Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tortured Confessions and Gulf War II

I am so disgusted I don't know where to start.

In fact, I'm starting to wonder if I am maybe living in the Third Galaxy and not on planet Earth.

Every sentient creature on the planet with the vaguest interest in the truth, that is, reality, knows that the invasion of Iraq was an illegal act of premeditated aggression and that the none of the ever changing, given reasons for its necessity could hold a cup of blood, let alone water.

Also, I've been saying again and again in these posts and as recently as this past weekend, that torture as a tool for gathering intelligence is counter productive. In brief your victims tell/confess to what they think you want to hear so the pain will stop.

But I read something y'day that simply takes the cake and walks all over it! It's not news, I first readd about it last summer, I think, but had forgotten the details.

First, remember that one of the of the more persistent "reasons" for "taking Saddam down" was that he and his gov't was connected to Ahsawyah been-Lately, his Al-Q crew and consequently Terrible Tuesday, that which normal people refer to as 9-11.

It has been repeatedly shown any connection to be not only utter bullshit, that is a premeditated lie. However, the original "hard evidence" was an Al-Q operative's confession. Eventually though, it has become known that the "confession" was obtained through torture!

The name of the Al-Q guy is Iban al Shakh al Libby.

This fellow was captured in Afghanistan in 2001, "ghosted" to Egypt where he was tortured for information. He was then "ghosted" back to e Bargan, an American run detention center in Afghanistan. It is a known fact that detainees have been tortured here and even murdered.

All of Libby's confessions, coerced through torture, were false -- he lied to stop the pain, or he lied to deceive -- the point is, the information was false!

It is at this juncture that my disgust barfs all over my laptop screen:

The "confession" confirming the imagined connection of the Saddam regime to 9-11 was a given reason for the Iraq War, and has led to 3000 dead Americans, 20000 maimed, a half-million dead Iraqis and a Nightmare of Death as the daily reality in much of Iraq -- the land which happens to be the cradle of civilization!
Such irony is indeed most bitter!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Freedom of the Press,

In 2002, the United States ranked number 17 among countries with the best record on press freedom.

Since then we have done every year. In 2006 we have slipped to number 53 in a four-way tie with Botswana, Croatia and Tonga.

The figures are worked out by Reporters sans Frontiérs (Reporters Without Borders).

Of course there will be an amount of uncertainty in any statistical analysis. However the trend is as clear as it is unsettling.

I say unsettling not only because freedom of the press is explicitly protected in our Constitution, but our country was the first to do something so radical.

Furthermore, the reason freedom of the press was guarded in this fashion is because the framers of the Constitution were keenly aware that a free press was crucial to an informed public and that without an informed public a democratic republic cannot long exist.

Number 53, how did we get there? How far down will we go? Is there a tipping point?

For the begging of an answer to the first question, please go read the detailed information yourself. I got the article from Bob Harris who is a contributor to This Modern World.

November 7 may well determine how far down we will go as well as reveal the beginning of the tipping point.

Some responsibility for the degrading of public information can of course be placed squarely on the shoulders of the present administration as well as federal courts and the policies of the mega-corps who control 95% of the American media.

However, it is also the responsibility of the public as well to not only demand, but actively seek reliable information about the reality of the world around them.

Those who do not love the truth will receive ever stronger illusions.
Note: in the interest of truth, I must add that Freedom House still lists the USA as number 17. On the other hand, I know nothing about Freedom House and the US Gov't web site refers to North Korea's bottom rating from the Reporters Without Borders -- but does not mention the rating we got from them.

So, as in all things, take everything with a grain of salt! Still, all things considered, press freedom has obviously gotten worse and even a rating of 17 is not good enough for the "City on the Hill"
In any case, Reporters Without Borders is recognized for its impartiality. Their Index was compiled by asking the 14 freedom of expression organisations that are its partners worldwide, its network of 130 correspondents, as well as journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists, to answer 50 questions about press freedom in their countries. The Index covers 168 nations. Others were not included for lack of data about them.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Bruce Springsteen & the Seeger Sessions Band


Sunflower Woman and I got a couple of tickets to see Bruce Springsteen with the Seeger Sessions Band in concert here in Copenhagen at the "Parken".

Not only did we get tickets, we got free tickets along with which came a nice meal. That's kind of hard to say no to!

The firm I work for had a block of ten tickets for the concert which were offered to the employees on a first-come, first-serve basis. As it turned out, they only sold six of them, so they pulled a little lottery and I got two of them!

I might as well say up front what was negative about the concert. The "Parken" is really a football stadium with place for 40-45,000. It has a retractable roof which can be pulled closed when it rains or when it is cold. But it is also the biggest concert hall in Denmark.

They've done a lot things with sound screens hanging from the ceiling, but the fact is it has a well-earned reputation for lousy acoustics.

They did a pretty good job, but the results were mixed. The quieter numbers were ok, except for the noise from the crowd -- like I said it is a football stadium with the sort of ambiance that football stadium has...

The more rocking numbers were terrible to listen to, every thing was muddled and I simply don't enjoy my listening when I have to sit there with my fingers stuck in my ears. In particular, I was disappointed that I couldn't really hear, "How Can a Poor Man Live".

That said, it was a damn good concert when it was best and a pleasure to see how Springsteen works an audience.

On the other side, it showed once again how the "arms race" in the music industry puts a distance between the music and the public. Don't get me wrong, Springsteen did a fab job. But all that equipment all too often deroutes into noise just to keep an audience's attention.

I've heard recordings of how Pete Seeger could stand in Carnegie Hall and, with just a mike and his twelve string, not only enthrall a full house, but reach out and get them all singing. Pete seegar is the songwriter/artist who has influenced me more than any other, he taught me that a song can be from the heart.

Bruce Springsteen is now defining himself as the logical extension of the folk process, which I can only applaud. He is going after something which Dylan, for all his fiery talent, rejected. In fact, I want to say more, Bruce Springsteen is making himself an ambassador to the world for the best in America.

When we were in Illinois in September, we had the good fortune to see a program on PBS with the SSB concert, so we were looking forward to seeing this show. We really did enjoy things like "Jakob's Ladder", "Jesse James", "Pay Me My Money Down, "Turah Turah Lay" and many, many, MANY more.

One song I want to mention: when they did "The Saints Go Marching In", I just about fell off my chair. They found a depth in the song that I had not known was there by singing it slow in an almost plaintive manner. The feeling is like when, in "On the Beach", they switched from a raucous rendition of "Waltzing multilateral" to a beautiful, slow waltz -- if you understand the penible situation of our world today, the message is clear.

The concert gave me hope and a renewed pride in being an American. Pete Seeger represents the best in the American Vision and in the Seeger Sessions, Bruce
Sprinsteen does honor to the grand old man of American folk music and brought these songs up to date in contemporary interpretations.

Now I know why they call the guy, The Boss.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Mad Scientist Henry Widpis and PDQ-86

[Had some trouble posting and couldn't wait around because we went to see Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band -- tell y'all about that later! ]

There was this fellow, what you might think of as a sort of mad scientist -- except that he wasn't mad at all -- in fact, that was his tragedy.

He was a scientist, a quite excellent one. Actually, a rather rare bird, for he was well qualified in several scientific disciplines. He was also an excellent player of the lute and quite knowledgeable in art with a specialty in Russian Orthodox icons.

His name was Henry Widpis. That's a name you'd remember, had you heard it but once, and yet, it's not at all surprising if you've have never heard of him. The reasons for this will become obvious, as you hear his story.

Your "normal" mad scientist is occupied with producing or constructing some sort of ultimate weapon or infernal device of death and destruction. Henry didn't invent or build anything, he simply discovered an odd fact, a curiosity, which suddenly turned into hard reality.

He discovery was that a number of compounds, casually released into the environment by our industrial society and having found their way into the water supply, could have an unfortunate effect upon the mental condition of human beings.

As far I recall, that is, as far as I still can recall, there were a dozen or more such compounds. One of them was used to make toilet paper softer. Another made a fresh ham taste as if it had been properly smoked and smoked. A third prevented acne bumps and a fourth kept your breath fresh and clean "all-day-long".

The list is long and not really all that important -- not anymore anyway. In any case, I can't remember them all.

The point of Henry's discovery was that although each of these substances could be considered a pollutant, none of them was a serious problem in itself. However, with all of them were mixed together in our water supply, there was a possibility -- albeit, a most remote possibility -- that they might synergise each other. In theory, there was a chance that they might polymerize into a single compound. This compound, if ever formed, would, through "chain catalysation", almost instantaneously replicate this compound to water throughout the world.
The name of the compound was peripletic dyslexic quadalone-86 -- PDQ-86, for short.

If someone should drink a quantity of water containing PDQ-86, it would have an adverse effect upon their mentality. Both short- and long-term memory as well as the ability to coordinate comprehension and understanding of the world with sensory input would be impaired.

In common language: those who drank water contaminated with PDQ-86, would quickly go completely off their rockers, become bonkers, nuts, out-to-lunch -- in a word: they'd go mad!

There was, however, little chance of this ever happening.

In order for the chain polymerization to take place, a pre-catalyst was needed to initialize the reaction. Henry's studies clearly showed that the only one substance could initiate the chain polymerization of PDQ-86. This substance was something so rare as to be a purely hypothetical, if not an outright fiction -- the substance known as "red kryptonite".

Although apparently only of hypothetical interest, it was an interesting discovery, and Henry decided to publish his results. However, being occupied with other research, a few precious months slipped by before he got around to writing the paper and submitting it to a respectable scientific journal.

The article had just been submitted to the peer review board of what I think was called "Intentional Science" or maybe it was "Scientific Pelican" -- I'm sorry, but I'm not sure anymore. The point is that the article had not yet been published when events took a strange turn.

It was the comet.

"Sully'd-Wanker" was a rather small comet, recently discovered by Ahmed Sully'd and Philip Wanker. That it was found to be on a collision course with earth made a big splash in the news of course -- but fears were quickly allayed. It would not be "the end of the world". "Sully'd-Wanker" was just a dirty little dust ball, a bit of space-jism which would result in a shower of shooting stars when it hit the atmosphere -- and nothing more.

However, the day before the evening the meteor storm was calculated to take place, an odd detail about the comet made the news -- advanced spectral analysis showed that the comet contained significant amounts of red kryptonite...

The news announcer told listeners of course that there was no danger -- the red kryptonite only meant that the meteor shower would have an even more gorgeous display of color and posed no danger whatsoever.

Of course, Henry Widpis knew better. Unfortunately, he was the only one who knew!

If his discovery had been known earlier by the scientific community and astronomers had made their discovery known some months before, instead of a few hours, there might have been time to create vast cisterns of unpolluted water.

Poor Henry! He had made a discovery which could have "saved the world". But, the tyranny of events meant that he barely had time to save himself! He set about, of course, collecting fresh water in covered containers of every sort. By the time he had filled his rooms up with fresh water, it was late evening, so he went outside, pulled up a lawn chair and watched the meteor shower.

It was a magnificent show. A little after midnight it was over and he went to bed.

He woke the next morning hoping there was an error somewhere in his calculations. There weren't any. The effects of the red kryptonite with which the earth had been dusted were both quicker and more extensive than he had anticipated.

When the smallest particle of the substance fell into a body of water and PDQ-86 was formed, the polymerization spread to every body of water with which the it was physically connected. This meant that all water in the rivers and oceans contained PDQ-86 before the next nightfall. Rising with the water vapor and falling as rain, all water was soon contaminated.

PDQ-86 is nearly indestructible in much the same way as dioxin, and like that awful substance, once ingested almost impossible to excrete from the body. One could only wait for it to decompose. That it would decompose, of this he was certain, but the actual time frame was a bit iffy. It could be five years, it could be fifty years, it could be more...

All Henry could do was sip his bottled water and watch as the world went out of joint. Within a few days, the television and radio news became increasingly garbled and gibberished.

Then the news stopped, as did other utilities which could not continue without human attention.

The electricity was the last to go.

As far as Henry could determine the functional intelligence of human beings had fallen to a level not much higher than that of chimps and orangs -- which is somewhat misleading as these creatures are working at the full extent of their abilities.

Being careful when he moved among the now grunting mass of humanity so as to not to attract attention to himself, he was able to gather canned food and other provisions he needed.

He acquired an emergency lighting system so that he could read at night. He had to careful that no light escaped from his windows. Light attracted the creatures who had once been his fellow human beings. Before he had learnt this, he had to fight off and kill some of them.

He tried to help some of those who seemed to have some remnant of conscious intellect -- but it was of no avail. He was met with empty stares and only risked that they turned suddenly violent.

Finally, after about a half year, the loneliness became too much for Henry. He could no longer stand the pain of being the only sane person in a world full of crazy people.

So, he decided to take his leave of sanity also, drink of the contaminated water and get it over with. For he had begun to notice that the madness was beginning to affect him. At first he thought was due to the lack of social companionship...

Then he realized it was because of the fog.

Fog distilled from the waters of the rivers and seas contained the poison, although in small amounts. Each misty morning meant he breathed a bit of PDQ-86 into his body. Instead of watching his as his intellect slowly corroded, he decided to embrace the darkness in one fell swoop. And who could know? Perhaps there was a form of companionship in the madness?

Before he took the final, irrevocable step, he wrote this brief résumé describing the tragedy which had befallen the human race. His hope was that, if the madness lasted only a few years, perhaps, when awakening from their stupor, people could still read and perhaps understand what had happened and rebuild civilization.

He finished his story with these words:

"If fifty or a hundred years pass before PDQ-86 decomposes, there is little hope. The tendency of the crazy people to destroy the world around them seems to be accelerating at an ever faster rate. I can no longer bear to watch it, can do nothing to stop it and therefore will now join them...

"If you are able to read and comprehend this, congratulations! Treasure your sanity and remember me, Henry Widpis!"


"floobah"..."hopsnick"..."chowder powder's louder now!".....

Friday, October 27, 2006

Bullshit on a Waffle

My God, do we really have to talk about torture again?

I'm afraid so!

The response of the Codpiece Administration to the Hamdan decision of the Supreme Court last summer , marking as unconstitutional its detainment and treatment policies of often un-named prisoners was to ask Congress to pass a law making it legal.

We were then treated to a charade where a few congressmen made a pretense of opposing the bill. The dance ended with a law which forbids torture and arbitrary detainment -- unless it is called by a different name.

The Military Convention Act. Such a bland name for such a travesty -- and Congress, the elected represenatives of the American people, passed it!

Mistreatment of people you have under your complete control is torture.

All other definitions of torture where you draw lines like "no organ failure" – all definitions of this sort are bullshit on a waffle.

There is a broad acceptance of torture when people are asked if it is okay to torture if it can save lives. Also this is bullshit on a waffle -- usually served up as the "ticking bomb scenario" on the order of a scene from "24 Hours" or some other crap from the Bankers of Illusion.

The thing is, you don't get reliable information using torture.

So, why torture? Well, there are two "good" reasons to torture.

The one is that you like to hear people scream, that you enjoy the feeling of empowerment when a man pisses in his pants out of sheer fear.

This is a constant danger when people are incarcerated and cut off from the outside world. Such situations attract goons who like to do a little free-lance torture now and then.

The other "good" reason is when there is a political will to subdue a population. Here we are talking about systemic torture. Systemic torture can exist only where there is a political will or social culture.

Torture dehumanizes. When the humanity of a single human being is injured or destroyed, something in the common humanity we all share is injured or destroyed.

In a word, it destroys the human soul.

That's the bottom line.
"Bullshit on a Waffle" was intended to bring up an image of something disgusting served up on something nice and sweet. Also, "waffle" has a second connotative meaning of ambiguity.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Instant Democracy

Even over here in Denmark we can hear the sound of stripping gears as the Repugnant Echo Machine tries to change its spin.

I was amazed to hear Mr. Codpiece Himself say, "We never said stay the course".

Like Mark Twain said, there are liars and damn liars. There are also goddamn liars. You can take your pick.

Hell, even the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mr. Anders Fogh, has been agog with talk about how we need to "change our strategy". Asked by a reporter if he had been told to change his tune by somebody in Washington, Mr. Fogh lied right into the camera lens as driblets of sweat trickled down his forehead and said, "No".

Anyway, it reminded me of this little recipe I cooked up some time ago. It seemed pretty straightforward, a cakewalk you might say, so I don't see how anybody could be so incompetent as to screw it up.

Instant Democracy!

123 Brand Instant Democracy
-- now: with new, improved Spin-86!

Tired of your old-fashioned, oil-rich, Dictator-Land that never behaves like you want it to?

123 Brand Instant Democracy will turn it into a brand-new Democracy-Land!

It's just as easy as: ONE...TWO...THREE!

ONE: add two heaping spoonfuls of 123 Brand, stir in one cup of disaster along with a pint or so of blood (don't be afraid to use more -- it just adds to the texture and improves the taste as well!)

TWO: cover with Bradleys and generous handfuls of corruption -- season to taste with deception and lies.

THREE: place in a hot-air oven and heat for a couple of years on the Front Page News until it rises to Elections; lower the temperature to Back Page News for a couple of years and

-- voilá! -- your brand new Democracy-Land is ready to eat!

123 Democ is a delicious dish which, because of the new-improved Spin-86 ingredient, can be served to almost any public*

* For best results, 123-Democ should be served to a public which gets its primary news from cable television and national networks. Publics which get their news from internet sources should be avoided. These kinds of people tend to react to 123 Democ with raucous raspberries and/or comments like "Yeah, right! What's next? You gonna sell me the Brooklyn Bridge?"

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Atomic Bullshit

It has occurred to me several times recently, what with all their bloviating about North Korea, that our leaders either really don't know what they are talking about or are deliberately misleading us.

Of course, the one does not exclude the other.

The greatest danger, not only to World Peace -- a rarer sight than the long extinct munga-wunga bird -- but the continuation of life on the planet itself, the greatest danger is the arsenals of the USA and Russia.

By that I mean not just the bombs, but the systems to deliver them with such rapid and devastating precision.

The general consensus today is that the North Korean bomb had a yield of "only" one kiloton -- a fifth of the original Russian estimate and little more than 5% of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs.

Therefore the likelihood is that the North Korean test something of a dud and that certain Korean atomic technicians are not going to get any Christmas presents from their dear Uncle Kim.

The other possibility, which I'd rather not consider, is that the Korean techs went from scratch to 2nd or 3rd generation nuclear technology in one fell swoop. However, considering the result of their ballistic missile test last summer, it does not seem likely.

Making atomic bombs is like brewing beer -- it's a lot easier to brew strong, knock your socks off, beer than light beer. The weaker beer tends to go sour.

The USA has a specialty in making low yield bombs and the Russians used to be pretty good at it also. The trick is in the purity of fissile material and high-tech developments to make sure the critical mass is achieved with sufficient speed and evenly.

I don't know what scares me more, a Korean dud, a Korean high-tech suitcase bomb OR the fact that I probably know a lot more about atomic bombs and technology then the President of the United States, the Decider Himself.

Actually, I do know what scares me more than anything else -- the utter stupidity of the mass media babbling on and on, regurgitating the idiocy of our leaders who focus on the danger which North Korea presents for world peace. Korea is a danger, but it is not the greatest danger.

The greatest danger not only to world peace but to the world itself is the USA and Russia, in that order and in tandem because of their weapons systems of mass destruction.

The Cold War was over long ago, but insanely large nuclear arsenals are still there -- 30,000 bombs!

Most of these bombs are in hands of the USA and Russia (95%). Russia has some 8000 weapons targeted for the USA and we have some 7,000 aimed at the other fools.

Of the American strategic weapons, some 2,500 are on a hair trigger in underground silos. There are even more devices on our Trident submarines, also these are on hair trigger.

Hair-trigger means: ready to be launched within minutes from the moment the Decider Decides to make the Great Decision. Within 10 to 30 minutes these bombs would explode all over Russia. Or, if Pootie-Poot is dyspeptic one morning, all over the USA.

It doesn't matter beans who shoots first or if the other side bothers or can respond.

The resulting, years long darkness of nuclear winter would make those who were incinerated in the initial fireballs the envy of the (temporary) survivors!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Coming Unglued!

As the lights were going out in the Third Galaxy and the Supreme Hole with exquisite flatulency ascended his Throne of Excrement and barfed all over the Ground-Law of the United State of Arrogance, this song was heard in the alleyways and wafting from the roof tops of Poosah City:

Coming Unglued!

These reveries are all obscene, in spirit, deed and name!
They’re burning up our souls in darkly smoldering flames!
Monsters in the alley are driving us insane!
Why don’t we complain about the quality of our shame?
Are you feeling strangely helpless, is there nothing you can do?
The time is mad, the time is sad and everything is coming UNGLUED!

Ashes falling from the sky, a smell as thick as custard pie.
Behind the sheds of frozen hides, prophets whip their throbbing pride.
Down the road, they’re selling dope (fifty pounds of antelope!)
Frozen-fried beyond all hope they hang it from a rotten rope!
Are you feeling strangely helpless, is there nothing you can do?
The time is mad, the time is sad and everything is coming UNGLUED!

If you think I’m laughing, when you hear me cry,
If I tell the truth, you’ll think it’s just another lie!
The fools who rule our world will all kill you for a dime!
They’re sending us all to hell and they’re working overtime...
Are you feeling strangely helpless, is there nothing you can do?
The time is mad, the time is sad and everything is coming UNGLUED!

Truckloads full of heroes scratching in the dirt!
Shooting for the Moon, they suddenly lost their shirts!
Heavy clubs of gravity keep hitting where it hurts!
Giant ticks sit and suck until, finally, they burst!
If it’s true of me, it’s true of you -- is there nothing you can do?

The is generally assumed to have been composed by never-quite famous and mostly unknown poet of the Third Galaxy, Ichabod Rain.

It has of course no, well, almost no relevance to our own world where everything is going just fine and we can soon expect the Great Potato to arise, bringing His Only Begotten Spud, the Holy Idaho with him to french fry the baddies and rule in eternal Loving Kindness over all the good little spuds.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Fat Cats -- Danish Variant, Small but Greedy

A little story so you all know we have also have carnivorous CEOs here in the Happy Little Kingdom of Denmark. Also a small object lesson in the rapaciousness of their "sense of entitlement" and how these types are out of touch with the common worker.

None of you have ever heard of Henning Dyremose and I reckon you could get through life without ever having heard of this fat cat who has his feeding grounds in Denmark.

When the national telephone company (TDC) was sold to a consortium of foreign investors this summer, it was Henning who went on television and, while licking the cream off his whiskers, told us what a great thing it was for Denmark and the employees of TDC had nothing to worry about...

A hundred billion kroner (16 billion $) is a lot of money for a national telephone company in a country of some five million people, I suppose, but a common working fellow like me has a hard time understanding why a public service company which was owned by the public until a few years ago had to be privatized in the first place and now, with Dyremose at the helm, was being sold to foreign investors -- all in the name of Holy Globalization.

The sale means that Henning Dyremose is going to be out of a job, but the word was that he was getting one of those things they call a "golden parachute" -- in this case 16million $, about 1% percent of the sales price...

Well, well, that was this summer and now the time has come for labor negotiations between the unions and TDC...

Worried that the rumor that he was getting so much money would affect the labor negotiations -- so, he went on television and said that, after taxes, he was only was getting 5 million $. He actually though that would make the unions come to their senses and not ask for too much money.

The workers, of course, are flabbergasted!

Has the man no sense of reality?

He actually thinks he deserves more of that kind of money and that he was getting so little was supposed to make common people happy?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Regarding Those Bodies You Mentioned...

The latest study published in the Lancet about the number of people who have died in Iraq because of the invasion/occupation followed by insurgency/civil war was of course pooh-poohed by every one from the president on down the food chain as being an estimate.

Well yes, it was an estimate, between 350,000 up to 650,000, but it was a scientific estimate. It was just as scientific as the earlier Lancet article putting the death toll from the invasion itself and first months of the occupation at around 100,000.

But the president says the total must be around 30,000 and since he was inspired by the Great Potato Himself to invade, I guess he must be right.

Therefore, I was so happy to learn yesterday on the Danish news that the Iraqi gov't and its puppet prime minister al-Maliki are taking steps to ensure that irresponsible numbers are no longer made public!

What follows is my translation:

Iraq will hide death statistics 21 October 2006, 11:27

The Iraqi Ministry of Health will no longer make public the number of victims of violence in the country.

An important source of reasonably reliable information about the number of killed and wounded in the many violent episodes in the country will be lost.

According to the UN help mission in Iraq, the country's prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, has ordered the Ministry of Health to stop giving figures to the FN.

The prime minister will instead let his own office tally up and publish the death toll. This causes independent observers to fear manipulation with the numbers.

Earlier the UN has also gotten numbers from the mortuaries. But ear
lier this month also they had received orders not to tell how many dead were being brought in.

Update: Just read this morning over at the RavensPad that a lid is being kept on American casualties also -- take a look for yourself.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Don't Let Them Steal It Again!

I'm sorry, folks, but I woke up this morning with a tinfoil hat on my head -- and it seems like some smart alec glued it in place!

I therefore deny all responsibility for any weird thing I might say, I know I'm not a president, but still, it's not my fault!

I have been taken over by an evil, alien entity and everything I might say from now on should be disregarded, or, at best, be given no more credence than one would give your run-of-the-mill right-wing radio talk-show blather mouth!

There are evil plans afoot to steal the upcoming elections!

Liberal agents have programmed touch-screen voting machines (you know, the ones that leave no paper trails!) to give two votes for a Democrat scum bag every time somebody votes for an upright Republican candidate who hasn't even (yet) been caught in a money and/or sex scam/scandal!

They have also arranged that all too few voting machines will be placed in affluent neighborhoods which usually vote Republican! This means that there will be long lines and hour long waits to vote in good, God-fearing conservative districts!

We must not take this lying down! We must protest!

When they start telling us through the liberal controlled media that there was a Democratic landslide victory despite the fact that polls before, during and after the election showing that Republican victories were certain across the board -- you must take to the streets!

You must do a thousand times better than in 2000 in Miami, and 2004 in Ohio when they tried to steal the election from us!

Take to the streets and demand that justice be done!

If they can steal yet another, a third election -- democracy in our fair republic will diedfrom asphyxiation!

I'm serious! Ukrainian and Mexican voters demanded justice -- are American voters just a bunch of wussies?

Hell, I think we should demonstrate even if we win!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Fortress of Arrogance

[This is a flash report from the Third Galaxy!]

What is happening?

Do you know?

Do you care?

Dare you say anything about it?

The Supreme Hole of the Arrogant State just signed into law the Military Commission Act -- a law which will allow him to put anybody in jail for as long as he thinks, or even if he doesn't think, which is more likely.

But we can trust him -- he is a pure and noble leader and he believes in the Great Potato and His Only Begotten Spud, the Holy Idaho!

As he signed the law, he sniggered and smiled his strange smile and laughed his off chuckle and this is what he said:

He is going to build fences to keep people out .
He is going to build fences to keep people in.
He is going to build a

Fortress of Arrogance

Fortress of Arrogance...
I've guessed the nature of your game, yes I have!

I see rows and rows of concrete bricks
piled up in walls many meters thick.
I see miles and miles of chain-link fence,
electronic and high-tech defence, yes I do!

Fortress of Arrogance...
I've seen the quality of your shame, yes I have!

I see hours on end of poison dreams
emanating from glowing screens.
I see Banks of Illusion, modified soul,
and garbage exchanged for the purest of gold, yes I do!

Fortress of Arrogance...
I've got your number and your name, yes I have!

I see excrement screamers, oceans of fleas,
plagues of black locusts and scabs on the knees!
I see beans in the outhouse, jam in the jar
and yes, I see Madam in her Fat Car, yes I do!

Fortress of Arrogance...
I've seen you going down in flames, yes I have!

You think you're so holy, but that's just a lie!
Like all of your lovers, you too will soon die!
In the space of an hour on one wicked day,
all wasted away, yes it's true!

...a fortress from where the resources of our world can be sucked dry and in return the world will receive an endless supply of excrement.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

For an Unknown Brother

According to my notebooks, I wrote the elegy below on the night of March 30, 1998.

There is a story behind the poem.

A very warm and kind person, with whom I had struck up a close cyber friendship, told me the tragic story of her younger brother who had been a reasonably devout, practicing Catholic.

Unfortunately, it was his lot to contract a debilitating disease -- I think it was muscular sclerosis -- and he did not react like one would commonly think a good Christian or a Catholic, certain of salvation, should.

Being the particular kind of nut I am, I realized at once that his display of despair and agony was as much a demonstration of faith and truth as lighting a thousand candles or saying ten thousand rosaries.

That night, I wrote this poem for my friend and her:

Unknown Brother

He was somebody's brother and he was some mother's lover
-- shall we not remember him?

You, who closed your eyes in shock when he took his clothes off
in the middle of the street:
You pray to St. Francis, who did the very same thing
-- do you not?

And you, who stuffed your ears in fear with sealing wax
when he stood up and shouted his madness in the church...

Are you not the very same ones who sing the psalms
and speak of The Passion
and Christ's crown-of-thorns?

Just what do you know of one lonely man
and his lonely fear, his long and painful slide
into immobility and a slowly suffocating night?

Whatever you know, or don't -- know this:

He who knows "there-is-no-God", also he "knows-the-truth".

Indeed, he knows a most bitter portion of the truth!

And perhaps,
And perhaps more than perhaps!

He savors the Love of God more than most of the host
who boast of Him.


he was somebody's brother and
he was some mother's lover.

Shall we not remember him?

It puzzles me, in fact it sometimes even frightens me when I see how pieces I wrote years ago can have meaning in this world today, a world of increasing chaos, where every thing seems to be slowly coming unglued.

Riverbend, posted yesterday for the first time since last August. In many ways it is a damning critique of us all who live in our comfortable cubbyholes here in WestWorld. Billmon has already been on this, so I won't wax eloquent.

However, I want to stress the point of the poem (elegy?) above. As you noticed (I hope) I used a picture of the Shroud of Turin as the introductory graphic to this post. Some say that it is a genuine relic, that is the actual shroud used to cover the corpse of the tortured and murdered human being we know as "Jesus".

The important thing is not whether or not the relic is "genuine". The important thing is that it is a graphic illustration of what human beings have done, and do, to other human beings.

When the Crazy Bird looks at the wounds of the body pictured on Shroud, he says, "Yes, here I see Guernica, here is Hiroshima, here Fallujah, the Balad district of Baghdad, Rwanda, Treblinka, Kabul, Chechnya, Operation Condor, Phoenix..."

As Billmon points out, we are, in our silence, complicit and guilty in the evil deeds done in our name.

As I wrote in 1994:

"...why don't we complain about the quality of our shame?"

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Peace Now, or Pieces Later

Obviously, this is not a part of Point Omega, but it belongs with the series as a sort denouement or coda.

If the human race can't come to peace with itself it really will be "pieces later". Actually, more likely to be sooner than later and there won't be all that many left to pick up the pieces. In that sad case we can kiss both Point Omega and our collective kiester good-bye.

"Hail Mary, full of hate..." is a twist on one of the best known Catholic prayers. I shudder whenever I sing those lines.

Peace now, or Pieces Later

I read the papers, I see the news,
so don't you think I know what goes on?

Up in the sky, deep in the ground
we find a place for one more bomb.
Up in the sky, it's so insane
-- one more military plane!

And every time you turn you head,
another human being's dead -- not from old age
or an Act-of-God. But by the hand of his fellow man!

And the question keeps pounding in my brain:
"How much longer must we wait, while others decide our fate?"
And the answer is always the same:
"No, no, know now how we must cry...!"
Peace now, or pieces later.

Little Man, I'm telling you,
you'd better figure it out pretty soon why they bleed you!

Hail-Mary, full of hate,
your sons are soldiers and heads-of-state
They hide behind steel and armor plate.
Cursed is the fruit of your womb!

And the question keeps pounding in my brain:
"How much longer must we wait, while others decide our fate?"
And the answer is always the same:
"No, no, know now how we must cry...!"
Peace now, or pieces later.

The bottom line is this: violence, specifically military violence, must be rejected as a primary means of resolving disputes between national states.

We are involved in a conflict in Iraq. This conflict has cost us the lives of 3000 Americans and our European allies. Terribly, our leaders cannot mention in the same breath that it has also cost the lives of a half million Iraqis -- in fact they have constantly downplayed and outright pooh-poohed what this "liberation" has cost.

As I type these words, a flotilla of warships is nearing the Persian Gulf, a contingent of military hardware with firepower comparable to all the bombs dropped in the last world war.

The greatest threats to world peace are not Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Neither is the USA, for that matter.

The greatest threats to world peace are incompetance, arrogance and avarice, followed by fanaticism and the desire for revenge.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Point Omega -- Unity is at Point Omega

[FANFARE!] This is the last poem in the original Point Omega series and, despite the scattered sighs of utter relief I think I hear, I want to thank you all for bearing with me.

This final poem is a bit different than the foregoing 13, where each poem began with the last line of the foregoing. "Unity" is composed of the last lines of all 13 preceding poems, starting with the last line of the last poem -- the last is first, so to speak.

The 14th and last line is intended to sum up the entirety of Point Omega.

"Where understanding is found, that's where you find your friends."

It could also be the starting point for a new corona -- but I don't think I have enough juice for yet another project of that order right now.

14. Unity is at Point Omega

In Unity, we are the Song of Man, the Christ.

Which means, to live, you must take a stand
against the ugly evil in the land
and drive a stake into its heartless pestilence.

Crossing shifting seas of broken glass,
drawing soul forth from primal slime,
the Crazy Bird has lost more than his threads!

When the wolf is freed again, we'll all do penance!

With a cavernous hunger which no thing can assuage,
it walks with a limp and a squint in one eye.
It's bowing and slicking yet another phony cross
as the Mother Ship lands upon the Washington Monument.

(How many, if any, are free of such pestilence?)

Where understanding is found, that's where you find your friends.

I referred earlier to the "Point Omega" as being a term I picked up from the thought of Teilhard de Chardin, paleontologist, Jesuit and apologist for a synthesis between his faith and evolution.

Much like Thomas Merton he was a man with ideas far ahead of his time and, like Merton, was forbidden to publish his books by the church to which he had sworn obedience.

Both men, were seminal in their thinking and bridge builders, Merton between East and West, Teilhard between religion and science.

Unfortunately the bridges both men built are in sad repair.

Teilhard's vision could be construed to be an early form of Intelligent Design and I would expect some of the more intelligent creationists will try to misuse him to that end, but he deserves better treatment than that!

Here is a quote and they are the words of a prophet:
"The Age of Nations is past. The task before us now, if we would not perish, is to build the Earth."

Words which would later be echoed by our American prophet, Dr. Martin Luther King:

It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence.

King spoke several times in publoic the days before he was assasinated and are probably the sentiments which wrote his death sentence. It's one thing for a black man to defy power. But speaking truth to power can make you a lynchable nigger.

If you understand something of Teilhard's vision of how evolution unfolds in this real world, you will be shattered by its implications and quake in your boots, you may even shit in your pants.

[On a lighter yet serious note: Julian May, the most amazing sci-fi author I know, in her books about the Galactic Milieu and the Many Colored Land, makes Teilhard's vision of Unity almost palpable. The books are a damn good read on their own. By the way this is where I lifted the idea about the Alien Veggies in the Third Galaxy.]

Monday, October 16, 2006

Point Omega -- The Song of Man

In the Final Analysis, when all is said and done and all has gone down to dust, when all cards and coins are on the table -- what then?

There are an awful lot of hustlers out there who will sell you fairy stories about how you are going to get screwed unless you do this that or something else to appease, please or accept the offer of their particular misunderstanding about the nature of the Reality, that is, what they call, "God". The more certain one of these hustlers seems to be, the more certain it is they are just writing rubber checks in the name of Ye-God.

However, as I have said before, here and here, the religions are a storehouse of the codified spiritual experience of our common humanity. They contain, so to speak, the musical notes to the "Song of Man".

Furthermore, it seems to be the consensus of human religious intuition that it is in the nature of Reality to balance things out according to what it is we all have actually done and do to one another.

That translates to: If you treat your fellow human beings with compassion simply because it's the right thing to do, it really doesn't matter all that much what you believe, or if you believe diddly-squat.

That's my stand and I'm sticking to it.

13. The Song of Man

To live in this world, you have to take a stand!

The fact is that the meaning of being human
is what we all do and say each and every day.

The final score of the game?
None can say!

Nothing is final until that final breath.
What happens then is anybody's guess!

All prophecy is conditional, you see,
the future does not exist in some Mysteries
of Ye-God as if He wrote Divine Screenplays!

Those guys who tell you otherwise, they lie
in their teeth!
Nothing you could ever believe
can save you from The Final Analysis:

"Alone, we are the devil's devoted device.
In Unity, we are the Song of Man -- the Christ"

Imagine my surprise!

I went googling for a suitable image for, "Song of Man", the penultimate post in the "Point Omega" series and discovered that Kahlil Gibran had composed a poem on the same name. Here is a sample verse:

I heard the teachings of Confucius;
I listened to Brahma's wisdom;
I sat by Buddha under the Tree of Knowledge.
Yet here I am, existing with ignorance
And heresy.

Maybe I'm an egoist, but I just love to read something I could have written myself. You can read the rest of the poem here and even download an E-book of Gibran's poetry -- free.

By the way, the gif I used up at the top I got at a place called "Peacemonger". apparently he sells stuff like this as stickers and buttons.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Point Omega -- To Live in this World

[In today's post I expand the satiric envelop a bit more, to show that when we demonize other humans, we reduce them to objects and see in them reflections of the pestilence in our own heart]

As I write these words in Denmark, an aircraft carrier, a guided-missile cruiser, two guided missile destroyers and an attack submarine are nearing the Gulf of Mexico. A task force of five ships doesn't sound like much, but it bears with it firepower comparable to all that was unleashed in the second world war. They will be in position on or shortly after October 20.

I am afraid because the leader of the country which has ordered this task force to come into striking position of our great land is a madman.

He believes he was chosen by God to bring forth a new world order by destroying the evil forces which threaten Freedom and Democracy. He has at his disposal the most awesome military machine the world has ever known, one which can crush all to dust under iron feet.

What can we do?

First, we correct the typo in my first paragraph and change it to Persian Gulf.

Secondly, the leader of the country in question is not a madman. That is, he isn't a madman if he really doesn't believe that God chose him to pave the way for the Second Coming of the Holy Idaho.

There is no good reason to believe that this leader believes such things -- except, of course, that he has mentioned it several times.

12. To Live in this World

The time has come to shout as loud as we can,
"There is an ugly evil in the land!"

But what rhyme or phrase can frame the lie
which makes us turn our back upon the love of life,
which makes us deny our common humanity
and has us grovel in obscenities?

The blind can feel tears oozing from
the ground.
They hear a distant, deadly drum.

The deaf can taste blood dripping from
the trees.
They see distant armies come.

The dead can awaken to a new life,
to the Love of Being Aware, to the Holy Wife!

It's hard to be a hero, far worse to be a man.
To live in this world, you have to take a stand.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Point Omega -- Ugly Evil in the Land

Perhaps I bit off a bit more than I can chew in posting Point Omega at this time. The timing seemed right, after the tragedy in Nickel Mines to post a work composed in response to the tragedy at Columbine.

Perhaps I should have waited until I figured out how to do this thing with inserting audio clips. Poetry, should be heard, not read -- so much of the meaning is in the intonation and the rhythm.
"The song is in the singing and life is in the living..."
There is an aspect of the tragedy at Nickel Mines which is radically different from Columbine. Not in the ugly evil of the deeds done, but what happened afterwards.

The difference is in the reaction of the Amish -- they do not and here did not translate grief into revenge. In fact they reached out with condolences to the family of the murderer.

I don't want to wax eloquent on this -- it is too easy to slip into a mode where one begins to feed upon the grief and sorrow of others. This also constitutes part of what lies at the heart of the pestilence.

Instead, I'd like to recommend that you read a concise and sensitive piece Sally Kohn has written, "What the Amish can teach America."

11 Ugly Evil in the Land

To drive a stake into heartless pestilence,
requires intelligence and innocence.
The deed must be done slowly but fast.
The hammer must be silver and the wood -- ash!

This "dracula" is more than one wicked prince,
sitting and sucking his after dinner mints.
When Gaia weeps and all her children scream
in flickering lights from glowing screens...

Who then delights in such a bloody feast?

Is it you and I?
Are we then that ugly beast
of which the prophet speaks?
I'm afraid it's so!

I've seen it writ in the wind, the rain and snow.

The time has come to shout as loud as we can,
there is an ugly evil in the land...
Imagine what the world would be like today if our reaction to the Terrible Tuesday of 9/11 had been one where we had reached out to the world, seeking justice of course, but not revenge?

Normally it is useless to ask, "What if?" But here I think it is valid. We have not seen the last of senseless deeds. We must drive the stake into the heart of the pestilence -- not to kill but to change.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Point Omega -- Heart of Pestilence

I once opened a great big book called "Understanding Poetry", published at the University of Odense. It must have weighed about 10 pounds. All I read was a few lines in the introduction, but they blew my mind.

I forget what I actually read but I was left with an understanding that poetry is nothing more or less than life as expressed in human experience, that is, everything we say is poetry, just not very good or, if you prefer, kind of watered down.

The first human speech was not the caveman grunts of the popular imagination.

The first human speech was poetry and song.

When Adam and Eve spoke the leaves on the trees whispered their answer and a song echoed from the clear crystal fountain.

When you find yourself understanding poetry, it is because the heart and are beginning to work together. Poetry is a product of intellect and feeling being, for a moment usually, in harmony.

10. Heart of Pestilence

To cross, on naked feet, a sea of broken glass,
of shifting shards, would be a simple task
compared to stopping the Moon in her path
or keeping the future from becoming past.

There is an immutability in All-That-Is
which the seer sees as a vast emptiness,
wider even than the jaws of death
or the mouth of hell.

I swear: in every human breath

there is a door which opens like a flower
and in its opening bears a power
greater than any thing in time or space...

It's not a question of belief or even faith!

No mental concept can contain What-Is
Or drive the ashen stake into the pestilence.
I wonder why I chose the picture above when the title today is "Heart of Pestilence"?

The glib answer is that I couldn't find a gif anywhere which suited.

On the other hand, there are two themes here, that of Reality as represented by What-Is and the counter theme of pestilence which we met at the very beginning of the Point Omega series.

In tommorow's post we run with this "ashen stake" image and develop it into a kind of vampire slaying. However, in my thinking when the stake is driven into the heart the beast doesn't go "poof" into a cloud of dust like in "Buffy". Rather, it is transmuted into its real nature, like frog kissed or the image of the demon lizard in "The Great Divorce" which becomes a magnificient roan stallion.

That may be a good explanation or maybe just bullshit on my part -- take your pick!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Point Omega -- The Shifting Sea of Broken Glass

This poem cycle was composed in 1999, a few months after the tragedy in Colombine.

It began with the line, "It's kind of hard to understand, my friends..." and continued from there. I had no idea of where the journey would lead.

With the 9th of the series the imagery begins to slowly turn away from the darkness, towards the light, towards unity in Point Omega -- however, we have yet to cross, on naked feet , the "Shifting Sea of Broken Glass".

9. The Shifting Sea of Broken Glass

To bring life forth, in force, from primal slime,
Takes more than time, it takes a will "divine".

It takes a vision imbued in all that is!

In the very beginning dot of creative-fizz
There is a well of souls and many contingency plans.

Genetic code alone can't make a man!

It's no mystery! It's a subtle fact
That a horse, a cow, a goat, a dog, a cat --
No thing can be, without the synergy
Of every thing in eternity...

Edison's light, without electricity,
Is what? A lump of cold glass. A thing
to crush and throw away.
And who, I ask,

Will cross this shifting sea of broken glass?
There is no creed to which I subscribe.


I am neither deist, agnostic nor athiest.

Although fairly well versed in several creeds, I hold fast to none of them.
I see the creeds as one might see languages. If you know more than one language well, you know that it is ridiculous to say that one language is "better" or that another is more "true". On the other hand, even an ameteur linguist knows that certain concepts are more handily expressed in one language than another.

Keeping with the analogy, my mother tongue is Lutheran (a Protestent dialect of Christianity). But I can speak Catholic quite well and can understand Jew, Muslim, Hindu and even a bit of Native American -- if people take the trouble to enunciate clearly.

In brief: I accept that the creeds are there and that they are a heritage of our common humanity.

Furthermore, my understanding is that each of them, with more or less success, formulates and codifies certain aspects of the Reality which founders of these creeds have gained. How they gained these insights is another matter.

That said, it's obvious that "divine" in the poem above must have a special meaning. I would hope that the poem itself would clarify some of the meaning.

I am not making a case for some form of Intelligent Design!

However, the way a universe like ours unfolds from a singularity, it seems inevitable that galaxies, stars, planets will form. It seems inevitable that rocky planets like ours as well as those in the Third Galaxy will be well-salted with ninety some odd elements in various combinations.

It is also seems inevitable that carbon will have the special chemistry that it does and therefore it is inevitable that life will appear and from there -- sentience. It is as if a universe imbued with a tendency to develop conscious intelligence. It is a general religious intuition that conscious intelligence and self awareness leads towards what Teilhard de Chardin called "Point Omega" and "Unity".

HOWEVER! There is no certainty that Point Omega will actually happen on this or any other planet, or that it ever has!

Another odd thing about how a universe like ours develops is that the stars are so far apart. If we were to, just as an example, unleash some force that made our sun blow up, it would not affect any other planets except those in our solar system.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Point Omega -- From Primal Slime

The world totters upon the brink of global catastrophe and total, ultimate war.

Of all the hypocrisies I detest, the worst is that which smiles and says: "The best, the select, the true and faithful will be taken up to eternal bliss when every thing dies, therefore, bring it on, ring down the curtain for the Long Night of Death!"

That is the general formula for a perversion found in all the major religions as well as in many of the smaller free lancers. It's sometimes refereed to as the "sin against the Holy Spirit"

8. From Primal Slime

Them nasty angel bums are saying I've lost the thread?
Screw them!

Shall I take my harp and sing hymns instead?
Shall I praise in rhyme the Power and the Glory
of Ye-God and His never-ever-ending-Story?

Even as I think to speak of Heaven's Endless Joy
and Bliss, I hear the screams and cries of boys
and girls upon the battlefields and in all
the disputed cites of the ultimate wars.

I see, with my inner eye, the lie
of permanence based upon excrement!

Excuse me while I wash my mouth with soap!
Salvation is not enough!
There must be hope

That human life itself is worth the time
it takes to draw it forth from primal slime!!!

There is no use, credit or profit* in pantomiming holiness or keeping up a pretense of piety at the expense of our common humanity.

I swear by all that is holy and by all that is profane that if life, in itself, is not worth the years it took to bring it forth, then I care not a fig for your "God", your "Prophet", your "Savior" or even the Great Potato Himself!

Take them and depart -- be-gone! Any spirituality, let alone religion, which cuts itself off from and denies reality isn't worth a stale fart in a cold bathtub.
* Well actually, there can be some, in fact a hell of a lot profit

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Point Omega -- Losing the Thread

I saw the Fenris yesterday.

On the bus, on the way home from work, a few minutes before five in the afternoon, I looked up from what I was reading and saw its dark silhouette in the western sky.

Chance winds formed from dark rain cloud a figure of incarnate terror, the sharp hearing ears, the hungry mouth agape.

The point of the tale is not what I saw but the context in which I saw it, that is I was reading an article by Robert Fisk entitled, "The Age of Terror". Robert Fisk is an Englishman, an investigative journalist for thirty years whose specialty is the Middle East. His experience and insight run deep

Having just realized that he states clearly in this article what I have been fumbling to articulate again and again since I started this blog a little over three months ago, I chanced to look out the bus window...

Forget about this post. Forget about my silly blog -- go read the article.

7. Losing the Thread

When the Fenris is free again, we'll all do penance!

On that day, all of us will pay for the Innocents
Betrayed as slaves to pious hypocrisies,
In history's hidden atrocities.

In the secret deals, the giggles and the squeals
Of princes and kings who do whatever they feel
They need to do to staunch the growing fear
Their power-base will waste away and disappear!

Our leaders are molesters of young children.

They are serial rapists ready to do it again
As easy as they'd cut a fart or gnaw a bone
Ripped from the body of the meek and the oppressed.

You know what the voices inside my head just said?
Poor Crazy Bird, we think you've lost the thread!

The Fenris can be seen as a symbol of raging surprised energy and force bottled up until it curdles into blind and senseless hate which in turn burst its bonds at with volcanic effect and splatters across the newspaper page.

If all the injustices committed in human history we demanded corrected at one fell blow, if every piece of land taken from its "rightful owner" was returned, if every drop of blood spilt were suddenly paid in kind -- what then? Do you think the earth would remain, that anyone would be left alive? I hardly think so. This is why the release of the Fenris triggers the events it does.

The voices in my head laugh and say I've lost the thread, but they lie -- the fact is, I've grasped fibers of the thread which runs through human history.

Bear with me, the remaining poems of this cycle delve yet deeper into darkness, but resolve into something better.

Point Omega is my understanding of Teilhard's vision of our common humanity -- that is, the unity to which evolution strives.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Point Omega -- The Wolfling Betrayed

I can do without the serendipity!

As I was working on comments to the sixth installement of "Point Omega", Uncle Kim Il jerks off and blows his atomic wad somewhere underground in North korea.

The thing is, the point of the comments below was to draw parallels
between the reasoning of the Asar which led them to chain the Fenris and the reasoning which lies behind our obscene stockpiles of nuclear and other Weapons of Much Destruction.

I said at the beginning of this series that these poems seemed more pertinent today than some seven years ago -- but this is ridiculous, I don't mean for them to be that pertinent.

The Norse legend and/or prophecy of the Fenris Wolf fascinated me from the time I first read about it when I was 10-12 years old. Today's installment explores the motivation and fears of the Asar which led them to betray the trust of the wolfling, Fenris.

6. The Wolfling Betrayed

Such hunger as his can never be assuaged!

The moonlight glint on teeth reflect the rage
Of one betrayed by Gods, because they feared
The Force, which, in their midst, unbid, appeared.

A furry little cub, a wolfling plays
Upon the grass of Asgaard's sunny days.
It plays and grows and then the Asar wonder,
"Does not its growl echo with a distant thunder?"

It matters not which "God" should bear the blame!

They all agreed, "The wolfling must be chained!"
Their choice was "right", but was it really wise
To bind it tight with such magic device?

They betrayed the wolfling's trusting innocence.
When the wolf is freed again, we'll all do penance.

To me, the rationale of the Norse Gods could well be compared to all the "good reasons" we have for stockpiling WOMD (Weapons of Obscenly Mass Destruction).

The Asar of course had no choice -- it was a matter of survial! But in seeking security they created their bane and sealed their fate.

Likewise, we had no choice. But the nitty-gritty is that which was to defend us, keep us safe and secure, will be the direct source of our downfall. The downfall not only of our civilization but, like as not, our existence as a species and even of the Earth, the holy mother who gave us birth.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Point Omega -- the Fenris Wolf

Today, in the fifth installment of "Point Omega", we meet Fenris, the enigmatic precursor to Ragnarok.
When I was a child of ten or twelve years, I read all the books in the libraries of Poosah City I could find about "fairy tales", "myths" and "legends" of peoples around the world.

I came to the conclusion that the root source of these tales was no different than that which was codified in our Bible canon.

The tales of the Scandic peoples fascinated me most. Perhaps that is because I am half Norwegian -- that I would travel another forty years down my life before I learned that fact for certain only confirms my instinct that there is deep understanding of human nature in the Norse vision.

5. The Fenris Wolf

I walk with a limp and a squint in one eye...(?)

If you don't assume that's simply poetic device,
Then I'll assume you get the implied allusion
That Nordic Vision is more than illusion!
That Odin and Loke, Balder and Thor,
That Asgaard and Midgaard and Valhal bord,
That Vane and Asar, Jaette and Norn,

All tell us something of life -- and the Final Wars!

The hairs on the back of my neck -- they rise in fear!
Because, I suspect, a Finbul Winter this year,
Would recall the runes of that ancient, Volund sage:
That three blue winters foretell the coming rage
Of the ravenous, Fenris Wolf, unleashed from its cage,
With a cavernous hunger nothing can assuage!

I assume most are acquainted with the Norse Gods, or Asar, as they are still called by some. The Jaette are the giants and the Norn more or less the Norse equivalent of the Greek dryads.

I also assume you know about Ragnarok, the Norse premonition of Final Wars, but I suspect fewer have heard of the "Finbul" winter -- terrible winters of deep blue cold. According to the Volund sage, three such winters in Midgaard, that is the world of mankind, will precede the release of the Fenris Wolf and the ensuing Ragnarok.

We will read more about the Fenris tomorrow.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Point Omega -- Odin's Squint

I'm pressed for time today, therefore comments to the fourth in the Point Omega poem cycle will be mercifully brief.

Actually, reading through it, it seems there really isn't all that much to say.

The theme of falling for "phony crosses" is developed and then turns to the main Asar of the Norse Pantheon, Odin, the All Father who sometimes appears to mortals of Midgaard a tall, graybeard traveler who wears a broadbrimmed hat. Odin gained wisdom at the price of one of his eyes -- in this version it becomes a squint and therefore, I suppose, only a small portion of wisdom. "Hanging from a tree" refers to a lesser known legend, where Odin, in order to obtain insight, was hung from a tree, which is why he "limps".

4. Odin's Squint

It's true!
I bowed and slicked a phony cross
Or two, and maybe even truely lost
My ephemeral soul more than once to force
Beyond intelligent control!
Of course,

It wasn't for fun or to impress you all
That I this confess! I was searching for my All
My Everything, the Song that makes us sing,
That which brings the horse to water and begs him drink.

Indeed, the world drowns in each raindrop!

And, as the ground slowly sucks it up,
I see that we, in our common humanity,
Are hanging, all of us, from a tree...

Is that the reason why, like Odin, I
Walk with a limp and a squint in one eye?

The point, I guess is that everything has its price -- there are no free lunches, for that matter, no free breakfasts, no free supper and certainly no free dessert!

In case you are wondering, yes, like most people, I have worshiped a few phony crosses. Perhaps, someday, I'll tell you about them. Suffice for now knowing, as you may have guessed that this is where I received the wounds which make me exceptionally bitter and sensitive to the slightest whiff of religious hypocrisy. By the way, although the imagery used here might seem, ah sensual, I haven't been there where your imagination might take you.

Tomorrow, we will make more use of the Norse vision and the Fenris makes his appearance with a growl.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Point Omega -- Phony Crosses

Dear hearts, to preach that Mother Earth's only begotten son can defile and butcher the Place of Birth and afterwards be taken up to live in bliss -- that is not only false prophecy in the exact sense fundamentalists understand the term, it is blasphemy against the holy spirit and, in plain words, Utter Bullshit!

3. Phony Crosses

The New Jerusalem as a Mother Ship?(!)

Some times I think it's time I quit my quips,
Stopped using words that think they have to rhyme
To hide the fact their meaning, half the time,
Couldn't fill a bag as well as politician-wind,
Or some fundamental preacher's talk-of-sin!

Perhaps I should write my words upon those bits
Of wood known as popsicle sticks,
Or have them burnt into those tiny bites
Of sound they use to sell the modern device
Of terror known as: "The Money Machine"?

My friends,

The prophecy is that, before the end,
We'll all run 'round like hens with our heads cut off,
Bowing and slicking every phony cross!

This verse starts with a poetic device called "prophetic disclaimer", that is it makes fun of the idea that the biblical vision of the New Jerusalem could be replaced by the Hollywood shtick of a giant "Mother Ship" full of wise and friendly Alien Veggies coming to get us out of the stew we are in.

The poem then ends with a "prophecy" that most of us, in utter confusion will run about aimlessly, looking for assurance from phonies and hustlers who will tell us that everything is going to turn out ok.

The unstated reason for our common folly is that we cannot bear the terror of facing the truth of just how royally we have screwed ourselves and our children.

We therefore seek out and even worship "strong illusions". For example ones like terrible lie that some sort of "Jesus" will come and kiss our thumb, wipe our bum, rake our chestnuts out of the fire and make everything all right again.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Point Omega -- Some New Jerusalem?

We start with the second installment of "Point Omega", a cycle of 14 poems, the last line of each is the first line of the one following.

Composed in a fortnight seven years ago, it seems more pertinent to events today. We'll see during the next couple of weeks how well my assumption fares.

2. Some New Jerusalem!

How many, if any, are free of the pestilence
Which sucks soul and blinds Innocence
With sticky webs and voyeurist delights,
With glowing screens and flickering lights?

The celluloid dreams, the screams, the frogs
Of demon armies -- the marching minions of Gog!

Aghast, I see the inner-land laid waste
By futile quips and plain, bad taste!

When the Gods themselves do fall to blasphemy,
When the halls and walls of Heaven glow with shame,
(All wept with tears, and retching cacophony!)

What then, my friends -- what word can name the game?

Megiddo? Ragnarok? The New Jerusalem landing
As a Mother Ship on the Washington Monument?(!)


What is this pestilence which "sucks soul"?

What is its source and upon what does it feed?

It feeds upon the desire to control others, to dominate and own them, to take joy in their pain. It feeds upon the inability we all have, to a greater or lesser degree, to live in open, loving relationship with our common humanity.

One of it's sources is in sins committed against the children, at times in the very manner in which they are conceived. In a sense, it is also the psychological and spiritual realities which lie beyond the concept of "original sin".

Perhaps the odd situation we have today has something to do with our disconnect -- a situation where, with the help and active urging of the media, we react strongly to random acts of madness, or fear some act of terrorism while, at the same time, we ignore that we sit upon a stockpile of hell weapons which could destroy both us and the planet in an hour.

We have lived with this knowledge gnawing away at the back of our minds for two generations, we have poured trillions of dollars into an existential black hole and go blithly about our daily business.

Is it any wonder the whole country and most of the world sometime seems to be headed for a mass psychotic break with reality?

The person who deliberately destroyed a country, lying all the while about what and why he was doing, he has the keys to Hell in his pocket for two more years at least -- and people would have us believe the problem is teaching evolution in schools, or liberals, or gays, or nudity or a sicko sitting in a cave in Pakistan or anything except the fact that we must be going out of out collective mind.

Considering that so many, including world leaders apparently believe that Total War and nuclear holocaust will usher in the Rapture and Salvation for the Select Few, I can very well comprehend that there is a Rupture in Our Sanity somewhere!

A giant mother ship from outer space doesn't seem all that far fetched anymore and I'm all for it -- as long as the crew are Alien Veggies!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Point Omega -- Such Pestilence

[The news yesterday morning about the tragedy in Nickel Mines and that the immediate victims were young Amish girls hit me hard.

I assume that, combined with other recent events of random freelance terror, we are going to be subjected to the usual chorus of hand wringing and hypocrisy from political and religious leaders. There will be demands and leaders will pretend that they can "do something".

A policeman on every corner, metal scanners at every school, a lock on every door, obsequious presence of video cameras, vain calls for morality and righteousness in homes and public life and a guard behind every bed -- none of this will help.

The "incidence of evil" is something which has and always will occur as long as there is a pestilence in the land. However, in our world of high technology and intertwined interdependencies, the acts themselves can be more terrible and the effects on us magnified.]

1. Such Pestilence

It's kind of hard to understand, my friends,
The way we all fret about the odds and ends
Of things. As if somehow we could change
The incidence of evil, or perhaps explain
The way it sometimes boils into rage,
Explodes and splatters across the newspaper page
And shatters our peace of mind
-- yet once again!

"A Wave of Evil!"
"The Consequence of Sin!"
Our leaders groan in their feigned innocence!

The world is based upon violence!
Almost every child knows this fact!

In fact, it is often part of the very act
Which brings us into our mortal existence!

How many, if any, are free of such pestilence?

[The above is the first of a cycle of 14 poems where the last line of each poem is the first line of the following. They were composed over a fortnight the summer of 1999, apparently as a reaction to Columbine.

The themes which developed as the work unfolded seem even more pertinent today than seven years ago. That's my reason to post the rest of the cycle the following days]

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Foley's Follies, Regurgitated

Okay, my crystal ball suffers from serious astigmatism!

As James argued so well in yesterday's comment, there is no way Foley's Follies can be the opening move of a Rovian ploy.

On the other hand, if I really am out to lunch on this -- and I don't see how I can be anything but -- then what the hell is going on?

Drudge and Limbaugh and the other terminally rabid pack members are frothing at the mouth, saying it's all the Democrats fault and that pages are all 17 (not 16) year old sex beast deviants who sucked Foley into an innocent misuse of his instant messenger and didn't just suck him or whatever I'd think of it I had the gutter brains of these guys.

The biggies in DC apparently are hoping charges will be brought, the sooner the better, so that they can smile and say, as the election grinds closer, that "Gee, whiz by golly boys, we can't talk about an ongoing investigation..."

But how can that cut the mustard? It's payback time and the media beast is hungry!

On the other hand, what else is happening? Hear any news from Iraq lately? How about terror, then?

Frist is floating a balloon that the Taliban could maybe take part in an Afghan government. The Brits (hopefully taking the Danes with them) are withdrawing from a province.

Tenet is outing Rice as a not only a liar (as if anyone need be surprised!), but a spit-in-your face, goddamn liar about not having been told months before Terrible Tuesday that Ahsawyah been-Lately was planning to attack the United State of Arrogance homeland.

I mean, what is going on? Is the wax melting? Is everything and everybody coming unglued?

Has Rove lost it so completely that everything he touches now turns to shit?

Or is there some terrible thing about to come down the tube? Will the second Reichstag fire both seal and cremate the coffin of Arrogant Democracy?

I just heard the news from Nickel Mines, PA. and I feel kind of sick.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Foley Follies = October Surprise?

I've a suspicion the Foley Follies could very well be the opening move of the October Surprise Karl Rove, political advisor to our Codpiece in Chief, has promised Republican insiders.

The October Surprise is the code word for a promised political hat trick the last week of October which will to turn the November election in favor of the Republicans.

[Frankly, I had planned writing more personal stuff. I've posted about my dad and mother and it seemed that the time had come to come with grips with my stepmother, Gerry-mum.

My childhood was kind of screwed up but in many ways I had a wonderfully sheltered childhood and the abuse, such as it was, was psychological, not physical.

On the other hand, physical wounds heal and their scars can be seen. It is the psychological scars people carry around which groans the world and tears it all apart.]

But then the Foley Follies popped up, on schedule, so to speak...

A fellow from Florida elected six times to serve Florida citizens in the Congress of the United States of America as their Representative, this fellow who has excelled in pleading the case of abused children and victims of sexual predators -- he resigned, amid suspicion the he himself is a sexual predator.

The scandal's been cooking for some time about his interest in young boys, in particular pages working in Congress. Some top Republicans seem to have known about it for up to a year.

But how is this going to play down over the next five weeks?

Imagine! What if it suddenly turns out that, after the media beast has gorged itself for two or three weeks, it suddenly turns that there really is no hard evidence and the poor boy in question is smearable?

Recall what happened in the last election!

A scandal which had been brewing for at least four years and it seemed obvious that the truth about terrible record of Mr. Bush in the Texas Air National Guard no longer could be kept under wraps. The story of how Bush's record of service in the National Guard was somehow sponged clean was going to blow!

Then, by chance, all of a sudden, typewritten "evidence" appeared out of nowhere. Names were named and dates were divulged.

What the happened? Dan Rather and CBS took the bait hook line and sinker!

The result? One of the most highly respected reporters was disgraced and dismissed. Stories about our AWOL Codpiece were no longer news fit for the national mass media.

Hmmn, sometimes, when you smell a rat, it's because there is a rat!