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 Is Savagery Good For America?34 comments
picture22 Sep 2006 @ 09:40
If we are too busy, if we are carried away every day by our projects, our uncertainty, our craving, how can we have the time to stop and look deeply into the situation---our own situation, the situation of our beloved one, the situation of our family and of our community, and the situation of our nation and of the other nations?

---Thich Nhat Hanh

Negotiations then turned to the amount of time that a detainee's suffering must last before the tactic amounted to a war crime. Administration officials wanted "prolonged" mental or physical symptoms, while the senators wanted something milder. They settled on "serious and nontransitory mental harm, which need not be prolonged."

---from The Seattle Times edition of the LA Times story by Julian E. Barnes and Richard Simon

The Bush administration had to empty its secret prisons and transfer terror suspects to the military-run detention centre at Guantánamo this month in part because CIA interrogators had refused to carry out further interrogations and run the secret facilities, according to former CIA officials and people close to the programme.

---from Financial Times (London)
September 20, 2006

Photo of Bush demanding torture (or "alternative" interrogation) by Khue Bui for Newsweek
September 25th issue

I can't recall a morning when the headlines were more confusing and even contradictory. The LA Times says "Bush Bows to Senators on Detainees." [link] The Washington Post says, in editorial, "The Abuse Can Continue; Senators won't authorize torture, but they won't prevent it, either." [link] Bloomberg has it that "President to Define Prisoner Abuse in Agreement With Senators By James Rowley
Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush would be able to write secret rules on how to treat suspected terrorists during interrogations under an agreement the administration worked out with dissenting Republican senators." The New York Times editorial says, "Here is a way to measure how seriously President Bush was willing to compromise on the military tribunals bill: Less than an hour after an agreement was announced yesterday with three leading Republican senators, the White House was already laying a path to wiggle out of its one real concession.
About the only thing that Senators John Warner, John McCain and Lindsey Graham had to show for their defiance was Mr. Bush’s agreement to drop his insistence on allowing prosecutors of suspected terrorists to introduce classified evidence kept secret from the defendant. The White House agreed to abide by the rules of courts-martial, which bar secret evidence." [link]

The bottom line of course is to get some kind of legislation before the election in November to protect the Bush-Cheney gang from prosecution under our own War Crimes Act. Should the Democrats win control of either House or both and regain subpoena power in committee, the business-as-usual of spreading the neo-Con brand freedom might be slowed down a mite. Incidentally, Robert Kennedy Jr. unblinkingly expands his campaign about the "e-government revolution" (that's a Diebold Electronic Elections Systems slogan by the way) in the October 5th issue of Rolling Stone, now online. [link]

But let me ask you this: what does it take to reduce a relatively civilized population to a condition of animal savagery? And if it happens, is that necessarily a bad thing? Animals are creatures of nature with instincts of survival. Savages are people with traditions of tribal gathering, hunting, celebration and warfare that perhaps are closer to nature than citified people. The Wild West was tamed sometimes in savage ways to show who was boss. Is this not how the world always has been? Is this how things really are?  More >

 Laying Lay To Rest5 comments
picture17 Jul 2006 @ 10:48
Do not arouse disdainful mind when you prepare a broth of wild grasses; do not arouse joyful mind when you prepare a fine cream soup.


Only our own searching for happiness prevents us from seeing it. It is like a vivid rainbow which you pursue without ever catching it, or a dog chasing its own tail. Although peace and happiness do not exist as an actual thing or place, they are always available, and accompany you every instant.

---Gendun Rinpoche

Life, we learn too late, is in the living, in the tissue of every day and hour.
---Steven Leacock

SAYING GOODBYE Former President George H. Bush pays his respects Wednesday to Enron founder Kenneth Lay, who died of heart disease July 5 while vacationing in Aspen, Colo. Lay faced sentencing this fall on his fraud and conspiracy convictions which led to the collapse of Enron in 2001. Bush did not speak at the service at the Houston church.

Special Reports
Bring me the head of “Kenny Boy” Lay: Another convenient death invites new investigations of Enron-Bush crimes
By Larry Chin
Online Journal Associate Editor
Jul 10, 2006, 00:38

Kenneth Lay, world-class Enron criminal, long-time Bush family friend and crime ally, was pronounced dead on July 5, allegedly of a heart-related condition.

Lay’s name can now be added to the list of dubious Enron-related deaths, which include the alleged 2002 shotgun suicide of Enron Vice Chairman Clifford Baxter [link] (also see analysis here [link] , and here [link] ).

Lay’s hasty exit, which comes as he faced 45 years of prison for conspiracy and fraud charges (the barest tip of the iceberg of his true crimes), has sparked rampant speculation. Initial mainstream reports on the cause of death have been confusing at best: “heart attack," “heart failure," and “heart disease” are distinct and different conditions.

Lay, who was reportedly depressed and embittered, has now been conveniently removed before receiving punishment (elite criminals rarely get what they deserve). Charges against Lay and his estate may be conveniently tossed (leaving his squirreled assets available for new uses). The Bush administration, and Congress, is conveniently protected from any possibility of a damning testimony or revelation.

Lay’s supposed demise, however interesting, is ultimately irrelevant. Far more important is the fact that Enron is still an open criminal case: the true crimes of Enron remain unaddressed.

More importantly, the apparatus that Ken Lay and Enron set into motion is alive and well. It still shapes the fabric of daily geopolitical life.  More >

 Ilona Carlson And Tom DeLay17 comments
picture5 Apr 2006 @ 10:01
Man is the matter of the cosmos, contemplating itself.

---Carl Sagan

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

---Carl Gustav Jung

I never look at the masses as my responsibility; I look at the individual. I can only love one person at a time---just one, one, one. So you begin. I began---I picked up one person. Maybe if I didn't pick up that one person, I wouldn't have picked up forty-two thousand.... The same thing goes for you, the same thing in your family, the same thing in your church, your community. Just begin---one, one, one.

---Mother Teresa

Après leur succès du 4 avril, les syndicats se réunissent mercredi 5 avril pour fixer une ligne commune pour les futures négociations sur le CPE.

I feel as if I'm in a unique position this morning. Essentially I'm trying to get all the information I can on 2 stories of concern, strangely related. Of major interest to me is what's going on in France. Our daughter is completing her high school freshman year in Pau, a short distance west of Toulouse. She is a bit young to be doing this, but she is in the care of a family that is there under the auspices of Ohio University. Now in her 3rd week, and 2nd week of classes, she has made adjustments very well and seems (on the telephone) to be having a wonderful time.

I talked with her last evening (her time), and again yesterday she and her friend found most of their classes were not in session, as the teachers were participating in demonstrations downtown. Despite US State Department warnings [link] , which I made sure they knew about, they went to the rallies both this week and last. Ilona says the "parades" have been happy, peaceful and impressive. She told me yesterday's march appeared larger than last Tuesday's, when the unions claimed 40,000 people participated in Pau...which number is half the population.  More >

 Saturday Catchup1 comment
picture19 Nov 2005 @ 11:57
Is it then not a mistake to precipitate the time of awakening? Not the greatest master can go even one step for his disciple; in himself he must experience each stage of developing consciousness. Therefore he will know nothing for which he is not ripe.

---De Lubicz

I gave up my house
and set out into homelessness.
I gave up my child, my cattle,
and all that I loved.
I gave up desire and hate.
My ignorance was thrown out.
I pulled out craving
along with its root.
Now I am quenched and still.


Seek simplicity and distrust it.

---Alfred North Whitehead

Tara Esler, a physical therapist and therapy director, and Negar Adlib, physical therapist, at work at the Children's Center in Washington DC

My early Saturday morning coffee usually is spent scouring through the online newspapers. I try to read more carefully stories I only had time to glance at through the week...and usually Washington sources like to sneak out releases late Friday afternoon they hope will be lost in Friday night and Saturday afternoon football activities. I do all this before going to my favorite blog sites for the more cutting edge stuff. I've found this week's main stories rather earthshaking.

The NY Times arrived in this emailbox a couple hours late this morning...and no wonder. For the second night in a row, the House of Representatives went into loud extra innings fighting over the war in Iraq and budget cuts to education and Medicaid. Last night's debate was on a hastily-drawn resolution to support the President's vow this morning to stay the course "until we have achieved the victory that our brave troops have fought for." [link]  More >

 To My Friends On The Right8 comments
picture28 Oct 2005 @ 09:24
We must be able to let things happen in the psyche. For us, this actually is an art of which few people know anything. Consciousness is forever interfering, helping, correcting, and negating, and never leaving the simple growth of the psychic processes in peace. It would be simple enough, if only simplicity were not the most difficult of things.

---Carl Gustav Jung

To know that you do not know is the best.
To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease.

---Lao Tzu

Give me, kind Heaven, a private station,
A mind serene for contemplation.

---John Gay

Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald (L), who says he doesn't photograph well, arrives at his Washington office October 27, 2005. (REUTERS/Micah Walter)

I like to maintain dialogue with people of conservative philosophies, and several get these dispatches I send to cyberspace from time to time. Apparently a few even read them and sometimes lash back when they get mad. This is OK because usually there are other things at the heart of our friendship...and we just go back to those topics. I'm not being demeaning because there are elements of the conservative view, including the basic tenets of Hobbes, that are very convincing to me. I like best to talk with conservatives because I may be wrong about things and they help me be the first to know when I am.

There are two things I know about conservatives that come to mind this morning. One is they allow more secrecy in planning and government than I like or agree with. They respect the sanctity of the huddle. I must admit the intrusion of television technology onto the playing field can spoil the fun. I do not want to learn what the next pitch is going to be, or what the manager just whispered into the coach's ear. But politics is not a game to me, and if Cheney's energy cronies have carved up the world for their financial gain, using the public office of the Vice Presidency to do it, I want to know!

But the second conservative conviction that I think of today I do agree with and respect tremendously. Conservatives believe in playing by the rules. Fascists don't. They believe in making up rules by "necessity" as they go along. And so conservatives I've been talking to are anticipating the announcements by Fitzgerald today as much as I am. When Miers withdrew yesterday one such associate said to me, "Now we'll get a nominee to replace her so far to the right there won't be a confirmation before Christmas!" His remark helped temper my excitement.  More >

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