Gratitude & the Happiness Cult

June 10, 2019

Below is a link to an audio file of a comment I recently posted to a Mendocino community mailing list. As read by one Marco McClean, radio host of “Memo of the Air” on KNYO and KMEC. Followed by a Ted Talk on the same theme. My rant is just under 3 minutes, the rest is the Ted talk…total: 17 minutes. Click on the clown to get going:

Richard Dawkins’ Mistake

January 19, 2014

The error in Dawkin’s declaration (and that of Einstein)–and it’s a glaring one IMHO–is that they assume the only reason God-believers do good is fear of punishment. But this is dogma arising solely from fundamentalist churches (or “low churches” as they call them in England). And is true only among certain churches that profess hell’s existence. While other churches do /not/ believe in hell, there are many alternative religions and God-beliefs that do not either.

Such as my view that doing good is a great /joy/; but wicked behavior will /not/ condemn a person to hell except perhaps as a judgment of conscience which will last for a period of time, not eternity. As the Buddha says: “Heaven and hell are a state of mind.” I believe in a creator as “universal mind” in a very gay-shamanistic sort of way. Belief in God, Mr. Dawkins, does not automatically mean you also believe in an eternal hell, or punishment by a harsh deity.

I can think of myriad reasons for atheists to /not/ believe in God, that are far more intelligently reasoned out than the quote shown above. I am–to put it mildly–astonished at such a poorly thought out rationale for your atheism. Much to my disappointment, I might add, as such a poorly rendered justification gives those homophobic fundamentalist preachers the perfect rebuttal. For additional information on my perspective on creation, see:

“NeoPositivity, a Gay Religion”

What say you, Dedicated Reader…care to add your own three cents?

Homeless Hacker Turns Snitch

October 13, 2010

Photo of Adrian Lamo

John, this is just an update regarding “homeless hacker” Adrian Lamo (or should I say “Lame-O”). As you already know, I met him back in 2001 at a 2600 Hackers gathering by Embarcadero Plaza…after which he visited me at my humble abode, to exchange some computer hardware. He was then 20 yrs. old. I found him to be an unpleasant sort, rather high strung, the “faggoty” type, so to speak. I later learned (through the news) that he is a Jehovah’s Witness, which only adds to his unlikeability. So he eventually becomes the notorious “homeless hacker” and his reputation skyrockets in the global hacker community.

But as it turns out, he is now being vilified as a gov’t snitch, and I think, rightly so. I have learned a long time ago, that these faggoty types (as opposed to non-stereotype or non-“drama queen” gays) are prone to stabbing their friends in the back. He also describes himself as “bisexual” which is not likely, as bisexuals do not have that faggoty trait.

I only discovered, today, that Adrian is the one responsible for snitching on that gay soldier who released secret military documents to Wikileaks. Here are five news reports on this matter (3 text, 2 videos):

Former Grey-Hat Hacker Adrian Lamo Turned Snitch

WikiLeaks ‘Snitch’ Hacker Faces Wrath of His Peers

Adrian Lamo: hacker who betrayed Wikileaks mole

CNN – ex-hacker ‘adrian lamo’ exposed wikileaks suspect

Guy who snitched on Warlogs leaker gets trashed by hackers

Which reports only affirm my conclusion that the Linux groups here in the Bay Area have all been usurped and infiltrated by right-wing and/or Libertarian scum…as have most other progressive groups of any stripe.

Hmmm, might be interesting to check out again (after a 9-year absence) these 2600 gatherings at the Embarcadero. They meet the first Friday of each Month starting 5pm…so the next meetup is Nov. 5. Hopefully, no one will recognize me…I’ll loiter around the fringes. It’s an outdoor event on the ground plaza, so that should be easy.

–Finally, this excerpt from Wikipedia:

Wikileaks and Bradley Manning
Main article: Arrest of Bradley Manning

In June 2010, Adrian Lamo reported to U.S. Army authorities that Specialist Bradley Manning had leaked classified information to him. Lamo also claims that Manning confessed to him having provided the video footage of the July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike incident in Iraq to Wikileaks. Lamo claims that Manning also leaked thousands of pages of classified data and diplomatic cables to Wikileaks, though Wikileaks claims otherwise. Lamo told Glenn Greenwald in an interview that he offered Manning protection under both journalist shield laws, and the clergy-lay confidentiality tradition, and said that Manning declined.

According to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a reporter from Forbes has published information, according to which Adrian Lamo works as a “security specialist” with “project Vigilant”, a private security institution which also works for the FBI and the NSA.

Lamo has been criticized by fellow hackers such as at Hackers on Planet Earth 2010.

–end of excerpt

Video of Adrian Lamo

Let The Games Begin

August 30, 2010

Click here to play video

Quoting “seanofmiami”:

{{ He sounds terribly dry. Most attorneys will announce who and what they are. }}

Know what? You’re right.

{{ A private investigator would be more covert. }}


{{ This guy could be on a fishing expedition. Maybe not an attorney, but a scam artist investment peddler. }}

Always a possibility…but it is quite rare I get such calls. I got one for life insurance over two years ago, and that’s it.

{{ We’re probably reading too much into this. His tone of voice is not that sophisticated. He could simply be someone browsing your site or reading the bar. The question is, how did he get your number? }}

I’m thinking it’s a friend of Akbar’s brother.

Or: someone from a Linux group, which I have recently condemned for their elitism, specifically that from “Rich Monkey” (but not exclusively). Will soon make my third, and final, salvo very soon. It will also be the strongest.

Well, nothing else has occurred, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m enjoying Berkeley once more, after having been away for over a month. Au Coquelot, dining on a blueberry scone and a glass o’ English Breakfast tea. F*ck the geeks…I’m better off w/o ’em, they’ve sold out too, they’re mostly snotty Libertarians.

But I nonetheless still love Berkeley, and they can’t take that away from me! The Spirit strives on! Just got a bunch of used computer games from Half Price Books…now I need to find and download the cheat sheets. The games are:

Legacy Dark Shadows, Reverse the Curse! Ankh, The New Adventures of the Time Machine, Walking with Dinosaurs, and Penumbra Overture (whatever that is, says “ enticingly eerie horror game”; I’m scared already).

BTW, there’s now a Peet’s Coffee underground at the Shattuck Station. Don’t know if I can keep up with all these changes! :P

El Blog Del Narco Y Barfo

August 15, 2010

Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2010 17:50:51
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Berkeley Linux User Group
Subject: El Blog del Narco

MEXICO CITY – An anonymous, twentysomething blogger is giving Mexicans what they can’t get elsewhere: an inside view of their country’s raging drug war.

Read the rest of the article here:

The actual link to El Blog del Narco is:

(NOT appropriate for minors, sorry Nate et al.)

I’d say that Wiki Leaks and El Blog Del Narco are two excellent examples of how the use of open source services (wikis and blogs) and an open Internet, empower individuals who are passionate for justice to be served. Such potent tools never existed before, and couldn’t come at a better time when our conventional news sources have failed their duty to keep citizens informed, including as whistle blowers against gov’t, military, religious and corporate skulduggery.

Even for individuals, such as myself, in a time when all local progressive activism has been usurped (for the most part) by egotistical, self-serving Libertarian types who really have no sense of justice or democracy, and only see such groups as stepping stones towards some sort of career, celebrityhood, or (gasp) sabotage.

If you have something to say, do not wait in some imaginary line in hopes of having your voice heard in a newspaper, local gathering, or radio call-in. Just go straight to the Internet, where you will discover many effective venues to contribute your proposals, philosophy, and maybe even some startling revelation that is the hallmark of courageous whistle blowers everywhere.

Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2010 19:08:07
From: Dan R
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

Hi Zeke,

I’ve been subscribed to this list for some time and you seem to write a fair bit here so thanks for this and all of your contributions. I want to ask you to tone down your political comments however. Calling libertarians egotistical, self serving, and lacking a sense of justice and democracy is purely inflammatory and was wholly unnecessary to your message. ALL political philosophies have very intelligent and reasonable proponents, and I’d hope that if you’re going to attack any of them, you’d go beyond name calling and ad hominem attacks.



Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 02:17:47
From: Zeke Krahlin
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

Quoting Dan Roberts :

{{ALL political philosophies have very intelligent and reasonable proponents,}}

Like Tea Baggers, Nazis, Fascists and Aryan Brotherhood? Some political philosophies *need* to be condemned. I don’t look the other way when an egregious wrong is going on.

{{I’d hope that if you’re going to attack any of them, you’d go beyond name calling and ad hominem attacks.}}

Nah. Libertarians *do* suck, of any stripe. Especially since they’ve fully incorporated Ayn Rand’s horrid, vile ideological invention called “objectivism”.

So if someone joined this list who is a Scientologist, I must then remain silent on my disgust of that ideology too? Ooops, did I offend anyone out there who is a Scientologist? Good.

How about capitalism? Anyone offended when I say capitalism sucks?

Seriously, I don’t think we have any serious Libertarians in this group…don’t know why you are so thin skinned.

Some aspects of the Democrats sucks, too. Should I be afraid of speaking out against crooks who happend to be Dems…especially Dixiecrats and Centrists? They suck rotten eggs big time!

How about Republicans? They suck so bad, I don’t see why anyone even gives them the time of day any more.


Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 03:00:03
From: Paul I
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

Well played, Zeke.

As a registered Green, I take personal offense that you did not mention how much *we* suck. From the naive doves, to the fringe conspiracy theory types, we suck for not even liking our own ‘kind’ most of the time.


Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 03:07:47
From: Zeke Krahlin
To: Paul I
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

Quoting Paul I:

{{Well played, Zeke.}}

Hey, finally, another participant with a sense of humor! WOOT! Yeah, I don’t like the American Green Party in the least. But the European version…excellent. You are so *right* about the doves, too, and the weirdo fringe types.

Sucks that I left them out. My apologies.


Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 03:31:59
From: Sameer V
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

This is still a Linux User Group, right?


Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 09:48:32
From: Jack D
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

{{This is still a Linux User Group, right?}}

Sometimes it is hard to tell… :/

The point that I believe Dan was (quite politely) trying to make is that this is in fact a Linux users group with many different people who appreciate Linux/open-source for many different reasons, and the point of the list is to discuss the things that we all have in common – namely an interest in OSS. It is not a soap-box by which to try to gain converts to any political way of thinking or to spread propaganda (whether accurate or not) for any political cause.

The truth is, Linux and OSS are so awesome that all sorts of people with all sorts of political opinions use it and appreciate its different values. Many such people are represented on this list. Because of that, I think discussions that focus on Linux/OSS and not on the things that divide us are much more productive, and in fact are the point of group – to unite people with common interests (surprisingly, the point was not to create a political debate group).

So, in conclusion, let’s try to keep things on-topic and productive. Now, everyone go have a drink of choice and relax. It is Saturday! I’m going to be doing some weekend coding. :)



Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 10:21:04
From: Zeke Krahlin
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

Quoting Sameer V:

{{This is still a Linux User Group, right?}}

The original post by yours truly clearly makes that so. Any other questions?

Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 12:47:52
From: Zeke Krahlin
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

Quoting Jack D:

{{Many such people are represented on this list. Because of that, I think discussions that focus on Linux/OSS and not on the things that divide us are much more productive, and in fact are the point of group – to unite people with common interests (surprisingly, the point was not to create a political debate group).}}

Consider me your token Linux activist. I keep alive a welcoming space for those who are passionate about Linux as a tool for social change…for the better, of course. If we consider ourselves a diverse group, that must be allowed.

{{So, in conclusion, let’s try to keep things on-topic and productive. Now, everyone go have a drink of choice and relax.}}

Or a joint. :)

Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 11:45:21
From: Larry C
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

+1 Jack and Sameer.

Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 13:15:38
From: Bill S
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

My thoughts as well, Sameer, Jack, Larry.

This last thread had only the barest relation to Open Source, and not at all about Linux. I don’t believe that the word Linux appeared in your email at all. So I think Sameer’s question was quite to the point. I don’t think BLUG needs a ‘token’ Linux activist… it already has *actual* Linux activists.

The mailing list isn’t a blog. You already have one of those, post these things to it and link to it, if you really must. I like to reading interesting articles about FOSS and Linux. However, I’m kind of tired of the political/economic rants (even the ones I agree with). And I’m definitely sick of the political digs and name calling (even the ones I agree with). Calling it humor doesn’t wash. It’s not really relevant and its certainly not polite discourse.

Just my 2 cents.


Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 19:27:07 -0700 [08/14/10 19:27:07 PDT]
From: Zeke Krahlin
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

Quoting Bill S:

{{My thoughts as well, Sameer, Jack, Larry.}}

Umm, Jack was opposed to Sameer and Larry’s kneejerk reaction.

{{This last thread had only the barest relation to Open Source, and not at all about Linux.}}

The original post, mine, was indeed an open source topic…how it impacts political and social mores. Much of the *comments* however, were inappropriately oppositional, yours included.

{{I don’t believe that the word Linux appeared in your email at all.}}

Oh the horror.

{{So I think Sameer’s question was quite to the point.}}

Albeit pont *less*…more like a troll than a respectful participant.

{{I don’t think BLUG needs a ‘token’ Linux activist… it already has *actual* Linux activists.}}

I *am* a real Linux activist.

{{And I’m definitely sick of the political digs and name calling (even the ones I agree with). Calling it humor doesn’t wash. It’s not really relevant and its certainly not polite discourse.}}

How hyperbolic of you.

I had no idea how many EMO types subscribe to this list!

Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 20:12:21
From: Jack D
To: BerkeleyLUG
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco


I am “opposed” to all rhetoric on this list whose only main effect is polarizing the group over issues that are not directly related to Linux/OSS – this includes many posts in the past (even some from myself). While the subject of your original post is probably within reason for a LUG list, I think some of the rhetoric (the stuff Dan pointed out) in the post was exactly the type that serves no purpose other than to incite a reaction over an issue that is outside of the
realm of OSS.

And, quite frankly, yes I would request that you (and everyone else) keep your opinions on Libertarians, scientoligists and whatever other irrelevant group off of the list. I respect your right to have strong opinions on this issues (and I might agree with you on many of them), but this list is not a soap box for expressing these opinions. Doing so, does nothing but make the list less welcoming for all involved. This list is intended for discussing Linux/OSS related topics and the
activities of the BerkeleyLUG.

So, to put it bluntly: please try to keep discussions on the list related to linux/OSS. Do not include rhetoric whose main effect is to incite a reaction over issues outside of Linux/OSS. I.e. keep personal opinions on polarizing social/political issues off the list. I really don’t want to censor the list; that would really be a bad precedent, and I quite frankly don’t have the time. So please, keep the discussion on the topic Linux/OSS and express your opinions on
polarizing topics in a different venue.

Now seriously, we all have better things to be doing on a saturday night! For the love of tux, let this thread die!



Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 22:36:57
From: Zeke Krahlin
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco

Quoting Jack D:

{{So, to put it bluntly: please try to keep discussions on the list related to linux/OSS.}}

My intent, obviously, was to open a dialogue about the favorable impact of OSS applications–such as wikis, blogs and social media–on the effectiveness of activism. OLPC (One Laptop per Child) is prime example, and has been discussed numerous times on this list, and in our group). I would enjoy other’s opinions on what they think of such political movements based on OSS tools.

But in the least, such topics posted from time to time, show potential members who would enjoy discussing the political aspects of OSS, that they are just as welcome here, as the dedicated coders, who don’t want to spend so much as a nanosecond on such issues. (I must say, however, what is now being shown, is thoughtless *hostility*, intended to discourage activist-type participants. This is no accident.)

I think this is something to celebrate: how effective and ubiquitous open source has become, in supporting progressive revolution. Business, corporations, and industry are not the only aspects impacted…OSS has gone a long way in forwarding humanitarian concerns that have nothing to do with the almighty dollar.

If people only want to discuss coding, fine. Just stay off any thread that enthusiastically shares opinions and links about the political, social, educational, philosophical, scientific (and even perhaps) religious impact of open source. But to make rude comments and attempts to sabotage any such discussion, is pretty darned underhanded.

I think the activists at Wiki Leaks et al are excellent folks, who’ve made fantastic use of open source, to further important causes, risking their own lives in the process. This is an incredible result of open source, far beyond (and worthier than) the praise so often heaped upon corporate use of OSS. OLPC is great too, but no one has to take such great risks in that effort.

I can’t imagine what sort of progressive political and social change could be achieved these days, without the existence of open source. There’d certainly be no Wiki Leaks, OLPC, or El Blog del Narco!

There are many Libertarian ideas espoused by some Linux users, which because of their destructive agenda, should not be ignored. Such as the use of slave labor worldwide (to produce all these computerized products we so love), to benefit an elite handful. And no health care, job protection, etc. for more and more workers in the advanced nations. No safety net, either. That’s all Libertarian dogma.

I think that whenever people praise such ideology, they should be challenged. To censor someone because he puts a label to it (“libertarian”) is to obfuscate a serious matter, and suppress dissent. Every progressive group (including the techy ones) has been considerably infiltrated by elitist ideas such as Libertarianism. And of course, its advocates will do whatever’s necessary to silence the opposition.

As I wrote in my blog entry, “Open Source Can Do No Harm,” I pointed this out quite clearly, with linked references, that others might be better informed.

I know my occasional posts regarding OSS’s political impact is really not that big a deal. But small minded people with a hidden agenda will whine and spew nasty accusations in an attempt to censor those contributing worthwhile ideas to better the lot of the poorly advantaged. And I am most enthusiastic that Linux and Open Source now play a major role in this (though chagrined that it is also being utilized, more and more, for harmful purposes under a Libertarian banner). Obviously, some others in this group do not share my enthusiasm.

For a really classic example of vile (and ultimately *pointless*) attacks perpetrated by Libertarian style geeks, read the thread entitled “Seek the Wisdom Of Our Elder Geeks” on this page:

I was the OP (and ironically, the *founder* of that group and list); and the attacker is a Unix expert of great reknown…though *is* somewhat notorious, also, for his nasty behavior on mailing lists. Don’t know why he’s like this (why he chooses to soil his good reputation in a public venue) but you, Jack, have also commented to me about his unsavory manner. (As have a few others, over the past decade or so.)

For me not to speak out from time to time, regarding very real culture wars going on in the OSS community–as it does in all other groups–would be to remain silent in the face of a flood of Libertarian/right-wing dogma that now plays a majorly *negative* impact on the once largely progressive and anti-capitalist Linux geek community.

And in so remaining silent, I’d contribute to the empowerment of one of the most destructive forces now ravaging this planet: Libertarianism. I’d rather be *booted* off a mailing list, than comply with unnecessary self-censorship. (I’ve said the word “Libertarian” nine times, in this one message alone, thus far!)

Zeke Krahlin

Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian
Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian
Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian Liberatarian

Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 23:06:19
From: Zeke Krahlin
Subject: Re: El Blog del Narco


I should also take this moment to point out a particular star in the Linux community, who is generously distributing laptops to the poor children in Afghanistan, via the OLPC project. In fact, here is a video where she is featured, and sitting beside her is (lo and behold) our longterm Berkeley-LUG member, Grant Bowman:

Click on image to play video

The star is Carol Ruth Silver; and I wonder: Grant, do you know who this remarkable woman is, her incredible history and accomplishments?

Wonderful Ms. Silver is, politically speaking, out of the old-school left wing. She served on San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors during the time Dan White shot Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk. More than that: she was first on Mr. White’s list of victims, but by good fortune Carol had already stepped out of her office at that crucial time.

–I now quote Wikipedia [ ]:

Carol Ruth Silver (born 1938)[1] is an American lawyer and former politician. She was a Freedom Rider arrested and incarcerated for 40 days in Jackson, Mississippi…

Silver’s 1977 election was part of a shift toward diversity on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors; she was described as “the board’s first unwed mother.”…

Silver then retired from politics and continued her philanthropic work, which had included founding San Francisco’s Chinese-American International School in 1982…

In the summer of 2002 she traveled to Afghanistan to explore ways that American citizens could extend a hand of friendship to the Afghan people…

In 2007 she was appointed Director of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office of Prisoner Legal Services.

–end quotes

Regarding her recent position w/the Sheriff’s Office, from which she voluntarily retired two years after beginning that post.

–Here’s why:

In recent years Carol was the directing attorney for Prisoner Legal Services of the Office of Sheriff. But she resigned her position effective today. Carol has said: “I was participating in a system that made me feel criminal.” She told of one experience where a woman, who was in jail, needed Carol´s help to place her children in foster care. The woman was is in prison for pot charges. That upset Carol: “She should not be prosecuted, she should not be in jail, and here I was helping to place her children.” Silver announced that she was joining Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and would campaign to end the war on drugs.

–end quote

That quote is from the blog “Classically Liberal”, see:

So I just thought you should know this, Grant, if you don’t already. Ms. Silver is not just a wealthy old lady with a kind heart, who has decided to join the OLPC project. She is a dyed-in-the-wool progressive, whom I doubt very strongly, would *not* speak out against Libertarian intrusion in any group in which she held some interest.

It is important to make those aware that many progressive people have created this wonderful OSS community, but who are now being forgotten, supressed, silenced, trivialized and scorned by newer members who overrun these organizations with their foolish and mean-spirited ideology.

The Eternal Wound

April 6, 2010

My comments as “HoboHomo” (and a kind response) from article about
Christian fundamentalist dogma on, a progressive message board:

Subject: Homophobia: Our Achilles Heel
Posted by: HoboHomo on Mar 30, 2009 9:23 PM

The universal hatred of gay people by most religious and even non-religous societies has provided an eternally-open wound by which those in power can control and decimate all others.

When all sorts of people composing a MAJORITY of the culture, rabidly partake in the persecution of gays (or any other group, but homosexuals have been the chosen scapegoat for at least a millenium), society constructs its own DE-construction, and begins to experience the very terror they’ve so gleefully spawned upon the non-hetero minority.

In your own ignorance, you did not see this coming. It is not too late, IF and ONLY if, enough citizens aggressively resist homophobia and create laws and sanctions of ZERO TOLERANCE against gay bashing.

Otherwise, enjoy the hell you’ve created by your own demonic thoughts, if not outright actions.

Subject: MCC has the “jesus” domain name.
Posted by: Bliss Doubt on Mar 31, 2009 9:15 AM

HoboHomo, my feeling is that christianity is so dysfunctional and mixed up, and has so much bad baggage in the inquisition, witch hunts, crusades, holy wars, the oppression of third world people by missionaries who have insisted that native peoples were savage heathen, gay bashing, right wing political intrigue, that I wouldn’t want them, and don’t feel left out by not belonging to one of their churches. I found my spiritual path in the 80’s when I began hearing about the Goddess.

Anyway, for what it’s worth, I’d point out that no particular cult of organized christianity owns Jesus. One of the official statements of Metropolitan Community Churches is “homosexuality, not a sin, not a sickness”.

I was touched by the pain of a friend who died just over a year ago. In his last years on this planet, I think he knew he was going to die young. He’d been raised Catholic, and as a gay man felt rejected by God. He lived his last years in search of answers about pain in this life, about the validity of one’s identity, about higher power that you can lean on, our responsibility to each other and to God, and whether or not God really takes an interest in us. He died without finding his answers.

RE: MCC has the “jesus” domain name.
Posted by: HoboHomo on Mar 31, 2009 12:17 PM

HoboHomo, my feeling is that christianity is so dysfunctional and mixed up

Everything you said: so true! Do you know that when missionaries reached Alaska, their depraved teaching drove many Inuit people insane? That’s because being told they were sinners by nature caused a severe psychosis of depression, a disconnect with their creator who is most beloved in their native worldview. They couldn’t imagine being in any way, so intrinsically offensive to their God, it broke their spirit!

Many indigenous societies were most accepting of alternative sexual inclinations, and found ways to incorporate that into their culture in loving, rational ways. But–thanks to the dogma of Christianity–they now are violent gay bashers even when otherwise getting back to their roots. They may reject the distorted overlay of a conquering culture (for the most part), but maintain one of its worst influences: homophobia.

I found my spiritual path in the 80’s when I began hearing about the Goddess.

I am essentially a Pagan myself…more specifically, an animist, which is one who believes all that exists (even a rock) is imbued with universal consciousness. My paganist ideas are obvious in my tales, poems and essays that you can read on my web site or blog.

One of the official statements of Metropolitan Community Churches is “homosexuality, not a sin, not a sickness”.

While I have found little personal reward in joining gay-friendly churches (and believe me I’ve tried) due to the overall conservatism that has sadly become part of gay society…I believe that reclaiming Christianity on their own terms is a most important and effective political maneuver. That is why I’ve dedicated my own activism towards reinterpreting religious mythos on behalf of sexual minorities. My web site is entitled The Final Testament (or “Faggot Bible”), which you may visit here:

Bemusedly, I didn’t realize until several years after naming my web site, that “Final Testament” is also the pet name Muslims give to their own bible, the Q’uran. :D

On my home page is a link to my “zekeblog”, where my most recent writings and activities are recorded for anyone interested.

I was touched by the pain of a friend who died just over a year ago.

Thank you so much for being his friend; that will bless you the rest of your life. I believe that gay people have a spiritual destiny above and beyond the average hetero person…and that we walk Christ’s path more closely than any other group…as implied by our long and noble history of persecution and humiliation. It is our (gay) destiny to bring the world into a better existence, by example and long-suffering.

And it is meant to be a total surprise for most.

Thank you, Bliss Doubt, for a MOST thoughtful comment. I consider you a true friend on this bumpy road we call life. May the Great Spirit bless you this day, with a sign that brings joy.

Seek The Wisdom Of Our Elder Geeks

March 18, 2010

Cartoon image of middle aged geeky superman.

I think what needs to be acknowledged, is Open Source’s emergence from an earlier movement that was largely composed of renegade, left-wing, anti-establishment types. Since then, obviously this movement has expanded to include the mainstream corporate community. And from what I’ve just studied regarding this history, Open Source Software (OSS) established itself as separate from Free Software (FS), to assert a growing membership of business entrepreneurs and corporate interest. And this has come with considerable antagonism and upset from the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and related groups.

So of course, you are going to have the occasional clash between the two camps. However, newer members of OSS should not be surprised at all, when some participants reflect more of the original ideals of the FSF, including distaste towards the status quo, which of course includes the corporate world…as well as Republicans, Libertarians, and other right-leaning types. So whether one likes it or not, this *is* the history of Linux/FS, from which OSS sprung (or broke off, depending on whom you ask). This needs to be underlined (using Open Source loosely, to include *both* OSS and FS):

Open Source is *not* Google, as some would have us believe. Open Source is *bigger* than Google. In fact, it’s even *bigger* than all corporate entities of our struggling planet put together! In short: Open Source is *bigger* than capitalism!

In order to grow into a diverse group, you need to acknowledge that aspect of our origins. Ergo, do *not* expect every single member to be excited about the corporate aspect of OSS, and application of Linux to facilitate capitalist goals. Just so you know: in spite of this ideological rift, FS and OSS advocates do come together on various projects, when the purpose matches the ideals of the more liberal camp.

Be that as it may, Berkeley-LUG remains a very small group, for which such a low number could not possibly reflect much diversity. But as it grows under Jack’s leadership, please be aware that you will acquire more participants of a left-wing stripe, besides myself. That is: unless you allow pro-business peer pressure to drive them away.

Cartoon of angry OSS beans ganging up on one FS bean.

When I first joined, it was under the umbrella of Linux advocacy/Free Software. Some time later, Jack stated his wish to use the term “Open Source” in order to form a broader base of interest. Fine with me, however I was not yet aware of the serious ideological *rift* between the FSF and OSS communities. Only when I decided to learn more about how the term “Open Source” came to be, did I understand.

It is my impression that many of the newer advocates to OSS, are not aware of this ideological clash, and therefore blithely assume (as I had) that “Open Source Software” was simply a term to broaden our community of Linux and Free Software advocates. I have only recently learned: that is most definitely *not* the case. It will be a challenge to incorporate members of such opposed camps, but knowing your good character, I believe you are more than up to it. The payoff will be incredible, both personally and communally.

Now, while I am made to feel *alone* in my perspective, I realize that is far from the reality. *Many* anti-corporate Linux advocates live and thrive in Berkeley and surrounding regions. In fact, I am talking about our *pioneers* of FS, GNU, and open advocacy…all free and accessible to even the financially strapped: such is the *intent* of these forefathers. Allow me to employ the title “Elder Geeks” to these most generous and intelligent souls…both male and female, queer and hetero, and politically/socially progressive. BUT most definitely *not* Republican or right-wing, or even conservative (except perhaps if you include certain moderates in that circle).

These Elder Geeks tend to be largely anti-corporate, and frown on this latest phenomenon of the business world, where FS/OSS is utilized to build their monied empires. At least, this has been my observance over the years, of what Elder Geeks promote and practice. Granted, they may not project such a political *bias* as I do…just the same, they harbor distaste for the corporatization of things Linux. Which distaste may be enunciated w/o any sort of politics in mind.

These Elder Geeks are pioneers of programming, hacking, and free and generous sharing of their sofware and knowledge…to *anyone* who makes even half an effort to listen carefully, RTFM, and apply this knowledge to the real world (of cyberspace) effectively. So before you run off with fantasies of fat wallets dancing around your gifted cranium…give a thought to our Elder Geeks, and consider that perhaps (just perhaps) they have a *valid* reason for their distaste, outside of my own sharply political reasons for criticising Google, Red Hat, Sun, Oracle, et al.

It does not become such obviously talented minds to maintain willful ignorance of our history and OSS origins, and thus isolate and trivialize those not hell-bent on turning Linux into a financial Gold Rush.

Photo of tiny Linux penguin in a gold digger's pan.

Does it really benefit your education, to ignore the wisdom of our Elder Geeks, by never learning from them, exactly *why* they refuse to ride the corporate bandwagon? Do you really think that all their brilliant contributions that literally *created* and *shaped* this marvelous world of Free & Open Software you now enjoy, did not spring from a beloved philosophy *outside* the corporate empire?

I invite you to one of our Elder Geek gatherings, to kindly ask them their opinions about using FS/OSS in the corporate environment. Ask them their viewpoints on lucrative companies that utilize FS/OSS (including free operating systems), such as Google and Red Hat. Are there any for-profit agencies using FS or OSS, that they favor? Where should we draw the line between earning a living, and using Free/Open programs to earn that living?

Assuming you approach them with genuine interest and respectful regard (and knowing your character somewhat, I see no reason why you wouldn’t), they most likely will *not* chase you out of the room. :P

I’m certain they will be most pleased that younger OSS advocates even care to ask. So come to our next BUUG meeting, or the one after that, and learn valuable perspectives of our Linux Pioneers, what sorts of philosophies inspire them, and what their opposing views may be, regarding this latest evolution of OSS into the world of Wall Street.

Most sincerely,

Digital signature.

Ezekiel J. Krahlin
Old-school advocate of Free Software

Photo of huddling baby penguins.

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