Thursday, August 31, 2006


For those looking for a way to shed some stress. Try this yoga pose AKA the corpse pose. Think about it. You can't get much more relaxed than that.


Here is a variation called the "Body Scan." Similar idea to Savasana but with some specific breathing ideas included. Its highly recommended. Four stars. Two thumbs up.

The Body Scan from the book 'Full Catastrophe Living' by Jon Kabat-Zinn
    "The Body-Scan...involves lying on your back and moving your mind through the different regions of your body.
    We start with the toes of the left foot and slowly move up the foot and leg, feeling the sensation as we go and directing the breath into and out from the various regions. From the pelvis, we go to the toes of the right foot and move up the right leg back to the pelvis. From there, we move up through the torso, through the low back and abdomen, the upper back and chest, and the shoulders.
    Then we go to the fingers of both hands and move up simultaneously in both arms, returning to the shoulders. Then we move through the neck and throat, and finally all the regions of the face, the back of the head and the top of the head.
    We wind up breathing through an imaginary "hole" in the very top of the head, as if we were a whale with a blowhole. We let our breathing move through the entire body from one end to the other, as if it were flowing in through the top of the head and out through the toes, and then in through the toes and out through the top of the head. " (note: please refer to the book "Full Catastrophe Living" by Jon Kabat-Zinn for complete instructions on this extremely useful, totally relaxing, and anxiety reducing technique. The book is published by Delta.)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


A fine story that depicts the role of intuition and subjectivity in consciousness.

From the book 'Psyche and Matter' by Marie Louise von Franz

....In Kiaochou came a great drought so that men and animals died in the hundreds. In despair, the citizens called for an old rainmaker who lived in the mountains nearby. ....the rainmaker was brought into town in a sedan chair, a tiny little gray-bearded man. He asked to be left alone outside the town in a little hut, and after three days it rained, and even snowed! ....the old man (was) he made the rain. But he answered, "I haven't made the rain, of course not." And then, after a pause, he added, "You see it was like this-throughout the drought the whole of nature and all the men and women here were deeply disturbed. They were no longer in Tao. When I arrived here I became also disturbed. It was so bad that it took me three days to bring myself again into order." And then he added, with a smile, "Then naturally it rained."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Skillet Miso Soup

Hey its the end of summer. The news is slightly flat with just the usual commonplace stuff that Americans don't really pay attention to: more soldiers killed in Iraq, Bush is on vacation and primping for photo ops next to Katrina victims touting his ill begotten effort at fixing New Orleans, Rumsfeld is attacking the general public for failing to understand how the Iraq War is saving our lives, corruption is leaking out of the government like water out of a broken levee, hey its all no big deal. No need to be concerned.

So allow me to post a recipe.

This is a real recipe, one of my favorites and my own invention.

Skillet Miso Soup

In a large iron skillet, saute on medium heat in organic olive oil 1 to 1 1/2 cup(s) of organic vegetables of your choice. I like zucchini and kale.

Add into the saute, a boneless salmon fillet about 4 to 6 ounces in size, on the small size.

Add in fresh herbs, some parsley, basil, perhaps oregano.

When all of the above is 90% cooked, add in a drained can of cooked organic lentils.

Stir all the ingredients and breakup the fish fillet.

Add water to slightly less than the top of the skillet and bring to a boil for a minute or two.

Turn off the heat and let the soup rest.

In a small bowl take 1/4 water and a large tablespoon of miso and blend the miso into a water making a slushy miso broth.

Add the 1/4 cup miso broth to the soup, stir, and serve.

Drawing is by Leonard Cohen

Monday, August 28, 2006


With the anniversary of Katrina, attention is being refocussed on the American governments' ability to handle disasters.

This article takes on a related aspect which is the general condition of America's infrastructure. The short take is that the seams are a bit frayed.

US infrastructure critique

We tend to forget about all of the ramifications of disasters and wars with our focus going towards the human tolls. During Katrina many pets got left behind. Some were rescued. Related sites:

The Humane Society


In my disaster web travels, I came across this site

Worst United States Disasters

Under epidemics, there was the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918. 500,000 Americans died as a result of this, yes half a million people.

The non sequitur dept.

Headline 1 August 27, 2006: Iraq PM: Violence is decreasing

Headline 2 August 27, 2006: Wave of Iraq attacks leaves dozens dead

Image is of influenza virus

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Micro Cars

To go with your micro home.



Bubble Car

The Clever Car

Isetta (Its extinct but still cool.)

Search them out. Make the footprint smaller.

Its Jellyfish

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Into the Muck

The crap waters continue to fill with Republicans jumping off the Bush Iraq War boat to nowhere.

Republican Rep. Christopher Shays is now calling for troop withdrawal from Iraq. The one time fervent supporter is changing his mind due to his likely defeat in the November election. Diane Farrell is his Democratic challenger. The war is not popular in Connecticut or anywhere else.

Shay flip flops

Meanwhile George Bush is doing something he is incredibly good at. He is on vacation. It is estimated that out of the past 6 years in office, he has taken more than 1 year in vacation. One would think that the "War on Terror" would demand a tiny bit more attention from the leader of the free world. Considering those like Newt Gingrich refer to the period we are in as "World War III", one wonders how these people can look each other straight in the eye. Apparently "World War III" is not as pressing as previous world wars, it has lot of downtime.

Bush goes fishing

How does an advanced country like the US remove evolutionary biology from its list of approved federal grants. Quite simple. You elect an administration that does not believe in evolution. Contrary to all science, the Bush administration not only will go it alone into war, but will go it alone into science. The curious thing is that people confuse utter ignorance with firmness of mind.

De e-vo-lu-tion

Finally this is a must read article by John Dean on the rise of Christian Nationalism.

Christian Nationalism

Friday, August 25, 2006

Green Homes

Hey, if everyone lived off the grid, creating a small footprint in terms of resource and energy usage, exactly where would political parties and their leaders that work on behalf of large corporations be?


A friend sent me these links. Open to see more.

Royal Homes 1

Modernist prefab dwellings 1

Royal Homes 2

Modernist prefab dwellings 2

Micro homes 1

Micro homes 2

Thursday, August 24, 2006


If you have not read Jim Hightower's new article on Bush please do.

Hightower article

He does a good job of compiling a lengthy list of head shaking disasters brought on by the Bush administration. Its a hard list to read. It runs from Iraq, to the cost of war, to spying, to Halliburton, to signing statements, etc. Its all there. Pass out copies to the fence sitters. The only problem is that the list is so long, its takes a while to read.

Check out The Downing Street Memo to get information on pre-war planning. In this case we are talking about the plan to fix the information to support the drive to war. Not exactly the compassionate truth many seem duped into believing.

Watch Bush's press conference from Monday:

Press Conference

In the conference Bush is directly asked if there is a connection between the Iraq War and 9-11, and he answers no. However this does not stop the massive sentiment in the country that still says otherwise.

Image is a photo of Saturn

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Debate Tasini

Supporters of the victory of Ned Lamont in the Connecticut Democratic Senate Primary need to turn their attention to Jonathan Tasini.

Tasini Website

Jonathan is running against Hillary Clinton in the New York Democratic Senate Primary. He is a solid progressive candidate and unlike Clinton, he supports a withdrawal of the troops from Iraq.

Clinton is not interested in debating Jonathan. Call her at:
212-688-6262 in NYC
202-224-4451 in DC
and tell her you want to see her debate Jonathan.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


There are two approaches that I like to describe regarding methods for writing music. I like to apply both approaches when talking about ways of finding solutions to many problems and projects.

The first is a premeditated approach. Someone has a clear melody that comes to mind. It may be fully developed and complete as in a completed song. The work at this point involves moving the melody from the internally imagined sound to notation or from practice to performance or production.

The second is an open ended process approach. Someone sits down at the piano and has nothing in particular in mind except the desire to do some creative work. They may improvise for a while but the trick is to find a phrase or a loop or a few notes or chord changes that seem to appeal. This section is extracted from the session and remembered or written down. In the next session, this section is played and the music writer reacts an expands the section, developing it further. They repeat this, maybe over dozens of sessions till they create something that is more complete.

I think we all oscillate back and forth between these two approaches in our lives. We might keep in mind that we have to be at work at a particular time, but then the nature of the day might bring up unanticipated events that we have to react to out of the norm as in the process approach. The opposite can happen, where we want to have a relaxed an open evening sitting in the hammock but then the unanticipated event arises that forces us to concentrate and utilize our premeditated skills. The hammock cable breaks and we have to fix it properly.

From my own personal experience, I find that using an open process approach when meeting with people is best. If we are predisposed to judging someone based on our solidified and premeditated notions, no meeting of any value can occur. We decided long ago that we hate people for "some reason", so no open ended process of meeting can occur when the "some reason" person says hello.

Innocent until proven guilty is an open process. Fortunately the law has favored the collection of evidence that associates culpability to an accused. Now we are seeing a trend towards guilty until proven innocent. Think of Guantanomo, where prisoners are held without charge for years on end.

Restrictions, surveillance, removal of guaranteed constitutional protections, the compilation of personal data such as reading habits and genetic information, all of these things go against the open ended process that people need to thrive.

Painting is by Caravaggio

Monday, August 21, 2006


measures taken to ameliorate the situation improve, make better, better, make improvements to, enhance, help, benefit, boost, amend; relieve, ease, mitigate; informal tweak, patch up. antonym worsen.

"Hey, Jude, don't make it bad

Take a sad song and make it better

Remember to let her into your heart

Then you can start to make it better" Lennon and McCartney

Improvement is applied in endless ways: improve gas mileage, improve carbon emissions, improve your skill, improve your relationship, improve your living situation, improve your house.

Here's an article dated April 15, 2006 from the San Francisco Chronicle titled "Dalai Lama seeks to improve Islam's image. He'll meet with Muslim leaders in a mission of peace in S.F."

Considering that a guest on Fox News recently suggested that Muslims check into airports in separate lines, The Dalai Lama is on target regarding the image of Muslims in America. watch the video

It must be pointed out that the guest, Michael Gross, is attempting to come forth with an improvement. He would improve the situation by creating a distinct racially profiled line. He is bringing forth racism as an improvement. I suspect previous laws governing racism were seen as improvements.

I would argue differently. This is another form of collective punishment. The vast majority who would stand in that line are forced to suffer a type of cultural humiliation, a disruption beyond ordinary disruption. At what point does the separation that is inflicted at the airport end and when does an acceptance begin. How does the cleared person in the line dust themselves off and proceed to get welcomed back into the fold of the others. Would the line at the airport be the only line? Probably not.

There is anti-moslem sentiment in the US at this time. Check out the website little green footballs and see for yourself.

Here's a simple observation. Twenty five years ago the people on the left side of the political spectrum, people like me, would be called commies. The failure of communism and the initial end of the cold war ( which incidentally is once again being revved up by the present administration) put an end to that labelling for the most part. Now people on the left side of the spectrum are called "Islamo Fascists" by the same name callers. (note: some call lefties "Commie Islamo Fascists" which is my kind of absurdity.)

Running parallel to this name calling is a parallel racism. Blacks are out at least from the point of view of being on the forward edge line of racism though of course clearly in the main body. Now the new racism is focussed on the Moslems. A substitution has occurred and little improvement is in sight.

Painting is by Duchamp

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Personality is integral to negotiation. Someone carrying the belief that they contain unlimited divine authority ought to prove to be a difficult figure with whom to reach an agreement. How can you negotiate with someone holding an etched sense of great worth and accompanying belief system. Their authority is from their own perspective profoundly superior and without challenge.

Jump to a religious war which pits two groups holding differing religious views. Both hold a divine authority. This contains the ingredients for failure in an attempt at negotiation. How can you get past the deep religious beliefs which generate the cultural and societal living standards of two opposing religious systems. Its not something people want to change in this context with the exception that there might be a joint appreciation for the other side creating an opening for discussion.

The threat of war is an overwhelming hardball tactic. If the side doing the threatening has all the military to back up the threat, and that threat is formidable, how does the opposing party negotiate. Do they bluff, do they yield, do they deceive, do they fully cooperate, do they wait and pray, do they run and hide, do they fight anyhow and try to figure out how best to capitalize on slight weaknesses. Do they decide to become gorilla fighters using asymmetrical tactics.

Is it possible to negotiate with an enemy that is perceived to be so ruthless, so contemptuous that the term itself seems useless. They are beyond negotiation. Can a third party come into the situation and through a non biased perspective treat both sides with equal skill and clarity leading to valuable communication.

Then we get into the issue of what goal lies deep within the heart of the leaders themselves. Are they people who are ultimately seeking peace or are they seeking annihilation of the other side. Is there a hidden agenda that fits into a distant picture.

Now jump to this article. Briefly, a large group of former generals and security officials have called for the Bush Administration to back away from hardball tactics and saber rattling to begin negotiations with Iran over nuclear energy and weapons. Seymour Hersh speaking on Democracy Now pointed out that the Bush Administration,"does not talk with people it doesn't like."

It is telling that former military personnel of the highest rank, people who have intimate knowledge of war and the culture of war, understand that we are now in need of less hardball and more negotiation, and that they themselves are compelled to come forward and issue this statement.

With the release of John Dean's new book Conservatives Without Conscience the sense that the present US administration is intrinsically incapable of negotiation is being supported. The policy of non negotiated unilateral action is not valuable.

Image by Jeff Koons

Saturday, August 19, 2006


I wanted to post something different from my political grumbles. I will mention one thing however. Now with the Israeli Hezbollah Lebanon war (AKA the 33 day war) in remission, it seems relatively clear that the neoconservatives had a large hand in developing the drive to war for Israel. With Israel's appearance in the Middle East now in retrograde due to its less than convincing "victory", we have a situation where the neocons have backed failed war number two. To those keeping score its neocons 0, Iraq and Hezbollah 2. Considering these same neocons are still pushing for war against Iran, the question becomes, what exactly does it take to get the American population out of its sleepy coma, and into demanding a change in policy direction?

A quote:

"The word accident is from casus, "fall." It echoes the great fall of Adam and Eve and suggests failure, the fall from grace and perfection. It is related to cadence, an ending, which in music and poetry has an important and satisfying aesthetic function. It is also connected to chance, the fall of the dice. All these senses of accident are at work when we pass an overturned truck on the road and can't help twisting our necks to catch sight of this common portion of life. Perhaps ultimately we are attracted to misfortune because it is a figuration of Death, whom we usually deny and yet with whom we have an intimate relationship." From the book 'Dark Eros' by Thomas Moore

Painting by Picasso

Friday, August 18, 2006

Alternative Media

Since the time of the Iraq War, I no longer view main stream media. They presented next to nothing in terms of dissenting voices in the run up to the war. They primarily mouthed the same points of the Bush Administration which turned out to be 100% false. I do from time to time read the NYT, once in a while watch NBC news, but at this point, it is the alternative media.

Here are a few of the websites that I like to read articles from:

The Raw Story
Crooks and Liars
Z Magazine
The Huffington Post

The best alternative news radio program is Democracy Now

Painting is an Aboriginal work

Thursday, August 17, 2006


I am fond of this quote. It is from a book titled 'Masochism' by Lyn Cowan. She takes a Jungian perspective on this topic:

".....Martyrs tend to see their situation simply: their suffering has been unjustly imposed on them by persons and forces from the outside. This superficiality of self-pity blocks genuine compassion. Their attitude is self-righteous and self-centered. Only through heroic tolerance and false humility do they feel able to bear up under the mysteriously unfair things that keep happening." 
"Martyrs do not accept the experience of suffering. They actually avoid it by using their apparent victimization as ego ammunition. Martyrs are too proud of their suffering, too manipulative about their righteousness, to suffer humiliation. Thus martyrs are possessed by literalisms and projections. Their suffering finds its primary meaning as proof of their victimization. This is an oppressively empty view, one that lacks metaphorical resonance and a sense of intrapsychic reality."

I write this in juxtaposition to my entry from yesterday. This is a situation where basic suffering is viewed as an imposition from the outside. As the Buddhists say, suffering is simply part of the human condition. we are born, we get old, we get sick, we die. There is suffering at all these stages. This is not an imposition, contrary to what the martyr thinks.

In this context of martyrdom, think about some of the extremist pundits that are in the media. They are humorless, compassionless, and certainly falsely humble, which is often humble-less. Self-righteous is a given, as is self-centered.

Finally there is the idea of metaphorical resonance or rather the lack thereof. Do any of these radical right pundits catch your excitement in terms of sparking your imagination with wonderful ideas and vision?

Image is of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Contempl Fascismo

What exactly is democracy? Wikipedia states "Democracy, is, literally, rule by the people (from the Greek demos, "people," and kratos, "rule"). The methods by which this rule is exercised, and indeed the composition of "the people" are central to various definitions of democracy, but the general principle is that of majority rule."

There's more to it of course, but read this quote from writer/thinker Marie Louise Von Franz. "Whenever we think we must alter outer nature or manipulate human beings or change them technically, we work for the destruction of our soul and our own life." (from 'Psyche and Matter' by Marie Louis Von Franz)

For me the salient part of the quote is "we think we must." We have the thought to change something in the outer world, but then we "must" put the thought into action. "Must" in this context is friction in relation to democracy. We can think of many examples where an ideology is imposed on an individual or a group to manipulate them: torture, authoritarian rule, fascism, sexism, racism, agism, political suppression. From the perspective of the person receiving, it is an ugly imposition or much worse.

The end of the quote is "the destruction of our soul and our own life." What Von Franz writes is a formula for losing our humanity.

Participation in determining the rules that guide your life is a great responsiblity, not to be given away or handed over to an authority that presumes it knows what is best for you.

Painting by Modigliani

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


"So a military force has no constant formation, water has no constant shape: the ability to gain victory by changing and adapting according to the opponent is called genius." Master Sun - 'The Art of War'

This quote made me think about the President's "stay the course" statement. He repeats this often and we hear it often from the main stream media. It seems to be in direct opposition to Master Sun's famous treatise. There is the solidity of staying the course, you could call it, let's not budge, or let's hunker down, or let's dig in, or let's remain firm. You don't get a sense of fluidity with these statements.

I can't evaluate Master Sun's statement in regards to war, but in life it seems to have appeal and it makes sense. We change, so its best to remain fluid and adapt as the need arises.

Seymour Hersh spoke on Democracy Now on Monday August 14. He mentions that the Bush administration "does not talk with people it doesn't like." This is distressing news. There are no high level negotiations or talks going on between the US and Iran. Yet the prospect for a war with Iran is high, given that the Neo Conservatives want to have a war with Iran. The idea of war becomes a self fulfilling prophecy in this context. The Neo Cons want a war and are unwilling to negotiate. So the die is cast from the Neo Con perspective.

I mention this in relation to the original quote. The Neo Conservatives do not have an ability to negotiate or to be fluid in a situation. They have an ideology and a project and that's that. Think of the negotiating skill of Neo Conservative John Bolton, US Ambassador to the UN. Bolton is known as having no diplomatic skills. There is no fluidity in this approach.

America sorely needs an exciting charismatic leader with dazzling diplomatic skill. This would imply an ability to change as the situation demands. Think about how the notion of "flip flopping" is used. It is used in the pejorative sense for the politician who understands the need to change. In fact, this is what we need right now. Someone who can change, someone who can dialogue with the enemy, someone who can learn from the mistakes of the past and not continue with those mistakes into the future.

Painting is a Hopi Maze

Monday, August 14, 2006

Deep Breath

I read the new blog set up by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Read it for yourself: blog

Here's a quote taken from the blog. He is talking about the 8 year Iran - Iraq war. "During these 8 years, Saddam fought with us and also with his own people. He bombarded our cities with chemical weapons provided by the Western powers and also Iraqi villages and towns. During the whole period of war, while Saddam was bombarding our cities, Islamic Republic of Iran, obeying the laws of Islam and humanitarian principles, never attacked cities and limited the war with the army of Iraq in the battlefield. It is sad, that even this humane attitude of Islamic Republic didn’t impress those who at world stage watched the war at that time. "

If you followed the news of the past week, three events took center stage: the Israeli war on Hezbollah and Lebanon, the thwarted terrorist attack on airplanes from the UK to the US, and the victory of Ned Lamont over incumbent Senator Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Senate Democratic Primary. Here's where the real head slapping doh moments were. First Bush links 9-11 to Hezbollah, then he links Hezbollah to the thwarted UK airplane melee. Then Cheney links the victory of Ned Lamont to being a victory for Al Qaeda! Then even more bizarre and with even more absurdity, Lieberman also links the victory of Ned Lamont to Al Qaeda! Wow! The "all things connected to 9-11 theory" is expanding now to include anything that doesn't fit in with the Neo Conservative/Bush/Cheney/Lieberman agenda.

Lets come up with a few more things that will no doubt be connected to 9-11 and/or Al Qaeda.

Certainly if the Democrats take back the House or Senate then and only then will that action be a victory for Al Qaede. You must understand that by proxy any Democrat is connected to Al Qaeda. Bet you didn't know that did ya. With the majority of Americans registered as Democrats, caliphate here we come.

If the Yankees win another World Series, then this will be a victory for Al Qaeda. You see the Yankees represent New York and New Yorkers are almost all Democrats and as we know by proxy Democrats are part of Al Qaeda (see Dick Cheney). New Yorkers will go around saying, "Hey Al, how ya doin?" Thus the "all things linked to Al Qaeda/911 theory" generates on and on and on. Its a beautiful thing, very close to the notion of a perpetual energy device so sought after by our Middle Ages brethren.

collage by Man Ray

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Bonus War Days

Leonard Cohen - lyrics "There is a war"
There is a war between the rich and poor, a war between the man and the woman.
There is a war between the ones who say there is a war and the ones who say there isn't.
Why don't you come on back to the war, that's right, get in it, why don't you come on back to the war, it's just beginning.

Dalai Lama on war "The Iraq issue is becoming very critical now. War, or the kind of organized fighting, is something that came with the development of human civilization. It seems to have become part and parcel of human history or human temperament. At the same time, the world is changing dramatically. We have seen that we cannot solve human problems by fighting. Problems resulting from differences in opinion must be resolved through the gradual process of dialogue. Undoubtedly, wars produce victors and losers; but only temporarily. Victory or defeat resulting from wars cannot be long-lasting. Secondly, our world has become so interdependent that the defeat of one country must impact the rest of the word, or cause all of us to suffer losses either directly or indirectly."

Two articles for you:

The first article is from the NY Times. What strikes me as truly absurd here is this. Israel is planning to cease fire on Monday or so the article would have us believe. OK let's say they do stop on Monday. In the absurd world perspective I'm thinking that Israel is getting a few "bonus war days." They agree to stop on Monday but meanwhile on Friday , Saturday, and Sunday, they rev the whole operation up to inflict more infrastructure damage and ostensibly eradicate Hezbollah rockets and such. Take this kind of logic and apply it to any situation that involves conflict where human life is at stake morally or immorally and what do you get? The atomic bombings will be stopped on Monday but till then..... The company will stop polluting your water supply on Monday but till then...... The guards agree to stop beating and torturing prisoners on Monday but till then...... Get the idea?

The second article is a personal perspective on war. This is about an American soldier who fought in Iraq and is now suffering from the effects of the depleted uranium weapons which his side used in the war, his side, the USA. This fellow is in debilitating agony all day long. If George Bush and Dick Cheney are such great supporters of the troops, then why are our soldiers getting crippled by our own weapons in the Iraq War?

Music is condition x from my new CD "Particle"
Particle is available at CD Baby and iTunes.

Painting by Betty Lane 1907 - 1996

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Recent polls indicate that George Bush and his Republican Party friends in the Senate and House have an approval rating equal to the lowest numbers yet. Poll article Not a surprise as George Bush has violated the fundamental rule of the Presidency. He is not working for the benefit of the people of the United States.

In spite of the abysmal poll numbers, Bush is working to continue with his domestic policy of rollback. He intends to take away all entitlement programs instituted, some from the Roosevelt Administration. Social Security is still on his list of "things' to do or in this case things to remove. Entitlement cuts article Considering how tragically unpopular both Bush and his agenda are, this does not stop him from pursuing rollback. It is important to protest and speak out.

With Lamont coming from nowhere in a matter of months and beating an incumbent in Lieberman primarily on the issue of the Iraq War, Hillary Clinton is similarly ripe for dethronement. I am not a supporter of Clinton as she has provided full approval for the Neo Conservative agenda of endless war, particularly Iraq. I am therefor a supporter of Jonathan Tasini. Tasini website Review his position papers and you will find a true progressive in the best tradition.

Also there is a Congressional race that is shaping up very well. This involves Sweeney versus Kirsten Gillibrand. Gillibrand is the Democrat and I support her candidacy. At this point it is highly plausible that she can unseat Sweeney and this is tremendously good news. Kirsten Gillibrand website

painting by Kandinsky

Friday, August 11, 2006

One More Time

1. "The thing that’s partly disturbing about it is the fact that, the standpoint of our adversaries, if you will, in this conflict, and the al Qaeda types, they clearly are betting on the proposition that ultimately they can break the will of the American people in terms of our ability to stay in the fight and complete the task." Dick Cheney on Lieberman's loss

2. "But clearly within the Democratic Party, it would appear to be that there are deep divisions. I think there’s a significant body of opinion that wants to go back — I guess the way I would describe it is sort of the pre-9/11 mind set, in terms of how we deal with the world we live in." more Dick Cheney on Lieberman's loss

full article

Why did the USA go into Iraq?

The Project for a New American Century comprised of long time right wing pro-war Washington insiders, such as Rumsfeld, Cheney, Kristol, Wolfowitz, Perle, Libby, Feith, Bolton, and such, issued their salient document known as the PNAC document in September 2000. The writers and signers of PNAC called for US intervention in Iraq, Iran, and Syria among other places. Their idea was to spread the so called Pax Americana to the Middle East at the end of a gun barrel. By their own admission, all that was missing in order for them to implement this plan was a New Pearl Harbor which conveniently and chillingly occurred on September 11, 2001. With the election of George Bush in 2000, many of the main signers of PNAC came into power as part of the new administration. As George Bush is notoriously disinterested in policy, PNAC agenda became official US foreign policy. After 9-11, the underhanded links were made in the media and a reason for invading Iraq, a long standing interest of the PNAC signers, occurred. We would avenge 9-11, find WMD, get Al Qaeda, etc etc. All of these reasons were in fact false: Saddam was not part of Al Qaeda, Saddam did not cause 9-11, no WMD were found. However one major objective was accomplished: the writers and signers of PNAC, men like Cheney, and Rumsfeld, got their long sought after wish, an ongoing military conflict in the Middle East to bring about the Pax Americana.

Addressing quote one: Lieberman lost because of his tacit support of the Iraq War. Al Qaeda was not in Iraq at the time of the invasion. Consequently Cheney is falsely linking Iraq and Al Qaeda again.

Addressing quote two: The Anti War movement views the war in Iraq as an atrocity that never should have occurred. As this war disintegrates into more and more utter chaos, there is no course to maintain in Iraq. The troops need to come home now. All of Cheny's unnecessary claims about 9-11 and such is again another attempt to falsely link 9-11 to Iraq.

Every credible and conceivable source verifies what I have written: No Links to Al Qaeda, No Links to 9-11. Why does Cheney continue to make false statements that mislead and misdirect the American people? This is a disservice and a dereliction of responsibility.

image: Egyptian painting

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Giving a false appearance of simple frankness.

Lieberman fits the definition perfectly. After losing to Lamont in the Democratic primary for the senate seat from Connecticut, Lieberman made about as many frank and conflicted statements as possible. article

Making odd platitudes about a way to get past all the ugly partisanship in Washington, compared to Lieberman's actual faithful support of the Neo-Conservative/Bush war agenda, fall hopelessly flat on the antiwar people. A new poll released today states that 60% of Americans now oppose the Iraq War. article

Let me offer a disingenuous on the spot commentary on Lieberman.

Its hard to lose and give up that kind of power, Lieberman appears to be in a state of denial over this loss. All that loss of prestige, all the ego boosting ass kissing, all that access to unbridled power, tough thing to let go of. Watching Lieberman pull this third party stunt reminds me of a junkie spinning and lying to find money for an overdue fix. This is pathetic and an embarrassment primarily for Lieberman.

Let me offer disingenuous advice.

Lieberman, show dignity and savvy, leave gracefully and with honor. The same sort of platitude that you no doubt will spew about how to get our troops out of Iraq.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


(First, congratulations to Ned Lamont! I am a supporter of Lamont. This is indeed a referendum on the failed Bush/neo conservative policy of war and more war. Ned came from out of nowhere and quickly caught on. Lots of GOP bigwigs are gulping right now. Excellent and outstanding!)

New laws in primarily Southern and Mid West States are changing the rules of self-defense. article

This change appears to be similar to changes made by the Neo Conservatives in regard to foreign policy. Part of the idea of unilateral action is based on the notion that you invade a country on the suspicion that it may be harboring a danger, read that terrorism, to the US. We heard this line articulated by our leaders on many occasions. The notion "better Baghdad than Boise" as expressed by Rumsfeld is connected to the notion of unilateral action. We bring the fight to them, just in case they are thinking about messing with us. This is an extension of the idea of self-defense to the realm of suspicion being a qualifying reason for action. As we know with Iraq in reality posing absolutely no threat whatsoever to the USA in military terms, the possibility that it is a threat is good enough, and continues to be good enough.

I find this a rather disturbing change. It is more of the Bush doctrine expressed in a multitude of ways. Using this logic, and that would certainly be a generous stretch of the meaning of that term, literally anyone is potentially guilty of anything. I suspect you are a murderer and until you can disprove that to me, you are going to jail or you may need to be killed.

We are witnessing this now as Israel decides that civilians in Lebanon might be terrorist supporters and that "might be" is enough evidence to support massive bombing including the use of white phosphorous and cluster bombs.

So now, more onus is placed on the perpetrator of crime. I now longer need to retreat from the scene of conflict in order to avoid further conflict. I can simply stand my ground and shoot your ass, hopefully before you shoot mine. If I shoot you, that's fine. The threat of violence is enough to get me off the hook.

It appears that walking away from a confrontation, something that is a sign a tremendous maturity, is now not necessary, as long as you have a gun of course. You can be a real man even if your a woman and hold your ground, protect your house, and car because the law extends to your car as well. So be careful out there when you go to beautiful Florida.

Finally, is it just me, but in this light, the students at Kent State who were shot down by National Guardsmen appear to be the aggressor. Something tells me that if there is a large protest demonstration maybe against another illegal and immoral war based completely on fabrication and lies, in that demonstration, I'm betting that we will see someone or some people get shot and legally be responsible for their own death. Perhaps their heirs will be sued bt the State to reclaim shooting fees.

painting by Malevich

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Impoverishment 2

We are witnessing societal and political impoverishment since 9-11 occurred. Think about all of the changes that have so quickly come about.

Torture is a type of impoverishment. The people doing the torture are impoverished. I think most people recognize this on some level. How can you maintain your bright humanity when you dispense cruelty. We attempt to legitimize torture by somehow presenting a greater picture scenario, but this falls flat. What emerges is a culture or a country that is impoverished, a country that lacks the generous resilience to dispense equal justice, a country that does not show a type of wisdom in dealing with brutality. I don't think anyone ever was happy to be a brutal human. You might project happiness onto a smiling rapist, murderer, or sadistic assailant but we can't fall for that twist and twisted it is. Can you recall periods in history when a country that tortured endured in history as a noble culture. Nazi Germany? The US can not torture its prisoners, no signing statement by George Bush makes it right. In fact it makes it worse.

Taking away the right of habeas corpus is another form of impoverishment. A simple rule that one can only be imprisoned lawfully is central to justice. People held in prison for years on end with no understanding of why they are being held, on the gut level this is an atrocity and we all know it. How can we allow our country to do this? Why have we accepted this type of impoverishment? Applying the principle of universality is the simple way to see if you want it. Treat the other as you would treat yourself. What level of frustration and rage would you experience if you were held in prison without charges for 5 years?

Painting is an 18th Century Thanka of the Buddha

Monday, August 07, 2006

Impoverishment 1

Impoverishment is like a skipped record, it keeps coming around, goes right, comes around, goes right, times a million. You can name all kinds of, styles of, and approaches to impoverishment: impoverishment of the environment, spiritual impoverishment, richness as impoverishment, poverty and impoverishment, impoverishment and prosperity as the two faces of globalization, insurance as preventing impoverishment, deprivation, pauperization, destitution, and then there's empowerment.

There's the god awful news coming out of Iraq, 50 blown up in a car bomb, maybe 100, maybe 10 from some suicide bomber, some crazed s.o.b. riding a wave of impoverishment mixed with all kinds of hideous rage. We used to say stuff like he blew up at me, she went off on him. The suicide bomber is riding rage like few have known. Washington offers nothing except platitudes and public relations soaked political garbage, and of course more war, or a better war. How brainless do you have to be to even listen to that crapola at this point. Newt Gingrich telling people they just don't have the guts to fight it out and see the light. You crazy ass, what are you doing with such a big megaphone. What jackass decided that this retread was news worthy?

You have to be completely oblivious to not feel the tangible impoverishment of America. You name the kind of, style of, and approach to and its there. If your not making a huge pile of garbage in the form of poison proof packaging, UPS boxes, used cell phones, and pounds of plastic, where did my life go?

There are people in Washington that believe in creative destruction. Read about it. It gets me too irritated to think about it especially since this was one of the bright boy models that caused the Iraq War to begin with. Its something like the small K-Mart filled with more junk than you could ever want, gets blown up, the debris hauled to some landfill disaster zone, then we rebuild a new megastore monster with 50 times more junk than the junk you didn't need before.

You know, its the spiritual impoverishment that is the real stinker. Getting suckered in by the over stuffed advertising nation. After all advertising is a nation, isn't it? Its the virtual nation of product, persona, species, war, sex, porno, career, portfolios, image, all of that floating and entwined in our molecules. Waking into the shadow side of that nightmare isn't fun, is it. And its so damn sticky, that happy thrill of a new sneaker-TV-computer-car-fridge-thing-thing. Less is more but only if you are in the top 1%, not the economic top 1%, the truly adept and mature 1%, otherwise the record is gonna skip soon.

I'll work on this, its rough I know. But I had to start, I'm bugged lately, must be the heat, too many jackasses.

image by William Sande

Sunday, August 06, 2006


The November elections are favoring the Democrats. This is well known and polls for the President and the Houses of Congress show tremendous across the board dissatisfaction with Republicans.

Last week there was an announcement by Oklahoma Republican state Senator Nancy Riley, article, that she is changing parties. She will become a Democrat. Among her reasons for the change was her seeing a lack of compassion in the policies of the Republican Party.

Also, Ned Lamont has opened a huge lead over Lieberman in the Democratic primary for Senator from Connecticut. article Lieberman's complete support for the war in Iraq, is viewed as the central issue in this race. Lamont wants a return of the troops.

Also, Cindy Sheehan, article, will be returning to Crawford, Texas to protest the Bush Administration and the War in Iraq. This article shows one major point which is that the White House is very aware of Cindy Sheehan.

These three stories are a small part of a growing wave of opposition to the Bush Administration. Each week more stories of this nature emerge. The administration appears to be more in the business of attempting to control information that is factually critical rather than creating policy that generates interest and appeal. new website

It is the Bush Administration itself that is the reason why there is such a renewed involvement in political action. The depth of distrust and the pervasive societal stress of Bush policy is forcing more and more people away from complacency and into political action. This may end up being the actual legacy of the Bush Administration.

painting by Luis Miguel Suro

music is Chatter Cut 2 from my CD "Prim"
"Prim" is available on iTunes

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Conflicts of Interest

In July of 2003, Tom Delay toured Israel. Before the Israeli Knesset he gave a speach titled "Be Not Afraid."

In the speech Delay talks of the threat of terrorism, eliminating terrorism, the right to eliminate terrorism, the support from the US of Israel to eliminate terrorism, and such. The speech is filled with a lot of references that are familiar to the Israelis. He used terminology and phrases that would create a sense of bond or brotherhood between himself and his audience. It is a speech that is supportive of the direction of the Knesset in confronting terrorism. There are references to Hezbollah as well. Its a remarkable speech, well crafted and politically charging and rousing.

Recall that Delay is a born again Christian. In one sense as House Majority Leader, he was the voice of the the Christian Right or at the very least one of its major political voices. As such, he reinforced a bond between Knesset and the Christian Right. A bond that would bring like minded right wing thinkers in agreement as evidenced by this speech.

Jump to the present. Israel is far along in its war with Lebanon and Hezbollah. At this time Israel is bombing parts of Beirut that are Christian. The majority of people living in these areas are Christians and not Moslems and not part of Hezbollah.article

I want to point out that one would think there would be an outcry coming from leaders of the Christian Right in America about Israel's latest bombing in Beirut. I haven't seen that yet in the form of an article or news item. I would think that there would be a solidarity among Christians of the world. With a solidarity established between the Christian Right of America and the Knesset, there would appear to be a major conflict in values for the Christian Right at this time.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Sagittarian Moon

Gotta be a once in a decade astrological day of planetary alignment, because I'm finding myself in agreement with the Pope, Hillary Clinton, and Pat Robertson.

The Pope comes out and says no more deaths in Lebanon and he's directing his plea mostly towards Israel. article

Enough collective punishment, enough bombing, enough. The problem here is that when the Pope issues this kind of plea, its like the conscience aspect of the West is accounted for, but then the dad who knows best aspect gets even more strident.

Hillary Clinton after grilling Rumsfeld about Iraq and Afghanistan then speaks to the press and calls for his resignation. article

I couldn't agree more except she is upset because in her opinion the execution of the war is not good enough i.e. not enough troops, bad planning, should never have dissolved the Iraqi military, this kind of thing. For me its much simpler. The war should never have gotten past the this is a crazy idea stage and that's why he needs to resign. If he goes, no doubt Rumsfeld gets replaced with another neo-conservative from the Project for a New Amercian Century, in other words someone with the exact same endless war commitment of Rumsfeld. There's no win here. How could Bush do anything differently.

Then Pat Robertson decides that global warming is real and says so to his 700 Club. article

Here's the twist. Out of these three statements, the only one that will actually have any tangible effect on anybody and at least superficially doesn't seem to have a negative side, is Robertson's. Robertson pushes more people into at least thinking that there is global warming. That's a step.

painting by Bosch

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Comparative Treatment

There was a very good argument put forth by famed British journalist Robert Fisk on Monday July 31 as he was speaking on Democracy Now. He spoke about the IRA in Northern Ireland and the way they were treated by the British. As we know the British did not carpet bomb Northern Ireland in order to remove the IRA.

If the British had cluster bombed, and used white phosphorus bombs, and destroyed entire cities and villages in Northern Ireland to root out the IRA, the outcry from the world community would have been deafening. The picture of an Irish youth with burns right to her bone would not be tolerated, we would call the British crazed barbarians. So many innocent attractive Irish civilians, children, women, the elderly, all subjected to the potential of dying as a result of bombing.

Can you imagine Rush and Coulter ranting about how the Northern Ireland youth were just pawns of the IRA and so their deaths would somehow not count.

Yet the leadership of the US appears to have given Israel carte blanche approval to carry out the exact same type of treatment of the civilian population of Lebanon in order to remove Hezbollah. Why can this be tolerated and when we exchange the names and places with the IRA and Northern Ireland, this could not possibly be tolerated? But the ranting does go on.

Is it actually necessary to state the obvious that people are people? All share the same desire to be happy and live relatively peacefully. Many can mentally exclude terrorists from this, but civilians?

Ten to fifteen percent of the Lebanese in southern Lebanon are involved with Hezbollah. This is perhaps the same percentage of people in the US who are involved with Evangelical Christianity.

Is it actually necessary to state the obvious in that a brutal death to a close loved one or loved ones, does not seem to create an atmosphere of open appreciation for those doing the killing. In other words look to see Hezbollah become strengthened from the civilian population that is suffering the effect of war.

painting by Mark Tansey

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Syria Again

George Bush remaining true and staying on his 5 year old message, now links the Israeli fight against both Hezbollah and the civilian population of Lebanon, to 9-11. article

This is the continuation of the basic "connection to 9-11 theory." I personally have lost track of all the connections to 9-11, the Patriot Act, the Unitary Presidency, unilateral warring, nuclear bombs in development by Saddam Hussein, and the Department of Homeland Security to name just a few.

With so many Americans still believing that the War in Iraq was started in order to gain revenge against those that perpetrated 9-11, it might be correct to assume many of these same people will connect the Israeli invasion of Lebanon also to 9-11. Here the connection theory turns into a web of absurdity and all to the benefit of the neo-conservative agenda. I recall George Bush retracting the claim that 9-11 and the Iraq War were connected, but with the notion firmly entrenched in the Bush supporter psyche, even that didn't change the solidified mind.

This is all glorious news to the neo-conservatives. I do not recall one neo-conservative excepting Francis Fukuyama objecting to the US invasion of Iraq for any reason. They would invade Iraq, Syria, Iran, and North Korea on any pretext. Their call for a new Pearl Harbor AKA 9-11 still holds great power as Bush demonstrates once again now with Israel's newest invasion. See first paragraph.

The disquieting news is the way Syria is clearly being drawn into this new Israeli war. article Syria at war is very much in agreement with the neo-conservative agenda. With the neo-conservatives providing the policy for George Bush, one could guess that the effort to draw Syria into war is approved and directed by the Bush Administration. With Bush announcing the extension of his "connection to 9-11 theory" to Hezbollah, and with Israel approved by the US to stage attacks on the Syrian border, can the extension of the Iraq War into Syria be around the corner?

One final comment, recall that right after the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, there were strong calls being made to invade Syria. article Remember, Syria was supposed to be providing safe haven for Iraqi leaders including Saddam Hussein. Also Syria was supposed to be the place where the alleged Iraqi WMD got hidden. Now it appears Bush is trying to gather momentum for this long sought out war with Syria through the new tactic of links to Hezbollah, the basic "connection to 9-11 theory," and this time vicariously warring through Israel. Hey if at first you don't succeed try try again.

Addendum: Keep in mind that John Bolton is also a signee of the PNAC document, meaning Bolton is a neo-conservative and a supporter of war with Syria, Iran, Iraq. and North Korea. This is all expressed in the PNAC document. In this context it is easy to understand why Bolton would suggest that it is Hezbolah that is causing the deaths of civilians in Lebanon and not Israeli bombing. By extension, the radical extremist right wing radio and TV pundits, follow this same view as Bolton, and in so doing carry the policy of the Bush Administration.

painting by Ingres

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


In spite of our political leaders replete with questionable grand motives, policies, and decisions which they mouth to lead us into wars, there are still wise people in the world. Step one in repairing the call to peace in the world is repairing our peace. Consider these writings.

"When someone insults us, we usually dwell on it, asking ourselves, "Why did he say that to me?" and on and on. It's as if someone shoots an arrow at us, but it falls short. Focusing on the problem is like picking up the arrow and repeatedly stabbing ourselves with it saying, "He hurt me so much. I can't believe he did that." Instead, we can use the method of contemplation to think things through differently, to change our habit of reacting with anger..... Meeting anger with anger is like following a lunatic who jumps off a cliff. Do I have to do likewise? While it's crazy for him to act the way he does, it's even crazier for me to do the same." by Chagdud Tulku

"We can see that there are many ways in which we actively contribute to our own experience of mental unrest and suffering. Although, in general, mental and emotional afflictions themselves can come naturally, often it is our own reinforcement of those negative emotions that makes them so much worse. For instance when we have anger or hatred towards a person, there is less likelihood of its developing to a very intense degree if we leave it unattended. However, if we think about the projected injustices done to us, the ways in which we have been unfairly treated, and we keep thinking about them over and over, then that feeds the hatred. It makes the hatred very powerful and intense. Of course, the same can apply to when we have an attatchment towards a particular person; we can feed that by thinking about how beautiful he or she is, and as we keep thinking about the projected qualities that we see in the person, the attatchment becomes more and more intense. But this shows how through constant familiarity and thinking, we ourselves make our emotions more intense and powerful." by The Dalai Lama

painting is of a joust circa 1546