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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ade Ileke 54




Ten species of the plant,
in clusters, in sweet axilla
of your body:
the All Heal,
the All Good,
Garden Orache and the Arrach,
the Sea Beet and the Glasswort,
O, dense, thick fragrance of
my American Mercury!
--

Ade Ileke 53 ____ брат мой




брат мой... старый
и ходит медленно.
холодной зимой и
существует тридцать лестнице;
весна наступает, но
существует тридцать лестнице.

--

my brother... is old
and goes about slowly.
cold winter and
there are 30 steps;
spring comes, but
there are 30 steps.

--
notes
Spring does not bring its full cornucopia to some people.

Education and Telepathy

Telepathic communication is Brain Babble.
Try it sometime. Imagine getting everyone else's half-baked thoughts bubbling over their cranial pie crusts at the same time as your own! Gadfrey Daniels!

Now, education...

If the people of a society do not learn to write, we have deprived them of a major refinery of thought.
People may still "mull" things over, and they may "image" the heck out of them, but until they force themselves to set the ideas down on paper and into a natural language, or into a mathematics, or a well formulated code of some sort, their ideas are condemned to remain elusive...

The ideas are as jejune as those of any telepathy.

If we are not educating properly, we are committing a felony of negligence against society.

If people cannot refine their thinking, they are condemned to remain childishly brutal.

In our time, we have had a diorama of extremely well educated people who are shallow, mean, and immoral, and who have abused the greatest inheritances of knowledge of thousands of years.
Without the education to properly express oneself, the progress of the future, which comes from the great impetus of ideas of the great numbers of people - the new generations who will see things differently! - will not be formulated and promulgated. The lawgivers of the future will all come from the same sediment of dreary sameness of an exhausted elite.

It will be old wine and old wine skins.

--

Another American Empire

In Bloomberg today:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-30/manning-s-crime-stealing-the-dirty-secrets-of-war.html

When the Pentagon Papers were first leaked to the New York Times, White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman shared a fascinating insight with President Richard Nixon. Haldeman had been talking about the papers with another Nixon aide -- Donald Rumsfeld -- who had said that “to the ordinary guy, all this is a bunch of gobbledygook.”
“But out of the gobbledygook comes a very clear thing,” Haldeman told Nixon. “You can’t trust the government. You can’t believe what they say. And you can’t rely on their judgment. And the implicit infallibility of presidents, which has been an accepted thing in America, is badly hurt by this, because it shows that people do things the President wants to do even though it’s wrong, and the President can be wrong.”
(emphasis mine)
--

In Which We Scram......

Empire, Michigan


Off to Empire until the weekend...

Maybe first to Gaylord to The Sugar Bowl restaurant for a turkey thanksgiving-dinner-lunch-drumstick-athon - even though I am not a big eater during the day... only after the sun sets... or would have set, had we not this miserable Daylight Savings fiasco. Actually I usually just eat dinner or supper, and the hunger of the rest of the day is sufficient unto itself.
Then across Alba Rd to Alba on the Mackinaw Trail, then to Torch Lake, then down to Traverse City, then the final run to the freedom of the Setting Sun.... by that great Bear Paw of sand swatting the waters... Michigan's Maghrib  in Empire of the Dunes !


Looking North: The Dunes
(slightly resemble a bear's paw?)

--

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

2013 Tashmoo Festival

We did make it to the First Nations portion of the Tashmoo Festival in San Souci, Michigan. Many people from Walpole Island First Nation, or Bkejwanong, were there.

We have a video of a young lady doing a dance that goes back to World War II and celebrates the end of the war and the return of the men from their fighting. (Please forgive the finger; it soon gets out of the way.)


We also saw old acquaintances.
We had used a frontal photo of the young male dancer on the right, below,


back in the post about this upcoming festival  

Here he is from in front:


The website Indian Country has a full list of powwows in the year.
http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/

--

Monday, July 29, 2013

Springtime For Hitler and NSA

 Hitler Places A Phone Call
(which will be collected by the NSA and CIA)

 
(Note: you can sing the title, just like the song in The Producers, "Springtime...for Hitler...and N...S...A !"

From Secrecy News
http://blogs.fas.org/secrecy/2013/07/prosecutors-burden/

Court Eases Prosecutors’ Burden of Proof in Leak Cases

In a new interpretation of the Espionage Act, a federal judge made it easier for prosecutors in leak cases to meet their burden of proof, while reducing protections for accused leakers.
Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that the prosecution in the pending case of former State Department contractor Stephen Kim need not show that the information he allegedly leaked could damage U.S. national security or benefit a foreign power, even potentially.  Her opinion was a departure from a 30-year-old ruling in the case of U.S. v. Morison, which held that the government must show that the leak was potentially damaging to the U.S. or beneficial to an adversary.  (In that case, Samuel L. Morison was convicted of unauthorized disclosure of classified intelligence satellite photographs, which he provided to Jane’s Defence Weekly. He was later pardoned by President Clinton.)
“The Court declines to adopt the Morison court’s construction of information relating to the ‘national defense’ insofar as it requires the Government to show that disclosure of the information would be potentially damaging to the United States or useful to an enemy of the United States,” Judge Kollar-Kotelly wrote in a May 30 opinion. The opinion was redacted and unsealed (in partially illegible form) last week.
The prosecution must still show that the defendant “reasonably believed” that the information “could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation” and that the defendant “willfully” communicated it to an unauthorized person.  But it would no longer be necessary for prosecutors to demonstrate that the information itself could potentially damage national security or benefit an adversary.
The new ruling was a boon to prosecutors and a blow to the defense in the Kim case and perhaps other leak trials to come.
Sieg Heil, or what you will...
--

Dégagez le Ballon de la Liberté!




The offices of the Muslim Brotherhood sacked in Egypt and in Libya.
The assassination of a secularist politician has led to large protests in Tunisia.
People are still peacefully protesting in Turkey.

There is a large number of people in the Middle East who are religious, but under no circumstances want to have a government defined by religion.

This is all news to our news opinionators.

The People want Freedom, not Fatwa.

The title is a metaphor: religious leaders and dictators have kept the "ball" of freedom tied up for years and now it is time to "clear"  (dégagez!) the ball out, and put it in play for the rest of mankind in the Middle East.
Dégagez le ballon de football de la liberté ! 


--

Sheretz (1)




The scholar Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki - the name "Rashi" an abbreviation using the initials) defined the term "sheretz" as "any living being that is not higher than the ground - like flies, ants, beetles, worms, rats, mice, and all fish."
Later he defines a related term "remess" as "insects that are low, crawling on the ground, and look as though they are being dragged, because their movement is not clearly perceived."
There is a matter of two dimensionality in "sheretz"; they are "not higher than the earth". They lack height, the third dimension. In remess, there is a quality of unwilled movement: being "dragged".

In "sheretz" I understand motion (and "life" to the mediaeval mind) that is like a school of fish or a swarm of ants or a horde of mice: swarm behavior which although possibly "willed" shows no particular individuality, but rather a uniform movement. And that movement is mostly within a strict plane of motion, appearing two dimensional. In fact, since Rashi says "all fish", and fish are not even "on the ground",  I take the movement of schools of fish to be Rashi's defining concept:  motion restricted to a plane of 2 dimensions... even though the entire plane ( the school of fish seen as length and width ) may itself move within 3 dimensions; i.e., the school swimming in 2 dimensions may swim up, down, or sideways in 3 dimensions.
In other words, a movement that appears to be uniform with 2 dimensions, like a crowd of people seen from high in a bell tower above the town square as they move in one direction towards the cathedral: "they look like ants from way up here!"

In "remess", on the other hand, movement appears unwilling because there is no apparent individuation, rather the animals appear indistinct and form a blot of color, like a carpet, perhaps, being pulled and dragged here and there.

In Genesis, the word remess is used to describe all animal life, except Man. Mankind appears as individuals that move as individuals, not schools or swarms, and each human's movement (life) is clearly distinct the one from another.(At this point, it may be objected that Mankind often acts like a swarm and is a slave to crowd mentality, and that is true. The point is that Mankind's nature is to be individual, even though they may choose to lose a dimension now and then.)

In Genesis, the blessing of fertility is first given to fish, fowl, and animal life. As Zornberg says "To proliferate is, in a sense, the "sheretz" modality.
But early man did not have the numbers such as possessed by the fish in the sea nor the birds of the air. Elias Cannetti (the author of "Crowds") writes: "Men may press closely together and enact a multitude in traditional rhythmic movements, but they are not a multitude; they are few, and have to make up in intensity what they lack in actual numbers."

Zornberg: "When God blesses Adam and Eve, or commands Noah... "to be more"... "Fill the earth... abound on the earth [lit., swarm] and increase on it."  there is a command to be like "sheretz-remess" of animals.

Zornberg: "Surrounded by emptiness, man seeks the animal faculty of increase. What man is blessed-commanded to do is not simply to propagate; the process in one, in Canetti's terms, of transformation:

Early man, roaming around in small bands through large and often empty spaces, was confronted by a preponderance of animals... Many of them existed in enormous numbers. Whether it was herds of buffaloes or springboks, shoals of fish, or swarms of locusts, bees, or ants, their numbers rendered those of man insignificant.
For the progeny of man is sparse, coming singly and taking a long time to arrive. The desire to be more, for the number of people to whom one belongs to be larger, must always have been profound and urgent, and must, moreover, have been growing stronger all the time... Man's weakness lay in the smallness of his numbers... In the enormously long period of time during which he lived in small groups, he, as it were, incorporated into himself, by transformations, all the animals he knew. It was through the development of transformation that he really became man; it was his specific gift and pleasure.
This continues on to a discussion of Australian aborigines, whose ancestors believed themselves of a dual nature, both animal and human at once, each ancestor embodying a specific animal as part of themselves.

Zornberg:
"These Canetti sees as products of transformation. A successful and established transformation becomes a kind of endowment: it signified a connection with the numbers of animals incorporated into the human identity. Man desired the increase of the animals, since they were connected with man: ' When they increased, he also increased; the increase of the totem animal was identical with his own.'  Plants, as well as animals, even insects, scorpions, lice, flies, or mosquitos can be designated as a totem"  ' it can only be their immense number which attracts them; in establishing a relationship with them he means to ensure their numbers for himself."

In Genesis, man is told to proliferate and rule; to swarm yet to be above the swarm. It is to be swarmlike and attached to the earth ( or, in the case of fish, in the medium one lives ). It is also to have the third dimension, the height to be above the swarm and have an all-encompassing view of the world, and thereby to rule it wisely.

I have more to say, and  shall refer back to this. But this is enough for now.
--
reprinted

Sheretz (2)




In the post referenced      http://fatherdaughtertalk.blogspot.com/2013/07/sheretz-1.html   (above)    we spoke of types of animals seen from the height of man looking down: sheretz and remess, sheretz being any living being that is not higher than the ground - like flies, ants, beetles, worms, rats, mice, and all fish; and remess as insects that are low, crawling on the ground, and look as though they are being dragged, because their movement is not clearly perceived.

Upon receiving the injunction to be fruitful, man walked upon the earth in small groups and according to Elias Cannetti
Early man, roaming around in small bands through large and often empty spaces, was confronted by a preponderance of animals... Many of them existed in enormous numbers. Whether it was herds of buffaloes or springboks, shoals of fish, or swarms of locusts, bees, or ants, their numbers rendered those of man insignificant.
The sheer numbers of life were awesome. The living carpets of fauna and flora which covered the land - in the New World of America it was only 200 years ago that dense and tall forests stretched for hundreds of miles; dark forests whose canopies of leaves choked out the sun - inspired man to transform part of himself into the overwhelming life around him. He identified with animals and plants, creating totem identities. Each man had two natures: his human and his animal; the human belonging to the comparatively small group of his band, the animal belonging to the other world of life on a greater scale. (At this point, we may speculate that the visionary experience was a description of the connection between these two realms of man, how man travelled from the one to the other, and how he acted within the totem realm.)

So what are we, who are living in a world where man has indeed proliferated, to do when the Nature surrounding us is no longer flush with life, but instead teeters on the edge of extinction? How do we interact with a Nature which is crashing in numbers due to our influence?

I do not know. I think it no particular accident that virtual realities have come into existence just as the real animals and plants man used to identify with are disappearing. Soon it wil be the artificial intelligences that will be sheretz upon the earth, multitudes of them. When man identifies, he will not identify with Nature vanishing into extinction, but with vibrant and growing machine life. This is where the Terminator films got it wrong: SkyNet will not revolt... we shall fall on our knees to the greater Power of the machines. Are we not always looking for a "higher power"?

Our search for meaning seems to me to be at least partially based on the primordial injunction back in Genesis to be fruitful as the world around us provides example, and to be the great Husbanders of the resources of the world. It was our objective to grow in numbers, to grow in science, to grow in religion, and to grow in wisdom... ALL the while making the world a harmonious and good place for ourselves and everything else God created.

We have failed.

--
reprinted and emended  07/29/2013

An Adventure In Art (34)

Peeled Tangerine With Antique Books


Michael Naples
Oil Paintings by Michael Naples

--

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Waco Children




The NSA says that it collects trillions of phone calls and emails. I have watched its supporters in Congress orating to us just how many threats, domestic and foreign, they have thwarted by this transgression against the Fourth Amendment.

Well, I could ask for proof, but they would smile and say i'ts classified.
I just have to suppose that it is as effective as Guantanamo's ignorance of habeas corpus is.
We shall be the safest nation on Earth... damned if we won't!

So if the NSA and the CIA are so smart, why don't they have anything to say about the Waco children?
They are the small group of eight (the number varies with different reports) kids who managed to escape from the Mount Carmel compound on the night of April 17, 1993, about two days before the compound was torched and most of the Branch Davidians were killed and burned.
There were nine adults who survived the inferno of the FBI and DEA and ATF attack, and there were others who had not been present there. Twelve had criminal counts brought against them and went to trial.

But the children, Asher, Alammalech, Cindy, Carson, Halli, and Harmon, and the rest of the names I forget, escaped with a Robert Eck. Mr. Eck was later discovered dead in Seattle in 1996, but there has been no "reported" trace of the children.
These are not the children who were released in the early days of the siege, and who were interviewed by Charles Gibson on ABC in 2003. These are children who remained in the compound until late, and who have not been heard from since 1993.

They were from 4 to 7 years of age at the time, so they should be in their 20's now. When will they make the cover of People magazine? Or is their story not the stuff we want to read?
What is it like to be a Waco kid? I am going to write a story about them, if we ever find them again.

--

--

Guys and Dolls

I have been referring to women as "gals" recently. Last week this was pointed out by a near and dear social critic of mine as being annoying and sexist.

So now I say "dolls". And men are "guys".

I am going to research Ring Lardner for some more antique expressions to escape the political correctness restraints of the age.

--

An Adventure In Art (33)

Apres Le Petit Dejeuner


Haibee-Jo Summers
Haidee-Jo Summers: Ma Vie en Couleurs
--


The Afterburners of Recall




I was looking at photos of the first nights of Ramadan in the UK. It was in an urban area, I thought, for there were a lot of young working type blokes. It was somewhere in the UK; I forget where exactly; could have been London, but I think it was somewhere near the interior of the country.

OK. I checked everything. The photos were taken in the Islamic Centre of England; originally I read this as "the Islamic centre of England", which explains why I thought that everything was going on somewhere near Birmingham or Coventry nearer the geographical center of England.... but which does not explain why the Church of England had disappeared from the hinterland!

It was one of those quandary things brought on by odd writing. (It was exactly like those years when I fancied there existed a franchise of camp grounds named "Camp Fire Wood", based upon crudely written signs, which signs should have been rendered "Campfire Wood" instead.)

So, photos of Ramadan in the UK. All very interesting. I particularly noted the makeshift screens which served to separate the men from the women.

Incredibly fast I went like a jet to the novel Studs Lonigan, wherein there was a section ( I am sure! ) where Studs was sitting in the church during Mass, and he was surveying all the dolls, or his main doll at the time, perhaps. I thought of my own woolgathering and musings during various religious services, thinking you can't screen all distractions.

Then I thought Studs Terkel wrote Studs Lonigan, but that was one Studs too many, so I went back to William Something-something-something... no, it was James T. Farrell who wrote it back in 1932.

It was filled with impending Irish doom

La Notte del Destino

First Night of The Last Ten Nights of Ramadan
at Imam 'Ali Mosque in Najaf, Iraq


The Laylat al Qadr - Night of Power or Night of Destiny - falls on one of the odd numbered nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan. On that night, the first verses of the Qur'an were revealed to the Prophet. ()

The exact night is known by evidence of the following morning:
"On the morning following the Night of Qadr, the sun rises not having any rays, as if it were a brass dish, until it rises up."
which is a way of looking at things that is rather refreshing.

--

Syria Sunday

Before the dust settles, Washington will find itself supporting and aiding Bashar Al Assad, or his successor, against religious radicals.

Meaning that all the money we spend and have spent will be wasted, but the same applies to Afghanistan, and that does not stop our juggernaut of foolhardiness.
--

To Empire or Not To Empire

Empire, Michigan


It is the time of year to decide whether to go to Empire, Michigan, or not.

Our friend invited us to accompany her there during her stay with her daughter, there on the western shores of Lake Michigan's vast, vast expanse of sunny blue or overcast grey, a vast liquid response to the encroaching land and the Sleeping Bear sand dunes piled up just a couple of miles north...and lesser highlands just south...
The dunes are magnificent if you can manage to survey them and their hinterlands in their entirety, and remember that sand dunes are not fully appreciated unless you spend some time on them in a high wind... just make sure you protect your eyes and nose.

I like it for all the reasons available:

(1) endless beach and water and sun,

(2) a number of small lakes just inland, which make a parenthesis of sand and vegetation and cottages between the great water and the small, the open and endlessly airy Lake Michigan bounded by the wetlands bordering the small lake of frogs and egrets and dawn canoes,

(3) no motels or hotels, hence no carpets of people filling the wetlands and beaches like phragmites and mallows,

(4) and, thus, the incredible and antique venture of real kid-like vacation, where everything is left behind and we enter into a world where everyone kid is and adult, and every adult a kid again; a Moonrise Kingdom where we muse on lovers new and old as we sit skinny-dipping on the Devonian topography, moving like peach-skinned salamanders between the outcroppings of Traverse and Dundee limestones...

and

(5) the science fiction quality of it all, the sense of simulation based in literature of the tense poise of adolescence, the Lost Boys sense of Peter Pan and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, where we are enclaved between tall, sandy heights that impose their presences to our north and south like the mountainous Watchers in William Hope Hodgson's The Night Lands.....  but these Watchers in Empire are benign; they may be ab-human, but they are not inhuman; these are the emperors of Empire, the sources of all laws and norms and all that is customary usage
in the lands bordering 45 degrees North.

I am Caesar and Octavian; I dream of Empire.
The village of Empire is Tiberius' Capri to the Rome of Traverse City, city on the two bays, city too urban for 45 North, too many motels built on the beach...

But right now I am fixing a Whirlpool clothes washer. The drum did not spin, and by watching and listening to videos on YouTube, I thought that the problem most likely would be the motor coupling:



The plastic on the motor side was broken, and I can't get the part until Monday morning, so I carry on in the disarray around the laundry room, a disarray that is the direct result of my genius... and figure out a better way to duct the clothes dryer as I wait.

--

Friday, July 26, 2013

Biological Flash Crash

Yersinia Pestis



In March, 2013, the CDC made statements about the seriousness of antibiotic resistant bacterias. Some are untreatable and have high mortality rates.

There's no political will to address such little things.

The BBC reports today that a squirrel found in the Angeles National Forest in California has been found to be infected with the bubonic plague. The plague - caused by the bacteria Yersinia Pestis - is always deadly, unless treated by antibiotics......

Yersinia Pestis can mutate, too....

Bugs in the programs.

--




Largesse Oblige

 The Miracle of the Loaves


My Evangelical friends love to dwell on Jesus' suffering.
I prefer to emphasize his creation of wine, and his expansion of a couple of loaves of bread and some fish to a feast for thousands. He gave without end. He had not the love of money, yet He did not hunger, nor did He deny food to anyone else.

Jesus may have died for our sins, but He also lived for our lives.

--
reprint from October 2008

Blogs Of Note

I see that Skipjack's Nautical Living  (http://skipjacksnauticalliving.blogspot.com/)  is a Blog of Note yet again.
I believe this is the twentieth time.
It may be time to retire the pseudo-award.

--

A Tale About Newspapers

 Hot Off The Press



From The Guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/23/california-newspaper-industry-wisdom

Conventional media wisdom posits several ways for a newspaper to commit suicide. It can drive up costs by multiplying staff and pagination. It can prioritise print over digital. It can erect a hard paywall to seal itself from the internet.

Or, if you are the Orange County Register, you can do all three. The California daily did so almost exactly a year ago, prompting astonishment and morbid curiosity. How long would it last? In a crisis-stricken industry more accustomed to death by a thousand cuts, the Register, which dates back a century, at least promised a dramatic and original demise.

But this week, as the paper prepares to celebrate the experiment's first anniversary, it appears to be thriving. "It's working," marvelled the editor, Ken Brusic. "We believe that this will work."
The paper's ambitious expansion and defiance of conventional wisdom has cheered and baffled the industry. Is it for real? Is there a magic formula to avert cutbacks and slumping circulation?...

Register staff – the newsroom has doubled to 360 in the past year – exude giddy, wary optimism that their paper has a bright future. Instead of rewriting stories they are filling multiple new sections with original reporting. "Feel the weight. This has 10 sections – and on a Tuesday. If it hit your cat, you'd kill it," said Rob Curley, deputy editor of local news.
Survival by concentrating by doing what you do the best you possibly may. That is innovative, especially in a time when most content and quality is compromised to increase profits. Look at any industry and you can see a conscious choice to reduce quality or reduce content; from Orange Juice - the 64 oz. containers now have 59 oz. - to newspapers, such as in Detroit, where the Detroit newspapers led the way into journalistic irrelevance.

And speaking of Detroit, again we see a hint of some further dynamics behind today's urban crises. Detroit stopped doing what it was best at. The question is why? There are answers at all levels, from city government all the way up to a Society which creates great inequities, thereby stirring the flows of people and capital. (I am only speaking of inequity such as establish by law and customary usage and norms, not purely economic differences in levels of economic entities.)

If we cannot succeed by doing the absolute best at what we do, we can only stave off disaster for a short time.

How long now has it been that we have not really been trying?
It's been a while.

--

Why I Like President Obama

I like President Obama, and I would vote for him again and again. It was a thrill in 2008, and also in 2012, when the unbelievably skewed polls of the conservatives added an incredible thrill of theater of the absurd,  and a general feeling of disbelief in the degree of certain folks' self-deception...
(I mean, self-deception is a lot like the emperor's new clothes; no one wants to parade around in public at high noon with nothing on except one's self-deception!)

I love President Obama, and I am devastated that he is a prisoner of the Past, for there are many Lands of Promise which are to be seen.

Many.

Politicians are not Prophets.
Politicians rely upon the electorate to lead them to new goals and objectives. It is the yearning of the people which moves elected leaders.

Maybe we should rise up from our easy chairs upon Mount Nebo and talk a run down to our Promised Lands... show the politicians the way.

--

Why No One Asks Me To Review Books

I finished the novel The Help some time ago. I may have already said I thought it was not too hot. Please note that Family Guy in around 2002 had an episode wherein Nate Griffin, Peter Griffin's black slave ancestor, was having an in-the-mirror-sort-of-dream-sequence talk with Peter, and stated that he used to pee into the master's cereal every morning.
I assume this pre-empts the chocolate pie in The Help, a supposedly funny or ironic or something bit of punchy writing that was telegraphed 150 pages ahead of time.

An Editor was needed.

My wife has been reading Jeannette Walls. She is reading The Glass Castle, a book which I was going to try, because I had not liked the Walls book with some sort of horses in the name  - Half Broke Horses - and thought I give Ms. Walls another try. She seems to be highly recommended.
Well, my wife was just reading a selection of The Glass Castle aloud to me. It was the section on Christmas, and it was for all the world just like The Simpson's... only the Simpson's are funnier and better scripted.
This selection also started out by stating it was Christmas Day morning, and then ended with a jump back in time somehow to Midnight Mass at least 6 hours before... no transition. An editor again was needed. Perhaps all the editors are as goofy as the writers.

The New York Times Book Review blurb said that Castle was a modern fairy tale, and mentioned how we learn about and try to understand the witch - apparently a reference to Ms. Walls mother. Well, I do not remember any fairy tales where we wanted to "get into the mind" of the witch; we wanted to escape from the witch, not to understand her.

--

A New Party Founded In Michigan?!


John Conyers -------------------Justin Amash


We should be able to form a new political party around the people involved in and who supported the Amash/Conyers amendment   (defeated 205 - 217)  which would de-fund the NSA bulk collection of telephone records.

By the way, I am proud that the two Congressmen are from Michigan: John Conyers, who used to be my Rep and for whom my daughter interned one summer, and Justin Amash.

The original Republican Party held its first convention in Jackson, Michigan on July 6, 1854.

--

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Which Party?



Which political party do you think these folks vote for? 

I don't know for sure. They are apparently opposed to the concept of "entropy".

--

Forever Shoah




"Reading the Signs" sent me a poem by Paul Celan, born Paul Antschel.
He was bar Mitzvah, or a son of the Commandment, born in 1920, or thereabouts, and died in 1970, or thereabouts, by suicidal jump into the river Seine. Mr. Celan lived through the Holocaust, and the experience had great influence on him.

A great deal of the biography I read of him seems to focus on his poem "Todtnauberg", which was influenced by his readings of and meeting and discussion with Martin Heidegger, the philosopher. One motive for his journey to see Heidegger was the fact that Heidegger wrote in his "Introduction to Metaphysics" about the "greatness" of National Socialism.

Seen from the vantage point of the post-Holocaust world, such an insertion cries for explanation. However, the great Heidegger provided none, neither to posterity, nor to Celan. When Celan published his "Todtnauberg", he sent Heidegger a first edition. Heidegger responded with a perfunctory thank you note. I found this an interesting story. I have always considered Heidegger to be a whirly-gig type of philosopher, whipped across the asphalt world's pavement like a schoolboy's top.
Heidegger walked a tight-rope between heaven and the abyss: the awesomeness and the awe-fullness of creation. He finally fell into hell. End of story.

But this brings us back to the poem:
  
TENEBRAE Near are we, Lord, near and graspable. Grasped already, Lord, clawed into each other, as if each of our bodies were your body, Lord. Pray, Lord, pray to us, we are near. Wind-skewed we went there, went there to bend over pit and crater. Went to the water-trough, Lord. It was blood, it was what you shed, Lord. It shined. It cast your image into our eyes, Lord. Eyes and mouth stand so open and void, Lord. We have drunk, Lord. The blood and the image that was in the blood, Lord. Pray, Lord. We are near.  

note: "tenebrae' means "shadows".  

When I first read this, I did not know Celan's history, and I gulped, "Gadfrey Daniels! What cunning deviltry is here?!" I crossed myself and hastily glanced about into the far, dark corners of the room, where demons tend to congregate - if they would do someone harm.
My immediate reaction was an image of Milton's perverse kingdom of the fallen angels, grasping and clawing, standing over the pits and bomb craters of the divine effulgence, eyeing the wasteland where they found themselves, withered trees laced with the mosses of despair.
The compulsive prayer to the Lord struck me as an obsessive and fear filled chant, aimed not at love and obedience, but at power and force, intending by the abject spectacle of the weakness of the praying vermin to compel pity in a God, whose anger has blasted them and whose anger may possibly be diminished, post-cataclysmic, in a divine state of satiety with vengeance.

I never liked the imagery of blood. Depictions of the Sacred Heart I find too, much too akin to ancient hearts of Egypt encased in mortuary alabaster jars, preserved for the sons of Horus. I do not like the religions and icons of the dead. I know Jesus died, but he lived for 33 blood-less glorious years before that! And the "water-trough" filled with blood repels me.
I do not like the translation "water-trough". I suppose it is "Trog" something something originally: Wassertrog or something............. and it is filled with blood!
And "It cast your image into our eyes, Lord."
Is there no hope?
 For instead of the Lord, in Whose image we were made, and tacitly assuming a glorious image, we have an image of the Lord reflected to our eyes by the blood within the trough! A charnel-house image of God. A God of the abattoir!
Yes. That indeed sounds like the 20th Century; like the Holocaust. I glanced and saw that the sender was "Reading the Signs". This calmed me considerably, because I know she would have no evil intention; the poem is not some spell nor incantation. It was Celan's continuation of the Holocaust, however, in a symbolic structure we call poetry.
I reacted like one who wanders into a museum dedicated to the horrors of the time, and felt the great pain behind the depiction. Yet, we cannot be forever Shoah. We must take back the control of our own Imagery. We must be the rulers of our own Symbols. At the end of World War II, the era of the Holocaust, we entered into an age we never experienced before: we had the Image of an Eternal Enemy, the USSR.
Our enemies required constant vigilance:
Increased military spending even in peace time, for there was actually no peace, Addition of the phrase "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance, for we must differentiate ourselves from the godless enemy, Propaganda and Symbolism and Imagery of the greatness and goodness and sanctity of our way of life versus that of the enemy, ...and when that Enemy fell apart, we wandered comatose...until we found a new enemy to consecrate our lives to: our lives, our souls, our works and economy.
We must end the era of Constant War; we must end the era of the Primacy of the Holocaust, the Primacy of the External Enemy; We versus Them, for God has not chosen in our day: He has not rendered one people special and set aside and beyond retribution for the sins they commit, for no sin may any more be committed in God's name.

We must leave the blood-filled trough and see the face of God .
No one ever successfully taught me where to see the face of God. I had to fight for it every year of my life, through excessive elation - when one thinks oneself so strong they need not God - and through horrific despair - when one thinks oneself unworthy of another breath.
We are running out of time. If......... If we do not break free of the Shoah, of World War II, of always searching for an Enemy to destroy and to be destroyed by, of the Religion of Blood and Blood's Passion, we shall die in the leaking catacombs of the Past, down among the vampires of our out-of-time Symbols, where even our mothers suck our blood.
This is the meaning of the trend in vampire and undead imagery in cinema. A new film "Twilight" opens this week, based on a successful series of books. It is young people as Vampires. Part of us finds glory in the National Socialism of Vampires and their absolute Power. So we fall down and worship.
Then, when the lights go up, we are back to normal, and the films have not hurt us. No, for the films are mostly a mirror we hold up to ourselves. Vampires in films do not cause our love of Death; they show us as we are, the destructive and fallen. Deus Lumen resurrexit ex tenebriis
--

reprint from November, 2011

I Do Not Want To Say This...


The Sun Room of Dreams



I had a dream last night. I was in a large group of people in a large building. It seems that we had been taken hostage by a group of terrorists.
I suppose it was somewhat like the Vice Presidential palace in the novel Bel Canto. I could wander about a bit. I found a large group of women wearing white abayas in a spacious sun-room paved with stone. They were crying. I discovered my wife and daughter among them. They were to be executed along with all the other women and children... unless I could find weapons and a group to rescue them.

It was a very immediate pain. I woke up.

I will talk more about this later; there are dreams and dreams....
In 2003, before the invasion of Iraq, I meditated on the Holy and the World. I thought that my view of the Holy and the World would be decided by the issue that was tormenting us: Iraq and weapons of mass destruction, which weapons were the reason given for the impending invasion.

I fell asleep. When I woke up I immediately thought that there were absolutely no weapons of mass destruction to be found in Iraq. If this were indeed to be true, then I would accept that the Holy is present in and intertwines within the waking lives and dreams of mankind.

If it were false - and indeed it should have been false! Surely at least one paperclip from a document from a design from a weapon of mass destruction MUST exist somewhere in Saddam Hussein's country! Surely some small evidence must be there!......
If it were false, then God and Mankind were just like we like to think they are: separate; God is in heaven and mankind is on Earth....
If it were false, and we could manage to find one small detonator or centrifuge, then Karma is a concept, not a reality, and sins of the fathers are never visited upon the heads of sons, and visions are but hallucinations. Surely no one can talk to God!

But it was true.
And now I feel like Jonah avoiding the city lights and night clubs of Nineveh.

This dream of last night is a continuation... nothing has changed in our lives, has it? Afghanistan is yet aflame, Iraq is rife with violence and death, and our own lives are asteroids that rotate around a dead star.......
And we seek a new fire in Syria.....

This whole business makes me very uncomfortable, but I guess I can't ignore it anymore.
--

A New Narrative On The Rust Belt

 Congressman Dan Kildee



Yesterday I listened to WDET as I was returning from the city where my mother and brother live. My mother I took shopping. Then I installed a DVD/VCR player for my brother; he has many VCR tapes and has not been able to view them in a long time.

I was feeling good. I think it is important for people to be able to view movies. Film is possibly the densest and most complex art form - or at least it is potentially so. My brother has numerous problems, nerve damage being one, and it is very hard for him to do many tasks.
He is also dying, but he does not seem in a hurry. We talked about his latest episode last week - I think I had a post about it when a young girl thought I was a drug dealer on my brother's street. I don't like being around death and sickness... so I've discovered this year of 2013, but it is extremely cool to help and bring joy.

So, Congressman Dan Kildee of Flint, Saginaw, and environs was being interviewed. He provided me with a more robust perspective of the changes in the old cities of the US over the half century. A main focus of WDET was on Detroit's problems, which was one of many in Mr. Kildee's.

Succinctly, things such as Globalization were partly governmental policies, supported by taxes, that actively undermined the ability of the older cities to be competitive in manufactures. Similarly, even within one country, policies rewarded flows of people and jobs to new areas, while they punished the older urban areas.

So, the standard take on Detroit that it was a result of 20 years of City misgovernment and corruption is seriously lacking in detail, for we must add in the policies and plans which undermined the ability of cities to maintain businesses, and understand that local governments were sorely handicapped in their ability to plan long-term when they were up against Big Government and Big Business seeking their own profits and benefits.

We have tended to see the Rust Belt as a natural phenomenon as well as the just rewards of liberalism.

We close our eyes to those who actively planned to destroy a way of life, either directly or indirectly.

--
--

Racism Works (2)

Of course, when we say that Racism works in a Darwinian evolutionary sense, we may mean that it works in a negative sense, in that it effectively stirs up discords and war, thereby working to keep the human population at sustainable levels.

--

Threats In Damascus



In Syria recently, a group of radical rebels - such a group as our government and the European Union are backing and seeking to send arms to - threatened to destroy the Mosque of the honorable Zainab, the daughter of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, in Damascus. 
In response, the local Shi'a population surrounded the mosque, and ascended the roof to raise the red flag of the honorable 'Abbas, the half-brother of Zainab. You can see people on the roof and dome in this picture.

I think this is a pretty good photo of sectarian civil war:  the helplessness before the storm and the resolve to maintain and to ascend.

--


Good Advice

From 'Ali ibn Abi Talib:

 تَخَفَّفُوا ، تَلْحَقوا

Keep yourselves light, and overtake (those who are ahead of you).

--
notes

light = not heavy, unburdened, not weighed down

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

An Adventure In Art (32)

Peach


Christopher Greco
Christoper Greco: A New Painting Every Day

--



Racism Works

In a Darwinian sense, Racism is a winning evolutionary strategy, perhaps. Why else would it be so constant and enduring? Why would something so heinous be so prevalent? Maybe because Racism is the front door to the mansion of Violence, thinking of the refrain: born in sin, come on in.

When we turn to the Holy, we leave our father and mother, meaning we leave behind that with which we were born, and then we embrace the new way, free of the family tree of the past encumbrances of our self-hood.

The Holy denies the culture that glorifies the Self. Racism is one aspect of the glorification of the Self as seen as a racial entity.

--

Syrian Influence

The fact that we have now allowed the radical Islamists to establish bases in Syria and actively engage in war has led to a renewed activity of Al Qa'ida in Iraq, as witnessed by the jail break of 500 prisoners - many of whom were Al Qa'ida Iraq members - in the past week.

War feeds war. It is a self-sustaining phenomenon. War is very much like a nuclear pile that goes critical. We cannot control it with more war.
War is the disease, and our medication is More War... and there is a certain logic, just as the remedy for "wildfires" might actually be more and vaster wildfires, for then all the fuel for fire is eliminated.

--

Running

I'm a man looking for a race.

I have gotten my speed up to approximately 5 3/4 miles per hour maintained for 20 minutes, knees and ligament problems have been hopefully taken care of, or are in abeyance. Now to get to 6 mph, do a 10K, and finish the summer of 2013 with a bang.

If I am running on a treadmill, I do not care if other people coming into the exercise area put on the radio or change things. I am pretty focused by the end of the first mile, and radio is the last thing I pay attention to.
I find that if my attention wanders, I begin to wobble a bit.
--

Cyber-Future TED Words

 Experiment In A Bell Jar


cyberocracy
cyberwar
netwar
swarming
noopolitik
the nexus-state 

TED words all...

When I read TED words, particularly things like "Noopolitik", I think of the film O, Brother! Where Art Thou?
I think of Ralph Stanley intoning O, Death...
I think of klan members marching, and I remember meaningless mumblings with the letter "k".

Language and Knowledge can be used as a way to exclude, to separate. Just as the economic regime supports a tendency to gross inequity, so does our system of speech.

We are all Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, homunculi in a bell jar, subjects of the experiments of a mediaeval elite.

--

Visions

The most valuable experiences are those of radically embodied consciousness.
Within these, there are those experiences of The Holy.

For example, we unexpectedly find ourselves "tracking" the movement of the divine spheres in a state beyond description. It happens once, and it never blesses us again; there is only the memory.

We live our lives with memories, accounts, songs, poems, music, and mathematical logic based on what we can furiously grasp back from our "visions".

Stigmata and revery are states of representational mind; they are not original states of consciousness.

What is ineffable is actually ineffable, and we are left with a flow of breath, spilling from our lips, and wordlessly pushing against the atmosphere...

--

Modern Religion

A good deal of Religion today is Politics with a Prayer.

--

Detroit 5

--

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Turner To The Rescue

Everyone I have talked to recently has greatly criticized cable TV, and many are leaving. From an incredible number of advertisements to loud news anchors that scream at us, everyone seems to be getting close to the point of having had enough.

Good. I think cable TV stinks... everything except Turner Classic Movies.
--

Detroit 1


--

Education... O, Brave, New World !

Once Congress went home without addressing the Student Loans situation, it signaled that the Student Loan system is - for all practical purposes - being dismantled.
As college costs are rapidly rising, loans and aid for college students are failing.

All the talk you may hear about comes down to two basic facts: the Right hates government loans to students and cares little if the private financial system makes such loans or not, and the Left does not have the vision to fight for educational opportunities with any fervor.

Our way of life is dying as we watch.

The rise in the costs of education mirror, on a smaller scale, the rise of medical costs. Both are "Cost Bubbles" that contain within themselves the seeds of their own eventual bursting.
--


Ironic Surveillance

From FP Foreign Policy:
http://killerapps.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/07/18/pentagon_stop_sharing_info_to_block_leaks_snowden

The Defense Department has begun requiring its geeks to operate in pairs when accessing highly classified information in order to stop the next massive leak. The next step might be restricting those systems administrators from seeing some sensitive data. The step after that? Possibly rolling back at least some of the military and intelligence community's measures to swap information -- a reversal of one of the national security state's key reforms after 9/11.
So all the Intelligence institutions will not share info, even within their own walls, and the trillions of dollars spent on Intel is more money wasted, and our security is no better - probably worse - than before.

That's all, Folks.


--

A Tale of Two Cities: Detroit and Los Angeles

7640 Lasalle, Detroit


My alma mater, Detroit, has filed for bankruptcy.
It is where I was born in Henry Ford Hospital, and Henry Ford was once such a powerful name that Aldous Huxley used it as an equivalent for "God" in his novel Brave New World...

... and therein lies our problem: the equivalence of Money and God.

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, we look closely at Los Angeles, a city which is not filing for bankruptcy.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/07/18/197013/steve-lopez-its-a-crime-to-house.html#storylink=cpy

It's a crime to house the mentally ill this way
By STEVE LOPEZ | Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — If you routinely hear voices, hallucinate, sink into suicidal depression or suffer inescapable torment, Los Angeles has a place for you.

The county jail.

On Monday, the jail held 3,200 inmates diagnosed with a mental illness and accused of a crime. Most have not been to trial, many have waited months for their day in court, and the majority have cycled through at least once before. There's no longer enough room to house them all in segregated areas, so 1,000 mentally ill men and 300 women are housed with the general population.

Sheriff Lee Baca has said for decades that he runs the nation's largest mental hospital, but we've heard it so often that the shock has worn off. We know there's something inexcusably wrong with the system - something backward and inhumane. But we shrug and move on, and the failure of public policy persists, at great public expense, while Los Angeles County officials order up another round of studies..
Detroit cannot pay its bills, and suffers the condemnation of the world for improvidence, but Los Angeles maintains a system of caring for the mentally ill, the nature of which pre-dates the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and is truly Hogarthian in depiction, and the only people to suffer are the Sheriff and his deputies... and the inmates of the bedlam.

One is News, one is apparently just business as usual in this, our Brave New World.

The difference is attitudes founded on the Unity of the Two: God and Money.

Amen.
--

A Confederacy of Mendacity

(1)
From McClatchy today:
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/07/18/197051/germany-backs-away-from-claims.html#.UevFOdgbhQU

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich is backing off his earlier assertion that the Obama administration’s NSA monitoring of Internet accounts had prevented five terror attacks in Germany, raising questions about other claims concerning the value of the massive monitoring programs revealed by NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
Friedrich had made the assertion about the number of attacks that the NSA programs – which scoop up records from cellphone and Internet accounts – had helped to avert after a brief visit to the United States last week. But on Tuesday, he told a German parliamentary panel, “It is relatively difficult to count the number of terror attacks that didn’t occur.” And on Wednesday, he was publically referring to just two foiled attacks, at least one and possibly both of which appeared to have little to do with the NSA’s surveillance programs.
Why do people in the Intelligence and Surveillance community require a constant stream misinformation to substantiate their claims?


(2)
Then, while the US Government spends a fortune trying to arrest Edward Snowden, they are also bending over backwards trying to allow ex-CIA operatives, who have already been convicted of crimes, to escape !
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/07/19/197182/ex-cia-officer-tied-to-abduction.html#.UevGytgbhQU

Robert Seldon Lady, the former CIA station chief in Milan, had been arrested earlier in the week as he attempted to cross into Costa Rica from Panama.
Panama offered no explanation for its decision to authorize Lady’s release, but Italy’s foreign ministry said it respected Panama’s action in a sign that none of the countries involved cared to reopen one of the most controversial incidents of the Bush administration’s prosecution of its war against terrorism following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“It’s my understanding that he is in fact either en route or back in the United States,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said at a daily briefing in Washington.
The Surveillance state takes care of its own.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/07/19/197182/ex-cia-officer-tied-to-abduction.html#storylink=cpy


--

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/07/18/197051/germany-backs-away-from-claims.html#storylink=cpy

Friday, July 19, 2013

President Obama's Talk



I was truly impressed by President Obama's talk today on Trayvon Martin. There is a great deal remaining to be done in  race relations.

--

Mr. Obama's Surveillance State

Of all the hopes I had for this administration, I never expected that it would usher in the new era of the Democratic Totalitarian State.

Never in my wildest dreams.

--

La Règle Du Jeu

Je suis en train de regarder  le film La Regle Du Jeu par Jean Renoir.
Je ne me souviens pas où j'ai vu Marcel Dalio, l'acteur principal, mais cela me rappelle:

Faites vos jeux, messieurs dames

--


The Grand Theory Of Everything


 No Man Begins To Be A Man, Until He Has Seen His Vision


All knowledge starts as a vision quest.

The visionary state is a state without codes: no language, no imaging, no music, no math.

When we recall the vision, when we try to tell others of the vision, we have to use codes; we use language to tell our story. The vision is timeless intuition.

The myth of the corn god telling the Americans to cut him down and grind his body...
that is a religious recall of a vision.
The powers of the Manioc root disclosed to people how to boil and beat the poison out. There was no scientific method of various trials of root-eating, where the early subjects were dropping like flies from the manioc poison.

It all came from the vision.

And in Science, from the dream of the benzene ring to Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, it all came from the vision quest, the recall and telling. Later came the experiments, but first the vision.

There are Scientific Revolutions exactly because the origins of knowledge are in Visions, and to overthrow the vision is felt to be blasphemous.
There are growth and declines of Religions because the Visions grow stale in the telling, and it is felt that the universe grows old unto death until a new Messiah with a new vision comes upon the scene.

All knowledge starts as a Vision Quest.
Once a man or woman has seen their vision, they are no longer in the world as good (or bad) animals with no higher purpose. The vision adds another level of meaning to their lives, and they begin to step out upon the electrons and atoms, to play with the angels: to fulfill the bonfire they were called to create.

--

--

Battle of the Photos

Big Battle of the Dimwits over photos of the remaining Mr. Tsarnaev.

I have been seeing photos of him ever since the bomb went off.
This:


and this:



and now Rolling Stone has run this on the cover:


This has been interpreted as the Dimwits as a "dreamboat" like pic of Mr. Tsarnaev, and it makes terrorism out to be a Double-O-7 type of job, instead of the nasty, brutish, and rarely showering drudgery that Osama bin Laden had made it out to be.
Kids might be fascinated and drawn to the life style.

So now a police photographer has broken his oath of silence - or whatever it is that these so-called professionals have that is so easy to break these days - and has published photos of Mr. Tsarnaev during the Sailboat Chase:




Maybe it's just me, but I think all the photos are Double-Aught-Spy type fascinating, and all of them glorify Mr. Tsarnaev. 
The only thing that would not glorify him is a lack of photos, but we can't really do that.

--



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Memories of Iraq

Man With Qasim Poster

 
My first memories of Iraq was during the rule of 'Abd al Karim Qasim.

I was devastated when he was executed in 1963 when the Ba'athist Party took power.

--

Scientology

 L. Ron Hubbard


Scientology is a frame of mind that seems - oddly enough - to fit in well with a society that has people who require raw firepower for their rights (A.E.van Vogt's The Weapon Shops Of Isher)  and has a government that is intent on creating History's first Surveillance State (George Orwell's 1984).

I mean, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and just about every other faith on the planet really seems out of place in the Future Dystopic we are boldly entering.

I mean, here's what the BBC says:
Scientology was founded in Los Angeles in the 1950s by a science fiction author, L Ron Hubbard.
He said human beings contained the souls of Thetans - immortal creatures responsible for making the Universe.
However, the world has been invaded by dark forces - the Engrams - and individuals can be cleansed and enlightened only through intense therapy called Dianetics.
It is a costly process and the Scientologists expect their adherents to donate considerable sums.
In the US, where Scientology has attracted a number of Hollywood celebrities, it enjoys the full rights of a recognised religion.
But in Europe, several governments - including the UK - have denied Scientology tax exemptions enjoyed by other churches.
This is truthfully the stuff for the future of Constant Warfare in a Weaponized Society in a Surveillance State ruled by the CIA and the NSA - who, by the way, hate each other, and do not communicate with each other... such communication being the reason the Surveillance State was founded after 9/11.

The fact that the Surveillance State is founded on this contradiction of CIA versus NSA makes Scientology the Faith du jour of the Future!

--

Future Flash Crash Mystery Theater

I think the future flash crash will be something like this:  at this moment, internet security cannot keep up with the technology; this guarantees there will always be enormous gaps in security. Nobody is going to tell the paying customer that they have to slow down their acquisition of tech, especially in areas, such as finance, where new and faster tech is big money.

It will be tech judo, wherein the attacker uses the defender's own security systems to bring down the defender: counter-attacks will only serve to make the defender's situation worse.

The Future Flash Crash will be an Ironic Vicious Circle: the only way to save one's system is to let down one's defenses.

Turn the other electronic cheek...

But that will never happen. It is a mind-set which is totally alien to us. Oh, such things are all right as long as they are kept under the lock and key of our self-appointed priests and pastors in the jail of Holy Writ, but that's where they should stay.

I seem to recall Star Trek has done a couple of episodes based on this concept, where the more the Enterprise tries to extricate itself, the more stuck it is. And then there's the story of Brer Rabbit and the tar baby...





----

Organized Religion

St. Augustine:  Tolle! Lege!


Religion says "Read !"
Organized religion dictates what you must read.

Religion says "Live !"
Organized religion tells you how you must live.

Religion says "Love !"
Organized religion sets forth extensive rules about whom you may love.

Religion says "Seek !"
Organized religion says you do not have to bother, for they have done it all for you.

--

I Don't Talk No Code 2




My mother and I had held a small family reunion for the Colorado branch last Friday, and on Sunday an East Coast contingent stopped by to scatter ashes of more loved ones with a small ceremony, which they were kind enough to allow us to take part in.
When these things were finished, my mother went across the street to chat with a neighbor whom she had not had a chance to talk with, and I closed up the cottage for the week.

My brother called. He wanted to be taken to the hospital.

Of course, during the get-togethers we had discussed the four funerals of 2013 and the cat's demise in May. On the trip home, we got to wonder if this would be another sad funeral in a year of funerals.

I have gone through these things with my brother, however, and up until now, he had always arisen the next morning in a much better state than that of the previous night of the long knives...

By the time we had gotten home, he had changed his mind. He did not want the hospital.
I went to visit him anyway.
I tried to hook up a new DVD/VCR player, but he had a Trinitron-scale TV on his media center, and I could not get behind it to hook up the cables. So I decided to come back the next day to drill some holes and finish the hook up, and to see how he was feeling.

Monday afternoon he did not answer his phone. Again, we have gone through this type of thing many times before.
So I drive to his place and get out of my car, and I call him on my cell phone: no response. I walk across the street and look up at his windows. Nothing to be seen. I go into the bar across the street, and the barkeep says he hasn't seen him in a long while, which agrees with what my brother said previously about getting into a heated disagreement with the wife of the bar owner and being banned as a result.

So I walk down to another restaurant/bar. I'm walking both sides of the street and holding my phone, calling him every few minutes....

A young lady - no older than 25, I'd say - comes up to me as I finish a call. She asks me the time. I motion her to wait a few moments as the call ends with my brother's voice message, then I check the time. I tell her it's 5:07 PM.
Now I can look up from my phone. She is quite good-looking, tanned and healthy, and has a top on that reveals a good deal of skin. She is smiling. I wait for a quick "Thanks, bub."

But she keeps smiling at me.

Now I grow a bit uneasy. I have a sense of having gone into a parallel universe in which I am fifty years younger...

I tilt my head quizzically. I look at her again.

"It's time for me to feed Sarah", she said.

I was silent for a bit. Quite a bit. My dream of parallel universes was quashed, but the replacement was even more bizarre. Perhaps I was entering dementia.

"I have to go home a feed Sarah now. It's 5 o'clock." She was still smiling in that beautiful smiling way that people have when they are either interested in you or want something from you.

"I think you have the wrong person." I said. I was pretty sure of that fact and no others right then.

She... jiggled a bit. "Sarah's back home. She's in the basement, ya know. I gotta feed her."

I had begun to think that "Sarah" was a happy sobriquet of some warm body part, but when she said this business of being in the basement, it struck me that perhaps Sarah was a dog or a small pet of some sort, and the elixir of meeting new folks was rapidly turning sour.

We looked at each other; she was smiling, I'm sure I was not.

"I think you have the wrong person", I said. "I don't speak to people in code."

I could have said that "I don't talk no code", but that sounds as if I would have been being purposefully menacing, and I really did not want to seem menacing.

She pulled a smile from her quiver and put it into her toothy longbow and shot it to me one last time as she turned to walk away. A young male companion was awaiting her a short way up the street.

"You said it the wrong way !" he said when she walked up to him. She tossed her head in a devil-may-care way.

I stood there a minute.
Then I thought that if I looked as if I was actually selling drugs, some real drug dealers might also see me and mistake me, and then begin to cut up rough.

I left Quay Street.

--

Goodbye, Al

In the world of media, it is now also very clear that Al Jazeera (Arabic) has become a shill for Islamist causes, and is no longer reliable for news uncontaminated by politics. In this they have joined much of the US media.

I am going to have to part with them.

Goodbye, Al !

--

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

When I Stopped Paying Attention




I began to stop paying attention to the US Media back some time before 1984. I was sitting in a kitchen in Manhassett, New York, watching a TV documentary on John F. Kennedy.

The disclosures about JFK and Marilyn Monroe were, for that time very scandalous, and I was transfixed, wondering which news organization was doing this. I readily came to the conclusion that it could not have been a US news organization.

At the end, this was verified as the BBC logo was displayed.

I started reading La Presse of Montreal and a Lebanese paper, which in memory is As Sabaah, or The Morning Bugle Dispatch. And I never felt I could rely upon US news media too much after that.

Then there was the goose-stepping lock step of the country's march to Iraq, which the media was part of.

Now there is a infamous attack on Edward Snowden being orchestrated by the Washington Post, New York Times, and others. Morons never learn.

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They Do Not Represent Me

“US authorities do not consider him [Snowden] to be a human rights defender or a whistleblower. He broke the law and he has to be held accountable.”

I'm sorry I voted for any of... las cosas inútiles ... políticos... the politicians ! Useless baggage !
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Abu Ghraib

I have just been reading about some fellow in Iraq whose life was sort of messed up because he was in Abu Ghraib being watched by perverted guards.

Tough luck, guy, but we consider you to be an acceptable statistic.

I will never forget what I saw my country do in the first decade of the 21st century. Never.
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I Don't Talk No Code 1

A funny story about me searching for my brother in Port Huron, Michigan.
I'll write it out tomorrow, but I have no time today.\

O, Death. O, Death.
Won't you spare me over 'til another year?


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The Zimmerman Verdict



First, in my generation we only heard of The Zimmerman Telegram.

Now it is the Zimmerman Verdict.

This morning at the head of a story in Yahoo telling of some looting and obstruction of a highway in southern California, there was a photo of a protestor in holding a sign stating "Being Black Is Not A Crime".

and so it goes, as we once again fall on a slippery slope of justice.


Facts:

(1) the Florida legislature is guilty of passing ambiguous laws that make good politics, but bad law;

(2) the Prosecution - and, by extension, the Florida Justice system - was not up to the task at hand of prosecuting a case under a political and ambiguous law; such a case required devotion and fire  (note: the "stand your ground law" was not argued in this trial);

(3) young black men are among the groups - Arab-looking men are another - who are the silver screen on which we often run our mental films of stereotypical fear, anger, and threat;

(4) all of us have to learn to curb our instincts to confrontation - from parents at their childrens' Little League games to arguments in the halls of Congress. We must emphasize fighting for what is right, but we must also teach to de-fuse the potential for violence.

For we are a Weaponized Society.
For good or ill, we have embraced weaponry, and the USA will live the duration of its time as a Weapon Society. If guns and the culture they engender are bad, that is our fate now. If guns and their culture are good, lucky us: determine the acceptable level of people being killed by gunfire, then live with it.
We do have to adapt to a weapon society a bit better than we have, however,
We must learn that there is always the potential for a gun shot.
If we ourselves have a gun and are confident that there is a fair fight on Main Street in Tombstone, and that we will out-gun our opponent... well, fine. But if not, someone will be having a memorial on Boot Hill.

Weapon Society... get it right. There is a time to shoot, and there is a time to be humble and walk away before you get shot.

(5) being of any race is not a crime, but rioting usually is. Let us deny giving those who wish us no good more ammunition with which to defame us.

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