Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Cross Parts 1 to 5 @ New Ruskin College

"Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail / Whistle about us their spontaneous cries; / Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness." This physical world, an endless round of birth, death, and the seasons, is more lasting than any interpretation of it. Religions, myths, philosophies, and cultures are all fictions and pass away, but "April's green endures." "Sunday Morning" is Stevens' most eloquent description of the moment when the gods dissolve. . . . continued at

Plinio Designori was arrested by the San Francisco Police on 09-30-05 a block from the KQED building in San Francisco. His .357 Magnum was confiscated. Other property was simply stolen by the police. He is still being held. He recently said, “This changes nothing."

"Just because you have silenced a man, does not mean you have convinced him..." ----- Lord Liverpool
(see Liberal Toryism,

“The officer, surrounded by these noises, was moved and a little embarrassed. He turned away to give them time to pull themselves together; and waited, allowing his eyes to rest on the trim cruiser in the distance.” --- William Golding, Lord of the Flies
Bullying in the Workplace - An acceptable cost?By Andy Ellis,
Ruskin College, Oxford, UK

Introduction.In 1994, Staffordshire University Business School published the results of a survey indicating that 1 in 2 UK employees have been bullied at work during their working life. This particular statistic is just one of many which have been piling up across the world attracting little or no interest from either the politician or the businessman.

The hypotenuse which I intend to cover during this project report is that workplace bullying is not only unhealthy for those being bullied but also for the organisations which are allowing it to continue. I intend to show that even many of the employers which are leading in this area by adopting anti bullying policies are allowing their line management to ignore the policy and instead provide an atmosphere of uncertainty within their organisations. . . . continued at :

Note: New Ruskin College is not affiliated with Ruskin College, Oxford.

Lecture Notes:
The Cross: Christian and Buddhist Meditations on Death

Part One

After all these years someone finally comes forward.

Right at the end.

The last minute.


On the cross there is a small shelf, just a board. It is placed there for the condemned. Just above their buttocks. (This is the diagonal bar on the Russian Cross. (The second of the two cross bars represents The Christ on the cross.)) They could lift themselves up and hold themselves on it. So the condemned could take the weight of his body off of his arms and chest. If it weren’t there even the strongest would soon die. Their hearts and lungs would not be able to take the strain of all their weight from their arms and upper torso focusing down on the chest. Their hearts and lungs would soon stop. So the board.

But each pause, each rest, only prolongs the suffering. It was reported that none could resist though. They would squeeze themselves up, again and again, and rest for a moment taking the weight off their chest, reviving, then slipping back down.

From: Anonymous comment blogger com
To: PlinioDesignori
wed 14, 2005 11-19-38-pdt
"And Imus, at State Farm, using Shotgun Tom Kelly’s brother, and then years later Frank Blaha, at GAB Robins, Michael Weiner, Mrs. Jack Swanson, . . . and Ron Owens, . . . Rick Alber, . . . the Red comedian . . . Scott Bobro . . . Mengus, . . . Sotos . . . Michael Krasney . . . . . . and now Franken, what do all these people have in common?"

How did I get mixed in with that group?---- Rick Alber

---Posted by Anonymous to New Ruskin College at 9/14/2005 11:17:42 AM 2oo5 05 Frankin McCain at NRC

Part Two:

For those of you who have forgotten Alber is the regular on the O’Donnell show on KSFO who had monitored the research on Bio-warfare at Kinko’s Copies down in Santa Clara when I was working at Farmers, where Scott Bobro was working for Owens or Weiner. The system designer. Then after I commented on his on air reference to “blood labs” he commented on my posting here.

But for some reason this is not enough for him. He wants more.

But then Don Imus is boasting about wanting to “bring it on” because he has paid a big retainer to some attorney, and Mrs. Jack Swanson is condemning the harassment of conservatives in the work place, and . . . well it goes on and on.

The word “hypocrites” doesn’t do you justice.

The above anonymous email had HTML code and hot text which I have deleted from here because of potential virus. However I have saved the copy in hopes that if there is a Coroner’s Inquest it can be subpoenaed and traced back to the senderr.

There has been an email from Mengus also. (Saved on the Sprint email server.) For years I have suspected his involvement because he placed me at CENCAL, AIMS, AAA, Farmers, but I was not sure until after GAB Robins and years have gone by without any contact, even no response to my many emails regarding his advertised openings.

And now at the end he sent a contact regarding employment. He did not respond when I contacted him. It seems he just wanted to get in one last hit. Because I am such a terrible anti Semite, such a racist, such a . . . etc. And the Voinoviches will think so too. ‘Where there is smoke . . . Please no controversy.’

Oh, and yes, visited again. No, no work! Just checking to see if I am dead yet. Not yet! Yes, we are all of us checking. Waiting. But not dead yet.

Will he raise himself up again? Pull his arms up and crouch on the board again? Again? No, not again. Stay down Sir. Stay down. It will all be over a few minutes. Please, Sir, stay down . . .

He suffered all day on the cross.

Part Three:

All day. A tremendous will to live.

His suffering is both: the sacrifice that redeems mankind, by whose resurrection the prophetic promise is fulfilled that sin will be finally vanquished, and God will no longer be separate from mankind, but we will know Him as a direct experience, this is His body, this is His blood, so that we will not merely obey The Law form the outside, (God as other), but now live God's Law in our daily lives; and His suffering serves also as an example to us in our suffering, and encourages us to imagine that justice might yet triumph over injustice even as His teaching has survived his tormenters, the resurrection being completed now in our lives, our hearts beating now for Him, our lungs breathing now for him, not mystically in somewhere after but right now, in the actuality of the present moment, our devotion resurrects and saves our teacher even as He saved us.

This then is the Christian meditation on death which affirms life. For both us and The Christ death is inevitable, this is why we call is sacrifice. Inevitability, (for every life there is a death), is what makes it sacrifice. ((See also Iris Murdoch on the nature of the tragic. Metaphysics As A Guide To Morals.) It should be pointed out that in the Jewish tradition the rabbis would be disappointed with us if we imagined that they favor mere rote obedience to The Law. "God is a Verb" as one rabbi has put it in the title of his book. Alan Watts has compared Judaism to Zen Buddhism in that The Law serves only as a means of instruction which will eventually force even the most vain student to finally admit that legalistic analysis must be superceded as one comes to live The Law in one's heart, just as the Zen teacher trips and overturns the reticent student into experiencing reality now, in this moment, not after clever analysis which must always be completed at some point in the future, in time, analysis always requiring some more time to be completed.)

The Buddha's death also illustrates his teaching.

He died a good old age after a lifetime of contemplation and teaching. He died because, according to legend, he was too polite to refuse tainted meat that was offered him by his host, a poor goat herder who was honored to have such a personage in his home. When he eagerly offered the Buddha the last piece, the Buddha saw it was tainted, but not wanting to offend, ate it anyway. He died a few days later.

In the Buddhist meditation on death the inevitability of death in not regarded as simple an element of the tragic, but is itself taken as another example of the impermanence of all things. (Corpse are often brought into Buddhist temples and the monks attend the bodies during their decomposition. (Have you never meditated on the transformation of a forest in Autumn? (Never considered that all those colorful leaves are dying? . . . the beauty of impermanence . . . of death?)) How pretty, impermanence. Then gone.

Indeed this impermanence adds to the Eastern eye a quality to the moment, this moment, that may well be called beauty in its own right.

All living things must die. Change is inevitable. Are you the same person you were 20 yeas ago? 10 years ago? Yesterday? In every moment of life there is a death. A constant rising up, and a falling away, until the day of emptiness when we return to that time before we were born.

In the deaths of Jesus, The Christ, and the Buddha you can see the difference between the two religions, and I think a symmetry.

Rather than focusing on the contrast I ask you to consider the similarity. It matters not if one is outspoken in confronting the Pharisees, or if one deliberately lives a life of poverty and contemplation, death is inevitable. Both accepted death. Jesus struggled all day, the Buddha reflected on the last piece for only a moment. The inevitability of death and suffering, and its acceptance by both is an aspect of this symmetry. The inevitability is an element of the tragic (Western) and an element of beauty (Eastern). He lives: Z.

Seeing as how it is inevitable, how then could it be disgraceful?

Sometimes I have confronted the Pharisees and sometimes I have turned away for a life of contemplation. It made no difference.

Part Four:

I recently received another email apparently from the same sender as quoted above.

After I published the above post about the e-mailer who gave his name as Rick Ablber. I received a 2nd email, using the same name, complaining about bloggers who are “Anencephalic babies.”

We do not know for sure who sent the email, (the name can be falsely entered), but we do know that the e-mailer was a geek.

How? Anencephalic Babies!

Think of the terrible tragedy of having a newborn baby born without a portion of his brain. Imagine the grief. The anguish. How horrible. Yet the geek, (autistic?), is blind to this tragedy, this suffering. The geek only wanted a “scientific” name. Something that could be used with “babies.” See a blogger who chronicles 15 years of harassment and abuse, is only a “baby.” Again the geek is blind to other people’s suffering.

So the geek uses a word “Anencephalic,” unaware, (or is he just uncaring?), that this word will over power the rest of his sentence bringing in to it real tragedy, the agony of parents and their children, dying, into a sentence which he simply wants to use to “get even.” Even? He thinks: sure he used his influence with Kinko’s to spy on my use of a computer in Santa Clara, then used the O’Donnell radio program to harass. But like all the others we have encountered, he thinks that for me to complain about the spying and harassment is intolerable. Who am I to complain? Such are the egos involved in broadcasting.

But that is enough of that. I no longer care about our email correspondent. (He gave a little hope that someone had come forward but now it does not matter.)

George Will has written a private rebuke of some kind to Don Imus and has now lost the opportunity for that show’s fifteen minutes with a few millions of listeners during the morning dive. Still if you are selling books . . . So why did George Will do it? And what did he do exactly. Dr. Will has not sent me a copy.

Should I feel insulted? He gives up this huge sales tool, the Imus show, but will not tell us why? Keep it secret? But why secret? Imus who received the rebuke knows what Dr. Will said. Who is he protecting now? But even this does not matter.

I am trying to quiet my mind again. I will not die in a furry. I am not leaning back and I am not leaning forward, nor on one side or the other.

I recall that one of the Senators, back when I first began writing letters, made a reference to “what is this . . . I suppose even mediocre people should be represented . . .” I had written several letters at that point and something about what the Senator said, (perhaps it was something he had just said prior to that, I no longer remember the details, not even the Senator’s name), gave me the impression that he might be referring to my letters. (I think he was speaking to Senator Moynihan. (The phrase comes from the Judge G. Harold Carswell confirmation hearings: Senator Roman Hruska: “Even mediocre people deserve representation on the Supreme Court.”))

I had written a few letters to the Senate, they had gotten some attention, and that was fine, but what was this: “mediocre”, about? I was just one of 300 million citizens --- no wait, residents, (they are not all citizens), one of 300 million residents, (longer odds than the California Lottery), and now I learn that my letters were being judged? Not enough that they expressed my opinions, that they had attracted the attention of the Senate, the President, etc. but now apparently there was some other test they must pass.

This Senator presumed to judge my letters? For what? Style? Penmanship? I was a citizen requesting redress of grievance and this old fool presumed to judge what? Me? As if they were school masters and I their student. Am I acceptable? Citizenship counts for nothing.

Do I write in the polished prose of a professional author? Is that what is required? Does one need a PhD. to be heard? Is this not the case of the best becoming the enemy of the merely good? A “schoolmarm meritocracy” where only the elite are to be heard. (The phrase is George Gilder’s.)

I should have stopped right then. After all that has happened subsequently it is now easy, looking back, to see what a maelstrom I was entering. Not enough to be a citizen. No there is some other standard one must reach in order to have one’s petition heard.

People like Garrison Keillor are the kind of pedants who succeed in this world. Even Officer Vic (KSFO) was criticizing my spelling after the theft of the Stolen Notebook, (see Stolen Notebook Archives at the Moynihan Library). My Notebook was stolen and his only interest was in the quality of the spelling. The burglary, the publication of the Stolen Notebook, none of this held any interest for him, just that some words were misspelled: Apocryphal. A-poc-ry-phal.

Garrison Keillor is the type of old woman who would find a corpse in the woods, the gun in the mouth, the back of the skull blown away, blood still oozing into the ground, the suicide note on the ground next to the man, and would pick up the note and start checking it for spelling errors. On his show he has repeatedly mocked and ridiculed spelling errors, lauded his own academic achievement as an “English major,” yet no where will you hear him discuss his Masters in Sociology, or his PhD. in Political Science. That is because he ain’t got one nor neither.

Those to whom much is given, much is expected. No! Not anymore. Our meritocracy is now a one way street. No special duties are thought to attach to those selected to become our rulers. Screw obligations. Duty. No, Garrison never continued his education. And yet Senator Moynihan, (who did have a PhD. in Sociology), never once mocked my letters, for he understood that he as Senator was the servant of the People, not the other way around. He once corrected a spelling error in one of his own papers on the floor of the Senate saying, “just a hand written correction nothing wrong with that . . .”

I can not reach you. You are lost in a great hall of mirrors, an echo chamber, absorbed by your own egos. Mean horrible creatures. And if I attempt to touch you, a letter, just a letter, your scorn, contempt, abuse knows no limits. Mediocre. So? I am just an ordinary man. Now tell me --- what is your excuse?

Part Five:

Nagarjuna, the “Second Buddha”, (, according to legend killed himself upon royal command using a piece of dried elephant grass. (His king ordered his suicide it is said because he felt shame at abandoning his old teacher, Nagarjuna, whom he venerated, for a new teacher. To relieve himself of this anxiety he ordered the death.) But then it has become customary to assign to Buddhist Saints such deaths in order to highlight their transcendence over ordinary attachments of the mind, . . . life for instance.

The legend of the death may be apocryphal yet it illustrates the Buddhist view about life and death. Having compared the Buddha’s death with that of Jesus let us now compare Nagarjuna's death with that of Socrates. Socrates also obeyed the command of his rulers even though he might easily have escaped Athens. . .

New members: EJ Dionne of The Washington Post and Time magazine's Joe Klein join ABC News' Martha Raddatz and George Will on This Week 01-29-06, welcome EJ Dionne, . . . see also Mark Shields on the Newshour: "rote" , 01-19-06 . . . Mr. Shields is a returning member of the club . . . welcome back Mr. Shields . . .

. . . To Be Continued . . .