A sense of place

January 31st, 2011

~ Why building a society based on cellphones probably doesn’t work.

Yesterday I wrote a post based on part upon the pyramids.  Mentioned was the Great Pyramid, the navel, if not the epicenter of planet earth.  OK, let’s argue.  Some say the center is Saint Peters in the heart of Rome, others say it is the Imperial Palace in Beijing (aka: Forbidden City), Americans might argue that it is at Panmunjom in the DMZ (located between the Koreas).

This brings us to the new epicenter of the universe that we call the world which today is Tahrir Square, or Liberation Square, or maybe the bustling center of Cairo.  The pyramids are located elsewhere, in Giza.  The point is that these places are places.  They are not just points and multi-points of connectivity on some nonexistent (meaning virtual) cellphone map.

America has lived through a revolution in communication, information, whatever.  The revolution has not led to much.  Everyone must still “go home” and even then all the communications in the world haven’t saved a single home for those who are still homeless and in America those people are among the many.  America offers no safety net; so, so much for the much heralded benefits of the web.  Like in the lesson of Tiananmen Square, Lexington Green or at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran itself, revolutions always begin at a place where there is a sense of place.  Insurrections grow from where people gather.  Getting there may be like a message from Paul Revere; however, traditionally it’s not the message, it’s being there that counts.

So, has all that what was once tradition changed?  Can there be a “cellphone revolution”?  Can we have and hold a new Constitutional Convention (in the United States itself) without having an Independence Hall (really: Pennsylvania Statehouse) or other new point at which to convene and rally?  Is the need for speakers really dead?  Can’t a simple Tweet just do it?  For the answer just look to Cairo now.

If Mubarak and his well-heeled followers can just take the square, then maybe, the whole revolution is off.  If ten million cellphones can bring in 10 million peaceful revolutionaries (to converge upon the square) then the whole revolution is on.  Can the cellphones be kept on?  Word of mouth is far too slow in the age of instant revolution when airtime is measured and tracked by computers and not just by clocks (clocks are so yesterday; it’s not the time, but how many minutes left that you have that matters).

So yes, Mubarak may get a telephone call or so asking that he step down.  “I hold the square,” he might have said, “the revolution is over.”  “Hold the line,” someone else then says, using that familiar phrase, “please hold”.  “Maybe you could just Txt me,” Mubarak says, “tweeks just take a minute.”  “I hear shots fired in the streets, the army sounds like it’s moving or mowing people down, or something – I wish I were there, all I’ve got is this gad dam*ed “dropped connection”.”

It is interesting to follow this latest revolution.  We all will see how far it goes.  Without all the cellphones and internet and cable TV and satellite receivers Hozni Mubarak would have been gone long ago.  It is the media that has kept him so long in power.  And it’s true; the media begins (and ends) with you.

Is it Western Union or just Paul Revere calling?  I think next time I’ll just sleep in.  A call to arms, a call to place, an invitation to the next great big mass rally?  It’s all a sham.  Everyone knows that every real revolution begins at home – so tune out, turn off, get disconnected.  Talking is for families, friends and neighbors.  You’ll only find media in the streets.  And guns.

Better

January 30th, 2011

~ “It’s getting better all the time.” – The Beatles

I want to write that “things are” getting better all the time.  I can’t.  The word is “it’s”, as in “it is”, as in IT is getting better and maybe I don’t even know what “it” is anymore, it’s just not me.

It may have been different on March 9, 1967 when the Beatles recorded this upbeat ditty in an effort to catch the feelings of a dieing age.  That’s what Sgt. Pepper’s was; it was about looking back, not forward, but back.  It’s kind of like life in Egypt now, or in America.  A backward glance gives rise to yesterdays and missed opportunities and, “what were we doing, thinking”, moments.  And then these memories too often leave us with longings, (and) regrets.

Of course, Saudi Arabia is next.  There are only 4,370 closed quote hits for this idea just now.  In a few days, a week, there may very well be millions.  Things ARE getting better for the underclass, the under fed, the under represented before the thrones of power.  It is the American dream all over again – getting better – or just “better”.  That’s the American Dream summarized in just one word, “Better”.

Of course better has been around a long long time.  That’s why the pyramid builders (according to Cecil B. DeMille, in the C.E. 1956 version of the story) left Egypt for the first time circa 1,445 B.C.E.

However, since the Great Pyramid (aka: Pyramid of Khufu) was likely completed around 2,540 B.C.E., that means that the pyramid was probably finished about 1,095 years before Moses walked out and about 1,025 years before Moses was even born.  OK, so the Great Pyramid was not the one that caused so much despair among the Egyptian masses, causing the poorest of the poor to leave.

So which pyramid is it depicted in this picture from The Ten Commandments, the movie?

On which pyramid were the Egyptian slaves required to toil?  I remember the scenes so well, Carlton Heston stating so clearly that blood does not make good mortar.  Oh that Obama and Mubarak and King Abdullah understood things so well.  Abdullah (of Saudi Arabia) is just an 85 year old Monarch; poor old Mubarak is a good three years younger (just age 82).  If Moses led the people out to safety at age 70 maybe there is time still left for Obama to make good at some point in the next 20 years.  Like the slow heat of fire in good cooking, politics too takes time.

With or without Moses and his followers pyramid building did go on.  Pyramid building moved south and the “lower Egyptians” who lived further up the Nile (now Sudan) built pyramids for another 600 years, ending by 300 C.E.  Were these pyramid builders also slaves; or were they just more working stiffs getting stiff and stiffed while working at underpaid, menial type jobs and hoping for a revolution, an uprising, of the masses?

I think I’ve made my point in history.  The rich remember the prosperity, the palaces, the opportunity to make a name for oneself and to leave a legacy and build something grand.  The poor, the down-trodden, those always left behind only remember the slavery, the drudgery, the hopelessness of words of promise devoid of any real hope.  And in time they will rebel.  In time those whose life has not gotten any better will seek better, American or not.

I wish the Tunisians, the Egyptians, the free Arabians all well.  I wish the Brits and the Beatles well.  I wish the Americans well too and hope that their revolution may in time be a success.  But, my point is this.  Life may not be about “better”.  Cell phones, the internet, bigger houses and 3-D TV might not be “the dream” or anyone’s dream for that matter.  Bigger may not be better, but better might not be the point.  The word is too open ended, too vague, too destitute of meaning.  Egypt does not need a better government, better leadership, a better life; Egypt needs good – good government, a good life, a good deal more of what really matters which is not more U.S. aid and military weapons and western goods made mostly in China.

Chasing all this materialism has just brought the world pain.  It is not an economic revolution that we need, not a political revolution; we need a change of heart, a revolution of the heart that overthrows the tyrants of greed and power, of hate and envy everywhere.  We do not need “no new taxes”, we need no taxes!  To illustrate – the Egyptian ruling class did not pay enough in taxes to help the poor and thereby prevent this revolution.  If the rich and corporations were to go tax free (in America) the revolution would begin tomorrow.  Taxing the rich is counter-revolutionary, anti-freedom.  It’s like building pyramids (again) in the new Sudan.

What part of the Tea party agenda do YOU not really understand?  It’s not about the rich, it is about REVOLUTION.

So, if YOU are confused, why not be.  It’s hard to become unhinged and it’s harder still to unhinge a society that has led you and is leading us all to ruin.  Progress involves a disassociation from familiar, closely-held, outworn myths.  It’s a lot like President Mubarak, once he was young; now all he is is old and a tyrant and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama should have seen it coming and changed course a millennium ago.  The same is true for the Kings of Saud, it is time to make Arabia free.  Would that make things “better”?  Hopefully not.

     

Cold is the new Warm

January 25th, 2011

~ Listening to Piers Corbyn is like attending a college lecture in the 1960’s.

OK, it’s cold outside.  It is very cold in New England and the prediction is for snow, lots of snow.

How cold does it have to get for how long in how many places before the greenhouse warming people wake up to the fact that they need more blankets and that the homeless need more blankets and that the whole idea of global warming is a wet blanket and that the advocates of the same (meaning man-made climate change) are wet blankets too?  I guess it started when anti-freeze became a part of coolant and was sold in the same jug so no one had to check for the temperature if the radiator fluid still looked green.  I wish I made this stuff up.

Piers says the jet stream is being blocked (he says stuck) as in sticky blocked as in random tight swirls and bifurcated paths and the other type stuff that you may have noticed (like I did) by reading the daily paper and looking at the page entitled “Weather”.  The news about Greenhouse Warming appears on the front page with other “Politics” and on the “Editorial Page” and in the “Letters to the Editor” or maybe in the “Movies” section where you can read about Al Gore.   That’s the difference between opinion (pages) and the facts (the truth about what is and what was).

The only real inconvenient truth is that Al Gore and his supporters won’t admit that they are wrong.

I grew up around new airports and with a father that built them; I’m almost as old as Piers Corbyn.  I grew up knowing that these new airports (circa 1940’s and beyond) were located in the warmest places with the best weather in (or near) any given city.  The idea was to keep the airport open and operating and flights flying as often as possible; simply said, flying from the old airport in foggy bottom just didn’t work.

Then of course (some time in the fifties or sixties) all the weather stations were moved from their old locations downtown to the new airports elsewhere.  The central core temperatures in the cities located at the confluences of rivers and upon icy bays were replaced with “airport temperatures” that were warmer and therefore encouraged everyone to fly.  The real issue is bad data.  And besides, apples and oranges are hard to sort as most cities grew and even the central cores of even the smallest cities got warmer because the new prosperity (coming out of the Great Depression) made these cities easier to heat.

America (and the world) used to be agrarian and mostly rural.  Now it’s city folks that make the news; they live in New York and Washington and maybe in London or Atlanta and in those cities it has gotten warmer because that’s where the money has gone and everyone making money gets sucked in.  Another way of saying this is, “the rich aren’t ever concerned about the need for heat.”; they have heat.  They don’t fear the cold.

However, the hinterlands still exist.  Many people still live rural.  The family farms are not all gone making the corporate farm (the collective farm) all that might exist.  The fact is that is where it’s cold.  It’s freezing.  The ice is coming back and building and since ice expands when it freezes maybe New York will be flooded after all as the oceans rise to accommodate the weight of the newly frozen water.  It’s only the ice isolated on dry land or on top of other ice that can melt and raise the seas as Al Gore (and his fellow travelers) have said.  The sea ice melting would lower the water, not raise it.

So articles are appearing about the poor job that colleges and universities (in America) are doing in teaching the skills of critical thinking, reasoning, and good fact-finding and research.  I wonder.  I wonder if the Al Gore generation is just getting too old to know that they are dated and that the days and message of Al Gore is past and only retro and that there are new people around (speaking out the truth) that know the truth regardless of how inconvenient it might be for Al Gore.  Enter Piers Corbyn.

The cold will get so cold that even those who are warm and rich and living in New York, Boston, Atlanta and London will know that it’s cold outside and getting colder and that there is no place to run and hide.  This is not to say that coal or oil is good.  This is not to say that automobile emissions, gas exhaust, the generation of too much energy or the consumption of too much green stuff (or other stuff) is good.  It’s not.  Houses built for a Florida or a Southern California that never gets cold must be replaced or maybe the people need to be relocated as the planet moves out of, not into, the warm.

I hope Amtrak can start laying new track and buying new equipment that can operate efficiently in temperatures close (or much lower) to 50 below (zero, as in Fahrenheit).  Electrical distribution must be made more reliable.  Budgets for snowplows in southern climes must be passed, not just considered.  Hot water circulating under major northern city streets (like they have in Iceland) might be the new green for those who are well educated and can think.   The list (of needed changes) can go on.

Mankind (Womankind) perhaps can’t do anything about the weather, but everyone can prepare for the weather that soon may come, that’s here.  If you can’t afford the heat, move.  If your home is too cold, buy and install insulation.  The U.N. Resolution won’t save you.  You must resolve and act to save yourself, your community, your city – or at least that’s what Piers Corbyn says.  Now aren’t you glad you know?

Hate Speech

January 24th, 2011

~ Jack LaLanne is dead so maybe it’s time to kick sand in the face of the whole muscle thing.

So maybe you didn’t grow up in the 1950’s.  I did.  And I soon learned that growing up meant growing muscles and being big and having a big hairy chest and big broad shoulders and giant biceps and a look like you came from muscle beach (which the name, if not the concept came later).

All this of course came from comic books and the ads that comic books had then and if you (meaning me) didn’t read comic books it didn’t matter because others did and that’s what made it possible for Charles Atlas and the Jack LaLanne types to take over America and rule the world and help beef up the American military too as American Muscle moved to protect or takeover the world (and not just dominate every beach, or beach-head).

Because of this comic (book) mentality that fostered super-heroes and delusions of grandeur and omnipotence and other such nonsense America kicked ass in Europe and then in Korea until it all ended in Vietnam.  It was the big muscled-up American Beefeaters versus the skinny little wimps dressed in black pajamas and Charles Atlas and Jack LaLanne had all taught us who would win.  It took awhile to learn the lesson – how could America go so wrong?  America did not win.

It wasn’t just me that wasn’t the big hairy chest and muscles type.  It wasn’t just me that was taught to feel bad about myself because of a simple genetics that I didn’t understand and that Jack LaLanne never understood and a mindset that advocated lower body muscle instead of using the muscle of the mind and isn’t that what brought us Arnold Schwarzenegger and when did we get to muscle beach?

Yes, Ronald Reagan had a big hairy chest and so too John Wayne and that leads us to airports and movies and politics and back to Arnold Schwarzenegger and to the muscle-beach beach party that has been American politics for far too long.  Jack LaLanne was not a charlatan, he was a shyster.  He promoted violence and fear and insecurity and false dreams of how to make ones life better by making him richer and promoting it all as the American Dream.  Wake up.  Life is not about over-sized muscles and steroids and eating growth hormones and beef and pushing others around.  That’s hate speech, pure and simple.  That’s about bullys and bullying – not pure, not simple.

Of course the girls got it too.  Every American girl then (in the ’50’s) was told they had their own muscles to work on, to build up and push up and push out and that that was what would make the bikini on the beach and convince that big hairy man to take you out to dinner (and a movie) and maybe something else.  Bulk up, slim down, eat more, eat less; if the four food groups or Metrical won’t do it then certainly vitamin supplements, Wheaties, spinach and maybe steroids will.  It all started with breakfast – Wheaties and O.J. (orange juice) Simpson and maybe John Glen and Tang, Anita Bryant and Bob Hope; oh, you sexy thing.

No, if you know your history Jack LaLanne did not start the fitness craze, the move to better eating, an emphasis on exercise and health.  The Roman armies may not have lifted weights or used exercise machines, but they were fit, ate vegetables that were organic.  We could go back further, but why bother – what these modern gurus brought us was the machine and the confusion regarding machines and fitness and that does have to do with our pre-occupation with the machines of war.  Now aren’t you glad I told you?  Even the simplest Glock stops muscle, all our newest heroes just carry a gun.  Where’s the beef, or has this whole muscle thing just gone too far?

I saw American Splendor just the other night (on Netflicks, not TV).  The movie is about comics and comic books and illustrators and the cult of super-heroes and the damage done and the rise of just the ordinary Jane and Joe.  And the movie is all true.  I may not be Harvey Pekar, but I share his pain.  Do you have comic books for sale, I’ll sell you mine – it’s a better buy than pumping iron.

Approaching Sine

January 22nd, 2011

~ Forty-two (42) years later in the information highway.

I’ve written before about how I (and everyone) invented the Internet.  In 1969 the term information system referred to an IBM Mainframe computer – I knew, because my brother Kenneth Clayton worked for IBM in Reno programming IBM mainframes for the State of Nevada Highway Patrol until he was killed when he drove off an Interstate in California on May 31, 1967.

Actually, everything is not that simple and not that clear, as the facts are not clear about exactly when he died or even if he died, but that is what autopsies are for now isn’t it or aren’t they or something like that that tends to confirm a death when deaths aren’t obvious and do need confirming.

I digress, but let us just say that Ken was smart, Ken was an engineer, and Ken was rather good in math so he would (and did) know all about sines and cosines and such as all is explained here – but, that is not what I’m talking about (necessarily).  Did I say he was twenty-five (25) when he died, as in 25 years of age and of life on earth and about now that seems to me as being very young.

So, one legacy he left me was an interest in computers and all that the wonderful modern computers could do, other than keep track of traffic tickets and parking tickets and warrants outstanding for ones arrest – all that stuff was centralized in Carson City and centralized in the computers maintained by the Nevada Highway Patrol – thanks Ken, or thank you to Ken or isn’t that what brother’s are for, or big brothers at least; yes, he was older.

Now I am older.  I am older than he ever was or ever will be and I’ve seen computers come a long, long way and 42 years ago was not like nothing, but I saw a future in the things (like plastic) and so in 1969 I came up with the idea of an information system that by using a computer (and telephones) could crunch a lot of information about cars and be used to sell cars (nationwide) and move cars (nationwide) and drive a lot of used car lots out of business and thus make a lot of money just for me.  Meanwhile cars could be had for cheaper and back seats would be cheaper too and everyone would be happy and socially networked and isn’t that what the information highway is for?

It’s kind of like the Mark Zuckerberg story where Mark doesn’t have access to a computer and so the story has a different end.  I think I would have made a really good philanthropist, not atheist.  Oh well.

In time (a short time) I gave up my focus on cars and started planning for the net, the web.  All this is true.  I conceived information as strands of linearity that through computers could be woven into a web, or a net (something with porosity that could catch things); webs catch things by being sticky.

Not to bore you with the details, but the information net in my mind would not be particularly useful until the total amount of information was sufficient (meaning large enough to make things fall together and work) – think about a data-base of cars and someone wants a Mustang and it is only Camaros and GTO’s that you have.  “A bummer”, always means no sale.

So there I was with “SIN” (Sufficient Information Net) and not with SINE (Sufficient Information Net Entries), because then (in 1969) there were no entries, no information elements, no clear idea on how to make things work.  I began work on everything (in my mind) and in no time came up with Time and Space and the space part led to maps so I began making maps with “Information System” in the name.  Think of it as kinda pre-Google.

So yes, I was there and no, I never made a buck and so here I am doling out my ideas and not my money – giving it away just the same.  Take out the middle man: Thoughts, Ideas, or Money; which currency is yours?

The point is that the world and the net (and the web) have come a long way since Mark Zuckerberg began working on his Facemash thing and made it big in two double-o four.  Seven years and counting, it’s not just Facebook that has grown; the number of entries (of information elements) has grown exponentially too.  Wikipedia is just one example (although I have never seen an article the editors ever liked).

Yes people, our consciousness is changing just as our access to information is changing too.  I use Google (search) as my dictionary, the data-base of words changes daily; I like to stay in the know.  I guess I knew we would always get here; everyone on the planet with access to the planet’s mind-at-large – call it the Noosphere maybe, but you can see it and so even doubters know it’s real.

This post may seem a little ramblie but my real work is on the pages behind this page – yes, always looking back (toward the future).  My systems are getting better, fine tuning is the key.  Tweaking, not tweeking or tweeting seems to be the answer; we’ll see.  I’ll post all the links when I get there.

So the metaphor.  Keep your eye on the highway; pay attention to all the sines; there’s no reason to leave the road.

Dow 12,000

January 21st, 2011

A Lucasfilm rep has been dispatched to counter all of this week’s Seth Rogen-spawned “George Lucas Believes The World Will End In 2012” headlines, and not surprisingly the official response is that, no, Lucas doesn’t believe in that stuff, don’t be silly. Interestingly, the statement (received via e-mail to Wired) doesn’t deny that Lucas talked about the Mayan-predicted end of the world, as Rogen claimed he did for around 25 minutes, but rather says that he was “not serious” while doing so.

OK, one might be suspicious of a news release released exactly one year and eleven (that number 11 once again) months before the scheduled date of calamity.  I guess he really is (George Lucas that is) making a new Star Wars sequel – although the original planet exploding in Star Wars I really was the end of that world as we know it.  Oh my, the influence that some people seem to have.

Actually, the Mayan, or is it really Aztec or maybe Zuni, end of calendar date is not clearly called the end of the world, especially considering that we are probably talking “as you know it” and not like the George Lucas version where everything is blown up by the dark side and by using a technology so high that it is out of control, or totally in control, which brings up the question once again, “Isn’t science grand?”  Is Darth Vader green?

An educated Mayan could look at the stars and by doing so find his own way home from any point on the planet.  Now that is education that works.  But who needs Google Maps (or Bing) if everyone already knows where they are and where they’re going and how to get back?  The question is are we talking Space or Time?  Do the Mayans really know how to get back in time, to their time, and knew their time was over so they just left their civilization (on planet earth) 800 years ago which even to me seems a bit early when you can measure great change to the exact day.

Yes, George Lucas probably knows all of this.  A lot can come out in twenty-five (25) minutes of talking.  Twenty-five minutes is a serious (in a world of Tweets and Tweeting) amount of time to be joking around about a topic one knows little or nothing about, like plate tectonics, but after reading this, maybe it is what George Lucas is all about.  But excuse me, the date I read in the link is about the year 2020 and not 2012, so here we go again about the mysterious number “8”.

Given all this important information, does one buy or sell?  If one believes in the future, a future of material prosperity and growth, one should (of course) buy stocks and invest in America and in the world (of capitalism of course) and stay the course until one has an indication of something bad about to happen and then one should (of course) be the first to sell.  It’s all about Economics 101.  What would have an educated Mayan done?  Did they have a stock market way back then?  A market crash, is that how the Mayan society was ruined?  Was their lot in life a lot like life is now?  Inquiring minds do so much want to know.

Of course the stock market is such a little thing – compared that is, to the totality of consumer spending.  As a simple wage slave, a poor working stiff, a middle-class American, does one buy or sell?  If there really are just 699 shopping days ’til oblivion (assuming that 2011 or 2012 is not a leap year of course) it makes sense that the earlier one shops the longer one has to enjoy the fruits of this wise decision; there is the old axiom, “Shop Early and avoid the rush.”

So the stock market rising seems to indicate that the end of the world is near because the bulls are saying yes there will be more shopping and the shopping will be there because most people believe that George Lucas may be right and the world (as we know it) is almost over and one should spend their money while they can and while others will still accept it and all this is true unless of course George Lucas is only kidding and if so the stock market will certainly soon go down.

Let’s do a poll!  OK, someone has already done a poll, results are here.  Only about 20 something percent of the population believes this nonsense (assuming that it is nonsense), which is why George Lucas in saying this made news.  So if 20% of everybody buys more, and sells more it looks like an up economy to me assuming that those that believe in 2012 have money and are not entirely broke.  We need more demographics here, with capital and capitalism it is NOT so much about plate tectonics; it is about what one believes, so Make Believe!, which is what Sony and George Lucas have in common and that’s why both are so very rich.  The media makes you believe anything that they want just to rob you of (first) your time, (second) your money – assuming that you have some money left.

So (and so) why be afraid when it’s so much easier to just be confused?  At least the average Mayan knew where he or she was going, that the world did not revolve around the individual self, that there was a center to the universe and that brings up that messy part about human sacrifices to the gods.  I guess the new ritual religion says that, “She sacrificed her only Gaia so that all the other planets might live.”  Oh yes, that is George Lucas for you.  Does Darth Vadar look like God, maybe his dress is real and he’s not just looking like he is in drag.  The Star Wars series does have so long to go.  Go re-watch the movie, the actors and the actresses and the director are all a little older now.  Is George Lucas still relevant?  Inquiring minds really (gosh) do absolutely want to know.

Mark your calendar, you will find out.

Nationwide General Strike

January 14th, 2011

~ Is this a general strike against tyranny or just against the generals?

Last night I watched the movie Temple Grandin on a Netflicks disc.  Temple was (is) autistic.  One of the talking points about autism is the curse/ability to take things (to see things) literally.  So if you’ve been reading me over a lot of time you have seen the pattern, I too may have some autism in my blood.

Sure there is General Motors, General Electric, a general malaise.  There are generals in Afghanistan, the Pentagon, even Eisenhower was a general.  Much of the movie was set in Arizona and portrayed an Arizona that is very different than the Arizona brought to our minds just last week.  The movie is a whole lot about cows.  I like cows and Temple Grandin likes cows and cows (she thought) should have a better life (while alive) even though in the end they are destined to be slaughtered.  It’s about respect, and duty, and our obligations as the master race in a world where the race of humans generally treat other animal life like shit.  But that’s getting back to both that newer and older Arizona, meaning the Arizona of the film, of Jared Loughner and his fellow Sportsmen, not the Arizona of Temple Grandin (or me).

So based on this theme contained in the film Temple Grandin either this great nation of cows (not sheep or sheeple) is NOT being set up for a slaughter (because we are NOT being treated very well), or we ARE being set up because nobody higher up (the Generals) ever heard of Temple Grandin and no one up there cares one wit about cow life or the abuse and panicking and unnecessary stressing of cows and so the abuse of American cows continues, as so too does the slaughter.  We are all cows now.  Say “moo”.

If the lower cows could count they would wait for convincing figures (numbers) that proved their lives were in danger before they would act to prevent their slaughter and untimely captivity or death.  This I guess is the most convincing case for the higher intelligence of cows.  They, like us, wait for the proper numbers to raise the alarm and since the numbers never come – you guessed it – the cowlife and the cowdeath and why are we talking about Arizona anyway when most of America really does live life (now) just watching all the numbers and not looking literally at their own life and seeing all the signs.

Temple Grandin was a cow, saw herself as a cow, thought like cows think.  That IS one thing that made her good.

So YOU might not be autistic enough to see the connection between the Temple Grandin movie and the need for a general strike.  I can accept that.  Different brains work in different ways.  E-ther, I-ther, Ne-ther, Ni-ther; Po-TAT-os, PO-tate-o’s – let’s do call the whole thing off (maybe).  But that is the point now isn’t it?  Yes, differences are good and there would be nothing more boring than living all together in a nation, a church, a political party or a tea party where everyone did nothing but agree.

So it starts (maybe) with the need for more animals in each life, not animals to eat, but animals that are living and living side by side (to us) and with us and are on the street and running and working and being useful and being our friends and I don’t mean just cats and dogs but herds of sheep being driven down Broadway or Pennsylvania Avenue and cows and goats grazing on the White House lawn just like there used to be when America was still young (and free).

Any third world country offers a life better than this (meaning this one in America).  I know, “don’t strike, just leave.”  I know what some are thinking.  “America, love it or leave it,” was such a lame and hurtful expression, was so intolerant, was so bigoted and un-American and narrow minded in the advocacy of “we are all the same” when the reality is that we are NOT all the same and that is SO REALLY GOOD.

So the General Strike Against Tyranny is really about everyone’s freedom to be themself (themselves, if politically correct grammar is your thing).  I want horses, I want cows, I want camels in the streets and elephants working nearby.  I want a life like in Afghanistan or Burma or in Korea like it was in 1961 or like my life in Carson City (NV) was in 1956 when there still was a wild frontier and not just cities nothing more than holding pens for cows, and cows can go beserk, ask Jared Loughner.  What really did life offer him?  Did he go on a Walt Disney World vacation for only $1,359 plus tax for 3 big nights which is only $453 per day, plus airfare (at $375 per person roundtrip) and most meals (meaning food on the airplane and in Florida) are extra.

So is (maybe) $3,249.56 too much to pay when you pay for that extra bag (the first bag of luggage and every bag thereafter), a NOT free lunch, a taxi to the airport just for the trip where you’ll be patted down or felt up by a TSA scanner just looking for a little cream that could be made into a chemical cocktail from Tucson that reminds me “the vacation will cost more if you want a beer or any other drink”.  America!  You CAN do better than this.  Randy Loughner knows and that is maybe why he never goes (to a Florida vacation) or maybe nowhere else.  Just say “Moo”.

Jared Lee Loughner had a dog, the family dog, wasn’t partial.  A boy, a car, a gun – sounds a bit like Jan Clayton starring in Lassie.  Maybe father did not know best.  Maybe America has changed and is not so much changed for the better.  Strike!  Strike for America and an end to American air strikes; terrorist actions from the skies.  Who is it that is really crazy?  Would Jared Lee Loughner been better off if he had have been allowed by the Army to see the world (or at least one vacation to Disneyland)?

Give it all a thought.  The End to Tyranny strike begins tomorrow, a Saturday, Saturday January 15th – the Ides.  But then again, you probably have something better to do, Moo.

Six-shooter

January 12th, 2011

~ Haiti is not the real story, but every anniversary is.

The Jared Loughner Timeline, with updates may be found here.

Not fifty (50) miles away from Tucson is Tombstone, Arizona.  It is the old west.  It’s six-shooter country, the land of Wyatt Earp and the Shootout at OK Corral.  It is the place that reminds us that everyone will end up buried at (or in) Boot Hill.

Arizona territory is the wild west.  The claim that people come to Arizona for a place in the sun, as snowbirds or to seek an American opportunity are fundamentally false.  The Grand Canyon is so far north that the place is hardly in the state at all.  Arizona is not famous for its skiing.  The Indians in the state are the fearless (and feared) Apaches; only easterners are concerned with the Pima (Indians) or the Navajo (really Dine).   No, Arizona is about the west, and by that we mean the American West of the six-shooter and all its glory.

I’m not saying that modern guns and modern pistols and modern magazines called clips are not useful.  What I am saying is that they are basically un-American.  The Glock, for example is from Austria, it was designed for the NATO standard round.  The NA in NATO stands for North Atlantic, which is about as far from Arizona as one can get, except for Austria which is even further.   The North Atlantic is the ocean, Arizona is in the desert – now you get it.

The six-shooter is designed for six shots.  Anything more is just not sporting.  How many shots does it take to kill a man (or a woman, or a child too)?  How many people use pistols for deer hunting, rabbit hunting, for the hunting of big cats or Indian rhinos?  No, the six-shooter is for killing people, for street duals, for shootouts at horse parks (corrals) or car parks (parking lots) and maybe in front of the doors of stores.  The six-shooter is a gun of passion.  A rifle is for assassination (and assassinations) unless you’re an east-coast coward like John Wilkes Booth, a European or something better (what is worse?).

The pistol (too) is a gun of home defense.  It’s hard to point a rifle in a bedroom that is the size of a modern closet.  Some people really do fear home invasions; makes sense now with houses the size of Normandy and perimeter defenses left just as bare.  “We’ll fight them on the beaches, or in the bathrooms,” is what one might have said – said, when arguing for the gun, meaning the hand gun.  A pistol is just upfront and personal, not the usual attitude when one fights a war.

So, Jared Lee Loughner is charged with a crime of passion.  Using the pistol is his best defense – six shots, six people dead – maybe Gabrielle Gibbons just got in the way like the good federal judge John Roll was just in the way while he was going to Safeway just to shop.  Every person needs to eat.  Maybe Jared Loughner was just hungry and just happened to have a gun.  There are a lot of concealed handguns in the 17 Safeways of Tucson every day.  Gun owners have passion.  They are passionate about carrying concealed guns.  Like at home, one never knows when they will need one.  The cauliflower or the oregano might need defending, why leave the hand-gun in the truck?

It’s hard to prove pre-meditation.  The media has done a great case for making the case for insanity.  If someone wanted Jared dead they should have shot him when they had the chance, at Safeway, after his first shot before his 31st shot and last shot were ever fired.  Isn’t that what hand-guns are really for, shooting all the bad guys down?  Fifteen seconds is such a long, long time.  How long does it take to plan pre-meditation?  How does one know that they will just shoot the shooter?  Maybe Jared was just a bad shot, bought a gun without the lessons.  Where is the evidence of training?

If you are confused, now, so am I.  America embraces a history in which the message is that it is good to kill.  Some prefer guns, others knives.  Jared Loughner carried both.  He could have also carried poison, but poison is not a weapon of passion.  Is he home free yet?

What IS American history without a history of its guns?  The point is that more than six shots is not sporting; Sportsman’s Warehouse in selling the gun (the Glock) may have been legal, but it was wrong.

By the numbers

January 11th, 2011

~ The Jared Loughner case may be a lesson for us all.

New news about Jared and the Loughners is slowly trickling in.  New journalists are doing what they’re paid to do, which is reporting real news.  This makes updating the Jared Loughner Timeline a little easier, but not easy.

North Soledad Avenue in Tucson is not easy as in “easy street” either.  In California the name Soledad is synonymous with a prison.  Is that where Jared and the Loughners lived for at least their last thirty (30) years?  Don’t get me wrong, Jared Loughner won’t ever get out (of prison) – his permanent address will be one until the day he dies.  My question is, when does a tract home lifestyle in the suburbs start looking like a prison and not just another home?

I’ve often posted about the malaise in America, the growing resignation to the distance between the poor and rich, the lack of direction epitomized by those that preach peace while they support, or are indifferent to, endless acts of war.  A lot has happened since Carter’s speech on July 15, 1979.  Now Wal-Marts, and Costcos, and Sportsman’s Warehouses, certainly McDonald’s and Denny’s and Safeways are everywhere.  America has become in the last thirty (30) years a land of homogeneity, a land of uniformity, a land of over-processed milk and not so much a land of milk and honey.

It was the Sportsman’s Warehouse #132 that enabled Jared Loughner to get his gun.  This chain has stores in 25 states, there are 32 stores in South Africa (where maybe there’s real game).  The news reports reported that the shooting was at “the Safeway store in Tucson”.  What they did not say was that there are 17 Safeway stores in just Tucson, Arizona and that there are over 1,700 Safeway stores in America alone.  There was a Safeway store just across the street from where Jared Loughner went to High School; they’re as common and as American as apple pie.

Don’t get me wrong, I also grew up with Safeway.  I walked to one when I was seven (living in Carson City) and I too had one across from my High School (Reno High) on Booth Street in Reno.  There was a Federal Building too, just across the street.  And I too lived in a suburban tract home, built by Sproul Homes, out (then) on the far northwest edge of town.  They built thousands of them in Nevada and Arizona among other places in the Southwest.  Originally they offered three models, finally that grew to five.  I ate at Sambo’s and Denny’s.  My Senior year a McDonald’s came to town.  The biggest gun store in Reno was called The Sportsman.  It was not a “warehouse” and not a chain.  I bought my first rifle at Shim’s Army Store, as I remember it cost 25 bucks.  I was maybe 15 at the time, could shoot but could not drive.  Shim’s sold ex-military type weapons, I bought an Enfield (used in World war I), my father about the same day bought a Mauser (he took arms from, or for, the other side).

I gave up arms when I was 19.  My mother died from the shot of a hand gun, a pistol if you prefer.  I decided that I had no use for guns, for Sproul homes, even for McDonald’s maybe.  The transition took some time; it took no time to rid myself of my gun; I sold it in a day.  It was the safe way.  No weapons around for when you might get a little mad (or angry, or sad).

I am not sure that all the legislation is what life is all about.  Evidently, there is a new majority that believes that one can legislate morality.  I’m not so sure.  Just because something is legal doesn’t make it right.  Mass produced homes, hamburgers, weapons of war – mass slaughter – maybe the whole list is basically wrong; like the mass-media, basically wrong.

The American malaise is rooted in the age of machines.  110 years ago (maybe 120) America and most Americans were still on top of their machines (now think “devices”).  There was a life beyond machines and outside them.  If machines were there they were not taken for granted and men and women were not controlled by their machines, they controlled them.   Now everything has changed, which brings us back to Saturday’s shooting.  Both Jared and Gabrielle got it wrong; it’s not about government, it’s about yourself.

More on the Jared Loughner mystery

January 10th, 2011

~ What does it take to rehabilitate the image of the United States Congress?

All ears are looking towards Congress now.  Every “fellow representative” (meaning guys, girls and galpals) that ever knew Gabrielle Giffords is on the news now, being interviewed, saying what a great gal Gabrielle always was.  Every elected representative benefits from the association, benefits from a shared sympathy, and empathy and the closeness that we now all feel.  It took just one day, one shot and Congress is redeemed and partisan politics is in the past and America can now march together onward.  The politics of division is behind us.  In the tears and between the prayers this great nation can now begin to heal.

Of course there are still those who might argue that the sacrifices of 9/11 were worth the price to bring Saddam (and Iraq) to its knees, to oust the Taliban from power (in Afghanistan), to create a war on terror that could bring TSA to our airports as the nation as a whole came to learn of the urgency of the new terrorist threat.  Is Jared Lee Loughner a terrorist?  Where is Homeland Security now that we need them?  Or are the earnest insinuations of Clarence Dubnik really right, ‘lone gunman (gunboy), others involved, not a chance’.  A terrorist is never one who just acts alone.  An act of terror always requires a conspiracy, it’s the legal issue behind the need for interrogation – maybe we should water-board him now.

Today in “other news” there is the story of how the former 41 story Deutsche Bank building is no more.  It was “buried” by the South Tower of the trade towers when they fell.  There was so little mention of this building then, it was then quietly dismantled floor by floor.  Today’s journalists only see what they are paid to see and what the teleprompters will report.  What really happened is still a mystery.  No two Americans will ever agree (about what happened on 9/11 and about the on-going, decade later, aftermath).  Gone too today is the Muslim Quarter Shepherd Hotel.  Every story has its timing and its reason.

Which (fact) brings me back to the fact that I was not really paying attention to the facts of 9/11 when it happened.  I did not save the detailed maps published in the papers; I did not compare all the interviews and all the facts.  I let others think too much for me.  I expected Saddam to attack our troops with chemical or nuclear weapons.  I was a bit naive.  Saddam and Iraq didn’t really have such weapons.  Collin Powell (before the U.N.) just lied.  Bush lied.  Everyone involved in the whole sordid affair (at the time) just lied.

So now we have motive, the redemption of Congress and Congressional leadership in the American mind.  Are these high ideals the motivation for what Jared Lee Loughner did?  Or is there a conspiracy, loose ends, facts that will not “out” (like the truth) until time passes – like where is Jared Lee Loughner now?  What cell does he occupy?  Who is questioning him, and how?  The mainstream journalists don’t seem to really want to know.

Why not create a Teppline?  Why not create a document that traces everything we know and identifies what we don’t know and helps us to decide what is really going on and does it now when the whole story is still fresh and real?  OK, “everything” would be a bit unrealistic, a bit much.  I’m just one guy.  It would take a large staff to connect all the dots and to connect them in real time and not later as the really good books (on the subject of Jared Loughner) will someday do.  But, I can try.

So click here for the Jared Lee Loughner Timeline that follows what I know.  I’ll try to keep it real.

As to yesterday’s post about going down in history… today I found this:

The claim is that this image was posted on Jared Loughner’s Facebook page and that this image was taken down very soon after the shooting.

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