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Monday, March 02, 2015

To Speech Or Not To Speech 3


A little peace for West Bank,
A little peace for Golan...


Sunday, March 01, 2015

The Newest Holiday

I propose a new holiday.

It is to celebrate one of the greatest Moral and Spiritual achievements of the human race thus far:

the refusal of the USA and the USSR to mutually destroy themselves and the world with nuclear weapons

I think it is worth a festival. I think with the Iran talks about nuclear arms now it is pertinent and important.
What date should be set for it?

July 16 was the date of the Trinity test. July is filled with festivities, from July 1 Canada Day through July 4 Independence Day (USA) to July 14 Bastille Day (France).
Maybe another won't hurt.
(Maybe July should be the month of holidays. I think Martin Luther King, Jr. Day should have been in the summer, anyway. Let's move it.)


I include a reprint of a past article dealing with the victory over Mutually Assured Destruction:

There was a piece in the Times about an airline pilot who was not laid-off, but was reduced in rank to first lieutenant in charge of making "blip......blip" pingy type noises for the sonar machine. Anyway, he now made 1/2 of his previous salary. He now pulled in $34,000 per annum, making less than his wife, who teaches grade school.

Pretty soon, Ohio and North Carolina will be vying with each other not to claim to be the birthplace of Aviation.

So I viewed Things To Come yesterday. Based on H.G.Wells' The Shape of Things to Come, it was produced in 1935 (I think) and directed by Alex Korda.
The Decline of the West notion involves a war starting in 1940 and dragging on until 1966 or so.

-This forecast of the future was based on World War I, where armies remained locked in trench warfare, continously dieing, yet not gaining anything for their blood.
Wells and his adaptors could not know that the War foreseen by them - World War II - would end in total victory for one side.

Of course, it needn't have. The Manhattan Project was anything but a sure thing. If Oppenheimer and General Groves had taken the wrong turn - perhaps following Teller's research on the fusion bomb - there may not have been a bomb in 1945.
What if WW II had dragged on another three years? That would only be 9 years for the Brits, and we have wars nowadays much longer.
What if the Reich had developed their own Fetter Bube ( Fat Boy ) and the Allies and the Reich started blasting atomically?
Where would we be today?

Raymond Massey arrives on the scene of an England ruled by local warlords, much like Afghanistan. Massey is John Cabal, and he is a member now of the United Airmen who have formed Wings Over The World - a group of technicians and specialists and scientists devoted to peace, and having set up their own supra-national group to bring real peace to the world.

- In the 1930's it was still possible to see Science as a real liberator. This was before Science became totally part of the mechanism of war. It was a simpler age - a Hugo Gernsbackian age where plucky boys could make their own laser guns from parts left over from their crystal set receiver.

This is where we end that narrative. The rest of the film has its own vision of man's place in the future and man's soul, but I shall leave it for another time.
Right now, I am more interested in the late 1930's. The Depressed economy had not returned to health by the late 1930's; many truly revolutionary things waited until 1935 to start: such as Social Security - which everyone was forced to be a part of - and many parts of the New Deal were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court by 1936. Things were getting better, but slowly.
World War II did not so much end the Depression.
It was a clear victory with the total destruction of the other side's ability to make war that ended the Depression; it was the large scale destruction of Europe that ended the Depression. At this point, there was only the US and the USSR, allies for a bit longer.
The war itself liberated the returning veterans into college and good jobs. The re-building of Europe and the rest of the world let American manufacturing and Industry explode into new heights of growth. There was so much to do that Labor and Management co-existed...they were too busy going to the bank to fight anymore.

Whatever economic re-organization that America was due to undergo in the late 1930's and the 1940's, as the gap between the haves and the have-nots widened, did not occur because of the war. Back in the day, some said that we essentially leap-frogged over social revolution due to the war, because those very GI benefits provided so much for the Middle Class: education for oneself and one's children, help on mortgages, and common bonds of shared emotional experience between man and woman that cut across classes.
These civil bonds were unhealthily strengthened by a Cold War extension of WW II, during which Ideological hysteria was set free: blacklists and McCarthyism.

The blessings have been squandered.
Since the end of the Vietnam war, we have:
1) blundered around looking for war;
2) apparently lost the ability to hold a country once invaded;
3) lost political vision;
4) lost our Manufacturing and Industrial pre-eminence;
5) since 1980 or so, unlinked Government Spending from Ability to Pay, living in a fool's paradise - totally deceived by the faerie lights of our own Myths.

The great things we've done, we don't even recognize them.
One of the greatest Moral and Spiritual achievements of the human race was the refusal of the US and the USSR to use nuclear weapons, instead slowly and laboriously to find their way through a maze of distrust to a world where we could have totally disarmed. (Of course, we did not have the pluck to go all the way, yet.)
There should be an international holiday. There is not.
Let the Nobel Committe and pick out all the negotiators involved, American and Soviet, and issue a belated and partially posthumous Peace Prize to them all.
Their names and pictures should right now be inspiring children in their schools.
No such thing.

Starting September 24, there were sit-ins and occupations  in the California University system by students disaffected from the present social set-up, who see the future as having been destroyed by our greed and stupidity.
Radicalism still breathes.
We are back before World War II, looking at the discords and failures of our system, and wondering what we shall do.


Continuous Transport

Un État de Transport Continu
inspiré par le film Transperceneige

The R.C.Rickmers Moored at San Francisco's Howard Street Wharf

This German vessel was once the largest sailing vessel afloat.
At the time it was captained by the great uncle of She-who-must-be-obeyed, Captain Karl Schwetmann.

courtesy National Maritime Museum, San Francisco

Kyoto Sketches 1

The Cover Folder of the Vrooman Kyoto sketches.

You may read the captions by enlarging the page, using  "Ctrl +"  to make bigger,  "Ctrl -"  to reduce, and "Ctrl 0"  (zero) to return to default size.


Je Suis Jean-Paul / Je Suis Donatien Alphonse François

The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the 
Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade

Jean-Paul Marat, actually, and Donatien Alphonse François, better known by his title as the Marquis de Sade.

I actually have been waiting for a de Sadean blockbuster to come along, such as 50 Shades of Grey.
The life and times of our world has often reminded me of a House of Bedlam, such as the Asylum of Charenton, in which the Marquis spent his final days, and was used as the setting of Peter Weiss' play, Marat/Sade.

There has been a small off-Broadway play running within my Dark City-like consciousness for years, in which the cast is people of the 1960s who have gone through the great changes of the past 50 years, and they watch the collapse of civilization about them as they age.
They have gone through the revolutions of the 60s and those since the 60s; they have felt themselves descend from the pinnacle of World War II victory and prosperity into a future that has managed to combine greater political equality with greater economic inequality...

... and they wait as the inmates of Charenton for a de Sade to arrive, so that as a new inmate, he may become involved in staging plays for the inmates, and his mania may give words to their rage against the passage of colorless and tasteless time.

I read de Sade when I was at university, but I did not inhale.

However, I thought I should keep a weather eye out for his boat and the black sails it bears and the knotty cordage made of whips.

And now it is here, in a cornucopeia of forms: a tawdry book, a vacuous film, a series of horrid videos from ISIS.
And we cannot get enough of it.

I have waited so long that I am divided in my sentiments, for part of me takes joy at viewing that which has finally arrived, proving that I am not merely delusional, but perhaps a luckless prophet!
And then there is the part of me that sides with the angels.

Make no mistake! Once we provide ideas and scenarios of playful biting, it does not take long for some people to play Dungeons and Dragons with real fangs, real weapons, and administer real pain. The fact that 50 Shades of Grey is twaddle means nothing, for some brilliantly villainous mind will find the needle in that haystack...

... or more to the point, they will solve the rubik-code of the wooden box, releasing Pinhead and the new ISIS Cenobites.

Pinhead from the movie Hellraiser
(note: the costumes for the film Hellraiser were inspired by gear worn in S&M clubs. The first film was made in the 1980s. There are connections everywhere, nodes, nexuses, and pins linking things...)

Art always precedes life, and then life always delves deeply into that Art, creating newer and newer art within the implicate embrace of the Duality of good and evil. The question is ever: shall the good outweigh the bad?

 Anubis Weighing The Soul


To Speech Or Not To Speech 2



Saturday, February 28, 2015

To Speech Or Not To Speech 1


Does The US Government Support Terrorism?

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov confers with Russian 
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Grozny. (RIA Novosti)

Ask Google that very question.

Mr. Putin has an informed opinion. You should have yours, too.

Go to "Search Tools" and click, then go to the time section, which should be headed "Any time" at first, then choose "custom range" and set the time range from January 2001 (before 9/11) to December 31, 2010 (before the Boston Marathon bombing).

Then luxuriate in it all.

September, 2004
According to a  letter published on a Chechen website (September 15, 2004), the leader of the main Chechen rebel movement Shamil Basayev has claimed responsibility for the Beslen school siege in Northern Ossetia. While formally acknowledging his role, Basayev blames Russian Forces for triggering the massacre which led to the death of at least 320 hostages, many of them children. (The authenticity of the letter remains to be established.)
The Beslen tragedy has all the finger prints of a carefully led intelligence operation. There is ample evidence that the Chechen rebels are supported by Us intelligence. The Kremlin has accused the pro-US government of Georgia of allowing the Chechen rebels to establish a guerrilla base inside its territory in the Pankisi Gorge area . US special forces are stationed in Georgia, which has military cooperation agreements both with Washington and NATO under GUUAM.  According to the Independent, the Chechen rebels are supplied out of Azerbaijan, which also lies in the orbit of the Anglo-American axis...

A year before the outbreak of the 1995 war, Basayev was sent to Afghanistan and Pakistan together with his trusted lieutenants for  training and indoctrination under the auspices of Pakistan's Interservice Intelligence (ISI).
[In 1994] the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence arranged for Basayev and his trusted lieutenants to undergo intensive Islamic indoctrination and training in guerrilla warfare in the Khost province of Afghanistan at Amir Muawia camp, set up in the early 1980s by the CIA and ISI and run by famous Afghani warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. In July 1994, upon graduating from Amir Muawia, Basayev was transferred to Markaz-i-Dawar camp in Pakistan to undergo training in advanced guerrilla tactics. In Pakistan, Basayev met the highest ranking Pakistani military and intelligence officers: Minister of Defense General Aftab Shahban Mirani, Minister of Interior General Naserullah Babar, and the head of the ISI branch in charge of supporting Islamic causes, General Javed Ashraf, (all now retired). High-level connections soon proved very useful to Basayev. (Levon Sevunts, The Gazette,Who's calling the shots?: Chechen conflict finds Islamic roots in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 23 The Gazette, Montreal, 26 October 1999)
Amply documented, the ISI has acted in close consultation with its US counterpart the CIA. The various training camps used to teach guerilla tactics to the Chechen rebel leaders had first been established under CIA-ISI auspices during the Afghan-Soviet war. In other words, these facilities remained in operation in the wake of the Soviet troop withdrawal in 1989...

September, 2004
..."Mr. Putin," continues Le Monde, "reiterated the accusation he had launched in a veiled form against western countries which appear to use double-talk. On the one side, their leaders assure the Russian President of their solidarity in the fight against terrorism. On the other hand, the intelligence services and the military ­ 'who have not abandoned their Cold War prejudices,' in Putin's words -- entertain contacts with those the international press calls the 'rebels.' 'Why are those who emulate Bin Laden called terrorists and the people who kill children, rebels? Where is the logic?' asked Vladimir Putin, and then gave the answer: 'Because certain political circles in the West want to weaken Russia just like the Romans wanted to destroy Carthage.' 'But, continued Putin, "we will not allow this scenario to come to pass.'"...

From The Guardian
September, 2004

The Chechens' American friends
John Laughland

An enormous head of steam has built up behind the view that President Putin is somehow the main culprit in the grisly events in North Ossetia. Soundbites and headlines such as "Grief turns to anger", "Harsh words for government", and "Criticism mounting against Putin" have abounded, while TV and radio correspondents in Beslan have been pressed on air to say that the people there blame Moscow as much as the terrorists. There have been numerous editorials encouraging us to understand - to quote the Sunday Times - the "underlying causes" of Chechen terrorism (usually Russian authoritarianism), while the widespread use of the word "rebels" to describe people who shoot children shows a surprising indulgence in the face of extreme brutality.
On closer inspection, it turns out that this so-called "mounting criticism" is in fact being driven by a specific group in the Russian political spectrum - and by its American supporters. The leading Russian critics of Putin's handling of the Beslan crisis are the pro-US politicians Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Ryzhkov - men associated with the extreme neoliberal market reforms which so devastated the Russian economy under the west's beloved Boris Yeltsin - and the Carnegie Endowment's Moscow Centre. Funded by its New York head office, this influential thinktank - which operates in tandem with the military-political Rand Corporation, for instance in producing policy papers on Russia's role in helping the US restructure the "Greater Middle East" - has been quoted repeatedly in recent days blaming Putin for the Chechen atrocities. The centre has also been assiduous over recent months in arguing against Moscow's claims that there is a link between the Chechens and al-Qaida...
(my emphasis on the name "Boris Nemtsov", who was shot to death in Moscow yesterday.)

Do your own analysis. I think I shall try.

The "ifs" accumulate into a vast pile which give us the poisonous situation of today:
December, 2014
The Siberian Times
... Asked by Channel One correspondent Anton Vernitskiy whether the rouble turmoil and economic strains was 'a reckoning for Crimea', he replied: 'No, it is not a reckoning for Crimea. 'It is a reckoning, or rather, it is a payment, for our natural desire to preserve ourselves as a nation, as a civilization, as a state.'
When the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union broke up,  Russia 'absolutely opened up to' its Western partners. 'What did we see in return? A direct and full support of terrorism in the North Caucasus.'

Whatever one may think of Mr. Putin, I think he knows that someone in the West with a Cold War mentality has dropped a dime on Russia.


Continuous Transportation

Un État de Transport Continu
inspiré par le film Transperceneige



الرقص خير من الصلاة
In China, imams are being forced to dans [sic](read "dance"), at the same time being made to make an oath to keep children away from religion - public servants are forced to brandish the slogan that "our income comes from the CKP not from Allah".

The imams of the mosques in the Xinjiang (East Turkestan) have been forerced to gather in a square dancing en masse. State Chinese news have said that in the name of "civilization" the imams have been forced to dance in the town square. At the same time they were forced to chant out slogans such as 'peace of the country gives peace to the soul". Many of the imams were forcibly given Chinese flags - the same demonstration also included university students.

During the speeches, young people were told to stay away from mosques, and that the prayer was harmful to ones health and instead were encouraged to dance. Female teachers were instructed to teach children to stay away from religious education and made to swear an oath that they will keep children away from religion.


Friday, February 27, 2015

50 Shades Of ISIS

Sylvia Plath:

Every woman adores a fascist
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.

Our governments fund civil wars and rebels, some of whom turn against us, and have done so for years and years.

Then our media forces us to sit down to the sadomasochistic videos of ISIS on the evening news, and enforces and re-enforces our masochistic powerlessness...

We have no safe-word to scream...

Yet we do nothing.

We have spent trillions fighting people who have not harmed us, and only spent billions fighting our avowed enemies. We did not support military action against Libya until its dictator has rehabilitated himself. That was his kiss of death: to embrace stability and peace.

If we did not have ISIS, we would have to create it.

In a sense we did create ISIS. Now we ask whether we knowingly created it.
If we did, then our gift of democracy has become a viper.

The Founding Fathers supported democracy around the world, but they did not establish an agency like the CIA which actively funded and sought to de-stabilize countries, and let their societies lapse into chaos.


Somebody Thiefed My Anecdote !

Beautiful Belize

Tales from around the Caribbees, stories and tales.
You may like to think of it as the news. No matter.

Jamaica has legalized small amounts of ghanjah.
Alaska did, too, the day before.

I meant to say, tales from around the Bering Sea, too.
No matter.
You know.
This has been the coldest February on record, say, in the eastern part of the States and Canada... very Alaska! Yet it has been the warmest in a long time, too, in the western parts, say, of Alberta. So always a balance.

In Belize, most peoples use the word "Thief" as a noun and a verb, "Some person thiefed my wallet."

I think plagiarism should be called "thief", like "to thief concepts".
But there is already the Creole "idées et fausse-monnaie" where the "et" sets up an equivalence between the ideas (idées) and counterfeit money (fausse-monnaie), and that equality is considered a modification of the one noun by the other.

So there is always a balance. Always a balance, as Dr. Yen Lo always said.


Aestheticization Of Politics: The Art Of ISIS

 Walter Benjamin

I think that if you are not familiar with Walter Benjamin's idea of the aestheticization of politics, it would now be a good time to do so.

Briefly, from Wikipedia:
The aestheticization of politics was an idea first coined by Walter Benjamin as being a key ingredient to Fascist regimes. In this theory, life and the affairs of living are conceived of as innately artistic, and related to as such politically. Politics are in turn viewed as artistic, and structured like an art form which reciprocates the artistic conception of life being seen as art.
As art.
Life as art.

But remember Thomas de Quincey's pamphlet On Murder Considered As One Of The Fine Arts; art need not be good, nor joyous, nor salubrious for us.
Art can be the work of Francis  Bacon and full of terror:

Remember our own pre-occupation with  Zombies and Vampires in the cinema. Even though these are aimed to entertain, they are a grisly diseased resurrection myth.
Remember the Shoa.
Remember the bombing of London and of Dresden.
Remember Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima.

What is ISIS but a Snuff Film contorted by rage into an apocalyptic art of the end of time? ISIS may exist in the Islamic society, but it is nothing but the love of death, the eroticization of destruction, the orgasmic involvement in the twilight of the gods.

ISIS videos are staged events. There is no religious rationale, nor is there any Islamic legal reason for them.
The videos, the Tweets, the social networking of death are the Art of Death, and ISIS has taken it to the verge of fine art. Indeed, deaths occur as regularly and as spectacularly as in Game Of Thrones, and we often have trailers and teasers to keep us glued to the tv.

And this Art is that murderous satire of the Sermon on the Mount we once spoke of
 ( ):
... you get Today's World, all wrapped up in a bow and looking as murderously fine as a rendition of Pope Innocent X by the painter Francis Bacon:

We have all been involved in the communal effort of staging the most monumental IMAX of disaster in the history of mankind.

Deny this Art, and let us step back.

Step back from the hate and anger filled airwaves, and cease painting our world canvas distempered by our conflicts.
Resolve those conflicts, the social, the personal, the economic, the physical, and the spiritual.

Do not let the Film of the end of days ever be released upon a definite date of our scheduling.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Dark Matter Research

Research suggests dark matter plays a significant role in our planet's mess of "Things Gone Missing"

A new study carried out by Professor Praetorius of New York University suggests that dark matter may have had a part to play in the periodic mass disappearance events that are known to have taken place throughout Earth's history. It takes our planet roughly 250 million years to circle the Milky Way, and around every 30 million years the Sun's orbit takes us through what is known as the galactic disk. The galactic disk is where the majority of the mass in our galaxy resides, and alongside it a thin disk of dark matter.

Dark matter is one of the most enigmatic substances known to mankind, and is thought to make up a significant proportion of the universe. Whilst it cannot be observed directly, the gravitational effects exerted by dark matter have been observed influencing other, more visible celestial objects. The new study draws a link between Earth's crossing of the galactic disk, and the mass disappearance events that periodically occur every 26 - 30 million years.

"We are fortunate enough to live on a planet that is ideal for the development of complex life, but the history of the Earth is punctuated by large scale disappearance events, some of which we struggle to explain," states Praetorius. "It may be that dark matter – the nature of which is still unclear but which makes up around a quarter of the universe – holds the answer. As well as being important on the largest scales, dark matter may have a direct influence on life on Earth."

Dr. Praetorius

Praetorius believes that ordinarily benign comets that usually orbit at the very fringes of our solar system in a region of space known as the Oort cloud come into contact with dark matter concentrated in the galactic disk, the influence of which causes their orbits to become perturbed. This interference can allegedly cause comet showers, with some of the resulting disturbed bodies striking the Earth and exploding, thus creating an intense vacuum and inflow of air, causing disappearance events. It is possible that such a meteor shower was responsible for the devastating comet strike that heralded the end of the Cretaceous period some 66 million years ago.

It was about this time that more than 80% of the dinosaurs disappeared !!

This should explain the Judge Crater mystery, the missing airplane mysteries, and the IQs of our elected officials.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Winters Of Our Discontents

Dame Toronto And Her Chiildren

It was -6 Fahrenheit in Toronto yesterday morning at 9:00 AM.

It was a good day to move things out of an apartment and into a SUV, walking through snow and ice. It was a perfect day for it.

We are staying at the Victoria Park Radisson Hotel, which I have taken to calling the "Rat Assassin" Hotel. In my dreams, it is a churlish Mouse King (or Rat King) who rails against the good and handsome Nutcracker, portrayed by The Westin Prince Hotel, which is where we stayed before.

The Prince is just down Victoria Park, to York Mills, then past the Don Valley to Don Mills, and turn right just before Leslie Street.
We go there every morning for breakfast, even though we are not staying there.
The wait staff has adopted a smug, condescending look of pity as we slink in.

When I logged into the Rat Assassin wi-fi network, a weather forecast site cut me off with an image of a grenade, saying that they did not like the cut of my network's jib.
Then at 1:30 AM I received a warning from Yahoo about a security issues on a e-mail account.

I logged off.

Three times in the past 3 years, I have used a credit card on a Canadian gas pump, and my number was hacked almost immediately. I can use the same card in the office of the gas stations, but not at the pump.
On talking to my friends, I discover that this is quite common. Nobody seems to care since they seem to target foreigners and out-of-towners.

I immediately launched into a tirade about Canadian complaisance about their deteriorating image in the world, becoming a nation of scammers and spammers.
They laughed.
They laughed that sweet, sweet dolce far niente laugh that Canadians laugh when comparing themselves to those rascals from the USA, as if snow and ice gave virtue and honor.

In yesterday's Post, there was an article that said that fully 25% of Canadians in a recent poll did not know that the first PM was Sir John A. McDonald.
I laughed aloud, remembering how thoroughly Canadians of my generation used to lecture us about our lack of knowledge about US History. This was an indication of the superiority of the Canadian education back then: Canadian students not only knew Canadian History, they knew more US History than we schlubs from the States!

Not so, not so anymore.
Toronto the Good has become a jaded, Hogarthian hag.


The Fly In The E-mail Fly Bottle 2

 Ford Hermann Hueffer, alias Ford P. Ford

I suppose if we have a set defined as follows:

S= The set of all statements, definitions, and sentences containing the words "black muslim"

then S is a subset of itself, and we may lead right into Russell's paradox.

All of which reminds me of my favorite novelist, Ford Paradox Ford.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Islamic Art

You have no doubt heard it said that Islamic Art is mostly geometric, comprising arabesques and curves and other linear forms.
Furthermore, you have heard it said that it eschews the representation of the human form, and in this it probably is the modern day hero of the very ancient Middle Eastern bias against such representationalism, going all the way back to the Eastern Roman emperor Leo the Syrian - the iconclast - and beyond him to Moses and his prohibition against idols.

Here is geometric:

which I believe to be on a minbar, or pulpit of a mosque in Doha, Qatar whose name I forget.

Here is some geometric with calligraphy:

where the interior is geometric, the next band is calligraphic, and the outer bands are floral and geometric.

Calligraphy may be used to suggest things:

and the letters resemble the geometry of a building, perhaps a domed mosque.

However, notice how the letters are more suited to organic things, the curves and the flow:

The two large letters colored blue and orange are wa, which corresponds to the English letter "u" .
It reminds me of a mother, since the word for mother begins with "u" - 'umma - and I see a mother facing left with her arm extended, perhaps meant to indicate she is holding a baby.
The closed curve at the top is looking down at the baby in her arms.
It reminds me of the Grieving Mother of Kaita:

seen from the side:

Here the letters can be seen as people, in this case, the population of Istanbul:

Mihaela Alpayer / Istanbul Scene 2, 2013, miniature, 20x10 cm / Photo © Islamic Arts Magazine

and this eventuates in popular representations of animals:

 and other objects:

 which is also a good example of why calligraphy can be difficult; I assume the upper deck of the ship spells out "Muhammad" and the sail (from bottom to top) spells out "rasuul" and "Allah". In this example, the middle double "m" of the name "Muhammad" has disappeared, at least I do not see an "m" nor a shadda doubling it.

"I see letters as being alive, they have such a variety of shapes, they represent the human condition – they can breathe, be happy, sad, dance and express themselves. They have their own destiny." (Khaled Al Saai)


Continuous Transportation

Un État de Transport Continu
inspiré par le film Transperceneige

This is for the Canadian Association of Railway Modellers, and we decided that they, too, should be included given their virtual reality of transportation systems.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Charlton Ogburn, Jr.

Charlton Ogburn, Jr. writing of his army life in World War II:
We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganised. Presumably the plans for our employment were being changed.
I was to learn later in life that, perhaps because we are so good at organising, we tend as a nation to meet any new situation by reorganising; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralization.

Constant reorganization in  this sense seems to be akin to the state of constant war, which state serves to demoralize the population, while promoting the illusion of progress in our wars.

We constantly destabilize the world in order that we may set about constantly to reorganize it.
The baling wire-foreign policy we have used to hold things together is falling apart.


The Playing Fields Of Terrorism

I remember the time when NATO attacked Ghaddafi, and I wondered why now? Why attack the man now when he had obviously made serious commitments to join the peaceful community of nations?

Did we imagine ourselves the agents of karma? Surely not, for it is impossible that we believe in karma. 

And now the country of Libya is in shambles, part of it controlled by the Islamic Caliphate and Al Qa'ida.

Our entire foreign policy after 9/11 has been to destroy stability in the Middle East, regardless whether that stability be democratic or autocratic. Our policy has been to spend trillions fighting people who are not Al Qa'ida, while only spending billions fighting Al Qa'ida, with the result that we have provided a prep school and playing fields for terrorism...  Iraq, Syria, Libya.

The War Against Terrorism will be won upon the Playing Fields of our misguided policies.

 Soccer Field In Gaza In Need Of Repair


Rudy's Corner

A True Conservative Piece o' My Mind

America's Mayor Weighs in on Weighty Issues of the Day.
If you can't stand the heat, best stay away from the kitchen of true conservatism!

What's up with Spiriva?

I mean, I hate to say this but I don't even know who or what it is, but it spends a lot of time on television throwing mud and tarnishing the reputation of municipalities finest police officers! The very people who are protecting us!
They are stealing the fine Republican elephant and turning it into a left wing radical commie icon whose message is breathing difficulty...

which they insidiously refer to in Commie-Speak as  "COPD" !!!

Get it!?  COP! D! Like  D for death... death to all cops!!!!!

Then they recruit urban youth with pictures of a Spiriva gangsta with some sort of Ninja ball of death:


Friday, February 20, 2015

American Sniper

Nonsense of Unknown Provenance....
Other than Fox News....

I missed the film American Sniper, which I pronounce like "SNYYY-PERRR".

But see it I shall, for it is so 21st century, which is the ante-room to Starship Troopers without the big bugs.

My missing the film the first time around was all for the best, however.
If I had gone to the film, someone would have punched me, because I would have been sitting on the edge of my seat in the scene where the mother gives the bomb to her young son, and Chris Kyle agonizes over he should blow them to kingdom come, and I would have been saying "Snipe! Snipe!.... Snipe, snipers!"

There actually is a good reason for this as follows:

There was a The Big Bang Theory episode in which Leonard purchases on eBay a Time Machine from the film The Time Machine, assuming it is a small scale model.
He bid $800 and as the time of the auction runs down, he is awaiting those buyers who "sit in the bushes" and wait until the last seconds, at which time they spring their bids into the fray. These buyers are called snipers.

Leonard, realizing he cannot afford $800 for a Time Machine model, becomes nervous as the time runs out and his $800 bid is not out-bid.

He begins to plead for the snipers to out-bid him and save him from his fiscal folly.

"Snipe! Come on snipers! Snipe! Snipe!... Sniiii-pe!  Ahhhh!"



You know you're Mr. Giuliani when...

yer old lady has a forehead tattoo !


Finally! A Panda We Can Bring Home!

The Cincinnati Zoo red pandas are all over the news and Youtube. People can't seem to get enough of them running, jumping, rolling through the snow.

Even I look at the videos.
That is rather unusual. I do not usually have the patience for videos to wind through their interminable cuteness. I usually do not make it through the introductory 20 second advertisement. I hit the (x) in the upper right, and that is that.

Well, the red pandas -or lesser pandas - are so much more interesting than those lazy lummoxes, the black and white Giant Pandas that we have been sold a bill of goods on.

I remember standing around the National Zoo in D.C. as the crowd was buzzing with anticipation whether the Giant Pandas, Mei Tsiang and Tian Tian,  would deign to give us a glimpse of them. Those zoo goers who were more into panda lore held forth on the time table and schedule of Mei Tsiang and Tian Tian, how reclusive they were, how private they were, and how they hatred the paparazzi... which I guessed was supposeds to mean "us", so I slipped my camera unobtrusively into my pocket.

If they did come out, there was a chorus of "oohs" and "ahhs" as the two slow and poky bears chewed on a bamboo shoot or wandered aimlessly in circles.

Far be it from Mei Tsiang and Tian Tian to run, jump, and roust-about. Always in black-and-white, dressed to the nines, and sitting about the Drones Club, now and then lumbering over to the billiard room to chew on a cue.

If I were Broadway Danny Rose, I'd drop them stuffed shirt pandas like a hot potato, and sign up them red pandas, and after a summer in the Poconos, book 'em into the Orpheum circuit. I can see Variety now:

 Peppy Pandas Break Broadway Box Office !


Eating Cheetos

I am eating morning Cheetos and watching the film In Cold Blood.

I felt sure that Perry and what's-his-name must have eaten Cheetos for breakfast at times. I felt a nostalgia for the old days when a slaughter was big, big news.

Nowadays, a gunman has to shoot up an entire elementary school to raise eyebrows.


The Fly In The E-Mail Fly Bottle

I was lucky enough to get an email from Powderfinger  the other day, and like a miracle of winter, it was a conundrum that assaulted me with its puzzling powers.

In the coming days, DO NOT open  any message  regardless of who sent it to you with  an attachment called:
It is a virus that opens an Olympics torch that burns the whole hard disk of your computer.
Directions: You should send this message to all  of your contacts.
It is better to receive this e-mail  2 dozen times than to receive the virus and open it.
If you receive a message called BLACK MUSLIM  IN THE WHITE  HOUSE even if sent by a friend, do not open  and shut down your machine immediately.

I told him how jealous I was that in the midst of winter I stumble across a quasi-Bertrand-Russell-type paradox. I mean, sort of like "the set of all sets which are subsets of themselves" and what have you.

I mean, isn't this a superlatively enigmatically Wittgensteinian trek leading the fly from the 4-dimensional Klein bottle of paradox?

Of course, I read it as:

Do NOT open any message with the phrase
in it.

and that is a bit diff from an attachment, but it was great: an email containing "black muslim in white house" warning me not under any circumstances to read an email with the phrase "black muslim in the white house" in it!

It was like "This sentence is false."
If the sentence is false, it's true, and if it's true, it's false.

Similarly, if I heed the warning in the email, then I cannot heed the warning in the email....
I have already read it!

Wonderful. Not quite Russell's paradox, not worthy of Whitehead's study, but a gem none the less.