“First Law of Thermodynamics: Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It simply changes forms!” So went the mantra of an erstwhile Zen peer, one of those quasi-scientific mystic types forever trying to link quantum physics with whacked-out spiritual mumbo-jumbo. If you ever disagreed with him, he trembled, his jowls purpling: “That’s… just… your… ego!” A regular fury farmer, this sower of hate seeds was one of those unfortunate American Zen sangha fixtures whose respect and admiration for the teacher is in inverse proportion to his resentment and suspicion of his peers. Once, a fed-up nun, ornery and pugnacious in her own right, shot back: “Listen, you! In a universe that wastes nothing, where does the butthead energy go when you lose your temper? What form does it change into?”
In about a week she got her answer. One morning, this troubled monk we’ll call “Tirade-san”—towering over six feet, girthy, garbed in his turquoise stretch pants and a T-shirt with a picture of the cosmos and an arrow indicating You Are Here—exploded at the densu (monastery greeter) when she forgot to fetch a student from the airport. She in turn barfed a curdled remark on the tenzo (cook), after he misplaced her laminated chant sheets. The tenzo then went Vesuvius on the shoji (zendo mother) when she innocently swung through the kitchen door to brew some green tea.
“Knock before entering!” the normally mild-mannered Pisces roared.
“Have a fucking cow!” the grandmother of three and part-time caregiver blasted back.
As if we needed any more evidence that the United States is fast becoming aCorporate Police State (i.e., systematically deploying police power to protect narrow corporate interests), make sure to check out this jaw-dropping storythat broke in Canada late Friday. It details how the Canadian Supreme Court uncovered what it says is a massive collusion between computer giant Cisco and U.S. law enforcement — a collusion that seems designed to use criminal prosecution to stop a whistle-blower’s antitrust case against a powerful politically connected corporation.
The machinations in this case are complicated, but the basics go like this: Ex-Cisco exec Peter Alfred-Adekeye filed a whistle-blower suit against his former employer Cisco in civil court — a suit that could compel the company to pay millions in damages for allegedly “forcing customers to buy maintenance contracts,” according to the Vancouver Sun.
Cisco subsequently responded with two moves designed to intimidate Adekeye: First, the company filed a counter civil suit against him for allegedly “using a former colleague’s computer code to illicitly access Cisco services worth ‘more than $14,000.’” Then, the corporation had its allies in U.S. law enforcement cite the civil counter-suit to issue a whopping 97 criminal charges against Adekeye. In other words, instead of following Adekeye’s civil case with criminal antitrust charges against Cisco, U.S. authorities were convinced by the corporation to add criminal charges to Cisco’s counter civil suit against Adekeye (this move to add state-sanctioned criminal prosecution to a corporation’s civil action, of course, is a textbook definition of a Corporate Police State).
Ultimately, U.S. authorities demanded the Canadian government extradite Adekeye for prosecution, and Canadian officials proceeded to follow U.S. orders by arresting and detaining him. However, on Friday, a top Canadian court rejected the extradition request, issuing a stunning ruling that goes way beyond one whistle-blower dispute.
This is so strange and funny — The Gregory Brothers auto-tune an interview with a woman who was in a convenience story while it was being robbed. (There are several alternate versions, by the way. They include a heavy metal version, a Chipmunks version, and full orchestral.)
Somehow we need to realize that the situation has gone beyond critical and there is no alternative but to act and resist with resolve. Every day the runaway corporate machine moves closer to the precipice; every day, thousands more children needlessly starve or die from wars or disease. Every day, the earth itself is being raped, and all this death and destruction, for what? Bloody offerings at the altar of the god of profit! It has to stop and people of conscience and courage are the ones with the collective power to stop it.
Which I loved, but I absolutely hated those frickin’ cobblestones on Germantown Avenue. People used to mobilize to protect them every time the city wanted to pave over them, insisting they were part of the area’s Colonial charm — when they weren’t. They were put in place in the late 1800s. It was a nightmare, walking across the street on those things, and even worse driving. “Charm”? Bah, you can keep it.