Archive for April, 2008

What Is That Sound?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Do you hear a grumbling and rumbling in the hinterlands?
The political situation is such that Americans are faced with a choice, to be willing to elect a woman, or a black man or an elderly white man. White men have been elected every time for as long as the United States have been self supporting.
Black men, white men and women of all races have been slaves in the past. Black men most recently. Women have been the property of their husbands or fathers for most of the history of the judeo-christian-moslem tradition. But Old white men have been on top of the world for a long time. Their big complaint has been that they are old.
Electing a black man or a woman president should not be a big deal. There are black men presidents and women presidents all across the planet and it hasn’t hurt on any part of the planet. But that does not mean that there have not been problems. After all older white men have almost destroyed the planet on several occasions. It would seem that it might not be a good idea to entrust the entire country to white men. The media seems to ignore history in this regard.
The old white man running now has even been unlucky enough to get caught, and as we all know in the ancient Spartan society, to be caught was worse that to commit the crime. But there is another older white man running for the presidency and that white man has had the good fortune to not be a prisoner, or to have been in a war that involved killing other humans. He has been a warrior for the future of mankind, fighting for safe products, a safe environment, for fair elections and for utilities and a health care system that works for the consumer. This man is Ralph Nader and unlike the other older white man he has not been caught in any scandals involved in kickbacks for clients or special favors or in any other way giving breaks to the already rich and powerful. McCain on the other hand has not only been caught by the enemy in a bloody disgusting war, but he has also been caught in the Keating Scandal and has been implicated in other affairs. If I had to choose an older white guy I would take the one who has worked for the average guy, not the one who has helped his buddies. I would choose Ralph Nader.
On the other hand if you want to give America its first black or woman president, you could not go wrong electing Cynthia McKinney, a black woman running for president on the Green Party ticket. It is about time we gave up on the parties of big money and go for parties that have people of integrity running for office. I hear the sound of the wind blowing, blowing for a change.

Circus Wagon

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

When I was a kid we had a car called the Circus wagon. It was a rusty Ford Station wagon that my mom would load up with kids, cats, dogs, parrots and whatever strange creatures managed to make it into that vehicle.
We had a farm of sorts, a horse stable where the outcasts kept their horses. Only the rich and upstanding could keep horses at the hunt club. So we had the local drug addict musician son of a cop, the Mafioso, the lesbian couple, the gay son of a cop, the crazy French Canadian who had his pony in the back seat of his Caddy with the wife and kids, the daughter of a rich socialite who was called Crazy Lady and her truly crazy kids, the whacked out large appliance salesman who was almost but not quite acceptable for the Hunt Club, and others who had less outstanding but equally unacceptable credentials. They came to us. So did the neighborhood kids with no place to hang out, the poor little rich girl who was not able to date the black boys around her mom, the town drunk who had no place else to park his car/home, the cigar chomping looser truck driver who loved my mom and ran errands for her just to be around. And all the rest of the menagerie that exists on the fringes of small town America, or did in the mid to late sixties of the last century.
All and any of these would find a way into the circus wagon and away my mom would drive. After the horses had been fed and watered, after they had been put in their stalls or out to pasture for the night, we would jump into the circus wagon and take off for parts unknown. Into the hinterlands of Connecticut with the AM radio blaring “Light My Fire” or “Born To Be Wild” we would take off into the firefly lit summer night headed for the places that only a circus wagon could go. Into the night sky we would ride, Like Icabob Crane running from his headless horseman, like the riders in the sky running from that cattle stampede in our fiery imaginations. Anything could happen, and for us, a trip in that rusted car, was a trip to another planet. Or so it seemed with my mom at the helm and half a dozen kids and 3 or 4 dogs, cats and birds in tow. In that world we were kings and queens of the road and there was nothing we could not do, no place we could not go, as long as it was to Danny’s Tac Shop or Uncle Franks Pond, or the Beach or the Duchess Drive Inn, anyplace else we were liable to have the cops called on us. But in the vast world of our imaginations, we were free to travel. and travel we did.
It was a wild and wonderful world and as the bookworm of the bunch, I silently watched and wondered what it was we were doing, and where we were going. We were not your typical suburban family, We had a run down farm house with bad plumbing and a well that ran dry. The cops came every summer to tell us the horses were running loose down Main Street and we better get the halters and grain buckets out and we would at 3 Am. I had a dad who lived in California somewhere and my mom tried hard to make us feel like we were special, so special that we never noticed that we lived from hand to mouth and my mom shoplifted to get those extras we needed from time to time and the town drunk took me on midnight raids of the other farmers to “borrow” bails of hay for the horses next weeks meals. I was descended from the Pharaohs and my mom was an Indian Princess. The elementary school would always bug me around the end of the school year to get my mom to perform stunts on horse back for the school fair and the rest of the year they complained about the smell from the animals. But when we were in that car, rushing around in the night air, we were like barbarians raiding the Roman Empire, and who knew what treasures we would bring back from our raiding.
It is late, I must stop. Another time for another tale from my childhood. This is just an introduction.

To Obama Or Not To Obama

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

That is the question of the day. He has reached a level of political sophistication that has made him a viable candidate. He certainly has the machine behind him. He has the right sound bites and he has made himself as moderate in the eyes of the American public as the pundants seem to insist that a politician need be. But is he saying anything that will result in real changes?
If the ship of state is more like a super tanker or an ocean going barge, then change can only be slow and incremental. It cannot stop and switch directions on a dime. I am prone to disbelief when it comes to the promises of the establishment politicians. It seems that more than ever before the business of America is business. But we need a real change of orientation. We need to build a starship Earth and America must be the helm from which this ship is led to the new adventure and challenge of life in deep space.
Among science fiction buffs there is an idea that when we generate the capacity for interstellar flight, that we will be contacted by representatives of the galactic civilization. A quaint notion, but at least a hopeful one. Part of me shares in that dream. Another part of me says we need to take care of business here on mother earth. And by that I mean not business as usual but, getting down to business, the nitty gritty needs of people world wide.
It is my hope and belief that we can do both. But I will have to say that even though the military is a great stimulus for technological developments, the rest of the world has shown that you don’t need the military to spur development, all you need is curiosity and a desire to move on to new horizons. We need to mature and move beyond the childish games of nation state interests and start to think of ourselves as a world civilization. It is interesting that multinational corporations are beating that drum the loudest. But we need to have human development, not corporate, we need a world that is democratic not oligarchic. That may start with Obama, it is hard to tell but at least he is better than one of the Neanderthals of the republican right. But in my more perfect world there would be a serious green alternative party. That is what we need more than ever. That is why I am torn between hope for a liberal and real change.

What Irks Me About Some Comments.

Monday, April 28th, 2008

It has come to my attention that several of the comments upon my blog are nothing more than advertisements for other sites, or products. While I have nothing against people promoting themselves on the internet, I would have hoped that they would at least have given me the courtesy of a legitimate response to the subject of the blog. There are others who I shall not name who seem to enjoy pranking this blog site. That I can live with. What I cannot put up with is pranking that is done in the name of persons who are real life private persons who have no interest in having their names brought up in relationship to this blog. Any comments of that sort will be deleted.
I am generally opposed to censorship, but because I delve into subject matter that some may find to be offensive, dangerous or otherwise not something that they would wish to be associated with, I cannot condone persons impersonating others in the name of a prank. The persons being pranked may not find it funny. On the other hand, public figures, persons who have entered the public domain as political figures or persons who wield power and influence that makes them a subject of public debate, are and should be fair game and I would hope that if you have the talent to prank someone, you should do it to someone who certainly deserves it and I would include all the individuals that I have listed by name. If I don’t list someone by name, it is generally because they do not need or deserve to be made the subject of public scrutiny.
I don’t care how stupid or intelligent you maybe, I don’t care if you like or hate what I have to say. I just wish you would make your comments about something that relates to the subject at hand, even tangentially without slandering private individuals who have done nothing more than to have been someone you know that I know. That is about all I have to say about that.

Ralph Is Back

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Oh yeah, Ralph Nader is running for President again. I voted for him back in 2000 and the way the politicians are equivocating and sound biting their way into the hands of the corporate elites, it looks like I will be voting for Nader again, or maybe for that Green Party candidate, Cynthia McKinney, she was a democratic congress woman from Georgia, but she lost her seat for opposing the war in Iraq. She is a brave woman. Instead of equivocating and cow towing to the party, and lying, she told the truth, and they massacred her in the next election. So she did the brave thing and quit the democratic party and joined the party that agreed more with her principals.
I have tried to give Obama the benefit of the doubt. I even contributed to his campaign, waiting for him to come out with some positions that will actually benefit people instead of simply saying yes we can. Unfortunately the only noises I see him making are equivocal. He did not come out strongly defending his preachers positions. He made some ridiculous comments about being in favor of treating poor whites as a disadvantaged minority, instead of simply saying he was in favor of opportunities for all the poor. He has made absurd war mongering comments regarding Iran and Afghanistan and he has stated that he wants to increase the size of the military. Why would he be in favor of increasing the military machine unless he wants to continue the same politics of aggression around the world that the US has engaged in since World War 2.
I keep waiting to hear him state he is in favor of a single payer system in health care and that he wants to seriously tax the rich. He has only stated he wants to return the capital gains to what they were under Clinton, and Clinton was no friend of the working man. We know that Clinton getting elected means more of the Blue dog democrats. I.E, strong defense, pro business, pro free trade, pro corporate state and anti poor. It was under Clinton that welfare was dismantled and now that we have a weak economy there is no safety net there for those who fall out. It was Clinton who failed to give us National Health care, it was Clinton who bombed Serbia, and it was Clinton who kept up the genocidal restrictions on Iraq.
Clinton was Republican lite, and that is what his wife is just about guaranteed to give us also. But we had hoped that Obama meant something when he spoke of standing for the legacy of Martin Luther King. But King stood up to power, he knew that an armed resistance would be crushed, so he believed in shaming the country into doing the right thing. But he didn’t just ask politely hat in hand. He mobilized poor blacks and whites, he marched on the capital. He forced the federal government to act and he made it clear that if people would not work with a reasonable man such as himself, there were plenty of unreasonable men like the Black Panthers who would act in a manner that was not as respectful of white privilege.
King made his communist advisers leave, because he did not want the government to have an excuse saying it was a communist conspiracy. But he made no bones about the fact that the justice he sought was not merely in the realm of civil liberties. He wanted civil liberties, sure, he wanted the right to sit on the same seats on the bus as whites, but he wanted much more. He wanted economic justice and he wanted to see the immoral war in Vietnam ended. He supported the striking workers and the anti war activists. It was his opposition to the war that pissed off the Democratic machine. The Johnson administration was willing to go along with the drive for civil rights, and they were even willing to help to a certain extent on economic rights. But when it came to fighting communism and supporting the military industrial machine, King was expected to fall in line. When he didn’t, that was virtually signing his death warrant. And in that regard he was truly brave, because he knew what was expected of him from the Democratic party, they expected him to play ball. As did the corporate powers behind the military industrial complex. They were willing to let minorities in, but they had to agree to the rules of the game, and King was talking revolution. He was talking peace with the Viet Cong, communists and the rest of the world. That, the powers could not allow.
But what part of the legacy of King does Obama want to follow. The civil rights have been realized. All races have equal access to the machine, as long as they play by the rules. King refused to play by the rules and he was killed. Obama seems so far not only to be willing to play by the rules, but he does not even seem to be particularly interested in challenging the system. What I see is empty rhetoric, not a challenge in any manner that is a threat. There is not a grass roots mobilization of masses of people. There is a rock star like adulation but he doesn’t lead his people on marches, he doesn’t challenge the powers, all he does is get a cheering section going, but what he says is no different than Clinton. SO I am left with the assumption that only a third party or a democrat with guts, like Kucinich could make a difference. He could be planning a big surprise, but more likely we will be the ones getting surprised. The surprise being, more of the same. Republicans lite. The only way to avoid it is to organize and insist on a president that represents the interests of the working people not the ruling classes. That won’t happen by listening to someone say trust me. It comes from real work on the part of people holding the politicians to higher standards than simply saying Yes we can, Sure we can, but can what?
We need single payer national health care.
We need an end to the military industrial complex and an invigorated united nations with an international police and military that is able to enforce international law.
We need real environmental standards that stop the green house effect in its tracks with conservation, mass transit and fuel efficient vehicles.
We need an end to the use of torture, an end to the occupation of Iraq., and an end to unilateral American assaults upon the rest of the world.
We need to have economic security for all and reasonable housing for all. Not to mention basic access to healthy food, clean water and honorable employment. That should not be too much to ask.

Turkey and Israel

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Yesterday there was a bit of a row because the CIA showed the Congress a bit of a slide show to prove that the Syrians had been building a nuclear reactor with the help of the North Koreans and they were going to turn fertilizer into plutonium for making a bomb. Or something like that. That pissed off the International Nuclear Regulatory Commission because they claimed the United States with held evidence that they needed to investigate Syria. They also were pissed at the Israelis for taking matters into their own hands and destroying the Syrian facility last summer before they had a chance to investigate.
What interested me is the fact that the Israelis apparently attacked from Turkish air space. Turkey and Israel are allies. This is a strange thing to consider, here is a Moslem country with an avidly Islamicists government, allied with the Jewish enemy. It shows that there is no solidarity among the Arab leadership, even if their rhetoric for public consumption is one that is anti Zionist.
The details are pretty interesting, Israeli intelligence got some close up pictures of the building, on the ground, that means they have somebody inside Syria. The Mosad is famous for being one of the best intelligence services in the world. The Turkish military is one of those institutions that prides itself on its relentless nationalism and pride in being above religious interests. From their viewpoint all of the middle east, Syria, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, and even Egypt are territories that belong to the caliphate, the former Turkish ruled Ottoman Empire. As far as they are concerned the squabbles of the Israelis and Syrians are just the problems of former provinces that would probably be better off under Turkish rule.
But from the Israeli point of view, they are some sort of representative of the divine order on earth or they are an outpost of civilization among the Indians. They identified with the Apartheid South Africa, because both nations saw themselves as being surrounded by hostile natives. The Israelis think the South Africans were overwhelmed. They failed to keep the natives on the Bantustans. But the Israelis think they are smarter. One they have the direct backing of the United States. For another they see themselves as returning to the promised land and they have the history of the Holocaust to throw in the face of the rest of the world when they are accused of racism against the Palestinians. They use the guilt of the Europeans against them and it works. Also the Jews of Israel all have relatives in Russia, America, Germany and the rest of the world of the Jewish Diaspora. The Palestinians have only a 60 year history, with a recent Diaspora, and they have managed to cling to a small piece of former Palestine, the Bantustan that Israel allows them and they live on the handouts of their fellow Moslems and what they can guilt trip the world into giving them. But they are not as good at it as the Israelis, who have thousands of years of experience as the underdogs of the world.
The Turks on the other hand, the Turks came in from the central Asian steppes only about 1000 years ago and took Anatolia, the ancient land of the Hittites, the Lydian’s, the Ionian Greeks, the Persians, Armenians and the Byzantines had all called the Anatolian plains and hills home. But from that base the Turks managed to conquer the entire middle east building an empire that stretched across North Africa, occupied the entire middle east from the border of Persia, up into southern Europe as far as the gates of Vienna. They were the terror of Christendom until the 17th century when they were stopped by the coalition of the Poles, Germans and Austrians. They remained a power in the world until broken by the allies in World War One, and the treaty of Versailles left the Turks stripped of their empire. That was less than a century ago. In the course of history only a twinkling of an eye. The revived caliphate that Osama Bin Laden dreams of, is not such a distant memory. The resources of the middle east in the form of vast oil reserves lie awaiting a leadership that is capable of uniting the Moslem peoples. The Turks would like to take back their empire and they see the demise of Iraq as an opportunity. The Baathists are in the way and thus they will ally themselves with the Israelis against Syria, just as they ally themselves with America and Europe. They are watching for their opportunity and hence the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
It will be interesting to see how they manage to secure the land of the Kurds, that is the immediate problem. They have to be pacified so they can move forward back into the fertile crescent. Will it be the Turks or the Persians that take the former land of Babylon? Or will it remain a rump Iraq and an American Protectorate in the land of oil? The Saudis don’t have the population to take the area, they are trying to hang onto their bit of the desert. The Egyptians are blocked by the Israelis, but historically Israel has been an Egyptian province, before the Romans, and again after. The Afghans and Pakistanis are the descendants of Tamer lane and could if they were able to unite be a force, but they would have to have the Indian Subcontinent as a resource to draw upon.
The Turkish heartland of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, etc could if united with the Turks of the west, it would be some fantastic empire, but China and Russia would not allow it to happen and the Americans with their Israeli surrogate force do their best to keep them divided and enthralled to the west. Persia is temporarily a wild card. And it has its own aspirations as the heart of an ancient civilization that once ruled most of the lands that the Turks and Arabs rule. History is a mother, but it shows that there are traditional bases from which people operate and Israel has been a colonized or controlled area as a cross roads in most of history, autonomous for only short periods when the other stronger powers were at bay. America is a new force in that region of the world and it remains to be seen for how long it can remain a player. To maintain forces half a planet away is a strain. The British couldn’t keep it. Will the Americans? Time will shortly tell. The American outpost, Israel, is a temporary conception. Israel as an independent entity is not something that can last once the Americans loose interest. They will have to find another power, or make peace with their populace as the South African Whites did. Ultimately that is the answer. Probably as part of a new Turkish empire. At least that is what I see in the future. And there it is Turkey and Israel.

Centaur Of Your Dreams

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

The Greeks had lots of fantastic creatures in their myths. Half man, half horse, centaurs were one. Hercules was friends with one. He was the most popular hero in the ancient world of Europe and the middle east. He represented the desire of the people to be avenged against the evil deeds of the cruel gods. In this case it was a tale of the competition between the God Zeus and his jealous wife Hera who constantly was trying to catch her husband in his peccadilloes and then capturing the children of his adventures and torturing them was the field of battle for them. Hercules was the one that Hera sought to destroy the most.
The priests and priestesses seemed to manipulate the rulers of men and the heroes to serve their purposes and the supposed purposes of their gods or goddesses. But Hercules has been the hero who destroyed many of the ancient monsters that dwelled in the world from before the time of the Olympian gods. He represented the victory of the gods of the sky over the gods of the ancient pre-human world. The politics of the ancient world would see Hercules representing the conquest of the older earth mother religions by the sky religions, potentially of the Mycenae over the Minoans in the history of the archaic age. Hercules lived at the time of Jason and the Argonauts and before the tales of the conquest of Troy and the adventures of Ulysses.
Hercules was the hero who killed his own children under a spell placed upon him by Hera. He was the hero who played with children as a relief from the chores of his labors. He is the hero who had to perform women’s tasks as one of his labors. He was of the house of Perseus. He died from the poison in a centaurs jacket that burned away the flesh that kept him from becoming a god. Interesting tale. And if I was not too tired to continue, I would tell you of his labors and the demons he slew.

The Temple Of Mysteries

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

We all like a good mystery. Or horror story, or adventure. We love to know that something important was lost, and then go on an adventure to find it, usually a treasure. It is the original history, it is the story of Treasure Island. It is the reason why most men would plunk down good money after bad, in search of gold. In search of vast wealth from past generations.
The Seven Cities of Cibolo lead Coronado on a search though the mid west of America. The story has it that Indians kept sending him on to the next village and each one was sending him off further and further into the vast American prairie. He finally gave up somewhere around Kansas City and headed back to Mexico.
Then there were the Mayas. They had a great civilization with cities and kings and all that, but when the Spanish arrived, it was all abandoned. All they found were villagers.
Other stories of conquistadors searching the Amazon and the pampas for lost cities and treasure exist. The Spanish and their hired guns searched all over the new world for kingdoms, some like Aztecs and the Incas were found and ravaged. Desoto roamed through the southern US and found cities and many people. One hundred years later when the English and French came, all these cities were gone. The claim is that the Spanish brought diseases to the American Indians and over three quarters of the population was wiped out. The survivors were so dehabilitated that they had no energy or numbers to resist the Europeans. If that is true then they suffered a catastrophe much worse than the Europeans in the plagues of the 14th century. Why no records?
Europe in the 1200’s was over populated, or at least becoming full. The waste lands from the collapse of Rome were finally all occupied in the 1100’s and 1200’s. People began to suffer from food shortages in the early part of the 1300’s. The plague, conveniently saved the day by killing off half the population. It wasn’t until the 1500’s that the population was restored. It was also a time when the Europeans had attempted to win back the Holy Land and had only recently been evicted by Saladin and his armies.
America was not overpopulated but there were plenty of people with cities when the Spanish arrived. A hundred years latter, conveniently the continent is empty. Were Coronado and De Soto sent deliberately to use biological warfare against the native populations. We know that the US Government gave blanket infected with small pox to the native Americans.
An interesting question is, when was syphilis introduced to Europe. It ravaged the continent, some claim it was introduced from America, a quid pro quo for the diseases being brought to America. But there is evidence that it was present before Columbus made his trip across the Ocean Blue.
The world has experienced these waves of massive deaths, and in recent history, and what happens, it is forgotten. We have the optimistic belief in progress. There is the need for continuity, but there is in the world, devastation waiting to attack.
There have been massive plagues recorded in Rome twice, one time in the time of Marcus Aurelius and again in the time of Justinian. At both of these times, it forced the empire to pull back. The plagues of the 160’s were the beginning of the end of the Golden Age of the Roman Empire. German and Parthian enemies took advantage. Later in the 540’s under Justinian, half of the population of the empire may have been wiped out. His successful attempt to reconquer the empire was brought to a near halt. Could these plagues have been deliberately unleashed upon an unsuspecting empire by sophisticated enemies in the east? Perhaps the Persians were capable of unleashing this weapon upon the Romans, just as the US Army had done to Native Americans in the 19th Century.
The Spanish might have been just as sophisticated in a later era against the peoples of this new world. Could they have picked up a secret technology of biological warfare from the Arabs who had just been evicted from Spain? It is an interesting subject that deserves serious research. Millions of lives were lost. So there you have it, a pocket full of questions, a temple full of mysteries. What has been done in our time? The CIA and LSD. Johns Hopkins University planting toxic sludge in the yards of poor blacks. It may not be such an isolated, or remote historical event. And certainly the Aids epidemic had to come from somewhere. I can remember when it was seriously considered to be a biological warfare experiment gone wrong or right. Every epidemic has its victims, and its victors.

Make It Stop

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Pain is something nobody likes. When it comes, what we want is for it to stop. There may be no atheists in foxholes, and I am sure there are no heroes in torture chambers, natural torture, such as a bad toothache, or perhaps an artificial one, like a well intentioned amateur dentist, such as Peter the Great was reputed to be. If you let on that your teeth were bothering you when he was around, you had better expect an extraction to be in your immediate future. His associates soon learned to keep silent about dental problems.
There was a movie made back in the 1970’s, called “Running Man”, where a dentist was used as a method of torture. We all have been in the hands of a dentist, just imagine the drill or knife with no anesthesia. That would be torture. When I was a boy I hated the dentist so much that I kicked him in the place where a man would rather not be kicked. That was because he wanted to operate on me when he had been drinking. I was deathly afraid of that, more than I was afraid of what would happen if I kicked him. As a consequence, I had to have dentistry without anesthetic. I hated the dentist.
But pain is not something I like. When I was a youth I lived in a spiritual commune and one of the things we did was have our own landscaping business. The guys managing it believed in manual labor. They felt like John Henry, that it was better to use one’s own strength than to use labor saving machines. We would move tons of rocks with wheel barrows. We would dig holes for trees with shovels and sharp shooters instead of machines. We got strong. We were famous as the crazy guys who never used back hoes or bull dozers.
That might have had a use, as a moral lesson, or as a point proven that man power is nothing to sneeze at. We could have built pyramids if we had been asked too. But sometimes they took it to absurd lengths, like trying to dig holes in frozen ground in the middle of a near blizzard with your hands freezing. It reminded me of my childhood. When I was a child we had horses. During a snow storm the horses would have to stay in doors. The pipes would freeze and we would have to haul the water from our out door well by hand with a bucket and chain. The chain with a bucket would be thrown in the bottom of the well and then the water had to be hauled up using a pulley by hand. The water would freeze to the chain and the chain would freeze to your hands. It would be so cold sometimes your skin would stick and sometimes tear off if you were not careful. But it had to be done, the horses needed water.
But the landscaping in the frozen ground did not have to be done. It was bad planning on the part of the manager who had committed us to plant trees in the frozen ground. It took ages. But we did it and it was torture. Sometimes we would have to stand around watching the leader get in a hole in the ground and try to fix broken water pipes in the winter. That was painful, the more so because we had to stand there and watch in the cold. Not as cold as the guy in the water, but he wouldn’t let us go inside where it was warm. We had to lend moral support. I soon learned that I wasn’t going to spend my life in the mud and frozen ground. I got a job in a restaurant after that. I learned that suffering can be endured, but it is a lot easier when it is necessary, like when the horses have to be watered, than when the leader wants your moral support, because he doesn’t want to be in a hole in the ground without you being there with him. Suffering has to have a purpose for it to be worth enduring. Or at least that is how I see it.
The torture of having a drunk dentist was worse than the punishment for kicking him. The torture of doing chores that were painful as a child were tolerable because there was a sense of obligation to take care of the horses. The effort of doing landscaping by manual labor to prove a point was fun, and a good body building technique. It also developed solidarity and a sense of accomplishment, like basic training in the military. But to keep on doing it when it no longer made sense, might be good discipline in the army, but in civilian life, it only taught me not to enjoy physical labor. I did not become a shirker, but I did become cynical to efforts to convince me that digging holes in frozen ground made sense, maybe in war time, if you need a fox hole, but not when you are landscaping for a profit and it takes 3 hours to dig a 15 minute hole that a machine could do in a minute. I became a dedicated mental worker after that.
Labor must be intelligently led, to be something that is worth the pain of the effort involved. Otherwise it truly is a form of torture. A military effort must be one that is led by leaders with a clear goal. Like World War 2. It was bloody and people suffered, but the goals were clear and people trusted their leaders. Vietnam was an example of a failure of leadership. Iraq is the same. The leaders did not have a clear goal, nor did they prepare the nation properly. The people were lied to and the military is being ruined by being forced to endure poorly led effort. It is like digging a ditch in frozen ground with a shovel. Wrong tool, wrong time, and it ruins the morale of good men willing to suffer when the occasion calls for it. Iraq is not that occasion

Isotopic Membranes

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Sometimes there is a member that is missing. It could be a member of your family, or a member of your circle of friends. It could be a piece of your life that you have forgotten, or a path that you once took, turned away from and then it became buried in a pile of memories.
There could be a watershed, an incident in the past that could come to the surface. But how could this be of interest. I am not sure I am waiting for some word to come down from on high that it is time for me to act. I work and suffer and am buried in tedium, until a moment in time when there is a break in the monotony. When that happens it is like the doorways to heaven are opened. It is like when you take that tab of pure lsd, or when you see the deities move for the first time or when you are invited to the seventh heaven by the initiators of the secret society that exists inside the doorway at the entrance to the rabbit hole.
But what is the matter, why a little boy came over and turned off my power and I had to face a world with no computer, and we had to play for at least 15 minutes before I could turn the power back on. At first I was saddened, then I realized that it was better because I didn’t have all that much to say tonight anyway and I would much rather play with a real life rambunctious 2 year old than write to my invisible audience, even if they are calling me to immortality. And when there isn’t a two year old then there is a 20 year old girlfriend running around naked to distract me from my writing. What is a guy to do? Suffer I guess and chase after the girlfriend and roll around the floor with the young man who is learning that spinning is a fun way to get dizzy. And dizziness is the first high… Like a whirling dervish, a spinning two year old is quite a spiritual teacher.
Well it time for bed, and I have hardly written anything at all. Go Obama, I guess that is all I have to say in a political way. Later all and I hope whatever your experience is on planet earth, I do hope you take time out to play.

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