Here Thar Be Monsters!

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29.7.11

The Gloaming

It causes me no end of head slapping to read the hyperbole in the US media.  Comments like Pelosi's reflect America's continuing pipe-dream that it somehow still holds the keys to Life, the Universe and Everything.

To a certain extent, that was true about 50 years ago.  Being the only major power to survive WWII relatively unscathed gave it a lot of clout in global affairs.  Certainly, even as recently as Reagan, when the US sneezed, the world caught a cold.

But, those days are long since past.  Whether by design or sheer ignorance, the US has farmed out its Global Leader role, and in effect, has pissed away any power it had to call the shots in world affairs.

Much of what I see in US politics and media appears to be a desperate attempt to hold to past glory.  Like the faded ingenue, folks are plastering on the make-up and adjusting the lighting and focus to force the blush of youth onto the withered face of Time.

There's so much rhetoric about the US taking down world markets, and crashing the global economy, and causing the end of life as we know it.  The simple fact is, most people around the planet would look up for a week or two to watch the sinking of the Titanic, but after the stern slipped beneath the waves and the waters calmed, everyone would go back to their chores, with little more than a couple of, "Did'ja hear...?"

There was a time, when I was significantly younger, that the US dollar had a sort of sacred sheen to it.  A large part of the world had no middle class, and those in the boot-sticking classes saw the US as a shining beacon of glorious lifestyles and fabulous wealth.  No more.

Now, the middle classes of many former 'third-world' nations have vigorously expanded.  Now, lots of people have plasma TeeVees and personal transportation, and designer clothing, and family vacations.  The glorious American Way-of-Life has been exported to the world, and now the world has what it once envied.  So why care about the US any more?

As for financial markets, I can tell you that the world really doesn't care.  Most of the world doesn't buy stocks and bonds, and the indices don't make a good 'God damn' in their lives.  If I surveyed 100 well-heeled folks here in Jakarta, maybe two could tell me the value of ANY stock exchange, much less the Dow.  Ask them the price of gold?  Three-quarters would probably have a ball-park number.

As for dollars, they're a curiosity, since you just don't see a lot of them floating around these parts.  If you go to the money changer, they don't salivate over your Franklins.  Rather, they closely inspect them for fraud, and then discount the exchange based on how smooth and clean it is.  SingBux?  Now we're talking.  Renmimbi?  Right over here, sir!  Yen?  Would you like a cup of coffee while you wait?  Riyal?  How about a shisha with that coffee, sir?

Sure, energy is still traded in dollars, but that's more tradition now.  I've seen a number of coal deals go down in rupiah the past year or so.  Locally, gold is all valued in rupiah, and it's discounted to market, because they actually mine it here.  Many ex-im deals here are now done in rupiah or one of the Big Three Asian currencies (China, Japan, India).

When I first got here about four years ago, a lot of folks asked me to help them get visas to the States.  It still had a fading bit of attraction for folks who were still left out of the growing economic explosion here.  Now, when folks go to the US, it's a status symbol only in the fact that they can afford the ticket (well over $1,000).  Many prefer Asian and Middle East destinations, which come with significantly cheaper air fares (Singapore round-trip for $30).

I've used the US embassy here in Jakarta as kind of a gauge.  Most embassies here, you just walk up, sign the book, get an ID, and go inside.  The US embassy looks like a maximum security prison, even more so since they finished the new entrance earlier this year.

You walk past a half-dozen armed security, enter through a massive steel door into a concrete and steel bunker.  You strip yourself of any metal and leave your cell phone (turned off) at the guard desk.  IF you pass the scanner, then you are given an ID, which entitles you to go out into a courtyard with a concrete half-wall guiding your path through a very large (internal) steel fence.  After passing another guard or two, you cross the basketball court (that no one uses) to the old guard shack, where more armed guards scrutinize you.  Then you enter a fenced-in area with rows of benches for the little people to wait while their visas are denied (mostly empty now but used to hold 200 folks).  You pass another guard to get to the business end of this Orwellian nightmare, where more steel and bomb-proof glass doors await.  Inside are a row of teller-like windows that must be about 3-inch thick, kevlar-laced bomb glass.  Each window has fluorescent lights on either side shining in your face, so you can barely see who or what is beyond the window.

Oh, and the embassy only accepts rupiah for services rendered.  That should tell you something.

It's like a fractal.  The smallest part looks just like the largest.  America has done such a fine job of walling itself off from the world that the world has decided to move on to other, less stressful, occupations.

After all, if you had the choice between having your privates painfully groped and an open door, which would you choose?  Like electricity, people will always seek the least resistance.  And the world has decided that the southern hemisphere, driven by a voracious Chinese economy, offers much more opportunity with a lot less hassle.

Every day, the US loses a bit more shine.  People are finding alternatives to the bully on the block.  The bully can only block one spot, but there are dozens of others to choose from.  Even if the world has to walk just a bit further, it's still less BS than fighting the bully.

Think of it this way, if there's a jerk at the office that you really hate encountering, don't you go out of your way to avoid running in them?  It's the same on a global scale.  For so long now, the US has acted like a jerk, sending its warships as projections of power, sending its banksters as ambassadors of greed.  Who needs it?

The world has weighed two options: deal with the US and lose everything while gaining nothing, or deal with someone else where there's money on the table for both sides.  Sure, some folks still go to the supermarket to buy their vegetables, instead of the farmer's market, where they are half price and dirt-fresh.  They don't want to drive the extra five miles and prefer shopping in air-conditioned comfort.  Those willing to give up a little comfort are rewarded with much better deals, though.

For all its bluster and doomsday prophesies, few people outside the US actually care.  That's part of the reason the US has made it so laborious to travel.  If folks get out in the hinterlands, they would discover that everything they are told in the media and by 'authorities' is utter rubbish.

Some folks may remember the Soup Nazi.  He was wildly popular for a while.  If you took too long to decide, you got the boot.  If you wanted something added or taken out, you got the boot.  If you didn't have correct change, you got the boot.  It had some novelty, and the soup was pretty good, so folks got a benefit from it...for a while.  Then, the novelty wore off and the hassle of getting the boot when you only had an hour for lunch became more than the value of the soup was worth.  That's the US in a nutshell.

A headline in the Kompas newspaper this morning says it all, "Indonesia Siap Menjadi Negara Maju," Indonesia is ready to become an advanced country.  This echoes most of the world, I think.  They've been crapped on by the US for so long, they've all figured out work-arounds.  Now they have their own middle classes, and the money is coming in, and the toys are priced to move.  Who needs America. anyway?

When the US defaults, maybe not next week, but sooner than later, the world will look up from their Wheaties to mark the passing, and then return to munching.  All the hair-pulling and gnashing of teeth on the part of DC blow-hards and their media lap dogs will mean absolutely nothing in the greater scheme of things.

America found a marketing niche for a while, but like all massive organizations, they became entrenched in their own gimmicks.  Instead of continuing to innovate and grow, they got lazy and satisfied with what they had.  They farmed out franchises and sat back and counted the dough.

Then the novelty wore off and people found other things to distract them.  America became the Pet Rock or the Cabbage Patch Kid.  It slid into the 'where are they now' category, while telling themselves they so dominated the world that nothing could challenge their throne.

But, the throne got taken and a wooden stool was shoved in its place while no one looked.

27.7.11

Space: The Spineless Frontier

I've just about had it with NASA and JPL.  These (pejorative) geniuses couldn't find their ass with both hands!

These bozos have literally stumbled over aliens to go look at...ROCKS!

Here's the story:
For at least 200 years, people with telescopes have been watching the polar ice caps on Mars grow and recede with the seasons.  For at least 100 years, water clouds have been observed in Mars' atmosphere.  Since the 70s, we've had photos of water channels, snow and possible ancient ocean shorelines.  Since the 90s we've had photos of lakes, ponds, geysers, and seeps.  In the past few years, their little dune buggies and gotten mired in the mud more than once.  A couple of years ago, Phoenix landed near the north pole of Mars and found all kinds of ice in the dirt.

And these freakin' idiots are still spending billions of dollars to send bigger dune buggies to look for 'evidence' of water on Mars?

Here I thought these guys and gals had degrees in exo-this and planetary-that, but from what I see, they could be standing in flood waters in a torrential downpour in eye-sight of an ocean and still couldn't find water.

The Viking landers found strong evidence of metabolism with a circadian rhythm in Mars' soil.  A lot of smart people, including Arthur C. Clark (who conceived of geo-synchronous communication satellites) have seen trees, pond scum, and lichen.  Some folks with a lot of credentials and letters after their names have put up a strong case for past civilizations on Mars, including Tom Van Flandern, who was the head of the US Naval Observatory.  Tell me he's a kook, would'ja?

Yet, the mental midgets at JPL sent Phoenix to 'look for signs of life' without any equipment to test for life.  Just pick up more rocks and take pretty pictures of them.

These putz' couldn't find life on New Year's Eve in Times Square.

Are they REALLY this stupid, or is there another agenda?  I mean, after all, how much evidence do you need before you can say, "Hey, look!  There's water!"

Like any 'scientific' organization, NASA and JPL get money through grants.  The grants come from individuals and organizations with agendas.  Those agendas influence the scope and use of the grant money.  JPL's charter is to hunt for rocks.  Thus, everything they do will be hunting for rocks.  NASA's charter says they are to look for evidence of life off of the Earth, but it goes on to say that it is under the control of the military and they can't tell anyone if they find that evidence.

So, hey!  Let's give them more money to go find life on other planets!  After all, together they will look in the wrong places, and if they find it, they won't tell us!

If this isn't the classic definition of a circle jerk, I don't know what is.  If the CONgress is serious (hahaha!) about saving money, they can start by whacking NASA and JPL off of the public teat.  Let 'em fend for themselves.  After all, how long do you think these guys would get private money if they kept sending the wrong tools to do the job and then were prohibited from sharing any really good info, if they found it?

So, now they've got a new toy.  It's a car-sized, nuke-powered dune buggy that weighs a couple of tons that they're going to drop in the middle of what amounts to the Gobi desert to look for signs of 'past water.'  The reasoning behind choosing such an arid location is that the buggy might get stuck in the mud if they sent it somewhere where there's ample water.  Bet you think I'm kidding, don't you.  Look it up.

They want to look for water in a dry hole.  They want to check for signs of life without any instruments to do it effectively.  And they want to take lots of pretty pictures with wildly expensive cameras that can't produce a simple image with correct colors.  Hell, my cell phone could do better for a lot less.

With all the billions and billions of dollars that have been spent since the 60s, we've landed 12 men on the Moon.  That's it.  Other than that, we've put lots of whirly-gigs in orbit that go round-and-round-and-round.

The US has a manned space program that can't put a man in space.  It has a shiny space station with no where to go that is supposed to do zero-G research, but every time the positioning rockets fire, that all goes to hell.  The world has tons of pretty pictures of rocks and dirt taken by robots.  And we're blessed with Tang orange drink and velcro.  Furthermore, in 60 years of technological development, we still use controlled explosions at the butt end of ballistic missiles to launch stuff into the endless go-round.

Jell, Burt Ruttan can build a REAL spacecraft in his garage, and NASA can't?  The Chinese invented rockets 800 years ago, and we can't do just slightly better for all the R&D?

Tell me again...what precisely have we paid for?  I mean, we're going to all this effort to explore strange, new worlds, and then going out of our way not to talk about the 'strange' bits.  WTF?

Here we've got pretty strong evidence of really unusual features on the Moon, so we stopped going there.  There's unbiased, computer-based analysis that shows there's a better than average chance of buildings on Mars, so we poo-poo anyone who says so.  There's a moon of Mars that even Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the Moon, says is really, really interesting.  So we ignore it.  There's a moon of Jupiter with possible oceans underneath its crust.  So we go back to sleep.  There's a moon of Saturn that is a dodecahedron with a massive seam precisely on it equator that no one can explain, so let's go look at something else.  There's another moon of Saturn that has methane clouds and ethane oceans, but we still say Earth's oil comes from rotten dinosaurs.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again, expecting different results.  By that definition, NASA and JPL are certifiably nuts, and anyone who keeps funding them is crazier still.

If we had taken all the money, time and effort wasted on going in circles around the Earth, and had pointed it in one direction, say at Mars, there'd be a bustling civilization there with interplanetary trade going on.

Basically, what we've achieved so far is akin to Columbus sailing in circles around the Mediterranean for 60 years, expounding the virtues of far off lands and exciting trade prospects.  Meanwhile, he's got robots in Central America sending back photos of Mayan cities and massive gold deposits and telling everyone that's not what they show.  Oh, and can he have another couple billion to send more robots to show the same damn pictures from different angles...or 3-D..or infrared...or ultraviolet?

It's like Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe painting.  Four identical panels, different colors.

Cape deh!

Cost cutting idea: get rid of the yutzes at NASA and JPL.  China and India got the exploration thing covered. Use the money to pay down the national debt.  You're not really putting scientists out of work, because they don't meet the definition of a scientist.  A scientist wants to discover new things, but these crack-pots put more effort into looking the other way, than in actually dong something useful.  We've got enough pictures.  Let some real researchers and explorers take over from here.

The new Mars dune buggy is called Curiosity, which is an apt name.  After all, it's a curiosity why people put up with their crap and don't demand actual results for all the billions spent.  The more money poured in, the more backwards it goes.

Send 'em all back to their Masonic lodges and Satanic temples, and let real men take over.

Let's have a little Final Frontier for a change!



26.7.11

Another Lone Ranger, Again

It's almost not worth talking about Norway.  If you turn off the TeeVee and look at the Big Picture, it's so obvious that the whole thing is a false flag.

For one thing, that the guy is rabidly anti-Islam is nothing but reverse psychology.  Demonize a concept, and everyone runs to the other side, which of course, is bombing the hell out of the brown-skins.  Hegelian Dialectic, anyone?

It has all the trademarks: lone assailant, police drills on the identical scenario two days before, etc.  On top of that, Norway was pulling out of Libya and getting ready to recognize Palestine as an independent state.  They just weren't playing by the Club's rule book.

For those whose heads are still under a rock, the EU and the state of Israel are nothing more than Nazi cover organizations.  I mean, what better place to hide a Nazi than in Jewish clothing, right?  And the EU?  Well, that's exactly what Hitler was trying to do, only he used a stick instead of a carrot.

For those who'd like a little homework, our Okie-in-Residence sent us a link to a well-done video about the rise of the Nazis.  See if you can't find a few glaring parallels in the Rise of the Reich, to current events.

Back to Norway, though.  The perp is reading from a script.  First, the headline, "I acted alone!"  Then, "We have other cells just waiting..."  So?  Which is it?  I acted alone, or we have others?

Then there's the bit about multiple gun-men at the youth camp.

Of course, the perp is home-grown, far-right conservative, and spouting all the wild-eyed rightist rhetoric that is the sign of a completely staged and orchestrated event.

If all you consume is TeeVee, though, there's plenty for everyone.  Amy Winehouse kicks with multiple purchases of illegal substances (the war on drugs is good).  There's the Asian dad who twisted off in Texas because of domestic pressures (fathers are bad and Asians can't be trusted).  There's Bammy talking about how great it would be to be dictator (elected representatives are the cause of all evil).  If you don't like Bammy, there's talk of impeachment (throw a bone to both sides).

It is all such complete and utter bullshit.

Some good background info comes from the irrepressable Webster Tarpley.  Wayne Madsen also weighs in on the "wait a minute'" side.

The really fun part, though, was in reading the "Norway Manifesto."  After you read it, go look at Ted Kaczynski's Unabomer Manifesto.  It's kind of like reading Hitler's Enabling Act and the USAPatriot Act...you get a weird sense of deja vu (and no, I'm going to go find all the little accent marks).

Behind all the ballyhoo about the Mossad and the CIA being part of all this, is the simple fact that both were and still are Nazi intelligence organizations.  Don't believe me?  All it takes is 10 minutes with your favorite search engine.

At least we know now who was behind the Norway Spiral that graced Bammy's Nobel (ahem) Piece Prize.  It was a show of cards on the part of them-that-got-rocks to the Norwegian gummint.  "Play ball with our boy, or else."  Well, they got a snoot-full of the "or else," looks like.

I still say these are all acts of pure desperation.  The weaving is coming unwove, and they are scrambling to try and plaster it all back together.  I think the key is China.  They were the wild card in the mix and they didn't act like they were supposed to.  They were supposed to be Japan writ large: a powerful serf to the NWO massah.  Instead, they had their own agenda.

All the mid-east adventures, all the terrorism, all the mass shooting and bombings?  It's all a metaphorical Great Wall to keep the Mongol horde at bay.

What's so damn sickening and infuriating is how many of its own people the NWO is willing to kill to build the wall.  It shows quite clearly that we, as in us little folk, are nothing more than chaff to their wheat.  Has some use, but its not important enough to save every last piece.  Just gather up what's left after the winnowing.

If you are still watching TeeVee, and you really want to know what's going on, start with the kill switch.  I watch all of 10 minutes of TeeVee and month, and I have absolutely no problem keeping up with global events  The truth is NOT on your TeeVee set!  I think you'll find your thinking clears up quite a bit, but it takes about a week to feel the effect.  You've been pretty heavily doped up.

Every man's death diminishes me, but I refuse to let the bastards use those lives to control me.  That is what they are doing.  It is human sacrifice and a means of social control.  It's happened in dozens of societies throughout history and the world.  Carving out hearts and draining the blood down the temple steps is one of the oldest forms of tyranny.  The problem is, it's hard to see when you're in the middle of the roaring crowd.  You have to step back a little and see the Big Picture.

The one solace in all this is, that when societies reach the point of human sacrifice, they are pretty much at the end of their useful time on Earth.

We can only hope.

25.7.11

Life On The Far Side

It's one of those great Jakarta nights, where the rain is falling and the air is cool, at least by Indonesian standards.

I've been in an intensely introspective mood for the past couple of months.  Tonight I have reached one of those personal milestones that make all of us sit back and take stock.  Tonight, I have officially survived a half century.  In the Grand Scheme of Life, the Universe and Everything, it's a rather meaningless event, but on a personal scale, I'm rather amazed to be sitting here, especially given the astrounding number of opportunities I've had NOT to be sitting here.

I've never been one to worry too much about birthdays.  I've had some great parties, mind you.  30 comes to mind.  21 was a stand-out, as was 18.  35 was intense, as I had become a father just a few months prior.  40 kind of slid by without a lot of fan-fare.  But, something about the number 50 has stuck in my craw.

Friends and family have been stopping by today, but mostly (I suspect) because the Indonesian tradition is the birthday celebrant is required to feed (terakhtir) everyone.  To that end, I made a massive pot of my now truly world-famous spaghetti sauce.  Of course, they all show up in droves everytime I make spaghetti, tacos or po'boy sandwiches.  "Laker," they say.  "Yummy!"

Yes, there's something different about 50.

What really gets me is I am starting to sound like an old fart.  I talk about the way things were back when.  I talk about the kids today, which people have been doing since they invented kids.  I talk about how a Coke, or a candy bar, used to be 5 cents.  Coins were still real silver...or at least 75%.  You'd get the occasional silver certificate in change, too.

All TeeVee was black-and-white, and there were only four stations.  There was no device to record it, either.  If you missed something, you hoped it would be repeated in summer reruns.  September was always exciting because that was when the new shows were introduced.  I always remember being disappointed, too, since the new shows were just as boring and the old ones.  Except for "All in the Family."  I loved Archie.

I was born just months after Yuri Gagarin became the first (modern) human to orbit the Earth.  Those were heady times with Kennedy challenging us to go to the Moon.  I wanted to be an astronaut and be the first (modern) human on Mars.  Now, America has no manned space program.  Two steps forward, seven steps back.

I remember running off with my friends on Saturday afternoon, with my Browning .22 and a hundred rounds, to go plink cans down at the construction site five minutes from downtown Houston.  Dad would say, "Don't point that at anyone," casually over his paper.  The popular kid across the street always brought his .410 bird gun.  We hated him because there's no skill in aiming shotguns, and he would blow all the cans away before we could set up.  That was normal stuff for boys.

I've had a rather unusual life, I suppose.  My dad was a politician, so I spent my formative years on TeeVee and in the newspaper, as a political prop.  My dad helped get Reagan elected and launch the career of Ron Paul.  I met every president from LBJ to GW, except for Carter.  He was taboo in our house.  St. Goldwater was the family icon.

I was a child model and got my first acting job at 12.  I spent decades in the theater and got to know people like Shakespeare, Williams, Ionesco, Wycherley, and Aristophanes intimately.  I worked in some of the great theaters of the world, and traveled around Spain with a group in a covered wagon doing medieval morality plays.  Everyman is my constant companion.

Then I moved to the movies.  I worked on probably 20 films before shifting to TeeVee.  I liked the movies, but I hated the egos.  People who did almost nothing but show up after all the work was done and read a few lines, for some reason had the attitude that we-who-made-them-look-good were but mere mortals invading Olympus.

That period was when I tried just about every natural and pharmaceutical mood-altering substance known to Man.  I went to Hollywood parties that lasted for days and spent large spans of time not knowing what city I was in, because once I found out, I was already on the road to the next one.  I can't really call them "The Lost Years," because I remember every sordid detail.  I just think of them collectively as the "Whuchamacallit."

At 18, I moved to Europe for a year, then took up backpack and followed the rising sun until I ended up back in Houston.  I ran out of money in an opium den in Bombay (wasn't Mombai then) and had to work off my passage to Perth on a Chinese merchant ship, were I could get a ticket and fly home.  There was no internet or texting or BBM.  Just telegraph offices where you could place on overseas call that was like trying to talk in a badly dubbed kung-fu movie.

I've toured with, or was local hire, for some of the Legends of Rock.  That's part of the reason I can't hear myself think now.  Robert Plant even complained to management at a hotel in Chartres, France, that my room was too noisy.  He and Jimmy were playing backup to Lenny Kravitz.  Now they are both "where are they nows."

I've got a lot of scars, mostly from knives.  I've never really been shot at, at least not yet, even though I've been in war zones.  I've been near bombs going off and surrounded by Gardia Sevil with sub-machine guns pointed at my heart.  I've been in the middle of a couple of riots, but always as a recorder, not participant.  There's a strange kind of power, almost a magic, about being a recorder of things.  You float above them without really feeling the emotion of them.

I've put my hands inside a human body and watched as some of the finest surgeons in the world remodeled what was near-perffect to begin with.  The only people with egos larger than movie stars, are surgeons.  In some ways, they are more tolerable, since they actually have a skill and art.  Movie stars just hit the mark and say the line.

I've seen dozens of people die.  I actually held the hands of three people when they died.  Two were perfect strangers, and one was my dad.  Death is the great mystery in my life, though it is less fearsome the older I get.  From what I've seen and heard, the secret is how to die.  And yes, you can choose that moment, if you try.

I've been a Benedictine monk, a Buddhist monk and a student of every sacred book.  I've always been intensely curious and have never said 'no' to a calculated opportunity to learn.  I absorb information like a sponge and have learned 15 languages, so I don't have to read the translations.  I value other people's opinions, but trust only my own.

My models have been a bit strange.  Orson Welles is certainly one.  Marco Polo another.  Leonardo da Vinci is a model of the intellect that I want.  Movies like "The Man Who Would Be King," and "Little Big Man," inspired my wanderlust and sense of adventure.

I've never really been a thrill-seeker.  Rather I am an adventurer.  I don't jump out of airplanes or strap rubber bands to my ankles for the sake of adrenalin.  Rather, I want to go places others are afraid to talk about.  I want to know things others keep hidden.  I want to amass the experiences that others are content to read about.  It's all we take with us, after all, when this existence ends.

Since I was a child, I have dreamed of living in Asia, and here I am.  Took me a while, but as Edward the Confessor famously said, "All holy desires come to those who wait."

Fifty is a stange time, at least for me.  I have never really concerned myself with age, until now.  Suddenly, I find myself estimating how much is left, compared to how much has passed.  Since I plan to die on my 100th birthday, I have reached the mid-point.  Alec Guiness' famous line in "Lawrence of Arabia," always sticks in my brain.  "Young men make war, old men make peace."  Certainly, I have stirred enough passion on one side of the scale, perhaps its time to sow the seeds of peace on the other half.

This column is an effort to share some of the things I have learned and the truths I have found.  When I write it, it has only one audience in mind, that of my children Jacob and Kathleen.  One of the incredible beauties of the internet is that I can transfer my thoughts and experiences to a medium that is accessible to them, both now and in the future.  It is unlike anything Mankind has ever invented and is to our Age what Guttenberg's press was to his.

As I scan the pages of the book I call my life, here at the mid-point, I have no doubt which event was the most incredible, influential and personally sacred moment.  It was the moment I held my daughter for the first time, still connected to her mother and steaming in the cold delivery room.

My life changed at that moment.  I no longer cared about anything but changing the world to be better for her, and her children.  Here was a life, that no matter what happened, no matter who stepped in and tried to separate us, no matter what events conspired, she would always be a part of me and I of her.  All the crap in the world could not change that simple fact.

And now I have five children: to Jacob and Kathleen, I add Alfred, Aldo and Vanny.  Out of love for my wife, we create a family, regardless of progeny.

And so I write my postcards from the edge.  I throw my seeds to the wind.  I put into words what I can't even understand in my Self.  It is the hope that somewhere in all this is the spark that will ignite a new fire for the future.

On the old sailing maps, there was a point where the map maker gave up and said, "Here there be monsters."  Every moment of every day, I push the edge of my maThe Tp a bit further, then I set down in words the shape of the world for those who come behind.  If they know the perils thus far, then they can push the edge that much further, until one day there is no need for monsters.  There is no darkness to fear.  There is only knowledge to be spun into the fine cloth of wisdom.

I only one second of my life has lit a spark, then I have given light to future darkness.  If I have caused that bit of light, then I have no reason to curse the darkness.  And if I can sum up 50 years in one line, it would be:

The only bad experience is the one from which we don't learn.

One should always embrace darkness, because it is the other half of light.  And that, I suppose, is the essence of Life on the Far Side.

24.7.11

Adventures In Acupuncture VII

This is part 7 of an on-going series of articles about the use of acupuncture in treating the effects of multiple sclerosis, especially blindness.  See Part 1 herePart 2 herePart 3 herepart 4 herePart 5 here, and Part 6 here.  The standard Western medical approach gave no hope for recovery, and the use of life-long drugs (with distasteful side-effects) offered a ‘possible’ protection from further attacks.

Well, we're back again.  Last week, I knocked the LFS Mombo offline trying to setup a W7 network.  I actually had to get a new netbook just to stay in touch, while I was poking and prodding around in the network settings.  I discovered that it's damned hard to change WPA2 keys, once you've established them.  At least it is for blind caveman who are adapting to the 21st century.  But, that's another column...

At any rate, I want to thank all the readers who have been sending in scads of information on alternative medicine and MS.  It's been very helpful, provided hours of research material and given me some new leads.  I'll share some of it further down the page.

To catch everyone up, I went stark, raving blind a couple of years ago, due to previously unknown MS.  The attack felt like the onset of severe flu.  My energy level and strength dropped precipitously, such that I had to lie down.  Within five minutes, my vision started to get overexposed, and over 24 hours, went completely black.  Blood tests showed only a slight elevation in uric acid, but otherwise perfectly normal.  Heart rate and BP were, as always for me, textbook normal.

I spent a month on IV and oral prednisone, which restored about 75% of my vision, save for the inside half of my right eye, which has been completely offline since then.

Over the intervening time, my color vision slowly faded and my ability to focus at a distance was going fast.  In addition, I lost sensation in the tops of my feet and the middle three toes on both feet.  There were random muscle spasms and intermittent burning sensations in my lower legs.  Occasionally, my right arm would lose strength and I've had bad tinnitus in my right ear.  In all, the right side appears to be worse than the left, and I am left-dominant for things like writing and drawing, though I'm ambidexterous in many other things, such as throwing a ball or playing golf.

The standard western approach to my condition was to offer a life-time of expensive pill-popping with nasty side-effects that wouldn't cure or restore, and only offered the possibility of no further attacks.

I waved that off, needless to say.  I wasn't willing to give up conjugal gymnastics for a "maybe."

My wife, being the head of a large vitamin and supplement distributor here, makes sure that I rattle every morning on the way to the office.  She also pumps me full of fesh-made carrot and fruit juice every morning and makes sure that I don't get into an MSG, aspertame or cassava root, which is very popular in these parts.  Those things have rather dramatic effects on me vision, which I discovered by trial and error.  It takes about 24 hours to clean my system and return to 'normal' if I happen to ingest them.  In fact, the cassava (known as singkong locally) causes everything to look like the stained-glass effect in PhotoShop.  The other two just case things to get very dark.

Given this background, I proceeded to investigate herbal and other non-traditional (read pharma) treaments and remedies.  For instance, I found that a certain home remedy, known generally as jamu, helped the burning sensation in my legs and feet.


Jamu refers to any number of local herbals for different ailments.  It's generally sold by women who carry a large basket of bottles on their backs, with a variety of extracts, such as mustard and cinnamon and menthol.  You tell them what you want, and they whip up a concoction mixed with hot water that you drink.

By now, you have the idea that I'm willing to try just about anything once.

Before I get into acupuncture, I'll tell you why I chose it.  Our nerves have a fatty insulation on them called myellin.  For some reason, no one knows why for sure, the body's immune system suddenly turns on the myellin and eats holes in it.  This has the twin effect of shorting out parts of the nerve and leaving 'plaques' or 'sclera' that block signals from passing.  In the early stages, the effects are most noticeable in the senses, because they are the most sensitive.  However, later on, many people become wheelchair- or bed-bound, as the motor nerves slowly deteriorate.  Many folks have a lot of pain, such as cramping in the lower back and legs, as well as other unpleasant and annoying problems.

MS is poorly understood.  Many folks who have it, also have a genetic marker on the sixth chromosome, and there is evident of familial preference.  But, it doesn't appear to be a genetic trigger that sets it off.  There's some speculation about various environmental triggers, a lot of which centers around the many herpes viri. Most research shows a probable mix of genetic pre-disposition and environmental trigger.

This led me to look at herpes zoster, a very common virus and one that most people have.  It's the cause of chicken pox, and can also cause things like shingles.  When you get chicken pox, you never get rid of the virus.  It lies dormant (in most people) around nerve endings.  For the most part, people don't ever deal with it after the initial infection.  However, some develop shingles, which break out on a periodic basis.

My theory, and I stess this is my theory, is that the body suddenly decides it doesn't like the virus again and attacks.  Being that the virus collects on nerve endings, it makes sense that the nerves would be damaged in the process.  Furthermore, since there's no pill-popping cure for any of the herpes viri, it makes sense that they can't fix the problem.

Thus, my approach is two-fold.  To repair or, at minimum, restore some, of the nerve damage, I chose acupuncture, since it works directly on the nervous system.  My theory is that by stimulating the nerves directly, it will encourage new connections and work-arounds to the current blocks, and possibly stimulate regeneration (theoretically possible).

The second part is to find some herbal/supplemental/voodoo that works directly on the virus.  By eliminating it, I surmise that it would prevent future attacks and deterioration.  The point being that stopping at 30% vision is better than 0%.

I have no convenient way of knowing, at this time, whether the attack on the virus itself is successful, other than waiting 10 or 15 years to see if things get worse.  On the other hand, I can readily test, both objectively and subjectively, whether my efforts to restore the nerves is successful.

I've devised tests using the SMPTE color and alignment charts for testing color, contrast and sharpness of my vision.  I also have several subjective tests for the various other effects.  Since the problems involve the senses, it is difficult to be objective without a bunch of expensive machinery.

After 14 acupuncture treatments, I can say without hesitation that it has improved my color and contrast vision.  I can see red/green again, albeit better with saturated colors.  The more subtle pastels are still lost, though I can begin to perceive a little pink and light green in my peripheral vision.  Blue/yellow is very strong, with a fair range of hues available.

The brightness of my eyes has improved.  I can see more shades of gray, which helps me with things like depth perception.  Because the inside half my right eye is blank, it plays hell with 3-D perception.  I have to use parallax error to determine distance with many things.  Having better contrast helps me see more subtle details, like stair steps or bumps in the pavement.  Going down stairs is terrifying, since they all look flat to me.  Going up isn't as bad, since the light/dark areas help me see the steps, and falling up stairs is not as fearful as falling down them.

Before treatment, I had one small area in my left central vision that was incredibly sharp, but black-and-white.  I now have several of those spots scattered across my field of view, which is quite annoying since it makes it hard to focus at a distance.  The inside half of my right eye is starting to open up.  The central focusing area is still black, but around that I can see bright light and stark contrast, as well as detect movement.

If these improvements keep up, I will go back to the eye clinic for some more specific tests to compare to the baseline a couple of years ago.

My sense of balance is improving.  Using various tests like head back-touch the nose, standing on one foot, and tip-toes, I can say that I feel more in control.  There are still times when I can stand on a solid, flat surface, though, and it still feels like it moves under me.

The tinnitus is greatly reduced.  Previously, my right ear literally screamed, while the left was a bit more subdued.  Now, the left is nearly quiet, while the right varies from low to medium, depending on stress, coffee levels, etc.  By the way, large doses of aspirin will cause ringing in your ears.  Just something to store away for later.

The leg spasms are virtually gone, as is the burning sensation.  Before starting treatment, I had many nights without sleep because the situation was annoying at best, and painful at worst.

Using course (100 grain) sandpaper, the tips of my toes were completely insensate when I started treatment.  I can now clearly feel the grit, as well as the texture of 180 grain.  Some days, I have somewhat independent movement of each toe, which means I can feel the individual digits enough to be able to isolate the muscle groups.  There is still some tingling in the tops of my feet, but not nearly what it was.

Another test is to place pressure on the fingernail of my right hand, and then try to lift my finger.  Previously, that could cause uncontrolled twitching and tremors in my right arm.  That has been reduced, and is sometimes gone altogether.

As for the treatment itself, I won't say it's painless.  Certainly, when the sin she puts the needles in, if she misses the nerve, it's like getting a shot.  If she hits the nerve, it's what she calls ngilu, which translates as "smarts," but the sensation is like a mild form of whacking your funny bone.  Also, the points on the back of my head cause shivers to run through to my finger and toe tips.  It's what the old folks say is 'someone stepping on your grave.'

It can also be fairly painful if I'm not relaxed, which ain't easy when someone is stabbing your nerves with 16 needles.  I tend to close my eyes, take a few deep breaths and try not to anticipate the stab.  Surprisingly, the ones that hurt the least are the four that go deep into my eye sockets, above and below the eye balls.  The ones in my temples hurt quite a bit if I flex my face muscles in any way, shape or form.  The ones in my ankles burn a little, but not quite what I'd call painful, unless I move my foot just right...then my skeleton tries to climb out my nose.

Side-effects?  The insertion points tend to be a bit tender, especially on weeks where I can squeeze in three treatments.  I'm supposed to rub the points several times a day, which actually has the same effect as the treatments.  If the needles touch any part of the muscles, then the electric jolts cause those muscles to jump rhythmically with the jolts.  If I am sweating, then the electric jolts short out across my skin and is rather not pleasant.  So try to be dry when you do this.  Other than that, there's not much to complain about.  In fact, one side effect is an increase in my randy-meter, which my wife finds rather enjoyable.  I'll leave it at that.

I'm still receiving the herbal poultaces once a week, though I'm not closer to understanding the ingredients than the 38th time the sin she explained it.  I can only tell you that they are about the size of a wad of chewing gum, brown and semi-flexible, and reek of eucalyptus oil.  I get eight of them on my back, six around my shoulder blades, and one each over the kidneys.  She pokes me with a needle to open the skin before taping them on.  Taking them off is the most unpleasant part of the whole ordeal, since I have a generous amount of fur back there.

Do I recommend it?  Stopping short of giving medical advice, I'll say that it is definitely worth looking into for a variety of complaints.  The folks I see at the clinic come for everything from weight loss and face lifts, to stroke and cognitive problems, and all of them claim varying degrees of success.

So...miracle cure?  No, at least not yet.  I can say that there have been both objective and subjective improvements in all areas affected.  I can say without qualification that acupuncture does have an effect and that my side-effects are minor, and some are even positive.  My basic test is, if it doesn't hurt anything, then it's 50% good.  The rest is relative.

Stay tuned...
------------------
Here are some links to info that may be useful to those needing more.  A lot of it is relevant to any neurological problem, not just MS (deep thanks to everyone for sending in info!):

Pacific College of Oriental Medicine - Good folks and very helpful re: acupuncture
Herpes Zoster
Viral MS found in monkeys
Use of sound in healing
Various links of varying usefulness
Coconut Oil - From my buddy Harry in Bali
One reader sent some good info on ytterbium and boron use in PDF format - drop an email with the subject MS ARTICLE and I'll pass it along to you

23.7.11

Nothing New Under The Sun

Before launching into tirade du jour, how about some jungle tips to keep cool in the heat?

First, don't drink iced or chilled liquids.  Drink water that is at or slightly above room temperature.  Although this seems non-sensical, lowering your core temperature actually makes you sweat more and makes you feel hotter.  By equalizing your internal and external temps, you'll feel more comfortable.  Drink a LOT of water, and if you can find it, the oxygenated or hexagonal varieties seem to help me quite a bit.

Second, eat cucumbers.  They not only cool off your mouth, they actually make you feel cooler all over.  Mangoes, apples and lime juice also help.  Avoid coffee, cigs and other vaso-constrictors.  Doesn't hurt to drop an aspirin in the mornings, as well.

Third, in the middle of the day, avoid stress and exertion, and stay as low to the ground as you can.  Heat rises, as you may remember in school science class, so the coolest air is low to the ground.

Fourth, avoid A/C, which if your local power plant is overwhelmed, won't be hard.  It causes temp shocks to your system when going in and out of chilled areas.  Instead, use a good fan and a spritz bottle full of water.  Mist yourself while you sit in front of the fan.  Taking a cool (not cold) shower and lying naked in front of the fan is pretty effective, as well.

Finally, wear light, loose clothing.  Tight-fitting closes make your feel hotter.  The ideal situation is to wear skirts or sarung, to allow air circulation under your clothes and keep the sun's heat from directly contacting your skin.  Outdoors, wear a loose-fitting hat and cover your neck with a light-colored cloth.  Keeping your brain cool is key.  A hat should have space for air circulation underneath. And don't forget to use an umbrella.  You'd be amazed how something so simple can make such a difference.

Adopting a lifestyle like equatorial dwellers makes perfect sense.  In the heat of the day (noon to three), stay indoors with good air circulation.  Sleep or relax.  It's called siesta in some countries and it exists for a reason.  Your boss may not cotton to the idea of napping after lunch, but on the other hand, he may pass out at any time.  So keep an eye out.  If he's enlightened, you might be able to talk him into time-shifting to allow mid-day hoe-downs.

I have to laught, because here I live on the equator, and we never see temps like those hitting the US right now.  Average daily high in Jakarta is about 90-92.  Of course, life here is designed around heat.  Houses breathe, people bathe frequently and mid-day breaks are normal.  In the worst part of the heat, it's not unusual to see folks bed down in the shade and wait out the worst of it.

It absolutely amazes and entertains me that we have developed lifestyles that are in complete defiance of Nature, and then curse our misery when all our machinations fail us.  Things like A/C, insulated houses and 9-5 jobs were unheard of at the beginning of the 20th century.  Yet, people managed heat waves and bitter winters by working with Nature.

My house here in Indonesia is pretty typical.  It is a brilliant design that works with the climate.  The design is basically an enclosed box, with bedrooms being smaller enclosed spaces inside, kind of like small free-standing shops at the mall.  In the kitchen, there is a flue that runs up to the third floor and acts exactly like a chimney.  It draws cooler air in from ground level and releases the heated air out through roof vents. ]

 All the windows and doors, even those to the outside, have open transoms that encourage air circulation.  The walls of the house are cinder block with a thick layer of plaster that work a lot like adobe, in that it blocks heat during the day, and radiates it at night.

Come to think of it, all the rain-gutter thefts in the US right now could be avoided if folks used bamboo.  The stuff is like steel when it dries, makes perfect gutters and spouts with no tools other than a saw, and is dirt cheap.  No only that, it looks pretty cool as a decorative touch without any effort whatsoever.  Heck, add a machete and some coconut-fiber rope, and you can build a large, sturdy house for next to nothing.

All our technology is our undoing.  We are becoming obese because we flop in front of the TeeVee instead of getting out and being active.  We can't bear extremes of heat and cold because our environmental systems have reduced our ability to adjust and adapt.  We suck up energy for completely passive pursuits, wasting the power on nothing more than sitting and watching.

I imagine the world's energy problems would be solved by simply turning off the TeeVee and XBox, and reading a book.  Walking to anything within a quarter-mile, and using a bicycle for anything within a mile would probably take care of the rest of the situation, both energy and fat.

The minute something in the environment changes, that isn't part of our technological Master Plan, we are completely lost in how to deal with it.  We have designed our lives to match our ideal, rather than reality.  We have forgotten things that our ancestors knew from centuries of adaptation.  We don't remember how to can and store food because we have refrigerators.  We can't cook on open fires because we have electric stoves.  We can't deal with extremes of hot and cold because we have designed our environments to be electrically modified.

In all this effort and planning and toy manufacturing, we forgot one simple little thing: what happens when the electricity stops?  Yes, electricity is a wonderous thing, but if we're going to build our personal Universe on its back, doesn't it make sense that we put some effort into making sure it never runs out?  After 200 years, most of our lives still derive from burning something, and when the thing we are burning runs out...there's no back-up.

I mean, with all the effort to build gee-gaws, doesn't it make sense to cover the roof of every home with solar panels, both active and passive, so that every house in the world generates at least part of the energy it needs to operate?  Fly over an city on Earth and just marvel at all the wasted space that could be generating the one thing we absolutely need to keep our lifestyles running.

Then, compare those rooftops to all the space used and effort put into refineries, coal mines, oil drilling, nuke plants, and hydro-electric plants.  Even the hydro plants depend on water, which has a funny way of going wherever it wants.  And if the dam breaks, well...catastrophe.

Another thing...why is it Americans insist of having potable water come out of every tap?  They spend billions to refine and refresh water so that you can drink out of the toilet!  I'm willing to bet 90% of the water used in most houses is not for drinking, but for washing, watering plants and flushing toilets.  Why does all of it have to be potable?o

Even simple things, like why do we have to cool or heat the whole house when we only use one or two rooms?  Why do we have to boil 25 gallons of water at all times, when we just need a little for bathing and washing the dishes?  Why does everyone have to have a land barge, when a little commuter scooter is just as effective, and easier to park?

One really good idea from Indonesia, that would be so effective and make so much sense (which is why it's illegal in the States), is something called an ojek.  For the most part, it's just guys with motorcycles and a little extra time who ferry people around on short hops, like to the store and back.  They're everywhere here, cheaper and faster than taxis, and they'll wait around to run you back home.  It's win-win.  They make a little folding money, you get a cheap and quick ride, and there's no parking issues.

Another thing in Indonesia that makes too much sense are the door-to-door vendors.  Every morning and evening, I can buy nearly 40% of my household needs from men and little old ladies who walk up and down the neighborhood selling everything from bread and fresh vegetables, to shoe repair and brooms, and even fully prepared meals on your doorstep.  This kind of thing fosters productive work, private entrepreneurship and untraceable cash transactions, all of which make it highly illegal in the States.

How about a warung?  If I so choose, I can open a shop or restaurant on my front porch or in my garage.  At the local warung, I can buy coffee, soap, cigs, snacks, and just about everything I need between runs to the store.  Or next to that, I can get a hot meal with atmosphere to spare, while keeping up with the local chit-chat.

So, while you're wilting in the summer heat, why not ponder these questions: Why do you need a permit to sell lemonade in your front yard?  If you turned all the energy you use slothing on the couch into productive income, would your life be better?  And why does every electronic gadget have to have an LED clock on it?  And since when does the gummint need its nasty, sticky, greedy little fingers in every aspect of our lives?

Just some of those deep questions to while away the long summer afternoons, trying to distract yourself from the heat.

Think how many jobs could be created, how much time, labor and energy would be saved, and now convenient life could be, if the nasty mafia called gummint just kept its filthy nose out of everyone's lives.

I bet even the heat would be less hot.

21.7.11

NWO 2.0, Cont'd

If we put the world in astronomical terms, the US has been a black hole sucking up everything in its environment for the past 100 years.  It became an engine that drove the entire region of space as it grew in size and gravitational force.

But, it has reached a point of saturation.  It has ingested all that it can and has reached a point of decline.  In the process, though, it spawned a second black hole, which is growing and becoming its own engine of change.  We call the new one China.

Certain elements within the West had been calculating a take-over of the world for centuries.  They had plotted and planned, using every opportunity to build their global empire.  We have called that empire the New World Order, and in our hubris, we have assumed that the world would lie down and be subsumed by it.

China and various eastern elements, on the other hand, have has their own designs and desires.  But they played by different rules.  Where the West marched in and planted flags and declared colonies, the East  used stealth and subtlety.

In the late 90s, during the Asian Contagion, few westerners took note of what was going on.  Especially Americans, who are intensely self-interested and xenophobic.  As long as they had their toys and a mysterious thing called the "dollar," they were happy to let the rest of the world rot.


Until that time, Japan had been the regional powerhouse, dictating policy and sitting on Asia like an elephant on smoke break.  Since it had tied its wagon securely to the US hegemonic wagon, its power and fortunes depended heavily on the US.  Not so with China.  With the collapse of the Japanese economy and crash of the NIKKEI, a vacuum was created that gave China the opening it needed.

Asia was a mess, though.  Indonesia was in the midst of internal upheaval with the fall of Soeharto and economic riots.  Most of the Southeast Asian countries were still rural agricultural societies.  China itself was heavily dependent on the West to build its economy.

In the chaos of the moment, Asia was rearranged.  Japan's dominance started to wane, while countries like Korea, India and Malaysia stepped into the gap.

At the same time, England turned over the keys to Hong Kong, which had been their Asian jewel for a couple of centuries.  China, taking possession once again, did not impose austere Maoist philosophy, though.  Instead, they turned it loose as the spark from which to build a fire.

At the same time, Korea's electronics and automobile industry ramped up to take market share away from the ailing Japanese.  Malaysia and Brunei turned themselves into banking havens.  Vietnam entered the plastics business, India took over computing and programming, and Indonesia powered it all with raw materials and energy.

The region was quietly becoming self-sufficient.  China's growth created the consumption engine that was fed by the satellite nations, each according to their strengths.  China was happy to farm out the overflow from its own factories, thus creating a mutually dependent and symbiotic economy.

Few Westerners are cognizant of, much less care about the fact that while Europe was mired in its Dark Ages, there was a major world power on the other side of the planet.  It had conquered the Occident, sent fleets of exploratory ships out that had landed at least as far away as modern California, and was every bit as grand and glorious as the most avaricious bankster dream.

It had grown to the doorstep of Europe before collapsing under its own bureaucratic weight, and in its collapse, had built walls against foreign invasion, just as the US is doing.  This empire had created gunpowder and paper money.  It had thriving science and art and culture.  It was, in every way, the progenitor of the New World Order.

After its collapse, it became fair pickin's for Europeans, who were now ascendent.  Enterprising merchants like Marco Polo had brought back technologies and ideas from the Orient that, in the hands of ambitious families like the Medicis, became the seeds for the Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment, while China closed itself off and went into hibernation.

China laid in wait, becoming intensely self-involved and xenophobic.  Meanwhile, the West grew and began colonizing the Earth through the Law of Flags (look it up).  To the newly awakened West, Asia was nothing more than a source of spices, silk, opium, and food for growth.

However, like the ambitious office boy, China watched and waited.  Slowly it gained the trust and confidence of the West, while amassing the keys to the counting room.

For its part, the West was happy to come in and build factories and transfer technology because it was salivating at the prospect of cheap labor and raw materials.  China was only too happy to accept these things, even at the expense of being treated like ignorant natives and coolies to the New Kids on the Block.  But, China had a long history and had already been down the same road, with the same disastrous effects.  This time it had a new plan.

As the West piled money and debt into China, China began to look around for assets that could both enrich it, while unwinding the powerful New World Order.

Lo and behold!  There they were, like valuable jewels lying in the mud at the threshold of the West, trampled and ignored, just waiting to be plucked and polished.  South America and Africa were nothing more than the attic and basement of the New World Order.  They were storerooms that one only entered a couple of times a year to take down or put up the Christmas decorations.

China arrived with piles of cash, offering to buy what the West stole.  And because of the the way the West had treated these jewels, they were only too happy to befriend their new master.  Quietly, China built relationships, made trade agreements and opened new markets.

The West, in its self-serving, egotistical orgy of self-importance, hardly noticed.  After all, they were just chunks of land with poor, dumb natives begging to be servants in the Big House.  When the West finally woke up, they saw to their horror that China was using the very debt bomb the West assumed would keep China subservient, to build its own empire...a New World Order 2.0.

In its panic, the West began trying to wall off the Mongol horde.  It invaded the Near East and North Africa, trying to stem the tide, but it was too little too late.  Like the swollen Mississippi, it was breaking the levee and flooding the farms.

Various groups in the West were awake to what was going on, but they were consumed with whether or not it existed, then who was behind it, and finally what was the strategy.  Meantime, the Chinese had seen the NWO for what it was, and found its Achilles' Heel.  More to the point, they had successfully exploited that knowledge to its greater advantage.

In their continuing pride, the West still sees itself as the engine of the world.  It makes hollow threats that if it sinks, the entire passenger manifest goes with it.  What they don't see is that the ship is sinking because the Chinese have been slowly dismantling it to build another just behind.

If the Western ship sinks, it is of little consequence to China and the East.  They've already built their exit.

The Rising Sun has set.  The Eagle has landed.  And now the Dragon is waking up.

This ain't your Daddy's New World Order...

20.7.11

Not As I Do

There seems to be a rash of busy-body-ness going on these days.  Not that minding other people's business is anything new.  History and personal experience are full of examples of folks who just don't have enough to do taking care of their own.

In my observation, the folks who spend the most time worrying about other people's faults, and who are the loudest heralds of other's failings, are themselves the worst miscreants.  For instance, Child Protective Services is full of pedophiles and childless old maids who have nothing better to do but tell others how to run their families.

It's a sickness that borders on obsession for some.

In the general headlines today, we see massive examples of this disease.  From the Houston family who was living in a metal building, in a style that would make many Indonesians envious. Yet, CPS and nosy neighbors had so little to concern themselves with, that destroying this family was all they could find to distract themselves.  But the really big examples to be found are at the highest levels of government.

In England (hardly worth calling Britain any more), Rupert Murdoch is up again the Parliament and Crown for doing what the Parliament and Crown have been doing to everyone else for decades...snooping.

You see, it's OK if the government places cameras, motion detectors, scanners, and dozens of other devices all around your environment, in order to catch the subtlest signs that you are not in lock-step with their dictates.  Yet, when the tables are turned, and the press is listening in on their open signals using public airwaves, then it's time for hearings and trials and even murders.

It is beyond reproach that an evil and corrupt political class can be privvy to your every muscular twitch, but they are sacrosanct and above suspicion.  They can run around slaughtering people and piling them like cord-wood, but if you so much as raise your voice, that's considered verbal assault.

They can build massive systems that intercept and parse every phone call, email, text message, and uttered unintelligables, but if your do the same to them, then you must be impoverished, imprisoned and embarrassed.  You sons and daughters must be drug through the dirt and hung out to dry, but it you do that to them yourself, then they assume the right to take your family from you.

If politicians and court jesters don't have the sense to use encryption and to realize that their own creations make all of us vulnerable to snooping, then they fully and rightfully deserve to be snooped upon.  Everyone's every digital utterance is open to interception, no matter what your rank or station.  If you don't like it, then don't do it.

Another fine example of this disease is the Obamanation.  He has the unmitigated gall to tell corporations and rich individuals that they can't own private jets (or any other form of transport, one assumes), yet his own entourage is a veritable fly-tilla of aircraft owned by the people.  There are at least two Air Force Ones, that I know of, plus Marine One (the big helicopter that takes him to the airplane), and lord knows how many other aircraft in his service.  Furthermore, you may recall a while back when His Obamaness did a whirlwhind tour of Asia, there were roughly one hundred aircraft and sea vessels riding on his coattails.

Apparently, that's all OK, because it's in service to the Almighty State.  But, if lil ol' you wants to buy a private 737, and you can afford it through the labor of your hands, then that is evil and a waste of resources.

Sorry, I don't buy this rubbish.  Neither does Warren Buffet, and presumably Obama-worshippers like Algore and John Travolta are a tad upset as well...or are THEY exempt (like Obama-care)?

Just a short time ago, His Obamaness was mandating that all government vehicles had to meet a certain level of 'greeness' (another load of hogwash).  At the same time, the Royal Carriage, a massive Cadillac armored vehicle that prevents His Obamaness from having the least little interaction with the people who put him there, got stuck backing out of the parking lot.  Guess that full tank of premium gasoline was a bit heavy...or was it Michelle's butt?

You give the illegitimate, illegal shoe-shine boy a little power, and he turns into a tyrant.  That's why the Constitution was so careful to keep the Executive weak.  Speaking of which, the Constitution is written on hemp paper, but us peons aren't allowed to grow it, smoke it or exploit it.

Here in Indonesia, a high-ranking member of the political party that gave the country a rather draconian anti-porn law, was caught IN PARLIAMENT surfing porn on his tablet, because a sharp photographer in the galley recorded the whole thing.

What a crock it all is.

If you don't like your dirty laundry being hung out to dry, then don't hang others' out.  It's a very simple rule that found elegant voice in that epic novel called the New Testament: "Physician, heal thyself," or "How can you pluck the cinder from your brother's eye, when you can't see the plank in your own?"  For all its failings, there's some good wisdom in that much-misused fairy tale.

As a society, we have become a bunch of busy-bodies, forbidding our neighbor from sipping tea while we swill ours.  We're all for crime cameras that catch thieves, but get outraged when we find that we are the thieves.

Government uses terrorism to protect us from terrorism.  CPS protects children by destroying families.  The BATF controls firearms by using strawman purchases and smuggling them into Mexico.  Black is white, truth is lies, love is hate.

It's high time to shut it all down.  Minnesota is on the right track.  If more states follow, could the feral gummint be far behind.  I know it's too much to hope for, but I hope they don't reach a budget deal.  I hope the whole thing comes crashing down.  It's time to throw out the baby with the bathwater and start fresh.

In Terry Gilliam's brillian "Time Bandits," there's a great line near the end..."Don't let any of that get on you.  It's PURE evil!"  If even a minute piece of corruption and evil is allowed to escape, then anything that follows will start already polluted.  Dismantle the whole damn thing and start fresh.  Life will go on, trust me.

Life, the Universe and Everything existed long before the US started give it orders, and it will continue long after the last memory of it dies off.  Nothing is too big to fail, especially if it is corrupt, duplicitous and two-faced.

Like the TeeVee preacher caught with a whore, or the priest with an altar boy, or the little old lady selling smack...Do As I Say is not a viable model for governance, and having the tables turned is that only way to fight the bastards.  I applaud the woman who groped the TSA agent.  I laugh with derision at the corrupt cops caught on citizen surveillance cameras.  And I certainly support Murdoch's hacking of politicians' phones.  They have as much right to privacy as we do, and since we have no right, neither do they.  If government points a gun, point two back.

Those who force their moralities and sensibilities on others are quite often the worst offenders.  It's time for everyone to spand a little more time cleaning their own nests, and leave the rest of us alone.

And Rupe?  Go get 'em, Big Boy!

15.7.11

New World Order 2.0

Reader Note: Letting a blind man set up a W7 home network is a recipe for disaster.  Fresh content, including the latest Acupuncture column coming soon.

 Back in the 50s and 60s, Japan made a fortune selling paper parasols for your happy hour fruit drinks.  They then parlayed that into status as an economic powerhouse, becoming the electronics wizards to the world, and miniaturizing portable phones from suitcase-sized affairs, down to a palm-sized mini-computer.

Through all that, they remained hitched to America's wagon, even after America turned on them in the 70s.  America blamed Japan for its economic woes, forgetting quite conveniently that Nixon had unhitched the nation's money from any kind of reality.

Still the Japanese remained faithful and took its place among the galaxy of economic powers that worshipped at the feet of Wall Street.  However, its success led to higher prices for imports in the US, and so Nixon went in search of new coolies to provide low-cost widgets.

Nixon struck pay-dirt in his long time nemesis: China.  It was a match made in Hell.  A rabid anti-Communist, in the throes of political turmoil at home, went hat-in-hand to a mysterious Communist demon called China.  No one really knew much about China at that point.  It had withdrawn behind its famed Great Wall after the Cultural Revolution.  However, capitalist ideologues needed cheap labor to keep the game going, and Nixon wanted a foreign policy coup to deflect the spotlight off his growing crisis at home.

The American people, being xenophobes and ignorant of much outside their own navels, watched in fascination as TeeVee beamed pictures of Nixon dining with Mao's successor.  When all was said and done, America had a vast new cheap labor supply to feed its insatiable hunger for profit.  In fact, America needed China far more than China needed America.

The US, in its hubris as global superpower and post-war economic dynamo, figured that it could scour the world to find places to supply its appetite for cheap, unorganized labor, and as dumping grounds for its toxic waste called bonds.  Without the stabilizing force of gold-backing, there was an increasing pile of rotten paper to support the fabulous exterior.  Like a financial Dorian Gray, the US looked young and powerful, but in the attic was a portrait of decay and putridity that hid the ravages of unbound capitalism.

China had become America's trashbin and servants' quarters.  Like all wealthy plantation owners, Americans began looking past the garbage dump and maid house, assuming they were not there so as not to spoil the nice view of the back 40.

Meanwhile, China had actually read Marx/Engels, unlike the hot-headed Bolsheviks next door.  They saw that capitalism was a necessary step in the evolution towards communism, and that by enriching a strong middle-class, the masses could be placated with gee-gaws and naked consumerism.

They began the process of opening to the West.  Salivating at the prospects of masses of cheap, unskilled and unregulated labor, the mega-corporations came.  They built factories, transferred technologies and, most importantly, began dumping their toxic paper.

China, being the longest continuous society on Earth, and lovers of strategy games like chess, opened its flank to draw in what it needed, while carefully managing the board.  In quiet deference, they played the game.  Where the Soviets had sealed themselves off, China threw open the doors, but only those doors which they closely guarded.  There was a method in their madness, which the West perceived as a surrender to the fast and furious lifestyle that was the trademark of its culture.

Using its legendary deference and quiet manner, China lured the West into shifting its balance back.  The entire Western dynamo became fully and inexorably dependent on China's uncomplaining shoulders.  Meanwhile, China pinched and saved.  It enticed the West to transfer its industrial base eastward and quietly waited until it had enough of what it needed.

One day, the West woke up to find China launching men into orbit and making deals for stategic resources in places the West had taken for granted.  China had bought the Panama Canal and focused its attentions on South America and Africa, lands that the West has simply assumed were too stupid to have ambitions of their own.

China was willing to make deals that enriched both sides of the table.  They didn't impose ideological clap-trap as conditions of trade.  They didn't threaten military 'intervention' if the local dictator was not in line.  China simply said they would pay for raw materials, which was the Achilles' Heel in their grand aspirations.  Where the US sent flotillas of war ships as both economic ambassadors and not-so-subtle warnings, the Chinese sent money...money they had stored up dealing with the West.  More importantly, they didn't send the IMF or the World Bank as hitmen to take by stealth what did not belong to them.

The Chinese, while having over one million men under arms, had little or no capacity to project force outside its borders.  Instead, they had something more enticing, the carrot of wealth.  They were willing to go into a deprived nation and help build infrastructure as a good-will gesture in commerce, not as a means of taking over and dictating local policy.  In exchange, the Chinese received strategic minerals and energy to feed their growing sphere of influence.

The Chinese had learned from watching the Soviets and the US that projected force was a no-win and very expensive gambit.  Instead, they used the vast sums of money they were earning to buy what they needed, and create relationships of mutual benefit that ensured loyalty on all sides of the table.

In its centuries-long march to dominate the world, the West had become impatient, and in their rush they had made a crucial mistake.  They had assumed that every major power would want to join the club.  Since the powers that were had conquered their own back yards and built empires of iron fists, they could not imagine anyone wanting to find another band-wagon.

In other words, they had built their legendary pyramid upside down.  Now their masterwork teetered precariously vaporous tip.  What's worse, the West could not fathom the Eastern mind.  They took all the head bobbing to mean consent, when it fact it signified only understanding.

As the West climbed further out on the limb, the Chinese smiled and nodded as they quietly sawed away.  Until now.  Finally, the West has awakened to the fact that the only sinews connecting it to the tree are the piles of toxic paper on which the Chinese are sitting.  Like a marionette, the West is suddenly eyeing the strings which are its only means of animation.

The Chinese sat and listened as the powers that were dictated the way things worked.  China was to play ball with the New World Order, and in return, they would receive lucrative contracts and be considered part of the team, the in-crowd.

But, what happens when the player no longer needs the team?  What happens when the star has finally earned enough to spin off on its own track?  And what happens to the team when the one player they had built a franchise around suddenly goes free agent?

If you look closely, you will see the lines forming for New World Order 2.0.  There is a schism opening along hemispherical lines, with diametrically opposed means and goals.  The question of the day is: whose foundation is stronger?

Continues...

13.7.11

Far Afield And Back Again

Of late, I have been absorbing the thoughts and work of several esteemed researchers, among them Joseph P. Farrell, Peter Lavenda and the great Texan, Jim Marrs.  The thread these three men have in common are that the Nazi diaspora at the close of WWII and the assassination of JFK were seminal events in the current course of history.

I have to say that their arguments are compelling, their documentation unimpeachable and their speaking erudite and informative.  You can find extensive interviews with all three with a quick search of YouTube.  I won't link it all here as the volume is quite extensive, and the voyage of exploration is best steered by the individual.

I do, however, want to express some insights that I have had in listening, reading and pondering the work of these gentlemen.  Certainly, they echo things I have thought about since at least my university days, but they have refined and documented what I understood by intuition.

One of the main points that seems to resurface in the work of all three researchers is the fact that the Nazi ideology was not hatched in Germany.  Many of the things we generally revile were in fact originally American, and were only implemented openly and forcefully in the Nazi regime.

Concepts like racial purity were hatched out of Darwinism and had their first expressions in the US as the eugenics movement through people like Margaret Sanger.  Institutions like Planned Parenthood and Child Protective Services are the modern day descendants of the original.  Arianism was simply one branch on the evolutionary tree whose roots were in the Anglo-American sphere.

Fascism, as I have described elsewhere, is not the brainchild of Hitler or Mussolini.  In fact, fascism began in Imperial Rome, as was reborn in the American federal system.  The marriage of business and government, one of the defining aspects of fascism, can be seen in the 1800s American system, with philosophical roots in the federalism papers and even the Constitution.

Where most Americans go astray is that they believe six impossible things before breakfast.  They believe that they are champions of democracy throughout the world, yet they live in an elitist republic whose founders reviled democracy.

The novelty of the American system was that it allowed people to choose their elite, rather than have them imposed from the top down.  By its very nature, a representative government is an elitist organization.  The primary difference between that and what had come before was that the people were allowed to vote on who they wanted to be ruled by, rather than having it imposed on them by heredity or force.

Every aspect of the American system is designed to dilute the vox populi.  Electing an elite called Congress, with two chambers, one a more general populist assembly, and the other more elitist.  Even the Electoral College was put in place in order to prevent the direct selection of the president.  Rather it kept that task for land owners and insiders.

That Americans think they live in a democracy, and impose democracy at the point of a gun throughout the world, is one of the most amazing forms of mass delusion I have ever encountered.  The American people live, breathe and eat an elitist lifestyle, while at the same time thinking they have power and can rightfully impose that power on other people.  In fact, democracy has not existed for centuries, even millennia.

Stranger still is that democracy and communism are ideological cousins, yet I daresay the average redreck would bow up at the suggestion that his beloved military is bombing the world into communism through the use of fascism.  Yet, that is exactly what is happening.

Where people have gotten so befuddled is that they are not precise in their thinking or use of language.  It is not entirely their fault, as elites use the confusion to their advantage, but it behooves every individual to take responsibility for their own education and research.

The basic problem is that we tend to blend the lines between economic and political systems.  Economics concerns itself with how commerce is conducted, and politics focuses on how power is exercised.  They are two completely different concepts, though they are often wedded, in the same way that a man and a women are very different creatures, yet they join to create a single household.

Within the concepts of economics and politics, there are various ways of implementing them.  In economics, there is capitalism, communism and a great variety of other systems.  Within politics, there are ideas such as democracy, socialism and fascism.  The subgroups within each are only means by which we institute commerce and exercise power.

Interestingly, democracy hardly exists in the world, yet people are being bombed into oblivion on a daily basis in order to institute it.  On the other hand, communism exits nearly everywhere, and people are trying to eradicate it, thinking it is a natural enemy of democracy.  That no one seems able to separate these ideas is the cause of so much cognitive dissonance today.

Economic and political systems are not mutually exclusive.  They can be mixed and matched quite easily, as the system are only the way in which we do things.  That economics and politics go hand-in-hand is obvious.  No one can deny that wealth is power, but we gain wealth through economics, and exercise the power through politics.

Democracy no more implies capitalism, than communism excludes it.  In fact, anyone who has read Marx and Engels would know that his ideal political system is a natural outgrowth of the evolution of economic systems, and that inevitably, all economic systems are evolving towards communism.  However, communism on a mass scale has not yet existed on the face of the Earth.  The USSR and China are NOT communist states.  They are socialist states, which is a form of politics.  Socialist states can implement communism, or they can choose capitalism or fascism or any of a myriad of other economic systems.

In the same way, democracies can be capitalist or communist or use any of dozens of other economic systems.  In fact, at their root, democracy and communism would seem to be ideal partners.  Democracy spreads the exercise of power over an entire population, and communism espouses the concept of each person giving and receiving as they are able.

It is entirely possible for one village to be a communist democracy within itself, but conduct its outside affairs (commerce) on a capitalist basis.  None of this would cause the Universe to spin out of control.  It is simply the means by which certain ideas and activities are arranged and conducted.

It gets much more complex as these systems are hybridized over time and location.  An example of pure communism is monasteries of any stripe.  In any given monastery, the members contribute to the overall good according to their stregnths, and receive from the community according to their needs.  But, the monastery usually produces some product, which it trades with the outside world through some form of capitalism.  The difference being that profit from trade is distributed acorss the community as the need arises, rather than enriching certain individuals.

On an international scale, we see the US is a constitutional republic, which conducts its economic affairs as capitalists, while China is a socialist state that also conducts its economic affairs through capitalism.  The difference is how the wealth, and thus the power, is distributed and exercised within the confines of their communities.  Neither is purely one or the other, and both are evolving as they go along.  The US is becoming a fascist state with socialist tendencies, while China is becoming more democratic while espousing a communist ideal.

The US welfare system is a communist concept, while China's emerging middle class is a sure sign of capitalism.

None of these things is inherently evil.  Communism as an ideal makes perfect sense.  I am an expert in leather craft, so I contribute shoes and belts to the community.  My child is sick, so I consume extra health care from the community as my family needs it.

Capitalism allows me to enrich myself and my family on the quality of my leathercraft, to the exclusion of others.  If I want more or better health care for my child, I buy it because my personal wealth allows me to, to the exclusion of others.  However, I am free to choose to contribute part of my wealth to distribute better health care to those who can not afford it.

In either case, the basic impulse is neither good nor bad.  It is only how it is exercised, and by what means we propagate our ideal in the world that becomes good or evil.  If democracy and capitalism are so good, as many Americans believe, then why do they feel the need to force it on others at the point of a gun?  Why not let others see the benefits of our system and choose freely to implement it, in whole or in part, as they see fit?

Because organic systems are constantly in a state of flux, with new ideas coming into vogue, and old ones being modified to fit new circumstances, it is easy to see how people can become confused.  However, Americans must wake up to the fact that they are being manipulated to believe one thing, while violently supporting another.  Furthermore, they are being duped into seeing enemies where none exist, in order to provoke them into supporting inherently evil agendas.

At the basis of all political and economic systems is the mandate that the individual educate themselves.  If they can not think and act in clear and concise ways, then they are at the mercy of those who do.  Thus, they become tools for elites who use them for ends which are anathema to the individual's goals and beliefs.  The ubiquitous use of TeeVee to manipulate mass audiences through the use of symbols is causing so much suffering and misunderstanding in the world.  It is incumbent on every human being to learn what is being done to their minds, so that they can put a stop to elitist agendas that are abhorrent to those things we consider good and desirable and moral and ethical.

Fortunately, the Universe provides balances for all things.  The problem is that Universe does not chose and direct, it simply is.  Thus, we can choose our fate and how we treat our fellow human beings, or we can have it chosen for us by a Universe that always rights itself, but without regard to the constituent pieces of the whole.

Yes, western elitists have been pursuing a program of global domination for centuries.  North America and South America are prime examples.  Yes, they are trying to create a New World Order that will impose the will of the elites on the global populace.  However, they are finding a foil to their plans created by the Chinese and the eastern world.  While we are all using the same economic and political tools, our fundamental goals and means are quite different.

In Universe, for all yin there is a yang.