Friday, June 17, 2011

Ayn Rand Opposed Ronald Reagan Because He Was Anti-Choice

Oh Sweet Tap Dancing Jesus.

Hat tip to DangerousMinds.Net:
"I urge you, as emphatically as I can, not to support the candidacy of Ronald Reagan. I urge you not to work for or advocate his nomination, and not to vote for him. My reasons are as follows: Mr. Reagan is not a champion of capitalism, but a conservative in the worst sense of that word—i.e., an advocate of a mixed economy with government controls slanted in favor of business rather than labor (which, philosophically, is as untenable a position as one could choose—see Fred Kinnan in Atlas Shrugged, pp. 541-2). This description applies in various degrees to most Republican politicians, but most of them preserve some respect for the rights of the individual. Mr. Reagan does not: he opposes the right to abortion."
Ayn Rand, November, 1975
Go to DangerousMinds.Net. There's more. Srsly:
Ayn Rand Absolutely Hated Ronald Reagan

Soyolmaa Davaakhuu: Amazing Mongolian Woman Artist

Recently I was looking around for images of the Hindu/Buddhist Goddess Kurukulla, and I came upon the website of the amazing Mongolian artist Soyolmaa Davaakhuu. Wow.

Prints of her gorgeous paintings are available for sale at her ImageKind website (linked to above). In addition, she has also published a book, Deep Knowing: A Woman's Journey in the Buddha Dharma Reflected in the Art of Soyolmaa Davaakhuu. (Scroll down to see a 6 minute video based on the book.)

The following biography is taken directly from her website (linked to above):
Soyolma Davaakhuu’s parents were prominent artists under the Communist regime, who managed to keep their Mongolian cultural and Buddhist art heritage alive to pass on to their talented daughter. Soyolma attended the Ulaan Baatar Fine Arts College and the University of Arts and Culture in Ulaan Baatar, both of which she graduated with honors. She has worked as a professional artist since her graduation in 1998 and has participated in dozens of exhibitions in Mongolia and abroad.

In 2008, Soyolma was named Female Artist of the Year by the Union of Mongolian Artists. The award is especially coveted because the recipient is chosen by the greatest artists in the country.

Soyolma is known for her eclectic approach which includes the traditional Mongolian Buddhist arts such as thangka painting, embroidery, appliqué, temple dance masks and costumes, etc., to contemporary urban expressionism.

Her work, from traditional to surreal, is always transformative, exploring themes of dreaming and awakening, the hidden and revealed, and more often than not, celebrates enlightenment manifest in feminine form.

And here is the description of the Goddess Kurkulla, also taken from the website (here is a link directly to the painting "Woman of Power", depicting the Goddess):
Kurukulle (Kurukulla) is translated in Tibetan as Rigiyedma meaning “She who is the cause of Knowledge”. She is also sometimes called Red Tara. She symbolizes desireless desire and the ability to achieve goals without attachment to outcomes. Her bow symbolizes the aiming for a goal and letting go. She is very popular in Tibetan folk magic as she is pre-eminently the Buddhist deity of enchantment and has the ability to bewitch other beings. Kurukulle may be called upon to exercise her powers of enchantment and bewitchment to subjugate evil spirits, demon and humans working against the welfare of humanity and spiritual evolution. She is often called upon at new beginnings such as the building of monastery, starting a business or other venture to subdue all forces that stands in the way. She represents empowerment of the feminine in a patriarchal milieu.

More than any other figure in the Buddhist pantheon, Kurukulle has becomes the Buddhist goddess of love and sex, corresponding to the Western goddess Venus. In this capability her flower-entwined bow and arrow serves as Cupid bow rather that the huntress Diana seeking a goal. According to the texts Kurukulle embodies perfect and alluring feminine form; she has a beautiful face and voluptuous body. She is red in color signifying enchantment and magnetism. She is single faced because she embodies non-dual wisdom beyond conventional distinctions of good and evil, and naked because she is unconditioned by discursive thoughts. She holds bow and arrow entwined with flowers because she can give rise to thoughts of desire in others minds. Her compassionate activity energetically manifests in both Samsara and Nirvana. She dances, and as she dances, she enchants and subjugates demon of ego. Most modern scholars believe Kurukulla originated in Uddiyana as a tribal goddess and because of her popularity became associated with the Bodhisattva Tara. She has also been adopted by Hinduism.

Southern Poverty Law Center: There They Go Again (On the SPLC's Nazi-Pagan Calumnies)

The Southern Poverty Law Center is often a good source of information on the worst of the worst of racist and would-be fascist groups in America. But the SPLC also has a sick obsession with the Big Lie that there is some connection between Nazism and Paganism. And in the most recent issue of their journal, Intelligence Report (Spring 2011 issue), they are at it again with an article titled "Former Neo-Nazi Explains ‘Esoteric Nazism’".

The article consists of a very brief (<1,000 words, even including the questions), and thoroughly superficial interview with Nathan Pett, a former member of the White Order of Thule, a group that only just barely ever existed, and that has been disbanded for over a decade.

The most important passage in this interview is the following:
"Let’s face it — the White Order of Thule had such a small amount of people. The chapter in Virginia was just Michael Lujan and a P.O. box. The same with me in Washington state. I was the only guy there. I had one or two people I knew who I tried to get interested, but it was so bizarre to most white supremacists to do the weird mix of philosophy. Most people just didn’t want to get into it, you know? It was so esoteric. People couldn’t understand what the hell it meant, including me."
The second most important thing about this article is that nothing is ever "explained" about so-called "Esoteric Nazism." Instead, Nathan Pett serves up a bizarre word salad that makes the Unabomber sound like Thomas freaking Jefferson. For example, we are told that the group was made up of "pseudo-intellectuals" who admired Nietzsche, Hitler ... and Joseph Stalin. This promotion of Stalin "as a good leader", Pett tells us, made it difficult for the WOT to be taken seriously by the other white nationalists! As to the supposedly "pagan" content of the WOT's ideology, Pett says that this amounted to a mixture of Christian mysticism, Theosophy and Greco-Roman Paganism, and that this made it difficult for the WOT to be taken seriously even by white nationalists who pose as "neopagans", because these tend to "obsessed with the Nordic thing."

Meanwhile, the main article in the same issue of the Intelligence Report is the SPLC's annual round up of violent right-wing yahoos: The Year in Hate and Extremism, 2010. The focus of this overview is on nativist/anti-immigrant and "Patriot" groups. There is no mention anywhere of groups that promote any kind of Paganism or Heathenism.

It is no secret that there is only one religion that has always been and always will be intimately associated with racist and neo-fascist groups in America, and that religion is Christianity. Christianity is the religion of the Ku Klux Klan, and it was the religion of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party. It is also the religion of the overwhelming majority of those most active in the nativist and "Patriot" movements. It is also the religion of the Tea Party, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann, etc.

So why does the SPLC continue with this pattern of misinformation and slanders against Paganism? At least part of the answer seems to be that the SPLC is to a great extent run by a single person, Mark Potok, who has some kind of personal vendetta against Paganism. In 2006 Potok was widely quoted (in USA Today and elsewhere) describing Paganism as "a theology that celebrates raw physical power and domination." For that reason, Potok said the kind of person who is drawn to Paganism is "a white man who is looking for justification for extreme violence, who is looking for an ideology which explains why he should be the boss." (Apparently, Potok has never read the Bible or the Quran, if he thinks that a "white man" has to turn to Paganism to find such a "theology"!)

The SPLC has in the past been criticized for it's bigoted Pagan-bashing by prominent Heathens and Pagans including Chas Clifton, Jason Pitzl-Waters, and Dave Haxton. Lets hope that this most recent episode will elicit a similar response.

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