Monday, October 03, 2005

Note to readers:

Hello, faithful readers.
It's with some regret that I must tell you that I may not be posting for a week or two.
While I've been known to vanish without a trace before, I've decided that it's unfair to leave you all hanging without some sort of explanation anymore.
Believe me, you are probably more important to me than I am to you, and I'd hate to lose a single one of you.

There's nothing to be overly alarmed about.
I'm just experiencing a spate of health set-backs that make it uncomfortable for me to sit at my computer (or anywhere else for that matter) for any length of time.
I tend, as you know, to write rather long posts and I'm finding it difficult to continue under the circumstances.
I've been to the Dr. and am looking forward to a complete recovery in the next week or so, so please be patient, I will return in the blink of an eye.

Since I also can't spend a lot of time surfing the web, if you happen to find something that catches your eye or interest, please feel free to add a comment, with the web address, after this message and I'll follow it up as my health allows.

Thanks a million, one and all, and stay on guard against tyranny and injustice wherever it raises its ugly head, because, we are the People.

One final thing as a parting gift for the voracious among you.
I'd like to recommend a book that I'm reading for the third time through.
Everytime I read it I'm stunned and amazed by its shear beauty of language (almost poetry I'd say) and the depth of its insights into the ways of humans.
It's fairly short, very fast and as satisfying as dinner at Per Se.

"The Razor's Edge"
by
W. Somerset Maugham.

I declare it an absolute "must read."
Enjoy, and goodbye for now.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Alaska Melt

Now, I'm not going to mention global warming.
Pollution.
Emmisions.
Over development.
Too many farting McCows.
Thinning ozone layers.

None of that.

I'm just going to ask this....
why is Alaska melting?
Just because it's normally cold there doesn't mean it's an ice cream cone.
Nobody forgot to pay the electric bill.
The sun still rises in the east.

So why is it melting?
Could it be...

"Alaska landscape transformed by warmer climate"
28 Sep 2005 20:33:13 GMT
Source: Reuters
Atmospheric temperatures in the remote state have risen 3.6 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (2 to 3 degrees C) over the past five decades, according to the recently released Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, a comprehensive study by scientists from eight nations.

?

SINKING TOWNS

In the cooler interior regions, buildings are slumping and roads are buckling as permafrost -- frozen soil -- thaws and turns into softer, spongy soil. The Inupiat village of Shishmaref on a narrow Chukchi Sea barrier island is preparing to move as the town sinks into the ground.

?

I don't want to get panicky, and I don't have to, someone else already has.
"We are the canary in the mine, unfortunately, and the harbinger of what is yet to come for the rest of the world," said Patricia Cochran, executive director of the Anchorage-based Alaska Native Science Commission.

"Harbinger"? "Yet to come"?
This all sounds too creepy.

The melting ice will expose open water which will absorb more heat and create a feedback loop that will cause more ice to melt causing.....
Well, you know.
Appalacian oceanfront property.
New York may again become the "New Amsterdam" complete with canals as streets.

"O say la mia...." (don't bother looking, I just made it up).

There's a storm on the horizon. It's big and scary.

Now let's ask Emperor Bush what he thinks of global warming....or, sorry. I wasn't going to mention that.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

REVOLUTION!

Screw it people.
It's time for a revolution.
Unless, of course, you believe this country is headed in the proper direction.

I think things have been mostly moving in a positive direction for years in this society, but there have been equally forceful movements in a negative direction as well.
Now, it seems, the political machine has reached it's peak of tolerance. The Federal Government can't sit idely by and let people live their lives without interfering anymore.
The balance has peaked and we're tipping into fascism.

I'd be ashamed to call myself a proud veteran and US citizen if I stood by and watched my country being destroyed by a corporate/theocratic/government out to serve only its own ends.
It's time.
Time for a revolution.
(Now, you'll note, I didn't say go out and start shooting anyone, just stop supporting the machines).

The corporations. Quit going to work. Quit buying their junk. Stop paying ridicules credit card rates (28%!!!!!). Burn your credit cards. You don't need any of it.
The theocrats. Quit going to churches that tell you what to think about the government and politics, rather than worshipping God. Stop tithing them until they start doing what they were called for, the glory of God. Stop letting them molest our children then turn around and tell our women what they can or can't do. Stop going to their million dollar temples until they teach our children about God's love and stay out of our temples of learning.
The government. Quit paying fraudulent taxes to support foolishness; bridges, wars, etc. Stop supporting their efforts to spread war and death. Don't give them our sons and daughters. Refuse to believe their lies.

Let's all go to jail.
Then we'll have 100% employment, and they'll have no customers, worshippers or constituents, as we build our own prisons.
Is the life of slavery really that great?

Revolution Now!

Culture

cul·ture
Audio pronunciation of "culture" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (klchr)
n.
1.
1. The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.
2. These patterns, traits, and products considered as the expression of a particular period, class, community, or population: Edwardian culture; Japanese culture; the culture of poverty.
3. These patterns, traits, and products considered with respect to a particular category, such as a field, subject, or mode of expression: religious culture in the Middle Ages; musical culture; oral culture.
4. The predominating attitudes and behavior that characterize the functioning of a group or organization.


Many say that we here, in the U.S., have a corrupt, arrogant and depraved culture. Some say we have no culture at all.
They may be right.
I love other cultures.
They're so facinating.
Why, here's one for ya....


Last Updated: Saturday, 24 September 2005, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK

"Indian caste forces naked parade"
Six women in a village in the eastern state of Orissa were dragged by their hair, beaten and paraded naked by a group of upper caste men.

They were attacked because the men in their families had refused to wash the feet of upper caste wedding guests."
BBC
Isn't that quaint?
Sweet.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Or how about the cultural tradition of wearing a head to toe, dark tent in the dessert for women?
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Oh, just what I'd like to see....a crowd of grissly looking, ghost women.

What is it? Don't the men have culture in other cultures?
Why is it always the women that get the shaft?
Is it my imagination, or does our stinking, rotten U.S. culture of death, have a monopoly on at least trying, not to take our small penis sizes out on women?
Why do other cultures seem, (let's be nice...they're from out of town) to have this "thing" about torturing or humiliating their women?

I know, I don't understand their "culture."
I'm not sensitive enough.

You know what?
Fuck their stupid cultures.
Fuck their hatred of women.
In fact, if I didn't think it would offend any gay friends I have, I'd say...let the men from the women hating cultures just fuck eachother.
A couple of generations, and poof, their idiotic cultural practice's would be gone.

Fucking culture's.
Don't talk about mine until yours is a little cleaner.
Assholes.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Could I Be Wrong? Unbelievable!

I recently read an article on a process Shell Oil has been experimenting with to produce oil from shale.
While this technology is hardly new, it has had some major problems. Notably, extraction, crushing, heating and market pricing. These have either created massive environmental concerns, or have been economically unsuitable for the energy and cash vs. return on dollar investments required.
I once read that it would take 2 barrels of oil to produce one barrel of shale oil. Basically, an energy "sink." (Same problem with bio-fuels, gasohol etc).
This has now changed. It's more like 1 barrel of oil to produce 3 barrels of shale oil. A great improvement indeed.
Shell's new process actually "cooks" the shale in the ground for 3 or 4 years to accelerate the conversion to crude (shale oil apparently is unfinished crude). One large problem is keeping it heated to 6 or 700 degrees in the ground without water contamination.
To solve this, Shell surrounds the heated area with tubing and super-cools it.

On the first reading I thought to myself "This has got to be one of the stupidist idea I've ever heard."
Well, stupid me.
Apparantly it works. Hmmm.
No one ever said new technology was supposed to conform to my image of "sensible."

There's a vast amount of shale available in the US.
Enough to stave off an energy crash for 25 years or so.
That would be enough time to make some major changes that could lead away from the use of fossil fuels, to a more reasonable energy source.
(Think nano-solar collectors painted on roofs, which is already in development, higher battery effeciency or just about anything. We could learn a lot in 25 years).

This should be good news. In fact it is. If it works.
So why am I scouring the web looking for a refutation?
Why am I nagged with doubt?

As the readers who've been following my post's well know, I've been warning of the imminent dangers of global energy collapse for the last couple of years. Most vociferously in the last year or so.
It's like a family pet.
Or a best friend.
Once you commit, it's sometimes easier to stay the course, regardless of the evidence. (Look at Bush in Iraq!).
So, it's hard for me to look into the cold face of reality and see everything that I've assumed, potentially being wrong.
Hey, there's a lot of time invested, research done and snickering knowingly at friends and loved ones to have to deal with over this.
But there you are...
I could have been.........wrong.
There may yet be a way out.

In this time of oil and gas crisis, maybe this will at least help calm the spirit. The spikes may just be temporary after all.
I hope I AM wrong.
Honest.

Friday, September 16, 2005

No Cause For Alarm

There are times when there's too much going on in the world to really get a grip on what the heck is happening.
Sometimes it all seems as though it's slipping away into chaos.
Too much synchronicity.
Global warming,
Hurricanes,
Peak Oil,
Economic melt down,
Presidential lies,
Unending wars.
Sometimes the facts all seem to be spiraling towards the same event horizon of catastrophy.

I wonder if the internet has given us too much information to process?
What a great and powerful tool the web is.
What a dangerous light in the dark places that some would prefer to remain dark places.
What a dangerous tool.

I worry sometimes. Our world seems to be falling apart as fast as I am physically. (I be gettin' old and tired now, Jah).
Then, at what seems to be the worst possible time, something hits me.

Today, as I lay on the bed in the emergency room...waiting, I was hit.
I had a vision of "Relativity" and my position in the universe. It was so simple and elegant I wondered how I could ever have overlooked it.
I've always had a hard time visualizing Einstein's great Theory and have been puzzling over it for years. Today, I saw it for myself.

Standing on a spot for one second or a hundred years, everything around me moved. Or so it seems.
A million miles away, someone standing on another spot did the same.
To them, I seemed to be moving quite fast.
To me, they seemed to be moving quite fast.
In reality, we were two ships passing in the night, both moving quite fast.
All was in motion. Including the particles that made our bodies.
The rest is beyond my writing capabilities.
Then, just as I was slipping into the quantum realm, I fell asleep.
(Mind you, I wasn't on any medication or anything, go figure).

No matter how bad things may seem,
there's no cause for alarm.
Everything will always just keep moving.

After that, everything just fell into a different perspective.
It's nice to be a part of something as big as all that.
I felt much better.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Third World U.S.A-The People Respond

It's apparent that the Federal Government, in its handling of the crisis in New Orleans, had a far different agenda than that of helping the survivors.
There were far too many instances where the Federal representatives refused assistance for the victims. I could easily list sources that have questioned why EMT's were turned away, food and housing on Navy ships not used, foot travel out of New Orleans met with armed police, etc., etc. I think though, it would be just as easy for you to find that information on your own, since the accounts are ubiquitous.
It seems clear to me that the reason for the Fed's delay during the crisis was more for the benefit of the military than anything. It took a few days before they could gather the strength to "storm" the city with their overwhelming presence.
Now that the city is under Federal control, the President can take credit for any good being done and hide evidence of any malfeasance.
Plus, I'm sure it's a wonderful feeling for him to watch CNN and see all his "boys" finally winning a war somewhere. It's good to be King.

Oddly, that's not why I'm writing this piece though.

I'm writing this to celebrate, once again, the true heart of the American People as they dig deep, once again, into their pockets for cash, supplies and goodwill to help the survivors of the New Orleans Disaster.
Kudo's to you all for your efforts. It always seems to be the case that The People will respond appropriately when the government will not.
I've received several e-mails from people I know involved with the collection of goods for transfer to central locations where it can be distributed to those directly in need of them. They even sent out a list of most urgently needed items.
Things like,
# Food and drinks
# Clothing
# Disposable diapers
# Games and toys
# Sheets and blankets
# Monetary donations
# Paper goods such as plates, cups, diapers and tissue...


As I read the lists it occured to me that something was familiar.
Where had I read a similar list?

That brings me to the real reason for writing this piece.

While it's heartening to watch The People respond to this crisis, it's sad at the same time. Very sad indeed.
Why?

Because the current situation, where the government has perpetrated crimes of neglect or outright murder (such as cutting funding for levee upgrades which resulted in uneccessary deaths), is by no means anything "new."
Yet in one of the most extreme cases of this type of government behaviour, The People have failed.
They have failed repeatedly.
They have failed consistantly.
As a result, there's a whole Third World existing in the U.S.A. that should bring tears of shame to every thinking American.
The People have failed.
There's a nation, within this nation;
(The) Oglala Lakota Sioux Nation, the tribe that defeated Gen. George A. Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876 only to suffer the seizure of its gold-rich Black Hills and a massacre by the Army at Wounded Knee in 1890

that have suffered as much, much more in fact, than any New Orleans storm refugee.

Why?
Because they trusted the government's promises back in the 1890's.
Typically, the government lied.
Unfulfilled Promise
People in Pine Ridge pour their energies into trying to make things better. The reservation needs help with everything: infrastructure, housing, health care, education, economic development. Yet federal money that is supposed to go to the Indians, under treaties or laws, keeps getting cut.

The most glaring example, the Indian Health Service, was created by treaties drawn more than a century ago that promised quality health care (along with quality education and decent housing) for every Native American in exchange for the federal government's taking vast swaths of Indian land.

But the health service, run by the Department of Health and Human Services, is funded at less than $2,000 per Indian each year, half of what federal prisoners receive. This year, Congress rejected legislation to increase its budget. The administration redirected Indian Health Service funding to homeland security and the Iraq war.


Bear in mind folks. The nation we're talking about is not looking for handouts. They are looking for what the United States of America agreed to provide in exchange for the ending of hostilities and land giveaways.
We are the People.
This treaty binds us all.
We have all failed.

The level of poverty and misery suffered by these, our neighbors, is appalling.
They need just about every kind of item that the New Orlean's refugees need.
Here, let me show you a partial list of some of the items that need to be donated...
# Food and drinks
# Clothing
# Disposable diapers
# Games and toys
# Sheets and blankets
# Monetary donations
# Paper goods such as plates, cups, diapers and tissue...

Rather striking, isn't it?

I guess if it's not in the news everyday it's easy to ignore, but for over 100 years?
The crimes against the Oglala Lakota Sioux Nation was an early attempt by the Federal Government to eliminate opposition to their theft of the country's wealth.
The New Orleans Disaster is the latest attempt by Government to use coercive military might, this time against its own people, in order to reclaim valuable real estate for the entichment of "the wealthy few."
Who's going to be next?
The middle class?
You?

Please people, don't misunderstand me. I'm in no way trying to disparage your efforts to aid the unfortunate victims of hurricane Katrina.
I'm simply reminding you, while you're in a "giving" mode, to not forget some others who have already been forgotten for far too long.
Friends of Pine Ridge
Lakota: The Forgotten People

Friday, September 09, 2005

Bush Begins A New Phase Of Class Warfare

In an act of unbelievably blatant class warfare, the puppet Bush, once again dances to his corporate masters strings as they play a demonic fiddle and the empire burns.
"President signs executive order allowing contractors to pay below prevailing wage in affected areas.
September 8, 2005: 9:42 PM EDT"
Bush lifts wage rules for Katrina
This should be an outrage for every American wage earner.
To use the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina to further the long sought goal of destroying the minimum wage act is nothing more than the looting of the American People by the Executive branch of the Federal Government.
We all know what treatment "looters" deserve, in keeping with Federal Government standards, right?
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

"The (1931) Davis-Bacon law requires federal contractors to pay workers at least the prevailing wages in the area where the work is conducted. It applies to federally funded construction projects such as highways and bridges."
(Same source as above).

The Department of Labor in its "...Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. Covered nonexempt workers are entitled to a minimum wage of not less than $5.15 an hour. Overtime pay at a rate of not less than one and one-half times their regular rates of pay is required after 40 hours of work in a workweek."US Department of Labor
Read that again...it really does say "$5.15 and hour."

What is he planning on doing here?
Is this supposed to draw thousands of job hungry Americans to the area hoping to land one of these lucrative re-construction opportunities?
What is he going to allow them to be paid? $3.00 and hour with no overtime? Or maybe he just wants to fill the jobs with our children or anxious teens hoping to avoid the military?
Or worse, maybe he wants to allow his rich corporate masters to have on hand a steady pool of cheap-labor slaves, in order that they may grow richer from the reconstruction that will be financed by the Federal Government (our taxes) to the tune of billions of dollars.

Instead of raping the American worker why doesn't the President freeze prices on materials? In order to ensure the best quality workmanship, why doesn't the President insist wages be increased to draw the best workers to the project?

I guess this wouldn't make his masters very happy, would it. He might even appear Presidential for once.
No, better to tear down the poor by inept rescue efforts, then when they have nothing left, to offer them slave wages so that they will remain poor.

If ever there was a cause in this country for a massive labor action, this act, by a privileged dunce, deserves it immediately. If this flies, we'll all be working for whatever "the management" decides is fair. And the only thing they truly think is "fair," is the ability to freely maximize their profits, at the cost of our freedom.

True power lies in our hands, as workers.
It's about time we rise in anger and demand equitable treatment.
We need to stop working for a month or so.
Just stop. Stay home. Watch them squirm on TV.
If we all stop working, who's going to repossess your car? The CEO of GM?
They can't arrest us all, not enough jails.

They'll have to bargain.

This bears keeping a close eye on.
Oh, and one more thing...do you think you could survive on $5.15 and hour?
That's about $206.00 a week, gross.
What kind of mortgage can you get with that?
What can you afford to eat?
It's insanity.

People, listen....for once...open your eyes and see what they're doing.
For God and our childrens sake.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

More Disaster? From Space??? OH NO!!!!

I just wanted to briefly touch on a report that recently came to my attention.
My energy level is pretty low, so I'll just repeat what I received from the source for the most part.
My compliments to K. at http://klondikekate.typepad.com/
for the find.
>Official Space Weather Advisory issued by NOAA Space Environment
Center
>Boulder, Colorado, USA
>
>SPACE WEATHER ADVISORY BULLETIN #05- 7
>2005 September 07 at 01:31 p.m. MDT (2005 September 07 1931 UTC)
>
>**** POWERFUL SOLAR FLARE ERUPTS ****
>
>One of the largest solar flares on record occurred today, September
07.
>Very active Region 808 produced a powerful X17 flare (R4 on the NOAA
>Scale) observed on the NOAA GOES satellite at 07/1740 UTC (September
>07, 1:40 p.m. EDT). This flare, the 4th largest in the last 15 years,
>erupted just as the Region 808 sunspot cluster was rotating onto the
>visible disk of the sun. Intense radio emissions were also associated
>with this flare. A very bright and fast coronal mass ejection was
>observed on coronagraph imagery; however, the material was not Earth
>directed. An S1 - S2 radiation storm is expected following this
>eruption, but is not expected to begin until late on September 07 or
>early September 08.
>
>This event created a complete blackout of high frequency
communications
>on the daylit side of Earth. Communications used by emergency services
>along the Gulf Coast may have experienced problems due to this flare.
>Low frequency navigation systems may also have experienced a period of
>significant degradation.
>
>Over the past two weeks, this active region produced a series of
>significant solar eruptions as it made its passage around the back
side
>of the Sun. Significant eruptions are expected in the coming days.
>Agencies impacted by space weather storms may experience disruptions
>over the next two weeks. These include spacecraft operations, electric
>power systems, HF communications, and low-frequency navigations
>systems.


For those of you that aren't aware of the seriousness of these events, there was an article published a few years ago that put the blame for the last major East Coast power-outage squarely on solar activity.
I'll see if I can root around and find the article for you and post it.

As K. says in her blog..."Stay indoors. And, keep your hat on".
Bery good advice.

(More interesting sources...if you're interested.
http://sec.noaa.gov
http://sec.noaa.gov/sxi/index.html
A primer on Space Weather)

Monday, September 05, 2005

Let's Cut The Bullshit, Dying Black People Don't Matter

Let's try the truth for a change.
I know we all know it.
Let's admit it, just for once in our lives.
Racism is alive and well in Amerika.
Don’t be ashamed to admit it. It's not really our fault.

Before I answer why, let's look at a few points.

First, hate crimes are illegal. This is a good thing, maybe.
Is it reality?
Or is it a law using smoke and mirrors to hide reality?

Next, and be honest now. If you're a white guy in a group of white guys and one black guy, what happens when the black guy says, "I've got to get going. Talk to you guys later."
I can ask this because I'm a white guy, and I've heard the conversation change, turn racist and ugly.
I'm not saying I'm any better, like most of you I either felt really uncomfortable and left too, or stayed and added my two cents worth of racist bullshit.

I've also been in situations where I've been the minority in groups of blacks, or Latinos. They either gave me dirty looks, ignored me or we got along fine. Regardless of how I felt, I was afraid.

This is really harder to write than I thought it would be.
It all seems so weird and vague.
I know non-whites probably feel just as uncomfortable among a group of white people.

What possible good can result from this hidden disease?
Hate crime laws can’t hide it. It a cover-up. It's always there, just below the surface.
My wife locks her car doors when going through "bad" neighborhoods because she's afraid.
But afraid of what exactly?
What are we all afraid of?
What makes us afraid of each other and why?

These are odd questions, and hard to answer.
But recently there have been some very tangible results that can be used to gauge the impact of these fears.
Hurricane Katrina. What people were abandoned?
The poor and mostly non-whites.
If every white person that evacuated New Orleans in their car prior to Katrina's strike had taken one or two non-whites with them, the horror of the Superdome and Convention Center would never have occurred.
People had known for years that the levees might break.
What possible reason could have stopped rational people from trying to help out others less able to leave?
What about the government? Is this anyway to treat an American citizen?
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
"Looting" a case of beer.

That brings me to my answer to the questions "why it's not our fault" and why "dying Black people don't matter."

It's simple really.
Under the facade and cloak of trying to be intolerant of and shocked by racism, the truth of the matter is, that it's in the best interest of the government to keep racism alive and burning bright in the minds of Americans.
"Preposterous" you say?
Consider this, a great deal of what this country's government is involved in is not only immoral, (depleted uranium bullets, assassinations, lies about weapons of mass destruction, attacks on sovereign nations), imperialistic, (control of oil resources and countries that have them by means of military occupation), and downright Un-American, (Money ties to big business, no-bid contracts to favored corporations, patriot acts to subvert citizen's freedoms, etc.).
What better way to keep the American People from joining together and scrutinizing their behaviors than by keeping American people apart by fear.
Unjustified fear.
Crime rates go down, news reports show nothing but murders.
Terrorists are everywhere. We must be afraid of our neighbors. They may be the enemy.
The government is using fear, breeding fear in all of us, fear against each other, to hide the ugly truth. They are not acting in the best interest of The People.
They want us all to be afraid.
To not talk to each other.
To avoid each other as the "other."
Someone that might be dangerous.
Racism is the perfect answer. As long as we fear and hate each other for the unfounded reason of race, the Government can go about its business undetected.
As long as we are at war with each other, the government will be free to wage war against the world, sending our children to die in the act of stealing resources from other countries for the profit of the Corporations.
As Bob Marley pointed out when he sang a speech of Halle Selassie in the song "War"

"Until the philosophy which holds one race superior to another
is finally and permanently abandoned
Everywhere is war.
Until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance
than the color of his eyes,
there is war."

And that's why dying black people don't matter.
In the stratified world of global economics and power,
any people dying don't matter.
You and me included.