Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Spanish voters kicked the bums out | The Economist

The Islamic State Group Is Winning the War of Ideas - US News

In pictures: Brazil dam burst aftermath - BBC News

BBC - Travel - The world’s most extreme runways

Tour de France 2017 to begin in Dusseldorf, Germany - BBC Sport

American Pathology!

Desert tower raises Chile's solar power ambition to new heights | Environment | The Guardian

U.S. Military’s First Openly Gay Woman Killed in Combat - The Daily Beast

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From THE TREATISE CONCERNING THE LANGUAGE OF BIRDS by Thomas Lanchester, Chapter Six:
"There is nothing else in magic but the wild thought of the bird as it casts itself into the void!  There is no creature upon the earth with such potential for magic.  Even the least of them may fly straight out of this world and come by chance to the Other Lands.
Where does the wind come from that blows upon your face, that fans the pages of your book?  Where the harum-scurum magic of small wild creatures meets the magic of man, where the language of the wind and the rain and the trees can be understood, there we will find the Raven King!"
H.

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'Tis a very interesting sunlight this morning at 0730.  This the first day of summer in the Southern Hemisphere at 17-degrees south latitude (Cochabamba, Bolivia).
It feels like winter light, yet summer here.  I'm beginning to see the magic of observation, or maybe it's the feeling of the energia!
It causes deja vu!
H.

America Is Becoming More Liberal - The Atlantic

Always the MESSENGER is killed!

Liu Bolin Pictures Show Chinese Air Pollution - artnet News

American Pathology!

Greed, stupidity, everywhere in the world, as money is God!

I'm hoping one hits, and wipes out at least one-half of humanity! It's the only thing that will save the species!

WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US!

American Pathology!

Political uprising in Spain shatters illusion of eurozone recovery - Telegraph

We're killing ourselves!

Indigenous Bolivian women scale mountains outside La Paz - The Washington Post

Go Scotland!

Sex, lies and arsenic: how the 'king of poisons' lost its crown | Science | The Guardian

WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US!

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Anna,
Whether or not you get this message when you are home -- I have a book I recommend, one for your father, the great reader!  He may have already read it.
The title, THE ILLUSION OF VICTORY, by Thomas Fleming.  It was in your library here, one that has never been read before I got my hands on it!
I never knew much about WWI (called 'The Great War') or Woodrow Wilson, the president during that era.  That is, until I read this book.  Thanks again.
At the end of the book there's a quote by Theodore Roosevelt upon the death (in the war) of this son Quentin: 
ONLY THOSE ARE FIT TO LIVE, WHO ARE NOT AFRAID TO DIE!
Millions died horribly in WWI, and for no avail, except the greed and ego of small minded men, the Kaiser (of Germany), and the leaders of the Allies, including Wilson.  A sad history on the male ego.
In the meantime, life goes on so many wars later…
I hope you're enjoying your time in Grass Valley, U.S.A.!
Feliz Navidad y prosperso nuevo ano (2016, the YEAR OF THE MONKEY in Chinese Astrology).
Hutch

Monday, December 21, 2015

There are two kinds of poverty, physical and mental.

Key Anti-Pot Argument Torched? Teen Use Flat as Risk Perception Plunges - US News

7 Literary Destinations to Visit in 2016 | U.S. News Travel

India’s temples of sex

The microbes so extreme they might survive on Mars

American Pathology!

American Pathology!

American Pathology!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

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Could it be that the troubles confronting Europe, particularly France, began almost 100 years ago in the wake of WWI?
From THE ILLUSION OF VICTORY, by Thomas Fleming,
pp.364:
"Largely ignored were British promises of independence made to lure the Arabs into the War (I) on the Allied side -- and the indubitable fact that all four Middle Eastern countries (Syria, Iran, Iraq and Turkey) had manifested strong desires for freedom (self-determination).
An American investigative team president Wilson sent to the Middle East found Muslim's animosity toward the French particularly strong.  These investigations also reported that 'anti-Zionist' feeling in Palestine and Syria was intense and not lightly to be dismissed!"
So, what did we do, we dismissed it!  And now, in 2015, almost one hundreds later, the result of such!
'Those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it!'
H.

There is no objective reality, we create it from our minds!

American Pathology!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

La Paz's cable-car system Teleferico a heady ride that bridges Bolivia's values - LA Times

They made the world care - but where are they now? - BBC News

Heck, humanity doing a good job of it now (2015)! In effect we are creating or forcing an end-Permian mass extinction!

Man's (ego) great inhumanity to man! Oh, sorry about that we killed your child. Collateral damage!

My father worked on the railroad in the early part of the 20th C. Thus, i was given a Lionel model train set, I had for years. I still like traveling by train, recently the one between Oruro and Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia (a narrow gauge)!

BBC - Capital - Why George Lucas is more than just a creative genius

The male ego the problem!

The media always desperate for readers, ratings (money) will print anything to get attention! Question? Is the subject of this article important in 2015?

We've been 'dumbed down' by Capitalism!

On strike at 8,848 metres: Sherpa and the story of an Everest revolution | Film | The Guardian

American Pathlogy. The U.S., a very sick culture! Of course, no one wants to admit it.

American Pathology!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Vladivostok, baby: can a glitzy new mega-casino attract Asia's wealthy elite? | Cities | The Guardian

Lake Poopo, Bolivia's 2nd-largest lake, dries up - Technology & Science - CBC News

Bone suggests 'Red Deer Cave people' a mysterious species of human

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The Human Race is fatally flawed! 
We are unable to control the ego, the 'I,' thus the great test of survival as a species!  Can we, will we, overcome ourselves?
Walt Kelly wrote, via his alter ego, a possum named 'Pogo' (comic strip):  WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US!
Of course, the ego projects evil away and onto the other guy (villain).  And every adult in the world knows they're right!  'If only you would see it my way!'
Thus, THERE IS INFINITE HOPE, BUT NOT FOR US! (F. Kafka).
We, as a species, are at a crossroads.  One way indicates, 'life,' the other 'death!'
Which will it be?
H. 

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One has only to study world history to understand how Nature (nee the male ego) has kept world population from exploding!  This with religion and war! 
I think it was H.G. Wells who wrote, 'If war didn't kill you, at least it got your attention!'  Von Clausewitz said the War is the Father of all things!'  If so, we believe Peace is the Mother of all things!  But, we realize you can't have one without the other!
But, this force of Nature (nee the male ego) is even more needed now as we approach eight billion in numbers.  Too many people are chasing too few resources.  E.g., Canada now selling oxygen-air to beleaguered Beijing!
I think this might be the definition of irony!
H.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Go girl!

11 Novels So Amazing, You Can't Tell What Genre They Are

You’ve Never Heard Of These 10 South American Adventure Travel Gems – Gear Junkie

Thinking Against Violence

 Images projected in Lyon, France, as tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks.Credit Robert Pratta/Reuters

Thinking Against Violence
By NATASHA LENNARD and BRAD EVANSDECEMBER 16, 2015 3:35 AM December 16, 2015 3:35 am

This is an interview with Brad Evans, a senior lecturer in international relations at the University of Bristol in England. He is the founder and director of the Histories of Violence project, a global research initiative on the meaning of mass violence in the 21st century. His most recent books include “Disposable Futures: The Seduction of Violence in the Age of Spectacle” (with Henry Giroux), “Resilient Life: The Art of Living Dangerously” (with Julian Reid) and “Liberal Terror.” — Natasha Lennard
Natasha Lennard: The premise of your book “Disposable Futures” is that “violence is ubiquitous” in the media today. There seems to be plenty of evidence to support this claim — just look at the home page of this news site for a start. But the media has always been interested in violence — “if it bleeds, it leads” isn’t exactly new. And the notion that there is just more violence in the world today — more violent material for the media to cover — doesn’t seem tenable. So what do you think is specific about the ubiquity of violence today, and the way it is mediated?
It is the possibility that we could face some form of violent encounter, which shapes the logics of power in liberal societies today.

Brad Evans: It is certainly right to suggest the connections between violence and media communications have been a recurring feature of human relations. We only need to open the first pages of Aeschylus’ “Oresteia” to witness tales of victory in battle and its communicative strategies — on this occasion the medium of communication was the burning beacon. But there are a number of ways in which violence is different today, in terms of its logics intended, forced witnessing and ubiquitous nature.
We certainly seem to be entering into a new moment, where the encounter with violence (real or imagined) is becoming more ubiquitous and its presence ever felt. Certainly this has something to do with our awareness of global tragedies as technologies redefine our exposure to such catastrophic events. But it also has to do with the raw realities of violence and people’s genuine sense of insecurity, which, even if it is manufactured or illusionary, feels no less real.
One of the key arguments I make throughout my work is that violence has now become the defining organizational principle for contemporary societies. It mediates all social relations. It matters less if we are actual victims of violence. It is the possibility that we could face some form of violent encounter, which shapes the logics of power in liberal societies today. Our political imagination as such has become dominated by multiple potential catastrophes that appear on the horizon. The closing of the entire Los Angeles city school system after a reported terrorist threat yesterday is an unsettling reminder of this. From terror to weather and everything in between, insecurity has become the new normal. We see this played out at global and local levels, as the effective blurring between older notions of homeland/battlefields, friends/enemies and peace/war has led to the widespread militarization of many everyday behaviors — especially in communities of color.
None of this can be divorced from the age of new media technologies, which quite literally puts a catastrophic world in our hands. Indeed, not only have we become forced witness to many tragic events that seem to be beyond our control (the source of our shared anxieties), accessible smart technologies are now redefining the producer and audience relationships in ways that challenge the dominance of older medias.
A notable outcome of this has been the shift toward humanized violence. I am not only talking about the ways in which wars have been aligned with humanitarian principles. If forms of dehumanization hallmarked the previous Century of Violence, in which the victim was often removed from the scene of the crime, groups such as ISIS foreground the human as a disposable category. Whether it is the progressive liberal, the journalist, the aid worker or the homosexual, ISIS put the human qualities of the victims on full broadcast.
N.L.: One could argue that by focusing on “humanity” when considering acts of violence — the human face of victims — we assert that the human is in fact indispensable (we might think of, say, newspaper paeans to victims after massacres). But you argue that this does the reverse, though, and that violence-as-humanized and human disposability go together. Can you explain this a little further?
President François Hollande of France has called for a ‘pitiless war’ against terrorist, as if the previous age of violence was somehow marked by compassion.

B.E.: What we are engaging with here are two distinct types of violence, which although appearing separate, often link and connect in subtle and yet complex ways. On the one hand, we can point to the widespread disposability of human populations, those countless, nameless and faceless victims, whose violence is often. Such populations live out a wide range of human insecurities, indignities, oppressions and hardships. Yet these “disposable” populations, which are often contained, at time overspill their confinement to reveal the violence of the hidden order of politics. This is true whether we are talking about the Black Lives Matter movement, which has been galvanized by the spectacle of police brutality, or the bodies of refugee children like Aylan Kurdi, whose body washed up on the shores of a Turkish beach.
On the other hand, we have more orchestrated spectacles of violence, from real events to cultural and entertainment productions, which prove to be deeply significant in the normalization of violence and producing the conditions for violence to come. We can explain this in terms of the interplay between disposable lives and sacrificial violence, onto claims for militaristic forms of justice. A number of philosophers have attended to the relationship between violence and the sacred. What concerns me is the ways in which sacrificial victims become loaded with symbolic meaning to sanction further violence and destruction. That is to say, how the spectacle of a truly intolerable moment is politically appropriated to sanction further violence in the name of the victims.
We have seen a terrifying example following the recent attacks in Paris and in San Bernardino. As the Islamic State, or ISIS, continues to push the spectacle of violence to the nth degree, it brings together the sacrificial and the disposable in challenging ways. ISIS has a clear strategy that seeks to maximize its exposure through the most intimate forms of sacrificial violence. There is however a further outcome to its violence; it creates the very conditions in which a violent response becomes inevitable. Its violence seeks to create disposable futures. By focusing precisely on populations which are actually most likely to resist the calls for further war and violence, what is effectively witnessed is an assault on the imagination and the ability to steer history in a different direction.
Faced with such spectacles, our complex range of emotions — from sadness, horror, fear, anger and concerns for the safety of families, friends and loved ones — are consistently mobilized to justify a violent and militaristic response. Or as President François Hollande of France recently remarked, what’s now needed is the purest form of justice, a “pitiless war,” as if the previous age of violence was somehow marked by compassion. This raises serious questions about how we might even think about breaking the cycle of violence, as the future already appears to be violently fated.
N.L.: It seems that the media only accesses the humanity and struggle of oppressed populations once we have had (literal, visual) exposure to spectacular violence enacted on their bodies. I think of the example you cite — of the child Aylan Kurdi dead on the Turkish beach, or of the unarmed teen Michael Brown’s body seen lying in the Ferguson street for three and a half hours. And that the corpses of privileged white people are often not used as a media spectacle in the West (indeed, publications and social media platforms scramble to ban ISIS execution videos). Does part of our world being “violently fated,” as you say, relate to the fact that we often only find empathy and solidarity after we’ve seen people as victims of violence?
B.E.: There is also a need to be mindful here of the power relationships invested in what we might term the mediation of suffering. How we encounter and narrate the spectacle of violence today is subjected to overt politicization, which prioritizes certain forms of suffering, and in doing so, concentrates our attentions on those deaths that appear to matter more than others. Politics in fact continues to be fraught with claims over the true victims of historical forces. Part of our task then remains to reveal those persecuted figures subjected to history’s erasure. But we need to go further. Indeed, while much has already been written about the recurring motif of the victim in terms of developing forms of solidarity and togetherness, there is also a need to be mindful today of the appropriation of the humanitarian victim — who is now a well-established political figure — for the furtherance of violence and destruction in the name of global justice.
N.L.: In his book “The Better Angels of Our Nature,” Steven Pinker argues that there is objectively less violence in the world, but it is not clear to me how we could, or whether we should quantify the history of violence in this way. It makes no sense, to me, to say there is more or less violence now than ever. Or at least I would challenge any attempt to do so as problematically historicist — privileging our current notions of what violence even is as something timeless and unchanged throughout history. But we can talk about a spreading spectacle, and its qualities. How do you respond to efforts and findings of Pinker, which are being popularly accepted?
Rodin originally cast “The Thinker,” not in solitude, but before the Gates of Hell, at the scene of violence. The thinker in fact is being forced to suffer into truth.

B.E.: There are a number of issues to address here. We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that many dedicated organizations and individuals are doing tremendously important work documenting the casualties of war and conflict. Whether we are talking about the meticulous research involved in revealing the forgotten testimonies of victims or efforts to record and detail the “collateral damages” of more recent campaigns, these measures are crucial in holding power to account. No life should be collateral. This requires recording and continued vigilance.
And yet, as you intimate, there is a need to avoid falling into the methodological trap set by the likes of Pinker. Not only does his work lead to the most remiss historicism as violence can be judged in terms of various scales of annihilation, it is ethically and politically compromised in the extreme. These attempts to offer quantitative reflections on violence, in fact, lead precisely to the forms of utilitarian calculations, through which some forms of violence are continually justified or presented as the “least worse.” As a result, the human dimensions to the violence — for example, the qualitative aspects of it — are often written out of the script.
Such approaches are in fact incapable of answering the ethical question: When is too much killing enough? Just as there is no clear line to be drawn concerning levels of tolerable casualties: Can we justify the acceptance of 1,000 deaths but declare 1,001 too many? Each form of violence needs to critiqued and condemned on its own terms. Only then can we think of breaking the cycle of violence by moving beyond overtly politicized dichotomies as good and bad, just and unjust, tolerable and intolerable, which rely upon such quantifiable derivatives.
Pinker’s specific claims are historically dubious in respect to the relationship between liberalism and violence. What is more, the classifications he uses conveniently fit his pre-existing normative positions and worldviews. And yet, as we know, what actually constitutes an act of political violence is intellectually fraught and deeply contested. The recent mass shootings in the United States, for example, illustrate how both the naming and quantification of violence remains loaded with political determinism. While some incidents, like the massacre in Colorado Springs, continue to be narrated by focusing on the mental health of the individual perpetrators — hence avoiding any broader systemic critique of gun laws, political allegiances and religious beliefs, etc., others such as the recent attacks in San Bernardino immediately connect individuals to broader historic forces.
N.L.: What about how we use the term “violence”? I have written before that it is used carelessly in the media. For instance, I have seen news reports that say a situation “turned violent” when in fact only property was being damaged or destroyed. That suggests that property can be a victim of violence. With regard to Ferguson, reports said that protests “turned violent,” which suggests the situation was not violent already, ignoring the fact that there is no background state of peace or nonviolence when young black teens are being gunned down by police with impunity. Do you think we need a better conception of what actually constitutes violence? Do you agree that the word itself is used irresponsibly? How might we conceive of a better way to apply the term?
NOW IN PRINT
The Stone Reader: Modern Philosophy in 133 Arguments

An anthology of essays from The Times’s philosophy series, published by Liveright.
B.E.: Violence remains a complex problem that defies neat description. The German philosopher Walter Benjamin saw the task of developing a critique of violence adequate to our times to be one of the most significant intellectual challenges we face. How can we critically engage the problem of violence, and remain ethically sensitive to the subject, while doing justice to its victims? Too often, violence is studied in an objective and neutral way, forgetting that human lives are being violated and that its experience is horrific and devastating.
Violence does however remain poorly understood if we simply attend to mere bodily attacks. Not only is psychological abuse clearly a form of violence, often we forget how some of the most pernicious and lasting casualties of war are intellectual. There is also a compelling case to be made for arguing that extreme social neglect, unnecessary suffering caused by preventable disease and environmental degradation could also be written as forms of violence given their effects on lives. Key here is to recognize both the systematic and all too human dimensions to violence, which requires us to look more attentively to the multiple forms violence can take, teasing out both its logical consistencies and novelties.
You do, however, raise an important point: Once we start to objectify violence — for instance, argue what its main referent objects should be — it is easy to retreat back into established moral and normative positions which neatly map out justifiable versus unjustifiable forms of violence. The justifiable being the violence we are willing to tolerate, the unjustifiable the intolerable. With this in mind, it’s much better to ask how violence operates within a social order. By this I mean to question regimes of power, less by their ideas and more by the types of violence(s) they tolerate, while asking how such violence serves to authenticate and disqualify the real meaning of lives.
So where does this leave us intellectually? Rather than encouraging a debate about the true meaning of violence, I’d like to deal with your final question by proposing the urgent need to think against violence in the contemporary moment.
As Simon Critchley intimated in a very powerful piece in The Stone in 2011, breaking the cycle of violence and revenge requires entirely new political and philosophical coordinates and resources to point us in alternative directions.
I’d like to add to this discussion by drawing attention to Auguste Rodin’s sculpture “The Thinker,” which is still arguably one of the most famous human embodiments of philosophical and critical inquiry. The symbolic form given to Rodin’s isolated and contemplative sculpture alone should raise a number of critical concerns for us. Not least the ways in which its ethnic, masculine and all too athletic form, speaks to evident racial, gendered and survivalist grammars.
But let’s consider for a moment what the thinker is actually contemplating. Sat alone on his plinth, the thinker could in fact be thinking about anything in particular. We just hope it is something serious. Such ambiguity was not however as Rodin intended. In the original 1880 sculpture, the thinker actually appears kneeling before the Gates of Hell. We might read this as significant for a whole number of reasons. First, it is the “scene of violence,” which gives specific context to Rodin’s thinker. Thought begins for the thinker in the presence of the raw realities of violence and suffering. The thinker in fact is being forced to suffer into truth.
Second, there is an interesting tension in terms of the thinker’s relationship to violence. Sat before the gates, the thinker appears to be turning away from the intolerable scene behind. This we could argue is a tendency unfortunately all too common when thinking about violence today. Turning away into abstraction or some scientifically neutralizing position of “objectivity.” And yet, according to one purposeful reading, the figure in this commission is actually Dante, who is contemplating the circles of hell as narrated in “The Divine Comedy.” This is significant. Rather than looking away, might it be that the figure is now actually staring directing into the abyss below? Hence raising the fundamental ethical question of what it means to be forced witness to violence?
And third, not in any way incidental, in the original commission the thinker is actually called “the poet.” This I want to argue is deeply significant for rethinking the future of the political. “The Thinker” was initially conceived as a tortured body, yet as a freethinking human, determined to transcend his suffering through poetry. We continue to be taught that politics is a social science and that its true command is in the power of analytical reason. Such has been the hallmark of centuries of reasoned, rationalized and calculated violence, which has made the intolerable appear arbitrary and normal. Countering this demands a rethinking of the political itself in more poetic terms, which is tasked with imagining better futures and styles for living among the world of peoples.
Natasha Lennard is a freelance writer and special projects editor at The New Inquiry. Her work has appeared in The Intercept, Al Jazeera America, Fusion and elsewhere. Twitter: @natashalenn

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From, THE ILLUSION OF VICTORY, by Thomas Fleming
pp.32:
"Here, Norris said, was the 'coldblooded proposition that war brings prosperity!'  The senator denounced this 'comfortable opinion' which was supported by 'a servile press' in league with the pro-war bankers and corporate executives.  These profit-hungry Americans he shouted, had created a war madness that was sweeping the country and Congress to acrimonious conflict.  'I would like to say to this war God, you shall not coin into dollars, the life blood of my brethren!  We are going into this war on the command of profit!  I feel we are putting the $ sign on the American flag!"
This having to do with WWI (1915), applies to all since!  Same thing, 100 years later!
H.

Empty Spanish church transformed into 'Sistine chapel' of skateboarding | World news | The Guardian

Young, charismatic candidates spice up Spanish election - The Washington Post

Michael Moore: I’m Coming for ‘Big Wuss’ Donald Trump - The Daily Beast

Good news for a change!

American Pathology!

It has to do with money, of course!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Easy! Travel to the Southern Hemisphere, where it's summer!

Not a good idea, raising borrowing rates! Stupid, in fact!

America is enslaving itself!

Will Spain Replace Its Old Guard in the December 20 Elections? | The Nation

Former Bolivian UN Ambassador Calls Paris Deal a Mass Killer | The Daily Caller

What would you expect? Money is God. In TV that translate to ratings, and Americans thrive on conflict!

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This morning a metallic sky, flat, lowering the noise level of the awakening city.
Yesterday, a Portland-Oregon-day that unleashed a heavy-wet rain.  I made it home, but was wet by the time I unlocked my noisy metal gate.  Rusel, didn't even come out to greet me as usual.
It took time to deal with everything wet, including the bag of harina de integral (whole wheat flour).  My Ortlieb panniers, some five-years old, flying over thousands of kilometers, now leak!  Senor Fetes got a nice shower!
This is summer-winter in Cochabamba, Bolivia!  Technically called 'summer' it's really more like 'winter!'  And interesting I'm the only one that notices such.
It has to do with the sun.  If no clouds (in the winter), the sun heats the concrete-brick buildings and warmer.  If no sun (in the summer, rainy season) the buildings are colder.  I turn on my electric heater.  I feel like getting back into bed, even though a rising moon!  Plus, Eduardo is coming this morning.
Today, nothing moves, a 'winter-summer' stillness.
It will be a Full Moon Christmas Day in Sorata for me.
Happy winter where you are!
H.

Star Wars, Disney and myth-making | The Economist

Many animals can give birth without mating

Donald Trump's Muslim views 'tragic and full of hatred', says Malala Yousafzai | World news | The Guardian

Trafficked into slavery on a Thai fishing boat: 'I thought I’d die there' | Global development | The Guardian

Disgruntled Siberian city wants cat for mayor | World news | The Guardian

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Of three remote communities here, why are only the two Aboriginal ones under threat? | Australia news | The Guardian

'Where is better than here?' Last six residents of Wittenoom resist efforts to close asbestos mining town | Australia news | The Guardian

American Pathology!

American Pathology!

5K years ago, the height of civilization! It's been downhill ever since!

Move over, quinoa: sorghum is the new 'wonder grain' | Life and style | The Guardian

American Pathology.

WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US!

The world’s fastest developing countries | The Economist

Around the world in 123 days: New Zealander breaks cycling record | World news | The Guardian

Italy’s electronic underground: ‘It’s not a scene, more of an attitude’ | Music | The Guardian

How stupid we are! We can't destroy them with military might, but only with Spiritual might!

Needing, wanting attention, the male ego!

Monday, December 14, 2015

This squabble between China and the West, real potential to launch WWIII.

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Most everything is wrong about Modern Life!  But, too late now, as who would understand?
We have, you would say, automobiles, hot-cold running water, medicine, computers, jet travel, we're going to Mars!  We have TV, 'smart phones,' and the Internet!
Yes, we have material comforts, things, the external, but not the internal.  We have little consciousness, little in the way of spiritual understanding, little in the way of compassion!  Yes, we have religion that does help to keep the population down, but otherwise only to make the churches $ richer!
Modern Life, where did we go wrong?  We took the road that said 'material!'  It might have well have said, 'Extinction!'
Money-profit has become God in the world!
WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US!
THERE IS INFINITE HOPE, BUT NOT FOR US,
Until, we change!  Until we grow up, evolve, and make the Spiritual more important than the Material!
H.

I've been asking for years, what happens when we can't grow anymore?

Animals, much more divine than humans!

We will evolve into androids, cyborgs, and robots. Without egos, the hope of humanity!

An insider's cultural guide to Tartu: Estonia's intellectual heart | Cities | The Guardian

Sarajevo: a portrait of the city 20 years after the Bosnian war | Cities | The Guardian

American Pathology!

Get and use a bicycle!

The madness doesn't stop with limiting guns!

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From OIL FOR THE LAMPS OF CHINA, by Alice Tisdale Hobart (takes place B.M., or 'Before Mao,' during the 'Republic' between the Qing Dynasty and Communism)
"Now, bit by bit the Chinese seemed to communicate their disdain for his world to him.  In the first months out from America, he had been invited to dinner where the conversation had turned to the discussion of Western Materialism, Eastern freedom from it, the glorification of the peasant's primitive way of life ideal.  But, filled with the belief in himself and Western Materialism, he had scarcely listened.  The particular 'genius' of his race in the cunning of their brains, that produced railways, discovering light in Kerosene, electricity, had seemed to him the great gift of progress!  Now, such things were suddenly robbed of their worth.  His ardor for progress left him.  What was progress anyway, if it left out the spiritual?  Could he be sure that these 'trinkets' of his country set so much in stone, were really progress?"
Now, you see what has happened in China, some 80 years later!  It has contracted the same Western 'disease,' and that of Materialism!  Money has become God, just like in the West.  So, China will suffer the same fate!  Look at the air pollution in Beijing, caused, in part, by too much motor vehicular traffic.  Mao, in his Mausoleum, is dying a second time!
What to do?  Write about what is happening to China!  It's becoming just like the U.S.!
Do you know what's happening in the U.S.?  It's imploding (爆), destroying itself!
Wake up, people before it's too late!  Don't let China go down the same road!
Papa Haqi

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Interesting how WWIII might start...

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Cycling Sundays: Parque Turnari, Cochabamba, Bolivia
The weather was perfect today for a picnic, but since the subject didn't come up at Friday lunch, I knew this isn't an outdoor group (my Bolivian friends).
I'm just the opposite having a father that was born in the Rocky Mountains (Cripple Creek, Colorado).  Every summer we'd camp out, or take a fishing, hunting trip or climb a mountain.  Later, I took to climbing in the Catalina Mountains, just north of home town, Tucson, Arizona.
But, regarding picnics… We still have time, many Sundays before I depart for Granada, Spain (in March).
Next Sunday (20th), for example, Lucy and boyfriend want to cycle with me and Edgar.  This might be an opportunity for a picnic if they want to ride up into the hills.  We could meet at the 10KM Recreational park.
Interesting day for me, solo.  The road up is being graded, but I think only from the Main Entrance (to Turnari Park) to the second Gate.
Because of the rain the road above is in horrible condition, making cycling a challenge -- especially for me on Senor Fetes with weight.  It's a bitch cycling on this type of slippery surface (loose rock).  I lost balance, and slid off three times, and fell once.  One small injury on my poor leg that has so many scars from so many other wounds.
On the way up, I saw a campasino (working man) carrying a large bag (of something?) on his head.  This reminded me of Nepal, or Mexico.  Where was he going with what and why?
Where I had lunch (12KM) I was hidden from the road, taking a nap after… When, I hear voices.  I'm surprised by three young Bolivian men (see photograph).  I've been up in these hills many times, and never seen the likes of hikers like these.  They are obviously educated, one carrying a 'smart phone,' another could speak some English.  Cochabamba and Bolivia are evolving…
On the way down, hours later, I discover the reason for the bag on the man's head.  As I passed, I'm yelled at in Quechua by a group of three sitting in the shade.  I tried to respond, but couldn't understand what they wanted (always something).  I kept going, and then discovered what they were doing.  They had cows, and no doubt the bag, the man carried up, was feed for them.  Must be the season to have them up so high.
I got back to mi casa at 1700 hours.  Whoa, tired!
But, I had a wonderful evening sitting outside, as warm, little wind, and no rain -- and the sky with new moon. 
Summer is here in the Southern Hemisphere!
I took 13 photographs (above).
H.

Sex, love and robots: is this the end of intimacy? | Technology | The Guardian

And to exploit and trash another world!

'It's a fraud, really!' Typical of Governments, 'wool pullers!' Trust me, it will be business as usual!

Bolivia's raw beauty calls to travelers looking for adventure - LA Times

American Pathology!

American Pathology!

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From THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS, by Kiran Desai
The difference between man and animals...
pp.320:
"He couldn't conceive of punishment enough for humanity!  A man wasn't equal to an animal, not one particle of him.  Human life was stinking, corrupt, while these beautiful creatures lived with delicacy and without doing any harm!  'We should be dying!' the Judge said almost weeping!" (We are!  We are killing everything including ourselves!)
Note, it's the ego that's at fault concerning man versus animal.  We have an ego, they don't!  And it's the ego that's the problem, particularly with the male.

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From THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS, by Kiran Desai
pp.280
About the scourge of modern life…
"Still she could tell it was someone's precious home  Marigolds and zinnias edged the veranda, the front door was ajar and she could see past it's punchered veneer to a gilt clock and a poster of a bonneted golden-haired child against a smoldering wall, just the kind of thing that Lola and Noni made merciless fun of.
There were houses like this everywhere (in the world), of course, common to those who struggled to the far edge of the middle class -- just to the edge, only once, holding on desperately -- but were at every moment being undone, the house slipping back, not into the picturesque poverty that tourists like to photograph, but into something truly dismal.  Modernity proffers this kind of thing in its meanest form:  band-new one day, in ruins the next!"
H.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

What Orwell can teach us about the language of terror and war | Books | The Guardian

Politics, the refuge of scoundrels, and nee 'climate change,' bullshit!

American Pathology!

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From THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS, by Kiran Desai
pp. 238-9:  On reading books…
"Trollope,' Lola said brightly, excited and aroused by the turn of events. I always said,' she turned to the others in a frivolous fashion, 'that I would save Trollope for my dotage; I knew it would be a perfect slow indulgence when I had nothing much to do and, well, here I am!  Old-fashioned books is what I like.  Not the new kind of thing, no beginning, no middle, no end, just a thread of free-floating plasma!"
H.
P.S.  from Trollope:  The habit of reading is the only enjoyment in which there is no alloy; it lasts when all other pleasures fade.

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From THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS, by Kiran Desai
pp.225  A description of the white man (in India)…
"'Bastards!' he said with such bitterness.  'What bastards they were!' raising his voice as if attempting to grant himself conviction.  'Goras, they get away with everything don't they?  Bloody white people!  They're responsible for all the crimes of the last 500 years!'"
"Mark Twain had shot thirteen tigers on the road between Calcutta and Darjeeling!"
P.S.  I agree.  The white man's ego the problem in the world.

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I long for distant places,
New and different,
Knowledge I'd not known before,
A door opened!
I see distant clouds and want to be there,
Seeking, seeking, always seeking,
Reeking of the unknown!
What's there?
What's to bare?
To seek, to unwind!
That's what my life is all about,
I SHOUT!
Starting over, always!
H.
P.S.  When we get too comfortable, we start dying!

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From THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS by Kiran Desai
pp.218+ about 'sin' and the nature of justice (in the world)…
"Sai eavesdropped instead on Noni talking to the librarian about the book CRIME AND PUNISHMENT. 'Half awed I was by the writing, but half I was bewildered,' said Noni, 'by these Christian ideas of confession and forgiveness -- they place the burden of the crime on the victim!  If nothing can undo the misdeed, then why should sin be undone?'  (Note:  C..G. Jung said the only 'sin' was unconsciousness!').
The whole system seemed to favor, in fact, the perpetrator over the righteous.  You could behave badly, say you were sorry, and then you would get extra fun and be reinstated to the same position as the one who had done nothing, who now had both to suffer the crime and the difficulty of forgiving, with no goodies in addition at all.  And, of course, the perpetrator would feel freer than even to sin since he was now aware of such a safety net:  'sorry, sorry, oh so, so sorry!'
The fact was that the victim was left empty-handed.  There was no system to soothe the unfairness of things; justice was without scope; it might snag the stealer of chickens, but the great evasive crimes would have to be dismissed because, if identified and netted, they would bring down the entire structure of so-called civilization!
For crimes that took place in the monstrous dealings between nations, for crimes that took place in those intimate spaces between two people without a witness, for these crimes the guilty would never pay!  There was no religion and no government that would relieve such hell!"
All so true!
I believe that what we (the white man) has created in the last 500 years is ALL WRONG!  Ke garne!
H.

article for Julien, at www.expat.com

article for Julien, at www.expat.com

What does it mean to be an 'expat?'  The word expatriate suggests you are no longer patriotic.  The dictionary says, 'To withdraw oneself from residence in one's native country.'  But, the origin of the word, Medieval Latin, expatriatus, suggests banishment. 
In 1999, having lived in Nepal for three years I returned to the U.S. with a bicycle I'd purchased in Kathmandu. 
Living with my sister in New Jersey, I decided I would retrace my Hutchison family's migration from a farm on the Delaware River (north of East Stroudsberg, Pennsylvania), to where my father was born in Cripple Creek, Colorado.  This on my new bicycle.  What a crazy idea at age 59!
Months later, having arrived in Colorado Springs, I got a job teaching acting.  (Note, my 50-year career was in the entertainment industry.)
One day I managed to cycle up to Cripple Creek, and place a khata (Tibetan greeting scarf), at the site of the house where my father was born in 1902.  Mission accomplished.
Once collecting Social Security I started 'living' on a bicycle, taking longer and longer trips.  Several of these were to Mt. Evans and Aspen, Colorado.  One, all the way to Big Springs, Montana.
Then, one day I was 'summoned' to Blanca Peak, (Sissnajani in Denay language).  From Colorado Springs, to the north side of this 14,000ft. peak, is something like 160KM / 100 miles (via Florence and Westcliffe).  I think it took two days, during which I had so many amazing things happen to me, I couldn't ignore the import of what I was doing.  
There at the base of Sissnajani (Blanca Peak), Colorado, I was given two holy objects and told to offer them to Mt. Kailas, Tibet.  All of this may sound absurd, as I didn't understand my bicycle pilgrimage for a long time.  In the beginning I didn't take it seriously, but as time went on and one after another transcendental events occurred, and I couldn't ignore the serious nature of what was happening to me. 
Now, in 2015, I've cycled around the world (five years in China), and living in Bolivia.  I feel like I was summoned here to make an offering at Tiahuanaco, 122112).
Does this make me an 'expat?'  I suppose so.  But, I'm more a bicycle vagabond or nomad.  I love cycling the world and making discoveries!
This coming March, I'll be moving to Granada, Spain.
F.A. Hutchison
www.cyclingpeace.org
www.tantrictaoism.org
P.S.  I want to start an organization, 'Citizens Without Borders.'  Join me?

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The weather here in Cochabamba, Bolivia (17 degrees south latitude), the 'clima' in Deciembre.  They call it summer, but it feels like winter.  It's colder because of the rainy season, the clouds.  All has to do with the sun.  In the 'winter,' no clouds and more sun, thus warmer.  In 'summer' more clouds, less sun, colder.  Thus, I feel more at home (the Northern Hemisphere) because of this anomaly -- especially during the holiday season.  I'll bet hardly any Boliviano/a makes the same distinction.
I remember Christmas in Adelaide, So. Australia, the temperature around 40C.  We ran around in shorts and jumped into the Dignam's swimming pool.  We cooked pizza on Paul's new outdoor, adobe oven.
But, today, Friday, the 11th, my 75th Birthday, wow, what a storm in the late afternoon…
On the way cycling up Av. Los Robles, going home it started… It started to sprinkle, the wind gusting right in my face!  I almost lost my balance several times.
Half way up it started to rain.  I stopped to put on my rain jacket.  With the wind, it became challenging to stay up, the rock part slippery.  On the dirt, I finally lost balance, OH FUCK!.  I pushed the last 30 meters to my gate.
Ana, Eduardo and his girlfriend were in the kitchen.  Eduardo was finishing installing the shelf in one of the cabinets.  I would use this to store guest food.
Eduardo and what's her name, departed.  I'd given him a knife for Christmas.
It started to rain harder, so Ana waited.  Then it subsided enough for her to walk home, maybe a kilometer's distance.
But, then later came the tormento (lightening and thunder) close overhead.  At 1730, the clouds opened up, and it poured like I hadn't experienced such before here in Cochabamba.  The water flooding the grass, the sound of the metal roof deafening, the thunder driving Rusel into my bathroom!  I checked my bedroom for leaks in the roof, but none!  It lasted for only thirty minutes, but wow!  I thought maybe in honor of my 75th!   Were the Gods telling me something?
H.

Friday, December 11, 2015

If you live by the sword, you die by the sword!

Humans have a 'maybe gate!' Computers have only a 'yes' and 'no' gate!

After her finest hour, Merkel now needs help from all Europe | Timothy Garton Ash | Opinion | The Guardian

Spain election: Resisting change in a dying Spanish village - BBC News

I think it should be returned to Bolivia!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Spot All the New Urban Murals in Kyiv With This Handy Interactive Map · Global Voices

Not the 'best and the brightest in the U.S. military...

The Year in Literary Backlash | New Republic

The M-I Complex, controls the U.S. Government!

U.S. Household Wealth Fell $1.23 Trillion in Third Quarter - Bloomberg Business

We're in a worldwide economic Depression, that no one wants to admit!

American Pathology!

Probably came from China...

10a1215 BLOK On becoming 75-years of age...

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On becoming 75-years of age...
How silly my life has been, from covering the British Open (Golf) on TV, to riding to Everest Base Camp on a bicycle (north, or Chinese side). 
The breath of my experience makes for a poet, a writer.
Growing up, Papa Hemingway was my hero. 
What makes a writer but the need to express with words -- the ego!
Right or wrong it's what I am at 75-years of age -- a milestone.
When I was young and dumber, I wanted to live fast and die young.  This, I almost achieved.  I am a failed suicide!
Thus, here I am, an old man still 'strutting and fretting his hour upon the stage!'  From pain and suffering, however, comes much yield, however.
At such a venerated age, we all know we're 'right,' having suffered 'the slights and arrows of outrageous fortune!'  Thus, we cling to our beliefs.  The goal is in knowing, however, not believing.
That's where I am now, having read both of Marlo Morgan's books about Australian Aboriginal wisdom.  It confirms what I already knew, that the white man took the wrong path, way back when.  And most of what we have created in the last 500 years now imperils our very existence!   We're teetering on the brink of extinction as a species.  Yet, no one wants to know.  'We have met the enemy and s/he is us!'  We're in denial as can't face the truth:  We're consuming ourselves!  It's 'the too many rats in a cage' syndrome.  Simply we created too many of us, now fighting for dwindling resources.  We've been profligate, as money has become our God!
Of course, it's easy for me to identify the problem.  But, the solution is beyond my capacity to offer, at least in palatable terms.
I foresee only two scenarios for survival:  One, we muddle through, religion and wars helping to 'thin the herd.'  In the process hi-tech creates egoless robots that take control.  This would include androids, cyborgs, and the like, half human and half 'machine.'
The second scenario includes a cataclysmic event, either manmade or 'act of God,' that plunges the survivors into repentance that ultimately leads to greater consciousness!
We are rapidly approaching a crossroads, one sign indicating LIFE, the other EXTINCTION!
The 'experiment of ego consciousness,' the beginning of such symbolized in the Garden of Eden myth, is reaching its conclusion.  Can we overcome ourselves, or not?  if not, the 'experiment' failed, and like a fire extinguished, even the ashes go undiscovered!
H.

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Every morning I sit in the sun reading, shooing flies away (too near the basura pile), watching the ants carry their building materials back to their underground 'mansion,' hearing the incessant sounds of passing motor vehicles on the dirt road just outside my speckled white wall (topped with broken glass).
I read from Anna's library, in the last two years, over 50 novels by female authors (the era of my discovery).
Today, THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS, by Kiran Desai.  Born in India, her bio. says she splits her time between the U.S. and India.
The story takes place in Kalimpong in the northwestern Himalaya, in the shadow of Kanchenjunga, a 8586mt. (the 3rd highest in the world) peak, which is technically in Nepal.  This is what got me interested in the story as I know this part of the world.  I lived in Nepal for three years, trekking to Everest Base Camp on the south (Nepali side), and riding on the back of an elephant (Chitwan National Park).  In Kathmandu I had a love affair with a Russian woman (Marina Donskaya).  I need to write a novel.
Why would an Indian-born author quote Jorge Luis Borges as an epigraph?
"Writings of light assault the darkness, more prodigious than meteors.
The tall unknowable city takes over the countryside.
Sure of my life and my death, I observe the ambitious and would like to understand them.
Their day is greedy as a lariat in the air.
Their night is a rest from the rage within steel, quick to attack.
They speak of humanity.
My humanity is in feeling we are all voices of the same poverty.
They speak of homeland.
My homeland is the rhythm of a guitar (I would substitute bicycle), a few portraits, an old sword, the willow groves' visible pray as evening falls.
Time is living me.
More silent than my shadow, I pass through the loftily covetous multitude.
There are indispensable, singular, worth of tomorrow.
My name is someone and anyone.
I walk (ride) slowly, like one who comes from so far away he doesn't expect to arrive."
Why?  Because this is me!
H.

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Yesterday, a news item from Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.  Excessive rain caused flooding to dislodge a tree, which fell on a house, killing a woman sleeping in her bed.
Can we ever know when and where we meet our own demise?
What is the last thing you want on your mind, just before taking your last breath?
Be prepared as death can come at any time, and anywhere.  We don't know when.
The owner of THE NORTH FACE outdoor apparel company, Douglas Thompkins was killed recently in an kayak accident.  This in Patagonia, Chile.  He was 72-years of age, and had everything to live for.
We never know…
H.

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A definition of romantic love,
From THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS by Kiran Desai
p.3:
"Could fulfillment ever be felt as deeply as loss?  Romantically she decided that love must surely reside in the gap between desire and fulfillment, in the lack, not the contentment.  Love was the ache, the anticipation, the retreat, everything around it but the emotion itself!'
H.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US!

WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US!

Teams head to Spain for mid-winter tradition - VeloNews.com

None in my neighborhood in Cochabamba, Bolivia. But, many muggings!

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Ode to a Blue Cup


Ode to a Blue Cup
A thousand times
It held hot coffee,
A cooking pot, a urinal as well!
This day, it took its last 'breath,'
Leaking,
The steel weakened
After 11-years of use,
Traveling the world!
Even steel succumbs,
Even rocks become sand,
Dust to dust,
Ashes to ashes!
But, today I honor this vessel
Empty of fluid,
Full of heart
081215,
My Blue Cup!
H.
P.S.  Purchased in 2004, in Old Colorado City, Colorado, U.S.A.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Isn't this true about any solution? You can't separate the mind from the body!

100 Women: China's feminists undeterred by detentions - BBC News

Mourning the death of the 'messiah of Africa' - BBC News

Saturday, December 05, 2015

We have met the enemy and he is us!

The 'New Age' Crusades!

The University Of Tennessee Is Waging A Literal War On Christmas | The Daily Caller

We have met the enemy and he is us!

American Pathology!

American Pathology!

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Life, living,
What is it all about?
The rout, the lout
Inexplicable such doubt!
Between opposites
We
Bounce,
The right,
The wrong,
Let's sing a song:
'Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream!
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
LIFE IS BUT A DREAM!
H.

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From SUITE FRANCAISE by Irene Nemirovsky
pp.297:
A Manifesto of sorts…
"Let them go where they want; as for me, I'll do as I please!  I want to be free!  I'm not asking for superficial freedom, but real freedom inside -- to choose my own (bicycle) path, never to waiver, not to follow the swarm!  They all agree on one thing, the weak:  you have to love, think, live with other people, as part of a state, or country, and/or political party.  Not me!
Most are slaves, violence driving them into the hive, the herd, taking everything of material value.  I retain the right to decide my own destiny, to laugh at it, defy it, escape it, if need be!
Better to be a 'slave' than a dog on a chain who thinks it's free! 
I can't succumb to 'the spirit of the hive,' out of pity or solidarity, denying my freedom in the process!"
(the above from her book, paraphrased).
The 'spirit of the hive,'
What jive,
I want to thrive!
The only chain is on my bicycle,
Freeing me,
Being me!
Unencumbered by
Flags and borders,
Citizens without!
Free your heart
To give, to live,
Truly!
www.citizenswithoutborders.org

WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US! (Walt Kelly via POGO, the possum).