Today's debate is between an Iraqi woman, blogger and mother of three sons, Faiza Al-Araji, and an American man, Anthony Swofford, ex-US marine and author. Mentioning an anonymous American soldier who wrote to her friends about American soldiers driving through villages throwing candies to children and the good job they are doing in Iraq, Faiza Al-Araji wrote:
«How does this woman think? Her government bombed these villages, killing men,women, and children. Then she arrives, distributing candy to salve her conscience, and America’s. If I were in her shoes, surely I would have thought: to make these children happy, we should repair the water, electricity and sewage services. We should re-equip the school. The children’s future will not be brightened by driving past in a military vehicle and throwing candy!»

I'm sorry if I have to make more tiresome comparisons with Vietnam, where Americans soldiers could throw candies and chewing gums to children just as well as cut ears/penises off their parents to keep as souvenirs, but I seem to detect a trend here. To me, the two attitudes (death or cake) are manifestations of the same mentality, the same conviction that America has the paternal right and authority to decide for other countries whether they should be rewarded or punished, according to American criteria/interests. I do that to my young children and my dog, as well. I give them treats when I feel loving and I punish them when they do something I don't like. But a country is not a child nor a pet. Therein lies the misunderstanding.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Poetry Weekend

I'm feeling kinda lazy and lethargic today, so here are two poems to fill up this space. (Also because I think they're great...especially if you're reading them while listening to Etta James's Time After Time).

The first one is a limerick from the Rude Pundit (

The Debate In One Very Bad Limerick:
Last night, Bush had a little more fizz.
Iraq's not a mess, so he says.
He said, if he could,
He'd give us some wood,
But he's fucked us enough as it is.

The second is a haiku composed by my son Forty in honour of his favorite dish, the famous Saté spicy noodles from Ong Ca Can on Ste-Catherine Street in Montreal:

I have a strong itch
For a soup
Spicy like a bitch
I eat it and I

Have a great Thanksgiving long weekend!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Off the wagon

Josh Marshall is wondering why President Bush decided to postpone his annual physical until after the election (

Isn't it obvious? The President has been drinking and/or taking drugs again (consider his numerous falls and his weirder-than-usual incoherence when not reading from a prepared script). A physical exam would have revealed such a relapse.

Holding Up The Mirror

A long time ago, when I was still a very nervous beginner driver, I was caught in a traffic jam right in the middle of the city. I was stopped at a red light and even though the lights had changed a few times, because of the crowds of pedestrians crossing and jaywalking, I was not able to pass and was honked at by impatient drivers behind me. Finally, as the light turned yellow, the way was free for me to turn right, which I did, when suddenly a pedestrian on the sidewalk rapped on my window and started berating me for not stopping at the yellow light. By that time, the light has turned red again and the cars from the other side started rushing towards my car. Something snapped in me: I got out of my car and proceeded to curse and scream obscenities at the idiot who knocked on my window. By then, the traffic was hopelessly jammed, with my car stopped in the middle of the road blocking everybody, and me yelling and shaking my fist. Now, you have to understand that, normally, I am an extremely (even pathologically) shy person, but that day, as I stood in the middle of the intersection, facing the whole world honking and hurling racist insults at me, I was determined to die rather than back down. I was thinking: Let them lynch me, I will spit at them with my last breath. Finally a cop appeared and eventually, we all drove away. But even today, I have a hard time understanding what happened to me that day: what turned me from a mild-mannered mouse into a stubborn growling mad dog. The explanation, from a Buddhist perspective, is that, as I was being attacked from various sides, my insecurity led to anger and rage and I was prepared to die to protect my ego, i.e. something that has no independent reality. I'm sure that you have all witnessed cases of road rage, where a driver is all the more enraged as he/she is in the wrong. The wronger, the angrier.

All this came to my mind as I read this very interesting explanation by D.A. Blyler ( for Kerry's inability to turn the public opinion in his favor. According to that columnist, it's not that the American people are too stupid to see that Bush is an incompetent leader, it's because they don't like to be reminded by Kerry of what has been and is being done in their name.
"Far from causing people to admire him for his conscience and bravery for
speaking out, his truth-telling simply reminded them of their own failures of
conscience, their own inability to do the right thing when challenged, and that
Uncle Sam is not always a shining beacon of emancipation and moral clarity.
That’s not the kind of stuff that wins elections."
When a mirror is being held up to our face, forcing us to confront our own faults, most of us refuse to acknowledge that we have strayed from the Way. We end up hating the mirror.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Big Conference

I apologize to my faithful readers (Hah!) for the lack of blogging. I'm involved in a huge international conference that will last two weeks (one week of which I will be working the graveyard shift).

I even missed the weekly musical interlude... and I won't be able to go see Turandot, which is one of my all time favorite operas!! :-(

Like somebody recently said: this is hard work!