2009.01.21 13:00 - All Being Equal

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    The Guardian for this session was Genesis Zhangsun, the comments below are hers.

    Solobill Laville: Fabien and Rico, have you been here before?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I don't see anyone... except a floatie figures...
    stevenaia Michinaga: I'm rather confused as to who the guardian is for this session, are we covered?
    Solobill Laville: Yes, Gen
    Solobill Laville: (saw your email Steve...yes, confusing)
    genesis Zhangsun: yup its me now
    stevenaia Michinaga: aww gen you are here, thanks, I was a bit vonfused my an email
    stevenaia Michinaga: hehe
    rico Melody: Hey!
    genesis Zhangsun: I think that was about 7pm?
    genesis Zhangsun: Hey Rico!
    stevenaia Michinaga: O am 7:00
    stevenaia Michinaga: I am
    Solobill Laville: Hi piperlou
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Megumi-san :)
    genesis Zhangsun: Hey Piper
    PiperLou Destiny: Hi
    Solobill Laville: and hello Ed
    genesis Zhangsun: Hey Ed!
    ED Bruun: hello
    genesis Zhangsun: Hi Samuel!
    Gaya Ethaniel: mm... I don't still don't see anything... let me re-log
    Solobill Laville: For anyone who hasn't been here before, this is a discussion group that meets regularly
    genesis Zhangsun: Ed, Piper, Rico have you been here before?
    Adams Dubrovna is Online
    ED Bruun: first time
    Solobill Laville: (take it away, Gen ;))
    Samuel Okelly: hi gen :)
    PiperLou Destiny: First time for me as well

    I give my newbie spiel...

    genesis Zhangsun: Ok well Piper
    genesis Zhangsun: this is the Play as Being group
    Solobill Laville: wb gaya
    genesis Zhangsun: if you touch the blue i information post behind you there is more information
    genesis Zhangsun: basically though we are a group exploring the nature of reality
    genesis Zhangsun: doing practices and discussing them
    Gaya Ethaniel: ty :) looks like... oh I see people!
    genesis Zhangsun: all of these meetings are made public on our wiki
    genesis Zhangsun: http://playasbeing.wik.is/
    genesis Zhangsun: There is more information there too
    genesis Zhangsun: did I cover it Solo?
    genesis Zhangsun: anything you want to add?
    Solobill Laville: nope
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Please take the blue cushion next to me Megumi-san :)
    genesis Zhangsun: well lets rockn roll then!
    Gaya Ethaniel: [better female sit]
    stevenaia Michinaga: http://playasbeing.wik.is/Informatio..._in_a_Nutshell
    stevenaia Michinaga: :)
    PiperLou Destiny smiles, arigato Gaya-chan
    genesis Zhangsun: ty Steve!
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Solobill get us going...
    Solobill Laville: Perhaps Sam has a cool reality quote...(looking at his tag)
    genesis Zhangsun: :)
    Samuel Okelly: :)
    Samuel Okelly: will any quote do? ;)
    Solobill Laville: SUre!
    Samuel Okelly: “The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.”-President Barack Obama, 20th January 2009
    Solobill Laville: hehe
    Solobill Laville: good one
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thank you :)
    Solobill Laville wonders about the god-given promise part though...it that in the Bible?
    Samuel Okelly: this was taken from inaugration speech
    Samuel Okelly: what struck me was the reference to "all being equal"
    Oh man...I always find it slightly awkward in PaB to talk politics but at the same time it is part of life so no reason to discourage it and I have had some great discussions here on the topic so I swallowed the little ball that had formed in my throat...
    genesis Zhangsun: yes?
    Solobill Laville: We still have some work to do on that...
    Samuel Okelly: BOs is exceptionaly pro-abortion (not merely pro-choice) and so i see this as a clear contradiction on his part
    Solobill Laville raises an eyebrow
    Samuel Okelly: i say this NOT to debate the abortion issue here but rather to question the reliablity of the person who holds the highest office arguable in the world
    genesis Zhangsun: oh I really didn't read that into the "all being equal" but I suppose that is laer we could consider
    genesis Zhangsun: &layer
    genesis Zhangsun: *layer
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Fefonz :)
    genesis Zhangsun: Hey Fefonz!
    Solobill Laville respectfully disagrees with Sam :)
    Fefonz Quan: Hey all :)
    Solobill Laville: Heya, Fefonz!
    genesis Zhangsun: well difficult not to debate abortion when you are using someone's belief about this as a measure of reliability
    genesis Zhangsun: not that I want to go there necessarily...
    Wow...not just discussing politics discussing one of the toughest debates the abortion issue...(lump came back in throat)
    Samuel Okelly: in what way do you disagree sol?
    Solobill Laville: Well, before we go there, perhaps we should determine if we have a more PaB-ish topic anyone would want to discuss?
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Fefonz Quan: it can be PaB-ish, since it concern the emergant of sentient being
    Samuel Okelly: i would just like to reiterate that i am NOT prposing the abortion issue here ... rather the credability of BO
    Fefonz Quan: and when that happens
    Fefonz Quan: BO?
    genesis Zhangsun: broadly yes Fefonz I agree thats why I said it was an aspect of Being that I had never considered
    Gaya Ethaniel: The new president
    Samuel Okelly: barack obama
    Gaya Ethaniel giggles silently
    Fefonz Quan: Ah, gladly it's not barak samuel or something
    genesis Zhangsun: but you are attacking BO's reliability based on his position on abortion no?
    genesis Zhangsun: so how do you avoid it?
    Samuel Okelly: that is not so gen
    genesis Zhangsun: unless you take the premise pro-abortion=unreliable as true
    genesis Zhangsun: :)
    Samuel Okelly: i mam eluding to a contradiction in his stated position
    genesis Zhangsun: well its not a contradiction depending on where one believes a "being" truly starts
    genesis Zhangsun: or comes into "being" right?
    genesis Zhangsun: so again can't avoid the abortion debate :)
    Solobill Laville: I think the argument is that
    Solobill Laville: and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness
    Samuel Okelly: well he refers in his speech to "all being equal" yet he is in support of the FOCA that would allow abortion at ANY point during the nine months
    Solobill Laville: (quote)
    Solobill Laville: yes, would not be true for an aborted fetus
    Solobill Laville: and if BO felt that way, he could not be
    Solobill Laville: exceptionaly pro-abortion
    Solobill Laville: to use Sam's words
    Solobill Laville: My isssue is with the starting premise that
    Solobill Laville: BO is "exceptionaly pro-abortion"
    Samuel Okelly: if i may support this with quotes?
    Bracing myself...again reminding myself I have had good talks in PaB regarding politics but at the same time a thought creeping in that perhaps what bugged me was not so much the topic but the approach.
    Solobill Laville: of course!
    Fefonz Quan: i wonder what this "exceptionaly" means too
    Samuel Okelly: START >>>
    Samuel Okelly: Obama claims unashamedly to be pro-choice however the facts below show why it is more accurate to view him as being militantly pro-abortion. Indeed by the dictionary definition of “infanticide”, it would seem this label for him him is, is in itself, a generous way of describing his particular world-view.
    Solobill Laville: (yes, we need to define that especially)
    Samuel Okelly: .
    Samuel Okelly: 1. Obama supports the repeal of the Hyde Amendment. This ensures that pro-life citizens of the state are not forced in to paying for “lifestyle” abortions through the tax system.
    Samuel Okelly: .
    Samuel Okelly: 2. Obama opposed a ban on partial birth abortions in the Illinois legislature. The Born Alive Infants Protection Act stated that all live-born babies were guaranteed the same constitutional right to equal protection, whether or not they were wanted.
    Samuel Okelly: .
    Samuel Okelly: 3. Obama has pledged that the first thing he would do as President would be to sign the FOCA and thus making a fundamental right in law to an abortion up to and including nine months. This would make it a legal right to abort the life of a fully developed child for undefined “health” reasons.
    Samuel Okelly: .
    Solobill Laville: Hang on a sec, Sam
    Samuel Okelly: sure
    Solobill Laville: Just to point it out, there are a lot of subjective words
    Solobill Laville: being used here
    Solobill Laville: which does illustrate a particular bias
    Solobill Laville: the rest of the argument notwithstanding though
    Samuel Okelly: yet the stated facts remain and can be easily checked via a 5secs on google
    Solobill Laville: of course
    Fefonz Quan: i think that taking the abortion issue into the 8-9th month is somehow skipping the (statistically )major issue with them
    Samuel Okelly: you challenged the validity of "extreme" and these have been used to support its use
    Solobill Laville: exceptionally, you mean?
    Samuel Okelly: apologies
    Solobill Laville: np :)
    Fefonz Quan: there are very few people that will want to abort the child in the 8th month, if any,
    Fefonz Quan: and health problem shuld not be taken as just a saying in this place.
    Aurora Kitaj is Online
    Samuel Okelly: ill say again though i am happy to debate the abortion issue it is NOT my intention here rather the reliability of BOmy point here
    Fefonz Quan: but the main issue i thought is early abortion, that is against the belief of many people
    genesis Zhangsun: too late Sam you already are :)
    Samuel Okelly: :)
    Samuel Okelly: the main point is that BO contradicts himeslf in a very significant way
    Solobill Laville: Well, there is logic in your argument, of course :)
    Fefonz Quan: without getting into details, if BO will follow exactly every word he said in the last year,
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Fefonz Quan: he will be not only the first politician to do so in the 21st century
    Fefonz Quan: but the first in decades
    Bjorlyn Loon is Offline
    genesis Zhangsun: I think this portion of the quote is being take way out of context, this quote is about race equality, about the first black president not about the equality of all beings including fetuses
    Samuel Okelly: here in the UK we are used to the Press building up ppl for celebrity only to then knock them down and i am wondering if this is what is happening with BO?
    genesis Zhangsun: its easy to take a quote out of context and they flip it around in this manner with a little logic
    Fefonz Quan: /nods
    genesis Zhangsun: but it doesn't enrich the debate
    genesis Zhangsun: take a quote Sam from BO on the abortion issue and then debate his position
    Samuel Okelly: where does it restrict itself to the notion of "race"?
    genesis Zhangsun: not something taken from his inauguration speech which clearly about a completely different historical moment
    genesis Zhangsun: its not abour restriction Sam its about context
    stevenaia Michinaga: I must leave, see you all soon
    stevenaia Michinaga is Offline
    Solobill Laville: Though not elucidated, race was I think the context
    Solobill Laville: bye steve
    Samuel Okelly: in its broadest sense the language is very clear
    PiperLou Destiny: May say something ?
    Solobill Laville: Yes!
    Fefonz Quan: i would like to bring forth the concept of "ideals" that was discussed here a few days ago
    Fefonz Quan: (sorry piper, go on)
    PiperLou Destiny: After reading the qoute presented it, and all the text following. It would seem to me that he is talking about every person ,including fetuses, not just a race of people, because there is no mention of race in the qoute
    PiperLou Destiny: It says '' all beings''
    Fefonz Quan: so we should expect cat to vote next?
    Fefonz Quan: cats*
    genesis Zhangsun: this ain't Constitution Piper or scripture its a quote from the first black president on his inauguration day
    genesis Zhangsun: *the Constitution
    Damn a littel misdirected agression, hit the wrong newbie Piper I apologize I just felt frsutrated that the quote was being taken so out of context.
    Fefonz Quan: i think he was pointing out the ideals that he whishes to follow in his presedancy
    Samuel Okelly: the full text of his speech can be found at this link http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle5554819.ece
    PiperLou Destiny: Im not saying that is it is scripture. I am just thinking it would mean all beings, not race. Because I did not see the word race in the qoute presented
    Solobill Laville: Well, it is also about each of our persectives and what we bring to the table
    Fefonz Quan: it doesn;t say that they can be met precisely
    Solobill Laville: TO me, being here in the US, in a very racially divisive part of the country
    Solobill Laville: race was primary
    genesis Zhangsun: again thats why this is about the context
    genesis Zhangsun: it is necessary to view in context
    Samuel Okelly: in the run up to the elction the democrats were saying that it was NOT about race
    genesis Zhangsun: I am not saying this is a race issue only that it was historic day for African Americans in this country
    genesis Zhangsun: not that his whole platform was about race
    Fefonz Quan: maybe the election weren't but the results are in part
    Pila Mulligan is Online
    genesis Zhangsun: the results?
    genesis Zhangsun: Hey Pila
    Fefonz Quan: of the election. i agrre with you, it can be a historical momnet
    Pila Mulligan: hi
    Solobill Laville: Heya, Pila
    Samuel Okelly: hey pila :)
    Fefonz Quan: without being the main issue in the election
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Pila :)
    Fefonz Quan: Hey Pila
    Fefonz Quan: moreover, the fact that maybe during the election of the people they DIDN't consider race as the main issue, that's the big change and achievement
    Solobill Laville: Other issues were bigger than race, perhaps ;)
    genesis Zhangsun: yes I agree with you Fefonz
    Gaya Ethaniel nods in agreement also
    Samuel Okelly: . The BO marketing team constantly made it clear that “race” was not an issue, rather that their man was simply “the best man for the job”. Clearly this was wrong and, in my view, disingenuous and deceitful as “race” was clearly an issue given the historical context in which he, BO, was placed. He may or may not have been the best man for the job however “race” was an issue as it allowed the electorate to identify itself with being part of a much greater historical event and one that his opponent could never compete with.
    genesis Zhangsun: "marketing team"?
    I thought it was about time that Samuel confront the slanted and biased language he is using and attempting to pass off as neutral

    Samuel Okelly: indeed
    Samuel Okelly: BO wasnt doing his own PR
    genesis Zhangsun: oh is that what their calling campaigns these days?
    genesis Zhangsun: :)
    genesis Zhangsun: lingo is changing all the time :)
    Solobill Laville: Hmmm...he gave a speech directly about race, which in turn deflated it
    Samuel Okelly: there is no value judgment implied here
    Fefonz Quan: you will be right, Samuel, if you think he was elected BECAUSE of his race, rather then other characteristics
    genesis Zhangsun: Sam you can quit making the disclaimers
    genesis Zhangsun: you can't just say something then put a disclaimer to weaken its effect
    Samuel Okelly: i CAN if the inferrence by others implies a strawman fallacy on my part
    genesis Zhangsun: just say what you want to say
    genesis Zhangsun: which you are clearly doing :)
    Samuel Okelly: i try :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Sorry what's strawman fallacy?
    Solobill Laville: Well, I'm sure there is a lot more that we don't know then we do know
    Solobill Laville: I also think there is a subtle yet vital difference between race being "not an issue" vs
    Samuel Okelly: where ppl attack a misinterreption of an argument instead of the stated premise
    Solobill Laville: "making race and issue"
    Solobill Laville: *an
    Solobill Laville: yes, and I am trying to focus on the premise :) (emphasis on trying)
    Solobill Laville shrugs
    Solobill Laville: I dono't recall the BO campaign ever actually saying "race is not an issue"
    genesis Zhangsun: I agree with you Solo
    Gaya Ethaniel: [For anyone who doesn't know what Straw Man Fallacy is... http://www.nizkor.org/features/falla...straw-man.html]
    Solobill Laville: Which goes against the first premise of the last quote you posted, Sam
    Butch Dae is Offline
    Solobill Laville: "The BO marketing team constantly made it clear that “race” was not an issue..."
    Solobill Laville: A big danger in the US is to not make race an issue
    genesis Zhangsun: some might say too Solo BO won despite his race
    Solobill Laville: yup
    Fefonz Quan: yip
    genesis Zhangsun: which is supported by the fact that there hasn't been a black president yet
    Samuel Okelly: many of the celebs I saw in the run up to the election eg Oprah Winfrey were saying this too don’t vote for BO because he is black but because he is the best man for the job
    Fefonz Quan: (every time yiou write that BO, i can't help but think of Bo Didly, the only BO i know of :))
    genesis Zhangsun: so was it just the the time was ripe? or that BO was in fact "the best man" who happened to be black
    genesis Zhangsun: hard to say I am not making the call
    Solobill Laville: RIght, Sam, which is different from when Jesse Jackson ran in 84
    genesis Zhangsun: hehe yes this BO thing is funny Fefonz :)
    Fefonz Quan: or maybe just people wanted the change so badly, that the republicans were in disadvantage to begin with
    genesis Zhangsun: I pick d) all of the above :)
    Gaya Ethaniel silently giggles again
    Solobill Laville: I DO think, personally, that the BO campaign was very savvy in that emphasizing race would push away some
    Samuel Okelly: i agree 100% fef....i strongly suspect that that the elctorate allowed themselves to be caught "in a moment of great significance"
    Samuel Okelly: It was also clear that Republicans were also fighting the massive unpopularity of incumbent president George W. Bush. Even though they were successful in keeping his image away from playing a large prt of their promotional literature, there was no evading the fact that his presence cast a dark shadow over the Republicain campaign and was always going to be there. This was an added facet to the Republican campaign that Democrats did not have to tackle. In short, republican were fighting an additional campaign that their Democratic did not have t contend with. In this way, a vote for Barack Obama can be seen as much as a vote against George W. Bush as much as a vote of support for Barack Obama.
    genesis Zhangsun: "caught" v. aligned with the moment of great significance I would question
    Gaya Ethaniel: XD chatspam
    Samuel Okelly: (apologies for the long text btw)
    Pila Mulligan is Online
    genesis Zhangsun: didn't feel like a sort mob fervor to me anyway
    Fefonz Quan: well, you do type fast, Sam :)
    Solobill Laville: Yes, that is true Gen
    Gaya Ethaniel: [Sorry I'm in hyper mood... too much sugar]
    genesis Zhangsun: I say it was about time
    Solobill Laville: What is your source there, Sam?
    Samuel Okelly: for the long text?
    genesis Zhangsun: there is a longer text?
    Solobill Laville: Well, the last seems more likee the Economist, where the other stuff seems like Fox
    Samuel Okelly: it was entirely my own observation
    Solobill Laville: from an editorial perspective
    Samuel Okelly: lol
    Samuel Okelly: i give you my word that i wrote that myself
    Gaya Ethaniel notices 'Obama Hype' in Samuel's Profile Picks
    Solobill Laville: So, you are quoting yourself on all the things you've put in here so far?
    Samuel Okelly: i make no secret of my position here (as seen in my pics)
    Storm Nordwind is Online
    Solobill Laville: Or you really do type 600 words / minute?
    Solobill Laville: ;)
    Samuel Okelly: :)
    Samuel Okelly: it is simply that i have give this quite some thought already
    Samuel Okelly: given
    Solobill Laville: Well, nice work! Though I still the premise(s) differently... :)
    Fefonz Quan: i can suggest a view that is less sharp and more in teh Being atpmosphere
    Solobill Laville: *see
    genesis Zhangsun: I stick to my strawman's fallacy :)
    genesis Zhangsun: Oh yes please Fefonz
    genesis Zhangsun: it 2 minutes to the hour big picture time!
    Fefonz Quan: i also feel that obama is not the pure bright perfect person as might come up during the last celebrations
    Fefonz Quan: he has some fallacies, and yet he came here in a special moment in history.
    Solobill Laville: If he is, he isn't for politics...
    Gaya Ethaniel: ouch
    Fefonz Quan: So now, after all teh reasons that brought him here - let's just "be" with him for a while
    Fefonz Quan: and see what happens in reality
    Fefonz Quan: not dreams, expectattion, reasons etc.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks gotta go to Kira now
    Gaya Ethaniel: Enjoy your day
    Samuel Okelly: tc gay
    genesis Zhangsun: see you Gaya
    genesis Zhangsun: Gilles's Philosophy seminar
    Fefonz Quan: and hopefully he will do good.
    Solobill Laville: Bye, folks, thanks for the spirited convo!
    Samuel Okelly: tc sol
    Fefonz Quan: yes, i'm going there too, thanks all
    genesis Zhangsun: thanks everyone
    genesis Zhangsun: yes indeed spirited
    PiperLou Destiny smiles, thank you
    genesis Zhangsun: bye Sam!
    genesis Zhangsun: bye Piper
    Fefonz Quan: Bye sam, piper
    PiperLou Destiny: Have a wonderful day, evening
    Samuel Okelly: tc every1 :)

    It was useful for me to have this interaction as I found parts of it pretty frustrating and uncomfortable.  It is good training in dealing with people you may not agree with in a open and compassionate way.  I could just see my agression rising before me and watching it guide my fingers over the key board at times, which I felt was a good step up from the past when I probably would not have been so aware of it thereby letting me consume me even more.  I really appreciated the group response (especially Fefonz and Solobill though everyone contributed something) which reminded me to be fair and engaged, not angry and disengaged. A theme that I am exploring this year in 2009 of Chogam Trungpa is the concept of the "manure of experience and the field of bodhi."  The idea that every experience no matter how much it stinks is workable and if used skillfully can be the raw material from which an enlightened presence or bodhi grows.  So when the stinkiest situations pop up, those people who someone are able to push your buttons, these are the best experiences from which to grow, to refine, to cultivate a better way to exist.  So thanks for the BS and BO!  I really mean it :)

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    Originally written on 23:22, 24 Jan 2009
    Wow, that was quite a session. I admire the way you kept your head and gathered the manure :)
    Posted 06:17, 9 Apr 2010
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