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Archive for December, 2013

Lirfab – def: term derived from the acronym “loving reassurance from an amorphous benevolence.” Lirfab is a characteristic attributed to impossible coincidences that could inspire the conclusion that they were orchestrated just for you as a reminder that there are forces beyond physics that choose to show you that they are on your side as a sign of encouragement and love.

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I came up with the lirfab concept on Memorial Day this year, and since then I’ve experienced a myriad of astounding coincidences well beyond a roll of the dice. Some were nature driven, such as going outside after a long stint on the computer and having two vees of 100 geese fly directly overhead. I chose that moment to go outside, pushed there by pent up political angst. I hadn’t heard geese all day, yet while outside I could hear them far far away. I scanned for them to the southeast, and saw their full approach and pass-over which took a couple of minutes. If I had stayed at my desk I would’ve heard the honking but missed the fly-by.

As coincidences go, that one wasn’t over the top (except literally). But another one was a couple of months ago. On my way to Reno with a passenger, I saw a little floating blimp to the left of my field of vision, tethered to the ground as an advertisement for homemade pies. To my right was the tiny image of a jet flying west. After a quick check of the roadway, I looked up to see the jet seemingly pierce the blimp. What are the odds of witnessing that while doing 60 mph? A second or two earlier or later and they wouldn’t have intersected. If I was in the other lane, I might have missed it.

Rather than being merely a source of entertainment, I’ve come to view these moments as something greater. What exactly I’m not entirely sure; I don’t have any religion’s framework of God or divinity to help explain them. With all the cacophony of doctrines — and their limitations due to dogmas bent on self preservation — I’ve found it hard to commit to a specific religion or view. But there does seem to be something about the synergistic connection of all life, humanity, and a tiny hint of predestination. Maybe karma has more clout than I’d guess. But there’s something in play, something larger than our human egos. And the most noncommittal way I can express this is in the term “amorphous benevolence.” It could be a divine individual force as in God, Allah, or Buddha. It could be the collective consciousness, something that came from humanity, present and past combined. Amorphous benevolence covers all the bases. And in my view, an actual God would be rather sympathetic to my conundrum, and forgiving of its lack of commitment.

On the way to Reno I was able to see the harpooning of the blimp as imminent. There was a tiny opportunity for anticipating that lirfab moment. Tonight, there was none. And more parameters had to be in perfect alignment, including the phase of the moon.

Stopped at a traffic light in Oakland, I just turned my head to the left at exactly the right instant and got a bullhorn blast from this amorphous benevolence (as in God, if you please). Nothing subtle or ambiguous about this one. It was a stunning, once-in-a-lifetime moment. And I was immediately thankful a single breath later.

The moon was in the tiniest of crescents, a little enlarged as it closed in on the western horizon. At the instant I caught sight of it, a jet that had just taken off from Oakland Airport a half-dozen miles south pierced its image. But because of the phase of the moon, this wasn’t an angular silhouette passing before a ball of bluish white. It passed before the shaded part, and was turning away from me. How could I tell? The white lights at the wingtips were clearly visible, as were the green and red lights, against the backdrop of my cherished night orb. The arc of the turn continued once only sky was behind it, and it was pointed straight away from me as I reacted to the cars around me and pulled away at the green light. The next I saw of the jet a block later it was heading south, probably past Treasure Island by then.

In less than two minutes traffic ground to a halt at the merger of 980 and 580, and I had an opportunity to review the odds of this improbable alignment. Phase of the moon: optimum. Angle of my viewing position at the key moment: stationary at a signal within 40 degrees of the alignment with no tall buildings to block my view. Angle of the aircraft: optimal in that there would be probably only 30 degrees of its 140-degree turn where the rear-facing white lights would be brilliantly visible.

And if I didn’t turn my head at the right instant, I would’ve missed it.

Thanks, amorphous benevolence/God/Goddess/collective consciousness! I heard you loud and clear. Your grace has touched me, and I am again in gratitude up to my eyebrows. I don’t know why or how, or what you want me to do with this minor miracle, but if I end up feeling a little bit special just now that’s human nature. Yet this isn’t just for me, it’s reassurance for all of us collectively. In my heart I know that these things are out there for almost everyone to witness and draw the same conclusions. I just hope that they are lucky enough to notice, value, and draw strength from these opportunities as I have been led to do.

Happy Lirfab, everybody! May yours come soon, and be just as undeniable and jaw-dropping. They say the watched pot never boils, but things may already be popping around you, just waiting for that moment of acknowledgment that will hit you deeply, calmly, and with clarity. Grace happens! Be awake for it.

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On my Facebook timeline, I found a post from a friend being circulated around originating from Fox News. The headline is, “Obama wants Marines to wear ‘girly’ hats.” Predictably, the comments from his post are aghast as folks take this characterization as absolute fact.

This is a classic example of Fox News, the New York Post, and likely the right-wing spin masters like Karl Rove and Frank Luntz, taking a minor story reframed by a humorous right-wing military blog and reporting it as fact.

Let’s start with the kernel of truth. The manufacturer of women’s dress Marine hats is going out of business. A replacement may require a redesign.

From there, the blog said that: “Thanks to a plan by President Obama to create a ‘unisex’ look for the Corps, officials are swapping out the Marines’ iconic caps – known as covers – with a new version that some have derided as so ‘girly’ that they would make the French blush.”

This section was reprinted virtually word for word in both Fox and Post coverage. With wording like that it was a dog-whistle grand slam in riling up the gullible, flag-waving masses. First, it pins Obama to emasculating the Marines, something manly men couldn’t stand for and were more than willing to believe because that fit the narrative that has been crafted for them over the last few years.

Second, notice that the word “plan” is used. This causes those looking for a commie plot to jump on whatever sliver of conspiracy theory could be imagined.

Then we have “girly” and “French blush.” Why not just say gay? I guess that generates very uncomfortable images in some men’s heads…

With the scope of the circulation fueled through Facebook, the Marines had to address it, deny that the president would have any part in the decision making process of hat design, and state flatly that: “The Marine Corps has zero intention of changing the male cover.”

Here was yet another chance for conservatives to encounter a thought process which could lead to seeing just how and why they’ve been played by Fox and the billionaires who pull the strings. They joined the outrage, pumped up by homophobia and subtle racism. Then they found out it wasn’t true but didn’t question anything about it. Do they think that all these disproven lies are just mistakes in reporting? How can they not see the pattern seems to be driven by specific motivation, targeting a particular reaction? And if they were to see that part of the underbelly of the beast, why can’t they connect the dots and see how their patriotism, conservatism, and even faith has been used against them to pad the agenda of billionaires?

Clueless and happily taken in yet again, these Nero Cons hear that whistle and jump through every conceptual hoop presented. Why? Because pride keeps them in line. Religion keeps them superior. And Rush keeps them in outrage, imprinting phrases designed to prevent actual thought, like “death tax.”

Last week’s ploy was ultimately another dog whistle moment for Fox that died quickly when truth spoiled the party, but the lie did its duty. It was destined to be discredited but not tainted, yet another shooting star in the murky sky of Fox’s fact-free universe.

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