Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Money trails lead to Bush judges

Salon story A four-month investigation reveals that dozens of federal judges gave contributions to President Bush and top Republicans who helped place them on the bench. A Salon/CIR exclusive.

Editor's note: This story continues a series by Salon and the Center for Investigative Reporting scrutinizing the federal judiciary under Bush. To learn more about the data and public records cited in this story, and to view CIR's full report, click here.

By Will Evans

At least two dozen federal judges appointed by President Bush since 2001 made political contributions to key Republicans or to the president himself while under consideration for their judgeships, government records show. A four-month investigation of Bush-appointed judges by the Center for Investigative Reporting reveals that six appellate court judges and 18 district court judges contributed a total of more than $44,000 to politicians who were influential in their appointments. Some gave money directly to Bush after he officially nominated them. Other judges contributed to Republican campaign committees while they were under consideration for a judgeship.

Republicans who received money from judges en route to the bench include Sens. Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Sens. George Voinovich and Mike DeWine of Ohio, and Gov. George Pataki of New York.

There are no laws or regulations prohibiting political contributions by a candidate for a federal judgeship. But political giving by judicial candidates has been a rarely scrutinized activity amid the process that determines who will receive lifelong jobs on the federal bench. Some ethics experts and Bush-appointed judges say that political giving is inappropriate for those seeking judicial office -- it can appear unethical, they say, and could jeopardize the public's confidence in the impartiality of the nation's courts. Those concerns come as ethics and corruption scandals have roiled Washington, and on the eve of midterm elections whose outcome could influence the makeup of the federal judiciary -- including the Supreme Court -- for decades to come. ...

Inanimate Alice, Episode 1: China

by Kate Pullinger and babel Inanimate Alice depicts the life of a young girl growing up in the early years of the 21st century through her blog and episodic multimedia adventures that span her life from childhood through to her twenties. It has been created to help draw attention to the issue of electro-sensitivity and the potentially harmful pollution resulting from wireless communications. http://collection.eliterature.org/1/works/pullinger_babel__inanimate_alice_episode_1_china.html

OCCULTERATI #1… “Foolish Persons”

OCCULT TALK Original Soundtrack Recording, Vol. 1 Running Time :: 35:09 Download :: ZIP Cover Art :: front, reverse

Monday, October 30, 2006

Possessed Demon Cat

Hilarious Cat Sleeping With Tongue Out

Robert Fisk: Mystery of Israel's secret uranium bomb

Alarm over radioactive legacy left by attack on Lebanon

Published: 28 October 2006

Did Israel use a secret new uranium-based weapon in southern Lebanon this summer in the 34-day assault that cost more than 1,300 Lebanese lives, most of them civilians?

We know that the Israelis used American "bunker-buster" bombs on Hizbollah's Beirut headquarters. We know that they drenched southern Lebanon with cluster bombs in the last 72 hours of the war, leaving tens of thousands of bomblets which are still killing Lebanese civilians every week. And we now know - after it first categorically denied using such munitions - that the Israeli army also used phosphorous bombs, weapons which are supposed to be restricted under the third protocol of the Geneva Conventions, which neither Israel nor the United States have signed.

But scientific evidence gathered from at least two bomb craters in Khiam and At-Tiri, the scene of fierce fighting between Hizbollah guerrillas and Israeli troops last July and August, suggests that uranium-based munitions may now also be included in Israel's weapons inventory - and were used against targets in Lebanon. According to Dr Chris Busby, the British Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, two soil samples thrown up by Israeli heavy or guided bombs showed "elevated radiation signatures". Both have been forwarded for further examination to the Harwell laboratory in Oxfordshire for mass spectrometry - used by the Ministry of Defence - which has confirmed the concentration of uranium isotopes in the samples.

Dr Busby's initial report states that there are two possible reasons for the contamination. "The first is that the weapon was some novel small experimental nuclear fission device or other experimental weapon (eg, a thermobaric weapon) based on the high temperature of a uranium oxidation flash ... The second is that the weapon was a bunker-busting conventional uranium penetrator weapon employing enriched uranium rather than depleted uranium." A photograph of the explosion of the first bomb shows large clouds of black smoke that might result from burning uranium.

Enriched uranium is produced from natural uranium ore and is used as fuel for nuclear reactors. A waste productof the enrichment process is depleted uranium, it is an extremely hard metal used in anti-tank missiles for penetrating armour. Depleted uranium is less radioactive than natural uranium, which is less radioactive than enriched uranium.

Israel has a poor reputation for telling the truth about its use of weapons in Lebanon. In 1982, it denied using phosphorous munitions on civilian areas - until journalists discovered dying and dead civilians whose wounds caught fire when exposed to air.

I saw two dead babies who, when taken from a mortuary drawer in West Beirut during the Israeli siege of the city, suddenly burst back into flames. Israel officially denied using phosphorous again in Lebanon during the summer - except for "marking" targets - even after civilians were photographed in Lebanese hospitals with burn wounds consistent with phosphorous munitions.

Then on Sunday, Israel suddenly admitted that it had not been telling the truth. Jacob Edery, the Israeli minister in charge of government-parliament relations, confirmed that phosphorous shells were used in direct attacks against Hizbollah, adding that "according to international law, the use of phosphorous munitions is authorised and the (Israeli) army keeps to the rules of international norms".

Asked by The Independent if the Israeli army had been using uranium-based munitions in Lebanon this summer, Mark Regev, the Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, said: "Israel does not use any weaponry which is not authorised by international law or international conventions." This, however, begs more questions than it answers. Much international law does not cover modern uranium weapons because they were not invented when humanitarian rules such as the Geneva Conventions were drawn up and because Western governments still refuse to believe that their use can cause long-term damage to the health of thousands of civilians living in the area of the explosions.

American and British forces used hundreds of tons of depleted uranium (DU) shells in Iraq in 1991 - their hardened penetrator warheads manufactured from the waste products of the nuclear industry - and five years later, a plague of cancers emerged across the south of Iraq.

Initial US military assessments warned of grave consequences for public health if such weapons were used against armoured vehicles. But the US administration and the British government later went out of their way to belittle these claims. Yet the cancers continued to spread amid reports that civilians in Bosnia - where DU was also used by Nato aircraft - were suffering new forms of cancer. DU shells were again used in the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq but it is too early to register any health effects.

"When a uranium penetrator hits a hard target, the particles of the explosion are very long-lived in the environment," Dr Busby said yesterday. "They spread over long distances. They can be inhaled into the lungs. The military really seem to believe that this stuff is not as dangerous as it is." Yet why would Israel use such a weapon when its targets - in the case of Khiam, for example - were only two miles from the Israeli border? The dust ignited by DU munitions can be blown across international borders, just as the chlorine gas used in attacks by both sides in the First World War often blew back on its perpetrators.

Chris Bellamy, the professor of military science and doctrine at Cranfield University, who has reviewed the Busby report, said: "At worst it's some sort of experimental weapon with an enriched uranium component the purpose of which we don't yet know. At best - if you can say that - it shows a remarkably cavalier attitude to the use of nuclear waste products."

The soil sample from Khiam - site of a notorious torture prison when Israel occupied southern Lebanon between 1978 and 2000, and a frontline Hizbollah stronghold in the summer war - was a piece of impacted red earth from an explosion; the isotope ratio was 108, indicative of the presence of enriched uranium. "The health effects on local civilian populations following the use of large uranium penetrators and the large amounts of respirable uranium oxide particles in the atmosphere," the Busby report says, "are likely to be significant ... we recommend that the area is examined for further traces of these weapons with a view to clean up."

This summer's Lebanon war began after Hizbollah guerrillas crossed the Lebanese frontier into Israel, captured two Israeli soldiers and killed three others, prompting Israel to unleash a massive bombardment of Lebanon's villages, cities, bridges and civilian infrastructure. Human rights groups have said that Israel committed war crimes when it attacked civilians, but that Hizbollah was also guilty of such crimes because it fired missiles into Israel which were also filled with ball-bearings, turning their rockets into primitive one-time-only cluster bombs.

Many Lebanese, however, long ago concluded that the latest Lebanon war was a weapons testing ground for the Americans and Iranians, who respectively supply Israel and Hizbollah with munitions. Just as Israel used hitherto-unproven US missiles in its attacks, so the Iranians were able to test-fire a rocket which hit an Israeli corvette off the Lebanese coast, killing four Israeli sailors and almost sinking the vessel after it suffered a 15-hour on-board fire.

What the weapons manufacturers make of the latest scientific findings of potential uranium weapons use in southern Lebanon is not yet known. Nor is their effect on civilians.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Give Me Strength, by Rabindranath Tagore

This is my prayer to thee, my lord--- strike, strike at the root of penury in my heart. Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows. Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service. Give me the strength never to disown the poor or bend my knees before insolent might. Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles. And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will with love.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


by FRANK MORALES THE RECENT SIGNING INTO LAW OF 'DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL' MAKES ITS EASIER FOR BUSH TO IMPLEMENT MARTIAL LAW IN AMERICA. In a stealth maneuver, President Bush has signed into law a provision which, according to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), “will actually encourage the President to declare federal martial law” (1). It does so by revising the Insurrection Act, a set of laws that limits the President’s ability to deploy troops within the United States. The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 – 335) has historically, along with the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385), helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement. With one cloaked swipe of his pen, Bush is seeking to undo those prohibitions. Public Law 109-364, or the “John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007” (H.R.5122) (2), which was signed by the commander in chief on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the President to declare a “public emergency” and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to “suppress public disorder.” President Bush seized this unprecedented power on the very same day that he signed the equally odious Military Commissions Act of 2006. In a sense, the two laws complement one another. One allows for torture and detention abroad, while the other seeks to enforce acquiescence at home, preparing to order the military onto the streets of America. Remember, the term for putting an area under military law enforcement control is precise; the term is "martial law." Section 1076 of the massive Authorization Act, which grants the Pentagon another $500-plus-billion for its ill-advised adventures, is entitled, “Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies.” Section 333, “Major public emergencies; interference with State and Federal law” states that “the President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of (“refuse” or “fail” in) maintaining public order,” in order to “suppress, in any State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy.” For the current President, “enforcement of the laws to restore public order” means to commandeer guardsmen from any state, over the objections of local governmental, military and local police entities; ship them off to another state; conscript them in a law enforcement mode; and set them loose against “disorderly” citizenry—protesters, possibly, or those who object to forced vaccinations and quarantines in the event of a bio-terror event. The law also facilitates militarized police round-ups and detention of protesters, so called “illegal aliens,” “potential terrorists” and other “undesirables” for detention in facilities already contracted for and under construction by Halliburton. That’s right. Under the cover of a trumped-up “immigration emergency” and the frenzied militarization of the southern border, detention camps are being constructed right under our noses, camps designed for anyone who resists the foreign and domestic agenda of the Bush administration. An article on “recent contract awards” in a recent issue of the slick, insider “Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International” reported that “global engineering and technical services powerhouse KBR [Kellog, Brown & Root] announced in January 2006 that its Government and Infrastructure division was awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to support U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities in the event of an emergency.” “With a maximum total value of $385 million over a five year term,” the report notes, ”the contract is to be executed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” “for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) … in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs.” The report points out that “KBR is the engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton.” (3) So, in addition to authorizing another $532.8 billion for the Pentagon, including a $70-billion “supplemental provision” which covers the cost of the ongoing, mad military maneuvers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places, the new law, signed by the president in a private White House ceremony, further collapses the historic divide between the police and the military: a tell-tale sign of a rapidly consolidating police state in America, all accomplished amidst ongoing U.S. imperial pretensions of global domination, sold to an “emergency managed” and seemingly willfully gullible public as a “global war on terrorism.” Make no mistake about it: the de-facto repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act (PCA) is an ominous assault on American democratic tradition and jurisprudence. The 1878 Act, which reads, "Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both,” is the only U.S. criminal statute that outlaws military operations directed against the American people under the cover of ‘law enforcement.’ As such, it has been the best protection we’ve had against the power-hungry intentions of an unscrupulous and reckless executive, an executive intent on using force to enforce its will. Unfortunately, this past week, the president dealt posse comitatus, along with American democracy, a near fatal blow. Consequently, it will take an aroused citizenry to undo the damage wrought by this horrendous act, part and parcel, as we have seen, of a long train of abuses and outrages perpetrated by this authoritarian administration. Despite the unprecedented and shocking nature of this act, there has been no outcry in the American media, and little reaction from our elected officials in Congress. On September 19th, a lone Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) noted that 2007s Defense Authorization Act contained a “widely opposed provision to allow the President more control over the National Guard…[adopting] changes to the Insurrection Act, which will make it easier for this or any future President to use the military to restore domestic order WITHOUT the consent of the nation’s governors.” Senator Leahy went on to stress that, “we certainly do not need to make it easier for Presidents to declare martial law. Invoking the Insurrection Act and using the military for law enforcement activities goes against some of the central tenets of our democracy… One can easily envision governors and mayors in charge of an emergency having to constantly look over their shoulders while someone who has never visited their communities gives the orders.” A few weeks later, on the 29th of September, Leahy entered into the Congressional Record that he had “grave reservations about certain provisions of the fiscal Year 2007 Defense Authorization Bill Conference Report,” the language of which, he said, “subverts solid, longstanding posse comitatus statutes that limit the military’s involvement in law enforcement, thereby making it easier for the President to declare martial law.” This had been “slipped in,” Leahy said, “as a rider with little study,” while “other congressional committees with jurisdiction over these matters had no chance to comment, let alone hold hearings on, these proposals.” In a telling bit of understatement, the Senator from Vermont noted that “the implications of changing the (Posse Comitatus) Act are enormous…. There is good reason,” he said, “for the constructive friction in existing law when it comes to martial law declarations… Using the military for law enforcement goes against one of the founding tenets of our democracy… We fail our Constitution, neglecting the rights of the States, when we make it easier for the President to declare martial law and trample on local and state sovereignty.” Senator Leahy’s final ruminations: “Since hearing word a couple of weeks ago that this outcome was likely, I have wondered how Congress could have gotten to this point… It seems the changes to the Insurrection Act have survived the Conference because the Pentagon and the White House want it.” The historic and ominous re-writing of the Insurrection Act, accomplished in the dead of night, which gives Bush the legal authority to declare martial law, is now an accomplished fact. The Pentagon, as one might expect, plays an even more direct role in martial law operations. Title XIV of the new law, entitled, “Homeland Defense Technology Transfer Legislative Provisions,” authorizes “the Secretary of Defense to create a Homeland Defense Technology Transfer Consortium to improve the effectiveness of the Department of Defense (DOD) processes for identifying and deploying relevant DOD technology to federal, State, and local first responders.” In other words, the law facilitates the “transfer” of the newest in so-called “crowd control” technology and other weaponry designed to suppress dissent from the Pentagon to local militarized police units. The new law builds on and further codifies earlier “technology transfer” agreements, specifically the 1995 DOD-Justice Department memorandum of agreement achieved back during the Clinton-Reno regime. (4) It has become clear in recent months that a critical mass of the American people have seen through the lies of the Bush administration; with the president’s polls at an historic low, growing resistance to the war Iraq, and the Democrats likely to take back the Congress in mid-term elections, the Bush administration is on the ropes. And so it is particularly worrying that President Bush has seen fit, at this juncture to, in effect, declare himself dictator. (1) http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200609/091906a.html http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200609/092906b.html See also, Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, “The Use of Federal Troops for Disaster Assistance: Legal Issues,” by Jennifer K. Elsea, Legislative Attorney, August 14, 2006 (2) http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill+h109-5122 (3) Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International, “Recent Contract Awards”, Summer 2006, Vol.12, No.2, pg.8; See also, Peter Dale Scott, “Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps,” New American Media, January 31, 2006. (4) “Technology Transfer from defense: Concealed Weapons Detection:, National Institute of Justice Journal, No 229, August 1995, pp.42-43.

Friday, October 27, 2006

No to Angelides and Schwarzenegger! Yes to Janice Jordan!

by Steven Argue Sunday Oct 8th, 2006 2:44 PM
Angelides criticized Schwarzenegger for his praise for the racist anti-immigrant vigilantes called the “Minutemen” while in the same breath calling for a "guest worker" program that would create a new class of super-exploited worker with no political rights. Under the same type of program in the past U.S. bosses often failed to even pay Mexican workers for their hard labor. The fact that Angelides and the Democrat Party are now calling for this kind of legalization of indentured servitude place them firmly in the same racist camp as Schwarzenegger.
640_j4gov-chicanopark.jpg original image ( 1799x1203) 640_j4gov-chicanopark.jpg original image ( 1799x1203)
No to Angelides and Schwarzenegger! Critical Support For Janice Jordan, Peace and Freedom Party Candidate For Governor By Steven Argue Last night’s debate between Phil Angelides and Arnold Schwarzenegger was a grueling hour of corporate politics. Angelides leveled criticisms against Schwarzenegger for cuts to education under his governorship. Schwarzenegger countered by asking where Angelides was when Democrat governor Gray Davis was making cuts to education and asked why Angelides supported those cuts under Davis. Schwarzenegger went so far as to ask why Angelides didn’t join in the student protests for education that had marched by his office under Davis. It was a valid criticism, yet Schwarzenegger never supported those student protests either and as Angelides pointed out, he has made his own cuts to education. On a similar note Angelides criticized Schwarzenegger for his praise for the racist anti-immigrant vigilantes called the “Minutemen” while in the same breath calling for a "guest worker" program that would create a new class of super-exploited worker with no political rights. Under the same type of program in the past U.S. bosses often failed to even pay Mexican workers for their hard labor. The fact that Angelides and the Democrat Party are now calling for this kind of legalization of indentured servitude place them firmly in the same racist camp as Schwarzenegger. What was missing from the debate was the voice of an official candidate that will be on the ballot in November, but was excluded from the debate by the California Broadcasters Association. This candidate, Janice Jordan of the Peace and Freedom Party, could have chimed in that she did in fact support the protests against the cuts of both Davis and Schwarzenegger and that she opposes both the racist Minutemen and the racist guest worker program. But she was excluded from the debates, showing once again the bias of the corporate media as a pillar in preventing true democracy in America. A truly democratic society would eliminate corporate control of the elections by nationalizing the corporate media and allowing all candidates equal access to the airwaves, cable, and print. Likewise a truly democratic society would carry out a sweeping “campaign finance reform” through the nationalization of the means of production (using that wealth for human and environmental needs rather than decadence and deception). It will take a socialist revolution to bring democracy to America. Liberation News sees the participation of socialists in the corrupted electoral politics of America as a critical platform in explaining how we differ from the capitalist Democrat and Republican parties. Likewise all of the undemocratic measures that are used against us, which will only intensify as we grow stronger, expose the parallel need for a revolutionary program to accompany any socialist electoral activity. The Peace and Freedom Party is primarily an electoral party that speaks of the need for socialism, but generally avoids talk of the only step that will bring socialism, a step that can be summed up in one word: revolution. Revolution is about abolishing the current racist anti-worker and anti-poor police, military, and judicial system and carrying out a sweeping redistribution of the wealth. Likewise the campaign literature the Peace and Freedom Party hand out at demonstrations often contain good criticisms of the Democrats and Republicans and outline a good platform for social and economic emancipation, but are usually missing another key component that will make putting human and environmental needs before profits possible in a socialist society. That being the nationalization of industry including oil (and other energy), “defense”, auto, the banks, the railroads, chemical, and the agricultural monopolies. It is due to this lack of a true socialist program in the Peace and Freedom Party, and lack of any campaign statements from Janice Jordan countering it, that Liberation News can only give critical support to the campaign of Janice Jordan. In giving this critical support to Janice Jordan we recognize that the social reforms called for by the Peace and Freedom Party do still have a revolutionary component in that they go far beyond anything that the capitalist class of the United States will ever allow short of their total overthrow. In giving critical support we intervene to denounce the undemocratic actions of the corporate media and capitalist campaign financing used against the campaign of Janice Jordan, but unlike the Peace and Freedom Party, we take those undemocratic actions to their logical conclusion: the ultimate need for socialist revolution. While giving critical support to Janice Jordan’s campaign for governor, Liberation News is withholding support for the Peace and Freedom Party’s candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Stewart Alexander. Alexander’s campaign is spreading illusions in the Democrat Party. In his campaign statements Alexander pretends that the Republicans represent corporate interests and that the Democrats do not, their problems being "sitting on the fence" and an unwillingness to spend "political capital". This is nonsense; the Democrat Party is just as much a corporate party as the Republican, both in its financing and in its program. In another campaign statement Stewart Alexander opposes the Peace and Freedom Party’s platform that calls for immediate withdrawal from Iraq from the right. In the statement he claims that the Peace and Freedom Party needs to draw up an exit strategy from Iraq. Yet immediate withdrawal is an exit strategy. It is an exit strategy that takes no consideration of continuing to prop up the undemocratic puppet death squad government the U.S. established, nor does it consider the logistical needs of keeping troops fighting and dying in Iraq to defend military hardware as it is evacuated. Troops are to be evacuated immediately by air, sea, and land the same way they were sent in; and the biggest cause of the bloodshed in Iraq will be gone. This is the exit strategy. Liberation News calls for U.S. troops out now! Build the mass movement! For the labor movement to break from the Democrat Party of war and exploitation and to end the war through building the mass movement in the streets; striking against arms producers; hot cargoing war materials on the docks, trains, and trucks; and building towards a general strike against the war. For the right of military personal to refuse orders and resist this war. For student actions against recruiters, such as those at UC Santa Cruz that have repeatedly driven military recruiters off campus. For building the socialist movement as part of the anti-war resistance today and to ultimately end U.S. imperialism through socialist revolution. While Phil Angelides and Arnold Schwarzenegger will carry out austerity connected to the U.S. war in Iraq and the economic problems of capitalism, neither the Democrats nor Republicans offer any solutions to the problems of war and capitalism because they support both. Vote Janice Jordan for governor! Money for social and environmental needs, not for war and capitalist profit! For socialist revolution to end imperialism and establish democracy in the United States! On other state offices Liberation News critical support to the following Peace and Freedom Party candidates: Gerald Sanders for State Treasurer Margie Akin for Secretary of State Liz Barron for Controller Jack Harison for Attorney General Tom Condit for Insurance Commissioner

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Secret Preview Authorized

The Secret Preview 4 Authorized

The Secret Preview 3 Authorized

The Secret Preview 2 Authorized

The Secret

Peace from the Quantum Level

Sonnet XXVI: I Ever Love, by Michael Drayton

To Despair I ever love where never hope appears, Yet hope draws on my never-hoping care, And my life's hope would die, but for despair; My never-certain joy breeds ever-certain fears; Uncertain dread gives wings unto my hope, Yet my hope's wings are laden so with fear As they cannot ascend to my hope's sphere; Though fear gives them more than a heav'nly scope, Yet this large room is bounded with despair; So my love is still fetter'd with vain hope, And liberty deprives him of his scope, And thus am I imprison'd in the air. Then, sweet despair, awhile hold up thy head, Or all my hope for sorrow will be dead.

Poet, painter love captured in words

By Ananya Datta

Nearly a year after Amrita Pritam’s death Uma Trilok’s book Amrita-Imroz: A Love Story presents a first-hand account of the magical relationship between the legendary poet and the one man she loved enough to rebel against the society.

Much may have been written about the doyenne of Punjabi literature Amrita Pritam and her writings but her unique relation with the famous artist Imroz has been sensitively explored for the first time by Uma.

Uma first encountered their love even before she met Amrita and Imroz. During her first trip to meet Amrita at her Hauz Khas residence in Delhi, Uma had noticed a chail kari (a plant with bright red flowers). In one of her books Amrita had narrated a Gujrati song about a girl asking her lover to plant a chail kari in her lane. And here, in Amrita’s own courtyard and terrace her lover had planted the same plant. On some days Amrita would hold Imroz’s hand and touch the chail kari with her lips, writes Uma.

In Amrita-Imroz Uma Trilok captures the special bond between the two. Though she first met Amrita and Imroz in the mid 90s, she has been able to trace their time together over the past four decades often through conversations, anecdotes, pieces of poetry and even paintings.

More than 40 years ago when Amrita had decided to live with her lover Imroz it was not easy. Such relations were not accepted then. They still are frowned upon now. But Amrita, married and with two children, decided to put her faith in love. Along with Imroz, she has had to pay for it all her life but without any repentance or remorse. During a conversation with Uma, Amrita mentions how she suffered the suffering of her children. She had to explain it to them that an unhappy mother could not give them anything better that what she had.

Imroz’s position was no easier. Some unkindly even termed him a "kept man" despite the fact that in the beginning of their relationship Imroz was far more successful than Amrita. But such labels do not bother Imroz. To remarks like: Log kehte hai ke aap sari zindagi Amrita ko pankha karte karte hi guzar dee (People say you have spent all your life fanning [cheering] Amrita, Imroz’s typical response is: Woh nahi jante ki pankha karte karte hawa mujhe bhi to aayee (They do not know that while fanning her, I too received the breeze.)

Imroz’s love for Amrita needed no societal sanction. In one chapter Uma explores Imroz’s reaction to the other men Amrita was emotionally attached to – Sahir Ludhianwi and Sajjad Haider– and finds that Imroz was all accepting. He knew that he loved Amrita and Amrita loved him.

Amrita-Imroz packs together many such, intimate conversations in the lives of the poet-artist duo.

Uma Trilok has had the benefit of being an intimate witness of the Amrita-Imroz friendship, their unconditional love and their togetherness. Right at the beginning Uma writes that the book is not based on research nor does it boast of a structure. It, in Uma’s own words, is a random collection of annotations about two unconventional people. "It is a short collection of indulgent smiles, hearty laughter, physical suffering, emotional agony, social defiance and some more."

To her credit Uma was able to win their trust. So much trust Amrita and Imroz shared their deepest emotions with her. And Uma Trilok has efficiently captured that trust and love in Amrita-Imroz: A Love Story.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

An Eastern Ballad, by Allen Ginsberg

* I speak of love that comes to mind: The moon is faithful, although blind; She moves in thought she cannot speak. Perfect care has made her bleak. I never dreamed the sea so deep, The earth so dark; so long my sleep, I have become another child. I wake to see the world go wild.

Poetry Notes: Poets raising funds for Darfur

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 A Pittsburgh poets organization will hold a program of poetry and music to raise funds for relief efforts in Darfur, western Sudan, at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Carnegie Mellon University. Judith Robinson, member of Poets for Humanity, said that a video appeal by Simon Deng, a refugee from the turmoil in his native Sudan, will also be shown. New York Daily News columnist Heather Robinson will introduce the video. The scheduled poets are Richard St. John, whose work has appeared in the Post-Gazette, Anthony Butts, CMU writing professor, and Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, a native of Liberia. UMOJA African Arts Company provides the music. Tickets are $10. The program will be in the Adamson Wing of Baker Hall. For details and reservations, call 412-681-3018. Point Park University inaugurates a new poetry reading series Nov. 1 with Christopher Bakken, author of "Goat Funeral." He teaches English at Allegheny College, Meadville. The reading will be at 4:30 p.m. in the JVH Auditorium, Thayer Hall, Downtown. It's free. "The Marriage Bed," a poem by Michael Sims, head of Autumn House Press based in Mount Washington, will be read by Garrison Keillor Nov. 1 on his NPR show "The Writers Almanac." It's a great boost for Sims, but not in his hometown. None of the city's three NPR stations carries the program. -- Bob Hoover, Post-Gazette book critic

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Crafty Crimson Cats Carefully Catching Crusty Crayfish

Was Mark Foley Blackmailed to Secure His Vote on CAFTA?

[From the lovely & talented ANARCHIST JESUS blog] What does Mark Foley's vote on CAFTA have to do with his no longer secret sex life? In late July of 2005, Congressman Foley suddenly reversed his position and cast the key swing vote which led to the passage of the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). On the night of the vote, President Bush had called Foley to pressure him to change his anti-CAFTA position. The South Florida Congressman was not only under pressure from the White House, but also from the House Republican Leadership to support the bill. But Foley received huge campaign contributions from the Florida sugar lobby, which bitterly opposed CAFTA and Foley had loyally followed his benefactor's wishes in previous votes. That he would flip his position under pressure raises some serious questions. The sugar lobby abhorred CAFTA because it would expose them to competition from Central American sugar imports. Foley, the single largest House recipient of sugar industry contributions during the 2004 election cycle, represented the third largest sugar producing district in the US. Just a month before the vote, he told the House Ways and Means Committee, "I have heard some of my colleagues say we can't turn our backs on people in Guatemala. "Well, I can't turn my back on people in South Bay and Canal Point, Lewiston, and LaBelle, whose lives are closely linked to this industry. "Not the big growers, not the thousand-acre plantations, but the mom and pop [growers] who have 50 acres, 100 acres in production. That is all they have." So why did the Republican leadership think it could pressure Foley to betray his constituents and how did they persuade him to change his position? The day after the vote, Foley said the Republican leadership had threatened reprisals against the sugar lobby if they were thought to be a major factor in killing CAFTA, but this defies logic. According to the New York Times the day after the vote (July 29, 2005): "It was difficult, a gut-wrenching night," Mr. Foley said on Thursday. President Bush called him about 8:20 p.m. Wednesday to plead for his vote, he said, and Republican leaders had already made it clear that they would punish the sugar industry in the next farm bill if they managed to defeat the trade pact. What could the Republican party possibly gain by throwing a tantrum against such a powerful lobby in an all important battleground state like Florida? Such reprisals would only help drive the sugar industry's campaign contributions to Democrats, so Foley's public explanation for his vote seems highly questionable. How could the Republican leadership have gotten Foley to betray his "sugar daddy" and support his district's loss of countless jobs? Since it was widely known on Capitol Hill that Foley was a closeted homosexual, he was never going to rise above the "lavender ceiling" in the Republican party leadership. Moreover, he had raised prodigious amounts of campaign money, so what other kinds of leverage did they have against him other than his sex scandals simmering beneath the surface? For the White House and the Republican Congressional Leadership the CAFTA was a signature issue that year. The telephone calls between the two ends of Pennsylvania Avenue must have been frantic and the logs of such calls should be preserved. But who could they flip? What leverage or sweeteners did they have? Did they attempt to blackmail him by letting political rivals "out" him? Or did they "greymail" him by promising to help Foley sweep these emerging scandals under the rug? Or did they promise to try to give him a "soft landing" in the event the allegations should become public? If Foley's sexcapades were even whispered in this political context that day, then this scandal could lead right in to the White House and possibly even to the Oval Office. Is this another smoking gun which will emerge when House Members and staff are put under oath? Whatever the truth is, the official rational behind Mr. Foley's vote switch has never made much sense. He and the Republican Leadership should be asked to explain his shifting position on the CAFTA vote. Sanho Tree/Counterpunch

Monday, October 23, 2006

NY times: Ex-Enron Chief Is Sentenced to 24 Years

Published: October 23, 2006 HOUSTON, Oct. 24

Jeffrey K. Skilling, the former chief executive of Enron, was sentenced this afternoon to more than 24 years in prison for his role in the energy giant’s collapse.

Michael Stravato for NYT

Jeffrey K. Skilling, center, and his lawyer left federal court in Houston after Mr. Skilling was sentenced.

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Jeffrey Skilling, center right, arrived at the federal courthouse today where he was sentenced to 24 years, four months in the harshest sentence yet in the case that came to symbolize corporate fraud in America.

He will be forced to forfeit $45 million, which prosecutors said would effectively wipe out his fortune.

At a hearing here in United States District Court, Judge Simeon T. Lake III said of Mr. Skilling, “His crimes have imposed on hundreds, if not thousands of victims a life sentence of poverty.”

Throughout the hearing, Mr. Skilling reacted impassively. His wife sobbed uncontrollably and hid her face in her hands.

He will be allowed to remain in his home under electronic surveillance until a federal prison is selected to house him, but the judge denied his request to be released on bond pending appeal.

Mr. Skilling was convicted in May of heading a conspiracy to defraud Enron’s investors.

While the sentence of 24 years and four months was the lengthiest yet in the Enron case, it did not surpass the 25-year term that WorldCom’s former chief executive, Bernard J. Ebbers, received for being head of an $11 billion fraud that led to the bankruptcy of the long-distance company.

Mr. Ebbers’s sentence was less than the 30 years to life imprisonment called for in the sentencing guidelines.

Mr. Skilling’s prospects reflect how tough the federal guidelines have become for those convicted of white-collar crimes in the wake of the huge-scale frauds at companies including Enron, WorldCom and Adelphia.

Some legal experts have begun to question the sentences that federal judges are handing down in these cases.

“You can certainly make the case that things have gotten too harsh,” said Samuel W. Buell, a former Enron prosecutor who now teaches law at Washington University in St. Louis. “But the reason why things have gotten so harsh is we went through these years when sentences were too light. Maybe we need a correction in the other direction to get a happy medium.”

Enron was the company that first imploded in the years of corporate scandal, leading to a wave of investigations and calls for tougher regulations and accountability. The sentence to be handed down Monday is likely to underscore that message of deterrence, legal specialists said.

“Enron still stands alone as a brand name of corporate fraud,” said Robert Mintz, a white-collar criminal defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor, “and this judge is not going to hesitate to hand down a lengthy sentence in this case.”

Mr. Skilling faced the judge alone, without Kenneth L. Lay, Enron’s founder and Mr. Skilling’s co-defendant in his criminal trial, who died of heart problems in July. His guilty verdict was vacated last week.

Missing, too, was Andrew S. Fastow, the former chief financial officer who pleaded guilty to fraud and stealing from the company. He was sentenced last month to six years in prison, less than the 10 years he could have received as part of his deal to cooperate with prosecutors.

All of that leaves Mr. Skilling as the only top executive through whom Enron’s ultimate punishment will be remembered, Mr. Mintz said.

For Mr. Skilling, this summer was about coping. After the verdict in May, he spent significant time with his three children, traveling to California with his daughter and to a dude ranch with his youngest son, said friends, family members and his lead lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli. Neighbors in Houston said they saw little of Mr. Skilling, although he occasionally rented videos from a store near his home.

Virtually all Mr. Skilling’s net worth, around $55 million, is frozen by the government. He owes O’Melveny & Myers, the law firm that handled his defense, more than $30 million, Mr. Petrocelli said.

Mr. Skilling seemed to stay out of Houston as much as possible, spending time at a condominium he owns in Dallas, where his daughter had been a student at Southern Methodist University. But Mr. Skilling’s coping also meant drinking again, despite a court order that forbade him to do so after a much-publicized night of drunkenness in April 2004 at a Manhattan cigar bar, when Mr. Skilling scuffled with some other patrons.

His summer travel ended after he was arrested in Dallas last month for public intoxication. He pleaded no contest and paid a fine. That night, he was out with his brother Mark and his daughter at a Mexican restaurant and had some margaritas, which did not mix well with his prescription medicine, Mr. Petrocelli said. He was walking home to the condo when he was stopped by a police officer; he spent a night in jail.

Mr. Skilling has said he took solace in the bottle to cope with depression. Not being allowed to have an occasional drink “is unreasonable, considering the stresses he is under,” Mr. Petrocelli said.

But the incident is one more reason, outside lawyers say, why Judge Lake rejected Mr. Skilling’s request to remain free pending appeal.

Supporters of Mr. Skilling have recently reached out, trying to help him. In August, two friends of the Skilling and Lay families, Beth Stier and Terrie James, sent a letter to supporters, urging them to pass along “a pleasant memory, a thoughtful wish or a fond goodbye” to Mr. Skilling and Mr. Lay’s family, according to a person who reviewed a copy of the letter. The thoughts were to be collected into books to be given to Mr. Lay’s family and to Mr. Skilling before his sentencing. Ms. Stier declined to say if the Lay and Skilling families had received the books.

Since the Dallas incident, Mr. Skilling has primarily spent time with his family in Houston. On Thursday afternoon, Mr. Skilling — wearing jeans, hiking boots and a small waist bag — walked with his brother near Mr. Skilling’s home in the upscale River Oaks neighborhood of Houston.

“Jeff is sorry for the consequences of Enron’s failure, but he doesn’t believe he committed any crimes,” Mr. Petrocelli said. “And our view is that many of the people that pleaded guilty to crimes at Enron were not guilty.”

For some former Enron employees, that message will not make them feel any sympathy for Mr. Skilling.

“All we ever wanted was for him to take responsibility, and he never did that,” said Deborah DeFforge, who worked at Enron for five years and said she lost about $100,000 in retirement savings. “Until he does that, I could never show him any mercy.”

The Long Tail

Buy the Book Five things about me that may or may not be relevant

Img2_1 As I do more and more press interviews for the book, I'm starting to get requests for a more personal history. My potted professional background is here, but it's pretty dry. My family history, fortunately, is not. Here are five things about my background that may or may not have made me what I am today.

  1. My great-grandfather, Jo Labadie, helped found the American anarchist movment in the late 1800s (that's him at right). His story is told in All-American Anarchist, a biography by his granddaughter, my mother. His writings and library became the foundation of the Labadie Collection at the University of Michigan, which is now a major collection of radical literature, from civil liberties to sexual freedom. It's also the repository for letters to and from Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, while he is in prison.
  2. My grandfather, Fred Hauser, invented the automatic sprinkler system, the source of a very modest family fortune (here's a later patent; the online patent database only starts in 1976). I spent some blissful summers with him in his workshop in Los Angeles, where we would make a two-stroke engine out of solid blocks of steel and crude castings. Metal lathes are amazing, and the crunchy feel of steel curlicues and shavings underfoot at the end of a good day of machining is something I'll never forget.
  3. My father, Jim Anderson, was a Wisconsin telegraph operator's son who just happened to luck out in the draft and get an assignment to work on the Army newspaper in La Rochelle, France during the Korean War (I know, it's unbelievable). He stayed in Europe after the war, ending up working for a newspaper in Berlin at the height of the Cold War and, very John le Carré-like, hanging out with Eastern Bloc "diplomats". In 1960, when CIA U2 pilot Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union, those friendships paid off when he was one of a small handful of western reporters allowed in to cover the trial. It put him in the international spotlight, and led to a distinguished career in journalism that still continues today, albeit from semi-retirement.
  4. I was born in London in 1961 and had a cute British accent until we moved to the US when I was five. I've still got dual citizenship, which came in handy when I lived in Hong Kong in the 1990s and needed to enter mainland China regularly without using my US passport, which had a dreaded "journalist" stamp in it. (People may tell you that ethnic minorities and Falun Gong practitioners are the most persecuted people in China, but journalists are certainly up there).
  5. Finally, there's that whole punk/new wave band thing. Yes, I really did fail out of college, work as a messenger and otherwise spend a good chunk of my twenties working hard at being a slacker. But I eventually turned the corner, went back to university and did the proper hardcore physics thing, which is where my professional bio above begins.

Modern consciousness research, World War II lessons combine to win hearts and minds, war and peace

by Steve Hammons, October 12, 2006 Breakthrough research and discoveries in human psychology and consciousness might be successfully applied to U.S. efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and globally to decrease violence and accomplish worthwhile objectives. Personnel using the conventional military and intelligence tools of psychological operations and information operations might find new opportunities by using knowledge developed from other intelligence efforts such as research into “anomalous cognition,” “remote viewing” and related fields. Additional insight might be gained from careful study of the human assets in past U.S. intelligence operations during World War II such as the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Service (MIS) and the U.S. Marine Corps Code Talkers. Combining state-of-the-art consciousness understanding with awareness of the successes of the MIS and Code Talkers, as well as using other resources, can allow U.S. “soft power” to succeed where bullets, bombs, imprisonment and torture have failed. Effective information operations using films, books, stories and articles, fiction and nonfiction, can all provide valuable perspectives for Americans and for peoples we are dealing with around the world. For example, the new film FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS, produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Clint Eastwood, explores the psychological factors of not only our troops in the Pacific during World War II, but also the persuasion operations by the U.S. Government to influence the American people. SOFT POWER, SMART POWER Recent assessments by elements of the U.S. military have concluded that sheer military force, “hard power,” when dealing with an indigenous insurgency can often be counterproductive. This is probably true of many situations. A new Army-Marine Corps field manual focuses on the limits of hard power and the advantages of soft power. Killing innocent civilians including women and children, securing geographic areas only to lose them again to adversaries and creating more violence and hostility in an area of operations can simply make matters worse. Making enemies instead of friends is not useful. These factors, along with many other widely-recognized mistakes in the Iraq and Afghanistan situations, have created and are currently creating increasingly difficult and tragic consequences for the people of these regions, U.S. forces and Americans at home. The view internationally and here at home that American forces around the world are the “good guys” has been seriously damaged by the invasion and occupation of Iraq. To try to improve this perception and the underlying realities, significant changes on many levels seem to be indicated. As far as the actions and decisions of U.S. national leaders that began the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the American people and our system of democracy and justice will hopefully resolve some of these problems. And people around the world will watch and judge what America does and whether the U.S. is an asset for or danger to world peace. In the specific challenges facing U.S. and NATO forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, human psychology and human behavior come into play. This is true for our own forces and for the indigenous people. Both can be positively affected by intelligent and appropriate awareness and understanding of human consciousness research. What are these specifics and how can they be utilized in successful psychological, information and persuasion operations? WORLD WAR II AND TODAY In the Spielberg and Eastwood film, we can get some useful information and viewpoints because there seem to be both similarities and differences regarding World War II and the situation we find ourselves in today. Media platforms such as this movie teach us, and our friends and adversaries around the world, about the complexities of American society and American history, which also continue now. Both in World War II and currently, Pearl Harbor and the “new Pearl Harbor” (the 9/11 attacks) triggered the fear and anger in Americans that led to significant militarization of the U.S. and widespread military operations. In both cases, suspicions arose about whether these Pearl Harbors were allowed to happen on purpose, or even if they were desired to accomplish the aims of U.S. administrations in office. Some people wanted us to get into World War II just as some now want us to fight a World War III. And as with most wars and human endeavors, there are many different motivations in these situations that may be honorable or dishonorable. This is more of the complexity that is useful to try to understand. In FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS, one character is the famous and tragic Marine Ira Hayes. He was a Pima Indian from southern Arizona. The complex factors of his combat service in the Pacific (when “post-traumatic stress disorder” was not fully understood), the pressures on him and others to become public relations figures for the war effort and aspects of his Pima heritage are parts of this new movie. The 2002 film WINDTALKERS starring Nicholas Cage also examined battles in the Pacific in World War II and told part of the story of the Navajo Code Talkers. Now widely known, the Code Talkers were a top-secret project that used Navajos from northeastern Arizona and the Four Corners area and their native language to convey American military radio communications in code. It was a code the Japanese military was never able to break. The Navajos used native words for animals to represent certain military terms. For example, a fighter plane was the Navajo word for a hummingbird, “da-he-tih-hi.” A submarine was an iron fish, “besh-lo”. A tank was a tortoise, a “chay-da-gahi.” When they had to spell out a word, they also used Navajo that meant an English word that began with letters of the alphabet. In this case, the letter “a” was the Navajo word for ant, “wol-la-chee.” The letter “b” was the word for bear, “shush.” The letter “c” was cat, or “moasi,” and so forth. Another much less known group of Americans in the Pacific was the Army Military Intelligence Service, the MIS. This top-secret group was composed of Americans of Japanese ancestry. They were recruited primarily from California, Hawaii and even from the detention camps in the U.S. where their families were forced to spend the war years, behind barbed wire and armed guards. Like the Navajo Code Talkers, MIS personnel were also involved in intelligence and communications. MIS men translated captured Japanese documents, intercepted Japanese radio transmissions, tried to break codes, interrogated prisoners and conducted behind-the-lines and deception operations. Interestingly, in contrast to recent and current infamous U.S. interrogation and torture activities, MIS men treated captured Japanese prisoners with decency and dignity, according to many accounts. MIS interrogators used psychological understanding to help Japanese prisoners cope with the indoctrination they had received at home. MIS men used mutual respect and effective communication to persuade the Japanese prisoners of war to provide useful information to the Americans. The MIS reportedly used their knowledge of Japanese culture and psychology to work with the prisoners in a humane way and this reportedly yielded sound military intelligence results. This kind of approach is, of course, in stark contrast to recent U.S. approaches that include torture, degradation, sexual humiliation and other techniques which some experts say constitute severe violations of the Geneva Conventions, international law and U.S. law – war crimes. In addition, these activities may be counterproductive in the short-run – not getting valid intelligence, and in the long-run – making enemies for the U.S. instead of friends. In the case of the MIS, during the occupation of Japan, they were instrumental in rebuilding that country and cementing long-term positive relations between Japan and the U.S. There are many different kinds of lessons to be learned from the Code Talkers and the MIS. The way they used their ethnic psychology and communications in accomplishing crucial intelligence missions are part of the importance of human assets and human consciousness. HEARTS, MINDS AND CONSCIOUSNESS Navajos and other Native American Indian tribes also had a long history of exploring different kinds of consciousness, as have other cultures. “Vision quests,” fasting, dreams and in some cases the use of certain plants, mushrooms or cacti were seen as legitimate methods for information gathering, spiritual development and insight, and to contact the Great Spirit, departed loved ones and ancestors. Now, various research efforts over the past few decades have discovered that human psychology is far more complex and interesting than many believed. The human brain, mind and emotional heart are linked to a larger field of consciousness in ways not completely understood. Some people suspect that the human spirit and soul are also involved. Normal, everyday consciousness is only a limited wavelength or channel, much like a channel or frequency on a radio or TV. There are other levels and modes of using our consciousness, many of which can be valuable. For example, well-known health and wellness expert Andrew Weil, M.D., wrote a book called THE NATURAL MIND, published in 1972. In the book, Weil proposed that human consciousness not only has the capability of moving into different states, but that humans actually have a natural tendency to do this. Examples he cites include children who spin in circles or roll down hills to experience dizziness, and people who enjoy the adrenalin rush of dangerous or exciting activities. Skydiving, rock-climbing, roller coaster-riding, sexual activity and lovemaking, fighting and warfare, prayer and meditation, coffee, tobacco, alcohol and certain plants, mushrooms, cacti and medications can all change human consciousness. Even sleep is a form of “altered consciousness.” With some, but not all, of these consciousness-adjusting methods, positive results can occur. For example, in the case of one well-known plant, cannabis, testosterone levels are said to be affected in ways that can reduce the violent tendencies in men. Along these same lines, it is generally accepted that healthy and frequent sexual activity among men may also reduce violent and anti-social behavior in many cases. In situations or cultures where normal and natural sexual activity is limited, increased violence can result. Weil also pointed out that the human race has been doing things to explore inner consciousness for thousands of years. In fact, he indicates that maybe human development and even spiritual development might be linked to this inborn inclination to change the channels, the wavelengths of our awareness. Also in the 70s, 80s and early 90s, the CIA, Army Intelligence and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) were conducting research into the ability of U.S. military personnel and civilians to move their consciousness into a mode that allowed them to perceive things, people and activities at a distance, without any direct sight or other information coming through their five senses. They soon found that valuable intelligence information could be accessed. The U.S. efforts were originally begun as a counterintelligence program, to understand and keep up with similar “psychic spy” research and operations in the Soviet Union. Since that time, other intelligence services around the world have also reportedly conducted similar activities regarding these kinds of phenomena. Remote viewing was a term used to describe the specific techniques used by the U.S. military and intelligence personnel involved in these operations. The specific parameters of remote viewing are just one part of a much larger aspect of human consciousness commonly called anomalous cognition. This phrase refers to the wide range of interesting phenomena such as telepathy, telekinesis (affecting physical objects with one’s mind) and other abilities. This kind of research was quite different from the “mind control” experiments that U.S. intelligence conducted post-World War II, such as the MK-ULTRA projects. Reportedly drawing on some Nazi research and using techniques and mind-altering drugs, many objectionable and unethical activities were allegedly conducted. In contrast, remote viewing looked at some of the best and most promising aspects of the human mind, freeing the consciousness of these U.S. personnel to explore the far reaches of human capability and even human spirituality. Today, taking these kinds of consciousness studies as a whole, there seems to be an emerging consensus that there exists a kind of “psychic internet.” Famous psychologist Carl Jung called this idea the “collective unconscious.” Others prefer the physics-oriented term “zero-point field.” Whatever words are used, these ideas propose that consciousness of individual human beings, groups of people and larger psychological, natural and metaphysical elements and forces are connected. Understanding and utilizing these connections in ways that achieve positive outcomes in international efforts and relations are something that our intelligence personnel could be, and probably are, pursuing. Research into all of these areas and then applying the resulting knowledge to achieve positive goals are missions that are not just optional and desirable, they are absolutely necessary if we are to live in a peaceful world and help the human race advance as an intelligent species. In fact, our very survival may depend on it. Using human assets, human psychology and human consciousness will help us win the war, and the peace. The veteran MIS men, many of whom are alive and well, can help us learn how to deal with an adversary to gather information and persuade the opponent to join us as friends and allies. The Code Talker vets can teach us about applying Native American wisdom from the ancient ones to successfully resolve current challenges. They can help us protect “Ne-he-mah,” the Navajo word for “our mother,” which in Code Talker code meant … America.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Pig's-Eye View Of Literature , by Dorothy Parker

The Lives and Times of John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and George Gordon Noel, Lord Byron Byron and Shelley and Keats Were a trio of Lyrical treats. The forehead of Shelley was cluttered with curls, And Keats never was a descendant of earls, And Byron walked out with a number of girls, But it didn't impair the poetical feats Of Byron and Shelley, Of Byron and Shelley, Of Byron and Shelley and Keats. Daffodils, mp3

From Sir Real..cuz I'm out of ideas today...

Rock Star I'm through with standing in line To clubs we'll never get in It's like the bottom of the ninth And I'm never gonna win This life hasn't turned out Quite the way I want it to be (Tell me what you want) I want a brand new house On an episode of Cribs And a bathroom I can play baseball in And a king size tub big enough For ten plus me (So what you need?) I'll need a credit card that's got no limit And a big black jet with a bedroom in it Gonna join the mile high club At thirty-seven thousand feet (Been there, done that) I want a new tour bus full of old guitars My own star on Hollywood Boulevard Somewhere between Cher and James Dean is fine for me (So how you gonna do it?) I'm gonna trade this life for fortune and fame I'd even cut my hair and change my name [Chorus:] 'Cause we all just wanna be big rock stars And live in hilltop houses driving fifteen cars The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap We'll all stay skinny 'cause we just won't eat And we'll hang out in the coolest bars In the VIP with the movie stars Every good gold digger's Gonna wind up there Every Playboy bunny With her bleach blonde hair Hey hey I wanna be a rock star Hey hey I wanna be a rock star I wanna be great like Elvis without the tassels Hire eight body guards that love to beat up assholes Sign a couple autographs So I can eat my meals for free (I'll have the quesadilla, uh huh) I think I'm gonna dress my ass With the latest fashion Get a front door key to the Playboy mansion Gonna date a centerfold that loves to Blow my money for me (So how you gonna do it?) I'm gonna trade this life for fortune and fame I'd even cut my hair and change my name [Chorus] And we'll hide out in the private rooms With the latest dictionary and today's who's who They'll get you anything with that evil smile Everybody's got a drug dealer on speed dial Hey hey I wanna be a rock star Hey hey I wanna be a rock star I'm gonna sing those songs That offend the censors Gonna pop my pills from a pez dispenser I'll get washed-up singers writing all my songs Lip sync em every night so I don't get 'em wrong [Chorus] And we'll hide out in the private rooms With the latest dictionary and today's who's who They'll get you anything with that evil smile Everybody's got a drug dealer on speed dial Hey hey I wanna be a rock star Hey hey I wanna be a rock star

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Viewing the 2006 Orionid Meteor Shower

Depiction of Orionid radiant

This represents the view from mid-northern latitudes at about 1:00 a.m. local daylight time around October 21. The red line across the bottom of the image represents the horizon. (Image produced by Gary Kronk using SkyChart III 3.5 and Adobe Photoshop 5.5.)

The Orionid meteor shower is active throughout October and the first week of November. This shower is produced by the inbound particles of the famous Halley's Comet, which last passed through the inner solar system in 1986. The Earth passes closest to the comet's orbit on October 21. At this time the Earth actually only skims the outer fringes of the debris field produced by Halley's Comet. The Orionids can still produce a very entertaining display of celestial fireworks, especially when viewed from rural locations. When seen near maximum activity, an observer from a rural location can count 15 to 25 Orionid meteors per hour.

As October arrives, the first of the Orionid meteors may be noticed. At this time the radiant (the area of the sky where the Orionids seem to originate) is located in northern Orion, just a few degrees north of the tight little group of stars formed by Lambda and Phi Orionis. As the month progresses the radiant travels slightly less than one degree toward the northeast each night. On the morning of maximum activity, October 21, the radiant is then located on the Orion/Gemini border, three degrees west of the bright star Alhena (Gamma Geminorum). As we pass into November the radiant has moved well within the constellation of Gemini. The last traces of the Orionid meteor shower may be seen near November 7 when the radiant lies in south-central Gemini near the faint star Lambda Geminorum.

In mid-October the constellation of Orion rises near 2300 (11pm) local daylight time. LDT is your time local regardless of location. You may see meteor activity during the early evening hours, but they will certainly not be Orionids! The Orionids (like all meteors) cannot be seen until they strike that portion of the atmosphere that is visible from your observing site. This can only occur when the radiant has an elevation of -5 degrees or higher. Minus 5? Yes, meteors can actually be seen when their radiant is slightly below the horizon. At this altitude meteors are able to just skim the upper regions of the atmosphere that is visible from your observing site. These meteors are rare and best seen during the strongest showers. You may get lucky and actually see an Orionid "earthgrazer" during the late evening hours. These meteors are different than your average "shooting star" in that they are very long and also long-lasting. The brightest ones can stretch from horizon to horizon, lasting five seconds or more (an eternity compared to the average duration of 0.3 seconds).

As the night progresses the constellation of Orion and the Orionid radiant will climb higher into the sky. The average Orionid meteor will become appear progressively shorter and faster as they strike the dense portions of the upper atmosphere. The radiant will culminate near 0500 LDT, when it lies on the meridian. This will be the best time to see Orionid activity as the radiant will then be located highest above your horizon. To best view Orionid activity look in the general direction of the radiant with the bottom of your field of view situated just above the horizon. Avoid looking straight up as this direction has the thinnest slice of atmosphere. That's great for telescopic work but not for viewing meteor activity. Aim your view a bit closer to the horizon and you will be viewing though a much thicker slice of the atmosphere, allowing you to see more meteor activity. I would also recommend that you not look directly at the radiant as the meteors seen there are short and easily missed. Keep the radiant off to one side of your field of view, but close enough easily tell the meteor came from Orion. Looking in this direction will also help you see the slow Taurid meteors coming from the west and the swift meteors from Leo Minor, coming from the east. Besides these radiants one can also expect up to fifteen random meteors occurring each hour. This offers a good opportunity to see a wide variety of celestial fireworks, if one can stay awake during the early morning hours. ...

Lucid Gratitude

consciously directing attentions to Gratitude

during transition from Waking reality to Dream space

will create a bridge allowing intentional exploration,

Divine communion,

and passage to enlightening adventures.

here is how:

1. tonight, as you lie to rest, focus on Gratitude.

2. imagine this symbol over your heart.

3. with each peaceful beat calming waters within,

feel a drift into sleep,

flowing knowing going is NOW -

resting on a ring of Gratitude,

leisurely floating Rivers of Abundance.

rest. soak. splash.

explore shores for treasures galore.

prepare to wake in Gratitude.


Go Gratitude!


to activate Will during sleep excursions,

summon a symbol of Gratitude.

You will immediately connect with choice, awareness, and power!

plus - flying remains an exhilarating option.


" Lucid dreams are also symbolic--yet in quite a different way,

...Their symbolism takes the form of beautiful landscapes

--different luminous phenomena, sunlight, clouds, and especially a deep blue sky.

In a perfect instance of the lucid dream I float through immensely wide landscapes,

with a clear blue, sunny sky, and a feeling of deep bliss and Gratitude,

which I feel impelled to express by eloquent words of thankfulness and piety.

Sometimes these words seem to me a little rhetorical,

but I cannot help it, as it is very difficult in dreams to control emotional impulses ...

Sometimes I conceive of what appears as a symbol, warning, consoling, approving.

Flying or floating may be observed in all forms of dreams,

except perhaps the class of general dream sensations;

yet it is generally an indication that lucid dreams are coming. "

- excerpt, A Study of Dreams by Frederik Van Eeden

Friday, October 20, 2006

Free Hugs Campaign. Inspiring Story! (music by sick puppies)
Oh dear, get me a tissue...I ADORE this video...

Stream of Consciousness, by gashtunkenfluppt - A Poet of Chaos

Consciousness flowing like a stream through a supercomputer. Unidentifiable unclassifiable unlimited. Capable of producing a myriad of different worlds. All within the computer that is your brain. Which one is real? None of them All of them What is real? Soul. Soul is real. Soul is the essence. Soul is in everything. Music soul Art soul Love soul. Earth / Universe soul}/||\{collective consciousness Outerdimensional soul. Soul in every living things DNA DNA the universes most efficient and potent information storage unit. Containing the wisdom of eternity. The cosmic serpent. Serpantine wisdom revealed through love. Hissing the answers To the ultimate questions? Existence is an aleph null paradox. No it isn’t. Opposites are the same. No they’re not. LOVE SOUL Cynicism is optimisM. Love is a Love is pure Narcotic pacifier. Transcendent enlightenment. Love isn’t real. Love is all that is real. Love is toxic, poisonous, Love is life, earth, spirit, medicine. Erosive, volatile. The world is FUCKED! Corperations own governments Governments own people. Governments scar their people. People scar their children. Children grow up swearing every night “I wont be like that” Children become adults. More scarring. The more scarring the more erosion of human nature. The more greed. The more greed the more corporations. The never ending cycle of FECAL MATTER That is life. The immeasurable beauty in the world greatly outweighs the terrors and the hardships and the pain and the scars and the corruption. The immeasureable beauty is love. LOVE MAKES UP FOR EVERYTHING Everything is nothing. NOTHING IS REAL EVERYTHING IS REAL. There is no real. There is no I. There is no ego. We are ALL ONE! Dissolve into the oneness of the universe. THERE IS NO DUALITY! Express lanes to vanquish the tax collectors feathers in a zero gravity chamber come to life before my eyes. In search of cotton candy mistresses, dancing to the beat of a one man band being hit by a train on a hot winter Thursday equinox. A MAN RUNNING DOWN THE ROAD disintegrates into thin air only to be condensed in the form of a salamander whistling a swing tune while riding his roller skates inside a federal bank on mercury. Smug hair dryers wearing Che Guevara and reading Bakunin in a fucking starbucks. A car with a “this is what a feminist looks like” bumper sticker pumping bitches aint shit by dr dre. Combustion vapourization Release earths wisdom. ETERNAL DISCORD IS OUR ONLY CHANCE AT PEACE AND CALM. Commit crime with your mind. Chaos is constant change. Lets make constant art. The world a constantly changing canvas. Chaos. For the better. REVOLUTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS. SANITY IS RELATIVE AND MEANINGLESS.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Scientists Create Cloak of Invisibility

Related post here, from June 2006 * by RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON Scientists are boldly going where only fiction has gone before - to develop a Cloak of Invisibility. It isn't quite ready to hide a Romulan space ship from Capt. James T. Kirk or to disguise Harry Potter, but it is a significant start and could show the way to more sophisticated designs. In this first successful experiment, researchers from the United States and England were able to cloak a copper cylinder. It's like a mirage, where heat causes the bending of light rays and cloaks the road ahead behind an image of the sky. "We have built an artificial mirage that can hide something from would-be observers in any direction," said cloak designer David Schurig, a research associate in Duke University's electrical and computer engineering department. For their first attempt, the researchers designed a cloak that prevents microwaves from detecting objects. Like light and radar waves, microwaves usually bounce off objects, making them visible to instruments and creating a shadow that can be detected. Cloaking used special materials to deflect radar or light or other waves around an object, like water flowing around a smooth rock in a stream. It differs from stealth technology, which does not make an aircraft invisible but reduces the cross-section available to radar, making it hard to track. The new work points the way for an improved version that could hide people and objects from visible light. Conceptually, the chance of adapting the concept to visible light is good, Schurig said in a telephone interview. But, he added, "From an engineering point of view it is very challenging." The cloaking of a cylinder from microwaves comes just five months after Schurig and colleagues published their theory that it should be possible. Their work is reported in a paper in Friday's issue of the journal Science. "We did this work very quickly ... and that led to a cloak that is not optimal," said co-author David R. Smith, also of Duke. "We know how to make a much better one." The first working cloak was in only two dimensions and did cast a small shadow, Smith said. The next step is to go for three dimensions and to eliminate any shadow. Viewers can see things because objects scatter the light that strikes them, reflecting some of it back to the eye. "The cloak reduces both an object's reflection and its shadow, either of which would enable its detection," Smith said. The cloak is made of metamaterials, which are mixtures of metal and circuit board materials such as ceramic, Teflon or fiber composite. In an ideal situation, the cloak and the item it is hiding would be invisible. An observer would see whatever is beyond them, with no evidence the cloaked item exists. "Since we do not have a perfect cloak at this point, there is some reflection and some shadow, meaning that the background would still be visible just darkened somewhat. ... We now just need to improve the performance of cloaking structures." In a very speculative application, he added, "one could imagine 'cloaking' acoustic waves, so as to shield a region from vibration or seismic activity." Natalia M. Litchinitser, a researcher at the University of Michigan department of electrical engineering and computer science who was not part of the research team, said the ideas raised by the work "represent a first step toward the development of functional materials for a wide spectrum of civil and military applications." Joining Schurig and Smith in the project were researchers at Imperial College in London and SensorMetrix, a materials and technology company in San Diego. The research was supported by the Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program and the United Kingdom Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. --- On the Net: Science: http://www.sciencemag.org

Sherman, set the wayback machine to the year 1981

Don't you stop it, don't you stop Don't stop the music Don't you stop it, don't you stop Don't stop the music Don't you know you've got me mesmerized With the beat I always fantasize Don't stop the music 'cause it tends to soothe I can tell you want to groove Don't you stop it, don't you stop Don't stop the music Yarbrough & Peoples, Don't Stop The Music * sending you forget me nots to help me to remember baby please forget me not i want you to remember those were the times we had sharing a joy that we thought would last memories of love and affection never really was just like a dream was it the simple things that made me so crazy about you was it your charm or your passion it's not hard to believe i love you and i need you so i... Forget Me Nots, Patrice Rushin

Andy Kaufman/Tony Clifton with muppets!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

George Michael - Freedom
Ok...so what..sometimes I miss the original supermodels... :)

Faith No More - Epic (Live)

Make history with us on 17 October by taking part in the biggest blog in history


Make history with us on 17 October by taking part in the biggest blog in history.

'One Day in History' is a one off opportunity for you to join in a mass blog for the national record. We want as many people as possible to record a 'blog' diary which will be stored by the British Library as a historical record of our national life.

Write your diary here reflecting on how history itself impacted on your day - whether it just commuting through an historic environment, discussing family history or watching repeats on TV.


Alyce, Ass & RAW

~Soulmates, Alyce Crowley~ I White Light Blazing Finding only Thoughtlessness In the Void The missing Piece of me Black Light Polaring field of Eyes that make Me Shiver (Paralyze me seeing Through me) The Other Piece of me II Silver Moon Spinning Careful Father (Skyfather watching, waiting) Earthmother Yielding to be The Place where We come togather Ying-Yang like And perfect Protecting Our Soul Union Might we be A duality Of Light-Dark Feeing The other Filling Brimming We were married in nature Under the Skyfather Earthmother III Do we need Sanction of our Duality Completeness And polarized beauty? Do we need Anything more then The blessing of Our Skyfather Earthmother? Union Devine Through nature's touch the Lady's fingers The Lord's touch... * * From http://www.greylodge.org/gpc/ (Tons of goodies here!) Robert Anton Wilson: The I in the Triangle Recorded in Santa Cruz California in 1990, Bob talks about The DaVinci Code long before it was even a glint in Dan Brown’s eye. * * Satanism * Shemales * Extreme Pornography * Time Travel * Fetish * Outsider Music * Conspiracy Theories * Weird Science * Mind Controlled Sex o Slaves of the CIA * Robot Sex * Hillbillies on fire... The files from the old disinfo streaming video/audio collection with segments from Infinity Factory and Disinfo TV all here for you to download..

Massage Makes a Comeback: Studies Credit Massage With Lowering Stress Hormones, Improving Sleep and Elevating Immune Systems

Jodi Mailander Farrell, The Miami Herald Oct. 15 In the 15 years that he's been a certified massage therapist in South Florida, Tom Oakley has built an impressive word-of-mouth business. But his referrals don't come from pampered customers. Most of the 30 massage sessions he delivers each week are the product of doctor's orders. "All of my work today comes as referrals from neurologists, chiropractors, general practitioners and other doctors," says Oakley, who worked as a massage therapist for the Miami Dolphins in the mid-1990s. "My patient load includes a man with a hip replacement, a woman with a knee replacement and several patients in chronic pain. I'd say one out of 20 treatments is just for relaxation." High demand for Oakley's time reflects the renewed respect in the medical community for one of the oldest methods of healing. Cited by Hippocrates, the "father of medicine," in the Fourth century B.C. as an important method of treatment, massage largely fell out of favor in the 1950s, overshadowed by the growth of the pharmaceutical industry and marred by the sex-for-sale reputation of massage parlors. Today, healing hands are back in business, as studies credit massage with lowering disease-causing stress hormones, improving sleep patterns and elevating immune systems, among other health benefits. About 47 million American adults received a massage from 2004 to 2005 -- 2 million more than in the previous year, reports the American Massage Therapy Association in Evanston, Ill. Of the adults who received a massage in the past five years, 32 percent did so for medical purposes. "People are now demanding it," says Tiffany Field, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine. "Young doctors are more positive about it now and more willing to try alternative therapies these days." More than 100 studies at the Touch Research Institute have uncovered positive effects on practically every health aspect, from diminished pain in fibromyalgia sufferers and increased pulmonary function in asthmatics to lower glucose levels in diabetics and enhanced immune function with HIV patients. The biggest endorsement of massage may come from Field herself. She gets at least one professional, full-body massage for 40 minutes at home on the deck of her condo once every week. She also practices yoga and does a 20-minute Tai Chi routine daily to help combat arthritis, which runs in her family. Hospitals, too, have joined in, with the number of hospitals offering massage therapy up by more than one-third in the past two years, according to a national survey. About 71 percent of the hospitals used it for patient stress management and comfort, while 67 percent used it for pain management, according to the survey, conducted by Health Forum, a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association on behalf of the American Massage Therapy Association. There are more than 80 types of massage, but the most basic -- the Swedish massage -- is the grandparent of all Western massages. From deep tissue to Thai, all of the massage techniques available today involve therapists pressing, rubbing or manipulating muscles and other soft tissue with their hands and fingers, and sometimes with forearms, elbows or feet. The intent is to relax the soft tissues and increase blood and oxygen to the massaged areas, warm them and decrease pain. No matter the method, "pressure is the key thing," says UM's Field. "If you don't have moderate pressure, it doesn't work. You want to make an indentation in the skin." The amount of time spent in a massage is generally not important, Field says. Even a 10-minute shoulder massage at work carries benefits. "It's like a jump start," she says. "It's not so much the time you put into something like this, it's the stimulation you receive." In general, massage is considered relatively safe. Still, pregnant women are cautioned to find a therapist trained to perform massages on pregnant women. And diabetics should check their blood sugar after a massage session because it may dip too low. Massage should be avoided by people with congestive heart failure, kidney failure, infection of superficial veins (phlebitis), bleeding disorders and contagious skin conditions. If you have cancer, experts urge you to check with your doctor. Some massage, for example, can damage tissue that is fragile from chemo. People with rheumatoid arthritis, a thyroid disorder called goiter, eczema and other skin lesions should not receive massages during flare-ups. Experts also advise that people with osteoporosis, high fever, few platelets or white blood cells and mental impairment may be better off avoiding massage. In Florida, massage therapists must complete a training program of 500 or more hours and take national board exams to receive their state license. The American Massage Therapy Association estimates that by 2012, the number of massage therapists will have increased by 20 percent to 35 percent. Last year in Florida alone, there were 23,148 active therapists with licenses and an additional 3,379 aspiring massage therapists had submitted applications. Still, long-timers like Oakley aren't concerned about competition. "There are too many people out there with chronic pain," Oakley says. "There just aren't enough therapists out there to handle all of them."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

9/11 Mysteries....

Video by a Conservative Republican... who TRIED to discount 9/11 conspiracies..but he couldn't http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6708190071483512003

Update by Sheldan Nidle for the Spiritual Hierarchy and the Galactic Federation

We come before you again, dear Hearts! Much is happening as certain destined events continue to percolate and move closer each day to overt manifestation! While it is easy for us to predict such things, it is much harder for casual observers to persuade themselves of what to us is obvious. Surrounding you is a reality that works very hard at preserving itself. The doubletalk spouted every day by your major leaders is indicative of just how shaky the true situation really is. The world economy is hovering precariously between a colossal global depression and the throes of a tyranny of unprecedented proportions. Both of these prospects have been postponed by the good works of Heaven and the brave actions of those men and women who put body and soul on the line to back up these "Heaven-sent" initiatives. This graciousness, to us, is a sign of what lies ahead. Although it is often simpler in your society to go along with the prevailing perception of gloom rather than embracing a vision of glorious renewal, now is the time to let go of negative habits of thought and reach out for the light of reason. The objective faculty of reason clearly indicates that at a vast transformation is replacing the deepest underpinnings of your society with a much-enhanced foundation. Its influence can be seen in the rising moral tide that is sweeping across your planet. These rising expectations are silently moving mountains, leading the world closer to solutions for conflict, starvation, depravity, and the plethora of deadly sins that constitutes the legacy of the old ways. Above all, this rising morality is increasing personal and collective awareness, thus assisting more and more individuals and groups to come forward and demand change. Yet, this is merely a public manifestation of a more profound surge toward a new paradigm. Bear in mind that drastic change usually starts slowly, beginning on a local level. The global information networks powering such change are a phenomenon of recent history. These information-driven networks are propelling critical pathways for change, linking every corner of the globe. This type of change is greatly accelerating a method that, in the past, would have taken centuries to complete. This method, in fact, is an imitation of what has worked before in other places: Small loan banks for the poor and indigent have arisen in most parts of the third world. Small cooperatives that aid the disadvantaged have likewise sprung up globally and are linking up with like-minded organizations in the developed world. In effect, a new economy is forming, based on principles of green power and true people-power. This people-centric approach is demonstrating to communities in the developed world a humane alternative to the mainstream blueprint for organizing an economy and its attendant components. Again, this is barely ever mentioned in your media. Another overlooked initiative is the move to make global corporations more accountable and to create more "green" and hospitable working conditions where they operate. Across the planet, challenges to the "norm" are breaking out. Many futurists consider this gentle transformation process to be the growing wave of the near future. These changes are accelerating, and shrinking the time period within which most futurists expect them to become commonplace. This more ecologically acceptable and humane approach to organizing society is affecting the political environment as well. The inability of government to represent its citizens is provoking protests and elective movements that are alarming the old guard. Politics is being moved toward supporting new concepts that are more conducive to the people-centric model touched on above. In fact, this model, in a more detailed form, is the basis for the program set up by our Earth allies. The new reality requires a transition during which these programs are bought to the fore, and the disadvantaged and needy can prosper and soar. The present American regime and its phony ally "the war against terrorism" has attempted to slow down this new global momentum. On one level they have succeeded: by staunching the flow of many former financial resources; on another, they failed: by being unable to head off the "small is beautiful" economic concept that is revivifying the third and developed worlds. What you see happening now is the last stand of the old order and its wealthy cronies, and the latter are desperate. They sense just how deeply entrenched the elements for a new global paradigm have become. Their response, predictably, is to fall back on a tried-and-true diversionary tactic of the old paradigm: war! This option was put into effect after their global intelligence systems had successfully captured control of worldwide, shadowy, terrorist networks after a decades-long campaign. Thereupon, a heinous attack on a major symbol of the developed world was devised and carried out with near clockwork precision and blamed on the new bogeyman. But this plan was limited by a factor that was covertly supporting the new paradigm: us! The resulting state of affairs, which at first seemed so promising to the old guard, is now rapidly eroding only five years after its cock-sure inception. This is why we remain confident that the overt events we all long for are close. First contact plays a supporting, albeit vital, role in this overall operation. The natural process of change unfolding on your planet is part of the great consciousness shift that you are all undergoing. This massive transformation requires a fundamental change in how your society works, and is to happen relatively swiftly. This is a divine reordering, and it specifies a series of preset priorities, one of which is the aforementioned change-from-the-bottom-up. These micro-reforms are more than they at first appear to be; they are activating the intent at the very base of global economic society. Once set up, these changes become the bedrock upon which a more sweeping and deep-rooted revolution can be practically based. A happy concomitant of this divine prerequisite is that, because of their localized scale, these first steps are mostly ignored by the powerful. As these novel approaches seep into the developed world, they birth movements in local communities across Europe, Asia, and the Americas. These, in turn, are starting to affect their counterpart political systems. The presently small-to-medium-sized movements are only just the start of a veritable surge in exploring new financial, economic, and political concepts. What is to jumpstart these new concepts is the quiet revolution of our Earth allies. We cite these grassroots' stirrings for a purpose; you need to know the true dynamic potential of your local and global societies. It is this factor, lying just below the surface and hence largely ignored, that is so vital to your future. Everywhere, major differences are being made in the lives of Earth's often forgotten citizens. These stirrings are readying your world to accept the changes to be brought by first contact. First contact is thus a major part of what is currently happening on many levels on your planet. It is impossible to prevent the inevitable from occurring. All that can happen is a series of strategic delays. Yet, these delays can also be used to gauge change, and that is what is happening here. In fact, the tyrannical reaction of the old guard to your changing world has been a blessing in so far as this has forced the endemic corruption and mismanagement of their mode of governance to surface. It makes it very clear that change is now certain. It also explains our present modus operandi to let things play out as divinely planned. The moment when these diverse components gel and dramatically "flip" your world is getting close. Remember that Together, We are indeed Victorious! Today, we have furthered our discussion of the trends that are making rapid change on your world inevitably. The grassroots' mobilization we touched on is only one of many factors preparing your world for a quiet revolution and first contact. We now take our leave. Blessings, dear Ones! Know in your Heart of Hearts that the perpetual Supply and infinite Abundance of Heaven are indeed Yours! Selamat Majon! Selamat Kasitaram! (Sirian for Rejoice! and Be Blessed in Heavenly Love and Joy!)

Three Women, by Sylvia Plath

A Poem for Three Voices Setting: A Maternity Ward and round about FIRST VOICE: I am slow as the world. I am very patient, Turning through my time, the suns and stars Regarding me with attention. The moon's concern is more personal: She passes and repasses, luminous as a nurse. Is she sorry for what will happen? I do not think so. She is simply astonished at fertility. When I walk out, I am a great event. I do not have to think, or even rehearse. What happens in me will happen without attention. The pheasant stands on the hill; He is arranging his brown feathers. I cannot help smiling at what it is I know. Leaves and petals attend me. I am ready. SECOND VOICE: When I first saw it, the small red seep, I did not believe it. I watched the men walk about me in the office. They were so flat! There was something about them like cardboard, and now I had caught it, That flat, flat, flatness from which ideas, destructions, Bulldozers, guillotines, white chambers of shrieks proceed, Endlessly proceed--and the cold angels, the abstractions. I sat at my desk in my stockings, my high heels, And the man I work for laughed: 'Have you seen something awful? You are so white, suddenly.' And I said nothing. I saw death in the bare trees, a deprivation. I could not believe it. Is it so difficult For the spirit to conceive a face, a mouth? The letters proceed from these black keys, and these black keys proceed From my alphabetical fingers, ordering parts, Parts, bits, cogs, the shining multiples. I am dying as I sit. I lose a dimension. Trains roar in my ears, departures, departures! The silver track of time empties into the distance, The white sky empties of its promise, like a cup. These are my feet, these mechanical echoes. Tap, tap, tap, steel pegs. I am found wanting. This is a disease I carry home, this is a death. Again, this is a death. Is it the air, The particles of destruction I suck up? Am I a pulse That wanes and wanes, facing the cold angel? Is this my lover then? This death, this death? As a child I loved a lichen-bitten name. Is this the one sin then, this old dead love of death? THIRD VOICE: I remember the minute when I knew for sure. The willows were chilling, The face in the pool was beautiful, but not mine-- It had a consequential look, like everything else, And all I could see was dangers: doves and words, Stars and showers of gold--conceptions, conceptions! I remember a white, cold wing And the great swan, with its terrible look, Coming at me, like a castle, from the top of the river. There is a snake in swans. He glided by; his eye had a black meaning. I saw the world in it--small, mean and black, Every little word hooked to every little word, and act to act. A hot blue day had budded into something. I wasn't ready. The white clouds rearing Aside were dragging me in four directions. I wasn't ready. I had no reverence. I thought I could deny the consequence-- But it was too late for that. It was too late, and the face Went on shaping itself with love, as if I was ready. SECOND VOICE: It is a world of snow now. I am not at home. How white these sheets are. The faces have no features. They are bald and impossible, like the faces of my children, Those little sick ones that elude my arms. Other children do not touch me: they are terrible. They have too many colors, too much life. They are not quiet, Quiet, like the little emptinesses I carry. I have had my chances. I have tried and tried. I have stitched life into me like a rare organ, And walked carefully, precariously, like something rare. I have tried not to think too hard. I have tried to be natural. I have tried to be blind in love, like other women, Blind in my bed, with my dear blind sweet one, Not looking, through the thick dark, for the face of another. I did not look. But still the face was there, The face of the unborn one that loved its perfections, The face of the dead one that could only be perfect In its easy peace, could only keep holy so. And then there were other faces. The faces of nations, Governments, parliaments, societies, The faceless faces of important men. It is these men I mind: They are so jealous of anything that is not flat! They are jealous gods That would have the whole world flat because they are. I see the Father conversing with the Son. Such flatness cannot but be holy. 'Let us make a heaven,' they say. 'Let us flatten and launder the grossness from these souls.' FIRST VOICE: I am calm. I am calm. It is the calm before something awful: The yellow minute before the wind walks, when the leaves Turn up their hands, their pallors. It is so quiet here. The sheets, the faces, are white and stopped, like clocks. Voices stand back and flatten. Their visible hieroglyphs Flatten to parchment screens to keep the wind off. They paint such secrets in Arabic, Chinese! I am dumb and brown. I am a seed about to break. The brownness is my dead self, and it is sullen: It does not wish to be more, or different. Dusk hoods me in blue now, like a Mary. O color of distance and forgetfulness!-- When will it be, the second when Time breaks And eternity engulfs it, and I drown utterly? I talk to myself, myself only, set apart-- Swabbed and lurid with disinfectants, sacrificial. Waiting lies heavy on my lids. It lies like sleep, Like a big sea. Far off, far off, I feel the first wave tug Its cargo of agony toward me, inescapable, tidal. And I, a shell, echoing on this white beach Face the voices that overwhelm, the terrible element. THIRD VOICE: I am a mountain now, among mountainy women. The doctors move among us as if our bigness Frightened the mind. They smile like fools. They are to blame for what I am, and they know it. They hug their flatness like a kind of health. And what if they found themselves surprised, as I did? They would go mad with it. And what if two lives leaked between my thighs? I have seen the white clean chamber with its instruments. It is a place of shrieks. It is not happy. 'This is where you will come when you are ready.' The night lights are flat red moons. They are dull with blood. I am not ready for anything to happen. I should have murdered this, that murders me. FIRST VOICE: There is no miracle more cruel than this. I am dragged by the horses, the iron hooves. I last. I last it out. I accomplish a work. Dark tunnel, through which hurtle the visitations, The visitations, the manifestations, the startled faces. I am the center of an atrocity. What pains, what sorrows must I be mothering? Can such innocence kill and kill? It milks my life. The trees wither in the street. The rain is corrosive. I taste it on my tongue, and the workable horrors, The horrors that stand and idle, the slighted godmothers With their hearts that tick and tick, with their satchels of instruments. I shall be a wall and a roof, protecting. I shall be a sky and a hill of good: O let me be! A power is growing on me, an old tenacity. I am breaking apart like the world. There is this blackness, This ram of blackness. I fold my hands on a mountain. The air is thick. It is thick with this working. I am used. I am drummed into use. My eyes are squeezed by this blackness. I see nothing. SECOND VOICE: I am accused. I dream of massacres. I am a garden of black and red agonies. I drink them, Hating myself, hating and fearing. And now the world conceives Its end and runs toward it, arms held out in love. It is a love of death that sickens everything. A dead sun stains the newsprint. It is red. I lose life after life. The dark earth drinks them. She is the vampire of us all. So she supports us, Fattens us, is kind. Her mouth is red. I know her. I know her intimately-- Old winter-face, old barren one, old time bomb. Men have used her meanly. She will eat them. Eat them, eat them, eat them in the end. The sun is down. I die. I make a death. FIRST VOICE: Who is he, this blue, furious boy, Shiny and strange, as if he had hurtled from a star? He is looking so angrily! He flew into the room, a shriek at his heel. The blue color pales. He is human after all. A red lotus opens in its bowl of blood; They are stitching me up with silk, as if I were a material. What did my fingers do before they held him? What did my heart do, with its love? I have never seen a thing so clear. His lids are like the lilac-flower And soft as a moth, his breath. I shall not let go. There is no guile or warp in him. May he keep so. SECOND VOICE: There is the moon in the high window. It is over. How winter fills my soul! And that chalk light Laying its scales on the windows, the windows of empty offices, Empty schoolrooms, empty churches. O so much emptiness! There is this cessation. This terrible cessation of everything. These bodies mounded around me now, these polar sleepers-- What blue, moony ray ices their dreams? I feel it enter me, cold, alien, like an instrument. And that mad, hard face at the end of it, that O-mouth Open in its gape of perpetual grieving. It is she that drags the blood-black sea around Month after month, with its voices of failure. I am helpless as the sea at the end of her string. I am restless. Restless and useless. I, too, create corpses. I shall move north. I shall move into a long blackness. I see myself as a shadow, neither man nor woman, Neither a woman, happy to be like a man, nor a man Blunt and flat enough to feel no lack. I feel a lack. I hold my fingers up, ten white pickets. See, the darkness is leaking from the cracks. I cannot contain it. I cannot contain my life. I shall be a heroine of the peripheral. I shall not be accused by isolate buttons, Holes in the heels of socks, the white mute faces Of unanswered letters, coffined in a letter case. I shall not be accused, I shall not be accused. The clock shall not find me wanting, nor these stars That rivet in place abyss after abyss. THIRD VOICE: I see her in my sleep, my red, terrible girl. She is crying through the glass that separates us. She is crying, and she is furious. Her cries are hooks that catch and grate like cats. It is by these hooks she climbs to my notice. She is crying at the dark, or at the stars That at such a distance from us shine and whirl. I think her little head is carved in wood, A red, hard wood, eyes shut and mouth wide open. And from the open mouth issue sharp cries Scratching at my sleep like arrows, Scratching at my sleep, and entering my side. My daughter has no teeth. Her mouth is wide. It utters such dark sounds it cannot be good. FIRST VOICE: What is it that flings these innocent souls at us? Look, they are so exhausted, they are all flat out In their canvas-sided cots, names tied to their wrists, The little silver trophies they've come so far for. There are some with thick black hair, there are some bald. Their skin tints are pink or sallow, brown or red; They are beginning to remember their differences. I think they are made of water; they have no expression. Their features are sleeping, like light on quiet water. They are the real monks and nuns in their identical garments. I see them showering like stars on to the world-- On India, Africa, America, these miraculous ones, These pure, small images. They smell of milk. Their footsoles are untouched. They are walkers of air. Can nothingness be so prodigal? Here is my son. His wide eye is that general, flat blue. He is turning to me like a little, blind, bright plant. One cry. It is the hook I hang on. And I am a river of milk. I am a warm hill. SECOND VOICE: I am not ugly. I am even beautiful. The mirror gives back a woman without deformity. The nurses give back my clothes, and an identity. It is usual, they say, for such a thing to happen. It is usual in my life, and the lives of others. I am one in five, something like that. I am not hopeless. I am beautiful as a statistic. Here is my lipstick. I draw on the old mouth. The red mouth I put by with my identity A day ago, two days, three days ago. It was a Friday. I do not even need a holiday; I can go to work today. I can love my husband, who will understand. Who will love me through the blur of my deformity As if I had lost an eye, a leg, a tongue. And so I stand, a little sightless. So I walk Away on wheels, instead of legs, they serve as well. And learn to speak with fingers, not a tongue. The body is resourceful. The body of a starfish can grow back its arms And newts are prodigal in legs. And may I be As prodigal in what lacks me. THIRD VOICE: She is a small island, asleep and peaceful, And I am a white ship hooting: Goodbye, goodbye. The day is blazing. It is very mournful. The flowers in this room are red and tropical. They have lived behind glass all their lives, they have been cared for tenderly. Now they face a winter of white sheets, white faces. There is very little to go into my suitcase. There are the clothes of a fat woman I do not know. There is my comb and brush. There is an emptiness. I am so vulnerable suddenly. I am a wound walking out of hospital. I am a wound that they are letting go. I leave my health behind. I leave someone Who would adhere to me: I undo her fingers like bandages: I go. SECOND VOICE: I am myself again. There are no loose ends. I am bled white as wax, I have no attachments. I am flat and virginal, which means nothing has happened, Nothing that cannot be erased, ripped up and scrapped, begun again. There little black twigs do not think to bud, Nor do these dry, dry gutters dream of rain. This woman who meets me in windows--she is neat. So neat she is transparent, like a spirit. how shyly she superimposes her neat self On the inferno of African oranges, the heel-hung pigs. She is deferring to reality. It is I. It is I-- Tasting the bitterness between my teeth. The incalculable malice of the everyday. FIRST VOICE: How long can I be a wall, keeping the wind off? How long can I be Gentling the sun with the shade of my hand, Intercepting the blue bolts of a cold moon? The voices of loneliness, the voices of sorrow Lap at my back ineluctably. How shall it soften them, this little lullaby? How long can I be a wall around my green property? How long can my hands Be a bandage to his hurt, and my words Bright birds in the sky, consoling, consoling? It is a terrible thing To be so open: it is as if my heart Put on a face and walked into the world. THIRD VOICE: Today the colleges are drunk with spring. My black gown is a little funeral: It shows I am serious. The books I carry wedge into my side. I had an old wound once, but it is healing. I had a dream of an island, red with cries. It was a dream, and did not mean a thing. FIRST VOICE: Dawn flowers in the great elm outside the house. The swifts are back. They are shrieking like paper rockets. I hear the sound of the hours Widen and die in the hedgerows. I hear the moo of cows. The colors replenish themselves, and the wet Thatch smokes in the sun. The narcissi open white faces in the orchard. I am reassured. I am reassured. These are the clear bright colors of the nursery, The talking ducks, the happy lambs. I am simple again. I believe in miracles. I do not believe in those terrible children Who injure my sleep with their white eyes, their fingerless hands. They are not mine. They do not belong to me. I shall meditate upon normality. I shall meditate upon my little son. He does not walk. He does not speak a word. He is still swaddled in white bands. But he is pink and perfect. He smiles so frequently. I have papered his room with big roses, I have painted little hearts on everything. I do not will him to be exceptional. It is the exception that interests the devil. It is the exception that climbs the sorrowful hill Or sits in the desert and hurts his mother's heart. I will him to be common, To love me as I love him, And to marry what he wants and where he will. THIRD VOICE: Hot noon in the meadows. The buttercups Swelter and melt, and the lovers Pass by, pass by. They are black and flat as shadows. It is so beautiful to have no attachments! I am solitary as grass. What is it I miss? Shall I ever find it, whatever it is? The swans are gone. Still the river Remembers how white they were. It strives after them with its lights. It finds their shapes in a cloud. What is that bird that cries With such sorrow in its voice? I am young as ever, it says. What is it I miss? SECOND VOICE: I am at home in the lamplight. The evenings are lengthening. I am mending a silk slip: my husband is reading. How beautifully the light includes these things. There is a kind of smoke in the spring air, A smoke that takes the parks, the little statues With pinkness, as if a tenderness awoke, A tenderness that did not tire, something healing. I wait and ache. I think I have been healing. There is a great deal else to do. My hands Can stitch lace neatly on to this material. My husband Can turn and turn the pages of a book. And so we are at home together, after hours. It is only time that weighs upon our hands. It is only time, and that is not material. The streets may turn to paper suddenly, but I recover From the long fall, and find myself in bed, Safe on the mattress, hands braced, as for a fall. I find myself again. I am no shadow Though there is a shadow starting from my feet. I am a wife. The city waits and aches. The little grasses Crack through stone, and they are green with life. * [I chose this poem because it reminded me of the continuing poor treatment of women in the world, & of the population in the US reaching 300 mil this morning]

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Cosmic Trigger Event will occur on the 17th of October 2006

By Raphiem/Blue This is the beginning, one of many trigger events to come between now and 2013. An ultraviolet (UV) pulse beam radiating from higher dimensions in universe-2 will cross paths with the Earth on this day. Earth will remain approximately within this UV beam for 17 hours of your time. This beam resonates with the heart chakra, it is radiant fluorescent in nature, blue/magenta in color. Although it resonates in this frequency band, it is above the color frequency spectrum of your universe-1 which you, Earth articulate in. However due to the nature of your soul and soul groups operating from Universe-2 frequency bands it will have an effect. The effect is every thought and emotion will be amplified intensely one million-fold. Yes, we will repeat, all will be amplified one millions time and more. Every thought, every emotion, every intent, every will, no matter if it is good, bad, ill, positive, negative, will be amplified one million times in strength. What does this mean ? Since all matter manifest is due to your thoughts, i.e. what you focus on, this beam will accelerate these thoughts and solidify them at an accelerated rate making them manifest a million times faster than they normally would. For those that do not comprehend. Your thoughts, what you focus on create your reality. This UV beam thus can be a dangerous tool. For if you are focused on thoughts which are negative to your liking they will manifest into your reality almost instantly. Then again this UV beam can be a gift if you choose it to be. Mission-1017 requires approximately one million people to focus on positive, benign, good willed thoughts for themselves and the Earth and Humanity on this day. Your thoughts can be of any nature of your choosing, but remember whatever you focus on will be made manifest in a relatively faster than anticipated time frame. To some the occurrences may almost be bordering on the miracle. All we ask is positive thoughts of love, prosperity, healing, wealth, kindness, gratitude be focused on. This UV beam comes into full affect for 17hrs on the 17th of October 2006. No matter what time zone you are in the hours are approximately 10:17am on the 17th of October to 1:17am on the 18th of October. The peak time will be 17:10 (5:10pm) on the 17th October. You do not need to be in a meditative state through out this time, though that would be beneficial. The main key time no matter what time zone you are in will be the peak time of 17:10 (5:10 pm). Perhaps at this time if you can find a peaceful spot or location to focus. The optimum is out in the vicinity of grounded nature, likened to that of a large tree or next to the ocean waves. Focus on whatever it is you desire. What is required for the benefit of all Earth and HUmanity is positive thoughts of loving nature. We call this UV beam trigger event, "818" gateway. Please forward this message to as many people as you know who will use this cosmic trigger event to focus positive, good willed thoughts. We require approximately 1-million people across globe to actively participate in this event. Please use whatever communication mediums you have at your disposal. Reach out to as many people as possible. We require 1-million plus people at the least to trigger a shift for humanity from separation and fragmentation to one of unification and oneness. This is your opportunity to take back what is rightfully yours i.e. Peace and Prosperity for all Earth and Mankind. Mission1017 Raphiem/Blue

Breath & Gratitude

"Breath contains both air and moisture. The moisture, or water, is impregnated and charged with the flowing magnetism of feelings that attracts that which has been willed, visualized, and thought into form. Even the smallest amount of charged water has the ability to change all water that it comes into contact with. On the outbreath, the moisture in the breath is in immediate contact with the moisture in the air of the macrocosm, and this magnetism ripples out to the entire Unified Field of magnetic energy in the astral plane." -The Angels of Breath message, also known as The Angels of 'Romasara' * " Consider This: Revise the words, "Thank you," in your internal

dictionary. Call upon these words to establish deep awareness of how

your spirit touches others and how the good intentions of others

stream energy into your experience. Wake up every time you

say, "Thank you." Say, "Thank you," often.

Thanking Yourself

Here's a less used phrase. Saying, "I thank me," to yourself

means, "I thank myself." Although you may not be in the habit of

acknowledging your own efforts with Gratitude, it strengthens your

energetic field when you do. "

Sunday, October 15, 2006


OUR MISSION The Challenges Global climate change… escalating pollution of land, water, and air… accelerating habitat destruction in the forests and oceans… rapid decline of plant, animal, and fish species… swelling human population… grossly imbalanced resource allocation among nations… huge disparities in human living conditions… price and supply volatility in energy markets… international tensions, terrorism, and war… These are the critical and unprecedented challenges facing our civilization which inflict a terrible toll on our people, our companion species, and the planet itself. If not reversed soon, they threaten to end human life on Earth. Our survival will require a vast and dramatic shift in how human civilization generates and uses energy. Without a revolution in energy, we will not be able to act with the speed and scope demanded by the climate change emergency we face. With this revolution we will be able to create sustainable and just economic development required for world peace. Our Mission The New Energy Movement (NEM) acts to promote the rapid widespread deployment of advanced, clean, and sustainable energy sources across our imperiled planet. This transformation in the way our civilization generates and uses energy provides the best physical means to protect the biosphere, remediate ecological damage, and enhance the health and well-being of the global human family. NEM's major priority is to educate the public, policymakers, and investors about the need to support research, development, and use of zero-point energy, magnetic generators, advanced hydrogen processes, and other little-known powerful energy technologies now emerging from inventors and scientists all over the world. Our Goals * NEM seeks to expand public and democratic jurisdiction over questions of energy, peace, and sustainability. Energy policymaking can no longer be left in the hands of unaccountable corporate and government elites. * NEM supports a massive shift of federal expenditures and research away from weapons programs, polluting fossil fuels, and fission-based nuclear power and toward the rapid development and widespread deployment of clean, renewable energy. Each day we spend billions of dollars searching for and consuming polluting energy sources. Public support must be built for reallocating this spending to energy processes whose full environmental life-cycle impact is minimal. * Reduce toxic and greenhouse emissions to zero by 2020. This can be achieved through global conversion to sustainable energy technologies of all kinds and employing comprehensive conservation programs. This will require changes in government and corporate policies and actions throughout the world, particularly in the United States and other industrialized nations. Our Strategy The New Energy Movement will: * stimulate the public and private funding and support needed for rapid development and deployment of the advanced energy technologies required to make the shift away from fossil fuels and nuclear power. * encourage intelligent public discussion and debate regarding the best and safest energy options and how to make the transition from a polluting to an emission-free energy economy with the least disruption and adverse effects. Our Programs The New Energy Movement will educate by: * hosting international and regional conferences that encourage members of the public to discuss and demonstrate their support for new energy. These meetings will link interested citizens with new energy inventors and scientists, potential investors, policymakers, the media, and academics. The conferences will focus on the social and political issues involved in the transition to a New Energy economy and society. The first international conference was held in Portland, Oregon on September 25-26, 2004, with the theme "New Energy: The Courage to Change." * offering special briefings for journalists, investors, policymakers, and leaders of interest groups. * enhancing awareness and facilitating public dialogue about new energy through our website www.NewEnergyMovement.org, distribution of resource materials, and a variety of media appearances. The New Energy Movement will network by: * supporting the work of the New Energy Congress in performing assessments of the most promising new energy technologies. NEC is maintaining a database that ranks these technologies according to: state of development, cost of development, cost per unit of energy, potential scale of power delivery, ease of use, potential environmental issues, potential for destructive use and overuse, potential for decentralization, and public transparency. The emerging database and rankings can be found at www.NewEnergyCongress.org. * engaging in dialogue and coordinating planning with the New Energy Congress, Integrity Research Institute, New Energy Foundation, TeslaTech, Institute for New Energy, and other related groups to further the execution of our collective missions. Links to these allied organizations can be found on NEM's website.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A Red, Red Rose, by Robert Burns

Oh my luve is like a red, red rose, That's newly sprung in June: Oh my luve is like the melodie, That's sweetly play'd in tune. As fair art thou, my bonie lass, So deep in luve am I; And I will luve thee still, my dear, Till a' the seas gang dry. Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear, And the rocks melt wi' the sun; And I will luve thee still, my dear, While the sands o' life shall run. And fare thee weel, my only luve! And fare thee weel a while! And I will come again, my luve, Tho' it were ten thousand mile!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Venus In Furs, by Leopold Von Sacher Masoch

"But the Almighty Lord hath struck him, and hath delivered him into the hands of a woman." --The Vulgate, Judith, xvi. 7. My company was charming. Opposite me by the massive Renaissance fireplace sat Venus; she was not a casual woman of the half-world, who under this pseudonym wages war against the enemy sex, like Mademoiselle Cleopatra, but the real, true goddess of love. She sat in an armchair and had kindled a crackling fire, whose reflection ran in red flames over her pale face with its white eyes, and from time to time over her feet when she sought to warm them. Her head was wonderful in spite of the dead stony eyes; it was all I could see of her. She had wrapped her marble-like body in a huge fur, and rolled herself up trembling like a cat. "I don't understand it," I exclaimed, "It isn't really cold any longer. For two weeks past we have had perfect spring weather. You must be nervous." "Much obliged for your spring," she replied with a low stony voice, and immediately afterwards sneezed divinely, twice in succession. "I really can't stand it here much longer, and I am beginning to understand--" "What, dear lady?" "I am beginning to believe the unbelievable and to understand the un- understandable. All of a sudden I understand the Germanic virtue of woman, and German philosophy, and I am no longer surprised that you of the North do not know how to love, haven't even an idea of what love is." "But, madame," I replied flaring up, "I surely haven't given you any reason." "Oh, you--" The divinity sneezed for the third time, and shrugged her shoulders with inimitable grace. "That's why I have always been nice to you, and even come to see you now and then, although I catch a cold every time, in spite of all my furs. Do you remember the first time we met?" "How could I forget it," I said. "You wore your abundant hair in brown curls, and you had brown eyes and a red mouth, but I recognized you immediately by the outline of your face and its marble-like pallor--you always wore a violet-blue velvet jacket edged with squirrel-skin." "You were really in love with the costume, and awfully docile." "You have taught me what love is. Your serene form of worship let me forget two thousand years." "And my faithfulness to you was without equal!" "Well, as far as faithfulness goes--" "Ungrateful!" "I will not reproach you with anything. You are a divine woman, but nevertheless a woman, and like every woman cruel in love." "What you call cruel," the goddess of love replied eagerly, "is simply the element of passion and of natural love, which is woman's nature and makes her give herself where she loves, and makes her love everything, that pleases her." "Can there be any greater cruelty for a lover than the unfaithfulness of the woman he loves?" ...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Total Kaos, Inc

Every Biting Stroke *

We are one Fused together Pain and passion Welding us together Binding us tighter Than the chains on my wrists I cannot move, yet I fly. Every biting stroke, sending me higher. The sound echo's in my ears Awash in the sensations, I cry out I can fly no higher

You stroke the bright pink welts That criss-cross my ass With Your finger tips Sending shivers through my spent body Bringing me slowly back to myself

Bound to my body by Your love Chained by my love for You Master, Lover, Friend Fused together Pain and passion We are one

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Jarawa tribe faces extinction

Support the Jarawa tribe of the Andaman Islands, India. The Jarawa are in danger of being wiped out by settlers and poachers invading their land. The 300 Jarawa are believed to have lived on the Andaman Islands for 60,000 years. They resisted all contact with Indian settlers on their islands until 1998. Now, settlers are invading their land, hunting the animals they depend on, and bringing disease, violence and exploitation. Survival’s director Stephen Corry said today, ‘India has a stark choice. It can take this historic opportunity to secure the future of an isolated and vulnerable tribe. Or, it can let yet another tribe vanish from the face of the earth, forever.’ Survival is urging the Indian government to close the road running through the Jarawa’s land, to keep outsiders off their land, and to allow the Jarawa to make their own decisions about their future. The London vigil will be repeated every week at the same time. Last month Survival presented a petition with 50,000 signatures in support of the Jarawa to Sonia Gandhi in Delhi and to the Indian High Commission in London. For more information contact Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or mr@survival-international.org

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Listen to Dean Menta's Score of The ArchiTechs on the History Channel

Dean has been a musician for s long as I can remember. We've been friends since we were 11 years old and are both about 40 now... I've always known he was a very special guy, so this makes me incredibly happy for him. You might remember Dean from the group Faith No More. Either way, he is cool, & is recently a new father. So please tune in so that this show is picked up for a series. PREMIERE: Wednesday, October 11 11:00 PM Thursday, October 12 03:00 AM Saturday, October 14 11:00 AM The ArchiTechs Episode: Skyscraper Firefighting and Escape Five geniuses, and a challenge: innovate fire rescue and evacuation equipment and vehicles for use in skyscraper disasters--and do it in 48 hours! A high-tech think tank of engineers, designers, writers and visionaries, strive to tackle the limitations of today's technology--and by using just-over-the-horizon thinking, develop radical new designs for the future. With the unprecedented cooperation New York's regional fire departments, it's a high-tech fire department makeover as the design team reworks skyscraper firefighting. For two high-pressure days on location in the greater New York area, they will immerse themselves in every aspect of firefighting, to assist both occupants and firefighters with innovations not yet imagined, culminating with a dramatic presentation for Former FDNY Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen. He will bring their ideas back to the International Association of Fire Chiefs--but only if they're good enough.

Freedom '90 - George Michael
Sorry..but I LOVED this video when it came out...

Time capsule to be beamed from Mexican pyramid

by Cyntia Barrera Diaz MEXICO CITY Mexico's Teotihuacan, once the center of a sprawling pre-Hispanic empire, is set to become the launch pad for an attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial life. Starting on Tuesday, enthusiasts from around the world will have a chance to submit text, images, video and sounds that reflect human nature to be included in the message. Those contributions -- part of media company Yahoo's "Time Capsule" project -- will be digitalized and beamed with a laser into space on October 25 from the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan, now an archeological site near Mexico City. Archeologists say a culture centered in Teotihuacan, known as the City of the Gods, dominated Mesoamerica for hundreds of years during the first millennium. It is unclear what led to the society's collapse. "We have this incredible ancient site and from that site we can project contemporary content," Srinija Srinivasan, Yahoo's editor in chief, told Reuters. "What is new is the ability to capture this information in such scale." In the 1970s, astronomer Carl Sagan compiled a record with sounds and images, including a mariachi band and greetings in an ancient Sumerian language, to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth. His record was sent out with the Voyager spacecraft in the hope that extraterrestrial life forms would eventually find it.

Penis, Poe, & Passion

* * --A Dream Within A Dream-- Take this kiss upon the brow! And, in parting from you now, Thus much let me avow- You are not wrong, who deem That my days have been a dream; Yet if hope has flown away In a night, or in a day, In a vision, or in none, Is it therefore the less gone? All that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream. I stand amid the roar Of a surf-tormented shore, And I hold within my hand Grains of the golden sand- How few! yet how they creep Through my fingers to the deep, While I weep- while I weep! O God! can I not grasp Them with a tighter clasp? O God! can I not save One from the pitiless wave? Is all that we see or seem But a dream within a dream? --Edgar Allan Poe-- * Dare to Dream mp3 * Dream, A Musical Romp in the Woods * * * I dream of summing everything up in the greatest sentence ever written. -Mason Cooley

Monday, October 09, 2006

Edith Vonnegut

Phoenix Insurgent: Never heard of Khuzestan? Get ready to.

by Phoenix Insurgent With navy deploying its assests, including aircraft carrier battle groups, minesweepers, anti-submarine forces and an amphibious strike group that includes a marine expeditionary unit, war seems quite possible with Iran - and sooner rather than later. US forces have been drilling for various Iran attack-related scenarios, with more drills on the short-term horizon, including anti-submarine drills and nuclear attack drills. Anti-submarine and minesweeping drills involving a Middle East adversary can only mean Iran. Many interesting articles have been written lately about America's war plan, mostly focusing on the air campaign that is likely to target Iran's supposed nuclear assets. As many know, this attack may include tactical nuclear strikes since Iran's alleged nuclear facillities are buried deep in the ground. Below is a list of the three analyses I have found most informing on the broad matter of war with Iran:
  1. The March to War: Naval build-up in the Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
  2. US vs. Iran: Is an attack inevitable? by Abbas Bakhtiar
  3. The March to War: Iran Preparing for US Air Attacks by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
As insane as it seems, war with Iran seems a legitimate and near-term possibility. But why? The WMD argument seems, as was the case with Iraq, to be a charade. Even US intelligence agencies estimate it may be as long as a decade before Iran gets the bomb, assuming such a program even exists. Another potential cause cited by US forces, allegations of Iranian support for insurgents in Iraq, suffered a blow today when British forces revealed they have found no evidence to support such a claim. So what's the real reason? Iran opened its own oil market, called a bourse, in March. The opening of the Iranian bourse represents a significant challenge to the US because Iran plans to switch from the dollar as the currency of oil transactions to the euro and it's own Rial. Some may remember that Saddam Hussein switched from the dollar to the euro as its oil currency in 2000. After the US invasion, the occupation switched it back to the dollar. Venezuela and Russia have indicated they may switch to the euro as well. The reason this is significant is that the dollar is now the currency of oil transactions, meaning that oil sales at the various international oil markets are demarcated in dollars. That means that because there is a constant demand for oil, there is a constant demand for dollars. This artificially inflates the value of the dollar much beyond the true value it would otherwise have, given our trade deficit and national debt. Maintaining the dollar as the reserve currency of international oil gives the US a lot of international leverage, not to mention allowing it to print money without it becoming inflationary - a tremendous advantage given the massive national debt. As Mike Whitney wrote in February 2006,
The bottom line on the bourse is this; the dollar is underwritten by a national debt that now exceeds $8 trillion dollars and trade deficits that surpass $600 billion per year. That means that the greenback is the greatest swindle in the history of mankind. It’s utterly worthless. The only thing that keeps the dollar afloat is that oil is traded exclusively in greenbacks rather than some other currency. If Iran is able to smash that monopoly by trading in petro-euros then the world’s central banks will dump the greenback overnight, sending markets crashing and the US economy into a downward spiral.
Or, as George W. Bush himself said in 2005,
"A successful Iranian bourse will solidify the petroeuro as an alternative oil transaction currency, and thereby end the petrodollar's hegemonic status as the monopoly oil currency. Therefore, a graduated approach is needed to avoid precipitous U.S. economic dislocations. This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous... Having said that, all options are on the table."
Which brings us to Khuzestan. Khuzestan, situated in the southwest of the country near Basra, is where 90% of Iran's oil production comes from. Oil workers there were instrumental in the overthrow of the Shah in the revolution. Khuzestan is also largely Arab, not Persian. It's the birthplace of the British Petroleum. And it was the main target of Saddam Hussein's doomed invasion in 1980. British troops occupied it during WWII. When the locals got upset about foreign ownership of their oil fields, the CIA overthrew the populist Mossadegh regime and installed the Shah, who handed control of the fields back to the colonials. The region remains unstable and Iran has accused British forces of engaging in destabilization operations in there, including bombings. A US attack would likey involve a sweeping into Khuzestan, resulting in occupation and the cutting off of the Iranian military from it's oil reserves, and also subverting the ability of Iran to pose a threat to the dollar with it's bourse trades, perhaps carving it out as an oil mini-state like Kuwait. For more on this, I recommend checking out KHUZESTAN: THE FIRST FRONT IN THE WAR ON IRAN? by Zoltan Grossman and Mike Whitney's Annexing Khuzestan; battle-plans for Iran. As hard to believe as it may be, even more war looms on the horizon. http://phoenixinsurgent.blogspot.com/

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Eyewitness Lebanon: In the land of the Blind

by Michael Schmidt - reporting for Anarkismo Hezbollah worship, slavish anti-imperialism and the need for a real alternative

I’m an anarchist communist journalist and wrote this piece specifically for anarkismo.net. I entered Lebanon via Syria, from the north during the second half of the war, on the last access road not yet bombed by the Israelis (yet a plantation I travelled through was flattened an hour after I passed). I travelled mainly in Beirut and in its bombed southern suburbs, and in Sidon in the south as far south-east as the target of Ghazieh, leaving on the first military transport flight out after the ceasefire came into effect.

Photo: The stone arch of a monument under construction in Ghazieh frames a damaged Mercedes and the rubble of the home in which the 7-member Khalifeh and 14-member Badran families were killed and 28 others injured. Picture: Michael Schmidt



[NB: I’m an anarchist communist journalist and wrote this piece specifically for anarkismo.net. I entered Lebanon via Syria, from the north during the second half of the war, on the last access road not yet bombed by the Israelis (yet a plantation I travelled through was flattened an hour after I passed). I travelled mainly in Beirut and in its bombed southern suburbs, and in Sidon in the south as far sout-east as the target of Ghazieh, leaving on the first military transport flight out after the ceasefire came into effect. The experienced of war narrows one’s focus very sharply: in other words, being on the ground gives one a unique insight into local conditions, but deprives one of a wider perspective. For example, coming within 1.5km of being on the receiving end of an Israeli airstrike made a deep impression on me in terms of the Lebanese cost - but it was impossible for me to assess the Israeli cost from that position].

Even for conservative capitalist journals such as The Economist, bearded, smiling Hezbollah chieftain Hassan Nasrallah is the face of the recent Israeli-Lebanese War - but for me, the face that defined the war will always be that of two-year-old Malak Jubeily, lying dead in a morgue in the southern port city of Sidon.

Malak lived in the predominantly Shi’ite suburb of Ghazieh, south-east of Sidon. Tall for her age, she had just complained to her father Ali Mohammed Jubeily, 31, that she was hungry, when an Israeli rocket slammed into the tiny cemetery next door to her house on August 8. Shrapnel from the rocket - targeted at a funeral being held for the entire families of a pharmacist named Khalifeh and a fisherman named Badran, killed in the Israeli bombing of the central square of Ghazieh the previous day - cut open Malak’s belly and sliced through her left thigh.

Malak bled to death.

Photo:Two-year-old Malak Jubeily, killed in the bombing of a funeral in Ghazieh, south-east of Sidon, shrouded in a bloodied sheet in the morgue of the Al-Raai Hospital in Sidon. Picture: Michael Schmidt

Now she is merely a statistic (1), listed among the 1,261 Lebanese dead (60 of them non-combatant soldiers, and perhaps 100 of them combatant Hezbollah guerrillas) and 159 Israeli dead (116 of them combatant soldiers). And yet, in the inevitable capitalist logic, a victor had to be declared in this, yet another illegitimate imperialist war waged against a civilian population in the Middle East by US proxy Israel.

So, The Economist boldly proclaimed on its front page Nasrallah wins the war (2), arguing that the surprisingly sustained Hezbollah rocket attacks against Israel fostered “the old illusion that Palestine can be liberated by force” among other Islamist forces including the Hammas government of the Palestinian territories.

A debate has been raging in anarchist communist circles (see comments on anarkismo.net articles on the war) about where the emphasis should lie in our analysis of the war. It is clear that for people living in Northern and Western countries, the strategic objectives of the US/Israeli powers in pursuing this imperialist war - weakening Lebanon presumably in order to pave the way for the conquest of Syria and Iran in the manner of the Iraqi invasion and occupation - need to be underlined. However, for many people living in the South and East - including both Lebanese and South African anarchist communists - the question of US/Israeli imperialism is patently obvious, and so our analysis shifts rather to Hezbollah which is being upheld by the left for its “legitimate defence” against attack.

This does not in any way mean we equate the nuclear rogue state of Israel with massive conventional forces on its side - surely a greater danger to Middle Eastern and world peace than Iran with its uranium enrichment programme - with the ill-armed, marginal, sub-state guerrilla forces of Hezbollah. And it’s not merely a question of a military imbalance, but a political imbalance between a people, many of them extremely poor, who for so long have been pawns in the geo-politics of the region, and a relatively wealthy people propped up by the world’s single-most aggressive super-power.


The socialist press, from which one would expect a different take to that of The Economist, trumpeted a similar theme, albeit for different reasons. Socialist Worker, the British paper whose photographer Guy Smallman I met briefly in Beirut, proclaimed US empire is rocked by Israel’s defeat (3), stating that “the resistance across the region has been strengthened”, thwarting American designs on following up the invasion of Iraq with that of Hezbollah’s alma mater, Iran. Certainly, Israel threw more than enough ordnance at Lebanon in pursuit of objectives that clearly had nothing to do with the recapture of two of its kidnapped soldiers, having been worked out months in advance. Its cluster-bombs (apparently made by the US) continue to maim people returning to the devastated areas who stumble across them, while several others have died since the official cease-fire in further Israeli incursions into Lebanon. Israel’s imperialist campaign against Lebanon is far from over and any multinational “pece-keeping force” is likely to prop up Israel against its neighbour.

Socialist Worker’s Simon Assaf said (4) that Hezbollah’s victory was assured because of a massive return of displacees into south Lebanon on the last day before the cease-fire of August 14, in defiance of continued Israeli bombing and that the Israeli forces were compelled to retreat by this human wave; that it was “freedom from below”. That seems a little unconvincing to me, because whatever the left may wish, “the people” in this context usually means Nasrallah’s armed choirboys.

Of course, Israel and the right, naturally also claim victory, in having significantly damaged Hezbollah’s main base of operations south of the Litani River, in the southern Shi’ite suburbs of Beirut and in the Bekaa Valley, that traditional hideout of every radical organisation from the nearly-defunct Japanese Red Army to the now-moderate Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

Militarily, as Kenneth Besig said in the Jerusalem Post (5), the “victory” may well be Hezbollah’s: “Fewer than 5,000 poorly-armed Hezbollah terrorists stood off the mighty IDF [Israeli Defence Force] for over a month. An Islamic terrorist gang with no tanks, no artillery, no fighter jets, no attack helicopters, and just a few RPG’s and rifles held to a standstill nearly 30,000 crack IDF troops with the finest tanks, the best artillery, the fastest and most advanced fighter-jets and attack helicopters in the world. And they can still empty our northern communities with their rockets whenever they want. If that is not a victory, then the word has no meaning.”

In military terms, of course, this was an asymmetrical war, with Israeli might overwhelmingly targeting civilians and civil infrastructure with precision bombing (and many “mistakes” resulting from such precision including the Qana Massacre and the shooting up of a United Nations-protected displacee convoy). Nose-cones, shrapnel and fins of powerful missiles, allegedly US-made smart-bombs and bunker-busters, were found in the rubble of flattened neighbourhoods, leading to widespread suspicions that the US was using Lebanon as a bombing test-range in the same way as the Nazis used Spain.

I certainly witnessed chilling evidence of a bomb that takes buildings down soundlessly, apparently sucking them into an intense vacuum, whereas other bombs and rockets were exceptionally. Ranged against this, Hezbollah tried to hit who knew what (civilian or military targets) with low-yield guidance-less World War II-era Katyusha rockets. I did not personally see any evidence of Hezbollah firing missiles from residential areas - but I was shooed away by security men, presumably Hezbollah, in their stronghold of Ghazieh, who wanted to prevent me seeing some relatively small items being removed from the garage of a bombed house into the boot of a black Mercedes. These may well have been mortars, or some such small ordnance, but I have no proof. Nevertheless, the imbalance of power neither makes this a “conflict” instead of a war, as some analysts argued, nor means that anarchists should uncritically back the underdog.

Photo: The body of five-year-old Fatima Khalifeh is buried alongside that of her three-year-old brother Hassan, two other brothers, both grandparents and both parents - all killed in the Israeli bombing of a funeral in Ghazieh the previous day. While witnessing the funeral on a baking hot day, an Israeli targetting drone flew overhead, followed by four bombers, one by one. It was a very nerve-wracking experience and the funerals were conducted swiftly. Picture: Michael Schmidt


But, in political terms, both sides’ claims of victory are wrong - and not only the dead testify to that. Israel clearly failed not only to comprehensively crush Hezbollah, but united, rather than divided the Lebanese population along its traditional religious fault-lines that were so painfully in evidence during the 1975-1991 Civil War (this divide-and-rule strategy was alleged by some Lebanese I spoke to to be Israel’s objective: keep Lebanon disunited and weak in order to install a puppet regime in Beirut).

Israel is also back in south Lebanon, where I doubt it actually wants to be, having withdrawn in 2000 in what was a positive move towards alleviating tensions in the region. Its war has pushed the inevitable negotiations with Hammas (with the bonus of the moderating gentrification that being in power brings) to a more remote date, making fill withdrawal from the unwanted Gaza Strip and unmanageable West Bank impossible.

On the other hand, Hezbollah’s “victory” is just as Pyrrhic. The Arab world, in disarray ever since Israel’s stunning pre-emptive Six-Day War in 1967 and increasingly lured by Western patronage in the absence of a Soviet option, is nowhere near as united behind a Hezbollah-style project as the rhetoric issuing from capitals such as Damascus makes it seem.

Egypt and Jordan have signed peace deals with Israel, effectively giving up on the dream of pushing Israel into the sea (significant in Egypt because Cairo was once the capital of para-fascist “Nasser-socialism” (6), and in Jordan because it is a de facto Palestinian state, yet one with a stable, employed, integrated Palestinian majority).

Libya and Syria no longer intervene directly in Lebanese affairs, with Syria having withdrawn its military forces last year (and, contrary to “Axis of Evil” propaganda, Syria keeps it Palestinians under strict control) (7). Iraq is wrapped up in its own bloody insurgency - while the Arabian Peninsula oil-states bask in the glamour of huge tourist-oriented building projects.

The Palestinian cause that Hezbollah champions is an article of faith that few Arabs care to get their hands dirty over. For distant, non-Arab Iran, Hezbollah is an expendable pawn of use only so long as it can drum up Islamist support. But what is the true nature of Hezbollah, the self-proclaimed Party of God? It is at the same time a guerrilla force, a Shi’ite religious movement, a social organisation - and a conventional Lebanese parliamentary political party.


Nasrallah himself has mutated his image, from the close-cropped beard, modern glasses, sports jacket and open-necked shirt of a Mediterranean businessman to the black-turban, grey abaya, and bushy beard of a fundamentalist patriarch whose acolytes chant “Allah! Nasrullah!” as if he is a new prophet.

Most commentators note that Hezbollah sprang up in 1985 among Shi’ites in the Palestinian refugee camps of southern Lebanon - three years after the last major Israeli invasion - as a new generation of radicals tired of the compromises struck by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation under the late Yassir Arafat and Fatah. The right unsurprisingly sees Hezbollah as an outright terrorist organisation publicly dedicated to the obliteration of Israel. The left, however, is not at all sure how to deal with Hezbollah, especially given the fact that it appeared to be the only force that resisted the Israeli invasion. Marxist-Leninist journalists such as Michael Karadjis of Australia’s Green Left Weekly (8) claim it as a “a national liberation movement, rather than an ‘Islamist’ or ‘terrorist’ organisation” that has managed remain non-sectarian and avoid the pitfalls of both Islamic fundamentalism (being hostile to a marginal Al Qaeda presence in Lebanon) and of opposing Jews for their faith instead of Zionism for its imperialism. But however “non-sectarian” it is, it is hardly in favour of free thought - as the martial tone of its propaganda videos on al-Manar TV show (9).

Is Hezbollah “Islamo-fascist” as the European, American and Israeli right claims? The Lebanese people should be able to tell, having direct experience of home-grown fascism thanks to the Khataeb (Falangist) party, founded along Spanish Falangist lines in 1936 and responsible for the Israeli-sanctioned Sabra and Shatilla massacre of Palestinian refugees in southern Beirut in 1982. Certainly Hezbollah is a theocratic right-wing organisation built on conservative social grounds and an obscene leadership cult - and I suspect its adoption of the goose-step and the Nazi salute is far from accidental. The most visible faction of the Lebanese anarchist movement (10) characterizes Hezbollah as “reactionary”. I’d prefer the term clerico-populist.

Karadjis writes: “Hezbollah is a nationalist, not a socialist, organisation, and socialists have many differences with Hezbollah’s ideology and many of its tactics. However, recognising that it is a national liberation movement rather than a ‘fundamentalist’ or ‘terrorist’ organisation is important in understanding the kinds of allies that are necessary in national struggle. Moreover, it is not necessary to romanticise Hezbollah in order to recognise that its actual political evolution and many of its tactical decisions make it a far better vehicle for the national struggle than many other organisations in the region with roots in ‘political Islam’, such as al Qaeda.”

He must have been watching a different Hezbollah propaganda broadcast to me. Hezbollah could easily be viewed as Iranian proxy force in much the same way as many national communist parties of the Cold War were little more than proxys for Soviet foreign policy. Established as a strike-breaking force of thugs in Iran by the Ayatollah Khomeini’s clerical counter-revolution in 1979 (apparently deemed a genuine revolution by Karadjis), its Lebanese offshoot is still used to play a plausibly-deniable long-range game by financiers and armourers in far-off Iran and elsewhere. But despite Iran’s boast of having armed Hezbollah, this should not be seen as an endorsement of US aims to tar-and-feather Iran with Hezbollah’s brush - which is according to many analysts the real strategic objective behind the Israeli-Lebanese War: to prop up the “War on Terror” after the outright failure of the invasion of Iraq to either find weapons of mass destruction or to stop Iraqi resistance to Coalition/proxy rule.


Anarchists such as Wayne Price of the North-Eastern Federation of Anarchist Communists (NEFAC) have argued (11) that it is an error to “equate the two sides” - Israel and Hezbollah - which naturally leads to a failure to support the oppressed against the oppressors. Clearly both sides have antique grudges against each other, so the question of who started the war is irrelevant. But though anarchists instinctively back the underdog, for us to be ‘“on the side of’ the people of the oppressed nation, supporting them against attacks from their oppressors,” as Price put it, could imply being on the side of Hezbollah, simply because it was doing most of the (defensive and offensive) fighting on the Lebanese side.

Price argues convincingly that anarchists should support “national liberation (here meaning the same as national self-determination: the right of a people to determine its own fate).” And he also rightly points to the Makhnovist model of “a national liberation struggle being waged with a non-nationalist program”. But the problem here, in real terms, is: whose “national struggle” (Karadjis’ phrase) is this anyway? The Palestinians? The Lebanese? The Iranians? And at the moment, there simply is as yet no Lebanese mass organisation with a clearly non-nationalist programme for anarchists to support.

On the other hand, Hezbollah has become inextricably linked with Lebanon, and has developed a wide range of social functions (a key feature of populist movements), stepping into the vacuum created by both the weakness of the Lebanese state and the Syrian withdrawal to become what some have called a “state within the state” (a clear source of its power).

But clearly, this Lebanese patriotism has been forced on Hezbollah simply because it is a fish out of water in any other context. It certainly would not be at home in either Syria or Iran or, even, arguably, the Palestinian territories: with a membership drawn primarily from among third- and fourth-generation Lebanese, they are naturalised Lebanese and no longer Palestinian. Though its recruiting-grounds are the impoverished camps established after the 1948 Israeli land-grab, many poor non-Palestinian Lebanese also live in these camps simply because rents and food are subsidised, further diluting the “Palestinian” nature of Hezbollah and, thus, to a degree, the validity of its claims against Israel.

The poverty in the camps and the lack of a future make their inhabitants prime fodder in being trained up in the death-cults espoused by groups such as Hezbollah. This is identical to the warped ethic under which young boys depicted in films such as Death in Gaza (12) are trained by their cynical “elder brothers” to seek martyrdom. Malak’s father told me without a trace of regret: “We offer up our children as a sacrifice to Allah” - though her mother Khadija, 24, choked in pain when she heard his callous words. This martyrology is a national mental disease in Lebanon, with public displays running the gamut from street-light posters of “martyred” children in Ghazieh to the bullet-holed Martyr’s Monument in downtown Beirut, one statue of which has ironically lost an arm.


In the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king. But who is king in Lebanon, in the sense of who has vision? Is it the nascent anarchist movement, al-Badil al-Chouii al-Taharruri (ACT, Libertarian Communist Alternative: http://www.albadilaltaharrouri.com/ )? As an anarchist-communist, I would like to think so, but in order to assess this, I met with ACT militant and academic Georges Saad in Baabda, south-east of Beirut and from his balcony, watched Israeli warplanes and warships flatten entire city blocks in the neighbouring suburb of An outgrowth of Alternative Libertaire (AL) of France, but consisting primarily of Arabic-speaking Lebanese members, ACT is a small organisation in a country with 3-million people. It associates closely with Communist Intifada, a radical faction within the declining Lebanese Communist Party (LCP), and work together within a broader social formation called the 14th of March Movement which is opposed to Syrian meddling in Lebanese affairs - in opposition to a Syrian revanchist faction (Syria and Lebanon were one state under French mandate from 1918-1946).

Syria/Lebanon’s anarchist history is slender, but a ground-breaking study by Ilham Khuri-Makdisi (12) shows that from about 1904, a group of Syrian/Lebanese radicals grouped around the figure of Daud Muja’is began disseminating socialist thought, and established night schools and reading rooms in Beirut and in Mount Lebanon (then a semi-autonomous province of the Ottoman Empire). This network interacted with other revolutionary networks in the region, notably the multi-ethnic network in Alexandria and Cairo that established the Free Popular University in Egypt in 1901, and the International League of Cigarette Workers and Millers of Cairo in 1908 (Egypt had been represented by Errico Malatesta in the Black International as far back as 1881 and by 1895, the first Arabic anarchist translations appeared).

The Muja’is network held what appears to be the Middle East’s first celebration of May Day near Beirut in 1907. After the Young Turk 'revolution' of 1908/9 overthrew Sultan Abdulhamid II, and the Turkish nationalists - who had initially been drawn to insurgent anarchism - showed their true colours, the Muja’is network and its papers al Nar of Beirut and al Hurriyya of Alexandria took a distinctly anarchist turn and in 1909 staged a wildly popular play about the anarchist educator Francisco Ferrer, murdered that year by the Spanish state.

However, the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 and the rise of Arab nationalism after the 1918 collapse of the Ottoman Empire put paid to the Syrian/Lebanese anarchist movement - until, as far as is know, the founding of ACT after the end of the Civil War (details have been lost on the Palestinians who trained Argentine’s Resistencia Libertaria anarcho-syndicalist guerrilla force in the 1970s). This is history that the ACT, according to Saad, was unaware of and what this rootlessness means in a Middle Eastern country with far more liberal than libertarian socialist tradition.


This is tough territory for the left to operate in, after all: pro-Syrian former LCP leader George Hawi was among those assassinated in a series of bombings last year. Saad said that ACT is a staunchly atheistic organisation, a hard sell in Lebanon perhaps, but one which could enable it to cross the religious sectarianism exploited by imperialist powers such as the US/Israel and Iran/Syria/Libya during the Civil War. As ACT’s Basina Bassan said in a 1995 statement (when the organisation’s name was simply Libertarian Alternative) (13), “the underlying cause of the war - the religious divide - has not really been addressed, and so the situation remains explosive”. Lebanese society remained deeply divided along confessional lines (14).

“Lebanon is a land of unrestrained capitalism,” Bassan continued, “with a government in favour of economic liberalism and privatisation - this in a country with little electricity, few telephones, and little clean drinking water. The wages of the most impoverished continue to fall, while the rich avoid paying their taxes, and what money there is the government spends on luxuries for its ministers.

“There is little to say about the Lebanese left - much of it is identical to the petit-bourgeois parties, more interested in getting a bigger slice of the cake than with real change. Its members actually support the liberal economic policies of the government - it is strange to sometimes hear the old Maoists quoting Marx to justify their ‘provisional return’ to capitalism.”

But, following the Lebanese General Union of Workers standing up to state military suppression of a demonstration in 1994, Bassan said, “the radical communist left is starting to regroup. It is made up of many political strands, but it is noticeable that even the nationalists are becoming more influenced by libertarianism, even anarcho-syndicalism. There is, then, a glimmer of hope, providing everyone learns the bitter lessons of experience. If we can work together in our areas of agreement, we may be able to regain the good years of 1970-75, before the war overtook the radical left.”

In its statement on the war this year, ACT said (15) that this radical communist left had since consolidated: “Since Syria’s humiliating retreat from Lebanon, two large political trends have developed: the 14th of March current (the date of the huge demonstration that took place after the assassination of ex-Prime minister Rafik Hariri), and the pro-Syrian 8th of March current, which has been joined by the Christian supporters of [retired pro-Hezbollah] General [Michel] Aoun, since he was promised the presidency of the Republic. We believe that the 14th of March camp constitutes a relatively ‘revolutionary’ current, in comparison with the 8th of March current which comprises corrupt elements under Syrian control and nostalgics of Lebanon’s dark past (17). The behaviour of the Lebanese Communist Party is nothing short of scandalous. Together with a few others, most of whom nostalgic for Arab Nasserism, it makes up a very weak third camp with little or nothing to offer [so it backs Hezbollah]. There has, however, been a split within it (Communist Intifada), which Al-Badil is close to.”


The condition of anarchist communism in Lebanon is nevertheless very weak, notably ACT’s failure to establish relations with the Israeli/Palestinian organisation Anarchists Against The Wall (AATW) - the “apartheid” wall that divides their territory - and its lack of contact with anarchists and left communists in countries such as Egypt, Turkey (Anarchist Communist Initiative), Iran and Iraq in particular (the councillist Workers’ Communist Parties in the latter two) that would allow a far clearer regional anarchist communist analysis and jointly co-ordinated approach to the problems of the Middle East to be developed (18).

Regarding this year’s war, the ACT said: “This attack must be analyzed as part of a wider scenario. In our opinion, it arises in the context of the American plan for a Great Middle East. George W. Bush wants to create a large area that would be favourable to him and which would include Arabic countries and Israel, leading to the end, in one way or another, of conflict in the Near East. Iran and Syria are opposed to this project, which is obviously a good thing. But the bad thing is that Syria and Iran, who support Hezbollah and who fight against the plans of Bush and the Israeli government, are clearly totally reactionary countries, from all aspects.”

Hezbollah was described as “a party that, despite all it has done in order to drive Israel from Southern Lebanon and despite the large number of martyrs sent to carry out their religious duty, a one-way ticket to a paradise of honey and houris, has not satisfied Lebanese expectations for many years. The ‘Party of God’, under Iranian control, is clearly and obstinately anti-freedom... Once a party of resistance and sacrifice, the ‘Party of God’ has become unbearable...

“We say NO to Hezbollah as a reactionary, religious, pro-Iran party; NO to Bush, Blair and Chirac, who consider these disproportionate attacks (the destruction of Lebanon to obtain the release of some soldiers) as a legitimate form of self-defence by Israel; NO to the UN Security Council’s timid and ambiguous behaviour; NO to the Lebanese government which is incapable, weak and contradictory, wasting its time begging for help, counting the casualties and placing its hope in international tribunals.” This comment has, however, been criticised by other anarchists in Lebanon (19) as coming from a group out of touch with the grassroots and by an anarkismo.net helper for raising”not a single NO (among all the NOs included) to the Israeli Zionist fascist clique.”

So much for anarchist analysis - but is there a real anarchist communist option for Lebanon? As the most socially liberal country in the Arab world, there is a great chance for a real politics of liberation to take root. If, as Price argues, “only the anarchist programe can” “liberate Lebanon and other countries from imperialism,” such a programme at least requires pragmatic solidarity and a functional network of councillist, left communist and anarchist communist organisations in the region. Only these, working within broader working class formations - such as the Lebanese General Union of Workers or the Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq or whatever progressive social forces exist - can begin to build a counter-power that not only resists imperialism, but also the seductive lure of “radical, anti-imperialist” Islam.

- Michael Schmidt, Johannesburg, South Africa

Written for Anarkismo.net

(1) The reasons I name Malak are firstly, that she represents 27% of those killed on the Lebanese side: children under 15 who are clearly not legitimate military targets. And secondly, because humanity needs to be injected into these debates, not for reasons of sentiment, but because if we are waging a battle for the heart of society, we have to care about actual people. (2) Editorial, The Economist, Nasrallah wins the war, August 19-25, 2006. (3) Joseph Choonara, Socialist Worker, US empire is rocked by Israel’s defeat, http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/article.php?article_id=9494 (4) Simon Assaf, Socialist Worker, Lebanon: freedom from below, http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/article.php?article_id=9517 (5) Kenneth Besig, Jerusalem Post, quoted in Mike Whitney, Restarting the 34-day War, Counterpunch, http://www.counterpunch.org/whitney08242006.html (6) For the Nazi origins of Gamal Abdel Nasser’s “Arab socialism” read Martin A. Lee’s seminal account of the post-war survival of the fascist idea in The Beast Reawakens: Fascism’s Resurgence from Hitler’s Spymasters to Today’s Neo-Nazi Groups and Right-Wing Extremists, Little Brown & Co., 1997. Lee’s arguments, it must be noted, are often deeply unpopular with the left which tries to divine a liberatory project in such state centralism - but an Arabist “third position” has certainly proven influential among certain neo-fascist factions. From amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0415925460/002-4986825-1915221?v=glance &n=283155 (7) Apart from a yellow-and-green Hezbollah flag flying from a statue of Salah ad-Din - the conquerer of the Crusaders - in downtown Damascus, and several on roadside stalls near the Lebanese border, I saw very little obvious Syrian support for Hezbollah. (8) Michael Karadjis, Green Left Weekly, Lebanon: Hezbollah: its origins and aims, August 9, 2006, http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2006/678/678p12.htm (9) Clips from these Hezbollah propaganda adverts can be viewed online at: http://www.sundaytimes.co.za/specialreports/beirut/lebanon2_encoded.wmv http://www.sundaytimes.co.za/specialreports/beirut/AlManar2.WMV (10) I heard of, but did not encounter, student anarchists at the American University of Beirut. A (presumably Lebanese) group from international anti-fascist organisation Red and Anarchist Skin-Heads (RASH) working in Europe reported that they had returned to Lebanon to provide direct mutual aid to villages in the south of Lebanon deemed unreachable by aid workers. Interview with anarchist militants in Lebanon, Infoshop, 23 August 2006, http://www.infoshop.org/inews/article.php?story=20060823093410576 (11) Wayne Price, North-Eastern Federation of Anarchist Communists, Lessons for the anarchist movement of the Israeli-Lebanese war, written for anarkismo.net, 2006, http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=3614 (12) James Miller (killed by Israeli fire during the filming) & Saira Shah, Death in Gaza, 2004, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0412631/ (13) Ilham Khuri-Makdisi, Levantine Trajectories: The Formulation and Dissemination of Radical Ideas in and between Beirut, Cairo and Alexandria 1860-1914, Harvard University, 2003. (14) Basina Bassan, Al-Badil al-Taharurri, Alternative Libertaire (English translation), 1996, News from the Land of the Cedars, http://www.zabalaza.net/phorum/read.php?f=2&i=784&t=784 (15) However, an unyielding atheist position may prove problematic in that if anarchist communists slam the door on Muslim youth looking for a radical path, it could simply drive them into the arms of the likes of Hezbollah or even al-Qaeda. So far, this debate has primarily been held in the West where Muslims are in the minority - but is of far greater interest to Middle Eastern and North African anarchist movements where mainstream society is dominated by Islam. On the other hand, anarchists cannot, like much of the left, align themselves with right-wing imams on the spurious grounds that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. (16) Al-Badil al-Chouii al-Taharurri, The Lebanese and Palestinian People and Israeli Aggression, Alternative Libertaire (English translation), 27 July 2006, http://www.zabalaza.net/phorum/read.php?f=2&i=1193&t=1193 (17) The 2005 “Cedar Revolution” that forced the withdrawal of Syrian forces was precipitated by a mass demonstration on March 14 of that year, but this force is really a very broad front of mixed political orientation including many Hariri supporters, leading to criticism by some Lebanese anarchists about working within or alongside it. Nevertheless, anarchists have to work within the working class and poor, not outside them. This is a real challenge in the conditions of Lebanon where non-party social movements appear to be virtually non-existent and party-based patronage and exclusion dominates social life, from getting a job to where you live. (18) This weakness is sadly common to many anarchist organisations: they tend to relate to organisations with a common language, which divides the anarchist world into Anglophone, Lusophone, Francophone etc blocs. So, a key strength of the anarkismo project is its rapid translation of anarchist analysis from around the world into a range of different languages (similar to the a-infos project’s work relating to anarchist news). (19) A member of RASH filed a comment to anarkismo.net criticising the al-Badil statement on the war (note 15 below), saying it “does not represent in any way the tendancy of [the] lebanese autonomous or anarchist movement. [T]his writer should be ashamed of himself and could do better by showin up in protests rather then just writting nonsence propaganda.” Saad admitted to me when I was in Baabda that al-Badil was not as active as it could be, a capacity problem common to small “Third World” anarchist organisations such as my own. In response to this criticism, he asked those making it to get in touch with al-Badil in order to establish a dialogue. Later addition (5 Sept). Specifically he says ""I know that to be small organisation is not a wrong. But the problem it is that there are not many anarchists in Lebanon. We will go down more and more on the ground. The comrades of France perhaps will organize a money collection to help lebanese after this war; they have another project on the level of the SIL to finance us precise projects to reinforce us. We continue to estimate that the theoretical level is important and not only to take part in demonstrations. We have the project to ask to the SIL to finance us the publication of other delivers on anarchism.""

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The middle East is the materializing of the Chines curse: "Have an interesting life". by Ilan Shalif - AATW Saturday, Sep 2 2006, 3:02pm address: Tel Aviv

Michael wrote: "CHALLENGES FOR ANARCHIST COMMUNISM IN THE MIDDLE EAST The condition of anarchist communism in Lebanon is nevertheless very weak, notably ACT’s failure to establish relations with the Israeli/Palestinian organisation Anarchists Against The Wall (AATW) - the “apartheid” wall that divides their territory - and its lack of contact with anarchists and left communists in countries such as Egypt, Turkey (Anarchist Communist Initiative), Iran and Iraq in particular (the councillist Workers’ Communist Parties in the latter two) that would allow a far clearer regional anarchist communist analysis and jointly co-ordinated approach to the problems of the Middle East to be developed (18). " Ilan: It seems Michael is not aware of the dangers in the Middle East are facing. The Palestinian anarchists are in the most dangerous position. The Turkish ones started organizing relatively freely only the last years. In Egypt, there are for sure anarchists, but it will still take time till we will have signs of them. (To my knowledge there is only one Egyptian libertarian communist active in the internet.) As for the councillist Workers’ Communist Parties in Iran and Iraq, I am not sure at all how much antiauthoritarian label fits them... As for the Israeli Anarchists Against The Wall (AATW), it is not really an organization.... and clearly not Israeli/Palestinian though some Israeli Palestinians participate in its actions. (AATW is really a loose direct action movement consisted mostly by anti organizational antiauthoritarians many not even labeling themselves "anarchists".) Any way, direct contacts between Israeli anarchists with like minded people in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, are too dangerous to both sides. Worthy communications can be easily done indirectly through international anarchists forums on the internet.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A Song of Despair, by Pablo Neruda

The memory of you emerges from the night around me. The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea. Deserted like the dwarves at dawn. It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one! Cold flower heads are raining over my heart. Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked. In you the wars and the flights accumulated. From you the wings of the song birds rose. You swallowed everything, like distance. Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank! It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss. The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse. Pilot's dread, fury of blind driver, turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank! In the childhood of mist my soul, winged and wounded. Lost discoverer, in you everything sank! You girdled sorrow, you clung to desire, sadness stunned you, in you everything sank! I made the wall of shadow draw back, beyond desire and act, I walked on. Oh flesh, my own flesh, woman whom I loved and lost, I summon you in the moist hour, I raise my song to you. Like a jar you housed infinite tenderness. and the infinite oblivion shattered you like a jar. There was the black solitude of the islands, and there, woman of love, your arms took me in. There was thirst and hunger, and you were the fruit. There were grief and ruins, and you were the miracle. Ah woman, I do not know how you could contain me in the earth of your soul, in the cross of your arms! How terrible and brief my desire was to you! How difficult and drunken, how tensed and avid. Cemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs, still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds. Oh the bitten mouth, oh the kissed limbs, oh the hungering teeth, oh the entwined bodies. Oh the mad coupling of hope and force in which we merged and despaired. And the tenderness, light as water and as flour. And the word scarcely begun on the lips. This was my destiny and in it was my voyage of my longing, and in it my longing fell, in you everything sank! Oh pit of debris, everything fell into you, what sorrow did you not express, in what sorrow are you not drowned! From billow to billow you still called and sang. Standing like a sailor in the prow of a vessel. You still flowered in songs, you still brike the currents. Oh pit of debris, open and bitter well. Pale blind diver, luckless slinger, lost discoverer, in you everything sank! It is the hour of departure, the hard cold hour which the night fastens to all the timetables. The rustling belt of the sea girdles the shore. Cold stars heave up, black birds migrate. Deserted like the wharves at dawn. Only tremulous shadow twists in my hands. Oh farther than everything. Oh farther than everything. It is the hour of departure. Oh abandoned one!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Scientists teleport two different objects

[From Miss Anne Thropic's Blog]

October 5th, 2006 at 3:16 am (Uncategorized)

LONDON, England (Reuters) — Beaming people in Star Trek fashion is still in the realms of science fiction but physicists in Denmark have teleported information from light to matter bringing quantum communication and computing closer to reality.

Until now scientists have teleported similar objects such as light or single atoms over short distances from one spot to another in a split second.

But Professor Eugene Polzik and his team at the Niels Bohr Institute at Copenhagen University in Denmark have made a breakthrough by using both light and matter.

“It is one step further because for the first time it involves teleportation between light and matter, two different objects. One is the carrier of information and the other one is the storage medium,” Polzik explained in an interview on Wednesday.

The experiment involved for the first time a macroscopic atomic object containing thousands of billions of atoms. They also teleported the information a distance of half a meter but believe it can be extended further.

“Teleportation between two single atoms had been done two years ago by two teams but this was done at a distance of a fraction of a millimeter,” Polzik, of the Danish National Research Foundation Center for Quantum Optics, explained.

“Our method allows teleportation to be taken over longer distances because it involves light as the carrier of entanglement,” he added.

Quantum entanglement involves entwining two or more particles without physical contact.


Nike and Her Impact on Greek Art and Culture

Nike is the goddess of victory in Greek Mythology. Homer does not personify Nike. She is the daughter of the giant Pallas and the river Styx in Hesiod and she is sent to fight on the side of Zeus against the Titans. Athens did not appear to have a separate cult for Nike. At first she was inseparably connected and confounded with Pallas Athena, the dispenser of victory, but she is gradually separated from her. Both Athena and Zeus can be seen carrying small figures of Nike indicating that she is an attribute of both of them. Nike with Athena is always wingless while Nike as a separate goddess is always winged. Nike appears carrying a palm branch, wreath, or a caduceus of Hermes in works of art. She is also seen erecting a trophy or recording a victory on a shield. Frequently she is seen hovering with outspread wings over the victor in a competition. Nike gradually came to be recognized as a sort of mediator of success between gods and men not only in war but all sorts of human undertakings.
Life was early associated with air because the need for air is so immediate. The birds flew in the air and were often associated with the spirit of life. Since a winged flight is associated with a victory over death it was easily associated with victory. Hense victory is associated with the winged goddess Nike. Nike is an aspect of Athena and is essentially an Athena with wings. Nike is shown flying down with a torch and a wreath to bestow victory on an Athlete. Greek custom shows Nike draped and the athlete nude. Nike's gown is semi-transparent as befits a goddess but the image of Nike is not so revealing as an ancient artist would draw. The ancient artist had no requirement to be naturalistic but rather preferred an ideal image. Nike is commonly shown with wings but the wings are shown to emphasize her ability to fly. Actually all the deities had this ability but wings are not often shown. Greek deities are shape-shifters and can appear in any guise, winged or not. The athlete may not even be able to see Nike. She controls this also.
* 'Heterosexual,' 'bisexual,' 'lesbian,' and 'gender queer' are not terms I use to describe myself. They're too limiting, like every other name and role I've had the pleasure of escaping. In a pinch, I might agree to call myself ocean-fucker or sky-sucker or earth-bonker. As much as I love men and women, they can't satisfy the full extent of my yearning. I need intimate relations with clouds and eagles and sea anemones and mountains and spirits of the dead and kitchen appliances and the creatures in my dreams. To be continued. To be enhanced and amplified and enlarged upon, world without end, amen. One day I really do hope to be a wise enough lover to be able to f**k the ocean. To give a forest fire a blow job. To make a pride of lions come just by looking at them." -- Jumbler Javalina, "Bite into the Mysteries," *Underground Pronoia* [Thanks to Catharine for this...]

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Study Spots the Brain's Selfishness 'Off-Switch'

Civil society may hinge on a tiny piece of tissue at the front of the human brain, a new study suggests. Experiments involving a "fairness" game show that the right side of this region -- called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex -- helps people suppress selfish urges in obviously unjust situations, even at their own expense. When researchers used a mild electric current to temporarily short-circuit this area, the law of the jungle quickly reasserted itself. People with disabled right-side dorsolateral prefrontal cortexes grabbed whatever money they could from lopsided transactions -- even when they knew the deal they were getting was grossly unfair. "They understood the unfairness of it all, but they simply couldn't inhibit their need for getting the money," said Paul Sanberg, director of the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair at the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa. Sanberg was not involved in the study, which is published in the Oct. 6 issue of Science. The Swiss and American team behind this research noted that, despite a long history of crime, wars and rapaciousness, human beings are innately cooperative. In fact, Homo sapiens is the only species to exhibit "reciprocal fairness" -- the punishment of others' unfair behaviors, even in situations where doing so hurts the punisher. This behavior is demonstrated in an oft-used tool in behavioral science called the "Ultimatum Game." In this game, one player is given a set amount of money. He is then instructed to hand over, at his own discretion, a share of the money to a second player. Player 2 can either accept the amount offered or refuse the deal altogether, in which case both players receive no money. When Player 1's offer is very low -- for example, $2 out of a total of $20 -- it would still behoove Player 2 to accept the offer, since $2 is better than nothing. However, under normal circumstances, participants put in this position in the game overwhelming refuse such low offers, which they perceive as grossly unfair. Instead, they forfeit their own self-interest so they can "punish" Player 1. Why might this be so? Humans are highly socially evolved, and punishing unfairness "helps sustain cooperation in groups," said study lead researcher Ernst Fehr, director of the Institute for Empirical Research in Economics at the University of Zurich. Because more cohesive groups tend to have better survival prospects, humans who suppress their immediate urges end up on the "winning team," evolutionarily speaking. Fehr's group sought to find the seat of this selfishness-override in the brain. In prior brain-imaging studies, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) lit up during the game, so the researchers focused there. In the study, they had participants play the game under two conditions. In the first condition, the researchers passed a mild electric current through the right or left hemispheres of Player 2's DLPFC, temporarily deactivating these brain regions. Other participants took on the Player 2 role under sham conditions where no real electric current was flowing. "The big surprise," Fehr said, "is that a relatively minor inhibition of the right DLPFC removes or weakens the subject's ability to override their self-interest." Players whose right-side DLPFC's were "switched off" accepted even very low amounts of cash nearly half (45 percent) of the time -- even though they knew the offer was terribly unfair. But under normal conditions, barely one in 10 players accepted such insulting low offers, the researchers found. The experiment shows that this part of the cortex "is clearly very important for our social behavior, our societal evolution," Sanberg said. The right side of the DLPFC helps people resist those strong urges for sex, money and general acquisitiveness that come from more primitive sites outside the cortex, he said. "It provides modulation of those urges, so that you can have control over them," Sanberg added. "As we evolved, we somehow developed this control over our basic needs." One intriguing line of research is whether the right-side DLPFC functions similarly in everyone -- even hardened criminals or sociopaths. "This is a very interesting question which we are just exploring now," Fehr said. "Preliminary results suggest that the right DLPFC has very different activation across individuals." His team also noticed that the left side of the DLPFC also sprang to life during the game, although its role remains much more mysterious. "We are just in the process of studying this now," Fehr said.

From Sir Real's Blog: You Need Not Justify

When you visualize, or when you get in that imaginary place, when you vibrate on purpose, when you take the time to set your Tone—what you set into motion is so much more powerful and so much more productive than anything that you could do with your action. Envision more and act less. Let action always come on the heels of visualization. Make a decision that your action is action that is inspired rather than action that is motivated. You, like almost every other physical human, are under the misunderstanding that it’s through your action that you are getting things done. And so, you work many hours a week, usually, in action or behavior, to try to make things happen—and you spend 15 minutes a day, maybe, if you’re really hard after it, in your visualization. And we’re not suggesting that you flip-flop those completely because it would upset your orientation to this time/space reality. We certainly would envision more and act less. We would make a decision that our action would always come on the heels of our visualization. We would make a decision that the action that we are offering would always be action that is inspired rather than action that is motivated. (Inspired meaning, “I’ve visualized it. I’ve imagined it. I have made it familiar...") These are important words for you to receive: “I have practiced my imagery so often that the vibration of this success is so familiar, even more familiar than the reality.” Now you haven’t allowed that to be, relative to this subject. You keep saying, “There’s not enough time. There’s not enough time.” Where if you would get into a visualization state and imagine that there is plenty of time—you would begin to offer a different vibration. You are trying to justify your value through your hard work or through your action. And what we’re wanting you to hear is that you need not justify. You don’t have anything to justify. Think about it. If the Universe is responding to your vibration, do you think it makes any difference whether the vibration is in response to what you are observing or in response to what you are imagining? So you can image plenty of time, you can image all kinds of help, you can image… And so, the answer to time is, there isn’t any. But that’s hard for you to find any belief in when you are here with clocks and calendars and others that are in agreement about it. And so, change and modify it by saying, “time is perceptual.” Let’s say you are in a canoe and you have 30 minutes to go a half a mile and you can go upstream or downstream. It’s your choice. What’s logical? Let the current carry you. You see. But when you have created a current that’s going that way and you say, “I want to go that other way,” then there is not enough time in the world to ever get you there. It’s like saying, “I want some hot tea.” So you turn on the fire under your tea kettle, and just before the water boils, you turn it off. Then you turn it on again, and just before it boils, you turn it off. And then you turn it on again, and just before it boils, you turn it off, and then you complain, “For ten years, all I’ve wanted is a cup of hot tea.” And we say, “Just leave it on.” To Make Time Expand For You The way you make time expand for you… The way you get greater productivity from any moment in time is by flowing with the current—and the way you flow with the current is by finding thoughts that feel good when you think them. One who is connected to the Energy Stream is more powerful than a million who are not. There is not enough action in the world to compensate for a misalignment of Energy. Most people who are acting to create, can create, at best, only mediocrity. It isn’t until you step into the vibrational realm of visionary that any big things happen. It is a really rare one of you who has ever allowed yourself the benefit of focusing upon something long enough that the Energy began to move with you. When you do that, it is effortless. Doors open. It’s as if the entire Universe is conspiring—and it is—to assist you in what you are wanting. But most of you spend your actions rather than aligning your Energy, and then you feel overwhelmed because there is not enough action or you can’t muster enough effort. Most of you have convinced yourselves that you prove your worthiness through your effort or action. Well, what we are wanting you to do—if you’re wanting to prove something—is prove your connection to the Energy Stream. Is This The Next Logical Step? Don’t try to take action about anything until you have visualized it and made it real enough that it feels like the next logical step. -Abraham-Hicks-
posted by Sir Real in Tucson

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

More on Jake

Jake LaBotz Tattoo Tour in Philly on 10/21, Part of New CD Tour of Tattoo Parlors SINGER/SONGWRITER JAKE LA BOTZ TO DEBUT NEW ALBUM ON NATIONAL “TATTOO ACROSS AMERICA” TOUR WHERE TATTOO PARLORS ARE THE VENUES 20 US cities targeted by the former street musician, about to release his new album, Graveyard Jones Tour to be filmed for documentary HOLLYWOOD, CA -- Jake La Botz has stolen and lived in cars, learned to play blues from the last of the delta greats like Robert Johnson protg David “Honeyboy” Edwards, played in a south LA church band, acted in indie films and even auditioned for the band Velvet Revolver. Author Jerry Stahl once said of the post-modern bluesman, ”Not everybody will get [his music] because not everybody's ready for the truth.” Now, on the eve of the October 3 release of his new CD, Graveyard Jones (Charnel Ground Records), which he calls “a jug of condensed rock 'n' roll mythology waiting to be mixed with your consciousness,” Jake La Botz is about to make musical history. He will preview the album over the course of the 20-city cross-country “Tattoo Across America” tour, stopping at tattoo parlors throughout the country. The tour kicks off in Hollywood on October 7 at Mark Mahoney's Shamrock Social Club and continues to Austin, Chicago, Cleveland, Nashville, Boston, New York, San Francisco and elsewhere through November 2nd. La Botz, who self-administered his first tattoo at age 14 (”street style . . . India ink and sewing needle”) and has since received dozens more through his friendship with tattoo artists over the years, has garnered a following in the body-art community. “I'd been getting emails from tattoo shops and tattooed fans for a while, which made me think 'I should really pay attention to this connection',” he says. “I figured that me and the fans are somewhat on the fringe of the music / art world, so why not do a tour on the fringe? I put out the word of my availability, and response was more instantaneous and organic than it's ever been.” When he put “Tattoo Across America Tour” on MySpace, he was flooded with feedback. The recipient of critical accolades for his last album, All Soul And No Money, La Botz has a musical fan base as well as an indie- film fan base that knows him from Steve Buscemi's Animal Factory and a new film, One Night With You (starring Michael Parks, Mark Boone Junior and La Botz), which is making the film festival circuit. He also appeared in the art-house hit Ghost World (starring Thora Burch, Scarlett Johansen and Steve Buscemi) as a member of the blooze band from hell, Blues Hammer. His latest cinematic quest is to make a documentary about the “Tattoo Across America” tour. He will bring a filmmaker along to document each stop and make a movie “about outsiders, tattoos, music and the search for community in the contemporary world.” So with boxes of the new Graveyard Jones CD in the trunk of his car, La Botz will visit an itinerary of tattoo shops that are as legendary to tattoo people (Gil Montie's Tattoomania, Doc Dog's Las Vegas Tattoo Co.) as CBGB and the Whisky A Go Go are to rock 'n' rollers. “In one sense the modern tattoo shop is like the barbershops of yesteryear,” he says. “People gather and talk about the events of the day. Also it's become a place where you can check the pulse of modern American culture . . . a place where you'll find young and older creative people checking in with each other and sharing information. The artist's obligation is to get information from the other side and bring it back to share for the benefit of all. That's why I write songs and make records and that's why I'm doing the tattoo tour.” The “Tattoo Across America” Tour: OCT. 7: HOLLYWOOD, CA Shamrock Social Club OCT. 8: SAN DIEGO, CA Absolute Tattoo OCT. 9: PHOENIX area, AZ Incision Tattoo OCT. 11: AUSTIN, TX Southside Tattoo OCT. 12: BEAUMONT, TX Tattoomania OCT. 13: JACKSON, MS The Ink Spot Gallery OCT. 14: MACON, GA Beyond Taboo Tattoo OCT. 15: TAMPA, FL Las Vegas Tattoo Co. OCT. 16: ORLANDO, FL Solid Image Tattoo OCT. 18: LEMOYNE, PA (HARRISBURG AREA) Permanent Impressions Tattoo OCT. 19: LONG ISLAND, NY Electric Tiki Tattoo OCT. 20: BOSTON, MA Fat Ram's Pumpkin Tattoo OCT. 20: WATERTOWN, MA 21 Nickels (after Fat Ram's show) OCT. 21: SKIPPACK, PA (PHILADELPHIA AREA) Liberty Tattoo OCT. 22: CLEVELAND, OH 252 Tattoo OCT. 23: CHICAGO, IL Body By Design OCT. 24: CHICAGO, IL Chess Records Studio OCT. 25: CINCINNATI, OH All Things Tattooed Show OCT. 26: NASHVILLE, TN Lone Wolf Body Art OCT. 28: DENVER, CO Kitchens' Ink OCT. 29: SALT LAKE CITY, UT Attatude Tattoo OCT. 31: SALEM, OR All American Tattoo NOV. 1: SAN FRANCISCO, CA One Shot Tattoo NOV. 2: HOLLYWOOD, CA True Tattoo

Jake LaBotz - Master Bluesman

Blues & Tattoos There's certainly nothing new about seeing a concert at an art gallery or artist's studio. Here's a musician who's taking that concept just a bit further. While planning a tour to promote his new album, Graveyard Jones, blues musician and actor Jake La Botz stumbled onto the perfect venue for his music - tattoo studios. Pollstar spoke with him about the inspiration behind such a novel tour. First, thanks for taking time out to answer some questions. How did you decide to do the tour this way? This is a very old-school approach. Was that part of the attraction? This is how it went down... I've been playing professionally for 15 or 16 yrs. For the first half of that I was strung out like a lab rat on "stuff" and couldn't tour... had to stay close to the dope man. When I finally woke up from that particular nightmare I found myself sketching a bad caricature of the American dream along with a million other hopeful musicians in Hollywood. After many near misses with labels, managers and other big shots. I finally figured out that I could go on tour without anyone from the music industry giving me the go ahead. In fact it began to look like I had an obligation to the fans who had been sending me emails asking me why I never play in Poughkeepsie or Fargo or wherever. I felt kinda stupid telling 'em I don't have a booking agent...I mean it's not like I don't own a car and a guitar... so I decided to figure out who they are and go meet them. From looking at my fans profiles on myspace I noticed a lot of them are heavily tattooed and somewhat artistically ecumenical. Also, having recently played at a tattoo convention in Long Beach, CA and having sold bizillions of CD's I figured "I'm on the fringe of this art / entertainment deal... so are my fans. Lets do a tour on the fringe... forget about the typical music venues...and actually mix it up on the shop floor." Once you had the inspiration, how did you pull the whole thing together? So I put it up on the internet that I was gonna do this thing and pretty soon I had to turn down shops that wanted to be involved... which is too bad. I'd like to play them all. What I'm thinking is to do this every year... different shops... also Europe, Japan, Australia... what the hell? But yeah... the old school thing. When I hear stories from my pal and mentor, delta bluesman Honeyboy Edwards, man... he just went off and did it - place to place - him and Robert Johnson did that in the 30's. On Graveyard Jones you play with a band. Will they be traveling with you or will you hook up with any other musicians along the way? Just me and an acoustic guitar. In Chicago I will meet up with a coupla guys to back me up at the legendary Chess Records Studio on south Michigan Ave. (now it's the Blues Heaven Foundation) where Howling Wolf, Muddy, Bo Diddley, Little Walter, Willie Dixon, etc. made all those great records. Your MySpace page lists a huge number of influences, some of whom are apparent in your music. Is there one musician who's had a particularly strong impact on you? Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis. Real name was Charles Thompson. As a young man, at the end of the depression, he was a clown traveling with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels. In the 40's he met up with John Lee Hooker in Detroit and learned how to play guitar. Eventually he wound up playing guitar on Maxwell Street which is where I met him in the 80's and where I learned about the mysteries of the cheap guitar, the cheap wine and the priceless lineage of blues singers who can connect to the soulful voice way down below the dirt on Maxwell Street. The tour is being filmed for a documentary. Are you thinking about it as a theatrical release or as something for IFC? It'd be real nice to get a theatrical release. Or I could pack a big screen and a projector in the car and show it at tattoo shops on the next tour! What do you think the focus of the film will be? In other words, what do you want the public to take away from seeing it? I honestly don't know what I'm going to find on this journey. One thing I'm curious about is what it means to be an artist and an individual in this particular time and place. Also, how music and tattoos tie in together... the sense of lineage that apply to both. And maybe a hopeful message that we can actually just be who we really are without outside approval. Your songs are drawn from your life, which by the way is a fascinating story in it's own right. Have you thought about writing new songs inspired by the tour for an album to go with the film? Unfortunately for me I don't seem to have that kind of control over what I write about. The songs bubble up on their own time...but it's an interesting thought. Anyone who wants to hear more of La Botz or catch him live, his new album Graveyard Jones will be released October 3, and his Tattoo Across America tour kicks off October 7 at Hollywood's Shamrock Social Club and crisscrosses the country through November 2. Jim Otey / Pollstar


by Carolyn Baker, Ph.D.

[For those who refuse to do their homework on the despicable legacy of COINTELPRO in America, Carolyn Baker has done it for you in this report. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the harassment of Mike Ruppert and FTW over the years – including but not limited to the recent burglary of our offices – were all textbook COINTELPRO operations. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has introduced legislation calling for an investigation into current COINTELPRO activities being carried out by the U.S. Government. May God bless and protect Cynthia McKinney and all the important work that she continues to do. However, I am positive her legislation will be shot down in short order, especially considering the fact that she recently “lost” her Congressional seat under extremely suspicious circumstances involving Diebold electronic voting machines. Nevertheless, it will be extremely noteworthy for the historical record to see Congress prevent a much-needed investigation at the same moment it gives the executive branch the right to lock up anyone who opposes the President indefinitely and torture them. The American Republic is long dead, and fascism is no longer creeping in this country – it is solidified and documented as the law of the land. – MK]


By Carolyn Baker, Ph.D.

© Copyright 2006, From The Wilderness Publications, www.fromthewilderness.com. All Rights Reserved. This story may NOT be posted on any Internet web site without express written permission. Contact admin@copvcia.com. May be circulated, distributed or transmitted for non-profit purposes only.

October 3rd 2006, 2:47PM [PST] - In the wake of National Security Agency’s (NSA) admissions that the Bush administration has been wiretapping phone conversations of American citizens and last week’s Congressional approval of the torturing and disappearing of enemies of the state, I have watched progressives, wide-eyed with amazement (in spite of the earlier passage and renewal of the USA Patriot Act), inundate the internet with proclamations that the United States has “now” become a fascist state. When I wrote, “Hello, You Are Now Living In A Fascist Empire” in 2004 and “Why I Will Not Vote In 2004”, my inbox was deluged with diatribes by progressives against my “extremism” and the ease with which I was “giving up hope” on America. When Mike Ruppert wrote two of his most brilliant and astute articles ever, “The ‘F’ Word,” and what became Chapter 23 of CROSSING THE RUBICON, “Eating The Chosen People,” FTW was chastised for being paranoid and pre-supposing that the American republic had already collapsed. Only a few years later, we now hear the same progressive voices drawing the same conclusions that we drew immediately after 9/11. Most continue to maintain some modicum of faith in the disgracefully corrupt election process in the U.S., and few will confront the irrefutable legal and military evidence which confirms that the U.S. government orchestrated the September 11 attacks. But FTW readers and others with an incisive map and a working knowledge of American history were not aghast when the U.S. Congress ruled that torture and disappearance are perfectly congruent (I say this with tongue in cheek) with the principles elucidated in the United States Constitution. Those individuals understand that targeting American citizens who hold dissident views is almost as old as our nation itself and certainly as American as apple pie.


In 1798, only 11 years after the U.S. Constitution was signed by its Framers, when tensions between the U.S. and Great Britain were accelerating in a lead-up to the War of 1812, the Alien and Sedition Acts were passed by Congress in the John Adams administration. At that time Irishmen and Frenchmen in America were seen as potentially dangerous revolutionaries because of the recent French Revolution and the Irish rebellions. Thomas Jefferson, a lifelong rival but also a friend of John Adams, vehemently opposed the acts as tyrannical, which indeed they were. In fact, one cannot read them without wondering if one is reading Congressional legislation in 1798 or in 2006:

  • The Naturalization Act, which extended the residency period from 5 to 14 years for those aliens seeking citizenship; this law was aimed at Irish and French immigrants who were often active in American politics.
  • The Alien Act, which allowed the expulsion of aliens deemed dangerous during peacetime
  • The Alien Enemies Act, which allowed the expulsion or imprisonment of aliens deemed dangerous during wartime. This was never enforced, but it did prompt numerous Frenchmen to return home.
  • The Sedition Act, which provided for fines or imprisonment for individuals who criticized the government, Congress, or president in speech or print.1

Historian, Howard Zinn, notes that even though the legislation “seemed to directly violate the First Amendment, …it was enforced. Ten Americans were put in prison for utterances against the government, and every member of the Supreme Court in 1798-1800, sitting as an appellate judge, held it constitutional.”2

During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus when after the outbreak of the war, Lincoln claimed emergency powers and authorized the military to arrest and indefinitely detain anyone suspected of aiding the South. Chief Justice Roger Taney in Ex Parte Merryman was outraged and wrote a lengthy opinion to the contrary. The debate has engaged constitutional scholars ever since.

In 1866 in Ex-Parte Milligan, Lambden P. Milligan was sentenced to death by a military commission in Indiana during the Civil War for engaging in acts of disloyalty. Milligan sought release through habeas corpus from a federal court. In the final opinion, Justice Davis, speaking for the Court, held that trials of civilians by presidentially-created military commissions are unconstitutional. Martial law cannot exist where the civil courts are operating. One passage from the decision is particularly poignant and extremely relevant in a post-9/11 world:

The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times and under all circumstances. No doctrine involving more pernicious consequences was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government. Such a doctrine leads directly to anarchy or despotism, but the theory of necessity on which it is based is false, for the government, within the Constitution, has all the powers granted to it which are necessary to preserve its existence, as has been happily proved by the result of the great effort to throw off its just authority.3

During the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in America, as labor unions organized and gathered power, as socialism grew in popularity among working and other oppressed peoples, industries owned by Rockefeller, Morgan, Harriman, Carnegie, and others, began hiring their own police forces and goon squads to infiltrate labor unions and spy on the political and personal activities of union organizers for the purpose of bringing arrests and convictions and eliminating all socialist activity in the nation. The most notorious example was the Homestead Strike of 1892, when Pinkerton agents killed several people while enforcing the strikebreaking measures of Henry Clay Frick, acting on behalf of Andrew Carnegie.

Before and during World War I the United States government became extremely suspicious of pacifists such as Scott Nearing and Jane Addams who opposed the war on moral grounds and who spoke out stridently against imperialism. In 1908 Theodore Roosevelt was frequently borrowing from his Secret Service and using a few agents for special investigations into corruption in various locations throughout the country. In 1918 during the Wilson administration, however, these agents began conducting “slacker raids” on the homes of men opposed to World War I and who refused to serve in the U.S. military.

The end of World War I and the year 1919 saw the beginning of an era known as the Red Scare in which the United States government became hysterically xenophobic regarding pro-socialist foreigners living in the country. Attorney General, Mitchell Palmer, hired a young investigator, J. Edgar Hoover to lead a witchunt against radicalism in America, and Hoover came up with over 450,000 names of suspected radicals and wrote the first government study of communism called “The Report On Radicalism.” Radicals and labor leaders had been striking, marching, and writing vociferously against government and corporate oppression, and in some cases, detonating bombs.

On November 7, 1919, the second anniversary of the Russian Revolution, over 10,000 suspected communists and anarchists were arrested. Palmer and Hoover found no evidence of a proposed revolution, but a large number of these suspects were held without trial for a long time. The vast majority were eventually released, but Emma Goldman and 247 other people, were deported to Russia

On January 2, 1920, another 6,000 were arrested nationwide and held without trial. These raids took place in several cities and became known as the Palmer Raids. A. Mitchell Palmer and John Edgar Hoover found no evidence of a proposed revolution, but large numbers of these suspects, many of them members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), continued to be held without trial. When Palmer announced that the communist revolution was likely to take place on May 1st, mass panic took place. In New York, five elected Socialists were expelled from the legislature.

An excellent book detailing the Red Scare is William Preston, Jr.’s Aliens And Dissenters: Federal Suppression Of Radicals, 1903-1933

Much more familiar in the minds of most contemporary Americans is the McCarthy Era of the post-World War II 1950s. Rather than the use of raids or goon squads, the FBI and other federal agents utilized blacklisting and paid informants to intimidate and criminalize innocent professionals in government, educational institutions, and the entertainment industry. While most traditional historians teach that the McCarthy Era ended in the mid-fifties, one need only listen to a George W. Bush or Dick Cheney rant on terrorism to hear echoes of the exact ideology of the deranged Senator from Wisconsin. All that is required is to replace the word “communist” with the word “terrorist.”

In 1956 a special program was designed by the FBI—the Counter Intelligence Program or COINTELPRO, which lasted “officially”, until 1971. In the words of Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall, authors of THE COINTELPRO PAPERS, “it involved a unique experiment. Though covert operations have been employed throughout FBI history, the COINTELPRO’s were the first to be both broadly targeted and centrally directed.” [Churchill and Vander Wall’s book is strongly recommended and contains a treasure-trove of copies of original FBI documents.] While overall operations were centrally directed from Washington, day-to-day operations involved local field offices and required a great deal of communication back and forth from Washington to those offices. COINTELPRO generated an enormous paper trail which was largely kept hidden until the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) brought the paper trail to light, at which time, the FBI discontinued all of its formal domestic counter-intelligence programs, but did not cease its covert activities against U.S. dissidents. In fact, when J. Edgar Hoover died in 1972, the FBI “re-packaged” itself as a “new FBI”, but its COINTELPRO operations continued covertly. In the mid-1970s, the Church Committee, named after its founding Chair, Idaho Senator Frank Church, released volumes of documentation of FBI and CIA abuses. Church and his successor were driven from office, and then-National Security Advisor to Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, was instrumental in blocking the flow of information from the Church Committee to the public.4

Although the original objective of COINTELPRO in 1956 was to “increase factionalism, cause disruption and win defections” inside the Communist Party, USA, it soon expanded to include disruption of the Socialist Workers Party, the Ku Klux Klan, African American nationalist groups, the Black Panther Party (BPP), the New Left, and the American Indian Movement (AIM). While many arrests of members of these groups were made over the decades, it is important to understand that even in cases where crimes had actually been committed, and those cases are few, the FBI policy of neutralizing these groups was in place prior to the arrests. For example, in 1919, J. Edgar Hoover wrote a letter proposing a strategy to neutralize African American nationalist leader, Marcus Garvey. In the proposal, Hoover recommends that the federal government invest vast legal resources to contrive a case against Garvey in order to make him appear guilty of a crime. As Churchill and Vander Hall note, “The key to understanding what really happened in the Garvey case lies squarely in appreciation of the fact that the decision to bring about his elimination had been made at the highest level of the Bureau long before any hint of criminal conduct could be attached to him.”5

On August 25, 1967, J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, wrote a top-priority memo to all field offices clearly defining the purpose of COINTELPRO:

The purpose of this new counterintelligence endeavor is to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalist hate-type organizations and groupings, their leadership, spokesmen, membership, and supporters, and to counter their propensity for violence and civil disorder…No opportunity should be missed to exploit through counterintelligence techniques the organizational and personal conflicts of the leadership of the groups and where possible an effort should be made to capitalize upon existing conflicts between competing black nationalist organizations.6

Included in “black nationalist hate-type organizations” were the National Association For the Advancement Of Colored People (NAACP) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) under the direction of Martin Luther King, Jr. Increasingly, attention was focused on King of whom Charles Brennan, FBI counter-intelligence specialist, stated: “We must mark [King] now, if we have not before, as the most dangerous Negro in the future of this Nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro, and national security…it may be unrealistic to limit [our actions against King] to legalistic proofs that would stand up in court or before Congressional Committees.”7

As we know Martin Luther King was assassinated in April, 1968 with very few answers regarding his murder and multitudinous questions left behind. The best analysis of King’s murder, in my opinion, is William Pepper’s Orders To Kill and his later analysis, An Act Of State. The racist J. Edgar Hoover, whose own closeted, bizarre sexuality leaves many unanswered questions about his prurient curiosities regarding King’s personal life, ordered surveillance of King’s social activities and friendships, whispering incessantly of King’s purported infidelity to his wife. In a 1968 memo to field offices, Hoover details the strategy for neutralizing black liberation activists. Among them: “Prevent militant black nationalist groups and leaders from gaining respectability by discrediting them to three separate segments of the community. The goal of discrediting black nationalists must be handled tactically in three ways. You must discredit these groups and individuals to, first, the responsible Negro community. Second, they must be discredited to the white community, both the responsible community and to ‘liberals’ who have vestiges of sympathy for militant black nationalists simply because they are Negroes. Third, these groups must be discredited in the eyes of Negro radicals, the followers of the movement….”

Before King’s death the Black Panther Party was organizing in major cities across America, and in late 1967 the Panthers initiated a free breakfast program for black children and offered free health care to many ghetto residents. By mid-1968 these measures had been augmented by a community education project and an anti-heroin campaign. The party was offering a viable strategy to improve the overall spiritual and material well being of ghetto life. Black community perceptions of the BPP were extremely positive and vastly different from the perceptions of the white police establishment.

In a September, 1968 memo to COINTELPRO Director, William Sullivan, the FBI office in Washington ordered that, “…the counter-intelligence program against this organization [Black Panther Party] be accelerated and that each office submit concrete suggestions as to future action to be taken against the BPP.”8 The memo continues:

These suggestions are to create factionalism between not only the national leaders but also local leaders, steps to neutralize all organizational efforts of the BPP as well as create suspicion amongst the leaders as to each others’ spouses and suspicion as to who may be cooperating with law enforcement. In addition, suspicion should be developed as to who may be attempting to gain control of the organization for their own private betterment, as well as suggestions as to the best method of exploiting the foreign visits made by BPP members. We are also soliciting recommendations as to the best method of creating opposition to the BPP on the part of the majority of the residents of the ghetto area.9

The ultimate tactic of “neutralization” was outright assassination. In late 1968, William O’Neal, working with COINTELPRO had infiltrated the BPP and become the bodyguard of a key member of the Chicago Black Panthers, Fred Hampton. O’Neal supplied the Chicago police and the FBI with the floor plan of Hampton’s apartment, and on the evening of December 3, slipped a dose of secobarbital into a glass of Kool-Aid consumed by Hampton who was comatose in his bed when a fourteen-man police team slammed into his home at 4 AM on the morning of December 4. Hampton was shot three times in the chest and twice more in the head at point-blank range. One year later, December 8, 1969 in Los Angeles, the target was Geronimo Pratt who unbeknownst to police decided to sleep on the floor that night rather than in his bed. A barrage of gunfire burst into Pratt’s apartment but missed him entirely. This time, the Panthers decided to defend themselves, and for four hours fought off police refusing to surrender until the press and the public were on the scene. A U.S. Attorney in San Francisco concluded that, “Whatever they are doing, they are out to get the Panthers.”10

In 1971, George Jackson, celebrated prison author and honorary BPP Field Marshall, was assassinated in San Quentin Prison, an event which not only eliminated Jackson but neutralized attorney Angela Davis, head of Jackson’s defense organization and a leading spokesperson for the Panthers.

In Sacramento the FBI used an infiltrator to have the Sacramento chapter of the BPP print a racist and violence-oriented coloring book for children. When it was brought to the attention of Bobby Seale and other Panther members, it was immediately ordered destroyed, but the Bureau mailed copies to companies such as Safeway, Mayfair Markets, and the Jack-In-The-Box Corporation which had been contributing food to the Breakfast for Children Program in order to cause the withdrawal of support for that program.

The FBI has admitted that during the COINTELLPRO era it ran some 295 distinct COINTELPRO operations against individuals and organizations which were broadly or narrowly considered parts of the black liberation movement.11

It is important to understand that during the so-called COINTELPRO era--and as we shall learn in subsequent segments of this series, that era never really ended, one strategy used then and now is that of plausible deniability. That is, in case assassinations or other illegal or disrespectable and unpopular activities committed by high-ranking officials become public, those officials may deny connection to or awareness of those acts or the agents used to carry out such acts. As noted by Mike Ruppert in “By The Light Of A Burning Bridge” FTW over the years has frequently been victimized by attacks that appeared to have the fingerprints of COINTELPRO all over them, down to the use of convicted felons to commit those acts, in which case, the FBI or whatever agency(ies) are involved can plausibly deny connection with such individuals.

Although we hear virtually nothing about COINTELPRO in mainstream media these days, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has introduced legislation to re-open the investigations of the Church Committee into COINTELPRO. As Congresswoman McKinney states: “We still to this day do not know the full scope of the abusive surveillance, targeting, discrediting and disruptive tactics and plans of the past.”

To a Cat, by Jorge Luis Borges

Mirrors are not more silent nor the creeping dawn more secretive; in the moonlight, you are that panther we catch sight of from afar. By the inexplicable workings of a divine law, we look for you in vain; More remote, even, than the Ganges or the setting sun, yours is the solitude, yours the secret. Your haunch allows the lingering caress of my hand. You have accepted, since that long forgotten past, the love of the distrustful hand. You belong to another time. You are lord of a place bounded like a dream. * Paul Anka - Love Cats (cover).mp3

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Giger, Huston Smith, Religion & Gratefulness

"When people kill each other for religion, it's really the fault of politicians, for fanning the flames." -Huston Smith *
Huston Smith is Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, Syracuse University. For fifteen years he was Professor of Philosophy at M.I.T. and for a decade before that he taught at Washington University in St. Louis. Most recently he has served as Visiting Professor of Religious Studies, University of California, Berkeley. Holder of twelve honorary degrees, Smith’s fourteen books include The World’s Religions which has sold over 2 ½ million copies, and Why Religion Matters which won the Wilbur Award for the best book on religion published in 2001. In 1996 Bill Moyers devoted a 5-part PBS Special, The Wisdom of Faith with Huston Smith, to his life and work. His film documentaries on Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Sufism have all won International. awards, and The Journal of Ethnomusicology lauded his discovery of Tibetan multiphonic chanting* as “an important landmark in the study of music."
http://www.hustonsmith.net/ * [Thanks to dada for bringing up Huston. (In the Huston Smith interview I posted last night, he said that when people kill each other for religion, it's really the fault of politicians, for fanning the flames. I like that. Huston Smith is really cool. He was friends with Alan Watts. He's an authority when it comes to religious experience. And he knows from practice, not just from booklearning.-dada) I recently aquired a set of books called The Essential Kaballah, The Bhagavad-Gita, The Way of the Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues His Way, The Tao Te Ching, & The Essential Rumi. All of the books have introductions by Huston Smith. My husband knew who Huston Smith was also. I'd never heard of him until then. I'll have to check out these intro's now. I love how the universe brings new things to me exactly as needed, I'm grateful for that :) - In addition, here is a cool site from DAR: http://www.gratefulness.org/ ] * http://www.thinkingallowed.com/smith.html HUSTON SMITH, Ph.D. The Psychology of Religious Experience A transcript from the THINKING ALLOWED Television Series

Monday, October 02, 2006

What I'm Reading...

"His Very Self and Voice Collected Conversations of Lord Byron" by Ernest J. Lovell, 1954
George Gordon Byron was born in London on 22 January 1788. Both of his maternal ancestors, the Gordons of Gight, and his paternal dynasty, the Byrons of Lancashire and Nottinghamshire, embodied an old aristocratic heritage in decline. Byron lived with his mother in Aberdeen on a meagre income until the age of ten when, after his father’s death, he inherited the title of Baronet and the derelict ancestral mansion of Newstead Abbey. * Love Letters: Lord Byron to Lady Caroline Lamb - August 1812 Lord Byron to Annabella Milbanke - November 16, 1814 Lord Byron to Teresa Guiccioli - August 25, 1819 * By the Rivers of Babylon We Sat Down and Wept, by Lord Byron We sat down and wept by the waters Of Babel, and thought of the day When our foe, in the hue of his slaughters, Made Salem's high places his prey; And ye, oh her desolate daughters! Were scattered all weeping away. While sadly we gazed on the river Which rolled on in freedom below, They demanded the song; but, oh never That triumph the stranger shall know! May this right hand be withered for ever, Ere it string our high harp for the foe! On the willow that harp is suspended, Oh Salem! its sound should be free; And the hour when thy glories were ended But left me that token of thee: And ne'er shall its soft tones be blended With the voice of the spoiler by me! * A comprehensive article studying Lord Byron, by Silvia Bordoni, The University of Nottingham 2005 ... His frustrated political idealism could finally be turned into political action against imperialism. In Melchiori’s words, the Risorgimento was probably the revolution ‘Byron had been waiting hourly to play a major role in’, as a political activist and a revolutionary inspirer (1981, 112). Italy’s right to be a free and united nation is discussed throughout Canto IV in the form of a celebration of the country’s ancient and prestigious past, and in the hope for a better and nobler future. Though politically enslaved and divided, Italy still appears in the imagination of an enthusiastic Byron as a land full of energy, ready to wake up after a long sleep:

Yet, Freedom! Yet thy banner, torn, but flying, Streams like the thunder-storm against the wind; Thy trumpet voice, though broken now and dying, The loudest still the tempest leaves behind; Thy tree hath lost its blossoms, and the rind, Chopp’d by the axe, looks rough and little worth, But the sap lasts, and still the seed we find Sown deep, even in the bosom of the North; So shall a better spring less bitter fruit bring forth. (XCVIII)

On the whole, Byron’s support of the Italian revolutionary movements was not simply limited to an ideological and poetic encouragement. After he started his relationship with Teresa Guiccioli, whose family, the Gambas, had been exiled from Romagna for being the major organiser of the 1821 insurrections, Byron became actively involved with the Carbonari. Thus he comments in his diary on February 18, 1821:

Today, I have had no communication with my Carbonari cronies; but in the meantime, my lower apartments are full of their bayonets, fusils, cartridges, and what not. I suppose that they consider me as a depot, to be sacrificed, in case of accidents. It is no great matter, supposing that Italy could be liberated, who or what is sacrificed. It is a grand object – the very poetry of politics. Only think – a free Italy!. (L&J, IV, 230)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Peace & Freedom Party

http://www.peaceandfreedom2006.org/ http://www.peaceandfreedom.org/ The Peace and Freedom Party, founded in 1967, is committed to socialism, democracy, ecology, feminism and racial equality. We represent the working class, those without capital in a capitalist society. We organize toward a world where cooperation replaces competition, a world where all people are well fed, clothed and housed; where all women and men have equal status; where all individuals may freely endeavor to fulfill their own talents and desires; a world of freedom and peace where every community retains its cultural integrity and lives with all others in harmony. We offer this summary of our immediate and long-range goals: * Propositions

There are thirteen state propositions that could change California law.

  • Propositions 1A through 1E were placed on the ballot by the State Legislature.
  • Propositions 83 through 90 are “Initiatives” that were placed on the ballot by people who collected enough signatures.

*Prop 85: Parental Notification about Abortion* Would require a doctor to notify a parent or guardian at least 48 hours before performing an abortion on a minor (an unmarried girl under 18 years old).

The way it is now: A pregnant minor (an unmarried girl under 18 years old) can get an abortion in California without telling her parents.

What Prop 85 would do: Change the California Constitution to require a doctor to notify a parent or guardian at least 48 hours before performing an abortion on a minor. The law would not require a parent to agree to the abortion. They would just have to be told about it. Parental notification would not be required in case of a medical emergency or if the young person gets approval from juvenile court. Some information about the abortions and juvenile court decisions would be reported to the state, but without identifying the minors.

Effect on government spending: Possible increase in state costs of several million dollars per year for health and welfare programs and court expenses.

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