New Civilization News: What I've Learned    
 What I've Learned38 comments
picture10 Jul 2006 @ 08:53, by Richard Carlson

I fell in love with the wings of birds
The light of spring on them!


In the light of flowers
I travel
Just for the sake of traveling.

---Soen Nakagawa

The mind creates the abyss, and the heart crosses it.

---Sri Nisargadatta

The author in Providence last weekend among friends and a couple of generations too.

Some replies received to the post I put out yesterday, which was sort of about global warming but involved a sense of futility as well, have motivated me to get my act together. I didn't start out writing on the Internet about political things, but somehow or other during these Bush years, when concerns about the "mainstream media" in this country come from all sides, I started sending stuff to friends and contacts that I hoped would be helpful in keeping discussion going. I think that media problem may motivate much of the blogging revolution for people. Where do you find out what's really going on in the world? Ordinarily I sprinkle links and footnotes all over such pieces, which is how I learned to do research for social studies papers and debating. I'm not going to do that this time because I need to speak from my own history and experience. I see no other way to address those replies.

I know a couple guys online I've never met face-to-face who like to keep things jumping with really basic questions. I hesitate to summarize what they stand for...and they are very different people...but they share a sort of warrior mentality. They live in the US---I think---and seem ready to survive, if necessary, with a knife and some matches...or with nothing if those luxuries are not available. So whenever I post about a political solution to something, one or the other or both generally jump in with both feet.

One of the guys grew up in the inner city but now lives in the Arizona desert, very close to the recent fires. His nickname is Bushman, for a couple of reasons probably...but I think he is available to do landscape work and tend your bushes. He wrote back the following: "It's all right here. Cleansed by fire, again." And he included a link to some Hopi prophecies. He means he's ready to ride it out with things as they are, rather than muck about with government agencies trying to regulate everything.

The other fellow changes his nickname about once a month and currently is going by Darklander. Here's what he has to say: "Fear is a good tactic that all hierarchs love to use to keep the sheeple in line. Stop voting for these dingbats (sure doesn't do you any good!), disband the military, stop sending your sons and daughters to Moloch, quit the 501 3C 'Corporate' churches, find out who you really are... be free from the lot of the rot. Nah, easier to blame it on, ah, global warming..."

Now I like both these guys a great deal. For one thing, they have great wit and keep me laughing. Nothing is better in the midst of argument and struggle. I have a friend here in Athens something like Bushman and Darklander, who just retired from 3 decades of teaching industrial tech and intends to move into a cave and become a cannibal. What do I say to people like this...and why does it matter?

I see signs everywhere in America that we are rethinking the basics. If the Bush paleocons and neocons, or whatever they are, have done nothing else, they've forced us to do that. How did it all happen to this country? There used to be a magazine called Saturday Review. When it went out of business, we got the first hint that institutions we thought were the very foundation pillars of civilization could collapse and disappear. Saturday Review had a series of occasional articles by geezers called What I've Learned. I think those essays got collected into a book eventually. Now that I'm a geezer, I'm going to try one.

When I was a boy it was the postwar 1940s. My mother had a wringer washer and there were no driers. She washed clothes twice a week and hung them out on a clothesline. A mile east were factories and the Erie railroad. Coal was used to fire everything. We just had gotten rid of our coal furnace, replacing it with oil or gas...not sure which. But most people still used coal...or steam fired somehow by coal. Coal meant soot. In the late '40s there was soot everywhere...on windowsills (no air conditioning) which meant lots of dusting every day, and on Mom's clean sheets hanging outdoors. She cursed the darn soot...but not too much. We lived with soot because it meant prosperity and food in the fridge. We liked seeing smoke pour out of the stacks because jobs and production were going full blast. We liked the locomotives puffing through town, carrying passengers and goods alike. The sound of a train whistle still is enough to stop a geezer in his tracks!

Did anyone think about carbon emissions destroying the planet? I don't think so, and on we went into the automobile models of the 1950s. My father even got a job selling them, and so we had a brand new Mercury every year. What kind of mileage did they get? Who cared? Gasoline was pennies a gallon. Everything was pennies a gallon. Milk was delivered to your early morning door, in returnable glass bottles with cream on the top. Such a world may seem strange now, even alien...but many Americans yearn to return to it somehow. Ronald Reagan probably was such a man...and possibly even continued to live in the 1950s somewhere in his mind. Why did he happen?

My father was a simple man. His family circumstances during the Depression made something like college unthinkable. He had to help support his family and went to work, and continued to work until he couldn't anymore and was content to get a week or 2 off a year for vacation. I don't believe he ever made more than $10,000 a year. In the 1960s and 1970s, when my father was heading into retirement, young people just starting out got $20,000 a year at least. Inflation. But Dad's Social Security check was based on $10,000 a year in a world where everybody needed $20,000 a year. Republicans blamed Democrats for causing the inflation and Reagan won. My father voted for him.

Some say the inflation was caused by big government. There were regulatory agencies that sucked up your income and they had to be dismantled. The Bush people are completing that job at the moment. Others said corporations were passing their labor costs onto the public by raising prices of goods all the time. People blamed the unions for this and even the working man believed it and turned against the union movement. I must say I was startled when I did some factory work in the mid-'70s to see high school dropouts making more money on a machine than I had made teaching school with a college degree. But part of their wages were going to pay for the new medical benefits that came with the job. Why in the world did companies start up benefit packages like that?

One answer I heard was in the late 1940s there were price controls. The Truman administration may have tried that approach to inflation. I've always liked the idea of price controls as a way to control corporate excess...but they have significant disadvantages. One is that a company has a hard time attracting the best workers if they can't offer higher wages than the next guy. To get around it, companies began to offer benefits other than money. An insurance plan shared by the company workers, with premiums paid by the boss, did the trick. Did anybody think eventually your part of the medical premium out of that paycheck would amount to hundreds of dollars a month?

Let's talk about schools. In my hometown of 40,000 people in the 1940s and 1950s, there were 6 elementary and 3 junior high schools. You walked to them everyday, came home for lunch, and walked back for the afternoon. Out in the rural areas, they were starting to shut down the one-room schoolhouses, where my aunt had taught all alone, and build central schools. They had something called schoolbuses out there and sometimes even a lunchroom. I never saw a schoolbus in town except for those few that brought country kids into our high school. Gas was pennies a gallon.

During the 1960s, for a number of reasons including civil rights, school systems in the US started buying whole fleets of buses. That meant hiring a lot of drivers too. At the same time we decided to build cafeterias and hire cooks and servers to be sure everybody got good nutrition. (Checked a school menu lately?) Food and transportation now have become huge budget items...and of course gasoline is forcing teachers out of work. Why didn't anybody foresee these problems? Can we go back to the old way? Those schools have been converted into housing units for the elderly by now. Privatize? Do away with public education?

You see what I mean...and of course Bushman and Darklander are way ahead of me here. These problems of environment, oil prices, education, and the health system are so gigantic few political leaders seem able even to talk about them. Yeah, flagburning is an issue we can get our heads around. I know the idea of government agencies and bureaucracy is loathsome and there is waste galore. I did some of that work in my time too, and I can tell you there are plenty of workers and administrators alike who drink lots of coffee everyday and do little else. But the work of regulation and services that don't make the kind of profit that interests Republicans is necessary work I say, and watchdogging those agencies can be done. Agencies are easier dogs to watch than these corporations we have around it seems. Unless the agency is locked up in secrecy---which is another problem the republic faces.

What I've learned is mistakes have been made. They're gigantic and some may be reversible and some may not. What many think now is calculations were made too. Maybe that inflation that brought Reagan to power was planned out. Maybe the banking system is corrupt beyond repair. Lawyers are to blame. All I know is I don't want to bide my next 2 years either hoping Bush will croak or somebody will blow the ultimate whistle to expose the whole mess. I don't want to look in vain for a politician to dare to speak out either. But I have faith people can wake up and come together and build something sensible and lasting. I'd like to think there can be more to life than building a fortress around your own little campfire. Let's talk about it.

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10 Jul 2006 @ 14:12 by vaxen : Nicola...
here is your res.

10 Jul 2006 @ 14:27 by nraye : A turnaround of events
maybe here with the parents Jazzolog, who like so many went to the US at times when it was the Promised Land, and which it Was. Europe was hide bound, its skin too tight in certain areas, the US a safety valve for European people.

To read now of such misgivings as you put simply here makes the confiding all the more poignant in the head in the hands stance around the campfire. How does one give people a conscience?

So perhaps Good Richard will be obliged to place this goodie ^ in its' proper place, erase the names Daxlander and Vaxen from where they don't belong and consider becoming a Monk...

Of just exactly what Order I don't know yet... I think it has Flagellant somewhere in its' title, though, but of that I'm not 100% sure, yet...

New College Spring Term Course Syllabus

“How the World REALLY Works: Post-Modern Political Consiracy Theory Nice and Smooth
Professor Wheel
Course Description: Students will engage in 21st century conspiracy theory, focusing on the goals and the aims of the world wide cabal of the World Bank/Illuminati/Disembodied Head of William Randolph Hearst/Lizard People/Colonel Hiram Sanders. Focus will be on the disruption of this cabal’s activity, cultural terrorism in general, with a strong emphasis on late 1960s psychedelic political activism and good old 1920s post-imperialist anarchism.
Prerequisites: This course is only open to students who have chosen their Invisible persona archetype (e.g. assassin, future Buddha, transsexual Brazilian shaman, hip hop Voodoo rap artiste houngan, circa 1970s jet set playboy/porn star) and have at least one Hawaiian shirt and one pair of day glow converse. Constant supply of complex sugar snacks and Cold Duck a plus.

“Shadowrunning for fun and profit”
Professor Achlis
Course Description: Basic introduction to cyberpunk economics and corporate shadow operations. Main themes will be “How to stay professional when surrounded by loser munchkins,” “How to keep the Irish mage in check,” “Heavy assault weapons and the child within,” and “How to dispose of useless female team members.”
Prerequisites: Knowledge of all NATO small arms, orbital weaponry, and Awakened critter combat a must. A working knowledge of “Comprehension through Pugilation” will also come in handy, as well as at least three essence points worth of cyberware (including at least three dice in initiative) or a grimore of spells that are actually worth a damn.  

10 Jul 2006 @ 15:03 by rayon : Help -
Put a nice message for here which went to the Vax log instead being a busy day. Can it be retrieved? Not available at the moment for viewing!


Oh dear, the problems of Nicola's computering! Darklander has changed into Vaxen and for the nonce (hopefully) has hidden his Log. Probably it will reemerge at some point and then we can read your message. Thank you for taking the time, especially on a busy day.


x x x x x x

I no longer know if I am touched or tetched. In so doing Vax also removed the comment he had there originally, which I rather liked. Gone forever, unless it turns up on that i2i gal's Log. Serves me right for quoting the Coyote Master himself in one of my entries! Most happy though always to read something from la nraye. Anyway quinty will speak next just below, and he always settles things back onto the ground.



The First Two Paras pasted in the First comment box are mine, kindly pasted. thanks.

10 Jul 2006 @ 17:00 by Quinty @ : Oligarchy

If we allow the natural weight of society to free fall we will have omniscient corporations. All sucking power and wealth into themselves. That is why government oversight and checks and balances are required. Yes, just to protect a tree from someone destroying it out of greed.  

10 Jul 2006 @ 20:18 by b : Anyone in USA can register and file to
own a corporation. You register through the Secretary of State of a state. It is very easy to do. It is people in a corporation, the management for example that make decisions that further the corporate mission. What is there to fear about a business formation that is transparent? All corporations are to be feared, just some corporations, international corporations?
Nice family pic.  

11 Jul 2006 @ 06:36 by bushman : Dang
I wrote a whole thing for you Jazz, and my ISP dumped me, but Ill just say for now, Im not just about survival and anarchy, Im also about useing less to get more. Dang , it makes me so mad when I loose all I just wrote, lol. Was easily 3 pages, and now the magic that was in my fingers has left me, Oh ya, also, that link wasnt posted to show you a prophesy, because the so called Hopi prophesy is not a prophesy, its more a record of the Earth and Mans cycles, And then I said we should blame it all on comet Halbopp, the portant of things to come, also I mentioned something about 9 times out of 10, it was natural disasters that caused the darkages of the past, anyway, I cant rewrite all I said, before it was lost. I said that if I was one of the cabal that seems to run this world, that I would focus my resources on robotics so I wouldnt have to hire people that get hurt and sue me, and that I go 5 miles out in the forest to listen to the birds and stuff, and get invaded by tourists, I have to say there is deffinetly to many people on this planet, so to get rid of/lower the life spans of some useless eaters. I would give the poor some gov cheese, and an antidote in rich people foods, anyway the original post was so much better , I even used some big words, lol.

And B, I had said for you that, the only reason people incorperate is to skirt taxes so they can by a big house and boat, and use more than thier fair share of resources.

Anyway I was inspired to post a comment, now after all that, Ive lost my insperation for tonight. Ill have to remember to open my notepad when Im inspired to write a decent essay. :}

P.S Ming needs to make it so you cant hit the submit/save button if your not connected, or some popup window that sez, your offline, do you want to save on wordpad or notepad? Cause I write spontainiously, and never think beyond what is comming out my fingers.  

11 Jul 2006 @ 09:36 by jazzolog : Technicalities
It is so true: nothing is more frustrating than working an hour on a comment and getting a box that sez you took too long and now it floats in the limbo of cyberspace forever. What is a computer to tell me I took too long? What god dares disconnect me from my creation? Bushman is a wise man and I too mourn the loss of his remarks. At least we got the gist.

Bee, I agree a corporation of souls trying to build something should be a glorious event. A board of directors and a stockholders meeting should be a mirror of the republic, and I welcome such organization. In fact, now that Congress has become mired once again in hopeless corruption, I see stockholders as our only hope. But just in case they too choose only to do what big money tells them to do, I urge for government watchdogs.  

11 Jul 2006 @ 12:29 by rayon : Consciences
If woman were empowered in womanly things she could advocate thro partnership with manly corporate stockholder in restraint and sensible whole pic conduct. Not on her PERSONal idiocrycratic whim but as nurturer and provider with HAPPINESS for whole unit (family) and neighbourly welfare.

In England we have Friends of the Earth key supporter son of famous entrepreneur Sir Jimmy Goldsmith, Zac, now on the Shadow cabinet of Blair gov advising chief opposition party. His Father beat loudly the drum against joining European common market for fear of sovereignity loss and monopolisation (by the US). Sadly he died from the same illness from which I suffered, as the medical profession in the west is still inept in diagonosing this illness until the final stages, unless one strikes it lucky in the lottery of doctors. Anyway, Zac his son, is firmly placed within the heart of opposition circles to be the conscience tapper for all would be Directors and Stockholders.

Sadly, again, as an instance of US owned media TV channel (No 2 after Beeb) editorial policy I cite last weekend's Incredible and Dramatic Finale at Wimbledon with Federer and Nadal which was completely ignored in the news programmes and Glitterati news slots because at this Wimbledon 2006, it was the FIRST time in 82 years that NO American qualified into the SECOND week of the games. Therefore the No 2 TV channel in England completely ignored the most glorious of games entirely.

Therefore I expect the likes of totally independent financially liquid wholly responsible individuals like Zac Goldsmith will not be featured for US eyes to view as role model for conscience maker to his leaderless peer group across the Pond. We need Moles in Chief Editorial Chairs to swing the pencil in the right places in Boardrooms, with apologies for mixed metaphors.  

11 Jul 2006 @ 17:09 by Quinty @ : To answer B
sure corporations are benign human institutions. So, theoretically, is a man with a gun. Simply becase a gun is in his hand does not mean that he will shoot another man.

Sure there some good corporations. And good honorable businessmen. But,,,,

they are not the ones we have to worry about. What are the names of some corporations which have been making the news? Enron. Exxon. Halliburton. Bechtel. Disney.... on and on.

And what about the K Street Project? Were the lobbyists influencing our government, even WRITING legislation (how nice to take that burden off our reps' shoulders) to improve the quality of water kids in the inner city drink? Or to protect the endangered whales?

Transparent, are they? And what about Dick Cheney's secret meetings with the oil execs? Big pharma and Part D in Medicare? The no bid contracts in Iraq? Not to re-mention the K Street project? On and on.

I think in business school all the future young execs are tought how you have to be ruthless and tough in business. That nice guys don't get ahead, and that it's okay because everyone in business understands that. Didn't Michael Milken teach briefly at the UCLA business school when he got out of prison? I'm sure he must have had much to teach.  

11 Jul 2006 @ 18:46 by b : Sorry Quinty
I am not really up on what academics are doing. I do know the generalities and non specifics make for some confusion. You named five or six corporations and there are hundreds of thousands of corporations on the planet. You really ought to check out what they are teaching in business school. Accounting, business writing, business formations, trade, marketing, sales, etc. Maybe there is some radical philosophies like greed is good or interest is not profit being taught. Oh yeah, profit, is that a bad thing? Like winning?  

11 Jul 2006 @ 19:24 by Quinty @ : It is
if it's at the expense of the public good.

Now in today's news, folks, a part of the Big Dig in Boston collapesed, crushing a woman in her car.

An unfortunate accident? Hardly. That scandal ties in both corporate and government corruption. And has been festering a while.

No scandals, no need for oversight. Scandals? Then what do you do? Say "profit" and "winning" are good? Or, yet once again, take action?

Is profit bad? Only when it becomes the be all and end all of all corporate activities.

(One particularly sad case is how corporations dominate the American media today. "Infotainment" which passes for news. Publishing which has become "bottom line." This is a development of major importance to our democracy.)

As for your point, are all corporations bad? Certainly not. But the ones which are have enough of an influence on the planet and our lives to require a response. But if the government itself is corrupt - the K Street Project, Halliburton, Big Pharma, Big Oil, etc - then reigning in these "malefactors of great wealth," as TR once put it, in a slightly different context, is quite challenging. And necessary.

Have a good day...... Quinty  

11 Jul 2006 @ 19:42 by jazzolog : What Are The Academics Doing?
Maybe I can lend some light there, since I'm tending to be around Ohio University people more than before...and their College of Business is highly recommended. Ilona's trip to France was at the invitation of a friend whose father is a professor and administrator for the business school at OU. We paid for her flight and as much of her upkeep as the people would allow. Quite frankly I want no freebees from business folk. Rebates yes. Anyway, about 30 OU students paid their way for the official OU part of the trip, which lasted the entire quarter. (Four quarters in a school year.) Those students were not business students essentially, and were either fulfilling language requirements or doing work for degrees in International Studies. The International Studies program at OU is really terrific, but it tends to be all over the place in terms of the various grad programs. Students may spend parts of their years in various countries with which International Studies have set up liasons. The College of Business does the actual administration of these years abroad. As far as I can tell their idea is the US now is the globalized economic power, and business students MUST have firsthand access to markets all over the world. Ilona's friend's father now spends most of his time abroad, expanding this program and investing. I've been to a couple gatherings with these folk and the ethic seems to be this: if you have faith in capitalist enterprise---real faith---anything that makes money is Good. I honestly believe that folks in Congress and the lobbies feel they are doing nothing wrong by accepting gifts and tips. Things like this used to be called graft...but not now.  

11 Jul 2006 @ 20:19 by vaxen : You do...
not need governments to create your own money. Private enterprise has always been... private. A money system based on usury, that creates endless debt, thrives on debt, can be said to be 'debt ridden.' Even the 'money managers' of the major Banking Systems in the world today realize something very nasty is coming down the pike. Predatory capitalism can only lead to one place.

Commerce is very old in this world and therein are remedies for the normal discourse we face, as men, alive - today - upon the face of planet earth. The remedy against fraud is particularly interesting as is the 'case' of the STRAWMAN Corporation set up for you via the negotiable instrument called your 'birth certificate.

And again I'll thankyou to take my 'handles' out of the main discourse, your log, above and replace them with a big X or maybe three of them thusly XXX. (This blog is publicus, yes?)

Then there is the matter of nicolas' comment. I placed it in the very first comment of va-X-X-X-ens' knowing that all you have to do , Rikardo, is cut and paste it into her comment. Arrangeable?

The real challenge of the game of commerce is to, first of all, learn the rules - which are hidden from the ordinary bloke. Then to capture your STRAWMAN Corporation which is your 'inter-face' in to the world of commerce... then it's:

"Because Director General Tolstonogov has an abundance of depeleted uranium, and because there are parts of the world where telephone lines are scarce, he and Dr. Drizzlenick have found a way to power the common everyday items you see here like razors, flashlights, vacuum cleaners, and even vibrators, from depleted uranium. Major toy manufacturers in China have agreed to install these Depleted Uranium Power Cells in toys for the next Christmas season, so parents will never again have to worry about buying batteries for their children's Christmas toys.

"Dr. Drizzlenick says "The half-life of Uranium 238, a component of the Depleted Uranium Power Cell, is 4.5 billion years. Certainly longer than any current battery technology. It's unlikely that Chinese toys will last that long."

"Director General Tolstonogov says "These items are engineered to be perfectly safe by Dr. Drizzlenick, and several other scientists with years of experience working at Chernobyl. Nobody else in the world has the Nuclear safety expertise that Dr. Drizzlenick and the other Chernobyl scientists have."

"The technology behind Telco Powered Products™ is covered under US Patent No. 4773863, and other worldwide patents. Telco Powered Products™ are not FCC registered. Items may not be exactly as pictured. Prices subject to change without notice. There is no warranty expressed or implied on any of the Telco Powered Products™.These terms apply only to Telco Powered Products™, not to other telecommunications items sold by Mike Sandman Enterprises, Inc." --- GRU  

11 Jul 2006 @ 20:58 by b : Thanks for the hard intel
xxxen. So these depleted uranium toys will be in stores this Christmas? Predatory capitalism indeed. Such is the hard core capitalism now practised by Russia and PRC. And arbitrage, that's ursury with a bang. All backed up by GATT. Tick, tick...  

11 Jul 2006 @ 21:00 by Quinty @ : Your comments, Jazz
remind me of when I was in grad school.

We had to take a management course and it was located in the business school: Hass School of Business, I think it's called, at UC Berkeley. While I waited around in the hall waiting for class to begin I would sometimes stand around with students from the law school, who were always waiting for the start of a class. Eavesdropping on (er, overhearing) their conversations I learned that these future jurists were not, as one might think, attending law school because they had a great love of justice. No indeed: overhearing them they appeared to be motivated only by greed and ambition. They were there for what was in it for themselves. (That doesn't exactly fit the Berkeley image, does it?)

Now you might argue that a love of justice is quite self fulfilling: perhaps even selfish. But that love didn't even fit the equation. This was the only time I ever ran into the law school students. I wonder if they were all that way outside of the corridors of the business school?

Some must have had higher motivations...

Business ethics is taught in business school, I think. But I doubt public service motivates most bus school students. A bit of an oxymoron, isn't it? Milken was presented at UCLA as a highly innovative financier. He was admired for his acumen and originality, if I remember correctly. That unfortunate blemish on his record, well, it didn't detract from his good business sense, one which he could perhaps impart on his students. At least while he was there.  

12 Jul 2006 @ 08:23 by jazzolog : Per XXX Request
I never thought for a moment either Bushman or Vaxen (aka Darklander and many other things) would object to see their comments used as a basis for a new entry. After all, they aren't being set up for ridicule, insult or flame. Actually I'm grateful to them for making me think some things over. A quick Google search of "darklander" does reveal, in fact, 2 comments the roleplayer made at other threads on this it's not like this article exposed him to whomever it is that might be hunting him down. (There follow several hundred other links to things darklandish, some of which may be him, who knows?) Anyway, in deference to his request, I have made the entry more nonsensical by changing "Darklander" to XXX. Sorry you had to ask twice Vax, I didn't catch your drift the first time. As for your suggestion to copy and paste stuff around, that's just not my style. Thanks anyway, but I tend to follow Scotty's way of thinking on these matters. My option for becoming a monk? Only as a last resort.  

12 Jul 2006 @ 16:11 by vaxen : Jazzolog!
I was only kidding, dear sir, for what I wit I for that treadmill stuff which makes empty dreams rank harbingers of someone elses woe? I'll kindly thank you, now, to return your log to pristine ... as it was ... before the flood.

I mean... being a public blog, and all, it really doesn't matter whose names appear in it, now, does it? Mine are all strawmen and they appear in comment so... the finger pointing at the moon is not the moon, that's true, but maybe your parents will be coming from India to see you and you'd like some insurance?  

12 Jul 2006 @ 16:29 by bushman : I
don't care at all if you use my name, either my screen name or even my real name, negative or posative. :}  

12 Jul 2006 @ 17:12 by jazzolog : Kidnapped By Pirates!
Of course it matters whose name is used in a public Log...and how! Especially how. As you both know this topic has been among the weightier examples of boredom at this site for years. In this case your real names were not used and there was no attack anywhere around the campfire. No kidding, I didn't want to get your goat, guys! OK, I'll put Darkwater or whatever it was I too like things pristine.

Now, does anybody want to discuss What I Learned? Especially if it's what you've learned!  

12 Jul 2006 @ 18:29 by vaxen : I do not...
like to be lump summed, as you have done with my poor strawmen, and dumped into the same bin with cannibals living in caves! Innuendo, assumptions, boredom, et-ceteras, crustaceans eating bean soup for lunch!

So, what did you learn, if anything at all, from your brief excursion into the twi-light zones of reverie? That the International Monetary Fund isn't exactly Kasher? That the Federal Reserve System of Fraud is behind all of our woes, if indeed you have anything to woe about, and that the present government is not our government aat all or that the Private Money Making Corporation, de facto .gov, calling itself the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA really isn't?

What have you learned? Ensconce me, to wit, with a verbal barrage of expletives, non rhetorical ad-hominems and or even ad populems, or even add anythings, to the current.

Sometimes, as you know, I make comment only to get your articles to the ''top'' thereby seconding the notion that they are worth reading, which (for the most part) I think they are. Call me quaint, if you wish, for still believing that something at the ''top'' gets a better chance of being read than, say, something in between top and bottom.

Blessed be for Hermann Slater and for the Farm.

See ya jazzo, thanks bro.,

Vaxen Einsamer Darklander Var


"I hesitate to summarize what they stand for... "

"What do I say to people like this...and why does it matter?"

It's the "people like this" and what it 'infers,' perhaps without meaning to - but, yet, is indicative of a 'certain kind' of mentality, that I 'reacted' to...

Must be shards of the R6 Bank that I reacted So now I'm gonna have to go back and read that whole article again! Oh, I did mention Cobalt Bombs blowing up in our atmosphere, under the sea, in our desert spaces and... Depleted Uranium batteried toys from China coming to a store near you, probably uncle Sams' Wal-Mart, as well as very sick soldiers and soldierettes, coming home from the latest foray in to NOT, of the worlds most deserving Castes' industrial strength insanity, with DU related multi-diseases - all untraceable, of course, to any wrong doing on the parts of the Globaloneyist ''elites" contracting worldwide out of the Bretton Woods Agreement Act to the tune of the International Organization Immunities Act thereby getting away with murder most heinous, foul, and simple...

A penny simple for your thoughts?


I know your cave offers a different hospitality than my buddy...who of course was kidding about becoming a cannibal. (Nevertheless I'll think twice before visiting him.) You'd like the guy actually, and discover you have quite a bit in common...but of course one likes to find out such things for oneself and not be told by the likes of moi---assuming there are likes of moi, which of course I like to think, as do you, there are not. I wrote about the guy a few years ago and the little article is coiled up here .


12 Jul 2006 @ 20:50 by vaxen : Wow...
A few years back, eh?

Last week I asked him if he was going to The Ohio Chile Pepper Festival, which is held in his hometown. ( )

I told him that I was sure all his students were glad he was here for them, and not somewhere in the higher echelons of the CIA by now, planning the invasion of Iraq. He stopped for a while and looked away. Then he said, "Richard, did I ever tell you about the 2 blondes who found a mirror? One looked in it and said Hey, this girl looks familiar. The other one took it, looked in and said No wonder, it's me!"

Example of a non-sequitor for an eye2eye benefit I've planned down the way:

"This morning's Hezbollah raid has puzzled many Lebanese people as well as satisfying their supporters. The obvious explanation as to why the group has decided to open a second front with Israel is that it wants to stand in solidarity with the Palestinians and put pressure on Israel with their own hostage negotiation.

"So in that sense, the capture of two Israeli soldiers fits perfectly with Hezbollah's ideological goals but on a practical level, the group is also taking an enormous risk. Hezbollah is under an awful lot of domestic pressure from Lebanese who support its political movement but are unhappy that it remains an armed organisation. Today's violence has invited a huge response from Israel."

Thanks Richard.  

12 Jul 2006 @ 21:55 by bushman : Hmm
I learned, that everyone has to be politacaly oriented in order to get on the inside and change things. Not really what I want to do with my life, politics is a false life, an act. But I find myself forced by my own intellect to get involved or at least have an oppinion. I still drive a 55 truck, nothing like the old ways of doing things you want to last long. Pretty obvious, with the space program, it only took a few years to explore the Moon, yet now in the new world scam, we can barly make it to the obsoleet space station we are still building, now. I learned people gave up on quality and went for looks. Now they don't know quality even when it stares them in the face.  

12 Jul 2006 @ 23:23 by jazzolog : Frog Ranch And The Wonders Of Capitalism
Ah yes Vax, well...the Ohio Chile Pepper Festival was sponsored (I guess) by Frog Ranch Foods, which for some unknown reason decided this desolate mining town in Ohio called Glouster was THE place to set up a salsa factory. Ahhh, don't you love those sound effects? Frog Ranch has become so fabulously successful (deservedly---their stuff brings on joyous delirium) they don't want to put on the Festival anymore...or maybe there's some other reason. Perhaps Bee can intuit what it could be. It is only one of many tragedies one must endure living in Ohio. But I still laugh at that joke...and Greg has a card trick that will drive you crazy. He will show mercy ultimately and tell you the secret.

I'm glad you're holding a benefit for eye2eye. Will she take Paypal? Bushman, thank you sincerely for a heartfelt What I Learned. I'll reply more appropriately in the yawning when I'm not so stupid and lured by peepers.


12 Jul 2006 @ 23:30 by Quinty @ : Which is why
politics are important. Unfortunately.

Appearances are what matter most to incompetents. They all want to look good. Team players. Positive attitudes. You're either with or against us. Scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. Boost don't knock. Networking. And often enough whatever is trendy.

The space station out there does seem futile, the way you describe it. And the current administration is going to take money away from our satelite system (which helps inform us of hurricanes and other natural disasters) in order to send a man or woman to Mars.

Now that's politics. Should that money be spent determining the weather here on Earth in order to save lives or to fill the imagination of those who yearn to see homo sapiens walking on the Martian landscape?

That's politics.

It's also a lot of basic bread and butter stuff. Welfare, Health care. Schools. Roads and bridges.


Studies show that most Americans don't like politicians. But they seem to like their own representatives. The hometown nut case or imbecile representing them in Congress. That's democracy, right? And how it works. Though no one likes those who spoil the whole system, with their corruption and greed. But somebody had to vote for them.

We don't like our politicians? The mirror reflects back on us, those of us who actually took the trouble to go out to the poles and to vote for these rascals.

We may hate politics and politicians, but unfortunately they shape the world. Which is why I pay attention to them. They effect my life. And everyone else's. They effect the planet.

Wouldn't you agree?  

12 Jul 2006 @ 23:37 by jazzolog : Brilliant Paul, Thank You
Israeli forces 10 miles from Beirut at this hour! Is it time to show your hand?  

12 Jul 2006 @ 23:48 by Quinty @ : This from Common Dreams

Published on Wednesday, July 12, 2006 by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Never Again" Gone Mad In Israel
by Sandy Tolan

In the name of forcing the release of a single soldier, Israel has seized members of a democratically elected government; bombed its interior ministry, the prime minister's offices and a school; threatened another sovereign state (Syria) with a menacing overflight; dropped leaflets from the air, warning of harm to the civilian population if it does not "follow all orders" of the Israel Defense Forces; loosed nocturnal "sound bombs" under orders from the Israeli prime minister to "make sure no one sleeps at night in Gaza"; fired missiles into residential areas, killing children; and demolished a power station that was the sole generator of electricity and running water for hundreds of thousands of Gazans.

Besieged Palestinian families, trapped in a locked-down Gaza, are down to one meal a day, eaten in candlelight. Yet their desperate conditions go largely ignored by a world accustomed to extreme Israeli measures in the name of security.

"Wake up!" shouted the young Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer from Gaza on San Francisco's "Arab Talk" radio in late June. "The Gaza people are starving. There is a real humanitarian crisis. Our children are born to live. Don't these people have any heart? No feelings at all? The world is silent!"

For the Palestinians, Omer's cry speaks to a collective understanding: That the world sees the life of an Arab as infinitely less valuable than an Israeli's; that no amount of suffering by innocent Palestinians is too much to justify the return of a single Jewish soldier. This understanding, and the rage and humiliation it fuels, has been driven home endlessly through decades of shellings, wars and uprisings past.

Indeed Omer's plaintive words form a mantra, echoing all the way back to the first war between the Arabs and the Jews.

The Arab-Israeli war of 1948, known in Israel as the War of Independence, is called al-Nakba, or the Catastrophe, by Palestinians. During the 1948 conflict, more than 700,000 Palestinians fled the violence or were driven from their homes. In the middle of July, when temperatures exceeded 100 degrees, more than 30,000 Arabs marched into exile, some for more than 20 miles. Many never made it; those who did were certain they would be coming back in a matter of days or weeks. Fifty-eight years later, they remain in exile.

Some refugees wear the keys to their homes around their neck; others tell stories of golden fields, or of a lemon tree whose fruit grows larger in the memory with each passing year.

Fifty-eight summers after the Nabka, as U.S.-made weapons pound Gaza from Israel, a déjà vu settles on the old men and women of the refugee camps, and in the vast diaspora beyond, reminding them of yet another bitter anniversary.

The latest attacks by Israel in Gaza, ostensibly on behalf of a single soldier, recall the comments by extremist Rabbi Yaacov Perrin, in his eulogy for U.S. Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein, who in 1994 massacred 27 Palestinians praying in the Hebron mosque. "One million Arabs," Perrin declared, "are not worth a Jewish fingernail."

Israelis, too, are a traumatized people, and their nation's current actions are driven in part by a hard determination, born of the Holocaust, to "never again go like sheep to the slaughter." But if "never again" drives the politics of reprisal, few seem to notice that the reprisals themselves are obscenely out of scale to the provocation: For every crude Qassam rocket falling harmlessly, far from its target, dozens, sometimes hundreds of shells rain down on the Palestinians. For one missing soldier, a million and a half Gazans are made to suffer. In Israel, today, it is "never again" gone mad.

The irony is that, contrary to making themselves more safe, the Israelis, just like the Americans in Iraq, are only sowing the seeds of more hatred and rage.

Sandy Tolan is author of "The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East" and a professor at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California-Berkeley. He will be reading from his book at 7 p.m. Thursday at University Temple United Methodist Church in Seattle.

© 2006 Seattle Post-Intelligencer  

13 Jul 2006 @ 09:11 by jazzolog : Hitler's Jesus
Jesus and Hitler
The classic case for separation of church and state
© Bryan Zepp Jamieson

Der Spiegel magazine had a piece last spring about a 70 year old church in Berlin that was in need of some renovation and financing. Nothing too extraordinary about that, except that this was Germany’s only remaining “Nazi-era church.”

The piece, by David Crossland, described the “Martin Luther Memorial Church” in vivid terms, noting the black Iron Cross chandelier, and that “The pulpit has a wooden carving of a muscular Jesus leading a helmeted Wehrmacht soldier and surrounded by an Aryan family. The baptismal font is guarded by a wooden statue of a stormtrooper from Adolf Hitler's paramilitary Sturmabteilung (SA) unit clutching his cap.”

I bet the “muscular Jesus” looked very Aryan, much like the blond-haired and blue-eyed image the Mormons claim to be the true image of Jesus, with little about him to suggest that his mother was Jewish.

The church isn’t unchanged since the war. The bells, according to Crossland, were melted down for the war effort, and the swasticas removed after the war when the symbol was declared illegal.

The resident Dean of the parish, Isolde Böhm, isn’t unreservedly enthusiastic about his church’s legacy, and Crossland quotes him as saying, “When you hold sermons in this church your words clash with the symbols around you. It's hard work talking about human dignity when you're constantly aware that your surroundings evoke a system that trampled on dignity. Sometimes I had the feeling that the symbols overpowered the words.” Despite that, Böhm wants to see the church preserved, both for its historic interest, and as a warning to future generations of what happens when political madness and religious belief combine.

Just as well they removed the swasticas. They don’t really convey a message of peace, love and compassion, do they?

That many German Christians – and their churches – in the 1930s were locked in an enthusiastic embrace with Hitler and the Nazi party is no secret, of course. Hitler represents a failure of German Christianity as much as it represents a failure of German culture and the German people themselves.

But Hitler recognized that by embracing Christianity and making it his own, he could easily alleviate moral qualms that his vicious policies might incur in the German people. Thus, he deftly equated loyalty to him and his party not only with patriotism, but with godliness. Saying “I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator; by defending myself against the Jews, I am fighting for the Lord.” made him, not a hater and a murderer, but a mere instrument of the lord’s will. “Loyalty and responsibility toward the people and the Fatherland are most deeply anchored in the Christian faith.” ensured that it was ok for ordinary German citizens to become instruments of that same will.

Christianity didn’t cause Hitler’s ascendency and the moral collapse of German culture, but the nature of organized religion – any organized religion – certainly enabled it. Any group of humans can be swayed and led by demagoguery, but religion is particularly susceptible because of the strong constraints that religion necessarily has against challenging authoritarian pronouncements. It’s much easier to oppose a poisonous politician than it is to oppose a politician who, according to both himself and the authorities of your own church, is carrying out the will of god.

Can it happen here? Of course! Some people – myself included – believe it is happening right now. And yes, it could be as evil. Read the writings of Ann Coulter, and any place she uses the word “liberal”, replace it with the word “Jew” and see if you can tell any difference between her and Adolf Hitler.

Ann Coulter, in her latest book, characterizes all liberals as being “Godless”. Presumably godless means evil, and therefore, it’s ok to kill them. You may have noticed that while elected Republicans aren’t waving her book in the air and cheering, they aren’t lining up to condemn it, either. Attacking Coulter would be like attacking Jesus because the people Ann doesn’t like are godless.

The religious right has always been a threat to American freedom. Clear back in the early 1950s, Robert Heinlein postulated that America would fall – in the year 2000 – to a repressive police state that carried religious and state symbols side by side, a merging of the two. Bertrand Russell considered it necessary to divide the two because politics was the art of the possible, with ever-malleable truths, whereas religious was the art of what is, with unchanging truths. Each would badly corrupt the other if merged.

But it predates Heinlein by over 150 years. The founding fathers saw the implicit threat religious fervor presented to freedom, and took the strongest steps they could to avoid it. Most people know of the most frequently cited example of this. That would be the First Amendment – Jefferson’s “wall of separation”.

What most people don’t know is that there is one sentence in the Constitution that, by its very wording, is not subject to the mechanisms available for amending the rest of the Constitution. The founders realized that America would change, and outgrow the original document, and that the document would need to be flexible to adapt to those changes.

With one exception. There was one standard that the founders held that should never change, and that would be the need to keep religion and state carefully apart. So, on a nearly unamimous vote, they agreed to Madison’s wording in the penultimate sentence in the Constitution: “[...]No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

What did Madison have in mind? The following quotes of his are illustrative:

“And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Govt (sic) will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”

“It was the Universal opinion of the Century preceding the last, that Civil Government could not stand without the prop of a religious establishment; and that the Christian religion itself, would perish if not supported by the legal provision for its clergy. The experience of Virginia conspiciously corroboates the disproof of both opinions. The Civil Government, tho' bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success; whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the TOTAL SEPARATION OF THE CHURCH FROM THE STATE.”

Madison didn’t just want no law saying only Episcopalians could run for office; he wanted a system whereby a candidate for office should not reveal what, if any, religious beliefs he held!

The founders, by a huge margin, agreed with him. Even those who didn’t like it agreed to the necessity. The Reverend Isaac Backus wrote, “And let the history of all nations be searched, from that day to this, and it will appear that the imposing of religious tests hath been the greatest engine of tyranny in the world. And I rejoice to see so many gentlemen who are now giving in the rights of conscience, in this great and important matter.”

It’s fashionable among the religious right to say that America was meant to be a Christian country, and that the founders didn’t want government without Jesus. That is utterly false. They had seen what a government “with Jesus” was like, and after 300 years of carnage in Europe, they wanted no part of it. And they created a nation that was noticeably freer of pogroms and religious persecution than any in history.

The religious right also like to pretend that patriotism is valid only if it includes a higher power. I would like to invite them to go and visit Martin Luther Memorial Church in Berlin, and gaze around and see what a blending of patriotism and godliness leads to. Not “could lead to” – “WILL lead to.”

The founders knew that. That’s why the “religious test” clause, uniquely, contains the word “ever”.

And that’s why, on this holiday of American Independence, it’s so important to remember that one of America’s greatest strengths and greatest glories has been, and hopefully always will be a strong separation of church and state.

"Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so"
-George W. Bush, April 20, 2004

Not dead, in jail, or a slave? Thank a liberal!
Pay your taxes so the rich don't have to.

~~~Despite the link at the top, it appears Zepp has not posted this essay at his site yet.  

13 Jul 2006 @ 19:47 by vaxen : Well...
if there was ever such a person as Yeshua Ha Notzri (Jesus) his mother may or may not have been ''Jewish.'' That she was more probably a temple whore is almost certain. That his father was a Malach named Gabri-El has been recorded in a few choice tomes... all getting us back to Kayeen and Hevel and the original mystery under dispute.

I found it interesting that the two Israeli soldiers captured on the border were not kidnapped, apparently, but only captured...

And of course the "end time view" that there will be, and indeed must be, an end to things here on Earth, just as prescribed in the Judaeo-Christiano-Islamist triumvirate, should be up for grabs in an international court of law...

I'd charge them all with ''murder for profit and extreme fraud." Well, the charges would be multiple to include such social Darwinist causes as genocide and holocausting for fun and profit or, I suppose, we could blame it all on Le Vieux Carre Vieux Dieux.  

13 Jul 2006 @ 20:45 by jazzolog : Mary Mother Of God
Temple whore is fine. Christ teaches inclusive. Something I learned.  

13 Jul 2006 @ 21:29 by vaxen : Oh...
I should have said Sacred Prostitute instead of temple prostitute. The well known King Solomon was the greatest pimp of all... rarely ever mentioned.

Be that as it may 'War is a Racket' was brought to my attention again by Cindy Sheehan writing for Lews' blog and newsletter:

"Between WWI and WWII, Marine Major General Smedley Butler wrote a short dissertation called War Is a Racket. I wish to God I had read this before Casey enlisted because I believe that he would be alive today if only I had. The first two paragraphs succinctly define the entire booklet and the reason not to allow your child to fall into the hands of the military-industrial-war complex:" - Cindy Sheehan

"War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes." - Marine Major General Smedley Butler  

13 Jul 2006 @ 22:44 by Quinty @ : Old Smed
who I kind of like, though he pimped for the US.

He makes you wonder what Nixon, let's say, would have written if he had been honest about his past? Had been able to see his activities over forty or fifty years of public life in a thoroughly scrubbed down honest way? Butler managed to accomplish that, confessing his crimes. Stepping out of his role to describe his activities in an objective way.

Now, what if we went a step beyond that? And hoped, now, today, or any time in the past, that all the General Smedley Butlers had never done it in the first place? That Nixon, let's say, had turned back from the abyss? That - let's go a step further - Adolf Hitler had woken one morning and asked himself, "Hey, this is crazy! Do I reall want to do all that?" And would have been content in furthering his career as a painter or paper hanger?

For, after all, the mass extermination of millions of people must be, at a certain point in life, a little unimaginable. Stalin, on the other hand, became, I think, overwhelmed by mounting paranoia. Each murder becoming a larger weight on his soul, adding fear to each waking hour. Until the paranoia became so great that he could easily murder tens of thousands with a thoughtless stroke of his pen. And then join the boys in another room for some vodka and Russian folk dancing.

What about us, though? You and I? We watch, don't we, wondering what these madmen will do next. Affecting our lives. I'm trying to figure out what's going on now in the Middle East. The madness seems to have surpassed itself.  

13 Jul 2006 @ 23:00 by bushman : Hmm
I'm thinking they just need to get and stay hydrated, and fed, enough for in-depth thought processes to come back. I think it all boils down to that, it's so hot and they can't sweat. Blow up thier infastructure so they dont have water , then expect them to be understanding, pretty insane. Heres this Bee hive, lets wack it with a stick to scare them off, cause one day they could come sting us, seriously no logic at all.  

14 Jul 2006 @ 11:05 by jazzolog : Some Good News!
This thread continues most fascinating and I thank you gentlemen for the contributions. Maybe our bleak assessments keep the positive-looking ladies of NCN away (except brave Nicola of course) so perhaps this subject will bring them in.

Three topics of recent entries have been of great concern to this writer. However, each of them brings happy headlines this morning~~~

Most sensationally, Valerie Plame and her husband have filed suit against Vice President Dick Cheney, his indicted chief of staff Scooter Libby, and Karl Rove, who often is referred to as President Bush's brain. More officially Rove was Bush's Deputy Chief of Staff, heading the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Public Liaison, and the Office of Strategic Initiatives at the White House. "The suit, filed in U.S. Federal Court yesterday, alleges that White House officials attempted to 'discredit, punish and seek revenge' on the couple after Ms. Plame's husband, former U.S. diplomat Joseph Wilson, disputed the Bush administration's contention that Iraq was seeking uranium in Niger for its weapons program." The suit also charges 10 unnamed "senior White House officials" in the conspiracy and followed by one day a column by Robert Novak in which he named Rove as his SECOND source. His primary source remains undisclosed. Novak appeared with Sean Hannity on FoxNews to talk about it, and the transcript is here {link:,2933,203423,00.html} .

The second story of good news is the passage by the House of Representatives of the renewed voting rights act. Several representatives raised objections and amendments yesterday and debate raged all day. The same arguments are expected when the bill now moves into the Senate. But the vote in the House was overwhelmingly in favor of continued federal watchdog of how the states run their elections. FoxNews gives plenty of space to the opponents {link:,4670,VotingRights,00.html} .

The third story has to do with Bush's secret eavesdropping on American citizens---just to make sure we aren't terrorists seeking to undermine his tremendous programs of citizen security. Arlen Specter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had planned hearings on Bush's operations which of course the White House opposed. Specter now says, after a month of "tortuous" negotiations, Bush is agreeing to legislation requiring judicial review of White House spying. Notice Specter is announcing it, not the White House, but it's progress.  

14 Jul 2006 @ 16:24 by swan : What I have learned
is I can't string a sentence together when my head is spinning! Wow! I am not sure if eye2eye got kidnapped by pirates and that is why there is a benefit being held or if golozzaj upset Darklander with his XXX head is spinning. Political conversations around the table as a kid always had the same impact. So what I have learn is I do better if I just listen and not try to say anything.  

14 Jul 2006 @ 19:21 by jazzolog : That Actually Was Black Swan In Here
She's getting a little sweet---and I do mean sweet---revenge on me folks, as we can see with the reference to "golozzaj" (which is not a Slovak goulash). There are lovely inside jokes all through this thread I guess, which speaks more of the politics of we few dedicated to New Civilization or No Civilization or just networking internationally than it does of politics in the world at large. No matter Swan, if you hear those pirates are planning to keelhaul i2i let me know!

Don't miss Jason Leopold's essay on why the Wilsons are suing, especially as it connects to Novak's performance with Hannity yesterday.  

14 Jul 2006 @ 23:08 by Quinty @ : Specter?

Specter at times appears to hold the fort, those pathetic old fashioned. pre Bush ways, when the Constitution of the United States may have actually supported and defended the basic rights of the American people. Or some broad abstraction known as liberal democracy. I think he just makes reflex passes in that direction. Does the White House break the law? Yes, Specter becomes alarmed, he makes a noise or two (something his Republican confreres in other committees may not ever do) and then after a brief spell of making himself unpopular with the far right, discovers -

compromise. Accomodation. That he can make himself right with his own party again.

So the president broke the law? What to do? Of course! Change the law, that's what. So that it conforms with what the president did and wants to do. Make that law breaking legal! After all, it's the president who's breaking the law. Not some ghetto crack dealer.

FISA allowed for 72 hours to obtain a court order. The president didn't like that. He didn't feel he needed to obay that law. So the reform bill will allow what?

45 days!

That really provides for and protects the intent of that basic right in the Fourth Ammendment of the Constitution. 45 days. Specter may squabble and squirm, but in the end, he knows what to do for his very own sake.

Please the White House. And his own party.  

18 Jul 2006 @ 01:18 by Hanae @ : Politics - rethinking the basics

My heart goes to those who were traumatized as a kid by political conversations around the table - lol - I can relate (to some degree,) luckily, I also had the good fortune of being raised in an environment with a well-established tradition of dialogue - i.e meaningful conversation and discussions of issues.

What some people have learned is that in the troubled times in which we are living--- an era where so many blatant attempts have been made to frighten people into silence, a time when many people feel dispirited or disillusioned about the future and disengaged about the direction the country is going---our whole country needs to talk today more than ever.

As {link:|Margaret Wheatley} put it:


I agree.

It is easy to rave endlessly about the dark side of politics and the innumerable obvious abuses to which it leads (“Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.” [Oscar Wilde], etc.) but is it really against the excess of politics that we are raving or is it about the excess of human nature?

We remember and lament the ways in which politics is perverted (and used as an instrument of power) and forget that politics came to be, first and foremost, as a ""process of conflict resolution in which support is mobilized and maintained for collective projects" [Dickerson and Flanagan].

Utne Magazine asked pointedly a few years ago in an editorial:

"Imagine if... Americans of every political persuasion gathered across the country... for deep, respectful, and searching conversations about what we -- the people -- see as the state of the union, and how we can take responsibility for preserving and revitalizing our democracy during this election year and in coming years. Imagine people saying 'yes, and' rather than 'no, but.' Imagine people thinking in fresh and creative ways rather than simply airing opinions that never change. Imagine hope. Imagine."

The point of the article was that "politics isn't inherently polarizing." It doesn't have to. "Politics is people thinking together about their shared future with the freedom to articulate their dreams and voice their differences in a fair and safe arena. Americans want the feel of a classic "town meeting" again. They need intelligent and respectful dialogue that can be heard across various political divides."

The alternative is that "the growing inability of people with differing ideas to speak and listen to one another means that progress on issues that Americans -- all across the political spectrum -- hold dear is at a stalemate."  

18 Jul 2006 @ 09:13 by jazzolog : I Agree, Hanae
The last couple of years my wife has encouraged me to put my money where my mouth is (that conversation part) and do some actual political volunteering and organizing. I still prefer to write but I'm often at a phonebank, fundraiser, houseparty or demonstration these days. Nevertheless my fondest political memory, besides seeing my great uncle rise to speak at a city council meeting, was at election time in Cambridge and Boston in 1962. Neighbors were out on street corners simply talking about the issues. It was the most healthy and living sense of polis I've ever felt. I was back in Boston a couple of weeks ago, and though much has changed there still is a balance of interconnected independence unlike any city I've experienced. It CAN happen.

Hanae's comments always are inspiring and thought-provoking. (S)he comments at a number of Logs, including Swan and Ming. (S)he does not appear to be a member of NCN, but sometimes people like to have a couple of identifies through which they speak. Hanae's computer also is used by Aiden, Enki, and Emily Vonnessa, who write at MUSE Log and Scarlet Jewels and whose names do not indicate membership either. Enki is a particularly interesting name, as he is the Sumerian high god of water and intellect, creation, wisdom and medicine who could restore the dead to life. It also is the name of a homeschooling program.

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