Sunday, July 31, 2005

Everybody Knows

Everybody knows
that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls
with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows
that the war is over
Everybody knows
the good guys lost
Everybody knows
the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor,
the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

I just hate it when I see a story like this

By Agence France Presse (AFP)
July 29, 2005

"TEHRAN: Iran will end a suspension of sensitive uranium ore conversion activities regardless of what proposals the European Union makes in the coming days to change its mind, President Mohammad Khatami announced yesterday.

"I hope that their proposals will, as agreed, allow for the resumption of [conversion] activities at Isfahan," Khatami told reporters, referring to a key nuclear plant in central Iran.

"But whether they do or not, we're going to resume the activities at Isfahan," added the outgoing reformist president.

Khatami, who hands over office to ultra-conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in early August, announced the decision after a Cabinet meeting and said it had been made at an earlier gathering of top leaders of the regime.

The president gave no date for the resumption of conversion, the process that turns uranium ore into a gas as a precursor to enrichment.

But Khatami said the "deadline" for ending the suspension was the end of July or beginning of August when the EU3 of Britain, France and Germany are supposed to submit a detailed package of proposals on the future of Iran's nuclear program.

Iran suspended both conversion and enrichment last November as part of talks with the European Union on providing guarantees that its nuclear program is exclusively civil in return for a package of incentives.

The Europeans want Iraq to give up conversion and enrichment indefinitely but Iran is adamantly opposed, insisting on its right to produce its own fuel for its reactors under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty."

And then the same day, I see a story like this.

This is from Pat Buchanon's
The American Conservative
August 1, 2005 Issue
Copyright © 2005 The American Conservative

Deep Background

In Washington it is hardly a secret that the same people in and around the administration who brought you Iraq are preparing to do the same for Iran. The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney’s office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States.

The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites.

Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option.

As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing—that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack—but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections. "

Gosh, I don't want anyone here to damage his or her career.

Besides its hardly a secret.

Everybody knows,

But you,

And me.

And now we know.

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you’ve been faithful
Ah give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you’ve been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows

Leonard Cohen

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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Oil Addiction

This was sent to me by way of a reader and her daughter:

My government's got a war on drugs. But get this: The two most widely abused and addictive and destructive of all substances are both perfectly legal.

One, of course, is ethyl alcohol. And President George W. Bush, no less, and by his own admission, was smashed or tiddley-poo or four sheets to the wind a good deal of the time from when he was 16 until he was 41.

When he was 41, he says, Jesus appeared to him and made him knock off the sauce, stop gargling nose paint.

Other drunks have seen pink elephants.

And do you know why I think he is so pissed off at Arabs? They invented algebra. Arabs also invented the numbers we use, including a symbol for nothing, which nobody else had ever had before. You think Arabs are dumb? Try doing long division with Roman numerals.

We're spreading democracy, are we? Same way European explorers brought Christianity to the Indians, what we now call "Native Americans."

How ungrateful they were! How ungrateful are the people of Baghdad today.

So let's give another big tax cut to the super-rich. That'll teach bin Laden a lesson he won't soon forget. Hail to the Chief.

That chief and his cohorts have as little to do with Democracy as the Europeans had to do with Christianity. We the people have absolutely no say in whatever they choose to do next. In case you haven't noticed, they've already cleaned out the treasury, passing it out to pals in the war and national security rackets, leaving your generation and the next one with a perfectly enormous debt that you'll be asked to repay.

Nobody let out a peep when they did that to you, because they have disconnected every burglar alarm in the Constitution: The House, the Senate, the Supreme Court, the FBI, the free press(which, having been embedded, has forsaken the First Amendment) and We the People.

About my own history of foreign substance abuse. I've been a coward about heroin and cocaine and LSD and so on, afraid they might put me over the edge. I did smoke a joint of marijuana one time with Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, just to be sociable. It didn't seem to do anything to me, one way or the other, so I never did it again. And by the grace of God, or whatever, I am not an alcoholic, largely a matter of genes. I take a couple of drinks now and then, and will do it again tonight. But two is my limit. No problem.

I am of course notoriously hooked on cigarettes. I keep hoping the things will kill me. A fire at one end and a fool at the other.

But I'll tell you one thing: I once had a high that not even crack cocaine could match. That was when I got my first driver's license! Look out, world, here comes Kurt Vonnegut.

And my car back then, a Studebaker, as I recall, was powered, as are almost all means of transportation and other machinery today, and electric power plants and furnaces, by the most abused and addictive and destructive drugs of all: fossil fuels.

When you got here, even when I got here, the industrialized world was already hopelessly hooked on fossil fuels, and very soon now there won't be any more of those. Cold turkey.

Can I tell you the truth? I mean this isn't like TV news, is it?

Here's what I think the truth is:

We are all addicts of fossil fuels in a state of denial, about to face cold turkey.

And like so many addicts about to face cold turkey, our leaders are now
committing violent crimes to get what little is left of what we're hooked on.

By Kurt Vonnegut
May 10, 2004

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Friday, July 29, 2005

Fixer Upper

Since housing real estate

is about to melt

right through the pan

because it is so dang hot,

I asked my real estate professional

to help me find something.

I wanted something a little remote,

and perhaps with a view.

Here is what we decided on.

It needs a little work.

But the arches in the doors and windows

are absolutely fabulous.

If you look carefully,

You can see the nice work on the aquaduct.

Many of the stones probably weigh a 1/2 ton.

So they tend to stay where they are.

The roof is gone because the previous tenants didn't maintain it.

Had they just continued to plaster the roof,

the mud, brick, timber roof would had still been there.

The yard is xeriscaped already,

so I don't have to

worry about that expense.

And I'm going to get a 99 % loan

on the house and improvements.

And, I'm going to sell my house,

for a lot of money,

I'm going to be rich rich rich

And, I'm going to buy an old house.

And fix it up.

Yeah that's it.

A Fixer Upper.

That's the ticket.

"I can resist everything except temptation."

Oscar Wilde

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Cybernation 101

Just like the Nation is composed of many States,

some of them small, some of them large,

Cybernations are composed of many Cyberstates

An earthfamily could be a Cyberstate on its own.

Or, several earthfamilies might bond to create a Cyberstate.

And, just like the state is composed of citizens

Cyberstates are composed of cybercitizens.

Cybercitizens can by real and therefore be a cybersapien,

or they can be created.

Just like corporations can gain person status in the nationstate

Cyberbeings can gain person status in the cyberstate.

without being a cybersapien,

Cyberbeings may exist only in cyberspace.

Cyberbeings may or may not be cybercitizens of a cyberstate.

They might be cyberscallywags.

And they can also take on form if they choose.

Cyberbeings might buy real estate, equities, or patents,

or help you part with some of yours.

Just like it is impossible to be part of healthy functioning nation state,

if you cannot read and if you cannot vote intelligently,

It is impossible to be part of the cyberstate,

if you are not an educated somewhat sophisticated cyberbeing.

And yes, there are real issues here of equity and ease of entrance.

Cyberbeings have high speed links to I P.

Cyberbeings have IT capabilities.

Cyberbeings have cyberphones.

Cyberbeings have cyberbank accounts.

Cyberbeings link together with other cyberbeings.

They pay there bills in cyberspace.

The collect their monies and rents in cyberspace.

They know their little corner of cyberspace.

And they create a corner of their own.

It's like standing out on the street with your guitar.

It's like walking around town to see what's in the windows,

It's like going into a bar and talking to the people who hang out there.

Maybe to never come back again,

but maybe to come back again and again.

An earthfamily is a cyberbeing that is composed of


These cybersapiens choose to create a new social contract.

These cybersabiens have no common ground,

other than their promises and their good faith,

and the faithful creation of cybercommunity.

They share a vision, a world view together.

Just like the new world,

that was discovered just a few short centuries ago,

provided a great potential for the formation of

new nation states,

The discovery of the new cyber world

will provide a great potential for

new cyberstates,

and new cybernations.

The unreal world

is becoming more

and more


And the real world

is becoming more

and more


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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Energy Shill

Congress is about to pass an Energy Bill.

And the Solar Energy Industries Association is happy.

Washington, DC July 27, 2005

"The SolarEnergy Industries Association (SEIA) applauds Congress for producing the strongest national policy for solar power in two decades," said SEIA President Rhone Resch.

" For the first time since 1985, homeowners who install solar energy systems will receive a tax credit worth 30% of the system cost, capped at $2,000. Businesses that purchase solar equipment will also receive a credit worth 30% of the system cost.

These tax credits will bring solar power costs over the tipping point in many areas of the country.

"With the solar provisions in this Energy Bill, Congress is supporting individual Americans who make a real contribution towards U.S. energy independence. Installing solar energy on your roof is one of the most meaningful steps an individual can take to reduce our reliance on foreign sources of energy and help declare energy independence. Now solar comes with a more affordable price tag, and more consumers will take a step towards energy independence by choosing solar power. That means cleaner air, more jobs, and greater energy security for all."

The Energy Bill:

Increases the permanent 10 percent business energy credit for solar to 30% for two years. Eligible technologies include photovoltaics, solar water heaters, concentrating solar power, and solar hybrid lighting. The credit reverts back to the permanent 10 percent level after six years.

Establishes a 30 percent residential energy credit for solar for two years. For residential systems, the tax credit is capped at $2,000.

I looked for a similar statement from the Wind folks at AWEA, but I don't see a statement yet.

Congressman Henry Waxman says its a big giveaway.

"It's outrageous that this bill helps line the pockets of the oil and gas industry, which is already making record profits," said Tiernan Sittenfeld, legislative director of the League of Conservation Voters.

Much of the criticism of the legislation was tied to the billions of dollars that would flow to energy producers through tax breaks, relief from federal oil and gas royalties, grants for research into new ways to extract hard-to-reach deposits, loan guarantees and other financial aid.

Probably the worst part of it is the repeal of PUHCA , the Depression-era Public Utility Holding Company Act, which limits utility mergers. Some consumer watchdog groups fear it could lead to a wave of electric utility acquisitions and consolidation.

As predicted when the Senate passed their version,

The National Renewable Energy Portfolio section did not make it.

However, in Texas, the RPS there was strengthened during

the Special Session.

As my Mother used to say when I was a little disappointed,

like when I came in second place in the backstroke,

"It's better than a hacking cough".

She's right of course.

The perfect true solution should not become the enemy

of a good to mediocre start.

Even if it's a shill.


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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Slip Sliding Away

Whoah God only knows, God makes his plan
The information's unavailable to the mortal man
We're workin' our jobs, collect our pay
Believe we're gliding down the highway,
when in fact we're slip sliding away

Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination,
the more you slip sliding away

Paul Simon

I could not stop thinking of this song as I read this:

Melting Greenland glacier may hasten rise in sea level
The Independent
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Published: 25 July 2005

"Scientists monitoring a glacier in Greenland have found it is moving into the sea three times faster than a decade ago.

Satellite measurements of the Kangerdlugssuaq glacier show that, as well as moving more rapidly, the glacier's boundary is shrinking dramatically - probably because of melting brought about by climate change.

The Kangerdlugssuaq glacier on Greenland's east coast is one of several that drains the huge Greenland ice sheet. The glacier's movements are considered critical in understanding the rate at which the ice sheet is melting.

Kangerdlugssuaq is about 1,000 metres (3,280ft) thick, about 4.5 miles wide, extends for more than 20 miles into the ice sheet and drains about 4 per cent of the ice from the Greenland ice sheet.

Experts believe any change in the rate at which the glacier transports ice from the ice sheet into the ocean has important implications for increases in sea levels around the world.

If the entire Greenland ice sheet were to melt into the ocean it would raise sea levels by up to seven metres (23ft), inundating vast areas of low-lying land, including London and much of eastern England.

Computer models suggest that this would take at least 1,000 years but even a sea-level rise of a metre would have a catastrophic impact on coastal plains where more than two-thirds of the world's population live.

Measurements taken in 1988 and in 1996 show the glacier was moving at a rate of between 3.1 and 3.7 miles per year. The latest measurements taken this summer show it is now moving at 8.7 miles a year.

Gordon Hamilton, professor of earth sciences at Maine University, who made the measurements using global positioning system (GPS) satellites, said the velocity measurements were accurate to within about 45 metres of movement per year and that Kangerdlugssuaq is probably the fastest-moving glacier in the world.

"This is a dramatic discovery. There is concern that the acceleration of this and similar glaciers and the associated discharge of ice is not described in current ice-sheet models of the effects of climate change," Professor Hamilton said.

Professor Hamilton said: "As the warming trend migrates north, glaciers at higher latitudes in Greenland might also respond in the same way as Kangerdlugssuaq glacier.

"In turn, that could have serious implications for the rate of sea-level rise."

And so it is not just Antarctica,

not just the Arctic Ocean,

but Greenland as well,

where the signs of significant climate change continue.

And our political leadership not only turns a blind eye,

it becomes the source of an evil eye.

But are they truly blind, or truly evil?

Or do they have a plan?

Perhaps we need to understand that there is a plan.

And the plan to deal with Climate Change is not to arrest it.

The wheels are already in motion so to speak.

And the Plan must then turn into adaptation.

How do we save and strengthen our food supply?

How do we protect our southern cities from dangerous heat storms?

How do we provide our cities with water from dried rivers

and aquifers?

And, in the face of Peak Oil?

How do we prepare our communities for the loss of their

most precious asset?

A stable climate.

And how do you prepare?

Whoah God only knows, God makes his plan
The information's unavailable to the mortal man
We're workin' our jobs, collect our pay
Believe we're gliding down the highway,
when in fact we're slip sliding away

Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination,
the more you slip sliding away

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Monday, July 25, 2005


I downloaded an IP phone last night.

This one is called Skype.

Within about 10 minutes,

I was making international phone calls.

Today, I chatted effortlessly with another Skype member,

and I can tell when he is on line, or busy, or not taking calls.

I called a friend on her cell phone with two clicks.

Already my contacts are growing.

We added others to the connection and we had a conference call.

You can download a version of this program for your handheld computer.

That will give you an international cell phone

wherever there is a wireless signal.

These computer based phones over the internet are still a little funky,

but the user interface is very simple.

An earthfamily would use this system or a system much like this.

The global nature of its coverage provides the link for a global family.

No longer are we captive to capricious rates to call our cousins

who might live in Singapore,

or our lovers who are in isolated villages in Mexico.

Steroidial versions of these phones loaded on tiny tablet PC's

coupled with an earthfamilyhome page with member services

for banking, insurance, health, transportation, housing,

and communication

is the beginning of something that seemed very remote,

even just a few months ago.

These earth phones are remarkably easy to use.

And if you join Skype,

Look for Earthfamilyalpha.

Got to go,

my earthphone is ringing.

It is Houston.

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Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Eagle Lands

Houston, the Eagle has landed.

The last time I was in this ancient mountain town,

I was startled the first morning by a black bird that lives

in the giant evergreen tree in the park that is across the street.

He would fly to the ledge of the large half oval window

that affords a perfect view of the great cathedral from my kitchen,

and he would beat with his beak on the window.

It was as if he worked for UPS or something.

Then, he would sit on the two by four that keeps the mighty wind

that visits here at night from blowing down the fence of garoches,

and he would just sit there until I woke up and said hello to him.

I would go to the window and say, "Hey, what's up."

I would even walk out on the terrace and try to strike up a dialogue.

He just wasn't that articulate,

or perhaps it was me.

He did this every morning during my last visit.

I mean, I know what it means when an owl is there,

But I was at a loss to get the urgency of his mission.

And then, on this trip, he came and yelled and knocked and raised hell

on the first morning of my return to La Luna.

So, I got up early that day and started going through the stuff

that I had brought with me on this trip.

First, I tried to make the wireless router work at the hotel

where I know there is a good DSL link.

So happens that things didn't plug and play out of the box,

and we had to get the hotel's problems straightened up first.

If it hadn't been for my Pal who somehow pinged and ponged his way,

It would have been a standard "we don't know why" day.

But somehow, things started shaking hands and talking on their own.

By last night, we had lit up the router and the wireless,

and we hung the directional antenna that I bought from Fry's

on the top floor on a stove pipe with a coat hanger.

We carefully pointed it across the roof of the Super Mini,

across the top of the bathroom of the Chatta Esquina,

across the Park of the laughing children and the 1888 iron work,

and into the same kitchen window of La Luna

that the weird black bird had been rapping on.

Last night, the signal was strong enough to celebrate.

And so I bought a new Huichole String drawing

from the two Huicholes from Zacatecas.

It has snakes and lightning coming down from heaven.

This morning, I have settled into an 11MB stream and two bars.

It was all much more of a milagro than you might imagine.

My loud rapping chattering black bird friend did not come today.

I guess he figured out that I got the message.

Now his friend, the eagle, comes in as he pleases.

And the mystery marches

deep in the strong lands.

Even as the lunacy grows,

in those we need to be wise.

Here is Jon Stewart with more evidence.

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Saturday, July 23, 2005

Urban Shadow

Today, I actually posted a story wirelessly with a very weak signal.

I was going to parade my success on the glory of it all.

Just as I was getting ready to save the draft, it went into cyberpurgatory.

So, more on that later.

A bright promising post is approaching.

This is from

Tirades And Evidence Of Grace,
Plain View Press, 1992

I was traveling across a vibrant plain,
green, on a walk that ran alongside a
wide road where cars, buses and trolleys
exchanged in endless chains of motion.
Wires strung up high above the metropolis
connected micro to macro, small to large.

I saw oversized sky scrapers on the far
side of a ravine I recognized from childhood
and the shadows they cast out spread waves
of darkness and desolation
-sharp contrast to bright green healing growing plants.
And I was moving toward the shadow.

The instant I crossed into it
darkness became so vast I lost direction,
froze. It was completely unfinished
- black, empty and cold. It was the rough
shadow of the psyche, of humankind, of winter
solstice, the underside of history.

It was my shadow, a projection from my
soul, my wall, my problem, my chaotic heart,
my instant of terror and I felt it engulf
me in a total emptiness more
powerful than the white light
which I have also seen.

Often since then I have sat curled up,
arms wrapped around knees, and rocked,
aching for something ending, reeling
from shock, trembling in anger at people
I hardly know, crying, shrieking.
I can barely function.

I suppose it was a vision.
I suppose there is a message on the far side
of the darkness I need to understand
or decode. But I have felt defeated
and minuscule since I felt the power of
the shadow, and how cold it is.
I think it can kill me.

I think it is your shadow too.
I think it can kill you and your children
and my children and everything I understand.
I think it is my fault.
I think it is your fault.
I think it has mass and is a tangible
result of a logic that shuts down the heart.

©Susan Bright

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

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Friday, July 22, 2005


This is an excerpt from a book called

Lightland, Climate Change and the Human Potential

The Olympian response to the realization that we are indeed involved in an epic struggle to right the balance of the earth will call for a radical and meaningful departure from the world view of the Titans. It will involve the ethics and virtues found in the Olympian Pantheon.

The Olympian response will embrace the belief that this calamity in the making can forge a refining of the human spirit and the human condition. It will postulate that a world of courage and justice is ours for the making.

It will state that our emphasis should be on wisdom and beauty; that fine arts, music, and the pastoral arts should be developed to the utmost of the human potential. It will stress refinement of the law. It would make medicine an art instead of a business.

The Olympian response will seize the opportunity presented by our own ignorance and seek to transform that ignorance into a mechanism of human transfiguration.

It will seek to bring man from the age of fire to the age of light.

According to these Myths, the relationship of humankind to the immortal gods is one of mutual interaction. Prometheus is chained by Zeus but he is liberated by Hercules, the mortal hero. Through the plan of Zeus, it is the task of this hero to accomplish the twelve labors so that the ladder from Olympus can be stretched from that world to this world.

Beginning with the strangling of the Nemean Lion, Humankind must change its attitude towards the King and his authority. We must become responsible for our actions and not look for the scapegoat. We are running the earth the way we do now because we choose to do so.

If there is injustice in Bosnia or starvation in Africa, it exists because we choose to allow it to exist. To believe that the individual human is powerless is to cede power to the King. We have so many tools available. We can pray or we can meditate. We can write our leaders. We can march on their malls, and we can cool our heels in their prisons. We can say we are not going to allow it to happen. We can stop paying their taxes and we can stop working in their millworks.

To slay the Lion of Nemea is a dangerous thing. It requires that each of us become self governed. It requires that we stop passing the guilt of our collective sins to that beast of the wild. We would take responsibility for those things that we believe are beyond our control and instead place them within our control.

The "would be" Hero must first slay the Lion. With that feat, two most valuable tools come into the hero's possession . The coat of the lion becomes a garment so that all can see that the lion resides with you. Its bones becomes a tool that will amplify strength.

The next feat, like the first, is both a group feat and an individual feat. Slaying the nine headed Hydra of Lerna requires that the root of all evil, "money", be slayed in your life and in the life of our culture.

The gross National Product is not a measure of what is important about America or any other nation in the world of nations. Neither is your personal income a measure of your worth in the community. Our present system of money is an extension of privilege. It rewards those who hold its key and imprisons those who do not. It is the second task of the Hero to place it under a rock.

As Robert Kennedy said in 1967, "The Gross National Product measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor devotion to country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile: and it can tell us everything about America- except whether we are proud to be Americans."

Once the Hero has conquered these two fearsome foes, he must tame two more of equal stature. In bringing back the Stag with the Golden Horn, it is the task of the Hero to tame the sex drive and refine it into gold. This energy must be brought from the base to sublime where it can work miracles and wonders. Whether it is Kundalini or Libido, it is powerful and worthy of the hunt.

Likewise, the beast of desire must be tamed. The Boar of Erymanthus is the desire for more. Because of our innate sense that there may not be enough we are driven to compulsions which lead to greed and avarice. The Hero must learn moderation.

The fifth labor of the hero is cleanliness. The Aegean Stables represent our need to keep our house, our waters, our air , and our planet clean. If we do not, we fall victim to our own selves.

Next, the Hero must shoot down the birds that have become a plague. Whether they are satellites, nuclear missiles, or spirits that would carry us way at night, we must not let those who have dominion of the air have dominion of those of the earth.

With that dominion, the Hero can apply the mass and strength of the earth and its riches and thus bring the Bull of Minos to the king.

We must then slay king Diomedes, and disperse the man eating mares of Thrace. The Hero doesn't have to kill the Mares, he must stop them from destroying his cities, his homes, and the loved ones who ride in them.

The Hero must capture the Gift of Women, intuition, emotion, and creativity, even though the gods seem intent on frustrating that feat.

And once the Hero knows all sides of this nature, the cattle of Geryon, once they have been brought back from the west, will nurture our newly found whole selves, and time itself will lose its wings.

Then, in the search for the Golden Apples of the Hesperides, the Hero frees our benefactor and our trickster. Prometheus, the Titan, the giver of Fire, the bringer of woes, is freed from his rock. He is liberated not by gods or Titans, but by the mortal Hero who is strong in stature and beautiful in spirit. Prometheus, the Titan, who would trick Zeus, the God of men and gods, is released where he too can join the gods on Olympus.

The Hero will have returned the gift of Fire with the gift of Freedom.

The score will be evened.

God and man will again be in balance.

When these feats have been accomplished, the Hero will be able to go down into Hades, and take the three headed Cerberus away from his guard at the gates that allow no return. The Chair of Forgetfulness will no longer have power. The Hero will enter and leave at will.

The power of Darkness will succumb to the power of Light.

Like Hercules, the Hero will chose to leave this earth without fear.

The Hero walks to the Pyre as one who at a banquet table lies down upon his couch.

The bow and the arrow of the Hero will pass.

In new hands they will see new fame and new feats.

In line 955 of Hesiod's Theogony, the poem ends:

"The strong man Heracles, mighty son of shapely Alcmene,

after completing his painful labors,

was joined in solemn marriage with Hebe,

the daughter of great Zeus and Hera who walks on golden sandals,

on the snowy mount of Olympus-lucky man!

He accomplished his great work and now lives forever with the immortals,

where neither sorrow nor old age can touch him."

These words were written almost 12 years ago.

But the time they were written for is now.

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Man in Black

I went to the bike store today to look at that black bike I've been eyeing.

The guy in the shop asked me, "Do you like always wear black?'

I told him I had been wearing black pretty much ever since 9/12.

Now, for the sake of accuracy, sometimes I wear blue, and sometimes

I wear a red T Shirt underneath my black button shirt.

But these days, I'm hard pressed not to want to wear black.

I saw a shirt in the book store that pretty much said it for me.

I'm wearing black until they come out with a darker color.

I couldn't buy it though, because there weren't any large or mediums.

I guess you can't put that kind of thing on a child.

At work, I make jokes that if I'm ever made manager,

everyone will have to wear black.

We'll look like an army of waiters at a fufu sushi shop.

That pretty much keeps me in the mezosphere of the org chart.

Lots of people wear black these days.

The art crowd always has.

It's always been good in New York.

Steve Jobs wears black a lot, but he doesn't make everyone else wear it,

and his products are white and platinum.

And the i pod is making a serious good difference to the Apple bottom line.

So, I was talking to this bike mechanic and I could see he wanted more.

So I gave it to him.

"You want to know why I really wear black?"


"Because we (humankind) are headed for a no shit, annie get my gun,

remember when things were normal, kick you in your groin, horrible war.

And it won't be one of those shock and awe video wars

Where you sit and watch it as if its just another Fourth of July show

on Fox and CNN . "

He just looked at me with that look people give you when they realize

that they wish you had never walked into their formerly happy life.

I tried to make him feel better by saying

that we could avoid this conflict if millions of us got it together

and really raised a huge ruckus about it.

I could see he thought that was a remote possibility at best.

No doubt, he knows his generation better than I do.

I walked out thinking,

Now that wasn't necessary.

You just scared the alignment out of this nice college kid,

who is probably going to go get really loose tonight,

bend a fender, and fight with his girl friend over pizza topping.

Then I thought, well at least I didn't go into overdrive and say

There will be dead people, and sick people,

and rationing, and it's going to look a lot like those fascist war movies,

Except the American Hummer will star as the new German staff car.

And, unfortunately, with those "you know what" helmets,

our guys will look like the old bad guys,

Except for those night scope gizmos perched on their noggins.

If humankind continues down this path of burning carbon fuels,

People that we know and love are going to suffer.

If you don't know by now,

I believe our only chance to avoid this conflict is to move

at light speed,

to the light.

I mean this spiritually, mentally, technologically, and culturally.

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,
Why you never see bright colors on my back,
And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.
Well, there's a reason for the things that I have on.

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
But is there because he's a victim of the times.

I wear the black for those who never read,
Or listened to the words that Jesus said,
About the road to happiness through love and charity,
Why, you'd think He's talking straight to you and me.

Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose,
In our streak of lightnin' cars and fancy clothes,
But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back,
Up front there ought 'a be a Man In Black.

I wear it for the sick and lonely old,
For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,
I wear the black in mournin' for the lives that could have been,
Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,
Believen' that the Lord was on their side,
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
Believen' that we all were on their side.

Well, there's things that never will be right I know,
And things need changin' everywhere you go,
But 'til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
You'll never see me wear a suit of white.

Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything's OK,
But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back, '
Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black.

Johnny Cash passed on September 12th.

I wonder if he's wearing a rainbow suit now?

My bet is on black.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Climate Criminals

Here is a comment in Real Climate, a pretty good climate change site with pretty tame scientific language generally being the rule.

This is unbelievable, what I have been reading on this page.

It is a matter of harassment of scientists from members of the Congress.

This is similar to what KGB/STASI did to dissidents in the glory days of the Soviet Union.

Scientists should spent their time on science and not on defending themselves against attacks from politicians associated to the oil industry.

I have in general a great respect and admiration for the Congress and their members, but the actions taken by one member of the Congress are not in line with my expectations and must be condemned.

It is a matter of freedom of science.

What is this hubbub about?

Joe Barton, Chairman of the The Committee on Energy and Commerce

just decided last week that he's interested in Climate Change Science.

Not because he wants to know about it.

But because he thinks that the scientists involved are a bunch goof balls

who are trying to put a big one on the world by making up a bunch

of stuff so that the oil and coal industries might suffer.

This site has seemingly violated its own covenant not to be political

with this posting:

18 Jul 2005
Scientists respond to Barton

Many readers will be aware that three scientists (two of which are contributors to this site, Michael Mann and Ray Bradley) have received letters from Representative Joe Barton (Texas), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee specifically requesting information about their work on the 'hockey stick' papers (Mann et al (1998) and Mann et al (1999)) as well as an enormous amount of irrelevant material not connected to these studies.

Many in the scientific community would welcome any genuine interest in climate change from the committee, but the tone and content of these letters have alarmed many scientists and their professional organizations. In the words of Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Barton letters "give the impression of a search for some basis on which to discredit these particular scientists and findings,

rather than a search for understanding."

All kinds of academic and scientific folks are up in arms.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the National Academy of Sciences are both concerned with Barton's actions. Even the House Committee on Science has jumped in and so has Congressman Waxman.

All of the responses emphasize two main points:

There is no case for casting doubt on the scientific value and integrity of the studies by Mann et al. - they have been replicated by other scientists, the data and the computer code are available in the public domain and many other studies with different data and methods have confirmed the prime conclusion:

that it is likely that the late 20th Century is the warmest period of at least the past one thousand years.

The above studies are just one small piece of evidence in a very solid scientific case that humans are now altering the climate - and with or without this piece of evidence, this case is firm (see our post "What if the Hockey Stick were wrong?" or the commentary on Prometheus.

The real question we are faced with is not whether humans are changing climate. The science on this is clear, and decades of research have culminated in a scientific consensus on this point.

The real question now is what we need to do about it.

A Congressional committee concerned with energy could be - and indeed should be - a key player in exploring policy options to deal with the global warming threat. We hope that after studying the responses by the scientists, they will make a start."

These letters from Barton are symptomatic of this administration's

and this generation of Republicans disdain for the facts.

They would rather trumpet their own fantasies and paranoias,

Than govern as respectable and honorable men of trust.

They play and gamble with our future

with a neglect for our well being that

will surely make them defendants in some future

World Tribunal just as significant as Nuremberg.

And it will find them just as guilty.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Surrounding Light

I came across another announcement today of a major breakthrough in photon to electron devices. This one is from Denmark.

Danish Scientists Developing Solar Cell
Associated Press Writer
July 16, 2005

"COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Danish scientists say they have built a new type of plastic solar cell that lasts significantly longer than previous versions and could pave the wave(sic) for cheaper solar power. Plastic cells cost only a fraction of the more common silicon cells used in solar-powered products, such as calculators. But plastic cells typically are fragile and only last for a few days.

"Our new cell has a life span of 2 1/2 years, which must be a world record for plastic cells," said Frederik Krebs, senior scientist with the state-owned Risoe national laboratory, which presented its research Friday.

Some experts not affiliated with the project said the plastic cells wound(sic) need to become more efficient before they could be used for consumer products.

The Danish scientists said they were using a more stable form of plastic as the active substance in the cell, which converts energy from the sun's rays into electricity.

The market price for a silicon cell is up to 5,000 kroner (US$800, euro675) per square meter, while a plastic cell of the same size costs less than 100 kroner (US$15, euro13), they said."

Then, there is the kicker from the reporter.

Silicon cells are widely used in items such as calculators and watches, and some houses get all their energy supply from silicon solar cells. There are also solar-powered cars, but they are extremely expensive and therefore not mass-produced.

So, there you have it.

You can have Solar Cells for calculators and watches, maybe some houses, but cars are extremely expensive.

Absof*%kinglutely amazing.

It's as if the reporter passed the story off to the the carbon editor to make sure that it was shaped right.

"Hey Chief, does this work?"

"Let's see.

Oh yeah, nice, nice, very nice,Chris.

I like the use of and placement of extremely,

Vague but powerful."

Imagine this slant instead.

While solar cells at $800.00 a meter may be marginally uneconomical when competing with electricity at today's fossil based prices, Solar cells at $15.00 would blow the competition out of the water, and would thus usher in a non-polluting, and non-depleting age of solar energy.

Now, not everyone can turn meters into KW, so let me help Chris out.

At 10 square feet/meter and 800 dollars a meter,

that's about 8 dollars a watt, which is actually a little high.

Six dollars a watt is closer to the right price in a competitive market.

But with this new material at 15.00 a meter and at 1/4 the efficiency,

The new price is 60 cents a watt.

Each watt of solar will produce about 1.7 Kwhs each year.

At 10 cents/Kwh, you need 4 years to pay it back.

That works.

Especially if electricity is 20 cents a Kwh in 10 years.

There are many renewable technologies that can reach this

50 cent/ watt threshold now.

There are other strategies that make energy from light affordable now.

On the horizon are power paints , made with nano based bucky balls.

And we can make heliohydrogen to fuel our power plants and factories.

We can move away from our archaic fires and the gift of Prometheus.

But first, we as humans must evolve in our minds.

Energy is everywhere.

It is in the blackness of space.

And in the vast spaces in the atom.

It is in the light that surrounds us.

We don't need some cute female geologist on Sunday Morning TV

to tell us that she is working so hard to find us more energy.

It is in the light that surrounds us.

We don't need to send our young with guns to protect

the energy of the previous millennium,

For the energy we need, for the world we must cherish,

It is in the light that surrounds us.

We don't need to ruin our climate, scraping and wounding the earth,

for the energy of the previous previous millennium

It is in the light that surrounds us.

We don't need to poison the earth for longer than we have history,

just to get energy from elements

that vibrate with the deaths of last century's war energy,

It is in the light that surrounds us.

Just because you can't see it.

It doesn't mean it's not there.

It is in the light that surrounds us.

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Monday, July 18, 2005

Earthfamilyalpha Links

Last night, while at a going-away party for an aging rock and roller,

I found my way to the back room where I spied the host

and his new wide screen notebook computer.

Of course, I couldn't stop myself.

I was compelled to see how my site looked on that big screen.

I asked the host if he read any blogs.

"No", he said.

Now, this guy is cool.

He was wearing a yellow dog Democrat t shirt,

and his house is full of all kinds of guitars, and amplifiers,

and keyboards, and drums, and PA's, and notebooks with sheet music

draping out of every little nook and cranny.

So immediately, I fire up his browser, and I am on line,

typing in addresses, and saving earthfamilyalpha,

then Eschaton,

then Kos,

then TPM,

then Buzzflash,

then Truth Out.

I didn't have time to get Information Clearing House.

I certainly did not have time to show him my personal favorites

like Jim Kunstler's Clusterfuck Nation

or lesser knowns, but friendly up and comers like Flying Talking Donkey

or Code Three.

And I showed him how many of these each have a list of links.

Now, when you ask someone, "do you read blogs", and they don't,

the first thing you get is, "Oh I would, but I don't have time".

And they are generally somewhere between a little apologetic,

and a little miffed or passively hostile that you asked.

It's kind of like asking someone if they still have sex.

I guess it's really none of my business.

But really now, if you watch one minute of TV,

you have time.

Watching any of the news and commentary these days

is the neural equivalent of sending your brain to the vet

to be put to sleep.

Like I told someone,

Why do you think they call it programming?

And what about the advertising for Christ's sake?

I mean, how much beer can you drink as you drive your shiny sportbutt

to the reality tv show football tryout, bratty blonde, all you can be,

bore down dumb up war whoop?

I was visiting with someone else at the party,

and commented that I don't know how anyone

can get any real news or information anymore without going out

and getting it for themselves from wherever they can.

I opined,

that we should use the resources we have while we still have them.

And don't think that we necessarily always will.

Bill Gates is helping China block its citizens from sites right now.

This blog is blocked in some places because it has a DDR rating

of over 200.

Don't ask me what a DDR rating is because I don't know.

I do know that the only smut on this site comes from the

crap that Scottie puts out.

We should use all the resources that are available now and

we should begin to build our own cybercommunity of contacts,

favorite places,

and blogs.

This linking, this cybercommunity is the true beginning

of a World Community.

So here is the new Earthfamilyalpha Links page.

It will grow a lot.

As will we.

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Craig's List / Eschaton /Daily Kos / My DD / Talking Points Memo / Firedoglake /Crooked Timber / The Agonist / Strike the Root / America Blog / Earthfamilyalpha / Talk Left / Think Progress /The Burnt Orange Report / The Well /Culture Change

News Sources

/McClatchy/ World Changing / Information Clearing House / Truth Out / Buzzflash / Al Jazeera / Guerrilla News / Media Matters / Reuters / From the Wilderness / Sheva /Political Wire / The Raw Story / Cursor /International Herald Tribune / The Energy Blog /


The Rag Blog /Think Progress / Lovingtoon /Clusterfuck Nation /Juan Cole / Bagdad Burning / The Onion /Mathew Yglesias /Rigorous Intuition / The Crisis Papers/ Democracy for California


The Moscow Times /Xinhua / Chinese News Agency / The Hindu /Future Pundit / The Oil Drum / Iraq Coalition Casualties / Climate Ark / Anti War / Real Climate /The Energy Bulletin / Peak Oil News / Weather Underground / Maps /


You Tube / One Good Move / Crooks and Liars /C Span / Link TV / Pacifica /Radical Radio / American Rhetoric / Hearing Voices / Evolve TV / The History Channel



Sunday, July 17, 2005


Watch this first, then watch

Jon Stewart as he interviews Bernard Goldberg

with his new book about who is screwing things up.

And here is a good review of this week's screw ups

at the White House.

And of course, did Rove screw up or not?

Or does he just have a screw loose?

And just in case you need a little primer on

how nations screw up,

Watch this 1946 piece from Britannica Films

on Democracy and Despotism.

It measures how a society ranks on a spectrum

stretching from democracy to despotism.

It explains how societies and nations can be measured

by the degree that power is concentrated

and respect for the individual is restricted.

Where does your community, state, and nation stand on these scales?

You probably saw this when you were in the second grade.

But you probably didn't watch it,

cause you were too busy screwing up.

And here is a two year old BBC Report of how the screw ups

want to screw everything else up.

Screw it.

Turn it.

Torque it.

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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Original Knowledge

The other night I told my friend that I believe in

Original Knowledge,

That each of us know or can know all we need to know,

If we just access that part of us that connects to the Oneness.

I should have known that it wasn't original.

I got this letter two days ago.

"I stopped by borders to get the Joseph Chilton Pearce book, The Biology of Transcendence - a Blueprint of the Human Spirit.

In the introduction he refers to Robert Wolff's book Original Wisdom.

I thought that you might enjoy it if you aren't already familiar with it:

Robert Wolff's book Original Wisdom is a memorable account of his younger years spent among the Malay people in the early and middle part of the twentieth century, a people who are now essentially extinct culturally (though not physically), and his life among the elusive, indeed near mythical Senoi, who were in Wolff's time a scant handful of aboriginal people living without restraint or law in the remaining Malay jungle.

Unless they choose to be seen, the "Primitive" Senoi were, in effect, invisible and unheard in the clamour of encroaching culture, a presence that the Senoi knew would eventually spell their end. The Malaysian government of the time was clearing the jungle for rubber plantations and the Senoio knew that they could not live without the trees that encompassed their world and communed with them on many levels.

These people made up an society of benevolence and what we would call unconditional love, though I doubt that they had a word for it or could grasp the concept of love any more than a fish could grasp the concept of water. What else is there, a fish would ask.

We most often coin words for that which seems other to us; it seems that in lacking something we label it, thereby creating a semantic substitute. The Senoi lived with unquestioned acceptance of each other, without judgment or censure, in a natural and spontaneous manner that was simply the only response they knew.

A hallmark of the Senoi was their unbroken silent communication with their environment and each other, as integrated, self-contained way of relating that needed no reference to anything outside itself, and that did not, there, lend itself to analysis or description by an outsider.

Walter Stace wrote about the "extraverted mystical experience" a fusion of the heart and mind that occurs in a waking state and encompasses self and nature as an undifferentiated unit.

This might describe how the Senoi lived -- with a level of awareness beyond our comprehension; with a quality of being, a quiet steady joy, unknown to us; and with capacities of mind we can't grasp.

Senoi life was constant divine play,

unavailable and invisible to those caught in grim necessity.

The Senoi refrained from judging self or others not from some noble virtue but because their minds, not having been formed in the same manner as ours, simply didn't function that way --never having been judged or restrained, they had no concept of either and no neural paths for relating in these ways.

We, on the other hand, having been restrained and judged since birth, automatically judge others, restrain them if possible, and teach our children to do the same.

Not judging the actions of ourselves and others and trying to modify behaviors accordingly may seem negligent to us, but to the Senoi a person's actions were simply the given of a situation, like the direction of the wind or the slant of the sunlight.

This mind-set, embodied in Jean Piaget's decription of early childhood as"the unquestioned acceptance of the given," Eckhart's "living without a why," J. Krishnamurti's "choiceless awareness, " Jesus' "kingdom" of relationship, and Matthew Fox's original blessing, is a state of mind that can open us to the higher function of our forebrain while freeing us from enslavement to the hindbrain

--a shift that wholly changes perception."

At the same time, another reader posted this.

"There will have to be rigid and iron discipline before we achieve anything great and enduring, and that discipline will not come by mere academic argument and appeal to reason and logic.

Discipline is learnt in the school of adversity."

Will it be Nature or Nietzsche?

Who knows?

We all do.

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