Archive for April, 2009

Obamarama and Euroamerica

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Swine Flu moved to the back pages in the news and Obama is the talk of the TV. Hardball live on MSNBC seems to have an Obama love fest going. Everybody loves Obama.
Is Arlan Specter going to give the Democrats the filibuster proof congress needed to push though the health plan?
Today I heard someone call Obama a progressive. I am not sure about that. I would say he is mainstream.
But the American mainstream has shifted directions. It is almost a miracle that enough people in the flyover states got the word that America needed to get in step with the rest of the world.
When I drove across country back in 2004 people in the middle of the country had little access to information from the left or what I would call a mainstream view. I am not going to say that all of a sudden everyone in the middle of the country is watching MSNBC now. I think it is the economy that did it. When the bottom fell out in the financial markets in September, people had to make a hard choice and all of a sudden having someone like Sarah Palin as the person a heartbeat away from an elderly potential president, knocked some sense into even the most stubborn head in the sand people.
America has the ability to turn on a dime according to Chris Mathews on Hardball. I am not so sure. I am more leery after all Americans like to lead lives of personal and private desperation.
It was great to see Michelle Obama make a direct comment about Sojourner Truth’s statue dedication where she noted that she wondered what Soujourner would think of her a descendant of slaves not the First Lady of America.
Obama made a good point using Churchill as an example with regards to torture, by noting that durring the Battle of Britain, when asked if they should torture German Detainees, he said no. We do not torture and that was when London was under almost daily attack from the air. He also wondered if we could have got the information required without torture. He thinks we could have when discussing the use of torture by the previous administration.
My problem with it is that he is not prosecuting the Bush administration for war crimes.
He is leaving the door open for his own administration to use such tactics. Even if he says it was a mistake he should have said it was criminal. But that is my opinion.
While I am glad to see is that there are commentators from the Nation, a mostly left magazine, on the TV news and being treated as legitimate commentators. America is slowly becoming Euroamerica. MSNBC seems to be leading the charge on TV. even mentioning the Move On crowd as a legitimate source of support. It is not exactly endorsing the Communist Party, but it is close to promoting socialism as a legitimate alternative in modern America.
I am impressed with the American electorate, but I am worried that they will drift off and leave it all up to the experts in the administration. “OK we elected the black guy, now lets see what he can do”.
No America, that is exactly the wrong attitude. It is better to be a wrong minded Tea bagger than to become indifferent. The government must be held to accountability if we ever are going to get real socialized medicine and real economic reform and a real green economy and a real end to militarism and not just Imperial America Lite.
Oh and for shame Congresswoman Virginia Foxx. to call the crucifixion of Matthew Shepard a hoax, and especially while his mother was there is another sign of how out of touch the Republican Party is. Matthew Shepard was tortured and left to die of exposure in a blatant anti gay hate crime in Wyoming. Former Vice President Cheney’s home state.
Flyover country needed to change. It was becoming an embarrassment and I lived there for years. I was blacklisted by the anti union employers and I eventually could only find work smashing bottles at the recycling plant. I left and moved to California. Too bad, the middle of the country has pretty areas, like Colorado where I used to live.
Thank the gods that Americans felt moved to catch a wave and move closer to becoming Euroamerica.

Swine Flu Fever, Do You Realize?, Bring Out Your Dead.

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Swine Flu fever. I think it is not exactly funny, but so appropriate. The world needs to really have its nose rubbed in the basic bear necessities. The simple bear necessities.
Gavin Newsom is on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow making the right noises running for Governor of California as a liberal democrat.
Iowa is the new center of same sex marriage. But it is not really an issue any more, according to Mayor of San Francisco Newsom, “guns gods and gays”, as he called it, the old issues of the right wing is fading as an important issue as people begin to think about jobs, health and global warming. In that order with global warming unfortunately on the bottom of the list. It is really backwards and a job should not define who you are. Certainly haveing a livable planet should be the first priority, health on a personal level next and a job should be on the bottom of the list. Only in an extreme capitalist society where the twisted 19th century of social Darwinism still pervades some peoples thinking is there such a backwards priority.
On the bright side GM has offered to give the government and the union virtual control of the company. As I heard today on NPR. This could be a brave new world of nationalized and hopefully rationalized industrial production. GM can be used to make green cars, some plants can be converted to solar energy and wind energy production and it can become the world leader in the greening of the planet. Sure would be nice.
The great band Flaming Lips, native to Oklahoma have a song that has become the official song for Oklahoma. Apparently republicans objected to the Communist hammer & sickle tee shirt on one of the band members at the ceremony where the honor was annouced and were going to block the will of the states citizens who had voted in the song two to one. The Governor a fan of the band decided to override the republicans in the state legislature and now “Do You Realize?” is the state rock song.
Some things get better while other things get worse. The Governor of Texas, Mr Perry with one side of his mouth is rallying the secessionists and out of the other side he is asking the federal government for help with the Swine Flu outbreak. As anyone with half a brain should realize, the Republicans are simply trying to steal the libertarian right with a show of fake support.
On the other side the left has been snookered by the democrats into buying into Capitalism lite. The same crew from the Clinton administration who gave us republican lite has their hands on the economic levers and this crew is tied into Goldman Sachs and the old masters of the universe. That discredited crew is playing like wolves in sheep’s clothing, waiting for us to get over being upset with them so they can get on with business as usual. In fact that is exactly what they are doing.
We have to keep their feet to the fire. In this we should have an alliance of all the working people left and right. We all need to keep the world out of the hands of the “puppet masters” to quote the Metalica album. The drummer is on MSNBC, it seems Rachel is having an old home night with two San Francisco guests.
I am semi lazy, letting the news of the day determine my writing tonight. Oh and by the way those masks that the people in Mexico are wearing with the Swine Flu outbreak, nope, not a bit. The ones that really work are the kind you get at army navy stores and Has mat supply shops if there is such a place. Wash your hands and cover your mouth, and stay away from sick people. That seems to be the best thing short of your own personal hazmat suit.
Why have 149 people died from Swine Flu in Mexico and nobody else around the world? We have 11 cases in California, 2 of them in LA. The UN says Swine Flu cannot be contained. The flu has already spread around the world. We just don’t know if we have a 1918 pandemic or something that will die out according to Robert Frizzell on Hardball.
Pat Buchanan is saying 40 or 50 people are sick in the US and it is not a serious threat. He thinks the president is right not panic mongering unlike the UN officials.
Well we will find out. It seems that the presidents team is on top of it unlike the Bush response to Katrina when there was a complete lack of urgent federal response.
WHO says the swine flu outbreak is a level 4 on the scale of 6 in the pandemic rating, potential disaster, but not an actual one. Well this is the modern world… “Bring Out Your Dead”… well maybe not so modern.

On a lighter note it seems that while torturing the so called terrorists at Git-mo the Bush interrogators were told to try to find the connection between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. Even torture could not bring out a connection. How lame. How sad. What a bunch of losers.

Sunday Night In Long Beach

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

I am watching the British House of Commons on CSPAN. It is nice to see some real debate. I like the give and take of the Parliament. It is refreshing. Just as it was to see Christopher Hitchens defending his right to be a drunken writer.
I am drug and alcohol free myself. I have to be I am too poor to afford to party and I have always found it better when I was broke to abstain than to indulge.
What is the state of the world. It is one of people placing hopes on the Obama administration. But as my own case shows, a lot of us are falling thought the cracks and not benefiting at all. Although I did manage to get an EBT card. It at least allows me to eat although I had to sell possessions to be able to pay bills to get by until I get some sales. It is the fact that my previous employer was so tight and vindictive that he made sure I could not collect unemployment that placed me in these straights, that and my not being able to save money for a rainy day due to the exorbitant interest rates I have to pay for my car loan and other debt. But those are my personal problems and not particularly interesting. We each have our personal bit of chaos.
What I really don’t like is the constant bombardment of the advertising industry attempting to make us subliminally constantly dissatisfied with our material status. I know it would be easier for me if I simply turned off the TV, eliminate that propaganda machine from my life.
It would be easier but it is part of my life long project of trying to understand why humans do the crazy things that we do. I am as irrational as the next person. As easily manipulated and fooled as the next guy. I am just as manipulable as any of the rest of them.
My way of saying I am not anybody special, no more than we all are special and each of us has a role to play. Even when we are mere cannon fodder for the captains of industry or the leaders of the world.
Some find solace in the idea that there is a heaven an afterlife where all the wrongs of their existence with be made right. But on the other hand there is swine flu to look forward too. The religionists will have a field day with this one. It is not that I am against religion. I think we all have our gods and goddesses. I personaly like Apollo and Isis, Krishna and Jesus as a group. Sort of the big four of my own personal pantheon. Archetypes to use a Jungian term for the unconscious mind at work. We are all awash in a sea of unconsciousness with a bare surface that floats like a toy boat in the turbulent universe. We understand so little and yet we are bursting with pride with our ability to tinker and manipulate the surface of the planet. We are like an overgrown bacterial infection that will have to be shaken off if the planet is to restore itself to health.
Kind of a negative thing to say, but I think it is not to far from inaccurate. It all depends on if we find a way to get over this Dinosaur bone addiction. It is a sad way to be all strung out on dead things that lived millions of years before. This is the time when the dead walk the earth and are getting their revenge for our prolifigate ways. I am just as much a part of that as any other, We have to decide as a species if we are going to share this planet or become another part of the compost heap of time. What more is there than all of us together? Soon enough all the humans that ever were will be here and we will need to wrestle with our demons. All the believers in the old faiths, the earth religions, all of them will be here and when we are all gathered together in form, we will need to have zombies walk the earth to keep all the bodies walking, or we will simply let them fall to the side of the road.
We are all that is and what we are is all that can be imagined. Yet we will never be free until we are able to come to terms with that demon within that devours planets. The planet killer is not out in space, it is in the minds and hearts of us all. It is what kills us and it is what gives us vitality, it is the serpent in the spine and wraps around the brain and makes us the crazy monkey men that we are. Fire breathing dragons cannot touch the human mind in its destructive power. It is time. Love will win out or the fire will burn us out…

‘Gbogbo Big Girl’

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

There is a movie that seems to have captured something of the essence of student culture in Nigeria. It is “Jenifa”. I became curious because I saw an Indy media posting where a Nigerian was complaining about females on campus acting like “Gbogbo big girls” and not being familiar with the term I decided to investigate. As a formerly hip American guy who an one time was the first DJ to play modern African music on the radio in Minneapolis and later in Boulder and San Francisco, spreading the religion of what became known as word beat, I felt an almost proprietary interest in new cultural things out of Africa.
The rest of the posting was an uninteresting complaint about females wearing jeans that aparantly show off their underwear in some manner that may be remenicent of American Hip Hop fashion of a decade ago with the baggy pants that are worn low on the hips. But I am not sure since there wasn’t really a description only a complaint.
I find anyone who calls for standards of decency in student dress to be something of a party pooper. These students will have to get out into the world and work and when they do they will discover the social dress codes required. Meantime, let them have their fun I say.

Here is a review of the film that started the Gbogbo Big Girl phenomenon in Nigeria from the Guardian Newspapers. From January 30 2009, here is an excerpt.

“The deconstruction of Jenifa
By Wole Oguntokun

THERE are no never-seen-before plots or sub-plots in the movie, Jenifa, no twists and turns that are unprecedented, yet the producer, Funke Akindele, succeeds in showing the truth of the adage that “Originality does not consist of saying what no one has said before, but in saying exactly what you want to say”. Through the protagonist, Jenifa whose name is a corruption of the Anglo-Saxon “Jennifer”, the movie succeeds in meandering through a potent mine-field of well-worn cliches and easily-recognizable situations, ending up as a box-office success, the kind of which has not been seen in Nigeria in recent times.

The movie in its two parts as is the weird way of all Nigerian movies now, tells the tale of a village bumpkin, Suliat, confident in her mastery of her hometown, Aiyetoro, until she is admitted into a University in the city of Lagos. Suliat’s ego is crushed time after time as a new student who discovers her brash ways are considered uncouth and vulgar by the more ‘refined’ city girls.

She is adopted by three girls on campus, Ronke Odusanya who plays ‘Becky’, Mosunmola Filani (Tracy) and Iyabo Ojo (Franca). These three musketeers play their roles of opportunistic harpies to the hilt, and Suliat rapidly loses the freshness of a village beauty, evolving into a hardened undergraduate always looking for an angle.

With an array of mostly girl-actors, the cameras range across a university campus and into the city with the total number of actors and extras at about one hundred and five. This kind of numbers are peculiar to the Yoruba film industry, which is alive with alliances and collaborations ensuring that entire groups and caucuses back each other up in casting and technical matters if and when the need arises. There is a pecking order in this industry with the younger ones playing as extras until their own time and ‘freedom’ comes.

The acting sometimes bordering on the farcical, has many fine points, at least of the main actors, with the lead actor, Funke Akindele, apparently following in the footsteps of actors like the British-born Sacha Baron Cohen who studied to create and become the sometimes-vulgar but always very funny character, Ali G, and the equally funny but bumbling character known as ‘Borat’. Funke Akindele, who in real life is a smooth-talking graduate of the University of Lagos, slid well into the persona of ‘Suliat’ a.k.a. J�n�f�, showing there had been back-ground work done. Her supporting actors, Ronke Odusanya, Mosunmola Filani and Iyabo Ojo match her in their portrayal of girls in a desperate quest for social relevance and financial security. Kola Olaiya and Tola Oladokun who played Sulia’s parents were well-cast with Kola Olaiya performing superbly as her father. If there ever was anyone born to a role, it must be Eniola Badmus as ‘Gbogbo Big Girl’ (translated roughly as ‘The embodiment of all big-girls’). Badmus, whose presence commands respect on the screen, and not only because she has more weight than the average female, plays a female-pimp that holds the viewer spell-bound with her self-assurance as the Lord of all she surveys on campus. Since Badmus’ performance, the term ‘gbogbo big girl’ has become common parlance in Nigeria.

Jenifa the comedy, suddenly takes a cruel turn in its Part 2 (which was most probably shot in the same period as Part 1). The style does not deviate from the age-old Yoruba formula for story-telling, where the story gradually unfolds to a didactic or moralizing climax, an end in which people pay for their sins, and the ‘righteous’ are rewarded for keeping to the straight and narrow.

Becky dies for engaging in anal sex, Franca for going to a party hosted by people who needed human fodder for rituals, Tracy loses her ability to bear children because of too many prior abortions and Jenifa is rewarded with expulsion from school and the HIV for her wayward ways. There is no escaping the wages of sin in this movie.

A lack of fluency in the English Language is an impediment to many Nigerian movies, often manifesting as a stilted delivery of lines and an obvious lack of ease in extended dialogue. The producers of Jenifa easily overcome this obstacle by sticking to their first language, Yoruba, and manipulating it as they wish. It is a wonder to see language in flight, dipping and soaring in the mouths of experienced users.”

OK that is not exactly the most intellectually challenging blog piece I have come up with but it is always interesting to see that people around the world have their own cultures and are not totally dominated by the cultural machines of the west. Hollywood and now Bollywood seem to be dominant influences around the world. I don’t know where the Chinese film industry fits in here and European film seems to have become something for local consumption with the occasional break out into the world market, or material like the BBC produces for the Public TV audience in America and other niche markets.
I am no marketing expert but I was in the entertainment business as a youth. Granted from the perspective of an idealistic cultural revolutionary trying to spread multiculturalism and racial harmony, as well as my own personal desire to find love in as exotic a place as I could manage. I am now in my middle ages in the strange position of having a life full of odds and ends that don’t seem to ad up to any meaningful whole. Perhaps it is a result of having compromised too much with the demons of expedience instead of following my muse to the ends of the earth. Although when I did I usually found there to be a pile of shit instead of a pot of gold waiting for me. Perhaps I am supposed to find some way to transmute that substance like the alchemist in Jordorowsky’s film Holy Mountain.
Here is a blurb about that movie from Wikipedia.

“La Montaña Sagrada (The Holy Mountain, reissued as The Sacred Mountain) is a 1973 cult film directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky who also participated as actor, composer, set designer, and costume designer. The film was produced by Beatles manager Allen Klein of ABKCO after Jodorowsky scored an underground phenomenon with El Topo and the acclaim of both John Lennon and George Harrison (John and Yoko Ono put up production money). It was shown at various international film festivals in 1973, including Cannes, and limited screenings in New York and San Francisco. However the film was never given wide release until 2007, when a restored print toured the United States, screening with El Topo, and released in DVD format.”

I never knew about the Lennon connection. At least now I understand why some of the characters look like John and Yoko circa the bed-in for peace. It has a lot of insider humor from that period that I understood from the spiritual aspect and the general cultural one but because it was held up in legal limbo for so many years it was a hard film to get to see. I gave a copy of that DVD to my sometime girlfriend, the mysterious Chiquita.
I am wandering off my subject. We are discussing the spiritual renewal of the planet under the baleful influence of capitalism gone amok. It seems that now there is a certain degree of penance on the part of the money moguls who have upset the little capitalist apple cart sending the world into its most severe economic downturn since the depression of the 1930’s. But they still have the controls of the world of finance firmly in hand. The governments of the world are still unwilling to strangle that goose for fear that there will no longer be golden eggs. The failure of communism in the Soviet Union and China has shown that the state can screw things up as badly as the capitalists.
History tells us that the rule of kings has alternated with the rule of oligarchs, with the occasional uprising of the masses in which there is an attempt at communism or democracy or whatever other schemes have arisen to share the wealth. Time is not on the side of the democrats because most people want things to be done fairly and are more interested in family and friends and doing whatever they do to get by. It is the smart schemers who come up with ways of manipulating the volk that mess things up. I am using that term because it is similar to the arguments used by fascists in their appeals to the common man.
I am not falling into that trap. There is no race of bogymen, only people who are enticed by greed to manipulate others in methods of entrapment and enslavement. It is up to government to end such maleficence.

ANC Wins Again, Taliban Beat West, Tamil Tigers Losing

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

BBC News reports that the fuel tankers heading for the Americans and their allies in Afghanistan were blown up by the Taliban.
The fact that the Pakistani Government has given up territory in the North West Territories to the Taliban just makes it easier for them to attack convoys headed up the Khyber Pass. That is the Achilles Heel of the western effort. There is no easy way to get over the mountains unless a deal is made with America’s favorite country Iran. Good luck there.
The ANC seems to have won over 2/3 of the vote. Mr Zuma is about to become the new head of state. There seems to be some of a let down in the west that the new opposition party CORE did not do better. Too bad, I guess a man who took a shower to protect from AIDS will be the leader of South Africa.
The Sri Lankan government is still doing its best to crush the Tamil Tigers in the north of Sri Lanka. They are killing civilians according to the Tamil Tigers. The government claims that it is not and is taking care not to kill civilians. The UN is sending a team of something or other to investigate and one would hope, give succor to the victims of the violence.

In other news Antarctica is warming up and giant icebergs are forming. There is one the size of Jamaica. it could supply water for the entire USA for 5 years. That is a lot of fresh water. We could use it in California.

Chemical Soup In Water

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

85 contaminants were found in the Potomac River by the USGS. The problem is that 2/3 of them are still in the drinking water after it is filtered for human consumption. There is a problem with lowered male sperm counts because of the chemicals in the drinking water. It is not just a matter of drinking bottled water, it is an issue of new chemicals that are being dumped in the water supply that are not regulated by the EPA. This is in a Front line report on PBS tonight.
In other words no matter where your water comes from a lot of chemicals are being dumped in the water that are not regulated at all because they have not been studied. We have a system that allows for chemicals to be dumped without thorougly testing them to see if they are dangerous.
PCBs baned 3 decades ago are still a dangerous threat to the eco system. They cause nerve damage and the Orca whales in the Puget Sound in Washington State have the highest concentration of any species in the world. Orca whales are dieing out. Humans in areas who have high fat diets are also suffering from PCB contamination. Puget Sound is a hotbed of contamination.
Boeing has produced the highest level of contaminants. During World War 2 they used PCBs to build the Flying Fortresses. Just like the Soviet Union which caused horrible pollution in their war industries, so has the USA and now we are seeing the pollution killing the life in Puget Sound. Boeing is fighting the cleanup of the Duwamish River where their plant was.
On the east coast the Chesapeake Bay is being killed by contaminants by the manure from cattle feed lots, chicken farms and hog farms. Up to 40% of the Bay is dead in the summer time. This is because there has been an increased concentration of pollutants due to agribusiness.
Well what do you know. Water all over the country is contaminated. Our safe drinking water is causing men to loose sperm and frogs to mutate. Perhaps the increase in transgender-ism is caused by chemicals in the water. The frogs are showing an increase in hermaphrodism. Perhaps that is why we have an increase in interest in tranny sex. Its in the water. Storm water runoff, something that everyone in LA knows means stay away from the beaches, is now called the number one water pollutant in the country. Its all over the country.
What do we do? Control it…Please!!! If you want a species in another generation, we need to clean up the water, no offense to transsexuals but if there is a connection then it may be an unintentional new birth control method. A real byproduct of affluence. Land use is the way to control water runoff. Can we do it? Sure with enough money and energy. Otherwise the water will be just another entity like oil, controlled by a few haves and held over the heads of us all. We already see it in the artificial dependence on bottled water, just watch what happens when you have to buy it in a bottled format just to have water.
The battle is on. Will we have a national and local policy that puts water cleanup first. Period. Ad it to the list of legacies of industrialization.

New Dust Bowl, Asteroids or Revelation?

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

The four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are riding high in our age. The earth is getting hotter and scientists say it is the hottest in 400,000 years. Christians are seeing the end of the world. They look to Revelation. I remember how back in the 1980’s we were afraid that Reagan would try to bring on the end times and then again when Bush 2 was president. There was a strong movement of Christians who allied themselves with Israel believing that there had to be a conversion of the Jews and some other things to bring about the end times. John of Patmos or John the Divine had to disguise the words meaning from the Roman masters who had exiled him to the island of Patmos. He wrote in a style called Apocalyptic. Ezekiel and Daniel had scenes like this to create hope for the Jews. John was taking the symbols of the Jewish bible to speak words of code to give hope to the struggling Christian community of his time who were feeling oppressed by the Romans in the aftermath of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem 20 years before he wrote the Revelation. Or so we are told by the Bible scholars. Apocalyptic means to remove the veil. It was a style to get his letters past the Roman censors into the hands of his supporters in 7 churches in Asia Minor. I guess I should reread that stuff. It is so dense with allegory, that it would take a real expert in the history of the times to understand it all. Theologians see the beast as Rome. Some like to think it is the Antichrist.
Many modern Christians think it is the current days being described but that is pretty typical of any generation. It was true in 1000 AD when the body of Charlemagne was disinterred on the rumor that he would fight Satan for Christ in 1033 the anniversary of Christ’s crucifixion. It was true at the time of the Plague, Ring Around the Rosy, was from the plague, Rosy was the outbreaks on the skin, a pocket full of poesy, these flowers held to the nose were thought to prevent the plague. Ashes, ashes all fall down… was well ashes to ashes… and it was true at the beginning of the great revivals of Christian faith in the 16th with Martin Luther, 17th with Cotton Mather who predicted the end in 1691, 18th, 19th and then there was William Miller who thought the book of Daniel predicted the date of 1843 as the second coming and were called Millerites. When it didn’t happen they predicted it would come in 1844. They became the 7th Day Adventists. Another preacher named Darby predicted the rapture, something not in the Bible. Again in the 20th and present century there are true believers. They think Har Meggido where many battles have been fought in the past, over 34 in history, in a valley in Israel is where the battle for the end times will be fought. There are those who wanted to try to precipitate that battle by calling for war in the middle east. At least according to the History Channel.

From Earth Institute at Columbia University. A short piece about dust bowls developing in China and Africa.
“Climate modellers see modern echo in ’30s Dust Bowl
Climate scientists using computer models to simulate the 1930s Dust Bowl on the U.S Great Plains have found that dust raised by farmers probably amplified and spread a natural drop in rainfall, turning an ordinary drying cycle into an agricultural collapse. The researcher say the study raises concern that current pressures on farmland from population growth and climate change could worsen current food crises by leading to similar events in other regions.

Recent studies indicate that periodic droughts in the western United States are controlled by naturally occurring periods of cool sea-surface water temperatures over the eastern tropical Pacific - so-called La Nina phases. Via long-distance winds, these phases indirectly affect faraway rain patterns. In addition to the 1930s, such patterns have occurred in the 1850-60s, 1870s, 1890s, 1950s, and 1999 to present.

What made the 1930s different was the arrival of farmers onto the Great Plains, where they replaced drought-resistant wild prairie grasses with fragile wheat, neglected to plant cover crops in unused fields, and allowed livestock to overgraze pastures.

When the 1932-1939 drought struck, plants shrivelled and ever more bare soil was exposed. The land was quickly eroded by gigantic dust storms, and farming collapsed. Skies were chronically darkened on and off; in some years, an estimated 770 million metric tons of topsoil were lost, and over the whole time, 3.5 million people were displaced - one of the 20th century’s worst environmental disasters. The new study finds that farm dust probably fed the disaster, doubling the drop in rainfall, and moving the drought itself northward into major farming regions.

The researchers, based at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (both affiliates of Columbia University’s Earth Institute) used a computer model to simulate a 1930s drought driven only by the change in sea-surface temperature. This showed a 5% drop in rainfall, centred over northern Mexico and the U.S. southwest, where little agriculture then took place. This would have affected the Great Plains too, but probably would have not brought disaster. Then the modellers added in the effects of dust, using data from the ’30s that indicated dust sources, and allowing the computer to create dust storms. This yielded a simulated event eerily like the real one, with a full 10% drop in rain - to just 18 inches a year - and centred over the prairie farm regions of north Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa.

Lead author Benjamin Cook, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration postdoctoral researcher affiliated with both Lamont and Goddard, said the effect occurred because dust particles suspended in air reflect solar radiation. Studies by researchers in other parts of the world show that this causes a drop in temperatures at or near the soil surface, lessening evaporation of moisture into the air, and thus decreasing precipitation even further. Dust on the Great Plains helped draw the drought northward like a siphon, said Cook. ‘This is what made the Dust Bowl the Dust Bowl,’ he said. ‘It was a process that fed on itself.’

The U.S. southwest is currently suffering a serious long-term drought that threatens agriculture and population growth there. Cook said it is unlikely that this by itself will cause another Dust Bowl in the United States. Among other things, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, founded in response to the ’30s crisis, has shifted farmers into more sustainable practices. On the other hand, Cook points out that many scientists believe hard-pressed farmers and herders in China and Africa’s Sahel region may be repeating the experience, ruining marginal lands in order to feed themselves in the short term. ‘This highlights the fact that humans can alter natural events and make them worse,’ said coauthor Richard Seager, a modeller at Lamont. Seager says that scientists studying global climate change predict many subtropical regions will dry in coming years. ‘That, in combination with the pressure from rising population and demand for food, could lead to a similar cycle of drought, dust storms and more drought,’ he said. ‘The lesson of the Dust Bowl is there to be learned.’

And this from Agence France Presse
Droughts a long-term threat to West Africa
Posted 2:06 PM on 17 Apr 2009
by Agence France-Presse
WASHINGTON, April 17, 2009 (AFP) - Reeling from consecutive lengthy droughts for 3,000 years, sub-Saharan Africa faces an inevitable repetition of mega-droughts, according to a study published Friday.

A team of U.S. geoscientists and climate scientists found that severe droughts lasting several decades and sometimes even centuries have been the norm in west Africa for the past three centuries.

The most recent such drought lasted from 1400 to 1750, according to the researchers, whose study was published in the journal Science.

It was the first study to examine climate conditions in west Africa over thousands of years by analyzing annual layers of mud and tree sediment in Ghana’s Lake Bosumtwi, a crater lake. “Clearly, much of west Africa is already on the edge of sustainability,” said University of Arizona geoscience professor Jonathan Overpeck, the study’s lead author, “and the situation could become much more dire in the future with increased global warming.”

The latest Sahel drought killed over 100,000 people and displaced scores more, according to a 2002 report by the United Nations Environment Program.

“What’s disconcerting about this record is that it suggests that the most recent drought was relatively minor in the context of the west African drought history,” said Timothy Shanahan of the University of Texas at Austin, who co-authored the study.

As global warming progresses due to emissions of mostly human-generated greenhouse gases, the temperature rise could make droughts more severe and prolonged, a potentially “devastating” development for Africa, Overpeck warned.

“They must plan for possible droughts that last much longer than a couple of decades,” he told reporters by telephone. “We have strong confidence that continued warming will take place in the absence of reduction in greenhouse gases.”

The periods of drought, especially those that lasted for 30-40 years, pointed to a pattern of sea surface temperature changes called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), the researchers found. According to this hypothesis, temperatures in the Atlantic naturally fluctuate over 60-year cycles.

Although the oscillation has not yet been confirmed over long time periods, computer simulations and data sets, such as tree-ring variations from sites around the West Atlantic, have hinted at the possibility.

“More and more, it’s starting to look like the AMO is a big player affecting climate change around the Northern Hemisphere, including drought variability over western Africa and western North America,” said Overpeck.”

And again in China.

“Modern dust storms in China: an overview
by Xunming Wang, , a, Zhibao Donga, Jiawu Zhangb and Lichao Liua

a Laboratory of the Blown Sand Physics and Desert Environments, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 260, West Donggang Road, Gansu Province, Lanzhou 730000, China
b Department of Geography, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
Received 20 November 2002; accepted 24 November 2003. Available online 31 January 2004.
Abstract
This paper discusses the sources, spatial distribution, frequency and trend of dust storms in China. Most dust storms in China originate from one of three geographic areas: the Hexi (River West) Corridor and western Inner Mongolia Plateau, the Taklimakan Desert, and the central Inner Mongolia Plateau. Dust is most likely from deteriorated grasslands, Gobi, alluvial, lacustrine sediments and wadis at the outer edge of deserts. But deserts themselves contribute only slightly to the dust storm directly. Two geographic areas frequently have dust storms: one is in the western Tarim Basin, a ground surface of deteriorated land and wadi, but it only affects its neighboring areas, and the other one is in the western Inner Mongolia Plateau, a ground surface of Gobi, alluvial and lacustrine sediments, but it causes most of the dust storms in north China. Generally speaking, dust storms have reduced in most regions of China from the 1950 to 2000. Dust storms are highly correlated with human activities and climate changes.”

They want you to buy the article to get more information. That is not what I call a free exchange of information.

From the Science Daily we have asteroid news.
Could An Asteroid Hit Planet Earth, Again?
Science Daily (Jan. 30, 2008) — Earth dodged a bullet today, when asteroid TU24 passed within 540,000 kilometers of our planet, which is just down the street on a galactic scale. Tomorrow, another asteroid – 2007 WD5 – will zip past Mars at a distance of only 26,000 kilometers away. Will we dodge the bullet the next time a near-Earth object (NEO) hurtles dangerously close to our home planet?

To mark the 100th anniversary of the Tunguska event, when an exploding asteroid leveled 2000 square kilometers of Siberian forest, The Planetary Society today kicked off a year-long focus on Target Earth. The asteroid believed responsible for the cataclysm on June 30, 1908 became a fireball from the sky and knocked pine trees over like matchsticks near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Russia. Such an explosion today over more populated areas could lay waste an entire city.

“The solar system is a busy place,” said Louis Friedman, Executive Director of The Planetary Society. “In fact, we live in a dangerous neighborhood, and keeping track of NEOs is like organizing a Neighborhood Watch in our corner of space.”

Earth has been hit by NEOs many times in the past; ancient craters are still visible in landforms around the world. The famed Meteor Crater in Arizona and Canada’s Lake Manicouagan are only two examples.”

Well I could go on. but this post is long enough. I used to get emails from a site called Prophecy Times. They were a good source of news about the middle east They had their sight set on the end times. Me, I have already had my end times. I am broke, I am ready for my millennium of peace.

Greenhouse Gases Are Dangerous EPA Claims At Last

Friday, April 17th, 2009

EPA today announces that Greenhouse Gases are real and are causing climate change. At last America joins the rest of the world. We need to conserve. We need to do something that works and creating artificial trees that capture Carbon Dioxide and then sequester it in mountains is no solution. Trees are efficient. Trees convert Carbon Dioxide into Oxygen. That is what we need.
China is the number one polluter. Coal based power plants have a huge impact causing an immense amount of Carbon pollution. We need a replacement for coal fired power plants. The big Copenhagen conference in December of 2009 will be the make or break event in whether we save the world or suffer the consequences.

From Time Magazine an excerpt from an article about preparations for the conference.
Progress on Global Warming Remains Elusive
By Bryan Walsh Friday, Apr. 10, 2009
“Developing countries like China pushed wealthier nations to accept tough short-term carbon emission targets, demanding cuts of at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2020. But developed nations demurred, refusing to commit to new cuts now, even though their existing commitments would lead to a reduction of only 4% to 14% below 1990 levels by 2020.”

But on the whole, delegates left Bonn stuck in the same standoff that has all but paralyzed global climate talks over the past several years. Poor nations want rich nations to accept deep, mandatory carbon cuts, and pay tens of billions of dollars in aid to help developing countries combat global warming. Rich nations are squeamish about committing to extreme measures without help from major developing nations like China and India, which will be responsible for the lion’s share of new carbon emissions in the decade ahead. And all leaders are feeling the squeeze of the economic downturn, which has shunted public attention from global warming and stalled investments in renewable-energy technologies — without which, countries won’t be able to meet any emissions-reduction targets they may agree to.

In the end, it will come back to the U.S. The change in rhetoric is heartening — delegates noticed when Obama told a public audience in Prague that the world needs to tackle global warming and that “the U.S. is now ready to lead.” But hopeful talk doesn’t necessarily translate to numbers or action. One of the biggest topics of debate at Bonn was the draft climate-change bill released in late March by Democratic Congressmen Henry Waxman and Edward Markey, which aims to cut U.S. carbon emissions 20% below 2005 levels by 2020. That goal is significantly less ambitious than what the E.U. has pledged, but getting that bill — or anything close to it — through Congress, especially by the Copenhagen summit, will be a legislative headache.”

Tonight there was a show on PBS about melting glaciers. Here is the ironic problem the more India and China build coal fired power plants the more they will endanger their own food supply by depleting their water supply through the increased depletion of the Himalayan Glaciers. In recent years they have retreated at an increased rate and they are now within a couple of decades of total disappearance. That means the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Indus, Mekong and Yangtze Rivers to name a few are endangered. No glaciers, no water in the dry season. Major rivers gone, no food grows and it now has to be imported. That increases cost for food all over the world.
Some say that Russia and Canada will benefit because they will become more temperate. Perhaps but there will be more extreme weather all over the world. We will have problems, big problems but if we keep dithering we certainly will find out. Shooting dust into the atmosphere to create a reflective shield may be in our future and who knows what that will do. Theoretically it will cut the global warming the same way that a strong volcanic eruption will. But the decreased sunlight will have effects that we don’t understand. If things get much hotter, we will be finding all kinds of interesting things about what happens when the world warms.
At least now the heating of the planet is considered to be a legitimate problem by the EPA. That means regulation of auto and coal fired power emissions. Perhaps we will get some caps on carbon through regulation if not legislation.
Time for this to be taken seriously, as seriously as the war on Terror was. Let us hope this is not as illusory.

Brane Theory & Inflation - Big Bang or Not To Big Bang

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

I was reading about the inflation theory and it is a very complicated piece of business. It is an attempt to explain why the universe is so uniform in temperature and why it appears flat. If the Big Bang Theory is correct there should be differences in the temperature at different areas of the universe given its age of 13.7 billion years. Sort of like when you pour hot or cold water into a tub of water it takes a while to reach from one end to the other.
Inflation theory posits that at some point in the early creation of the universe there was an inflationary effect that spread the universe rapidly as in faster than light speed, possibly through quantum tunnels or other means. Below is from the Wikipedia article on Inflation theory.

“Guth proposed that as the early universe cooled, it was trapped in a false vacuum with a high energy density, which is much like a cosmological constant. As the very early universe cooled it was trapped in a metastable state (it was supercooled) which it could only decay out of through the process of bubble nucleation via quantum tunneling. Bubbles of true vacuum spontaneously form in the sea of false vacuum and rapidly begin expanding at the speed of light. Guth recognized that this model was problematic because the model did not reheat properly: when the bubbles nucleated, they did not generate any radiation. Radiation could only be generated in collisions between bubble walls. But if inflation lasted long enough to solve the initial conditions problems, collisions between bubbles became exceedingly rare. In any one causal patch, it is likely that only one bubble will nucleate.

Slow-Roll Inflation
The bubble collision problem was solved by Andrei Linde and independently by Andreas Albrecht and Paul Steinhardt in a model named new inflation or slow-roll inflation (Guth’s model then became known as old inflation). In this model, instead of tunneling out of a false vacuum state, inflation occurred by a scalar field rolling down a potential energy hill. When the field rolls very slowly compared to the expansion of the universe, inflation occurs. However, when the hill becomes steeper, inflation ends and reheating can occur.

Effects of asymmetries
Eventually, it was shown that new inflation does not produce a perfectly symmetric universe, but that tiny quantum fluctuations in the inflation are created. These tiny fluctuations form the primordial seeds for all structure created in the later universe. These fluctuations were first calculated by Viatcheslav Mukhanov and G. V. Chibisov in the Soviet Union in analyzing Starobinsky’s similar model. In the context of inflation, they were worked out independently of the work of Mukhanov and Chibisov at the three-week 1982 Nuffield Workshop on the Very Early Universe at Cambridge University. The fluctuations were calculated by four groups working separately over the course of the workshop: Stephen Hawking; Starobinsky, Guth and So-Young Pi; and James M. Bardeen, Paul Steinhardt and Michael Turner.”

On the other hand Brane cosmology is seems to go like this. Again from Wikipedia.

“Brane cosmology refers to several theories in particle physics and cosmology motivated by, but not exclusively derived from, superstring theory and M-theory.

Brane and bulk
The central idea is that the visible, four-dimensional universe is restricted to a brane inside a higher-dimensional space, called the “bulk”. The additional dimensions are compact, in which case the observed universe contains the extra dimensions, and then no reference to the bulk is appropriate in this context. In the bulk model, other branes may be moving through this bulk. Interactions with the bulk, and possibly with other branes, can influence our brane and thus introduce effects not seen in more standard cosmological models.

Why gravity is weak
As one of its attractive features, the model can explain the weakness of gravity relative to the other fundamental forces of nature, thus solving the so-called hierarchy problem. In the brane picture, the other three forces (electromagnetism and the weak and strong nuclear forces) are localized on the brane, but gravity has no such constraint and so much of its attractive power “leaks” into the bulk. As a consequence, the force of gravity should appear significantly stronger on small (subatomic or at least sub-millimetre) scales, where less gravitational force has “leaked”. Various experiments are currently underway to test this.

Models of brane cosmology
The Randall-Sundrum (RS1 and RS2; see 5 dimensional warped geometry theory for a nontechnical explanation of RS1), pre-big bang, ekpyrotic and cyclic scenarios are particular models of brane cosmology which have attracted a considerable amount of attention. The ekpyrotic theory hypothesizes that the origin of the observable universe occurred when two parallel branes collided.”

Now this reads like some kind of scientific in joke to me. Especially the part about branes colliding. I mean, maybe it should be called Egos in Outer Space. I like to bring this stuff to earth because like rocket science and brain surgery, your average smart guy should be able to figure it out with a little common sense and maybe a couple of years of algebra and calculus. I never got to calculus myself. I had a hard time when I switched high schools and went from one school were I got the math to another where I was lost. But this is important stuff.

There have been satellites sent up into space to check on the background radiation to see if the Inflation models are verifiable based on the data. Here is what the article in Wikepedia goes on to say.

“Observational status
Inflation is a concrete mechanism for realizing the cosmological principle which is the basis of the standard model of physical cosmology: it accounts for the homogeneity and isotropy of the observable universe. In addition, it accounts for the observed flatness and absence of magnetic monopoles. Since Guth’s early work, each of these observations has received further confirmation, most impressively by the detailed observations of the cosmic microwave background made by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) satellite. This analysis shows that the universe is flat to an accuracy of at least a few percent, and that it is homogeneous and isotropic to a part in 10,000.

In addition, inflation predicts that the structures visible in the universe today formed through the gravitational collapse of perturbations which were formed as quantum mechanical fluctuations in the inflationary epoch. The detailed form of the spectrum of perturbations called a nearly-scale-invariant Gaussian random field (or Harrison-Zel’dovich spectrum) is very specific and has only two free parameters, the amplitude of the spectrum and the spectral index which measures the slight deviation from scale invariance predicted by inflation (perfect scale invariance corresponds to the idealized de Sitter universe). Inflation predicts that the observed perturbations should be in thermal equilibrium with each other (these are called adiabatic or isentropic perturbations). This structure for the perturbations has been confirmed by the WMAP satellite and other cosmic microwave background experiments, and galaxy surveys, especially the ongoing Sloan Digital Sky Survey. These experiments have shown that the one part in 10,000 inhomogeneities observed have exactly the form predicted by theory. Moreover, there is evidence for a slight deviation from scale invariance. The spectral index, ns is equal to one for a scale-invariant spectrum. The simplest models of inflation predict that this quantity is between 0.92 and 0.98. From the data taken by the WMAP satellite it can be inferred that ns = 0.960 ± 0.014, implying that it differs from one at the level of two standard deviations (2σ). This is considered an important confirmation of the theory of inflation.”

And so I propose we have a situation not unlike that of Hamlet. To Big Bang or Not to Big Bang. That is the question. Many seem to be banging their way out of the universe, witness the increased level of homicides followed by suicides on the part of desperate unemployed Americans. It seems that guns and unemployment make for a volatile mix in a consumption oriented society where bringing home the goodies, like a veritable Saint Nick is the law of the land and woe unto he who cannot provide a sack full of goodies.
I think the pacifist Einstein had it right when he protested the first world war from behind the German lines and refused to be dragged into the war machine. Yet it was his formula E=MC2 that gave rise to the theoretical work that caused the atom to be split and the Atomic Bomb to be created. Just goes to show there is no way to put the genie back in the bottle once it has been released. Only hope is as my old acquaintance Wallace Black Elk once said at a talk to the anti nukers of the Rocky Flats Truth Force in Boulder, “Radiation is our friend”. What he meant by that was a mystery to me but he then went on to describe how to the tribal elders there was no problem with radiation. He was a Lakota medicine man and an old one at that when I met him.
It also reminds me of some experiences high on meth when I thought I had discovered a cure for radiation sickness, this was about 4 or 5 years later in San Francisco. I was high of and hearing voices behind the radio in the static who were explaining how it would work. Too bad I can’t remember. It had something to do with turning our veins into plastic though.
But those were the days when we were exploring the dark side as Nick Cave would put it. Like those times when I wanted to see the ghosts in the rooms and talk on the level of plants, for that you have to get real quiet. Quiet enough to hear them whooshing around the room, you have to go into time elapse.
Anyway there is a pattern here somewhere and if we can find out how we got here, well then we will be ahead of the game. Perhaps the Gita is right and we are all going to Krishna Loka (that is the planet where Krishna lives ie the supreme pleasure palace of the universe) if we just concentrate hard enough and click our heels three times. Oops, forgot the red shoes.

I have more questions than answers here. Like how does a hot bang go to a supercooled inflation and then warm up for the rest of eternity and form the universe as we know it?
Doesn’t that go against the laws of thermodynamics? Below is a summary of what the article in Wikipedia says about that.

“Reheating
The end of inflation is called reheating or thermalization because the large potential energy of the inflaton field decays into particles and fills the universe with electromagnetic radiation. Because the nature of the inflaton is not known, this process is still poorly understood, although it is believed to take place through a parametric resonance.”

Note: “The inflaton is the generic name of the unidentified scalar field (and its associated particle) that may be responsible for an episode of inflation in the very early universe. According to inflation theory, the inflaton field provided the mechanism to drive a period of rapid expansion from 10−35 to 10−34 seconds after the initial expansion that formed the universe.”

Poorly understood is an understatement. Like ants trying to figure out what is going on when a giant steps on their ant hill. That must seem like the sky is falling or an earthquake.
But what did Wallace Black Elk mean about radiation being his friend? Why did I think I was taken up in a space ship when I was 8 or 9 and spend 3 nights there haveing data uploaded in my brain by creatures that looked like cartoon characters? What about John Lilly and his experiments with dolphins? He and his associates took LSD and tried to communicate with the dolphins. We ended up with crap like marine world with dolphins doing stunts to entertain. There was originally an attempt to communicate.
Why have we become so technologically oriented in the past 350 years and why has it happened at such a rapid rate? Newton was adequate for the first phase of the modern experiment and then came Einstein. Out of the blue these people pop up and where do the ideas come from? Day dreams. Sitting under a tree he saw an apple fall and said it was pulled by an invisible force. Newton was obsessed with light and wanted to transmute base elements into gold. He was an alchemist. He wrote much on the subject and it was all suppressed by the Royal Society after his death as not being worthy of publication.
Einstein wanted to win the Nobel prize to give to his ex-wife because of a deal he made with her if she would leave him he would give her the money. She took it. Einstein said that space time is curved and pushes masses. Gravity is a push in the fabric of space time because of mass. He was a lousy student, a womanizer and a day dreamer who ended up marrying is cousin. I think he was a pod. His brain was taken over and aparently it was 15% larger than normal whatever that means.
I am simply stating that the world is full of absurdities and what we consider to be every day reality is more of a freak accident of our limited vision. It is due to the inability of our senses to perceive beyond a limited range and since we have given up on shamanistic ritual vision quests as a norm in our modern world we have lost the ability to really perceive. On the other hand we have an immensely increased amount technical stuff to keep us distracted and mesmerized with a forest full of data trees. We see the trees but not the forest engulfing us. What is this strange thing happening to a species that came from the plains of Africa? Or did we? Out of body experimenters claim there are beings in other dimensions that communicate with us. Why not? How else do you explain this sudden increase in interest in space, blasting off into the heavens where we need elaborate protective costumes to keep from frying. It is not a hoax but it is some kind of a cruel joke. We starve some and blast others into space.
In case you thought Brane Cosmology was a joke here is a bit more about it.

“Brane-World Gravity
Roy Maartens
Institute of Cosmology & Gravitation
Portsmouth University
Portsmouth PO1 2EG, U.K.
roy.maartens@port.ac.uk
http://www.icg.port.ac.uk/people/staff/maartens.html

Abstract
The observable universe could be a 1+3-surface (the “brane”) embedded in a 1+3+d-dimensional space-time (the “bulk”), with Standard Model particles and fields trapped on the brane while gravity is free to access the bulk. At least one of the d extra spatial dimensions could be very large relative to the Planck scale, which lowers the fundamental gravity scale, possibly even down to the electroweak ( TeV) level. This revolutionary picture arises in the framework of recent developments in M theory. The 1+10-dimensional M theory encompasses the known 1+9-dimensional superstring theories, and is widely considered to be a promising potential route to quantum gravity. General relativity cannot describe gravity at high enough energies and must be replaced by a quantum gravity theory, picking up significant corrections as the fundamental energy scale is approached. At low energies, gravity is localized at the brane and general relativity is recovered, but at high energies gravity “leaks” into the bulk, behaving in a truly higher-dimensional way. This introduces significant changes to gravitational dynamics and perturbations, with interesting and potentially testable implications for high-energy astrophysics, black holes, and cosmology. Brane-world models offer a phenomenological way to test some of the novel predictions and corrections to general relativity that are implied by M theory. This review discusses the geometry, dynamics and perturbations of simple brane-world models for cosmology and astrophysics, mainly focusing on warped 5-dimensional brane-worlds based on the Randall–Sundrum models.”

You can contact them with questions. I am still wondering about Einstein on the beach.

Wonder In Dangerous Things

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

It is a throwaway line Elvis Costello used talking to his former speed freak guest Rufus Wainwright on his Sundance show “Spectacle”. Rufus was asked about his years on the dark side and he quoted Nick Cave as saying that all song writers have to go to the dark side but the ultimate is to redeem yourself and move beyond. I don’t know if that was made for TV consumption rhetoric or reality. But I guess it is nice to think there is a beyond.

I mean if it were a perfect world I would rather live in an Anarchist Communist Commune. I am not going to try and create one artificially though. I tried that. I like my showers and my Toyota Camry too much right now to deliberately move in to one. On the other hand if society decides to give up on materialism and if capitalism collapses, I won’t cry. I will be relieved because I have no idea how to prepare for the future. I live for the day.
Would I thrive in a tribal society? Hell somebody has to remember the tales of old and tell stories around the campfire. What about it folks? Can we imagine our way out of this? I mean tea bagging is a scam. Those rightwingers simply want to keep things the way they were, if you are a poor man you imagine a better tomorrow and if you are a rich man you want to keep all your yesterdays. Keith Olbermann got off some righteous indignation today when he accused the Teabaggers of being shills for the rich. He brought out the same point that Obama made today that there are too many rich getting away with hiding money in tax shelters to the tune of $100 billion dollars that we know of. He wonders why these people who are so dead set against taxes are supporting the rich evading taxes. I guess he never heard of the concept of the poor envying the rich. It is the reason why the secular and working class British would still want to have Royalty, they feel that if they exist, then there is a chance that they too might someday attain such heights. Or perhaps it is a transferal process, one that believes that if there is a king or queen then there is a symbolic leader that represents the best that we are. It is a pretty primitive belief, like rallying around the flag. Or racism or any of the other ways that we separate into clans and tribes and blood groups. Anyway these are the forces that will have to be overcome if we are to survive into the future and not collapse into feuding entities. The right always likes to play on feelings that create these smokescreens to keep the rich rich and the poor poor.
But what else is there? Well today on KPFK I heard Russ Baker talk about his new book “Family Of Secrets” about the Bush family. He was talking to Rosanne Dunbar, on her show and when she wasn’t asking dumb but interesting questions he was telling a pretty fascinating story. Bush Senior was his anti hero. He makes Nixon out to be the boy groomed for success by the right wing establishment and then when he got to be President he turned liberal on them and they had to bring him down and that is exactly what they did. Maybe my feeling sorry for Nixon back in 1974 was right. All my friends thought he deserved what he got. but think about it why did Nixon get screwed when all he did was some minor political hanky panky and Bush Jr who practically destroyed the country got away with it.
It makes sense when you wonder how a clown like Bush got to be President,
But you could say the same for Obama. He came out of nowhere and now he is president. Could the whole democratic process be a sham manipulated by elites who are playing a game of charades with us. Keeping the real rulers in secret as Baker said. He called the Bushes the errand boys of the rulers. He had the same to say about Ike, and LBJ. Is he a secret Kennedy fan, a believer in Camelot? He has a lot to say about Bush Senior as a life long CIA agent and being a family friend of Dulles the head of the CIA who was fired by Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs. How Bush made up an elaborate cover story to prove he was not in Dallas when Kennedy was assassinated.
Well to make a long story short he blames the history of the last century on a right wing ruling class. The Bush family are just the tools of the ruing class according to this theory, very ruthless and efficient players and they play for keeps.


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