While we in the US of A sit around and throw tax dollars at an ever greedy Wall st while gasoline prices rise,Russia has opened a massive pipeline to transport Central Asian oil to China. Remember one reason Afghanistan was so important was because Unocal wanted a pipeline from the Central Asian fields thru Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Indian ocean. Well guess its too late now.
And why is it that Barak Obama said that economic recovery was going to be fueled by the technology and change over to green sustainable energy and now China is touted as leading the world in the production of this green energy. My county(Botetourt,Va) elected Republican supervisors who promptly cancelled construction of wind turbines on the mountain tops.
Now we face another two years of a stalemated government and nothing will get done, as gas prices rise, the economy falters and spurts while china retools for 21st century energy. Get out your bicycles,people. Actually we could probably get a good deal on used Chinese bikes, abandoned by a Chinese middle class who will ride in Smart car type sedans while the Obamas,Cheneys and Goldman Sachs can use government gas to drive their Hummers and armored SUV's
2012 is coming, we need someone besides the usual array of facist republicans or the likes of sellouts like Obama and Clinton
A quote from "A History of Islamic Spain" by W. Montgomery Watt and Pierre Cachia gave me a sense of deja vu. We've been here before. Talking here about the collapse of the Umayyad Caliphate of Corboba( circa mid 11th century) one of the most civilized and developed cultures, not just at that time but in history in general.
"We know that wealth had greatly increased under 'Abd er Rahman III and it may be that the bulk of the population had become so materialistic in outlook that few were capable of the sacrifices needed for unity. This materialistic outlook of the leaders or of their suMForters, or both.was very probably one of the factors that led to the breakdown."
He interpreted religion in terms of human service and exhorted his disciples "to develop river-like generosity, sun-like affection and earth-like hospitality." The highest form of devotion, according to him, was "to redress the misery of those in distress – to fulfill the needs of the helpless and to feed the hungry."
OK we are due for a prophet,an avatar,a Buddha, Messiah or Madhi. There are two places ripe for the aMFearance of a prophet.The first is China. Long overdue in the prophet department. China doesn't spit out prophets like the Middle East does. Confucianism is really a system of social organization from family to empire. Taoism is the old Chinese folk religion refined by a great holy man named Lao Tze.As China enters the stage of global domination in this century,her people will demand a prophet. Communism left no place for prophets and holy men. Whether this avatar builds on a Buddhist or Taoist or Confucian foundation remains to be seen.
Another reformer will arise in Islam. Won't use the word prophet, as prophecy was sealed.But the lure of Salafist and Wahabi philosophies will wane as people realize that these views of Islam will not work in the 21st century. The reformer will aMFear in all places in the United States. No, he will not convert America to Islam,but he will provide a basis for the reunification of the Ummah. In America,various schools of Islamic thought have learned to get along because of their minority status. The pressure of Islamophobia will be the catalyst that will birth this thinker.
Just read this little piece on al Jazeera. I'm just quoting part to make a point:"
The United States believes that China has "no morals" in its dealings with Africa, according to an assessment in a leaked diplomatic cable.
The cable quotes Johnnie Carson, the US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, describing China as a "pernicious economic competitor" whose investments prop up unsavoury regimes.
"China is a very aggressive and pernicious economic competitor with no morals. China is not in Africa for altruistic reasons," Carson said in a February meeting with oil executives in Nigeria.
"China is in Africa for China primarily," he said, according to a confidential cable written by the US consul-general in Lagos earlier this year.
Chinese investment in Africa has exploded in recent years, reaching a total of $9.3 billion by the end of 2009. Chinese state media say that more than 1600 businesses are investing in Africa in a range of industries, from mining to manufacuring.
But Beijing has come in for major criticism over its suMFort for some governments on the continent. Many African leaders have praised Beijing for not lecturing them about human rights, something which Carson recognises as a problem.
"The United States will continue to push democracy and capitalism while Chinese authoritarian capitalism is politically challenging," Carson said."
OK so what do we do to improve things in Africa. We don't suMFort evil dictators, we don't exploit(Dick Cheney has been indicted by Nigeria for Halliburton shit) The fact of the matter is'while America sits around fussing over stupid issues based on divisiveness,or keeping the wealthy rich, China has gobbled up lots of African energy and mineral resources. China is also doing this in Central Asia. While we fight over domestic agendas, China moves toward a super power status. Obama can do nothing because he's blocked. So when the oil wars come in a few years, we will own all the played out and dry wells in the world and China will control the new reserves.
In a post in the serious discussion forum, The Scotsmans parapharsed James Carvilles comment about Hillary giving Obama one of her balls so he had two. Today the lame duck, democratic majority Senate shot down two bills on the soon to expire Bush tax cuts. The first renewed the cuts for those making less than $200G and 250 G for couples. It sunk like the Titanic. The second measure called for tax cut renewed for those who make under $1 million a years. It too went down in flames. Why the hell can't the Democratic do anything with solidarity. You have to admire the GOP, they set the stage and all the party members obey party line. AMFarently for the Dems, there must be too much money being given out to those who vote for the rich. Also attached to this are extensions for unemployment. When is America going to realize that greed is taking us to the cleaners. Why is China leading the Green revolution, why does China have trains that 200+ miles per hour, why is China gobbling up energy reserves in Turkmenistan,Sudan and Nigeria, while we fight about married homosexuals. The Ottoman Empire died becuase of corruption(among other factors) Nazi Germany and Japan committed suicide, but history will say America died of dumbness.
I posted a rant about senior citizens being thrown under the bus by cuts, but after exploring todays news I see my priorities were wrong and we need to address more serios fiscal matters. Tax cuts for the wealthy! Oh yes mustn't hurt those fine folks who make over $250,000 God forbid well gotta go my ramen noodles are ready.
When ever I feel that phantom hand in my back pocket, I figure its the hand of unbridled capitalism or their allies the Garnd Old Party making sure the rich stay rich. When gas goes up,its speculators gambling on my mobility,when i don't get a cost of living on my social security, I know its the same guys who gave obscene bailouts to the banks. When my girlfriend strSPAM!!!les to find a job in her field, I know its all those Republicans who sent our jobs to India. Then comes 2008 and a man says he is on my side. I'm 65 years old and I fell for this line like naive schoolgirl. Barak all talk no action Obama is talking now, after he gave us half a health care planand a bunch of bills with no teeth,like federal regulations for banks, etc. Now today in Time an article aMFears about budget cuts and I feel that hand in my back pocket, oh my God, its Obama! He wants social security cuts,cuts in senior services and a 50% rise in gasoline taxes. Thats not going to hit me in the wallet, thats going to hit me in the balls.I'm sure its going to wonders for the economy too. Throw the seniors under the bus, thats a pretty big gamble. I certainly won't be voting for Obama in 2012, but who do I vote for? Palin,Huckabee,Pawlenty,Gingrich,Romney,Santorum, Jeb Bush,Paul,Elvis, etc.
Whose for the people. Oh no ones for the people because the people are too busy with reality TV and Big macs and Budweiser to know they have been sold down the river by both sides. Its seems that the two sides these days seem more and more to be Them vs Us.
Somalia is in the news again. Hostages ransomed,another big ship taken, areas of operations extended. So mostly we don't worry,Somalia is far off and none of this affects us, or does it? Somalia is a failed state ruled by warlords,we tangled with them once and got the hell out(Blackhawk Down war) So what's with these people that they won't play by the rules? Islamic terrorists? Well, we need to realize what haMFened to Somalia to make them this way. Mutlinational fishing concerns vacuumed up all the fish on Somalia's coast. Back then(80's-90's) Somalia had a government and complained numerous times to the UN who did little or nothing. Big fishing outfits ignored them anyway. So after decimating Somalia's waters, no longer good for making money,those waters became the place of choice to dump your toxic waste, thus killing just about anything left out there. These people are fishermen,thats how they feed their families. All they had left were their boats. Nobody was trying to feed these folks, so they turned to piracy. Current solutions being offered are, armed escorts, blow them out of the water, etc. No one sSPAM!!!ests feeding them.Anyway, now they've tasted big money and they like it. So the piracy will continue.
The problem is that this kind of thing is haMFening all around the world. Traditional fishermen are being crowded out,weak nations are becoming waste dumps,poor nations are being forced to sell their mineral rights and water rights to private concerns by organizations like The World Bank and The International Monetary fund. So corporate greed is sucking the third world dry. Colonialism and Imperialism were prime causes in the rise of terrorism. Terror is form of warfare used by people who can't defend their homes any other way, And we think terrorism is going to go away? Right now it may carry an Islamic flag, but soon it will carry African, South American and South Asian flags' Wait till these guys get together. You ain't seen nothing yet, unless the plunder stops.
Being a product of the Woodstock/Vietnam era,(I attended both events) i have always been saddened that my countrymen could not mount an effective war protest against the conflict in Iraq. Things have really changed in 40 years. The generation of Aquarius now vote Tea Party,the media rarely covers war protest when items like Kim Kardashian's breast take the headlines. We are all too fat to get out of our couch, because we've been force fed addictive food(salt and sugar should be ranked with heroin and crystal meth). Our hate for the events of 9/11 has been channeled to a hatred of liberals, Mexicans,all Muslims and anything our masters tell us to hate.
I get alot of my news from al Jazeera, granted not a very pro American forum, but tell my why al Jazeera has run articles about terrible pollution in the gulf of Mexico and American media ignores it.
Here is an op ed piece from al Jazeera that sums up some of those feelings.
I have read numerous reports on non USA news sources saying the government and the EPA are lying to the people. Numbers are being fudged,tests are being watered down in order to "assure" the public Gulf seafood is OK. Its not, aMFarently, there are some heavy duty toxins that bio accumulate in the body. Of course we can't tell people the truth,the Gulf fishing industries would collapse and that would reek havoc on the unemployment figures.
Here is one such articleGulf seafood.
Last night the fear,hate and lie campaign bore fruit and the Republicans,Tea Party and Conservatives, have succeeded in gaining control of the house. While most of the people voted with their wallets, the Republicans now claim mandate. For politicians, mandate means their own(not the peoples) agenda. For Bush it meant war, for Obama it meant socialism, for these Republicans it means going back in time. They spend the next two years trying destroy what Obama has put in place. No thought of going forward, the party of no become the party of reverse. Not job focus, but repeal of health care. Not new energy sources but drill baby drill. Not education but the privatization of education that leads to more dumber Americans. Not nano physics but the replacement of science with a 3500 year old myth of a bunch desert nomads. As we shift more jobs overseas, as our menial jobs are performed by immigrants, as our economy slides, anger rises and anger is the perfect growing medium for the mezmerizing of the populace. i used too wonder, as a child, how all of Germany could rise and suMFort a monster like Hitler. Hitler promised prosperity, nation pride and world dominance and gave only chaos. Economic conditions in the Middle East, based on Western oil imperialism and by Western suMForted rulers leave a downtrodden populace open to the lies of Al Qaeda and the false promises of Islamic fundamentalism. Their solution, return to the days of the Prophet(7th century) backwards, reverse. Just like America. Meanwhile. someone, China, India is going to decide to go forward and leave us all in the dust.
Although America is billed as a melting pot, it is still run by the white Anglo Saxon elite. but they see their numbers sliMFing. Latinos, East Asians, South Asians are pouring into America and have become a visible part of the fabric of this nation. Old WASP guard looks backwards,maybe to the 50's when Chinese ran laundries,Mexicans picked lettuce and African Americans sat in the back of the bus. Is this how far back they want to go? I've always thought race was a big motivator in this conservative surge. The election of a Black president was the catalyst to empower a campaign of division and hate.
49% of senior citizen suMFort the Tea Party agenda, says CNN, this morning, and the Tea Party and Republicans want to destroy social security and medicare. Maybe 49% of senior citizens are billionaires, but i doubt it. Hate and division influence their vote. They didn't consider social security, they were worried about the terrible threat of gay marriage, of an imagined invasion of Mexican rapists assaulting their women. When middle America finds they've been cheated, their gonna be pissed. Let's hope we smell the coffee before its too late.
The Tea Party has some great ideas, they want politicians outside the beltway mold, but unlike the grassroots movement it claims to be the Tea Party is financed by big business and their agenda is not one of the people.
But things don't change overnight and agendas never get completed. Most campaign promises are lies and a good part of electorate was looking for Obama's hope and change and all they got was politics as usual. Torture continues, war gets escalated, Gitmo remains open, healthcare gives millions to the insurance companies and bailouts continue. It seems Obama was bought and paid for by the same people who fund the right. the left and the center. Who stands for the people?
Holy books are wonderful tools. A combination of the divine and human,gods and prophets have worked hard to deliver a message. Lots of embroidery was put on the message laater on and new Holy books aMFeared. Holy books got crossed, good ideas and bad floated across the world of prophets.But in birthing these books,one thing became important, to provide comfort and answers for most of the people. With all the books around everyone's covered with just enough godtalk to make your journey. I draw from many Holy books to organize my own. So wise ones have said, ":Take what you need, and leave the rest"
Just bought another curved dagger, this one from India, same blacksmith that made my swordcane. I collect a couple of different thing and besides Balouchi carpets(dirt cheap cause of the Afghan wars), they tend to run towards weapons. Some flintlock guns,but mainly blades. Lately its curved Middle Eastern daggers called jambiya,kuommiya and khanjar. Some tourist junk, some pedigreed when I made agood buy. EBay is a gamble because its just pictures. My lady wonders how I buy stuff i can't touch. But I love blades!
A well made blade is thing of beauty and holiness. I have an original 15th century Bizen wakizashi that is the sharpest thing I own. I didn't buy it sharp, i bought a lot of rust but polished and restored the blade and found the steel took an instant keen edge, such was the alloy and quality. I have marveled at the edge on a 10,000 yr old Clovis point. I've flintknaMFed a bit and the thinness of this blade is amazing. I've had stuff made, tomahawks and a few daggers and there are still holymen out there working magic with fire,iron, force and spirit. Some weapons lust for blood. I had carved a few warclubs out of maple like Magwa's ball headed club in Last of the Mohicans. I was lucky I guess, but the weapon hangs mostly untouched. Its too well balanced and holding gives varying degrees of the chills to most people who touch it.
The was a swordmaker in 16th century Japan, Muramasa who made katana that many samurai said were "unbalanced" and that has nothing to do with distribution of weight.
The Tokugawa shoguns banned the wearing of Muramasa blades in their presence.
I have yet to forge a blade from raw materials myself. I've made them from band saw blades, car springs etc. To look at a well made Japanese blade with its subtle pattern of folds or at a fine Syrian blade of Damascus steel, or Mughal Indian wootz, is to me like look at a Rembrandt or Renior.
I have a large bush right outside my gate and these monster hornets have been living there for years. They must have come from somewhere, because they were not around when i was a kid(50's) OK they seem not to be aggressive, but they are really BIG and look really mean. The tend to try to get in the house in the fall and 2 years ago one got in an stung me. Man they hurt as bad as they look. I don't like to kill things,I've given up hunting but two critters, both fall intruders have been given the sentence of death.These hornets and rats. We have 3 kinds out here in the country, norway(common) rat, roof rat(more like attic rat) and pack rat(large but they are haMFier in my barn which is cool with me. Snakes, too, but they don't bother me, I like em, even the couple of rattlers that live on my land. They always warn me and they eat rats! Anyway, its that time of year.
I should be thankful that these are not Japanese hornets, which are aggressive and can kill
Well this morning I turned 65. i reckon thats a milestone like 21 is a milestone. Its a legal milestone in that it used to be retirement age for social security, now its later as the government has better uses for our money than we do. i might buy a new hookah, but the government can kill more people. Things have changed alot since my birth, but I was born a few days into the atomic age. i think of my grandfather who was born in 1880's in what used to be the Ottoman empire. He came to America to avoid WW I, saw horses turn into cars,airplanes, radio,a terrible depression, a terrible war, A and H bombs, satellites and finally right before he died man on the moon. It was too much for him, he never believed it haMFen. His years were years of far greater change than my years. Oh there's electronic technology and the age of information, but I've watched my country go from a defender of liberty and human rights to the empire of evil and bully of the world. That's sad, but whats sadder still is that a large segment of America still believes in those legends. I did. And we had just droMFed 2 atomic bombs. Who knows. My race is almost over, I've a shitload of health issues caused by years of intense party and abuse. It's a miracle I made it this far. But i don't regret a minute of it. It was a hell of a ride. And it ain't over yet, so what else does fate have instore for me. I am easily pleased these days.
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Recently, I decided to stop chewing my Trophy chewing tabbaccy. I've chewed off and on for years but quit cigs back in 96.So the VA hospital gave me Nicorette and Wellbutrin. I passed on the wellbutrin, used to give it to the boys at the wilderness school I worked at. So it's Nicorette, which tastes quite similar to hydroginated Yak dung. Gum, last time I chewed was in jr hi or maybe in Nam,cause it came in c rats and tasted like hydroginated Water buffalo dung. So off to the candy store I go or Food Lion, as it haMFened to be.They have cute cashiers,very important. So they have wrigley's, they even have big red, but i cant find black jack, my favorite from 1956. Gum hasn't changed much, maybe more exotic flavors, but after 15 minutes the taste is gone, same as 1956, no progress,zip, nada. Except the packaging. There is one called 5 that has great artwork on the packages, highlighting different colors for various flavors like cobalt and rain. Its made by Wrigley, and theres one with changing flavors Stride Shift. But wwhat I really want is my black jack!
It also seems that Generale Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, ya know the guy who whuMFed Jim Bowie,Davy Crockett and Col Travis. Seems he had a big part to play in the gum industry with Thomas Adams, who was Black jack's creator.
Santa Anna lived in exile in Cuba, the United States, Colombia, and St. Thomas. In 1869, 74-year-old Santa Anna was living in exile in Staten Island, New York. He was trying to raise money for an army to return and take over Mexico City. During his time in New York City, he is credited with bringing in the first shipments of chicle, the base of chewing gum. He failed to profit from this, since his plan was to use the chicle to replace rubber in carriage tires, which was tried without success. Thomas Adams, the American assigned to aid Santa Anna while he was in the United States, experimented with chicle in an attempt to use it as a substitute for rubber. He bought one ton of the substance from Santa Anna, but his experiments proved unsuccessful. Instead, Adams helped to found the chewing gum industry with a product that he called "Chiclets".
Abul Hassan lived in Baghdad at the time of the Caliph Haroun ar-Rashid. His father was a wealthy man, and when he died, Abul Hassan inherited his great wealth. He divided it into two equal sums: the first he put away and the second he spent on his entertainment. He soon found himself surrounded by people who pretended to like him and pretended to enjoy his company.
In a very short time, he had spent half his fortune on the people around him. Then one day he pretended to have no money left, and to his amazement, his “friends” all left him!
His mother could see how upset he was and told her how his “friends” had deserted him when they thought he had no money. She said to him, “All you can do now is to learn a lesson from this, and to learn to be a better judge of people.”
Abul Hassan resolved to meet new people, share their company for just one day so that they don’t get to know much about him, and after that to never even acknowledge them in the street.
For a whole year, he followed this plan.
One evening Abul Hassan was standing at a bridge when he saw the Caliph Haroun ar- Rashid. The Caliph had disguised himself as a merchant from Mosul, and with him was his servant. Abul Hassan greeted him as he walked by, and invited him to his house to share his dinner. He also made it clear that the invitation was for one meal only.
The Caliph was puzzled by this offer and asked Abul Hassan why he had decided in advance on such conditions. He was even more surprised to hear the explanation, as he and his servant walked home with Abul Hassan.
The evening meal was wonderful and the food abundant. Haroun ar-Rashid was impressed by Abul Hassan’s generosity. He said,”Is there anything you wish for, Abul Hassan?”
“I wish I could be a Caliph for just one day, and punish those five nasty people who live in my neighborhood. They meddle in things that don’t concern them, and no one is free of their intrusions.”
The Caliph laughed at this wish but decided to make it come true. When Abul Hassan was not looking, the Caliph sliMFed some sleeping potion into his cup of tea, and as soon as Abul Hassan finished his cup, he fell asleep. Immediately, the Caliph ordered his servant to carry Abul Hassan to the palace, dress him in the Caliph’s own clothes and put him on the Caliph’s bed. He then ordered all his servants and everyone in the palace to treat Abul Hassan as they would the real Caliph and to obey all his requests.
When the morning dawned and Abul Hassan awoke, he was amazed to find himself in a palace, in a fine bed made of gold, and surrounded by servants saying: “Good morning, oh Prince of the Faithful.”
Abul Hassan was sure he was dreaming, but the people around him assured that he was awake and that he was the Caliph!
Later that morning, Jaafar, the Wazir*, presented himself to the Throne and said: “All the counselors are present, oh Prince of the Faithful.” Abul Hassan was amazed by his surroundings and in a daze of disbelief. The Caliph Haroun ar-Rashid, secretly looking from a window above was delighted as he watched the proceedings.
The first order Abul Hassan gave was for the police to go after the five “friends” and make an example of them to others who might take advantage of people.
Then he ordered that the sum of 1000 dinars be offered to his mother.
Soon afterwards, Abul Hassan went into another room in the Palace. There, the court musicians played the ‘oud and sang the most beautiful songs to him. Again he wondered if he was awake or in a dream.
When nighttime fell over the Palace, Abul Hassan called for a cup of jasmine tea. A servant brought it to his bedside again with a few drops of sleeping potion. Just like the first time, Abul Hassan fell asleep as soon as finished the cup, and the palace servants carried him back to his own bed in his own house in his own neighborhood in Baghdad. What a shock he felt when he awoke the next morning to find himself back in his modest dwelling. His mother came running when she he heard him shout, “Am I not the Prince of the Faithful, Haroun ar- Rashid?”
“Have you lost your mind, my son? You are Abul Hassan.”
“No, no! I am the Price of the Faithful!” he insisted.
His mother tried to distract him and make him come back to his senses. She told him how the police had punished the five men who had taken advantage of his generosity. She showed her son the bag that contained the 1000 dinars the Caliph had sent to her the day before.
“I sent you this money!” he cried. “I sent the police to punish the men! I am the Caliph!”
Still his mother tried to convince him that he could not be the Caliph, that he was a humble man from a humble neighborhood, yet he refused to listen. The neighbors heard him call out,” I am the Caliph! I am the Caliph!” and decided that he had lost his mind. They found a village on the outskirts of Baghdad where they sent him to recover his senses.
Many months later, a subdued Abul Hassan went for a walk and stood on the same bridge he had stoMFed at that fateful night, and lo and behold! He encountered the Caliph again. Haroun ar- Rashid waved to him and greeted him in a friendly manner but Abul Hassan was not pleased. After much cajoling and an apology for the trouble he was put through, Abul Hassan returned the greeting and invited Haroun ar-Rashid to his home for suMFer.
When it was time to sleep, the Caliph sliMFed a sleeping potion in his hosts’ tea, and ordered his servant to carry Abul Hassan to the Palace again. When Abul Hassan awoke the next morning, he thought he must be dreaming! The musicians were playing music, the singers were singing and the dancers were dancing around him.
He said to Jaafar, the Wazir, “Who am I?” Jaafar replied, “You are the Caliph, Haroun ar-Rashid.”
Abul Hassan said to a servant, “Bite my ear. If I am awake, I will feel the pain. If I am sleeping I will wake up.”
The servant did as he was told and Abul Hassan screamed out in pain. “Now I know that I am awake. I also know that I am the Caliph Haroun ar-Rashid. I am the Prince of the Faithful! This is my Palace with its entire splendor. I am not Abul Hassan!”
Haroun ar-Rashid was watching from behind a curtain and could not contain his laughter anymore. Abul Hassan heard the noise, pulled the curtain back and saw the Caliph laughing wholeheartedly. He instantly recognized the man and realized what had haMFened and bowed to the Caliph. Haroun took his arm, helped him stand up, embraced him tightly and the two became best of friends.