Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Nuclear Fuggups, Biz as Usual...

This is a rant about an outrage I just learned about from an article at the Chicago Tribune I ran across at Buzzflash.

The Tribune article is rather detailed and you have to page through it if you are not a subscriber, which makes it hard to read, so I will try to give a brief rundown.

First, I have long had the misunderstanding was that there was a difference between the grade of enriched uranium used in nuclear reactors and nuclear bombs. Like so many things, this is a truth with modifications.

To put it simply, reactors are like cars -- some can run on low octane fuel and some require high octane. When the fuel used in reactors high octane, that uranium is enriched enough to be used in bombs.

There is a lot of uranium out there in the world, supplied by the US during the Eisenhower administrations "Atoms for Peace" program and later. Both France and Russia have also done so.

There have been efforts to retrieve the uranium for some 25 years and more. The problem is, a lot of reactors, just like old cars, can't just switch from unleaded high octane fuel.

After Terrible Tuesday, there was a lot of flap about terraists getting their hands on material somewhere and using it on us.

And the US gov't swung into action and went into high gear to retrieve the material? Right?

No -- wrong!

An example: a laboratory which had been working for 25 years on a shoestring budget of 5.6 million dollars per annum succeeded in getting Serbia to send old fuel back to Russia. But our gov't wouldn't even foot the bill. Instead, a private organization of Ted Turner's to ante up with five million.

Finally, in 2004, when the gov't in DC finally woke up (a little), their first response was to fire the guy who had been running the laboratory in Chicago.

The bottom line is that the gov't is not and has never had the highly vaunted "homeland security" as a first priority. First priority is to acquire appropriations and second is cover their arse. In the end, it is we, the people who end up either paying through the nose or dead in the mud.

Here are a few money quotes from the Tribune article:

"Jack Edlow, whose company, Edlow International, ships nuclear fuel back to the U.S., was in his Washington office on Sept. 11. He looked out his back window and saw smoke rising from the Pentagon."

"I thought they would get themselves a couple of hundred million dollars, and we would get the whole thing cleaned up in a couple of years," Edlow recalled. "I thought everybody would say, `Let's go get this stuff before it comes back to haunt us.'"

"Eleven months after the terrorist attacks, the U.S. did manage to remove two nuclear bombs' worth of uranium from Serbia and ship it back to Russia. But to pay for the mission, the State Department asked the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a non-profit group founded by Ted Turner and former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn, to donate $5 million; that was more money than the government contributed to the mission."

"Even after Sept. 11, America was relying on funding from a non-profit for critical national security work."

"In the summer of 2004, Energy Department officials began taking firmer control of America's effort to retrieve bomb fuel. They wanted it run out of Washington, not Chicago. They wanted the fuel work managed out of a federal lab in Idaho, not Argonne. They wanted new scientists involved, not the same group that had been leading it the last 26 years."

"And three years after the Sept. 11 attacks, they finally asked to double the budget."

"Travelli [head of the Argonne lab] heard about these changes piecemeal. Then one day, an Argonne administrator, Phillip Finck, called him into his office. Finck told the longtime scientist that energy officials wanted him out. He could stay on as a scientific adviser, but an Argonne colleague would replace him."

"Fear of being fired has replaced the pursuit of excellence as a motivator for our work," he wrote in resigning, "and the main concern today is to satisfy every wish of frequently incompetent and unpredictable bureaucrats in Washington."

"Over 26 years, Travelli and his team helped 22 nations stop using bomb-grade fuel in 33 reactors, eliminating the use of 3.3 tons and ridding the world of 120 potential nuclear weapons. But more than 100 reactors still use the dangerous fuel, with an estimated 40 tons out of U.S. control."

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Dream of Snowflakes and Peeling an Orange

Frankly, dear hearts, I sometimes need to leave off the snark and satire and wrapping words around the ugly things unfolding in our world which anyone with an ounce of discernment can see.

Sometimes that I think what's coming down the tube is worse than what happened in the Third Galaxy. Then I shiver and think that, maybe, having slipped on a time warp, maybe I am in the Third Galaxy!

Ah, I dreamt last night such a pretty dream about a strange and beautiful snowfall -- it was as if the snow flakes were bubbles about the size of ping-pong balls, but clear and translucent.

Just like "real" snowflakes, most of the "dream" snowflakes were in small clumps, drifting slowly to the ground. They were as transient as they were beautiful.

At the slightest touch they would disappear in silent "poofs" -- even trying to take a picture with them with my cell phone's camera was enough to disturb them.

So, unable to give you a better picture then my confused description, I'll leave you with this little "snowflake" I found written on the back pages of my copy of Osbornes "Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge".

If I say that "God" is everywhere,
does that mean that "God" is within
as much as without?

The question, "Who's making all these distinctions?",
presents itself like a sore thumb,
or a whack up the side of the head!

The Real has a feel unlike any other!(?)

To distinguish between up and down,
left and right will orient you in the world.

To distinguish between what-is and what-ain't
is the beginning of true knowledge.

That sounds dualistic perhaps, but then,
so is peeling an orange!

Gee, I almost forgot, I got that cool picture of a snowflake here and there's really a lot of nice pictures but I picked the one at the top because it reminded me somehow of my dream.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Day of the Leopard

This is from the Arrogant Prophesies, a collection of poetical rants from the Third Galaxy.

I guess I post it today because of the wyrd over wyrd developments, disinformation and psyops which appear to be leading to drastic developments in Iran as well as Iraq.

I woke up this morning with a pain in my heart
And I thought to myself, "Is this how the end of the world starts?"
With rumors of wars in faraway places?
With lies and deceits and intelligence agencies kicking their traces?

With illusions planted in the minds of the people?
With abominations slithering in the holiest of temples?
With ancient, holy word perverted
and a generation, to terror (and worse) converted...?

These thoughts in my mind, which I'd rather not think,
are driving me crazy, completely insane and over the brink:
When the Name of the Age is "Antimony".
When the world is ruled by arrogance, ignorance and simony.

When the wings of angels lie enchained.
When the world's resources are insolently drained.
The Day of the Leopard will then come soon,
and all the world will dance to its terrible tune!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Love's Flaming Chariot

The word "chariot", for me is connected with a minor but painful memory. I think is is from the fifth grade. When we sang "Swing Low. Sweet Chariot", I would sing it with two notes at the end, that is, "o-ot" and was teased about it. It hurt.

Years later, on January 29, 2000, I composed this sonnet, its meaning puzzles me, almost as much why I would remember a song we sang in the fifth grade.

The poem would seem to be about love and that little michief maker, Cupid, however, but the ending lines speak of Apollo while the title refers to his chariot, that is, the sun and the sun seems to be that what destroys love and yet causes love to be reborn

It makes no sense at all -- or does it?

The love we used to share, where did it go?
It vanished like a vapor, or melting snow!

The memories I cherished have lost their glow
and what they meant to me: I hardly know!

Of course, we'll always be "the best of friends...",
but why does love, itself, have to end?

Perhaps, to speak of love, the truth must bend,
as Cupid does his bow, in order to send
those frightful arrows into the peaceful hearts
of poor mortals when he decides to start
that soul's dreadful fire, of which love is but a part?

Does not Apollo's flaming chariot
give us death, as well as life, and then
repeat itself, each day, again and again...?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Wyrd, Double Wyrd

Wyrd, double wyrd.

I heard about five American soldiers being killed by people in American military uniforms a few days ago, and sort of vaguely filed it away in the back of my mind -- I mean, it's not that you get inured to the ongoing reports of atrocities and war crimes, but, yes, you do get inured, heck, even bored, ho-hum, five dead, o well, there were thirteen in a Blackhawk helicopter the day before...

But, there is something wyrd, double wyrd about this latest incident.

Apparently, they were driving expensive SUV's, were wearing the new battlefield fatigues that not even all the US troops have yet been issued. They had IDs and spoke English. It also seems that the military outright lied about what happened. The soldiers were not killed in a firefight, but were kidnapped and executed some 25 miles away.

The point is, we don't know what is happening, Cheney doesn't and Bush doesn't -- this is worse than a catastrophe, it is an ongoing rolling fuggup and is, for my money, endindg with an attack on Iran.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Cold, Misty Morning

This is the first song poem I ever composed which I kept. It was a cold, misty morning, in Washington DC.

Even then, I knew, somewhere in what passes for my consciousness that my attempt to perform what is called mariage was a total failure which would twist not only my own, but the lives of two others, the little girl who took my cherry and the innocent child brought into the world through this misunderstanding.

If you wake up to a cold, misty morning
and it's not the cold, just a twist inside your mind,
Don't let it bother you...
If you've got a lonely feeling that your life is stealing by,
You're a child of the time,
and in another rhyme, you'll be doing fine.
Just don't stand in too many lines!

If you run into a snow storm blowing
and it's not the cold, just an emptiness that's growing,
Don't let it bother you...
If you can't seem to find, in front, the things you left behind you;
You're a child with no place!
And that is no disgrace, but there are things you've got to face!
If you don't want the prize, don't run the race...

If you've lost all the gold you were owning,
and it's not the loss, just love that you were holding,
Don't let it bother you...
If the whole of your selfishness is longing for her tenderness, again!
Well, the world won't end without her;
Altho, it may be colder, and m u c h darker:
Strike another match, and become wiser...

If your sunshine is turning to teardrops,
and they're burning in your eyes, and they just won't stop!
Don't let it bother you...
If these shadows in your heart are tearing you apart with groans.
You're a child with no home,
and there's nothing you can do, but see what you can do
to make a start to mend what was broken...

It took me thirty years to complete this song text -- that may tell something of why, despite the excellence of my poetry, its commericial value has been nil.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Memories of Two Rats and One Horse

Although it is hard to be certain about chronology, my first memory as a child is from when I was five years old.

The memory is of a dream, in fact, a nightmare.

Two rats are standing at the foot of my bed.

The strangeness is that they are large, in fact human sized, standing on two legs. One of them wears a green shirt with a red vest and the other a red shirt with a green vest. The rats talk about me, talk about what to do with or to me.

I woke up screaming...

At the time I of the dream, we were living in Hobart on Connecticut Avenue. My dad, Robin, had purchased the house from his father Charles Edward. I learned years later that he had paid much less than market value for the house with the agreement that granddad could continue living in the house.

Either they forgot to tell Gerry-mum about the understanding or she did not grasp the consequence that she would have to take care of the old man to some unspecified degree. As Gerry-mum succinctly put it, she had not married Robin to be "your dad's nigger".

This incident was later forged into yet another of the many sharp edged weapons of hateful recrimination they used against one another in their ongoing fights over the next fourteen years until my father finally ran away and they were divorced after the summer of my first year at the university.

There are other memories that I should have access to and can deduce from other information. At times I can feel the raging loneliness of these memories, but the doors to them remain closed, bolted, locked and chained. Perhaps it is just as well.

A memory I have from Poosah City is a store window in which was displayed a small wooden horse painted in blue, pastel colors. I recall standing and looking at it whenever I passed by. For some reason it fascinated me.

Years later in Denmark, I learned that what I had seen was a "Dalar Horse" [Dalar hest], a bit of traditional folklore from the Dalerne, or Dales of Sweden. The horses are stylized, carved in wood and hand painted, the dominant color being either blue or red.

It happens that my grandfathers' second wife, Amanda, was from Sweden, perhaps from the Dales, spoke some Swedish and, if she had anything from her homeland, it would have been one of these lovely small horses.

When we moved into granddad's house, it was not the first time I had lived there. I had stayed there when my mother, Eunice, fell ill. Apparently I became attached to Amanda. Unfortunately she held to the hodgepodge beliefs of Mary Baker Eddy and, when she contracted a minor infection for which she refused medical treatment she, also died.

This was less than a year after my mother died.

All three of them are buried on a small plot in Hobart, Indiana, which I good fortune to visit for the first time in September, 2006.

Because of the war my dad was working long hours in the steel mills, so I stayed at Connecticut Ave., living with my widowed granddad for a while. He had had no idea whatsoever what to do with a little boy my age. I'm told that he tied a rope around my waist to keep me from wandering away.

My aunt Helen, put a stop to that as soon as she found out and took me to live with her. I stayed there about a year until dad married Gerry-mum not long after the war ended.

What is the significance of the rats? I have absolutely no idea!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Rape of the Union Speech

Regarding the Rape of the Union speech, I haven't the stomach or stamina to listen as the Codpiece recites words his handlers have put in his mouth.

I will leave commentary to those more courageous then myself and will suffice with a small poem written at the time the debacle in Iraq was begun by the fools who lead us.

Speaking of courage, Jim Webb, the new Senator from Virginia gave a rebuttal and the amazing thing is that Senator Webb is said to have written his speech himself. How quaint, how refreshing to hear a politician speak his mind and say what he means -- thank you, Senator Webb for renewing my faith and kindling hope for a better future for our country!

The politics of innocence are simple:
reveal what you know as it is needed,
Admit the mistakes you made in arrogance
and ask the world for a second chance.

You know this in your heart, but you will not heed!
Instead, deceit, duplicity and greed
will be the mark by which you will be known
and you will reap exactly as you have sown!

If the people knew the lies and your dark design
to sit upon the world and suck it dry,
I wonder what it is that they would do?
Rise up perhaps, and rip your plan in two?

Or would they think, like dogs, that the bones you cast
aside are not so bad...but all that can change
-- exceedingly fast!

Here is a transcript of Senator Webb's speech which you can also hear here.

Good evening.

I'm Senator Jim Webb, from Virginia, where this year we will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Jamestown - an event that marked the first step in the long journey that has made us the greatest and most prosperous nation on earth.

It would not be possible in this short amount of time to actually rebut the President's message, nor would it be useful. Let me simply say that we in the Democratic Party hope that this administration is serious about improving education and healthcare for all Americans, and addressing such domestic priorities as restoring the vitality of New Orleans.

Further, this is the seventh time the President has mentioned energy independence in his state of the union message, but for the first time this exchange is taking place in a Congress led by the Democratic Party. We are looking for affirmative solutions that will strengthen our nation by freeing us from our dependence on foreign oil, and spurring a wave of entrepreneurial growth in the form of alternate energy programs. We look forward to working with the President and his party to bring about these changes.

There are two areas where our respective parties have largely stood in contradiction, and I want to take a few minutes to address them tonight. The first relates to how we see the health of our economy - how we measure it, and how we ensure that its benefits are properly shared among all Americans. The second regards our foreign policy - how we might bring the war in Iraq to a proper conclusion that will also allow us to continue to fight the war against international terrorism, and to address other strategic concerns that our country faces around the world.

When one looks at the health of our economy, it's almost as if we are living in two different countries. Some say that things have never been better. The stock market is at an all-time high, and so are corporate profits. But these benefits are not being fairly shared. When I graduated from college, the average corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker did; today, it's nearly 400 times. In other words, it takes the average worker more than a year to make the money that his or her boss makes in one day.

Wages and salaries for our workers are at all-time lows as a percentage of national wealth, even though the productivity of American workers is the highest in the world. Medical costs have skyrocketed. College tuition rates are off the charts. Our manufacturing base is being dismantled and sent overseas. Good American jobs are being sent along with them.

In short, the middle class of this country, our historic backbone and our best hope for a strong society in the future, is losing its place at the table. Our workers know this, through painful experience. Our white-collar professionals are beginning to understand it, as their jobs start disappearing also. And they expect, rightly, that in this age of globalization, their government has a duty to insist that their concerns be dealt with fairly in the international marketplace.

In the early days of our republic, President Andrew Jackson established an important principle of American-style democracy - that we should measure the health of our society not at its apex, but at its base. Not with the numbers that come out of Wall Street, but with the living conditions that exist on Main Street. We must recapture that spirit today.

And under the leadership of the new Democratic Congress, we are on our way to doing so. The House just passed a minimum wage increase, the first in ten years, and the Senate will soon follow. We've introduced a broad legislative package designed to regain the trust of the American people. We've established a tone of cooperation and consensus that extends beyond party lines. We're working to get the right things done, for the right people and for the right reasons.

With respect to foreign policy, this country has patiently endured a mismanaged war for nearly four years. Many, including myself, warned even before the war began that it was unnecessary, that it would take our energy and attention away from the larger war against terrorism, and that invading and occupying Iraq would leave us strategically vulnerable in the most violent and turbulent corner of the world.

I want to share with all of you a picture that I have carried with me for more than 50 years. This is my father, when he was a young Air Force captain, flying cargo planes during the Berlin Airlift. He sent us the picture from Germany, as we waited for him, back here at home. When I was a small boy, I used to take the picture to bed with me every night, because for more than three years my father was deployed, unable to live with us full-time, serving overseas or in bases where there was no family housing. I still keep it, to remind me of the sacrifices that my mother and others had to make, over and over again, as my father gladly served our country. I was proud to follow in his footsteps, serving as a Marine in Vietnam. My brother did as well, serving as a Marine helicopter pilot. My son has joined the tradition, now serving as an infantry Marine in Iraq.

Like so many other Americans, today and throughout our history, we serve and have served, not for political reasons, but because we love our country. On the political issues - those matters of war and peace, and in some cases of life and death - we trusted the judgment of our national leaders. We hoped that they would be right, that they would measure with accuracy the value of our lives against the enormity of the national interest that might call upon us to go into harm's way.

We owed them our loyalty, as Americans, and we gave it. But they owed us - sound judgment, clear thinking, concern for our welfare, a guarantee that the threat to our country was equal to the price we might be called upon to pay in defending it.
The President took us into this war recklessly. He disregarded warnings from the national security adviser during the first Gulf War, the chief of staff of the army, two former commanding generals of the Central Command, whose jurisdiction includes Iraq, the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many, many others with great integrity and long experience in national security affairs. We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable - and predicted - disarray that has followed.

The war's costs to our nation have been staggering.


The damage to our reputation around the world.

The lost opportunities to defeat the forces of international terrorism.

And especially the precious blood of our citizens who have stepped forward to serve.
The majority of the nation no longer supports the way this war is being fought; nor does the majority of our military. We need a new direction. Not one step back from the war against international terrorism. Not a precipitous withdrawal that ignores the possibility of further chaos. But an immediate shift toward strong regionally-based diplomacy, a policy that takes our soldiers off the streets of Iraq's cities, and a formula that will in short order allow our combat forces to leave Iraq.

On both of these vital issues, our economy and our national security, it falls upon those of us in elected office to take action.

Regarding the economic imbalance in our country, I am reminded of the situation President Theodore Roosevelt faced in the early days of the 20th century. America was then, as now, drifting apart along class lines. The so-called robber barons were unapologetically raking in a huge percentage of the national wealth. The dispossessed workers at the bottom were threatening revolt.

Roosevelt spoke strongly against these divisions. He told his fellow Republicans that they must set themselves "as resolutely against improper corporate influence on the one hand as against demagogy and mob rule on the other." And he did something about it.

As I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former general and soon-to-be President Dwight Eisenhower during the dark days of the Korean War, which had fallen into a bloody stalemate. "When comes the end?" asked the General who had commanded our forces in Europe during World War Two. And as soon as he became President, he brought the Korean War to an end.

These Presidents took the right kind of action, for the benefit of the American people and for the health of our relations around the world.
Tonight we are calling on this President to take similar action, in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way.

Thank you for listening.

And God bless America.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Arbitrary Tuesday

"Arbitrary Tuesday" is a bittersweet companion piece to the story of the little girl posted here y'day. It's composition began after the little girl and I returned to Denmark and then separated. She kept the baby as well as the apartment and I went to live on the riverboat St. Lawrence, where I was later so fortunate as to make the acquaintance of the much beloved Sunflower woman.

I have no idea whatsoever as to why I chose "Tuesday" and not some other day of the week, except that it rolls better off the tongue than the other days.

Years later, however, I discovered that in a certain culture Tuesday is the preferred day for couples to marry. The reason is that, in the creation parable in Genesis, God(s) [Elohiim] says "It is good" two times on the third day, which is Tuesday for those who keep the Sabbath on Saturday.

I would rake and burn the daily leaves
and cut the hands from all the clocks.
There would be, place to be,
to go, to walk, to talk -- to stay

And we would be, making love on Arbitrary Tuesday!

I have drunk my cups of loneliness,
made my peace with emptiness.
I stand alone on shifting sands
and face the world with empty hands

And we could be, making love on Arbitrary Tuesday!

But, if you could go back to before
you went through that open door,
would you find that things had changed?
What has gone does not remain!

And would we be making love on Arbitrary Tuesday?

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Little Girl and the Genie

The original verison of this little fairy tale or terrible parable was written in 1967 while I was working for the American Chemical society in Washington DC. I suppose the story was a message to me from my un- or overconsciousness that my marriage was breaking up:

There was a little girl and she was really a very pretty little girl.

It would be useless to give you a description of facial feature or measurements of anatomical details. As we all know, the value of such is rather fluid and follows local, cultural norms which also tend to change over time.

For example, there are places where an large bottom is so esteemed that the local ladies have acquired a genetic proclivity for fat deposits there and their butts stick out several inches. When the local boys see such a bum they either get enough goats to purchase "access to heaven", or they go out in the woods and rip it off in a less culturally approved manner.

There is another tribe, otherwise accepted in the general culture, where little boys, when they see a few centimeters of skin around a young lady's ankle, they simply cream in their jeans...

Sooo, let it be enough to say, there was a little girl and she was a pretty little girl and all the things that make little boys say "Wow!" were there in the "proper" proportions. "Pretty", of course, means that little boys felt a firmness in their tighty-whities when they saw her walking down the street.

However, there was one small problem. You see, this little girl did have, on the end of her nose, a great, big, black, hairy wart!

Unless you are recently arrived from off-planet, you are probably aware that there are very few, in fact no cultures at all where a hairy wart, particularly on the end of one's nose is considered to be attractive to the opposite sex -- or to the same sex, for that matter.

"How sad it is!", the little girl would say as she walked alone in her room, "how sad it is that I do have, on the end of my nose, a great, big, black, hairy wart!
Like most people with a private dysfunction, the little girl went about her daily life doing the things people do. She had a good job and an apartment in a neighborhood which matched her color and ethnic background.

Still, when she was sober, she would wander through her two-room flat in the high rise moaning to herself, "Ohhhh, how sad it is that I do have, on the end of my nose this great, big, black, hairy wart! Because of this, I shall never be wealthy, famous well-liked and rich!"

It so happened one day, as she wandered through the rooms of her two-room apartment, bemoaning her disfigurement that she happened to step on a slick spot on the floor (she was a diligent housekeeper and polished and waxed all planar surfaces -- this also being a part of the cultural norm).

She stepped upon a slick spot on the floor, slipped and fell, pla-dask!, right on her nose!

There was a flash of lightning!

There was a cloud of smoke!

There was a clap of thunder!

When the momentary deafness from the thunder faded; the mist of smoke cleared and the blitz of momentary blindness from the lightning flash allowed her vision to focus: the little girl saw, standing in front of her...a great genie!

Weeelll, great and great is as one thinks of great!

This particular genie was about three feet tall, had curly brown hair and was wearing these weird black and white Lebanese tennis shoes -- that is, the shoes kind of curled up and had little bells on the tips.

The little girl, being a little girl, was not completely unacquainted with having a male person in her apartment. But having them appear after a flash of lightning, a cloud of smoke and all the rest was a bit...odd...

She said, "Who are you?"

The creature before her smiled pleasantly and replied, "I am a genie!"
The little girl just stood there, mouth agape and. "Huh?", was all she said.

"I am a genie, and I have come to grant your every wish!"

"Really?", her eyes narrowed a bit as a couple of sly thoughts wormed their way into her mind, "You mean every wish and not just three, like in them fairy tales?

The genie smiled pleasantly, "I mean every and certainly not three."

"Hmmn, no strings attached?"

"No strings attached -- unless, of course, you want them gift-wrapped!"

"Hmmn, gimme a, gimme a 'lectrik blender, one of them cordless thingies you can just stick in any old bowl."

"Gift wrapped, or..."

"Jus' gimme the blender, dammit!"

"POOF!" a blender appeared in the genie's hands and he went down on one knee, proffering it to the little girl with raised arms and bowed head.

She snatched it from his hands, knocked on it a couple of times with a knuckle to see it that really was solid and real. She turned it on and the little blender blade at the end buzzed just like a blender blade is supposed to buzz and whizz. She turned it off and carefully laid it down on the table. "Wow!", she said.

The little girl was then silent for a moment as she calculated upon the implications of this confirmation of the genie's potency. Then, she took a deeeep breath and said:

"Well, then -- gimme me a car, an airplane, a five-room house in the suburbs, a six hundred liter deep freeze, forty-eight inch teevee with all the channels, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla...!"

If you are at all familiar with the incessant propaganda of the bube tube which not only fills the time between so called "entertainment" and "program segments", but also the saturates the sitcoms and "reality" shows themselves...well you can fill in the bla-bla-blas and connect the dots yourself...

Quicker than you could say, "Kazamm!", she had all of the things a little girl could have to make her think that she was "happy". Well, actually, it took a bit longer than you could say "kazamm", but it didn't take long.

However, one day while as she wandered through one of her mansions and stopped to look at the kidney shaped swimming pool just outside the window of the, admittedly, oversized living room, she happened to think of something she had not thought of for a looong time...

She thought about that big, black, hairy wart and that was still on the end of her nose!

She said, "Genie! Come here!"
With a "zhwhuup!", the genie appeared from wherever he was when he wasn't getting things for the little girl, "Yes, M'lady?"

"Genie, do you see the wart on the end of my nose?"

The genie bowed low from the waist, "O yes, M'lady, I do indeed see the wart on the end of your nose! O, yes, I see it every day!"

"Well, genie, I want you to make the damn wart disappear!"

A strange expression passed over the countenance of the little fellow. The genie, who had always been a rather quiet, underwent a change and transformation -- it was almost a metamorphous, it was as if a cloud had gone before the sun....

His mouth worked soundlessly, then choking sounds and finally he managed to stammer, "Wh-, wha-, what? You want me to make the wa-, wa-, wart disappear? What are you th-, th-, thinking of?

"What am I thinking of? I'm thinking you should make the damn wart disappear, you frigging pip-squeak!"

The genie continued as if he hadn't heard her at all, it was almost as if he was talking to himself, "I've given you everything your heart has ever desired: a car, a plane, a fine house, two, three fine houses, wardrobes big enough to house several extended families and closets full of enough shoes to even make an Isabella Marcos dissolve into a puddle of green piss out of sheer envy.", then, raising his voice and his eyes, he looked right at the little girl, "I've given you all of the things you ever wanted and things you had never even thought of wanting and have you ever, I mean have you ever even thought to say "thank you" or even think that there maybe was a reason I gave you these things?

The little girl gaped in mute astonishment at the genie who seemed to be swelling and getting larger and larger even as he spoke.

"No! You never gave it a thought, you never, ever thanked me for all that I have given you!"

By now the genie had swollen up to about three times his natural size. He was now almost ten feet tall and stood swaying over the little girl (who was now feeling very very little!) and continued his tirade in a voice like quavering thunder:
"YOU LOUSY CRUMMY BITCH!", he shouted.
"I've given you everything you ever wanted & you never ever thought there was maybe a reason!"

The reason is that I love you! & the reason I love you is because you do have on the end of your nose a great, big, black, hairy WART!!!"

Having said all that is just a couple of breaths, the genie took off one of his black and white tennis shoes and threw it, with all his might, right at the little girl!

It hit her pla-dask! right on her nose!

There was a flash of lightning...
There was a cloud of smoke...
There was a clap of thunder....

When the thunder had rolled away, the smoke had cleared and the blitz of lightning had faded, the little girl was all alone...

The genie was gone. The house in the country was gone. The airplane, the car, the deep freeze, even the cordless blender that went buzz whizz was gone.
And, yes, the wart on the end of her nose was gone...

All that was left was a little black and white Lebanese tennis shoe just about the right size for the left foot of a three foot tall, brown haired genie -- and the little girl...was...all...alone...

* * * * *

Many years have passed since then.

The little girl is now happily married, she has two children and it is only three blocks to the school. She has a deep freeze full of frozen chicken legs and stuff like that...

However, up in the attic, where she seldom goes, there is a cardboard box.
In that box, wrapped in an old newspaper, is a small, black and white tennis shoe, just about the right size for a three-foot-tall genie...
And sometimes, not often, but sometimes, the little girl goes up into the attic, finds that cardboard box, takes out the tennis shoe, fondles it and holds it close to her breast as she croons:

"I dream of Genie with the light, brown hair!..."

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Darkness of the Restless Night

If there is something I detest it is apocalypticism, that is presenting misinterpretations of ancient and rather vague texts as some sort of divine screenplay for the end of the world in flame, death and destruction after which the Great Potato comes and, sweeping up the few faithful 'taters, takes them to live with Him in the Great Colander in the Sky.

I tell you plainly, that if we destroy the planet and thus the life on it, we will have, in common, committed the "sin against the Holy Spirit" and there will be no salvation, none at all, only the darkness of an empty and restless night.

Y'day, while looking for a suitable graphic for my rant about the Lord of Darkness, I chanced to run across a poem by Byron with the simple title, "Darkness".

It's a terrifying piece and I dare you to read it out loud at night by candle light. Aternatively, you can hear somebody read it for you -- then you can turn the lights out, mwwaahha!

There is a fellow who claims that the poem was written not long after July 18, 1816, which the day that an astronomer in Bologna had predicted that the sun would extinguish.

In 1816 the sun had an abnormal number of sunspots and afterwards became known as the "year without a summer" -- in fact, it was the coldest summer on record.

Without further ado, I leave you in good graces of Lord Byron:

I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came and went--and came, and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation; and all hearts
Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires--and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings--the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consumed,
And men were gathered round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other's face;
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye
Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch:
A fearful hope was all the world contain'd;
Forests were set on fire--but hour by hour
They fell and faded--and the crackling trunks
Extinguish'd with a crash--and all was black.
The brows of men by the despairing light
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
The flashes fell upon them; some lay down
And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smiled;
And others hurried to and fro, and fed
Their funeral piles with fuel, and looked up
With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
The pall of a past world; and then again
With curses cast them down upon the dust,
And gnash'd their teeth and howl'd: the wild birds shriek'd,
And, terrified, did flutter on the ground,
And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl'd
And twined themselves among the multitude,
Hissing, but stingless--they were slain for food.
And War, which for a moment was no more,
Did glut himself again;--a meal was bought
With blood, and each sate sullenly apart
Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left;
All earth was but one thought--and that was death,
Immediate and inglorious; and the pang
Of famine fed upon all entrails--men
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
The meagre by the meagre were devoured,
Even dogs assail'd their masters, all save one,
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept
The birds and beasts and famish'd men at bay,
Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead
Lured their lank jaws; himself sought out no food,
But with a piteous and perpetual moan,
And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand
Which answered not with a caress--he died.
The crowd was famish'd by degrees; but two
Of an enormous city did survive,
And they were enemies: they met beside
The dying embers of an altar-place
Where had been heap'd a mass of holy things
For an unholy usage; they raked up,
And shivering scraped with their cold skeleton hands
The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath
Blew for a little life, and made a flame
Which was a mockery; then they lifted up
Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld
Each other's aspects--saw, and shriek'd, and died--
Even of their mutual hideousness they died,
Unknowing who he was upon whose brow
Famine had written Fiend. The world was void,
The populous and the powerful--was a lump,
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless--
A lump of death--a chaos of hard clay.
The rivers, lakes, and ocean all stood still,
And nothing stirred within their silent depths;
Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea,
And their masts fell down piecemeal: as they dropp'd
They slept on the abyss without a surge--
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
The moon their mistress had expir'd before;
The winds were withered in the stagnant air,
And the clouds perish'd; Darkness had no need
Of aid from them--She was the Universe.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

News for the Deaf

After doing some yard work, I sat down in my easy chair y'day afternoon, turned on the flimmer box ran into "News for the Deaf" on the Danish public service channel -- I didn't even know the program existed.

I sat back and was surprised to hear some real hard core news. What appeared to the uninitiated like some sort of hand jive was being translated by a lady's voice saying that in 2003 the US had been approached by Iran offering to cooperate in reducing tensions dramatically in the Muddled East.

The source of this information I later learned was Lawrence Wilkerson, an aide to Colin Powell, who was then Secretary of State.

Apparently the Iranians were willing to offer a lot of things in exchange for some trade concessions. They were offering to cut back support to Hizbullah in Lebanon and help in stabilizing the recently invaded Iraq which already then was melting down into chaos -- even inspections of Iranian nuclear programs could have been on the table.

The State Department liked the idea and sent it over to the White House with a recommendation that US respond to the feeler.

But that Lord of Darkness, Richard Bruce Cheney shot it down just as casual as he shoots a captivity raised partridge because we don't "talk with evil". Evil!

I swear to God that if Mr. Cheney talks with himself or even just in his sleep, he is talking with evil.

Let's recap the developments since then:

1. Iraq has decayed into a festering hell wound fostering God only knows what coming evils and outrage.

2. Lebanon was bombed halfway back to the stone age.

3. Khatami, then the President of Iran and the likely source of the offer in the first place, unable to show any visible results of his reform policies lost the next elections to Ahmadinejad.

After the program I checked around and found that Juan Cole had a piece about this (that is where I learned that the aide to Colin Powell was Lawrence Wilkerson).

The normal news which followed and the news in the evening -- none of these carried them mentioned this tasty tidbit. The only reference I found was, like I said at Juan Cole's place.

The conclusion must be that when the Vice President of the United States inches the world to Armageddon with a wave of the hand -- such news is "News for the Deaf"

Friday, January 19, 2007

"The Secret War", Redux

I wrote in December about the Danish Documentary, "The Secret War" and the flap it then generated on the political scene here.

To recap the scandal for you, in 2002 Danish special forces [jægerkorps] turned over people they had taken prisoner in Afghanistan to the American military who tortured and sent some of them to free vacations at Git-mo where they were served yummy food like chicken breast in lemon sauce.

The government of Anders Fogh, aka "Bush Lite", of course denied the facts revealed in the documentary. Of course Denmark abides by the Geneva convention and would never do such a thing. Furthermore, we didn't know the Americans did torture and anyway we didn't give them that many prisoners and not that many times.

This is known as the Waffling BS defense.

Well, the flap has started up again and now it is the Defense minister, Søren Gade who is in hot water because he lied (again) to the Danish Parliament [Folketing] -- he said that Danish special forces don't have the distinctive Danish flag on their fatigues when they are doing special ops and therefore the movie was lying about this.

The press talked with one of the soldiers and he said that not only did they were their flag patches when delivering prisoners to the American compound in Bagran, they were in fact ordered to wear their patches.

The press has also talked with the American interrogator shown in the movie and he confirmed that he personally had seen Danish soldiers turning over prisoners up to a half dozen times.

Ouch! On top of this the Defense Minister has been caught with his foot in his mouth over the case of the translators the Danish military employs in Iraq.

As is well know, the Danes are getting ready to leave Iraq (their area of ops there is in the Brit zone north of Basra). As is also well known, the reason the Danes are pulling out is because the Brits are pulling out and the reason they are pulling out is because things are peaceful and the Iraqis can manage their security in a secure way.

Things are so secure there that the twenty some translators the Danes have employed fear for their lives and the safety of their families when the coalition forces leave.

The Danish military asked if the Iraqis could be granted asylum in Denmark and the Defense Minister replied in no uncertain terms that there was no way that could happen.

The logic I guess is that you are leaving because the mission is accomplished and it's peaceful and secure, it just doesn't jibe if you take the translators with you because they are in danger of being killed.

Hell, things are so peaceful there that two Brit soldiers were killed y'day by a road side bomb.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

My First Vision -- the White Cross

My first vision was a rather shocking experience.

It occurred an early summer evening. during the brief dusk of the semitropical sky of Poosah City when it has the color of blue charcoal.

Sitting on a bench waiting for the bus, I was probably thinking the sort of holy thoughts a twelve year old might entertain, I really don't remember.

In my youth, it was the custom of churches to "sponsor" benches next to bus stops and of course put in a bit of advertising for their particular brand of Godbiz.

Therefore, in bold letters on the back of the bench was posed the insinuating question: "Did you go to church last Sunday?"

As if it was anybody's fuggin business!

Anyway, there I was, in my twelve year old mind space, sitting on the bench, my hand kind of dangling from the armrest fiddling absentmindedly and my finger found a funny thing with a hole and, being a young male, I, of course, stuck my finger in the hole -- and that is where I got my first shock...

The hole was where a bulb should have in the outdoor light which was intended to light up the church-sponsored bus stop bench -- the electric current was turned on, therefore my shock.

Surprised, with senses on high alert, I stood up, turned around and saw Something In the Sky -- it was a Big White Cross shining in the charcoal blue of the early dusk!

My heart turned around about three times in my young breast! O! My! God!

And then I saw that it was just a neon thing on top of the church steeple...

That was my first vision and nicest way to express my reaction is to say that I was kind of pissed.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The El Salvador Option

Exactly two years ago there were reports of a secret horror of atrocity being planned called "Taking the El Salvador Option in Iraq".

The reference refers to establishing and training of death squads in El Salvador in order to combat the insurgency there.

The agents involved in this were quite clever and pretty well kept the operation clean of American fingerprints.

Even when the mad dogs and sadist they had recruited and trained killed and buried in shallow graves 4 Maryknoll nuns after torturing them, the lid was never really lifted from this particular can of nasty worms.

The rationale (assuming one can use that word in connection with rabid insanity) was that the Sunni population, although not actively supporting the insurgency, was not prone to inform on them either -- the implementation of the Option would change all that.

Like I said, that was two years ago and, although the silence on the matter has since then been deafening, reports of the kidnapping, torture and execution of Iraqis began not long thereafter and has steadily increased. The perpetrators often wear Iraqi military and police uniforms. It would also seem that they enjoy the sort of protection essential to such bold death squad activity.

Digby wrote this morning that being reminded of this made "...the hairs on the back of my neck rise up".

As for me it made my gorge rise up and my stomach go all queasy.

This is so sick -- it almost matches the worst things that went on in the Third Galaxy in the Chambers of Secrecy far below the clicking relays.

Consider that names like Negroponte, Abrams, Gates and others with connections and knowledge of the original use of the Option as well as the Iran-Contra crimes are again in positions of great power.

The conclusion that, once again, we have put a monster together, gave it its first meals of human blood, flesh and pain and turned it loose in the abattoirs of the charnel house.

This is the sort thing to make anyone with a shred of feeling for our common humanity retch in rage.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Pundits of Illusion

When I started writing here many of my first posts were concerned with the rise of Ronald Rexona to the position of Supreme Hole of the United State of Arrogance, readings channeled to me by Man-u El-Ishman, an unemployed angel of the Third Galaxy.

Thinking back, I think I see now that I was remiss in letting Ishman babble on -- I should have come with more of my own comments, criticisms and occasional insights.

First of all, Ronald Rexona's rise to absolute power did not come easily or overnight -- it was through the arrogance, greed and instinct of many smaller holes to devour whatever they could and crap on whatever they couldn't.

Secondly, more important and most disturbing is fact that it was not the events in Guanocow and the use of the Automated Army and its Synchronized Soldiers there which was the turning point -- that was "merely" the conclusion of a long and bloody process.

The actual turning point, as most scholars who have studied closely the 21st Edition of the Absolute Truth agree, began with Rexona's ill-conceived invasion of Sandy Aridya.

Sandy Aridya, a country in the Muddled East, was ruled by a brutal dictator who had "gassed his own people" and threatened with weapons of mass destruction the Land of Liberty and Enlightenment, of which Rexona was then merely president.

That this terrible dictator in fact had no such weapons was not important. The need to topple the dictator and bring Democracy, Liberty and Freedom to the Muddled East sounded so much better than talking about all the oil and natural gas under the sands of this and other countries.

As clever as he was, Rexona and his advisors would never have been able to pull this off with out the help of the Bankers of Illusion, that is the mass media and its array of prostituted pundits.

As the invasion and following occupation went from poor to worse to bad to a complete and utter debacle and catastrophe, a quagmire of insanity with the people of Sandy Aridya killing each other as well as the Arrogant soldiers, one would have thought that the pundits who had pontificated in favor of Rexona's ill-conceived and poorly executed adventure, saying that it would be "cake walk", that we would be "met with flowers" and that Aridya would become a "Shining Example of Peace and Democracy" -- a reasonable person would think that these fools would have all been fired in disgrace!

But that is not the way of the world.

Instead these fellows were almost to a man rewarded with even higher salaries and more secure sinecures.

The reporters, journalists and writers who had rightly predicted what would happen, were fired, degraded and, at best, simply ignored.

Therefore, when Rexona once again announced that he was going to raise the ante and double the bet in actions which obviously would widen conflicts in the Muddled East in increasingly bloody manner ending in the use of weapons of mass destruction and maybe even a new world war -- the pundits described before followed their masters.
As one of the honest and sane comments wrote at the time:

[it] is not about being right or wrong or exhibiting good judgment. It is about producing and reproducing elite American political discourse for the masses. It is more important that they can continue to justify changing elite policy than that they supported past policies that didn't work out very well. All the real reporters I know at all well are deeply unhappy at their workplaces, where they typically have wealthy far right-wing bosses who interfere from time to time in the newspaper or magazine and make the reporter's life hell[from Juan Cole]

Monday, January 15, 2007

Words of Wisdom from the Wise

Remember that scene in "Dumb Dumber" where Lloyd's partner, Harry exclaims, "Just when I thought you couldn't do anything more stoopid you do something like this -- and totally redeem yourself!"

Well, that's kind of how I am feeling right now about the Decider, I just heard him on the morning radio saying, "Why of course I've considered withdrawing from Iraq, but don't you see, that would leave Iraq in a crisis!"

Such Wisdom as that is seldom met in someone who can put on their clothes without assistance!

Ah, but the other half of presidential "Dumb & Dumber" duo presents us with what may be a greater pearl of an utterly deep insight. According to the Danish radio, the Great Hunter told Fox news that if we left Iraq, "It would be a terrible and dangerous fuggup" because we "would leave the stage to Ahsawyah been-Lately and al-Qubed."

He went on to explain, "Ahsawyah knows he can't he can't beat the US, but thinks al-Qubed can force us out of Iraq."

(Please note, my quotes here were translated back from the Danish to English. Therefore I may have made what these guys said look more dumb than it was -- if that is at all possible.)

However, [almost] all snark aside, more troops, less troops, withdrawal now or in ten years time -- all these questions are moot and irrelevant as long as there is no clear, long term strategy planned in accordance with real, realizable, in fact sane goals.

The fact is, what strategy and plans there are, have been and continue to be made in accordance with a hidden agenda of hegemony and domination of the world's resources, in particular energy resources.

That is why there will be some form of attack on Iran. When? Don't have the resources to even guess. Over at Digby's place they made a pool and I picked April 1, 2007. Most dates are still open, but Slim Pickens' birthday is already taken.

Events are getting terribly close to where they will unfold like they did in the Third Galaxy, and that would be a slippery slope indeed.

I close with a brief excerpt from Senator Robert Byrd's speech on the floor of the Senate, January 11, 2007:
The President is asking us, once again, to trust him while he keeps our troops mired in Iraq. But that trust was long ago squandered.
I weep for the waste that we have already seen. Lives, treasure, time, goodwill, credibility, opportunity. Wasted. Wasted. And this President is calling for us to waste more.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Theory of Dialectic Moment

The Theory of Dialectic Moment occurred to my mind some thirty five years ago, when we were living in a two room flat on the Vesterbro of Copenhagen. There was no toilet and you either had to pee in the sink or pay fifty cents to do the other thing at a place five minutes down the street.

The funny thing is, I never realised that we lived in slum until years after we moved from there. I suppose I focused mainly on the rent which was less than fifty dollars a month, accounting for inflation into today's money.

When I was a kid, my dad had a book called, "So, You Want to be a Writer?". There was a lot of good advice in that book and one was that, if you want to be a writer, the first thing to do is find some place where you could live on very little money.

I did that part pretty good, by settling in Denmark in the sixties. But I forgot about the writing, so I never got very far as a writer.

I also forgot about the Theory of Dialectic moment until recently when I saw on teevee a program about consciousness where an old philosophical bromide was brought up -- the one which says: we cannot determine if there really exists any thing or any consciousness other than our selves and our own consciousness.

That is such complete intellectual bullshit!

Doctor Samuel Johnson refuted this in a most practical way, when told of Bishop Berkeley's waft of disembodied vapour from his ivory tower that "we have no way of knowing that anything really exists, except in our mind", the doctor kicked a large rock by the side of the road, yelped in pain and humped off down the road as Boswell dutifully recorded the event.

The program reminded me of the Theory of Dialectic Moment. So, perhaps the program -- my seeing it anyway -- was not a complete waste of time -- or maybe it was. It all depends upon your general point of view and, more specifically your opinion of my thought.

I know, Dr. Johnson's refutation is not valid -- other than in itself. The dear bishop would never have accepted it, I'm sure. Kicking the rock, though, is a clear and literal demonstration of Johnson's opinion and mind on the matter.

It is also a demonstration of dialectic moment and demonstrates conscious entity. In turn, evidence of conscious entity refutes Berkeley -- but only if you can let go of a lopsided and strictly logical view of reality.

The Theory of Dialectic Moment maintains that every monologue contains some amount of internal dialogue, and that this dialogue, in itself, is evidence of conscious entity.

The sum total of all conscious entity is the Nature-of-the-Universe.

Conscious entity demonstrates itself through the dialectic moment it generates. There are different ways in which this happens, but basically it is through the manifestation of its "word". We meet its "word" in words, or other artefacts of expression.

To the degree writers or speakers pay attention to the meaning of their words as they unfold, awareness is revealed and dialectic moment is generated.

Our speech creates the context in which it can be understood -- again, this implies conscious entity.

We experience this phenomenon as a sort of "tension" in the inner dialogue. Borrowing from physics, I called this tension "moment". As it arises from an inner dialogue -- therefore the term "dialectic moment".

We experience this in poetry.

In poetic texts, the apparent spring of thought, the juxtaposition of seeming incongruence is often quite obvious. When we recognise a text as poetry and not just cut-and-paste babble, we then become aware of cognisance other than our own.

The reason is that: "between the lines", there must unfold, in mind, some cognition, insights, conclusions -- some mental activity -- to which the following line is, to a degree, a comment, answer or criticism of something not said but implied.

Dialectic moment is evidence of conscious entity -- that you are experiencing conscious entity.

Consider the matter, you will see that the experience of conscious entity is not something we do continually -- or at a high level of intensity. If you do, then you must be a natural born saint or Zen master.

Dialectic moment is evidence of conscious entity because conscious entity is what generates dialectic moment. Conductive wire passed through a magnetic field generates electricity.

You may not care for or approve of Maxwell's theories, but you cannot deny that the lamp on the ceiling is proof of the pudding and so it is with dialectic moment and conscious entity.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Polonium Polanaise Permutations

What a way to die!

Imagine, your guts sunburned from the inside, the pain of a three year battle with cancer condensed into a three week holiday in a modern London hotel, the doctors not being able to tell you just what it is that destroying you from the inside -- not until the very end, when they find you're pissing radioactivity...

You were poisoned with polonium 210 and that is a bummer!

Somebody must have hated you very very much. It is also very likely they wanted to "send a message". But who, what is the message and to whom? Also, how? How was it acquired and how did they get it inside you?

Litvinenko believed it was Putkin or agents of his secret services. Putkin and his media say that it was one of the exile Russian oligarchs. After having read about it off and on these past two months, I say it was likely a secret service of one of the world powers.

Polonium is weird shit.

With a half life of only three months it is extremely radioactive -- so much so that it must be kept in a closed container as the strong alpha radiation breaks off small bits of the slivery gray metal and they will simply float away.

It emits no gamma radiation, however, and cannot be detected by the scanners in airports.

Therefore, although it has been five years since any of the stuff has been officially brought into Britain, it would be easy to smuggle in a glass or metal vial. A teaspoon or so of liquid would be enough to sweeten somebody's tea and send them to eternity.

When I first wrote about the murder of Litvinenko, a commenter wrote that you could buy it over the internet. I kind of laughed at the idea -- but it's true enough, for less than one hundred dollars you can get a tiny, needle eye portion. If you smack down one million dollars and buy fifteen thousand bits you would have enough for a lethal dose.

Sounds like something a private person with a big wallet could do? Well, not really, Livinenko was taken out with a dose ten times larger. Besides ten million dollars, how are you going to make so many orders without it being noticed? It would be noticed, at least after it was known that someone had been murdered with it!

That is another weird thing about polonium, as soon as they knew what they were looking for, the police have been able to find traces in many places Litvinenko had been -- it came out in his urine and even his sweat, not enough to endanger anyone, but enough to be traceable

Where does polonium come from? Originally, it came from pitchblende. Madame Curie discovered one of its more stable isotopes because she and her husband noticed that the ore was more radioactive after uranium had been separated. She named the newly discovered element after her homeland, Poland.

But that is not where the polonium 210 which killed Litvinenko came.

Polonium 210 is made from bismuth 209 by exposing it to a strong neutron source in a nuclear reactor. Almost all the world production comes from a single source, Avangard in Russia, where barely three ounces are made yearly.

So, what killed Litvinenko likely came from Russia -- but by what route?
Most of the stuff is sold to the United States, where, alloyed with other metals, it is used in industry.

The Russians say that they have a very strict auditing system and that security at Avangard is very tight. There have been some shipments lost -- I have read that fifteen shipments have been lost, most of them in the US. But where, when and how large the shipments were, I have not been able to find.

So, it remains a mystery and you really need a first class tin foil hat to figure this one out. It's at least as strange, in fact it compares to the anthrax murders of 2001 in that it is so high tech. The anthrax murders were apparently staged to create fear that it was from some muslim country (Iraq?). But we know that the powder of death certainly came from a weapons lab in the US.

It's kind of obvious that Putkin's Russia is a suspect here -- or is this another high-tech smear?

I have no good ideas on this. I do know that it could be an excellent component of a dirty bomb no bigger than a small briefcase. For a time, back in the fifties, it was used, alloyed with beryllium, as the "trigger" in U235 bombs, but, because of its short half life (in three years almost all of it has decayed into an isotope of lead!) it was discarded.

What I am saying is that, as with the anthrax in 2001, in fact, as with the Twin Towers, things just don't add up like they should.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Sacrificing the White Man's Burden

So many of my favorite bloggers have posted on the speech the talking Codpiece spewed Wednesday I'll keep my remaarks to a minimum. First, I'll say something about the reactions here in Denmark.

The Prime Minister, Anders Fogh, came with a real suck-up reaction saying that in the USA they had the intelligence reports and military expertise, so he wouldn't try to second guess the Codpiece.

Mr. Fogh's problem is that the Danes now want the troops home (we have some 800 pairs of boots on the ground in southern Iraq) and he is wiggling to keep his brownie points with the US while not losing support for his coalition gov't.

The opposition parties were all over him, much more than normal. The leader of the Peoples Social Party [Socialistisk Folkeparti] said that if killing more people was the goal, then Bush was on the right course.

We didn't get much of a clip of the Codpiece speaking, so I don't know if I can agree with the observation of many of my favorite bloggers that he looked spooked, frightened, or maybe even tranquilized.

In any case, it wasn't the man with a hard-on we saw almost four years ago when he announced the start of the war to prove he had a bigger manly thing than his dad.

That said, there's a certain place where I can find myself feeling something like pity for the fellow, but it's not a big place and I don't go there all that often.

The bottom line is, of course, is all this leading to a real attack on Iran?

It would seem that that the deck has been stacked for something of that order. An hour before the speech was aired, five helicopters landed on an Iranian consulate in Irbil in northern Iraq and demanded their surrender or they would be killed.

This is heavy stuff, folks, and close to a de facto declaration of war.

The American military has issued statements that it was not really a consulate and therefore did not have diplomatic status. Well, that establishes the plausible deniability at least -- good to know that someone is doing their homework!

Speaking of homework, a couple of days ago I was making bets with myself on how many times the word "sacrifice" would be heard in the speech. My guess was three and that hit the nail on the head if I allow that the plural of sacrifice counts.

The three times reference was made to "sacrifice" was at the end of the speech and each was in a slightly different meaning.

The first was the "quiet sacrifice" of the families who have "...lonely holidays and empty chairs at the dinner table".

The second refereed to the "fallen Americans" whom "we mourn" and that this has put us in a debt which we can only pay back by "...building a future worthy of their sacrifice".

The third time was a promise that, "The year ahead will require more patience, sacrifice and resolve."

The line which follows was astounding:
"It can be tempting to think that America can put aside the burdens of freedom."
This sounds so much like that poet of Empire, Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden" that it's enough to make my brain puke.

Kipling's poem was a response to the American take over of the Philippines after the Spanish-American war.

The Philippines, as you should know, was the place where America first practiced genocide, that is if you discount that which was needed in settling the West.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Ghost Dancing on the Bones of Civilization

Towards the end of the 19th century, when the genocide and ethnic cleansing was for all practical purposes completed and the few remaining remnants of the tribes were confined to reservations on land so poor that none of the new Americans desired its use, there arose a strange new religion proclaimed by a Paiute called Wovoka -- we know it as the "Ghost Dance".

At the safe distance of history, sitting in my couch here in Denmark, it looks like a pitiful last gasp, a desperate grasping for meaning in a world turned completely upside down. However, things are not necessarily what they appear to be, especially at a distance.

Wovoka required of his followers that they live moral lives and forswear violence and alcohol. At the center of his religion was of course the Ghost Dance itself which was intended to call upon the spirits or "ghosts" of their ancestors.

Described cynically, the dance was bunch of men and women wearing funny clothes who held hands in a big circle and ran around and around, chanting, until some of them fell unconscious into a trance.

Although it was a perfectly harmless activity, the dance entailed so much wailing and chanting that the whites became alarmed and thinking that this was the beginning of new trouble called upon the government which sent the army.

The end of it all was in yet more tragedy, the massacre at Wounded Knee and the murder of Sitting Bull.

Wovoka had promised his followers that the white people would be destroyed and that the land would become like it had been before, with sweet grass and buffalo and the people would be restored to their former state.

Wovoka died in 1932, so, obviously, he was a failure.

On the other hand, perhaps these things take time.

It was a program I saw on television which set me off on this train of thought. In the program it was said that when the people awoke from their trance after falling into the center of the circle, they wept, cried and wailed inconsolably. I wondered, what did they see in their trance?

Perhaps it is something like what we see coming today, climate change, wars and, as resources dwindle, perhaps a confirmation of the Olduvai Theory.

Our culture is utterly dependent upon electricity which in turn is dependent upon resources which are being rapidly depleted. At a tipping point the house of cards will collapse and life in our cities will become almost over night untenable. A lot of people will die and we will be thrown back to the stone age.

If you want to be even more depressed you can read Joe Bagent's depressing essay.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Imitatio Christi

The text I post today could be misunderstood and, although I don't mind offending people if they understand me, I'd rather not have that a misunderstanding of my words offend anyone.

There is a movement to rewrite American history and self-understanding so that it would read that it was through the agency of Divine Providence that our country was brought forth from the whirlwinds of history.

These reconstructionists would have us believe that America is in some way a "chosen" nation and dedicated to "God" and "Christ" in a special way to fulfill God's will and purpose in a way parallel to that of the Iraelites of the Bible.

This is a most pernicious lie and at the kernel of the lie nests a terrible, self fulfilling prophecy: if the purpose of the Israelite nation of the Bible was to bring forth a messiah which Christians know as the Christ, I have to ask, what rough beast is it then the destiny of America to bring forth?

America is the first among the Christian Nations!
America has always belonged to the Christ!

Remember, lest the rest of the world forget!
(The world has a tendency to forget!)

When they see us spending more on weapons of war,
mass destruction and death than the rest of the world,
it may well be they fail to see it's not only
our right, but our God-ordained duty
to bring peace, freedom and "Jesus" to the world!

If "Jesus" had the choice of killing or being killed for the sake
of others, he'd choose, of course, to stay alive!

If "Jesus" saw his chance to conquer the world
and make the kings and princes bow down to him,
do you think he'd let a chance like that go by?

If he knew that, by ripping open the Earth's belly,
he could turn stones into bread, tingle tangle and trinkets,
do you think "Jesus" would go to bed hungry?

Not a chance!

America is a Christian nation, and it's time
we showed the world the brand of christ we worship!

There's nothing wrong with our "imitatio christi"!
It's perfect to the last drop of other's blood!

The problem is with our imitation "christ"!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Whole Earth Anthem

Tomorrow, is a big day for the Codpiece. Big speech, you know.

Any bets on how many times the word "sacrifice" will be used? My guess is between three and five -- I'd go for more, but it is a word with three syllables.

What I wouldn't give to be a TV pundit after the show and give my two-bits of comments as I sat there with an airline barf bag in front of me!

What folows now might seem a spring from Iraq and Bush to what follows -- but it's not really.

The land the Codpiece has destroyed was the cradle of Western civilization. In school, we learned to know it as Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent -- in Sunday School we heard hints that maybe, just maybe the Garden of Eden had been located somewhere there!

Garden of Eden? Ha! Garden of Death is what it is now -- and for what purpose? So that we can own the resources and suck them dry?

The thing is the Earth and her resources belong to no one -- if we have to say that they "belong" to anyone, it is in common and even then not in the sense of actual "ownership", but of "care taking" and "husbandry".

That is not idealism, it is reality -- and if we don't learn to face reality we will destroy not only the Earth but our humanity.

What follows is a song composed back in the '70s. Sunflower Woman doesn't like it because she sees it as a plagiarism of Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land".

Well, yes, it does draw heavily on Guthrie's text and idea, in fact it can be song to the melody he borrowed from an old Church hymn. However, it is meant to be sung to an original melody with a separate melody for the chorus.

We have one mother, we have one father;
therefore, we all are sisters and brothers.
There is but one earth -- we have no other.
The earth was made for you and me!
The earth was made for you and me!

The earth is your earth. The earth is my earth.
She is the mother who gave us our birth.
From the highest mountain to the deepest ocean:
The earth was made for you and me!
The earth was made for you and me!

Many a day now, I've been counting
all the garbage in her crystal fountains.
My heart is pounding -- my anger's mounting:
The earth was made for you and me!
The earth was made for you and me!


I was walking...and I was dreaming...
I heard the voices of all peoples singing.
And they were singing a song worth singing:
The earth was made for you and me!
The earth was made for you and me!


Monday, January 08, 2007

Nuking Iran By Night

As his handlers and fluffers prepare the Codpiece for his big speech about a "new strategy" in Iraq and the new speaker of the House calls the debacle there what it is, that is, "Complete Chaos", at the same time there is another sick flower threatening to unfold in bleeding stubs of sick delight.

I am referring to the reemergence in the news of the upcoming show of sheer insanity called, "Nuking Iran By Night".

The odd thing is that its news cycle has been, apparently, short. Reported in the Times of London, one day and denied the next by government officials, it would seem that perhaps it was what in Danish journalism is known as a "newspaper duck" [avis and].

On the other hand, since my birthday is that of (un)Holy Hiroshima, my feathers ruffle easily at loose talk about once again loosing atomic crapola on humanity. We let the genie out of the bottle twice and got away with it -- the third time, we might not be so lucky.

First of all, one should look at the byline of the Times article, one of the authors is Sarah Baxter and seems to have a reputation for serious reporting -- that means the story is not complete bs.

Secondly, one should always ask, where did this come from, why and why now? The timing is always important and, in this case, we should also ask, "Why again?"

That both the US and Israel have long had plans to take out nuclear facilities in Iran with so-called "surgical strikes" is by no means new news. What

Symour Hersh has come out with several investigative reports on US plans including nuclear-tipped bunker busters. The Times had a report on Israeli plans back in March 2006 during the Sharon government. In fact, that old growler, Dick Cheney, not long after reelection was quite blunt about using Israel as a sort of rottweiler:
"One of the concerns people have is that Israel might do it without being asked... Given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards,"
You can't really ask about the timing without asking who is leaking and why.

When Judith Miller during heat up to the Iraq invasion wrote article after article about the danger the Saddam regime presented to the world in general and the USA in particular, she was recieving "official leaks". She was the willing mouthpiece for government propaganda.

In the present case, with Baxter's article, it is more like a real leak, that is somebody somewhere is both disgusted and probably afraid of what leaders are planning.

There are good reasons to fear.

First of all, if we keep screwing over the Muslim world from positions of arrogant power, hubris is going to bite us in the ass sooner or later.

Secondly, the idea that you can take out bunkered nuclear facilities even not using atomics -- just "conventional" weapons -- the idea that you can do that without spreading contaminents all over the place is crazy, ridiculously so.

What they don't say too loudly is what makes a bunker penetrating bomb penetrate is that it is tipped with something heavy -- "depleted uranium, aka "Uranium Lite". Another thing is that one of the sites they want to take out is a storage facility with several hundred tons of gaseous uranium (I assume this must be uranium flouride -- you put it through a cascade of thousands of centrifuges and separate U235 from the the U238).

The point is, when you blow things up, things get spread around and in this case, when the shit hits the fan it will blow all over every man.

You can read more and better comment here, in the sense that it is more serious -- but just as scared.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Sacrifice -- War is a Racket

In June, last year, I composed a text of outrage upon hearing the flippant remark that the death of the two thousand five hundredth military in the Iraq debacle was "jus a number".

And now, so soon, so soon, I could update the text to "Three thousand and counting..."

As we now face a new phase in the idiocy of the people who hold the reins of power as well as the ring in our nose, leading us to yet a new round of blood shed for the benefit of Moloch and Mammon I encourage you to reed "War is a Racket", written by Gen. Smedley Butler, former Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps and holder of two Congressional Medals of Honor.

I will not hear the words, "Support our troops" from anyone who has not acquainted themselves with Butler's testimony.

War is a Racket

Johnny's not coming home today or any other tommorow...

Shall we say he's been delayed by a glitch, of sorts, in time and space which will result in a certain amount of human tears and sorrow?

Although we claim that they should never mix, shall we say he was betrayed by his trust and faith in God and Country?

The price of freedom requires we pay installments now and then & his number came up for the sacrifice -- but something doesn't quite fit...

We have to ask, for Johnny's sake as well as our own, that when the blood has dried and lies there, crying in the ground for justice, exactly who has profitted
the most from Johnny's death?

His wife and kids?
His family and friends?

Excuse me while I throw up & tell you plain while ruining my metric step:

War - Is - A - Racket!

Those who say otherwise profane the Holy Breath!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Concentration Camps in the Third Galaxy

[Once again it is time to return to the Third Galaxy, however we will not hear so much about Ronald Rexona in what follows.

The picture to the right is of the Manzanar concentration camp as it looked in 1943. some will prefer the official terms, "Relocation Center" or "Internment Camps". However these are but euphemisms for what it was: a concentration camp]

If you have read the "Prisoner With No Name", you may well wonder how it was that such an institution as that where Mr. 69 86 came to lose his name could be built in a free society.

The answer is slowly, step by step, down an incline which became a slippery slope -- the key word is "concentration camp".

Whenever anyone mentioned "concentration camps", a howl like that of banshees arose in what later became known as the United State of Arrogance.
"How dare they speak of concentration camps? We are not like that horrible dictator of Bottomslops! We are Free and live in Liberty!"
Indeed, we lived free and in liberty and our freedoms and liberty were but slowly chipped away and slowly erased, but concentration camps is what they became and it is a crime to call them anything other than what they were.

It was not, in the main, a conspiracy or the unfolding of nefarious and evil plans. As I have often tried to explain: arrogance, ignorance and avarice have an innate tendency to bring forth and nurture situations which to the untrained eye look as if they were the result of planned conspiracy.

Just as crickets on a summer night tend to sing in unison, a group of assholes, if numerous enough, will learn to fart in unison and thus achieve their unspoken goal of being able to crap on everyone and thing which might oppose them. It is out of such a situation that the Supreme Hole rose to ultimate dominance.

The start of the concentration camps was inherent in the rhetoric against "illegal immigrants" conflated with the threat of terra from radical Mashers sometimes known as "Mashofascists. In truth, there was no connection whatsoever between them. But as the basic motivation of the campaigns against the immigrants was racist, even eliminationist, the truth was not all that important.

The fact is that less than half of the undocumented immigrant population were latinos from the south. But when they raided the factories, the meat packing plants and other places where these people took the underpaid, dirty sometimes even dangerous jobs, it was mainly the brown-skinned who were profiled for questioning during raids.

It wasn't practical to round them up for simply being illegal, instead it was said that the authorities were looking for people who had stolen the identities of loyal and legal Arrogant citizens. This was a truth with enough footnotes enough to fill a telephone book.

During the raids, thousands working in factories were swept up and perhaps a dozen where found guilty of a relatively harmless form of "identity theft", for example, using someone's social security in order to get a job. But all the "illegals" they found were arrested and sent to the camps.

Men, women, children even infants were spirited away to "detainment centers" where they languished. The centers were surrounded by razor wire, dead zones and later watchtowers with searchlights and the detainees were fingerprinted and required to wear id tags, even the babies.

One might argue that there was nothing or little wicked or evil in the intent. However, the population became used to and then inured to the sight and plight of people being taken away by authorities to places known and unknown.

That matters could unfold in this manner was a result of the hysteria which arose after Terrible Tuesday (and was manipulated by Ronald Rexona in his ascent to power). With the tragedy of Monstrous Monday some 6 years later, the stage was set for his special form of martial law and the camps were ready for dissidents.

In the end, the result and sum all many venal banalities was much and very real human suffering.

I thank God that what transpired in the Third Galaxy and finally led to such evils cannot happen in our country!