Wednesday, May 31, 2006

John Lennon, on Frank Zappa

"I really, really admire [Zappa], he’s at least trying to do something different with the form. It’s incredible how he has his band as tight as a real orchestra. I’m very impressed by the kind of discipline he can bring to rock that nobody else can seem to bring to it."

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Countless My Lai Massacres in Iraq

by Dahr Jamail The media feeding frenzy around what has been referred to as "Iraq's My Lai" has become frenetic. Focus on US Marines slaughtering at least 20 civilians in Haditha last November is reminiscent of the media spasm around the "scandal" of Abu Ghraib during April and May 2004. Yet just like Abu Ghraib, while the media spotlight shines squarely on the Haditha massacre, countless atrocities continue daily, conveniently out of the awareness of the general public. Torture did not stop simply because the media finally decided, albeit in horribly belated fashion, to cover the story, and the daily slaughter of Iraqi civilians by US forces and US-backed Iraqi "security" forces had not stopped either. Earlier this month, I received a news release from Iraq, which read, "On Saturday, May 13th, 2006, at 10:00 p.m., US Forces accompanied by the Iraqi National Guard attacked the houses of Iraqi people in the Al-Latifya district south of Baghdad by an intensive helicopter shelling. This led the families to flee to the Al-Mazar and water canals to protect themselves from the fierce shelling. Then seven helicopters landed to pursue the families who fled … and killed them. The number of victims amounted to more than 25 martyrs. US forces detained another six persons including two women named Israa Ahmed Hasan and Widad Ahmed Hasan, and a child named Huda Hitham Mohammed Hasan, whose father was killed during the shelling." The report from the Iraqi NGO called The Monitoring Net of Human Rights in Iraq (MHRI) continued, "The forces didn't stop at this limit. They held an attack on May 15th, 2006, supported also by the Iraqi National Guards. They also attacked the families' houses, and arrested a number of them while others fled. US snipers then used the homes to target more Iraqis. The reason for this crime was due to the downing of a helicopter in an area close to where the forces held their attack." The US military preferred to report the incident as an offensive where they killed 41 "insurgents," a line effectively parroted by much of the media. On that same day, MHRI also reported that in the Yarmouk district of Baghdad, US forces raided the home of Essam Fitian al-Rawi. Al-Rawi was killed along with his son Ahmed; then the soldiers reportedly removed the two bodies along with Al-Rawi's nephew, who was detained. Similarly, in the city of Samara on May 5, MHRI reported, "American soldiers entered the house of Mr. Zidan Khalif Al-Heed after an attack upon American soldiers was launched nearby the house. American soldiers entered this home and killed the family, including the father, mother and daughter who is in the 6th grade, along with their son, who was suffering from mental and physical disabilities." This same group, MHRI, also estimated that between 4,000 and 6,000 Iraqi civilians were killed during the November 2004 US assault on Fallujah. Numbers which make those from the Haditha massacre pale in comparison. Instead of reporting incidents such as these, mainstream outlets are referring to the Haditha slaughter as one of a few cases that "present the most serious challenge to US handling of the Iraq war since the Abu Ghraib prison scandal." Marc Garlasco, of Human Rights Watch, told reporters recently, "What happened at Haditha appears to be outright murder. The Haditha massacre will go down as Iraq's My Lai." Then there is the daily reality of sectarian and ethnic cleansing in Iraq, which is being carried out by US-backed Iraqi "security" forces. A recent example of this was provided by a representative of the Voice of Freedom Association for Human Rights, another Iraqi NGO which logs ongoing atrocities resulting from the US occupation. "The representative … visited Fursan Village (Bani Zaid) with the Iraqi Red Crescent Al-Madayin Branch. The village of 60 houses, inhabited by Sunni families, was attacked on February 27, 2006, by groups of men wearing black clothes and driving cars from the Ministry of Interior. Most of the villagers escaped, but eight were caught and immediately executed. One of them was the Imam of the village mosque, Abu Aisha, and another was a 10-year-old boy, Adnan Madab. They were executed inside the room where they were hiding. Many animals (sheep, cows and dogs) were shot by the armed men also. The village mosque and most of the houses were destroyed and burnt." The representative had obtained the information when four men who had fled the scene of the massacre returned to provide the details. The other survivors had all left to seek refuge in Baghdad. "The survivors who returned to give the details guided the representative and the Red Crescent personnel to where the bodies had been buried. They [the bodies] were of men, women and one of the village babies." The director of MHRI, Muhamad T. Al-Deraji, said of this incident, "This situation is a simple part of a larger problem that is orchestrated by the government … the delay in protecting more villagers from this will only increase the number of tragedies." Arun Gupta, an investigative journalist and editor with the New York Indypendent newspaper of the New York Independent Media Center, has written extensively about US-backed militias and death squads in Iraq. He is also the former editor at the Guardian weekly in New York and writes frequently for Z Magazine and Left Turn. "The fact is, while I think the militias have, to a degree, spiraled out of US control, it's the US who trains, arms, funds, and supplies all the police and military forces, and gives them critical logistical support," he told me this week. "For instance, there were reports at the beginning of the year that a US army unit caught a "death squad" operating inside the Iraqi Highway Patrol. There were the usual claims that the US has nothing to do with them. It's all a big lie. The American reporters are lazy. If they did just a little digging, there is loads of material out there showing how the US set up the highway patrol, established a special training academy just for them, equipped them, armed them, built all their bases, etc. It's all in government documents, so it's irrefutable. But then they tell the media we have nothing to do with them and they don't even fact check it. In any case, I think the story is significant only insofar as it shows how the US tries to cover up its involvement." Once again, like Abu Ghraib, a few US soldiers are being investigated about what occurred in Haditha. The "few bad apples" scenario is being repeated in order to obscure the fact that Iraqis are being slaughtered every single day. The "shoot first ask questions later" policy, which has been in effect from nearly the beginning in Iraq, creates trigger-happy American soldiers and US-backed Iraqi death squads who have no respect for the lives of the Iraqi people. Yet, rather than high-ranking members of the Bush administration who give the orders, including Bush himself, being tried for the war crimes they are most certainly guilty of, we have the ceremonial "public hanging" of a few lowly soldiers for their crimes committed on the ground. In an interview with CNN on May 29th concerning the Haditha massacre, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace commented, "It's going to be a couple more weeks before those investigations are complete, and we should not prejudge the outcome. But we should, in fact, as leaders take on the responsibility to get out and talk to our troops and make sure that they understand that what 99.9 percent of them are doing, which is fighting with honor and courage, is exactly what we expect of them." This is the same Peter Pace who when asked how things were going in Iraq by Tim Russert on Meet the Press this past March 5th said, "I'd say they're going well. I wouldn't put a great big smiley face on it, but I would say they're going very, very well from everything you look at …" Things are not "going very, very well" in Iraq. There have been countless My Lai massacres, and we cannot blame 0.1% of the soldiers on the ground in Iraq for killing as many as a quarter of a million Iraqis, when it is the policies of the Bush administration that generated the failed occupation to begin with.

Botticelli - Nash / Boucher - Milligan, and a great thread

~My Dream, by Ogden Nash~ * This is my dream,

It is my own dream,

I dreamt it.

I dreamt that my hair was kempt.

Then I dreamt that my true love unkempt it.

<> * * * ~Mirror, Mirror, by Spike Milligan~


A young spring-tender girl

combed her joyous hair

'You are very ugly' said the mirror.


on her lips hung

a smile of dove-secret loveliness,

for only that morning had not

the blind boy said,

'You are beautiful'?


Monday, May 29, 2006

Thanx 4 Tha Vizual w/ Muzical Interlude

INXS, Beautiful Girl

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A Constitutional Right to Graft? The Moral Rot in Congress

by Lawrence Velvel We are currently being "treated" to more of the moral rot that infests both political parties and, consequently, to yet another example of why a third party is desperately needed. I speak, of course, of the spectacle of the bitter outrage expressed by Congressional members of both political parties over the FBI's search of the office of Congressman William Jefferson. (Too bad it wasn't the office of William Jefferson Clinton, isn't it?) The search was done on a quiet Saturday night (and all night). That is scheming and bad. But it was also done pursuant to a court authorized warrant, after Jefferson had refused to comply with subpoenas, after he had been caught on tape, says the FBI, accepting a $100,000 bribe, after the FBI found most of the money in a freezer in his home, after Jefferson has become suspected of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars more in bribes, and at a time when, it has become obvious, Congress has become an utter cesspool of corruption, including, of course, the particular corruption of bribery. The leaders of the cesspool, however, profess themselves outraged -- shocked, shocked -- over the supposed violation of their supposedly inviolable precincts by the FBI. Not just the expectable coterie of partisan Democrats (the usual suspects), but reactionary Republicans who lead Congress rushed to the defense of an African-American Democrat from Louisiana who appears to be a major league political criminal. It likely has not escaped these Republican heroes, of course, that if the FBI can search the offices of the Democrat Jefferson, then it can also search the offices of the numerous Republican bribe takers and grafters in the national legislature. That is a possibility the reactionary Republicans would devoutly wish to forestall. Needless to say, the Democrats and Republicans both wrap their selfish concerns in supposed principle, here the so-called Speech and Debate Clause -- the little-known subject of legalistics over the years -- and separation of powers. But let's forget the legalistics in favor of discussing what in reality is supposed to be at stake -- of what has historically been said to be at stake in analogous situations involving prosecution of legislators. What is said to be at stake in these kinds of situations are the institutional prerogatives, the institutional interests, of Congress, the very powers of Congress. In plain English, if the Executive can search Congressional offices and/or prosecute legislators, it is said, then it assuredly will have the power to intimidate, cow, and coerce the legislative lions. It will become all-powerful, and Congress, the branch that the founders intended to be preeminent, will (further) shrink in importance. Well, today that argument is a fine how do you do, isn't it? We have a Congress that jumped on the Executive's war-making bandwagon and allowed the Executive to go to war without exercising its own legislative authority by questioning WMD claims that were bushwa. We have a Congress that, as occurred before with Viet Nam, lacks the brains and guts to exercise its own power to stop the war. We have a Congress that has itself done nothing effective -- zippo -- to stop the Executive torture that violates Congress' own anti-torture statute, that has done nothing to stop rendering for the purpose of torture or to force the closure of secret prisons in awful foreign countries, a Congress that wouldn't even dream of -- and surely does not want to so much as mention -- exercising its power to curb these illegalities by impeaching and convicting their perpetrators. We have a Congress that has done nothing effective to stop the (impeachable) Executive electronic eavesdropping, in violation of Congress' own law, that was revealed over a year ago (all we ever got on this subject was more hot air from Arlen Specter), and that equally has done nothing to curb the NSA's mammoth, recently disclosed electronic domestic data mining of almost everyone's telephone (including, I imagine, the telephones of people in Congress) (and again all we got is hot air from Specter). We have a Congress that does not prevent the accession to higher benches of judges who, as lawyers, sponsored ideas for massive inroads on the power of Congress. We have a Congress that has done nothing about the Executive's 700 plus signing statements saying that it does not have to follow the laws being signed. And this Congress, which has allowed so many phenomenal, and phenomenally important, inroads upon its own power, is the same Congress that is complaining that its prerogatives have been invaded and its power threatened, because the FBI searched the office of a guy who apparently is a big time crook? Gimme a break. That this Congress could rise up to protect a crook, because a Congressional office was involved, and could do so under the completely phony guise of asserting principled institutional interests even though it has allowed those interests to be mercilessly trampled in far more important ways for years on end, is symptomatic of the selfish moral rot in the Congress and in the two political parties that run the country. As well, Congress has previously shown it will not rise up when other people and their offices are subjected to warrantless electronic searches, but God forbid that the Executive, using a properly authorized warrant, should search the office of one of Congress' own. The Congressional rising-up in this case is inevitably remindful of the prior political gutlessness of the Congress and the two parties in so many other cases. It is still another demonstration of why we desperately need a third political party lest moral rot, political spinelessness, raging hypocrisy, and plain lying take this country right down the tubes. Addendum: Still More Moral Rot After I had nearly finished writing this column, I learned that George Bush had ordered that the materials seized by the FBI from Jefferson's office be sealed for 45 days to allow the various contending parties to work things out. The Bushian order is, of course, just another example of his own apparently unlimited moral rot, which has been continuously thrust before us for years in so many ways. The order is also a nearly supreme irony. What has happened, of course, is that in this case Bush, very quickly, buckled extensively when Congress got really angry over actions of the Executive. Yet Bush has shown no compromise, no buckling, when it comes to war, torture, rendition, secret prisons, electronic spying, electronic data mining, signing statements that say the Executive doesn't have to follow the law, appointment of reactionary judges, or anything else where the Executive, under his leadership, has invaded, or has nullified, the powers of Congress. Yet in the Jefferson matter, Bush, like most bullies, who are fundamentally yellow, buckled as soon as someone really gave sign of standing up to him, and he buckled though the leaders of Congress, having truckled on everything else, are now standing up not in a good cause, but in a terrible cause. There is irony here, is there not? -- when Congress stands up, in a bad cause, the peerless leader falls down, but most of the time, no matter how good the cause, the Congress won't stand up. There also is moral rot here, is there not? Bush has stood up for one horrible action after another taken by him and his administration, from lying us into war, to torturing people, to spying on Americans, to whatnot. But when it comes to enforcing anti-bribery, anti-corruption laws against the morally and legally crooked politicians who are close to ruining our system, Bush does not stand up. He backs down. This is moral rot for sure. It also is symptomatic of another problem, one that is not often mentioned in plain, unvarnished terms. Bush doesn't care about law. He is perfectly happy to see the law broken when this suits his purposes, especially if he can get corrupt Executive Branch lawyers -- as he always can -- to write indefensible, morally retrograde legal opinions that give him cover. That is a lesson of torture and rendition, where such legal opinions became public, and, if and when other Executive Branch papers are ever disclosed to the public, perhaps as long as 50 or 75 years from now unfortunately, it is nearly 100 percent certain to be a lesson of a host of other Bushian actions. (Bush himself wouldn't have the guts to let us see the relevant papers. So, like Nixon, he will claim that national security precludes it.) Anyway, the point of this addendum is that Bush has now weighed in with his own moral rot, to match the moral rot displayed by Congress. Lawrence R. Velvel is the Dean of Massachusetts School of Law. He can be reached at

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Sunlight made visible the whole length of a sky, movement of wind, leaf, flower, all six colours on tree, bush and creeper: all this is the day's worship.

Night and day in your worship I forget myself O lord white as jasmine.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Gospel of Mary Magdalene

From The Gospel of Mary Magdalene has Taoist and Buddhist concepts presented in first century Christian Semantics. Jesus is quoted as saying that "All natures, all formed things, all creatures exist in and with one another and will again be resolved into their own roots, because the nature of matter is dissolved into the roots of its nature alone."
This is very similiar to the Taoist concept of Oneness as expressed in Chapter 34 of Tao Teh Ching, Speaking of the Tao it says "All things derive their life from it [Tao] All things return to it, and it contains them."
Another portion of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene describes a soul's journey after death and the challenges it overcomes. These passages are much like The Tibetan Book of the Dead which reveals the Peaceful and Wrathful Dieties a soul encounters during its journey after it has separated from the body at death. This is very similiar to this portion of the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, " When the soul had overcome the third power, it went upwards and saw the fourth power, (which) took seven forms. The first form is darkness, the second desire, the third ignorance, the fourth is the excitement of death, the fifth is the kingdom of the flesh, the sixth is the foolish wisdom of flesh, the seventh is the wrathful wisdom. These are the seven {powers} of wrath."

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Eventually we begin to realize that Sade has never been understood. He cried out for liberty, and we accuse him of being a forerunner of Hitler. He dreamed of a world without punishment, and we attribute brutality to him. He spoke for the spirit of love, and we project every viciousness onto him. We are afraid of being seduced by him, we Hiroshima-makers. He showed us our own face in a mirror and we have screamed for 150 years that it was his face. Nothing could be more explicit than his actual words: Laws should be "flexible," "mild" and "few'' (Sade, p. 310). We must "get rid forever of the atrocity of capital punishment" (Sade, p. 310). Women must be equal with men: "Must the diviner half of humankind be laden with irons by the other? Ah, break those irons, Nature wills it" (Sade, p. 322). Property should cease to be monopolized by a few (Sade, p. 313-314). The present system of property-and-power rests on"submission of the people . . . due to . . . violence and the frequent use of torture" (Sade, p. 11). He gave up his post as magistrate rather than administer capital punishment — "They wanted me to commit an inhumane act. I have never wanted to" (Sade, p. 29). His principles are, as he says, quite correctly, not those that lead to tyranny but "principles to whose expression and realization the infamous despotism of tyrants has been opposed for uncounted centuries" (Sade, p.311). Even against the clergy, he maintains a solidly libertarian position: "I do not, however, propose either massacres or expulsions. Such dreadful things have no place in the enlightened mind. No, do not assassinate at all, do not expel at all.... Let us reserve the employment of force for the idols; ridicule alone will suffice for those who serve them" (Sade, p. 306). But these words are ignored. Because he committed one crime — the crime of reporting accurately the secret day-dreams and longings of the psyche of men and women in this civilization, men and women reared in the crucible of authority-and-submission, discipline-and-punishment — he has been portrayed as the endorser of these extremities. More truly than Flaubert said"Je suis Bovary," Sade could have said (did say, for those who read between the lines), "Je suis Justine." It is his voice that cries out continually in Justine's speeches, "Oh, monsters, is remorse and dead in you?" Just as it is his voice, undeniably, in the"Dialogue Between a Priest and a Dying Man" which says simply, "Reason, sir — yes, our reason alone should warn us that harm done our fellows can never bring happiness to us . . . and you need neither god nor religion to subscribe to [it]" (Sade, p. 174). I dreamed I called Jesus Christ on the phone and asked him, say, Man, did you really forgive them for they knew not what they did? "Verily, verily, I say unto you," he replied, "I made my position on authority-and-submission as clear as I could: 'You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you.' — Matt. 20:25. 'Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation.' — Matt. 12:25. 'If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.' — Matt.15:14. 'For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them upon men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.' — Matt. 23:4. They be blind leaders of the blind, baby, and mechanical laws of punishment-and-conditioning lead them in little grooves of robot-life." But, but — I protested — is there anything outside conditioned behavior? Is there a real freedom, Man? Is there? "Find the place where Sade and I agree," he said, "and there you will find the beginning of a definition of liberty." And the line went dead with a sudden click like the sound of a bedroom door closing as a little boy is pushed outside.

Love will find a way.....

"...I wanted to run out and kiss her fanatastic beauty and say: 'June, you have killed my sincerity too. I will never know again who I am, what I am, what I love, what I want. Your beauty has drowned me, the core of me. You carry away with you a part of me reflected in you. When your beauty struck me, it dissolved me. Deep down, I am not different from you. I dreamed you, I wished for your existance. You are the woman I want to be. I see in you that part of me which is you. I feel compassion for your childlike pride, for your trembling unsureness, your dramatization of events, your enhancing of the loves given to you. I surrender my sincerity because if I love you it means we share the same fantasies, the same madnesses" ~Anaïs Nin~

Sex theme park to open in London

A £7m sex theme park, which has no rides, is to open in London's West End later this year. Visitors to Amora - The Academy of Sex and Relationships at the Trocadero in Piccadilly, will pass through seven zones including Pleasure and Orgasm. The 10,500sq-ft exhibit is designed to "separate fact from myth and educate everyone into being better lovers". You have to be aged 18 and over to get in and tickets will cost £15 for the attraction which opens on 7 September. Organisers expect to attract more than 600,000 visitors within the first year. The theme park will include life-sized silicone-made models which visitors can touch to discover erogenous zones. People will also be able to build their ideal partner from a series of body parts and there will be instructions on how best to kiss and how to talk more sexily. The seven zones will start with attraction, love and relationships and include a sexual well-being zone which looks at the dangers of unsafe sex. The academy's director of exhibits Dr Sarah Brewer said: "The more sex we have the more we want and the less sex we have the more we want. "This academy does push boundaries back and whatever your prowess when you come in we will give you all the information you need to become a fantastic lover."

Slaves to the "Free Market" Unite

by Jason Miller Can Humanity Make a Stand Against the Ruthless Onslaught of Capitalist Imperialism? Relentlessly delivering the triphammer blows of a youthful Mike Tyson, America’s imperialist ruling class of wealthy and corporate elites has been pummeling the poor, minorities, and the working class with impunity for years. As some of my readers have aptly pointed out, America and its White Christian patriarchy do not have a historical monopoly on abuse of power or exploitation of “lesser people”. It is also true that Anglos have been victimized at various points in history. Yet the United States exists and thrives almost solely because it obscenely exploited Africans to attain economic power and committed genocide against North America’s indigenous people to obtain and expand its territory. While other nations and races have committed similar atrocities throughout history, Anglos have suffered persecution, and slavery and the Native American genocide are in the past, the actions of the United States and its White patriarchal society were still morally reprehensible. Furthermore, many of the beneficiaries and descendents of the perpetrators remain unrepentant. Recent polls and events also indicate that about a third of Americans still support an entrenched American power structure which flourishes by practicing exploitation and conquest. The United States is not the only nation currently committing brutalities and injustices, yet Washington is home to a government which claims to be the ultimate moral authority on the globe. While invading and occupying nations which posed no threat to them, slaughtering innocent civilians, and torturing suspected enemies, the United States continues to mouth empty platitudes about spreading freedom and democracy, pompously lecture other nations on human rights, and hypocritically determine which nations are too “evil” to be trusted with nuclear technology. In his recent book, Overthrow, Stephen Kinzer wrote: There is no stronger or more persistent strain in the American character than the belief that the United States is a nation uniquely endowed with virtue…..This view is driven by a profound conviction that the American form of government, based on capitalism and individual political choice, is, as President Bush asserted, “right and true for every person in every society.” Time and again the United States has acted on this pathological belief, almost always spreading suffering and misery rather than democracy and freedom. Little deters them Despite remarkable strides toward social justice achieved by powerful leaders like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Eugene Debs, and Martin Luther King, Jr., the advent of international humanitarian laws like the Geneva Conventions, and the addition of amendments to the US Constitution expanding civil rights, the relentlessly acquisitive individuals manning the bulwarks of the Corporatocracy at Wall Street, Capitol Hill, Langley, and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave have continued to find myriad means to advance their malignant agenda on both the foreign and domestic fronts. They are employing direct intervention through invasion and occupation in Iraq as I write. Indirect intervention by the CIA has brought many ruthless dictators to power because they were friendly to corporate America’s interests. Multi-national corporations devastate weaker nations by grossly exploiting labor and resources. The World Bank and IMF enable the ruling elite of the United States to enslave developing nations economically. Nuclear intimidation rounds out the vast array of weapons at the disposal of the power mongers at the helm of the United States. Consolidating power into the Executive Branch, nullifying several Constitutional Amendments with the Patriot Act, packing the courts with “their people”, and conducting pseudo-elections are currently at the forefront of the domestic arsenal of America’s ruling elite. Tell me lies....tell me sweet little lies Utilizing the corporate domination of the mainstream media and educational textbook producers, the patrician class of the United States continues to white-wash history and current events to perpetrate one of the biggest hoaxes in the history of mankind. They have managed to convince many of their plebs of the virtuous, benevolent, and “democratic” nature of America, to the degree that some violently reject the truth when confronted with it. The under-funded No Child Left Behind legislation ensures that educators lack the resources they need to prepare their students for mandatory tests which emphasize rote memorization and basic skills. Teaching critical thinking, history, literature, and politics falls by the wayside in the mad scramble to prepare students to pass government-mandated exams. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for those atop the food chain in the American Empire if they could virtually eliminate domestic dissent without resorting to mass arrests or torture? Despite the widening wealth gap, the Wal-Martization of the economy, Katrina, Iraq, stolen elections, an $8 trillion national debt, tax cuts for the wealthy, and increasingly rapacious acts by corporations, many Americans are still oblivious to our descent into fascism. Sucking on the pacifier of conspicuous consumption, they “shop til they drop”, lining Corporate America’s pockets and freeing the ruling elite to pursue world domination, as outlined in the Project for the New American Century and the Bush Doctrine. Certainly there are some decent human beings who hold great wealth or positions of power in the United States, but their voices and actions are readily neutralized by the far more numerous spiritually hollow individuals whose existence is predicated on attempting to fulfill their insatiable lust for money and domination of other people. Slaves to "human nature" we are not Some argue that avarice, hatred, cruelty, territorial instinct, and deceit are inescapable aspects of "human nature" and define the human condition. Large scale human-inflicted injustice, misery, and suffering would indeed be inevitable if one accepted the notion that we are slaves to "human nature", our ids, and our Shadows. I refuse to accept this hypothesis for several reasons. Human beings possess highly developed frontal lobes and opposable thumbs so that we can problem solve and avoid subjugation to our animal impulses. As Scott Peck astutely observed in The Road Less Traveled, it defies human nature to use a toilet or a toothbrush, yet most people learn to do both. I spent some time acting on the dark side of my nature in the past, yet I managed to undergo a profound moral transformation over the last thirteen years, choosing to live a life based on basic human decency, dignity, non-violent assertiveness, and compassion. My life is full of family and friends who share similar values. While it is impossible to completely deny one's id or Shadow, it is possible to manage them and live a reasonably ethical life. There are also numerous examples of extraordinary people like Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama who achieved the peak of human moral development. The masters' kingdom would collapse without the slaves One of the wealthy ruling elite’s most poignant victories against progressive, humane forces has been their crushing blow to working people around the globe. Since the advent of the Industrial Revolution and the birth of the prevailing virulent form of Capitalism, the working class has been a festering thorn in the side of their masters, motivating them to devote a great deal of energy to keep them subdued. Representing a necessary evil, workers in America and abroad are the engine of the Corporatocracy, as both the producers and consumers who power the Capitalist economy. While monstrous men like Henry Kissinger would move to shrink their numbers through starvation (or perhaps carpet bombing) if permitted, they still recognize that these “beasts of burden” are indispensable. Not surprisingly, political ideologies which seek to empower the poor and working class have been heavily vilified by those who hold a vested interest in keeping wealth and power in the hands of a few. Americans are inculcated with the belief that men like Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Salvador Allende, and Evo Morales are (or were) our enemies. It is anathema, we are taught, to our “free market system” and “democracy” when leaders of other sovereign nations end the persistent grip of an entrenched oligarchy and raise a majority of their people out of abject poverty. With such beliefs, perhaps America’s moral deficit exceeds its fiscal one. Can I interest you in selling Amway? American Capitalism is the ultimate Ponzi scheme. For each of the four remaining Walton heirs to enjoy their billions, millions of human beings have to suffer abysmal poverty. Certainly, there are the occasional members of the Proletariat who infiltrate the exclusive world of the Bourgeoise, but they are so few and far between that they pose little threat to the dominance of the filthy rich resting at the pinnacle of the pyramid. Besides, thanks to Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy and the inevitable repeal of the inheritance tax, America’s wealthy elite will be further insulated from threats to their virtual monopoly on excessive wealth. As a member of the working class, I am weighing in against the status quo multi-level marketing scheme. Despite my lower middle class upbringing and opportunity to obtain a college education, I went through hard times and quit school. For the next six years, I faced under-employment, unemployment and serious economic struggles. Intermittently working as an unskilled laborer in various manufacturing and service jobs, I received wages as low as $5 per hour, had limited or no benefits, endured miserable conditions, and suffered severe burns on my legs in an industrial accident. I experienced life in the lower stratus of the pyramid of American Capitalism first-hand. In a nation as wealthy as ours, it is a travesty that some people remain trapped in such wretched circumstances throughout their lives. Today my wife and I are fortunate enough to generate a middle class income together, enabling our family to live a modest lifestyle and for me to engage in my avocation of researching, writing dissident essays, and publishing my blog. However, as members of the middle class, we are part of a dying breed in America, balancing precariously on the edge of an economic abyss. Ethics, laws, justice? Who cares... Consider three examples of the fates of laborers who dared to defy the primary beneficiaries of America’s predatory economic system. During a peaceful pro-labor rally in May of 1886, anarchists were exposing the recent Chicago police slaying of two laborers striking against McCormick Harvesting. An unidentified individual detonated a bomb in the midst of the crowd, killing eight police officers and three demonstrators. In an effort to turn public opinion against the labor movement, the Land of the Free committed state-sponsored murder against four of the anarchists, publicly hanging them. The Illinois governor later concluded the executed men were innocent, the Haymarket Martyr’s Monument was raised in their honor, and wide speculation emerged that the bomber was a corporate agent provocateur. In 1894, when workers became fed up with rail car manufacturer George Pullman’s “welfare capitalism” (a euphemism for indentured servitude), they went on strike. Eugene Debs led a sympathy strike amongst thousands of railroad employees, whose refusal to handle Pullman cars seriously interfered with national rail traffic. President Grover Cleveland broke the strike with US Marshals and the military, leaving thirteen strikers dead and Debs in prison. It is small wonder that so many of America’s elite genuflect to Ronald Reagan and want to see his countenance emblazoned on the ten dollar bill. Reagan dropped a nuke on labor in the ongoing class war when he fired the PATCO air traffic controllers in 1981. When Reagan took office, union membership was 23%, down from its 35% peak in the 1950’s. However, his withering blow greatly accelerated the precipitous decline of organized labor in the United States. By 2005 only 8% of America’s private sector workforce was unionized. Brute force, propaganda, illegal firings, and state-sponsored murder imposed by the ruling class in the United States were not enough to deter the American labor movement from its diligent efforts to improve the lot of the working class. We can thank them for the eight hour work day, an end to child labor, increased safety in the work place, higher wages, and health and retirement benefits. Since the majority of the population is a part of the working class, a majority of people benefited from labor’s gains. Sounds like a logical outcome in a nation which espouses democratic values. However, the minority in the ruling plutocracy was not pleased. Determined as they were to protect their interests, the modern day Money Changers discovered new ways to impose their economic brutality. (Imagine what Jesus would do on the floors of the stock exchanges). Welcome to McDonald’s! Would you like fries with that? Arguing that American workers are overpaid, corporate elites have slashed pay, health benefits, and pensions. They contend that to stay competitive in the new “global economy”, they need to cut labor costs. Working people are to sacrifice with a smile since it is in their best interest to enable their masters to stay in business. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, massive layoffs pushed millions of middle class blue collar workers into service sector jobs which cut their incomes in half. According to Louis Uchitelle of the New York Times, 30 million Americans were laid off between 1984 and 2004. Starting in 2000, Silicon Valley and the telecom companies began a trend of massive white collar layoffs. Other industries have followed suit. In short, “overpaid” front line American workers have become highly expendable. Corporate America doesn’t care what color your collar is. Human beings are commodities to them, and if an employee’s existence is too costly, they eliminate them. Illegally firing employees who try to unionize, hiring temps to replace full-time employees (to eliminate paying those damn benefits), replacing seasoned employees with fresh college grads, and “off shoring” American jobs to exploit cheap labor in other nations exemplify the new paradigm in American business. While corporate profits soar at an annual clip of 30%, employee wages crawl upward at an average of 2%. Meanwhile, CEO’s earn an average of over 400 times that of their employees. While American workers struggle, multinational corporations, which are often guided by American executives and extremely wealthy share-holders, have introduced human beings in developing nations to the profound misery of Dickensonian Capitalism. When laws in the United States began making it prohibitive for the Social Darwinists to exploit employees and the environment to the extent that it engorged their bank accounts, they began moving their operations to countries which did not have these “harsh constraints”. It is time for labor to unite on behalf of humanity In a 1978 letter of resignation from his position of president of the UAW, Douglas Fraser wrote: I believe leaders of the business community, with few exceptions, have chosen to wage a one-sided class war today in our country --a war against working people, the unemployed, the poor, the minorities, the very young and the very old, and even many in the middle class of our society….I would rather sit with the rural poor, the desperate children of urban blight, the victims of racism, and working people seeking a better life than with those whose religion is the status quo, whose goal is profit and whose hearts are cold. We intend to reforge the links with those who believe in struggle: the kind of people who sat down in the factories in the 1930's and who marched in Selma in the 1960's. Unfortunately, Fraser’s inspiring words have gone largely unheeded. The two party American Duopoly continues to represent the interests of their wealthy and corporate benefactors. Grass roots mobilization and efforts to advance the interests of social and economic justice for the poor and working class have virtually fallen from the radar screen of organized labor. The larger labor unions continue their close ties with the Democratic Party, apparently believing the fiction that Democrats have the spine or the will to advance the interests of the working class. In July 2005, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) president Andy Stern took his 1.8 million members and broke ties with the AFL-CIO, an organization which has achieved few tangible advances for labor or the working class in recent years. A former social worker and present activist for social causes, Stern was recently profiled on 60 Minutes. Organizing workers, many of whom are minorities and women, in previously under-unionized industries such as day care and janitorial, Stern has created an agenda of global worker cooperation to end the disturbing trend of corporate exploitation. Stern and his followers have set out to rectify the gross economic injustices facing the working class and humanity in general. They recognize that collectively, the working class wields great power. Unionizing, strikes, and boycotts are the potent weapons they employ against the seemingly overwhelming forces of Capitalist domination. Last week, I asked SEIU’s online campaign manager, Anders Schneiderman, to share his thoughts on labor taking the lead in advancing the causes of social and economic justice. He responded: SEIU members believe that the only way we can build a better world for all of us is if we unite with workers across the globe. When corporations move around the world looking for opportunities to maximize their profits by driving down pay and benefits standards, no one is safe unless we work together. That's why school bus drivers, are joining together on both sides of the Atlantic to hold First Service accountable, and why on June 15 janitors from around the world will be celebrating International Justice Day and discussing where their campaigns to raise standards should go next. While the ruling elite have done an exceptional job of employing the concept of divide and conquer in human society (gay vs. straight, pro-life vs. pro-choice, red state vs. blue state, Christianity vs. Islam), a majority of the global population shares at least one common interest. Almost all of us need to trade our labor for our means of sustenance. A global unification of working people of all stripes is what we of the poor and middle classes need to overcome the tyranny of the moneyed ruling class. These modern day monarchs thrive by keeping their peasants in a perpetual state of unnecessary poverty, ignorance, war, and human suffering. Contrary to the lies of the elite, human nature does not doom us to high degrees of injustice and misery. Human beings are blessed with free will. As individuals, and ultimately collectively, we can choose to act in mostly reasoned, honest and just ways. We can avoid resorting to impulsive, reactionary responses to primal emotions like fear, lust, and anger (feelings propagandists love to trigger and manipulate). No one will make reasoned, fair choices all of the time, but I know from my own experience that through conscious effort, it is possible to do so much of the time. A revitalized labor movement on a global scale could very well be our means to snatch victory from the pitbull-like jaws of Capitalist Imperialism and to forge a reasonably just and humane society. Jason Miller is a 39 year old sociopolitical essayist with a degree in liberal arts and an extensive self-education (derived from an insatiable appetite for reading). He is a member of Amnesty International and an avid supporter of Oxfam International and Human Rights Watch. He welcomes responses at or comments on his blog, Thomas Paine's Corner, at

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Municipal Gum, by Oodgeroo Noonuccal

* Gumtree in the city street, Hard bitumen around your feet, Rather you should be In the cool world of leafy forest halls And wild bird calls Here you seems to me Like that poor cart-horse Castrated, broken, a thing wronged, Strapped and buckled, its hell prolonged, Whose hung head and listless mien express Its hopelessness. Municipal gum, it is dolorous To see you thus Set in your black grass of bitumen-- O fellow citizen, What have they done to us?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

VA data files on millions of veterans stolen

The Veterans Affairs Department today revealed that personal, identifying data for as many as 26 million American veterans was stolen from a VA employee's home in May. The information is a list of all veterans who served in the military and were discharged since 1975. A VA employee took files home as part of department work on a data collation project to simplify some VA processes. Subsequently, someone broke into the employee’s home and stole the data. The career employee, a data analyst, was not authorized to take the files home, said VA secretary Jim Nicholson in a teleconference with reporters. He would not say what form the data was in. The data analyst, whom VA would not identify, has authority to access the information for his job but did not follow procedures to safeguard the data. He has been put on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, the secretary said. “We do have people that telecommute. We have a system of policies and controls that are in place and operating, and this person violated those,” Nicholson said. The veterans’ personal information that was compromised included names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth. The data contained no medical or financial information, but there may be disability numerical rankings, he said. “Considering the pros and cons of going public, we’ve decided to come down on the side of making veterans aware. There is no indication that any unauthorized use is being made of this data or that they (the burglars) know that they have it,” he said The FBI, VA’s inspector general and local law enforcement are investigating the theft. Investigators believe the burglary was random and not targeted for the VA information. Several thefts have been reported in the community. The secretary would not pinpoint exactly when the robbery took place, only that it was sometime this month. Nicholson has taken initial steps inside and outside government to alert veterans and improve data security. He has briefed the co-chairs of the President’s Identity Theft Task Force, which is charged with better securing government-held personal data. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Federal Trade Commission chairwoman Deborah Majoras lead the task force and he will confer with them today in a previously scheduled meeting. “This will be the number-one topic,” he said. Other steps he has taken to alert veterans and tighten security include: * VA has established a Web site to inform veterans. * VA is notifying veterans, including checking with the Social Security Administration and the IRS for correct addresses. * VA will conduct an inventory of those with access to sensitive VA data and possibly ask the FBI for background investigations depending on the level of access and responsibilities. * VA will accelerate the requirement that all employees complete a cybersecurity training course to June 30 this year. * VA employees will have to sign an annual statement of their awareness of privacy and security responsibilities and consequences of disclosing personal information. Originally posted at 12:09 p.m. and updated at 3:18 p.m.

JFK library honors Murtha, Mora with Profile in Courage award

[And now for some bleh politics....]
BOSTON U.S. Rep. John Murtha, an outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq, and Alberto Mora, a former Navy general counsel who clashed with superiors over abuse of terrorism detainees, were honored Monday as recipients of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. The men accepted the awards from the president's daughter, Caroline, at a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Library attended by several members of Congress and the Kennedy family. Murtha, a decorated combat veteran and conservative Democrat with a long history of supporting the military, broke ranks with the Bush administration in November, when he called for withdrawal of troops from Iraq. "Today my words of Nov. 17, 2005, and the many that followed, reflect not only my gut consciousness but that of many in our military and the majority of this country," Murtha said. "I am proud to be the messenger of those who at one time had no voice." Murtha's change of heart helped shape the public debate over the war, because of his reputation as a Democratic hawk and retired Marines Reserves colonel who enjoyed easy access to presidents. The award committee said Murtha's decision "made him the target of withering political attacks and resulted in efforts by political opponents to discredit his Vietnam War decorations." Mora, formerly one of the Pentagon's top civilian lawyers, fought a two-and-a-half year behind-the-scenes battle with Pentagon brass and civilian leaders over U.S. military policies regarding detainees -- policies he said could invite abuse. "We need to be clear. Cruelty disfigures our national character," Mora said. "It is incompatible with our constitutional order, with our laws, and with our most prized values. Cruelty can be as effective as torture in destroying human dignity, and their is no moral distinction between one and the other." Mora retired this year and now is a general counsel for Wal-Mart. Among those in attendance were Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Massachusetts Congressmen Barney Frank and Stephen Lynch and various Kennedy family members including Robert Kennedy's grandsons, Matt and Joe, who are the sons of former U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy, and William Kennedy Smith, son of the former president's sister, Jean Kennedy Smith, who shared the dais with the honorees. Sen. Kennedy, who spoke before the awards were presented, noted that this year marks the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's Pulitzer Prize-winning book "Profiles in Courage." He said the two honorees prove that "dissent, even in wartime, may well be the ultimate act of patriotism." The John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, created in 1989, is presented annually to public servants who have withstood strong opposition to follow what they believe is the right course of action. The award is named for President Kennedy's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "Profiles in Courage," which recounts the stories of eight U.S. senators who risked their careers to fight for what they believed in. Past recipients of the award include President Gerald Ford, Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko, and U.S. Sens. John McCain and Russell Feingold.

Monday, May 22, 2006

White and Black Erotic Photography

* In spring at midnight I was walking along the shore. A full moon glowed on the black ocean and rollicking whitecaps. The ocean was full of sparkling diamonds-- a black and white ballet. I thought: What a magnificent performance! * Black and White Ballet, Catherine May Greensides *

Ex -US soldier:

'If he didn't answer the way we liked, we would shoot his youngest kid in the head'
* Watch Film Here * Jessie Macbeth, a Former Army Ranger and Iraq War Veteran Tells All This 20 minute interview will change how you view the U.S. occupation of Iraq forever. I cannot possibly recommend this more highly. An Iraq war veteran tells of atrocities he and other fellow-soldiers committed reguarly while in Iraq. I have never seen this level of honesty from a U.S. soldier who directly participated in the slaughtering of Iraqis. Excerpts: "When we were doing the night raids in the houses, we would pull people out and have them all on their knees and zip-tied. We would ask the man of the house questions. If he didn't answer the way we liked, we would shoot his youngest kid in the head. We would keep going, this was our interrogation. He could be innocent. He could be just an average Joe trying to support his family. If he didn't give us a satisfactory answer, we'd start killing off his family until he told us something. If he didn't know anything, I guess he was SOL." and "For not speaking out, I feel like I'm betraying my battle-buddies that died."

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Israelis Kill 4-Year-Old Palestinian Child, 3 Women, an Activist, in an Assassination Air Raid on Gaza, Amir Peretz Orders Grab of More Occupied Land

by Palestine Media Center – PMC Israelis Kill More Palestinian Women, Kids and Activists? Amir Peretz Orders Grab of More Occupied Land for Settlement Expansion Israel has grabbed 100 acres more of occupied Palestinian land for the expansion of illegal Jewish colonies as the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) killed three Palestinian women and a four-year-old son, acknowledged the extra-judicial assassination of a top-ranking anti-occupation activist on Saturday, but denied any attempt on the life of the Palestinian intelligence service chief, Gen. Tareq Abu Rajab, who survived a bomb blast on the same day. The IOF signed last week an order for the expansion of the illegal Israeli settlement of Beitar Ilit, built on occupied Palestinian land, near Jerusalem by 100 acres, the leader of the Israeli “Peace Now” group, Yariv Oppenheimer, said on Saturday. Israel Radio reported on Sunday that, in addition to Beitar Ilit, the illegal Isrsaeli settlements of Givat Zeev, Oranit and Maskiot in the West Bank have been expanded by order of the Israeli “defense” ministry, the radio said. The orders were signed by “Defense” Minister, Amir Peretz, the radio said. Oppenheimer condemned the expansions, saying they were apparently an attempt to take more Palestinian land ahead of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's plan to unilaterally lay down Israel’s final borders by 2008. 3 Women, Son and Activist Killed Meanwhile, the IOF acknowledged they had extra-judicially assassinated top-ranking Palestinian anti-occupation activist, Mohammad Sha’ban al-Dahdouh (Abu Obaydah), in an air raid that also killed Hanan Aman, 32, her four-year-old son Mohannad and female relative Naima Hamdi Aman, 25, in Gaza city on Saturday. The killing of al-Dahdouh, who was identified as a leading Islamic Jihad activist, “is certain to further exacerbate the anarchic security situation in Gaza, already tense following an attempt on the life of the Palestinian intelligence chief,” The Guardian said on Sunday. Yossi Beilin, the leader of the Israeli Meretz party, called for the government to stop its policy of assassination strikes that kill innocent people as well. He said on Israeli radio that the killing of al-Dahdouh was insufficient justification for the killing of a small boy, his mother and grandmother. Beilin was referring to the fact that the females and the son were bystander victims of the assassination of al-Dahdouh. Separately the IOF sporadic gunfire overnight Sunday killed another Palestinian woman in the northern West Bank refugee camp of Balata, near Nablus. Palestinian witnesses said the 48-year-old woman was shot by IOF troops who were patrolling the camp after she left her home to see what route her husband, a cleaner, should take to avoid the soldiers. Medics later pronounced her dead. An IOF spokeswoman denied the troops killed the woman and said the incident” will be investigated. Palestinian Intelligence Chief Survives Assassination The IOF missile strike on Gaza city occurred hours after Palestinian General Intelligence chief, Tareq Abu Rajab, 59, survived an assassination attempt. Israel denied any involvement. He was hit in the chest in an explosion that tore through his heavily-guarded headquarters in Gaza city Saturday and was first taken to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, where doctors requested that he be transferred to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv due to the severity of his wounds. Abu Rajab, is a senior member of Fatah and survived another attempt on his life in August 2004, when he was hurt in a drive-by shooting. Abu Rajab’s bodyguard and nephew, Ali Abu Hassira, was killed in blast while more than ten others were wounded. Abu Rajab was appointed to his current post by President Mahmoud Abbas in April 2005. Last week, Abbas sent him to Jordan to look into accusations by its government that the ruling Hamas movement was trying to smuggle explosives into Jordan and carry out attacks there, charges that Hamas has denied. Attack’s Aim: ‘Civil War’ Abbas, attending the Economic World Forum in the Sinai resort on the Red Sea in Sharm e-Sheikh, Egypt, condemned the “assassination attempt,” and said that it “threatens the Palestinian Authority with grave danger.” “This a very unfortunate incident and annoying at the same time and threatens (the Palestinian authority) with grave danger,” Abbas said as he emerged from a meeting with US deputy secretary of state Robert Zoellick. Palestinian lawmaker, senior Fatah legislator and former deputy premier and information minister of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), Nabil Shaath, who was accompanying Abbas, told the Israeli daily, The Jerusalem Post, the attack was an attempt to push Palestinians into a civil war. “Some people want us to accuse Hamas,” he said, adding: “They want to push us into a civil war with Hamas. I don't know if Hamas did it, but if someone from Hamas did it they should be put on trial.” There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion, which hit Abu Rajab as he entered an elevator with his aides and bodyguards. Al-Tirawi: We Are All Being Threatened Abu Rajab's deputy, Tawfik al-Tirawi, said that “mercenaries” had infiltrated the PNA security forces and were planning to kill top Palestinian leaders, including Abbas. “We are all being threatened,” he said. He said he was concerned for President Abbas’ safety. “We're concerned about the safety of the president and all the leaders and senior officials because of the anarchy and lawlessness,” al-Tirawi said in the West Bank town of Ramallah, where three vehicles of the Arabic satellite TV station Al-jazeera were torched at its offices on Saturday evening. Strongly dismissing claims by Interior Ministry spokesman, Khaled Abu Hilal, to the effect that the explosion may have occurred when Abu Rajab's bodyguard accidentally dropped a hand grenade, al-Tirawi confirmed the explosion came from a home-made bomb that had been planted beneath the private elevator of Abu Rajab. Abu Hilal later retracted his hand grenade theory. “This is a foolish and irresponsible statement,” al-Tirawi said, adding: “He (Abu Hilal) should have refrained from issuing such statements as long as the circumstances were unclear.” The assassination attempt was linked to “incitement and irresponsible statements” made in mosques over the past few weeks, he added. The Palestinian Minister of Interior, Saeed Siyam, said the ministry will launch an investigation into the incident and pledged to bring those responsible to justice, regardless of their factional affiliation. Ghazi Hamad, the spokesman for the Hamas Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, said also the explosion would be investigated: “We are asking not to make early judgments, accusations or responses that might lead to tension in the Palestinian streets,” Hamad said.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

~Fingering the Ocarina~


They pour more wine and drink in large sips and Tadeja crawls ontop of David and with eyes that shine from all depths of time she shines of life and glow and the erotic sense she express and she claws his hair and feels him and loves and she sucks him into a kiss and David squeezes her body tight kisses her and time vanishes as they embrace in hot springling singling mingling emotion and their love wrauuu! and they grow younger older brighter in all directions in a second and the world turns fresh and hot and sexy and Tadeja rips opens her dress and reveals her breasts as David slides his hands up her back and kisses her chest and dives onto the fullness of her breasts and she pours more wine down her neck and into daves mouth and they kiss wet and winy and she squeezes herself hard against him hands warm against his chins and their pupils grow large their eyes like the moon is in heaven and they feel around them enter a familiar kind of beauty, a beauty that always is new, a beauty that is alive, and they enter it more and more and more and they feel themselves feel it's stance as they open something that can only come forth by an act of will, by actually wishing it forth and letting it guide every motion and every sensation every shiver touch and breath and they breathe together as they kiss and touch and feel themselves around in the dance of beauty the dance of love that flowers forth from everywhere and the candles begin to give a more yellow shine, the shadows vanish, and they move and feel and love and touch, together, this beauty, this aliveness, their bodies warm together, irises revolving galaxies, pupils telling all, and they love, with every movement and every breath, the shivers through their bodies, the life of their eyes, in the beauty everywhere the all is alive and they breathe and feel and love and touch in the pace of nature the pace of Eden back in Paradise back to where it all begins * Xun

Muzical Interlude

David Bowie and Queen - Under Pressure

Friday, May 19, 2006

Mexican priest ordered to retire

The Vatican has told the Mexican founder of the influential Legion of Christ order to retire to a life of prayer after sexual abuse allegations. The Pope had approved sanctions against Marcial Maciel after seeing the results of an inquiry, a statement said. It added there would not be a Church trial because of Father Maciel's age - he is 86 - and poor health. Father Maciel - who founded the conservative order in 1941 - has long denied any wrongdoing. Accusations Friday's statement from the Vatican did not say whether the accusations against him had been found to be true or not. Instead, it said Father Maciel had been "invited... to a reserved life of prayer and repentance, renouncing every public ministry". The Mexican priest had been accused by some former members of the Legionaries of sexual abuses dating back to the 1940s and 1950s. In 1998, those accusations were taken to the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - then headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who has since become Pope Benedict XVI. In 2004, the Congregation said it would look into the allegations. A year later, Father Maciel stepped down as head of the Legionaries citing his age. The order has about 600 priests and 2,500 seminarians, and says it has some 65,000 members around the world.

Spring, by Vinci Vin

* If spring were a woman, she would be arrayed in yellow and blue and red, not the colors of daffodils and hyacinths and irises, but blue for waning winter days, the yellow of daylight savings time, and the angry red of stormy skies. Her scent would be the fresh-ploughed earth, her breath the breeze of melting snow, and in her eyes of heavy clouds would be the promise of verdant fields. If spring were a woman, she would be a gifted woman, indeed! * Tom Waits - "Waltzing Mathilda"

Iran honors Georgia poet for his translations of Rumi

by TAREK AL-ISSAWI EHRAN, Iran - Setting aside its fierce anti-Americanism, Iran has honored a U.S. national who spent 30 years translating the legendary 13th century Persian poet Rumi into English. Coleman Barks is a "great poet, professor and scholar," said the chancellor of Tehran University, Ayatollah Abbasali Amid Zanjani, as he awarded an honorary doctorate in Persian language and literature to the retired English teacher from the University of Georgia. "You did a great job - magnificent," Zanjani told Barks in front of more than 100 professors and students who packed a university hall for the ceremony Wednesday. "You have introduced Rumi to English speakers around the world and we appreciate that very much." Tehran University honored a second American poet, Robert Bly, who introduced Barks to Rumi's poetry in 1976, encouraging him to retranslate the poems to bring them alive. Bly, who lives in Minneapolis, received a certificate of appreciation. Clearly moved by the award, Barks, 69, was almost reduced to tears as he recited a verse by Molana Jalaluddin Rumi that he had chosen to reflect his love for Iran: "What was said to the rose that made it open, Was said to me, here in my chest." Sitting beneath pictures of the founding father of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and the current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Barks said: "I love this country. I love this country. It feels like home." The difference between Barks' view and that of the U.S. government, which brands Iran a major sponsor of terrorism, was not lost on the audience, which gave Barks several standing ovations. "This is a good omen at a black time, when history is drawing an untrue picture of Iran," literature professor Ali Mohammad Haghshenas said during the ceremony. Haghshenas added Barks "should be considered at home in Iran because of his work." Bestowing such a prestigious award on an American is extremely rare for Iran. It is particularly significant in that since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took office last year, he has hardened the country's international positions, deepening the confrontation with the West over Iran's nuclear program and calling for Israel to be wiped off the map. Ahmadinejad's predecessor, former President Mohammad Khatami, a moderate, had encouraged cultural and sporting exchanges with the United States as part of his policy of dialogue between civilizations. But, in the past two years in Iran, hard-liners have defeated reformists in parliament, as well as for the presidency, and imposed conservative policies on all the major state institutions. Barks said Rumi has been the most read poet in the United States during the past 10 years. "Rumi has given Americans a way to love Islam," he said. Barks, who lives in Athens, Ga., told the audience he had long felt that he was "secretly connected" to their culture. He said the state of Georgia was known as the Peach state in the United States. "Peach in Latin is "persica," meaning from Persia," he added.

George Soros Dumps Microsoft Stock and Redeploys into Stock Exchanges

by Alex Gabor A recent U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission filing from Soros Fund Management, billionaire financier George Soros' investment fund--which has investments in 286 companies and has a total fair market value of $2.72 billion shows some significant changes to the fund, which still holds large stakes in Sun Microsystems (SUNW), JetBlue Airways (JBLU), Hainan Airlines, Skyworks Solutions (SWKS), Lattice Semiconductor and EchoStar Communications (DISH)among others. Hi9s indirect stake in the gargantuan software company Microsoft (MSFT) has been cut to 251,750 shares from from 1.38 million during the past quarter. The sale of over 1.1 million shares gave Soros Fund Managers at least $30 million in cash to redeploy into other investments more promising than Microsoft. The sale may have been a small factor in the recent plunge of microsoft shares from a 52 week high of around 28 to closer to $22 in recent trading days. The SEC filing further discloses that Soros has acquired 857,400-shares of Boston Scientific--which recently completed its acquisition of Guidant--and a 698,500-share stake in communications equipment maker Cisco Systems. The Hungarian-born and London School of Economics-educated Soros is betting on the rumblings of global exhanges recent merger talks. Soros, who is the world's 71st richest man according to Forbes magazine, doubled his fund's stake in the Nasdaq Stock Market (nasdaq: NDAQ ) to 553,200 common shares and took on an 89,750-share stake in NYSE Group (nyse: NYX ). NASDAQ recently received approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to begin operations as a national securities exchange. Exchanges continue to be under tremendous pressure to consolidate to boost volumes, create economies of scale that reduce trading costs and to attract more companies to list their shares. Talks between NYSE Group and European share markets operator Euronext and the German Bourse have been ongoing for the past few days signaling that a possible merger may be in the wings. NYSE Group, Inc. last week filed an 8-K announcing the combination of the businesses of the New York Stock Exchange, Inc. and Archipelago Holdings, Inc., making it the largest and most technologically sophisticated stock exchange in the world. At the same time, developments in Iran for the establishment of the Iranian Oil Bourse have speculators lining up in Europe on the side of the Euro as investors like Soros, Gates and Buffet continue to hold huge multi billion dollar short positions on the U.S. dollar as inflation rears its ugly head in the United States and Central Bankers are focusing on pulling away from trading oil contracts in dollars if the IOB begins operations any time soon. The dollar has slid more than 6% in the past month alone and as interest rates are raised to stem the loss in purchasing power, U.S. consumer confidence continues to slide, wholesale prices have begun to reflect what savy investors have been predicting for the past two years, and the U.S. and British real estate markets have seen notices of default increase by more than 50% during the first quarter of 2006.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Masque of Anarchy: Percy Bysshe Shelley

'Government is an evil; it is only the thoughtlessness and vices of men that make it a necessary evil. When all men are good and wise, government will of itself decay.'

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

How Important Is A Kiss?, by Fantasy

A kiss can take you on a journey Into the recesses of your senses And into the secrets of your soul As it awakens your excitement And stimulates your desires A kiss will tell you immediately If you'll bond with someone or not You'll know if they share your passion Or if they miss the mark entirely It can lay bare your sensual nature When your lips first touch another's You'll know if they're gentle or they're rough You'll feel their heat or their coldness And feel another's lips stimulate you You'll know if they'll satisfy your needs And when their tongue starts to explore And begin a dance within your mouth You'll know if you match in your rhythm Or If your tempo's are way off key And if you'll make beautiful music together When your kisses match in passion And you're feeling each other's heat You will float in time and space And make time literally stand still You'll be transported to another place The importance of a kiss And the oral expression of your love Allows you to meet in a moment To stimulate your senses and drown And be introduced to another person's soul How important is a Kiss? You decide.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Quote by, Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian writer

"Christianity has enriched the erotic meal with the appetizer of curiosity and spoiled it with the dessert of remorse."

Monday, May 15, 2006

Sex, Love & Ecstasy, by Linda King

Sensual, Unrestricted nakedness, Erotic skin, My breasts slide along his sides. Feline, Claws out, Arched back, His body trembles under my sharpened nails. Offered, Eyelids closed, Mouth opened, His hands climb along my thighs. Opened, Smooth wet, Lips spread, His sex plunges passionately into me. Given up, Sublimated body, Ecstasy fusion, Love quivers in the deepest of me.

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