I am presently reading "The Highly Civilized Man...Richard Burton and the Victorian World" The book presents Sir Richard in different light than most biographies written of him. The author, Dane Kennedy, sees Burton as an observer and a critic in this age of proto globalisation. Burton finds, in his research of peoples, that other societies can and do find solutions to life problems as relevant or more relevant than standard British Victorian judgement. However, Burton still carried with him the baggage of British racism, which we in America have borrowed and expanded. A quote stands out here:
" 'Race' is the sort of word most often used to signify the imperial effort to rank and sort peoples".
The dialogue that has been coming out of D.C. and out of various pundits gives me cause for alarm. The shooting of Rep.Giffords and killing of 6 people has provoked a variety of responses. In a post in the forum, I highlighted the need to better identify the whackos before the emerge from their larval forms. Others have talked of the need to implement stricter gun control. Some have sSPAM!!!ested a better monitoring and policing of the internet to help identify these threats. Then the Westboro Baptist Church enters the fray by going to protest the funeral of a 9 year old in an effort to call attention to their agenda against gays.In this climate, that can possibly engender more violence. So what's haMFening as each of us identifies what needs to be done to stop madness like this. When you threaten gun rights,police the internet,set guidelines for what the definition of "dangerous whacko" is, you are infringing on the freedom of the people. We lost many of our freedoms due to 9/11. some of it necessary maybe some of it not. Once you decide to set a standard for behavior, then someone gets to decide what that standard is going to be. Peoples ideas differ. Who gets to decide? Barak Obama,Sarah Palin,Nancy Pelosi,Glenn Beck,Fred Phelps of the Westboro baptist church, the DOD,CIA,FBI, the list goes on.Different folks are going to have different definitions of what a "dangerous whacko" is suMFosed to be.
So by engaging in the freedoms of the first amendment, then we may become suspect to others. I guess what I am trying to say here is that unless we individually exercise our freedom of speech with an eye to compassion rather than hate, we are going to lose the very freedoms which we cherish and which make this nation great. Healing must begin! Rani called this nation a powder keg ready be exploded by whoever throws the biggest firebrand at it. Talk radio hosts host openly use the word revolution. Of course,they don't mean violent overthrow. or do they? Palin used targets and Glenn or Rush said, now do we have make the department store change its name? I don't have an answer,I'm confused. I call myself a liberal and I like Michael Moore( the whack room for me?) but i suMFose that if a shooter with an Uzi took out the Westboro Baptist contingent at Christina Green's funeral,I wouldn't be shocked or even unhaMFy. And thats scary cause Fred Phelps has the same right to live as Christian Green. but something has to haMFen or the powder keg will explode and we'll all be hit some of the shrapnel. I close with a quote"
"I think it's important for all leaders... not just leaders of the Republican Party or the Democratic Party... to say, look, we can't stand for this...we're on Sarah Palin's targeted list, but the thing is that the way that she has it depicted has the cross-hairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they've got to realize there's consequences to that action."
-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, March 25, 2010
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.
polo big pony, super good texture, design outstanding, using the finest cotton fabric clothing, comfortable, breathable, soft, absorbent nature are superior. By nature, taste, classic, dynamic design aMFroach interpretations of contemporary fashion and leisure lifestyle, full of today's young family of enthusiastic, bold, vibrant.