Top Ten Reasons to Oppose Gay Marraige

I didn’t write this, but wanted to share it with anyone who would read it.

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural
things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning. Also
apparently those homosexual animals have picked up some unnatural

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never
adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the
service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at
all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and
divorce is still illegal.

5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were
allowed; the sanctity of Britney Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage
would be destroyed.

6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children.
Infertile couples and old people cannot get legally married because the
world needs more children.

7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours,
the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s
why we have only one religion in America.

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at
home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to
raise children.

10) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy
behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has
legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.


There once was a man that lived in Athens named Diophrates. He ran with
wild dogs at night, and sat in the square of Athens meditating during
the day. Some people would some to ask him questions, and he would
typically reply in ways they would either dismiss or couldn’t
understand. Alexander the Great was in Athens shortly after his
decision to go to war with Persia, and decided to talk to Diophrates.
Diphrates asked him: What are you doing after today, Alexander? "I will
conquer Perisa for the glory of My Empire!" And what will you do after
that, Alexander? "I will move on to Asia, and conquer the peoples of
that place" And then what, Alexander? "I will conquer India, and Spread
my Empire to the end of the known world" And then what, Alexander? " I
guess I will return home and raise my children, enjoy my empire. Maybe
study more scholarly things." He replied with satisfaction. But
Diophrates cocked his head and asks "Why aren’t you doing that now,
Alexander?" And with that he left. While he was walking away,
Diophrates heard Alexander say "If there was one man in the world I’d
rather be than Alexander the Great, It would be Diphrates the Mad."
Soon after, a man inquired about Diophrates’ discussion with Alexander,
and what he thought about his comment. He replied: "If there was one
man I’d rather be than Diphrates, it would be anyone other than
Alexander the Great."

P.S. thanks for the story, Lukas.

Balance Your Life

My friend Jason Olson wrote this wonderful article for my magazine "Flambé ", which I would like to share with you.

Jason is the Event Event Operations Coordinator at The French Culinary Institute. He teaches Yoga here in New York , a subject he is very passionate about.

At one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants in the East Village, they write their daily specials on chalkboards posted about on their softly lit brick walls. In multi-colored chalk they list their daily specials: a pasta, a seasonal vegetable side, a savory meat or seafood, and a few tantalizing appetizers to get your taste buds turned on. Underneath it all, written by one of the wait staff with the prettiest handwriting, reads a persuasive command: “Stop texting and start eating.” I love it. Staying consistent with the restaurant’s home-style cooking and straightforward service, this statement canonizes the presence of mind for a wonderful dining experience. I look at this phrase as an American chef’s version of an important spiritual precept that is interweaved throughout many Eastern philosophies and religions.

Be present. Balance your life.

Everywhere I look I see people linked to some kind of modern piece of technology, an Ipod, a cell phone, or laptop. Small, streamlined, and attractive are their designs, but they can be a heavy weight on our attention, our bodies, and our minds. These modern devices are not in themselves a malicious or toxic influence but our modern obsession with them may be a symptom of a bigger beast spawned from materialism and our frenetic desires and fears.


We all have witnessed two people, be they lovers, friends, or colleagues, ensnared in the ultimate irony of sitting across a table from one another at a table, only to each be interfaced with their own personal devices, and devoid of any present and lively conversation. Where is the opportunity for the richest and most valuable experience there? Of course our devices can bring joyful music to our ears, connect us quickly to a friend or family member far away at any given time, they may even save our lives in an emergency. The balancing act here is to make our actions and activities completely conscious and enabling of a balanced, healthy life. When in doubt, steer clear of too much thought or activity that takes your attention over there, in another place and time, and focus on the present moment, here and now.


Our technological accessorizing and preoccupation is only one potential imbalance. We may excessively consume coffee, alcohol, or food to feel a certain way, or a desperate ambition to acquire more money, power, or fame may keep us prisoner to our workplace too often, pushing our bodies to exhaustion. Even so called healthy or good habits can take us out of our true nature and make us prisoners of our actions. We may think we are completely present in our obsessive activity but in fact it can be a form of inebriation disguised in an item of luxury, a seemingly noble aspiration, or mind-altering substance.


Yoga in the counter act to an over stimulated world. It is one approach to union with the divine. It is a marriage of the physical with the spiritual and there are many modalities and ways to practice yoga: meditation, selfless service, study, and devotional practices. Asanas are the yoga postures which make up the physical aspect of yoga called hatha. There are several different schools of hatha yoga so one can find a practice suited towards their personality, as well as their mental and physical needs. All hatha practices have the same basic intention. They are designed to heal, strengthen, and purify the body so that one can live in the best possible way, serve as an inspiration to others, and be a conductor of universal intelligence and compassion. For Western society it also offers us a much-needed sanctuary of mindful attention and peace that is not easily fostered in a culture bombarded by images, information, and consumerism.


I love food and hatha yoga because they draw my attention in a very similar fashion. I take detail and attention in ordering or making a meal. I ask myself what combination will create the most harmonizing effect to go with my mood, state of health, and activities of any given day? If I am cooking for friends I tap into that particular group’s personal tastes, the time of the year, and the mood of the evening. Vegetables, leafy greens, and seafood will give a meal a light quality. Green tea and fruit juices can be an energizing accompaniment. But some cold winter’s night I may put together slowly cooked stew, with spices and herbs married to perfection through a slow and steady cooking, the finishing touch being fresh bread from the bakery and a silky smooth glass of red wine. Any good chef knows cooking is a precise and intricate skill combining a sense of timing, temperature, the savory and the sweet, skills in chopping, stirring, and combining. Too much of one thing and the entire meal could be spoiled.


Our yoga practice can be approached with the same sense of artistry and instinct. A sweaty, vigorous practice with challenging balance postures and sequential movement may be just the catalytic fire we need to feel a transformation in our bodies and minds. On another day, when life is already rapid enough, and we are feeling overwhelmed, we may need some contemplation and length of time in our asana, a slower tempo, more restorative poses and a long, steady stay in headstand, before we lay ourselves down for that peaceful final resting pose, sivasana.


If you have yet to experience the joys and challenges of a consistent yoga practice take this to heart: you don’t need a yoga mat, seventy-five dollar yoga pants, or even flexible, limber limbs to practice, all you need is your attention and your breath. A moment in yogic bliss can occur while painting a picture, doing housework, shooting hoops, or brushing your teeth. Some call it “being in the zone”, others call it “blissing out”, the yogis call it “samadhi”. It is a feeling of union, wholeness, contemplation, and brilliant energy that infuses our entire being.


If you saw a day in your life as a yoga practice, a meal, or work of art, what ingredients, what postures, what music, what colors would you add, and when, to make that day the most delicious and healthy feast, the most interesting and inspiring painting, the most balanced and complete yoga practice of your life? Composing a conscious and present state of being in any given activity or part of your day is the ultimate challenge of being a modern day yogi but in achieving it, you will hold the key to a balanced, happy, and healthy life.


Jason Olson


How much of your life do you feel like you control? There are so many
things in this world that seem to take or make our choices for us. But
you make all of the difference. Your existence is exactly what you
choose it to be. This sounds too simple, doesn’t it? What the hell is
this guy talking about, he just thinks you can switch shit on and off,
or ignore the real problems? He’s only happy cuz he’s ignorant, or
naive. Bull shit. I choose how I take things, and so do you. The only
person who can make you "happy" or "sad" is you.

We are all so caught up in our assumed identities, in our futures, our
pasts that we aren’t paying attention to now. Now is when I can change.
Now is the only thing I have. I choose to be happy now, I choose to
enjoy every moment I have, because those moments are numbered and
people either take it for granted or let it terrify them. I choose
neither. We die, so what? What are you going to do now? Choose not to
live? I mean really live, not just survive.

This all sounds so whimsical to some of you, it can’t be that simple.
That is your habits preserving themselves. We have been tricked into
thinking that enlightenment/awakening/un

derstanding/maturity is a mystic, distant thing.

Some of us tell ourselves we are ___________, telling ourselves secret,
unchallenged stories. We look for other people and events to back up
those stories, then we edit the picture we have of ourselves, the
picture we want to show the would. Its a freeze-frame of something we
can accept. Except that isn’t us, we aren’t some secret nugget of self
deep inside, we are a current of experience and perception and choice.
In next moment you can be a completely different person. Just choose to
be. Let it go, let the safety zone you have created around drop, and
just leave it there on the ground. And take steps in the direction you

Every person has a good side or attribute or belief. Compassion or
awareness or kindness or whatever it is, they know they have it even if
they cloud it with so many expectations, what everyone else thinks they
should be. Thats why I think everyone is equal: We all die, and we are
all valuable. (Doesn’t mean I am ignorant or naive, just respectful of
human beings).

Who are you planning to be? What is it you are going to do when all of
your plans unfold? What are you waiting on before you take that step?
Why aren’t you today? Why not right freaking now?

Major Conservative Defection

George Will is a very well-known and respected conservative Republican political writer. If you’ve been following his columns, he’s been a strong opponent of Barack Obama. Today all that shifted.

Will wrote an op-ed article for the Washington Post entitled: McCain Loses His Head. In the article, Will assails McCain’s calling for the firing of Chris Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Will quotes the Wall Street Journal editorial that excoriated McCain for slandering Cox without even looking into the facts.

Will states that: "McCain’s smear — that Cox "betrayed the public trust" — is a harbinger of a McCain presidency."

He further states that: "Conservatives who insist that electing McCain is crucial usually start, and increasingly end, by saying he would make excellent judicial selections. But the more one sees of his impulsive, intensely personal reactions to people and events, the less confidence one has that he would select judges by calm reflection and clear principles, having neither patience nor aptitude for either.

It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?"

What Does It Mean to Be Hindu?

I am Hindu, and I have often wrestled with that question. I have spoken to some of the best minds, the most spiritual minds, I have journeyed to many places in my quest, and I have come to believe that the best way to describe Hinduism is to say what it is not. For how do you describe a "teaching" that encompasses all possibilities and all of eternity, refusing to describe the infinite in finite terms? A teaching that describes all of life and all thought as both illusion and reality at the same time? There is no science, no thought, no possibility that Hindu thought does not embrace… So there is only one way to describe Hinduism for me — although it may mean many things to other people — that Hinduism is a search, a yearning, to find that which is infinite within one’s own self, a yearning to experience that which is Eternal…
…So what is Hinduism not? It is not centralized, it not an organization, it is not political. It can never be. For every time there has been an attempt to organize Hinduism as a political force, it becomes by nature a finite structured force that bears no relationship to the idea for a search for the infinite. One of the greatest ills of the Indian society (and even Mahatma Gandhi said that) is the Caste system that resulted in a completely oppressive system designed to keep a few sections of society in political and economic power at the cost of the majority of the people — in the name of Hinduism. And a large number of conversions, historically or even now, whether to Islam or Christianity, can be traced to people trying to escape the oppression under this system.
So to those people that ask why we cannot declare India a Hindu state I ask them to understand and trace what a Hindu state is. And we soon realize they are looking for an identity. Which begs the question, why can’t we accept that identity as just Indian? Thatis the true question of identity.
So once again I say that a terrorist is a terrorist regardless of religion. Anyone who takes the lives of innocent people on a mass scale is a terrorist. And if there is any system, religious or otherwise, that is encouraging such terrorism, or has become the breeding grounds for such activity, then it is the duty of our Government to strike hard at the roots of that. For there is no governance or civilization possible if the people of this Nation cannot go about their daily lives in relative safety.
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