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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Too Many Coats of Many Colors

When I went to see the Lord Buddha, he was appearing in Denver, so I walked one thousand miles - and I thought, ah! I shall be as new and simple as a new-born Amish, and wear a wide brimmed hat and use no electricity and ignore the internet and salt my speech with words archaic... When I went to see Jesus he was fishing on the sea so I walked the one thousand miles and swam the last eleven, like an iron man competition or triathlon, as young as when I was young indeed and wore a Speedo and acted selfless and spoke in parables and shy smiles... When I went to hear the Prophet, and when I took a taxi to Union Square to hear the Reb Akiva I spoke Arabic and Hebrew like a real dākhil standing by the Western wall or standing up above, and wore a kafiya as I strutted, and a fine high shtreimel... And when I arrived, I was too late. Weighed down with the right clothes, the correct ideas, and impostures of "holy" folk, I had imperceptibly slowed to a crawl as I dragged endless chains of beliefs behind me across the desert, raising a cloud of dust into the sky, as high, as high, as Hubble's high!
notes: (Arab) dakhil: Arab citizen of Israel
shtreimel: a fur hat

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mother Of Kaita

The Grieving Mother of Kaita ( or Hoyit ) was built after the 1949 earthquakes and landslides in Tajikistan to commemorate the 28,000 who died. At the time, Tajikistan was a member of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The monument was located in the Karategin (Rasht) valley, in the plain of the Yarhich River between Jirgitol and Gharm. During the Tajik civil war, 1992 - 1997, the area was controlled by the Islamic Rebirth Party, who judged it to be un-Islamic and destroyed it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Poetry Of Health Care Reform

William Carlos Williams, Poet and Physician
In my poetry blog, I talked about haiku and sapphic verse forms:

 ---------- notes: 
...However, what is interesting is the use of the Sapphic verse form - at least, I think it's interesting. Sappho was one brainy gal. 

Anyway, as I thought of doing this particular thing at 4:30 am, I also thought, why not use haiku? Then I immediately flashed on a potentially long poem of haiku, which would be a tower of small objects ready to fall down any moment. So, why not Sapphics? 

The traditional Sapphic verse is two lines of eleven syllables, followed by a third which starts with eleven and adds on five more at the end...for good measure. For my purposes, I wanted something like a haiku...only I used three lines of 11 syllables, then a fourth line of 5. The fourth line should stand alone and sort of make a commentary of what's gone before - much like the third line in a haiku. 

Two examples of Sapphics: Swinburne So the goddess fled from her place, with awful Sound of feet and thunder of wings around her; While behind a clamour of singing women Severed the twilight

Allen Ginsberg Red cheeked boyfriends tenderly kiss me sweet mouthed under Boulder coverlets winter springtime hug me naked laughing and telling girl friends gossip til autumn 
Notice that Ginsberg's easily transforms into my version of the Sapphic - if we scan it like: hug me naked laughing and telling girl friends;  gossip til autumn

And I thought that there is so much BS all around us, why not strive to be precise, precise, precise; use an excruciating precision to say what we mean. I mean, why should we be like Sarah Palin, who talks and talks, yet cannot say what is going on in her head:

Pretty lady Governor; 
conservative like Reagan; 
Reagan did not quit. 

I think that sums it up...unless she intends to be the new conservative intellectual - like Pat Buchanan - but that , too, has a few problems, the number one of which being that she's a fisher-folk type of person, been salmon fishin' and campin', but she seems to fish "in shallow waters", if'n ye catch my drift here.
What else?

 Illness does not take a summer vacation; 
Death will not adjourn his unending conclave; 
Fever and the Flue still wish to visit us; Health Care summer recess!
(O.K. So the last line is too long. )

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Health Care Discussion...

...or... Waiting for Carrion.
pix: daniel r "pajaros"

The Future

I am very, very positive about the future. Not a future, however, with the imagery and narratives of the present generations. But I am extremely positive.

Greenland's Ice

There is a difference of opinion whether the retreat of Greenland's glaciers is a harbinger of climate change, or whether it is merely business as usual for the Arctic Circle. Meanwhile, an asteroid of substantial size - big enough to cause a good deal of damage were it to impact Earth - slips through our solar system defenses and carries out a terrorist attack on the southern hemisphere of Jupiter.

There are so many things to do, so many to plan for. Every issue of life and death may - in all fairness - not really be a matter of the quick and the dead...but they are moral issues, issues which inform and shape and demonstrate our integrity and honor and sense of the Good. I feel it is honorable to make a commitment to the good of all mankind, now and in the future ( as well as the past - but that would lead us off on a tangential path ).  
I feel that to have integrity as a human being, I must commit to a sense of community. I am not St. Francis; St. Francis went off and embraced lepers as his brothers and sisters in his race to the glory of God. I am no saint. But I can see that a commitment to humanity - which to us sounds as bureaucratic as a UNESCO poster - is an example of the behavior of saints and angels.

The world of Global Image - the Image integrated globally through cable TV and film and sound - is the Big Brother of Orwell's 1984 imagination. However, it bends to its will like A Clockwork Orange. We have lost control of our environment. That is why a commitment to our well being is only going to be possible if it coincide with a reality show's concern.
We have lost control of our environment if we cannot deal with Health Care, our attention diverted by cops and professors capering off-stage. We have lost control of our environment if we cannot reform ourselves, if we cannot change, if we continue to condemn thousands to foreclosure while the banks are saved. Send the cameras to record the lives of the dispossesed and the shirtless and those living in cars. Then the blind will see that the Great Economic Crisis is indeed a crash.
We have lost control of our souls, and the heavens will steer comets toward us, but we won't see what's coming, because we will be arguing or watching silly videos. That's the way its always been. That's why we say that man is inherently evil. That's why there is original sin - to stain us from conception. It is not the way it has always been. It is the way it is in our histories, in our stories, and in our imaginations. We have read the script of our own damnation, we have proofed it, and we we agreed to shoot it, and signed a contract to put it on the big screen.

When the present Dalai Lama goes to his reward, his successor will not be found...... The Chinese government will appoint someone to fill in.....


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Logos And Words

In the beginning was the word... This use of word conveys no sense of symbol. Oh? I thought all words were somehow symbolic? No. The word John uses is no symbol. It is immediate behavior, without thinking, without reflection. It is articulate behavior of God. It is the act of action. Symbols aren't all they're cracked up to be.


Iskra means a spark. It has connotations that we either recognize or not. It is not important whether we do so. In the present time, during the GEC - Great Economic Crisis - we look around and see that the process of Global Capitalism has moved the means of production away from our homes, away from our people. Those who made a good living in manufacturing do so no longer. Factories have moved away. They have become maquiladoras in Mexico or elsewhere. Work has been outsourced overseas. Such is the nature of Global Capitalism. Thus, now we are faced with the question whether the people of the USA will be able to be re-trained to live in the new global economy - such as it is. I have read about this. This is a valid topic of discussion among the leadership elite: what shall we do with all the people who no longer have jobs...especially since the jobs are no longer here? Will the American People themselves be up to the task of re-creating themselves to fit into the new global economy?, we ask again. In other words, will the American people be able to "povertize" themselves into a society resembling what we used to refer to as Third World societies? Will they be able to shift gears? Downwards, from fifth to third, to second, to a slow, first? Of course they will. This is the land of the can-do spirit. At some point, however, I fear that it will become rather blatantly obvious to all involved that this whole process of "povertization" could have been avoided if the people themselves had been the owners of the means of production. It is only the fact that the ownership of production was a separate class that enabled capitalism to move the manufacturing jobs elsewhere. So, if the workers had control of the production, they would not find themselves scrambling to find what bakhshish they could. Having never been a Communist, I find this annoying. But some bright johnny will write about it, and we shall undoubtedly see a rebirth of a new form of Communism, rising phoenix-like from the ashes of the USSR. ...and the armies will; clash by night again.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


pix: on the m104

Thursday, July 16, 2009


The Great Economic Crisis We shall argue forever about when it occured. Some say we're clear of it, and there's all smooth sailing ahead. When did the GEC happen? Let me quote Spengler from Asia Times July 14 2009: ...Equity markets collapsed and never came back. In nominal dollars, the technology-centered NASDAQ index stands at one-third of its February 2000 peak. In the future, the case will be made that the GEC started in 2000, not 2007-2008. The GEC started, but the public attention was sidetracked by 2001 and the Iraq debacle. In these pages, I have often said that the decline of our society began 30 years or more ago. It began when we no longer created wealth and welfare, but settled on maximizing wealth. The GEC began when things began to break down in 2000. The build-up to the GEC had its high point in 1999 when Senator Phil; Gramm and his Republican cohorts exempted derivatives from any oversight and regulation. We knew of the problems with derivatives from the early 1990s. To exempt them from regulation was not only arrogance, it was insane arrogance. When you reach insane arrogance, expect the downturn soon. Now a case could be made that the GEC began in sketchy form in the early 1990s: the Savings and Loan bailouts, and the derivative problems being a dress rehearsal for what was to follow. People are fond of saying Capitalism has cycles of boom and bust. Just like animal populations: cycles of highs and lows. Sometimes, however, there comes a great die-off. Sometimes the lows are just too low. A system of boom and bust that lacks a homeostatic system that controls the depth of misery in the downside will eventually destroy itself, and it is my belief that that is what we are watching: the gathering clouds, another "bloom" of the GEC exposing itself, the Indian Summer of an unexpected and unusual leader...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Super God

Recently I made a wise crack about people who believe in God as "Super God". Someone to me to task, saying "Is not God, by definition, Super?" They caught me. Yes, God by definition is super, and super-duper as well. When I look up the definition of God in the dictionary, it says that God is super, and Superman is really not as super-duper as we thought: God's the real deal, super-wise. God is super with a bullet. After having done this, I picked up my total sum of knowledge, which I carry around in a handy Gladstone satchel. It weighed the same.

Primtive Behaviors Of Various Tribes

A Yakut Shaman Interpreting the Unemployment Figures for June
When eclipses of the sun came along in days of old, people thought that a dragon was eating the sun; or an evil god was destroying it; or it was going away for a much needed rest and failed to leave a forwarding address. So they screamed and yelled and threw themselves about, and it invariably worked, as it always does, to keep the sun on track. What's worse is that added to the eclipses, few and far between, the old boys - and girls - had to watch with bated breath as the sun passed its zenith at the summer solstice, and began its decline into the obscurity of the winter solstice: when the harvest was over and all the fields were empty and the trees were bare; when the cold winds had begun to blow; when the sun felt quite bowled over by the inclement weather and retired into the study to warm himself at the fire and dream of the roguish days of summer! So the old folks screamed and yelled and threw themselves about, and the sun got a second wind, and came down from the hustings running for office in the New Year, his eye quite firmly on the prize, and magna cum viagra all the way until the summer solstice. Having observed this, how do these customs differ from our present day behavior? If we substitute the "stock market" for the "sun", let's say, it seems very familiar: the same quaint shamanism and nativistic practices. If we substitute "national security", say, for the "sun", and we track its periodic ups and downs, periods of relief, periods of fear...brrrrr! Keep the wiretaps going until...until...until the summer dog days of "national security"? I for one, think the daily crap about whether stocks are going to be up or down is...well, crap. And actually I would much rather have a shaman than a cable TV spokesperson, whether they are speaking of economics or anything...under...the sun.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Freedom Geezers And Gran Torino

Take a look at any photos from around the world, taking special care that you look at people demonstrating for freedom, particularly old people. Notice how young they seem. Even the gapped-tooth, wizened men, stooped over from age, seem to skip like young calves. The old women, sometimes covered, sometimes not, sometimes shaking their fists in defiance, sometimes standing up to the very forces which have been dispatched to destroy their voices...even the aged ones with the loose folds under their arms, the ones who have indulged in starches and cereals a bit too much, these are suddenly sturdy, stoic, and beauteous.
Clint Eastwood was a Gran Torino geezer, and he was magnetic, for he was a force of freedom from oppression.
What is there about freedom which that re-invigorates us; that makes it the fountain of youth? Is is the fact that it is the very basis of our dreams, our hopes, and our aspirations? Now look about you at the society which has been created in our country, the USA. Where is there freedom? Does freedom lie in the fact that every eight years or so we may now look forward to experiencing not just a recession, but something much worse, made worse by the insatiable greed of those who run the country? Does freedom lie in the fact that we have a faceless bureaucracy running our lives, taking our monies, feathering their own nests with top-of-the-shelf health care and pensions, while the rest of us have to scrounge around for a break? Does freedom lie screaming and yelling about freedom on cable TV? Our media - the place where we are supposed to get our information from - not only did not see the Great Economic Crisis coming, but now that it has arrived seem to think they actually can delineate it for us, and seem to know how to fix it ! Look at us. We are slaves. We are Mamlukes. The Mamlukes of Egypt were young men taken from Circassia and brought to Egypt by their Muslim masters to be slaves. They became Muslim and turned the tables by becoming the rulers of Egypt in the Middle Ages. We are Mamlukes: slaves who rule, a mighty state of slaves. We are enslaved to this corruption of a society which either does not believe in God, or believes in Super God: creating Idols of our unbeliefs or our credulous beliefs! But we will not take the time to make the approach to God - usually a long and time consuming process.
God is not the Alpha being, some sort of super-primate...only spirit! He does not rule by intimidation, nor did He create slaves to be despot over. He created so that there should be freedom from chaos. We are slaves to our lusts and desires. We are slaves to our fears. Look at the record number of guns and ammunition being bought and dare to look me in the face and deny that we are slaves to our fears and hatred. I defy you to do it. We hate and we call it freedom. Our love becomes pornography and we call it freedom. Our great industrial powerhouse destroyed itself by its own hand, and we called it entrepreneurial freedom. We have taken the stories of American Greatness and turned them into death-seeking dramas of horrible despair and great crime and overwhelming corruption. I will never forget the fall of 2008, watching Wall Street make even bigger fools of themselves, and remembering the story of the Tower of Babel, and how the arrogant were driven across the face of the Earth.
The face of America is not the face of youth. It is the face of the grifter and wise-acre, the cunning bucket shop boys and poor-box johnnies. The face of America is too, too old and wise in the ways of the corruption it calls the world. It is the boyish face of Bernie Madoff. There are only a few circumstances that need be changed for Bernie Madoff to become a celebrity idol, just as John Dillinger is celebrated in a new movie, Public Enemies.
Just a few changes and that old boy face would be seen as charming...a genius, another "boy wonder"!
We need a new face.
Clint Eastwood gives a charming face, but it is an old face set against the decay of the present, reinvoking the imaginary past, where everything is somehow impossibly golden.
Gran Torino is a metaphor for the destruction of America. The Gran Torino automobile is an artifact of the past. The roots of the film's plot are back in Vietnam, 40 plus years ago, yet still as in your face as the morning sun.
Freedom here is a car that don't drive.
Freedom here is a globalized sweat-shop.
Freedom here is a maquiladora, a factory free to escape...but for us, there is no escape, no exit...
...freedom here is Chevy in the Hole in Flint, Michigan, where there is nothing but memory...
and hell is living in the vestigial glories of the past with all the other prisoners.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Freedom Is Not Free

Or, if we were to put it in iron over the camp gate, Freiheit ist nicht kostenfrei. It has been discovered that entire bombs could be brought, piece by piece, into Federal buildings and assembled there, and the Department of Homeland Security people would not as much as bat an eyelash at the proceedings. Surprise, surprise! And I bet you thought that money spent by the Homeland Security Behemoth was going to keep us safe! Safety is nicht kostenfrei, and it doesn't work -usually - until there are enough hierarchies checking each other. At this stage of redundancy, it does theoretically work, but in reality it loses the ability to communicate from level to level, and the whole thing breaks down. In other words, we have traded away our freedom for a Bureaucracy which cannot deliver the goods. The only way the present system would work is if we were slaves. Period. There is no way the present way of dealing with this type of security will work, unless we give up our entropic desires for chaotic freedom - just as the War on Drugs does not have a chance of working unless we give up our desire to use drugs. Look at the Wall Street mess: you had people pushing bad mortgages, and the Rating Agencies - supposedly the "Security" guys - selling themselves to the highest bidder and certifying those toxic assets...and the Federal Regulators turning the other eye and not doing their job ! The more levels of security we had, the more dangerous it was! Now go figure that one out, and then report back!

Hurriyya Wa Islam: Xinjiang And Beyond

The whole notion of surrender - Islam - to the will of Allah is the gaining of freedom. Let us repeat the last bit: the gaining of freedom. The whole business of the modern world Leviathan with its monster states is not the gaining of freedom, but is the removal of individual freedom, supplanting freedom with the treacly concept of "choice", stripping freedom of any vestige of responsibility and burden, leaving it little more than a child's toy, pretty and sparkling. As if my freedom were enhanced by having 10 different styles of automobile to choose from! Pontiac has been killed; I am still free! On this day in 1936, the Reich Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbells, ordered a halt to all anti-Jewish activity untiul after the Berlin Olympics. Similarly, in 2008 Beijing put on its cloak of suppression-lite. One year on, we see the results of its policies against the Muslim population of Xinjiang, as the populace has rebelled against the Han policies which enslave it.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Religious Dimwits

Political Evangelicals.... I have never, ever read anything more offensive to just common sense than Evangelical blogs that have a political focus. Absolutely total crapulous mixing of Caesar and God. You may be childish enough to really, really, wanna be a "chosen people", but the days of that are gone, and all your nonsense does not make it true. By obsessing about your scriptural delusions, you totally miss what should be done.

Folksy Sarah Palin

I have been hearing some Palin interviews, filled with Palin-isms, or Palin-dromes, which are sort of a way of speech: taking a folksy metaphor or expression and using it inadroitly. She used some salmon fishing metaphor, and it sounded forced and odd. Anyway, I won't be using it around the old fishing camp any time soon. She said a lot about other things, but I no longer consider those things to be important. I think she is a good egg. She's one heck of a lot better than people like Phil Gramm, or the Adulterous Republicans, or the Hang-Out-In-Menrooms Republicans, we have seen so much of. I think she'll do just dandy. It would be a shame if she were to sequester herself into some niche such as FOX, but I am sure she still believes she has to be heard by millions and millions. To be heard by large numbers, you have to prostitute yourself to the people who control the media, thereby loosing your independence of thought - the quality which made you so refreshing in the first place. That will be a tragedy for a later time.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Wedding Bell Blues 2: The Wedding Crashers

Another Afghan wedding party has bitten the dust recently, blasted by overwhelming US air power. Didn't get much coverage. On July the 4th, I salute the flag. In the background, I heard the foolish audio of cable TV, talking about every madness except the Insanity. The present age is an age of Murder, Theft, and Negligent Criminality. We differ from other historic criminals ages in that we are at the crux of historic times and forces. We entered the Atomic Age arm in arm with the fight against the most hideous and satanic political philosophy ever: Nazism. It was no coincidence. We entered the Atomic Age and opened the door to the Interstellar Age. Again, no coincidence. We have been called upon to do great things. We have done very little on that historic To-Do list. Give up the tranquil mind, bid farewell to contentment, for if we fail, the truly criminal will cry havoc!, and let slip the dogs of war, and we shall never come home again.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

The 4th Of July Of Blanche Dubois

It was my father's birthday on the 1st, so we got together on the 4th to celebrate it. It was some ghastly high number, way up there in the rarified stratosphere of numbers; high enough to require the Hubbell to pick it out of the rest of the residue from the Big Bang.

By the morning of the 5th, he was endearing himself in a new way: repeating at the breakfast table FOX thought-bites or thought-yummies, or whatever opprobrious term one attaches to the constant cable drivel. First, he opined that Obama was turning the Recession into another Crash. Another Crash? Did he mean another one added to the one in 2008? Because in case you do not know, the entire banking system self-destructed in 2008: it froze up and came to a screeching halt. And we have rescued it by providing our tax money to bankers.
I keep saying that we are in slow motion: it takes time for Great Crashes and Great Depressions to form up. It's like hurricanes; they have to go over the warm waters of the Gulf and bop a few islands on the way. It takes time for everything to get into place and march off to plaster New Orleans or Houston. Apparently FOXheads believe Great Depressions must be accompanied by pictures and films of breadlines, dust bowls, and Okies being turned back at the California border.

FOXheads remind me of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire: we have always depended upon the symbols of others.

A great Depression need not be accompanied by pictures of breadlines nor WPA workers or CCC camps. In fact, we do not even need a photo of FDR. A composite of the 47 million - and growing - of people who do not have health coverage would do - in a pinch ! The fact that the UN estimates 90 million in the world have entered the state of Extreme Poverty due to this mess is another - but we have no film to roll. A few Polaroids of the increasing number of personal bankruptcies would go just right after the opening titles of our documentary of the Great Crash of '08. Especially the increasing number of people over the age 65; in the UK these have increased 164% over 2008, and these are particularly poignant because they don't have the time to build up assets again.
Long lines of people out of work are hard top come by since Unemployment Claims are handled over the Internet. One thing we do have in common with the other Crash is the number of housing foreclosures. In case the collective FOXmind has not inquired, these have been occurring at a gallop. Take a shot of the front porch - sort of a Places in the Heart frame house - with a sheriff's order pasted to the bundled in the front yard.

It is pernicious mendacity to tell people that the Crash has not yet happened. So I did not say anything. Just smiled and sort of said some non-committal thing, like we should look on a Crash's bright side; sort of Get yourself a broom, and sweep, sweep, your troubles away. Stop weeping...Keep sweeping !!
Well, this was not the desired effect apparently, so he followed with the observation that if Obama were to serve 2 terms, he would seek to amend the Constitution - in the manner of Hugo Chavez and the President or ex-President (it's hard to tell) of Honduras - in order to be able to run for a third term, and so on. This is obviously derived from Mr. Obama's lean and power-hungry look. Perhaps his well known uncontrollable lust for overlordship of the universe. Perhaps his constant utterances about his thousand year dynasty. All of those things could be hints.

When the ravings of the insane become breakfast table talk, we are in quite a fix. I should know. I've raved all my life about how it was all coming to an end. I got a heck of a comeuppance in 2008 when it turned out to be true. I shut up for quite a while, thinking about what the heck this all meant - somethiing I was not used to - to be correct in a frightening way.
Well, all can say is, I guess my symbols of the future were pretty good and they were definitely not like Blanche DuBois': the symbols of others. They were homegrown. To be quite truthful, I do not like being correct in that way. It sucked, and if I do it again, it will suck even more.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


I expect God in my universe. I have no beliefs about God. I have no use for the concept of Absolute Truth. I get up in the morning. I pray then. I do so numerous times throughout the day. I don't keep track. I try to be a good and moral person. I do not make statements about God, rather I try to live as I think is a godly way - not a churchy way, a godly way. Priests and nuns used to be churchy.` If you ask me if I believe in God, I say I will not play that game. I use aggressive non-violence to withstand your desire to change everything into words, thereby stripping the phenomena of the world of their inherent baraka and power. When you talk of God, you make Him smaller. Story about Jack Wilson, maybe. Ghost Dance prophet. Jack Wilson had a black hat. He showed it to two men, closely. One saw a dirty, old hat. The other saw the firmament of stars within the ambient of the sweaty band. Good story.