Sunday, January 31, 2010


Epictus: If you want to improve, be content with being thought foolish and stupid.

The Greeks did not write obituaries: When someone died they merely asked: "Did he have passion?"

"Two destined lovers tempt fate and lose each other." Starring John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale, Molly Shannon, Jeremy Piven, John Corbett, Bridget Moynahan. Directed by Peter Chelsom. 2001. 90 mins.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A History of Neo-Conservatives: "The Forty Years War"

1/7/10 C-Span

World Affairs Council Washington D.C.
University of California, Washington Center

Len Colodny and Tom Shachtman "The Forty Years War"

Fritz G.A. Kraemer godfather of Neo-conservative movement. anti-fascist/ anti communist. Interesting figure who mentored Kissinger, Haig, Rumsefeld, Cheney, Bolton. He's basically an unknown figure, yet massively influential till he died (and afterward) in 2003.

Communism has fallen by anti-communism remains.

Colonel Alexander Haig infiltrates Nixon Administration on behalf of Neo Cons.

Because of detente, they were oppesed to Nixon (and his withdrawal of troops in Vietnam)

Kraemer's doctrine of "Provocative Weakness" the idea that any show of weakness invites attack. This is why Cheney attacks Obama for not using the word "Terror"

In 75-100 years no President has been successful lobbied from the Left on foreign affairs. They find it difficult to oppose the military industrial complex which is very successful at swaying public opinion.

In 6-8 weeks after Reagan used the term "evil empire" he stopped using it, as he found it bogged down any negotiations. Years later he outright took it back and contradicted it.

Project for a New American Century in the 1990's. Took advantage of Clinton Scandals and pushed on him the Iraq Liberation Act.

If you listen to the Nixon Tapes ( after the smoking gun part, you can consistently hear Haig giving Nixon advice that would specifically hurt him (for example outright covering up those that were involved in the Watergate break-ins).

George W. Bush was the first "pure" Kramerite, with someone like John Bolton who hates the U.N. serve as UN Ambassador!

Admiral Moore, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff coordinated the spy ring infiltrating the Nixon Administration.

The Moore-Radford Affair from Seymour Hersh's book on Kissinger. Admiral Wellinder has a confession (he worked directly under Moore). He explains all the stolen documents and Haig's complicity.

Democrats and Republicans come and go, but the military stays. They started this espionage because they were being cut out of the process as Nixon was taking radical new directions in foreign policy (detente)

After the Fall of Communism, 45 different conservative groups meet in Washington D.C. worried because we suddenly no longer had an enemy. 6 months later Sadaam Hussein emerged.

"Their [Neo-Con] current fascination with Sarah Palin is very interesting, she's essentially George Bush in drag!"

Friday, January 29, 2010

Selective Thinking?

We have the term "Selective Hearing" to refer to when a person ends up only hearing what they want to. You can spend literally hours telling someone that thinks something is red, "This is blue," and demonstrating all the reasons why it is blue, but they'll walk away still thinking what they wanted to all along because at only one point in the conversation you mentioned, "and some may think it's red." and they'll literally walk away think, "see? it's red!"

Bin Laden and Climate Change?!?!

Bin Laden is now making more sense than even our corporate and political leaders. Until we have a concerted effort to bring down capitalism and its ravages there cannot be even the hope for any freedom or liberty.

Bin Laden and Global Warming

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Science of Evil

National Geographic Explorer: Science of Evil. "Man's inhumanity to man; the Stanford Prison Experiment. Religious, political and scientific methods of confronting and understanding man's inhumanity to man; the Stanford Prison Experiment."

Philip Zimbardo called the behavior of his prison guards "situationally determined behavior" This then asks the questions, given systems of capitalism and competition within the society, is the way we behave, treat one another through self-motivated actions like betrayal, lying, and exploitation also then determined by "the situation."

Zimbardo was asked to testify at the court martial of the Abu Ghraib officers and soldiers charged with crimes.

Quiet rage [DVD]: the Stanford prison experiment

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

City of Ghosts

Dillon actually gives it a really interesting look and feel. With interesting yet relevant flashbacks that give it a moody narrative style. The soundtrack is really original, mixing old Cambodian pop songs with an almost country-sounding score that sounds like Bill Frissell.

There are themes of crooked business practices, gangsterism, military juntas, the trafficking of women, and even Cultural preservation.

"A businessman searches for his crooked partner in Cambodia." Starring Matt Dillon, James Caan, Natascha McElhone, Gerard Depardieu, Sereyvuth Kem, Stellan Skarsgard. Directed by Matt Dillon. 2002. 116 mins.

Dispelling Some Global Warming Myths

Critics of Climate Change (so-called "Climate Change Deniers") suggest that weather records have only been kept for the past century and a half. However, this is a bit misleading. First of all, it's a bit ethnocentric. In other regions in the world, some sorts of weather records have been kept for thousands of years, albeit not in the scientific and focused way it's done today. Furthermore, because there aren't such exact human artifacts of numbers left DOES NOT MEAN that we don't know what climate and weather patterns and atmospheric content was in the past.

For example cores taken of the earth's crust reveal considerable climate information. Ice cores taken in glaciers track climate, weather, and atmospheric conditions GOING BACK 100,000 OF YEARS!! We can even extrapolate the flux of CO2 in the atmosphere over this extremely long time period!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


"A lawman plans to release a captured ghost and follow it." Directed by Su Chao-pin. Starring Chang Chen, Yosuke Eguchi, Karena Lam, Fang Wen. From Taiwan. 2006. 117 mins.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The President's Finger

I think what critics of Obama don't understand is what is required of an American President. I suppose it is the thing that makes the President's hair turn white as soon as he takes office. It is being confronted with tremendous power.

WILL YOU PRESS THE BUTTON?!?! Will you destroy the only known life in the universe? If you can't understand that, then there's no point in going any further. Being President of the U.S. is not about "doing the right thing" or "helping the poor" or "addressing racism." It is about will you press the button and destroy EVERYTHING. That is the ONLY thing that needs to be clarified before any President will be allowed to continue breathing.

Every other political question, fact, issue must be understood that that is what faces the American President. Power. Real Power.

Several Presidents' have asked what happened with the JFK assassination as one of their first inquiries starting with JFK's successor LBJ (who is on tape laughing about the "official" story). However, such knowledge does not seem to be it either. What a President knows (state secrets) is not the ROLE that a President is supposed to play. HE IS THERE TO ENSURE THAT THE U.S. EMPIRE IS NOT ONLY READY BUT WILLING TO DESTROY EVERYTHING. Otherwise Rome cannot rule!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Executive Pay

There is an assumption in Corporate America (a very self-serving assumption) that if you don't give astronomically grotesque pay structures and bonuses to executives, then they cannot attract the best executives and stay competitive.

I think this myth can be addressed in two ways: one by citing contrary real-world examples, and a logical argument that addresses the true nature of motivation.

Southwest Airlines is a perfect example that consistently gets ranked as one of the best corporations of America, making the top 10 several years running. One key aspect of this corporation is that they DO NOT have the disproportionate executive compensation structure. Furthermore, some of the worst instances of outrageous pay and bonuses were to the very companies that brought down the entire world economy along with their own failures. Not only were these overpaid executives not at all convincingly "the best talent attracted" but in fact, the exact opposite seems to have been the case, that they excessive compensation may have ENCOURAGED risky and foolish decisions in a delerium of greed and excess.

Since there seems not only to be no connection between outrageous executive compensation and having a well run company that doesn't implode taking the world economy with it, but in fact seems to actually encourage and create the very environment that makes such an outcome to be almost inevitable! This brings us to the second point to try to understand what it is that really does motivate behavior. Excessive pay seems to motivate pillaging, short term gains, taking excessive risks, corruption, and outright shenanigans. Instead what motivates the best executives are people who REGARDLESS of pay, want to to a good job and run a good company, who enjoys what they do, not is looking to make a quick buck.

If in fact, sociologists regularly find the most successful individuals in any and every sphere in any and every domain in society is always motivated by a desire to do their best and they are passionate about the domain their in. Otherwise I know of no examples where financial compensation has ever stimulated and motivated the striving to be the best. It seems most effective in getting people to go against their own consciences and engaging in iffy moral behavior, but it rarely if ever brings out he best in us.

David Stockton (served under Reagan) suggests now that bloated Banks are parasitic on the economy and making the middle class disappear.

Barbara Scher

link to blog post

Scanners vs. divers.

In our current society, those who can deeply delve into just one field, careerists, so-called "divers" are privileged.

Then there are the so-called "scanners" people who are interested in a wide range of things, and once sufficiently investigated move on to the next (leaving a string of "unfinished projects")

The Myth of Scarcity

So often greed is masked behind the Myth of Scarcity.

We actually live in tremendous luxury, wealth, abundance, and privilege, yet systems of domination develop a sense of "Created Need" to get us rats to continue on the treadmill of capitalism, or us slaves dragging our slabs up to the top of Pharoah's Pyramid.

Yellow Fever, Christianity, Murder

This epitomizes a perfect storm of various dominances: christian fundamentalism, homicidal derangement, and yellow fever.

Reminds me of Michael Moore's quote: "White people scare me."

Porn Stary Felicia Tang Murdered by Pastor Boyfriend reads the Headline!

"I truly felt he was a man of God."

Murdering Minister

Baptist Minister has affair and kills wife, mother of his two children. Remains unrepentent. Many say, "he was a good person."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dreams With Sharp Teeth

Documentary about Harlan Ellison. He has a type Eight personality (from the Enneagram). He is outspoken and outrageous.

He was a pioneer in the science fiction genre, writing famous novels, short stories, and television shows. (He wrote some of the seminal Star Trek and Outer Limits episodes.) As a child he was ruthlessly bullied in a fiercely anti-semitic town in Ohio. He was outspoken even as a child and may have "caused" his being bullied. He can't bear to have people laugh at him to this day. So he has a complex about being "put down" by others.

He makes an interesting point that writer's sell themselves short by not insisting on being paid what they're worth.

In 1965 he marched with King in Selma, Alabama. He considers this one of his proudest moments.

"People these days say stupid things like 'If you're so smart then why aren't you making a million bucks?' 'Everyone's entitled to their own opinion' No! You are not entitled to your own opinion, you are entitled to your INFORMED opinion. Otherwise it's just hot air and farts."

In an interview with Tom Brokaw in 1980, he suggested that college campuses have changed after the buzz of the 60's and after the Nixon era. Now they all just wanted to get into big business and make money.

Art should be like a brick. - Kafka

1967 he edited the anthology "Dangerous Visions" which changed the science fiction genre.

"Trifles make for perfection and perfection is no trifle." Michelangelo

"Genius is the recovery of chilhod at will."
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt
Rock singer P.J. Proby: "I am an artist and should be exempt from shit."

sat ci sate ben "It is done quickly enough if it is done well."

He wrote the Outer Limits episode "The Demon with the Glass Hand" and the Star Trek Episode "City on the Edge of Forever"

What "S" star of Lawrence of Arabia wrote a long running bridge column? (Answer Omar Shariff) the girl's answer was "Naomi Campbell"

"The Man who rode Christopher Colombus to shore." A fundamentalist is writing his doctorate in theology about his "atheist righteousness that should not be ignored by chritians."

"Letters From the Earth"
"if one truly belives there is a... that god is a malign thug." mark twain.

The universe does not know we're even here. It is randomn, it doesn't care. There's no laws no rules.

I don't mind getting messages from god, but i do with those who answers them.

It's presumptuous and silly, so that you can blame everything on some unseen deity. You don't have to take responsibiliyt anything. Courage, kindness, friendship, dreams, imagination, taking responsibility for what you do.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Anniversary Party

This is a star-studded ensemble cast very much about Hollywood culture of drugs and the difficulty of relationships and loyalty in an increasingly "hollywoodization" of modern society.

Kevin Kline, Phoebe Cates, Gwenyth Paltrow, Jennifer Beals, John C. Reilly and other A-list stars portray hollywood types.

They take "Dolphins" a "name-brand" of ecstasy.

Music is by Sean Penn's brother Michael Penn.  A series of photographs play a small role in the film, and these were taken by Jennifer Beals herself.  In fact, near the end of the film, a fairly overt scene with her manipulating one of the photos along a wall of them, is a kind of nod to her real-life contribution.
Oddly, Phoebe Cates, who after marrying Kevin Kline seemed to have dropped off the hollywood scene, plays in this film with her real-life husband, as the "family" couple with whom the main characters' contrast, also played with Jennifer Jason Leigh in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.  It makes you wonder whether they really did stay in touch all these years?

"Painful truths are revealed at a drug-fueled celebration."  Starring Alan Cumming, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Steven Freedman, Calra Demedrano, John Benjamin Hickey, Parker Posey.  Written and directed by Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming.  2001.  115 mins.

Movies about Making Movies (or About Hollywood)

The Player (1992)

Mistress (1992)

Hijacking Hollywood (1997)

Swimming with Sharks (1994)

Permanent Midnight (1998)

Get Shorty (1995)

update--> Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story

Second Best

Friday, January 15, 2010

Separate Lies

Very similar in themes to Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors. 

Tom Wilkinson plays a high powered attorney whose wife Emily Watson engages in an affair with a young heir.  During their tryst, Watson accidentally kills her housekeeper's husband.  It turns out that the young heir had accused of the housekeeper of theft years earlier, and that it was Watson's magnanimity that was her first opportunity to have employment and dignity again. 

A convoluted drama of lies and truth ensue as powerful individuals attempt to manipulate things for their own benefit.

"A young heir threatens a couple's troubled marriage."  Starring Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Rupert Everett, Linda Bassett, David Harewood, John Neville.  Written and Directed by Julian Fellowes.  From UK.  2005.  87 mins.

The Components of Religious Fundamentalism

What's required to say the outlandish things that preachers say is a mixture not just of religious delusion, but also vast ignorance, and a healthy dose of psychological derangement.

There are those who are just crazy and delusional. There are others who are incredibly ignorant and willfully blind. But it takes the religious fundamentalist to synergistcally mesh the two to create ever dizzying heights of orgiastic violence and hate.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ralph Nader

Center for Study of Responsive Law

Ralph Nader discusses issues surrounding the corrupt practices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and how to we must stop Corporate Welfare through democractic governance.

Books by Ralph Nader:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The End of the Line

You can see it on link is to webisodes "episode 1", and the rest of the links are to the side.

The NRDC gave a "State of the Oceans" report a few months back and spent the ENTIRE time talking about overfishing and collapsing fisheries. During the question and answer period, someone asked about the threat of global warming, and the answer was, that yes it's also a serious problem but PALES in comparison to the mass extinction of fish stocks throughout the ocean.

The ocean floor is trawled 7 times a year!

We used to think that fish were a renewable resource but they are not.

In 1992 the cod fisheries collapsed, today they are listed as an endangered species in Canada! 40,000 fishermen were out of work overnight. Today, they were so overfished they were never able to rebound.

Daniel Pauly, fishery expert conducted research for the UN.
How was it that all local fisheries were reporting drops in cod populations, yet world catch numbers showed an INCREASE. This was a result in Chinese officials overreporting their catches. So in 2002, we now know that the numbers had been in decline since 1988. Industrial fishing began in 1950.

Mielgo, whistleblower in Europe. Former tuna fin driver.
"an infamous minority of people making millions and millions and millions decimating a species of fish. Is this moral?"

The Bluefin Tuna
Once supported Roman Legions, now facing imminent collapse.
Scientists recommend 15,000 tons to be caught to prevent collapse. 10,000 tons to help stocks recover. Politicians set the quota at 29,500 tons! Yet actual figures was 69,000 tons! No one was enforcing the quotas, and no one was heeding them!

50% of cod was illegally caught.

According to Worm, 90% of fish are gone. This number may be disputed, but whether the number is 70% or 90%, it is a catastrophe!

Mitsubishi buys fish and profits in this slaughter. They are sending out new, larger boats (pumped up freezing capacity). They are freezing them off so that when stocks collapse they will have a priceless commodity frozen off!

Western taxpayers fund supertrawlers who pay off developing countries for fishing rights. Unable to compete with such industrialized fishing, locals are faced with no way to make a living at home, and are forced to emigrate. "The Europeans like our fish, but not our people."

By 2003, 1/3 of what we consider "seafood" is in a collapsed state.

Charles Clover
British journalist trying to discover the sourcing for most exclusive restaurants such as Nobu. They were serving an endangered species (listed since 1996!). There are no rhinos, cheetahs, and tigers on the menu, yet these fish are!

Marine Stewardship Council publishes a guide to which fish to eat.

Fish farming is worse, as wild fish are used to feed farmed fish. You're not actually MAKING any more fish. You're just converting one species to another.

One possibility is to eat the smaller fish: makerel, anchovies, and herring. It's healthier than salmon anyway.

We need to turn the clock back 200 years to replenish fish stocks. This means protected areas. There is hope. Marine Reserves have demonstrated tremendous resilience, recovering from the devastation of overfishing. They need to be well policed. Such a global network covering 20-30% of global oceans would cost about $12-14 billion. Current estimates of fish subsidies is about $15-30 billion, these subsidies encourage overfishing.

From the website:
The Campaign
The End of the Line is not against fishing. It is not against eating fish. But it is for a responsible attitude towards the oceans.
The film has three messages for consumers, citizens and companies:

Ask before you buy:
only eat sustainable seafood.

Tell politicians:
respect the science, cut the fishing fleet

Join the campaign
for marine protected areas and responsible fishing


"Scientists warn about the dangers of overfishing." Narrated by Ted Danson. Directed by Rupert Murray. From UK. 2009. 82 mins. Based on a book by Charles Clover.

I swear, we're eating ourselves to death and taking the world with us!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

R. Dwayne Betts

"A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison"

Car-jacked someone at 16 and spent 8 1/2 years in prison.

"What it means to be black and in prison."

Enlightened Consumers?

I don't believe that fantasizing about market solutions dependent upon enlightened consumers is a realistic model for saving us from our most dire threats.

Jonathan Safran Foer

12/7/09 Jewish Community Center in Manhattan

MC: Abigail Pogrebin, Journalist

Jonathan Safran Foer
Author of "Eating Animals"

Raising of livestock is the biggest contributor to every environmental problem we have.

Accounts for 51% of all greenhouse gases, that means it contributes more than every other factor combined.

The factory farm system is inherently cruel to animals.

The head of the U.N. Global Warming Commission:

Should "taste" allow us to confine and eat animals. Like sex, because we have limits to having sex with animals, what's the difference with killing them because they taste good. Senses and drives should not make us exempt from ethical concerns.

Is Vegetarianism the next stage for moral accountability and development?

Frank Bruni "Born Round"

Friday, January 8, 2010

In the Bedroom

Todd Field does a lot of work as an actor, but here creates an highly critically acclaimed drama, a admittedly deep portrayal of social isolation in the modern world.

"A couple's marriage unravels in the wake of a tragedy." Starring Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson, Nick Stahl, Marisa Tomei, William Mapother, William Wise. Directed by Todd Field. 2001. 138 mins.

Goya's Ghosts

Early on, we see that the priest is forced to confess that he is a monkey by being put to "The Question" which is "holy" torture. The victim cannot be released because this would bring into question the authority of the church. Their debate over dinner becomes a metaphor for our current position of forcing confessions through torture, something we clearly understand when it comes to religious matters, but have trouble understanding Nationalism as our modern secular religion.

The French Revolution comes into play, and what's interesting is that the divide between East and West Europe during the Cold War, roughly maps to the areas conquered by Napoleon in the name of the "Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen" which was achieved by bloodshed.

Though Milos Forman has a flair for the historical epic, this is not as amazing as some of his other fair, though there's nothing lacking in any of the content. This seems to be the hit or miss way of the medium of film.

The best part of the film is its "message" about torture, confession, religion, faith, politics, art, and the horrors of war.

"The Spanish Inquisition targets artist Goya's muse." Starring Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman, Stellen Skarsgard, Randy Quaid, Jose Luis Gomez, Michael Lonsdale. Directed Milos Forman. From Esp/USA. 2006. 117 mins.


Do Americans have any idea of the rich culture of Iran/Persia?? Would our political rhetoric be so militaristic and belligerent if we knew that even within oppressive religious configurations there are still tremendous spaces of liberation, resistance, and contestation?

This film demonstrates the humanity and dignity of people regardless of how impractical social laws may be. In this case, the "Vice Squad" patrols National Soccer Matches to find young girls dressed as men who try to infiltrate the stands in order to watch a sport they truly love.

A wide range of types of men and women are portrayed so realistically, one forgets one is watching a movie.

"Teenage girls pose as boys to see an Iranian soccer game." Starring Sima Mobarakshai, Safar Samandar, Sheyesteh Irani, Mohamad Kheirabadi, Aida Sadeghi, Golnaz Farmani. Directed by Jafar Panahi. From Iran. 2006. 92 mins.

The Ghost

Another Asian Horror film with the creepy stringy haired deadly ghost stalking attractive victims.


In the end the body didn't decay because of the high arsenic content in the water, the detective explains, "See, even fish can't live in the water." Again, a bit of social commentary. As well, the male lead is a Sociology major, a major that's very critical of social norms and structural violence and inequities.

(spoiler) The concept of transmigrating souls here is reminiscent of the unforgettably creepy Angelheart with Mickey Rourke and Lisa Bonet.

As a sidenote, Cosby publically criticized Lisa Bonet for her sexy role in the movie, and she even started appearing less on the Cosby Show as a result. Goes to show you how wrong he is and why a book like "Is Bill Cosby Right?: Or has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?" by Michael Eric Dyson.

"Ghostly visions plague a student whose friends begin to die." Starring Kim Ha-neul, Ryu Jin, Nam Sang-mi, Lee Yun-ji, Kim Hae-suk, Choi Ran. From South Korea. 2004. 90 mins.


The Chaser

An intense murder mystery, a former, disgraced cop is now a pimp. One night when one of his girls goes missing, he starts to realize that several of his girls have gone missing. He goes on a chase to try to track her down before a deranged serial killer makes her his next victim.

The rights for this film have been bought by hollywood and will probably be remade.

"A cop who pimps girls looks for several who disappeared." Starrying Yun-seok Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Yeong-hie Seo, In-gi Jung, Hyo-ju Park. Directed Hong-jin Na. From South Korea. 2008. 125 mins.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

some more links

Juan Cole
history, university of michigan
informed comment blog

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Effect of "Agent Orange" Today

All of the hotspots for testing dioxin levels are all around former U.S. bases in Vietnam.

400,000 deaths, 4.8 million with health effects.
30 billion for 10 year health costs is the Vietnamese estimate. May be a high estimate.

Economic Treaties may play an adverse political role in pushing Vietnam to put the issue on the back burner to avoid upsetting the U.S. who has its hands on the purse strings.

Also intra-deparmental turf disputes may also contribute to demphasizing the issue. Concerns such as the export of bottom feeding fish (carp, catfish, etc.) may also play such a role.

Michael Martin
Congressional Research Service, Asian Trade and Finance Analyst


Clay Risen
Democracy Managing Editor

There is little international precedents or laws or restrictions concerning the legacy of military activity (such as landmines, etc.)

All war fighting is inherently bad for the environment, so most country's tend to oppose any such notion that may pose limitations on war activity.

Notable exceptions are examples of "Victor's Justice", where some of Iraq's payment after the first Gulf War was paid to cleaning oil spills.

Environmental concerns over the effects of war activity was never much of a concept in earlier decades. It's a fairly recent concern.


Phillip Longman
"Best Care Anywhere"

We should expand VA care, using it as a model for health care reform throughout the country.


Water Conflicts & Developing Nations

Live 9am c-span
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars & Catholic Relief Services

Jason Gehrig
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Consultant and Engineer

Wrote a book. Structural violence must also be considered in development issues.

He was in Bolivia. 2000 Cochababmba Water Rights had been privitized. In El Alto 2005 also privitized after 8 years they had enough. Is it really "pro-poor"? They make $2 a day and they had to pay $435. Water is a Human Right. Indiginous wisdom and understanding how they see it as a part of their worldview (veins of mother earth), this is the indigenous wisdom.

We're gonna go out there and "fix" other people's problems, we need to look at our own.

So often the expertise we bring comes with strings attached, political, economic, etc.

Co-author Water and Conflict: Incorporating Peacebuilding Into Water Development. King "Peace is not just the absence of violence, it is the presence of justice."

Conflict: victims of arbitrary violence, we need to be by their side if we are serious about what we're doing.

Making it ecologically sustainable and a true renewable resource.

To truly be builders of peace, we need to truly listen to the voices of the people to their struggle for human dignity and life truly become our own.


William Hall
Georgetwon Universtiy
Conflict Resolution Professor

Sometimes, victims don't even know that they are in conflict because the violence is structural.

ECR (Environment Conflict Resolution) evaluation framework: engage and listen to the actual populations.


Tjip Walker
USAID Conflict Management Warning and Analysis Team Leader

Generally speaking societies that are more democratic, participatory, and open/ free flow of information are less likely to fall into violence, as are highly autocratic ones, for totally different reasons.

There is a direct link with greatest water deficits and bad governance.

Those who have a stake in the matter can work together in a process to create good and effective management of the resources.


Dennis Warner
Catholic Relief Services, Senior Water and Sanitation Adviser

CRS's concern is the welfare, dignity, and empowerment of those most suffering from these issues.

Kristen Commie (privitization in Libya) the commons, Indiana University.

are the Larouche followers a cult?!? or just stupid?

The Nature Conservancy: Development vs. longterm sustainable Conservation

Geoff Dableck
Wilson Center for Environment and Security Director

Three Times

Perhaps not the best movie to take someone on a date, I was floored by the film, but I was already a fan of the director. The date was pretty bored. The silent segments were because the actors couldn't get the Shanghainese accent straight. Yet that segment's emotional impact is not dulled at all.

"Three love stories take place in different eras." Starring Shu Qi, Mei Fang, Liao Su-jen, Di Mei, Shi-Zheng Chen. Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien. Taiwan. 2005. 130 mins.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mark Hyman

The Ultra Mind Solution

Inflammation, can treat autism.

There's a new virus discoverd (bola virus) that's found in 1 of 3 people in the limbic sytem, and stress, toxicity can trigger it, causes inflammtaion and depression! So do not treat with antidepressants or therapy but antivrials!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Landscape of Dreamland


Sleep Paralysis

Understanding life itslef

Journeying and Journaling in Dreamland





Astarl Traveling

Dream for a New Year

Last night I had a very interesting, telling, and hopefully premonitory (portentous) dream!

I was with a group of other young people like we were in a cliched horror film. I think they were a few girls I went to school in Germany with. However, we were trapped in an old building much like you'd find on the Berkeley campus.

The problem was much like in "13 Ghosts" or "Silent Hill" where you think you can leave, but in fact "reality" itself will trap you in (even when you think you've escaped you haven'). Of course, it starts out with convoluted hallways, that alter and change course as you go through it, not letting you out. Then at one point we escaped out a "side way" but were then tricked into going back in, thinking "We were just trippin' it's not REALLY a trick, haunted building!"

but once lured back in we realized we were trapped again. However, through sheer belief in myself, due to the fact that the entire time we actually WERE trapped I never lost hope or faith in my ability to get out. Likewise, this final time when we got "re"-trapped, while the others fretted, i confidently strode out, and as the others were "sucked" back in, i escaped knowingly. then i woke.

I never felt a sense of being trapped or that i wouldn't make it out.

I hope this portends of the coming year. That all the pitfalls of life will fall away like nothing, no matter how "mysterious" or "otherworldly" my hindrances, obstacles, and barriers might be!


A short film with some truly quirky characters, a main character David (played by Jeremey White) notorious for having drowned his dog, who's an aquarium enthusiast, who's closest friends look like they're straight out of Gummo. His good friends bicker back and forth in front of their attractive, young neighbor "Ellen Fine" (played by Kaitlin Kiyan). Timmie (played by Zach Brian), a very short and onery character, is given some of the best lines of the short as he's argumentative and clever. Peter (played by Mathew Simpson) is the classic geek, who's always ambitiously dreaming of some new idea to make or build something .

"A troubled teen and his friend venture on a trip to a meeting of the Boston Aquarium Society" Directed by Rob Meyer.

Steven Greenhut

Steven Greenhut is the director of the Pacific Research Institute's Investigative Journalism Center and News Bureau in Sacramento. Was on the editorial board of the Orange County Register.

Author of "Plunder! How Public employee unions are Raiding Treasuries Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation."

If it isn't obvious from the hysterical and overexagerrated title, then the vast stupidity of the Orange County simpletons demonstrates how much ignorance and naive hypocrisy and moral confusion is required to "think" on the right. It's almost a purely Teabagging orgy.

Compare this talk with those at say "City Lights Bookstore" in San Francisco or Cody's in Berkeley. The difference is between Preschool and the Ivy League!

If you want to understand how "discourses" are produced, it's not even about facts (though statistically conservative forces tend to be immune from them)

His "evidence" is almost entirely anecdotal and I'm ASSUMING totally spurious. At one point he pretends like he isn't a total hack by relating stories from the L.A. Times. I'm assuming this is an "investigative series" that exists only in his Orange County head, or perhaps in the Twilight Zone.

In Greenhut's bizarro world, the Unions are out to get us and ruining everything. He even things some bizarre conspriacy that they deliberately minsmanage. I'd like to know how his brilliant conspiratorial elaborations would relate to the horrors committed by the Bush Administration. This is where his BLATANT hypocrisy gets exposed, leaving him to his silly, provinical audience in Orange, California. This first AND only time i've even heard of an author even coming to such an intellecutal backwater.

He apparently is against the idea of workers having a pension. He was even nervous about touching the venerated Prop 13 which ensures a racist segregated school system.

One person criticized that Mission Viejo is a contract town and paid the Sheriff 8 millsion and now pays 17 million. His response is the problem with not enough competition and monpoly of the government . Not the vast and notorious corrupiton of the Sheriff's Department.

Also author of "

not surprisingly go to!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I want to start keeping track of how many films have as a plot element the predicaments caused by losing money, needing money, or otherwise being in some financial predicament, and to what extent this is a resistance to capitalism and how artists are often typically not good at making money or care that much for its pursuit.

In this case, a Thai Boxing School is involved with a Gangster for whom they fix fights and courier money. A mix up ensues when the main character's "6" flips down to become a "9".

"If I found a bunch of money, I'd keep it and go to some remote place. Or better yet, go abroad. Who knows maybe you'll even get a foreign husband!"

The colonized mind and the values they imbue.

The main actress in this Thai film looks very mixed. She has some very Euro looking features. This could be that at some point in her family's ancestry there was some. Then first male character also looks like he has western features as well. He's tall and good-looking, highly praised and valued in most Asian societies (as they are seen as "western" features... whether they actually are or not)

"A woman tries to flee to London with stolen money." Starring Lalita Panyopas, Tasanawalai Ongartittichai, Black Phomtong, Sritao. From Thailand. 1999. 111 mins.

Army of Shadows

The heroism of devoting oneself to a movement that is doomed to fail, knowing it will only lead to your own personal demise, believing in the nobility of the wider movement to resist tyranny, occupation, and oppression. Yet, the irony that such resistance can also lead to greater repression.

I wondered what this film may have meant to a 1969 France, and upon looking it up just now discovered that there was quite a bit of controversy surrounding this film. In light of the uprisings of 1968, critics dismissed the film as being too glorifying of Charles de Gaulle. As a result of these bad critics the film was unsuccessful and was not even released in the U.S. (and Britain) for 40 years. It was finally restored in 2006 as Cahiers du Cinema re-reviewed the film (before it had panned the film causing art-film distributors abroad to ignore the film) and made it on numerous top ten lists in 2006.

"Members of the French Resistance work against the Nazis." Starring Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Simone Signoret, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Serge Reggiani, Claude Mann. Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. From France. 1969. 140 mins.

Firewalled Heart

In the era of "Generation Me" we've become SO weak, we do anything to avoid any sort of discomfort.

Is this the attraction of the new cyber-reality, the ability to firewall our lives?

Am I the only one feeling hopelessly unrequited by our virtual relationships?

Can a soul truly be filled by mere suggestion or vacuous intimation, no matter how sincere, no matter how well-intentioned?

Has touch, actual human contact, and genuine interaction become quaint-- even obsolete, having lost value in our cyberized world of virtual commitments and firewalled hearts??

Have we really become so cowardly as to create barriers to pain, knowing it will also keep out joy?

Has courage become a luxury in an increasingly alienated world?

Will isolation win out over our humanity? Will individualism kill the spirit of collectivism? Will competition suffocate cooperation? The personal trump the public?

Will building defensive walls (both emotional and virtual) around our hearts truly save us from pain, or will it only weaken us to the point that we forget what the joy and tragedy of being truly human really is?

It seems so ironic that in an age of ever-increasing separation, when what every human truly yearns for is genuine human contact, that we build more and more layers to insulate us from the very connection we long for.

Gore Vidal Dictatorship in America

Gore Vidal: "We'll have a dictatorship in the U.S. soon'

Boxing Day

"Boxing Day" celebrated in many British Commonwealth Nations, including Canada, has a Boxing Day, but it has nothing to do with Pugilism.

It refers instead to a tradition of packing "Boxes" of treats and necessities for the less privileged.

Boxing as a pugilistic sport is something else entirely, the day is associated with charity, the other with ritualized violence (making it one of my favorite sports!).

Friday, January 1, 2010

We are Just Some Simulation

If you follow the logic, you have to conclude that we are actually just a sophisticated simulation by a more advanced society.

1) We are not the only life in the universe.

2) We are not the most sophisticated civilization in the universe.

3) Given that a more sophisticated civilization than ours doesn't destroy itself (as we are poised to do),

4) Then, we have to assume that a more advanced civilization can run an advanced simulation.

5) Thus, the chances are that we are actually just a simulation by a more advanced civilization.

So if life's problems get you down, just remind yourself that you are just some junior high kid's science fair project and don't take it too seriously.

Michael Sandel

Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? c-span 11/9/09 at the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, MA. A lot of his talk is the same themes from his class at Harvard and his talk at the book store was even held in the same way with lots of "audience" participation.

His series "Justice with Michael Sandel" on PBS is a great show, especially episode eight.

Here's the episode guide:

Conference on Women

Governer and First Lady of California Conference on Women. at Long Beach, CA.

At the peak of the Atlantic Slave Trade there were 80,000 slaves trafficked in a year.

Today, the State Department estimates there are 800,000 slaves trafficked a year.

In the day, since a slave may have been worth $40,000 as horribly mistreated as they were, there was incentive to at least keep them alive, whereas today, a sex worker in India may be worth a few hundred dollars. So, a brothel owner will gather all his women together and beat one of them to death in front of them to teach the others a lesson.

The war in Eastern Congo (5 million deaths) is the deadliest since World War II and is the worst in ratio from deaths to column inches.

The best way to improve poverty, civil violence, terrorism, is to educate and empower women.

A Hawaiian story: Millions of starfish wash up on the beach. A young boy starts throwing them back into the ocean. A man reproaches him, "There's millions of starfish, what difference do you think you can make?!" He continues to throw the starfish back, "Well it made a difference to this one... and this one... and this one...."

Nicholas Kristoff (human trafficking)

Many of us don't want to hear about this human trafficking because they complain they can't sleep at night. But what of the actual victims of the trafficking, how well do they sleep?!

Somaly Mam

There used to be 2 male characters for every 1 female character. Now it's 3 to 1!!!

In Loony Toons there was only one female character: Grannie!!

The female characters in G rated films are hypersexualized, underrepresented, and scantily clad not any differently than R-rated films.

Geena Davis

Working with Channel 1, Lisa Ling went to Afghanistan in 1994 and was shocked by the number of child soldiers. "How old are they?" She asked her guide. "Ask them and they don't know, but ask them how to operate a bazooka and they know."

"Gang rape in the Congo" for the Oprah Show

Cable News Shows, a bunch of cantakerous, old white men telling you what to think. It's so insulting, when's the last time these guys were in flashpoints doing substantive stories?

Lisa Ling