Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Took My Baby Away

Check out this brief clip on the KKK.

In the last few seconds there is footage of a huge Klan march on Washington DC in the 1920s (I think).

Hatred of immigrants has increased Klan membership. The legacy will continue.

Note that the 'Kloran' is the Klan's rule/code book.

Mission Wildly Overcompensated


The Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Venerable Lama Karma Samten, has this to say about laziness:
"There are four kinds of laziness, and the most destructive of these is when you have no self-esteem and no inspiration because you think 'I can't do it. Its impossible for me', so you don't respect yourself and you put yourself down."

In this context he is talking about the possibility of spiritual growth, but the words have relevance to our mundane world.

They are valuable words in a time when people feel that they can't affect much in the world. That they don't count, and what they do, doesn't matter.

They could be stuck in a dead end or feel there is no possibility of improvement or change personally or in their community.

I am reminded of the zeal that Bush held when he misguidedly announced 'mission accomplished.'

So presumptuous and driven by their own unmerited hubris are and were the neocons along with Bush, that they assumed all would be just ducky in Iraq as soon as the troops hit Baghdad. Freedom would flow naturally like water from a stream. How absurd and tragic.

This is perhaps an example of the extreme opposite yet equally destructive side of the laziness equation.

This is when you're alleged confidence has no skill or experience. Somebody takes the opera stage at Carnegie Hall and yet has never sung a tune, let alone studied music, and they proclaim 'concert nailed.' The understanding of an accepted standard and the reliance on the thread of reality are both missing.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Real Vs. Fake


We saw Lars and the Real Girl.

Certainly a curious film - its 1950's style, small town American church community goodness with a cup of modern delusion, overwhelming loneliness, and extreme vulnerability.

Without getting into too much detail, out of deeply rooted emotional confusion the main male character purchases a high priced anatomically correct female sex doll and proceeds to carry on as if she were his real live companion/girlfriend. The community plays along out of a common sense of caring for the well being of the main male character. The audience is moved as the healing process moves along courtesy of dignified understanding through dialogue and a certain community reasonableness. Its a stretch on reality but the movie gently shows the similar situation that many find themselves in with connections to toys, stuffed animals, and conceptual delusions of all types.

The movie has a strong healing and acceptance tone certainly appropriate for America and this particular period having all suffered the intensity of Bush-Rove-neocon misplaced fear driven divisiveness. Healing is called for, but at present that too lays fallow yet ready and mostly willing minus the usual unmentionable right fringe suspects.

On a related tone, this article from Reuters tells of the increased popularity of sex dolls in Japan:

Japan's lonely hearts turn to dolls for sex, company
"When the 45-year-old, who uses a pseudonym of Ta-Bo, returns home, it's not a wife or girlfriend who await him, but a row of dolls lined up neatly on his sofa."

"Each has a name. Ta-Bo often watches television with his toys before bathing them, powdering them so that their skin feels more human, dressing them in lingerie and then taking them to bed."

The keyword for me here is "lonely." The isolation that many experience in brutal cold cities where in spite of the highly populated proximity, many are poignantly alone and lonely.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Volume Turns Down


The Christian conservative right is in the midst of a shake out. Many are fed up with Bush and his Iraq war. The Republican Party will no longer be the sole benefactor of the Christian vote.

The bright spot with Bush turns out to be that he is so bad, he's causing fractures in his own support base of conservative Christians. Bush is a uniter, he is uniting the country against Bush.

Excellent article in the NYT: The Evangelical Crackup

'...a new generation of pastors distinctly suspicious of the Republican Party — some as likely to lean left as right — is beginning to speak up."

Today the (Christian conservative) movement shows signs of coming apart beneath its leaders.

Now another confluence of factors is threatening to tear the movement apart. The extraordinary evangelical love affair with Bush has ended, for many, in heartbreak over the Iraq war and what they see as his meager domestic accomplishments.

Today the president’s support among evangelicals, still among his most loyal constituents, has crumbled. Once close to 90 percent, the president’s approval rating among white evangelicals has fallen to a recent low below 45 percent, according to polls by the Pew Research Center.

For the first time in many years, white evangelical identification with the Republican Party has dipped below 50 percent, with the sharpest falloff again among the young...

Christianity Today, the evangelical journal, has even posed the question of whether evangelicals should “repent” for their swift support of invading Iraq.

Reports on the Protests

ABC News

BBC News
"Rallies took place in a dozen cities, with the biggest crowds gathering in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

They were timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of a vote by the US Senate to authorise the Iraq invasion."

Oct 27 Protest in New York
45,000 stood up to the rain and the Bush administration in New York City today, and marched and rallied for peace. Led by Iraq veterans, veterans of other wars, military families, union members and students, from throughout New York City, New York State, and northern New Jersey, we made our demands to bring the troops home now and no to war with Iran heard loud and clear in the streets of Manhattan.

Thousands Rally Against Iraq War In S.F.
"Where's the outcry? Where's the horror that almost 4,000 Americans have died in a foreign country that we invaded?...I'm almost as angry at the American people as I am the president. I think Americans have become apathetic and placid about the whole thing."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Xenophobe


Person prone to xenophobia

Xenophobia occurs all over the place and throughout history. Its not really a new thing.

Here's an excerpt about xenophobic strains in Quebec.
“we’re a long way from stoning here,” not least because there aren’t actually any immigrants in the town in question (let alone ones who stone each other). No matter, he’s told - they’re coming. Why? Because of global warming. So we need to be “preventive,” starting with getting rid of that infamous “tool to destroy our country” - the Charter of Rights and Freedoms."

"In rural Quebec, a particularly ugly strain of nationalism manifests itself as either Islamophobia or a fear of anyone with dark skin (take your pick)".

Islamophobia sounds familiar except we in the US call it Islamofascism.

These guys in Quebec are freaked because they fear global warming is going to bring foreigners into the area. So its better to pre-empt it all now. Sounds a little too familiar.

Pure K-K-Krap


KKK on the rise?
"After a static period, the Ku Klux Klan is growing rapidly, fueled by job losses, urban crime, gay marriage and illegal immigration from Mexico, a civil rights organization and a Klan leader say.

“The KKK believes the U.S. is drowning in a tide of nonwhite immigration, controlled and orchestrated by Jews, and is vigorously trying to bring this message to Americans concerned or fearful about immigration..."

Thinking about this rationally, and the immigration issues do seem to 'transcend' rationality, exactly when has the KKK been correct on the issues. The answer is virtually never.

This speaks volumes about the xenophobic tidal wave sweeping the country:
xenophobia - noun
Intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries.

Recapping -
a. KKK is increasing in strength as a result of immigration fears, a xenophobic tidal wave.
b. KKK has been 100% wrong on the issues.
c. The KKK has a history of terrorism, violence, racism, and intense hatred. The worst qualities that a person can cultivate.
d. What side of the issue do you support?
e. What human qualities do you want to cultivate?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Kink

Pass the Word


This news was highlighted on Democracy Now, and one hopes that this information will be spread far and wide.

DONALD RUMSFELD CHARGED WITH TORTURE DURING TRIP TO FRANCE
October 26, 2007, Paris, France – Today, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) along with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), and the French League for Human Rights filed a complaint with the Paris Prosecutor before the “Court of First Instance” (Tribunal de Grande Instance) charging former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with ordering and authorizing torture. Rumsfeld was in Paris for a talk sponsored by Foreign Policy magazine, and left through a door connecting to the U.S. embassy to avoid journalists and human rights attorneys outside.

This is another Scooter Libby moment. Nothing will happen to Rumsfeld. He will not go through any trial at all. It is an interesting idea though.

Friday, October 26, 2007

X

The edge of oblivion: conservationists name 25 primates about to disappear
The 25 species most at risk include two of our closest great ape cousins, the Cross River gorilla of Cameroon and Nigeria and the orang-utan from Sumatra.

The Bucks Stops Somewhere


State Dept. Ousts Its Chief of Security
The State Department's security chief was forced to resign yesterday after a critical review found that his office had failed to adequately supervise private contractors protecting U.S. diplomats in Iraq.

Richard J. Griffin...was told by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's deputy, John D. Negroponte, to leave office by Nov. 1...

Blackwater is paid in the range of $1,000 per mercenary soldier per day. source That would add up to a wage of $ 300,000. per year.

A private in the US military earns about $16,000. per year.

Explain to me again why the military needs to be privatized? Where is the cost saving strategy?

Bottom line: This little firing exercise reeks of passing the blame, and creating a smokescreen publicity diversion.

Bike Trailers


Pizze - see pizza.

Pizzi - Ray, famous sax and bassoon player

Pizzo - protection money paid to the Mob.

Pizzu - Italian (Sicilian) for beak.

I'm a big fan of the lowly bicycle.

I bike all around town and use my bike to get to work. I carry stuff in a backpack and bike bags. I can do most of my errands by bike. I can also get around town faster by riding my bike than in a car, up to a point. I'm only 10 pounds heavier than my high school weight and I'm in my fifties. Just saying.

I don't expect my biking to go on forever but barring accident and/or ill health, I can see it going on into the foreseeable future.

There are some very interesting developments in bike carrying carts. Even carpenters can now carry not all, but many tools on a bike cart.

Here are a few businesses to check out. These businesses have designed carts and/or new bikes that you can use to carry more stuff, with ease. The carts are light and sturdy. This is about as green as it gets.

Xtracycle

Bob's Trailers

Burley Design Coop

Chariot Carriers

Photo is from Bob's Trailers - the Ibex

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Its Called Torture

What is Condi Rice getting at:

Rice concedes U.S. mishandled torture case
"...United States mishandled the case of a Canadian engineer seized by U.S. officials and taken to Syria, where he and the Canadian government say he was tortured.

Rice...said the United States has told Canada "that we will try to do better in the future."

"We do not think that this case was handled as it should have been. We do absolutely not wish to transfer anyone to any place in which they might be tortured," she said.

This is about as thin an explanation as one can provide. This is the dog ate my homework.

Rice is basically saying its OK to torture, but its not OK to mismanage the implementation of torture.

This is a disgrace.

Help

Bush offers to bomb Kurd
"The Bush Administration is considering air strikes, including cruise missiles, against the Kurdish rebel group PKK in northern Iraq.

The move would be an attempt to stave off a Turkish invasion of that country to fight the rebels.

President George Bush spoke with Turkish President Abdullah Gul by phone yesterday in an effort to ease the crisis."

Can you imagine the conversation!

Bush: Please..... allow me to bomb the Kurds

Turkish Pres: No, no, no we will bomb the Kurds

Bush: But I insist! Allow me to bomb the Kurds

Turkish Pres: Ah good friend, we, yes we, will bomb the Kurds

Bush: But I want to bomb the Kurds

Turkish Pres: (laughing) You are making me smile, he he, how's the Red Sox

Bush: Now you're blowing smoke, look I can bomb 'em right now, right now, I got ma' finger on the button, look, follow ma' finger, can you see the finger, see the finger

.................

(And so on and on it went, just like this......)

Stuck


The aspects of the word 'stuck' that are of interest here:
1. remain in a static condition; fail to progress

2. (of a feeling or thought) remain persistently in one's mind.

'Stuck' could very well be a symptom or the overall definition of this particular period.

For example Bush is stuck at a 24% approval rating. We are stuck in Iraq. We are stuck in a growing escalation towards war with Iran, almost like a destiny. We are stuck with the effects of global warming. We are stuck with low mileage cars, millions of them. We are stuck with aging houses built as if oil were an infinite commodity.

I think of Bush as being intellectually stuck. He is not a leader who presents a compelling vision to ordinary people like me. He keeps retreading ugly waters. There is nothing illuminating about his thought.

Sorry to bring these things up, but the question is really how do we get unstuck. Unstuck as a group, community, country, world, and unstuck as individuals.

This could be the slogan of the next presidential candidate - Let's Get Unstuck. They actually say this by using terms that connote a sense of the positive - Let's Move America Forward (because at present we are stuck).

I watched TV for decades, and got rid of the thing over a year ago. At this point, the notion of watching TV every day, all those baloney sitcoms with laugh tracks, commercials - , valueless news. Some of my own personal time has been liberated; a good portion of my time has become unstuck.

I'm a fan of all things that counter stuck-ness.

Imagination seems to play a role in this process. Even our imagination can get stuck and we need to exercise our vision, exercise our potential and examine possibilities that are not readily obvious. Work at it. Visualize. Take a chance.

I keep coming back to this quote by Edward Said, its a nice summation about getting unstuck.
"...the possibility of dreaming a different dream and seeing an alternative to all this. I learned this many years ago from a great English critic, Raymond Williams, who more than anyone else taught me the notion of always thinking the alternative. Not so much only the dream, which is rather other-worldly, but to every situation, no matter how much dominated it is, there's always an alternative. What one must train oneself is to think the alternative, and not to think the accepted and the status quo or to believe that the present is frozen."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Star Wars Won't Ever Go Away


Ladies and Gentlemen let me re-introduce to you for the hundredth time, "Star Wars" the missile defense system first brought to you by Reagan and every conservative right wing neo-con since:

Missile shield is 'urgent' - Bush
"...George W Bush...said there is a "real and urgent" need for a missile defence system in Europe.

Mr Bush said the missile threat was from the Middle East, not Russia...

He warned that Iran could have a ballistic missile capable of reaching Europe or the US by 2015."

Conservatives might call this prudent. In this context it has to do with pumping money into the military industrial complex in particular the vast weapons production facility of the US. Wall Street loves this stuff. W-USA all military and all war all of the time.

Progressives call this fear mongering. Exploiting fear for the sake of a corporate or political purpose. They might also call it another example of the faster drum beat that is sounding to start a war with Iran. They might also call it a waste of money.

I'm not exactly sure why Iran would want to go lobbing missiles at Denamrk or Italy. Considering the USA can essentially destroy the entire world multiple times just in case any one single living cell organism survived the first destruction.

George Bush believes that Iran will be lobbing missiles into Switzerland in 2015 and therefor we need to dust off Reagan's star wars again. The thing doesn't work, this has been shown numerous times, but why let a little problem like that stop anybody from wasting billions of taxpayers dollars.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Film Angst


We saw Ang Lee's Lust, Caution.

For me, it was a mildly interesting period piece. It tracks a Chinese resistance movement which targets corrupt Chinese officials working with the Japanese in Japanese occupied areas of China. This all happens just before WWII.

So I'm reading the subtitles and following along. The sex scenes are pretty explicit and intense. That's fine, that's cool. The hosiery is great and I always like that. Anyhow, I'm reading along and all of a sudden the whole audience erupts into laughter. I'm thinking, I missed something, because I'm not laughing. I'm not even smiling.

So I'm paying closer attention, reading carefully, and this happens again. I missed something funny again, it went right over my head. I failed to see the humor.

So I begin to wonder what's going on. I usually sit about two or three rows back from the front. So I tactfully and slowly turn around to watch people react to the movie. Well what do you know, most of the people in the audience are Chinese.

So its unfortunate, but something really essential about the movie got lost in the translation and the subtitles. They left out the humor. I mean I'm sitting there mildly entertained, and the rest of the audience is laughing.

Finally at the end of the film, there are people in the audience sobbing uncontrollably, and I'm not even sad.

So this brings up lots of questions in my mind. Do you have to culturally and physically identify with the characters of a film in order to fully experience the emotional tone of the story. What exactly is missing in the Chinese to English translation, perhaps in all literature, because this is a high budget movie and I'm assuming very smart people did the translations. Has seven years of watching the Bush administration destroyed my sense of humor especially surrounding all things Chinese.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kindling


This is a predictable weekly event. An important official - government, military, or otherwise - eases their troubled conscience and 'tells all' about some aspect of the Iraq war planning or experience that violated all procedure.

The planning is usually described as being poor, muddled, lacking, or some other word of that nature.

The official is someone right in the center of the storm with essential leadership responsibility.

Where were these people four years ago? Clearly they knew in their own heart that something was utterly wrong, yet their convictions were not quite strong enough to step forward at a more crucial moment, more crucial being while the disconnect was actually occurring.

Toppled in Baghdad, clueless in Whitehall
For the first time, the British general at the heart of postwar planning for Iraq tells Heidi Kingstone of the chaos in London and Washington

The heart of the matter was simple: postwar planning was completely incoherent. “The plan was, we do not need a plan,” said Cross last week.

Another breach thrown onto the fire of this great calamity in Iraq. Point all fingers directly at the Republican Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/neocon confused cadre for starting the whole mess.

The vast majority of Americans want the troops out. The vast majority of Iraqis want the troops out. The people in the center of the operation change the look of the final outcome each month from democracy, to separate states, to a new dictatorship, to whatever seems handy for that moment. The troops express their doubts about the mission regularly. The architects step forward day after day and talk about their disbelief regarding their own area of contribution/skill set planning or experience. Yet we remain in Iraq, and there is no viable end in sight.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Light


Light that we see, along with light energy that we do not see - x-rays, gamma rays, radio waves etc, is a rare thing in the universe.
"...in recent decades, researchers have become increasingly convinced that there is a vast amount of material in the universe that does not glow at all. This mysterious "dark matter" is believed by most scientists to be the most common stuff in the universe, perhaps making up 90 percent or more of the total mass." source

Its something to think about. Light energy is present in 10% of the stuff that makes up the universe, visible light is one part of that 10%.

Light is a rarity, yet we think its all around. The majority of the universe is thought to be made of dark matter.

From the symbolic or life affirming point of view, we usually want to move towards a more illuminated understanding, We're supposed to throw some light on the matter or the problem or the topic.

When something is rare, we usually appreciate it more, because we understand that there's not really that much of it to go around.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Nerve


Another reason to support stem cell research.

New nerves grown from fat cells
New nerves grown from stem cells taken from a patient's fat could be available by 2011, researchers have said.

They could potentially be used to repair peripheral nerves left severed by surgery or accidents.

"The patients will not be able to tell that they had ever 'lost' [the feeling to] their limb, and will be able to carry on exactly as they did before."

The Shrinking Fringe

Brownback quits White House race
"My yellow-brick road came just short of the White House this time," said Mr Brownback, announcing his withdrawal.

Yawn anyone?

Guillaume Du Fay

Music for a serene weekend

Friday, October 19, 2007

24 Percent!

Voters unhappy with Bush and Congress
Bush's job approval rating fell to 24 percent from last month's record low for a Zogby poll of 29 percent.
Whenever I see these polls I continue to wonder why Bush has so much public support. One in four think Bush is just ducky. That's scary.

The country seems to be in the punch drunk slap happy phase. Bush is like a recurring nightmare, matched with the flu. The country is delirious from this guy.

There's tons of brush waiting you, have mercy on us and retire early.

10 Ton American


Interesting work from a deep operative.
Monbiot launches his investigation by asking a crucial question rarely discussed by Al Gore and other U.S. environmentalists: How does the responsibility of the world's largest polluters differ from that of the rest of the world?

The average American generates more than 10 times the greenhouse gas emissions as does the average Chinese, and perhaps 30 times more than the average citizen of Bangladesh. (The gluttony of the average citizen of the UK is not far below that of the average American).

When Al Gore says he wants to freeze emissions, presumably he's talking about planetary emissions, not U.S. emissions. Otherwise, he's asking humanity to freeze the current stark disparity in resource use in place. That's politically impossible and morally disagreeable. Since the U.S. and UK generate a disproportionate amount of global greenhouse gases, a responsible approach presumably would require them to disproportionately reduce their emissions.

Monbiot argues for a global carbon emissions cap allocated on a per capita basis. Since all of humanity shares the biosphere, which has only a limited absorptive and cleansing capacity and all humans are created equal, then each should have equal use of that capacity.

The implications of biospheric equity are so profound and so disturbing, that it is understandable why American environmentalists shy away from discussing the issue. Currently, global carbon emissions are about 7 billion tons, roughly, 1 ton per person. But the average American generates, directly and indirectly, some 10 tons per capita. Thus, to save the planet and cleanse our resource sins, Americans must go far beyond freezing greenhouse gas emissions. As a nation, we must reduce them by more than 90 percent, taking into account the sharp reductions in existing global emissions necessary to stabilize the world's climate.

Suddenly we realize that addressing the global warming problem will be very difficult, not only politically but economically and institutionally. And it may well entail significant sacrifice.

We

Curious statement from the CEO of Blackwater.

Blackwater won't allow arrests
A defiant Blackwater Chairman Erik Prince said yesterday he will not allow Iraqi authorities to arrest his contractors and try them in Iraq's faulty justice system.

"We will not let our people be taken by the Iraqis"

Just a guess here, but I'm betting a mercenary working against the USA that gets caught, is going to end up in Gitmo. Would it be safe to call Gitmo a faultless part of the US justice system.

Also he contends that "we" will not allow the Iraqis to try the accused Blackwater mercenaries. Would that "we" be the USA or the CEO himself.

The eventual ending to this unfortunate part of Bush presidential history will have the same resonance as the Scooter Libby trial and pardon. Blackwater will be pardoned. They may not work in Iraq anymore, but this particular mess will get swept under the rug.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Cynical


The Led Zeppelin 'Richard' photo, demonstrating without a doubt, that the band were all lefties.

1: captious, peevish
2: having or showing the attitude or temper of a cynic:
a: contemptuously distrustful of human nature and motives (those cynical men who say that democracy cannot be honest and efficient — F. D. Roosevelt)
b: based on or reflecting a belief that human conduct is motivated primarily by self-interest (a cynical ploy to cheat customers)


Taxing the Rich, 1957-Style
GOP President — Dwight D. Eisenhower — ...refused to push tax rate cuts for the high-income set. Throughout Ike's Presidency, the top tax rate on income over $400,000 stood at 91 percent. Our current top marginal rate: 35 percent.

Eisenhower taxed those making over $400K at a rate of 91%!

In reality those making billions today are taxed at a rate of around 15%.

From Fox News (seriously Fox News): Wall Street Billionaires Lobby Washington to Preserve Tax Loophole
...the drastic cut in the capital gains rate — to 15 percent —...has had unintended consequences. The question now is being asked whether its fair for a handful of the highest earners in the nation to pay the lowest taxes? It's as simple as that.

So how do you explain this? Eisenhower taxes the rich at 91%, Bush taxes the richest billionaires at 15%, yet listening to hate radio its about the Democrats mishandling the economy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bush Meets With Dalai Lama


Bush Meets With Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama also expressed his solidarity with the Buddhist monks in Burma who are battling the military junta that runs the country. He said he expressed his appreciation for first lady Laura Bush's public support of the monks and opposition to the junta's treatment of the repressed population of Burma. The Dalai Lama, a Nobel Laureate....

This may be the first time I find myself silent on criticizing Bush. Hopefully the recognition that the Dalai Lama is also a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize will temporarily shut up the right wing Gore haters for an instant. Alright, we can dream.

Where Are the NeoCons Now

THE ARCHITECTS OF WAR: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

A nice summation from Think Progress

Here are a few of the quotes. How come these quotes never make it onto right wing radio?
Richard Perle on 9/22/03 "And a year from now, I’ll be very surprised if there is not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush. There is no doubt that, with the exception of a very small number of people close to a vicious regime, the people of Iraq have been liberated and they understand that they’ve been liberated. And it is getting easier every day for Iraqis to express that sense of liberation.”

Andrew Natsios on 4/23/03 “The American part of this will be $1.7 billion. We have no plans for any further-on funding for this.”

Dick Cheney on 6/20/05 “I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.”

George Bush on 10/7/02 “Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Anti Global Warming Movement


There is a strong negative reaction to Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

It is not a surprise. Kristol to Krauthammer, Fox News, the usual suspects depict the prize and the topic to be absurd.

The following article from the Washington Post, Krauthammer's home base, gets at the global warming is hogwash crew.

The Tempest
It is a planet where global warming isn't happening -- or, if it is happening, isn't happening because of human beings. Or, if it is happening because of human beings, isn't going to be a big problem. And, even if it is a big problem, we can't realistically do anything about it other than adapt.

The skeptics don't have to win the argument, they just have to stay in the game, keep things stirred up and make sure the politicians don't pass any laws that have dangerous climate change as a premise. They're winning that battle. The Senate had hearings on climate change this spring but has put off action for now. The Bush administration is hoping for some kind of technological solution and won't commit itself to cuts in emissions.

The skeptics have a final trump in the argument: Climate change is actually good. Growing seasons will be longer. Plants like carbon dioxide. Trees devour it. This demonized molecule, CO2, isn't some kind of toxin or contaminant or pollutant -- it's fertilizer.

"Gore believed in global warming almost as much as Hitler believed there was something wrong with the Jews."

Fanaticism


"From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step." -Denis Diderot
We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. - Coulter source

"Fanaticism is overcompensation for doubt." -Robertson Davies
The worse the news is from Iraq, the more positive Bush is that he’s right. As Vietnam raged on, Johnson became less certain he was doing the right thing...Victory no longer appears possible in Iraq, yet Bush’s rhetoric is more bullish than ever about the correctness of his course. U.S. forces are not leaving Iraq as long as he’s president. source

"Time and again we see leaders and members of religions incite aggression, fanaticism, hate, and xenophobia - even inspire and legitimate violent and bloody conflicts." -Hans Kung
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested on-air that American operatives assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to stop his country from becoming "a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism." source


What is the opposite of fanaticism?

Lucid Dreaming


Lucid dreaming is knowing that you are dreaming while you are sleep-dreaming.

It is the idea of becoming 'awake' in your dreams.

Stephen LaBerge is an expert on the topic from the point of view of the academic world.

His salient work Lucid Dreaming is a guide on how to develop skills so that you can lucid dream. He provides a series of simple techniques to utilize that can aid in helping you recognize that you are dreaming with the same sense of recollection that you have while awake.
In 1988, acting on his conviction that lucid dreaming offers many benefits to humanity, Dr. LaBerge founded the Lucidity Institute, the mission of which is to advance research on the nature and potentials of consciousness and to apply the results of this research to the enhancement of human health and well-being.

From the Tibetan Buddhist point of view lucid dreaming is well known. It has been part of Tibetan Buddhism for centuries.

It is used as a means for doing various spiritual practices while the practitioner is asleep. Its not easy but they do it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Arrogance


Arrogance is a theme we have witnessed over the past several years. It starts at the top and sends out its deadly roots in all directions.

"-having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities"

Arrogance and inexperience dog Iraq's private army
Incidents like the Blackwater shooting four weeks ago happen because arrogant companies are hiring inexperienced staff, one Iraq security operator told AFP, as others defended the industry.

"Some of the large companies don't give a monkey's because they are so arrogant," said Will Geddes, the managing director of British consultancy ICP that works in Iraq reviewing contractors' operations.

I find the rise of the mercenary armies of the United States to be a particularly troubling aspect of the neocon/Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld agenda. Make no mistake the idea of privatizing the military was a neocon goal.

These guys operate without any oversight or accountability. The scary thing is that these guys were in New Orleans after Katrina. If you think that was the last time Blackwater will be seen in the US, think again. They are honing their "product."

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Too Much


How can Condoleezza Rice make statements like this:

Rice attacks Kremlin's power grip
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has voiced concern about Russia's direction by saying too much power is concentrated within the Kremlin.

Considering that the Bush administration has reprehensibly advanced the unitary presidency, this type of statement is shallow. It becomes one dictator criticizing another.

Bush with more signing statements than all previous presidents combined, has adjusted the law to suit his own corporate privatized neo-con agenda. Congress can pass laws but Bush is above the law of the land. Bush is about seizing and congealing power and preempting democracy. No president has so disgracefully fallen to the level of impeachment.

Zeppelin


I like this BBC article on zeppelin travel.

Flying from a different perspective
Helium is now used as buoyancy for airships, this is sometimes called non-flammable helium as if there is another kind. There is not.

And this light gas is more inert than water. It certainly cannot catch fire.

Its a safe way to travel, a bit slow and leisurely, but it appeals to my senses. Definitely an ecological/green way of doing things, perhaps its an air travel alternative of the future that is ready for the present.

Impeachment, Iran, and More

(With thanks to my deep cover operatives)

Nader on the state of the state:

"Made fully aware of the overwhelming majority of his constituency resolved for impeachment congressman ... vehemently refused. Rather, he expressed his opinion that the current autocratic executive (in the White House) would attack Iran from the air, declare a national emergency, institute martial law, and call off the 2008 elections, were the Democrats to initiate impeachment. Now, I don't remember congressman ... being seen as a particularly off-the-wall maverick. But if that's the kind of thinking that is circulating on Capitol Hill, things are a lot worse than we thought."

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Response to Petraeus

I wonder what the military truly thinks about George Bush and his neocon Iraq 'policy.'

Generals keep coming out after they retire and are quite upfront about Iraq as an utter failure.

Ex-general: Iraq `nightmare' for US
Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who commanded coalition troops for a year beginning June 2003, cast a wide net of blame for both political and military shortcomings in Iraq that helped open the way for the insurgency — such as disbanding the Saddam-era military and failing to cement ties with tribal leaders and quickly establish civilian government after Saddam was toppled.

He called current strategies — including the deployment of 30,000 additional forces earlier this year — a "desperate attempt" to make up for years of misguided policies in Iraq.

Grimm Brothers


"Nothing happens unless first we dream." Carl Sandburg
The Golden Key

In the winter time, when deep snow lay on the ground, a poor boy was forced to go out on a sledge to fetch wood. When he had gathered it together, and packed it, he wished, as he was so frozen with cold, not to go home at once, but to light a fire and warm himself a little. So he scraped away the snow, and as he was thus clearing the ground, he found a tiny, gold key. Hereupon he thought that where the key was, the lock must be also, and dug in the ground and found an iron chest. "If the key does but fit it!" thought he; "no doubt there are precious things in that little box." He searched, but no keyhole was there. At last he discovered one, but so small that it was hardly visible. He tried it, and the key fitted it exactly. Then he turned it once round, and now we must wait until he has quite unlocked it and opened the lid, and then we shall learn what wonderful things were lying in that box.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Blackwater Update

US rights group sues Blackwater
A US human rights group says it is suing private security firm Blackwater for unspecified damages for war crimes and wrongfully killing Iraqi civilians.

Bombed by the USA


Bombing is beyond reprehensible. A terrorist is someone who does not have an established military but does possess a bomb. The qualification and conjunction of formality and military exempts people from being labeled as terrorists when they themselves use bombs.

There is the sole intelligence agent exception. Bombs are OK in this case and you are not a terrorist.

Wild guess here, but I would bet 'formal non terrorist' bombing has killed virtually millions of people worldwide. Yet this is not terroristic, its military strategy.

Bombing does not have eyes to the future. We will bomb Iran to reduce their pubescent nuclear facility to rubble, and apparently we will need to do this every 5 years or so ad infinitum. A good periodic bombing will do a country good. Do bombing planners not only plan for the upcoming bombing but also plan for the one that will follow in the future?

Bombing is the corporal punishment of nations. Its blunt, its physical, its unstoppable, its patriarchal, its dirt stupid dumb. There is no smart bomb, only dumb bombs and snappy Harvard grads with wise cracking conjecture.

Bomb design is similar to a beer drinking contest in that a new military scientist is not really of age until they have adequately designed a new nuclear bomb. Now you're a real man, you out drank me and you know how to blow up countries.

In the context of American exceptionalism, when America bombs, God speaks. When you have the moral authority, bombing is necessary and approved.
China 1945-46
Korea 1950-53
China 1950-53
Guatemala 1954
Indonesia 1958
Cuba 1959-60
Guatemala 1960
Belgian Congo 1964
Guatemala 1964
Dominican Republic 1965-66
Peru 1965
Laos 1964-73
Vietnam 1961-73
Cambodia 1969-70
Guatemala 1967-69
Lebanon 1982-84
Grenada 1983-84
Libya 1986
El Salvador 1981-92
Nicaragua 1981-90
Libya 1986 Iran 1987-88
Libya 1989 Panama 1989-90
Iraq 1991-2002
Kuwait 1991
Somalia 1992-94
Croatia 1994 (of Serbs at Krajina)
Bosnia 1995
Iran 1998 (airliner)
Sudan 1998
Afghanistan 1998
Yugoslavia 1999
Afghanistan 2001-07
Iraq 2003-2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Idioteque

Radiohead


Who's in bunker, who's in bunker?
Women and children first
Women and children first
Women and children
I'll laugh until my head comes off
I swallow till I burst
Until I burst
Until I..

Who's in bunker, who's in bunker
I've seen too much
I haven't seen enough
You haven't seen enough
I'll laugh until my head comes off
Women and children first
And children first
And children..

Here I'm allowed, everything all of the time
Here I'm allowed, everything all of the time

Ice age coming, ice age coming
Let me hear both sides
Let me hear both sides
Let me hear both..

Ice age coming, ice age coming
Throw me in the fire
Throw me in the fire
Throw me in the..

We're not scaremongering
This is really happening, happening
We're not scaremongering
This is really happening, happening

Mobiles working
Mobiles chirping
Take the money and run
Take the money and run
Take the money..

Here I'm allowed, everything all of the time
Background:
The first of the children

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Made in China

I was in a large department store over the weekend. I got into a conversation with an employee and I asked if most of the stuff in the store was made in China. The prices were oh so low and the quality seemed shiny and poor yet close enough, if you know what I mean.

The employee told me that not everything was made in China. They went on to say that a customer recently came in to buy shoes but the shoes had to be made someplace other than China. They said the buyer went away with three pairs of shoes. I was surprised.

They went on to say that this is a big question in the store. Customers ask it often. Is this made in China? They offered the explanation that people are upset about the recent recall of children's toys that were made in China. They are avoiding "made in China."

The explanation is plausible but it may not be complete. People don't want to buy made in China for a variety of reasons - from protesting China's occupation of Tibet, to Chinese environmental issues, to taking away American manufacturing, etc.

I checked on the web to see if there were active boycotts of made in China.

The answer is of course. Just a few samples:

Boycott China

Boycott made in China - Free Tibet

How to boycott China

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Howl

This is criminal. Afraid to play Ginsberg's 'Howl' over the airwaves because the FCC might fine them - the tragedy of it all. Ginsberg's salient words might harm the tender and delicate ears of the NY City listeners.

Also, I'm happy that the US Government is taking such an even handed approach. Fine WBAI for playing a major poem by one of America's major poets, yet let Coulter and Limbaugh openly talk about killing liberals and calling US troops - phoney.

A Muse Unplugged
It is with a queasy feeling of history in retreat that poetry lovers discover that WBAI, long the radio flagship of cocky resistance to government excess, decided last week that it couldn’t risk a 50th anniversary broadcast of the late poet’s recording of “Howl.” The station retreated out of fear that the Federal Communications Commission would levy large obscenity fines that might bankrupt the small-budget station.

Howl Part 1

for Carl Solomon

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,

dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,

who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,

who passed through universities with radiant eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,

who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,

who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall,

who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York,

who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their torsos night after night

with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, alcohol and cock and endless balls,

incomparable blind streets of shuddering cloud and lightning in the mind leaping towards poles of Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the motionless world of Time between,

Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops, storefront boroughs of teahead joyride neon blinking traffic light, sun and moon and tree vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brooklyn, ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind,

who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine until the noise of wheels and children brought them down shuddering mouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance in the drear light of Zoo,

who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford's floated out and sat through the stale beer afternoon in desolate Fugazzi's, listening to the crack of doom on the hydrogen jukebox,

who talked continuously seventy hours from park to pad to bar to Bellevue to museum to the Brooklyn Bridge,

a lost batallion of platonic conversationalists jumping down the stoops off fire escapes off windowsills off Empire State out of the moon

yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts and memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks and shocks of hospitals and jails and wars,

whose intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the Synagogue cast on the pavement,

who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall,

suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grindings and migraines of China under junk-withdrawal in Newark's bleak furnished room,

who wandered around and around at midnight in the railway yard wondering where to go, and went, leaving no broken hearts,

who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing through snow toward lonesome farms in grandfather night,

who studied Plotinus Poe St John of the Cross telepathy and bop kabbalah because the universe instinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas,

who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking visionary indian angels who were visionary indian angels,

who thought they were only mad when Baltimore gleamed in supernatural ecstasy,

who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Oklahoma on the impulse of winter midnight streetlight smalltown rain,

who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed the brilliant Spaniard to converse about America and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship to Africa,

who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving nothing behind but the shadow of dungarees and the larva and ash of poetry scattered in fireplace Chicago,

who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the FBI in beards and shorts with big pacifist eyes sexy in their dark skin passing out incomprehensible leaflets,

who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism, who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union Square weeping and undressing while the sirens of Los Alamos wailed them down, and wailed down Wall, and the Staten Island ferry also wailed,

who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked and trembling before the machinery of other skeletons,

who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight in policecars for committing no crime but their own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication,

who howled on their knees in the subway and were dragged off the roof waving genitals and manuscripts,

who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy,

who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean love,

who balled in the morning in the evenings in rosegardens and the grass of public parks and cemeteries scattering their semen freely to whomever come who may,

who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up with a sob behind a partition in a Turkish Bath when the blond & naked angel came to pierce them with a sword,

who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate the one eyed shrew of the heterosexual dollar the one eyed shrew that winks out of the womb and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden threads of the craftsman's loom,

who copulated ecstatic and insatiate and fell off the bed, and continued along the floor and down the hall and ended fainting on the wall with a vision of ultimate cunt and come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness,

who sweetened the snatches of a million girls trembling in the sunset, and were red eyed in the morning but were prepared to sweeten the snatch of the sunrise, flashing buttocks under barns and naked in the lake,

who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero of these poems, cocksman and Adonis of Denver—joy to the memory of his innumerable lays of girls in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses' rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely petticoat upliftings & especially secret gas-station solipsisms of johns, & hometown alleys too,

who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in dreams, woke on a sudden Manhattan, and picked themselves up out of basements hungover with heartless Tokay and horrors of Third Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemployment offices,

who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the East River to open full of steamheat and opium,

who created great suicidal dramas on the appartment cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall be crowned with laurel in oblivion,

who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of the Bowery,

who wept at the romance of the streets with their pushcarts full of onions and bad music,

who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in their lofts, who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded by orange crates of theology,

who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow morning were stanzas of gibberish,

who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht & tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable kingdom,

who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for an egg,

who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for an Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks fell on their heads every day for the next decade,

who cut their wrists three times successfully unsuccessfully, gave up and were forced to open antique stores where they thought they were growing old and cried,

who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse & the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinister intelligent editors, or were run down by the drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality,

who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown and forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alleyways & firetrucks, not even one free beer,

who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of the subway window, jumped in the filthy Passaic, leaped on negroes, cried all over the street, danced on broken wineglasses barefoot smashed phonograph records of nostalgic European 1930s German jazz finished the whiskey and threw up groaning into the bloody toilet, moans in their ears and the blast of colossal steamwhistles,

who barreled down the highways of the past journeying to each other's hotrod-Golgotha jail-solitude watch Birmingham jazz incarnation,

who drove crosscountry seventytwo hours to find out if I had a vision or you had a vision or he had a vision to find out Eternity,

who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who came back to Denver & waited in vain, who watched over Denver & brooded & loned in Denver and finally went away to find out the Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,

who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying for each other's salvation and light and breasts, until the soul illuminated its hair for a second,

who crashed through their minds in jail waiting for impossible criminals with golden heads and the charm of reality in their hearts who sang sweet blues to Alcatraz,

who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky Mount to tender Buddha or Tangiers to boys or Southern Pacific to the black locomotive or Harvard to Narcissus to Woodlawn to the daisychain or grave,

who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hypnotism & were left with their insanity & their hands & a hung jury,

who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturerson Dadaism and subsequently presented themselves on the granite steps of the madhouse with the shaven heads and harlequin speech of suicide, demanding instantaneous lobotomy,

and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin Metrazol electricity hydrotherapy psychotherapy occupational therapy pingpong & amnesia,

who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic pingpong table, resting briefly in catatonia,

returning years later truly bald except for a wig of blood, and tears and fingers, to the visible madman doom of the wards of the madtowns of the East,

Pilgrim State's Rockland's and Greystone's foetid halls, bickering with the echoes of the soul, rocking and rolling in the midnight solitude-bench dolmen-realms of love, dream of life a nightmare, bodies turned to stone as heavy as the moon,

with mother finally *****, and the last fantastic book flung out of the tenement window, and the last door closed at 4 A.M. and the last telephone slammed at the wall in reply and the last furnished room emptied down to the last piece of mental furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted on a wire hanger on the closet, and even that imaginary, nothing but a hopeful little bit of hallucination—

ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and now you're really in the total animal soup of time—

and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use of the ellipse the catalog the meter & the vibrating plane,

who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soulbetween 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus

to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet confessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm of thought in his naked and endless head,

the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, yet putting down here what might be left to say in time come after death,

and rose incarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the suffering of America's naked mind for love into an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio

with the absolute heart of the poem butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Which Department Are You From?

Rice's low-key agents stalk trigger-happy armed guards in Iraq
Aided by radio and video links, a little known enforcement arm of the US State Department is to stalk the guards of American private security firm Blackwater in Baghdad after their trigger happy ways anger Iraqis.

Agents from the diplomatic security bureau, whose current duties range from protecting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to running a reward program to catch terror mastermind Osama bin laden, are being sent to Baghdad to rein in Blackwater's armed guards, officials said.

This revelation raises the red warning flag and sets off the alarm siren, big time.

Exactly how many branches of the US government are providing military agents/soldiers/support/contracted mercenaries for this little BBQ known as the Iraq killing field? Three? Seven? Twelve? Twenty four? I'm thinking the latter.

Now we have agents from the State Department going after the mercenaries that the State Department itself had a hand in hiring by giving away those Bush/Republican tainted no bids to Blackwater and related Republican based mercenary outfits. The PNAC/Rumsfeld legacy lives on.

If this isn't an absolute sign that this mess in Iraq is totally out of control, then what is it?

The recent CNN report on corruption in Iraq fuels the sense of chaos as well:

Iraq government 'not capable' of fighting corruption
A U.S. Embassy in Baghdad document studying how Iraq fights corruption says the Iraqi government "is not capable of even rudimentary enforcement of anti-corruption laws" and the prime minister's office is openly hostile to the idea of an independent anti-corruption agency.

The Price Paid


Military Deaths in Iraq at 3,815
"As of Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007, at least 3,815 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003..."

2008

For a Trusty Voting Bloc, a Faith Shaken
...religious conservatives...claimed credit for propelling George W. Bush to two terms in the White House. Even in wartime, they had managed to fixate the nation on their pet issues: opposition to abortion, gay marriage and stem cell research.

Now with the 2008 race taking shape, religious conservatives say they sense they have taken a tumble. Their issues are no longer at the forefront, and their leaders have failed so far to coalesce around a candidate...

Over the past 7 years, we've read countless articles about the religious right, their influence with Bush. their voting block powers, their hatred of gays, stem cells, and a women's right to choose, and much more.

Bush went over the top with this group. His speeches were crafted with terminology that was directed straight to the religious right, the rest of us were clueless.

We were aghast at the degree of what we perceived as hypocrisy and a boatload of bad information that seemingly kept the R.R. stuck in a bubble world. We couldn't believe that so many people could obviously vote for politicians that would consequently move on issues contrary to the R.R.'s own interest. The R.R. rank and file were duped and played like easy chumps on endless issues. The worst aspect was their seemingly unconscious willingness to move the country away from democracy towards totalitarianism.

Bush made separation of church and state something to laugh at. Christians are crawling all over the Pentagon, and military personnel are exposed to R.R. preachments like it or not. The codes of behavior in the military manuals are now rewritten with terminology that is straight from the R.R.

Fundamentalism isn't going away soon. As groups of people move towards more egalitarianism and openness, there will be an equal and greater movement towards fundamentalism and the right, a movement towards all things fascistic.

Progressives are starting to get the idea about how to frame issues. The war of words has heated up and there is a greater understanding that the fringes of the right need to be pushed back. Look at how groups are taking on some of the hate radio people quite strongly in fact. Its about time.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Pro-Appendix


Purpose of the Appendix Believed Found
Some scientists think they have figured out the real job of the troublesome and seemingly useless appendix: It produces and protects good germs for your gut.

Not to say I told you so, but I believe Chinese medicine has been saying this for thousands of years.

Now Watch This Drive


George Bush wants you to know that the USA does not torture people.

Bush denies US torture use claims
US President George W Bush has rejected claims his administration uses torture and defended the CIA's methods.

He was responding to a New York Times report that the US Justice Department secretly authorised harsh interrogation techniques for terror suspects in 2005.

Secret U.S. Endorsement of Severe Interrogations

But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Bush is like the grand magical pacifier. He slowly wipes his hand across the world expanse and in so doing removes the calamity of his actions.

He's the kind do well soldier speaking to the eviscerated remains of his dying war buddy saying its ok, you're fine, everything will be ok, just think good thoughts.

Bush has cried wolf about 2,000 times too many. Under scrutiny and closer examination of the mildest type, his statements fall apart. He hedges his bet against the willingness of the American people to stay ill informed. He knows that his megaphone is the biggest, his words will get pumped all over the world like a well timed stink bomb.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Tin Whiskers


Tiny 'Tin Whiskers' Imperil Electronics
They've ruined missiles, silenced communications satellites and forced nuclear power plants to shut down....

The culprits? Tiny splinters - whiskers, they're called - that sprout without warning from tin solder and finishes deep inside electronics. By some estimates, the resulting short-circuits have leveled as much as $10 billion in damage since they were first noticed in the 1940s.

Now they tell us.

Not Squashed


"He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder." Einstein

Every fall we end up buying a butternut squash.

It ends up sitting on the counter for a few months, until we discover rot, then out it goes to the compost.

I'm sure this is common.

I found the following column to be a sign that the freedom to dissent is slowly re-emerging.

Editor keeps his job after 'Fuck Bush' column
"We see the editorial as an opinion which is protected by the First Amendment..."

Bush and Cheney did some bad things to this country. They tried to suppress dissent. They're still trying. If you listened to Democracy Now Friday morning you would have heard: American Peace Activists Denied Entry to Canada After Appearing on FBI Database

One of the activists was a retired Army colonel!

The effects of this administration are going to take time to untangle. That's some legacy.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Success


Reading through John Pilger's conversation with Aung San Suu Kyi you will find this quote:
"In Buddhism we are taught there are four basic ingredients for success. The first is the will to want it, then you must have the right kind of attitude, then perseverance, then wisdom . . ."

In this context she is talking about the potential for democracy in Burma, scene of violent protests, or rather a violent reaction to protests.

It is however a good model for success in general.

Leif in the Fast Lane


"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it." Upton Sinclair

"I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn't here." George W Bush

I like to peruse the White House web site. Its always good for a laugh and some utterly and devastatingly horrible news. I wish I knew what power elite/monetary contribution/gross favor to be repaid/or other such thing caused this proclamation. Nevertheless - President Bush has declared that October 9, 2007 will be Leif Erikson Day.
"NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 9, 2007, as Leif Erikson Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs to honor our rich Nordic-American heritage."

OK folks, time to dust off the old winged helmet.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Lie to Me

Tom Waits

Till He's Gone

Good News

Sen. Pete Domenici announces retirement
Domenici would be the fifth Republican senator to decline to seek a new term, giving Democrats an opportunity to expand their majority in the 2008 elections. GOP Sens. John Warner of Virginia, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Larry Craig of Idaho and Wayne Allard of Colorado have previously announced plans not to run again.

The magic number is 60. 60 Democrats in the Senate would be the deciding number. Even if these 5 seats were to go to Democrats, they would still be around 56 and one of those is that "Senator" from Connecticut - Democrat in name but worse than Bush in action.

Lying Bully

If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking (Ancient Buddhist Proverb)

Bush veto for child health bill
US President George W Bush has vetoed a bill to expand a children's healthcare insurance scheme, after it was passed with a large majority in the Senate.

In this same article we find:
The State Children's Health Insurance Programme (SCHIP) currently subsidises health care for some 6.6 million people, most of them children.

And we also find:
Republican Senator Trent Lott is quoted ...as saying... "We should not allow it to be expanded to higher and higher income levels, and to adults," he said. "This is about poor children."

Contrary to that bright Republican mind Trent Lott , we find:
According to the US Census Bureau, 35.9 million people live below the poverty line in America ...including 12.9 million children.

Lets lay out the facts:
- the original program provides health care for 6.6 million children.
- there are at least 12.9 million children in America living in poverty.
- the new bill would have expanded health care to more of those 12.9 million impoverished children.
- Trent Lott and George Bush think that - "We should not allow it to be expanded to higher and higher income levels..."

Notice how the wording describes the income levels as being higher and higher. In fact what this "higher and higher" describes are different levels of impoverishment. This is an abomination, a twist of words that the vast ill informed network of Limbaugh and Coulter followers can spew. Nothing more.

Bush is the privatize and end social spending president. His allegiance is to corporations. He has no problem tossing trillions to war profiteers while the poor in this country including the poor children get nothing but empty words.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Repentant Conservatives and Neo-Cons

I listened to this guy on the NPR local affiliate today.

He is one of a slew of former Bush White House employees coming out saying that Bush is in the red zone, the "that is illegal, unconstitutional, and bad for the country" zone.

Ex-White House Lawyer Targets Spy Tactic
A former top lawyer for the Bush administration on Tuesday said that parts of the President Bush's controversial eavesdropping program were illegal.

There were certain aspects of the Terrorist Surveillance Program "that I could not find the legal support for," Jack Goldsmith, the former head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Will this affect anything? Not really. It will cement the certainty among Bush detractors, the vast majority of American people, that our mired in illusions president is indeed over the top and over the cliff, so out of touch with reality that it has become a thing to behold.

Like most conservatives though, this guy is still in extreme denial. Conservatives will talk endlessly about Iraq and the need to go after the terrorists. They are seemingly lacking the gene that will allow them to understand, or even contemplate for a moment, the neo-conservatives, the extremism that the neo-conservatives have foisted on the American people and the world, and how their neo-conservative agenda came into being way before 9-11. Now that is also a thing to behold.

Stare Decisis

Supreme Court Judge Thomas and Anita hill are back in the news lately. It is said that Thomas does not believe in stare decisis. What does that mean?
STARE DECISIS - Lat. "to stand by that which is decided." The principal that the precedent decisions are to be followed by the courts.

To abide or adhere to decided cases. It is a general maxim that when a point has been settled by decision, it forms a precedent which is not afterwards to be departed from. The doctrine of stare decisis is not always to be relied upon, for the courts find it necessary to overrule cases which have been hastily decided, or contrary to principle.

The question arises because of Thomas' views on abortion among other things.

So if Thomas does not believe in stare decisis then he would not be compelled to adhere to Roe vs Wade. Aha!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Humming

A favorite band - Portishead

Monday, October 01, 2007

Hersh on Iran

Hersh is a top reporter and his articles are an important source of detailed and clear information. The man has many inside sources.

Shifting Targets

The Administration’s plan for Iran.

by Seymour M. Hersh

...there has been a significant increase in the tempo of attack planning. In mid-August, senior officials told reporters that the Administration intended to declare Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a foreign terrorist organization...the agency (CIA) had increased the size and the authority of the Iranian Operations Group..

“They’re moving everybody to the Iran desk,” one recently retired C.I.A. official said. “They’re dragging in a lot of analysts and ramping up everything. It’s just like the fall of 2002”

Stay Trim, Stop Drinking So Much, Exercise


On behalf of the men in the world, we want the incidence of breast cancer in women to go down, not increase, and eventually to even go to zero cases.

Who wants to see their mother, or wife, or girlfriend, or daughter, or co-worker, or friend get breast cancer. But you got to do your part. It means no booze, lose weight, exercise, and how about yoga and less stress. This is a non partisan issue.

This recent BBC article is a start: Action call on 'cancer lifestyle
Simple changes to women's lifestyles could prevent one in 10 cases of breast cancer by 2024, say experts.

Cutting back on long-term HRT use, keeping in trim, drinking less, and exercising could help prevent 5,700 cases a year (that's just in Britain alone), said Cancer Research UK.

HRT = hormone replacement therapy

An Aversion to Peace


This news is a few days old but it is incredibly important.

Revealed: Saddam 'ready to walk away for $1bn'

This article will never be mentioned in the main stream American media.

At best it will be in a tiny paragraph on page 64 onf some little newspaper outfit's product in Baltimore, check that, Butte.

Bush will deny it, Limbaugh and Hannity will call it a liberal attack and blame liberals for (fill in the blank absurdity.) Amy Goodman will report it again as this article comes out of the U.K. The original report came out of Spain earlier in the week. The progressive blogosphere is all over it, but so what.

Bush loyalists will circle the wagons deeper and harder. Since when would an article revealing this type of information affect anything in Bush world? Over the past 7 years we've seen information revealed that would make the founding fathers of America explode in their graves.
A transcript of an eve-of-war conversation between President George Bush and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar has revealed a previously undisclosed initiative to avert war in Iraq by spiriting Saddam Hussein out of the country.

How sad can it get. The entire Iraq war averted. Averting the war would not have allowed for shock and awe, the destruction of the Iraqi infrastructure to be rebuilt by corporate America, and essentially a good test run for implementing the entire privatization of Iraq. This is what Naomi Klein calls "Disaster Capitalism." See her new book "The Shock Doctrine", one of my new reading projects.

An essential quality of shock and awe is to create a sense of extreme fear, dis-ease, unbalance, and pliability in the Iraqi population. This is an essential part of implementing extreme privatization principles. For an example of this in America, see New Orleans.

Among other things in New Orleans, we see the destruction of the public school system, replaced by charter schools. Charter schools are private ventures and consequently they circumvent the need for a teachers union, good pay, benefits, and all that good liberal stuff.

No, Bush wanted shock and awe. Torture was part of the plan to subjugate and instill great fear in the Iraqis. How else to better manipulate the structures that affect their lives when they are powerless and complacent.

After all, wasn't that what happened in America after 9-11. Didn't a fearing and stunned America allow some of the most outrageous and egregious policies to be enacted on them including not only starting shock and awe but giving it a warm hearty blessing and approval. Remember Bush's approval rating after 9-11. People were so stunned they saw an impostor as if he were the real deal. That's the power of shock and awe.