Daily Archives: September 17, 2013

That The Obviously Deranged D.C. Navy Yard Shooter, Aaron Alexis, Had An Interest In Buddhism Is A Total Red Herring; A Non Sequitur.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

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I am not (or should properly say ‘no longer’) a Buddhist  though I was born into a very devout (and influential) Buddhist family in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Given the total immersion I had when young, I still know quite a bit about Buddhism. So there are times, like now, when I feel obliged to pipe-in particularly when the western media starts talking tripe about Buddhism.

Non-violence is deep-seated and fundamental precept in Buddhism. The Buddha, all his life, was a very non-aggressive, prone to peace person. Though Buddhism does not prohibit the consumption of meat many Buddhist recognizing the emphasis placed on non-violence choose to be vegetarian (though few are vegan).

Though I know Buddhism quite well, I am not an expert in Asian history (given that history only started to intrigue me when I too was ‘history’, i.e., when I turned 55). But, from what I do know, in major contrast to Christianity and Islam, Buddhists never resorted to violence to spread the word; i.e., there were no Buddhist crusades. Buddhism was propagated in peace. As the story goes, Buddhism arrived in Ceylon, more than 2,000 years ago, just as a Ceylonese king was pulling the string on his bow to shoot a deer. He was interrupted in mid-pull by the missionary from India. So right there you get a gist of the Buddhist aversion against violence.

I would like to say that Buddhists are not into violence, but can NO LONGER say that with a straight face. Buddhists in Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand, over the last three decades, have been far too trigger-happy for my liking.

Now bloody Alexis’ fascination with most things Thai is more germane (though I, as a out-and-out male, would fully appreciate if his interest was mainly devoted to Thai women and food). Thailand, alas, has a history of unprovoked violence. I have lived in Thailand in the early 1970s — during the latter part of the Vietnam war when (the appropriately named) BANGcock (was that Freudian) was the #1 center for U.S. R&R. Thai taxi drivers would have an Uzi under their seats. Thai men, at least in the 1970s, would shoot first and think later. Thai women had a propensity for chopping off penises — which I think is an heinous crime. Every morning you could scan the English paper in Bangkok and read numerous stories of irate Thai women chopping off penises and sometimes throwing them out of the window. There was one story that I read that did have me in stitches. Women throws penis out of the window. Chicken picks it up in its beak and starts running around. The poor man, bleeding profusely, one hand trying to staunch the blood, is chasing around the yard trying to catch the chicken to get his wiener back. Thai hospitals had a lot of practice and success in sewing severed peckers back on — and I gather most of the time they would even work (without a splint on the side). I know that some of you think that I make this stuff up. I really don’t. But, I Googled it for a reference. How is this, from the respected U.K. Guardian — and it is from 2012. Q.E.D. (though I am sure most of you have no idea what I mean by that).

Click to access original Guardian article.

Click to access original Guardian article.

So, to even mention that this crazy idiot had an interest in Buddhism is stupid.

It is totally irrelevant. It is like saying he went to MacDonalds or spanked his monkey. Nothing to do with him going around shooting innocent people.

The Thai connection, on the other hand, might have some relevance — and it looks pretty patent that he had some sexual issues.

So, stop the mentions that he was interested in Buddhism.


New Hampshire Health Plan, My Health Insurance Provider, To Cease Providing Insurance As Of December 31, 2013!

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

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New Hampshire Health Plan covered self-employed folks like me with pre-existing conditions.

Though they never really paid for anything, partly because I have a $10,000 deductible (and also because they have a pathological aversion to paying), I, in theory, through them had catastrophic coverage — and I needed that because doctors love to tell me that I am a catastrophe just waiting to happen.

Now they are going. Their rationale makes sense. As of January 1, 2014, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), other insurance companies cannot deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions. BUT, they can still charge you an arm, a leg and a testicle.

This is NOT good news.

Alton Central School (ACS) Board Votes 3 – 2 AGAINST ‘Common Core’ — Whatever The Vote Was Supposed To Mean!

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> How come no ACS teachers attended … — Aug. 10, 2013.
>> ACS Board Aug. 8 Workshop … — Aug. 9, 2013.
>> ACS Workshop … should be hilarious — July 31, 2013.
>> ACS board not 100% behind Common Core? — June 11, 2013.

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The ACS School Board vote at the September 16, 2013, meeting, however pathetic it might have been, duly confirmed my contention following the June Board Meeting that the ACS Administration and staff did NOT have the Board backing when it comes to Common Core.

This is why I have agitated, as the minutes from the Board meeting clearly show, to get a straight up-down vote from the Board on this.

It happened and it came out as I had expected — with the Board showing its contempt for ‘CC’.

I knew how Steve Miller was going to vote. He had already stated his support for CC for the record.

I was glad and impressed that Sandy Wyatt voted for CC. It is now official: Deanna and I think she is GOOD, VERY GOOD.

I had planned to get up at the first public input session and ask the Principal why teachers from ACS had not attended the Board meetings to present their side of the story.

Though I did bring it up, I did not have to. There were about 7 or 8 (maybe more) ACS teachers present, led by 6th grade teacher Mr. Richard Kirby, who I think represents the ACS teachers in some capacity. He stood up and spoke maybe four times. He did a good job of refuting the crazy claims about CC and also clearly stating the case of the teachers as to why they are in favor of CC. Thank you Mr. Kirby. Mr. Kirby, however, is not a lawyer nor a politician and as such was not as forceful as he should have been with the rebuttals. I see that a lot with teachers. They kind of get out of practice arguing with adults.

I was delighted to see Carol Locke, the Principal of Gilmanton School, at the meeting to defend and promote CC and also to unequivocally refute some crazy statements related to teachers resigning from Gilmanton because of CC that had been made at the August Workshop. That is the first time I had seen her, let alone met her. When she got up and stated her address (which she didn’t have to do) I realized that we were neighbors and that I even walk past her house on occasion. In addition to speaking as the Principal she also spoke as an Alton resident and grandparent. She has my thanks. She was impressive.

Mr. William Lander, the Superintendent, made a VERY GOOD forceful statement on behalf of the administration and staff as to their belief and commitment in CC.

But that was all in vain.

Politics prevailed. They were not voting on CC. They were voting on ideological political beliefs and their profound fear of anything that is other than their cherished ‘local control’.

But, here is the irony and I knew that this would be the case ever since I asked for the vote.

The vote meant nothing.

It changed nothing, it changes nothing!

Yes, to be fair some of the members did point this out before the vote — viz. that they were not sure what they were voting for or against.

But, they voted against their support of ‘CC’.

However, ACS is already committed and on track with a CC-based curriculum, books and testing for the 2013 – 2014 school year. That die is cast. Rotate has been reached and exceeded.

To change course they will have to take some other votes.

Mrs. Locke (first) and I (second) BOTH stood up in the second public input and asked for clarification as to what the voted meant, its ramification.

Mr. Lander, to his credit again, pointed out that the vote didn’t change anything. He was on the ball today. I was impressed.

I chased after Mr. Kirby, who left (no doubt in disgust) after the vote and asked him if he understood what the vote meant. He didn’t.

What a Board.

Of, there was healthy applause from the public gallery, but not the teachers, when the vote failed. Sad.

But, I want to applaud and thank four individuals that truly impressed me today:
Richard Kirby, Carol Locke, Sandy Wyatt & William Lander.