Thursday, December 30, 2010


Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani (Persian: سکینه محمدی آشتیانی, born ca. 1967) is an Iranian woman convicted of adultery and murder, and since 2006 has been under a sentence of death under in Iran. An international campaign to overturn her sentence was started by her daughter and son, Farideh and Sajjad Mohamamadi e Ashtiani, and it brought widespread attention to her case in 2010, when prominent media sources claimed that she was sentenced to be executed by stoning. Iranian authorities denied that this method of execution would be used, and gave her a stay of execution in September 2010.

Mrs. Ashtiani had allegedly committed adultery with the man who murdered her husband, Isa Taheri. Taheri was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. Taheri was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

In 2006, Mrs. Ashtiani was brought on her first trial, charged with the murder of her husband. She was found guilty of murdering her husband, and sentenced to death by hanging. Her sentence was commuted to 10 years imprisonment, like Taheri's, in 2007.

In September 2006, her case was again brought up in a different court, this time tried for adultery. She pleaded guilty but later recanted her confession. She was convicted of adultery while still married, and sentenced to death by stoning, and an additional sentence of 99 lashes.

The international publicity generated by Mrs. Ashtiani's plight led to numerous diplomatic conflicts between Iran's government and the heads of certain western governments. Due to the reaction of the international community, the execution had been stayed indefinitely.
(read more) ( (Du'a Khalil Aswad video)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Alone in the Wilderness

Richard Louis "Dick" Proenneke (May 4, 1916–April 28, 2003) was a naturalist who lived alone in the high mountains of Alaska at a place called Twin Lakes. Living in a log cabin he constructed by hand, Proenneke made valuable recordings of both meteorological and natural data.

On May 21, 1968, Proenneke arrived at his new place of retirement at Twin Lakes. Before arriving at the lakes, he made arrangements to use a cabin on the upper lake of Twin Lakes owned by a retired Navy captain, Spike Carrithers, and his wife Hope from Kodiak. This cabin was well situated on the lake and close to the site which Proenneke chose for the construction of his own cabin. Proenneke's bush pilot friend, Babe Alsworth, returned occasionally to bring food and orders that Proenneke placed through him to Sears.

Proenneke remained at Twin Lakes for the next 16 months, when he left to go home for a spell to visit relatives and secure more supplies. He returned to the lakes in the following spring and remained there for most of the next 30 years, coming to the lower 48 only occasionally to be with his family.

In 1999, at age 82, Proenneke returned to civilization and lived the remainder of his life with his brother in California. He died of a stroke April 28, 2003 at the age of 86. He left his cabin to the National Park Service and it remains today as a popular visitor attraction in the still-remote Twin Lakes region.

In 1973, Sam Keith wrote the book One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey, based on Proenneke's journals and photography. After years in print and a re-edition, the book won the 1999 National Outdoor Book Award. In 2005, some of Proenneke's film, Alone in the Wilderness, began appearing on U.S. Public Television. Primarily, the film consists of shots of Proenneke performing tasks around his cabin, canoeing and walking, and views of wildlife, along with narration. (read more)

Monday, December 27, 2010

An Offering of Hope

In the human world so
desperately out of balance,
where so much suffering is
needless and avoidable.

In the human world where
war and conflict based on
past injustice and needless prejudice
wrecks havoc on the present and
endagers the future.

In the human world where
the poor are so often abandoned,
mindless abuse is common and
greed holds sway.

In this world crafted by human hands,
may peace and the love of justice
that lies in the hearts of all humanity
finally lead us out of the darkness.

dark of the moon

Comedian or Journalist?

I was with my son watching the News in Comedy Central!

How did it get this way? Journalists refused to help first responders that saved their lives close to ten years ago. I believe the media was threatened by Mayor Giuliani and his thugs who advised these workers that the air was good for their health, when it wasn't. Now they don't want to pay.

Good work Jon, you are a courageous man.

(read more)

Sunday, December 26, 2010


all about sex

" When you're hot...

you're hot...

when you're not...

you're not "

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Sacred Hoop Of Healing

In a Dream of Vision 
 In a Place where Hearts  reside  and are 
Consumed in Grief   
I saw not Anger nor Retribution  
Not the Face of Hatred  nor of Despair  
But the Clear and All Encompassing  
Heart Of All That Is   
I saw Each One Stand  
Mother Father Brother each 
Child of the Seventh Generation  
In Peace and Understanding   
And Facing His Brother  His Sister  
Each Child of Their Children's Children  
Wrapped his Heart around....   
And kissing the Tears  on the 
Tear stained face  of the One he Held  
Released His Own Pain   
And when he had opened himself  
To Receive 
Unconditionally  the pain and 
unbearable sorrow  of his Brother   
Only then  When Each had Received  
The Healing  of each and every Heart   
Would raise their eyes  to Wanbli  
To All That Is  
In utter Acceptance and Resolve   
Making the Unimaginable 
Grief of each and every Heart  
His Own 
Would we Heal   
And as their hearts and hands reached out  
Would open their own Hearts  
To become that Hollow Bone  of 
Acceptance and Responsibility  of 
All That Is   
And in Unified Silence  
Take upon themselves  
The Duty and the Honour  
Which is Each Our Own   
Of allowing each hand  
And Every Heart  
To take up and to Receive  
and hold closer than Forever   
The River Of Tears  Of All Mankind   
The River Of Tears  Of Humankind  
As One Swift Uptaking  Breath  
Of All That Is  
Is made our Own.     

Crys The Tears/Dreamwalker~Lakota  
copyright 2001

Fairytale Of New York

It was christmas eve babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me: won't see another one
And then they sang a song
The rare old mountain dew
I turned my face away and dreamed about you
Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I´ve got a feeling
This year´s for me and you
So happy christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
Where all our dreams come true.

They got cars big as bars
They got rivers of gold
But the wind goes right through you
It´s no place for the old
When you first took my hand on a cold christmas eve
You promised me broadway was waiting for me
You were handsome you were pretty
Queen of new york city when the band finished
playing they yelled out for more
Sinatra was swinging all the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner
Then danced through the night.

And the boys from the NYPD choir were singing Galway Bay
And the bells were ringing out for christmas day.

You´re a bum you´re a punk
You´re an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy christmas your arse I pray god it´s our last.

And the boys of the NYPD choir's still singing Galway Bay
And the bells were ringing out
For christmas day.

I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can´t make it out alone
I´ve built my dreams around you

And the boys of the NYPD choir's still singing Galway Bay
And the bells are ringing out
For christmas day.

eschew obfuscation

believe nothing...

of what you hear...

half of what you read.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Greg Mortenson

Greg Mortenson was a veteran mountain climber. It was a singular event on one of his climbing expeditions that completely changed the direction his life would take. He attempted to reach the summit of K2, the second tallest peak in the world, in Pakistan’s Karakoram, located in the Himalayas; this attempt failed. During his descent on the afternoon of September 2, 1993, he accidently was separated from his group and got lost. As a result of his missteps, he no longer was in possession of all of his vital equipment, for it was being carried by his porter, Mouzafer. Fortunately, he was ultimately rescued by Mouzafer who went on to become his close friend and ally.

On the seventh day of their descent, they finally came upon trees and arrived at the village of Korphe. He was greeted by a village elder, Haji Ali, who welcomed them with memorable hospitality. The village of Korphe was perched on a rocky shelf some eight hundred feet above the Braldu River. The stone houses of the village seemed to blend into the steep canyon walls. Something drew Mortenson to Korphe; he was impressed by the rugged perseverance and toughness of its people. Any romantic notion he held of these people was dispelled, however, when he learned that many of the children suffered from Kwashiorkor, an extreme form of malnutrition that often leads to death. Mortenson used his experience as a trauma nurse to lend his assistance.

The defining moment for Mortenson came when he asked to see Korphe’s school. What he saw shocked him – eighty-two children, consisting of seventy-eight boys and four girls, doing their lessons outside with no teacher in sight. They did not have a school. Mortenson reacted to this situation by stating, “I felt like my heart was being torn out. There was a fierceness in their desire to learn, despite how mightily everything was stacked against them. I knew I had to do something.” He finally told Haji Ali, “I’m going to build you a school.”

Mortenson had an uncanny ability to adapt to unusual situations. This quality can be readily explained by his unusual upbringing. Greg’s parents were adventuresome and his father convinced his wife to respond to an acute need for teachers in Africa. As a consequence, Mortenson grew up in Tanganyika (now called Tanzania). He was a student in an international school founded by his mother. He was surrounded by children from twenty-eight different nations. He grew up happily oblivious to race and ultimately mastered Swahili. He also had a sister, Christa, who was grievously ill and who ultimately died. His sister’s death had a devastating effect upon him. It was these experiences growing up that probably helped him have empathy for the suffering of others and contributed to his sense of being a citizen of the world.

Following his initial stay at Korphe he returned to the United States. He was so determined to fulfill his promise to build a school that he sent out 580 appeals for funds; all of his grant applications were rejected. He eventually received 12,000 dollars from Jean Hoerni, one of the co-founders of Intel. They would establish a friendship that would last until Hoerni’s death. With this money, he immediately returned to Pakistan to build the school that he promised.

As luck would have it, when he returned to Korphe with the building materials, he found, to his dismay that they were in desperate need of a bridge instead. Although he initially felt dismayed and defeated, he did end up building the bridge, especially when it became clear that construction of the bridge was an urgent matter of survival. It was Jean Hoerni who financed the bridge that spanned the Upper Braldu River.

Eventually the school at Korphe was built. Mortenson received assistance from George McCown, a climbing buddy, who offered some 20,000 dollars for his own expenses while building the school and Edmund Hidlay also became involved in this project. Hidlay was involved in building schools and clinics in Nepal during the 1960s and 70’s.

Mortenson discovered that building the school was no easy matter, for he had to successfully navigate through the convoluted and complex politics of the region. He managed to develop the friendship and loyalty of influential locals to expedite the process. One of the central aspects of Mortenson’s goal was to open up education for females. This produced no end of difficulty for him, but he was passionate about his project, and was blessed with boundless determination.

Hoerni was so impressed with Mortenson’s resolve and success that he suggested that Mortenson establish a foundation, with Mortenson as its director. The goal of this foundation would be to build one school per year within the Muslim communities of Pakistan. With Hoerni’s help this foundation was, in fact, created – Central Asia Institute. The Institute exists to this day.

A recurrent theme in Mortenson’s descriptions of his challenging experiences attempting to oversee his school-building projects was the cultural divide he had to overcome, for he had a restless energy and impatience that are characteristics endemic to the West. In one particular instance, while noticeably discouraged about the progress of the construction of a school, Haji Ali reassured him in the following way, “I thank all-merciful Allah for all you have done. But the people of Korphe have been here without a school for six hundred years.” This was a very sobering lesson for Mortenson; it put his sense of frustration in proper perspective.
As stated earlier, much of his success can be attributed to his ability to adapt to changing surroundings. In his own words, Mortenson describes the following experience, “I was torn between trying quickly to learn to pray like a Shia and making the most of my opportunity to study the ancient Buddhist woodcarvings on the walls.” Mortenson concluded that he had learned enough about the people to conclude that they were probably sufficiently tolerant to accept an infidel, such as himself, praying in their midst.

The Central Asia Institute offered permanence and stability to Mortenson’s mission. He extended the reach of his organization to the Peshawar – the capital of Pakistan’s wild west. The students of Peshawar’s madrasses – Islamic theological schools – were the Taliban. On account of Mortenson’s emphasis on educating young girls, a fatwa, a religious ruling, was issued against him. This was an attempt to abort the construction of any more schools in Pakistan. In mountain villages, the local mullahs possessed more real power than the Pakistani government. In spite of this impediment, the building of schools accelerated. This was due in part to the fact that Mortenson had the support of Pakistan’s supreme Shia cleric.

On January 12, 1997 his dear friend and benefactor, Jean Hoerni died. This was a severe blow to Mortenson, for he had lost the one man who had given him unerring support and treated him like the son he never had.

The achievements to date of this one man with a vision are impressive. As of 2009, 8 and 1/2 million children attend school, girls representing 40% of the overall enrollment as a direct results of his efforts. Mortenson has founded 131 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan with a population of 58,000 students. The underlying conviction that propels him forward is that true and lasting peace cannot be won by guns, but rather through books, notebooks and pencils. His ambition is to promote educational opportunities for women throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan. His stunning accomplishments are a testimonial to the impact an individual with a vision can have.

Friday, December 17, 2010

cash is king

Cost of War

Social perception

I have a theory. An awful lot of what we find ‘attractive’ is determined by what we see our peers paying attention to while we’re growing up. I mean during the formative years of 13 to 29. Experts in human development call this a ‘cohort group’. So, to express my theory another way: Our social perception is determined by the cohort group we belong to. For example, the cohort group that came of age after World War II (during the fifties) had greater respect for people in authority and admired commanding-looking leaders. They elected a war hero for president. Larger-than-life actors like Sophia Loren and John Wayne captured their imagination. They also valued conformity. That’s why affluent-looking crooners like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin sold millions of records. However, the cohort group that came of age during the Vietnam War (the sixties and seventies) had lost respect for heroes and people in authority. Their attention turned more toward realistic-looking actors like Mia Farrow and Jack Nicholson well as less affluent-looking musicians like Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones (although they’re certainly affluent now). I hear evidence of this almost everyday. People of my father’s generation tell me they don’t find present-day actresses as appealing as the bombshells of the fifties. They say things like: “Hollywood just doesn’t make ‘em the way they used to” and point to reasons like “Today actresses suffer from mediocrity and over-exposure.” However, from the perspective of someone in my cohort ..that’s exactly what makes them appealing. What they call over-exposure ..I call peer-attention. And what they interpret as mediocre ..I see as realistic. That’s why I find actresses today equally, if not more attractive than actresses of the past. But hey, don’t take my word for it ..the film industry banks on it. The target group for moviemakers used to be people between the ages of 13 and 25. Not anymore. It is now people in their forties. They are less likely to stay at home playing X-box ..and they prefer watching movies with actors from their own generation. That’s why now, more than ever .. the screen-life of an actress lasts well into their forties and fifties. Look at the successful careers of Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore. Which brings me back to my theory ..greater realism equals greater appeal to moviegoers of my generation. Either that or I could say: “Hey, Hollywood must not have built ‘em to last in the fifties.” Or some such bull shyte.

look away now

watch this then look away

Salvia divinorum

Salvia divinorum (also known as Diviner's Sage, Ska María Pastora, Seer's Sage, and by its genus name Salvia) is a psychoactive plant which can induce dissociative effects and is a potent producer of "visions" and other hallucinatory experiences.

Salvia divinorum has a long and continuous tradition of religious use by Mazatec shamans, who use it to facilitate visionary states of consciousness during spiritual healing sessions. Most of the plant's local common names allude to the Mazatec belief that the plant is an incarnation of the Virgin Mary, with its ritual use also invoking that relationship. Its active psychoactive constituent is a structurally unique diterpenoid called salvinorin A, a potent κ-opioid and D2 receptor agonist. Salvia divinorum is generally understood to be of low toxicity (high LD50) and low addictive potential; as a κ-opioid agonist.

The Salvia divinorum User's Guide says that while the effects of salvia are generally quite different from those of alcohol, like alcohol, it impairs coordination. It also emphasizes that salvia is not a 'party drug.'

Salvia is not 'fun' in the way that alcohol or cannabis can be. If you try to party with salvia you probably will not have a good experience. Salvia is a consciousness-changing herb that can be used in a vision quest, or in a healing ritual. In the right setting, salvia makes it possible to see visions. It is an herb with a long tradition of sacred use. It is useful for deep meditation. It is best taken in a quiet, nearly dark room; either alone, or with one or two good friends present.
—Salvia divinorum User's Guide
(read more)


Harry Shearer

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Not Terribly Flattering Look into the Future

The current state of the nation is not terribly propitious in regards to the future. In my estimation this is no time for stagnation, or moving backwards. The country seems to be in an advanced state of disrepair with the commons on which we all depend, crumbling and the middle class – once the bulwark of economic vitality – disintegrating. The apparent wish to pull back from reform as expressed by the voters in the mid-term elections is going on while the affluent class is being further enriched.

The underlying core of our difficulties lies in the extraordinary imbalance in the distribution of the nation’s wealth as eloquently expressed by Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont during his filibuster in regards to the tax bill now on its ineluctable path towards passage and the President’s signature. The vanishingly few hold an enormous percentage of the nation’s wealth. As a result, these same individuals possess a degree of power and influence exceedingly disproportionate to their numbers.

It seems that any discussion of this underlying truth is being held hostage by those that liken reform in regards to the economic infrastructure as synonymous with un-American attitudes and, thereby, considered treasonous. This is unfortunate, for without addressing this essential aspect of the economy, democracy is enfeebled and the plight of the vast majority of Americans will only get worse.

If the general population does not awaken to this massive injustice, the nation will devolve into a state of ordinary existence where social services will be essentially unavailable; where the infrastructure will continue its inexorable decline; where advanced education will be available only to the well-to-do; where climate change will proceed unabated with its unavoidable consequences and where wealth will continue to accumulate in the hands of those who already possess nearly everything.

If we, as a people, choose stagnation, the future will be grim and the ability to correct this massive injustice without enormous social dislocation will be less and less likely.

Lean on me

secrecy is repugnant

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The De-Humanization Of Mankind

sexism...the oldest form of de-humanization.

racism...came next adding to de-humanization.

war...made the civilian populations combatants.

i'm a number...not a person, indexed, filed, controlled.

bill moyers.....culture of corruption...follow the money.

economic slavery...people are consumers, commodities.

germ warfare...antithesis of humanity...they will kill us all.

citizens united vs F.E.C....corporations get more influence.

indoctrinated...programmed, surveilled, brainwashed, used.

pharma guinea pigs...they don't need rats...they have us now.

engineered terrorism...culture of fear...they instill fear and hate.

they want to give a zygote...full human rights...a cell is not human.

human testing...Operation Whitecoat...Tuskegee...mental patients.

Our planet seen from above

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Going Non-Corporate in the Kitchen and Bathroom

America’s preeminent consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader frequently talks about the last two generations growing up “corporate” in their attitudes and lifestyle choices. An important aspect of growing up “corporate” is automatically giving into constant pressure from the corporate media to see ourselves as “consumers” rather than citizens – and to oblige by continually consuming. A strong proponent of the voluntary simplicity movement sparked by Vicki Robin’s 1992 Your Money or Your Life, I have always viewed myself as pretty non-corporate in my lifestyle choices. Like many of my friends who have also chosen to “downsize” their lifestyles, I have felt no sense of sacrifice or deprivation in choosing not to own a car, DVD player, cellphone, flat screen TV or digital camera – or in choosing not to subscribe to satellite TV or spend thousands of dollars on fashions, cosmetics and plastic surgery to make myself look younger. If anything, our lives have been happier and far less stressful without the financial pressure of paying for all this.

I am also scrupulously “non-corporate” in other ways. I hang my wash out, rather than using a clothes dryer, make do with a small refrigerator that fits under the counter and shop at second hand stores for most of my clothing, furniture and appliances.

Needlessly Wasting $1,000 a Year

Thus I was extremely surprised to discover – after attending a class by local Taranaki mother Lyn Webster – that I am needlessly wasting thousands of dollars on commercial cleaning products and toiletries. Webster ( offers classes all over New Zealand and on national TV demonstrating how ridiculously easy it is to make most kitchen and beauty products at home yourself.

Webster's daughters

As a single mother with two kids to support, Webster acknowledges her motivation for learning to make her own kitchen and beauty products was entirely financial.

Dangers of Endocrine Disrupters

My own reasons relate more to my concern about the environmental toxins in most commercial cleaners and toiletries. Women’s cosmetics especially contain a number of endocrine disrupters – chemicals that interfere with human hormonal functioning. Most pass though sewage processing unchanged, which means they wind up in our drinking water – and are found in measurable amounts in all our bodies. This is of major concern to epidemiologists, owing to increasing evidence linking these endocrine disruptors to epidemic levels of breast cancer, early puberty in girls and low sperm counts.

Why Kiwis Tend to be Less “Corporate” Than Americans

Most of Webster’s household cleaner recipes rely own baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), white vinegar and something most Kiwis know as “Sunlight” soap – even when referring to cheaper generic brands – a plain bar soap with no added perfumes, skin lotion, or chemicals. Both baking soda are highly reactive (but safe – both are used in cooking) compounds that readily dissolve oil and grease and kill most bacteria. Webster stores her products in a variety of recycled containers. This is where the savings comes in, as packaging is the second biggest factor (after profit) in the cost of commercial products.

What I find fascinating about living in New Zealand is that multinational corporations were late (thanks to a strong tariff system) in penetrating the New Zealand market. This means there are many women of my generation who can recall their own mothers washing dishes in Sunlight bar soap. They swear it got dishes much cleaner than any commercial dishwashing detergent. The only drawback was that it left an ugly scum in the dishwater owing to New Zealand’s hard water. Webster has solved this problem by adding a “water softener” – calcium carbonate (also known as washing soda) to her dishwashing liquid, as well as her powdered detergent for the dishwasher and laundry. This combines with the calcium and magnesium that make water “hard,” preventing them from combining with soap to make insoluble salts that float on the surface as “scum.”

Buying Corporate Products is an Addiction

For me the most interesting part of Lyn’s presentation was her wrap-up, where she talked about the strong temptation to resume buying commercial products when she used up her first homemade batch. Not because they are any better than the homemade ones – but simply because our dependency on corporate brands is actually a kind of addiction. It helped me appreciate more fully the constant, pervasive messages that make the flashy labels on the supermarket shelves so irresistible.

As always, these products are marketed by appealing to our insecurities. This exploitation of women's insecurities by hawking cleaning products is less blatant now than it was in the fifties and sixties, when a lot of women were still using washing soda, baking soda and vinegar. However I still recall seeing commercials in which neighbors looked askance at women who didn’t get their sheets white or remove the “ring around the collar” from their husbands’ shirts.

After a time, however, women became habituated to using Tide in their washing machine and Joy for their dishes. And the hard sell shifted to high fashion, make-up and cosmetics. At present women are bombarded constantly with explicit messages that they will look old and sexually unappealing if they don’t purchase certain products:

From Adbusters

I encourage people to check out Lyn’s website, which has dozens of other homemade recipes, as well as a range of books, budget tips and other products:


Dishwashing Liquid

Bar soap cut in chunks

1-2 Tablespoons washing soda (calcium carbonate)

2 Tablespoons glycerine

Mix 1-2 minutes in food processor. Dilute the concentrate that forms overnight with water.

Washing soda can be found at hardware stores (see

Glycerine can be found in pharmacies or the baking aisle at the supermarket.

Kitchen/bathroom Cleanser

Use baking soda on sink stains and bathtub rings. Also good (with or without white vinegar) for burned on grease.

Laundry Detergent or Powdered Detergent for Dishwasher

Bar soap cut in chunks

1-2 Tablespoons washing soda

Mix 1-2 minutes in food processor. Use 1 Tablespoon for light load. Add white vinegar to rinse compartment of dishwasher to prevent spotting.

Stain Remover

Eucalyptus oil

Drain Cleaner

Baking soda, followed by hot white vinegar, followed by boiling water

Carpet Cleaner

Sprinkle dry baking soda. Let sit a few hours. Then vacuum up.

Personal Deodorant

Baking soda in a spray bottle (essential oil optional) or white vinegar (smell disappears after a few minutes). Both work like commercial deodorant by changing skin pH to kill bacteria.


Baking Soda



Optional flavoring (peppermint or clove and orange oil)

Shampoo and Dandruff Treatment (works better than commercial products – kills the fungus that causes dandruff)

Baking soda

Follow with vinegar rinse for conditioning

All-purpose Anti-bacterial Cleaner

Baking soda (kills 99% of bacteria)

White vinegar

Few drops of homemade dishwashing liquid

Eco-friendly Alternative to Sanitary Napkins/Tampons

Diva Cup ( – reusable menstrual cup


Webster on TV NZ:

Jody McIntyre


~ The Final Solution ~



"There is no fault...

there is no blame...

there are only choices"

i met the walrus

Ignorance Is No Excuse

"....All people are chained down to heavy toil by poverty more firmly than ever. They were chained by slavery and serfdom; from these, one way and another, they might free themselves. These could be settled with, but from want they will never get away. We have included in the constitution such rights as to the masses appear fictitious and not actual rights.

All these so-called "Peoples Rights" can exist only in idea, an idea which can never be realized in practical life. What is it to the proletariat laborer, bowed double over his heavy toil, crushed by his lot in life, if talkers get the right to babble, if journalists get the right to scribble any nonsense side by side with good stuff, once the proletariat has no other profit out of the constitution save only those pitiful crumbs which we fling them from our table in return for their voting in favor of what we dictate, in favor of the men we place in power, the servants of our agentur...

Republican rights for a poor man are no more than a bitter piece of irony, for the necessity he is under of toiling almost all day gives him no present use of them, but the other hand robs him of all guarantee of regular and certain earnings by making him dependent on strikes by his comrades or lockouts by his masters....)

Monday, December 13, 2010


Anonymous (used as a mass noun) is a term used in two senses. As an Internet meme it represents the concept of many online community users, or the online community itself, acting anonymously in a coordinated manner, usually toward a loosely self-agreed goal. It is also a label adopted by specific loose groups of people who undertake protests and other actions under the title "Anonymous," which derives from the same meme. It is generally considered to be a blanket term for members of certain Internet subcultures.

Actions credited to "Anonymous" are undertaken by unidentified individuals who apply the Anonymous label to themselves as attribution. After a series of controversial, widely-publicized protests and reprisal DDoS attacks by Anonymous in 2008, incidents linked to its cadre members are said to be increasingly common.

Although not necessarily tied to a single online entity, many websites are strongly associated with Anonymous. This includes notable imageboards such as 4chan and Futaba, their associated wikis, Encyclopædia Dramatica, and a number of forums.

Anonymous broadly represents the concept of any and all people as an unnamed collective. Definitions tend to emphasize the fact that the term cannot be readily encompassed by a simple definition, and instead it is often defined by aphorisms describing perceived qualities.

"Anonymous is the first internet-based superconsciousness. Anonymous is a group, in the sense that a flock of birds is a group. How do you know they're a group? Because they're travelling in the same direction. At any given moment, more birds could join, leave, peel off in another direction entirely."

—Landers, Chris, Baltimore City Paper, April 2, 2008.

In late 2010, the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks came under intense pressure to stop publishing secret United States diplomatic cables. In response, Anonymous announced its support for WikiLeaks. Operation Payback changed its focus to support WikiLeaks and launched DDoS attacks against PayPal, MasterCard, Visa and the Swiss bank PostFinance, in retaliation for perceived anti-WikiLeaks behavior under the codename of Operation Avenge Assange. Due to the attacks, both MasterCard and Visa's websites were brought down on December 8th. A threat researcher at PandaLabs said Anonymous also launched an attack which brought down the Swedish prosecutor's website when WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in London and refused bail in relation to extradition to Sweden. (read more) (video clip)



The Dance of Miriam's Grandmothers

honey bun

..."I think we should let those gays get married...

they have every right to be as miserable as the rest of us"...



"bunk" n :insincere or foolish talk...nonsense.

"debunk" vb :to expose the sham or falseness.


the use of these words...

is a perfect example of the

level of finesse employed

in the art of propaganda...

loaded words are an attempt at deception.


In rhetoric, loaded language (also known as emotive language or high-inference language) is wording that attempts to influence the listener or reader by appealing to emotion.

Loaded words and phrases have strong emotional overtones or connotations, and evoke strongly positive or negative reactions beyond their literal meaning.

The appeal to emotion is often seen as being in contrast to an appeal to logic and reason.

Emotive arguments and loaded language are particularly persuasive because they prey on the human weakness for acting immediately based upon an emotional response, without such further considered judgment. They are thus suspect, and many people recommend their avoidance in argument and in speech when fairness and impartiality is one of the goals. Weston, for example, admonishes students and writers: "In general, avoid language whose only function is to sway the emotions".

One aspect of loaded language is that loaded words and phrases occur in pairs.

Loaded language is often used by news broadcasters as a propaganda technique.

Psychologist Robert Jay Lifton considers loaded language to be a brainwashing technique: "New words and language are created to explain the new and profound meanings that have been discovered. Existing words are also hijacked and given new and different meaning." (read more) (propaganda)


Sunday, December 12, 2010


For the last few months, my creative endeavours have been mostly concerned with visual arts instead of writing. I’ve been working with Photoshop and gif and, most recently, with Windows Movie Maker. I have also been teaching myself to knit Estonian lace, an accomplishment for those with two usable hands. 

My writing has kind of fallen into the bin of things I just don’t make the time for. A couple of dear friends have really been pestering me to write something, anything. Today, there is a heavy rain and I feel like a change, so I will write about an incident on our lovely little farm many, many years ago when life was simple and generally a lot of fun.

I’m not sure I can write this. It’s about the funniest thing that ever happened to me and even thinking about it I can’t stop laughing. It concerns a grumpy, cantankerous nanny goat – they are all grumpy and cantankerous, but this one seemed to have some special chip on her goat shoulders – and a strong, dignified, self-possessed Khalsa lion who was always in control of himself and never let anything discombobulate him.

A lovely Saturday summer’s day on the farm. Mani had decided that I needed a break from my usual routine and that he would milk the goats. I admit I wasn’t too sure that that was a good idea. Mani was a great doctor and very good at doing almost everything, but he was a city boy right down to his cellular structure and the farm was an alien environment to him. I was, of course, raised in the city, but parts of our summers in India had been spent on the family farm, always a welcome relief from the filth of the city. I sort of caught the farming bug then and felt at home on our little farm.

Back to milking the goats. Mani, of course, looked perfect. He had decided to play nihang, I guess, and was wearing a blue chola and a perfectly tied turban. I knew the goats wouldn’t be impressed, but, to be honest, I was. He always – almost always – impressed me. So he took the milking bucket and all 6’ 3” (191 cm) of himself out to the barn.
I sat down in the kitchen to work on my knitting and enjoy a cup of tea and some homemade bread and jam.

For a time all was peaceful. I could hear the happy little birds chirping and the sound of Sandeep and Rosa’s kids playing happily in the back ground when—

Mani came running full speed into the kitchen, screaming as I had never heard him scream before, in a complete panic – (Sorry, I have to stop for a laugh time) – “Shut the door! Shut the door!”

[Freeze frame] Before I continue with the action, I must describe my thoroughly discombobulated husband. His chola had somehow come completely open, his turban was loose and disheveled and goat milk – my wonderful goat milk – my dribbling from his drenched beard. What milk had managed to make it into the bucket was slopping and spilling all over the floor.

I couldn’t move. I couldn’t shut the door. All I could do was laugh helplessly. Normally I am a kind person who wouldn’t just laugh at someone in such panicked distress, but this was my imperturbable Mani, the always calm, always perfect Mani Singh with goat milk dribbling down his beard onto his naked hairy chest.

[Resume action] Immediately behind him ran one very determined nanny goat. Determined to catch him and do God-only-knows-what to him. Needless to say, I could not close the door. I was laughing too hard. I think ROFL had not yet been invented, but I was laughing so hard that I was bent over double, unable even to breathe, and actually fell out of the chair onto the floor. ROFL. So there I was, helplessly laughing on the floor – which by now was slippery with goat milk, my husband first glaring down at me and then at the goat and one nanny goat standing, smiling triumphantly at the whole scene.

Goats Don't Belong In the Kitchen!

“If you can stop laughing long enough, get that damned beast out of our kitchen!” Poor Mani just didn’t see the humour of the situation yet. (He would later, of course.) I struggled to my feet and slid over to the goat while Mani made his way to one of the chairs. He was almost there to safety when he slipped and that whole big body crashed to the floor. He grabbed at the table and managed just to catch the end of the tablecloth, pulling jam and bread and tea onto his prostrate body. I am sure that someday, in some remote corner of hell, I will pay for this, but I couldn’t resist saying, “Lo, how the mighty are fallen,” as I picked myself up. The goat meanwhile had started nibbling at a flower pot on the counter and had pooped on the floor. I managed to get her out of the kitchen and back to the barn. She liked me well enough and I suppose that she was content to return home, having had her triumph. 

Still barely in control of myself, I quickly ran back to our house, to the kitchen, hoping to get to a camera before Mani regained his senses. I was too late. He had already run off to the shower. Not before disposing of the goat poop, though.

I started to clean up the mess, leaving him to nurse his wounded pride. After a time, he returned, looking again like Mani, calm, self-possessed and all that, although he was very, very red from blushing embarrassment. Rather sheepishly, he insisted on finishing cleaning up the kitchen, which was very sweet of him. I made another pot of tea and ate my jam and bread and knitted and burst out laughing every time I even glanced at him.

Two things I learned from this:

  1. Bana is not appropriate attire for milking goats.
  2. Goats do not belong in my kitchen.

Mani never offered to milk the goats again. 


Picture credits can be found at:    Goats Don't Belong In the Kitchen

it has begun

(on the moon)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

China's Peace Prize

OSLO — Imprisoned and incommunicado in China, the Chinese writer and dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, his absence marked at the prize ceremony here by an empty chair.

For the first time since the 1935 prize, when the laureate, Carl von Ossietzky, languished in a concentration camp and Hitler forbade any sympathizers to attend the ceremony, no relative or representative of the winner was present to accept the award or the $1.5 million check it comes with. Nor was Mr. Liu able to provide a speech, even in absentia.

Guests at the ceremony in Oslo’s City Hall listened instead to a recitation of his defiant yet gentle statement to a Chinese court before his incarceration last year. “I have no enemies and no hatred,” Mr. Liu said in “I Have No Enemies: My Final Statement to the Court,” read aloud by the Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann. “Hatred can rot away at a person’s intelligence and conscience.”

Through his wife, Liu Xia, Mr. Liu sent word that he wanted to dedicate the award to the “lost souls” massacred in 1989 in Tiananmen Square.

Mr. Liu, 54, a professor, poet, essayist and campaigner for human rights, has been an irritant to the Chinese authorities since helping resolve confrontations between the police and students in Tiananmen Square. Mr. Liu was detained in December 2008, after co-writing the Charter 08 call for human rights and reform, and is currently serving an 11-year sentence for the crime of “incitement to the overthrow of the state power and socialist system and the people’s democratic dictatorship.”

He was named this year’s laureate because of his heroic and nonviolent struggles on behalf of democracy and human rights, said Thorbjorn Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, adding that China needed to learn that with economic power came social and political responsibility.

“We can to a certain degree say that China with its 1.3 billion people is carrying mankind’s fate on its shoulders,” Mr. Jagland said in a speech at the ceremony. “If the country proves capable of developing a social market economy with full civil rights, this will have a huge favorable impact on the world.”

He added, “Many will ask whether China’s weakness — for all the strength the country is currently showing — is not manifested in the need to imprison a man for 11 years merely for expressing his opinions on how his country should be governed.”

Mr. Jagland, a former prime minister, became chairman of the Nobel committee last year and seems unafraid to use the position to make strong political statements. Last year’s selection of President Obama as the peace laureate was interpreted by many as a thinly veiled rebuke to the politics of former President George W. Bush, and this year’s award has had broad political implications.

In an interview on Friday, Mr. Jagland said that on several occasions this fall, he and the Norwegian foreign minister were specifically warned by top Chinese officials not to give the award to Mr. Liu. But even though the committee disregarded their threats, Mr. Jagland said, its choice should not be interpreted as an insult to China.

Rather, Mr. Jagland said, its reasoning should be seen as similar to that of 1964, when the prize went to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was defying the authorities to fight for civil rights in America. The prize helped nudge the United States to change, Mr. Jagland said, and he hoped that it would have the same effect on China. (read more)







yo ho!

Friday, December 10, 2010

One planet - one people

The theme for Human Rights Day 10 December 2010 is human rights defenders who act to end discrimination.

Human rights defenders acting against discrimination, often at great personal risk to both themselves and their families, are being recognized and acclaimed on this day.

Human rights defenders speak out against abuse and violations including discrimination, exclusion, oppression and violence. They advocate justice and seek to protect the victims of human rights violations. They demand accountability for perpetrators and transparency in government action. In so doing, they are often putting at risk their own safety, and that of their families.

Some human rights defenders are famous, but most are not. They are active in every part of the world, working alone and in groups, in local communities, in national politics and internationally.

Human Rights Day 2010 will highlight and promote the achievements of human rights defenders and it will again emphasize the primary responsibility Governments have to enable and protect their role. The Day is also intended to inspire a new generation of defenders to speak up and take action to end discrimination in all of its forms whenever and wherever it is manifested.

The story does not end after 10 December 2010. The focus on the work of human rights defenders will continue through all of 2011. (read more)

Time Traveller ?

this has to stop

December brings the biggest showdown with Illinois' and possibly the nation's most gluttonous corporate freeloader: the corn ethanol industry.

Symbolically, the upcoming battle of budget hawks against ethanol's special pleaders is as significant as the fight over continuing the Bush tax cuts.

At issue is whether Congress will allow corpulent ethanol subsidies and a tariff against some imported ethanol to expire on Dec. 31. The ethanol industry has been tromping around Washington like starving bears, hoping to get the deal done during this lame-duck session of Congress, before budget-cutting hunters arrive in the next Congress.

Ethanol's supporters assert that it is an environmentally friendly, renewable and cost-effective gasoline additive. Its opponents dispute it on every point, arguing, among other things, that ethanol costs more than gasoline to make, raises food prices, increases tailpipe pollution and encourages cultivation of fragile lands. But dare to question ethanol, which consumes 41 percent of the corn crop, and snowstorms of studies are produced, from both sides. Clearly, the science supporting ethanol is "unsettled." Which makes spending billions of taxpayers' and consumers' dollars on ethanol at best a costly crapshoot.

Despite that, the Environmental Protection Agency recently decided that we aren't consuming enough of it. Instead of mandating that 10 percent of gasoline sold at the pump be ethanol, as has been required for years, the EPA issued its so-called E15 rule, which raised to 15 percent the allowable blend of ethanol for cars and certain trucks built since 2007. In that, the EPA ignored studies pointing to the harmful effects that 50 percent increase will have on cars, including the agency's own conclusion that it would damage the catalytic converters of tens of millions of cars now on the road.

Wait, that's only the start. The ethanol industry also receives a tax credit amounting to 45 cents a gallon and is aided by a tariff on sugar-cane ethanol valued at 54 cents. In addition, the 2007 energy act mandates the use of renewable fuels, including ethanol: 10.5 billion gallons in 2009, 14 billion in 2011 and 36 billion by 2022.

This is extraordinary. And insane. Here, the government creates a fake market for ethanol, then subsidizes the market, and then protects the market against foreign competition.

This has to stop. But don't count on it.

Agribusiness is an American biggie, especially in Illinois, loaded as we are with ethanol giant Archer Daniels Midland Co., commodities markets, corn farmers and countless refiners, processors, haulers and investors. Their people sit on important corporate boards and their campaign contributions flow into Congress and state legislatures. Even cost-cutters will pretend not to notice the need to carve away at this turkey, one of the most heavily subsidized businesses in America. And, I haven't even mentioned the tens of billions of federal dollars that go for crop subsidies and other boons for wheat, cotton, sugar, peanuts, dairy, wool and other types of farmers.

Critics of these subsidies get it from the right and the left. But opposing the subsidies is a growing coalition from the right and left. Among them are the Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Working Group, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, International Dairy Foods Association and Grocery Manufacturers Association. As their Web site ( illustrates, they are united in their opposition to the EPA's E15 rule for a variety of environmental and economic reasons, including, no doubt, their own self-interest. The coalition earlier this month filed a federal lawsuit charging that the EPA exceeded its statutory powers by issuing the rule. (

Royal Ruckus

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, react as their car is attacked by protesters in London. Photograph: Matt Dunham/AP

A Rolls-Royce limousine carrying Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was attacked and 12 police officers were injured in London late Thursday amid violent student protests.

A rear window was smashed and the vehicle was splattered with paint as up to 20 demonstrators lunged at the vehicle, carrying the couple to a theater in the West End.

Clarence House said the couple were "unharmed" and they arrived on time at the London Palladium for the Royal Variety Performance, although the Duchess of Cornwall appeared shaken by the ordeal.

Reports said the vehicle was attacked with fists, kicks and bottles, with protesters chanting "Off with their heads!" and "Tory scum."

Clashes escalated among thousands of students gathered in parts of the capital Thursday evening after MPs controversially voted to increase UK college fees from £3,290 ($5,200) to £9,000 ($14,000) per year -- a vote that saw splits within the ruling Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. (read more)

Shameful day in England

Message: A group of students make their feelings known at the statue of Churchill

Ninth of December, Two Thousand and Ten ~ a day to remember, a day when the ConDem government stole the future from children in England, lets not pretend that it was ever so good. The government consists of millionaires educated themselves at Oxford or Cambridge, finding their chums on the playing fields of Eton. A shameful day, 28 liberal democrat hypocrites broke their election promises and voted for university fees to treble overnight.

There clearly is no democracy in this country, no choice between any political party and the wishes of the people do not count with greedy, lying politicians and their millionaire, or is it billionaire banker friends, these bankers and other millionaires in this country do not even pay their taxes, have profited from insider dealing, profiteering, as bank overdraft fees soar to 19% and are tainted by their love of money, which they have foolishly mistaken for power.

The poor must pay for the rich man’s vampiric greed, for the inadequate man’s futile attempt to feel better about his own inadequacies. Oh yes the poor must pay. The poor who will keep breeding! That’s how they speak of us, they make sure our wages are kept low, that jobs are hard to come by and then they steal from us through taxation to feed their parasitical and useless government machine. Oh lets not forget they indulge in illegal and immoral wars to murder our children and the people of other countries, making sure to contaminate with depleted uranium to prolong the torture and death,

Children, young men and women protested outside parliament, the only way they could make their voices heard, literally through the walls, they called all day, in the cold, in the dark, they were heard in the chambers of the hypocrites, no doubt as they chanted, youthful voices, wanting a future. Did the politicians listen as they indulged in strange handshakes, called in favours from the days when they were children themselves? Did the so-called elected people turn an ear to the calls from outside? No they thought of their own pockets, their own comfortable lives and condemned a generation to less.

Never tell me we live in a democracy, never tell me we have a voice, never tell me that politics don’t affect you, and never, never believe another lie…………………

The advantages of ADD

The kind of focused attention ordinarily required in a classroom is not all that helpful overcoming obstacles outside the classroom. A wider focus of attention, which is usually associated with ADD, is actually more adaptive according to neuroscientists John Kounios and Mark Beeman [link]. And from what I’ve seen, I believe it ..! They found that when students are more receptive and open to distraction, they do better navigating a computer-simulated labyrinth than when they are focused and blocking out distractions (as seen on an fMRI). Students actually see and hear more .. finding their way faster by heuristic than by analytic reasoning. In other words, discovering relationships between vague and loosely connected information was more advantageous than step-by-step analysis.

I found the same thing to be true once while I was applying for a home loan. After obtaining the 1st mortgage ..I was looking for a bank to help me with the down-payment. After three banks turned me down because they considered this ‘risky’ and ‘somewhat irresponsible’ ..I sat on the beach, got over the feeling that I was ‘risky’ (and somewhat irresponsible) ..and pulled together the real reasons why. They had nothing to do with my ability to meet my obligations. It was not a personal failing on my part but a circumstance of the recession (i.e. time required to find a buyer for my prior home). When I put this and other reasons down in a letter-of-explanation ..the next bank understood intuitively and, with just a couple of questions ..they approved my application.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

i see you


























a better way

"What is wrong with us? Why do we seem to care so little about our own safety, our own health, and the future of our children?" asks Maria Rodale, farmer, author and CEO of Rodale Inc. "Why are we willing to pay thousands of dollars for vitro fertility treatments when we can't conceive, but not a few extra dollars for the organic food that might help to preserve the reproductive health of our own and future generations?"

In her powerful and informative new book, Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe, Maria Rodale has done all of the thinking and the research about organic farming for us. Yay, we don't have to think! Following in the path of her grandfather, JI Rodale, who launched Organic Gardening and Farming magazine in 1942 and her father Robert Rodale, who devoted his life to educating others on health and environmental issues, Maria Rodale explains why and how we must immediately begin to undo the damage we have done to the environment and to ourselves.

The 'Farming System Trial' that her father, Robert Rodale began in 1990, is now the longest running scientific study comparing 'synthetic-chemical' versus 'organic' agriculture. After 20 years of experiments, the trial clearly shows that organic farming is not only more productive than chemical farming, especially during times of flood or drought, but that soil farmed organically is a necessary step toward solving our climate crisis. 'Mycorrhizal fungi' which grow at the roots of plants, stores carbon. These miraculous fungi build our soil and its health while also sequestering excess carbon and pulling it underground.
(

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Blue Lady, The Red Lady and the Black Lady

space / time


Frank Frazetta

open your eyes

Electronic Frontier Foundation

From the Internet to the iPod, technologies are transforming our society and empowering us as speakers, citizens, creators, and consumers. When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990 — well before the Internet was on most people's radar — and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today. From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights.

Blending the expertise of lawyers, policy analysts, activists, and technologists, EFF achieves significant victories on behalf of consumers and the general public. EFF fights for freedom primarily in the courts, bringing and defending lawsuits even when that means taking on the US government or large corporations. By mobilizing more than 61,000 concerned citizens through our Action Center, EFF beats back bad legislation. In addition to advising policymakers, EFF educates the press and public.

EFF is a donor-funded nonprofit and depends on your support to continue successfully defending your digital rights. Litigation is particularly expensive; because two-thirds of our budget comes from individual donors, every contribution is critical to helping EFF fight — and win — more cases. (read more)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wild Wild Angels

Don't talk to me of shattered dreams,
Of course you don't know what it means,
To live for someone else, you can't just take,
And when you're bitten by the truth,
You blame it on your mis-spent youth,
You never seem to learn by your mistakes.

So don't talk to me of wild wild angels,
Wild wild angels on the skyways,
Those wild wild angels on the highways of your life,
'Cos it's people like you who never knew,
What wild wild angels have to face.

And I ain't hangin' round to see,
You turn on someone else like me,
I'm still alive and you know the way I live,
But baby that's one way you'll never be,
Such simple things you fail to see,
You take back everything you ever give.

So don't talk to me of wild wild angels,
Wild wild angels on the skyways,
Those wild wild angels on the highways of your life,
'Cos it's people like you who never knew,
What wild wild angels have to face.

So don't talk to me of wild wild angels,
Wild wild angels on the skyways,
Those wild wild angels on the highways of your life,
'Cos it's people like you who never knew,
What wild wild angels have to face.

So don't talk to me of wild wild angels,
Wild wild angels on the skyways,
Those wild wild angels on the highways of your life,
'Cos it's people like you who never knew,
What wild wild angels have to face.