Friday, June 30, 2006

Sappho

* Sappho, by Christina Georgina Rossetti * I sigh at day-dawn, and I sigh When the dull day is passing by. I sigh at evening, and again I sigh when night brings sleep to men. Oh! it were far better to die Than thus forever mourn and sigh, And in death's dreamless sleep to be Unconscious that none weep for me; Eased from my weight of heaviness, Forgetful of forgetfulness, Resting from care and pain and sorrow Thro' the long night that knows no morrow; Living unloved, to die unknown, Unwept, untended, and alone. * ~~~~~ * To Lesbia (after Sappho), by Gaius Valerius Catullus * I say not not Helios burns so strong, I say he outshines the flickering sun when your laughter's radiance falls on him there, trembling before you; the song draws the soul from my body, it shakes me with wanting and fear, because when I see you I arch to the stars and dissolving I fade into darkness, and now, like a mawkish boy, I stammer, pale flame veins my flesh and my ears ring crazy in chimes and night veils my eyes, failing such brightness. Languor, Catullus, destroys you. Look out! Languor ripens your womanish ease. Languor before has ruined great kings, laid waste happy cities.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Videos

Pachelbel's Canon in D on Electric Guitar While My Guitar Gently Weeps on Ukelele

The Weakerthans - Plea From A Cat Named Virtue

* Lie down; lick the sorrow from your skin. Scratch the terror and begin to believe you're strong. *

Humble grocer quietly gave away millions

Waldemar Kaminski, who quietly ran a food stand in Broadway Market for more than 50 years, has been revealed to be a self-made millionaire and philanthropist who anonymously gave millions to Buffalo charities and neighbors in need.

He died at home Wednesday night from complications of a long illness. He was 88.

"He didn't want anyone to know him, but I just had to thank him," said Anne Gioia, co-founder of the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, to which Kaminski donated several million dollars. "Now I think we should shout it from the rooftops."

He made his hidden fortune in the stock market, carefully investing his hard-earned money over the course of his lifetime. The sole luxury in his unadorned flat, situated directly above Kaminski Meats, was the computer that he used to track his investments.

"Sometimes I feel so guilty that there's so much, and it's just me," he said humbly to Cindy Eller, vice president for development at Roswell Park, when he showed her around the apartment he lived in for much of his life.

"He felt that if you died a wealthy person, you had not lived a worthwhile life," Gioia said. "I don't think he had any regrets."

Kaminski gave so much to so many that it's difficult to quantify just how much he's given.

He donated millions to Roswell Park - including $1 million for an endowed chair in pediatrics and $1 million to build a two-acre park on the institute's campus.

He gave handsomely to other groups as well, including the Father Baker Home, the Salvation Army, Hilbert College and Camp Good Days and Special Times. He even helped neighboring families with mortgage payments, college tuition and lines of credit at his stand. ...

"Sometimes I feel so guilty that there's so much, and it's just me." - Waldemar Kaminski


Play in six Dimensions

[Thanks to Zug for the game link, and thanks to WFC for the graphic link] Here

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Anarchist, author unknown

* I sacrifice myself for one and all I come forward telling the truth Bearing witness, as I must, to my experience I describe my perversion, my immorality, in detail Listen, they spit on me, trample me, and I don’t give a toss any more I’m here, it’s today I’m not, unlike you, a mass of defences, ready to spring into action A tissue of falsehoods for justifying my failures Fifty-six ways to camouflage the truth Here it is utterly naked in front of you Open your eyes and learn a lesson from it You’ll never be better than me You’ll never be worth more than me I’m the one who confronts life I’m the one who confronts truth

Framers of the USA spilled real patriot blood as long as the Mississippi River...

by Mary MacElveen This is a recent AOL poll taken concerning Bush's power grab in which he vexes congress and abuses his power. When AOL was writing the top question, they should have included an answer "None of the above" I suppose that an overriding majority would have answered that one.
Which branch of government do you trust the most?
Judicial 62%
Legislative 24%
Executive 14%
Total Votes: 12,555
What do you think of the way President Bush uses presidential power?
He goes too far 80%
I approve 16%
He doesn't go far enough 3%
Total Votes: 14,436

To the 16% that approve and the 3% that say he has not gone far enough: What color is your shirt? Brown I suspect.

This is a message to our framers: Please send us leaders that will actually uphold the Constitution of the United States. Send the spirit of the Declaration of Independence to those that will abide by it. We have gone full swing back into a tyranny that you were trying to escape from. We most certainly let you down.

As we fast approach July 4, which is a celebration of our independence from tyranny, we as Americans must remember these words:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Americans must crave leaders like this for our very survival:

But sadly this French jurist hit the nail on the proverbial head “Every country has the government it deserves.” Joseph de Maistre (1753-1827)

Please ask yourselves if you do deserve better as you are paying higher taxes, higher gas prices in which the oil executives have the nerve to justify their profits to you, your environment is in shambles, your national parks are being forced to cut their expenditures, you are paying more for food and the list is endless.

I wonder if this country, The United States of America, has the temerity to return to the country that our founders fought so bravely for.

Our framers spilled real patriot blood as long as the Mississippi River and by and large Americans are throwing that away.

Rise up to the challenge left to all of us by President John F. Kennedy when he stated, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

If you do not, then we shall go the way of the once Mighty Roman Empire.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Wild Ass, by Alestair Crowley

I The secret of the House of Set Is hidden in my sevenfold veil; For I am he that doth beget The Rood, and bear the Holy Graal. Yet is my manhood woman-frail, Barren my motherhood. They now Shall men my mystic mountain scale? These ram's-horn thumbs jut from my brow To push them to the miry slough Wherein the foes of Set are caught. Come, let us pluck the Golden Bough From the brave Tree of life and thought! Who heareth naught, he heedeth naught. Come, we are safely housed and shrined Where subtler images are wrought Than boast the treasuries of Mind! II The secret of the House of Set. As a poor pilgrim clambering Toils on the slopes, so I to get Halidom for my lord the King. Faintly and feebly murmuring I uttered the mysterious runes, And bade my body's sleekness sing Silky, satanic, subtle tunes. Was he not holy? Milk of moons Were not so pallid as his cheek, And roses of a million Junes His mouth left livid. So I seek In all God's seas a tiny creek Wherein to moor my shallop. Nay! He is a mountain, chill with bleak Stark winds of innocence astray! The fearful passion sweeps me away. So with a passionate thrill of fear I creep -like shadows across Day! Like Winter on the expended year! - From those cold feet, a frozen meer, To those cold knees, a lost lagoon, To that wild woodland, strangely near To the lone tower that tops the moon! Verily and Amen! Unhewn The great grim forest menaces. What gardener may dare to prun Those woods to build me palaces? So climb, each ledge an infinite stress, Lustful as light, as lechery loth, From the brutality of Besz To the plumed perjury of Thoth! I held him holy. Holier both Than aught the bearers of the bier, Thoum-aesh-neith and Auramoth, Saw in the hiding-house of fear. The sorceries that span the sphere, The spells that harness star and sun, I whispered in his siren ear - Once, twice, and thrice for every one! Once, twice, and thrice -the boon's begun! With four and five and six it stirs: With seven the druid dance is done, And Death drives home his silver spurs! Then -the last leap. What crowning curse Can bid that cup of curses brim? How may God's maniac ministers Lash the last languor out of Him? I did it. How? So great and grim The Gods are, I may never guess. Suffice it, on his mouth I swim A drowning dastard. The caress Wakes the lost life. I see him dress The godhead. Up he bounds and brays: - The wild ass of the wilderness, The soul that sees, the soul that slays! Inhabit the untrodden ways; Set! Thou my god and I thy priest, Thy temple hidden in the haze Of deserts death to god or beast! Thou who art both shalt foin and feast With me who am both, thy hate's co-heir, Lord of the West and of the East - The scorpion's hole, the lion's lair! I kissed his mouth -sublime despair! Our souls were one; our bodies met - Yea! darkness cover everywhere The secret of the House of Set!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Computer feels your rage

by Tracy Staedter Wouldn't it be great if your computer could recognise when you're frustrated with it and adjust itself to calm you down? Emotion-sensing technology could someday allow a computer to do just that, researchers say. Computer scientist Christian Peter of Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics and his colleagues are working on a system that collects data about a person's emotional state using sight, sound and touch technology. The system then interprets the information and reacts accordingly. For example, if a computer senses that its user is agitated, it might tone down the background colour of the screen, turn down background music, enlarge or reduce graphics, adjust the flow of information being presented to the user or simply apologise. "With humans, somebody who ignores the feelings of others is not liked as much as somebody who shows some sort of emotional feedback. Why should it be different with computers?" says Peter. But sensing emotions from a person is not always easy. Current methods for collecting the data require researchers to wire users with electrodes and monitor their behaviour in a laboratory. Less-obtrusive means, such as using a video to monitor gestures or a recorder to analyse voice, allow the user to behave more naturally. But the data can break down if the person moves too far away. Tuning in to your emotions Peter and his team are working on technology that unobtrusively senses a person's emotions while they interact freely with a computer. Their latest prototype is a wireless electronic glove that measures heart rate, blood pressure and skin temperature. Peter will be demonstrating the wireless glove at the CeBIT exhibition in Hanover, Germany, in March. "Fraunhofer has been on the leading of edge of innovating," says computer scientist Professor Rosalind Picard of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Information gathered by the glove is transmitted wirelessly to a base unit, which stores it on a memory card or sends it to a computer database. Software written by Peter's team analyses the data and retrieves patterns that indicate certain emotions. Is that anger I'm sensing? For example, if a person's heart rate increases quickly and their skin temperature falls below a certain threshold, it may indicate that they are angry. A different combination of other variables suggests the person is slightly surprised or very surprised. The Fraunhofer team is also working on technology that will read facial features using an ordinary webcam. The goal is to collect all the emotion-indicating information in one database, analyse it in real time and program the computer to respond immediately.

The Book of Pleasure (self-love) ~ The Psychology of Ecstasy, by Austin Osman Spare

... Others say knowledge only is eternal, it is the eternal illusion of learning-the Ukase of learning what we already know. Directly we ask ourselves "how" we induce stupidity; without this conception what is there we could not know and accomplish? Others for concentration, it will not free you, the mind conceiving the law is bondage. Arrived at that, you will want deconcentration. Dissociation from all ideas but one is not release but imaginative fulfilment, or the fury of creation. Others again, that all things are emanations of the Divine Spirit, as rays from the Sun, hence the need of emancipation? Verily, things are of necessity through their conception and belief. Then let us destroy or change conception, and empty the belief. These and many other doctrines, are declared by me as the perpetuators of sin and illusion. Each and all depending on a muddled implication, obscuring, yet evolved from the duality of the consciousness for their enjoyment. In fear they would vomit hot blood were they to see the fruits of their actions and pleasures. Thus believing in widely different doctrines, they are of the dual principle, necessary parasites on each other. Like drugs and the surgeon's knife, they only annul or at best remove an effect. They do not change or remove the fundamental cause (the law). "Oh, God, thou art the stagnant environment." All is quackery: these religions whose very existence depend on their failure, are so full of misery and confusion, have only multiplied arguments, as full of argument as they are evil, so crowded with non-essentials, being so barren of any free pleasure in this life or another, I cannot uphold their doctrines. Their criterion for enjoyment-death! Better it were a man renounce them all, and embrace his own invincible purpose. He cannot go further, and this is his only release. By it he may put his pleasure where he will, and find satisfaction. ...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

~-~Uninspired~-~


..::Because every now and then I have fun on the blog::..

Ding Dong! [Blog doorbell]

http://www.pinkfloydz.com/images/all5.jpg

Zappa jams with Lennon

http://www.pink-floyd.org/barrett/syd_img/syd38.jpg

Nouvelle Vague

Posted by: A. at June 25, 2006 12:50 AM

Ding Dong! [Blog doorbell]"

Hey, that's some crowd. But no Yoko's allowed.

hee hee

Posted by: dada at June 25, 2006 01:06 AM

<>

Tell Syd that if he's feeling up to it, the hedges out back need trimming.

Posted by: dada at June 25, 2006 01:08 AM

Tell Syd that Brian Wilson just called looking for him. He said that he would like him to come over and hang out in the sandbox.

Posted by: dada at June 25, 2006 01:11 AM

Good LZ site, right A...

Video and alternate takes and all

http://sessions.led-zeppelin.us/media_files/LZ09-ITTOD/index.html

In the Evening

Posted by: dada at June 25, 2006 01:18 AM

Think again as it was, then again it will be. Though the course may change sometimes, Rivers always reach the sea

Blind spies of fortune, each has several ways. on the wings of maybe, downing birds of prey

Kinda makes me feel sometimes, i didn't have to grow. As an eagle leaves its nest, I got so far to go

Changes fill my time, that's alright with me. In the midst I think of you, and how it used to be

Did you ever really need somebody and really need'em bad. Did You ever really want somebody the best stuff you ever had

Will you ever remember me baby, did it feel so good. Cause it was just the first time and you knew you would

Do the eyes not sparkle, senses growing keen. Tasting love along the way, see a feather spring

Gonna make you a meal sometime, it'll help you know. We are eagles all one loves, the message in our soul

Ketamine in my dreams, with great surprise to me. Never thought I'd see your face, the way it used to be, Newman...

Makin' sausages

Posted by: dada at June 25, 2006 01:37 AM

Ya, the videos are bootlegs, fuzzy and all cut up. But still fucking fantastic.

http://sessions.led-zeppelin.us/

I just fell into that site yesterday. It was what you would call a 'happy accident.'

Posted by: dada at June 25, 2006 01:40 AM


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Butt Prints in the Sand, Author Unknown

* One night I had a wondrous dream, One set of footprints there was seen, The footprints of the Goddess they were, But mine were not along the shore. But then some stranger prints appeared, and I asked Her, "What have we here? These prints are large and round and neat, But much too big to be from feet." "My child," She said in somber tones, "For miles I carried you alone. I challenged you to walk in faith, But you refused and made me wait." "You would not learn, you would not grow, The walk of faith, you would not know, So I got tired, I got fed up, And there I dropped you on your butt. "Because in life, there comes a time When one must fight, and one must climb, When one must rise and take a stand, Or leave their butt prints in the sand." *

Ten-yr-old raises US$ to save rainforest

Using the good-old American method, a lemonade stand, a ten-year-old Cub Scout has raised funds to save over 4,000 acres of rainforest in Guyana. Alex Rice of Piney Branch Elementary School in Maryland, USA, who has never set foot on local soil, got together with his friends of Cub Scout Den 7 (Pack 33) group in Takoma Park, Maryland and raised US$350 as part of a public service project for rainforest protection in Guyana. Alex's father, Dr Richard Rice and his US office, Conservation International (CI) in Washington, matched the money and CI-Guyana (CI), which manages the Upper Essequibo Conserva-tion Concession, further matched it. Every US 15 cents raised is equivalent to one acre of forest. ...

‘Mind over matter’ no longer science fiction

Sitting stone still under a skull cap fitted with a couple dozen electrodes, Austrian scientist Peter Brunner stares at a laptop computer. Without so much as moving a nostril hair, he suddenly begins to compose a message — letter by letter — on a giant screen overhead. “B-O-N-J-O-U-R” he writes with the power of his mind, much to the amazement of the largely French audience of scientists and curious onlookers gathered at the four-day European Research and Innovation Exhibition in Paris, which opened Thursday. Brunner and two colleagues from the state-financed Wadsworth Center in Albany, New York were demonstrating a “brain computer interface (BCI),” an astounding technology which digitalizes brain signals emitted as electrical impulses — picked up by the electrodes — to convey intent. While no spoons were bent, this was definitely mind over matter. Without recourse to nerves or muscles, BCI “can provide communication and control to people who are totally paralyzed” and unable to unable to speak or move, explains researcher Theresa Sellers, also from Wadsworth. Dr. Sellers estimates there are some 100 million potential users of BCI technology worldwide, including 16 million sufferers of cerebral palsy, a degenerative brain disease, and at least five million victims of spinal cord injury. Another 10 million people have been totally paralyzed by brainstem strokes, she said. Scientists have been experimenting with ways to translate thought directly into action for nearly two decades, but BCI has only recently begun to move out of the laboratory and into the daily lives of those trapped inside bodies that no longer respond to their will. Possible applications extend beyond the written word into physical movement — it is only a matter of time, Sellers says, before the same technology is used to operate motorized wheel chairs. “We can do already. But it is a complex problem, and for now it would be unsafe,” she says. The frightful condition of being “locked in” came into the public eye in the late 1990s, when French journalist and Elle Magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, after suffering a massive stroke, painstakingly “dictated” a beautiful and moving memoir by blinking his left eyelid. “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” published two days before he died, became an international bestseller. Had BCI technology been available to him, Bauby would almost certainly have been able to write his book unassisted, and in a fraction of the time. The Wadsworth system, one of several that detects electroencephalographic (EEG) activity, is based on an algorithm that analyzes the brain waves and identifies peaks in activity that correspond to particular mental efforts. As Dr. Brunner concentrates on the “B” of “bonjour” in a keyboard-like grid of letters and symbols taking up half the screen, a computer randomly highlights lines of characters in rapid succession. Each time the row — vertical or horizontal — containing the letter “B” is illuminated, Brunner’s brain emits a slightly stronger signal. It takes the computer about 15 seconds to figure out what letter he is looking at. The system is doubly adaptive, with both the software and the person using it becoming more efficient over time. “It may not sound very practical, but for someone who is paralyzed it can make all the difference in the world,” says Sellers. Indeed, for at least one 48-year old neurobiologist in the United States stricken with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — an invariably fatal degenerative disease that attacks nerve cells — the Wadsworth BCI technology has make it possible not only to communicate but to continue working, even though he can no longer even move his eyes. “He writes grant proposals, sends e-mails and can use the keyboard of a computer at home,” Sellers said of the man, whom she did not identify in order to protect his privacy. He even wrote a message for the exhibition in Paris, which Sellers projected onto a screen.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Glaukidai: A Myth of the Blue Men

I. The Story of Glaukos The story begins two generations before the Trojan War when the child Anthêdôn (Rejoicing in Flowers) was born to the Minôs (Ruler) of Crete (who had come from Skuthia, i.e. Scythia) by bull-loving Pasiphaê (All-illuminating), a daughter of the Moon and Sun (that is, Hêlios, also called Phaethôn, Illuminating). One day the child went into a cave used to store hydromel (mead), which was the sacred drink before Dionysos gave us wine. In innocent ignorance he drowned himself in the liquor, but nobody knew what had happened to him. Therefore the Minôs sent for the Kourêtes (Curetes), who were known as great seers (manteis), and they told him that whoever could best describe Minôs' miraculous cow would be able to restore Anthêdôn alive to him. This cow changed colors every four hours: from the black of chaotic night, to the pure white of day, to the vital red of blood, then back to black again. So Minôs had all the diviners in the land brought together, and the Kourêtes judged the best description to be that of a certain iatromantis (healer-seer, i.e. shaman) from Corinth called Poluidos ("Much Knowing"), the son of Koiranos, the son of Abas, the son of Melampous (Blackfoot) the Egyptian, the most famous iatromantis in Greece, who knew the language of snakes and woodworms. Poluidos said that the cow was like the ripening mulberry (batos), which is first pure white, then vibrant red, and finally a rich dark purple (i.e. black). (These are also the colors of the alchemical Great Work.) Therefore, Poluidos was entrusted with finding Anthêdôn, and by divination he came to a place where the Owl (Glaux) was driving away the Bees (Melissai) from a cave (for Bees reveal the presence of prophetic Goddesses). Looking inside he found the drowned boy, and brought him to Minôs. However, the grief-stricken Minôs was not satisfied, because the Kourêtes had said that the iatromantis would restore his living son to him, so he ordered that Poluidos be shut up with the boy's body in a beehive-shaped tomb, until he brought Anthêdôn back to life. This was beyond Poluidos' (or any mortal's) power, and so he prayed to the Gods for help. After a while, as his eyes became accustomed to the dark, he saw a snake approaching the corpse. On an impulse he killed the snake, because the idea had come into him that it would nibble the corpse. Shortly thereafter a second snake came forth and discovered the body of the first. Then it went away and came back holding in its mouth the twig of an herb (called Dios Anthos, the Flower of Zeus) with three blue-green (glaukos) leaves. [Graves thinks it was mistletoe, the Druidic Herb of the Sun.] The second snake laid this herb upon the first snake, which immediately came to life and left with its companion. Poluidos was astonished, but quickly took the serpent's branch and applied it to the boy while repeating a prayer three times. Like the snake, the boy immediately returned to life. (This is the very same herb that Asclepius later used to resurrect Hippolytus.) Anthêdôn had a shiny blue-gray scar over his heart where the branch had touched him, and so he was thereafter called Glaukos (Blue-Grey) or in their language Glas (Gaelic, "Grey"). Poluidos explained to the boy that a part of his mortality had been burned away and replaced by divine substance, as shown by the scar. In this way he was reborn as a iatromantis (healer-seer), and he was called Antitheos (Godlike). Moreover, he later discovered that from the serpent-staff he had acquired power over snakes, as have his descendants to the end of time. Minôs gave Poluidos many gifts, but then ordered him to teach Glaukos all his arts, especially divination; because Glaukos (or Glas) was an eager student, he became known as Gathêlos Glaukos or, in their language, Gaodhal Glas, from Gaoith-Dil (Lover of Learning). His magical craft, the Glaukou Tekhnê (Art of the Blue Man), became so famous that the ancients would say, "It doesn't take the Art of the Blue Man to do so and so" when they meant "It doesn't take a wizard to do so and so." Eventually Minôs gave Poluidos leave to return home, but before he did so, the seer bade Glaukos to spit in his mouth. Ovid is wrong in claiming that by so doing Glaukos lost all power of divination and that in this way Poluidos reclaimed the gift he had been compelled to give. If this were true, how could Glaukos have become the famous seer that he did, eagerly sought for his prophecies by people throughout Greece? What really happened is that Poluidos also spat into Glaukos' mouth; in this way a sacred covenant was forged between the two seers. Thus also Glaukos was called Gnôstês (Soothsayer). (This name is also equipotent with the Antitheos Euplokamos, the Godlike One with Fair Locks) After returning home, Poluidos fathered Eukhênôr (who accompanied his father to Troy and was killed by Paris in the war), Astuktatia and Mantô (a famous prophetess). When Glaukos got his beard, he went to live on the shores of the Euboicum Mare (Euboean Sea) at the place in Euboia that is now called Anthêdôn in his honor. He felt a strong attraction for the sea and used to fish with both nets and rod and line. One day he came to a rocky place, with the waves on one side and on the other a meadow of grassy herbs, never touched by sheep or goats, nor frequented by bees, nor cut by people. He spread out his nets and lines on this grass to dry, and was counting the fish that were still on his hooks, when he observed the strangest thing: one of the fish nibbled a certain blue-green or gray grassy herb (glaukê poia) and suddenly became rejuvenated and jumped back into the water. In this way all the fish escaped back into the water. (This herb, which some call Glaukiskos, had been sown by Kronos in His Golden Age.) Glaukos was curious about the nature of this Undying Grass (Danaia Poia), and so he picked some of it and chewed it. Immediately his heart began to pound and he felt the irresistible call of the sea. He cried, "Farewell Earth, to which I shall never return!" and jumped into the depths. He was immediately surrounded by schools of sea-divinities, who called on the all-encircling King and Queen, Okeanos (Ocean) and Têthus, to accept him in Their domain. The Seirênes (Sirens) sang a magic purification song to him thrice three times, and told him that he had to bathe in the Hundred Streams. When Glaukos did so, his mind became confused as in a dream and was so transformed that he could not even clearly remember his earlier life. Through his delirium he discovered that he had a thick green beard, and bluish skin, and feet like the tail of a fish. Thus he became Glaukos of the Sea (Pontios or Thalassios), a Pontomedôn (Lord of the Sea) and came to rule a kingdom under the waters near Dêlos. To the prophetic art he had learned from Poluidos, he added the art of the wise Old Man of the Sea, Nêreus the Truthful, son of Earth and Sea (Gaia and Pontos), who was his friend, and thereafter Glaukos Gnôstês (Soothsayer) delivered oracles, coming once a year to the seamen in each port and island of Greece. Not long after Glaukos' transformation, Skulla (Scylla), a beautiful Nêreid (daughter of Old Man Nêreus), came down to the seashore at night. There she disrobed and refreshed herself in a shallow pool. In the moonlight she saw a beautiful boy floating with his chest and arms out of the water. She pulled her long hair over her breasts and called to him, "What are you looking at?" "The most beautiful nymph," he replied, and they bantered for a time, with ever increasing mutual attraction. "Come closer so that I can see you," she called, but when he got close she saw that his thick hair, which covered his back, was green and that his skin was blue, for he was Glaukos. When Skulla saw that he became a fish at his groin, she shrieked, jumped from the pool and ran to the top of an overhanging cliff. Regaining her confidence, she called "What sort of monster are you?" Godlike (Antitheos) Glaukos replied, "Fair nymph, I am not a monster, but a Sea God and more powerful than every Sea Lord (Pontomedôn) around here. But I cannot walk on land, and beg you to come back to the shore, so that we may share our love." When Skulla saw that she had nothing to fear from Glaukos, she returned to the shore, still naked but for her long hair, and stood above him. "Come down into the water with me," he pleaded and stroked her calves. "You are not so powerful if you cannot come to me," she laughed, slipping from his hands and going a few feet away to recline in the pool. With signs she invited him, and Mighty (Krateros) Glaukos struggled out of the water, using his strong arms to pull himself across the sand to the pool. He flopped up next her and reached for an embrace, but she jumped to her feet and kicked him, shouting "You are a mongrel thing, half fish and half man, and out of place in both kingdoms!" Then she grabbed her robe and ran away laughing. Great-Hearted (Megalêtôr) Glaukos was furious, but burning with love for her, and grief at her treatment. Slowly and painfully he dragged himself back into the sea and swam quickly from Euboia to Aiaia, a mysterious island near Sicily [Monte Circei?], which is the home of many beasts, who live on hills green with herbs. It is a paradoxical place, where the Sun rises and sets, and the hidden kingdom of Potnia Kirkê (Mistress Circe), divine sorceress and daughter of the Sun (Hêlios) and Persê, a Moon Goddess (perhaps Hekatê Herself) born of the Ocean; thus Kirkê was the sister of Pasiphaê, the mother of Glaukos. He came up through a submarine cave that opens into her halls (megara). There he called for audience with the queen and explained that he was filled with passion for a nymph. He begged, "Theia (Aunt) Kirkê, Polupharmakos (Knowing Many Potions), master of the magic of Love, grant me this favor and sing a spell or brew a potion - for I know the magic power of herbs - but not one that will cure me! Rather, turn her heart so that she burns with as much passion as me." The regal and powerful enchantress, Kirkê Euplokamos (Fair-haired), replied, "Ah, Godlike Glaukos, my dear young Sea Lord, it would be far better if you loved someone like me, who knows what it is to burn with passion, than that frivolous nymph." Then with many words and actions she won his heart, so that he felt the same lust as her. In a shallow pool in her halls they tangled their limbs, hers soft and white, his glossy and blue, and spawned like fish. Then Crafty (Doloessa) Kirkê taught him arts and incantations that would allow him to take the form of a mortal man, and accept her love in this way too. And through the night they enjoyed every pleasure afforded by their bodies and their craft. In the morning Glaukos begged Kirkê Audêessa (Speaking Mortal Speech) for forgiveness, saying, "Gracious Goddess I have misled you. Although you have shown me every kindness and we have joined in passion, I cannot stop loving Skulla. Indeed seaweed will grow on the tops of the mountains, and trees will grow in the depths of the sea, before I will stop loving her." (Kirkê is called Euplokamos - Fair-haired - because that name is equipotent with Audêessa Leaina - the Lioness who Speaks the Speech of Mortals - her secret nature.) Mistress Kirkê was furious and would have destroyed Glaukos, but she loved him already and knew he was a powerful Sea Lord. Therefore she turned her wrath toward Skulla, circling like a sparrow hawk and saying to herself "Very well; you want her desiring you like a bitch in heat, and so she shall." She stormed into the dark forest and gathered secret herbs and pulverized them into a pungent powder while she sang a spell taught to her by Hekatê. When she was done, she wrapped her azure robe around her fair shoulders and went out through her court, where her familiar animals fawned about her (for she is Potnia Thêrôn - Mistress of the Beasts). By magic arts she skimmed across the waves to Rhêgion (modern Reggio di Calabria), opposite the rocky coast of Zanklê (mod. Messina), and to that pool where Skulla was accustomed to refresh herself. She poured her potent potion into the water as she circled it, intoning over it a complex spell thrice nine times. At her usual time Skulla came to the pool, loosened the peplos (robe) from her shoulders, and folded it on a rock. When she had waded waist deep into the pool she felt something churning in the water around her thighs; suddenly the water around her waist erupted with snarling dogs' heads. She jumped from the pool to escape them, but discovered in her horror that they were her: her legs were covered with shaggy hair and shaped like dogs; each of her beautiful buttocks had become a yapping dog head, and her place of love had become a snarling dog. Such was the revenge of Kirkê Polupharmakos (Skilled in Many Potions). Kirkê brought Great-Hearted Glaukos to see what she had done to Skulla, hoping that she would then have all his love, but he was horrified that she could do such a thing and fled from her into the ocean's depths. Skulla Deinê (the Terrible) went to hide in a cave by the shore, where she would show her beautiful torso to lure sailors into her cave. When they came to lie with her, her lustful hunger was satisfied by the ravening dog-heads, for this was the only way they could be fed (although they could be placated somewhat by stroking). She also revenged herself on Kirkê by devouring as many of Odysseus' companions as she was able. Skulla Petraia (Living on Rocks) stayed in this place for many years, until she was mercifully turned to stone. In ten months - the period of divine gestation - Kirkê bore a daughter from the seed of Glaukos Gnôstês (Soothsayer), whom she named Sibulla (Sibyl). When the girl was grown she traveled in many lands, and so she was called Phoitô (Wanderer). First she went to live in Eruthrai (Erythrae), where she achieved much fame for her prophecies, for when the Achaeans were on the way to Ilion, she told them that Troy would fall and that a Poet (i.e. Homer) would tell lies about the war. Later she went with the Kimmerioi (Cimmerians) to Sardô (Sardinia), where she prophesied to those long-breasted mountain Nymphs (Numphai oreskôoi dolikhomazoi) who call themselves Dianades or Ianades (i.e. the Janae, daughters of Jana), who in turn taught her many secrets, including the ways through the Underworld. [This meeting is described somewhat differently in The Janid, the mythic history of the Janae.] Then they traveled to Lake Aornos (Lk. Avernus, near Naples), the Mouth of the Underworld, where they established a home in the Great Cave (near Baiae) and she founded the oracular shrine later moved to Kumê (Cumae); among the Cimmerians she was consulted by Aeneas and Odysseus after they left Troy. Finally she went to the City of the Nymphs (Astu Numpheôn) on Samos, where she lived many years, prophesying from the Cave of the Nymphs there [probably the Spiliani cave]. Later prophetesses were called Sibyls (Sibullai) after her. Her name Phoitô reflects her parentage, for it is equipotent with Audêessa (Speaking Mortal Speech) and Kouros (Lad), that is, Kirkê and Glaukos. She was called Hêrophilê (Beloved of Hera) on Samos (where the Goddess is especially honored) because that name is equal to Gathêlos Aitherios (Ethereal), and she lived for a thousand years because Hêrophilê Aitheria is equipotent with Aiôn (Aeon). She was called Dêiphobê because that name is equal to Skotia (Darkness). She was known by this name as a priestess of both Apollo and Trioditis, a name for Artemis as the Threefold Goddess of the Road. This is all I will say about this Sibulla for now. After leaving Kirkê, Godlike Glaukos came in human form to Iasôn (Jason) and used his arts to construct the ship Argô; he himself became an Argonaut, in fact, the ship's first steersman. He traveled with Iasôn and the other Argonauts in quest of the Golden Fleece of Kolkhis (Colchis), into Aia [that is, Gaia, the Earth], his family's origin, whose king, called Aiêtês, was blood-brother of Kirkê and Pasiphaê and father of Mêdeia (Medea). (He is a king of the Underworld like Aidês [Hadês].) In the battle between Iasôn and the Turrhênoi (Etruscans), Glaukos protected himself by jumping into the sea and taking on his fish form; he was the only Argonaut to escape unscathed. Having revealed himself as a Sea Lord, he subsequently helped the Argonauts in many ways. All this took place in the generation before the Trojan War. Although he never forgot Skulla, Great-Hearted Glaukos had many wives. For example, he loved Ariadne when she was on Dia, but she and Dionysos preferred each other, and Glaukos had to give her up. Gathêlos also went to Egypt, where he used his craft and bravery to help the Pharaoh to defeat the Ethiopians. In gratitude the Pharaoh offered him his daughter Skotia (Darkness) as wife, and they were married. They lived happily in Egypt until the Pharaoh [perhaps Akhenaten, 1367-1350 BCE] introduced a new religion that was hostile to the practices of Druids (Druidôn). Therefore, Mighty Gathêlos took Skotia his queen and a large number of followers to seek the land that had been prophesied for them. (We know that Anthêdôn Gathêlos was destined for Skotia, because Gathêlos and Skotia together equal Anthêdôn.) First they went to Gotthia, where Carthage was later built. Then Gathêlos led them on to found a colony in Galicia in Spain, which is called Brigantia (near modern La Coruña) after the Goddess Brigintis (Brighid), and from there they went to Iernê (Ireland). Here Gathêlos was crowned king and his followers took the name Skotioi (Dark Ones, Scots) after the name of their queen. Some say that the entire Gaelic clan (Clan-na-Gael) is named for Gaodhal Glas (Gathêlos Glaukos), who led them into these places. Eventually the Skotioi came to the land of Hyperboreans, to Caledonia in the northernmost parts of Albion (England), where they settled. They founded the Kingdom of Skotia, also named for Gathêlos' queen. * ...Click Title Link for the rest...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

MAXIMUM Purrrrr


The absence of the United States on the Human Rights Council is moral punishment for the arrogance of an empire

SPEECH BY FELIPE PEREZ ROQUE, FOREIGN MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA, DURING THE HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL Excellencies: Today is a particularly symbolic day. Cuba is a founding member of the Human Rights Council and the United States is not. Cuba was elected with the overwhelming support of 135 countries, more than two-thirds of the United Nations General Assembly, while the United States did not even dare to run as a candidate. Cuba relied on the secret vote for the same reasons that the United States was afraid of it. Cuba’s election epitomizes the victory of principles and truth; it stands as recognition of the value of our resilience. The absence of the United States is the defeat of lies; it is the moral punishment for the haughtiness of an empire. The election entailed a demanding assessment. Each one got what they deserved. Cuba was rewarded and the United States was punished. Each one had its history and the voting countries were well aware of it. The African countries recalled that over 2,000 Cuban fighters had shed their generous blood in the struggle against the outrageous Apartheid regime, which the United States supported and furnished with weapons, even nuclear ones. The election for Cuba came at a moment in which nearly 30,000 Cuban doctors were saving lives and alleviating the pain in 70 countries, while the United States reached that stage with 150,000 invading soldiers, sent to kill and die in an unjust and illegal war. The election for Cuba came with more than 300,000 patients from 26 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean who were recovering their eyesight thanks to the cost-free surgeries performed by Cuban eye specialists. It came for the United States with over 100,000 civilians murdered and 2,500 American youths dead in a war concocted to steal a country’s oil and give away sumptuous contracts to a group of cronies of the President of the world’s sole superpower. The election for Cuba came with more than 25,000 youths from 120 Third World countries studying in its universities and colleges free of charge. It came for the United States with a concentration camp in Guantánamo, where prisoners are subjected to torture and where the official statement of the prison wardens was that the suicide of three human beings “is not an act of despair but an act of war and propaganda.” The election for Cuba came with its airplanes carrying Cuban medical doctors and field hospitals to places where there had been natural disasters or epidemics. It came for the United States with its aircraft secretly carrying drugged and handcuffed prisoners from one jail to another. The election for Cuba came with its proclamation of the prevalence of lawfulness over force, defending the United Nations Charter, demanding and fighting for a better world. It came for the United States with its proclamation of “if you are not on our side, you are against us.” The election for Cuba came with its proposal of setting aside the trillion US dollars annually spent on weapons to fight off the yearly death of preventable causes of 11 million children under the age of five years and 600,000 poor women at childbirth. In the meantime, it came for the United States with its proclamation of its right to bomb and “preemptively” wipe out what it scornfully called “any dark corners of the world” if its designs were not obeyed. That included the city of The Hague, if there were any attempts to prosecute an American soldier at the International Criminal Court. While Cuba defended the rights of the Palestinian people, the United States was the main pillar behind Israel’s crimes and atrocities. While under the striking force of Hurricane Katrina the US Government abandoned hundreds of thousands of people to their luck, most of them black and poor, Cuba immediately offered to send 1,100 doctors, who could have saved lives and alleviated their suffering. I could go on and on listing reasons until tomorrow. I just want to add that it is the Government of the United States, not its people, which does not have a seat today as a member of the Council. The American people will be represented in the others, including Cuba’s seat. Our delegation will also speak out for the rights of the American people and, particularly, for the rights of its most discriminated and excluded sectors. Now, the truth is that the United States was not alone in its gross and desperate schemes and pressures to prevent Cuba’s election. A handful of its allies followed them to the very end. The usual posse: beneficiaries of the unjust and exclusion-oriented world order, most of them former colonial metropolises, which have not yet paid off their historical debt to their once-colonies. Cuba is perfectly aware, even to its barest details, of the secret agreement negotiated in Brussels through which the European Union undertook not to vote for Cuba and then work closely with the United States against our candidature. But they failed famously. It turned out that Cuba was elected without its support and its uncomfortable ally, which they need as a policeman to guarantee its privileges and squandering opulence, could not even run as a candidate. The corridors and halls of this building are now reverberating with repeated calls for “a fresh start” and “breathing fresh air into the new Council” – precisely by those who are responsible for the manipulation, hypocrisy and selectivity that caused the Commission on Human Rights to run aground. It is fitting to point out that a fresh start cannot be built on the oblivion of what has been happening or the simulation that some sugar-coated rhetoric is a problem-solver. What we need are deeds and not words. If there is any truth to the statements by the spokespersons of the European Union and we are actually faced with a mea culpa, then we are still awaiting their rectification. Not because of Cuba. Not because they colluded with the United States to try to prevent our election. Not because they have never been able to have an ethical and independent policy towards Cuba. We are awaiting a rectification to the attitude of the European Union, which last year prevented the Commission on Human Rights from adopting an investigation into the massive, flagrant and systematic human rights violations at Guantánamo Naval Base. A rectification to the silent complicity with which they allowed hundreds of secret CIA flights carrying kidnapped people and the establishment of clandestine prisons right on European soil, where prisoners are tortured and harassed. So far, the European Union has hypocritically hindered the investigation and the clarification of these events. The European Union has not mustered the courage to serve exemplary sanctions on the miserable manifestations of lack of respect for other religions and customs. The European Union was an accomplice to the United States in turning the former Commission into some sort of Inquisition Tribunal against the countries of the South. We just hope that it will not happen again now. The European Union has not even acknowledged its historical debt to the nearly 100 countries – currently independent nations after years of struggle and sacrifice – which were its pillaged colonies when, fifty-seven years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, which paradoxically stated that: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Excellencies: This session can usher in a new stage in the struggle to create a real system for the promotion and protection of all human rights for all the inhabitants on the planet, and not just for the rich and privileged. A radical change will be required to that end; a real revolution in the concepts and methods that weighed down the defunct Commission. Cuba does not indulge in wishful thinking about the real willingness of the developed countries – allies of the United States – to take that significant and historical step. However, it will give them the benefit of the doubt. It will wait and watch them. Cuba can be counted upon if we work towards fulfilling the promises that have been trumpeted. If the past repeats itself and the Council becomes a battlefield again, from now on Cuba can be counted upon to turn, one more time, into a fighter in the trenches of ideas of the Third World. Cuba cannot be counted upon to turn the Council into an exclusive tribunal against the underdeveloped countries and ensure the impunity of those in the North. Nor can it be relied upon to use the Council’s suspension clause against rebellious countries or to continue using, in a politicized and selective fashion, the country resolutions to punish those that do not bow their head. Cuba cannot be counted upon to use the new universal periodical review mechanism as an instrument of new pressures and media campaigns. Nor can Cuba be counted upon to defend lies and act hypocritically. Cuba can be counted upon to fight for truth and transparency, to defend the right to independence, to self-determination, to social justice, to equality. And also to defend the right to food, to education, to health, to dignity, the right to a dignified life. Cuba can be counted upon to defend real democracy, true participation and the real enjoyment of all human rights. Cuba’s cooperation cannot be counted upon to assist the spurious mandate of any envoy, representative or rapporteur imposed through force and blackmail. Cuba can be counted upon to cooperate, on an equal footing, with the Council and its non-selective mechanisms. Cuba’s cooperation cannot be counted upon to make silence and fail to speak out against the ruthless economic blockade that we have endured for over four decades, nor can it be relied upon not to demand the return to our Homeland of five pure and courageous Cuban youths that were fighting terrorism and are currently imprisoned in US jails unjustly and illegally. Cuba’s cooperation cannot be counted upon to relinquish a single principle. Cuba will always be counted upon to uphold the noble ideal of building a better world for all. Finally, on behalf of the Cuban people, who dream, build and defend their Revolution back in our Homeland, I would like to extend a special gratitude to our Third World brothers and sisters for their decisive support for Cuba’s election as a member of the Human Rights Council – and I hereby reiterate that the Cubans will never betray the trust that you have placed in us. For those who support Cuba’s struggle for its rights, which is also the struggle for the rights of all the nations in the Third World and the progressive and democratic forces in the First World, we have a message: Until victory onwards! For those who attack Cuba and for their accomplices, we have another message: ¡Patria o Muerte! ¡Venceremos! (Translated by ESTI)

Noam Chomsky interviewed by Andrew Stephen

On Iraq, Iran and Blair The New York Times calls him "arguably the most important intellectual alive", yet he has needed police guards on his own campus. Andrew Stephen discusses Iraq, Iran and Blair with a man who divides opinion like no other You might think the Massachusetts Institute of Technology would be well designed, but you would be wrong. I arrived to see the legendary Professor Noam Chomsky with five minutes to spare, but it then took 20 minutes of misdirections and meanderings before I finally reached MIT's Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, where Chomsky has reigned supreme for 51 years. I arrived hot and sweaty, because I had been told by some that he did not suffer fools gladly, though others had insisted he was unfailingly courteous. People tend to have widely divergent, passionate views of Chomsky: to many he is a revered beacon of academe and politics, while critics exult in dismissing him as (take your pick) a fraud, a Zionist, an anti-Semite (he is Jewish), an off-the-chart commie, an agent of the CIA, Mossad, the KGB, MI6 and so on. The world is so split between Chomskyites and anti-Chomskyites that there is even a book called The Anti-Chomsky Reader. My anxieties, though, turned out to be groundless. I was greeted by a softly spoken man in a speckled green pullover who could have been a decade younger than his 77 years, and who showed immediate empathy. "It's a crazy building," he said. "Can you imagine the point of having a faculty office with angled walls where you can't even put a bookcase or blackboard?" Hardly a minute has passed in the last half-century, it seems, when Chomsky has not been pouring out ideas and passions. He has published more than 100 books, ranging from his seminal 1957 work on linguistics, Syntactic Structures, to this year's Failed States: the abuse of power and the assault on democracy, which deftly turns the Bush administration's description of countries such as Afghanistan on the US itself. Linguistics is hardly my field, but I had tried in advance to get a feel for just how important his academic work is. I knew that his basic theory, put exceedingly simply, is that language is not something merely picked up by children in the course of growing up, but that we all come into the world with a linguistic framework embedded in our brains. My further research faltered, though, when the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy told me his work had evolved so that the "grammaticality" of a sentence could be explained by the theorem: X-NP1-V-NP2-Y->(1)X-NP2-be+enV-by+NP1-Yx. Then a friend who has a doctorate in linguistics came to my rescue: "Chomsky redid linguistics the way Freud redid psychology," she explained in an e-mail. That was enough for me to place the man's academic standing in context. And so, that settled, to politics. We spoke about Iraq and Afghanistan, about Blair's Britain ("I guess if the country's going to blindly follow US orders it's going to inherit the threats that come with that"), about how Messrs Bush, Blair, Straw and others were war criminals and why America is a failed state. But we began with the story dominating the media that day: the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq. Chomsky was not joining in the triumphalism. "He was certainly a leading gangster and I don't think there's many people outside of his village in Jordan that mourn him. He's had a horrible role that was basically created by the Iraq invasion, which we can't escape responsibility for. He had a loose connection with al-Qaeda, mostly symbolic, with each trying to exploit the other. But that whole system which we call al-Qaeda is not an organisation, it's a network of networks, a lot of loosely interconnected people. What the effects [of killing al-Zarqawi] will be in the massive terrorist apparatus that's been created by the Bush-Blair invasion, one can only guess. The invasion was an enormous stimulant for terrorism, as was anticipated." Mastery of detail Chomsky's unremitting clarity and his seeming mastery of detail somehow defy interruption or argument, but they are wondrous to behold. When we talk about Bush, Blair and co being hauled before the War Crimes Tribunal, I mention Milosevic and he switches subjects without pausing. The case against the Bush administration is stronger, he insists, than that against the late Serb president. "Remember, the Milosevic Tribunal began with Kosovo, right in the middle of the US-British bombing in late '99 . . . Now if you take a look at that indictment, with a single exception, every charge was for crimes after the bombing. "There's a reason for that. The bombing was undertaken with the anticipation explicit [that] it was going to lead to large-scale atrocities in response. As it did. Now there were terrible atrocities, but they were after the bombings. In fact, if you look at the British parliamentary inquiry, they actually reached the astonishing conclusion that, until January 1999, most of the crimes committed in Kosovo were attributed to the KLA guerrillas. "So later they added charges [against Milosevic] about the Balkans, but it wasn't going to be an easy case to make. The worst crime was Srebrenica but, unfortunately for the International Tribunal, there was an intensive investigation by the Dutch government, which was primarily responsible - their troops were there - and what they concluded was that not only did Milosevic not order it, but he had no knowledge of it. And he was horrified when he heard about it. So it was going to be pretty hard to make that charge stick." And Saddam Hussein? "Saddam Hussein is, of course, a leading monster, but he is being charged right now with crimes he committed in 1982 - with having killed about 150 Shiites after an assassination attempt in 1982. Well, 1982 is a pretty important year in US-Iraqi relations. That's the year in which Ronald Reagan removed Iraq from the list of states supporting terrorism, so that the US would be able to provide their friend Saddam with large-scale aid. Donald Rumsfeld had to [go to] Iraq to tie up the agreement. That included the means to develop weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons, and so on. "A large point of that was to punish Iran. The weapons that were provided by the United States and Britain and Germany and Russia and France and plenty of others were supporting Iraq's aggression. The US and Britain and those others were supporting it, so why aren't they in the dock next to Saddam Hussein?" I mentioned the hanging by Iraq of my then colleague on the Observer, Farzad Bazoft - and my feelings when a deputation of US senators went to Baghdad soon afterwards to see Saddam, and one of them told him that his regime's main problem with the west was media perception. Chomsky did not miss a beat. "That was April 1990, a few months before the invasion of Kuwait. It was a high-level senatorial commission led by Robert Dole, who was the next presidential candidate for the Republicans, to convey President Bush's greetings and to assure him that the United States had their best wishes for him and that he should not pay attention to the carping in the media because we have this free-press thing here . . . They were grovelling, and that was a couple of months before the invasion [of Kuwait]." It's worse in Britain, he says. "Jack Straw, in 2002, was wailing about Saddam Hussein's atrocities - and right before that he turned down an application for asylum from an Iraqi dissident who had escaped the torture chambers. And he turned it down with a letter saying that [the man] could be sure that if he went back to Iraq he would be treated properly by their justice system." He likes the description of Blair's Britain, he tells me, as pillion rider on the American motorcycle. And Afghanistan? "I think Afghanistan, if we look at it, is one of the most grotesque acts of modern history. There's a lot of reinvented fables about it. But the war was undertaken explicitly on 7 October [2001] with Bush's announcement that unless the Taliban handed over to the United States people who the US suspected - not knew, but suspected - were involved in 9/11, then the US would bomb the people of Afghanistan. "Admiral Boyce, I think it was, the British commander, then announced a change in the war aims after about three weeks of bombing. He said that the bombing of Afghanistan would continue - I wish I could remember the exact words, but it was something like 'until the people of Afghanistan overthrow their government'. They bombed Afghanistan with the knowledge that there were about five million people, according to their estimates, who were at serious risk of starvation." So he believes that the attacks on Afghanistan were worse than those on Iraq? "Every crime is distinct. I mean, is it worse than invading South Vietnam in 1962? Is it worse than the Russian invasion of Afghanistan?" Understand the crimes Which brings us back to war-crimes trials. Did he seriously envisage Bush and Blair in handcuffs at The Hague? No: charging them would be symbolic. "What was important about the Nuremberg trials was not that they hung however many people it was, but that the German population were given the proper means to understand what the crimes were. I want their crimes to be fully understood, to be in elementary school textbooks, and ensure that those of our countries which tolerated these crimes should look themselves in the eye." Then we move on to Iran, and Chomsky's methodical deconstruction of US and British policies there. In American eyes, he says, there's only one event in US-Iranian history in the past half-century. "That's 1979, when Iranians committed a crime: they threw out a tyrant installed by a US-British military coup, and they took hostages. And they had to be punished. "Well, did anything else happen in the last half-century or so? Yes. The US and Britain overthrew the parliamentary government, installed a brutal tyrant, supported him right through the years of torture and violence. As soon as he was overthrown they turned to supporting Saddam Hussein's invasion of Iran, which killed hundreds of thousands of Iranians - many with chemical weapons provided by the US and others. Right after that they imposed sanctions which have crushed the population. "That means that for over 50 years the US and Britain have been torturing the people of Iran." Yet they remain defiant, Chomsky says, and for that they have to be punished. "Starting in the summer of 2003, two interesting things happened. First, all of a sudden, the reason for invading Iraq was not weapons of mass destruction. It was to bring democracy to Iraq and the Middle East and the world . . . But the other thing that happened which has been little noticed is that there was already the beginning of building up a government media campaign about Iranian nuclear weapons. "And as Bush's popularity declined, the intensity of this campaign increased. Maybe it's just coincidence, but I don't think so. In fact, the Iranian alleged nuclear weapons are now providing a pretext which will be used for a permanent US presence in Iraq. They're building the biggest embassy in the world in Baghdad which towers over everything, they're building military bases. Is that because they intend to get out and leave Iraq to itself? No. If you're staying in Iraq you have to have a reason. Well, the reason will be that you have to defend the world against Iran." Admiration and hatred By now Chomsky's assistant is knocking on the door and leaving it ajar, a signal that time is nearly up with the man the New York Times has called "arguably the most important intellectual alive today". The leading monitor of academic journals says he is the most cited authority in the world today: yet that blend of admiration and hatred, of reverence and revulsion, runs as powerfully as ever through the US bloodstream when his name comes up. Stanford's Professor Paul Robinson wrote in the New York Review of Books that Chomsky has a "maddeningly simple-minded view of the world", while Marxist-turned-neo-con pundit David Horowitz, co-editor of The Anti-Chomsky Reader, describes him as the "ayatollah of anti-Americanism". Chomsky even figured on the list of targets of Theodore Kaczynski, the so-called Unabomber, and he is frequently given police protection, even on the MIT campus, though he insists he does not seek it. He says, however, that when he takes his grandson to a baseball game he enjoys being part of mainstream America: "It's my country," he told me, with what I thought was just a hint of defensiveness. His latest book, though, defines his country as a failure. There are three main criteria for failed states, he says: unwillingness or inability to protect its citizens from violence, insistence that they are not answerable to international law or to any external consensus, and failure to implement true democracy. The Bush administration, he believes, "has got no interest, or very little interest" in protecting American citizens from terrorism - containers coming into US ports, for example, are not inspected properly - "but the most serious threats are literal threats to survival, the threats of nuclear war and of environmental destruction". And Bush is not protecting Americans against those either. Showing scant respect for international law or external consensus, too, has a pedigree in the US going back over almost two centuries of expansionism. "There's a lot of outrage about the Bush Doctrine, but what about the Clinton Doctrine? It said that the United States has the right to undertake unilateral use of force to protect key markets, resources and investments." The third crucial sign of America's failure, he says, is that "there's a huge gap between public opinion and public policy. Both political parties are well to the right of the population on a host of major issues, and the elections that are run are carefully designed so that issues do not arise." But Americans still voted overwhelmingly for either Bush or Kerry in 2004, didn't they? "I don't know if you watched the presidential debates. I didn't but my wife [they have been married since 1949] did. She has a college PhD and taught for 25 years at Harvard and is presumably capable of following arguments. She literally couldn't tell where the candidates stood on issues, and people didn't because the elections are designed that way." By whom? "The public relations industry, because they sell candidates the same way they sell toothpaste or lifestyle drugs." Who are their masters? "Their masters are concentrations of private capital which invest in control of the state. That funds the elections, that designs the framework." That was all very well. But if we could wave a magic wand what would be the first thing President Chomsky would do? "I would set up a War Crimes Tribunal for my own crimes, because if I take on that position [I would need] to deal with the institutional structure and the culture, the intellectual culture. The culture has to be cured." The clearly much-practised assistant has knocked three times now, but Chomsky moves on to the "Fissban" treaty, "which would place the production of fissile materials under some kind of international control, so that then anybody could get access to them for nuclear power but nobody could use them for nuclear weapons. Unless that treaty is passed, the species will almost certainly destroy itself." The US, he explains, is willing to have a treaty "as long as it's not verifiable". The matter came to a vote in a UN committee in November 2004 and the result was 147-1 in favour, with two abstentions, he says. "The one was, of course, the United States. The abstentions were Israel, which reflects that they have to vote for the US - and the other was Britain. So it's more important [for the Blair government] to be a spear-carrier than to save the species from destruction." Pillion passenger And so we had come full circle, back to Britain the pillion passenger. By the time the assistant knocked a fourth time, I was starting to leave. In the corridor outside I spotted a board crammed with squiggles and formulae every bit as impenetrable as that encyclopaedic explanation of Chomsky's work. It was precisely because he can plumb such academic depths, I mused as I wended my way back across the Charles river to Boston, that nobody should blithely dismiss Chomsky's political views as those of a crackpot. In fact, a thought came to me that will probably not only seem heretical to many Chomskyites but will also outrage the White House enough to get me sent to Guantanamo: what struck me was that even though Chomsky was brought up in a thoroughly Jewish household, went to Hebrew schools and camps and had what he calls a "visceral fear" of Catholics in childhood, there was something profoundly Christian about the thrust of his message to me that morning. He loathed violence and aggression, that was clear; yet he sought vengeance only in a symbolic sense. Though passionate, he did not seem bitter. Maybe I saw him on a good day. But if there's one virtue of the US to which Chomsky repeatedly returns it is its unique tolerance for free speech. And what better example of that could there be than to listen to a Hebrew-speaking, self-proclaimed libertarian socialist preaching the virtues of Christian pacifism in Bush's America of 2006?

Three Erotic Dances

* The Lap Dancer. She slinks around him. Pressing her body. Teasing, Pleasing. Brushing. Just touching. Leaving her traces… Musky. Lusty. Inviting his wish to sin. Hair falling. Him, tingling. She is driving her baby crazy. She must be sure he will come again and again. Because… She likes this game. *

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

~Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrr~

* THE SOUL'S BATH, by Wilfred Campbell AT even, when the roseate deeps Of daylight dim from heaven's bars, The soul her earth-worn garment slips, And naked stands beneath the stars; And there unto that river vast, That mighty tide of night, whose girth With splendid planets, brimming past, Doth wash the ancient rim of earth, She comes and plunges in; and laves Her weariness in that vast tide, That life-renewing deep, whose waves Are wide as night is wide. Then from the pure, translucent flow Of that unplumed, invigorate sea, God-like, in truth's white spirit-glow, She stands, unshamed and free. *

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Be Courteous, (Grandma's Song), by Steve Martin

Be courteous, kind, and forgiving. Be gentle and peaceful each day. Be warm and human and grateful, And have a good thing to say. Be thoughtful and trustful and childlike, Be witty and happy and wise. Be honest and love all your neighbors, Be obsequious, purple and clairvoyant. Be sure to stop at stop signs, And drive fifty-five miles an hour. Pick up hitchhikers foaming at the mouth, And when you get home get a master's degree in geology. Be pompous, obese, and eat cactus. Be dull and boring and omniprescent. Criticize things you don't know about. Be oblong and have your knees removed. (Ladies only) Never make love to Bigfoot. (Men only) Hello, my name is Bigfoot. (Everyone) Put a live chicken in your underwear. Go into a closet and suck eggs.

Nakedtivity


More Pigs at the Trough, Corporate Democrats

By RUSSELL MOKHIBER and ROBERT WEISSMAN

If you wonder why things never change in Washington, look no further than a report released yesterday by Russ Baker's Real News Project.

The report documents 25 corporate Democrats -- corporate consultants with strong ties to the Democratic Party leadership inside the beltway.

"Although establishment Democrats are, by and large, still more skeptical of the corporate agenda than Republicans, they have become strikingly less so," Baker writes. "This has led to the creation of a kind of permanent corporate governance structure that is truly bipartisan. Many of the firms employing Democratic operatives have them working side-by-side with Republicans -- often the same Republicans they go up against in political campaigns. In some cases, a so-called conservative Republican and a so-called liberal Democrat are full partners in the same firm."

Case in point: Jack Quinn.

Jack Quinn served as Vice President Gore's Chief of Staff, and later as Counsel to President Clinton. Now he is a partner in a political consulting and lobbying firm with Republican insider Ed Gillespie -- Quinn Gillespie -- and together, "they have represented clients who want to drill in fragile areas of Alaska, put the screws to already beleaguered American creditors, and prevent the introduction of more healthy dairy substitutes in school lunches," Baker writes.

Democratic consultants know no bounds when it comes to the corporate feeding trough. They work for companies pushing genetically modified organisms, for Big Pharma, for credit card companies and for gambling companies.

Here are the 25 Corporate Democrats profiled in Baker's report.

They'd make a great set of trading cards -- representing Democrats who have traded in their ideals to push the corporate agenda:

Name: Edward Ayoob Firm: Barnes & Thornburgh Democratic connection: Former legislative counsel to Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada)

Name: Bill Andresen Firm: Dutko Worldwide Democratic connection: Former chief of staff to Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Connecticut)

Name: R. Lane Bailey Firm: Golin/Harris Democratic connection: Chief of staff to Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) for 12 years.

Name: Michael Berman Firm: Duberstein Group Democratic connection: Well-connected veteran Democrat

Name: John Breaux Firm: Patton Boggs Democratic connection: Former Democratic Senator from Louisiana

Name: Leslie Dach Firm: Edelman Worldwide Democratic connection: Former media consultant to Bill Clinton and John Kerry

Name: Ingrid Duran Firm: D&P Creative Strategies Democratic connection: Worked for the House Banking Committee under Democratic control.

Name: Carter Eskew Firm: Glover Park Group Democratic connection: Al Gore's chief media advisor in 2000.

Name: Phil Goldberg Firm: Shook, Hardy & Bacon Democratic connection: Aide to several Democratic members of Congress

Name: Joel Johnson Firm: Glover Park Group Democratic connection: Worked in the Clinton White House

Name: Marshall Matz Firm: Olsson Frank & Weeda Democratic connection: Was George McGovern's nutrition expert.

Name: Richard Mintz Firm: Brunswick Group Democratic connection: Worked in Clinton's Transportation Department and was staff director for Hillary Clinton during the 1992 campaign.

Name: George Mitchell Firm: Piper Rudnick Democratic connection: Former Democratic Senator from Maine

Name: Mark Penn Firm: Burson-Marsteller Democratic connection: Principal pollster for Bill Clinton

Name: Ronald Platt Firm: Buchanan Ingersoll Democratic connection: Michigan state director for Gore-Lieberman

Name: Anthony Podesta Firm: Podesta Mattoon Democratic connection: Bill Clinton's chief of staff

Name: Heather Podesta Firm: Blank Rome Democratic connection: Counsel to the late Congressman Robert Matsui (D-California) and to Earl Pomeroy (D-North Dakota) as well as a staffer for former Senator Bill Bradley (D-New Jersey)

Name: Jack Quinn Firm: Quinn Gillespie Democratic connection: Chief of staff to former Vice President Al Gore.

Name: Thomas Quinn Firm: Venable Democratic connection: Worked on Democratic Presidential campaigns from Edward Kennedy in 1980 to John Kerry in 2004.

Name: Jody Powell Firm: Powell Tate Democratic connection: President Jimmy Carter's press secretary

Name: Steve Ricchetti Firm: Ricchetti Inc. Democratic connection: Former deputy chief of staff to Bill Clinton

Name: Anne Urban Firm: Venn Strategies Democratic connection: Economics adviser to Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Connecticut)

Name: Anne Wexler Firm: Wexler and Walker Public Policy Associates Democratic connection: Top policy aide in the Carter administration

Name: Howard Wolfson Firm: Glover Park Group Democratic connection: Former spokesperson for Hillary Clinton

Name: Andrew Young Firm: Goodworks International Democratic connection: President Carter's ambassador to the United Nations

Baker concludes that Democrats have increasingly belied their long-assumed commitment to the little guy and the average American by "cozying up to the money trough."

"Once the Democrats turned into the opposition, key Clinton figures found a home in offering their advertising, public relations and arm-twisting skills to industry trade associations and corporations," Baker writes in the report. "They retained their links to the party, and have lived a kind of dual life ever since, moving effortlessly from corporate work to campaign work and back. The friendliness with big business has escalated under the reign of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who has assembled his own so-called 'K Street Cabinet' -- named after the street where the lobbying hordes are headquartered."

Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter.

Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Multinational Monitor, and co-director of Essential Action, a corporate accountability group. They are co-authors of Corporate Predators: The Hunt for MegaProfits and the Attack on Democracy (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press; http://www.corporatepredators.org).


Monday, June 19, 2006

Invisible (Who Gives A Fuck), by Eila Mahima Jaipaul

intercepting your analogies I breathe you from the best nosebleed seat in your life. feeling lethargic watching you play with halos and sunbeams, with you I need darkness to hide my insecurities. behind the nights kisses I would flow lips rustling for you like grass if only you'd give me the hours between sunset and who gives a fuck.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Music, by Walter de la Mare

BW * When music sounds, gone is the earth I know, And all her lovely things even lovelier grow; Her flowers in vision flame, her forest trees Lift burdened branches, stilled with ecstasies. When music sounds, out of the water rise Naiads whose beauty dims my waking eyes, Rapt in strange dreams burns each enchanted face, With solemn echoing stirs their dwelling-place. When music sounds, all that I was I am Ere to this haunt of brooding dust I came; And from Time's woods break into distant song The swift-winged hours, as I hasten along. * A Song

Father's Day reflections on a son lost, by Michael Berg

Of all of the holidays a grieving father can be confronted with after the death of his child, Father's Day is for me the most difficult. My son Nick died in Iraq on May 7, 2004. He is buried next to my father, who had died just a year and a half before. That is not the way it's supposed to be. I'm supposed to go somewhere between my father and my son in the graveyard. Nearby are my proud immigrant grandparents, who died first. That is the way it is supposed to be. There is a lot else going on that is not the way it is supposed to be. Our leaders are not supposed to lie to us. Yet because George Bush and company told us to beware of weapons of mass destruction and the so-called Iraqi involvement in 9/11, my son lost his life, as did at least 150,000 others on both sides whose loved ones are now grieving. Though I doubted our president's words, I did too little too late. Nick was an independent contractor, not associated with Halliburton, Bechtel, Lockheed Martin or the U.S. military. Nick was arrested by the U.S. military without reason and then illegally detained for 13 days. While he was in custody, the revelations of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal became public. These revelations ignited the resistance in Iraq and made it impossible for Nick to get home alive. Once released, Nick was swiftly murdered _ on videotape, by a hooded man now believed to have been Abu Musab al-Zarqawi _ in retaliation for the atrocities alleged to have been committed at the Abu Ghraib prison: murders, rapes and torture of Iraqi citizens. The president's contribution was to order then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales to rewrite definitions of torture essentially ordering these sins, and he did so with impunity. Though Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says he took responsibility for the resulting atrocities, no consequences were imposed on him, but they were on my son and everyone who loved him. This is not the way it's supposed to be. When Nick did arrive home, it was to the military mortuary at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, a base from which I and all other loved ones of the invisible deceased are barred. This is not the way it's supposed to be, either. We learn more and more of the truth of what is happening in Iraq every day. We learn what is happening to America and our allies as a result of the voters of these United States electing the wrong men and women: unjustifiable wars, the undermining of vital social programs, willful neglect of the maintenance of the infrastructure of our nation, and dangerous "ignorance" of global warming that could result in unprecedented disaster. This is the legacy of these leaders. Neither of the two largest political parties in this country is doing anything to make things the way they are supposed be. This spring, I joined many others _ both conservatives and liberals _ in taking the first steps to put things right. I had the honor of being the first person to sign the Voters Pledge for Peace, which states: "I will not vote for or support any candidate for Congress or President who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq, and preventing any future war of aggression, a public position in his or her campaign." I believe that Zarqawi was a human being, too, and if his father is alive, I'm sure that the grief and the pain he feels is every bit as devastating as the grief and pain I feel for my son. I want to make sure that no more fathers suffer the loss of their son or daughter in Iraq or a future illegal war of aggression. My contribution this Father's Day is to urge all those who oppose the military occupation of Iraq and do not want to see future wars of choice to sign the Voters Pledge at www.VotersForPeace.US. Nearly 50,000 people have already signed and many of the major organizations in the antiwar movement have endorsed it. Together we can change the path of the United States so that all fathers and mothers can face the future with pride that we did our part to move our great country back toward the way it's supposed to be. (Michael Berg is the father of Nick Berg, murdered in Iraq on May 7, 2004, by a hooded figure believed to have been Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. E-mail michialberg(at)comcast.net.) 15-JUN-06

Saturday, June 17, 2006

..Reflection..


The Happiness Formula

The mind Think yourself happy. 03:13 mins

Friday, June 16, 2006

Peace Ratings

Find your representatives Peace rating: Here Find your senators Peace rating: Here

The Flag of the Corporate States of America

by Charles Sullivan American citizens are losing their grip on reality, and the American government is losing its grip on responsibility.
This, I know, is bound to be an unpopular essay that is likely to incite intense emotions and harsh accusations against me. Yet I feel compelled to express my thoughts on the matter in part because the commercial media does not allow dissenting views to be heard. Also, the majority of my fellow citizens have been drinking the mind altering kool-aide that distorts reality into fabulous forms that bears little resemblance to reality. Added to the formula is the fact that so many of us choose to live in denial rather than face the haunting specter of American history that might prove too disturbing for us to acknowledge. Far too many Americans are so thoroughly indoctrinated in popular myths and propaganda that they are unable to recognize reality when they see it. They desperately need to cling to the absurd myths conjured by our rulers and deny the most criminal and unethical behavior upon which this nation was founded. Aided by a bogus educational system, we then contort them into virtue. Thus, murderers and robber barons are celebrated as self made industrialists who built America into a world class power. But as Thoreau stated, “Any truth is better than make believe.” Unlike the majority of my fellow citizens, I do not take pride in the American flag. I do not get choked up when I see ‘old glory’ flapping in the breeze. My understanding of American history does not permit such unfounded patriotic stirrings. Too many atrocities have been committed under the flag for me to see any beauty in it, especially under the Bush regime. Indeed, seeing the flag often flushes me with shame and regret. I refuse to pledge allegiance to any flag. However, I pledge to live by a credo of social justice that does not recognize national borders. We are all one big family. Historian Howard Zinn wrote, “There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.” I am inclined to agree. For most Americans the flag stirs elements of sentimentality and reverence. It is celebrated as a symbol of freedom and democracy, the triumph of justice over injustice; good over evil. But symbols of noble ideals vanish into the mist when one critically examines the historical evidence. Millions of innocent people have died under the flag, including those who have carried it into battle in the belief that they were fighting for something nobler than corporate profits (see USMC General Smedley Butler’s 1933 essay “War is a Racket).” To me the flag symbolizes much that is wrong with America. The flag is used as another clever marketing ploy against the people to manipulate and to control them, selling them a fictionalized version of history. The flag has been used, like the idea of patriotism, to motivate men to commit horrible crimes against earth and humankind. Rather than conjuring images of freedom and peace in my mind, it portrays the darkest side of human nature such as conquest, invasion and occupation. It reveals a litany of crimes against nature and humanity that I cannot dismiss from memory. Critical thinking demands that one weigh the evidence and draw one’s own conclusions based upon the facts, whether they contradict our preconceived notions or not. I keep another flag, one that more accurately portrays the truth about America, in the trunk of my car, which I carry at anti-war rallies and demonstrations. Like the American flag, this pennant is red, white and blue. In place of the fifty stars there are corporate symbols that depict the corporate states of America. My flag portrays the reality of what the American flag really stands for. It is all about corporate power, global conquest, death, destruction and oppression. What do these have to do with democracy and freedom? What do they have to do with social justice? Once again the people were sold a vision that is at odds with reality. The truth is that America is the polar opposite of everything we have been told she is. That is why so much of the world is aligned against us. They see us as we are, not merely as what we pretend to be. Most of the world’s 192 nations have been the recipients of our benevolence in the form of CIA interventions, land mines and carpet bombs. When I see old glory fluttering in a brisk breeze I hear the lies of an imperialist dictator named George Bush and all the horrors they have wrought for so many echoing across the tides of time. I recall the brazen lies of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condi Rice, and the entire neocon cabal that has resulted in the criminal invasion and occupation of Iraq, Abu Griab, and the inhumane horrors enacted daily at Guantonimo Bay, the massacre of innocent civilians by U.S. marines and the attendant cover up. I see the theft of Iraqi oil by U.S. forces handed over to oil companies and defense contractors on a silver platter. I see the entire civilized world held at gun point, stripped of its dignity and its freedom by the largest crime syndicate the world has ever known. It is hard to get all puffed up and to take pride in that. I recall the overthrow of democratically elected governments around the world by an imperialist nation, particularly in Latin America; the assassination of populist leaders who refused to be puppets for U.S. corporations. Chile’s Salvador Allende’ provides an example. Visions of Columbian death squads trained at the School of the Americas move like ghosts in my mind. They are not to be ignored. I perceive the threatening overtures directed at true democratic socialist governments in Venezuela and Bolivia that I know will probably result in the eventual assassinations of Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales. These threats and violent overtures are part of a familiar historical pattern. It is not difficult to imagine what will follow. Democracy is a threat to corrupt power and it must be assassinated. Power in the hands of the people will not be tolerated by the Plutocracy. Under the red, white and blue profits matter more than people. They always have. The historical evidence demonstrates that populist movements and true democracy are the avowed enemies of the corporate states of America and the ruling Plutocracy. We have a long history of destroying democratic, left wing governments. When has America ever over-thrown an oppressive right wing government? Death squads do not exist to celebrate democracy or to liberate the oppressed. We have troops stationed at permanent bases all over the world and they are not fostering democracy, they are suppressing it. These acts are committed under the banner of the stars and stripes and given noble explanations in the commercial media. Every day the madmen who are running the government are planning new horrors, an endless litany of death and mayhem to be committed in our name for corporate profits. So forgive me if I do not pledge allegiance to the flag of the corporate states of America. Pardon me if I do not get choked up with pride when I see a bumper sticker that reads, “These colors don’t run.” Most people, it seems to me, have no clue about the atrocities that are being committed by their government. They do not want to know.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Beautiful

Music

In Midnight Sleep, by Walt Whitman

* In midnight sleep, of many a face of anguish, Of the look at first of the mortally wounded--of that indescribable look; Of the dead on their backs, with arms extended wide, I dream, I dream, I dream. Of scenes of nature, fields and mountains; Of skies, so beauteous after a storm--and at night the moon so unearthly bright, Shining sweetly, shining down, where we dig the trenches and gather the heaps, I dream, I dream, I dream. Long, long have they pass'd--faces and trenches and fields; Where through the carnage I moved with a callous composure--or away from the fallen, Onward I sped at the time--But now of their forms at night, I dream, I dream, I dream. *

AWOL Soldier Returns To Fort Lewis

EUGENE, OR Jun 13 by Tracy Vedder
Suzanne Swift
Another Fort Lewis soldier is refusing to go to Iraq, but this time, it's a woman. And she claims she was the victim of ongoing sexual assault and harassment during her first tour in the country. Military police brought Suzanne Swift back to Fort Lewis in handcuffs Tuesday. She's accused of deserting her military police unit just before they were supposed to go back to Iraq. But her attorney says she was afraid -- not of the danger in Iraq, but of her fellow soldiers. Swift joined the Army in 2002, signing up for a 5-year stint with the military police. In February of 2004, Swift and her MP brigade deployed to Karbala, Iraq. There, her attorney and her mother both say she was repeatedly sexually harassed by five sergeants. "Sergeants will make bets on who can make which private, female private, their private," Swift's mother Sara Rich says that her daughter told her. Another sergeant allegedly forced the 21-year-old specialist into a sexual relationship. "She was afraid for her life if she didn't do this," explains Swift's attorney Larry Hildes, "because of the power that he had over her." Hildes says Swift didn't believe she could say no. "He could send her into combat," he said. "He could not provide support for her, he could demote her, he could demand that she be discharged." Hildes says Swift reported the harassment to her superiors at least five times, and the only discipline was a single letter of reprimand. "Each time she reported this, they retaliated some way against her," Hildes said. And when Swift was scheduled to return to Iraq with her unit last January, she refused. "And she looked at me," says Swift's mother Rich, "and said, I just don't think I can do it." That was in January, for the next six months, Swift's attorney negotiated with the military while she stayed with friends or at her mother's Eugene, Ore. home. Hildes and Rich say Swift planned to turn herself in this week. Instead, she was arrested by Eugene police after the military sent a federal warrant. KOMO 4 News asked for an interview with Swift's Commander at Fort Lewis and with someone who can address the issue of sexual harassment complaints. They have declined. Swift could face a wide range of punishments, anything from a letter of reprimand up to a court martial and five years in prison. Her attorney wants a medical discharge for his client and wants the Army to pursue criminal charges against the soldiers allegedly involved in the harassment.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Shameful Day for the City of Los Angeles

A three year struggle of the South Central Farmers to save their farm came to a climax today. Early this morning a combined force of sheriffs, LAPD, fire department and bulldozers raided the farm. The farmers held their ground and were able to resist forced extractions for over seven hours. A total of 45 arrests have been reported. There are also reports of injuries, witnesses reported seeing two people taken away in stretchers and an ambulance was called to the scene. There is also a report that some of those arrested were placed in body bags. Bulldozers cut a 30 foot wide gash through farmer’s plots to get to the tree where tree sitters were holding out. Once at the tree sheriffs discovered the commitment and determination of the farmers and their supporters. Over 30 people were in full lock down surrounding the tree. Chained together in lockboxes bolted to steel drums filled with concrete farmers where able to delay extraction for hours. On hearing the news, hundreds of supporters poured into the area, but were prevented from getting on to the farm by a small army of LAPD in full riot gear. Unable to break through the perimeter protesters sat down in the street blocking traffic on a major avenue for hours until police cleared the street. Many farmers openly wept on seeing their plots destroyed. At this time (7:45 pm) there is news that bulldozers are still at the farm plowing under the farmer’s plots. Farmers and their supporters vow not to give up and will fight on regardless of the events here today.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Fond Kiss, by Robert Burns

A fond kiss, and then we sever; A farewell, and then forever! Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee, Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee. Who shall say that Fortune grieves him, While the star of hope she leaves him? Me, nae cheerfu' twinkle lights me; Dark despair around benights me. I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy, Nothing could resist my Nancy; But to see her was to love her; Love but her, and love forever. Had we never lov'd say kindly, Had we never lov'd say blindly, Never met--or never parted-- We had ne'er been broken-hearted. Fare thee well, thou first and fairest! Fare thee well, thou best and dearest! Thine be like a joy and treasure, Peace. enjoyment, love, and pleasure! A fond kiss, and then we sever; A farewell, alas, forever! Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee, Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Artist Paul Laffoley

I heard about Paul Laffoly from my friend Vita's myspace page.
Paul's bio
STUNNING

Sunday, June 11, 2006

....Music and Angels....Angels and Music....

* Book of Love - Boy, extended * * Book of Love, I Touch Roses * * Book of Love, Magnetic Fields, live *

Invest in the poor, says world's third wealthiest man

by James Hider in Mexico City

The third richest man in the world has stunned his Mexican countrymen by backing the wave of Left-wing sentiment that is sweeping Latin America.

The portly and bearded Carlos Slim Helu, 66, is a widower. His wife, Soumaya, died in 2000. He has a personal fortune of more than $30 billion (£16 billion), is forging ties with the Left-leaning governments which have used the gulf between rich and poor to ride to power.

Drawing on the resources of his telecom, retail and finance interests, which include one of the largest internet service providers in the United States, Slim, as he is known, has travelled the region arguing that big business must do more to help the poor.

"What we need is investment, education, growth and jobs," he said. "What makes opportunities more equal in the world of today, more than anything else, are good nutrition, health and education."

Critics say his apparent change of heart, from cigar-loving monopolist to would-be man of the people, is another example of the acumen that has built a fortune surpassed only by those of Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft, and Warren Buffett, the American investor.

Slim, his critics argue, is merely bending with the wind of change that has brought figures such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Bolivia's Evo Morales to power. That same breeze may blow into Mexico next month if Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the Left-wing former mayor of Mexico City, triumphs in presidential elections.

But Slim's supporters attribute his concern for the 50 million Mexicans living on less than $2 a day - the World Bank definition of poverty - to a simple desire to plough back some of his riches. The combined holdings of his Grupo Carso account for more than half the value of the Mexican stock exchange.

He joined the ranks of the world's richest in 1990 when he allegedly used his close ties to the scandal-ridden government of president Carlos Salinas de Gortari to buy a controlling stake in Mexico's telephone company, Telmex, which has a virtual monopoly on fixed lines.

Often accused of over-pricing - Mexicans pay far more for their telephones than their American neighbours - Slim used the profits to move into the mobile phone sector. His American firm, Movil, is now a leader in the Latin America industry with 41 million subscribers.

In September, Slim pioneered the Chapultepec Accord, a pact signed by the heads of leading political parties - but not Mr Lopez Obrador - and 1,600 business leaders, academics and non-governmental workers.

It called for a partnership between the private and public sectors to pull the country out of economic stagnation, spur growth and invest in people. But many argue that the accord has failed sufficiently to tackle the problems it was meant to address.

"It is a totally toothless agreement," said Andres Rozental, the head of the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations and a former ambassador to London. However, he added: "I do understand that he is genuinely concerned at the polarisation in this election campaign has evolved into a rich versus poor campaign, with the poor as good and the rich as bad. And as the richest here, it is in his interest to tackle that."

Slim, who has a nose for a bargain and a family history of successfully gambling on unstable markets, was one of the first people in Mexico publicly to align himself with Mr Lopez Obrador when he become Mexico City's mayor six years ago.

He pumped millions into a project to rehabilitate the city's historical colonial centre, long the domain of the very poor, prostitutes and petty criminals. He has also built up a collection of Rodin sculptures, most of which are housed in a museum in Mexico City.

Since then, however, the two have become estranged, with the ex-mayor refusing to soften his rhetoric. Slim may find that his erstwhile partner could be gunning for him and other business leaders if he emerges victorious from next month's poll.

The fifth of six children, Slim's father was a Maronite Christian who fled Lebanon in 1902 to avoid being drafted into the Ottoman army. He settled in the Mexican capital where he bought property even as revolution troops were on the march - a gamble which paid off handsomely, establishing Slim Snr as a wealthy businessman.

"That was courage," Slim has said. "He taught me no matter how bad a crisis gets, Mexico isn't going to disappear, and that if I have confidence in the country, any sound investment will eventually pay off."


Saturday, June 10, 2006

He Loves Her....She Loves Him

The art of losing isn't hard to master; so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster. Lose something every day. Accept the fluster of lost door keys, the hour badly spent. The art of losing isn't hard to master. Then practice losing farther, losing faster: places, and names, and where it was you meant to travel. None of these will bring disaster. I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or next-to-last, of three loved houses went. The art of losing isn't hard to master. I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster, some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent. I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster. --Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident the art of losing's not too hard to master though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster. * Elizabeth Bishop - One Art

Friday, June 09, 2006

In Praise of Naked Bodies

* * * * * *** The Naked and the Nude For me, the naked and the nude (By lexicographers construed As synonyms that should express The same deficiency of dress Or shelter) stand as wide apart As love from lies, or truth from art. Lovers without reproach will gaze On bodies naked and ablaze; The Hippocratic eye will see In nakedness, anatomy; And naked shines the Goddess when She mounts her lion among men. The nude are bold, the nude are sly To hold each treasonable eye. While draping by a showman's trick Their dishabille in rhetoric, They grin a mock-religious grin Of scorn at those of naked skin. The naked, therefore, who compete Against the nude may know defeat; Yet when they both together tread The briary pastures of the dead, By Gorgons with long whips pursued, How naked go the sometimes nude! Robert Graves

Holding the War Parties Accountable

by Joshua Frank From Bush to Hillary… There are plenty of reasons the Democrats continue to support the ongoing occupation of Iraq. Not only did they authorize the invasion, they continue to sit on their hands while our armed forces commit murder in the name of democracy in Haditha. Perhaps the worst of the Democrats still embracing the illegal war is Senator Hillary Clinton. And despite her unwillingness to engage the antiwar community, she still receives substantial support from those who say they don't support the occupation. On June 3 Clinton won the coveted ballot line of the Working Families Party in New York, even though the WFP was one of the first to oppose the war on Iraq four years ago. It was a sign of what's to come as Hillary sets herself up for a presidential run down the road, where alleged antiwar groups like MoveOn.org will likely rush to defend Hillary against a Republican challenger, despite her deadly foreign policy positions. But let's hope Hillary never makes it that far. Capitulation, like the WFP's last week, only serves to make Hillary worse than she already is. Not that the Democrats will ever come out in opposition to the Iraq war, but they surely aren't going to do so as long as the antiwar movement supports them simply because they aren't Republicans. And the WFP even had a legitimate alternative in Jonathan Tasini, Clinton's antiwar primary challenger. Tasini has come head-to-head with the Democratic elite in his efforts to hold Clinton accountable for her depraved war stance. Late last month at the New York Democrat's state convention, Tasini failed to introduce an antiwar resolution that would have called for an immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. His party wouldn't hear it. Democratic officials said Tasini hadn't followed the rules by introducing the resolution fifteen days in advance. Tasini contends he was misinformed and insists that Clinton's camp was behind the sabotage. "There is absolutely no question Hillary Clinton doesn't want a debate on the war," says Tasini. At the same convention Clinton snobbishly accepted her party's nomination, and ignored Tasini's potential challenge -- "potential", because Tasini is not guaranteed a spot on the Democrat's primary ballot in September. His campaign still needs to turn in 15,000 signatures from registered New York Democrats before his name will appear on the ballot. If he fails to do so, his campaign will be over. That's the futility of running antiwar campaigns in Democratic primaries against party elites like Hillary Clinton. Besides, only Democrats in New York can vote in the primaries, which in this case would ignore the fact that the antiwar movement is more diverse than just grassroots Democrats. But that's how the Democrats stifle debate. Instead of addressing the issue they'll silence those who aren't in line with their positions. And that raises the question: why even run antiwar campaigns inside the Democratic Party like Tasini is trying to do? If the antiwar movement were politically savvy they'd be thinking ahead to Hillary Clinton's expected run for president in 2008. They'd be putting pressure on the Senator now from outside the party instead of waiting until more bodies in Iraq pile up and more tax dollars spent on slaughtering innocent civilians. The antiwar movement shouldn't be supporting Democrats, period. The primaries, as Tasini's campaign has experienced (as well as Dennis Kucinich in 2004), are rigged in favor of the pro-war establishment. The truth is, Democrats and Republicans aren't going to end this war. We will, by refusing to play by their rules. * Joshua Frank, author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, edits http://www.BrickBurner.org

Thursday, June 08, 2006

From my other brother Darrell.....

Few people understand that one of the most notorious individuals in British history may have contributed to the lineage of our current president. Aleister Crowley, a.k.a., "The Great Beast 666" -- the infamous practitioner of "sex magick" whose motto was "Do What Thou Wilt" -- came to know a great many remarkable people, including the maternal grandmother of George W. Bush. "Know," in this case, may be taken in the Biblical sense. Evidence points to the disturbing possibility that he was the true father of Barbara Bush, the former First Lady and mother to George W. Bush. The story may seem difficult to believe at first, until one learns more about the social inter-relations that tied together these unlikely parties. Specifically, we must focus on a fascinating woman named Pauline Pierce, born Pauline Robinson -- whose third child was named Barbara. Most sources divulge little about this woman. We learn more about her husband Marvin Pierce, the president of the McCall Corporation, which published McCall's magazine and Redbook. He married Pauline, a beautiful young socialite, in 1919. Their first child, Martha, was born the next year; the second, James, was born in 1921. At this time, Aleister Crowley inhabited what must have seemed a very different world, as he embarked upon the great communal experiment of the Abbey of Thelema in Italy. Pauline, however, had a hidden side -- what we might call (without intending any judgment or insult) a wild side. We get a whiff of it from this Wikipedia entry:
W magazine once described her as "beautiful, fabulous, critical, and meddling" and "a former beauty from Ohio with extravagant tastes"... Rumors that Pauline had an affair with Dwight D. Eisenhower have never been verified... Still, gossip tabloids from the '40s often associated her with prominent men in politics and film.
I have not yet been able to acquire independent confirmation of the Eisenhower liaison, although I personally see no reason to doubt that it existed. However, we may well have reason to believe that she began her "experimental" period before the 1940s. A sixth-level initiate within the OTO (the Ordo Templi Orientis, the mystical society that Crowely came to head in the 1920s) first set me down this research path by revealing that Pauline Robinson had befriended an woman named Nellie O'Hara, an American adventuress who, at some point during her European travels, met the famed writer Frank Harris. Despite his advancing years, Harris still maintained a reputation for sexual excess that rivaled Crowley's. During this period (1919-1927), Nellie and Frank Harris lived as man and wife, although they could not actually wed because Harris' second wife was still alive and would not grant a divorce. Harris and Crowley were good friends. Not only that: At this time, and not for the last time, Crowley was very much the proverbial "friend in need." During the Abbey period, a Crowley follower had accidentally died during a magickal ceremony. The incident created a firestorm of unwanted publicity (the sensationalist British press labeled Crowley "The Wickedest Man in the World"), which prompted Mussolini's government to expel Crowley and his followers from Italian soil. By 1924, he lived in poverty in France, where Frank Harris kindly took him under his roof. This arrangement inevitably brought Crowley into contact with Nellie. Crowley's diaries, to which I have been given access, clearly indicate that he depended on Harris for financial assistance:
January 3rd 1924 - "No luck about cash yet: but F.H. promises 500 fr to-morrow - so that I can bolt to Paris. One step onward to the Establishment of the Law of Thelema.
The money soon ran out, and AC (as his associates called him) soon had to ask his friend for further assistance. At this time, Harris was writing his multi-volume "erotic autobiography," My Life and Loves; he also purchased a newspaper, The Evening Telegram. But he lacked the resources and management skills to make the enterprise a success, and soon found himself in a financial position no better than Crowley's. Despite his parlous economic circumstances, Crowley focused his attention on sex magick. Not many years previously, he and a follower named Jeanne Foster (a.k.a. Soror Hilarion) had conducted a sex-magickal rite designed to give birth to a child destined to carry on Crowley's work. I have not been able to determine whether he conducted similar experiments with Nellie, although given the polyamorous proclivities of all the parties involved, one should not discount the possibility. Nellie's friend Pauline no doubt scandalized her social circle by traveling to France on her own and leaving two very young children in the care of nursemaids. However, her correspondence with her friend -- whose life in France with a famous literary figure must have seemed quite glamorous -- can only have inspired a sense of wanderlust. Her husband, increasingly bound to his duties with the McCall Corporation, did not share this spirit of adventure. Thus it was that four individuals came together: Frank Harris, Nellie O'Hara, Pauline Pierce, and Aleister Crowley. Anyone who has studied Crowley's life will understand that what happened next was, in a sense, inevitable. Crowley's diaries for this period record the initials "PVN," a cryptic reference to his favorite sexual position, which some of his partners found distasteful. (The letters derive from the Latin for "By way of the Infernal Entrance.") This is a common annotation in the records of Crowley's magical practices. We also find the strange initials "ECL." After researching the matter for some time, I have come to the conclusion that this is a reference to the practice known as "Eroto-Comotose Lucidity." Before proceeding, I should emphasize that the year 1924 has a special significance in the Crowley chrnology. At this time, he is said to have undergone the "supreme ordeal" connected with his attainment of the Grade of Ipsissimus, the highest magickal achievement within his order. The exact nature of this ordeal remains mysterious. I believe that an important clue can be found in his description of the rite of Eroto-Comotose Lucidity:
The Candidate is made ready for the Ordeal by general athletic training, and by feasting. On the appointed day he is attended by one or more chosen and experienced attendants whose duty is (a) to exhaust him sexually by every known means (b) to rouse him sexually by every known means. Every device and artifice of the courtesan is to be employed, and every stimulant known to the physician. Nor should the attendants reck of danger, but hunt down ruthlessly their appointed prey. Finally the Candidate will into a sleep of utter exhaustion, resembling coma, and it is now that delicacy and skill must be exquisite. Let him be roused from this sleep by stimulation of a definitely and exclusively sexual type. Yet if convenient, music wisely regulated will assist. The attendants will watch with assiduity for signs of waking; and the moment these occur, all stimulation must cease instantly, and the Candidate be allowed to fall again into sleep; but no sooner has this happened than the former practice is resumed. This alteration is to continue indefinitely until the Candidate is in a state which is neither sleep nor waking, and in which his Spirit, set free by perfect exhaustion of the body, and yet prevented from entering the City of Sleep, communes with the Most High and the Most Holy Lord God of its being, maker of heaven and earth. The Ordeal terminates by failure---the occurence of sleep invincible--- or by success, in which ultimate waking is followed by a final performance of the sexual act. The Initiate may then be allowed to sleep, or the practice may be renewed and persisted in until death ends all. The most favourable death is that occurring during the orgasm, and is called Mors Justi. As it is written: Let me die the death of the Righteous, and let my last end be like his!
If he did undergo this "ordeal" in 1924, then we must presume that his key associates of that time -- including Nellie and Pauline -- functioned as his assistants. Pauline returned to America in early October of 1924. On June 8, 1925, she gave birth to a girl named Barbara. Barbara Pierce married George H.W. Bush, who eventually became the 41st President of the United States. But who was Barbara's father? The chronology indicates that it could have been Crowley, but it could just as easily have been Marvin Pierce. The truth regarding Crowlean sexual rituals is disclosed only to the highest initiates of the OTO, in a document misleadingly titled "Emblems and Modes of Use." Is Aleister Crowley the father of Barbara Bush? Even she may not know for certain; indeed, I have no way of knowing whether she has ever been told that this possibility exists. However, more than one person has noted the resemblance -- and this resemblance is not just physical. Many will recall the former First Lady's haughty and thoughtless remarks in the aftermath of the Katrina disaster. Those "in the know" were reminded of Aleister Crowley's similar reaction to the loss of life which occurred during the ascent of Kangchanjunga, an expedition he commanded: "This is precisely the sort of thing with which I have no sympathy whatsoever." I leave the matter for the reader to decide. # posted by Joseph

~Burrrrrrrp~...excuse me.

*** Kid Loco, Love Me Sweet *** -A Requiem for Love and Sex- * Do you intend to make me commitment’s host, make me laugh and cry, make me walk and talk with ghosts, love me and leave me to die? or is it? a succumbing to the slavering of your tongue, to have your thighs writhe in panting time and your nails to claw for blood, have your waterhole filled only to drown me deep in it “Love” you reply Did your mother forget to teach you that love is a myth and the reality of myth is pain? Welcome to my dream-mare Hear the wet women howl beastlike whilst hunting me with skulking intentions Watch me impale you with my smoking dick, pump blood into your head and watch your eyes explode, scrawl my name into your mess before you dry; no more will you tempt me with the sodden-leaf smell of experience or velvet lies of devotion If god be breasted, then I’d understand why I do not understand … So I suck in your love and spit it out, outstretch my arms to embrace the only lover that I know; Loneliness. * -Wicked Mike -

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

*The ~Angels~ Have Wings Because They Take Themselves Lightly*

Cupido - 1875 William-Adolphe Bouguereau (francese, 1825-1905)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun (Sonnet 130) , by William Shakespeare

* My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips' red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. I have seen roses damasked, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks; And in some perfumes is there more delight Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know That music hath a far more pleasing sound; I grant I never saw a goddess go; My mistress when she walks treads on the ground. And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare. * The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Radka Toneff

Monday, June 05, 2006

~۞Vita۞~

The synergetic cognative activism on this forum will be fundamentally anti-entropic - shattering the apocalyptic world view... Every culture imposes doomsday mythologies upon it's population. This fear leads to a fundamental lack of respect for this world, or, worse, dissociation and complacency from the promise of eternal reward. And don't think that all prophecies of reward don't create the same attitude. The promise of heaven, hell, karmic rebirth, 2012, ect.. have all led to complacency... people being complacent, not participating in cognative activism, patiently waiting for a holy handout. (I'm sorry if you idolize McKenna, I feel you are smarter than to believe that any man's word is infailible and/or absolute). What we need is an abolition of this fear... an abolition of most social constructs... For example, ..I'm not ignorant to our effect on this planet... But we need to define real issue... not condemn some unstoppable absolute trudging entropic absolute force - big bad 'global warming'... I'm happy about global warming, we'd be in an ice age without it... We need to define the real issues. Definintion. Definition. We must set up a digital synergistic forum, ammend the scientific method, evolve ideas... this is the nature of cognative activism, in my humble opinion. Sorry, I'm probably just a hopeless romantic... * Tired of looking up on that cross and being jealous of those abs? Try 8 MINUTE ABS - MARTYRDOM EDITION! -Vita-

Here’s how to make an invisibility cloak

Alan Boyle, Science editor May 25 Theoretical cloaking device could soon become reality (sort of) Researchers say they are rapidly closing in on new types of materials that can throw a cloak of invisibility around objects, fulfilling a fantasy that is as old as ancient myths and as young as "Star Trek" and the Harry Potter novels. Unlike those tales of fictional invisibility, the real-life technologies usually have a catch. Nevertheless, limited forms of invisibility might be available to the military sooner than you think.
The black lines in this drawing show the path that light rays would take through a theoretical cloaking device. The device's metamaterial would be patterned in such a way to route the rays around the cloaked sphere. "We're very confident that at radar frequencies, these materials can be implemented on a time scale of 18 months or so," John Pendry of Imperial College London told MSNBC.com. Pendry's research team is one of two groups whose results were posted Thursday on the journal Science's Web site in advance of print publication. The two papers lay out different theoretical methods for creating invisibility, not only for radar but potentially for optical wavelengths as well. Still more teams are out there with ideas to make things invisible — using methods ranging from superlenses that cancel out the light from nearby objects to actual cloaks onto which video can be projected as a moving camouflage. The most exotic technologies involve "metamaterials," blends of polymers and tiny coils or wires that twist the paths of electromagnetic radiation. "There are recipes for controlling metamaterials," explained University of Pennsylvania electrical engineer Nader Engheta, who published his own invisibility recipe last year. "Metamaterials are very interesting products." The latest research papers describe how metamaterial could be fabricated to bend light in carefully curved paths around the object to be hidden, so that an observer would see right through it — or more accurately, right around it — to the other side.
This diagram shows how light rays could theoretically be bent around a concealed object, making it seem as if an observer were looking straight through the object. "The cloak would act like you've opened up a hole in space," Duke University's David Smith, one of Pendry's co-authors, explained in a news release. "All light or other electromagnetic waves are swept around the area, guided by the metamaterial to emerge on the other side as if they had passed through an empty volume of space." Pendry told MSNBC.com that the cloak wouldn't reflect any light, and wouldn't cast a shadow either. "It would be like Peter Pan had lost his shadow," he said, referring to the fictional character who had to have his shadow stitched back on. Dreams come true, with a few catches Theoretically at least, the metamaterial could work like the helmet of invisibility celebrated in Greek myth, or the cloaking device that hid Romulan and Klingon vessels in the "Star Trek" series, or the invisibility cloak that came in so handy for Harry Potter in J.K. Rowlings' novels. "Fiction has predicted the course of science for some time. ... Maybe these Harry Potter novels were ahead of their time," Pendry said, half-jokingly. Of course, there are some scientific catches that the tale-tellers never had to worry about: * For a total invisibility effect, the waves passing closest to the cloaked object would have to be bent in such a way that they would appear to exceed relativity's light speed limit. Fortunately, there's a loophole in Albert Einstein's rules of the road that allows smooth pulses of light to undergo just such a phase shift. * The invisibility effect would work only for a specific range of wavelengths. "There is a price to be paid if you want a thin cloak, in that it operates only over a narrow range of frequencies," Pendry said. * The cloak could be made to cover a volume of any shape, but "you can't flap your cloak," Pendry said. Moving the material around would spoil the effect. * The tiny structures embedded in the metamaterial would have to be smaller than the wavelength of the electromagnetic rays you wanted to bend. That's a tall order for optical invisibility, because the structures would have to be on the scale of nanometers, or billionths of a meter. It's far easier to create radar invisibility, Pendry said: "You're talking millimeters" — that is, thousandths of a meter. The radar application is of great interest to military outfits such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which funded Pendry's team. "Radar is a defense technology, and if you wish to hide from it, this sort of cloak would be a good way of doing it," he said. Such a technology would be "far superior to stealth," he said. If optical cloaks could be designed, that would be of interest to the military as well. "One obvious thing would be that you could construct a hutch in which you could hide a tank, and the hutch would make it appear as though the tank wasn't there. ... You could also think of weightier things, like submarines or battleships, where you might want to put some of this stuff," Pendry said. Civilian applications, too There'd be plenty of applications in the civilian world as well, even for rudimentary cloaking devices. For example, you could create receptacles to shield sensitive medical devices from disruption by MRI scanners, or build cloaks to route cellphone signals around obstacles. "You may wish to put a cloak over the refinery that is blocking your view of the bay," Duke University's David Schurig, another of Pendry's co-authors, was quoted as saying. While Pendry's team proposed constructing all-over cloaking devices, the other research paper published Thursday describes a simpler method that would involve shaping the metamaterials into cylindrical cloaking devices. The method could also work to block sound waves — like the cone of silence on the "Get Smart" TV show, but not as silly. The catch here is that the invisibility effect would work only if you were on the same plane as the hidden object. "You could look on top of it, and look inside the cloak," said the paper's author, Ulf Leonhardt of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Leonhardt told MSNBC.com that "potentially a mixture of the two schemes will lead to a practical design." He said the paper from Pendry's team gave him some additional ideas to work with. "I read it for the first time just last Friday, and I've come up already with something new," he said.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Alice en Noir et Blanc

* * * All Photographs Copyrighted © Michel Polizzi 1999

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Vers Demode, by Dorothy Parker

* For one, the amaryllis and the rose; The poppy, sweet as never lilies are; The ripen'd vine, that beckons as it blows; The dancing star. For one, the trodden rosemary and rue; The bowl, dipt ever in the purple stream And, for the other one, a fairer due- Sleep, and no dream. *

In Egypt, a rare and surprising find

by Jessica Sidman Archaeologists in Egypt's Valley of the Kings were skeptical there was any more to find beyond the ancient workers' quarters they had been excavating for years. Then they unexpectedly found a shaft. What lay below — the first tomb uncovered in the valley since King Tutankhamen's was found in 1922 — will come to light Sunday on the Discovery Channel (9 p.m. ET/PT). The archaeologists discovered seven coffins; there are no mummies in the first five they have opened, but there is one big surprise. When they first peered into one of the coffins, they found a layer of six pillows, all of which were almost perfectly preserved in the vacuum-packed tomb after more than 3,000 years. At least one of the pillows contained hieroglyphic markings reading, "life, stability, and power." But as the team carefully removed them, they noticed a much smaller coffin buried inside. As lead archaeologist Otto Schaden picked it up, the light of a torch caught a glimmer of gold. ...

Friday, June 02, 2006

I Feel Naked


Zero Energy Home Enters Affordable Range

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma A for-profit home builder has constructed a house priced under $200,000 that, in an average year, costs nothing to power or heat. The so-called zero-energy home, built by Norman, Oklahoma-based Ideal Homes, is priced affordably even though it incorporates some of the latest technology and energy-efficient construction available today. "I think Americans have this concept in their head that a zero-energy house costs a million dollars," - Vernon McKown, co-founder of Ideal Homes

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Yeah...another vizual w/ a muzical interlude...

War

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