Wednesday, October 31, 2007


[Thanks to Brett and Anonymous and Kevin for this post] Samhain marks one of the two great doorways of the Celtic year, for the Celts divided the year into two seasons: the light and the dark, at Beltane on May 1st and Samhain on November 1st. Some believe that Samhain was the more important festival, marking the beginning of a whole new cycle, just as the Celtic day began at night. For it was understood that in dark silence comes whisperings of new beginnings, the stirring of the seed below the ground. Whereas Beltane welcomes in the summer with joyous celebrations at dawn, the most magically potent time of this festival is November Eve, the night of October 31st, known today of course, as Halloween. Samhain (Scots Gaelic: Samhuinn) literally means “summer's end.” In Scotland and Ireland, Halloween is known as Oíche Shamhna, while in Wales it is Nos Calan Gaeaf, the eve of the winter's calend, or first. With the rise of Christianity, Samhain was changed to Hallowmas, or All Saints' Day, to commemorate the souls of the blessed dead who had been canonized that year, so the night before became popularly known as Halloween, All Hallows Eve, or Hollantide. November 2nd became All Souls Day, when prayers were to be offered to the souls of all who the departed and those who were waiting in Purgatory for entry into Heaven. Throughout the centuries, pagan and Christian beliefs intertwine in a gallimaufry of celebrations from Oct 31st through November 5th, all of which appear both to challenge the ascendancy of the dark and to revel in its mystery.

Ralph Nader sues Democratic Party

WASHINGTON Consumer advocate and 2004 independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader sued the Democratic Party on Tuesday, contending officials conspired to keep him from taking votes away from nominee John Kerry. Nader's lawsuit, filed in District of Columbia Superior Court, also named as co-defendants Kerry's campaign, the Service Employees International Union and several so-called 527 organizations such as America Coming Together, which were created to promote voter turnout on behalf of the Democratic ticket.

The lawsuit also alleges that the Democratic National Committee conspired to force Nader off the ballot in several states.

"The Democratic Party is going after anyone who presents a credible challenge to their monopoly over their perceived voters," Nader said in a statement. "This lawsuit was filed to help advance a free and open electoral process for all candidates and voters. Candidate rights and voter rights nourish each other for more voices, choices, and a more open and competitive democracy."

Among other things, the lawsuit alleges that the DNC tried to bankrupt Nader's campaign by suing to keep him off the ballot in 18 states. It also suggests the DNC sent Kerry supporters to crash a Nader petition drive in Portland, Ore., in June 2004, preventing him from collecting enough signatures to get on the ballot.

The lawsuit seeks "compensatory damages, punitive damages and injunctive relief to enjoin the defendants from ongoing and future violations of the law."

Nader's attorney, Bruce Afran, argued that the DNC would be terrified of having the case come to trial. He said he hoped the committee would choose to settle the case and apologize.

"This is a case designed to make sure other independent and third party candidates will not be subject to the same kind of conspiracy in the future," Afran said.

Nader received 463,653 votes in the election, or 0.38% of total votes cast.

DNC spokesman Luis Miranda declined comment on the suit, citing a policy on pending litigation.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


By Teilhard

Whether animal or human, those who we love deeply become part of us forever for a Unified Field of love and soul consciousness lies deepest within all living matter and animals, as such, are reservoirs of this love and very capable of sharing it with humans: Allen L Roland

The basic underlying and uniting force of the Universe is a psychic energy field of Love and soul consciousness (The Unified Field) which lies not only beyond time and space but also beneath our deepest fears.

This field of love can also be called source. Humans can access it only by totally surrendering to love but nature and animals are a living part of it.

There is much evidence of this animal or mammal field of love being experienced by humans such as dive master Jennifer Anderson freeing a trapped Manta Ray off the coast of Maui and the freed Manta Ray returning to her and gently touching her as if to thank her. She describes that moment as unforgettable ~ " I felt a rush of something that so overpowered me; I have yet to find the words to describe it, except a warm and loving flow of energy from her into me." A MAGIC HEART MOMENT IN MAUI / JENNIFER ANDERSON

Films like ( Killers of Eden ) reinforce what millions of people already know or deeply sense ~ that animals ( mammals in that movie ) and in particular, our pets, seem to know things and be conscious of events at a level deeper than most humans.

Rupert Sheldrake ( Dogs that know when their owners are coming home ~ and other unexplained powers of animals ) invokes the concept of morphic fields that exist beyond time and space but he can't really define what they are. I believe that Sheldrake's morphic field is the Unified Field of unconditional love and soul consciousness ~ which indeed exists beyond time and space.

He briefly mentions love in his book " Perhaps the greatest gift animals can offer is their capacity for love. Emotionally damaged adults with low self-esteem can easily believe that their animals love them unconditionally . Sheldrake goes on to explain " Some dogs seem to know when their owners are coming home. No, not when they are walking up the front steps, but when they are still in the office DECIDING to come home. Some animals know when their owners are in distress or dying, far away. Some animals know when their owners are about to have a seizure, or attempt suicide. "

This would certainly seem to demonstrate that animals exist in a state of loving consciousness that exists beyond time and space.

A state of consciousness that also exists deepest within all human beings as witness my own mother coming back to me from beyond death to let me know she loved me and that she now knew what I knew. As witness the more than 50% of Americans ( Gallup ) who have had a similar after death experience with someone they loved who passed on.

The perfect example of this loving phenomenon between animals and humans would be Keiko Okubo's heartwarming story of her beloved cat YumYum ~ who was an orange Tabby with beautiful green eyes and a spirit of fire.


My guardian of love

I was sitting in the living room of my Mill Valley home, feeling deeply depressed. I was in the midst of a mid-life crisis.

Overwhelming loneliness, hopelessness and uncertainty were slowly crushing my heart to the point of me gasping for air. I was extremely lonely and alone being in a long term marriage without physical warmth. My future career was up in the air, uncertainty was setting in and weighing heavily on my heart. I was feeling the walls closing in and slowly crushing me into oblivion.

I could see the afternoon sun was casting a beautiful light show on my white wall but even this beauty was not moving me that afternoon.

Yumyum was sitting on top of the TV right across from me perhaps 20 feet away. She was rescued by me along with her sister Yoda in front of the Flea Market where she was abandoned, filthy and full of fleas, many years ago.

I remember the first night when I brought them home, I slept in the bathroom with them so that I could teach them to use the litter box. They learned very quickly how to use the bathroom. I had prepared special meals for them to enhance their health and took care of them as my daughters. When people asked me if I have children, I always answered back by saying ' I have 2 daughters '

And I discovered the gift of communicating with them as I loved and honored them. I knew exactly what they were thinking and asking me many times. We became a family of 4.

As I sank into a deep despair ~ suddenly, I felt a wave of warmth coming at my heart and pulsating as if it was living and moving. I was shocked and proceeded to look around to see where this strange sensation was coming from.

I looked at Yumyum and I knew instantly. Yumyum's eyes were intensely fixed on me. I saw lazer like beams of golden light emanated from her. And these living waves of golden light were aimed at me.

This wave of energy was Love, unconditional Love. I was experiencing an indescribable Love that was so powerful, I thought I was going to melt in it. I was suspended into a timeless space for how long ... I just don't know.

I felt I was being profoundly loved by her. Yum yum's eyes were filled with the deepest love I have ever known.

And I instantly knew who she really was.

She was a reservoir of love sent to me to realize what is the real 'truth' hiding beneath all physical beings and appearance.

The truth that all animals live in a 'Unified Field of Love' that exists beyond time and space.

Tears of love and joy filled my broken heart and I distinctly heard her voice speaking to me " Don't worry, everything is going to be all right"

I don't know how long I was basking in this intense love from her ~ It felt as if an eternity went by!

When I came out of this, I noticed my husband was also crying. He told me he had witnessed this event and was deeply moved by what he saw.

After the exposure to this magnitude of Love directed at me by yumyum ~ nothing was ever quite the same again.

Especially, I could never look again at any living things as physical beings!

I was seeing the true essence of them ~ I was seeing through the heart.

As a result, images after images of paintings flooded in my mind's eye. All of cats in many shapes and colors, and their eyes were vividly 'alive' in all of them. All I had to do was to reproduce them as accurately as I saw in my minds eye.

So, I started to paint although I haven't painted anything for a long time since graduating from art school. I was completely drawn into this process. When I was painting, I was exhilarated, colors came alive with their own vibration and sometimes colors moved like 3D holograms objects on the paper ~ I thought I was going over the edge but I kept on painting. I painted almost 12 paintings in this fashion within 10 months ~ I was possessed. It was my homage to yumyum.

My husband suggested to make my paintings as a T shirt for some unexplained reason . I thought It would be so much fun to wear my cats everywhere I go. I choose 3 images that I liked and produced them as very fashionable T shirts.

The day I got my very first T from the T shirt maker, I went to Nordstroms looking for leggings that matched my T shirt I was wearing. As I was shopping at the sportswear section, one of the sales persons approached me and asked where I got the T shirt I had on.

I said I made it myself. She proceeded to tell me that I had to come see the manager who was in the back room ~ because she wanted to show her my T shirt. I didn't know what was going on but I followed her.

As soon as I was introduced, the manager asked me if I was manufacturing T shirts. I said NO.

She wanted to see the other T shirts I had made. So I went to my car and got the other freshly made Ts. She was so excited to see them and told me if I could produce them ... meaning central themes with different styles displayed as a group on the floor.

She gave me a deadline for this to happen knowing full well I had never done this before. I didn't know what to think of all of this but I felt excited because I once was in the fashion world doing modeling to earn money when I was in a college and loved the whole fashion scene. She told me what to produce, when and where and wrote me an order right there in front of my eyes. As I recall this first order was for over $40,000.

I was absolutely awed at what had just happened. I was experiencing a miracle! I told yum yum and hugged her sharing my excitement that night. Within 3 months, I produced the first order and had a designer trunk show with an unusually high sell through rate, got reorders and my shirts were in all the Nordstrom stores and eventually expanded to other chain stores.


Yumyum's passing came 3 months after my husband's passing from battling with cancer for 2 years. The Trauma and aftermath of his physical release were unbearable and I sank into a deep depression. Yum yum was always there with me ... she was cheering me and gave me strength while I was going through this horrendous turmoil of my soul.

She was almost 20 years old and her failing health worried me although I didn't show my concern in front of her.

I was doing everything and anything possible to make her better. I tried acupuncture, herbs, animal healers, meds and my healing energy sessions every day.

I couldn't even imagine life without her. She was my only friend and my soul mate who I could share all of my deepest feelings with. There was no need to use speaking words to understand each other. We were deeply connected with a 'Field of Love'. We did not need words in this field. I simply could not live without her and I couldn't let her go despite her ill health.

She was the sole purpose for me to function in such a seemingly cruel world. She was becoming so frail that sometimes she couldn't complete her toilet routine ~ I saw her suffering and it made my heart break in pieces.

One day I asked her if it was getting too much for her... Yumyum said that she wanted to stay with me as long as I needed her. I broke down and cried uncontrollably. In her condition of suffering and pain ... she was thinking only of my well being! I felt deeply ashamed of my selfishness to put her through such misery because I needed her.

I then told her I loved her so deeply and if she wanted to release her body and be free I'll be OK.

Every word came from my heart and she felt it.

Next day I called my vet and asked his opinion. He told me the truth and said the prolonged agony she was going through was cruel. My decision was immediately made and I arranged for him to release her the next day.

I told Yumyum my decision and asked her if she wanted to release her body. She said 'Yes'.

The time came, I held her soft body as if she were sleeping in my arms ... I knew she had left her body ... And she had also seemingly left me all alone.

I was alone without 'Real Love' in this world of artificial so called human love. I felt I had no purpose left in my life and I had no will to continue on.

After my vet carried her body away for cremation, I took off to Big Sur, where I scattered my husband's ashes 3 month ago, at a reckless and high speed. I didn't want to go on living any longer. I didn't care how fast I was going.

I reached the bridge and got out of my car. I was ready to jump. I saw the beautiful blue water far below. Strong winds tried to swallowed me up. I stood there frozen solid ... I wanted to jump but my body did not respond to my command. I did not have the courage to do it...or perhaps yumyum, from beyond time and space, would not let me do it.

Within 2 weeks I left for Japan. I didn't care about anything anymore. I had nothing left but memories and it was too painful for me to relive them. I was in Japan for 10 months with the agonizing pain of my trauma.

I sat in the zen temple and visited Buddhist temples to heal and have my peace. And finally one day, It happened ... I surrendered to a profound peace and love...which was beneath my deepest pain and despair.

It was the same love I experienced with Yumyum...

This experience drew me, like a magnet, back to california to deal with what I left behind. Within two weeks of my return, I met a man, a very kind and special man named Allen ... when I saw his green eyes the first time ... I saw the same 'love' I saw in Yumyum's eyes that special day! And I knew deep in my heart that I had found my true 'Love'.

Yumyum had brought Allen into my life in her final act of love and I wept in Joy and gratitude !

Keiko Okubo

Allen L Roland

Freelance Online columnist Allen L Roland is available for comments , interviews and speaking engagements ( )

Monday, October 29, 2007

University of Michigan Press to Continue Publishing Joel Kovel's "Overcoming Zionism" After Initially Dropping Book Due to Rightwing Criticism

Last week the University of Michigan Press voted unanimously to continue distributing books from the London-based independent publishing house Pluto Press. The controversy began earlier this summer when the university press initially decided to stop distributing Joel Kovel's "Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine." [includes rush transcript]
We turn now to an important victory in the battle for free speech here in the United States. Last week the University of Michigan Press voted unanimously to continue distributing books from the London-based independent publishing house Pluto Press. The controversy began earlier this summer when the university press decided to stop distributing a new book by author and activist Joel Kovel published by Pluto Press. It's called "Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine."

The press dropped Kovel's book in August after receiving a series of threatening emails from a rightwing pro-Israel group called Stand With Us. But faced with a growing campaign led by fellow academics and civil libertarians, the board overturned its earlier decision regarding distribution of Kovel's book. Last week's key decision to continue ties with Pluto Press came in the midst of a series of events organized around what rightwing groups called "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week."

Joel Kovel is an antiwar activist and former Green Party candidate for Senate. He is the author of over ten books. "Overcoming Zionism" is his most recent book. He joins me now in the firehouse studio in New York.

AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to an important victory in the battle for free speech here in the United States. Last week, the University of Michigan Press voted unanimously to continue distributing books from the London-based independent publishing house Pluto Press. The controversy began earlier this summer when the university press decided to stop distributing a new book by author Joel Kovel. It was published by Pluto Press. It's called Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine.

The press dropped Kovel's book in August after getting a series of threatening emails from a rightwing group called Stand With Us. But faced with a growing campaign led by fellow academics and civil libertarians, the board overturned its earlier decision. Last week's key decision to continue ties with Pluto Press came in the midst of a series of events organized around what rightwing groups called "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week."

Joel Kovel is an antiwar activist. He was a Green Party candidate for Senate here in New York. He is the author of over ten books, this latest, Overcoming Zionism, is his most recent -- joining us in the firehouse studio in New York. Welcome to Democracy Now!


AMY GOODMAN: So your book will continue to be published.

JOEL KOVEL: Yeah. More to the point, Pluto will continue to be published, because that was a huge threat. It’s a marginal firm that nonetheless publishes a tremendous amount of alternative works. And it would have been devastating had that contract had been violated.

AMY GOODMAN: And it’s the University of Michigan Ann Arbor Press --

JOEL KOVEL: That’s right.

AMY GOODMAN: -- that distributes the British Pluto Press?

JOEL KOVEL: Right. Yes, through contract. And they panicked this summer when they dropped my book. I mean, they were pressured by this Zionist watchdog team, which is really part of the same apparatus that’s putting out “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” and many other things. And the director just wrote me this absurd letter saying that my book was not worthy of free speech, because it was hate speech. My book was so full of hate to the state of Israel. My book was really written to open the dialogue, which is so wretched in this country on this subject.

AMY GOODMAN: I thought it was interesting that one of the people who, well, what is called blurbing the book, who recommends the book is Michel Warshawsky.


AMY GOODMAN: I remember him many years ago, visiting him in Israeli, who is a leading Israeli peace activist.

JOEL KOVEL: Yeah, a wonderful man. He doesn’t even necessarily agree with the conclusion, which is to have a single democratic state, but he recognizes the necessity of opening this discourse. And that’s why I wrote the book. I mean, I wanted to -- I disregarded all the taboos, that you're not supposed to talk about Israel in any depth in this country.

AMY GOODMAN: He says, Kovel is suggesting a binational Israeli-Palestinian state. It may be a challenged, but definitely should not be ignored.

JOEL KOVEL: Right. It should be challenged. What we don’t have is any kind of real debate on this subject in our country at this time. And I guess my book went too far for the watchdog, so they -- you know, they started barking and howling at the University of Michigan Press, which folded. And then that provoked a big reaction, and where we are now is that we’ve actually won quite a considerable victory in this, because as this story developed, we found that people all over the country and indeed many other parts of the world, particularly the United Kingdom, were backing us. And there were hundreds of letters sent to the University of Michigan Press. And I think it had a decisive effect. So it’s really historic, because basically these Zionist repression groups have had pretty much a free hand.

AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean by that?

JOEL KOVEL: Well, I mean there’s [inaudible] Michigan

AMY GOODMAN: I mean, there are many people who consider themselves Zionists that would not advocate the banning of your book --

JOEL KOVEL: Oh, that’s right

AMY GOODMAN: -- which it essentially comes down to.

JOEL KOVEL: Exactly, but the ones who do advocate the banning, you know, had a big effect. They got the University of Michigan Press to roll over for them.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about how -- how did people organize to push back? Who were the leaders, among them Howard Zinn?

JOEL KOVEL: Well, we contacted Zinn and he was most gracious and generous in letting his celebrated, illustrious name be used to bring in people to write letters on behalf of Pluto. My book was restored, but the threat to Pluto continued, and so the organization emphasized, you know, we do need an alternative press in this country. Pluto does have perhaps the largest pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist, you know, collection of books. And it’s essential that people be given access to these books. So, Zinn and other well-known people, like Richard Falk, you know, have said yes, we’re on board with this. And we have a committee forming, Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism, And we’re planning a conference and all. But the committee leapt into action, and we were amazed at just how eloquent and, you know, basically fed up a lot of people were with being intimidated by these kinds of tactics. They just want to suppress an open discussion of this subject.

AMY GOODMAN: Joel Kovel, as a Jewish activist and scholar, talk about this issue, this idea that you are proposing, creating a single democratic state in Israel/Palestine? Of course, it’s not only you; among others, it’s Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada, and others. But explain what it is. And also, how does it relate to your own religion, to Judaism?

JOEL KOVEL: Well, to take the second part first, I grew up in a very conventional Jewish home, except for the fact that there was a lot of division on this subject, so I think from an early age I learned to take a certain distance from it and to think critically about it. And I detail in the book certain incidents of my childhood, which sort of made me somewhat estranged from what was going on. But in any event, as I grew up, I felt that the Jewish people have been, you know, very largely deprived of a real opportunity to look at what’s going on in the state of Israel, you know, because there is such a frantic effort to establish Israel as a Jewish state, as somehow the destiny of the Jewish people, are using all of the history of the oppression and the persecution that Jews have suffered over the centuries.

And I feel that the notion of Zionism, as that there is this kind of destiny of the Jewish people to have their own state, is just the wrong idea. And it’s an idea that requires signing onto imperialism. It means signing onto ethnic cleansing. It means -- despite everything that has been said about it, it means basically becoming a racist situation, where you’re oppressing an indigenous population and depriving them of their right to existence and then thinking that somehow you can go ahead and have a decent life on that basis. Now, you can’t, in my view. And I join hands with those people who feel that the time has come to basically think of Israel in the same category as South Africa, as a state that just has gone wrong and needs replacement, OK? Now, that’s a way-out idea. On the other hand, a lot of people around the world think about it, and it should be openly discussed.

AMY GOODMAN: It’s interesting, Bishop Tutu, who was disinvited and then invited by the St. Thomas University --

JOEL KOVEL: Yes, in Minneapolis.

AMY GOODMAN: -- in Minneapolis, for making comparisons of Israel to Apartheid South Africa.

JOEL KOVEL: Yes. Well, the comparison was interesting, because Tutu and other leaders of the freedom struggle in South Africa who visited Palestine have always been asked, well, how does it compare? And he says, well, it’s not the same thing, Israel is actually worse. He actually said, Israel is a worse place than Apartheid South Africa was, because Apartheid South Africa attempted to retain the integrity of the blacks so they could work in the mines and the mills of the South African, you know, industrial system, whereas the key point about Israel is that it wants to get rid of them, transfer. It wants to get them out of there. And it wants this area to be for Jews only, you know?

AMY GOODMAN: Why not two states?

JOEL KOVEL: Well, first of all, it’s been destroyed as a practical alternative, because the nature of the occupation has completely eaten out from under any possibility of having a real Palestinian state. More fundamentally, it perpetuates the logic of the same kind of thinking that has gone on all along. I mean, I think a two-state solution, in any practical sense, that is to say that Palestinians would have a little statelet, would be basically rising Israel to the level of South Africa. South Africa had a two-state solution. There was the South African state, and there were the Bantustans. The kind of two-state solution that they’re talking about is that the state of Israel and then the bantustans, sometimes even dividing Gaza from the Occupied Territories.

AMY GOODMAN: What kind of support does a one-state solution have, either in the Occupied Territories or in Israel?

JOEL KOVEL: It has very small support. And I call it a strategic goal. This is to say, it’s not something that is on the horizon, but if you think in these terms, you are led to take a really constructive view towards the situation, because now you’re grounding your politics in universal human rights. You’re not grounding your politics in the aberration and the very wrong idea of a national, you know, ethnic state, which is a big mistake. And I think that that orients you in a good direction, and the overall outcome cannot help but be better, even if the result is another state for Palestinians. But you want to weaken this notion that there should be a Jewish state and that that somehow can be democratic. It can’t be.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to leave it there. When is the conference and where?

JOEL KOVEL: Well, the conference is being planned for early next year. We’re doing it in New York. We want a very high-profile conference.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to have to leave it there. Joel Kovel, author of Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine. The book will continue to be distributed by the University of Michigan Press at Ann Arbor.

The Spark: Can You Hear Me Now?

By Dave Sikula Mon, October 29, 2007, 12:01 am PDT
Ghostly transparent hands picking up a phone
(Photo by Carleton Torpin)
From Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part I:
Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep. Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man, but will they come when you do call for them?
Well, if you believe the proponents of EVP, the spirits will come. EVP, or Electronic Voice Phenomena, is one of the ways ghost hunters "prove" that the dead walk among us, even though we can't hear or see them. The technique is simple enough that anyone can do it. First, set up a recording device in a place where voices couldn't possibly be heard or where you suspect ghosts are lurking. Next, leave the recorder running or ask questions. Finally, listen to the (mostly unintelligible) recording. If you're lucky, you'll get such fascinating messages from the afterworld as "what's that" or "not me." If the dearly departed were making so much effort to send a signal from the Great Beyond, maybe they should be more interesting or informative. But, hey, who are we to criticize the dead? Regardless of whether EVPs are legit or not, even the skeptic in us has to admit they're pretty creepy. Suggested Sites...
Directory categories: Ghosts, Paranormal Phenomena, Electronic Voice Phenomena, Psychics, Spiritualism
Archived under: Communication, Death, Eavesdropping, Ghosts, Halloween, Hauntings, Paranormal, Technology, Weird Stuff
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Life within/through/beyond capitalism

From: Marx implied that we are powerless until we seize the means of production. Only then can we exercise power over our own lives... To me, however, it's not about seizing power, but about mobilising the power we already have (desire), which capital can never contain. Marx's analysis stems from a mathematical understanding of production and alienation: We produce commodities through work, the surplus value of which is then appropriated by capitalists. What we receive as a wage is mere compensation. But what happens when production does not happen in the workplace, but is just as essential to the reproduction of capitalism as the production of commodities? Other forms of production (such as the labour of housewives, and even the labour of research students) becomes devalued. It is this short-sightedness in Marx which led one of my friends to write on his blog of Marx's thought the following: "Ironically, without money, social labor is valueless." This type of thinking is precisely the problem. It is for this reason that, in struggle, the working-class has historically been given primacy over other actors, like peasants, students, feminists, etc. I've called this in the past "working-class fundamentalism". In my understanding, even the unemployed are productive! All of us unwittingly produce and reproduce capitalism. Capitalism's existence is not solely facilitated by extraction of surplus in the factories. Parasitic capitalist relations have been extended into everyday life. This is where the autonomist Marxist analysis of the "Social Factory" becomes pertinent. Everyone is productive, and everyone produces in the social factory. Capital needs people generally, and not just workers, for its continuing hegemony. It needs people's consent and participation (both in and outside the workplace) in order to continue to exist. People reproduce the system by buying into its propaganda, into its narrative, and living their lives how capital wants them to: to spend, spend, spend, and to work, work, work, and not ever to ask questions. I should point out here that I have considerable problems with Marxist glorifications of "work", as understood in the traditional sense. In the context of biopower, I believe that what we must emphasise instead is LIFE; Living in ways which refuse complicity in the reproduction of the capitalist system. Oftentimes, this will not be done through "work", but through the "refusal of work"! There is a considerable body of Autonomist literature around this, albeit which I have yet to explore in detail. Marx was vitally important in emphasising praxis and cooperation. But he limited capacity for revolutionary action to the workplace. Under conditions of generalised/globalised capitalism which operates through biopower, we need to take Marx beyond himself (possibly in ways in which are no longer recognisably Marxist, but which we should not lament), towards a new understanding of capitalism, hinging not only on the production of commodities, but also on the production of subjectivity. It's not just about seizing the means of production, but also reclaiming our own means of being, thinking, seeing, living, and imagining; In short, producing counter-subjectivities and counter-cultures which sabotage capitalist hegemony from within... Here, a crucial point must be made: by "within", I do not just mean "within the state" or "within the workplace", but WITHIN CAPITALISM; that is, everywhere. For this project, everyone is needed: workers, peasants, students, etc. No one class has hegemony in struggle. As Hardt and Negri write: "class is produced by class struggle". If a group of people decide to rebel, then they are to be supported, not to be downplayed if they don't happen to frame their struggle according to Marxist workerist analyses. Posted by JAGUARITO (Marco Hewitt)

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Violent Femmes, Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?, mp3 * Peter Tosh Equal Rights, video *

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pete, Nancy, George and WWIII

“You don’t have money to fund the war or children. But you’re going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president’s amusement.” Pete Stark (D-Ca)

“While Members of Congress are passionate about their views what Congressman Stark said during the debate was inappropriate.” Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, (D-Ca)

“But this — we got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel. So I’ve told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from have (sic) the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.” George Bush, War Criminal

I cheered inside my head when I heard, Rep. Stark unbelievably utter his words condemning the murderous acts of BushCo on the House floor and I was impressed with his candor, compassion and what I consider an appropriate amount of rage and honesty. How many of us were not thinking the same thing about the S-CHIP votes? I knew, however, that it would not be long until Pete Stark had to apologize and it happened today.

I believe that Speaker Pelosi’s comments about Rep. Stark were utterly inappropriate and out of line. I believe that when she said that impeachment was “off the table,” her remarks were not only inappropriate but also antithetical to our Constitution and directly in opposition to why the people of this country put Democrats back in power.

We may remind the Speaker of some of the things George has said: He told us that Saddam was able to reach the Eastern part of the US with drones that contained either chemical or biological weapons; that the smoking gun might come in the form of a “mushroom cloud” and that Saddam was also seeking significant amounts of “yellow cake uranium.” George and his co-criminals also told us over and over again the 9-11 was the justification for an attack on Iraq because Saddam had something to do with 9-11.

It is imperative that Ms. Pelosi be a true leader and lead the charge to impeach the liars, or at least get the hell out of the way so they can be impeached. I buried my son for no logical, moral or truthful reason for God’s sake, and she has neither the integrity or fortitude to finally say that BushCo has to be stopped before George is the instigator for Armageddon.,

Ms. Pelosi is not the only one who condemned Rep. Stark; she joined hands (again) with Republicans to do so. However, for the Republicans to say that Congressman Stark’s comment demeaned “the troops” is so patently ridiculous, it is stunningly pathetic. Our troops and their much higher paid cousins, the mercenary killers, are killing innocent Iraqis. IT IS A WAR! What do these morally bankrupt Chickenhawks think occurs in war? It would be better for everyone if “the troops” went over to play pinochle with the Iraqis, but occupied peoples have an inherent hatred of their occupiers and want them to leave their country: dead or alive. Congress wants to hide behind “the troops” by giving BushCo billions of more dollars to wage the occupation so their lobbyist buddies and campaign contributors can become richer off of the flesh and blood of those same troops that they claim to support.

BushCo has over 14 more months to sew their demented seeds of destruction all over the planet and we must all join Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh) in his call to remove them from office not only for their past, but for their future, illegal wars of aggression, possibly even doing the unthinkable: using a nuclear weapon. The terrorists that wear Brooks Brothers and Armani and live and work in the big white house on Pennsylvania Avenue are more dangerous to our way of life and safety than any others.

I wish Congressman Stark had not caved to the establishment elitists. George is the one that needs to apologize to each and every one of us for killing just about everything that we hold dear: our treasury, our Constitution, our standing in the international community, our ecology, our children, and for murdering our hopes and dreams for the future.

When I replace Nancy Pelosi as the Representative from California’s 8th district, I will fight for the lives, security and prosperity of, not only my constituents, but for all the human beings in the world. If BushCo is still in office, God forbid, when I am sworn in, I will do everything in my power to hold them accountable for their crimes against humanity and I will never, ever apologize for telling the truth.

To Contact Cindy: To contribute to the campaign, or sign up for email alerts: To volunteer for the campaign: For media or scheduling requests:

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was killed in Bush's war of terror on 04/04/04. She is the co-founder and president of Gold Star Families for Peace and The Camp Casey Peace Institute. Read other articles by Cindy.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Suzanne Treister, ALCHEMY 2007

[Thanks to dada for this cool link] Drawing series Dimensions: A4 and A3 Rotring ink on paper

A series of works which transcribe front pages of international daily newspapers into alchemical drawings. These works redeploy the languages and intentions of alchemy: the transformation of materials and essences and the revealed understanding of the world as a text, as a realm of powers and correspondences which, if properly understood, will allow man to take on transformative power.

ALCHEMY/The Guardian 22nd February 2007
ALCHEMY/Washington Square News Vol 84, Issue 34, 2007
ALCHEMY/The Jewish Telegraph 4th May 2007
ALCHEMY/Financial Times 19th April 2007
ALCHEMY/The Sun 19th April 2007
ALCHEMY/The Guardian 19th April 2007
ALCHEMY/Asian Enquirer Feb/Mar 2007
ALCHEMY/Die Welt 12th February 2007
ALCHEMY/The Guardian 3rd February 2007
ALCHEMY/The Guardian 4th July 2006 ALCHEMY/International Herald Tribune 3-4 February 2007 ALCHEMY/Le Monde 11-12 February 2007
ALCHEMY/The New York Times 5th March 2007 ALCHEMY/The Star Gazette(Turkish) 19th January 2007 ALCHEMY/Süddeutsche Zeitung 19th February 2007
ALCHEMY/The Sun 9th February 2007 ALCHEMY/The Observer 13th August 2006 ALCHEMY/La Repubblica 5th April 2007
ALCHEMY/San Jose Mercury 5th March 2007 ALCHEMY/The Wall Street Journal 24th February 2007 ALCHEMY/New Nation 14th May 2007
ALCHEMY/Le Monde 12th May 2007
ALCHEMY/The Guardian 1st June 2007
ALCHEMY/The Independent 13th May 2007
ALCHEMY/Islamische Zeitung June 2007
ALCHEMY/La Stampa 5th June 2007
ALCHEMY/The Guardian 5th June 2007
ALCHEMY/Daily Star 26th May 2007
ALCHEMY/The New York Times 7th March 2007
ALCHEMY/Daily Express 4th July 2007
ALCHEMY/The Times 27th June 2007
ALCHEMY/USA Today 17th July 2007
ALCHEMY/The Sun 18th July 2007
ALCHEMY/The Guardian 27th June 2007
ALCHEMY/The Times 27th June 2007
ALCHEMY/The Sun 27th June 2007
ALCHEMY/Evening Standard 28th June 2007
ALCHEMY/The Independent 28th June 2007
ALCHEMY/Daily Sport 28th June 2007
ALCHEMY/The London Paper 28th June 2007
ALCHEMY/Financial Times 27th June 2007
ALCHEMY/Daily Star 28th June 2007
ALCHEMY/TheDaily Telegraph 28th June 2007
ALCHEMY/The Sun 2nd July 2007
ALCHEMY/The Times 7th August 2007
ALCHEMY/TheDaily Telegraph 11th July 2007
ALCHEMY/The Guardian 10th August 2007
'...wonderful, an excellent series showing no signs of compromise, it's energetic and tensely suspenseful, profoundly sinister and completely unnerving.' Christoph Tannert, Berlin 2007

the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, Lee Rogers, 10/25/07 The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed HR 1955 titled the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. This bill is one of the most blatant attacks against the Constitution yet and actually defines thought crimes as homegrown terrorism. If passed into law, it will also establish a commission and a Center of Excellence to study and defeat so called thought criminals. Unlike previous anti-terror legislation, this bill specifically targets the civilian population of the United States and uses vague language to define homegrown terrorism. Amazingly, 404 of our elected representatives from both the Democrat and Republican parties voted in favor of this bill. There is little doubt that this bill is specifically targeting the growing patriot community that is demanding the restoration of the Constitution. Particularly alarming is that the bill mentions the Internet as a main source for terrorist propaganda. The bill even mentions streams in obvious reference to many of the patriot and pro-constitution Internet radio networks that have been formed. The Constitution does not allow the government to arrest people for thought crimes, so any promises not to violate the constitutional rights of citizens are already broken by their own definitions. Section 899E of the bill discusses how the government is going to defeat violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism through international cooperation. This bill is completely insane. It literally allows the government to define any and all crimes including thought crime as violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism. Obviously, this legislation is unconstitutional on a number of levels and it is clear that all 404 representatives who voted in favor of this bill are traitors and should be removed from office immediately. The treason spans both political parties and it shows us all that there is no difference between them. The bill will go on to the Senate and will likely be passed and signed into the law by George W. Bush....This is more proof that our country has been completely sold out by a group of traitors at all levels of government. ...

News Flows, Consciousness Streams: The Headwaters of a River of Words

The words flash out and then fade, like something from the cut-up prose of William S. Burroughs or the disjointed Americana of John Ashbery:

“You just have to react.”

“You won’t be asked to leave, but you will want to leave.”

“I steal it from her every chance I get.”

Sometimes they unite vaguely and ominously:

“Five-year-old girl’s finger.”

“One shot.”

“Two of his lawyers.”

“Fifteen years in prison.”

At other times they seem sentient, asking the right questions (and maybe watching television):

“Tony Soprano?”

“And where’s all the blood?”

As poetic as they might sound, these phrases did not bubble up from the subconscious of a writer or latter-day Dada collagist. They were culled from another kind of memory, a vast collective one that is stocked and ordered every day (and these days, every minute) by reporters, editors, photographers, bloggers, Op-Ed contributors, letter writers and inveterate e-mailers: the databases of The New York Times. They comprise tens of millions of words that have appeared in the newspaper since its founding in 1851 and that appear continuously in its online version.

Since The Times moved in June from its longtime home on West 43rd Street in Manhattan to its new, almost completed tower designed by Renzo Piano on Eighth Avenue between 40th and 41st Streets, two men — an artist, Ben Rubin, and a statistician, Mark Hansen — have all but taken up residence in the building’s cavernous lobby, huddled most days around laptops and coffee cups on a folding table. Flanking them on two high walls are 560 small screens, 280 a wall, suspended in a grid pattern that looks at first glance like some kind of minimalist sculpture.

But then the screens, simple vacuum fluorescent displays of the kind used in alarm clocks and cash registers, come to life, spewing out along the walls streams of orphaned sentences and phrases that have appeared in The Times or, in many cases, that are appearing on the paper’s Web site at that instant.

They are fished from The Times databases by computerized algorithms that Mr. Rubin and Mr. Hansen have designed that parse the paper in strange ways, selecting, for example, only sentences from quotations that start with “you” or “I.” Or sentences ending in question marks. Or just the first, tightly choreographed sentences of obituaries.

The content of the permanent installation, called “Moveable Type,” is drawn not only from the words that The Times reports but also, in real time, from the search terms and Web commentary pouring in from thousands of readers around the world, capturing what Mr. Rubin called “both the push and the pull” of the newspaper.

“We want it to feel almost like an organism that is living and breathing and consuming the news,” Mr. Rubin said, adding that someone who had not seen the paper or Web site would be able to watch the screens for several minutes and begin to get a sense of that day’s biggest events, though in a way that might feel more like floating on the newspaper’s stream of consciousness than reading it.

And if you happen to come into the lobby late at night, he and Mr. Hansen added, the artwork, like the paper, will be mostly asleep but “dreaming” — rummaging, “Finnegans Wake”-style, through articles and captions and headlines going back generations.

David A. Thurm, the chief information officer at The New York Times Company, said he had read about Mr. Rubin and Mr. Hansen in a magazine, then went to see a creation of theirs called “Listening Post,” which eavesdropped on the cacophony of the world’s Internet chat rooms and became a minor sensation during a 2003 stay at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Mr. Thurm said that he and others involved in the newspaper’s new headquarters felt that a similar concept could create a kind of “dynamic portrait” of The Times that functioned, in a way, like a homage to the news ticker but one that followed the advice of Emily Dickinson: “Tell all the Truth but tell it slant.”

The installation, which was commissioned by The Times Company and its development partner in the building, the Forest City Ratner Companies, is still being fine-tuned but is now operating during the day. On a recent viewing it seemed to rouse itself to life, its screens reeling out words and, from hundreds of small hidden speakers, issuing the din of typewriters, the lost music of newsrooms.

As clackety and coldly mechanical as “Moveable Type” is, the artists said, people who wander by tend to draw close to it, as if to hear the pronouncements of an oracle or to warm their hands with the heat of information.

“People seem to want to touch it,” Mr. Hansen said.

Mr. Rubin, smiling paternally, said, “We really don’t want people to touch it.”

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Excerpt from Vivaldi's Virgins, by Barbara Quick

Pages 27-31 Vivaldi's Virgins by Barbara Quick [Let's start at the end of a letter from Anna Maria dal Violin (given that last name for the instrument she plays, as all the girls training under the maestro Vivaldi are named), to her mother whom she has never met because she was dropped of at a Pieta in Vienna as a baby. Someone there suggested she write these letters to her mother, this one is from 1709. Just the end of it remember.] Oh Mother, if this letter has truly reached you, hear me! Would that I could ask for your help not in words, as clumsy and ugly as the flies that gather in the corners of the windows in summertime, but with the notes of my violin. I write to you now a girl, still a girl. A virgin who cannot find the key to playing music that comes from a man's loins. [She earlier in the book recalls what it's like to watch Vivaldi while he's composing], Who cannot play the allegro. I beg you to pray for me, Your daughter, Anna Maria dal Violin, Student of the Mastro Vivaldi I had an answer to my prayers that autumn. A new girl was brought to the Pieta-not an unwanted child, but a paying student from Saxony. She had excellent training and already played well. Even now, there is usually at least one such girl every year, sent to board with us until she reaches the age of seventeen. They are not, as we are, bound for 10 years to perform and teach in exchange for the charity bestowed upon us, and to train two replacements if and when we choose to marry or take the veil. For these students from the outside, the Pieta is only a way station on the road to an advantageous marriage and the production of heirs. These girls bring with them a breath of worlds unknown to inmates of the ospedale, worlds where music is not necessarily at the center of one's existence. They come with their talk of fashion, families, and stolen kisses. Claudia, as a violinist, was places under my special care. I taught her every trick I knew of the Italian style, helped her with her grammar, and aquainted her with our routine. But I was evermore her student than her teacher. Although only two years older than I, Claudia was already womanly and wise in the ways of the world. I remember how it startled me to see how the maestro clearly took note of her bosom. I was uncomfortable thinking of the maestro -or any priest-as a man. I cannot say that I am overly comfortable with the thought now, even though I know full well that it is a fact of life. It is their very manhood that makes their vows of celibacy both necessary and so difficult to achieve. It was Claudia who told me, in her imperfect Italian, how important it is to remember that all men-whether noblemen or beggars, priests, or procurers-all have one thing in common, to which they are commonly in thrall. Shortly after her arrival, the maestro had one of his fits of temper, during which he tore at his hair and wept at the innocence that keeps us from playing with the passion demanded by his music. I looked over to see how Claudia would react. To my surprise, she sat there with an enigmatic smile on her face, looking well satisfied with herself. That night was particularly cold. Most of us were sleeping in two's, as was out wont in wintertime, even though, the year before, we had each earned the right to our own bed. I was just drifting off, with Claudia's arms wrapped around me, when she whispered in my ear. "Anna Maria, I can teach you the secret of this passion your maestro wants you to feel." My eyes were still half closed with sleep, and sleep had come only with difficulty because of the cold. "I am a virtuous girl," I muttered, resentful at being wakened. "And you can remain one. I promise you! Your virtue will be unsullied. But you will bring your maestro great joy." She propped herself up, leaning back on her elbows. I turned to look at her. "You speak in riddles, " I said crossly. Even though the darkness was inpenetrable, I could sense Claudia's smile. "Here, let me show you!" "Show me? Here? In the dormitory?" "There is no better place." She sat closer still, and speaking in little more than a whisper. "Every woman, Anna Maria-and every girl-has a secret place on her body. If you stroke it in just the right way, it makes your body quiver and make music like the strings of your violin." I lay back down, angry to be mocked in this way. "Go to sleep, Claudia!" We need to be at our best for the rehearsal tomorrow." She shook my shoulder. "Which is exactly why I am telling you this tonight, Annina." "Don't call me 'Annina," I said. I thought about how I used to believe that the music made by the coro came from the girls' bodies. I couldn't guess how this Saxon witch came to know of my childish folly. "Look." She pulled me upright again. "Here, do what I do." My eyes by then had begun to grow accustomed to the darkness. Claudia poistioned herself as if playing her cello, her knees splayed. "It's here," she said, reaching under her nightclothes. "You have one too. It's like-I don't know the word in your language." She took her hand out and then cupped her other hand around her finger, pantomiming a bell. "The little piece that makes it ring. Can you find it?" I reached under my nightclothes. How was it I'd never noticed before? When I touched it, it was exactly as if I were a violin. I felt the touch of my fingers vibrate in every part of my body, but especially the tips of my breasts and the arches of my feet. I saw Claudia had closed her eyes. I did the same. "Can you feel it?" she asked me. "Yes," I said, gasping a little because my breath was suddenly labored, as if I'd been climbing stairs. "Stroke it just as you stroke the strings of your violin, Anna Maria dal Violin." "The strings of my violin don't grow wet when I stroke them." "Think of the sonata we're playing tomorrow-of the allegro. And when we're playing the allegro tomorrow, think of this!" I could not answer her. The urge to keep stroking was suddenly larger than everything else, so large and so loud that everything else disappeared. I forgot where I was; I forgot who I was. There was only the urgent need to -I knew now what. And then-Oh blessed Mother of God-my body rang with the joyful force of all the bells of la Serenissima on Easter morning. It was as if I'd fallen into the sea during a storm and been washed up on the shore, half drowned, half dead, but like one who has seen the face of God. When I woke the next morning, I wondered if it had all been a dream. But there was Claudia sitting over me, smiling her little catlike smile. I smiled back at her. "Don't forget to think of it while we're playing today." "I will think of nothing else!" I assured her. "I must tell Giulietta. She must think of it while she is playing her cello today!" I told Giulietta (and drowned in that sea again in the telling), and I think Giulietta must have told others in her turn. When we all gathered for rehearsal, it was a pale-faced, fever-eyed group of girls who faced the maestro. "What's this?" he muttered. "Have I missed my calendar?" [Vivaldi, in this book, could tell 'the time of the month' by the behavior of his girls] From the moment we began playing, it was clear to all of us-but most of all to hiim-that everything had changed. We played with brio. We played with passion. We playted with urgency. We played so that we were panting at the end, and I would not have been surprised if some of our bells were ringing. The maestro lowered his hands and stared at us with disbelief. "I'm dreaming," was all he said at first. And then, with an expression of rapture filling his eyes: "How did this happen?" All of us just sat there and smiled with the same little half-smile that Claudia wore. -End-

Bring peace to schools by meditation, say Lynch and Donovan

by Amol Rajan

One is among Hollywood's most celebrated directors, with a reputation for making dark films and a fondness for creating "peace palaces" in his spare time. The other is an ageing Scottish folk singer who once collaborated with The Beatles. Together, they want to change education across the world forever.

The unlikely coalition of David Lynch and Donovan Leitch is set to launch itself upon British schools with a tour to promulgate "Consciousness-based education and world peace". Their aim: to bring transcendental meditation (TM) to millions of pupils.

But when they came across a sceptical Edward Stourton on Radio 4's Today programme yesterday morning, they induced their interviewer into a fit of the giggles rather than a state of blissful tranquillity.

Explaining that he first came across the TM technique when he visited India in 1968 with the Beatles, Donovan said: "I discussed it with George Harrison. There is a place inside all of us and if only we could contact it, it would bring forth our full potential."

At this stage, Stourton hadn't flinched. But when Donovan, who made his name with a string of hit albums in the late 1960s, handed over to his spiritual twin, the hyperbole soon became too much for the usually sober presenter. "There is a treasury inside each one of us human beings... it's pure bliss, pure consciousness," said Lynch, the brains behind such flicks as The Elephant Man and Blue Velvet.

"It's a simple, easy, effortless technique. A 10-year-old child could do it. Dive within, transcend and... experience this pure bliss, pure creativity, infinite intelligence, love, energy, power... the engine that runs the universe."

Such verbiage proved too much for Stourton, who overcame a bout of laughter to defiantly declare: "Er, we don't really do 'bliss' on the Today programme very often I'm afraid". Unperturbed, Lynch advised him: "You should do bliss Ed, you should do bliss. It will change your life, man."

Though drawing inspiration from spiritual matters, the pair's UK tour has a wider, more commercial function, which is the promotion of Lynch's new book, Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness and Creativity. But Lynch believes the gospel of TM should be brought to children across Britain. "When children get a chance to learn this technique, it transforms their life", he said. "Children are suffering more and more with stress at a younger age and this gets rid of stress. All negativity begins to lift."

Lynch's foundation, launched two years ago to promote the teaching of TM in schools, has provided more than $5m (£2.5m) in grants to schools willing to experiment with the technique. If adopted, TM would require pupils to conduct two 20-minute sessions per day in silence. They would close their eyes, concentrate only on themselves, and with sufficient practice, come upon nirvana.

But does it actually work? Donovan is clearly convinced. "It has shown enormous success in schools around the world where it has been used," he said. "Had I had TM in my school days I would have excelled as a child. Once you see the results it's extraordinary."

Bryan Appleyard, vice-president of The Buddhist Society, said the concentration techniques associated with meditation could be of enormous benefit "not only for children, but also teachers". If successful, meditation in schools could produce "greater concentration, awareness, clarity, equanimity and tranquillity", he said.

A fortnight ago the first major report into British primary school children for 40 years concluded they were stressed, anxious, and under-achieving. But are we likely to see thousands of classrooms across the UK converted from chaos to contemplation? A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools, and Families did not rule it out. "We don't really have a position on meditation," he said. "We let teachers decide what's best for the pupils at a local level."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

FRONTLINE: Showdown With Iran - Stay ahead of the lies and propaganda

[You can watch the entire show online] As the United States and Iran are locked in a battle for power and influence across the Middle East—with the fear of an Iranian nuclear weapon looming in the background—FRONTLINE gains unprecedented access to Iranian hard-liners shaping government policy, including parliament leader Hamid Reza Hajibabaei, National Security Council member Mohammad Jafari and state newspaper editor Hossein Shariatmadari. In this report, FRONTLINE examines how U.S. efforts to install democracy in Iraq have served to strengthen Iran's position as an emerging power in the Middle East. (more »)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Socialist Presidential Ticket: Moore and Alexander

Stewart A. Alexander Peace and Freedom Party Socialist Party USA October 21, 2007 Socialist Party USA and Peace and Freedom Party shared a mutual victory on Saturday, October 20, in St Louis, Missouri. During the National Convention of Social Party USA, Brian Moore was nominated as the presidential candidate to represent the party's national campaign ticket and Stewart A. Alexander was nominated as the vice presidential candidate. Most of the United States presidential candidates, for Socialist Party USA and Peace and Freedom Party, were on the tickets of both parties; however, the field of 11 presidential candidates for Socialist Party USA resulted in the nomination of Brian Moore, from the State of Florida, and Stewart A. Alexander, from the State of California. Brian Moore is now the eight presidential candidate, for Socialist Party USA, in the past 30 years. In 1976, Frank Ziedler, from Wisconsin, was the presidential candidate, and the vice presidential candidate was J Quinn Brisber. In 2004, Walter F. Brown, from Oregon, was the presidential candidate, and the vice presidential candidate was Mary Alice Herbert. Brian Moore and Stewart Alexander are setting forth a very aggressive agenda; designed to represent working class people and to restore America's confidence in the national leadership. Recent national polls have revealed that America's confidence, in the national leadership, is at its lowest point in more than 100 years; both candidates believe Americans, and the world, are prepared to receive what socialism has to offer. The immediate withdrawal from Iraq is the number one concern of both candidates and both parties. At the National Convention, Brian Moore stated, that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats have failed American voters, because "they have chosen to continue funding Bush's war." Moore says he is only committed to an immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. Moore has also committed to closing all U.S. military bases on foreign soil and to end U.S. imperialism. Moore and Alexander initially want a 50 percent reduction in U.S. defense spending, while using a portion of these dividends to enhance veteran benefits. Alexander recently proposed that retired veterans, with 10 to 30 years of military service, should receive retirement income ranging from $15,000 to over $30,000 annually, and exempt from federal taxes up to $100,000. The Socialist Party USA and Peace and Freedom Party are strong supporters of a single payer health care system and to make good health care available to all; including dental care. Both candidates, and both parties, are Pro Choice and supports a woman's right to choose. Moore and Alexander are both in favor of abolishing the Patriot Act, the Military Tribunal, and all executive orders adversely affecting the rights and freedoms of working class people. Both candidates have also committed to ending the war that the Democrats and Republicans have waged on the 12 million plus immigrants in America; both candidates also reject the separation of immigrant families. Brian Moore is 64 years of age and resides near Tampa, Florida. Moore obtained a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Arizona State University and is fluent in Spanish. Moore served three years in the U.S. Peace Corps in Latin America, and has 25 years experience in developing Health Maintenance Organizations across the nation. Recently Moore was a candidate for U.S. Senate in the State of Florida and received 20,000 votes. Stewart Alexander is 56 years of age and resides in Murrieta, California. He attended California State University Dominguez Hills, in Los Angeles County; however he did not receive a degree. He served in the U.S. Air Force, receiving an Honorable Discharge in 1976, as a transportation specialist. Presently, Alexander is employed as a manager with a Ford dealership, and began his career in automotive sales in 1989. Alexander was a community activist with the Florida Consumer Action Network (F-CAN) in 1986; from 1986 to 1989, he was a political talk show host on KTYM Radio, in Los Angeles; and was a candidate for mayor of Los Angeles in 1989. Recently, he was a candidate for California lieutenant governor, in 2006, receiving more than 44,000 votes. Presently, he is on the State Executive Committee (SEC) for Peace and Freedom Party. Both Brian Moore and Stewart Alexander will appear as presidential candidates on the California Primary Ballots for Peace and Freedom Party, on February 5, 2008; however, Stewart Alexander says his support for Brian Moore, to be the next president of the United States, is a joint mission to take back America for working class people. homepage: homepage:

Monday, October 22, 2007

John Lennon's Ghost Pays Son A Visit

John Lennon's son Julian claims his father's ghost has visited him from beyond the grave. Julian was left shocked by the haunting moment which occurred more than 25 years after the Beatles legend's death while he was shooting a new film in Australia. Julian, who agreed to take part in an ancient ceremony with an Aboriginal tribe, was left speechless when he was handed a white feather by a tribe elder, a symbol of great significance to him. A source told Britain's Daily Express newspaper: "It may sound strange but that was a very weird and emotional moment for Julian. He was left speechless. Not long before he died, John had told him, 'If anything ever happens to me, look for a white feather and you will know I am there for you, always looking out for you'." Julian, 44, was in Australia to produce the film Whaledreamers to raise awareness about the plight of whales and the Earth's oceans. He isn't the only person to have been visited by John since his death. * If you're gonna be haunted by recording studio ghosts, you could do a lot worse than the spirit of John Lennon. ..."We really are pro-peace, and pro-people getting together," he explains. "And attached to that is this real awareness that there's more to being a musician than just being in the public eye. We have an opportunity to move people and to make the world a better place."...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Seth on Medical Commercials and Health

From: Seth (as channeled through Jane Roberts):
"Your 'medical commercials' are equally disease-promoting. Many, meaning to offer you relief through a product, instead actually promote the condition through suggestion, thereby generating a need for the product itself." - Seth, from page 58 of The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events.

The Secret Behind … the Secret Behind the Secret

Since the debut of the wildly successful video, The Secret, and the followup book, both produced by Rhonda Byrne, a TV-mogul from Australia, and since the incredible TV exposure for the video and several of its “stars,” on Larry King, Oprah, etc., etc., there has been a rush by others offering material in the same genre to offer that material as “The Secret Behind the Secret.”

One of the best of these “Behind the Secret” DVDs can be found at the Abraham-Hicks Publications website, If anyone has a “right” to talk about the “Secret Behind the Secret” it would be Esther and Jerry Hicks. Rhonda Byrne, and the teachers on The Secret DVD, owe much to the Abraham-Hicks material, which most readily acknowledge, especially Ms. Byrne, who attended many hours of Abraham Workshops. Indeed, the original version of The Secret DVD had much screen-time for Esther Hicks and Abraham, and a heartfelt acknowledgment to them in the credits. But, intellectual property lawyers and marketing types ended up creating a situation where the Hicks had to bow out of the production, distribution, and marketing of the DVD, and the version now being offered does not include them. They profess ongoing appreciation for Ms. Byrne and seem to have moved joyfully on with their own marvellous 25-year mission to introduce the Abraham-Hicks material to the world. Moved on successfully, too, with their most recent book, The Astonishing Power of Emotions, topping at #1 overall during the first week of its release and appearing on the New York Times Bestsellers list. [How - and why - these folks continue to offer themselves for 50+ workshops a year, all over the world, when they certainly don’t need to do it to earn a living, is a wonder.]

But, as much as I’d enjoy the writing of it, this is not just a paean to Abraham-Hicks. [Don’t get me started. The A-H material helped me beat years of alcoholism, almost overnight.]

What I want to do is take my own crack at The Secret Behind … the Secret Behind the Secret.

I want to talk about the astounding similarity at the core of three very effective approaches to personal illumination and transformation, offered after the profound and sudden illuminations and transformations of the founders of these approaches. Then, if you’re interested, I want to offer my own “version” of this simple, but not easy, “Secret.”


The “Releasing” technique, whether it’s the one touted by Larry Crane ( or Hale Dwoskin and The Sedona Method ( has a very non-complex, very effective technique as its centerpiece. This technique evolved from the experiences of Lester Levenson, a man with an amazing story. [See either of the websites cited above for elements of that story.]

Lester Levenson was a middle-aged man with much professional and financial success, but at a price of gut-twisting angst and suffering. This culminated in the physical manifestation of life-threatening disease.

After being told to retire to his New York apartment and await The End, he determined to find a way to save his own life. After a few weeks of pondering and reading and experimenting with various spiritual “practices,” he happened upon the practice that saved his life and started a whole spiritual movement.

He methodically recalled, as he was able, every major trauma and the who/what/when/where/whys of these traumas. For each event he could recall, he held it in his focus and awareness and, to use my own words, “suffused” the event with love and acceptance. When he felt that he had drained the negative feelings from each event, and replaced them with feelings of love, acceptance, even appreciation, he moved on to another recalled event.

This continued for weeks, until he was completely healed and began experiencing rather startling “side effects,” including telekinesis of objects and remote viewing of events going on thousands of miles away. He became possessed of amazing vitality and energy and creativity in his daily affairs, and spent the rest of his long life offering what he had discovered to others, typically free of charge, since he also found an ability to create real estate opportunities that gave him all the financial stability he required. (He allowed the paranormal phenomena to fade away, as he was much more interested in helping people find the lifelong happiness that he had found for himself.)

The Work

Byron Katie was a housewife / mother / real estate agent who was so overcome with mental/emotional suffering and stress that she wound up bedridden, then institutionalized. (Read her story at

At some point during her institutionalization, she experienced a literal overnight metamorphosis that re-created her life:

I discovered that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but that when I didn’t believe them, I didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Freedom is as simple as that. I found that suffering is optional. I found a joy within me that has never disappeared, not for a single moment. That joy is in everyone, always.

The technique, The Work, that she offered after her own experience, couldn’t be much easier to do. It’s based on four straightforward questions:

After identifying a particular troubling thought or belief or concern, a person asks themselves these questions:

1. Is it true? 2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? 3. How do you react when you think that thought? 4. Who would you be without that thought?

Katie has amplified these questions, and added a few more helpful elements, but the 4 Questions are the heart of The Work.

Abraham - Esther and Jerry Hicks

About 25 years ago, Jerry and Esther Hicks became willing, then eager, to consider the authenticity and helpfulness of the experience called, at least by some, “channelling.”

Almost everyone interested in spirituality and “consciousness as cause” has heard or read about The Seth Material. In the 60’s and 70’s, Robert Butts and his wife, Jane Roberts, transcribed and wrote about “trances” Jane experienced, during which she “spoke for” a non-physical being identified as “Seth.” The Seth Material was vastly influential in the community of those interested in the transformation of personal reality, and has been curated by Yale University since Jane’s death in 1984.

Jane Roberts was never certain what, exactly, she was experiencing. She reached no final conclusions about the “source” of the wisdom she received and offered to listeners and readers, from “Seth.” For all she knew it could have been some “deep” wisdom of her own consciousness, accessible only in trance, or some other phenomenon she didn’t understand. She certainly didn’t call it “channelling.”

Neither does Esther Hicks. She only describes how she experienced an unmistakeable, undeniable connection with a source of wisdom and inspiration that she didn’t recognize as her own. She has learned to establish this connection at will, and offers what she “receives” from the nonphysical “beings” called, collectively, “Abraham,” in her own words and her own voice.

Here’s a bit of that wisdom:

“You can be fully satisfied with where you are, understanding that you’re eternally evolving. When you get into that place of feeling appreciation of where you are and of who you are, and appreciation of what you are, and you accept that you are a never-ending, always unfolding Being, then you can stand in that delicate balance of being optimistic about what is to come, without being unhappy about where you stand. Find a way of eagerly anticipating future changes, while at the same time you are in love and satisfied with who, what, where and how you be.” …

We want you to not get so hung up on the manifestation, and start taking pleasure in the incremental relief. Pleasure in the fact that this feels a little better. Pleasure in the fact that you can actually, with your own will power and your own determination, choose a thought that feels better.

Because this blog post is intended, really, to just steer you toward your own exploration, especially by visiting the websites of the people mentioned, I have made no attempt to be thorough or complete or comprehensive about The Release Technique, The Work, or the Abraham-Hicks Material.

That said, I hope I have offered enough to also offer the proposition that follows: A proposition that is transforming my own experience and could transform yours:

Esther and Abraham, and even Hale Dwoskin with the Sedona (Release) Method, talk about something called The Law of Attraction. The gist of this “Law” is that whatever is the predominant element in your consciousness, in terms of thoughts or beliefs or, especially, feelings and emotion - sometimes called your “vibration,” since even quantum physics theorists acknowlege that “matter” is more oscillating wave-form than anything else - whatever that “vibration” is becomes an attractor of similar “vibrations,” so that you “attract” more of what you are primarily “focused on” or conscious of.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, I suppose, depending on your own experience, the Law of Attraction has been mostly perceived as a “tool” for “manifesting” what one desires: Money, Relationships, Health, and so forth. Fine. Those are all things that turn out to be important for Time and Space dwellers, which most of us are.

But, I submit, this understanding of The Law of Attraction is not The Secret. The Secret is much more wonderful than that. The so-called “Law of Attraction” is just how things work, like the “Law of Gravity.” There’s nothing “secret” about universal laws.

The Secret is that you can change your “vibration” NOW. You can be happy NOW. You can lose your anxiety and stress, your self-doubt and shame, your feelings of guilt and unworthiness … NOW. No matter the who, what, when, where, or why.

The fact that changing your “vibration” will begin attracting a different flavor of experience is just how things work. The Law. So, the best place to focus is not on what you are fearful of, ashamed of, angry about, or even what you “desire.” The best place to put your attention is on your NOW “vibration,” so that you are “setting” the vibration, and not allowing fear, shame, anger, or the lack (want) of something to set it by default.

That’s the profoundly IDENTICAL core of each of the offerings of the three teachers briefly presented in this post.

Lester Levenson learned how to “bathe” whatever he was experiencing or conscious of, in the moment, in Love, Acceptance, and Appreciation … no matter what. This resulted in a release from the negative emotions that had gripped him for so long, and attracted healing, along with lots of other wonderful experiences.

Byron Katie teaches us how to get free from beliefs that create suffering by asking - NOW - Four Questions. The result is an almost immediate sense of relief and wellbeing. And, she maintains, once there is freedom from these beliefs, Life turns out to be quite worthy of our love, acceptance, and appreciation. (Her first book was called Loving What Is.)

Abraham and Esther Hicks talk, often, about “reaching for the best feeling or thought available to you NOW,” then continuing to do that until, (like Lester Levenson or Byron Katie), you find you have “loved” and “appreciated” your way to relief and freedom from suffering: i.e. Happiness. This change in “vibration” must “attract” more happiness. It’s the Law.

And, that, brothers and sisters, is the Secret Behind … the Secret Behind the Secret.

Warrior art

Artist, activist looks to homeland Mexico for inspiration By MARYALICE BITTS, Correspondent Sunday News

Published: Oct 21, 2007 12:03 AM EST

MILLERSVILLE, Pa - For Calixto Robles, creating art is more than a means of personal expression; it's an opportunity to change the world. Robles' mission as an artist began more than 20 years ago, when, in his mid-20s, he moved from his native Mexico to San Francisco. There he began to do some cultural soul-searching. "I didn't know many people in California. I was mostly by myself," Robles recalled in a recent telephone interview. "So, I went to the library, and I started reading books about my roots." In those books, he learned about the culture, traditions and myths of the Aztecs, Mayans and other ancient civilizations that lived in Mexico centuries ago. Between working several jobs and taking English classes at night, he found time to express in paintings what he'd learned. Living in a humble room with little ventilation and several roommates, he started small, using only acrylics and watercolors, which don't give off strong fumes. Three years later, his artistic world blossomed when he discovered a community center in his largely Latino neighborhood where he could paint freely and experiment with other artistic techniques, such as silk-screening and clay sculpture. He was hooked, and he was not surprised. "In [the Mexican state of] Oaxaca, there were many great artists who built cities in the mountains and painted murals on houses," he said. "I think all of these things are in my genes, in the genes of all of the Oaxacan peoples." Robles drew on that history, producing a series of dreamlike paintings, silk screens and pre-Colombianlike clay sculptures that combine magical and spiritual elements, such as angels and traditional mythical creatures, with ancient symbols to create a joyous celebration of the land of his birth. In time, he attracted the attention of art experts in Mexico, America and France, and, according to Millersville University gallery director Jessica Hill, it's easy to see why. "It's very exciting, intricate and multilayered work," Hill said. "There's a lot of movement and symbolism, and the colors are so vibrant." "Calixto Robles: Colors of the Wind," an exhibit of 21 Robles pieces, will be on display at Millersville University from Monday, Oct. 29, through Dec. 14. as part of the university's yearlong celebration of Latino culture. While his pieces are richly textured and highly emotive, Robles is more likely to point out the functionality of his work. For more than 20 years, Robles and other artists in his community have used artwork to raise awareness about issues impacting the greater Latino community. "We did posters about the revolution in Nicaragua, and to protest against the governments in El Salvador, Chile and Cuba," he said. "Lately, we've been doing posters against the gentrification of neighborhoods in San Francisco because a lot of people are being displaced." Other topics of concern to Robles are the recent debate over U.S. immigration laws and the continuing struggles in Oaxaca, which has been a hotbed of political strife for more than a year. A prominent player in the Mexican Revolution and in the resistance to French intervention, Oaxaca also is the historic home of the pre-Colombian Zapotec and Mixtec peoples, and is reputed to house more speakers of indigenous languages than any other Mexican region. Because of its rich history and culture, as well as its architectural attractions, year-round springlike weather and well-known archaeological digs, Oaxaca is popular with international tourists. That changed in spring 2006, when teachers and revolutionaries in Oaxaca city protested against what they deemed to be a repressive, corrupt regime overseen by the state governor. Federal police intervened last October, using force to restore order in the city. "It's very depressing. Last year, there were 21 people killed by the police," said Robles, who organized an educational exhibit about the protests and raised funds for the families of people who died in the struggle. "We do what we can do. We keep hope." Accordingly, Robles often uses culturally significant images of the jaguar in his works. "For me, the jaguar represents the resistance of my country," he said. "The jaguar is like a warrior, ready to defend our ancient culture against globalization and commercialism." Robles hopes his pieces will move others to reflect on Latino current events and culture, as he was first inspired to do when he emigrated to America. "I am told that there are a number of Latinos in the [Lancaster County] community," Robles said. "Maybe this exhibit will inspire them to celebrate their roots." "Calixto Robles: Colors of the Wind" will be on display in Millersville University's Ganser Library gallery, with an artist's reception and lecture from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Peace and Freedom Party shows double digit gain in Fresno County

The latest voter registration statistics for Fresno County just released by the Secretary of State show an increase in numbers for all six of California's political parties as well as increases in those who decline to state party affiliation and those who choose a party unrecognized in California. The numbers here are not particularly interesting, however, since increases in registered voters are linked to increases in the population.

The real story lies in the percentages and the general movement away from the Republican and Democratic Parties towards smaller political parties and positions contrary to and independent of "politics as usual" in California and across the nation.

In the 7 months since the last statistics were released, both the Republicans and the Democrats have experienced decreases in their share of the total number of voters registered in Fresno County. The American Independent, Libertarian, and Peace and Freedom parties have increased their percentage share of voters while the Green Party's share remained unchanged. "Decline to State" voters and voters choosing other parties also increased their share of all voters.

When comparing the current number of registered voters for each political party against the numbers from the Secretary of State's last count in February, only the Peace and Freedom Party showed a double-digit percentage increase. Growing 12.06% over the last 7 months, Peace and Freedom's growth outpaced the next highest percentage gainer, the American Independent Party, at 5.93%. Voters declining to state a party affiliation showed the next highest percentage increase at 5.54%.

Friday, October 19, 2007

back to the machine gun, by Buk

* I awaken about noon and go out to get the mail
in my old torn bathrobe. I'm hung over hair down in my eyes barefoot gingerly walking on the small sharp rocks in my path still afraid of pain behind my four-day beard. the young housewife next door shakes a rug out of her window and sees me: "hello, Hank!" god damn! it's almost like being shot in the ass with a .22 "hello," I say gathering up my Visa card bill, my Pennysaver coupons, a Dept. of Water and Power past-due notice, a letter from the mortgage people plus a demand from the Weed Abatement Department giving me 30 days to clean up my act. I mince back again over the small sharp rocks thinking, maybe I'd better write something tonight, they all seem to be closing in. there's only one way to handle those motherfuckers. the night harness races will have to wait. Charles Bukowski

Thursday, October 18, 2007



Sarah Josephina Hicks

Feb. 9, 1987 — Oct. 11, 2007

Mi-Wuk Village resident Sarah Josephina Hicks died in an auto accident Oct. 11 on Highway 120 near Lover's Leap. She was 20.

Ms. Hicks was born in Natchitoches, La., and had lived in Mi-Wuk Village for over 18 years. She was an independent business owner. She recently climbed Half Dome in Yosemite National Park with her brother, Daniel. She played the piano on Sundays at care homes and was a volunteer at Sonora Regional Medical Center for two years. She donated blood regularly and was religious. She also loved to travel.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Virgil Eldred Hicks Jr. and Joan Elaine Hicks, in 1988.

She is survived by her grandparents and guardians who raised her, Virgil Eldred Hicks and Evelyn Fern Hicks; brothers Timothy Eldred and Daniel Elias Hicks; adoptive parents, Keith Applequist-Nelson and Beth Hicks-Nelson; adoptive siblings, Phillip, Ross, Laryssa, Kassandra, Keith and Kaleb; aunts and uncles Bruce and Gwen Swenson, Doug and Marlous Hicks, Judy Leguillon, Chuck and Doreen Fletcher and Don and Penny Carlson; nieces and nephews Jesse Hicks and Adreanna Hicks; cousins Heather, Kayla and Hollie Swenson, David, Shane and Christie Hicks, Jasmine Hicks, Mitch Fletcher, Aric and Dana Carlson, and Dagmar, Rene Vanessa and Ben Leguillon; and grandparents Alvin Carlson and Beta Carlson.

Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Friday at the Old Brethren Church, 19220 Cherokee Road, Tuolumne.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her name may be made for Bibles to be given in her honor to the Gideon's International, P.O. Box 7, Sonora, CA 95370.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Erotic art traces history of sex

Jupiter and Antiope by Rembrandt' Rembrandt's 1659 work Jupiter and Antiope is part of the exhibition
It's an age-old question. When is art art and when is it simply pornography? A provocative exhibition at the Barbican in central London is helping fuel the debate. Seduced - Art and Sex from Antiquity to Now contains works spanning 2000 years, by some of the most famous artists in the world, showing human beings in their most intimate moments.

Kate Bush, the Barbican's head of art, has spent five years putting the collection together.

"It's not about porn. It's a thoughtful exhibition, a celebration of what connects all human beings across time and cultures," says Ms Bush.

The aim of the show is to explore the history of what's accepted as art and to throw light on our current attitudes.

And certainly those attitudes have changed. The first exhibit is a cast of the bronze fig leaf which was made so that Queen Victoria would not be offended by the replica of Michelangelo's statue of David in London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

If you take the Japanese works they are very explicit. But they are sumptuous, beautiful, delicate and refined
Professor Martin Kemp

The visitor then passes a room of pottery showing the antics of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, through the voluptuous bodies of the Renaissance to contemporary works such as the stylised satirical photographs by Jeff Koons poking fun at the porn industry.

Martin Kemp is one of the show's curators and a professor of history of art at Oxford University.

'Sex and joy'

He says putting the exhibition together has taught him "how similar we are in terms of images of sex and joy, but also about the unease in the representation of this private act".

"There's no civilisation which hasn't had problems with it," he adds.

Requiem by KR Buxey
KR Buxey's Requiem (2002) shows her face as she receives oral sex
The curators have made a point of only including works which show sex between consenting adults. There is nothing which suggests violence or sex with children.

While many of the works can be seen at any major gallery on permanent exhibition, this collection bans under-18s from attending.

Certainly when a work is old it appears to us as more acceptable as art rather than pornography.

Professor Kemp says art is also more complicated than porn, arousing a mixture of emotions. The other big difference is the quality.

"It became clear where pornography stops and art starts," he explains.

"If you look at the frescoes from Herculaneum, they employed major artists.

"If you went to Soho to a brothel today, you don't expect major artists to be deployed.


"If you take the Japanese works, they are very explicit, more so than in the West.

"But the levels of artistry are high, they are sumptuous, beautiful, delicate and refined."

The Beautiful Servant (Pointless Resistance) by Jean-Honoré Fragonard
The Beautiful Servant by Fragonard is subtitled 'Pointless Resistance'
The Japanese prints were made by leading masters including Hokusai. The woodblock prints show men and women in elaborate clothes and equally elaborate poses and were intended for use in brothels and private homes.

There are also Chinese works showing beautiful scenes of gentle love-making in quiet gardens. Chinese erotic art is a little known tradition because so much was destroyed in the Mao era.

The exhibition throws light on how different cultures at different times have viewed sex.

What it reveals above all is how styles of art have changed over the centuries, while human beings and their desires have essentially stayed the same.

Seduced: Art and Sex from Antiquity to Now runs until 27 January 2008.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Democracy Now Yoko and Imagine Peace

EXCLUSIVE: Yoko Ono on the New Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland, Art & Politics, the Peace Movement, Government Surveillance and the Murder of John Lennon AMY GOODMAN: You’re very optimistic. YOKO ONO: Well, you know, most people say, “Oh, you're so optimistic. I mean, what’s wrong with you?” I’m not really that optimistic. I am trying to make us survive. And in the course of survival, we don’t have the luxury to be negative. That’s a luxury that we can’t afford. And we just have to do what we can do. And I think that instead of getting so upset with some people, you know, or some countries which are doing this, doing that -- “How dare they,” whatever -- I think we should just do what we can do.

Masters of war plan for next 100 years

by Nick Turse Asia Times Duane Schattle doesn't mince words. "The cities are the problem," he says. A retired marine infantry lieutenant colonel who worked on urban warfare issues at the Pentagon in the late 1990s, he now serves as director of the Joint Urban Operations Office at US Joint Forces Command. He sees the war in the streets of Iraq's cities as the prototype for tomorrow's battlespace. "This is the next fight," he warns. "The future of warfare is what we see now." He isn't alone. "We think urban is the future," says James Lasswell, a retired colonel who now heads the Office of Science and Technology at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory. "Everything worth fighting for is in the urban environment." And Wayne Michael Hall, a retired army brigadier general and the senior intelligence advisor in Schattle's operation, has a similar assessment, "We will be fighting in urban terrain for the next hundred years." Last month, in a hotel nestled behind a medical complex in Washington, DC, Schattle, Lasswell, and Hall, along with Pentagon power-brokers, active-duty and retired US military personnel, foreign coalition partners, representatives of big and small defense contractors, and academics who support their work gathered for a "Joint Urban Operations, 2007" conference. Some had served in Iraq or Afghanistan; others were involved in designing strategy, tactics, and concepts, or in creating new weaponry and equipment, for the urban wars in those countries. And here, in this hotel conference center, they're talking about military technologies of a sort you've only seen in James Cameron's 2000-2002 television series, Dark Angel. I'm the oddity in this room of largely besuited defense contractors, military retirees, and camouflage-fatigue-clad military men at a conference focused on strategies for battling it out in the labyrinthine warrens of what urbanologist Mike Davis calls "the planet of slums". The hulking guy who plops down next to me as the meeting begins is a caricature of just the attendee you might imagine would be at such a meeting. "I sell guns," he says right off. Over the course of the conference, this representative of one of the world's best known weapons manufacturers will suggest that members of the media be shot to avoid bad press and he'll call a local tour guide he met in Vietnam a "bastard" for explaining just how his people thwarted US efforts to kill them. But he's an exception. Almost everyone else seems to be a master of serene anodyne-speak. Even the camo-clad guys seem somehow more academic than warlike. In his tour de force book Planet of Slums, Davis observes, "The Pentagon's best minds have dared to venture where most United Nations, World Bank or Department of State types fear to go ­ [T]hey now assert that the 'feral, failed cities' of the Third World - especially their slum outskirts - will be the distinctive battlespace of the 21st century." Pentagon war-fighting doctrine, he notes, "is being reshaped accordingly to support a low-intensity world war of unlimited duration against criminalized segments of the urban poor". But the mostly male conference-goers planning for a multi-generational struggle against the global South's slums aren't a gang of urban warfare cowboys talking non-stop death and destruction; and they don't look particularly bellicose either, as they munch on chocolate-chip cookies during our afternoon snack breaks in a room where cold cuts and brochures for the Rapid Wall Breaching Kit - which allows users to blast a man-sized hole in the side of any building - are carefully laid out on the tables. Instead, these mild-mannered men speak about combat restraint, "less-than-lethal weaponry", precision targeting, and (harking back to the Vietnam War) "winning hearts and minds". The men of urban warfare Take Russell W Glenn, a thin, bespectacled Rand Senior Policy Researcher with a PhD who looks for all the world like some bookish college professor Hollywood dreamed up. You'd never guess he went to the army's airborne, ranger, and pathfinder schools and is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. You'd also never suspect that he might be the most prolific planner for the Pentagon's century-long slum fight of tomorrow. In Planet of Slums, Davis notes that the Rand Corporation, a non-profit think-tank established by the US Air Force in 1948, has been a key player in pioneering the conceptual framework that has led to the current generation of what's called, in the jargon of this meeting, "urban operations", or UO. Glenn, it so happens, is their main man in the field. He travels the planet studying counterinsurgency warfare. Of late, he's been to the Solomon Islands, where an island rebellion occurred in the late 1990s, the Philippines, where an insurgency has been raging for decades (if not since the US occupation at the dawn of the 20th century), and, of course, Iraq. He's co-authored well over 20 UO studies for Rand including, most recently, "People Make the City: Joint Urban Operations Observations and Insights from Afghanistan and Iraq" (publicly available in 86-page executive summary form) and the still-classified "A Tale of Three Cities: Analyzing Joint Urban Operations with a Focus on Fallujah, Al Amara, and Mosul". On the technological front, the Pentagon's blue-skies research outfit, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), sent its grandfatherly-looking deputy director, Robert F Leheny, to talk about such UO-oriented technology as the latest in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and sense-through-walls technologies that allow troops to see people and objects inside buildings. While Leheny noted that 63% of DARPA's US$3 billion yearly budget ($600 million of it dedicated to UO technologies in the coming years) is funneled to industry partners, DARPA is only a part of the story when it comes to promoting corporate assistance in this 100-year-war growth area. The largest contractors in the military-corporate complex are already hard at work helping the Pentagon prepare for future urban occupations. Raytheon, L-3 Communications, and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) - the 5th, 7th, and 10th largest Pentagon contractors last year, taking in a combined $18.4-plus billion from the Department of Defense - have all signed Cooperative Research and Development Agreements with the US Joint Forces Command, according to Berry "Dan" Fox, the Deputy Director of Science and Technology at its Joint Urban Operations Office. As you might imagine, smaller contractors are eager to climb aboard the urban warfare gravy train. At the conference, Lite Machines Corporation was a good example of this. It was vigorously marketing a hand-launched, low-flying UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) so light that it resembled nothing more than a large, plastic toy water rocket with miniature helicopter rotors. The company envisions a profitably privacy-free future in which urban zones are besieged by "swarms" of such small UAVs that not only peek into city windows, but even invade homes. According to a company spokesman, "You could really blanket a ground area with as many UAVs as you want ... penetrate structures, see through a window or even break a window," in order to fly inside a house or apartment and look around. DARPA'S Leheny also extolled hovering UAVs, specifically the positively green-sounding Organic Micro Air Vehicle which brings to mind the "spinners" in Blade Runner or, even earlier in blow-your-mind futuristic movie history, V.I.N.CENT from Disney's The Black Hole. This drone, Leheny noted, has "perch and stare" capabilities that allow it to lie in wait for hours before fixing on a target and guiding in extended-line-of-sight or beyond-line-of-sight weapons. He also described in detail another DARPA-pioneered unmanned aerial vehicle, the WASP - a tiny, silent drone that spies on the sly and can be carried in a soldier's pack. Leheny noted that there are now "a couple hundred of these flying in Iraq". In addition to endless chatter about the devastated "urban canyons" of Iraq and Afghanistan, the specters of past battleground cities - some of them, anyway - were clearly on many minds. There were constant references to urban battle zones of history like Stalingrad and Grozny or such American examples as Manila in 1945 and Panama City in 1989. Curiously neglected, however, were the flattened cities of Germany and Japan in World War II, not to speak of the bombed-out cities of Korea and Vietnam. Perhaps the Korean and Vietnam Wars weren't on the agenda because "restraint" and "precision" were such watchwords of the meeting. No one seemed particularly eager to discuss the destruction visited on the Iraqi city of Fallujah either - three-quarters of its buildings and mosques were damaged in an American assault in November 2004. During James Lasswell's presentation, he was quite specific about the non-Fallujah-like need to be "very discriminate" in applying firepower in an urban environment. As an example of the ability of technology to aid in such efforts, he displayed a photo of the aftermath of an Israeli strike on a three-story Lebanese building. The third floor of the structure had been obliterated, while the roof above and the floors below appeared relatively unscathed. In an aside, Lasswell mentioned that, while the effort had been a discriminating one, the floor taken out "turned out to be the wrong floor". A rumble of knowing chuckles swept the room. Fighting in the city of your choice, 2045 Discrimination, it turned out, didn't mean legal constraint. Speakers and conference-goers alike repeatedly lamented the way international law and similar hindrances stood in the way of unleashing chemical agents and emerging technologies. Microwave-like pain rays and other directed energy weapons - such as the Active Denial System which inflicts an intense burning sensation on victims - were reoccurring favorites. During their PowerPoint presentation, the men from Lite Machines, for instance, showed a computer rendering of their micro-UAVs attacking an unarmed crowd gathered in a town square with a variety of less-than-lethal weapons like disorienting laser dazzlers and chemical gases (vomiting and tear-gas agents), while a company spokesman regretfully mentioned that international regulations have made it impossible to employ such gases on the battlefield. Undoubtedly, this was a reference to the scorned Chemical Weapons Convention, which has been binding for the last decade. Rand's Glenn similarly brought up the possibility of reassessing such international conventions and overcoming fears that chemical weapons might fall into the "wrong hands". Saddam Hussein was his example of such "wrong hands," but the hands responsible for Abu Ghraib, Mahmudiyah, Hamdania, Haditha, or the invasion of Iraq itself - to find non-existent banned weapons - seemed to give him no pause. While the various speakers at the conference focused on the burgeoning inhabitants of the developing world's slum cities as targets of the Pentagon's 100-year war, it was clear that those in the "homeland" weren't about to escape some of its effects either. For example, back in 2004, marines deploying to Iraq brought the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) with them. A futuristic non-lethal weapon alluded to multiple times at the conference, it emits a powerful tone which can bring agonizing pain to those within earshot. Says Woody Norris, chairman of the American Technology Corporation, which manufactures the device: "It will knock [some people] on their knees." That very same year, the LRAD was deployed to the streets of the Big Apple (but apparently not used) by the New York Police Department as a backup for protests against the Republican National Convention. In 2005, it was shipped to "areas hit by Hurricane Katrina" for possible "crowd control" purposes and, by 2006, was in the hands of US Border Patrol agents. In that same year, it was also revealed that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department had begun testing the use of remote-controlled surveillance UAVs - not unlike those now operating above Iraqi cities - over their own megalopolis. When it came to the "homeland", conference participants were particularly focused on moving beyond weaponry aimed at individuals, like rubber bullets. Needed in the future, they generally agreed, were technologies that could target whole crowds at once - not just rioters but even those simply attending "demonstrations that could go violent". Other futuristic UO concepts are also coming home. According to Fox of the Joint Urban Operations Office, the Department of Justice, like the military, is currently working on sense-through-wall technologies. His associate Duane Schattle is collaborating with the US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) - set up by the Bush administration in 2002 and whose area of operations is "America's homefront" - on such subjects as "sharing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, command and control capabilities". He also spoke at the conference about developing synergy between the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security in regard to urban-operations technologies. He, too, expressed his hope that microwave weapon technology would be made available for police use in this country. A specific goal of DARPA, as a slide in deputy chief Leheny's presentation made clear, is to "make a foreign city as familiar as the soldier's backyard".This would be done through the deployment of intrusive sensor, UAV, and mapping technologies. In fact, there were few imaginable technologies, even ones that not so long ago inhabited the wildest frontiers of science fiction, that weren't being considered for the 100-year battle these men are convinced is ahead of us in the planet's city streets. The only thing not evidently open to discussion was the basic wisdom of planning to occupy foreign cities for a century to come. Even among the most thoughtful of these often brainy participants, there wasn't a nod toward, or a question asked of, the essential guiding principle of the conference itself. With their surprisingly bloodless language, antiseptic PowerPoint presentations, and calm tones, these men - only one woman spoke - are still planning Iraq-style wars of tomorrow. What makes this chilling is not only that they envision a future of endless urban warfare, but that they have the power to drive such a war-fighting doctrine into that future; that they have the power to mold strategy and advance weaponry that can, in the end, lock Americans into policies that are unlikely to make it beyond these conference-room doors, no less into public debate, before they are unleashed. These men may be mapping out the next hundred years for urban populations in cities across the planet. At the conference, at least, which cities, exactly, seemed beside the point. Who could know, after all, whether in, say, 2045, the target would be Mumbai, Lagos, or Karachi - though one speaker did offhandedly mention Jakarta, Indonesia, a city of nine million today, as a future possibility. Along with the lack of even a hint of skepticism about the basic premise of the conference went a fundamental belief that being fought to a standstill by a ragtag insurgency in Iraq was an issue to be addressed by merely rewriting familiar tactics, strategy, and doctrine and throwing multi-billions more in taxpayer dollars - in the form of endless new technologies - at the problem. In fact, listening to the presentations in that conference room, with its rows of white-shrouded tables in front of a small stage, it would not have been hard to believe that the US had defeated North Korea, had won in Vietnam, had never rushed out of Beirut or fled Mogadishu, or hadn't spent markedly more time failing to achieve victory in Afghanistan than it did fighting the First and Second World Wars combined. To the rest of the world, at least, it's clear enough that the Pentagon knows how to redden city streets in the developing world, just not win wars there; but in Washington - by the evidence of this "Joint Urban Operations, 2007" conference - it matters little. Advised, outfitted, and educated by these mild-mannered men who sipped sodas and noshed on burnt egg rolls between presentations, the Pentagon has evidently decided to prepare for 100 years more of the same: war against various outposts of a restless, oppressed population of slum-dwellers one billion strong and growing at an estimated rate of 25 million a year. All of these UO experts are preparing for an endless struggle that history suggests they can't win, but that is guaranteed to lead to large-scale destruction, destabilization, and death. Unsurprisingly, the civilians of the cities that they plan to occupy, whether living in Karachi, Jakarta, or Baghdad, have no say in the matter. No one thought to invite any of them to the conference.

Monday, October 15, 2007

'Electromagnetic Wormhole' Possible with Invisibility Technology

One of the views through the quotwormhole.quot Different lengths result in different bending of light. Credit: University of Rochester
One of the views through the "wormhole." Different lengths result in different bending of light. Credit: University of Rochester
The team of mathematicians that first created the mathematics behind the "invisibility cloak" announced by physicists last October has now shown that the same technology could be used to generate an "electromagnetic wormhole."
In the study, which is to appear in the Oct. 12 issue of Physical Review Letters, Allan Greenleaf, professor of mathematics at the University of Rochester, and his coauthors lay out a variation on the theme of cloaking. Their results open the possibility of building a sort of invisible tunnel between two points in space. "Imagine wrapping Harry Potter's invisibility cloak around a tube," says Greenleaf. "If the material is designed according to our specifications, you could pass an object into one end, watch it disappear as it traveled the length of the tunnel, and then see it reappear out the other end." Current technology can create objects invisible only to microwave radiation, but the mathematical theory allows for the wormhole effect for electromagnetic waves of all frequencies. With this in mind, Greenleaf and his coauthors propose several possible applications. Endoscopic surgeries where the surgeon is guided by MRI imaging are problematical because the intense magnetic fields generated by the MRI scanner affect the surgeon's tools, and the tools can distort the MRI images. Greenleaf says, however, that passing the tools through an EM wormhole could effectively hide them from the fields, allowing only their tips to be "visible" at work. To create cloaking technology, Greenleaf and his collaborators use theoretical mathematics to design a device to guide the electromagnetic waves in a useful way. Researchers could then use these blueprints to create layers of specially engineered, light-bending, composite materials called metamaterials. Last year, David R. Smith, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke's Pratt School, and his coauthors engineered an invisibility device as a disk, which allowed microwaves to pass around it. Greenleaf and his coauthors have now employed more elaborate geometry to specify exactly what properties are demanded of a wormhole's metamaterial in order to create the "invisible tunnel" effect. They also calculated what additional optical effects would occur if the inside of the wormhole was coated with a variety of hypothetical metamaterials. Assuming that your vision was limited to the few frequencies at which the wormhole operates, looking in one end, you'd see a distorted view out the other end, according the simulations by Greenleaf and his coauthors. Depending on the length of the tube and how often the light bounced around inside, you might see just a fisheye view out the other end, or you might see an Escher-like jumble. Greenleaf and his coauthors speculated on one use of the electromagnetic wormhole that sounds like something out of science fiction. If the metamaterials making up the tube were able to bend all wavelengths of visible light, they could be used to make a 3D television display. Imagine thousands of thin wormholes sticking up out of a box like a tuft of long grass in a vase. The wormholes themselves would be invisible, but their ends could transmit light carried up from below. It would be as if thousands of pixels were simply floating in the air. But that idea, Greenleaf concedes, is a very long way off. Even though the mathematics now says that it's possible, it's up to engineers to apply these results to create a working prototype. Greenleaf's coauthors are Matti Lassas, professor of mathematics at the Helsinki University of Technology; Yaroslav Kurylev, professor of mathematics at the University College, London; and Gunther Uhlmann, Walker Family Endowed Professor of Mathematics at the University of Washington. Source: University of Rochester

'Shake Off Our Sedation'

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. -Martin Luther King, Jr.
© 2001 Ellen McCormick Martens This image is my way of visualizing the angel of death, a compassionate yet impersonal entity that comes to take us onward to what lies beyond the physical life. She is gentle and quiet. Sometimes death comes as a healing event.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Leadership Void

by Cindy Sheehan / October 13th, 2007
They are advocates. We are leaders.

– House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in regards to “Anti-war activists.”

People of America, this is truly the problem with what was once a Representative Republic and now is a country run by “elected” officials who believe that they, individually and collectively, are above any accountability and are not answerable to their constituents. Our public servants erroneously believe that they are the leaders!

Ms. Pelosi made this statement to a group of reporters at a luncheon recently and she also went off on activists who have been participating in vigils outside of her chi-chi home in the Pacific Heights district of San Francisco. The people who are vigiling outside her house regularly, in a Pelosi Watch are only exercising their rights as American citizens to make their concerns known to a Rep who was elected from a district that is wholeheartedly against the occupation of Iraq and for impeaching the liars who got us into the illegal and immoral situation.

No, Ms. Pelosi, you are not a leader. You have proven time and again in what you laughably believe is a “mistake” free run as Speaker of a Democratic House that you will do anything to protect an Imperial Presidency to the detriment of this Nation and the world, particularly the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

This Democratic Congress supported BushCo’s disastrous and deadly surge; handed him over billions of their constituent’s tax dollars to wage this murder; have by their silence and votes countenanced an invasion of another country; approved more restrictions on the rights of the citizenry to be protected against unreasonable search and seizure; Ms. Pelosi does not even know if “torture” (which violates international law and the 8th Amendment in our Bill of Rights) is an impeachable offense; and worst of all the impeachment clauses were taken “off the table” in an ongoing partnership with BushCo to make the office of the presidency a Congressionally protected crime conglomerate that is rapidly sending this Nation down a crap-hole of fascism. So, Congress has led us to a few things: war, poverty, oppression, unemployment, and an inexplicable continuance of the Bush Regime.

No, Ms Pelosi, you are not even a leader in the very narrowest of definitions. We do not elect our Congressional Representatives to be leaders, not to be used as willing marionettes for the war machine and other special interests that serve the elite to the detriment of the rest of us, but to represent the will of the people. We send our elected officials to DC and pay their salaries and subsidize their benefits to do the “Will of the People.”

No matter how many times Ms. Pelosi and George Bush share tea and giggles and no matter how often she “prays’ for him, George is not the Decider and she is only the Leader of the House of Representatives not the people. We are the sovereigns in this country and I tried to demonstrate this when I demanded a meeting with another haughty public servant: George Bush.

I cannot speak for every Democrat, Independent, Green or disenchanted Republican (and there are many) in America, but the consensus from my travels all over this country is that we put Democrats back in power in both Houses of Congress to be an opposition to the Bush Regime and to stop the annoying “bobble-headed, rubber-stamping” approval of all things criminal and murderous. We did not wish to keep heading in the same direction but desired to go another way, which would have required the Dems to finally step up and forcefully counter and stop the high crimes of BushCo. They have failed.

We are sick of excuses. We are tired of the blame being diffused on the Senate, the Blue Dog Dems, the Republicans or even, incredibly, the people of Iraq. A true leader accepts responsibility in ways that are not even dreamed of by BushCo or Congress Inc. A true leader would stand up and do what is intelligent and what is right and if he/she were a leader then people would follow. A leader does not wait idly by for a crowd of sycophants to gather around her before she does her job with integrity and courage; a leader leads the way and the Democratic Congress with an approval rating even lower than George’s had better wake up to whom they need to follow: us!

We have countless examples of true leaders throughout American history and if not for them, women would not have the right to vote, much less be Speaker of the House; Black Americans would still be slaves or at the very least still drinking out of separate fountains; workers would not have the right to unionize and children would still be mining coal; we would still have troops in Southeast Asia, and we would still be under the aegis of our close Cousins in Empire: the British. Some of our courageous leaders have had to pay the ultimate price for their bravery and vision and Ms. Pelosi should be ashamed of arrogantly whining over her rubber chicken that Americans exist who want her to do her job because people are dying and lives are being ruined with her complicity.

We have the right to hold both of the political parties accountable. We not only have the right, we have the responsibility.

We not only have the right and the responsibility we have the power.

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was killed in Bush's war of terror on 04/04/04. She is the co-founder and president of Gold Star Families for Peace and The Camp Casey Peace Institute. Read other articles by Cindy.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Vatican opens Knights Templar archives Oct 13, 1307

Forgive our cynicism but it smells to us like a quick cash-in (albeit a year late, so as not to seem unseemly) on the Da Vinci Code hype. The official website of the Holy See has a link right on the front page, for God and everyone to see, to something luridly if paradoxically entitled the "Vatican Secret Archives." Reading the history page on the archives, it turns out (surprise!) they aren't really all that secret, but were thusly named because when they were established by Paul V c. 1610 they were housed in halls adjacent to (not in) the so-called "Secret Library" or Sale Paoline. Some of the documents, however, really are only being released to the public now. These conveniently concern the oh-so-sexy Knights Templar—and are bound in an exorbitantly priced edition. From Reuters , Oct. 11 (link added):

VATICAN CITY — The Knights Templar, the medieval Christian military order accused of heresy and sexual misconduct, will soon be partly rehabilitated when the Vatican publishes trial documents it had closely guarded for 700 years.

A reproduction of the minutes of trials against the Templars, "'Processus Contra Templarios — Papal Inquiry into the Trial of the Templars"' is a massive work and much more than a book—with a 5,900 euros ($8,333) price tag.

"This is a milestone because it is the first time that these documents are being released by the Vatican, which gives a stamp of authority to the entire project," said Professor Barbara Frale, a medievalist at the Vatican's Secret Archives.

"Nothing before this offered scholars original documents of the trials of the Templars," she told Reuters in a telephone interview ahead of the official presentation of the work on October 25.

The epic comes in a soft leather case that includes a large-format book including scholarly commentary, reproductions of original parchments in Latin, and—to tantalize Templar buffs —replicas of the wax seals used by 14th-century inquisitors.

Reuters was given an advance preview of the work, of which only 799 numbered copies have been made.

One parchment measuring about half a meter wide by some two meters long is so detailed that it includes reproductions of stains and imperfections seen on the originals.

Pope Benedict will be given the first set of the work, published by the Vatican Secret Archives in collaboration with Italy's Scrinium cultural foundation, which acted as curator and will have exclusive world distribution rights.

The Templars, whose full name was "Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon," were founded in 1119 by knights sworn to protecting Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land after the Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099.

They amassed enormous wealth and helped finance wars of some European monarchs. Legends of their hidden treasures, secret rituals and power have figured over the years in films and bestsellers such as The Da Vinci Code.

The Knights have also been portrayed as guardians of the legendary Holy Grail, the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper before his crucifixion.

The Vatican expects most copies of the work to be bought up by specialized libraries at top universities and by leading medieval scholars.

Burned at the stake

The Templars went into decline after Muslims re-conquered the Holy Land at the end of the 13th century and were accused of heresy by King Philip IV of France, their foremost persecutor. Their alleged offences included denying Christ and secretly worshipping idols.

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The most titillating part of the documents is the so-called Chinon Parchment, which contains phrases in which Pope Clement V absolves the Templars of charges of heresy, which had been the backbone of King Philip's attempts to eliminate them.

Templars were burned at the stake for heresy by King Philip's agents after they made confessions that most historians believe were given under duress.

The parchment, also known as the Chinon Chart, was "misplaced" in the Vatican archives until 2001, when Frale stumbled across it.

"The parchment was catalogued incorrectly at some point in history. At first I couldn't believe my eyes. I was incredulous," she said.

"This was the document that a lot of historians were looking for," the 37-year-old scholar said.

Philip was heavily indebted to the Templars, who had helped him finance his wars, and getting rid of them was a convenient way of cancelling his debts, some historians say.

Frale said Pope Clement was convinced that while the Templars had committed some grave sins, they were not heretics.

Spitting on the cross

Their initiation ceremony is believed to have included spitting on the cross, but Frale said they justified this as a ritual of obedience in preparation for possible capture by Muslims. They were also said to have practiced sodomy.

"Simply put, the pope recognized that they were not heretics but guilty of many other minor crimes—such as abuses, violence and sinful acts within the order," she said. "But that is not the same as heresy."

Despite his conviction that the Templars were not guilty of heresy, in 1312 Pope Clement ordered the Templars disbanded for what Frale called "the good of the Church" following his repeated clashes with the French king.

Frale depicted the trials against the Templars between 1307 and 1312 as a battle of political wills between Clement and Philip, and said the document means Clement's position has to be reappraised by historians.

"This will allow anyone to see what is actually in documents like these and deflate legends that are in vogue these days," she said.

Rosi Fontana, who has helped the Vatican coordinate the project, said: "The most incredible thing is that 700 years have passed and people are still fascinated by all of this."

"The precise reproduction of the parchments will allow scholars to study them, touch them, admire them as if they were dealing with the real thing," Fontana said.

"But even better, it means the originals will not deteriorate as fast as they would if they were constantly being viewed," she said.

Did you note the references to "titillating the Templar buffs"? Pretty blatant, eh? We noted when he first ascended to popedom that Cardinal Ratzinger had been the official Vatican pointman on mystical loopiness, who oversaw the publishing of the Third Secret of Fatima in 2000. He is now building on that legacy, and (we argue) displaying shrewd business acumen. But note that the released archives will be heavily redacted, leaving the wacko conspiracy theorists plenty of room to ruminate. Yet (of course!) neither will this stop fringe Christian end-timers from claiming (count on it) the release of the Templar files as a fulfillment of prophecies in the Book of Revelations and proof of imminent apocalypse.

Note also the reference to the actual historical context of the Templars (loopiness aside)—the epic struggle of Christendom against Islam in the Crusdaes. As we have noted, the Templars were the most gung-ho, Islam-hating lot of that whole ghastly period—so there is some obvious relevance for our own times in their grim history. Historians are always averse to making contemporary analogies, but the Templars appear to have their modern-day counterparts in the Pentagon. Maybe after the scholars get done digesting these documents and producing works of interpretation, us mere readers will get to apply some lessons from this history to the real-world political landscape... Academic squeamishness about "subjectivity" is a part of the reason we always seem to be, as the saying goes, condemned to repeat it...

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Shamanic Journey: Spirit Helpers

Posted by EditorsChoice Tuesday, 09 October 2007

Cross-culturally, there is a common belief in spiritual help that is witnessed as an intervention from a non-physical realm into the physical realm that transcends, changes, or heals. This non-physical realm is where the spirits dwell. I was taught that the Lakota people believe there are 405 helping spirits that you are born with that are literally assigned to you: A small army of helpers whose main function is to be of service to you and your human experience. You may choose to use this help throughout your life, or not. There is no judgment if you don't. But why wouldn't you? Whether it's 405 or 1, their help can bring sensational results---magical, miraculous, profound, guiding, transformative, informative, and fun. You can use your spirit helpers for minor things or gain insight and direction for the major decisions of your life. You can heal yourself and your loved ones. You can learn to direct energy in such a way that you can change the past and look into the future. The non-physical doesn't follow the same physical laws that you have been taught. There are no limits to this realm except those from your own perspective. One of the most effective ways to access help from the spirit helpers is the shamanic journey. The shamanic journey is filled with mystery, and despite its ancient history, is little understood in Western culture. The altered state of consciousness achieved in a journey allows you to transcend the limitations of the rational world and connect with a non-ordinary reality. The shamanic journey is common to all cultures (even European) and the nature of the journey is remarkably similar, even in cultures widely separated by era and geography. In the spirit world, both time and place are illusions. The lessons from the other worlds are universally true, drawing from a collective consciousness that is accessible to all. Learning how to journey successfully takes time and practice. Journeying requires you to tune in to all of your senses. It is vital to activate as many of the senses as possible to stimulate your powers of observation beyond the visual. Many people depend too much on the visual in journeying, and fail to access the total information contained in the journey. Often, the information will come through a sense of "knowingness," a kind of sixth sense that is beyond seeing or any of the other single senses. To practice stimulating your senses, try this simple exercise: Close your eyes and imagine a red rubber ball. Bounce the ball and hear its bounce. Throw the ball up against the wall. Squeeze the ball; feel its texture. Bring the ball up to your nose and smell it. Stick your tongue out and taste it. Now open your eyes. Could you see the ball? Could you hear the ball and notice the difference in sound qualities from bouncing the ball close to your feet and throwing it against a distant wall? Could you feel the elasticity of the ball and its texture? Could you smell it and taste it? Notice which of your senses was the strongest. If you close your eyes and it is totally black, then tune into your knowingness and "see" with that sense. Many people have absolutely no visual sense in a journey, yet the detail of the journey is exceptional. This exercise will help you become more attuned to your senses and discover which ones are more vivid for you. The goal of the ball exercise is to literally activate your senses to a reality (the ball) that is not currently in your ordinary reality. In a journey, you will do the same thing. Through your senses you will activate a non-ordinary reality and journey through a place unfamiliar to your ordinary reality. I have taught several hundreds of people how to journey, most with remarkable success. The journey method empowers and enriches their lives. They develop a modality through journeying that is useful to everyday life. They can reach and communicate with their spirit helpers in a constructive and accurate way. Remember that your spirit helpers and power animals are magical and they can do anything, they do not follow physical law. Birds can swim under water, whales can fly, and tigers can talk. They are your protectors and guardians. They do not lie, that is only a human trait-you can trust them. Each journey will be different; some will be more powerfully realized than others. There is much to learn about the spiritual realm. In each journey I gather information concerning my intention, but I also listen openly for what the spirits may want to tell me. I have found the shamanic journey to be one of my most profound ways of connecting with the spirits and one of the richest sources of understanding and awareness. It has literally healed me and keeps my mind curious and reaching. To me, imagination is the gateway into the spiritual realm. It is not the spiritual realm; the spiritual realm is real, not imaginary. However, imagination can be used as the way in to the realm. Imagination is a tool that we are given as children, but often forget how to use. Children usually have a profound awareness of the spiritual realm; they have wonderful vivid imaginations, and many have imaginary friends. Children become completely entranced with other realities; they easily talk to trees, sing to flowers, see magical kingdoms in sparkling sand, and physically "see" spirits. Kids see and communicate with spirit beings quite naturally. Unfortunately, these fabulous encounters with the spirit realm are categorized as imaginations and are often stifled as children grow up and conform to society. Family, school, church, and other external forces of the culture shape their beliefs and responses. Mothers lovingly but with authority, say, "Now honey, you should not lie. There really is not anyone sitting next to you. Rocks do not have mouths and they cannot really talk." The fabulous, magical, fun, mystical connections are lost or blocked. What the spirits have taught me about imagination is that it is actually a gift from Spirit, it is how we as humans create and that Spirit is providing us with an avenue to creation and connection that our psyche will accept. Imagination connects you back into the magical, mystical worlds of Spirit you once knew as a child. When I work with people in journeying they will often say, "I feel like I am making the whole thing up, like it is just my imagination." And I say, "Good." Trust it and let's see what happens. Imagination is the portal in. It gives permission to the psyche (your limited mind) to experience something that is out of the realm of what you would call an ordinary experience, or real. Because of conditioning, you are extremely limited by your own perception of what you define as real. If the imagination can travel further into the realm of the unknown than your belief system allows, then by all means travel on the imagination. What you will find is that you are not making it up at all. The spirits are alive and well, existing in other realities that you probably cannot see with your physical eyes, but are real just the same. The imagination provides the avenue to get there. So use your imagination, develop it, and allow it to expand, create, grow, and become. Open the door and get out of the box that society has placed around you. You will find that the shamanic journey and your spirit helpers continually provide you with ideas, information, possibilities, and potentials for your own growth and development.

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About the Author:

Jan Engels-Smith promotes self-healing, empowerment, better communities, a healthy world and conducts workshops in shamanism & journeying. Her book, Becoming Yourself is at . Jan

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Plight of American Veterans

Stewart A. Alexander for President Peace and Freedom Party Socialist Party USA October 10, 2007 Bob gave the U.S. Army 30 years of his life and was greatly anticipating his 30 year retirement party. Bob served in both Gulf Wars and is proud of the 30 years that he has given to his country. Bob recently turned 50 years-old and planned for his 30 year retirement party. Weeks before his retirement party, Bob had another party; the bank foreclosed on his house, therefore, all his friends and neighbors helped him to move into a rental property. For several years Bob has suffered from high blood pressure; however, he still found it necessary to take on a full time job as a long-haul truck driver, hauling freight between the State of Washington and California. Now John, has just retired after serving 20 years in the U.S. Navy; serving time in the Gulf Wars and other assignments around the world. John loves the navy, and it is still very much a part of his life. John is now receiving his retirement income, less than $1,500 per month and he is waiting to receive his disability income for injuries he sustained while on active duty. Presently John works full time as an automobile sales consultant in Southern California, to earn extra income; often working more than 60 hours a week on commission only, he still comes up a little short of having enough to pay his bills and his rent. Both men have a very deep love for their country and speak very proudly of their military service. Bob loves sitting with friends and talking about his days in the army, and John loves watching baseball and talking about growing up in New York. Today, veterans are leaving active duty, returning home, to find no jobs or low paying jobs. Many veterans are returning home having to live with their relatives or friends just to make ends meet. There are many unfortunate veterans that have little or nothing; they are homeless and living on the streets. It was recently revealed in early 2007, that Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a highly rated military facility, responsible for the medical care of military personnel, was found to be extremely negligent. The hospital was not providing proper care for the many soldiers seriously injured and returning from the Iraq War. Soldiers were recovering, in this government facility, that had not been properly maintained for decades. The neglect was highly visible; damage plumbing, stained carpets, damage floors and walls; also cockroaches and mouse droppings could be seen everywhere. This is what the present day leadership in Washington is offering American Veterans. The Democrats and Republicans are continuing their support of the Iraq and Afghanistan occupation despite the rising death toll and the heavy burden on U.S. military personnel; there are now more than 75 percent of all Americans that disapprove of the American occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Democrats and Republicans have given President Bush over $500 billion to continue his misguided war, while at the same time denying U.S. veterans the honor, dignity and treatment they deserve for their sacrifices. Socialist Party USA, and Peace and Freedom Party have remained opponents to the Iraq War and occupation, even before the invasion on March, 2003. Both parties have charged that it is a war to expand US imperialism and to protect the interest of US and European capitalists. Stewart Alexander, a presidential candidate with Socialist Party USA, and Peace and Freedom Party, wants more for US veterans. Alexander is proposing to increase the retirement benefits of all U.S. veterans. Alexander is proposing the following to reward all U.S. veterans: First: All veterans that have served a minimum of 10 years in the military, these retirees would receive a minimum of $15,000 per year, as retirement military earnings; and all their income, of less than $50,000, would be tax exempt from federal taxes. Second: All veterans that have served a minimum of 20 years in the military, they would receive a minimum of $20,000 per year, as retirement military earnings; and all their income, of less than $75,000, would be tax exempt from federal taxes. Third: All veterans that have served a minimum of 30 years in the military, they would receive a minimum of $30,000 per year, as retirement military earning; and all their income, of less than $100,000, would be tax exempt from federal taxes. Socialist Party USA, and Peace and Freedom Party are also demanding an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. and allied forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. Stewart Alexander says, “The Democrats, Republicans and Bush are already past the deadlines to get out; and that was before March, 2003. Socialist Party USA, and Peace and Freedom Party are asking all U.S. veterans to join their efforts to obtain more for U.S. veterans and to end the Iraq War. For more information search the Web for: Stewart A. Alexander for President; Socialist Presidential Candidates at America’s Crossroads; Independent Voters Rejecting Democrats and Republicans.

Sonnet VIII, by Pablo Neruda

* If your eyes were not the color of the moon, of a day full [here, interrupted by the baby waking -- continued about 26 hours later ] of a day full of clay, and work, and fire, if even held-in you did not move in agile grace like the air, if you were not an amber week, not the yellow moment when autumn climbs up through the vines; if you were not that bread the fragrant moon kneads, sprinkling its flour across the sky, oh, my dearest, I could not love you so! But when I hold you I hold everything that is -- sand, time, the tree of the rain, everything is alive so that I can be alive: without moving I can see it all: in your life I see everything that lives. *

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Love Letter

Not easy to state the change you made. If I'm alive now, then I was dead, Though, like a stone, unbothered by it, Staying put according to habit. You didn't just tow me an inch, no- Nor leave me to set my small bald eye Skyward again, without hope, of course, Of apprehending blueness, or stars. That wasn't it. I slept, say: a snake Masked among black rocks as a black rock In the white hiatus of winter- Like my neighbors, taking no pleasure In the million perfectly-chisled Cheeks alighting each moment to melt My cheeks of basalt. They turned to tears, Angels weeping over dull natures, But didn't convince me. Those tears froze. Each dead head had a visor of ice. And I slept on like a bent finger. The first thing I was was sheer air And the locked drops rising in dew Limpid as spirits. Many stones lay Dense and expressionless round about. I didn't know what to make of it. I shone, mice-scaled, and unfolded To pour myself out like a fluid Among bird feet and the stems of plants. I wasn't fooled. I knew you at once. Tree and stone glittered, without shadows. My finger-length grew lucent as glass. I started to bud like a March twig: An arm and a leg, and arm, a leg. From stone to cloud, so I ascended. Now I resemble a sort of god Floating through the air in my soul-shift Pure as a pane of ice. It's a gift. * Sylvia Plath * This is actually a marriage proposal. See if you can break the code and solve the puzzle!

McKinney Preparing to Seek Green Nomination

Posted by Austin Cassidy --- October 8th, 2007

According to an article in an Ohio newspaper, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has moved to California and changed her registration to Green. She apparently plans to announce that she will seek the Green Party’s Presidential nomination sometime in the next couple of weeks.

McKinney has also been included on the list of official candidates for the Green Party’s California Presidential primary. Ralph Nader is listed as a Green candidate and a candidate for the Peace and Freedom Party’s nomination.

Thanks to Ballot Access News for pointing this article out…

According to a reliable source, former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga) will officially announce her candidacy for U.S. president as early as next week.

According to the source, the Green Party has been actively courting McKinney to switch party affiliation and run as a Green. (*)

McKinney has been outspoken about the Iraq war, AIPAC’s lobbying influence over U.S. foreign policy, the 9/11 Commission Report, and the partisan decision by a partial body of the Supreme Court to elect George W. Bush to the presidency in 2000.

She is also trumpeting the call of millions of Americans calling for the impeachment of Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for perpetrating war crimes against humanity.

McKinney is in San Francisco this weekend. Her schedule includes an appearance at a CodePink party tonight at El Rio, and an appearance tomorrow at a campaign rally to elect mayoral candidate Ahimsa Sumchai.

(*) Update 3:10 p.m: According to a source, McKinney officially registered as a member of the Green Party yesterday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Monday, October 08, 2007

R. Buckminster Fuller - "Vision Statement" / Harold Channer

"To make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone." -R. Buckminster Fuller - "Vision Statement"
Harold Channer on Bucky Harold Channer is a talk-show host on public access television network Manhattan Neighborhood Network, or MNN. He is the longest-running producer for the network, having done over 2,200 interviews over 40 years. He was a professor of geography at SUNY New Paltz from 1968-1971.


Seth: Your body reacts to your thoughts. It does no good to take ten minutes a day and give yourself good suggestions and say, “I am brave, I am strong, I am healthy and young and rich,” and spend the rest of the time saying to yourself, “I am poor, I am getting old, I feel sore, or it is a cruddy world.” You are hypnotizing yourself.


Seth: Your body reacts to your thoughts. It does no good to take ten minutes a day and give yourself good suggestions and say, “I am brave, I am strong, I am healthy and young and rich,” and spend the rest of the time saying to yourself, “I am poor, I am getting old, I feel sore, or it is a cruddy world.” You are hypnotizing yourself.

You would not think of going to a hypnotist and having him tell you that you are getting sicker by the moment or the world was getting cruddier by the moment, or that your arm or foot or head or toe or ear would hurt more and more with each breath that you took. You would have the man up to be hung, and think such an affair an evil thing indeed. Yet you do this to yourselves often, and then you say with all bland innocence, Why does this come about? Why am I sick?” Or “why am I sore or why am I caught in this cruddy universe?”

Every time you say, “I am helpless and I am slipping into chaos,” whether you get laughs or not or whether you say it humorously or not, you are indeed pushing yourself further into the chaos you are creating with every breath you take.

There is no contradiction here with what I have said about spontaneity. When you have allowed negative habits, however, to take over, then somewhere you must draw the line, for the negative habits knock away the discipline. The negative habits knock away even spontaneity, for all thoughts of good will and health and vitality disappear beneath these thoughts that you are handing yourself everyday like poison upon the spoon, whether the spoon be wooden or tarnished or silver.

When you allow negative thoughts to predominate in your conscious mind, you then become more open to the negative thoughts of others. You are given a natural protection, but you weaken this protection when your conscious thoughts are negative. This not only happens in the waking state, but you also become more open in the dreaming state to telepathic communications from others of a negative pattern. It is you who open these channels through your thoughts, a sort of psychic contagion in which you are the agent.

You not only attract negative conditions, therefore, in the physical world that you know, but you open yourselves up to these in the dream reality.

Tom: In the back of your mind, you think a negative thought, then say, “Oops, this is wrong!” and try to change it. I don’t think it is so easy.

Seth: A negative thought alone would be followed by a more positive one. Thought patterns and emotional patterns, left alone, would change one into the other as stormy weather changes into sunny. It is only when strong negative patterns are allowed to flow unrestrained and indulged in so that they become a barrier holding back positive thoughts that you run into difficulty.

When you have strong aggressive feelings, admit them as being legitimate feelings, and accept them as legitimate on their level. The very acceptance and acknowledgement gives you some relief, and the feelings already begin to dissipate. Physical activity at the time is good. Say what is on your mind honestly.

Tom: But the expression need not necessarily be to the party you are concerned about.

Seth: It need not be, but it may be. If someone annoys you, you should admit honestly that they annoy you. You need not tell the other person or you may, but, if you ignore the feeling, it builds up until someday, when the poor man makes a simple innocent remark, you will beat him over the head or, worse, develop a knock in your knee because you want to hit him over the head and do not dare to do so.

Tom: I wrote a guy two days ago to go to hell.

Seth: There is a difference between this, which is a healthy acknowledgement of feeling, and an indulgence, an exaggeration of feeling that dulls you to everything else. It is only when you refuse to accept feelings that they build up charges. Physical activity is a good way to work this off, if only pounding the bed. Do not put your hand through walls. It is bad on the wall and bad on the hand; even your astral knuckles may hurt.

An overindulgence in negative emotions is worse than an overindulgence in negative thoughts. When you love life very deeply, then it is very easy to despair. And, when you compare ideal human relations to the relations that exist in the world as it is, it is very easy to despair. But, if you give in to despair, then you cannot see the beauty that does exist, for the despair will eat it through like lye. So hold on to the beauty and guard it and the vitality of your thoughts and emotions and your natural vitality as you would your life, for it is your life.

Peace is truly joyful and exhilarating, and it can be as good and better than any trip, so, if you are going to trip, then trip through the bright green forests that grow in your own mind, and derive your strength and peace from these.

The above passage is an excerpt from a transcript of the ESP Class session held by Jane Roberts on July 21, 1970. Copyright, 1991 by Robert F. Butts. All rights reserved. The drawing of Seth is by Irene O’Brien. From Path to the Stars magazine (discontinued), No. 5—14, 15

Master of Appreciation

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Husbot is at a wedding tonight...his best friend's sister

the sister is marrying the woman she's been living with for 9 years...
the cliche "lesbian wedding"...Which I don't even know what the actual
law is about that in this state or jurisdiction..

Anyway...the wedding is being held at the Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa, CA ...
which is a hotel that for some reason, holds a lot of memories for me...

The first time I went there I was 13.
My friend Gina's parents happen to go there every Summer for one week.
So this time they invited me...I used to "babysit" Gina when she was 12
and I was 13 because she didn't like to be alone in their house at the time
when her parents would go out a lot. So ok, I went...
While there I met some of the other families that would meet there once a year too..
one of them brought a friend named Mark Evans. Well..I had been in love already
(from 12)..but this Mark...I remember sitting by the pool at the Flamingo
and then he kissed me... I'm trying to think of what he said that impressed
me so much during that conversation...Or how the kiss happened but I can't...
The next day or maybe it was that day, we, (Mark, me, Gina and his friends
Bobby and Bob, (yeah I know), went driving around Santa Rosa. The song Lola
by The Kinks was on the radio...

I pushed her away, I walked to the door
I fell to the floor, I got dwn on my knees
Then I looked at her and she at me

The song still reminds me of that kiss..

Mark and I exchanged a few letters after that..(I still have them..
yellow lined paper and red pen)...He gave me the "you feel like a sister" thing...

The next time I was at the Flamingo I was maybe, I don't know, 15 years old or 16,
this time..I remember my mum had left my dad and we were with her boyfriend
Gene...(ew) best friend Jenine came with us..
Let's just say we got in trouble for having two guys from the Long's Drugstore next
to the hotel in our of us had the person in the room longer than the other one...
(hint hint: it was NOT me ;)) that was an odd trip...first time two people had sex while
I was in the room...

The when I got my dricer's license, when I was 18, and got my first car, a 1971 Volvo
164, I drove to the Flamingo by myself to stay in a hotel, by this trip is
mostly a blur...It seems like I invited someone(s) to meet me there, but I can't recall now..

The next to last time I remember being at the Flamingo, was in 1999 when Pierce and
I went to meet my newly found, adopted, half-sister Pamela Orr for the first time. She
asked me to buy hard alcohol for her...she lived on the streets of Santa Rosa. By choice.
Her adoptive family was money rich..But she chose this life..

The last time I was at the Flamingo was when my birth mother and I went to meet Pamela.
We all three spent one night together in a lower floor room in the back side bank of rooms
in the hotel..We literally laughed until we fell asleep.. We woke up and said our goodbyes,

Pamela died in 2001, I believe, from psirrosis of the liver...She passed while I was with her...
(another first, and last, so far, for me)

This is all from memory, no fact checking...

See how music is?! I was just listening to Lola...and realized Pierce was at THAT hotel... :)

Every time I was there, at the Flamingo, the lounge had a piano bar player who would
ALWAYS smile at me... from when I was 13 on..(the first two times I was there it
was the same man...different guys on the other times..but always infectious smiling)

Happy Sunday People.

[I don't think I've ever "talked" on my blog...wonder why now?]

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Plaza of The Mind interviews the enigmatic Bob Dobbs

Caryn Anscomb's Disclosure Deli

The Plaza of The Mind interviews the enigmatic Bob Dobbs
Reproduced by kind permission of Bob and The Plaza of The Mind:


Your life story is rather complicated, before we begin, could you give my readers a brief overview of your life and works?

Gerry Fialka's site has a useful summary:

[ROBERT DOBBS, poet and politician, is a seminal lecturer on Joyce and McLuhan. He was the hit of last year's McLuhan International Festival of the Future in Toronto, and his appearances at Columbia University, University of Toronto, among others, have generated fresh new insights and new metaphors. He was born in Paris in 1922 and after World War Two worked with international intelligence agencies for many decades. He surfaced in 1987 on CKLN-FM in Toronto and began whistleblowing. Two interpretations of Dobbs are circulating in the popular media: one is through the Church of the SubGenius that Dobbs inspired in 1978 in Dallas; the other is on two CDs, Bob's Media Ecology and Bob's Media Ecology Squared, put out in 1992 by Time Again Productions, early students of Marshall McLuhan. The best presentation of Dobbs' work is in his book, Phatic Communion with Bob Dobbs (1992). Today, he travels the world explaining the Android Meme, and the tracings of these activities are featured at [his site, FiveBodied.]

I am confused, because during my preparations for this interview I have seen you referred to as not only Bob Dobbs, but also as Bob Marshall and , by the members of the Church of the SubGenius, Bob Dean. What is the relationship between Bob Dean, Bob Marshall and Bob Dobbs? I have heard a recording of a man referred to as Bob Marshall and his voice sounds very similar to yours. In the Bob's Media Ecology record you tease him for not having what it takes to express himself in the new environment. Are these other men still around or are they a part of you in a trinity-esque manner, like some sort of evolutionary process, from Dean to Marshall to Dobbs?

Bob Marshall (not his real name) lives in Toronto. He keeps a low profile. He's an actor. He was young and impressionable when he worked with me at CKLN from August, 1984 to 1989, and acquired a voice like mine through natural osmosis due to my charisma and his excellent miming talents.

People in Toronto thought his real name was Bob Dean. This is the root of the confusion around the "Bob Dean-Bob Marshall-Bob Dobbs" sequence. He and I have no knowledge of "Bob Dean".

He stays with Connie and I, also, when he visits New York City. We are still close friends.

No, there isn't any "evolutionary process" to it, in fact. But I make fun of the urban legend around this sequence in the right-hand column of my Tiny Note chart. [see page 30]

Did Bob Marshall ever get any work after he was let go from CKLN?

He got no more work on the radio but he became a salesman for a magazine distributor.

When did you construct your charts?


I enjoyed last October’s episode of the International Connection where Bob Marshall phoned up CKLN. He stated that he had been possessed by Bob Dobbs. Do you do this sort of thing on a regular basis?

No, I did it on that particular day because I knew it was going to be the last show. Daniel, the cohost, always claimed I was Bob Marshall. So I thought I'd humor him. It was successful. He genuinely fell for my "mistake" - as you
can hear.

In my copy of Phatic Communion with Bob Dobbs, the copyright is attributed to Robert Dean but this is pasted atop the original page with a label. Is there a reason or did I get my used book from a disgruntled SubGenius?

That was pasted on by my former butler, Tom Touché. He stole some of the five hundred copies of my book. He also registered it at the ISBN under "Robert Dean" to sow a tiny controversy. Another reason he's my ex-butler.

When I first announced that you had agreed to participate in this interview at the Plaza of the Mind I received many comments from people stating that you were a fraud. Is this sort of scrutiny something you have had to deal with for quite some time from people that you attempt to share your ideas with?

Yes, in terms of how I'm perceived in the electrified media. But anyone who encounters me in person invariably likes me, or at least finds me amiable and of a pleasant sunny disposition. However, one is never recognized as a prophet in one's hometown, and the present global theater has been my hometown.

Historically, one who offers deep perception of the present environment - in other words, offers a perceptual anti-environment to the PRESENT situation - has always been interpreted as pointing to the "future". Such a response is an anodyne for what is painful to behold. I am liked in private because being an anti-environment, today, is merely a hobby for me. For others, it's a "day job". As a matter of fact, the role has been unionized.

The last I heard you reside in NYC, is this the case?


Do you plan on staying in NYC permanently?

I'll always have a residence here but it won't be my only one. I will be travelling a lot.

Is your citizenship Canadian or US?

I have 3 citizenships: French, Canadian, and one I'd rather not disclose

What is a day in the life like for Bob Dobbs?

Part of my day is like that of an office receptionist. I take many phone calls. Nobody would believe who calls me. Even those who have my phone number would be shocked at who else has my phone number if they knew.

When I'm living a regular routine, I generally don't get up until around 9:30am. I don't get to bed until around 2:30am. However, this changes occasionally. I try not to turn on any electric mixed-corporate media (including the stove but not the light switch) in the morning until noon. This is often impossible because of the phone calls I get. I use an old analog phone and avoid the cellphone as much as possible. I schedule the reception of my incoming phone calls. But this is often interrupted. I can honestly say I'm about 4 degrees of separation from anyone that has a public profile in any medium (except speech) in any country. This is due to my intelligence work over the last 65 years. I'm also 4 degrees of separation from very influential people who have no public profile.

As for meals, I do "preventive eating". I don't own an automobile. I use the subway, taxis, and airplanes. I walk for at least 40 minutes every day. I don't ride a bike. While I'm eating around noon, I jump around on the radio dial. I take in all niche markets. As for music, I presently like JACK-FM ("playing what we want"). I try to catch Dan Romanello's Group Harmony Review oldies show on WFUV-FM on Saturday at midnight. I don't have physical sexual affairs but I am metaphysically promiscuous in the extreme. I almost never watch television. When someone told me around 9:45am on 9/11 about the airplane hitting the World Trade Center, I watched for 45 minutes, then turned the TV off. I haven't turned it on since. I do have to be on my MAC computer throughout the day so I can assist in protecting New York City from a terrorist incident. And I try to check out FiveBodied at least once every 24 hours because I enjoy the "youtubes" the members post. Since I'm on the phone so much, I pace the room frenetically to keep limber. I don't jog but I have strong legs.

Why am I on the phone so much? Because the Market demands the metaphysical Word.

Do you have your groceries delivered?

No. I pick them up where they're delivered. I don't shop in regular supermarkets.

What does 'preventive eating' consist of?

It means eating nutrient-supplement powders like PROVIDE. The idea is to eat to strengthen one's immune system and increase energy.

I have seen images of you and you appear quite youthful for a man your age. What is your secret?

It's probably partly genetic, but drinking Joe Dun Sloan's D-Cell water since 1969 has been an important factor.

I have never heard of Joe Dun Sloan. Could you give a little background?

Joe Dun Sloan was born around 1908 in Chicago, I think. He eventually moved to Los Angeles in the Thirties or Forties. He got involved with the metaphysical circles around Gina Cermina and the medium, Mark Probert. He also worked with Bob Beck back in the Sixties. He became the third human to make D-Cell water - after John Brown (in the Fifties) and Hilary Dorey (in the early Sixties).

I first discovered your works when a college friend gave me a cassette tape of the Bob's Media Ecology Squared record. I have often referred to it as one of my favorite records of all time. In interviews you have stated that the record was actually Nelson Thall's take on your work and did not necessarily reflect what you would have put into an album. How much involvement did you have in the project?

I was on CKLN-FM in Toronto every 2 weeks from June 17, 1987, until August, 1991 (with a 2-month haitus between the end of April, 1988, and the end of June, 1988). I said from the beginning that what I broadcast could be used by any listener in any way they wished. I didn't put any copyright restrictions on use of what I uttered on the air.

Nelson Thall took advantage of this opportunity and asked Dave Newfeld to make an album from audio tapes of my mouthings. I wasn't aware of Nelson's request until Newfeld told me in early 1991. I told Dave I wanted nothing to do with the project. The rest of the story is found in this thread from FiveBodied, It goes like this:

[… between Dec. '90 and late '93 or early '94, Dave Newfeld was successively contracted to make 3 albums for Nelson Thall. Not all 3 at the beginning, but the success of BME1 led serendipitously (for Newfeld) to BME2, and then to the McLuhan album. Thall dreamed their existence and Newfeld manifested his wishes and was remunerated accordingly by Thall. For me, they're all the product of Dave's imagination with a few peripheral suggestions from Nelson thrown in.

I personally, if I had produced the albums back then, would have done them a lot differently, I suppose. For example, the phrase "everything's disappeared" would not have been presented as an ideology that I promoted or believed in. I would've presented it as the forlorn complaint by an advertising executive…

However, in early '93 Nelson asked me to produce the video for the song, "Everything's Disappeared." I did that without any payment from Thall. I took the opportunity to put my charts into the video. Two versions were made…

…And the video is a classic. Thall should put it "up" on YouTube.]

Dave Newfeld and I are still close friends and you can read lots about Dave's work with Broken Social Scene by googling him in that context.

Dave stays with Connie and I when he comes to New York City.

Your co-host at the time was Mike Dyer and he also appears on the records. How did you get involved in the radio show?

Myke Dyer was a programmer at CKLN who offered to broadcast my tapes of Mae Brussell who had a show on a station near Carmel, California in the Seventies and Eighties. Myke did this in the 1985-86 period. At that point Myke and I were mere acquaintances. In June, 1987, at a CKLN meeting introducing the new station manager, Punam Khosla, I got talking to Myke. He asked me if I had heard of the Church of the SubGenius. I said yes and pointed out how the J.R. "Bob" Dobbs logo was based on a picture of my father. He was a bit surprised and subsequently asked me to come on his show and prove it. I took up the offer on June 17, 1987, and we never looked back. We became close friends. The show stopped in 1991 when he moved out of Toronto. It was never my show. I was just a guest for 4 years.

Here is the transcript, from my diary entry, of the opening banter on our first broadcast together on June 17, 1987:

[Myke Dyer: As regular listeners to my show here at CKLN know, I have been playing tapes from the Church of the SubGenius the last few weeks. At the same time, listeners know that Bob Marshall's show, The International Connection, has been taken off the air here at the station. Well, surprise, surprise, the two seemingly unconnected events, unbeknownst to me, have a meaning none of us could have foreseen. It turns out that J. R. Bob Dobbs, the mascot of the Church, was not assassinated on January twenty-first, nineteen eighty-four, has left Dallas, has resurfaced in Toronto, and is sitting across from me in the studio. Good evening, sir.

Dobbs: Good evening, Myke... good evening, Mr. Mulronrey... good evening, Mr. Bobby Fulford. In the broadest sense your introduction is true, but in the particulars I want to make a few adjustments. I am Bob Dobbs, not J. R. Bob Dobbs - J.R. is a cartoon version of me that I inspired back in February of 1978. I have nothing to do with the creation of the Church of the SubGenius per se, nor with any of its commercial activities such as the tapes you've been playing.
In fact I left Dallas in nineteen eighty-two after the failed attempt to start Nuclear War One. I've been skulking around Toronto for about four years now spending more time with my wife Connie who has been living in Toronto the last
nine years.

Dyer: And you know Bob Marshall?

Dobbs: Yes, after I met him here in Toronto, I encouraged him to create a show on CKLN. I continued to advise him behind the scenes as his show became a success and assumed a high profile in Toronto. But thanks to the Iran-Contra hearings in Washington and other events, I decided that Bob Marshall should step aside and I make my move to reveal my long-planned agenda.

Dyer: And because you've impressed me over the last week with your credentials, I've made a tentative commitment to assist you with your plan even though I don't fully understand it, yet. I am not guaranteeing you anything. We'll just see how it goes. I'm as curious as the listeners probably are.

Dobbs: I sincerely appreciate that, Myke. So let's get the ball rolling.

Myke then played some excerpts from one of the Media-Barrage audio tapes composed by Church members and at various points Myke stopped the tape and allowed Bob to explain the real knowledge that inspired these hallucinated interpretations of Dobbs.]

Myke Dyer and I are still good friends, and he stayed with Connie and I when he ran in the New York Marathon in November, 2006.

How did he place?

I don't know specifically but he accomplished his goal which was to do it in about 3 hours, I think. He says he certainly had the greatest place to recuperate - namely, our Dobbstown.

Bob’s Media Ecology Squared seems to be quite a rarity. In fact, I have never even seen the cover for the Bob’s Media Ecology Squared record. I do, however, own the first Bob’s Media Ecology and have the full paged add from Mondo 2000 in a frame in my office. How many copies of each album were printed?

I don't know. Perhaps 500 to a thousand. Newfeld might know. When interviewed at the time, I often said that millions were exchanged. Counting the copies duplicated, I am probably correct. I think it is the greatest album ever made - if there can be such a thing. It's even better and more comprehensive in concept than Zappa's Lumpy Gravy (1967). This fact will be obvious in 500 years. Newfeld still balks at this boast but he thinks my Memo to Prince Charles in the booklet might qualify as the greatest liner notes. Let's check back with him in 2020 to see if he would include the soundtrack in retrospect.

You mention that in five hundred years your record will be regarded as the greatest one ever recorded. What do the next five hundred years look like?

In one hundred years, every tool or artifact you see around you today will have disappeared. Poverty will be gone and so will disease. We will have made contact with the Booteans in the mid-2020's and that will accelerate progress wildly. There will continue to be wars and the final Armageddon will happen in 500 years when we will have invented a device that will erase everything we knew up to that point. We will fight over whether to implement that technology. It will hyper-crystallize what McLuhan meant when he said "the medium is the message". This will be the time when BME illuminates.

You have expressed an appreciation for the works of Frank Zappa. Are there any other musicians that you hold in high esteem?

None as high as Frank Zappa. I think it's because he wasn't limited to his role of "musician". I only purchase his CDs and videos. I haven't bought any other music in 35 years. But living in Manhattan for 14 years has given me access to a tremendous variety of radio stations. I'm a glutton for all kinds of music. I love them all according to my moods. Any music is easy to enjoy if you have my kind of quadrophrenia. But I have never worn a Walkman or an iPod. I want to be aware of my responses to the environment when my Chemical Body walks through it.

I quit the Walkman seven years ago around the same time that I quit wearing logo t-shirts. What would your albums have sounded like had you been the producer?

I didn't and don't think about it. I was too busy to make albums. Through the years since, Newfeld has expressed an interest in doing one with me. It hasn't happened yet but he's the man if events lead to such a project. We have
similar tastes in music. And he's much improved in his studio skills. I do like the input I injected into the video, "Everything's Disappeared" (Jan. 1993). It might make the short list for greatest video in the far future, too. The technicians who made that video went on to huge careers.

I've always gotten a kick out of the 'don’t bring that television into the house' sample. Is that an electroquote of you from your show?

That's a quote made by Bob Marshall (born 1949) before a taping over the phone of a segment in an audio series on Marshall McLuhan. This series was done for the University of Toronto's CIUT-FM in 1987 by Dave Newfeld with Nelson Thall and Bob Marshall co-hosting. Newfeld did this for CIUT (they initially were going to do it for CKLN) after he was unfairly fired by Adam Vaughan (CKLN's station manager at the time and presently a recently-elected Toronto City Hall politician) in July '86. Adam Vaughan later fired Bob Marshall (host of The International Connection) in May '87 in revenge for losing the McLuhan series which he deeply wanted to be associated with since he and his family had been friends and neighbours of McLuhan. This was when I entered and got on Myke Dyer's show a month later. Bob Marshall did not know I had arranged for him to be fired since I had to get on the air to manipulate the elections for Chairperson of the Secret Council of Ten in Feb.'88. The movie MAN OF THE YEAR (2006) xenochronously replays the actual events that helped me win that position in early '88.

Later, when I told Bob Marshall why he was really fired, he was very upset. It took many years for him to understand why I had to do it and for him to forgive me. We can laugh about it now. As we all know, this is always the way life's memory works. Forgiveness is an essential human trait - but only for the past.

On Bob’s Media Ecology, who performs the Grammar Rap?

Some teenager that Newfeld found in Toronto. I never met the boy.

How many 'Reverse Radio Show' calls did you do? I've always loved that opening track on Bob’s Media Ecology Squared where you call that pleasant lady and explain the discarnate experience to her.

We only did it once - the evening of "Black Monday", October 19, 1987, at Dave's apartment in Toronto.

David Newfeld’s take on your radio show?

You can hear it at [a recording of Mr. Newfeld’s call to the International Connection in October of 2006 – see Appendix A--.]

Otherwise, he's one of its greatest fans. So much so, that he discovered "Bob's Talk Show" broadcasting from the astral plane, discussed on Art Bell's show about five years ago. Only Dave could have the xenochrony to catch that one.

I have a hard time getting my head around the meaning of that word xenochrony. Could you give a brief explanation?

Today we all experience synchronicity more and more. If one decides not to identify with the experience - which I would recommend doing, one will find the synchronicity increases no matter how much one tries to play down its personal significance. This insistent "strange synchronicity" was called xenochrony by Frank Zappa.

About six years ago there was a site called MediaGuru that I believe was run by Nelson Thall, it was the first I had heard of him. It seems that you no longer are collaborating with Mr. Thall. Did you ever have a creative partnership? Do you know what happened to it?

In the Nineties I helped Nelson write a column for a Canadian publication called Adnews. He started the website, MediaGuru, with Robert Apple in the mid-Nineties. I didn't have anything to do with it. I enjoyed many creative conversations with Nelson during those years, up to and including my 4 months as co-host with Nelson on the Cloak and Dagger show on Toronto's MOJO radio station from July 7, 2002, to the first week of November, 2002. I didn't like the direction he was taking the show so I dropped out. I am even more disappointed with his web version of Cloak and Dagger.

I have not spoken to Nelson since the first week of November, 2002.

There have also been several other sites pertaining to your work that have sprung up here and there and then vanished. How deeply involved are you with these sites based upon your work? .

I was aware of them as they were created and offered old written materials of mine as they were requested but I have no other involvement with them. The creators of two particular sites, Marc Free ( and Scott Norris ( from Los Angeles, have been good friends of mine since 1995.

I feel as though I am peeling away the layers of an onion the more I discover about your works. It started with the one cassette tape, several years later I discovered about five hours worth of radio mp3s on line and now at five bodied there is twenty seven hours worth of audio available. Is this all part of the plan you mentioned earlier, your campaign to let people know that you have been running the show all along?


Are you familiar with the Panawave Laboratory and its leader, Yuko Chino? Do you have any insights into the type of meme they are trying to create? I am drawn to them quite strongly and yet I cannot tell why, other than the sheets and uniforms.

I have never heard of Panawave Laboratory and its leader, Yuko Chino.

The Panawave Laboratory are a group out of Japan that shield themselves from electronic waves by draping themselves in white sheets. they claim that old soviets are attempting to give their leader Yuko Chino cancer through radio waves. I am drawn to them quite strongly and yet cannot tell why, other than the sheets and uniforms. This seems to be a metaphorical process, and I have two questions. Is this sort of behavior necessary in today’s world?

Yes, if one finds purpose and meaning in paranoia. It's not necessary otherwise.

Or does it reflect an archaic school of thought?

Yes, it does, just as Orwell's book, 1984, reflects a pattern from long ago.

Do you have any insights into Soviet mind control techniques from the fifties and sixties?

They, like the CIA, found their techniques didn't work.

What is the story concerning 2012, the end of the Mayan time cycle?

The Mayan's knowledge of cycles was useful up to 2012 C.E. They couldn't understand what came after that year. The frictionless-based society that would be made possible by the coming cold-fusion battery was incomprehensible to them since their knowledge, like that of all cultures before the coming post-2012 culture, was based on friction-based paradigms. They stopped the calendar at 2012 because the implications after that made no sense to them.

Should I be worried?

Not in the least. The Evergreens have predicted that the most popular T-shirt slogan in 2013 will be, "I survived 2012".

I have been profoundly inspired by the works of Doris Cross and Hannah Darboven. Do you have any insight into their works?

I have never heard of them. But I might have insights into their works if I studied them.

I have listened to your interview with Nardwuar and have found it to be quite informative because you are able to spend some time detailing your life history. However, I was troubled by the way Nardwuar treated you for much of the interview. I am not familiar with Nardwuar so I do no know if that is just his style or if he was really trying to make jokes at your expense. How did you end up on the Nardwuar show to begin with?

In the summer of 1998, he emailed me and requested an interview. I had never heard of him. I knew nothing about his show. I think he was interested in my take on the Church of the SubGenius' X-day (July 5, 1998).

Did you find that broadcast to be satisfying?

Yes, because I quickly realized at the beginning of the interview that he was very silly. I thought this will be a good opportunity to show how I can handle any style of communication and still get my message out. Subsequently, anyone who heard it and was in touch with me, said I "won" because he didn't throw me off my game. I wasn't trying to win but I enjoyed that interpretation. Nardwuar enjoyed it, too, because we did a second one a short while later when he guest-hosted an Internet radio show. I don't know if he was able to make a copy of that one. It's not in his archive.

In it you revealed that your father was the template for the Dallas based Church of the Subgenius. What are your fondest memories of you mother and father as you grew up?

My father's storytelling about his employers, their employers, and THEIR employers - going way back, and my mother's deep, sunny disposition while all around her others schemed and plotted incessantly.

You grew up in France in the years just before the second world war. what was your childhood like? Do you have any fond childhood memories you would care to share?

Those memories are scattered throughout at FiveBodied, You will find diary entries for my encounters, between 1935 and 1945, with Aldous Huxley, Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis, James Joyce, G. Gurdjieff, Fritz Kraemer, Aleister Crowley, T.S. Eliot, etc. I feature them because they were to become well-known figures later but, being young and sheltered at the time, I didn't fully realize who they were. However, I remember them because they triggered "psychic" flashes in me at the first meeting. These flashes would mean a great deal to me decades down the road.

As for my domestic situation, I had the best parents one could have in the days when parenting was relatively possible. (Today, parents aren't needed, technically.) It was a Harry Potter life squared (as I have merely suspected since I haven't read the books or seen the movies) because I was living with the magicians now known as the Priory of Sion. In a way, it was the "center for culture and technology" - a power vortex worthy of Lucifer. Alice in Wonderland... The Wizard of Oz... You name it. Basically I was constantly "drunk" in my kid years. I never went to public school. When I met Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) in the late Fifties near Lancaster, California, I recognized in him a kind of replay of a similar effect of being "unschooled". However, in the late Forties (in my late twenties), I was abruptly sobered up.

But a persistent memory is the smell of Paris in the evening. This is my instant door to quiet ecstasy.

What sobered you up?

Helping re-position Nazis in intelligence agencies around the world after World War Two. The American branch of the operation was called Project Paperclip. You can now read books on it.

How did you meet Connie?

I first saw her in a nightclub in Paris in 1944. In December, 1944, I got to know her better as we worked with Fritz Kraemer at the Ardennes Battle of the Bulge.

How long have you been married?

We started living together in 1966 and got married on June 9, 1970. So we've been cohabiting for over 40 years.

How far back can you trace your ancestry?

I'm aware of about the last 300 years. We were mere servants. I guess the remarkable thing is we remained in that role for so long - like aristocratic families, only upside down.

You have never mentioned siblings. Do you have any? I myself am an only child so I was curious.

I have 2 younger sisters. They wanted nothing to do with our parents' world and left it after 1960. They have quiet lives.

What made you choose Toronto as the city to start whistle blowing in?

Because Connie moved there in 1977. And she was in Toronto because at that time Canada was going to become the "Switzerland" of the Solar Government in the Eighties.

Toronto is a great city, I visited many times as a child. I'm from Michigan originally and it was a six or seven hour trek. I was always impressed by how different it felt from my home town. It seemed somehow crisper.

I recall Bucky Fuller, in the Seventies, saying Toronto was the best-designed city in the world. Toronto may not give off that vibe today (since "everything's disappeared") but in the Seventies and Eighties it had all the amenities of the North American discarnate, "virtual" society with a juicy patina of human scale. Your youthful intuition was not inappropriate.

I just picked up a book by Buckminster Fuller. I find him to be fascinating on many levels. He almost seems like a rockstar as opposed to an architect, sort of like McLuhan. Did you ever meet him?

Yes, many times. He had been a good friend of McLuhan since the early Sixties. Here's a secret about Bucky: he kept his hearing aid turned off during the question period of his marathon lectures.

Why aren't there many well-known men like Fuller and McLuhan these days? You are the only one who fits the bill.

People don't have the attention spans for logocentric monologues anymore. That's why I went for the talk-show phone-in format. I have good ears and would never turn off
my hearing aid.

Besides the frequent trips as a child, my image of Canada has been greatly influenced by the early films of David Cronenberg and your recordings. Crimes of the Future, The Brood and Rabid resonate with me in that they represent an existence that I yearn to inhabit. Have you seen these films?


Is this image of Canada still a truthful one or is it merely a retrieval of the 'way it once was' before everything disappeared?

Canada disappeared in the Nineties like everything else. Any sense of Canada, past or present, is retrieved and propped up now for those who refuse to believe its hologram has disappeared. Check out Bruce Powe's book, TOWARDS A CANADA OF LIGHT (2006), for an understanding of Canada based on McLuhan's notion of tactility.

Should I just make due with the electronic retrievals or should I actively seek this ambience out?

You can do both. There's room for every meme. The best definition of Canada when it existed was: Canada could've had American technology, French culture, and British politics. Instead, it got American culture, French politics, and British technology.

Did you ever get a chance to visit Rochdale ?


Why do you think that Rochdale ended in such a way?

Because the community there did not understand their neighbour down the street, Marshall McLuhan.

Rochdale was the largest co-op residence in North America. Rochdale occupied an 18-story student residence at Bloor St. and Huron St. in Toronto. It was situated on the edges of the University of Toronto campus and near Yorkville, Canada's hippie haven in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Rochdale took its name from Rochdale, a town in north-west England, where the world's first cooperative society was established in the 1800s.[2]

What mistakes were made and what could an aspiring Utopian do differently {or is the idea of the utopia already obsolete?} to ensure that the same end did not occur?

McLuhan liked to point out that the word "utopia" meant "no place". As McLuhan's widow, Corinne, says at the end of the recent NFB documentary on McLuhan (McLUHAN'S WAKE, 2002): "Marshall was completely right intellectually but his work cannot be applied practically" (or something along those lines). With McLuhan, one escapes into understanding.

You are often described as a McLuhanite. How do you feel about this label?

I don't mind it at all but it isn't true. Just ask the McLuhanites. They say I know nothing about McLuhan and do him a disservice. One cannot categorize me because I've experienced too much.

How well did you know McLuhan?

Very well.

What kind of guy was he?

He was a "gerk gawk" - a guy who gives jerks a bad name. But very kind and generous, full of energy. He often changed in different circumstances so you couldn't predict what he'd do or say next. With him, the medium was the message and the user was the content.

The Evergreens (6500 astral entities channeled for 30 years through the deep-trance psychic, Michael Blake Read) said Zoroaster was the first human to completely wake up. If one knew McLuhan like I did, then one would have no hesitation in saying that McLuhan was the "second coming" of Zoroaster. He woke up to something Zoroaster could not have known.

The Evergreens and Zoroaster 'waking up' sounds much like the concept behind the Matrix. Who are the evergreens?

The Evergreens are 6,500 to 7,000 astral entities that are channeled through the deep-trance psychic, Michael Blake Read. Michael's mediumship began in August, 1974, and completed in October, 2004. He did over 10,000 one-hour sessions (private and public) and had clients in 19 countries. Every session is on a master audio tape. Call 604-536-7402 and order their catalogue. I recommend their Millenium series.

Are they related to your own posthumous interviewing techniques?

Yes, it was through Michael Blake Read that I interviewed, over a 16-year period (1988-2004), "spirits" claiming to be Marshall McLuhan, Marcel Duchamp, Jiddu Krishnamurti, President Eisenhower, James Joyce, Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound, Nelson Rockeller, Johannes Kepler, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, The Nazarene (The Evergreens' name for Jesus Christ), Norbert Wiener,
"Captain" Al Hubbard, Frank Zappa, Timothy Leary, Terence McKenna, Dr. Peter Beter, Mae Brussell, Garrett Deane, my parents, and a few others.

Can you describe Garret Deane?

Garrett Deane may be the person I had the most fun with, next to Connie. He was born in Hopewell (near New Glasgow), Nova Scotia, in 1907. He grew to about 6'3", and was thin. He arrived in New York City around 1927. He was a model at first but quickly got into theater. In the Thirties he was asked to be a member of Eva Le Gallienne's repertory theatre group. He turned her down. He later said that was a mistake, perhaps. He also knew Mae West and many other New York actors who went on to work in Hollywood.

In the Forties, he had an antique store where the Hilton New York is today on Sixth Avenue and W53rd St. People who visited him at this store ranged from Marlon Brando, Salvador Dali, through to diplomats at the United Nations. It was very difficult to get him to sell you something in his store. He didn't like what the Rockefellers did to Manhattan so he eventually returned to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, in 1967, and began to spend more time at his deceased parents' old home on Queen Street. He would still visit Manhattan once a year until the late Seventies.

I met him in Dartmouth in the mid-Fifties. He had an amazing projection in his voice. You could hear it through the telephone from across the room but it didn't hurt the ears of the one who had the receiver in their ear. Hanging out with him was like living inside James Joyce's Finnegan’s Wake. But he was also a one-man Salvation Army for the marginalized. He died on November 2, 1993. I have hours of him on audio tape. Perhaps he should be in the audio archives at FiveBodied.

I recently vacationed in Nova Scotia and enjoyed it a great deal - especially the Cabot trail. Did you used to visit Garret there?

Yes, after we left Nova Scotia in 1977, I visited him every Christmas from 1979-1985. I talked to him on the phone regularly but didn't see him again after 1985. When he died, I wrote an obituary for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald in the November 25/93 edition which inspired a local CBC audio documentary on him that was subsequently played every Christmas until around 2000.

I just received my hardcopy of Phatic Communion after years of searching for it. There is some thick stuff in that book. I have found the audio commentary that you recorded for it to be an indispensable companion piece to it. How did the commentary come about?

Last spring I was doing an audio commentary on my charts with a person. That's about 22 hour-long sessions. Another person living in Portland, Oregon, heard about this and suggested he and I read through the whole Phatic Communion book and have a dialogue. We started last summer and have now done about 35 ninety-minute audio recordings. We are halfway through the book. We intend to post the whole series on FiveBodied.

Who did you record it with?

Scott Norris.

Are there plans of releasing all fifty hours of it?

It may turn out to be 100 hours. We will post all of it.

Since I enjoy your outpourings so much I hope that this resource is not too limited.

Not to worry. Even the Astral Plane will have access to it all.

Sleeper is the one who pointed me to the FiveBodied message board. Does he run the site? What is your relationship to him?

Yes, he runs FiveBodied. I met him through Nelson Thall in '99 or 2000. He had a business building websites in Toronto in the mid-Nineties. Nelson needed a web designer, met Sleeper, and hired him a while before I met Sleeper. Sleeper acquired this moniker when he took a role on our MOJO radio show in July '02. He sympathised with my goals and later defected from Nelson Thall to create FiveBodied in August '05.

I know you are a fan of the Parallax View and the Manchurian Candidate, you've also done a brilliant interview about the Matrix. Are there any other films that you feel are must sees for aspiring media ecologists?

First off, analyse the effects of any movie one is fascinated by - as if it was one's soul (or what Gurdjieff termed one's "chief feature"). Then check these out:

SKY (2001), SECONDS (1966), MAN OF THE YEAR (2006),
THIEF (1981), NETWORK (1976), WILD AT HEART (1990), THE
(1966), KING OF NEW YORK (1990), REACH FOR THE SKY (1956),
GIRLS TOWN (1959), DIVA (1981), GOIN' DOWN THE ROAD (1970),
OLD YELLER (1957), BARTON FINK (1991), THE BLOB (1958), THE
MORE (1969), MINORITY REPORT (2002), 200 MOTELS (1971), LOST
ESCAPE (1963), BLOWUP (1966), EASY RIDER (1969), CLOSE
(1983) - the last five are in the far left-hand column of my
Tiny Note chart (1995).

[See Page 30]

I enjoy using film as a sedative. I feel it helps my dreams. Do you have any insights on this?

Movies were an extension of the dreaming function in the central nervous system. TV was an extension of the fantasy function in the central nervous system.

It's interesting that you've included several Lynch films. During his new 'Inland Empire' I found myself drifiting 'back to sleep' [as you describe in BME] How does Lynch, being so abstract, end up resonating as truly realistic?

Lynch combines the movie and television functions as defined in the previous answer. This approach will always appear to resonate as realistic because it's an exact replay of our recent perceptual lives over the last 30 years.

There is a film called 'The Day that Time Ended'. I believe that it somehow captures childhood in a manner unparalleled in most film. Have you ever seen this film?


Have you ever seen the film Tron?


It’s a film centers around a programmer who is zapped into the computer world and he must fight through video games to get his way out. The film also has a subtext of Christian imagery. The programs that believe in user's are put to death in arena sports, and the programmer who got zapped in has almost god-like powers in the computer world. This seemed to be a metaphor of something that is going on though I am hard pressed to know what.

It sounds like a metaphor for what I talk about – the pentad manager. When you complete your studies with me, you will understand why I say this.

The electronic composer Wendy Carlos scored the film - she had earlier done the score to A Clockwork Orange as Walter Carlos. Are you familiar with her work?

Heard of her but don't recall her music.

I enjoyed the film I, Robot but regretted the fact that the robots were not allowed to rule the earth. I think they would have done a much better job. Could you give me a media conscious analysis?

Our robotic memes have replaced the robotic extensions of our Chemical Body.

What do you make of the flood of documentary films that have come out since Bush became president. Everytime I go to the video store there's a new one about something. I don't watch any of them.

On the Forever Changes album, Arthur Lee sings "the news today will be the movies for tomorrow". Since television created news as fantasy, movies then gave people a sense of reality documented. But in the present
post-information society, documentaries satisfy the nostalgia for fantasy.

You’ve also appeared in a film yourself, Def Con Bob, by Eli Elliot. How did you meet Eli?

He is a friend of Gerry Fialka in Venice, California. Gerry introduced us a couple of years ago.

What’s the story behind that film?

I visited Los Angeles in February, 2005, and appeared at several venues and on one radio station where I was interviewed. These events were organized by Gerry Fialka.

You also did a video concerning UFOs a few years back. I never got a chance to see it. Do you have any other videos out?

That UFO video is from a UFO conference in Mesquite, Nevada, where I spoke for almost 3 hours on August 17, 1999. It's called BOB DOBBS: ANDROID MEME'S XENOCHRONY. It should be available from Bob Brown's company, The International UFO Congress.

Other videos include:

1. Two interviews with Ted Loman on his UFOAZ television show in Tucson, Arizona, recorded in May, 1999. I review the history of the Illuminati and its fate during historical
media phases.

2. I've done about 8 one-hour dialogues with Harold Channer on his Manhattan Neighborhood Network show, CONVERSATIONS WITH HAROLD CHANNER. Channer has done about 2000 interviews since 1973 with everyone from Sanford Weill to Bucky Fuller.

I have always been fascinated and comforted by the situation comedy. As a matter of fact I am now producing one entitled 'Look Out Below!' I was wondering if you could explain to me why I am emotionally comforted by situation comedies and why I enjoy them much more than watching the news?

Because they show the drama of cognition for life under electronic conditions.

Are you familiar with Bob Larson and his exorcisms? I had the chance to witness one last summer and it was quite the experience.

I don't know Larson's work but I consider myself an exorcist of the Android Meme's xenochrony.

I used to be enthralled by the backlit screen of my parents magic chef stove. Why?

It's the glow of light-through rather than light-on. All Americans since TV are fascinated by a form that contradicts the educational establishment's preference for light-on, i.e., the structure of the printed book.

Are you familiar with the works of Paul Laffoley?

Yes. And I met Paul at the conference in Manhattan in February, 2000. I participated in his channeling of "Tesla" the next day (a Sunday). When I arrived at his hotel room (apparently the actual final
residence of Tesla), I told him I had talked with "Tesla" through the Evergreens. So he asked me to lead the session. I did so for the first hour or so. Also attending were Kenn Thomas of Steamshovel Press and Adam Parfrey of Feral House. They left before the long session was over. I heard they were not
impressed. About eight months later I had the opportunity to ask the Evergreens
if Tesla was coming through Paul and they said yes but he was filtered strongly by Paul's mind and/or projections.

Are you aware of the hollow earth mythology? Any insights?

Yes. But apparently it's not true. So an insight into the meme would be that it's a product of the transparency of biological and geological forms when we are permeated by the discarnate, electronic form. It anticipates the memes of "black holes" and "dark matter".

What would you consider to be the top ten 'must read' books for this time and place?

Try these:

1. THE APES OF GOD (1930) by Wyndham Lewis
2. AMERICA AND COSMIC MAN (1948) by Wyndham Lewis
3. GRAVITY'S RAINBOW (1973) by Thomas Pynchon
4. AMERICAN TABLOID (1995) by James Ellroy
5. THE COLD SIX THOUSAND (2001) by James Ellroy
6. THE CASTLE IN THE FOREST (2007) by Norman Mailer
7. TAKE TODAY (1972) by Marshall McLuhan
8. DATA TRASH (1994) by Arthur Kroker and Michael Weinstein
9. TRANSFORMING HISTORY (2001) by William Irwin Thompson
10 BEYOND THE WORD (1995) by Donald Theall

or, for the eager reader in a hurry, my PHATIC COMMUNION WITH BOB DOBBS (1992).

Do you play video games?

I played a Pac-Man game one day in 1980.

I was eight or nine when the first video games came out and I have pretty much played them daily since then. A friend of mine used to say I was addicted to Pharmatronics. Is there any danger with an addiction like this?

No. Distraction is the lifeblood of our physical world.

There is a game called Shin Megami Tensei out of Japan. It deals with people who can summon demons from all the mythologies and use their powers. This really speaks to me for some reason. Any insights?

The movie medium contained all media. That was 80 years ago. Today, the Android Meme allows YOU, the user, to contain and edit all media. The Shin Megami Tensei game translates this new fact (or figure-ground relationship)
into familiar terms for you.

I have often enjoyed reading articles about artists and architecture more than I enjoy poetry. I read them like poetry actually, repeatedly, and your articles are no exception. Any insights?

As visual space and its pleasures of linear thinking recedes into our perceptual unconscious, it acquires archetypal status. This means any act of reading seems "poetic" to anyone who gets insights from it.

Do you think that the decrease in the human attention span is something that will continue to dwindle or will we see a resurgence of Victorian era attention to detail once the over-saturation has completed?

The so-called "decrease in the human attention span" only applies to the older consumerist media forms. As people moved into personal producer modes via the interactive, digital forms, they applied their attention more and more to THEIR particular interests. Some call it "narcissism" or "solipsism". Be that
as it may, they certainly have strong attention spans when it comes to their personal virtual worlds. The Android Meme only encourages this.

I'm into kung-fu, what do you do to maintain the chemical body? I briefly saw your wife's website and it seemed quite informative, it reminded me of my relationship to my wife. she helps me maintain my chemical body.

I want to have my head frozen when I die to have it potentially rewired into a robotic body or clone when the technology catches up. My wife says that this is a step in the wrong direction. Any insights?

She's right. We will eventually have 50% of our bodies made up of "metal". However, your understanding of death will be quite different in 50 years, so you will adopt a different approach to immortality.

Your statement about Nardwuar was quite telling and in that you wanted to communicate in any style and still get your message out. I would say that you succeeded. What made you decide to go into broadcasting to begin with. What was, after a life of espionage, the straw that broke the camel's back and made you decided to start whistleblowing?

I went into broadcasting DURING my espionage life. I had to do it in order to direct the Android Meme in my favour via its xenochrony. The straw that broke the camel's back was stopping Nuclear War One on September 17, 1982, with Dr. Beter.

Are you ever fearful for your safety or are you protected?

I'm protected but that's ultimately limited since we live in a world of free will. So I keep aware.

Are you familiar with the works of Philip K Dick? If so, could you explain your take on his VALIS experience?

His VALIS experience was common in the early Seventies due to the effects of the holeopathic computer/satellite environment (see my Tiny Note chart). As a writer he had a "visual-proprioceptive bias" (in McLuhan's sense) toward that surround and this caused him to project a paranoia into that phase of the Android Meme's unfoldment - as so many others did at the time (think "Watergate" and "Comet Kohoutek"). I think Robert Anton Wilson handled the effects better. But perhaps the most mature response was David Worcester's.

Comet Kohoutek is a long period comet, with an orbital period of approximately 75,000 years. Kohoutek was hyped by the media as the "comet of the century" because scientists theorized that Kohoutek was an Oort Cloud Object. As such, it was believed likely that this was the comet's first visit to the inner solar system, which would result in a spectacular display of outgassing. However, Kohoutek's display was considered a let-down, leading some to nickname it "Comet Watergate".

Because Comet Kohoutek fell far short of expectations its name became synonymous with spectacular duds. However, it was fairly bright as comets go and put on a respectable show in the evenings shortly after perihelion. [3]

Did you ever meet Robert Anton Wilson and what is your take on his Illumanatus trilogy?

I first met Wilson when he gave a talk at the Metro Library on Yonge Street in Toronto in 1985. My next encounter with him was on May 29, 1993, when I was a guest on David Porter's show on KPFK-FM. He called in and I discussed his flaws. He eventually fainted and dropped the phone. This is what actually happened and we have it on audio tape. The writer, Robert Guffey - a young fan of Wilson - couldn't believe what I had done. He became an avid student of my radio work and eventually wrote the great article on me and the Matrix film for PARANOIA magazine in the Winter, 2000 (#22) issue. I next saw Wilson speak at the, New York, conference in February, 2000. I decided to leave him alone since he was still grieving over his wife's recent death. I did meet some of his disciples, such as R.U. Sirius, at that event. As a result of our crossing paths, Sirius and I decided each other was a "schizo".

As for The Illuminatus Trilogy, I put it in the Holeopathic Satellite Squared quadrant on my Tiny Note Chart because the narrator is a computer. That work intuits the computer facets of the Android Meme.

I am not familiar with Worcester? Could you describe his works briefly?

David E. Worcester was born in Kansas in 1928. He was the second channel for Cosmic Awareness. Ralph Duby was the first channel from November, 1962, until January, 1967.Worcester studied under Duby and worked as a channel from Summer, 1967, until August, 1974. The third channel for Cosmic Awareness was Paul Shockley from 1975 until 1995. Paul is the most well-known and passed away in May, 2006.

Before channeling, Worcester had been in the American Navy, a draftsman, a disc jockey in Hawaii, a musician, and a rare coin dealer. He lives in Everett, Washington, and knows too much.

I have been conducting my own experiments in astral communications - any pointers?

Always remember "astral communications" are puny today compared to a telephone conference call.

Then is there any point in pursuing astral communications?

Every action approaches the point. Keep at it. Call 604-536-7402 and ask for the Evergreens' audio tape series on the Chakras.

Are there any machines that can enhance this ability?

No. Machines obsolesce this ability.

Any good books on the subject?

D. Scott Rogo's PHONE CALLS FROM THE DEAD (1979).

I have found the Jane Roberts Seth books to be interesting.

Yes, she's OK for novices. Post-graduate work comes with the Evergreens. My friend, Harold Channer, made the first videotape of "Seth" around 1971. Harold and I once did a one-hour Manhattan Neighborhood Network TV show where we played and discussed the Evergreens (audio) and Jane Roberts/Seth

Is the human being evolving or are we still running in place, since 1945, as you stated on the record?

We are evolving and our Chemical Bodies will eventually be half-flesh/half-metal. We haven't been "running in place, since 1945" since Y2K.

I just researched Dr. Beter and found an amazing collection of his recordings.
Where did you meet Dr. Beter and how long were you colleagues?

Here's my diary entry on our first meeting:

[July4/65 (Washington, D.C.)

Dobbs: It's an honour to meet you, Dr. Beter. My Japanese friends tell me that you saved their lives.

Beter: How do I know your Japanese friends?

Dobbs: Through your work at the Export-Import Bank.

Beter: Ah, yes. The Japanese applied for loans from the Bank, but the generals on its board wouldn't have anything to do with them. I was the only one who understood the Japanese couldn't go home empty-handed. They would have killed themselves if they stopped applying. Now they think I'm their saviour because I convinced the Bank to give them some loans.

Dobbs: I'm curious now to see how they do in the global market.

Beter: How are you involved with them? Not many people know my role in these areas.

Dobbs: I work in intelligence.

Beter: Aha. Then we must talk some more when we are alone.]

I worked with Beter until he died on March 14, 1987. During his last months we were engaged in a massive gold deal.

What kind of guy was he?

He was very serious but tempered it with a sly sense of humor. He was a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church but studied Vedanta. Very open-minded and regularly read the Revelations of Awareness newsletter featuring Paul Shockley. I'll tell you a secret: his audio-tape series was modeled on the gods of Hindu mythology. None of his listeners picked up on that. But then again, how could they?

He was a very significant verbal artist. Note where he is positioned in my Tiny Note chart.

How did you two stop Nuclear War I from happening?

Here's how Beter reports it in a section of Audio Letter #79:

[... The straw that broke the camel's back came at almost the last possible minute on Friday morning, September 17. At about 8:30 A.M. here in Washington a well-known national newspaper reporter was interviewed on the Washington NBC radio station WRC. The reporter, of the Washington Post, called attention to my war warning for that day contained in AUDIO LETTER No. 78. He reportedly outlined the plan briefly for everyone listening in the Washington Metropolitan area, and he added that if the Pentagon did have such a plan, public exposure through my tape had probably reduced the chances that it would be carried out.

My friends, that radio report here in Washington about the war plan on the morning of September 17 was seemingly a small thing, but our Lord Jesus Christ can always use little things to produce big results--and that is what HE did on that morning of "Z-Day"!

Thanks to those of you who had written to editors, Congressmen, and officials of all kinds about the war plan, the Pentagon was becoming edgy. The last thing they wanted was public exposure of their war plan. When they heard the report that morning over radio station WRC, they quite
simply panicked. They had no way of knowing just how widely their
plan had become known, and so shortly after 10:00 A.M. Washington
time, Friday, September 17, 1982, the "PROJECT Z" first strike was
called off. With less than five hours to go, the countdown clock for NUCLEAR WAR ONE had finally stopped ticking!...]

I was the one who made it possible for audio tape #78 to be mentioned on the radio that morning. But important supplementary details are too complex to go into here.

I have been thinking that the SubGenius all disappeared on their appointed X-Day of July 5th, 1998. At least, the Subgenius meme seems to have vanished. Do you feel that an end will eventually come to FiveBodied as well?

No, it won't disappear because there's too much resonance on/in it. It transcends the effects Paul Virilio describes in THE AESTHETICS OF DISAPPEARANCE (1980).

An end to the android meme?

At the deepest level where effects precede causes, the Android Meme ended in 1990 and its after-image ended in 2000. The Android Meme is still here in the lagging perception of most humans today, but that's natural. It takes a lot of work to touch the actual Present. One of my roles is to encourage that great labor.

And if so, what will it be replaced with?

The frictionless energy-based society thanks to Pons and Fleischman's "cold-fusion" battery. See my UP THE ORPHIC ANTI article.

Are the Booteans related to the Xists you mention in BME?

I used to play tapes of my conversations with the Evergreens on CKLN with Myke Dyer. I wanted to protect the identity of the deep-trance psychic who channeled them, Michael Blake Read. So I claimed that I was talking to the Booteans - but I often called them "the Xists". The context for the Xists was that they had landed in early February, 1988, and they had helped me win the top position in the Secret Council of Ten in late Feb.'88. So for me, X-Day had
happened 10 years before the Church of the SubGenius's projected date – July 5/98. But it was actually the Evergreens who helped me become Chairperson of the Secret Council of Ten.

Could you describe the actual X-Day as it happened to you in 1988?

It happened in February '88. The month started gloriously with my and Connie's attendance at three consecutive Zappa concerts in Manhattan with his "best band you never heard in your life" - the beginning of his last tour. Frank's music always gets me in shape so I was ready for the election later that month on Feb.26. I did one show on CKLN before that day and prepared the circuits for what unfolded. As I said earlier in this interview:

"I was able to create a virus while on the air that tweaked the telecommunications network that the members of the Solar Government used for conducting the election for Chairperson of the Secret Council of Ten in February, 1988."

Also, as I said earlier, when I discussed the "Xists" on the radio, I was actually referring to the Evergreens. But in February '88, the Evergreens gave me information on how the Booteans were going to make physical contact with Earth's inhabitants. That for me was X-Day. But it was for my ears only at the time. It still is. As a result of what they told me, I was able to keep my cool as the UFO/MKULTRA/Abductee meme escalated in the Nineties. I've got a world monopoly on understanding what's been happening and will happen.

The Evergreens also gave me information that helped me win that February election. It was an eventful month.

How do you feel about the side effects of your work since 1988?

Life couldn't be better for my colleagues... well, maybe it could, but for them, it's sufficient to have ecstasy. More to come. It's plenty enough, but it's all we've got.

What about the cargo-cult church that sprang up around your works?

If you mean the Church of the SubGenius, they aren't consciously plugged into my effects. They have to constantly play catch-up. It exhausts them. They are like the "large grotesque pods that grow under the leaves and flop off on the ground near the big switches and into the canyon" that Zappa mentions at the end of his story in the booklet accompanying his Uncle Meat CD.

Are the Booteans human in nature and are they behind all of the ET imagery that has pervaded pop culture since the fifties?

The Booteans live in our universe so they are physical like us but they aren't human. They can adopt any shape that's appropriate for their contacts with us. They are the real UFO sightings that have increasingly occurred in the Nineties which have been videotaped by many, and they make some of the crop and ice circles. They have only abducted about five people in the last one hundred years. Barney and Betty Hill were two of them. The others haven't told anyone. I wouldn't say the Booteans are behind the ET imagery we've had for sixty years. President Truman knew of the ET bodies at Roswell. President Eisenhower saw them.

In Bob’s Media Ecology you state that the alien’s are having an identity crisis and that is the reason why all of the crop circles have been showing up – to sort of remind everyone that they are still out there.

That was a probe. Since we mere humans, under electronic conditions, had become "superangels" (simultaneously everywhere at once), then perhaps UFOs, or angels (can be anywhere they want sequentially but not everywhere simultaneously), would be challenged by our new capacities - perhaps even have an identity crisis. Hence, the many sightings of ET's over the last half-century.
They're here now because they're puzzled by our new inscrutability.

Do you have any notions on what a frictionless energy society will look like?

Money won't have as Leviathan an effect on social relations. The global economy will eventually feed on a constant turnover of new ideas and inventions for the generation of wealth. It will be an endless Olympics for national identity and prestige. This will become even more intense after the Booteans make official contact around 2026.

What is the name of the current meme? or is there not one meme that covered all as the android meme did?

"The Age of Terror" - which I say reflects our present hyper-discontinuous, post-information society with its retrieved neo-Paleolithic patina.

Do you plan on writing any other books?

Not immediately.

What about a biography or autobiography?

Not yet. I've just begun my project. Like Moses, I was a "shepherd" for 40 years before I was given the nod.

Are all of your writings available on FiveBodied?

Yes, but not all the transcripts of my dialogues with various people.

Is it still important for man to fall back asleep, relax and play jazz? I love that analogy - it has helped me a great deal - especially with all of these internet dealings.

Yes, but it must be applied to all four bodies. Perhaps today's situation means it takes a little longer to fall asleep and a little more longer to wake up.

Will there ever be a point of stasis? When change will finally become obsolete? It seems to me the lack of friction might lead to this.

Objects are unobservable. Only relationships among objects are observable.

Could you explain the four bodies and where the term fivebodied comes from?

The Chemical Body is what most people consider to be their "physical body". The dominant model for this is the product of Western science since the telegraph.

The Astral Body is what pervades all cultures - the belief there is more to our makeup than the Chemical Body. It is a huge storehouse of religious and spiritual

The TV Body is the repository of historical one-way broadcasting.

The Chip Body is the mutating warehouse of digital omni-directional media.

The Mystery Body is what we're still excavating and whose lineaments we cannot fully assess yet, if ever. We know it's made up of the previous four bodies but we don't know what more we will discover about its constituents, affects, and effects.

The Android Meme is the resultant of the interplay, violent and joyful, of the first four bodies. I claim this five-body paradigm is a lot more useful or comprehensive when applied to our post-9/11 scene than Samuel Huntington's "clash of civilizations" probe.

When did you receive the title as the Worlds Greatest Artist?

Nelson Thall pronounced that in the late Eighties. He had experienced enough of me to know it was a sane wager.

How long of a history did the secret council of 10 have until the virtual disbanding in 1991?

Technically, since 1694. But its modern form was established on July 17, 1945.

What exactly is the nature of that organization?

The phrase refers to the Solar-Government committee that managed Bucky Fuller's "Spaceship Earth" after World War Two.

How were you able to manipulate the elections through your radio broadcasts and why did Marshall need to be fired?

As in the movie MAN OF THE YEAR (starring Robin Williams), I was able to create a virus while on the air that tweaked the telecommunications network that the members of the Solar Government used for conducting the election for Chairperson of the Secret Council of Ten in February, 1988. This is why Bob Marshall was removed from the electrified air.

Are you still a member of the council?

Yes, but I, as its Chairperson, dismantled the committee in 1990 so it has been dormant since then. I still get phone calls from former members and we occasionally have reunions to see if we are needed. So far, no dice.

What is Echelon?

The infrastructure of the Solar Government:

ECHELON is a name used to describe a highly secretive world-wide signals intelligence and analysis network said to be run by the UKUSA Community (comprised of intelligence agencies of five English-speaking nations), that has been reported by a number of sources including, in 2001, a committee of the European Parliament (EP report[1]). Its existence was first revealed by Duncan Campbell in a 1988 article, "Someone's listening," published in the New Statesman. According to some sources ECHELON can capture radio and satellite communications, telephone calls, faxes, e-mails and other data streams nearly anywhere in the world and includes computer automated analysis and sorting of intercepts.[2] The EP committee, however, concluded that "the analysis carried out in the report has revealed that the technical capabilities of the system are probably not nearly as extensive as some sections of the media had assumed" (EP report, p. 11).

^ European Parliament Report on ECHELON (July 2001). Retrieved on 2006-08-14.[4]

You mentioned to one of the FiveBodied members, in a reply to one of his posts, that ‘you are ready to get on the bus to Toronto’. How does one go about getting an invite?

Keep monitoring FiveBodied, all invites are posted there.

Can you briefly describe the role that artificial humans will have in the coming century?

The same roles that today's "artificial humans" have. But by the middle of this century, children will be raised in virtual-reality "chambers" where they'll think they're living in their bodies but will, in fact, be in their "minds". They'll be able to exchange their experiences with others in the same condition. This "medium" will be implemented first in Australia.

Have you found your percepts have evolved over the past several years or has there been a stasis?

Only to the extent they've been confirmed - as is shown by my charts. Now I wait to see how the hexadic (pointed to by my charts but not in them) unfolds. How and if that happens may force me to "evolve" my percepts in unforeseen directions.

What do the next few years look like?

Chaos in extremis.

What do you plan on doing until the beginning of the frictionless society?

Prepare to be President of the United States.

The Plaza of The Mind

Friday, October 05, 2007

Peace and Freedom Party List of Presidential Candidates for February 2008 Presidential Primary

The California Secretary of State has just released the list of “generally recognized” candidates she intends to place on the February 5, 2008 Presidential Primary Election ballot in California. Secretary Bowen can place additional candidate names on the list until November 29, when the list of presidential candidates is officially certified.

Here's the list of Peace and Freedom Party Candidates:

Stewart A. Alexander Murrieta, CA John Crockford Clovis, CA Gloria La Riva San Francisco, CA Eric Thomas Chester Montague, MA Dwight Welch Carbondale, IL Stanley Hetz Smithfield, PA Brian P. Moore Spring Hill, FL Mary Alice Herbert Putney, VT Ralph Nader Hood River, OR


I know Wikipedia isn’t the most academically reliable website on the net, but gosh darn it, it’s always at the top of the google search!

Here are some clips about various self-help and inspirational books. You might find some interesting ideas to respond to in your essay…

[edit] The Seven Habits

The chapters are dedicated to each of the habits, which are represented by the following imperatives:

  1. Be Pro-active. Here, Covey emphasizes the original sense of the term “proactive” as coined by Victor Frankl. You can either be proactive or reactive when it comes to how you act about certain things. Being “proactive” means taking responsibility for everything in life. When you’re reactive, you blame other people and circumstances for obstacles or problems. Initiative, and taking action will then follow. Covey shows how man is different from animals in that he has self consciousness. He has the ability to detach himself and observe his own self, think about his thoughts. He goes on to say how this attribute enables him. It gives him the power not to be affected by his circumstances. Covey talks about ‘Stimulus and Response’. Between Stimulus and Response, we have the power to choose the response.
  2. Begin with the End In Mind. This chapter is about setting long-term goals based on “true-north principles”. Covey recommends to formulate a “personal mission statement” to document one’s perception of one’s own purpose in life. He sees visualization as an important tool to develop this. He also deals with organizational mission statements, which he claims to be more effective if developed and supported by all members of an organization, rather than being prescribed.
  3. Put First Things First. Here, Covey describes a framework for prioritizing work that is aimed at long-term goals, at the expense of tasks that appear to be urgent, but are in fact less important. Delegation is presented as an important part of time management. Successful delegation, according to Covey, focuses on results and benchmarks that are to be agreed in advance, rather than on prescribing detailed work plans.
  4. Think Win/Win describes an attitude whereby mutually beneficial solutions are sought, that satisfy the needs of oneself as well as others, or, in the case of a conflict, both parties involved.
  5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. Covey warns that giving out advice before having empathetically understood a person and their situation will likely result in that advice being rejected. Thoroughly listening to another person’s concerns instead of reading out your own autobiography is purported to increase the chance of establishing a working communication.
  6. Synergize describes a way of working in teams. Apply effective problem solving. Apply collaborative decision making. Value differences. Build on divergent strengths. Leverage creative collaboration. Embrace and leverage innovation. It is put forth that, when this is pursued as a habit, the result of the teamwork will exceed the sum of what each of the members could have achieved on their own. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
  7. Sharpen the saw focuses on balanced self-renewal. Regaining what Covey calls “production capability” by engaging in carefully selected recreational activities.

Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus

Point system

Gray suggests that while a man might count a $200 present as 20 points and a $10 item as 1 point, women count each item as 1 point. The emotional stroke delivered by the sincere attention is as important as the value of the item. This can lead to conflict when a man thinks he has earned 20 points and deserves appropriate recognition while the female has only given him 1 point and recognizes him accordingly.

[edit] The cave and the wave

Another major point of Gray’s books are the differences in the way they react under stress. He believes that many men withdraw until they find a solution to the problem. He refers to this as “retreating into their cave.” In some cases they may literally retreat, for example, to the garage or craft room. On the other hand, he believes that women want to discuss problems when they occur. This leads to a natural dynamic of the man retreating as the woman constantly tries to grow closer. This becomes a major source of conflict between any man and woman. As one reviewer put it: When men go into their cave, they are actually going through a phase of their relationship with a woman, when they want to be left alone. Any woman who has wondered why a boyfriend is not e mailing/calling/messaging/meeting her will know what it feels like to be shut out of the cave. Women and ‘the wave’ is a concept [which] means that women go through periodic phases when they are unable to keep up their spirits without help and assistance from understanding men. At such times, ‘the wave’ crashes, and it needs to be given love and reassurance to rise up again with its usual confidence. [3]

[edit] Critical response

Some researchers agree with Gray’s ideas about male-female communications differences. Deborah Tannen’s studies of male/female communication find that “for women, talk creates intimacy… But men live in a hierarchical world, where talk maintains independence and status.” [1]. However, other studies do not find such differences. Erina MacGeorge found only a 2 percent difference between communication styles and argues that “when it comes to comforting, the Mars-Venus concept is not only wrong, but harmful. For the most part, men and women use, and strongly prefer, the same ways of comforting others – listening, sympathizing and giving thoughtful advice.”[2] Some feminists have criticized the book for being misogynistic and patronizing [3] When discussing relations with the opposite sex, one often hears the complaint, “It’s like she’s from another planet!”, while others accuse it of being written as a ’self-improvement’ book for women, blatantly suggesting that women should adapt to men’s ways of communicating, rather than both genders co-operating. Susan Hamson’s web site “The Rebuttal From Uranus” says: “Despite its promotional hype, at its very core it is a sexist, patronizing, male-centered invective which does little more than perpetuate long-held negative gender stereotypes” Hamson objects to the lack of reference and details about the research Gray claims to have made, as well as to two central points which she feels Gray makes in his book:

Formal education: The quality of Gray’s PhD status is by some reports, dubious at best, and fradulent at worse, as the educational organization his PhD is purported to be from was, at the time, reportedly a “paper mill for doctorates”. [5] [6]

The Celestine Prophecy

The nine Insights:

A new spiritual awakening is occurring in human culture; an awakening brought about by a critical mass of individuals who experience their lives as a spiritual unfolding, a journey in which we are led forward by mysterious coincidences.

This awakening represents the creation of a new, more complete worldview, which replaces a five-hundred-year-old preoccupation with secular survival and comfort. While this technological preoccupation was an important step, our awakening to life’s coincidences is opening us up to the real purpose of human life on this planet, and the real nature of our universe.

We now experience that we live not in a material universe, but in a universe of dynamic energy. Everything extant is a field of sacred energy that we can sense and intuit. Moreover, we humans can project our energy by focusing our attention in the desired direction, in that where attention goes, energy flows, influencing other energy systems and increasing the pace of coincidences in our lives. It is possible to see this energy enveloping all living things.

To gain energy, we tend to manipulate or force others to give us attention and thus energy. When we successfully dominate others in this way, we feel more powerful, but they are left weakened and often fight back. Competition for scarce, human energy is the cause of all conflict between people.

Insecurity and violence ends when we experience an inner connection with divine energy within, a connection described by mystics of all traditions. A sense of lightness or buoyancy along with the constant sensation of love are measures of this connection. If these measures are present, the connection is real. If not, it is only pretended.

The more we stay connected, the more we are acutely aware of those times when we lose connection, usually when we are under stress. In these times, we can see our own particular way of stealing energy from others. Once our manipulations are brought to personal awareness, our connection becomes more constant and we can discover our own evolutionary path in life, and our spiritual mission, which is the personal way we can contribute to the world. Here the four main “control dramas“—the Interrogator, the Intimidator, the Aloof and the Poor Me—are discussed. Each person unconsciously prefers one of these four to suck energy out of others (as described in the Fourth Insight). A way of getting these under control is disclosed.

Knowing our personal mission further enhances the flow of mysterious coincidences as we are guided toward our destinies. First we have a question; then dreams, daydreams, and intuitions lead us towards the answers, which usually are synchronistically provided by the wisdom of another human being.

We can increase the frequency of guiding coincidences by uplifting every person that comes into our lives. Care must be taken not to lose our inner connection when we have become part of romantic relationships. Uplifting others is especially effective in groups wherein each member can feel energy of all the others. With children it is extremely important for their early security and growth. By seeing the beauty in every face, we lift others into their wisest self, and increase the chances of hearing a synchronistic message.

As we all evolve toward the best completion of our spiritual missions, the technological means of survival will be fully automated as humans focus instead on synchronistic growth. Such growth will move humans into higher energy states, ultimately transforming our bodies into spiritual form and uniting this dimension of existence with the after-life dimension, ending the cycle of birth and death.

I’m Ok, You’re Ok

Harris introduces Transactional Analysis in this book, which was subtitled in the US “A Practical Guide to Transactional Analysis”. Intended for the average reader, the book’s early chapters lay out some of the theory behind TA in a simplified form before going on to practical applications as befits a self-help book. The phase “I’m OK, You’re OK” is one of four life positions that each of us may take. The four positions are:

  1. I’m Not OK, You’re OK
  2. I’m Not OK, You’re Not OK
  3. I’m OK, You’re Not OK
  4. I’m OK, You’re OK

The most common position is “I’m Not OK, You’re OK”. As children we see that adults are large, strong and competent and that we are little, weak and often make mistakes, so we conclude “I’m Not OK, You’re OK”. Children who are abused may conclude “I’m OK, You’re Not OK”, but this is much less common. The focus of the book is helping people understand how their life position affects their communications (transactions) and relationships with practical examples.

Conversations with God (sometimes abbreviated as “CwG”) is a sequence of nine books written by Neale Donald Walsch. Each book is written as a dialogue in which Walsch asks questions and “God” answers. Walsch claims that these dialogues are truly inspired by God.[1] The first book of the Conversations with God series, Conversations with God, Book 1: An Uncommon Dialogue, appeared on bookshelves in 1995, and quickly became a publishing phenomenon. Publishers Weekly reported this first book staying on the New York Times Best-Sellers List for 137 weeks (over two and a half years). The succeeding volumes in the trilogy also appeared prominently on the New York Times Best-Sellers List. In an interview with Larry King, Walsch described the inception of the books as follows: at a low period in his life, Walsch wrote an angry letter to God asking questions about why his life wasn’t working. After writing down all of his questions, he heard a voice over his right shoulder say: “Do you really want an answer to all these questions or are you just venting?”[2] Though when he turned around he saw no one there, Walsch felt answers to his questions filling his mind and decided to write them down. The ensuing dialogue became the Conversations with God books.

[edit] Basis of the dialog

Containing nearly 3000 pages of material in total, the series presents a vast number of ideas. The second and third books in the original trilogy deal with political and social issues.

[edit] CwG’s basic messages

In Friendship with God (page 373), “God” presents four concepts which are central to the entire dialogue:

  1. We are all One.
  2. There’s Enough.
  3. There’s Nothing We Have [an obligation] to Do.
  4. Ours Is Not A Better Way, Ours Is Merely Another Way.

The first statement is understood to mean that existence is essentially nondual in nature. At the highest level there is no separation between anything and there is only one of us; there is only God, and everything is God. The second statement, following from the first, means that we, in this seeming existence, lack nothing and if we choose to realize it, we have enough of whatever we think we need (or the means to create it) within us. The third statement combines the first two to conclude that God, being all there is and is thus always sufficient unto Itself, has no need of anything and therefore has no requirements of humanity. The final concept puts an end to our need to always be right. Given that we have and are everything, and there’s nothing we have to do, there are an infinite number of ways to experience this, not just the one way we may have chosen so far. According to the books, God recommends many economic and social changes if people want to make a more functional, adaptable, and sustainable world, recommends that more attention should focus on the environment. The conversations also teach that reincarnation and life on other planets exists.

[edit] God’s motive for creation

In Walsch’s first dialogue, God notes that “knowing” and “experiencing” oneself are different things. Before creation there was only That-Which-Is, which cannot know or experience itself fully, without something it is not. It cannot know itself as love, since nothing exists but love. It cannot know itself as giving since nothing else exists to give to. It cannot experience itself in myriad ways because everything is one. This present creation then, in Walsch’s viewpoint, is established by and within God, so that sentience can exist which does not directly remember its true nature as God. Split into infinite forms, all life can live, experience, and recreate its nature as God, rather than just “know” itself as the creator in theory. It is essentially a game, entered into by agreement, to remember who and what we are and enjoy and create, knowing that ultimately there is no finish line that some will not reach, no understanding that is not without value, no act that does not add meaning to the future or for others. In Walsch’s view we have a common interest in keeping the game going, for there is nothing else to do except to experience our existence and then experience more of it, to uncover deeper layers of truth and understanding. There are no external rules, because all experience is subjective, and is chosen. But within this, there are ways that (it is stated and implied) people will gradually come to see their thoughts, words, actions are either working or they are not working. A thing is either functional or dysfunctional. These rememberings take place over “time” and can take hundreds and thousands of lifetimes.

[edit] Nature of the dialogue

This section is written like a personal reflection or essay and may require cleanup. Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style.

The voice of God states in Book 1 that words are not the truth, and thus readers must ultimately take what is being said and consult their own feelings to determine if they are in agreement with it. The voice says this is true of any other book or words we come across. Though the books bear the title Conversations with God and the author introduces the first book by stating he is “taking dictation” from God, the voice of God in the trilogy explains that the dialogue is God speaking to everyone all the time. The question is not to whom does God talk, but who listens. This is clarified by the statement that God can communicate with you in the next song you hear, the next breeze that caresses your ear, the next conversation you overhear. “All these devices are mine. All these avenues are open to me. I will speak to you if you invite me.” At the deepest level consciousness is and that there is only one “voice” regardless whether it is thought to belong to God, or an individual, or imagination. This leads to a statement of the Divine Dichotomy: that two contradictory truths can exist, neither making the other untrue. This is possible only in the realm of the relative, because, as was stated above, in the absolute all things are one thing, and there is nothing else.

[edit] Parallels in other belief systems

In the dialogue many philosophical ideas are presented that had already been advanced earlier by major Eastern and Western thinkers, but Walsch presents the information in language for modern readers and does not specifically cite any of these philosophers. In fact, Walsch claims that he had never known most of these ideas before his revelatory experiences. Since the beginning of the series, and especially in the latter volumes, Walsch and “God” acknowledge that most of the concepts presented are previously known to humanity, but are profound enough to warrant being explored repeatedly, and put into this cohesive unified form. Since humanity is still mired in strife and conflict, there is value in their restatement. Fundamental parts of Walsch’s writings are also mirrored within other well known spiritual writings and traditions:

[edit] Contemporary parallels

Contemporary writers whose philosophies agree with much of CwG includeRichard Bach author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Jane Roberts author of The Seth Material, popular psychologist and author Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle author of The Power of Now (Tolle refers to much of this work in his reference sections in his own book). Whether by accident or design, the ideal of existence espoused in the book mirrors almost exactly the philosophies related by the late comic Bill Hicks on his album “Rant in E-minor”. His final album, recorded in 1993 and released posthumously three years later, details Hicks’ belief that all humanity is in fact one eternal consciousness separated by a loving God only by illusion. Hicks had touched on these ideas repeatedly throughout his career, most famously in his “It’s Just a Ride” speech, and claimed to have received these revelations through the use of psychedelic substances.

[edit] Prophecies and predictions

The CwG books sometimes make hints and suggestions about future events. An example of this is The Impeachment of Bill Clinton in book 2 of the trilogy. This account was first published in May of 1997, “God” told Walsch in Chapter 19 (p.226) that because the President Bill Clinton was “courageously fighting big money’s vested interest” there were going to be “tremendous powers attempting to remove him from office.” Less than a year later, in 1998, the Lewinsky scandal broke and resulted in calls for Clinton’s impeachment and possible eviction from his position. Eventually President Clinton was officially impeached, the resulting vote to convict and remove him from office then failed to win sufficient votes.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Fired Professor Teaches Anyway: Ward Churchill Back At CU

University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill was fired by the Board of Regents in July.But that didn't stop Churchill from still teaching at CU this week.According to the Boulder Daily Camera, a group of student supporters rented out a classroom at CU's Eaton Humanities Building and invited Churchill to teach. The topic? "ReVisioning American History: Colonization, Genocide and Formation of the U.S. Settler State."And it appears this isn't a one-time-only event. Churchill handed out a class syllabus, which includes scheduled classes to be held Oct. 9 about colonialism, Oct. 23 on genocide and Oct. 30 about racism.Churchill was fired because of academic-misconduct violations. He has not been been allowed to hold official classes on the campus since May 2006.For more information about Churchill's lecture, click here for a link to the article in the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper.

Night Gallery

"Somewhere between apathy and anarchy lies the thinking human being..."

-Rod Serling (1924 - 1975)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sending Healing Vibes To My Dear Friend Who Is Having Cancer Surgery Today



Time to Boycott Voting

by Joel S. Hirschhorn

After many years of political disappointment, more progressives, liberals and conservatives – and certainly moderates and independents – know in their hearts that voting for Democrats or Republicans is a waste. Just imagine if voter turnout was cut to 25 percent or less! Let the whole world see Americans boycotting a broken and corrupt political system and rejecting what has become a delusional democracy. To keep voting in an unjust political system makes us willing political slaves that the rich and powerful elites exploit.

Just leaving the major parties is not good enough and, besides, most Americans are not party members. We need a bolder strategy. We must humiliate the political elites in both major parties and the corporate interests that support both of them. We can send a shock wave throughout the political establishment by not voting in the 2008 presidential election.

Stop playing THEIR game. Take back control. Take back YOUR nation. Time to boycott voting. This strategy is consistent with the thinking of Gandhi and King: peaceful resistance to political tyranny that can bring the corrupt system to its knees. Ultimately, the most effective protest is through civil disobedience – to visibly and stubbornly refuse to respect what has become a corrupt, untrustworthy system. Before it can be fixed it must be deconstructed and then rebuilt. Taxation with MISrepresentation means we need a Second American Revolution; it must begin – not with violent action – but with massive withdrawal by citizens that have seen the light. We have a good head start with about half of eligible voters already so turned off that they don’t vote. Obviously that has not been sufficient to change the system.

There will be negative, defensive knee-jerk reactions to this audacious strategy. Let’s examine them:

Many will think that taking such action violates our responsibility as citizens. But taking that responsibility seriously as engaged citizens in the Jeffersonian sense must reflect that there is still a valid contract between citizens and their government. When we vote we have the right to a political system that respects we the people and gives us an authentic representative democracy. We have a right to a constitutional republic operating under the rule of law. But we have elected representatives that no longer have the public interest as their primary commitment, nor truly honor and respect our Constitution.

They have been corrupted by corporate and other special interests that fund their campaigns to get the laws, loopholes and largesse they want. They have been corrupted by power and the perks of office. They are political cowards and mostly intellectual midgets. The two major parties have a stranglehold on our political system that no longer merits our participation in their crooked game. Political parties are not part of our Constitution and the two-party duopoly has demonstrated that both Democrats and Republicans put their own interests above those of we the people, our nation and our democracy. We cannot vote our way out of our current, dreadful political system.

Whether you are on the political left or right, you will fear that not voting will help put in office people that support policies your abhor. But decades of objective political reality tell us that even people from the party that we align with do not, when elected, fulfill their promises and our hopes. Sadly, most Americans have become lesser-evil voters, deluding themselves that this is the best, least worse, yet awful choice. Instead of feeling bad about voting for candidates that we know in our hearts are not worthy of our votes and public office, we must have the courage to say “enough is enough; I will not play in this shameful game any longer.” We must stop legitimizing and abetting our disgraceful government.

Many may fear that not voting sets a terrible example to children. But isn’t it more important to tell America’s children that true patriotism must reveal itself by rejecting a political system that no longer merits respect? Thomas Jefferson believed in periodic rebellion. Now is the time for all good Americans to come to the rescue of their nation, peacefully by boycotting elections.

The small number of third party members may be screaming: yes, don’t vote for Democrats and Republicans; come over and join us! I have been a strong third party supporter, but we must face the painful truth. The two major parties have so rigged the political system in their favor and against third parties that voting for third party candidates for federal office is a futile action. We must first boycott voting to create sufficient pressure to open the system to genuine political competition. That requires a number of electoral reforms, possible if the nation gets its first Article V convention (see With reforms we can increase voter turnout to over 90 percent, as routinely seen in other democracies.

False patriotism may cause some to think that we must not show anti-American nations and terrorists that our government no longer has the trust of its citizens. But that has already been widely disseminated by endless polls and surveys, including the recent Zogby poll that found a record-low 11 percent support for Congress. Better to show our enemies that we the people have finally awakened and decided to re-assert our sovereignty and restore American democracy. Loyalty to country, yes; loyalty to government, no. Our populist American insurgency must begin with a boycott of voting.

Proof that this extraordinary strategy can work is that by now diehard Democrats and Republicans reading this are squirming in discomfort. So spread the word, if you have not deluded yourself about voting the nation into a far, far better place. Time to boycott voting. Join the picket line; admit that none of the above is the only rational decision when the choices the two major parties give us for federal officials are not worth a dime.

Voting in a delusional representative democracy is as harebrained as voting even though you know votes will not be honestly counted – which many fear may be true. We may have lost control of our government, but we still control our voting. Time to walk away from the brainwashing and fiction that it really matters which Democrat or Republican you vote for in primaries and general elections for federal office. Power elites want us to believe that. They collude with the corporate mainstream media that make tons of money from campaigns and want you to stay glued to suspenseful horse races. Loud-mouth political pundits that narrate the races are democracy’s enemies. We must stop watching and listening to the political entertainment designed to keep us obediently mesmerized, as if the game is honest. Without an audience, these phony races and media circus will disappear.

Don’t be fooled by the large number of candidates in the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries. It is a sham – a scheme to keep spectators glued to the illusory competition. Ron Paul has as much chance of being the Republican nominee as Dennis Kucinich has of being the Democratic nominee. With power elites controlling both major parties, zero chance for them and the other minor candidates, regardless of their grassroots support. Reflect on how both major parties accept lots of candidates in televised debates in the primary season. But come the general election with prime time televised presidential debates they keep out third party candidates that desperately need that exposure to rally meaningful support. Such is the hypocrisy and disdain of the two-party duopoly.

Come Election Day in 2008 we should party and celebrate (with TVs turned off) our populist boycott of voting and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow patriots. We must help them resist any late urge to vote, because by then millions of dollars will be spent by many special interests to make us feel guilty and ashamed if we do not vote. I can hear Paul Revere now: The liars are coming! The liars are coming! All that advertising and pundit-screaming to herd us back into the voting booths will verify that our boycott strategy works.

With having the votes of only a small minority of the electorate, whoever becomes president will have no public mandate except major, systemic political reforms that satisfy the will of the people. Either that or accept being the president of a fake democracy on the world scene.

Be brave. Stick together. Save voting for a reformed political system worthy of respect and participation.

[Joel S. Hirschhorn is the author of Delusional Democracy – Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government that presents many electoral and other reforms; he can be contacted through Formerly, he was a senior official at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the National Governors Association.]

Kucinich on Fifth Anniversary of War Speech

Five years ago tomorrow (Wednesday, October 3), Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich stood on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to deliver an impassioned, point-by-point refutation of the Bush Administration’s arguments seeking passage of the Iraq War Resolution.

For days leading up to that moment, Kucinich also widely circulated his own independently conducted analysis of the "intelligence" that the Administration had presented to Congress in support of the resolution.

Eight days later, despite the warnings of Kucinich and 132 other members of the House whom he had managed to persuade to oppose this prelude to war, the majority of the House and the majority of the Senate gave the President the war powers he sought.

Among those supporting the "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002" were Senators Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Chris Dodd, and Joe Biden, all of whom spoke forcefully in favor of the President's strategy – all four of whom are now Democratic Presidential candidates. All four subsequently approved additional measures for supplemental appropriations to fund the war, as did Democratic Senator Barack Obama after he was elected to the Senate in 2004.

Now, five years after they approved a war that should never have been authorized in the first place, those same Democrats are scrambling to explain, excuse, or defend their votes. At the same time, the foremost among them are refusing to pledge an end to the war, admitting that it may extend well beyond 2013.

Kucinich, the only Democratic candidate for President who voted against the original war authorization and every war-appropriation since, has recently raised loud warnings, in the Congress and in public statements, that House-approved and Senate-approve measures targeted towards Iran are "dangerously and frighteningly similar" to those anti-Iraq resolutions approved five years ago.

No "commemorative" events are planned for Wednesday, but Kucinich is weighing a number of requests to discuss Iraq, Iran, and the prospect of a prolonged and expanded war in the Middle East.

(October 3, 2002, Floor speech:

(October 2, 2002: Independent Intelligence Analysis:

# # #

Media contacts: National HQ: Andy Juniewicz, (216) 409-8992, Washington, D.C.: Sharon Manitta, (202) 506-6682, Website:

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Three Views of One View or Three

An Iraq Minute: Calculating the Cost of War

What happens in a minute? In the Iraq war – as in any war -- lives are ended and destroyed, homes are demolished and families are broken within the space of a minute. And, according to a new analysis by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the U.S. is spending half a million dollars each minute of the war. In a day, the toll comes to $720 million. The group based its figures, unveiled in “Cost of War” exhibits in major US cities on Sept. 20 and 21, on the work of former World Bank chief economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard public finance lecturer Linda Bilmes. ... On large banners placed in downtowns in Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Sioux City, a Baltimore suburb and other locations, the AFSC showed the trade-off in social services and resources in terms of “war dollars.” The cost of one day of the Iraq war, they say, could: create over 95,000 Head Start slots for kids, buy 6,482 homes for families, provide healthcare for 423,529 children or 163,525 people, hire 12,478 elementary school teachers, outfit 1.27 million homes with renewable electricity, sponsor almost 35,000 four-year college scholarships or provide 1.15 million free school lunches. F*U*C*K*E*R*S

Burma: Military junta kills thousands; bodies of monks dumped in jungle

[Wow, the US Govt and Military have invaded other Countries for less than what is happening here. BOYCOTT THE OLYMPICS IN CHINA AND CHINESE MADE PRODUCTS]

by Marcus Oscarsson Daily Mail (UK)

Thousands of protesters are dead and the bodies of hundreds of executed monks have been dumped in the jungle, a former intelligence officer for Burma’s ruling junta has revealed.

The most senior official to defect so far, Hla Win, said: “Many more people have been killed in recent days than you’ve heard about. The bodies can be counted in several thousand.”

Mr Win, who spoke out as a Swedish diplomat predicted that the revolt has failed, said he fled when he was ordered to take part in a massacre of holy men. He has now reached the border with Thailand.

Meanwhile, the United Nations special envoy was in Burma’s new capital today seeking meetings with the ruling military junta.

Ibrahim Gambari met detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon yesterday. But he has yet to meet the country’s senior generals as he attempts to halt violence against monks and pro-democracy activists.

It is anticipated the meeting will happen tomorrow.

Mr Gambari met some of the country’s military leaders in Naypyidaw yesterday and has returned there for further talks. But he did not meet senior general Than Shwe or his deputy Maung Aye - and they have issued no comment.

Reports from exiles along the frontier confirmed that hundreds of monks had simply “disappeared” as 20,000 troops swarmed around Rangoon yesterday to prevent further demonstrations by religious groups and civilians.

Word reaching dissidents hiding out on the border suggested that as well as executions, some 2,000 monks are being held in the notorious Insein Prison or in university rooms which have been turned into cells.

There were reports that many were savagely beaten at a sports ground on the outskirts of Rangoon, where they were heard crying for help.

Others who had failed to escape disguised as civilians were locked in their bloodstained temples.

There, troops abandoned religious beliefs, propped their rifles against statues of Buddha and began cooking meals on stoves set up in shrines.

In stark contrast, the streets of Rangoon and Mandalay - centres of the attempted saffron revolution last week - were virtually deserted.

A Swedish diplomat who visited Burma during the protests said last night that in her opinion the revolution has failed.

Liselotte Agerlid, who is now in Thailand, said that the Burmese people now face possibly decades of repression. “The Burma revolt is over,” she added.

“The military regime won and a new generation has been violently repressed and violently denied democracy. The people in the street were young people, monks and civilians who were not participating during the 1988 revolt.

“Now the military has cracked down the revolt, and the result may very well be that the regime will enjoy another 20 years of silence, ruling by fear.”

Mrs Agerlid said Rangoon is heavily guarded by soldiers.

“There are extremely high numbers of soldiers in Rangoon’s streets,” she added. “Anyone can see it is absolutely impossible for any demonstration to gather, or for anyone to do anything.

“People are scared and the general assessment is that the fight is over. We were informed from one of the largest embassies in Burma that 40 monks in the Insein prison were beaten to death today and subsequently burned.”

The diplomat also said that three monasteries were raided yesterday afternoon and are now totally abandoned.

At his border hideout last night, 42-year-old Mr Win said he hopes to cross into Thailand and seek asylum at the Norwegian Embassy.

The 42-year-old chief of military intelligence in Rangoon’s northern region, added: “I decided to desert when I was ordered to raid two monasteries and force several hundred monks onto trucks. “

They were to be killed and their bodies dumped deep inside the jungle. I refused to participate in this.”

With his teenage son, he made his escape from Rangoon, leaving behind his wife and two other sons.

He had no fears for their safety because his brother is a powerful general who, he believes, will defend the family.

Mr Win’s defection will raise a faint hope among tens of thousands of Burmese who have fled to villages along the Thai border.

They will feel others in the army may follow him and turn on their aging leaders, Senior General Than Shwe and his deputy, Vice Senior General Maung Aye.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Hey ♪-♥-♫-♥-♪-♥-♫ Hey

  1. Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run
  2. The Clash - Rock The Casbah
  3. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Give It Away
  4. The Breeders - Divine Hammer
  5. Interpol - Obstacle 1
  6. Beatles - Revolution
  7. Modest Mouse - Never Ending Math Equation
  8. The Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated
  9. Built To Spill - Carry The Zero
  10. Supertramp - Goodbye Stranger
  11. The Killers - Mr. Brightside
  12. The Replacements - Bastards Of Young
  13. Placebo - Nancy Boy
  14. The Pixies - U-Mass
  15. The Monkees - Pleasant Valley Sunday

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