Through The Static

September 19, 2008

Oh, Bama! Nothing Beats Racism With Your Morning Box-O-Waffle Mix.

Filed under: Food,Idiots,Immigration,Missing Persons,Oh White People...,Politics,Race,WTF — bobbleheadedbob @ 7:31 am

Dammit.  Dammit, dammit, dammit.

The bobbLebot is not happy-eth.  Why?  Because the bobbLebot computes that this election is more than a little ridunKulous.  It’s a friggin circus!!!  We’ve got posterchild of feminism Moosey Lucy Goosey in one corner with the jabbity jabby Tina Fey/Amy Poehler skit in one corner, then we’ve got OWG, Rhetorical brilliance (and yes, that is con a capital ‘R’) with racist-arse buffoonery in the other.

This is not an election, this is made-for-TV!  But – alas… when has America last had a “free” election, anyway.  Que oxymoronic.  <– not cynical, but critical.

Anywho, this robot’s Achille’s heel tends to be, “RACISM?!  WTF??!!!” — and today’s case would be no different.  Oh, identity politics, what you have doneth to me!

BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.  Okay, the bobbLebot cannot help itself.  But… on the other side of the coin, the bobbLebot is ethically opposed to voting.  Besides, robots don’t have rights in this country anyway.

Move over, Aunt Jemima!  There’s a new mix in town!

mmm... thats sho good eatin

mmm... that's "sho good eatin'"

Meet Obama Waffles… with “change you can taste”.  Oh, but wait — it gets better.  Or so says Chip Berlet’s blog post:

The boxes of Obama Waffles for sale at the 2008 Values Voter Summit were certainly racist and offensive, and conference organizers did the right thing by shutting down the sales booth in their exhibit hall.

It was alternative journalists, including those working for Political Research Associates and People for the American Way, that first alerted the mainstream media to the offensive caricatures on the boxes with online posts from the conference.

This is what voting tastes like.

Patriotism at its finest.

Patriotism at its finest.

Now, why would Rev Wright be MISSING?

because hes running from the law or because he got caught up in a lynching

Southern Subtext: because he's running from the law or because he got caught up in a lynching

Dudes.  Racism can be offensive, racism can be completely moronic — and then there are times when racism is downright creepy.

Aaaaaaaand… the party doesn’t stop.

There is a side panel recipe for “Barry’s Bling Bling Waffle Ring” that features a “Recipe Rap” that begins with “Yo, B-rock here droppin’ waffle knowledge” with the rest of the ditty written in such an irritating White caricature of Black rap that even a White 1920s vaudeville blackface crooner would be embarrassed.


Open Border Fiesta Waffles!

Under the caricature of Obama as a Mexican, there is a recipe card for “Open Border Fiesta Waffles.” The recipe card depicts a perforated border between the U.S.A. and Mexico. The text under this says the “greatest danger of all is to allow walls to divide us”…The recipe card on the Obama Waffles box including ingredients such as goats milk and jalepeno peppers, and advises as a “Tip: While waiting for these zesty treats to invade your home, why not learn a foreign language.” The “Recommended Serving” is “4 or more illegal aliens.”

And the clincher’s just as dericious.



Though this blog post practically writes itself, there shall be commentary.  As minimal as it will be.

The strategy of not directly addressing race, or to keeping it to a bare minimum has been a brilliant strategy.  Why talk about race?  The ground crew on both sides and in the middle of this issue will do the work for them.  We’ve got Brown people talking about it, Yellow people talking about it — heck, we’ve even got White people talking about it… ALL THE TIME.

2 Reactions:

  • Yay!  We’ve got White people talking about race on major news outlets!
  • ::cringe:: We’ve got White people talking about race on major news outlets.

In any case, if that isn’t Change, this roboT don’t know what is.




  1. Did the mainstream media give this much coverage? I don’t recall hearing anything about it at all whenever I happened to be watching CNN.

    Why is the bobbLebot ethically opposed to voting?

    Comment by disciplepete — September 19, 2008 @ 9:10 am | Reply

  2. The interesting thing I find is that if it’s not reported on CNN, apparently, it didn’t happen. But if it is given coverage on a major news outlet, it DID, in fact, happen. This is the way we’re conditioned to discern between what is real and what isn’t. Isn’t that kinder disturbing?

    As for voting, there are a muLtitude of reasons why the bobbLebot is opposed to voting in this election.

    1) RoboTs don’t have rights!

    2) UntiL cyLons have been given citizenship status, there is no point.

    3) This really is, in its uLtimate, overarching aims, a one-party system. And ze bobbLebot does not meaneth it in a nihiListic way. Both candidates talk about the expansion of democracy like the expansion of a corporate entity. According to the CFR, “Sen. Obama (D-IL) has said the United States benefits from “the expansion of democracy,” and said democratic countries are “our best trading partners, our most valuable allies and the nations with which we share our deepest values.” also, “Obama has said he would “significantly increase” funding for the National Endowment for Democracy “and other nongovernmental organizations to support civic activists in repressive societies.”

    4) What does this mean, the “expansion of democracy”? How is democracy being defined as foreign policy of promise? If we look historically at what’s happened when we’ve tried to IMPOSE democracy upon other nations, the result has not ended favorably for those who have moved towards “democracy.” And I think I’ve explained in a previous post how democracy is an oxymoron and is fundamentally flawed. Demos + cracy = Mob RuLe. But how can a mob rule without “leaders”? If they are lead by “leaders,” where does the mob come in to rule? It just doesn’t work. It can’t work. So it literally doesn’t.

    5) One of the underlying false promises of democracy is freedom. So why aren’t the Iraqi people beside themselves with joy for all the FREEDOM we are RAMMING down their THROATS? What was wrong with the Vietnamese people who were DENYING the very DEMOCRACY we were trying to GIVE them? And, if they wouldn’t accept our gift, we would just have to have them receive it by FORCE. So benevolently violent are we, trying to save all these people from themselves.

    6) “Saving” is the other side of a victim mentality. It feeds the cult of victimhood and disallows one from making one’s own choices, from finding true autonomy, from being responsible for the Self. It fosters and breeds a codependency that isn’t healthy and always underscores that are White, Shining Light of American Love is unconditionally conditional. Playing the savior exacerbates the very problems it wants to solve.

    7) There is a difference between “saving” and “helping.”

    8) In this election, if the bobbLebot should chose to vote — why? Why?? A lot of this rhetoric of change is riding on a deep, overwhelming sense of dissatisfaction. We need a change, this sh*t is not cute. We need a person a someone to lead us to getting us out of this mess and we will expend all our free energy into getting this person elected so that he can lead us. Where is the autonomy in that? How are we taking responsibility for ourselves? Are we not investing energy in a relationship of codependence, so that this person can serve and protect us, just as we’ll serve and protect him in this election? Just about anyone who is awake is able to at least vaguely sense that this system does not work, that it is fundamentally broken. Why reform or fix what is broken? Instead of repair, why not create and invest energy in THAT?? Oh, cuz it’s too hard, it’ll take too long — NO. It will be too hard and take too long if only you believe it to be so. Not everything you wish will be as immediate or quick as patching on a Band-Aid.

    9) Even if I were to buy into the idea of the Animus, of Big Daddy – of giving my freedom away to a figure of authority (cuz freedom is never taken or snatched, it is always voluntarily given) – even THEN, there are a lot of issues I have problems with. I’ll just name one: he is an active member of the Council of Foreign Relations. Even in his rhetoric, he is friendly towards the idea of an eventual one world government in this formation of a New World Order. Novus Ordo SecLorum. And that really shivers me timbers.

    10) If I’m not for something, I see no point in wasting energy in being pro-Obama/anti-Obama, though I do get sucked in from time to time. My energy only feeds an entity I do not support. So I withdraw. So I decide not to participate. Ever play frisbee with a kid who didn’t want to play? I’m that kid. And that is my choice. It is not because I do not care. It is because I care that I choose not to vote. Sounds like a paradox, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t surprising when the foundation of this nation is run upon a platform of paradoxes.

    11) I am responsible for my choices, just as you are responsible for yours. This election will happen and this government will, in fact, CHANGE. I know this. And that is something this whole nation is moving towards, and hence, I am allowing it to happen – meaning I will not resist what is happening. Whatever is resisted persists.

    12) Besides, nothing outside me, nothing external, no leader will “save” me or this country. Because there is nothing to be saved. Because only victims need rescue. Because it is difficult, but well worth it, to try to work through victim consciousness to find Selfhood. To create the self. Instead of Being created, I am creating the Self. Because, when it comes to this, I know what it is that I want. And am in the process of making it happen.

    Comment by bobblebot — September 21, 2008 @ 8:59 am | Reply

  3. Thanx for explaining, that’s interesting. I see what you mean. I never believed Obama was some “power to the people” candidate or anything close to being revolutionary. I do think he would be less bad than McCain, so I may well vote for him, but it’s really a vote against John McCain. I think McCain is more likely to get us into more wars than Obama is, for one thing. So I’m really just picking the lesser of evils. But yeah, I am certainly not expecting some political candidate to be my messiah.

    Comment by disciplepete — September 21, 2008 @ 10:26 am | Reply

  4. Back in ’04 I voted for Kerry as the “lesser” of the 2 evils. But when I look back at that choice, it’s like… I’m looking at a dirty bathroom and I’m to choose between a dirty toothbrush or a filthy rag to clean it.

    Back then I thought I only had 2 choices, because I was given 2 choices. But in doing that, I give power to the people who put the toothbrush and the rag before me. Yes, I give it away. Because I end up accepting that I only have 2 choices.

    But if I think about it – hey, I have an old loofah that would work better. I don’t use it anymore. Wouldn’t it be better than the toothbrush and the dirty rag? Hey, I’ve got some vinegar and baking soda – that’ll eat away at the scum if I leave it to set overnight. That’ll make cleaning easier.

    See what I’m doing? The methods are unconventional, but more effective in cleaning up my filthy bathroom.

    Even if it takes me a little time to figure out how to clean out the bathroom, the choice to choose another way to clean it is a major initial step.

    I’m concerned because most of the rhetoric is geared toward people actually believing that Obama will save this nation. Maybe you’re not one of them, but most pro-Obama’s feel it and believe it.

    If McCain won, if Obama won – yes, both would create different futures, but one is not more utopic than the other. It’ll just be skewed more favorably in one instance and not so in another. It’s still an investment of energy in buying into an idea that government should and will and can take care of us.

    After Obama is elected, what will most of the voters do? Cheer? Then what? Hold him “accountable”? How many of them? And even then, with what force? A benign march? A trendy protest? A star-studded rally?

    This is not nihilism. This is realism. Because I do believe that when people wake up and see what they buy into, what’s happened to their city, their nation, their schools, when they haven’t paid attention, and truly understand that their vote buys is compliance – when they wake up and choose to choose for themselves, I do think they will find that they can move mountains with their consciousness.

    Knowing this, knowing the circus of it all, when faced with the responsibility for yourself and your choices, what will you choose for you?

    When it comes to this election, I don’t believe I only have 2 choices. Two small, plastic cups, each containing either a red pill or a blue pill. But I’m choosing neither. I’m choosing to stay awake so that my vision can stay clear and my mind can stay alert to the changes to come.

    Comment by bobblebot — September 23, 2008 @ 4:29 pm | Reply

  5. I see what you’re saying. I don’t think I voted in ’04, and in ’00 I think I voted third party. I can see the argument for not voting. I guess if you are strongly against the whole system, it makes some sense. I think, the way I see it, you really do only have two choices in this election. Either McCain or Obama will be president, and if one is better (no matter how slightly) than the other, then I think it makes sense to vote for the candidate who you believe is better. I guess a good argument can be made for voting third party as well.

    Let me give you a situation though, just to play devil’s advocate. Let’s say there was some issue at stake in this election which would immediately affect your life profoundly…like let’s pretend that if McCain got elected, you’d lose your house (I know it’s kinda absurd, but just for argument’s sake). Would you vote in that case? Or would you forgo voting in order to demonstrate your opposition to the whole process?

    Comment by disciplepete — September 23, 2008 @ 5:03 pm | Reply

  6. Exactly yes and exactly no.

    Yes, in the context of it being an election, there really are only 2 choices. But I don’t accept either one. I don’t want to “elect” anybody to be my leader. So I’m not participating.

    “Coke or Pepsi?”
    “I wanna smoothie.” <– goes off to make my own.

    The store only sells Coke or Pepsi. So I choose to not patronize the store.

    Even if there was a situation that you think would affect my life profoundly, I would not vote. Because I do not believe it has any control or power to affect my life. If I believe it will affect my life profoundly, then it will affect my life profoundly.

    Let’s take in mind that there is a profound difference between Life and Life Style. What is important to me is my life, but I do not fool myself into believing that my life style is my life. They are two totally different things. A picture of a brownie is not the same as an actual brownie… a warm, chocolatey, ooey gooey brownie… ::drools:: Mmmmm…. brownies…!

    ::shakes head::

    Anyway, I am not demonstrating opposition to the whole process.

    I’m just not participating in the whole process.

    Like – if there’s a lame party I don’t want to go to, I just won’t go. Choosing not to go doesn’t mean that I’m demonstrating opposition to the party. I think it’s lame, sure. I think it’s pointless, sure. But I’m not exerting energy in demonstrating with a picket sign outside the party or flooding a list serve on how lame it is and why other people shouldn’t go.

    Even in this conversation I’m not demonstrating opposition. You’re asking me questions, engaging me in a discussion – and I’m engaging back with you.

    To vote is to believe that it is the only way that you can exercise your Selfhood, your voice, your choice. And you can live by that belief… but isn’t it very limiting? Doesn’t it confine the scope of possibilities toward creating our own solutions?

    Why choose to perceive reality by only its limitations? What would happen if you stopped and really thought about how those limitations became a reality in your world?

    Nobody forced you to live a certain way or to participate a certain way. You, through your free will, chose to be in consensus to build your own reality. Any perceived loss of power is measured in how much you voluntarily gave away to someone else to oppress you into obedience.

    Am I saying to rebel? No. That’s just the other side of the coin. Rebellion doesn’t solve much – though it does indicate that you are awake to the fact that something is not right.

    When someone you admire says something like “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for” what does that mean to you?

    Really think about it.

    Is it calling for a rebellion? No. But it is calling for us to say NO when someone is crossing our boundaries.

    What is Change? Seriously, what IS it? If we ask for Change and Change alone, chances are that we will get Change in the form of Chaos. Because we haven’t specified what kind of change it is that we are asking for or that we are trying to create for ourselves.

    Comment by bobblebot — September 24, 2008 @ 11:27 am | Reply

  7. “Even if there was a situation that you think would affect my life profoundly, I would not vote. Because I do not believe it has any control or power to affect my life. If I believe it will affect my life profoundly, then it will affect my life profoundly.”

    That’s really interesting. So, to use my example, losing your house because of an election wouldn’t be a big deal?

    “Let’s take in mind that there is a profound difference between Life and Life Style. What is important to me is my life, but I do not fool myself into believing that my life style is my life.”

    Well, if I got screwed out of my house and ended up in worse off financial shape, I’d most likely end up working more and having less, which would not be too fun, and would affect my life negatively. Are you saying that whatever happens to you doesn’t matter? Why not be my slave then? It might affect your lifestyle, but not your life…if I properly understand what you’re saying.

    I mean that’s cool if you feel that way (if I understood it right), to each their own. I think nearly everyone would agree that the conditions in which you live your life are important, it’s interesting to see an exception to that (if I’m understanding you right).

    “To vote is to believe that it is the only way that you can exercise your Selfhood, your voice, your choice. And you can live by that belief… but isn’t it very limiting? Doesn’t it confine the scope of possibilities toward creating our own solutions?”

    I don’t agree. I don’t consider voting to have much to do with my selfhood. It has something to do with my voice and my choice, but I don’t see it as the only way I can exercise those things. There are some people who would fit what you’re saying, but I don’t think a blanket statement can be made about a voter’s beliefs.

    All that being said, would you consider going to the polls and writing me in on a ballot? =)

    Comment by disciplepete — September 24, 2008 @ 11:57 am | Reply

  8. Oy(L). MUST we debate again? Talking points on mis-clarifications? <– frustration

    “That’s really interesting. So, to use my example, losing your house because of an election wouldn’t be a big deal?”

    I’m saying that an election wouldn’t determine whether or not I would lose my house. Unless I believe it to be so. Does that make sense? If not, I shall clarify.

    As for life vs life style – what do you define as your life? Everyone defines life from their own viewpoint.

    Going to Whole Foods or buying a round of drinks at Sky Bar or going to Vegas for every body’s bachelor/bachelorette party is not a life to me. It’s a life style. Working more and having less – that is still a way in which to live your life. And it could affect your life negatively if you let it. That is your choice. And choosing to allow your choices to manifest into a reality is taking responsibility for that choice.

    Basically, for me, what a life is, is whatever it is that I do, think and create that gives it meaning to me.

    The idea that the entire future of a nation of peoples rides on the outcome of an election is ridiculous. It’s not real unless we make it real. The president has power over our selfhoods if only we give it to him.

    Any structures of government we are unhappy with, we created through our compliance.

    As for becoming your slave – I wouldn’t do that. Because it’s me voluntarily giving my power over to you. The crux of what I’m saying is I’m not giving my power over to have someone rule over me. So to become your slave makes no sense as to a decision I would willingly make.

    Some of us can be born into slavehood, yes. In a material sense. But our consciousness and selfhood belongs to ourselves and we only lose them if we obligingly do so.

    I was not making a blanket statement on voter’s beliefs. I was making an observation on what the act of voting entails. The grass is green. It’s an observation, not a blanket statement. You can quibble and say, “Well… not when it’s dead – then it’s brown” or “Actually, it’s more of a moss color in some area and more yellowish in others…” But that is beside the point.

    Anyway, you just happened to misunderstand my message. What might be helpful is to read it again, especially the parts that make you uncomfortable, and try to figure out what message I’m trying to impart. Not talking points, not what I literally “said,” but the overarching message.

    Also, when you say voting has nothing to do with your selfhood, I do wonder how it is that you define selfhood, just like how it is that you define life.

    Basically, power is given away, not taken or stolen. Perception of reality rides a lot on what you believe to be true.

    When I charge something, I believe this money is real. But are there actually stacks of bills sitting in vaults? Trillions upon trillions of them? What determines the value of a dollar and how far it goes? Isn’t it kind of ridiculous how much we can “buy” and “consume” and indebt ourselves via this imaginary value system?

    Presently, some people would consider me broke. As a grad student, I have incurred a lot of debt. If anything I have a lot less money than I had 2 years ago. And hence, I am not able to purchase material things the way I used to. Unless I want to take out more loans. I have to work harder for less money… if any money at all. As my current jobs as a writer don’t pay much if anything. I don’t hang out with even half as many people as I used to in California, I don’t go out even 1/10 of the time that I used to 1.5 years ago.

    All these things that we’ve been conditioned to believe should make us happy: a kickin social life, a bazillion friends, the cash to go out at your leisure, being able to buy the latest gadgetry, keep up with the current events, keep up with pop culture by dedicated at least 2 hours a day to TV, spend 2 hours on blogs for all that entertaining fluff and eye candy and information, having people call me up left and right — all of these things I have much, much less of at this moment. And yet I am much happier.

    My life is filled with so much more uncertainty than before. I have no idea what tomorrow or next year will bring. And yet I’m kind of excited for what’s to come.

    And all these really cool things started to happen when I plugged out of the external conditions of what my perceived happiness was and really learned for myself. Thought for myself. Lived for myself. Created myself.

    Not for Jeebus, not for the company, not for my professors.

    All these external things – I was Being created. Something else was creating the persona you saw and interacted with on facebook.

    And then came a day when I said NO. Partly because I was forced to, due to dire circumstances, but once I got my footing again, I was able to see things so much more clearly. Structures of power and how I give them power when I comply and obey and answer to an authority outside myself.

    I suppose in the end it’s about taking responsibility for the self and transcending a consciousness of victimhood.

    If you feel malaise in this message, if you feel that, at any point, there is an accusation aimed at you – then it’s a good indication that, before re-reading this post, it might do you some good to really look at your life and what you define is a life. Look at the self and what you define as the self.

    Do you define the self by your values and your personality? Because to me, that is not the self. That is the persona – the outward mask that you show everyone else. That’s not who you are, but who you are to others.

    Not to knock the persona. We need the persona to interact with the outside world.

    A little bit deeper than the persona is the ego. The office manager who protects you from feeling hurt or sorts out your emotions and tries to process what is healthiest to express in the external world. But even then, the ego is not the Self. It is not you.

    To get to yourself takes more work and takes confronting and learning from your uglier parts. I think Carl Jung termed them as shadow selves. But that’s another conversation.

    But yeah – what determines what you are? Who you are? What is your understanding of the self?

    When I’m speaking, it might be helpful to understand my understanding of the self. Because chances are, that I’m not using your definition. As the speaker, I’m utilizing my definitions. My understandings. Which is why quibbling is counterproductive. Asking what I mean when I say this or that — that is productive. But determining the wrongness or rightness of my assessment doesn’t really expand who you are or help you learn something new.

    There is something to be learned in everything if you are open to it. I could learn from you as well, but this whole discussion-that-turns-into-a-debate doesn’t help me learn from you. This “everybody’s right” doesn’t help me. “Well, that’s your opinion” doesn’t help either.

    I’m ready for my thoughts to tangle with other thoughts. But at the moment, I find my thoughts tangling with ideologies and conditioned behavioral responses. Damn this etiquette of liberalism! It gets us nowhere!

    Just say it. Spit it out. If you don’t get something, ask for clarification. “What did you mean when you said…?” or “When you say this, though, doesn’t it mean that…? Because in this context, it doesn’t make sense to me…”

    This is me communicating how I communicate and how I am most productive in discussions. If you’ve got your own guidelines or handicaps, let them be known as well.

    Comment by bobblebot — September 24, 2008 @ 2:52 pm | Reply

  9. Where exactly did I indicate that I wanted a debate? I must have missed that.

    Comment by disciplepete — September 24, 2008 @ 4:33 pm | Reply

  10. The structure of a debate is as such: topic. i say something. your turn, you rebut or challenge parts of my argument. my turn, I do the same.

    That’s a debate. It’s an assessment of what it is.

    And it was a debate that got off topic. I was talking about why voting doesn’t work for me, and you attempt to challenge that by talking about what if I lost my house.

    Which has nothing to do with the direction of my argument. Sounds like it, but it’s coming from a different direction.

    So I try to get back to the topic of voting and reclarify.

    And then you take that as an assessment that I wouldn’t care if I lost my house. Which had nothing to do with what I was talking about and at the same time is turning it into…

    Basically it became a debate of – well, would you vote if your house was at stake? I say – it doesn’t matter if my house is at stake because it has nothing to do with voting. I’m not voting. You say – so, you’re okay with losing your house, I gotcha.

    I want to move away from the house example because it’s got nothing to do with my point, but it keeps getting drawn back to that quibble, which is unproductive. And the act of quibbling being unproductive in itself.

    I don’t think you’ve indicated that you wanted a debate and I never said you wanted it. Wanting and doing are two different things. I did point out that it was becoming a debate. A statement of fact. I did point out that I did not wish to debate. A statement of intent.

    Perhaps this clarifies the issue. I hope so!

    Comment by bobblebot — September 24, 2008 @ 8:21 pm | Reply

  11. The house example…you say you won’t vote, that you’re ethically opposed to it. I propose a hypothetical situation where an election would impact you greatly, and asked if you would vote in it in that case. Umm…that situation has nothing to do with your opposition to voting? Really?

    Comment by disciplepete — September 24, 2008 @ 9:37 pm | Reply

  12. The thing is, it would only impact me greatly if I allowed it to. And the house is such a far-out-left-field example that it doesn’t relate to my opposition to voting. There is an underlying assumption that I perceive the election to greatly impact my life. But I don’t perceive it that way.

    To vote is to act in concert to and give my support and power to a larger cause. I recognize that. But the larger cause doesn’t vibe with me. Therefore, to vote would be to operate to a higher authority, to be under someone else’s sovereignty in this case.

    Some other entity wants to exert power over me by threatening to take away my home.

    But why acknowledge the bully? Why fight it? Whatever you resist persists. I’m withdrawing myself from that dynamic, thinking independently and manifesting something different.

    Going back to my analogy of the bathroom, what you are saying is, “Well, what if, if you didn’t choose the filthy rag or the toothbrush that someone would take your bathroom away from you?”

    That’s a totally different topic and has no direct correlation. It SOUNDS like it does, cuz it’s still talking about a bathroom, but it doesn’t.

    It’s like saying, “I want to pee.”

    “You want to pee.”

    “Yes, I think I’m going to go pee because I my bladder’s about to explode.”

    “Well, what if your bladder already exploded before you got to the bathroom?”



    What does my bladder exploding… have to do with… wha-what?

    It SOUNDS like it’s the same topic, because there are the key words of the bladder of exploding. But it’s a totally different direction. Does that make sense?

    So no, that situation has nothing to do with my choice not to vote. My choice not to vote has to do with my own sovereignty of the self. It has to do with me being responsible for myself. It has to do with not giving my power to someone outside of myself in hopes that someone else will save me or save my lifestyle. That is my choice. That is why I withdraw.

    You inputting the, “Well what if, if you don’t, someone will take your home from you?” — in a sense, “Well, what if, if you didn’t, someone took your power away from you?”

    I’m saying, no one can take my power away from me.

    I can only give it away.

    And I give it away by accepting that their threats are real, that there really are only 2 choices, that an outside ultimatum determines the quality of my life. But to do so is to operate from a place of fear. In fear, choices are limited, because in fear, you are operating under someone else’s authority.

    Power is not taken. It is willingly given. Once you understand that, you will be able to see that every time we feel powerless it is because we’ve given our power away. That means we’re responsible for our own feeling of powerlessness. That means we’re also responsible for taking it back.

    Some people feel uncomfortable with that concept because of the responsibility aspect. Because it means that we cannot blame it on big government or a dictator.

    On a slightly related note, it is a lot easier to accept when you see your life and direction as a multitude of possibilities instead of a jail of limitations. That there is more to life than just this lifetime. That we are only as mortal and only as weak as we believe ourselves to be. On the flip side, we are as immortal and powerful as we perceive ourselves to be.

    Comment by bobblebot — September 25, 2008 @ 7:41 am | Reply

  13. “The thing is, it would only impact me greatly if I allowed it to. And the house is such a far-out-left-field example that it doesn’t relate to my opposition to voting. There is an underlying assumption that I perceive the election to greatly impact my life. But I don’t perceive it that way.”

    Well, do you realize that the vast majority of people would agree that losing a house in an election would greatly impact their life? You are an exception. It doesn’t mean I’m asking absurd, out-of-left field questions. Maybe they are absurd from the vantage point of the worldview you subscribe to, but not to the one that I and the vast majority of people subscribe to. If I talked about dinosaurs to some creationist who believes the world is 4000-something years old, they would probably think I’m being absurd and out-of-left-field.

    “Power is not taken. It is willingly given. Once you understand that, you will be able to see that every time we feel powerless it is because we’ve given our power away. That means we’re responsible for our own feeling of powerlessness. That means we’re also responsible for taking it back.”

    Ok, well they passed a law in Cali saying we can’t talk on our cell phones while driving. Did I personally give them the power to make that law? Can I take the power back and repeal that law? Tell me how I can do that today.

    It seems like a pretty simplistic view of power that you’re subscribing to. Yes, we have a lot of power over our own lives and perceptions. To take that to an extreme, and say that we are the masters of the universe, that there is nobody or nothing that has power over us…I dunno about that. In a way, yes, no matter what happens, we are free to think what we want. But if laws are passed that strip me of my rights or my property, no, sorry, I didn’t give anyone that legislative and executive power, and I don’t think I should grin and bear it, I feel that it makes perfect sense to care and do what I can to challenge that. If grinning and bearing it equals power to you, then that’s great for you, but don’t dismiss the vast majority of the rest of us who care about more than just what’s happening in our consciousness.

    The view your taking seems like a dismissal of reality which is external to you, which doesn’t strike me as a viewpoint someone who felt empowered would subscribe to.

    Comment by disciplepete — September 25, 2008 @ 8:16 am | Reply

  14. I don’t see how this cannot be classified as a debate. You’re still attempting to engage me into choosing a choice I just would not simply make. ::shrugs::

    This isn’t something that really can be debated because we are not ascribing to the the same viewpoint from which even can be a straightforward debate. But I shall clarify some things that still appear unclear to you.

    There seems to be a tendency for you to mistake what I say and mean. When I say it is out of left field, I am saying it doesn’t relate. I am not calling you stupid or absurd or whatnot. I am saying it doesn’t correlate. Your question has nothing to do with what I’m talking about. That is my assessment. Does that mean your question is not valid? I never said that. Does that mean it’s absurd? Hmmm… Let’s just say that it doesn’t mean that your question is not without value. It’s not to say that your question is meaningless. But it has nothing to do with what I was talking about.

    It might have everything to do with what you’re talking about, but it has nothing to do with what I’m talking about. Because I’m talking about my viewpoint, not the viewpoint of other peoples. That’s their viewpoint and their business. And your viewpoint is your business. But to try to drag my viewpoint and ask how it applies to other people’s… doesn’t make much sense to me.

    If a vast majority of people think losing a house will greatly impact their life, that is their viewpoint. That is their perception. That is their truth. Just like believing that their vote empowers them, that is their perception as well. They, too, have the free will to make that choice. This is not a value judgment. It is an observation.

    If you believe you will get into trouble with Big Daddy, then you will get into trouble with Big Daddy.

    Cell phones. On a very basic level, nothing is stopping you. There is a law. There will be fines. But nothing is directly stopping you from using your cell phone on the road. Is there a hand that’s keeping you from using your cell phone? Does your cell phone immediately turn off once you’re on the road? (Now there’s an idea!) You still have the power to use your cell phone. You have the power to accept that not using your cell phone is your only choice. What is the purpose of using your cell phone while driving? To communicate. Are there no other ways to figure out how to communicate with people while driving?

    When it comes to reality, it comes all boils down to perception.

    If you get a ticket or a fine, does that mean you can’t talk on your cell phone? You’ve got a ticket. You’ve got a fine. But you’ve still got your cell phone. Or you can choose to stop.

    Stopping because you consciously do not want to have to deal with the law or fines or whatnot, that’s your choice.

    Stopping because you think you have no other choice is an entirely different thing.

    When I see the world around me, it’s like I have a split view of what is considered reality. Yes, I see that building, I see that stop light, I see people obeying, unconsciously, little rules we’re taught in school like waiting in line. I also see that building as a construction, it’s real but it’s not. It’s concrete, but it’s an artificial construction. And I consciously know that I live in this artificial construction.

    That said, I don’t dismiss reality. Partly because there is no one real reality. There are a multitude of them. And no, I don’t dismiss those either because to do so would be to live in a cave and be unable to comprehend those who live in that reality. And I’m not for closing off human connection.

    But what you see out there isn’t all that there is.

    Power can be as simple or as complex as you make it. Depending upon the scope of your intentions and imagination.

    Empowerment is being in power of yourself and your choices. Am I saying that I am fully empowered? I’m not there yet but I am in the process of manifesting that state.

    When you accept a law, you are not in power of yourself. You are under the authority of that law. Obeying a law is not empowerment. Having your reality confined by limitations and obeying the laws of those limitations is not a form of empowerment either.

    Let’s say I was going to do something idiotic and protest Pinkberry. Chain myself to the storefront. When the cops come and tell me to stop – does that mean they are taking my power away? That they are stopping me from protesting? No.

    I can choose to comply and obey or choose not to comply and obey.

    I can still protest in other ways. I can still protest in my mind. I can still, by my own volition, not support Pinkberry.

    Let’s say I was being even stupider and refuse to move. (An act of rebellion, which isn’t really quite real empowerment.) Then I get carted off to jail.

    Does that mean the party’s over?

    No, I can still protest. I can still yell. I can still write.

    They cannot stop me from protesting.

    Even if they lock me in solitary confinement because in my heart I am still saying NO.

    No one has the power to take away my ability to say NO. That is my power. That is the idea of an empowered human – one that transcends the consciousness of victim hood. There is no such thing as a true victim. Victim hood is a state of being that is lived through choice.

    I can choose to become a victim by having my consciousness focus around my distress and despair, the “freedom” that they’ve “stolen” from me. Or I can choose to take responsibility. “Hey, I made this choice to chain myself to Pinkberry knowing I might be jailed. I am still in protest. I still will not buy an overpriced cup of frozen yogurt. If I end up sitting on my ass for a week under harsh conditions, that, too, was something I knowingly assessed. It sucks, but I still have the power to say NO.”

    That is empowerment.

    Voting out of fear that someone will take something away from you – that is not empowerment.

    Empowerment comes from the idea that there are no limitations to the manifestation of a reality you want to create. Will there be physical, concrete blockages? Set backs, maybe, but that is what the human imagination is for.

    We imagined these walls and they became a reality. We imagined this government into existence. We adhered to a belief and, over time, “voted” or chose to have it constructed in that very image.

    We can also imagine a way to leave and construct a new reality.

    That is empowerment.

    Comment by bobblebot — September 25, 2008 @ 9:45 am | Reply

  15. “I don’t see how this cannot be classified as a debate. You’re still attempting to engage me into choosing a choice I just would not simply make. ::shrugs::”

    Nah, trust me, I’m not trying to debate. I took a little umbrage at the suggestion that my house example wasn’t relevant or what not, and wanted to see what the deal was with that.

    What I think it boils down to, in large measure, is that you and I are operating from quite different assumptions and definitions. Your last response helped clarify a lot of it for me. I’m not saying I totally agree or totally disagree with what you’re saying, but I do understand it better now, so thanks for that.

    Comment by disciplepete — September 25, 2008 @ 10:13 am | Reply

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