Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Probable Cause

Just because you think they're out to get you doesn't mean they aren't

I've been alittle hot under the collar lately.
Watching the flurry of anti Obama bulletins flying around Myspace calling him a fraud and a traitor.
They were doing so before he even took office.
And we have Rush Limbaugh loudly wishing for his failure.
I'm alittle confused.
I thought the "patriotic" types are supposed to support whoever the president is, blindly. That was usually the heat I got from them for being critical of national policy.
Now the shoe is on the other foot, and the heels are revolting.
I see the comments supporting him and declaring their opposition to 'sharing of the wealth' ...like, they've so much personal fortune that the idea of a middle class tax cut seems outright communist in nature. As if the last 8 years of Bush and Cheney giving the nation's CEO's and top 8% every imagineable advantage like cutting the inheiritance tax, giving KBR no bid contracts, making federal oversight agencies like the FDA, EPA and the BLM subserviant to corporate interests and appointing to federal courts pro-corporate Federalist Society alumni...to where now we're weathering the after effects of nearly a decade of greed and naked self-interest so wanton as to make even Ayn Rand cringe in her grave.
The bailouts have been approved and CEO's are still getting their golden parachutes while we're averaging nearly a half a million jobs lost each month and ever growing numbers of home reposessions. Yet somehow the phrase...'redistribute the wealth' causes conservatives and rightwing conspiracy theorists to start hoarding bullets and cans of baked beans.
I've even run into the self canceling logic that claims that 'zionists and illuminati elites are pushing socialism on us so they can control us and enrich themselves'. Paranoids always want to have it both ways... to be able to blame those they've always wanted to pass the blame onto.
They'd rather obsess about the possible effects of flouridation and chemtrails than about oil spills and bad educational policies.
Areas of conjecture and the intangible seem more appealing than the more quantifiable effects of bad social, enviromental and economic policies.
I'm an occultist so I guess I can understand the need for a leap in faith once in awhile.
But I'd like to think my priorities aren't that askew.

FBI agents posting bogus links and entrapping people

Maybe they set themselves up... I can't say... but what bothers me about this is wondering what's to prevent them from using the same constitutionally suspect methods from setting other people up for political or philosophical reasons.
But on a similar note...

Teen "Sexting" Worries Parents, Schools

Wtf !!!..... so, ...we're turning sexually curious and playful teens into registered sex offenders presumably to save them from themselves???? Ah yes,.... the sex negatives out to scare teens away from the evils of their own raging hormones.
Fuck,...how I hate the mothers of prevention! And they wonder why most teens don't want to grow up to be just like them.

Wherein 'voter fraud' no longer matters to Republicans...

Their memories seem to be slipping of a simpler time.

Stolen Election 2004:

"....In Cleveland, election officials rejected 8,099 provisional ballots - one out of three of the 24,472 provisional ballots cast in the Nov. 2 election."

None dare call it voter suppression and fraud

A few other headlines of note from this last week, before I forget;

Income of 400 richest Americans doubled during Bush era

Fannie Mae's Overpaid Board: Can President Obama Turn Words Into Action?

Fox host: Capping bailout executives' pay 'slippery slope' to socialism

Dismay on Wall Street over Obama pay cap

Savings lost to Madoff, elderly forced back to work

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Double Edged Sword

It's bad sports season

Once again, missiles fly and civilians die in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The "truthers" and conservatives are already howling about this.
Let the 'I told you so's ' rain.
Endless bulletins racing around the social networks and the blogosphere exclaiming 'see, we told you so!'...attached with images of Obama in place of Jim Carey from the poster from the film 'Liar, Liar!'
As if that took any prodding.

Well, let's face it. Most of us had candidates that we'd have rather seen in the final race.... Kucinich, McKinney, Edwards, Paul, Huckabee, Clinton. Only some had supporters who just didn't take losing very well.
I was taking the view that while I didn't trust Obama, he was better than McCain/Palin.
Now Obama is here and for the most I've been glad to see him reversing a number of longstanding Bush policies. Considering I wasn't expecting alot, only that he wouldn't die in office and leave us with Sarah Palin as pres, then I'd say so far I've been pleasantly surprized.
Surprized even in spite of his staff decisions.

Including that of leaving Bush appointees Gen. Petraeus and Robert Gates in charge of the war theatre. Yet in doing so he's left us with results that are no surprize.

Bombing by US drones kills 21 , including women and children
This will remain a source of anguish for those that supported him... especially those that hope that he'll get us out of Iraq. And a couple of days ago just after Obama asked the Pentagon to draw up an exit strategy for Iraq Robert Gates responds at a press conference that we're likely to remain in Iraq and Afghanistan for years to come.

All the 'NObama's were jumping the gun... though they predicted the downfall of the republic before he even got to say the oath of office for the second time. Nothing he could ever do will ever please them. Unless he dismantles the Federal Reserve and ends all taxation... so that the rest of us can live without gov't services like education, health or aid... so that some people can hang onto alittle extra on their paychecks.

I suspect there are many just not coping with the idea of having a black president... while others just don't like democrats...
But I didn't much like the GOP's insistance on a ban of american funds going to third world aid agencies that offered information on abortions or birth control or safe sex. Which instead they helped to fund christian agencies that emphasized abstinence over safe sex.
Yeah, look how well that worked for Sarah Palin's daughter.
I keep rewriting this entry.
Earlier I went on a long tirade about rightwing truthers, Alex Jones fans and Ron Paul supporters and their kneejerk 'NObama' attitudes.
I just clipped it away thinking whygo on about such people...and yet,
Nothing Obama is going to do will ever please them.
They are conditioned to seeing an illuminati in every closet and under every bed.
I see what floats around the Prison Planet forums where they blame him for ending torture by exuecutive decree by insisting quite the opposite occured that by lifting the ban on funding for organisations that give abortion information he is in fact exporting torture.
Isn't getting AIDS from not using condoms because the local christian aid agencies refuse safe sex alternatives... or slow death from starvation because you have too many kids a form of torture?
See, we can twist this argument any way that we want.

Let's face it, the conservatives have a vested interest in seeing Obama fail .
Look,... Obama is not off the hook about the war even though he never promised us he'd end the war promptly. It's up to us to stay on his ass about it.... he doesn't get a free ride.
But give him a bit of time and wait and see what he does.

Once again the BBC's management come under fire over policy decisions

The BBC's isolation for it's refusal to air appeal for aid.

" ..The BBC's unrepentant stance has stirred up rebellion in the ranks of it own reporters and editors. One senior BBC news presenter told the Observer: "I've been talking to colleagues and everyone here is absolutely seething about this. The notion that the decision to ban the appeal will seem impartial to the public at large is quite absurd.." - Guardian.co.uk

Morally they're wrong about their stance in not airing an appeal for aid.
The need is too urgent and dire to play out the politics of it.
They're not wrong about needing to maintain an objective image as an outlet for the news.
In fact they're a bit oversensitive to oversite and criticism these last few months, still from the Radio 2 incident back in October where radio/tv show host Jonathan Ross along with his guest Russell Brand had left obscene phone messages for 86 year old actor Andrew Sachs... describing Brand's sexual tryst with Sach's granddaughter.

" ...Astonishingly, senior BBC executives cleared the offensive messages for broadcast, even though making abusive phone calls is a criminal offence. "

It's weird to see them standing up to criticism for supporting Ross' bad judgement in making the prank phonecalls and now to see them standing defiant against politicians and colleagues in the media over their decision about the Gaza appeal.
And yet where was this defiance during the 2003 furor over the death of Dr David Kelly (which may or may not have been a suicide) and resulted in a pro government biased inquiry conducted by Lord Hutton which stated that the BBC management was culpable in airing the unverified and unsubstantiated claims by reporter Andrew Gilligan for Radio 4's Today programme that Prime Minister's Director of Communications and Strategy, Alistair Campbell had altered a government report in a manner that emphasized a claim that Saddam Hussein has WMD's with such sufficient capabilities that Iraq was able to deploy biological weapons within 45 minutes of an order to do so'. A claim that even the Defence Intelligence Staff seriously doubted.
As a result of the Hutton inquiry, BBC's chairman, Gavyn Davies had to accept responsibility and resign as did its director general, Greg Dyke; both whom were so widely respected by BBC staff that there were spontaneous walkouts and protests.
Interestingly, you'd never see anyone in the US take responsibility like that. When Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld accepted responsibility for the events at Abu Ghraib prison... he just stayed and just non com officers and guards were court martialed even though they were just following directives issued from the very top... directives that according to former VP Dick Cheney were executive decisions that 'he doesn't regret making'... hopefully we'll get back to him on that.

But back to the BBC and the Hutton Inquiry, ... (if you hadn't heard this one before) back in April 2005 a government memo was leaked dating further back to July of 2002 which was the minutes of a meeting of the British Prime Minister's senior ministers (of which Alistair Campbell was in attendance) which described the United States executive branch's intention to invade Iraq acknowledging Iraq's feeble defensive capabilities,stating that" his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran", and went on to theorize possible political routes to finding justification for an invasion... and for Britain's involvement.

This part seems especially key;
" C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justifi ed by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fi xed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action. "

Moreover, it proves that even President Bush advisors knew the claims to be ludicrous and played the claims out as just intentional political theatre.

And Lord Hutton is just a pompous gov't shill.

I do agree with the truthers on the fact that there should be another 9/11 Commission inquiry without an obstructionist administration preventing important figures from being subpoena'd.
We should start with investigating the truth about the whole last 8 years... from the very beginning.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Somehow all my good feelings leading up to the moment of Obama's inauguration are ruined by the opening speech of Diane Feinstein and Rev. Rick Warren's invocation.
Considering that last week Warren was exhorting his followers to 'follow Christ, like youth followed Hitler' as if creating a Christus jugend bewegnung is going to help anything other than to further the cause of creating a theocracy out of a democracy and giving the rightwing a 'by any means necessary' speech, I was somewhat relieved to see Warren didn't slip anything insulting or ideologically top heavy into his invocation speech. I was expecting that his followers were going to try to hijack the event.

Brilliant.... great..... the queen of soul.... Aretha Franklin singing 'America tis of thee'... absolutely beautifully sung and very moving, -although tell me some comedian hadn't already predicted this for the first african american president's inaugural?

Joe Biden gets sworn in... could you get anymore 'insider' than that? Aleast they both weren't claiming to be "maverics".

Obama stumbles after the word "execute"...hmm, 'who are you thinking of executing' (I can hear the usual paranoid anti-NWO truthers buzzing on that one)...big embarassing pause there... but its done.
Apparently it was Justice(?) Roberts' slip up that caused it.
A big corner has been turned here.
I can't help but be moved by it.

"I thank him for the cooperation he's shown in the transition" (Bush gives a look like 'the hell I have!')
Mentions the challenge... healthcare, education, financial crisis.
Acknowledges the difficulty of the challenges ahead and exhorts the US to unite to deal with the problems and reminds us that "all are equal".
"pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and do what's got to be done " to rebuild the republic.
restore science to its rightful place" ....predicts green technologies growth.
Derides cynics and critics... assuring them of american capability to achieve results.
On defense...
rejects the paranoid fear policies of the Bush Admin for the sake of natl security ...but to restore the literal meaning of the constitutional gaurantees of rights.
Reiterates american resolve against terrorism but not at the price of civil liberties.
But signals to the arab world that a different tact will be taken; one that shows respect and not just a 'christian crusade' against islam.
Acknowledges americans' use of resources... will employ more sensible use of them.
Mentions the many virtues he wants to see...
like" the willingness of a factory worker willing to take fewer hours than to see a friend lose their job" (maybe signaling to unions a bullet or two they'll have to bite... vaguely anti-unionist in nature)
Personal responsibility and the price of citizenship.
QReminds us that 60 years ago his father couldn't sit in alot of restraunts but he "now stands before you to take America's most sacred oath"

The rest of the speech you can read online somewhere.....

I can't tell you how much I appreciate the fact that I hear a president speech that doesn't make me seethe and react with anger

Elizabeth Alexander poet ..." say it, plain... that many died for the day that brings us here"
"praise song for the day for every hand written sign written at kitchen tables"

Rev. Joseph E Lowry's benediction... civil rights leader.... someone who's lived long and been through alot to get to this day. One can't help but be moved by the significance of this moment for him. .....LOL! he takes a jab at the Bush Admin for their favoritism towards the rich elite.
I love him for his humility, rationality and humour!

A BBC anouncer reminds us that this moment was promised us ... a long time in the coming.

They sing the national anthem.

It's more than just the arrival of America's first black president which in and of itself is monumental in nature -but a deliverance of the reigns of power from a failed and abusive presidency (that lasted 8 years) to a presidency that will have to work three times as hard to undo the damage that was done to the republic in that time...
There were so many subtle jabs at the subtle racism and elitist policies of the previous administration, their wanton disregard for the rights of average americans.
That this moment, in part, fulfilled but was not solely pivotal on the importance or realizing Rev. Martin Luther King jr's dream but in realising the equality of all americans also recognizes that as equal americans requires equal responsibilities.

The presidents...former and incoming... standing together on the steps....... I'm awaiting a raining of shoes on GW Bush... in fact, I think his eyes have been busily scanning for any 'incoming' footwear throughout the whole event.
Cheney.... shamming I think, in his wheelchair.......... 'you wouldn't prosecute a man in a wheelchair, would you?'


Okay, event over.

President Obama is still a product of party politics and he still owes alot in some part to corporate benefactors. And despite the progressive sounding speech, he's already warned us in his speech that ...for instance... unions may have to bite a bullet or two to save jobs.
I didn't like Justice(?)John Roberts swearing him in... the federalist scum.
The contempt was apparent in his voice... but he did his job.

Now that the important moment is over:
I was interviewed on local belgian tv as an american living in Gent and this event's meaning to me...
Americans living in Belgium react to Obama inauguration
I have to say to my defense... they woke me up with a telephone call, and in one hour they were there and I just wasn't prepared for an interview.
And, they took my least interesting soundbytes. But witnessing it... I can't blame them, I really was too tired to have done this.
I made a quip about how previously the White House really was the "White" House... that it was previously unthinkable.... they left out that I mentioned that the Dem leadership had previously snubbed him and that all during the primaries he'd had a racial double standard thrown at him despite Clinton supporters' claim of 'sexism' on the part of the dem leadership and the media.
That the media took Obama more to task on a number of occasions that they didn't of McCain or Palin.
But they chose my less important comments.
I mentioned the corporate favoritism of the previous admin... but used my comment about the lack of respect for the right of privacy.
But I did stumble a bit... so I can't really blame them... unaccustomed to public speaking as I am.
I did say that I was "wary, but still hopeful"... hey, ...what do you want? I am at the end of the day, an anarchist.
I don't trust any gov't really, and especially the dems who talk a good game but have stabbed us (their progressive base) in the back on so many occasions ...like war funding, like the quashing of Dennis Kucinich's efforts to impeach Bush, like the bailout, like the uncondintional support for Israel's brutal war against Gaza's residents, like the many concessions to the Bush administration. I get tired of hearing them tell us how unrealistic the progressive agenda is, especially when progressive activists kept the dems in the running.
I detest Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid for all their progressive lipservice and backroom deal making. We do need either more in the way of political pluralism like that which exists in parliamentary political systems, an end to the "two party" system where both parties are just shades of one another,
... or a revolution, a rise from the bottom of direct workers' democracy.

But, today is the day before Obama's first day on the job so, I'll wait see what he does tomorrow and celebrate today some of the important parts of what today meant.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gone but never forgotten

I'm posting this just to get this out of the way to make way for an inauguration day post.
For the sake of continuity I'll post these and rewrite or add to this later.

Oakland to fire 11 cops in search warrant case
I knew it was a largely dirty force. Largely through previous dealings with them.

CIA chief: No proof of Iranian A-bomb

Follow Jesus Like Nazis Followed Hitler, Rick Warren Exhorts Crowd
I suspect this one is going to come back to bite Obama on the ass for years to come.

The 43 Who Helped Make Bush The Worst Ever

Keith Olberman: The Bush Years - 8 in 8 Minutes

350,000 Conservatives Pledge To Block Obama's "Socialistic" Agenda
Fascist crybabies vow to be flies in the oinment.
Have you noticed that republicans don't seem to mind 'socialist bailouts' when it benefits only the very rich?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Memories of the Unknown Busker

There was a recent post floating around which told about world class violinist Joshua Bell busking inside the metro station in Washington DC.
A brilliant violinist playing top notch music on the street for free...as people kept just walking by completely oblivious to what was actually occuring. Normally they'd pay a couple of hundred dollars to hear him play and afterwards brag to their friends how 'amazing he was'. But because of context and location... it wasn't worth a second look.

In the late 1980's I found myself in a major funk.
A deep well of negative emotions I couldn't climb out,
-of connected to my departure from a band that I'd played with for six years,
-and the breakup of the deepest relationship I'd ever had.
My mom saw the misery I was going through dealing with all of this and sent me off to europe. She bought my ticket by I had to get by on my own.
When I did get to Berlin my money didn't really last me very long. Something that happens very fast when you're in a big city and you don't know anyone. Fortunately I had brought along a guitar and a battery operated amp. I made my living by my guitar; -playing in the cafés and on the streets. Sometimes I hooked up with other musicians when playing on the streets because the more musicians there are the more of a spectacle it tends to create.
In the late 1980's there was still a strong tradition of respect for the itinerent musician. In places like Antwerpen, in the area called the old section there were many many buskers... although we were often outflanked by the numerousness and popularity of peruvian ensembles who were students making ends meet by busking. And there was a café there by the docks where all the buskers would gather at the end of the night to drink; and a stage there where they'd perform solo or jam together.
In Gent, Belgium...you could go inside any café and ask to play, they'd turn the house music off and let you perform and then pass the hat. And they have a festival called 'de Gentsefeesten' that started in 1832 as a celebration of the creation of Belgium -)where the workers would celebrate for 10 days and spent the whole week and a half in the cafés listening to the musicians jam.
But that was in the past.
These days the only stages during the Gentsefeesten are reserved for "official acts", and few cafés will let musicians play in them on the spur of the moment play for tips.
There was a café in Berkeley on Telegraph Ave called the Soup Kitchen where they'd let you play for a bowl of soup and rumour had it that people like Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan had both at one time or another wandered in to play for their meals.
Yet without the wandering musicians you'd never have had the some of the most beautiful music created out of the cross pollenation of middleastern music and western celtic... although in the medieval tradition of the troubadors who composedOccitane lyric poetry and music; and spawned movements like the minnesangers who were mainly of noble birth yet still traveled extensively carrying along the influences from the places they'd been.
And of course there is no end of respect for gypsy musicians, who in many countries, were never even allowed to set down roots.
The 1993 film by Tony Gatlif titled Latcho Drom tells the story in a wonderful way through music of the travels and influences, and troubles of gypies from India to the middleast to europe.
Another musical movement that exemplified this sort of cross pollenation of styles was greek folk music called Rembetika which emerged in the 1920's. The music itself was like a blues music mozaic that often told stories personal to the singer chronicling personal tragedies caused by war, faithless love and the hardships that immigrants faced.

When I returned to San Francisco I saw a few of the musicians that I'd met in europe who I'd seen draw hundreds of spectators there and were respected for their musicianship.
They seemed lost amid the haste of foot traffic... unheard in the urban din... invisible as their talents seemed unnoticed.

Anne Coulter's ignorance and hypocrisy.

Currently she's making the rounds of TV and radio talkshows promoting her book 'Guilty' ...which she could just as well have titled 'Have I Annoyed Everyone Yet?' -she seems hell bent on trash talking everyone and everything in sight (fellow conservatives included). Part of her litany of well practiced gripes is how the liberal media is persecuting conservatives and yet she visits abuse upon fellow conservatives like Mike Huckabee as exemplified during a recent visit to his FOX NEWS show.

But one of the main talking points of her book is her claim that single mothers have created 70% of all the criminality that exists. Or that being raised by a single mother gives you twice the possibility of becoming a criminal later in life. Luckily in this day and age some people actually bother to fact check and then it gets blogged extensively it.
I have a hard time believing that she actually believes the spurious claims that she makes... simply because of the sheer volume of superficial claims she makes.
And the fact that she's is eager is to be talked about even when its to be dished on.
But for every institution that has some christian moralist drum to beat about the damage that feminism has inflicted upon the identity of the male its hastening of the disintegration of the family there are just as many studies to refute these claims and to prove that it isn't just about having both parents present to raise kids as much as it is about the quality of character of those who acts as role models or directly influence the children.
Having a jailbird in the family has more to do with if kids will wind up recidivists or not.
My own father who, after having spent hardly any time with me at all, once told me that he believed I was just going to spend my entire life going in and out of prison. I believe I was just thirteen at the time.
He wasn't around much of the time(yes, working and when he wasn't working he'd insist that we kids be as far from him as much as possible)
Yes, I've lots of issues with him. And I did wind up going to juvie quite a bit for a year or two til the court ordered me to live with other relatives.
But later, as an adult I'd gone to jail a number of times primarily for political actions where I went semi-voluntarily (or for reasons of my own choosing)
For the rest, I didn't wind up as he predicted... having picked up my own sense of ethics from
people other than him.

Bush's Political appointees just don't know when to leave.
Never mind that for the last 8 years never has the Justice Dept. spent so little time in dealing with matters of justice in the strictest constitutional sense of the word... but pursued investigations along purely ideological and political partisan lines. The Civil Rights Division which for 40 or 50 years enforced and pursued investigations into discrimination claims was effectively dismantled or restaffed with lawyers who were ideologically driven;

"Nearly 20 percent of the division's lawyers left in fiscal 2005, in part because of a buyout program that some lawyers believe was aimed at pushing out those who did not share the administration's conservative views on civil rights laws. Longtime litigators complain that political appointees have cut them out of hiring and major policy decisions, including approvals of controversial GOP redistricting plans in Mississippi and Texas"
'Civil Rights Shift Roils Staff at Office' - Dan Eggen, Washington Post
November 13, 2005

Nor did they do their job in the wake of the disasters that followed Hurricane Katrina as there were numerous incidents of black residents being shot on site in the Algiers Point area of NOLA.
With so many recent instances of racially charged incidents like the intimidation of the students of Jena, Louisiana that led to a beating of a white student after black students were threatened with nooses and countless white supremists attacking gays ...and blacks (out of anger for Obama's election victory) I don't mind saying, it'll be good to see the back's of Bush's appointees as they head home to retype their resumés.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Fates and their Macramé

Somewhere in another dimension, ...a parallel universe,
we might just be sitting around rethinking our destineys,
and seeing what they would be like ...had we chosen other paths.

Back in the 1980's,
I played in a band.
We made records and played alot of great gigs... and some real crappy ones.
We did (a few) tours... mainly to Los Angeles and the east coast.
And, I believe, we made some real quality music,
we made people dance, ...and if they listened,
we made them think...and feel.
Had the Fates been kind, we'd have been made famous,
and the rest would have been history... as the proverbial saying goes.
There did come a point where our lives and aspirations diverged ...and the association ended.
The only thing I regret, was my stubbornheadedness and unwillingness to seek an imaginative and honorable comprimise.
But for the most part I'm quite proud of what I did do... a very minor accomplishment in some ways...and a major one as far as my continuing the path that I'd always desired... which was simply to lead an interesting life.

The last year and half I'd begun taking stock and archiving many of my various musical and artistic endeavors.
You get like that when you reach a half a century in age.
You want to think that if someone has given you a half a century to get something done that it wasn't a total waste.
For me, it wasn't. It wasn't on the scale that I'd have liked it... but the ability to self promote is valuable in any part of the music or art world.
That is one ability I've always been short of.
This last week my kids were with me.
They switch back and forth weekly between my ex and me.
They're cool with it...and I'm cool with it.
I was thinking... if things had gone differently for my band...
they'd either never had been born,........ or I'd never have been around to raise them as much as I have.
If those situations were possible to choose from,
being famous and rich but minus my youngest kids or unable to spend any time with them...or, like now...broke but spending alot of time with my kids,
I think the first two scenarios would be utterly inconceivable.
I can't help but wonder there's a place where I'm watching these separate decisions played out, and choosing...
Just like in the writer/director Richard Linklater's 1991 film 'Slacker' where the director himself appears in the first five minutes to set up the premise for the rest of the movie. He steps out of a train or bus station and then chooses a taxi. He then rattles on, to the indifference of the cab driver, about a dream he's had about having taken a different mode of transport...hitch hiking and because of having done so (in his dream) was picked up by his dream woman who then offered to take him home and offer all kinds of 'hospitalities'. He peruses the possibilities that exist when every thought awakens a different reality in another dimension or plane of existence. That by even thinking about getting out and walking... then already another him is out on the road somewhere walking and experiencing a whole separate independant existence.
The rest of the film is mainly a camera POV narrative that randomly shifts from person to person as they cross paths, and follows these individual stories.
As I write about this I'm reminded of (and wondered if Linklater also was influenced by) the story of 'La Ronde', a story originally written in 1900 by Arthur Schnitzler as a morality play about the dangers of venereal diseases... where the story's focus switches from couple to couple which after a series of secret affaires and love triangles then showed how everyone is interconnected. I'm presuming the lurking danger of an STD was the main character. This was later to become a film in 1964 by Max Ophuls ...one of my favorites! ...and later remade in 1973 by Roger Vadim; -who seemed quite big on doing remakes back then.

Anyway, ...one thing I do know,
most likely my mouth would have gotten me neck deep in shit back then had I access to the press. Forget about 'Saint Bono' or Sting, ...too often my mouth moves before my brain has been notified.

Speaking of politics,
The Butcher's Bil today: 400 plus dead and over 1200 injured in the Gaza Strip.
The US has blocked a UN resolution demanding a cessation of the israeli assault on the already long deprived area. For months now there's been a blockade of the most basic needs such as bread and medical supplies, electricity had been cut off from Israel -

" As supplies are being further withheld, most mills have shut down because they have little or no grain. People who have long been deprived of many food items now cannot even find bread at times.

Reserves of food have long been depleted and the meagre quantities allowed into Gaza are not even enough to meet the immediate needs. Families never know if they will have food for their children the following day.

When people do have food, they generally have no cooking gas or electricity with which to cook it. Last week, less than 10 per cent of the weekly requirement of cooking gas was allowed into Gaza. "
- Amnesty Intl.

For some time now the lack of electricity has made it so that thousands of gallons of raw sewage have been left unpumped and unfiltred and overflowing on the streets of Gaza.
These people have been through alot.
Obviously I'm not an anti semite. I don't hate israelis. And my argument has been for some time now to anyone that vehemently "anti zionist" is that the nation of Israel is NOT going to disassemble to become part of the diaspora again.
There is no solution that doesn't involve both parties.... all the political parties immediately involved.
I always point out the cases of Northern Ireland and South Africa... there would've been no treaties or truces made had not overtures been made to the ANC and the IRA who rightwing gov't representatives refered to then as 'terrorist organisations'.
Like it or not, ...they represent considerable numbers of people. And so does Hamas.
True, Hamas needs to knock it off with the rockets... but hey, what do you think they're gonna to do faced with a blockade that's starving their population which was mounted by the far right Israeli gov't (who provoked this Intifada in the first place) as a reaction to the palestinians electing Hamas.
Ridiculous really. Had the Israeli gov't taken a different tact... believe me, people who have things good aren't going to vote for extremists. Israel has created this radical chic.
Plus, the palestinians have just as much right to the same sovereignty that Israelis insist upon, they must stand up to a racist religious minority known as 'settlers', and to apocalypse -obsessed western christians who'd love nothing less than the whole of the 'holy land' to go up in flames just to fulfill what they believe the prerequisits are for the return of "their" god,... and yes, Hamas has to face up to the reality of Israel's very existence.

I was really glad to see this blog called 'Occupied'
showing that over 50,000 arab and jewish israelis protested together against this invasion a couple of days ago.

Shows that not everyone in Israel buys into the madness of the governing regime.

I think everyone in that region is starved for peace and wonders what other reality they'd be living if better choices were being made.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Preliminary

This blog isn't my New Year's resolution but rather a considered move in reaction to the closing of my friend Jon Storvic's The New Illuminati blog of which I was an occasional contributor. I have to say, I loved the material Jon was coming up with. I for my part ran out of ideas as my own 'real world' financial and emotional issues (like my divorce) paralyzed me... not to mention the continued dramas connected to that sham of a government of George 'Dubya' Bush. But I am proud of what few contributions I did make and I do appreciate Jon inviting me to contribute (thusly giving me a good challenge to measure up to)

Soooo, ...Jon has a new blog and definitely one that is well worth following called
Autonomy Without Tears
on the theme of permaculture. Somehow he and I both seem to be on the same wavelength about issues like sustainability.

Definitely visit those blogs and check out many of the recommended blogs on his list.

I've resolved some of my previous issues... atleast to the level where they don't dominate my thinking. I've also resumed a writing project that hopefully & eventually will result in a book.

Looking back at 2008... at Opednews there's an entry by Patty Bates-Ballard titled
. While a few of her choices I may completely agree with... she just has her touch sensitivity level set alittle too high one could easily have filled the worst comments of 2008 up with remarks by Rush Limbaugh or Anne Coulter not to mention the numerous lame Sarah Palin remarks that gave the recent elections a racially or radically-right charged atmosphere. FOX networks' commentators seemed to have been hired solely on the basis of their ability to offend.
Although one of turn of events or 'just-when-you-think-you've-got-them-pegged' type events was when writer Michael Wolff in his forthcoming biography of Rupert Murdoch revealed that Murdoch in fact despises Bill O'Reilly;

“It is not just Murdoch (and everybody else at News Corp.’s highest levels) who absolutely despises Bill O’Reilly, the bullying, mean-spirited, and hugely successful evening commentator,” Wolff wrote, “but [Fox News chief executive] Roger Ailes himself who loathes him. Success, however, has cemented everyone to each other."

“The embarrassment can no longer be missed,” Wolff wrote, in another section of the book. “He mumbles even more than usual when called on to justify it. He barely pretends to hide the way he feels about Bill O’Reilly. And while it is not that he would give Fox up—because the money is the money; success trumps all—in the larger sense of who he is, he seems to want to hedge his bets.”

That would have been enough to make my year... but seeing the GOP losing seats and becoming almost utterly irrelevant was just the cream. Mind you, the Blue Dog dems and the neo liberal resistance to the dems' progressive slate viritually threatens to render this victory just as irrelevant. Meanwhile the paranoid reactionaries have already mapped out Obama's agenda for him citing or prophesizing how he's already sold them into slavery for the "secret masters" of the New World Order. This has been the era of rampant speculation and the season where tin foil hats have been in high fashion.
I intend to keep following these events as closely as I can.
But it's also time I level back on some things and resume other personal spiritual growth oriented efforts mainly to do with my interests in the occult.
As much as I'll always be an anarchist politically and philosophically, I'll always see life as being comprised of many components and the spiritual and metaphysical being just as important.
So, probably I'll exploring those themes as well in this blog.

We'll see.