Saturday, April 30, 2005


centerstage

J is for Justice


Oh man, look beyond!
Lady Justice cannot see
You must seek the truth.


What is truth? Truth is relative. What is true for one, may not be true for another. One’s truth may not be the truth of another. Does this pose a dilemma? Only if unbearable pain causes one to lash out.

One’s truth is subject to change, too. New ideas, new experiences, new knowledge brings new truth. The awareness of this change comes to mind years later as the contemplative mind reflects on life’s journeys.

This is the point. Lady Justice’s truth will never change, for she is in blindfold. Notice that even her ears are covered. The dynamics of law, ever changing, means nothing to her. For her, black and white are her exact laws. There are no estimates in grays. The letter of the law remains absolute. Spirit of the law does not exist.

By contrast, the legal system has many truths and many lies. Lawyers are highly paid actors whose purpose is to project their client’s “truth” in the name of Lady Justice. Pity Lady Justice! Judges are political appointees whose career is subject to political pressure from all sides. Poor woman! A lucrative and politically correct career, thy name is law. What’s left in the sanctimonious courtrooms once truth is sung on high? Lies, of course. And it’s those lies turned truths that wins in the end.

The fundamental essence of Justice can never be attained. Justice is the Holy Grail that the legal system seeks, but will never find.


You pull, you pray, or pay.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Belgian Doctors Bill U.S. for Treating Iraqi Girl

Who will pay the bill?

International agreements between nation-states should be honored. These Belgium doctors don't think the U.S. will pay this young girl's medical bill. Will other cases such as this pop up? Imagine if the U.S. had to pay for medical expenses for every Iraqi civilian who died under its hands? Astronomical and unimaginable. Gives a whole new spin to "collateral damage". Stay tuned.

Reuters- Belgian doctors sent an Iraqi girl home on Thursday after treating her for leg wounds caused by a bomb during the U.S. invasion -- and sent the 51,570 euro ($66,650) bill to the U.S. embassy.

"We haven't heard from them yet," said Bert De Belder, coordinator of the humanitarian agency Medical Aid for Third World which brought the girl to Belgium.

"I'm curious to know their reaction," he told Reuters. "We're giving them 10 days to respond ... I don't think they will pay it."

The girl, 15-year-old Hiba Kassim, smiled to reporters as she waited for her flight to Jordan to meet her father.

"Thank you, Belgium," she said.

Doctors brought Kassim to Belgium last year to try to save her left ankle, seriously injured by a cluster bomb that also killed her brother in Baghdad in 2003.

After five operations and weeks of physiotherapy, Kassim is able to walk again, but with a slight limp.

De Belder said he sent the bill to the U.S. embassy because international law dictated that an occupying force was responsible for the well-being of the country's people. U.S. embassy officials were not immediately available for comment. ($1=.7737 Euro)


Divide, conquer, until big fish stands alone

I is for Ignorance


Oh man, art thou slow!
perfect thy mind and grow rich
knowledge is power.


An ignorant leader leads his country by folly and sheer luck! Ignorance lacks the polish of wisdom. It is good that such a leader would hire those who are smarter than he, for his sins are covered. Even better, when his sins are revealed, his ignorance is forgiven for he is not aware that his decision carries great consequences. Oh man, ignorance sustains thee!

The ignorant leader brainwashes his citizenry that it’s “us” against “them”. The threat is imminent! We must do something! Let us look at the United States. Years past, it was “democracy” against “communism”. Today, it’s us, (Christianity), against them (Islam). This ignorant mindset spawns intolerance and fear. Prior knowledge and history is thrown out, and the masses follow the words of their leader. This leader has deep pockets, the trust of the people, and a well-oiled political machine.

After he has tested his military might, he is greedy for more. Consumption and the will to survive. More importantly, the leader intuits that if he doesn’t secure his nation-state as the ultimate super-power, he knows that his country is doomed. So he puts in anal-retentive men and women in powerful positions to represent his nation-state- ignorant men as he, whose sole purpose is to ensure the survival of their country, and to push their agenda, indeed, shove it down other countries throats. But even in his ignorance, he is just an animal, for animals survive on pure instinct. Many qualify this as brilliance! Unfortunately, the leader of this nation-state learns later, that other leaders of other countries do not share his “vision” and world tension mounts.

The big fish may indoctrinate other nation-states with its ideology, but it cannot rule the world. The balance of peace is thin, the world on the brink of chaos, all because of the ignorance of world leaders.


education gives them a life

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Roma children suffer at hands of Czech Republic

Roma living in the Czech Republic have a history of poverty and persecution. The Roma, dark in complexion, are thought to have migrated to Europe from India centuries ago. Their nomadic life set them apart from other groups. They are the poorest and largest minority group in Europe, with large numbers concentrated in former Communist countries. Roma children, especially, suffer stigmatization at the hands of the education-run Czech government.

Up to 75 percent of the Roma children attend schools intended for the mentally disabled and are receiving what human rights groups contend is a substandard education that can lead to a lifetime of unemployment, dependence on welfare and even crime. Now, advocates for Roma rights have begun legal action to change the situation.

What a heinous violation of human rights! The government fires back by saying that the parents are responsible for their children's education. This is an ignorant response. The plight of these children is unacceptable.

The country's 120 "special" schools, the term traditionally used to describe the combined elementary and middle schools for the mentally disabled in the Czech Republic, were created by the Communist government in the 1960's. Their graduates are largely ineligible to apply to college or to obtain a job beyond the most basic manual labor.

According to the State Department's annual human rights report issued in March, 90 percent of the children in Czech special schools are Roma. Critics of the government's education policy charge that this is the result of bias, and lawyers representing Roma children have filed the first systematic legal challenge against school discrimination in Europe.

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, is considering whether to hear the case of 18 teenagers from Ostrava who argue that their placement in special schools in the late 1990's violated their right to protection against discrimination granted under Czech and European law.

The degradation of these children at the hands of their government must not be tolerated and the Court of Human Rights must hold the Czech Republic government accountable. Full story here.


4squaresNSEW

Worldwide terrorism jumps; Bush administration trys to suppress data

Ivan Eland
"Independent Institute"
- - The Bush administration is attempting to suppress key data showing that its Global War on Terrorism (or GWOT as government bureaucrats have dubbed it) likely has been counterproductive. According to Larry Johnson, a former CIA analyst and State Department terrorism expert who still has many sources within the intelligence community, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s office is suppressing data showing that the number of major terrorist attacks worldwide exploded from 175 in 2003 to 625 in 2004, the highest number since the Cold War began to wane in 1985.

Iraqi attacks increase; insurgents better coordinated

Iraqi insurgents have shown improved co-ordination and greater tactical sophistication in a new surge of attacks following a sharp decline after national elections in January, US defence officials said. Donald Rumsfeld went on record to say funding for the Army is slowing down and is telling Congress to push for the approval of the budget bill. Another glitch that U.S. soldiers must bear while Congress does what it does best: plays politics.

The increased violence comes amid a stalemate over the formation of a new Iraqi government, which US officials worry is dissipating an opportunity opened by the January 30 elections to undercut support for the insurgency.

Attacks fell from about 90 a day before the elections to about 40 a day for several weeks after the vote, Pentagon officials said. But then about two weeks ago the number of attacks rose to about 50 a day.

More significant than the number of attacks is that the insurgent attacks are better co-ordinated than in the past and more sophisticated, said a senior defence official, who asked not to be identified. Moreover, he said, members of the former regime have been re-establishing links with foreign fighters led by militants such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Full story here.


False alarm sends Bush underground

An unidentified aircraft entered restricted air space near the White House. A UFO, perhaps? There is a possible conspiracy theory here. Beam them up Scotty, all of them.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fears that an unidentified aircraft had entered restricted space near the White House prompted security officials to move President Bush from the Oval Office to an underground shelter Wednesday.

The brief scare lasted only a few minutes before officials determined it was a false alarm, White House counselor Dan Bartlett said. Some White House staff members were moved out of the West Wing and tourists were rushed from the East Wing. Full story, CNN.


European Airbus A380 makes first flight

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Airbus A380 makes flying debut with no hitches

TOULOUSE, France (CNN)--The world's largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, landed safely in Toulouse, France after making its first test flight.The double-decker "superjumbo" touched down on the runway at 2:22 p.m. (1222 GMT) Wednesday after a nearly four-hour flight with six crew members aboard. The Europeans designed and built the A380. This plane is expected to compete with Boeing's 747. Full story at CNN.


untitled

Today's youth and the people they emulate


The act of thinking is difficult. This would explain the mediocre views of this world. Who are the true leaders of today? The great intellectuals are gone; those who manage to eck a miniscule spark of genius have no impact in this world. Is George W. Bush an intellectual? What about Condoleeza Rice? Or Donald Rumsfeld? Bill Clinton? Tom DeLay? John Kerry? Ann Coulter? Colin Powell? Jimmy Carter? Dan Rather? Peter Jennings? Add your own names to this list. The point is.. intellectuals are rare in this age. Pity.

Ask a young person whom they would like to emulate. Their leaders, their heroes, are in your viewing box. Sean "Puffy" Combs; Will Smith? Jennifer Lopez? Paris Hilton? Again.. add your names to this list. Young people live in hyper-reality. They dedicate half their life to a made up, scripted character, funny, flawless... the other half is living a life that is a disappointment to them, so they develop a humdrum attitude towards life.

These young people should be thinking of the great intellects of old! Albert Einstein; Jean Paul Sarte; Malcolm X; Nietzsche; Noam Chomsky; Simone de Beauvoir; Martin Luther King Jr.; Umberto Eco... these greats took a stand for what they believed with no compromise! They risked the alianation of public opinion that would cause them great embarrassment and sometimes, great personal pain. Their time came when the world needed a voice of reason; of redemption; of anger and contempt! Where are the leaders of today!

Young leaders must cast aside the stench of compromise and stand for their beliefs. They must examine what once was, what is now, and what is to be. They must develop their minds to question all that is said from world leaders and find the motives behind the lies. Then they must stand.. stand and be heard, no compromise, no apology.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


This is A Cartoon, a cartoon by Mr. Fish, published Friday, April 22, 2005. It is part of The Cartoons of Mr. Fish: a Selection, which is part of Features, which is part of Harpers.org.

Human Rights group calls for an independent special investigation on Iraqi abuse

I'm tired of reading about how these high ranking officials get away with murder, literally. This is just one of many FUBAR episodes in the heinous comedy of errors of Bush & Company. Stay tuned.

Human rights groups recently expressed dismay over the Army's findings exonerating U.S. generals of prisoner abuse in Iraq, and renewed requests for an independent probe to examine the culpability of senior military and civilian defense officials. (ICH)

In a report released recently, the New York-based Human Rights Watch called on U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the roles of all U.S. officials "who participated in, ordered, or had command responsibility for war crimes or torture." Human Rights Watch also asked Congress to launch an independent and bipartisan probe -- similar to that of the 9/11 commission -- to investigate the roles of senior leaders in abuse, including President Bush, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and former CIA director George J. Tenet. Full story here.


pleasurable moment

H is for Hedonism


Oh man, take heart, breathe.
receive, laugh, and be thankful
celebrate life, now.



Hedonism: describes any way of thinking that gives pleasure a central role. Hedonism can be generally summed up as "Pleasure is the highest good", or in an ethical formulation, "whatever causes pleasure is right." (Wikipedia)

Hedonism is the God of our age. Pleasure motivates man to create, to build, to destroy. This tenet creates a dilemma for pleasure in excess is disruptive, even life-threatening.

As living beings, do we naturally seek pleasure?; or should we seek pleasure as the highest moral good? One thing is certain, what is pleasure to one, may be pain for another. An act which brings an anticipated reaction is pleasure. Flogging is pleasurable to the one who enjoys it, anticipates it. A corporate takeover is pleasurable to the one who enjoys it, anticipates it. Eating an ice cream cone is pleasurable to the one who enjoys it, anticipates it. Hedonism is subjective and is not always for the higher good.

Even if one assents that the highest good is pleasure, it is still difficult to ascertain what it is that brings the most pleasure. For example, a night of pleasurable heavy drinking can lead to painful consequences that outweigh the initial pleasure.

Monday, April 25, 2005


internet speed: no boundaries

Internet speeds of up to 1,600 percent faster, just around the corner

Imagine the fastest speed internet service providers serve up to customers now. It's not nearly as fast as the much anticipated-soon-to-be-launched internet connection of speeds of up to 1,600 percent faster. Although a price for the improved service has yet to be determined, it's expected to cost more than current price packages.

The industry's standard-settings unit, CableLabs, plans this month to endorse technology that will let operators boost speeds 400 percent to 1,600 percent above current levels.

Motorola and Cisco are among companies offering alternative methods to increase broadband speeds by linking together the bandwidth used for four or more conventional TV channels.

"There'll be a speed arms race," says RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser. Read more at Trends.

iPod giveaways at college campuses

Apple Computer's aggressive launch and marketing strategy are paying off as the iPod forges ahead in the college market. Last year, Duke University gave away the digital music players to its freshman class. This year though, the giveaway is targeted for classes that would benefit from the device.

Educational uses for the iPod and other similar devices are just the beginning as technology advances and expands its markets to other traditional sectors. Trends has the full story.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


old fashioned tonic

More amusing Home Remedies that work

Home remedies are quite popular and are also entertaining to read. Here are some interesting home remedies that you will enjoy reading. Check out the remedy for a hickey. Normal posting commences tomorrow. Is there a home remedy for brain drain?

SMELLY FEET: Soak feet in strong tea for 20 minutes every day until the smell disappears. To prepare your footbath, brew two tea bags in 2 1/2 cups of water for 15 minutes and pour the tea into a basin containing two liters of cool water.

SMOKING HABIT: Lick a little salt with the tip of your tongue whenever you feel the urge to smoke. This is said to break the habit within 1 month.

SORE THROAT: Mix 1 tsp. lime juice and 1 Tbls. honey. Swallow tiny amounts slowly 2-3 times a day.

GUM IN HAIR: Soak the gum-coated hair in Coke® and it should wipe out easily.

HAIR LIGHTENER: To lighten hair, use 1/4 cup chopped fresh rhubarb to 2 cups boiling water. Cool, strain, and apply as a rinse.

HANG-OVER: Eat honey on crackers. The fructose in the honey will help to flush out the alcohol in your system.

HAY FEVER: Steep 1 tsp. fenugreek seed in 1 cup water, covered, for 10 minutes. Drink 1 cup a day to help hay fever symptoms.

HEADACHE: Eat 10-12 almonds, the equivalent of two aspirins, for a migraine headache. Almonds are far less likely to upset the stomach.

HICKEY: Coat area liberally with lotion. Rub with the back of a cold spoon vigorously for as long as you can stand to, changing out spoon for new cold one every 10 minutes. Recommended time for this treatment is 45-60 minutes.

SPLINTERS:

  • Lay scotch tape over the splinter and pull off.
  • Soak the area in vegetable oil for a few minutes before removing with tweezers.

STOMACH ACHE: A simple cure for a stomachache is to dissolve 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon in 1 cup warm water, cover and let sit for 15 minutes, then drink it like tea. This remedy can also ease diarrhea and flatulence.

STOMACH ACIDITY:

  • Drink coconut water 3-4 times a day.
  • Have a plateful of watermelon and/or cucumber every hour.

SUNBURN: Mix 2 tsp. tomato juice and 1/4 cup buttermilk. Apply to affected area. Rinse after 1/2 hour.

TOOTHACHE & MOUTH PAIN: To ease toothache or other mouth pain, make a tea by boiling 1 Tbls. fresh peppermint in 1 cup water and adding a little salt. Peppermint is an antiseptic and contains menthol, which relieves pain when applied to skin surfaces.

VARICOSE VEINS: Take 2-3 tsp. black strap molasses orally daily. This also treats all kinds of circulatory ailments.

VOMITING AND NAUSEA:

  • Sucking a piece of ice controls vomiting.
  • Eat 1/2 tsp. ground cumin seeds.
  • Cinnamon and sliced ginger work by interrupting nausea signals sent from the stomach to the brain. If you are an herbal tea drinker, simply sprinkle cinnamon on the tea and drink. To make ginger tea, simmer a few slices of ginger in hot tea water.

WARTS: Try taping a slice of garlic to the wart. Be sure to first protect the surrounding skin with petroleum jelly.

WEAK NAILS: To strengthen and shine nails, combine 2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. castor oil, and 1 tsp. wheat germ oil and mix thoroughly. Pour into bottle. Shake before using. To use, rub a small amount into your nails. Leave on 3-5 minutes and tissue off. Follow up with more plain castor oil, if desired.

WRINKLES & SKIN FRESHENER:

  • Combine 2 Tbls. vodka, 1 Tbls. fennel seeds, and 1 1/2 tsp. honey. Stir well and allow to sit for 3 days. Strain mixture. Use full strength or add 2 Tbls. water to dilute. Use a cotton ball to apply to face as a toner.
  • Apply coconut oil on the portions of skin and face where wrinkles set in and gently massage every night at bed time.

YELLOW TEETH: Mix salt with finely powdered rind of lime. Use this as toothpowder frequently.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Gorbachev criticizes U.S. on nuclear arsenal, hypocrisy

Heads of nation-states navigate blindly as they ponder the capabilities of nuclear weapon programs or the number of nuclear weapons of other nation-states. Intelligence reports are flawed, so a best guess is all one has to predict nuclear armament. Mikhail Gorbachev, recently interviewed, speaks on these issues and shares his interpretation of U.S. nuclear practices.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev speaks at the United Nations in New York.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev warned the United States on Wednesday "to cure itself" of hypocrisy over nuclear arms and be prepared to cut its atomic arsenal and take it off "hair-trigger" alert.

Addressing a news conference with Ted Turner, the founder of CNN, Gorbachev said the United States should not suggest other nations disarm and make no move to do so itself.

"I think the United States is sick. It suffers from the sickness, the disease of being the victor and it needs to cure itself from this disease," Gorbachev said.

"I think Russia is ready to cooperate. Now the question is, is the United States -- which is the only remaining superpower -- is the United States ready to do this? I think not," he added.

There are an estimated 34,000 nuclear warheads in silos in Russia and the United States. About 5,000 are on hair-trigger alert, in which they could be fired on 15 minutes' notice.

The United Nations in May is holding a five-year review of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the cornerstone of atomic disarmament, which came into force in 1977. So far, a preparatory committee has failed to agree on an agenda because of divisions between the nuclear powers and those without atomic weapons.

"They (United States) say other people don't need (nuclear weapons), but what kind of law is this that they are advocating?" Gorbachev asked. "It's the law of the jungle."

"We don't need to kiss each other, we don't need to flirt with each other," he said. "We need leadership through partnership, not by dominating and being a policeman."

Gorbachev, credited with helping end the Cold War, led the Soviet Union for six years until its 1991 collapse.

He was at the United Nations to present Turner the Alan Cranston peace award, named after the late U.S. senator who advocated nuclear disarmament. The award was sponsored by the Global Security Institute, a San Francisco-based group that focuses on disarmament.

Turner said the United States had not lived up to its obligations to reduce its arsenal substantially.

"It is easy to understand why other countries felt that if the United States, Russia, China, Israel, Pakistan, India and France could have nuclear weapons, then why couldn't they?" Turned said.



past memories haunt the future

G is for Govern


Oh man, lead wisely!
your people seek your advice
crave wisdom, always.


Throughout history, heads of states imposed their ideas on their citizenry and many developed their craft of cunning, leading their subjects to doom. If it is true that to govern takes more daring than knowing, then we are all doomed.

It is possible for a head of state to govern wisely. He has only to employ the knowledgeable, the cunning, the wisest of men and women, whose total loyalty is unquestionable, but he must test their loyalty in subtle ways so as not to be obvious. This depiction describes the benevolent leader who is kind, yet firm; compassionate, yet unforgiving, but whose sole purpose is to ensure a long lasting reign. The collective input from his cadre ensures a sound decision a majority of the time. A faulty decision must be swiftly contained and covertly repressed.

Then there are leaders who govern with power and might, who have a steady stream of monies taken from their ignorant citizens under the guise of “taxes”, to be used at their will. Even if this leader has opponents, the tide always turns his way and his governance is absolute. His citizenry support his cause under the empty pathos of nationalism. His intelligence network has no loyalty to him, and information with the ability to change the course of a nation can be tainted and unsubstantiated. In this condition, lies and distrust rule. The leader is forced to make decisions based on faulty information, but make them he must. Should we empathize with the misinformed leader? Absolutely not. He determines the ultimate outcome. If the decision leads to a mistake, this brand of leader dares not apologize to his citizenry, for to do so is a sign of weakness and stupidity.

Those who write history must begin the slow process of destroying all literature that has propagated lies of their country and its leaders, and begin to write the truth. Only then will future heads of state learn the true art of governing that is best for their citizenry.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Gallup Finds 53% Feel Iraq War Not Worth It

Another poll reveals that the war in Iraq was not worth it. The politicians, the President, Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice, have gone silent. The media has put the war on the back burner... after all, what's new? More bloodshed, more deaths. There are other stories around the world that capture top news coverage-- to many, the war in Iraq is old news. The United States should begin troop pull outs and allow Iraqi officials to navigate its way through its new government. Greg Mitchell has the Gallup poll story.

NEW YORK- With the conflict in Iraq seemingly stabilizing, a new government elected and American deaths declining, media coverage has dropped considerably. Perhaps that is partly based on feeling the public now has a more favorable view of U.S. involvement there. But a new Gallup poll, released Wednesday, firmly disputes that.


It found that only 45% of all Americans now feel the Iraq invasion was “worth it,” with 53% saying it wasn't. Full story at Editor & Publisher.

Politically incorrect Victoria's Secret catalogs

Victoria's Dirty Secret

Environmentalists and others who shop from Victoria's Secret catalogs shouldn't roll their eyes or throw away their thongs after reading this humorous, yet serious article. With global deforestation issues, even this up-scale lingerie company is not exempt from environmental scrutiny.

By Josh Mahan, Missoula, Montana- The cat is out of the bag, Victoria has a dirty, dirty secret. The pretty pages of her catalogues are printed on the pulp of Canada's Boreal forest, one the largest wildernesses left in the world. And we're not talking just a couple of glossy pages here, folks. Over one million Victoria's Secret magazines are shipped out to consumers every day. 395 million per year.

Recently, in Missoula a group of protesters gathered at Victoria's Secret in the Southgate Mall to try to convince the lingerie powerhouse to maximize post-consumer recycled content in their catalogues, as well as reduce their paper usage in general. The protest was the only one in Montana, but it was synchronized with 99 other protests at Victoria's Secret locations across the country.

Holding signs with phrases like, "Forest Destruction Is Not Sexy" and handing out fliers of supermodels with chainsaws, the Missoula group engaged shoppers, but also drew the ire of mall security guards. They were particularly upset with Jake Kreilick's bladeless chainsaw, though it did go well with his zebra-striped nightie. Nevertheless the crew held tight and insisted upon a right to point a critical finger at the lingerie superpower.

...what do you think Angel Tyra Banks has to say about this seemingly gross negligence?...

Jeanette Russell of the Missoula-based National Forest Protection Alliance said, "It's not very sexy to know that Victoria's Secret catalogues contain paper made from one of the largest wilderness areas in the world. Customers don't feel good about supporting businesses that are leaders in forest destruction, whether it's in the Boreal or on our national forests here in the U.S."

Ted Fellman of the Native Forest Network was also on hand. "Our endangered forests are far more valuable providing critical wildlife habitat, clean water, and hunting and fishing opportunities, than they are cut down for cheap throwaway products such as Victoria's Secret catalogues."...

Come on Victoria's Secret, and corporate America, wake up!

In the era of the Internet and fiber alternatives to tree pulp it is ridiculous to liquidate one of the world's last true great forests for a product that will be in the landfill within weeks. One day soon we'll have to put a serious check on our resource consumption. Let's hope we have forests like the Boreal around when that happens.


Thursday, April 21, 2005


mysticdreams

F is for Freedom


Oh man, seek the sky!
Look up and enjoy freedom
kings and queens forget.



Stop and think on this statement: Freedom, when taken for granted, is precious when it is taken away. Conversely, Freedom means nothing when a people never lived it. What happens when nation-states with different ideologies collide, each subject to the same rules of warfare, both possessing military parity. A protracted war ensues.

A “free” nation-state invades a country, imposes its ideology, and people die. If “freedom” were desirable, why would citizens of the nation-state fight to the death against those who desire to “save” them from oppression? Do they die for freedom? Of course not. They die to protect an invading enemy who seeks to consume that nation-state’s natural resources.

A first-year history course reveals that the United States Civil War was not fought for freedom, but rather, for economics. The South’s cotton industry was threatening the balance of power in the North.

Is freedom worth the price of a life? If the answer is yes, what is the cut-off number? 10,000?; 100,000?; 200,000? Can the price of freedom in lives be quantified? I’ll leave that equation to the mathematicians. For those who value their freedom, let its meaning be true. Let freedom not be used as a cover for an invading nation's state true purpose: the need to consume and feed off another being.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005


bluegreen petal in black

E is for Empathy


Oh man, sorrow comes!
will the master leave his sheep?
Empathy draws nigh.


Empathy: The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this (Merriam Webster)

The sharing of these feelings with another is attributed to past life experiences in the receiver. One cannot escape pain and suffering no matter how desperately one tries. In order to truly appreciate freedom, one must suffer at the hands of tyranny- otherwise, the majority who have not, take freedom for granted.

It is striking that the higher an individual’s level of development, the more he is able to forego empathy and replace it with hard logic, willfully closing off his past life experiences in the process. On the other hand, those in the majority who fall within the normal realm of development are inclined to empathize with another who is suffering.

The danger to the highly developed individual is the absence of connectedness with the human race, thereby isolating himself into a world of his own making. If such is the case, these individuals should not marry and have children for the expected pain and suffering within his family would not be understood.

For those with this elevated sense, it is not impossible to find a balance between objectivity and sensitivity. Constant interaction with others- sharing ideas with different factions, contributing his talents to those less fortunate are good first steps.

Finding a balance in fact, is the standard all should strive to achieve. I imagine these individuals would perform well as philosopher kings. Leaders should be so lucky.


Pope Benedict XVI gestures to the crowd in St. Peter's Square, Tuesday evening.

German cardinal Joseph Ratzinger elected new pope - Apr 19, 2005- named Benedict XVI

A new pope is elected. Joseph Ratzinger of Germany was elected to lead the Catholic church after the death of Pope John Paul II. Ratzinger is the 265th pontiff. He chose Benedict XVI as his papal name. He is the sixth German to serve as pope. He is a staunch conservative, analysts predicting that the new pontiff will remain true to the policies of Pope John Paul II and forge his own conservative policies that will affect over one billion Catholics around the world. Read more, CNN.

pieces of mind

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

D is for Discipline


Oh man, frolic well
Control thy urges and stay
discipline is gold.


Discipline of the mind is achieved when the inner voices are at peace. The un-anticipated silence can be frightening at first, but the individual’s psyche, if strong, should adjust and begin a state of meditation. A disciplined life can be achieved.

If given license, man’s unchecked desires will quickly lead to chaos. This is why we have laws- to keep man’s desires at bay while still acknowledging his freedom of choice. Have you ever been at a party permeated with an air of danger? Did you feel uncomfortable? These feelings are conditioning of what is acceptable behavior, brainwashed in each person’s psyche and imposed by man-made laws.

However, because man is a thinker, a creator, his thoughts are able to transcend these social norms and when manifested, are categorized as deviant, which causes conflict between man and his environment. But is this bad behavior? No, just unacceptable. Ultimately, man is responsible for his actions and this quiets the cynics who would grant prejudicial comments, all of which are just subjective bitching.

The world does not strive for a utopian society, and why should it? Free will prohibits one, as man struggles to understand himself and his purpose in life. Conflict is necessary for man’s survival.

Discipline conditions the mind to respond in a logical manner that separates the Self from other behavior that seeks to destroy the psyche. Go beyond social standards, but discipline the mind.

Monday, April 18, 2005


A soothing memory for Megan

Megan's poems, series of 9

The daughter whom I never had is leaving tomorrow to Texas. She will be checking into a residential treatment center. She was diagnosed with bipolar level 1 a few years ago. I will miss her. I have great hope that her cure is near and that she will come home soon. She is a wonderful writer, poet and artist. She has great potential. She will turn 15, May 31st. I promised her that I would share her poems. They are nine in all. Please post comments to her here as she will be reading this. Thank you. Here they are.

Megan, I love you.

I.
For love so pure deceiveth thee.
thou hast spoken of thine lover's true bliss,
and ended with life's deadly kiss.

II.
Taken by the roaring seas, thine true soul
love so great and bold,
so powerful and full of strength, ten thousand
times more. "Oh. Aye!" Let Satan take his course!
Dance with him! Show off thine self a little more!

III.
Art thou stupid? Does thou not knowest what thou
touchest? That thou touchest what thou knowest to be thine?

IV.
Benvolio:
For thou art beseiged by love
taken upon thee by love's foe;
so art thou by love's first kiss.

V.
I have not said much thereof; but I
know that in the end; the greatest sin
would be to go against God.

VI.
For thou art of a remnance of heaven
for thou art mine only love.
I shall never hear of hurting you.

VII.
Is life so envying and so unforgiving as to take away
my only soul?
Is life so hard that I have no love; the only evil I have
in my heart?

VIII.
Do you not see mine lover's fate?
Condemning him to death?
As the great book says, there is a time to be born,
and a time to die! When!? When!? Will you act as
the ideal justice?!
When?! When will you understand?! There is no repentance!
As I will take no repentance! Look at my affliction!
Does thou thinkest thou art satisfied?!

IX.
Oh where is the dawning of this new day?
Where is the sun!; and the meaning of our purpose?!
Where has it gone?


"Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality." -Abraham Lincoln

C is for Commitment


Oh man, what moves you?
commit thyself to good works
all else is gray dross.



A commitment, like a promise, is based on trust and personal integrity. Without both, a commitment becomes a worthless promise that erodes away at a person’s reputation. It doesn’t matter if it was made to a child, a friend, a spouse, or a colleague—a broken commitment belittles one’s self-worth and offends the receiver.

But what if the commitment was without merit, or harmful, or illegal? If any of these instances were the case, the obligation should have never been made. Saying this, the commitment must be honored and the essence of its amoral nature has no bearing on its worth.

Before the reader argues this point, think of Lady Justice and her blindfold; think of politicians and their “unconscionable” actions. Ethical indifference permeates society in degrees and in status. The level of commitment drives the impulse and compels the individual to see it through, regardless of the consequences and its effect on others—the receiver gains something, for good or evil, nothing is lost.

And there is commitment to oneself. Positive outcomes manifest themselves when one commits to a goal. The person elevates himself in status, his driven nature propels him to succeed.

Commitment can be a useful and positive outcome, or not. Commit wisely.


Sunday, April 17, 2005


drawn to the light

B is for Bright


Oh man, canst thou see?
your purpose to glean divine
And find it in you.



Bright light creates hope in a world of darkness. When mankind came into being, the Grand Architect of the Universe embedded the spark of his divine being in man, called the spirit. The propagation of humans has created billions of bright lights in this world. The touch of the divine resides in us and we witness this manifestation everyday of our lives as we think, create, build; but we also have the dark side of ourselves which, if given free reign, will destroy us.

Raising a child influences that child’s whole perception of the world and the way they will interact within acceptable norms of society. Because of this, importance must be placed in the early years of the child’s development, particularly in the instruction of the mind.

As their children grow, parents worry about manifested unacceptable behavior. This is because as parents, they failed to prepare the child to perceive life as purpose driven. But parents are not to blame. This failure is generational. They too, grew up in a parochial home with the same ignorance which they unknowingly passed on to their children.

What can be done to mitigate this virus? At the grade school level beginning with kindergarten, school curriculum should include philosophy, theology, arts, writing, sports, and thinking programs. Why sports? Because an unfit body is destined for disease and suffering.

From there, each child is tested to discover their natural aptitude. They are then quickly moved to a curriculum that caters to their intuitive nature where they are given the necessary tools to excel. Periodic testing is given as the child progresses to capture other aptitudes, and the child’s curriculum changes to reflect the changing skills.

This type of instruction acknowledges the child as a being separate and unique and gives him a solid foundation of what his purpose is on this earth. The bright light manifests itself in society. Society benefits from this enlightened person and new social mores are instituted based on a higher level of development. The spark of the divine is preserved. The world embraces the light. Divergent conflicts are settled before they become cause for war.

When the enlightened being dies, he returns to the divine after having served his purpose.

Saturday, April 16, 2005


veiled eye

A is for Apathy


Oh man, how foolish!
apathy is in thine heart
Forsaking true life.



The unpleasant smell of apathy permeates this world, as the stench from a garbage-full of cabbage and fish guts would linger in a windless alley, suffocating all breath of those close by. The repetitious cycle of life we each endure locks us up in our security blanket and we are not aware. This safe, cuddly blanket of protection sucks out our creative wares and dulls our thinking.

World leaders speak of a new Renaissance, a starburst age of enlightened beings living in peace and harmony; nation-states reaping the beneficent bounty of its technologically-advanced denizens; its grass roots citizens living in ignorance, but in a happy state of mind. A cynic such as I disagrees that this epoch will emerge in this century, for as long as mankind exists, wars will be fought. Strong and powerful nation-states must conquer weaker ones for the sake of survival, be it oil, aquatic resources, efficient energy, food by-products, and space advancement. The race began when Adam and Eve were cast out of Eden.

Mankind’s quality of life garners importance above all else. The sad truth must be realized here, that his quality of life is intertwined with quantitative tangibles, making more money to buy more things, to be more comfortable, to not feel the want for anything. How weak he is! Apathy has set in his mind. His drive to consume has made him like a hamster running desperately on its wheel, working up an appetite to feed and then, rest. Day after day after day—the end not even a thought in his restless mind… until his body gives out. Oh, foolish man!


haiku, series in eight, haiku

Friday, April 15, 2005

Haiku - the 5-7-5 one breath poetry

Haiku originated during the time of the samurai, a time when everyone realized that to speedily draw a sword or hit a target with an arrow required a lot of practice. And so it is with haiku. Practice, practice, practice. Even though Japanese haiku were often written in one line, rather than in three, haiku poets were always aware that the poem was in three parts- the first part having five syllables, the second seven syllables and the third five. Thought I'd try my hand in writing haiku.. and here they are.

I.
Give your heart a chance
his love is strong, pure, and right
this is sweet rapture

II.
I love the bacon
the sow gave its life for me
thank you Mr. Sow

III.
I walk through meadows
Barefoot and blogging in haste
My laptop keeps up.

IV.
The war is hard fought
life, death, sunstroke and water
Soldier's life just sucks.

V.
Hold this string, don't pull
Re-thread pieces of my heart
Blood flows back to it.

VI.
Dangling pin, teardrops
Earrings sparkle in the sun
dull in the shadows.

VII.
Here, lots of handbags
Louis Vuitton, my favorite
I love duty free.

VIII.
I dream of the Rose
Vision, Rose Cross of Shiloh
Keep my secret safe

Thursday, April 14, 2005


Table: Crude oil production & reserves

The Price of Oil and the Bush Dollar

By DAVE LINDORFF
Philadelphia, PA

...Increasingly, concern is being expressed by treasury officials and economists about the negative impact soaring oil prices and related gas prices could have on the overall economy. Politicians-especially Republicans-- are also fretting, since the thousands of extra dollars consumers are now spending on electricity, home heating and gasoline have, for all but the wealthiest taxpayers, more than cancelled out any minimal benefits they saw from the president's tax cuts.

What's wrong with this picture?

The focus of all this anger and angst is oil prices. As a result, everyone is looking at culprits in the wrong place, blaming wasteful energy use, OPEC production quotas, monopolistic oil companies and/or conniving oil traders.

In fact the real culprit behind these higher oil prices is the Bush Administration, which, thanks to its massive deficits and tax give-aways to the rich and corporations, to its war spending, and to its failure to combat unprecedented and ever-larger trade deficits, has been causing the dollar to plunge in value.

Oil is a commodity and it is priced in dollars. If dollars decline in value, then the price of oil will rise in inverse proportion. One need only look at Europe to see what this means.

Some Wall Street oil industry analysts are now predicting that oil could, before too long, hit $100 a barrel. What they are saying really is that the dollar is likely to fall in value by 50 percent.

Should that happen, though, the OPEC states would likely at some point along the way decide that it is ridiculous for them to continue pricing oil in dollars, since the piles of dollars filling their bank vaults will be losing value faster than their oil wells are emptying. At some point, the oil producing states, including Russia and Norway, will inevitably switch to pricing their oil in a basket of currencies-a basket that would prominently feature the Euro and probably the Japanese Yen.

At that point there would be little left to prop up the dollar, and it could end up becoming little better than a Third World currency. That's something to chew on next time you're filling your car with $2.25/gallon or $2.50/gallon gas at the local pump... Full story at counterpunch.com


Wednesday, April 13, 2005


gotta wonder

True Facts

Need an ice breaker? Here are some True Facts you can throw into a conversation that's going stale.. fast... They're better than pick up lines and some are good for a laugh or two.

A Swiss ski resort announced it would combat global warming by wrapping its mountain glaciers in aluminum foil to keep them from melting.
There is a company that will (for $14,000) take your ashes, compress them into a synthetic diamond to be set in jewelry for a loved one.
Russian scientists have developed a new drug that prolongs drunkenness and enhances intoxication.
A perfect SAT score is 1600 combined. Bill Gates scored 1590 on his SAT. Paul Allen, Bill's partner in Microsoft, scored a perfect 1600. Bill Cosby scored less than 500 combined.

Motorists traveling outside Salem, Oregon saw one of the "litter cleanup" signs crediting the American Nazi party. Marion County officials had no choice but to let that group into the adopt-a-road program. The $500 per sign was picked up by Oregon taxpayers. The Ku Klux Klan is also involved in the adopt-a-road program in the state of Missouri.
Mailmen in Russia now carry revolvers after a recent decision by the government.
American made parts account for only 1% of the Chrysler Crossfire. 96% of the Ford F-150 Heritage Truck is American.
The time spent deleting SPAM costs United States businesses $21.6 billion annually.

John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the United States, loved to skinny dip in the Potomac River.
A Wisconsin forklift operator for a Miller beer distributor was fired when a picture was published in a newspaper showing him drinking a Bud Light.
G-rated family films earn far more money than any other rating. Yet only 3% of Hollywood's output is G-rated.
Richard Hatch, winner of the first "Survivor" reality series, has been charged with tax evasion for failing to report his $1,000,000 prize.

More people study English in China than speak it in the United States of America (300 million).
Fast food provider Hardee's has recently introduced the Monster Thickburger. It has 1,420 calories and 107 grams of fat.
More than 2,500 left-handed people are killed each year from using products that are made for right-handed people.
For every person on earth, there are an estimated 200 million insects.

There are 2,000,000 millionaires in the United States.
A Georgia company will mix your loved one's ashes with cement and drop it into the ocean to form an artificial reef.
The Washington Times newspaper is owned by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon.
In 2002, women earned 742,000 bachelor's degrees. Men earned only 550,000 during the same year. The difference is growing so large that many colleges now practice (quietly) affirmative action for male applicants.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


cascading candles in lavender field

Colors Everlast

dewdrops, drip... drip...drip...allegro thoughts

...dewdrops drip thick ambrosia honeysuckle dreams cantical splashes on water's edge dreamscape patternseddy past...

fluttering, flowering visions
yellow daisies and fresh mint
purple lavender and solemn moods
thick ambrosia and honeysuckle dreams

cantical splashs on water's edge

dreamscape patterns eddy past
wispy puffs skyscape ether loom

fading frescos muted chalkpaints
quiet rituals and candled flames
soft sage and amber gold
baby's breath and creamy silk
a fold and tuck, a whispered memory


Carabao- the old mode of transportation

Carabao on my mind

How much are you paying for gas? Early this morning, gas prices on Guam increased another 7 cents. Here's the chronological breakdown.

TO THE POINT

Guam gasoline prices have soared to new highs of $2.70 a gallon for regular and $2.77 for premium. Yes, $2.70 a gallon for regular.

RECENT INCREASES

March 24: up 7 cents a gallon for regular grade to $2.63

March 15: up 7 cents to $2.56

Feb. 23: up 7 cents to $2.49

Jan. 28: up 7 cents to $2.42

Gas prices are steadily increasing, bringing V-8 owners to their knees. Frustrated with these circumstances, I had a thought. Before WWII, on Guam, carabaos (water buffalos to the uninformed), were used to get from point A to point B. (These beasts-of-burden were also used to till the soil, but I digress).

Perhaps there is a solution... you see, for years, the military on Guam has been culling carabaos. The Navy's justification is that there are too many of them which threatens the delicate ecosystem. The solution? Save the carabaos! Residents can adopt-a-carabao and put them to work- have them eat the grass around their yard, or carabao-cart services for transportation. Perhaps, an adopt-a-carabao business. How ridiculous is this? Very! But so are the current gas prices.

I believe I will adopt-a-carabao and leave the van at home. Of course, it will be a slow and hot and sweaty ride, but all it'll cost me is a bucket-full of grass and a dip in a riverbed.

Monday, April 11, 2005


tranquility within represents peace without

state of mind

Money (>) or (<) happiness and contentment

I picked up another interesting book at the local Salvation Army. "Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortune and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty." Although dull in some sections, the premise came through clearly: too much money and not enough love make children emotional, spiritual, and mental, malcontents, leading to manifested acts of rebellion that lead to deep unhappiness and life-threatening circumstances.

It seems easier to hurl accusatory comments and expressions of guilt than healing words of love and support. Misunderstandings and pride become part of the equation- in the end, the pattern of behavior becomes chronic and places a permanent strain on the individual.

Today, annoyance and impatience seem to be the norm, and the basic emotion of love is an anomaly. Is contentment an overrated way of life? Is money the seat of my contentment?

Paul Getty II, was a heroin addict for most of his life. He was using his money to buy drugs. He neglected his family, especially during a time in their lives when they needed him. His son had been kidnapped by an Italian Mafia faction and was demanding millions of dollars. Paul Getty II, along with his father- the famous J. Paul Getty, refused to pay the ransom and for over five months, his son suffered. Fortunately, there is a happy ending to this story. At the time, Getty was worth over a million dollars a month.

Money buys many things that briefly satisfies our need to obtain objects to validate our self-worth, but unless there is a balance within our psyche, all the money in the world is incapable of buying that which we as human beings need the most: love and the need to connect to the human race in a positive way. Is there a moral to this story? Of course. But you already knew that.

Sunday, April 10, 2005


Untitled
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