Sunday, April 30, 2006
Fuck the Government. I should.
"How does it become a man to behave toward the American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it. I cannot for an instant recognize that political organization as my government which is the slave's government also."
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Love and harmony combine,
And round our souls entwine
While thy branches mix with mine,
And our roots together join.
Joys upon our branches sit,
Chirping loud and singing sweet;
Like gentle streams beneath our feet
Innocence and virtue meet.
Thou the golden fruit dost bear,
I am clad in flowers fair;
Thy sweet boughs perfume the air,
And the turtle buildeth there.
There she sits and feeds her young,
Sweet I hear her mournful song;
And thy lovely leaves among,
There is love, I hear his tongue.
There his charming nest doth lay,
There he sleeps the night away;
There he sports along the day,
And doth among our branches play.
Friday, April 28, 2006
Sometimes I think I'm runnin' out of energy
Seems like we use an awful lot for
Heatin' and lightin' and drivin'
Readin' and writin' and jivin'
Energy ... You'd think we'd be savin' it up.
Energy ... You can get it by dammin' up a river
Energy ... A windmill can make the breeze deliver
But even with millin' and dammin'
Our needs are so much more demanding
For energy ... We have to use some kind of fuel.
Chop, chop, chop, he cavemen used wood to start
Chop, chop, chop, they made all the tools that
Chop, chop, chop, inventions got more and more
The fires got higher and higher,
And clearings got wider and wider.
Energy ... They were burnin' 'bout all their wood
Then one day men discovered that coal would do it
Miners dug, and it looked like it might just last
It seemed like the final solution.
It started the Industrial Revolution.
Energy ... We could just keep on diggin' it up.
Now in 1859 - way out in western Pennsylvania -
A man had built a rig that got some laughs from
folks who came there
But suddenly, a mighty roar came up from under
And soon a gusher, gushin' oil, soaked all who
Now no-one knew, when that gusher blew,
The petroleum years were on us,
Or that so many cars and trucks would come to
cause a crisis.
Energy ... We're looking to try and find some new
Energy ... Exploring to try and make a new find.
Nuclear and thermal and solar,
If we miss we'll get colder and colder.
Energy ... We've gotta stop usin' you up.
So don't be cross when momma says turn that extra
Just turn it off till we find us a fuel that
never runs out.
If everyone tries a bit harder,
Our fuel will go farther and farther.
Energy ... We're gonna be stretchin' you out.
Music & Lyrics: George R. Newall
Performed by: Jack Sheldon
Starting a new agency, the National Preparedness and Response Authority, from scratch would be the better option, the panel concluded.
"We propose to abolish Fema and build a stronger, more capable structure within (the Department of Homeland Security)," the report was quoted as saying.
[Great! I propose abolishing the entire government and starting from scratch too... Nice to know they're open to the whole idea of starting over... :) ]
US Imperialism Brings World to the Brink, by Workers Party of Ireland
At the same time as the US attempts to limit global action to prevent harm to the environment and to cut international commitment to the reduction of poverty, the US Ambassador to the UN has objected to language which urges nations to observe a moratorium on nuclear testing and to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. While choking developing countries with economic pressure the US is simultaneously and aggressively building up its military forces and presence throughout the world.
The US military budget request for the fiscal year 2006 is $4,416 billion. The current US military budget is almost as much as the rest of the world combined. The US and its allies account for between two-thirds to three-quarters of all military spending. By contrast the United Nations and all its agencies and funds spend about $10 billion every year.
Despite this the United Nations has faced a financial crisis which has forced it to cut vital programmes and which has inhibited its work. In 1997, for example, half of the US aid was military-related. When the tsunami struck South Asia, US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, said that aid to the region was part of the US "global war on terror".
Darfur food rations cut in half
The UN is cutting in half its daily rations in Sudan's Darfur region due to a severe funding shortfall.
"This is one of the hardest decisions I have ever made," James Morris, head of the UN's World Food Programme, said.
From May the ration will be half the minimum amount required by each day. The cut comes as the UN said Darfur's malnutrition rates are rising again.
Nearly 3m in Darfur are totally reliant on food aid after being driven off their land by three years of conflict.
Despite a ceasefire and on-going peace negotiations, large areas of Darfur are now affected by fighting between government forces, militias and rebels.
This is also hampering the delivery of food and other aid operations.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;--then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
A Meditation For the Last Day of Your Life
May the fullness of our life also include embodied life,
the space between two breaths,
the first breath and the last breath.
And in each in breath is a memory
of the rushing in of life.
Each out breath is an invitation
to prepare for the last breath,
a letting go of life.
A simple in and out of the breath.
Inspiration – in spiritus, spirit living in us.
Expiration – dying, spirit leaving us.
And so we live our life,
with the memory of in-spirit,
A coming in and a going out.
In and out.
And you have been called to this day.
Life has called you to this day,
It is not death
which has called you to this day.
It is life which has.
Life calls you to its beginning,
and it calls you to its ending.
And we follow its calling.
Sometimes with awareness,
So during this time,
as you move towards your dying,
watch the simple movement of the breath.
And reflect on just how intangible your life is.
How on the gossamer string of breath,
a carbon based life form exists -
no embodied life.
You have the opportunity through consideration of your dying,
to see just how much you treasure and value life.
And perhaps until you knew you were going to die,
you haven’t valued it as fully as you do now.
And so in this ritual death,
in this movement out of time into eternity,
in this movement out of form into space,
in this movement out of story into hi-story,
comes the process of letting go,
the sweet process of surrender,
of moving back into,
of moving beyond.
The moving in to your original form.
Let your heart be filled with gratitude
for the life that you have had.
For the opportunity you have had to live
this situation of one-ness.
Consciousness compressed into carbon.
A life form that grew itself.
And awareness that hung on the gossamer thread of breath.
A body sustained by light that had been frozen into matter,
which we ate to release the light inside us.
A body that was sustained by the rain
which fell from the heavens
and refreshed us each day.
A consciousness that could be reminded of its celestial origins by a rainbow,
by a mist in the mountains,
by a sunrise,
by a sunset,
by the sound of the waves,
by the majesty of the rocks,
by the expansiveness of the desert.
These wonderful reminders,
that were there to transport us out of the mundane,
and by touching us with their beauty,
remind us of the beauty that we are.
So we commit your souls into the arms of loving spirit,
into the arms of your original nature.
GEOFF BAILEY tells the history of Students for a Democratic Society, the organization came to symbolize the explosion of dissent and protest on college campuses during the 1960s.
Many SDS activists had become disillusioned by the Democratic Party’s repeated betrayals of the civil rights movement in the South. But Johnson was running against the right-wing lunatic Barry Goldwater, who was infamous for calling for the use of nuclear weapons in Vietnam. Johnson, running as a “peace candidate,” seemed to be the “lesser of two evils.” SDS adopted the ambiguous slogan, “Half the Way with LBJ.”
In November, Johnson was elected president. In January, he began aerial bombing and a massive military build-up in Vietnam.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
"Peace ... The Message is Peace."
That's what the producers of a pay-television seance to contact John Lennon claimed the former Beatle said when communicating with them from beyond the grave.
The show aired on Monday on pay-TV service In Demand and was organized by the producers of a failed 2003 attempt to channel the late Princess Diana's spirit, a show that earned scathing reviews but was estimated to have grossed close to $8 million.
People who paid $9.95 to watch the pay-per-view Lennon special from 9 p.m. (0100 GMT) to 10:30 p.m. (0230 GMT) saw audio crew members, a psychic and an expert in paranormal activity claim that the late Beatle's spirit made contact with them through what is described as an Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP).
The EVP was discovered during a taping of a seance at La Fortuna restaurant in New York, which Lennon frequented.
The show's organizers said psychic Joe Power's voice feed went dead for a few seconds and the message was found on it when the tape of the voice feed was played back.
EVP is based on a belief that spirit voices communicate through radio and TV broadcast signals.
On the television show, filming at La Fortuna suddenly stopped and a narrator said something odd has happened. Show participants said that a mysterious voice can be heard on Power's voice feed.
The producers called in "EVP specialist" Sandra Belanger to examine the voice and she proclaimed it Lennon's.
Producer Paul Sharratt, who heads Starcast Productions and calls himself a skeptic, said hearing the voice has made him a believer.
The program was made without the knowledge or consent of Lennon's estate or his widow Yoko Ono, who declined comment.
Ono's long-time friend and spokesman Elliot Mintz has called the entire exercise "tacky, exploitative and far removed" from Lennon's way of life. "A pay-per-view seance was never his style," said Mintz.
Lennon was assassinated by a deranged fan in New York 25 years ago.
Monday, April 24, 2006
--The stronger help the weaker and in so-doing, all become stronger.--
Consumer's Cooperation, 1942
The next level of evolution will endorse that cooperation among the “cells,” in contrast to the current notion of competition, is the ultimate step to our evolution and survival.
Harmonics of Consciousness
Co-Intelligence and the Holistic Politics of Community Self-Organization
The Consciousness of the Atom, Alice Bailey
"One of our immediate educational objectives must be the elimination of the competitive spirit, and the substitution of the cooperative consciousness."
Sunday, April 23, 2006
60 Minutes: CIA Official Reveals Bush, Cheney, Rice Were Personally Told Iraq Had No WMD in Fall 2002 Tonight on 60 Minutes, Tyler Drumheller, the former chief of the CIA’s Europe division, revealed that in the fall of 2002, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and others were told by CIA Director George Tenet that Iraq’s foreign minister — who agreed to act as a spy for the United States — had reported that Iraq had no active weapons of mass destruction program
by Syed Atiq ul Hassan
On the morning of August 6, 1945, the forces of United States dropped a nuclear bomb, named as ‘Little Boy’ over the city Hiroshima. Three days later, on August 9, while watching the complete annihilation of Hiroshima, they dropped another nuclear bomb, named as ‘ Fat Man’, over the city of Nagasaki. More than 200, 000 people died instantly and many hundred thousands either died or disabled over the period due to nuclear radiation. The initial heat blast was 900 times hotter than the sun. Bodies were vaporised underneath the bomb blast.
Still the signs of mass destruction of humanity can be felt in the climate and among the people of present generation of these two cities of Japan. Aiming to give a lesson to Japan once and forever, US used the most dangerous weapons ever built weapons using nuclear technology while the world experienced an unbelievable extermination of entire creatures of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The incident shook the world. Certainly, the use of the atomic bomb eventually paid victory to US and its war-partners and bowed down many nations, however, it initia ted the new trend among other nations to go after same technology and weapons supposedly to prevent them from nuclear threats and to provide them safety. One after the other most of the western countries, Russia and China succeeded to own nuclear technology. Apparent justification and claims of having nuclear technology were reasons of achieving more energy for peaceful purpose. Nevertheless every country developed atomic arsenals. These nations along with the US acknowledged as superpowers. Consequently, despite of their limited resources, the third world nations also jumped into the race. Pakistan, North Korea and Israel quietly succeeded to secure with nuclear technology with the development of atomic bombs and long range nuclear loaded missiles.
According to a report as of January 2005 there were approximately 5,300 operational nuclear warheads in the US. The stockpile included 4,530 strategic warheads and 780 non-strategic warheads and almost 5,000 additional warheads were retained as a ‘responsive reserve force’ – enough to destroy the entire globe within minutes.
Unfortunately, since the last 2 decades or so, the Washington, DC has been controlled by the imperialistic minded lobby. They want to see the world accepting US as a modern day empire who would decide other States’ destiny.
Recently, the Bush Administration has revealed a blueprint for rebuilding America's decrepit nuclear weapons complex, including restoration of a large-scale bomb manufacturing capacity. The plan calls for the most sweeping realignment and modernisation of the nation's massive system of laboratories and factories for nuclear bombs since the end of the Cold War. Bush administration wants the capability to turn out 125 new nuclear bombs a year by 2022. The Pentagon also has planned to retire older nuclear bombs and produce 150 new atomic bombs.
While United States is advising every other nation to reduce the build-up of nuclear and dangerous weapon – the Bush government has added $48 billion in the war and defence budget in 2002 with extension in budget every year. By 2007, the annual US defence budget will be nearly $500 billion.
In the last decades or so Bush government has ignored United Nation, Security Council and other International economic and monetary organisations when they ac ted against the will of the government of United States. The frequent statements of George Bush like ‘The great nation on earth’, ‘America the most powerful nation on earth’ addressing to the people of United States in various international conflicts and US militarily operations and then rising behaviour of totalitarianism and unilateralism are due to its supreme military might, state of the art technology, global surveillance on other countries through satellites and possession of most modern, sophisticated and dangerous nuclear arsenals.
In September, 2004, Bush administration released a 33-page document, titled ‘The National Security Strategy of the United States’. The document revealed that President Bush had no intention of allowing any foreign power to catch up with the huge lead the United States has opened since the fall of the Soviet Union more than a decade ago and US would never allow its military might to be challenged the way it was during the Cold War. The document also disclosed how US would exploit its military and economic power to encourage "free and open societies" which it defines as ‘a distinctly American internationalism’.
Much of the document focuses on how public diplomacy, the use of foreign aid, and changes in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank can be used to win what it calls a battle of competing values and ideas – including what it calls "a battle for the future of the Muslim world". Defining the strategic control over the world and deal with remaining powers, it says, with Russia no longer able to come close to matching US military spending, the doctrine seems aimed at rising powers like China. The document affirms that US forces are strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equalling, the power of the United States . It also says that US will never subject its citizens to the new International Criminal Court, refers to it as ‘whose jurisdiction does not extend to Americans’.
After the World War II and during the cold war, Soviet Union was a threat for United States being a rival superpower. Defeating Russia in Afghanistan - which resulted break-up of Russia - through Islamic fundamentalist Taliban and the fighters of Osama Bin Ladin whom former President Ronald Reagan referred as ‘Brave Freedom Fighters’, this imperialist minded lobby in white house seemed more faithful on US unique military might and technological supremacy in suppressing any rising power that could confront with United States, in future. It is worth remembering here that Bush regime includes many former members of the Reagan and Bush Sr. administration. Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and other holdovers played key role in supporting Taliban’s militant in war against Russia in Afghanistan.
Now the left over Taliban fighters and Osama’s militants in Afghanistan who had established a vision of extremism and fanaticism using the name of Islam during their 10 years war against Russia to defend Afghanistan became a threat for US administration. In late 1990s, former US President Bill Clinton tried to kill Osama Bin Ladin by missile attacks but failed.
Further, the increasing awareness in the Muslim world on their geo-political issues mainly the liberation of Palestine and on US control of middle oil resources has been taken Washington as a biggest threat for US. Similarly, expanding capabilities of frontline Muslim countries towards the nuclear technology where Pakistan has already succeeded to become a nuclear power and Iran has been another Muslim hardline country inline to have nuclear arsenals were the issues which required to be dealt US establishment in white house.
Then on the morning of Tuesday September 11, 2001, the world witnessed a new act of coordinated terrorist attacks on United Stated where commercial airliners were hijacked and crashed into New Yorks twin tower - symbol of US economic power - and Pentagon – symbol US military power, resulting nearly 3,000 dead and many thousand brutally injured. The incident of 9/11 (2001) has changed the atmosphere internationally. President Bush announced the incident as ‘Attack on America’.
Now, without going into controversial documentaries on 9/11 (2001) terrorist attack which has been published since the incident occurred one thing has remained unresolved in the minds of many intellectuals and wise people that instead of sole focus on the incident and to reach to the bottom of the incident, the reasons and investigate culprit behind this horrific incident within the country, Bush administration ignoring the will of majority of the people in and outside of US, contemning UN agreements and neglecting the advise of US own friends launched attack on Afghanistan and having the so-called agenda unfinished in Afghanistan Iraq was attacked on so-called issues of Saddam Hussain’s WMD, Osama’s Al-Quaida network and so on. It is also important to remember that launching military operation in Afghanistan, President Bush had said that this war is a different kind of war it could go another 50 years. Saddam Hussain was captured; Iraq was totally under control of US-led forces and WMD never found and Saddam Hussain was refused to bring in the international court of justice to prove the allegations on him. On the other hand, the world is helplessly watching the every day killings of civilians, ethnic clashes, terrorists attack and so on. The entire infrastructure of Iraq has been collapsed, there has been total anarchy in the country, even the US seems to be helpless to find peace in stability in Iraq, yet, the Bush administration is now planning to deal with Iran with another military action on Iran’s nuclear issue.
Unfortunately, the game is now at this dangerous level. The people around the world are helplessly and fiercely counting which might be the ending days of this planet. This is the time when Bush administration not only listen the voice of the silent majority but also learned the lesson from its accomplishments in Iraq and Afghanistan . Bush government must consider before launching any future adventure that the world has changed now. Even the act of terror has changed. Every thing impacts globally. When President Bush talks about global economy and global peace he must also not forget that whatever action is taken would have a global impact too. The technological advancement which mostly is a gift of US to this world, made this world as a global village. Small piece of news, plan or action is disclosed to millions throughout the world just in few minutes through internet and mass communication. You can not play games anymore using fake stories or by utilising militarily power and assume that the world will remain hushed and unaware from the ground realities. Modern technology makes mass murder and terrorism so ridiculously easy that just about anyone can do it. It cannot be stopped by military might. On the other hand, no one, neither the people of United States nor any single nation that black history of Hiroshima and Nagasaki may be repeated.
Well it is a very serious test for the policy-makers in Washington particularly in relation to dealing with Iran. Whatever decision they take, they must think twice keeping in mind the consequences of their action. It is very vital and in the interest of not only for the people of United States but for the peace of world that Bush government should accept the need of the time, the demands of the changing world and resolve the matters of the principle of live and let the others live. Even if policy maker in Washington to remain on top, it has to come with fairness and accepting others.
The only hope, the world can think of are the people of United States. They can still save the world and maintain peace on this planet which has already been drifting towards end due to increasingly lack of natural resources and the climate adversities. No doubt, there are strong lobbies, groups, senators, activist, journalists and people of other walk of life who have been opposing the use of force against other nations. The people of United States showed great courage and sincerity when they carried out demonstrations of millions of people against the war on Iraq. There are strong senators and politician who openly condemned the policies of Bush administration relation to use of forces against Afghanistan and Iraq. The strong human rights activist in United States strongly condemned the US military tortures in Abu Ghuraib (Iraq) and establishment of Guantanamo Bay torture cells. Recently, very boldly and negating to their army-protocol former military generals came out in media and revealed the situation in Iraq and accept the US army failure in Iraq. The media in United States is one of the strongest media power in the world and there is no question and doubts on the freedom of speech in US. In the current Iran’s nuclear issue once again the people in United States are strongly opposition any possible military operation.
As a matter of fact, whenever US government has planned to execute military operations against any state the peace loving citizens of US – intellectuals, human rights activist, journalists, ex-politicians, former military officers and so on – actively opposed their government decisions through demonstrations and protests. Now, this is the time when more peace loving campaign, demonstrations and display of world unity required by the people of Uni ted Sates in order to pressurize and compel Bush administration to listen to the voice of majority in and outside US. The non-governmental organizations, non-political institutes and the media other phenomenal of the society are required to come forward with more dedications and commitments in the interest of the United States and the rest of world for peace once and forever. More sincere, courageous and influential activists, ex-politicians and ex-military officials will have to devote their time to save our world.
(The writer is a Sydney-based journalist and a media analyst).
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Earth Teach Me to Remember, by John Yellow Lark
Earth teach me stillness
as the grasses are stilled with light.
Earth teach me suffering
as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility
as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth Teach me caring
as the mother who secures her young.
Earth teach me courage
as the tree which stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation
as the ant which crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom
as the eagle which soars in the sky.
Earth teach me resignation
as the leaves which die in the fall.
Earth teach me regeneration
as the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself
as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness
as dry fields weep in the rain.
Friday, April 21, 2006
washed over with dream constellations
the dreamer arises flowers
cascade to petal untouching
Halfs are wholed and realignments
adjust curious insects
who never touched before.
Past lives merge to drive powerful
ravaging flood currents.
The severed right hand is renewed by the left.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
...As for music and sexuality, Younger says that while music figures in erotic situations in both Egyptian art, and later Greek art, Aegean art offers almost no erotic art at all.... In short, the lack of connection between music and sex in [Bronze Age] Aegean art supports Younger's first point about Aegean peoples' opinion that music had strong emotional and ethical effects that seemed dangerous or subversive, to Plato, certainly, and perhaps also for the Greeks of 800 years before him. It must be significant that instruments that can be played standing up, and so allow the player to move vigorously, like the phorminx, are not shown played by women....
Artist S. Rajam depicts Lord Siva in His Himalayan abode, seated on a tiger skin by a mountain stream in yoga posture. As Nandi the bull looks on, He creates the cosmic rhythm on His drum as two devotees play the mridanga and three others dance exuberantly nearby.
Dancing with Siva
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
A newborn and a five year old, along with four others, were wounded when US soldiers opened fire on their vehicles in southeast Afghanistan when the drivers didn´t heed their orders to stop.
An Afghan man explained that on Monday, his young daughter had given birth in the car on the way to the hospital and a few hours later they were behind a US military caravan when returning from the provincial clinic.
When they reached their turnoff point for home, the US soldiers stopped them and opened fire. The babe received facial and hand injuries from the broken glass while the mother and two other women were hit by the bullets.
A similar incident occurred Tuesday, also in southeast Khost Province, when a man and little boy were shot by US soldiers when he failed to stop at a checkpoint.
Local Police Chief Mohammad Ayoob explained that the US patrols write in large letters on their vehicles that no one can pass, the problem is most of the local residents are illiterate.
Both incidents occurred three days after seven civilians and several Afghan police were murdered by "friendly fire" in an operation led by the US Army against the Taliban Movement.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai asked the US-led coalition forces to control themselves as these massacres are unacceptable.
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favour fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Monday, April 17, 2006
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Life's Tragedy, by Paul Laurence Dunbar
It may be misery not to sing at all,
And to go silent through the brimming day;
It may be misery never to be loved,
But deeper griefs than these beset the way.
To sing the perfect song,
And by a half-tone lost the key,
There the potent sorrow, there the grief,
The pale, sad staring of Life's Tragedy.
To have come near to the perfect love,
Not the hot passion of untempered youth,
But that which lies aside its vanity,
And gives, for thy trusting worship, truth.
This, this indeed is to be accursed,
For if we mortals love, or if we sing,
We count our joys not by what we have,
But by what kept us from that perfect thing.
Beautiful Maria of My Soul
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Ten weary, footsore travellers,
All in a woeful plight,
Sought shelter at a wayside inn
One dark and stormy night.
'Nine rooms, no more,' the landlord said
'Have I to offer you.
To each of eight a single bed,
But the ninth must serve for two.'
A din arose. The troubled host
Could only scratch his head,
For of those tired men not two
Would occupy one bed.
The puzzled host was soon at ease -
He was a clever man -
And so to please his guests devised
This most ingeneous plan.
In a room marked A two men were placed,
The third was lodged in B,
The fourth to C was then assigned,
The fifth retired to D.
In E the sixth he tucked away,
In F the sventh man.
The eighth and ninth in G and H,
And then to A he ran,
Wherein the host, as I have said,
Had laid two travellers by;
Then taking one - the tenth and last -
He logged him safe in I.
Nine singe rooms - a room for each -
Were made to serve for ten;
And this it is that puzzles me
And many wiser men.
The Milan, Italy prosecutor´s office said it will press ahead for the extradition of Central Intelligence agents that operated illegally in Italy.
The CIA agents were apparently involved in the 2003 kidnapping of terror suspect Egyptian Iman Asan Mustafa Osama Nasr, alias Abu Omar, from Milan and his transfer to Cairo through Germany.
The media gave the case broad coverage in 2005 amid denouncements of secret CIA flights and prisons in third countries when Abu Omar denounced that he was tortured by his guards.
Milan Prosecutor Armando Spataro, in charge of the probe into CIA covert operations in Italy, said he will confirm the extradition request to the government taking office in May.
The request, made last December along with 22 INTERPOL arrest warrants, prompted the resignation of Justice Minister Roberto Castelli.
The European Parliament is also investigating illegal CIA actions and subversion in Europe.
Italian Intelligence Director Nicolo Pollari said he was unaware of the CIA activities in Italy and that he learned of Abu Omar's abduction through the press.
Pollari claimed that secret services from third countries, even the US, circulate throughout Europe without supervision and absolute impunity.
European Council General Secretary Terry Davis revealed in Strasbourg, France, that one of its 46 member countries handed in terror suspects to the CIA.
In November Davis set a three-month deadline to submit information on the suspected CIA network of secret prisons in Europe for alleged Al-Qaeda members.
Davis' spokesman Matjas Gruden said the information will be released in two weeks.
The supreme spiritual leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, stated Friday that the US conspiracy against Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq is doomed to end in a failure.article.
The US goal is to support Israel for control of the Middle East, Khamenei asserted to more than 200 politicians and scientists attending an international conference backing the cause of the Palestine people.
He declared that if the US acted reasonably, it would cease the ruse and avoid creating more tension in the zone.
It (US) must respect the Palestinian and Iraqi right to form their own governments, noted the religious chief, who urged the Moslem people to speak up for the Islamic Resistance Movement
Friday, April 14, 2006
Tell me why, I love you like I do,
Tell me who, Can stop my heart as much as you,
Tell me all your secrets and I'll tell you most of mine,
They say nobody's perfect but it is really true this time,
I don't have the answers,
And I don't have a plan,
All I have is you,
So darling help me understand,
What we do,
You can whisper in my ear,
Where we go,
who knows what happens after here,
Let's take each other's hands,
As we jump into the final frontier,
I'm mad about you,
I'm mad about you,
so mad about you...
Thursday, April 13, 2006
I have a fairy by my side
Which says I must not sleep,
When once in pain I loudly cried
It said "You must not weep"
If, full of mirth, I smile and grin,
It says "You must not laugh"
When once I wished to drink some gin
It said "You must not quaff".
When once a meal I wished to taste
It said "You must not bite"
When to the wars I went in haste
It said "You must not fight".
"What may I do?" at length I cried,
Tired of the painful task.
The fairy quietly replied,
And said "You must not ask".
Moral: "You mustn't."
by Ghali Hassan
While U.S. forces and their allies are continuing the destruction of Iraq and torture of cvilians , the phantom of Iran “threat” is being amplified across the world. Speculations about possible U.S.-Israel attacks on Iran have reached a stage of war propaganda by Western media and Western pundits. The aims are: to demonise Iran and keep the public in state of war, and create a smokescreen to divert the public from greater war crimes in Iraq and Palestine.
Scott Ritter, the former UN weapons inspector in Iraq turned “anti-war” activist wrote on 05 April, 2005 that in June 2005 there will be a “massive aerial attack against Iran.” Ritter alleged that his information come from “someone close to the Bush administration”. When Ritter asked his source: “Why June 2005?” His answer was that, the “Israelis are concerned that if the Iranians get their nuclear enrichment programme up and running, then there will be no way to stop the Iranians from getting a nuclear weapon. June 2005 is seen as the decisive date”. We all know that June had passed and there was no “massive aerial attack against Iran”. Let’s hope Ritter’s next prediction of an attack on Iran will be wrong too.
Gerard Baker, the Times Online U.S. editor is more bellicose. Baker wrote on 27 January, 2006: “The unimaginable but ultimately inescapable truth is that we are going to have to get ready for war with Iran … If Iran gets safely and unmolested to nuclear status, it will be a threshold moment in the history of the world, up there with the Bolshevik Revolution and the coming of Hitler”. It should be remembered that, in 2003, Baker was part of the international criminal gangs that advocated and later celebrated the illegal war against Iraq.
Mike Whitney, a knowledgeable critic of U.S. policy, predicted in recent internet postings that “Iran will be attacked without pretext and without congressional or UN authorization invoking the executive authority to prosecute the war on terror by ‘all necessary and appropriate means’”. The fraudulent ‘war on terror’ is the usual cliché that justifies every U.S. attack on a sovereign nation. Citing Zoltan Grossman, Whitney added; “Khuzestan [the province neighbouring Basra] will become the next front in the war on terror and the lynchpin for prevailing in the global resource war. If the Bush administration can sweep into the region (under the pretext disarming Iran’s nuclear programs) and put Iran’s prodigious oil wealth under U.S. control, the dream of monopolizing Middle East oil will have been achieved”. However, Whitney failed to tell the reader how a dying sardine fish sandwiched between two hard rocks in a rough sea will extract itself alive. And will the people of Iran welcome the Bush gang? We know the Iraqis didn’t.
The ongoing fabricated Iran “crisis” is nothing more and nothing less than a “collection of misinformation, disinformation, misunderstanding, miscalculation, egregious prognostications, boo-boos, and the occasional just plain lies”, wrote Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky. This has allow the U.S. and Israel to “mobilize the UN and NATO allies to focus on, browbeat, and threaten Iran to abandon its [peaceful] nuclear activities or face some kind of retaliation”, wrote Edward Herman and David Peterson.
This somehow ‘successful’ propaganda campaign which portrays Iran as a pariah state and a “threat” is based on a distorted and carefully orchestrated U.S.-Israeli propaganda. Iran right to acquire nuclear energy through peaceful research is deliberately ignored, even as the U.S. and Israel threaten to attack Iran with nuclear weapons. Iran is being singled out and threatened with destruction by the U.S. and Israel is absent in Western media. In addition, Iran fear of U.S. and Israeli attacks may motivate Iran to build a deterrent – similar to that of North Korea – against this real threat also remains hidden from the public.
According to the Geneva Convention and the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran is not doing any thing illegal. There is no evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, and Iran has not threatened anyone. By contrast, the U.S., Britain and France are promoting the spread of nuclear weapons by supporting the expansion of Israel’s and India’s weapons production and encouraging Pakistan and China to do likewise. In fact, the U.S. is openly increasing the threat of nuclear war and violence.
Furthermore, the recent attack on Muslims in Europe, who were rightly protesting against the rise of European fascism and anti-Muslim hatred – shown in the depiction the Prophet Mohammed as a “terrorist” –, is a racist campaign to incite racism and justify war of aggression against Muslims world-wide. It has nothing to do with “free speech”. There is no “free speech” in Europe; it has to do with colonial oppression of minorities. In addition to the huge propaganda campaign against Iran, Western politicians, Western media and pundits have used the demonstrations to promote the war against Iran. At the same time, the U.S. and its European vassals are unjustifiably accusing Iran and Syria of “inflaming the situation” in the Muslim world. The purpose of the current war propaganda is a deliberate distortion designed to fool the world, soften public opinion and start a psychological war against the people of Iran before an actual war is started.
As a result of this war propaganda, a majority of people in the West, Americans in particular, not only see a U.S. war of aggression against Iran is inevitable, but also support it. A recent Gallup Poll reveals that Americans not only think Iran will develop nuclear weapons but also use them against the U.S. The poll also reveals eight out of 10 U.S. respondents predicted Iran would provide a nuclear weapon to terrorists to attack the U.S. or Israel. Six out of 10 respondents said Iran itself would deploy nuclear weapons against the U.S. Furthermore, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found that 57 per cent of Americans favour military intervention in Iran. The poll suggests that the crimes committed by U.S. forces in Iraq have not turned the American people against the possibility of military actions elsewhere in the Middle East.
A report by the Oxford Research Group revealed that any bombing of Iran by U.S. forces, or by their Israeli allies, would result in the unnecessary death of many innocent lives. “A US military attack on Iranian nuclear infrastructure would be the start of a protracted military confrontation that would probably involve Iraq, Israel and Lebanon as well as the United States and Iran, with the possibility of western Gulf States being involved as well. Military deaths in (the) first wave of attacks against Iran would be expected to be in the thousands, especially with attacks on air bases and Revolutionary Guard facilities”, said the report by Paul Rogers of the University of Bradford. ”Civilian deaths would be in the many hundreds at least,” said the report. “If the war evolved into a wider conflict, primarily to pre-empt or counter Iranian responses, the casualties would eventually be much higher”.
Meanwhile, in Iraq, U.S. occupying forces and their vassals continue their murderous campaign. Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children have been murdered by the occupying forces. Tens of thousands more have been arrested, imprisoned, and tortured to death. Ongoing humiliation, sadistic torture, rape and abuse of Iraqi civilians, including children as young as 8 years old, is a daily “sport” practiced by U.S. soldiers and their vassals. “The extent of the abuse shown in the photos suggests that the torture and abuse that occurred at Abu Ghraib in 2004 is much worse than is currently understood”, reported the Australian Special Broadcast Services (SBS) TV. According to producer Mike Carey of SBS TV, the new photos show that “homicide, torture, criminal abuses, rapes and sexual humiliation” of Iraqi civilians are common practices by the occupying forces. "We actually did not broadcast some of the photographs because we thought they were too extreme” added Carey. Iraqis human rights have never been violated in such criminal ways before. No wonder why so many people around the world have resented the criminal nature of the Bush-Blair “shared values”.
Outside the countless U.S. and British-run prisons and fortified torture chambers, which the so-called “sovereign” Iraqi government has absolutely no control over, the Iraqi economy had fallen below that of pre-war levels (Financial Times, 16/02/06). The living conditions of ordinary Iraqis have worsened many folds since the 2003 illegal and criminal invasion of the country. Iraq which once enjoyed a reasonable standard of living is descended into extreme poverty toady. Illegitimate and fraudulent elections were cleverly used as a cover up to legitimise not only the Occupation, but also the presence of violent militia groups and U.S.-trained death squads brought into Iraq on the backs of the invading forces.
Fratricidal killings and murder of innocent Iraqis, including the deliberate murder of thousands of prominent politicians, scientists and professionals by U.S.-trained and financed death squads and criminal gangs have instilled fear and terror among the Iraqi population. The independent British journalist Felicity Arbuthnot wrote recently: “In the distorted horrors of today's Iraq, many never make it home: disappeared, kidnapped, shot by the occupying forces for driving, walking, and playing, in familiar venues. Iraqi lives are the earth's cheapest”. The number of Iraqis killed by U.S. forces has increased dramatically as a result of U.S. self-induced immunity from prosecution. In addition, Western-induced corruptions and looting of the country’s wealth have plummeted and destroying the Iraqi society. All these war crimes are masquerading in the West as “freedom” and “democracy” that the Iraqi people have long been denied.
Further away from Iraq, in Palestine, Israel is speeding up its overt theft of Palestinian land in contravention of international laws and UN resolutions. Israel has just “completed a process of sealing off the eastern sector of the West Bank from the remainder of the West Bank. Some 2,000,000 Palestinians, residents of the West Bank, are prohibited from entering the area, which constitutes around one-third of the West Bank, and includes the Jordan Rift, the area of the Dead Sea shoreline and the eastern slopes of the West Bank mountains”, reported the Israeli journalist Amira Hass of Israel’s daily, Ha’aretz. “The prohibition also applies to thousands of residents of towns and villages in the northern West Bank like Tubas and Tamun, most of whose lands are in the Jordan Valley, and some with residents who have been living there for many years’, added Hass.
In addition, Israel has encircled and isolated Jerusalem from the rest of the Occupied Territories, making the creation of a viable Palestinian “state” impossibility. More than 3.5 Palestinians are living in prison under unbearable apartheid system of control, checkpoints, road blocks and walls. And with the elections of Hamas, Israel is increasing the terror against the Palestinians from all sides. Thousands of Palestinian men, women and children are still imprisoned by Israeli occupation forces without charge. Of course, Western governments, the U.S. in particular, provided the financial “aid” and political support for Israel’s terror and violations of international law.
Let’s hope that those who think the next war on Iran is inevitable are wrong, and that common sense will prevail over violence. Furthermore, in its entire history of aggression, the U.S. chose its defenseless targets carefully. Iran may be able to defend itself.
It also depends on people in the West and the American people in particular. Are they happy with war crimes committed in their name? Do they want to live in a peaceful world with the rest of humanity or continue on the path to war, violence and destruction?
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Federal prosecutors said Wednesday they will no longer seek to enforce a gag order on Connecticut librarians who received an FBI demand for records about library patrons under the Patriot Act.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought a lawsuit on behalf of the librarians, said it will identify them once court proceedings are completed in the next few weeks.
U.S. District Judge Janet Hall ruled last year that the gag order should be lifted, saying it unfairly prevented the librarians from participating in a debate over how the Patriot Act should be rewritten.
Prosecutors appealed, but U.S. Attorney Kevin O'Connor said Wednesday that the appeal no longer made sense.
The librarian has already been identified in news reports and the Patriot Act was changed to include a procedure to request an exemption from the nondisclosure requirement, he said.
Does Taoism have a "metaphysics"?
…Chuang Tzu not only has no metaphysics, he actually condemns and derides metaphysics. Supernaturalism and materialism both appear equally funny to him. His only cosmogonic principle is "chaos". Oddly enough the only philosophical tool he uses is logic -- although it is the logic of dream. He makes no mention of divine principle, of the purpose of being, or personal immortality. He is beyond Good and Evil, sneers at ethics, and even makes fun of yoga…
Chuang Tzu has no interest in why humans are so inept (no concept of "sin"); his only concern is to reverse the process and "return" to the flow…
This nOde last updated June 20th, 2003 and is permanently morphing...
(3 Lamat (Rabbit) / 16 Zots (Bat) - 68/260 - 220.127.116.11.8)
metaphysics (mèt´e-fîz´îks) noun
Abbr. met., metaph.
1.(used with a sing. verb). Philosophy. The branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value.
2.(used with a pl. verb). The theoretical or first principles of a particular discipline: the metaphysics of law.
3.(used with a sing. verb). A priori speculation upon questions that are unanswerable to scientific observation, analysis, or experiment.
4.(used with a sing. verb). Excessively subtle or recondite reasoning.
[Pl. of Middle English methaphisik, from Medieval Latin metaphysica, from Medieval Greek (ta) metaphusika, Greek (Ta) meta (ta) phusika, (the things) after the physics, the title of Aristotle's treatise on first principles (so called because it followed his work on physics) : meta, after. meta- + phusika, physics. physics.]
metaphysic (mèt´e-fîz´îk) noun
1.a. Metaphysics. b. A system of metaphysics.
2.An underlying philosophical or theoretical principle: a belief in luck, the metaphysic of the gambler.
[Middle English methaphisik, metaphisik.]
metaphysical (mèt´e-fîz´î-kel) adjective
1.Of or relating to metaphysics.
2.Based on speculative or abstract reasoning.
3.Highly abstract or theoretical; abstruse.
4.a. Immaterial; incorporeal. synonyms at immaterial. b. Supernatural.
5.Often Metaphysical . Of or relating to the poetry of a group of 17th-century English poets whose verse is characterized by an intellectually challenging style and extended metaphors comparing very dissimilar things.
[Middle English metaphisicalle, from Medieval Latin metaphysicâlis, from metaphysica, metaphysics. See metaphysics.]
- met´aphys´ically adverb
Metaphysics, branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of ultimate reality. Metaphysics is customarily divided into ontology, which deals with the question of how many fundamentally distinct sorts of entities compose the universe, and metaphysics proper, which is concerned with describing the most general traits of reality.
The subjects treated in Metaphysics by Greek philosopher Aristotle (substance, causality, the nature of being, and the existence of god) fixed the content of metaphysical speculation for centuries. Thirteenth-century Scholastic philosopher Saint Thomas Aquinas declared that the knowing of god was the aim of metaphysics. The central figure in metaphysics, however, was 18th-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant. Before Kant, metaphysics was characterized by a rationalistic method of inquiry based on a priori principles- that is, knowledge derived from reason alone. This method may be subdivided into monism, the belief that the universe is made up of one fundamental substance; dualism, the belief in two such substances; and pluralism, the belief in many fundamental substances.
The monists, agreeing that only one basic substance exists, differ in their descriptions of its principal characteristics. In idealistic monism the substance is believed to be purely mental; in materialistic monism it is held to be purely physical; and in neutral monism it is considered neither exclusively mental nor physical. The most famous dualist was French philosopher René Descartes, who maintained that body and mind, radically different entities, are the only fundamental substances in the universe. German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a prominent pluralist.
The type of metaphysics that asserts that knowledge of reality is obtained not from a priori principles but from experience is called empiricism. Another school of philosophy maintains that, although an ultimate reality does exist, it is altogether inaccessible to human knowledge. This view is known as skepticism or agnosticism with respect to the reality of god.
Kant combined several major metaphysical viewpoints, developing a distinctive critical philosophy called transcendentalism. His philosophy is agnostic in denying the possibility of a strict knowledge of ultimate reality, empirical in affirming that all knowledge arises from experience, and rationalistic in maintaining the a priori character of the structural principles of empirical knowledge. Kant sought to reconcile science and religion in a world of two levels, comprising noumena, objects conceived by reason although not perceived by the senses; and phenomena, things that appear to the senses and are accessible to material study. He maintained that because god, freedom, and human immortality are noumenal realities, these concepts are understood through moral faith rather than through scientific knowledge.
Some of Kant's most distinguished followers, including German philosopher G. W. F. Hegel, developed an absolute idealism in opposition to Kant's critical transcendentalism. Notable among later metaphysical theories are radical empiricism, or pragmatism, adapted as instrumentalism by American philosopher John Dewey; voluntarism; phenomenalism; emergent evolution, or creative evolution; and the philosophy of the organism.
In the 20th century the validity of metaphysical thinking has been disputed by logical positivists, who assert that expressions that cannot be tested empirically have no factual cognitive meaning, and by Marxist dialectical materialism, which asserts that the mind is conditioned by and reflects material reality. Therefore, speculations that conceive of constructs of the mind as having any other than material reality are themselves unreal. Existentialist philosophers have contended in turn that the questions of the nature of being and of the individual's relationship to it are extremely important and meaningful in terms of human life; therefore these questions are considered valid whether or not their responses can be verified objectively.
In the American metaphysic, reality is always material reality, hard, resistant, unformed, impenetrable, and unpleasant.
Lionel Trilling (1905-75), U.S. critic. The Liberal Imagination, "Reality in America" (1950).
To regard the imagination as metaphysics is to think of it as part of life, and to think of it as part of life is to realize the extent of artifice. We live in the mind.
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. The Necessary Angel, "Imagination as Value" (1949; repr. 1951).
The Metaphysics of Information
The physics of information ultimately leads people into deeper questions, including the one raised originally - about eschatology or the fate of the universe. Some physicists suggest the universe has only two possible fates available to it, depending on the curvature constant of spacetime: continual expansion, in which case it will spread out into entropic heat death; or recollapse, into the Big Stop, which might possibly be the seed of a succeeding Big Bang. But this pondering of the fate of the universe doesn't take into account a third possibility. Some physicists like Frank Tipler suggest that at the last possible moment, all conscious life with unite into one "Omega Point" supermind, and place the cosmos under its control, annulling heat death. This viewpoint is the inverse of Deism, essentially postulating the Creator at the end of time rather than at the beginning.
- trip hop acid jazz track _Heat Death Of The Universe_ MP3 by Fila Brazilia off of _Luck Be A Weirdo Tonight_ CD on Twentythree #008 (1997)
Tipler's assumption is that various negentropic processes are actually driving the universe toward improbability - in this case, the most improbable thing imaginable, a Universal Mind. But one can take a sort of "weak" position with regard to Tiplerian theory, and merely state that the universe is becoming more and more self-aware (through the sense organisms of conscious life), and, as a result, a more self-organizing system, reducing its own entropy. (Whether it ever becomes totally self-aware can be left to the mystics.) That is to say, the universe isn't a box which requires a Maxwellian demon roaming about. The box is the demon, becoming more and more aware of what's inside of it, and also what's outside.
…Chuang Tzu not only has no metaphysics, he actually condemns and derides metaphysics. Supernaturalism and materialism both appear equally funny to him. His only cosmogonic principle is "chaos". Oddly enough the only philosophical tool he uses is logic -- although it is the logic of dream. He makes no mention of divine principle, of the purpose of being, or personal immortality. He is beyond Good and Evil, sneers at ethics, and even makes fun of yoga…
- _Aimless Wandering: Chuang Tzu's Chaos Linguistics_ by Hakim Bey from Fringeware Review 10:12
While the old technology produced and distributed material resources, the new technology produces and disseminates information. The resources marketed in high technology are less about matter and more about mind. Under the impact of high technology, the world is moving increasingly from a physical economy into what might be called a "metaphysical economy." We are in the process of recognizing that consciousness rather than raw materials or physical resources constitutes wealth.
- Peter Lamborn Wilson - _Info Wars_
- 604 release _Resonance Metaphizix_ CDx2 by In R Voice on Optica #002
- Metaphysical art: Giorgio de Chirico
- track _Metaphysical_ MP3 by Handsome Boy Modeling School
- track _Metaphysical_ MP3 by Single Gun Theory off of _Flow, River Of My Soul_ (1994)
- techno track _Untitled_ MP3 by Oliver Ho off of _Meta Physical_12" on Meta (1999)
- industrial noise track _Metaphysical Infection (live at The Conundrum)_ MP3 (192k) by Baal
- abstract techno track _Metaphysical_ MP3 (160k) by Titonton off of _Embryonic ep_ 12" on Metamorphic #160 (1995)
- 604 track _Metafizix_ MP3 (192k) by Hopefiend
Kevin's Democratic Underground Journal...
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Due to its nuclear ambitions, Iran is heading toward a showdown with the nations of the West, particularly the United States. The bitterness and resentment between these nations can be traced to events that occurred decades ago.
Relations between Iran and the United States have been unstable for decades. Iran has been indirectly involved in numerous terrorist activities (through financial support and other resources). And the U.S. has intervened in Iranian affairs.
Following the September 11 World Trade Center attacks, Iran quietly offered support for U.S. military action in Afghanistan. In a historic gesture, then Secretary of State Colin Powell shook hands with Iran’s foreign minister, Kamal Kharrazi at U.N. headquarters. It seemed as though the animosity between the countries might end.
However, on January 29, 2002, relations began to sour again. In his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush said that Iran and its “terrorist allies” are part of “an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.” Two days later, then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice announced, “Iran’s direct support of regional and global terrorism and its aggressive efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, belie any good intentions it displayed in the days after the world’s worst terrorist attacks in history” (PBS Frontline).
Iran’s current geopolitical situation is rooted in the country’s recent checkered past.
A Different Regime
Before the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iran existed as an autocratic, pro-West monarchy. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi ruled as Shah (the title of the hereditary monarch) from 1941 until 1979. There was a brief interruption in 1953, when he was forced to flee the country. The Shah was reinstalled as Iran’s leader with the aid of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. The operation was codenamed “Ajax.”
The first stage of the revolution was an alliance of liberal, leftist and religious groups, who banded together to overthrow the Shah. The second stage, often referred to as the Islamic Revolution, was the rise to power of the ayatollahs (high-ranking Shiite leaders).
Though the Shah maintained good relations with the American government, his policies conflicted with traditional Muslim views on alcohol, gambling and premarital sex, all of which he refused to ban. He faced continual opposition from religious figures (who were generally poor) and the urban middle-class—who did not benefit from his extravagant lifestyle.
One such example that contributed to their disdain for the Shah occurred in 1971. During a three-day party in recognition of the 2,500th anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire, $300 million was spent on festivities, including more than one ton of caviar prepared by 200-plus chefs who were flown in from France. Ironically, thousands of Iranian citizens went without food.
The poor and middle-class opposed the Shah’s efforts to bring about modernization. In effect, they opposed being westernized. Instead, they yearned for a return to the Islamic lifestyle, which is at odds with the decadent lifestyle now found in every western country. The Shah’s reforms were viewed as self-serving, and his march toward supposed progress was seen as a lie, based on the huge gap between the rich and the poor.
In the early 1960s, opposition began to take shape, with Ayatollah Khomeini as leader. He claimed that the Shah’s reign was tyrannical, and was exiled for his opposing views. When the Ayatollah’s followers rioted, the Shah responded by arresting and executing those who took part.
Later that decade, Iran’s economy started to boom, as the value of oil and steel exports rose considerably. While the leaders in the Shah’s regime benefited, as well as did those involved with western companies, the lives of the middle-class and poor failed to improve.
During the 1970s, a rise in oil prices widened the gap between rich and poor, which added more pressure for change in government policies. As many citizens fled Iran, others organized in mosques and listened to sermons condemning “Western wickedness” and “indulgence.”
In the face of increasing opposition from religious leaders, the Shah introduced extreme measures to limit the role of Islam in his kingdom, such as abolishing the lunar calendar in 1976 and censoring Muslim publications. He also eliminated the feudal system, causing the dissolution of property owned by Shia clergy; this fueled intense anger. The Shah’s goal was to promote the achievements of the pre-Islamic Persian civilization.
In response to pressure from U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Iran freed more than 300 political prisoners, relaxed censorship laws and reformed the court system in 1977. Many small groups seized this opportunity to voice their opinion, as writers were able to freely declare their anti-government views.
In early 1978, Iran’s official press published a defamatory story about Ayatollah Khomeini, sparking protests by students and religious leaders. The army ended the demonstration, killing several students.
In accordance with Shiite customs, a memorial service was held forty days after the incident on February 18. In conjunction, groups in various cities marched in protest of the Shah’s rule—and more than 100 demonstrators were killed in one city. One month later, more protests erupted across the nation. Symbols of the Shah’s reign, such as luxury hotels and theaters that showed “unethical movies,” were destroyed. Security forces intervened, killing many protestors.
Iran was quickly imploding. Its economy took a severe beating due to the protests and inflation. The government suspended many public works projects and imposed wage freezes, which led to widespread unemployment and labor problems.
September 1978 was the beginning of the end of the Shah’s reign. With major protests occurring regularly, the Shah introduced martial law and prohibited all demonstrations.
On September 8, in response to an overwhelming protest, the government unleashed tanks, helicopters and machine guns upon the protestors. This day, now known as Black Friday, embittered more of Iran’s population toward the government.
Then, in December, the crisis began to reach a final boiling point, as hundreds of protestors were killed each day. In spite of this, demonstrations increased. The army began to collapse—soldiers refused to open fire upon the protestors, instead killing their officers and taking control of military bases.
In a desperate measure, the Shah agreed to institute a constitution—but it was too late. The majority of Iranians were now loyal to Ayatollah Khomeini. The Shah was forced to flee Iran in January 1979.
After ousting the monarchy, much disagreement ensued over how and by whom Iran should be governed. Liberal, secularist, Marxist, anarchist and religious groups were eager to take control of the country.
Initially, two groups were in control: A liberal secular group named the Freedom Movement and an Islamic Republic party comprised of clerics led by the Ayatollah. Tension abounded between the two groups.
In June 1979, the Freedom Movement introduced a draft constitution that declared Iran an Islamic Republic. However, the constitution failed to give precedence to Islamic law. When it was sent to the legislature, which was dominated by supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini, it was rejected.
Eventually, a new constitution was drafted, based solely on Islamic law. The extremely powerful post of Supreme Leader was instituted and given to Ayatollah Khomeini. He became the Head of State for life and later became the “Supreme Spiritual Leader.” Only two people have held this office, with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei currently in command.
Iranian resentment toward the United States increased toward the end of the revolution, as it continued to aid counter-revolutionary activity, including support for the overthrown monarch. When the White House accepted the Shah into the country for cancer treatment, supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini took hostages at the U.S. embassy in Tehran. The Iranian hostage crisis, in which 53 American hostages were held for 444 days, sent a clear message: Iran was able to defy the United States of America.
Iran’s surrounding nations disapproved of the revolution, fearing that such an event might occur in their countries as well. As a result, in an attempt to end the revolution in its beginning stages, Iraq invaded Iran in 1980. It received significant backing from the U.S., which supplied Iraq with intelligence, economic aid and weapons.
During the war, Iraqi-leader Saddam Hussein unleashed chemical and biological weapons upon Iran. Thousands died instantly; thousands more receive regular medical treatment to this day. (Iran has sustained greater damage from biological/chemical/nuclear weapons than any country except Japan.) Iran blames the West for aiding Iraq.
In April 1988, an Iranian mine severely damaged an American missile frigate. This spurred the Navy to launch its largest engagement of warships since World War II. During the operation, a U.S. warship accidentally shot down an Iranian passenger jet.
The Iran-Iraq war lasted more than eight years, and failed to bring about any changes in Iran. One thing it did accomplish, however, was to fuel increased hatred toward the United States. In the face of the external threat, Iranians rallied around their new leadership, and past differences were all but forgotten.
In “Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001,” the U.S. State Department reported that Iran is “the most active state sponsor of terrorism,” and indicted the nation as abetting terrorist groups Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad (a wing of Hezbollah) and Hamas. According to the U.S., Hezbollah is responsible for attacks against various American targets, including bombing the U.S. Embassy and Marine Barracks in Beirut in 1983; bombing the U.S. Embassy annex in Beirut in 1984; and helping the Saudi Arabian branch carry out the bombing of the Khobar Towers in 1996, in which 19 American military personnel were killed.
Hezbollah has also been accused of helping to fuel the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in the West Bank. American and Israeli intelligence have indicated that the mastermind of the Marine Barracks bombings was sent to assist the Palestinians in their cause against Israel in September 2000.
The New York Times reports, “Israel and American officials believe that the 18-year struggle by Hezbollah in Lebanon, backed by tens of millions of dollars worth of arms from Iran, provided a model for what Tehran would like to recreate on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. ‘The strategy is to make the West Bank another Lebanon,’ said one senior American intelligence official.”
Iran has denied any involvement in terrorist activities. Of course, what the U.S. views as terrorism, Iran may view differently. For example, Iran’s ambassador to Canada stated, “We never have supported any groups which take act of terrorism. We have morally supported groups who are fighting for their independence or for their being out of occupations, like Hezbollah…Terrorism is a menace of this world. We are against terrorism. We differentiate between terrorist acts [and] those legitimate rights of people who had been or are under occupation” (ibid.).
More recently, Iran is thought to be playing a role in the opposition to America’s presence in Afghanistan, which Iran might view as a threat to its interests in the area. U.S. and Afghan officials have stated that Iran shipped food, clothing, weapons, money and Revolutionary Guard troops to western Afghanistan. This contradicts Iran’s quiet support of the U.S. campaign, in which it has given safe passage for humanitarian aid and agreed to conduct search-and-rescue operations if American pilots were downed in its territory.
IRAN’S GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE
Iran’s government is an Islamic theocratic democracy; yet, in many ways, it resembles the U.S. government. Both have an executive branch headed by an elected president, a legislative branch and a powerful judiciary.
Of course, there are also many differences. Iran’s Supreme Leader is in charge of outlining and supervising “the general policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” He is the commander-in-chief of the military, and controls intelligence and security forces. (Iran is the only country in which the executive branch does not control the military.) He has the authority to appoint and dismiss judiciary leaders, radio and television network leaders, and the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard. He can even deny candidates from running for office.
The president is under the Supreme Leader. Though this person occupies a high public profile, his power is limited by Iran’s constitution. For instance, unlike the U.S., Iran’s president is not in charge of the executive branch of the government (the Supreme Leader is). His main responsibility is setting the economic policies of the country.
Other branches of the government include the Parliament (similar to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives), Assembly of Experts (comprised of “virtuous and learned” clerics), Council of Guardians (determines if laws passed by Parliament are compatible with the constitution and Islamic law), the judiciary (similar to the U.S. judicial branch) and the National Security and Intelligence (comprised of the Supreme National Security Council, the army, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security).
Often, disputes between the Parliament and the Council of Guardians reach the point of stalemate. To combat this, in 1988, Ayatollah Khomeini created the Expediency Council. Its purpose is to mediate disagreements between the two branches of government.
In his 2002 State of the Union address, President Bush called for a reform of the Expediency Council. He denounced this body as the “unelected few” who repress those with democratic aspirations.
Source: PBS Frontline
One particular Afghan warlord is said to have received support from Iran. A Washington Post article stated, “[Ismail] Khan’s long ties with Iran have led to allegations that he is a conduit for Iranian arms and influence that could keep Afghanistan unstable. Khan denies it…Yet there are persistent reports of Iranian arms coming to Herat. One military officer insists that a small private army of 320 Iranian-trained fighters under Khan’s personal command called the Sopah e-Mohammad, or Soldiers of Mohammad, is secreted around three bases in town.”
It is also reported that Iran is providing sanctuaries within its borders. The infamous Abu Musaab Zarqawi is said to have found refuge there. The New York Times reported that, earlier in 2005, he “fled the western Afghan city of Heart after the American military campaign began [and] has turned up in Tehran under the protection of Iranian security forces, according to senior Israeli and American officials.” Of course, Iran has denied such allegations.
However, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has said, “We have any number of reports that Iran has been permissive and allowed transit through their country of al Qaeda.”
Adding to the animosity that the U.S. and Iran have for each other, Iran has decided to resume uranium enrichment activities—in spite of international demands. In response, President Bush stated that, if Iran does not comply with such demands, “All options are on the table.”
Could Iran be heading toward a military showdown with the United States—or possibly Israel, America’s close ally? What alliances does Iran have with other countries that could threaten Western interests? And what effect will Iran’s new president, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, have in today’s nuclear stand-off?
In part two, we will examine these questions and the latest controversy surrounding Iran’s possible pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Continue to Part II
Paul Kiel at TPM Muckraker links to this AP story about convicted phone jammer James Tobin’s contacts with the White House around Election Day, 2002.
Larry Margasak for AP writes:
Key figures in a phone-jamming scheme designed to keep New Hampshire Democrats from voting in 2002 had regular contact with the White House and Republican Party as the plan was unfolding, phone records introduced in criminal court show.
The records show that Bush campaign operative James Tobin, who recently was convicted in the case, made two dozen calls to the White House within a three-day period around Election Day 2002 — as the phone jamming operation was finalized, carried out and then abruptly shut down.
… Democrats plan to ask a federal judge Tuesday to order GOP and White House officials to answer questions about the phone jamming in a civil lawsuit alleging voter fraud. …
A Democratic analysis of phone records introduced at Tobin’s criminal trial show he made 115 outgoing calls — mostly to the same number in the White House political affairs office — between Sept. 17 and Nov. 22, 2002. Two dozen of the calls were made from 9:28 a.m. the day before the election through 2:17 a.m. the night after the voting.
There also were other calls between Republican officials during the period that the scheme was hatched and canceled. …
Virtually all the calls to the White House went to the same number, which currently rings inside the political affairs office. In 2002, White House political affairs was led by now-RNC chairman Ken Mehlman. The White House declined to say which staffer was assigned that phone number in 2002. …
<>Democratic National Committee spokesman Damien LaVera said Monday: “With every development in this case, there are new questions about the extent to which key national Republicans had knowledge of or were involved in a criminal scheme to keep New Hampshire voters from getting to the polls. The American people have a right to know whether the White House political director, who today sits as chairman of the national Republican Party, had any hand in it."
Monday, April 10, 2006
Let me make one thing perfectly clear from the outset: Neither I nor Saul-Paul Sirag (pictured above on the right) would claim that he was Sir Isaac Newton (pictured on the left above) in a previous lifetime. For my part, as I have written about often, I prefer the model of “archetypal synchronistic resonance” to that of reincarnation.
Walter Semkiw, M.D., an iconoclastic reincarnation researcher – working with Kevin Ryerson's spirit guide “Athun Re” in trance – suggests he has confirmed that Sirag was Isaac Newton in a past-lifetime. And, Sirag admits to being intrigued with this conjecture. Sirag explained to me that when visiting Isaac Newton's former study at Trinity College, Cambridge, he experienced a strong feeling of “familiarity.”
In fact, Sirag took this conjecture a step further on the occasion of his own trance session with “Athun Re.” Sirag suggested that if, indeed, he had been Isaac Newton in a past-life, was it possible that I, Jeffrey Mishlove, had been Newton's colleague and publisher, the noted astronomer Edmond Halley. “Athun Re” confirmed that, from his perspective, this was, in fact, the case. Sirag's reasoning in developing this hypothesis is that, but for Halley, it is likely that Newton's works would never have been published. And (to a much lesser degree) I have played a similar role in publishings Sirag's hyperspace model of consciousness.
(For my part, I have never had any inkling of having been Edmond Halley. But, at about the age of 10, astronomy was my big passion – so much so that my grade-school friends took to calling me “the professor.”)
Saul-Paul Sirag has been one of my very best friends and closest colleagues since we met on my 25th birthday, as I recall, in 1971. At that time, he had established a syndicated column (generally published in college newspapers) called “The New Alchemy.” He made a point of covering all of the leading-edge stories in science. When I visited him, I saw that he had a collection of Science magazines going back to 1946. And he managed to convey the impression to me that he had memorized virtually every issue. To this day, I do not believe that I have met anyone more knowledgable about science than Saul-Paul. (And, I have met and interviewed several Nobel laureate scientists.)
But, science was not his only forte. Sir Isaac Newton considered himself a biblical scholar and a student of alchemy. And, Sirag had similar interests. He was raised by missionaries – and, in his formative years, had literally been taught to memorize the entire bible.
Here's an interesting story. His given name was actually Paul. However, as a teenager, he had a revelation – that science, and religion, could both be paths to true wisdom. And, like Saul of Tarsus in reverse, he consciously changed his name to Saul-Paul.
Saul-Paul's missionary parents took him to Borneo. When the Japanese invaded during WWII, they were placed in a POW camp, where his father died. Saul-Paul believes that his very survival was the result of his being assigned to clean latrines. There he was able to find slugs to eat, which were a source of protein and nourishment.
In 1973, both Saul-Paul and I were invited to take up residence in the newly established Institute for the Study of Consciousness in Berkeley, California, under the directorship of cosmologist and helicoptor inventor, Arthur M. Young. Young became a mentor to both of us, and it was under Arthur Young's direction that Sirag transformed himself from a science journalist to a brilliant scientific theorist.
There are many other things I could say about my friendship with Saul-Paul and our days together in Berkeley in the 1970s. We shared many adventures together. Students of his career will be interested in learning about his incredible, semi-autobiographical novelette called Jumped by Jesus. For a while, he was also an actor (with the San Francisco Mime Troup). He also worked with pioneer electronic music synthesizer manufacturer, Don Buchla.
But, at this point in the story, I will refer you to the summary of Sirag's work from my book, The Roots of Consciousness. (Scroll down the past to find the section called “Unified Field Theory and Consciousness.”)
I believe that nobody alive today has a better handle on “hard” problem of consciousness (i.e., the mind-body problem) than does Saul-Paul Sirag. His is a work of mathematical and philosophical precision that deserves to be better known and studied.
We all need to know how to handle and take care of our anger. To do this, we must pay more attention to the biochemical aspect of anger, because anger has its roots in our body as well as our mind. When we analyze our anger, we can see its physiological elements. We have to look deeply at how we eat, how we drink, how we consume, and how we handle our body in our daily life.
Anger Is Not Strictly a Psychological Reality
In the teaching of the Buddha, we learn that our body and mind are not separate. Our body is our mind, and, at the same time, our mind is also our body. Anger is not only a mental reality because the physical and the mental are linked to each other, and we cannot separate them. In Buddhism we call the body/mind formation namarupa. Namarupa is the psyche-soma, the mind-body as one entity. The same reality sometimes appears as mind, and sometimes appears as body.
Looking deeply into the nature of an elementary particle, scientists have discovered that sometimes it manifests as a wave, and sometimes as a particle. A wave is quite different from a particle. A wave can be only a wave. It cannot be a particle. A particle can be only a particle, it cannot be a wave. But the wave and the particle are the same thing. So instead of calling it a wave or a particle, they call it a "wavicle," combining the words wave and particle. This is the name scientists have given the elementary particle.
The same thing is true with mind and body. Our dualistic view tells us that mind cannot be body, and body cannot be mind. But looking deeply, we see that body is mind, mind is body. If we can overcome the duality that sees the mind and body as entirely separate, we come very close to the truth.
Many people are beginning to realize that what happens to the body also happens to the mind, and vice versa. Modern medicine is aware that the sickness of the body may be a result of sickness in the mind. And sickness in our minds may be connected to sickness in our bodies. Body and mind are not two separate entities-they are one. We have to take very good care of our body if we want to master our anger. The way we eat, the way we consume, is very important.
We Are What We Eat
Our anger, our frustration, our despair, have much to do with our body and the food we eat. We must work out a strategy of eating, of consuming to protect ourselves from anger and violence. Eating is an aspect of civilization. The way we grow our food, the kind of food we eat, and the way we eat it has much to do with civilization because the choices we make can bring about peace and relieve suffering.
The food that we eat can play a very important role in our anger. Our food may contain anger. When we eat the flesh of an animal with mad cow disease, anger is there in the meat. But we must also look at the other kinds of food that we eat. When we eat an egg or a chicken, we know that the egg or chicken can also contain a lot of anger. We are eating anger, and therefore we express anger.
Nowadays, chickens are raised in large-scale modern farms where they cannot walk, run, or seek food in the soil. They are fed solely by humans. They are kept in small cages and cannot move at all. Day and night they have to stand. Imagine that you have no right to walk or to run. Imagine that you have to stay day and night in just one place. You would become mad. So the chickens become mad.
In order for the chickens to produce more eggs, the farmers create artificial days and nights. They use indoor lighting to create a shorter day and a shorter night so that the chickens believe that twenty-four hours have passed, and then they produce more eggs. There is a lot of anger, a lot of frustration, and much suffering in the chickens. They express their anger and frustration by attacking the chickens next to them. They use their beaks to peck and wound each other. They cause each other to bleed, to suffer, and to die. That is why farmers now cut the beaks off all the chickens, to prevent them from attacking each other out of frustration.
So when you eat the flesh or egg of such a chicken, you are eating anger and frustration. So be aware. Be careful what you eat. If you eat anger, you will become and express anger. If you eat despair, you will express despair. If you eat frustration, you will express frustration.
We have to eat happy eggs from happy chickens. We have to drink milk that does not come from angry cows. We should drink organic milk that comes from cows that are raised naturally. We have to make an effort to support farmers to raise these animals in a more humane way. We also have to buy vegetables that are grown organically. It is more expensive, but, to compensate, we can eat less. We can learn to eat less.
Consuming Anger Through Other Senses
Not only do we nourish our anger with edible food, but also through what we consume with our eyes, ears, and consciousness. The consumption of cultural items is also linked to anger. Therefore, developing a strategy for consuming is very important.
What we read in magazines, what we view on television, can also be toxic. It may also contain anger and frustration. A film is like a piece of beefsteak. It can contain anger. If you consume it, you are eating anger, you are eating frustration. Newspaper articles, and even conversations, can contain a lot of anger.
You may feel lonely sometimes and want to talk to someone. In one hour of conversation, the other person's words may poison you with a lot of toxins. You may ingest a lot of anger, which you will express later on. That is why mindful consumption is very important. When you listen to the news, when you read a newspaper article, when you discuss something with others, are you ingesting the same kind of toxins that you ingest when you eat unmindfully?
Eating Well, Eating Less
There are those who take refuge in eating to forget their sorrow and their depression. Overeating can create difficulties for the digestive system, contributing to the arising of anger. It can also produce too much energy. If you do not know how to handle this energy, it can become the energy of anger, of sex, and of violence.
When we eat well, we can eat less. We need only half the amount of food that we eat every day. To eat well, we should chew our food about fifty times before we swallow. When we eat very slowly, and make the food in our mouth into a kind of liquid, we will absorb much more nutrition through our intestines. If we eat well, and chew our food carefully, we get more nutrition than if we eat a lot but don't digest it well.
Eating is a deep practice. When I eat, I enjoy every morsel of my food. I am aware of the food, aware that I am eating. We can practice mindfulness of eating-we know what we are chewing. We chew our food very carefully and with a lot of joy. From time to time, we stop chewing and get in touch with the friends, family, or sangha-community of practitioners-around us. We appreciate that it is wonderful to be sitting here chewing like this, not worrying about anything. When we eat mindfully, we are not eating or chewing our anger, our anxiety, or our projects. We are chewing the food, prepared lovingly by others. It is very pleasant.
When the food in your mouth becomes almost liquefied, you experience its flavor more intensely and the food tastes very, very good. You may want to try chewing like this today. Be aware of each movement of your mouth. You will discover that the food tastes so delicious. It may only be bread. Without any butter or jelly at all. But it's wonderful. Perhaps you will also have some milk. I never drink milk. I chew milk. When I put a piece of bread into my mouth, I chew for a while in mindfulness, and then I take a spoonful of milk. I put it in my mouth, and I continue to chew with awareness. You don't know how delicious it can be just chewing some milk and some bread.
When the food has become liquid, mixed with your saliva, it is half digested already. So when it arrives in your stomach and intestines, the digestion becomes extremely easy. Much of the nutrients in the bread and milk will be absorbed into our body. You get a lot of joy and freedom during the time you chew. When you eat like this, you will naturally eat less.
When you serve yourself, be aware of your eyes. Don't trust them. It is your eyes that push you to take too much food. You don't need so much. If you know how to eat mindfully and joyfully, you become aware that you need only half the amount that your eyes tell you to take. Please try. Just chewing something very simple like zucchini, carrots, bread, and milk may turn out to be the best meal of your life. It's wonderful.
Many of us in Plum Village, our practice center in France, have experienced this kind of eating, chewing very mindfully, very slowly. Try eating like this. It can help you to feel much better in your body and, therefore, in your spirit, in your consciousness.
Our eyes are bigger than our stomach. We have to empower our eyes with the energy of mindfulness so that we know exactly what amount of food we really need. The Chinese term for the alms bowl used by a monk or nun means "the instrument for appropriate measure." We use this kind of bowl to protect us from being deceived by our eyes. If the food comes to the top of the bowl, we know that it is largely sufficient. We take only that amount of food. If you can eat like that, you can afford to buy less. When you buy less food, you can afford to buy organically grown food. This is something that we can do, alone or in our families. It will be a tremendous support for farmers who want to make a living growing organic food.
The Fifth Mindfulness Training
All of us need a diet based on our willingness to love and to serve. A diet based on our intelligence. The Five Mindfulness Trainings are the way out of suffering, for the world and for each of us as individuals (see full text in Appendix A). Looking deeply at the way we consume is the practice of the Fifth Mindfulness Training.
This mindfulness training concerns the practice of mindful consumption, of following a diet that can liberate us and liberate our society. Because we are aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, we make the commitment:
. . . to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. I vow to ingest only items that preserve peace, well-being, and joy in my body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest food or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books, films, and conversations. . . ."
If you want to take care of your anger, your frustration, and your despair, you might consider living according to this mindfulness training. If you drink alcohol mindfully, you can see that it creates suffering. The intake of alcohol causes disease to the body and the mind, and deaths on the road. The making of alcohol also involves creating suffering. The use of the grains in its production is linked to the lack of food in the world. Mindfulness of eating and drinking can bring us this liberating insight.
Discuss a strategy of mindful consumption with the people you love, with members of your family, even if they are still young. Children can understand this, so they should participate in such discussions. Together you can make decisions about what to eat, what to drink, what television programs to watch, what to read, and what kind of conversations to have. This strategy is for your own protection.
We cannot speak about anger, and how to handle our anger, without paying attention to all the things that we consume, because anger is not separate from these things. Talk to your community about a strategy of mindful consuming. In Plum Village, we try our best to protect ourselves. We try not to consume things that nurture our anger, frustration, and fear. To consume more mindfully, we need to regularly discuss what we eat, how we eat, how to buy less, and how to have higher-quality food, both edible and the food we consume through our senses.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
by Declan Walsh in Peshawar
The Americans can't return the three years that Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost lost, locked in a cell in Guantánamo Bay. But they could at least give back his poetry.
"Please help," said Dost, who says he penned 25,000 lines of verse during his long imprisonment. "Those words are very precious to me. My interrogators promised I would get them back. Still I have nothing."
The lost poems are the final indignity for Dost, a softly spoken Afghan whom the US military flew home last year, finally believing his pleas of innocence.
Accused of being an al-Qaida terrorist, Dost had been whisked from his home in Peshawar, northern Pakistan, in November 2001. Five months later he was shackled, blindfolded and flown to Cuba. Wearing an orange jumpsuit and trapped inside a mesh cage, the Pashtun poet crafted his escape through verse. "I would fly on the wings of my imagination," he recalled. "Through my poems I would travel the world, visiting different places. Although I was in a cage I was really free."
Inmates were forbidden pens or papers during Dost's first year in captivity. So he found a novel solution - polystyrene teacups. "I would scratch a few lines on to a cup with a spoon. If you held it up to the light you could read it," he said. "But when the guards collected the trash they threw them away."
It was only when prison authorities provided awkward rubbery pens - so soft they could not be used as weapons - that Dost wrote in earnest. His themes were love of his homeland, poetry and his children, and especially his hope of release.
Sitting in his library, he quoted a couplet from a favourite poem: "Handcuffs befit brave young men/Bangles are for spinsters or pretty young ladies."
Dost lampooned his military captors, mocking what he perceived as ridiculous - women with men's haircuts, men without beards. "In the American army I could not see a real man," he said. "And they talk rudely about homosexuals, which is very shameful to us."
The satires delighted fellow inmates, who passed them from cage to cage using a pulley system fashioned from prayer cap threads. Some even passed Dost their two-sheet paper allowance so he could write some more. But invariably the poems were confiscated during cell searches.
Early last year Dost was brought before a military tribunal - which he describes as a show trial - and then flown back to Afghanistan in shackles, with 16 other detainees. The US military said he was "no longer an enemy combatant". Dost was allowed to keep his final sheaf of poems and was told the rest would be returned on arrival at Bagram airbase, near Kabul. But they were not, and he was set free without apology or compensation. His brother had been freed six months earlier.
Now Dost has written his an account of Guantánamo, The Broken Chains, which is being translated into English. He estimates $300,000 in losses, mostly from confiscated gemstones and cash that were never returned. But his greatest loss was his writing. "It is the most valuable thing to me," he said.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
They came together-red and black-
In a revolt like no other,
And there is no turning back,
For anarchy is for lovers.
The truth is greater than the lies
Of hollow gods and class divisions,
For loving hearts all rules defy
With a transcendent common vision.
No wars, no boundaries, no states,
No need to subjugate each other,
No rich, no poor, no one to hate-
Just peace and love for one another.
They came together-young and old-
No hippie freaks, but with a vision-
They came together in revolt
Against all wars and all divisions.
They saw the truth, they saw the light
In a revolt like no other,
Standing determined in their fight,
For anarchy is for lovers.
Friday, April 07, 2006
"Nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight
where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we all must be
aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become victims of the darkness."
Thursday, April 06, 2006
by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
We haven't done the poll, but our guess is that most Americans recognize the name Katie Couric.
And they wouldn't know Amy Goodman from a hole in the wall.
NBC Today Show co-anchor Katie Couric said this morning that she is leaving the show to become the anchor for the CBS Evening News.
Amy Goodman is the anchor of the award winning one-hour television and radio news program, Democracy Now.
Couric gets more ink than Goodman in the mainstream press.
That's because Couric plays by the rules of the game.
Couric has been with the Today Show for 15 years.
She has also been a contributing anchor for Dateline NBC.
For most of her professional life, Couric has been a celebrity interviewer and stenographer to power.
According to the Today Show web site, she has interviewed "a panoply of world leaders, national political figures, writers, actors and pop culture icons."
Some of her groundbreaking political interviews have been fawning sycophantic things with:
George Bush Sr., George Bush Jr., Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan, Tony Blair, Jennifer Wilbanks ("whose disappearance just before her wedding day created a nationwide sensation, earning her the moniker "runaway bride"), Tricia Meili -- the
Central Park Jogger, John F. Kennedy, Jr. John and Patsy Ramsey about the death of their daughter, JonBenet, Amy Goodman has reported more substantive news in one year that Couric has reported on in a lifetime.
Just last week, Democracy Now ran a two part interview with Noam Chomsky about his new book, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy.
Would Couric run a debate on the Israeli/Palestinian issue between Noam Chomsky and Alan Dershowitz, as Goodman did earlier this year?
Would Couric interview Norman Finkelstein on the same?
Would she know who Norman Finkelstein is?
Would Couric know Al Lewis as anything more than Grandpa on the Munsters?
Or would she dare interview him on his radical political philosophy, as Goodman did before Grandpa Al died earlier this year?
Would Couric know about the 1991 massacre of 271 peaceful protesters in Dili, East Timor by Indonesia forces?
Goodman was there with the protesters, was beaten, but survived.
If Katie Couric were interviewing Vanessa Redgrave, would the conversation be dominated by the death by Israeli bulldozer of peace activist Rachel Corrie -- as was Goodman's interview last month of Redgrave?
Would Couric dare interview the now untouchable Harry Belafonte -- after he called the war criminal a war criminal?
Would Couric travel to Nigeria -- as Goodman did -- to document Chevron's complicity with the Nigerian military in putting down an indigenous revolt?
Couric is going to CBS News, the old stomping ground of Edward R. Murrow.
The recently released movie of Murrow -- Good Night and Good Luck -- purports to be how Murrow stood up to Senator Joseph McCarthy and his communist witch hunts.
But the movie is actually about the sacrifice of television news at the altar of corporate commercialism.
Murrow had slim hopes for television.
He could see the writing on the wall.
As movie reviewer John Powers put it, the movie's real theme is "the inherent debasement of mass news in a commercial culture, a process so powerful that even brave individuals can't stop it."
"You see, news is a product that must be able to pay for itself," Powers said on NPR's Fresh Air. "In practice, that means getting ratings, finding corporate sponsors and newsmen becoming purveyors of fluff, and that's precisely what we see happening in the film. Murrow's show 'See
It Now' has to fret about alienating its sponsor, Alcoa, when it goes after McCarthy, and Murrow himself must placate CBS by hosting the celebrity interview show 'Person to Person.'"
Powers says that "like it or not, the age of infotainment was in the cards from the very beginning."
"And for all his highfalutin speeches about how television can educate, illuminate and inspire, Murrow could do nothing to slow it down," Power said. "Seeing it now, his famed anti-McCarthy broadcast looks less like the flowering of a golden age than a blip on the radar of packaged
commercial news, rather like Shepard Smith and Anderson Cooper unexpectedly exploding with anger during Hurricane Katrina before returning to their usual sleek selves."
Amy Goodman and Democracy Now are what Edward Murrow professed television could become.
Katie Couric and the CBS Evening News represent what he feared it would become.
Good luck to Amy Goodman and Democracy Now.
Children born of fairy stock
Never need for shirt or frock,
Never want for food or fire,
Always get their heart’s desire:
Jingle pockets full of gold,
Marry when they’re seven years old.
Every fairy child may keep
Two strong ponies and ten sheep;
All have houses, each his own,
Built of brick or granite stone;
They live on cherries, they run wild—
I’d love to be a Fairy’s child.
by Diane Farsetta and Daniel Price, Center for Media and Democracy
This report includes:
- Video footage of the 36 video news releases documented in this report, plus footage showing how actual TV newscasts incorporated them and/or a related satellite media tours.
- A map showing the locations of the 77 television stations throughout the United States that aired this fake news.
- A spreadsheet listing the 77 television stations that aired this fake news, by state.
Over a ten-month period, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) documented television newsrooms' use of 36 video news releases (VNRs)—a small sample of the thousands produced each year. CMD identified 77 television stations, from those in the largest to the smallest markets, that aired these VNRs or related satellite media tours (SMTs) in 98 separate instances, without disclosure to viewers. Collectively, these 77 stations reach more than half of the U.S. population. The VNRs and SMTs whose broadcast CMD documented were produced by three broadcast PR firms for 49 different clients, including General Motors, Intel, Pfizer and Capital One. In each case, these 77 television stations actively disguised the sponsored content to make it appear to be their own reporting. In almost all cases, stations failed to balance the clients' messages with independently-gathered footage or basic journalistic research. More than one-third of the time, stations aired the pre-packaged VNR in its entirety. Report highlights include:
- KOKH-25 in Oklahoma City, OK, a FOX station owned by Sinclair, aired six of the VNRs tracked by CMD, making it this report's top repeat offender. Consistently, KOKH-25 failed to provide any disclosure to news audiences. The station also aired five of the six VNRs in their entirety, and kept the publicist's original narration each time.
- In three instances, TV stations not only aired entire VNRs without disclosure, but had local anchors and reporters read directly from the script prepared by the broadcast PR firm. KTVI-2 in St. Louis, MO, had their anchor introduce, and their reporter re-voice, a VNR produced for Masterfoods and 1-800 Flowers, following the script nearly verbatim. WBFS-33 in Miami, FL, did the same with a VNR produced for the "professional services firm" Towers Perrin. And Ohio News Network did likewise with a VNR produced for Siemens.
- WSJV-28 in South Bend, IN, introduced a VNR produced for General Motors as being from "FOX's Andrew Schmertz," implying that Schmertz was a reporter for the local station or the FOX network. In reality, he is a publicist at the largest U.S. broadcast PR firm, Medialink Worldwide. Another Medialink publicist, Kate Brookes, was presented as an on-air reporter by four TV stations airing a VNR produced for Siemens.
- Two stations whose previous use of government VNRs was documented by the New York Times, WCIA-3 in Champaign, IL, and WHBQ-13 in Memphis, TN, also aired VNRs tracked by CMD. The March 2005 Times article reported that WHBQ's vice president for news "could not explain how his station came to broadcast" a State Department VNR, while WCIA's news director said that Agriculture Department VNRs "meet our journalistic standards."
Although the number of media formats and outlets has exploded in recent years, television remains the dominant news source in the United States. More than three-quarters of U.S. adults rely on local TV news, and more than 70 percent turn to network TV or cable news on a daily or near-daily basis, according to a January 2006 Harris Poll. The quality and integrity of television reporting thus significantly impacts the public's ability to evaluate everything from consumer products to medical services to government policies.
To reach this audience—and to add a veneer of credibility to clients' messages—the public relations industry uses video news releases (VNRs). VNRs are pre-packaged "news" segments and additional footage created by broadcast PR firms, or by publicists within corporations or government agencies. VNRs are designed to be seamlessly integrated into newscasts, and are freely provided to TV stations. Although the accompanying information sent to TV stations identifies the clients behind the VNRs, nothing in the material for broadcast does. Without strong disclosure requirements and the attention and action of TV station personnel, viewers cannot know when the news segment they're watching was bought and paid for by the very subjects of that "report."
In recent years, the U.S. Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, journalism professors, reporters and members of the general public have expressed concern about VNRs. In response, public relations executives and broadcaster groups have vigorously defended the status quo, claiming there is no problem with current practices. In June 2005, the president of the Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA), Barbara Cochran, told a reporter that VNRs were "kind of like the Loch Ness Monster. Everyone talks about it, but not many people have actually seen it."
To inform this debate, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) conducted a ten-month study of selected VNRs and their use by television stations, tracking 36 VNRs issued by three broadcast PR firms. Key findings include:
- VNR use is widespread. CMD found 69 TV stations that aired at least one VNR from June 2005 to March 2006—a significant number, given that CMD was only able to track a small percentage of the VNRs streaming into newsrooms during that time. Collectively, these 69 stations broadcast to 52.7 percent of the U.S. population, according to Nielsen Media figures. Syndicated and network-distributed segments sometimes included VNRs, further broadening their reach.
- VNRs are aired in TV markets of all sizes. TV stations often use VNRs to limit the costs associated with producing, filming and editing their own reports. However, VNR usage is not limited to small-town stations with shoestring budgets. Nearly two-thirds of the VNRs that CMD tracked were aired by stations in a Top 50 Nielsen market area, such as Detroit, Pittsburgh or Cincinnati. Thirteen VNRs were broadcast in the ten largest markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston.
- TV stations don't disclose VNRs to viewers. Of the 87 VNR broadcasts that CMD documented, not once did the TV station disclose the client(s) behind the VNR to the news audience. Only one station, WHSV-3 in Harrisonburg, VA, provided partial disclosure, identifying the broadcast PR firm that created the VNR, but not the client, Daimler Chrysler. WHSV-3 aired soundbites from a Chrysler representative and directed viewers to websites associated with Chrysler, without disclosing the company's role in the "report."
- TV stations disguise VNRs as their own reporting. In every VNR broadcast that CMD documented, the TV station altered the VNR's appearance. Newsrooms added station-branded graphics and overlays, to make VNRs indistinguishable from reports that genuinely originated from their station. A station reporter or anchor re-voiced the VNR in more than 60 percent of the VNR broadcasts, sometimes repeating the publicist's original narration word-for-word.
- TV stations don't supplement VNR footage or verify VNR claims. While TV stations often edit VNRs for length, in only seven of the 87 VNR broadcasts documented by CMD did stations add any independently-gathered footage or information to the segment. In all other cases, the entire aired "report" was derived from a VNR and its accompanying script. In 31 of the 87 VNR broadcasts, the entire aired "report" was the entire pre-packaged VNR. Three stations (WCPO-9 in Cincinnati, OH; WSYR-9 in Syracuse, NY; and WYTV-33 in Youngstown, OH) removed safety warnings from a VNR touting a newly-approved prescription skin cream. WSYR-9 also aired a VNR heralding a "major health breakthrough" for arthritis sufferers—a supplement that a widely-reported government study had found to be little better than a placebo.
- The vast majority of VNRs are produced for corporate clients. Of the hundreds of VNRs that CMD reviewed for potential tracking, only a few came from government agencies or non-profit organizations. Corporations have consistently been the dominant purveyors of VNRs, though the increased scrutiny of government-funded VNRs in recent years may have decreased their use by TV newsrooms. Of the VNRs that CMD tracked, 47 of the 49 clients behind them were corporations that stood to benefit financially from the favorable "news" coverage.
- Satellite media tours may accompany VNRs. Broadcast PR firms sometimes produce both VNRs and satellite media tours (SMTs) for clients. SMTs are actual interviews with TV stations, but their focus and scope are determined by the clients. In effect, SMTs are live recitations of VNR scripts. CMD identified 10 different TV stations that aired SMTs for 17 different clients with related VNRs. In only one instance was there partial disclosure to viewers. An anchor at WLTX-19 in Columbia, SC, said after the segment, "This interview ... was provided by vendors at the consumer trade show," but did not name the four corporate clients behind the SMT.
In sum, television newscasts—the most popular news source in the United States—frequently air VNRs without disclosure to viewers, without conducting their own reporting, and even without fact checking the claims made in the VNRs. VNRs are overwhelmingly produced for corporations, as part of larger public relations campaigns to sell products, burnish their image, or promote policies or actions beneficial to the corporation.*
Our Pious Babylon, Washington Post
77 TV stations aired 'fake news reports', RAW Strory
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
by Golnaz Esfandiari
While gauging public opinion can be a tall order in Iran, many of those who have spoken out so far say they are keen to maintain their independence, and this includes American money to continue their efforts to promote democracy in Iran.
The Bush administration has US$75 million in emergency funding to promote democracy in Iran, in addition to $10 million already budgeted.
Mohammad Ali Dadkhah is a co-founder of the Center for Human Rights Defenders. Dadkhah tells RFE/RL that democratic changes should come from inside the country - without outside interference. "Democracy is not a product that we can import from another country," Dadkhah said. "We have to prepare the ground for it so that it can grow and bear fruit - especially because independent and national forces, and also self-reliant forces, in Iran will never accept a foreign country telling them what to do and which way to take."
The proposed US aid would include $25 million to support "political dissidents, labor union leaders, and human-rights activists" in additional to non-governmental groups outside Iran. The declared aim is to allow them to build support inside the country.
The US administration also wants $50 million to set up round-the-clock television broadcasting in Persian to beam into Iran. Another $5 million is aimed at allowing Iranian students and scholars to study in the US. And $15 million is earmarked for other measures, such as expanding Internet access, which is tightly controlled in Iran.
Wary of perceptions
Authorities in Iran keep a tight lid on public expression, but most activists inside the country would be wary of being labeled pro-American. Dadkhah said that if activists were to accept the US aid, they would immediately be branded US spies and accused of endangering Iran's national security.
"Independent forces would go close to these financial funds," Dadkhah said. "We have to work through legal paths and logical channels so that democracy, freedom and human rights are fully respected in this country."
Abdollah Momeni, an outspoken Iranian student leader, warned that US financial aid would threaten the independence of those seeking increased freedoms and put them at risk with officials.
Momeni said that those working for democracy in Iran instead needed moral support and international recognition. "Under the current conditions, the support of the international community and pressure on the authoritarian Iranian regime to recognize democratic principles in Iranian society could help the Iranian people achieve democracy," Momeni said.
"The only result of financial aid would be to inflame sensitivities, put civil society activists under threat and give the regime an excuse to suppress opponents and opposition members."
A loose alliance of political activists and intellectuals calling itself the Independent Iranian Opposition has issued a statement declaring that "only the people will determine Iran's fate". It added that the independent Iranian opposition had always battled with no expectation of financial assistance from "interested foreign powers". It also pledged that members would continue their efforts until a "free, independent and democratic Iran" emerged.
A respected human-rights activist and lawyer, Mehrangiz Kar is an Iranian woman who lives in the United States. Kar told Radio Farda that while money was important for rights groups to function, "security" is even more crucial to their effectiveness.
"The shaky security under which human rights and democracy activists are working in Iran would become even shakier and more uncertain [if US funding was involved]," Kar said. "So, in my opinion, if they could provide security and money, that would be ideal. But since they can't, sending money through government channels is one of the most damaging ways that has been adopted in the name of helping democracy and human rights in Iran."
Abbas Milani is a distinguished Iranian scholar and co-director of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution. Milani questions whether the new US initiative would achieve its goal of fostering democracy. He pointed out in a joint contribution with Michael McFaul to The Wall Street Journal on March 6 that while "outsiders find it easy to support democracy rhetorically", it was harder to put such concepts into practice.
Milani warned the US against support for "regime change" through violence or for ethnic groups seeking independence from Tehran. He insisted that any new US aid must empower "existing democrats, not create democrats from [among] those with close ties to Washington".
Meanwhile, Iranian officials have described the US administration's funding request as "provocative and interventionist". Iranian media reported in March that the Foreign Ministry sent a letter of protest to Washington over the plan. Not to be outdone, Iranian lawmakers have approved about $15 million to "discover and neutralize American plots and intervention" in their country.
Golnaz Esfandiari, born in Tehran, has a master's degree in clinical psychology from Prague's Charles University. Her writing focuses on politics, human rights, and social issues in Iran and Afghanistan.
But to love me is better than all things: if under the night- stars in the desert thou presently burnest mine incense before me, invoking me with a pure heart, and the Serpent flame therein, thou shalt come a little to lie in my bosom. For one kiss wilt thou then be willing to give all; but whoso gives one particle of dust shall lose all in that hour. Ye shall gather goods and store of women and spices; ye shall wear rich jewels; ye shall exceed the nations of the earth in splendour & pride; but always in the love of me, and so shall ye come to my joy. I charge you earnestly to come before me in a single robe, and covered with a rich headdress. I love you! I yearn to you! Pale or purple, veiled or voluptuous, I who am all pleasure and purple, and drunkenness of the innermost sense, desire you. Put on the wings, and arouse the coiled splendour within you: come unto me!
I am left with electronic darkness.
The connections gone,
The screen has faded and glows dark,
And I have to ask did I imagine it?
The passion that passed between us?
Two strangers on different sides of the world,
Joined only by words formed by pixels ,
In a world made up of glass. circuits And plasma.
A flashing mark to point the way ,
Then all memory's deleted.
"The Solar Angel collects himself, scatters not his force but, in meditation deep, communicates with his reflection." A Treatise on White Magic
Tick time passes
Tock time goes
Some times so fast
some times so slow
Who are we
to control time
We have No power
that's what is a crime
Against the lovers
Or even twenty
Minutes or hours
We want it all
But its not up to us
Its not our call
That time ebbs
then times flows
Tick time passes
Tock time goes
Lienü zhuan (Traditions of Exemplary Women) of Liu Xiang (77-6 B.C.), the earliest extant book in the Chinese tradition solely devoted to the moral education of women. The book consists of biographical accounts of female role models in early China and became the standard textbook for women’s education for the next two millennia.
== = = ==
惟 若 母 儀 賢 聖 有 智 。行 為 儀 表 言 則 中 義 。胎
養 子 孫 以 漸 教 化 。既 成 以 德 致 其 功 業 。姑 母
察 此, 不 可 不 法 。
== = = ==
It is only by means of a mother's behavior that
worthies and sages come to possess wisdom. Their
actions are an emblem of correct behavior; their
words are aligned with righteousness. From the
time of conception, they nurture sons and
grandsons, gradually instructing and transforming
them. Having established them with virtue, they
bring about their achievements and
accomplishments. Female kin1 and mothers who
<>examine these exemplars should make them their models.
卷三之二 楚 武 鄧 曼
Psychological Types, C. G. Jung (1921)
Translation by H. Godwyn Baynes (1923)
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE TYPES
Making love in the rain,
Soft the drops fall on our bodies.
Mingling with passions sweat.
Washing the heat from our skin.
A storm brewing in the distance,
Mingles with our moans,
That transpire from with in us,
As thunder echoes with our cries.
Lightning flashing behind Closed eye lids,
teeth biting down On swollen lips of red.
Nails dragging on flushed skin,
Welts Cooled by the deluge from above
Question: What does ‘Apollo’s seven-stringed lyre’ represent or designate?
Answer: Calcium, in various compound forms, causes the gradual ossification of the body and contributes to its eventual death.
<>--Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, page 443--
In ancient Gaul certain glass or paste beads attained great celebrity as amulets under the name of serpents' eggs; it was believed that serpents, coiling together in a wriggling, writhing mass, generated them from their slaver and shot them into the air from their hissing jaws. If a man was bold and dexterous enough to catch one of these eggs in his cloak before it touched the ground, he rode off on horseback with it at full speed, pursued by the whole pack of serpents, till he was saved by the interposition of a river, which the snakes could not pass. The proof of the egg being genuine was that if it were thrown into a stream it would float up against the current, even though it were hooped in gold.
The Druids held these beads in high esteem; according to them, the precious objects could only be obtained on a certain day of the moon, and the peculiar virtue that resided in them was to secure success in law suits and free access to kings.
.G. FRAZER, D.C.L., LL.D., Litt.D.
*..+ .* *..+**.+** .* *..+**.+**++.*.+
Paint my body with your colours
watch creamy opal fluid pour
draw a moan from with in my throat
as you brush my lips with yours
Write your name on my soft cheek ,
your signature a red raised welt ,
encircle my thigh with a tattoo of desire,
luscious, sensual, and svelte
Sculpt my breasts with your fingers,
use body as erotic art gallery,
a hedonistic portrait of lust
I bow to your artistic mastery
*..+ .* *..+**.+** .* *..+**.+**++.*.+
The art of the erotic, Nebula33
THE GREAT HARMONIA
BY ANDREW JACKSON DAVIS
The Wily Villain
Listening to the words of Surpanakha, the lusty passion of Ravana was aroused, and he became the bondslave of ruinous foolishness; he wriggled out of the feelings of hatred towards Rama and Lakshmana and started planning stratagems to bring Sita away from their presence. He sank in thought and was plunged into anxiety and restlessness, without any effort to quench hunger or thirst. Such was the fatal fascination that haunted him. While Surpanakha was describing the beauty and splendour of the brothers, Rama and Lakshmana, there was one person in the Audience Hall, Vibhishana, who gave ear to the story with joy in the heart and tears in his eyes. He installed those divinely charming figures in the temple of his heart and yearned deeply for the chance of being in their Presence and falling at their feet. "Will they receive me? Can I be saved? Do I deserve to be blessed by them?", he asked himself. He told himself: "They are Divine, for certain. They have appeared on earth in human form, in order to destroy the wicked brood of Rakshasas." He offered in his mind all that he had and was; he began living in the constant meditation of their glory from that very moment.
Ralph Waldo Trine
UNCONSCIOUSLY we are forming habits every moment of our lives. Some are habits of a desirable nature; some are those of a most undesirable nature. Some, though not so bad in themselves, are exceedingly bad in their cumulative effects, and cause us at times much loss, much pain and anguish, while their opposites would, on the contrary, bring as much peace and joy, as well as a continually increasing power. Have we it within our power to determine at all times what types of habits shall take form in our lives? In other words, is habit-forming, character-building, a matter of mere chance, or have we it within our own control? We have, entirely and absolutely. "I will be what I will to be," can be said and should be said by every human soul.
After this has been bravely and determinedly said, and not only said, but fully inwardly realized, something yet remains. Something remains to be said regarding the great law underlying habit-forming, character-building; for there is a simple, natural, and thoroughly scientific method that all should know. A method whereby old, undesirable, earth-binding habits can be broken, and new, desirable, heaven lifting habits can be acquired, a method whereby life in part or in its totality can be changed, provided one is sufficiently in earnest to know and, knowing it, to apply the law.
Thought is the force underlying all.
Thought Power, Ralph Waldo Trine, 1899
The Analysis of Mind by Bertrand Russell
I want to hold you close
Skin pressed against me tight
Lie still, and close your eyes girl
So lovely, it feels so right
I want to hold you close
Soft breasts, beating heart
As I whisper in your ear
I want to fucking tear you apart
Then he walked up and told her,
thinking maybe it'd passed
And they talked and looked away a lot,
doing the dance
Her hand brushed up against his, she left it there
Told him how she felt and then they locked in a stare
MESMERIC REVELATION- By Edgar Allan Poe (1850)
When you wake feel the touch of the sun as my lips
The breeze through the window as my arms around you.
The singing birds as my voice calling you
The swish of the sheets is my skin caressing you
As your day begins
Mine is half over..
I dreamed of you
My nights where filled with you
The moon light caressed my body
The remembered scent of our combined passion
waft's across my imagination
Reaching out to you
across the sheets I awake to find I'm alone
the falseness of dreams is so cruel a reality
A horrific place to be when your dreams are shattered
Imagine the frustration of waking alone
But I know that tonight
Once again we will join in moon light
But for now I sit here alone in the sun and think of you
I feel the sun on my face and the wind in my hair
In my mind they become the heat of your skin next
to me and your arms as they wrap around me
The leaves rustling in the trees become your voice calling my name
As it whispers sounds of love
The seagulls scream becomes my heart crying out to you.
The buzz of insects is the electricity causing
though my veins at you touch my skin
I know we will never be together in this real world
But I am content. I have the moonlight for dreams
and the sunlight for fantasies....
They will ask: "Who gave you the Teaching?"
Answer: "The Mahatma of the East."
They will ask: "Where does He live?"
Answer: "The abode of the Teacher not only cannot be made known but cannot even be uttered. Your question shows how far you are from the understanding of the Teaching. Even humanly you must realize how wrong your question is."
They will ask: "When can I be useful?"
Answer: "From this hour unto eternity."
"When should I prepare myself for labor?"
"Lose not an hour!"
"And when will the call come?"
"Even sleep vigilantly."
"How shall I work until this hour?"
"Enhancing the quality of labor."
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
The Practice of Slowing Down, by Phil Powers
I believe in the importance of pace. I grew up in a frenetic household, both parents working jobs that demanded their attention 24/7. I was little and fast and rushed around, and I still have that person inside me, always at risk of moving too quickly, missing the connection, making mistakes.
The forest behind our house offered a peaceful respite. My passion for the vertical world took me from tall trees in my backyard to climbing steep cliffs and crags. As a teen, I was moving easily over the landscapes of the American West and was drawn to higher summits. When I was 19, I learned something called the "rest step" from an old mountain climber named Paul Petzoldt. He advised me to rest in the middle of each step completely, but briefly. The rest step, which I still practice today, allows me to walk or climb with little effort. I can move very quickly yet still find a pause in every step.
The awareness of pace I owe to my teacher has served me whether I am seeking the world's highest summits, sharing my love for the mountains with others or kneeling to look my son, Gus, in the eye when he has a question.
It serves me as I drive, adjusting my speed to gain a bit of calm and reach my destination only minutes behind the "record time" a faster lane might provide. It serves me at home where we maintain a tradition of gathering each night at the dinner table to eat and talk to each other.
In times of crisis, pace comes to my aid. Another of Petzoldt's lessons was when faced with an emergency, sit down, collect yourself, make a plan. When needs seem most urgent -- even life-threatening -- the practice of slowing down offers calm and clarity.
In 1987, I was in Pakistan to climb Gasherbrum II, one of the world's highest peaks. We were a small group and it was a very big mountain. Our expedition faced more than its share of difficulty: A long storm wiped out most of our food rations and an avalanche devastated our camp, obliterating our tents. One of our party developed altitude sickness; blood poisoning threatened another. In the face of each disaster, we carefully developed a new plan. Snow caves replaced lost tents. Soups replaced full meals. Eventually we climbed slowly to the top, then made our way safely down.
Concentrating on how I move through the world is important. It's why I reach mountain summits and life goals with energy to spare.
There is magic in any faith. Every once in a while, rushing about, my belief in pace rises up, slows me down and grants me a view of a sunset, a smile from a stranger or a conversation with a child. I owe these moments to what I learned from an old mountain climber and have practiced ever since.
Phil Powers is the executive director of the American Alpine Club and has made dozens of mountaineering expeditions to Alaska, Asia and South America. Powers has written two books on mountain climbing and lives in Denver with his wife and children.
Monday, April 03, 2006
Sunday, April 02, 2006
"In Zen there is no such thing as a distinction between the subject and the object, everything is the same as everything else, there is no such thing as one thing and something elsewhere is its opposite. Whereas in Taoism there might very much seem to be a distinction between opposites, such that you cannot have one thing without also having its opposite... what has to be understood is that while the idea of opposites is so basic to Taoism, it is not the case, as the Western mind would have it, that this implies separateness. Good and evil, for instance, are not two different things, one which cannot exist without the other, but are the very same thing. It is for this reason that you cannot have one without the other..."
O thou, who plum'd with strong desire
Wouldst float above the earth, beware!
A Shadow tracks thy flight of fire--
Night is coming!
Bright are the regions of the air,
And among the winds and beams
It were delight to wander there--
Night is coming!SECOND SPIRIT
The deathless stars are bright above;
If I would cross the shade of night,
Within my heart is the lamp of love,
And that is day!
And the moon will smile with gentle light
On my golden plumes where'er they move;
The meteors will linger round my flight,
And make night day.FIRST SPIRIT
But if the whirlwinds of darkness waken
Hail, and lightning, and stormy rain;
See, the bounds of the air are shaken--
Night is coming!
The red swift clouds of the hurricane
Yon declining sun have overtaken,
The clash of the hail sweeps over the plain--
Night is coming!SECOND SPIRIT
I see the light, and I hear the sound;
I'll sail on the flood of the tempest dark,
With the calm within and the light around
Which makes night day:
And thou, when the gloom is deep and stark,
Look from thy dull earth, slumber-bound,
My moon-like flight thou then mayst mark
On high, far away.----
Some say there is a precipice
Where one vast pine is frozen to ruin
O'er piles of snow and chasms of ice
Mid Alpine mountains;
And that the languid storm pursuing
That winged shape, for ever flies
Round those hoar branches, aye renewing
Its aëry fountains.
Some say when nights are dry and dear,
And the death-dews sleep on the morass,
Sweet whispers are heard by the traveller,
Which make night day:
And a silver shape like his early love doth pass
Upborne by her wild and glittering hair,
And when he awakes on the fragrant grass,
He finds night day.
by Sean Rayment,
The Government is to hold secret talks with defence chiefs tomorrow to discuss possible military strikes against Iran.
A high-level meeting will take place in the Ministry of Defence at which senior defence chiefs and government officials will consider the consequences of an attack on Iran.
It is believed that an American-led attack, designed to destroy Iran's ability to develop a nuclear bomb, is "inevitable" if Teheran's leaders fail to comply with United Nations demands to freeze their uranium enrichment programme.
|A high-level meeting will take place in the Ministry of Defence|
Tomorrow's meeting will be attended by Gen Sir Michael Walker, the chief of the defence staff, Lt Gen Andrew Ridgway, the chief of defence intelligence and Maj Gen Bill Rollo, the assistant chief of the general staff, together with officials from the Foreign Office and Downing Street.
The International Atomic Energy Authority, the nuclear watchdog, believes that much of Iran's programme is now devoted to uranium enrichment and plutonium separation, technologies that could provide material for nuclear bombs to be developed in the next three years.
The United States government is hopeful that the military operation will be a multinational mission, but defence chiefs believe that the Bush administration is prepared to launch the attack on its own or with the assistance of Israel, if there is little international support. British military chiefs believe an attack would be limited to a series of air strikes against nuclear plants - a land assault is not being considered at the moment.
But confirmation that Britain has started contingency planning will undermine the claim last month by Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, that a military attack against Iran was "inconceivable".
Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, insisted, during a visit to Blackburn yesterday, that all negotiating options - including the use of force - remained open in an attempt to resolve the crisis.
|General Sir Michael Walker|
Tactical Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from US navy ships and submarines in the Gulf would, it is believed, target Iran's air defence systems at the nuclear installations.
That would enable attacks by B2 stealth bombers equipped with eight 4,500lb enhanced BLU-28 satellite-guided bunker-busting bombs, flying from Diego Garcia, the isolated US Navy base in the Indian Ocean, RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire and Whiteman USAF base in Missouri.
It is understood that any direct British involvement in an attack would be limited but may extend to the use of the RAF's highly secret airborne early warning aircraft.
At the centre of the crisis is Washington's fear that an Iranian nuclear weapon could be used against Israel or US forces in the region, such as the American air base at Incirlik in Turkey.
The UN also believes that the production of a bomb could also lead to further destabilisation in the Middle East, which would result in Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia all developing nuclear weapons programmes.
A senior Foreign Office source said: "Monday's meeting will set out to address the consequences for Britain in the event of an attack against Iran. The CDS [chiefs of defence staff] will want to know what the impact will be on British interests in Iraq and Afghanistan which both border Iran. The CDS will then brief the Prime Minister and the Cabinet on their conclusions in the next few days.
"If Iran makes another strategic mistake, such as ignoring demands by the UN or future resolutions, then the thinking among the chiefs is that military action could be taken to bring an end to the crisis. The belief in some areas of Whitehall is that an attack is now all but inevitable.
There will be no invasion of Iran but the nuclear sites will be destroyed. This is not something that will happen imminently, maybe this year, maybe next year. Jack Straw is making exactly the same noises that the Government did in March 2003 when it spoke about the likelihood of a war in Iraq.
"Then the Government said the war was neither inevitable or imminent and then attacked."
The source said that the Israeli attack against Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981 proved that a limited operation was the best military option.
The Israeli air force launched raids against the plant, which intelligence suggested was being used to develop a nuclear bomb for use against Israel.
Military chiefs also plan tomorrow to discuss fears that an attack within Iran will "unhinge" southern Iraq - where British troops are based - an area mainly populated by Shia Muslims who have strong political and religious links to Iran.
They are concerned that this could delay any withdrawal of troops this year or next. There could also be consequences for British and US troops in Afghanistan, which borders Iran.
The MoD meeting will address the economic issues that could arise if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president - who became the subject of international condemnation last year when he called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" - cuts off oil supplies to the West in reprisal.
There are thought to be at least eight known sites within Iran involved in the production of nuclear materials, although it is generally accepted that there are many more secret installations.
Iran has successfully tested a Fajr-3 missile that can reach Israel, avoiding radar and hitting several targets using multiple warheads, its military has confirmed.
Saturday, April 01, 2006
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