Monday, June 18, 2018

American Pathology!

Michael Cohen and the Felony Overtaking Washington

And we cut them down for toilet paper!

A Renewed View of Some of the World’s Oldest Trees

After a three-year restoration project, the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias in Yosemite National Park has reopened, with less asphalt and more concern for the health of the trees.

We are all gods, in material form!

Could this be the face of God?

There is infinite hope, but not for us! (F. Kafka)

Police condemn 'appalling' violence at cycle festival

Make fun of them, at least! Politics the last refuge of scoundrels!

Electoral Dysfunction – The Best Politically-Powered Comedies

No, but money would! Reduce the prize money!

Would technology temper the tennis outbursts?

it was always stupid, about money, not health. And if the truth be known cannabis less harmful than alcohol (if used in moderation).

Cannabis war 'comprehensively lost', says William Hague

American Pathology!

Rapper XXXTentacion shot dead in Florid

'Ripe for disruption': female film-makers rally for industry overhaul

Women of the world unite!


180618 BLOK

May-June cycling trip from Noordwolde, NL, to Newcastle (Newburn), U.K.
230518, first day, Noordwolde to Lelystad.
I´m finally off, after, much planning, packing, shipping, cleaning, etc. This, after four months at Erik and Petronella´s house, renting their guest suite in order to write my book about cycling the world entitled, FOLLOWING THE LIGHT!
After doing too much on a test run to Drackton, some 80KM round trip, against the wind, and causing damage to my feet, I vowed to go just a short distance the first day.  Did I adhere to this plain, no!  Sometimes, I´m just stupid!  What else could it be?  Maybe a self-destructive desire to suffer, I don´t know? Or, maybe the dninnies, the demons, as still after me for moving the Kundalini from East to West!
The day started out easy, as I departed with a rising moon and the wind at my back.  The wind from the northeast, unusual, but this must be my guarding angels compensating the dninnies.  At 25KM, it was still early and I couldn´t find the Caravan Park I´d planned to stay at, so I kept going. I did pass a caravan park at 30KM, and thought about staying, but kept going, why…?  Quien sabe?  I had the wind and was on one of NL´s super concrete bicycle highways, so I just kept going… I thought I´d stop and spend the night in Emmeloord, but when I saw a sign pointing to Lelystad, I turned and KEPT GOING!
Then, however, I missed the turnoff to Lelystad, the direction to, written only on the opposite side of th red bicycle direction sign.  And since the major bicycle highway continued, I thought it would continue to a major city like Lelystad, named after the Dutch man, who buildt the BIG DYKE, Afsluitdijk (?).  His name, however, must be Lely…?
Not long after I spied some picnic tables in front of what looked like a restaurant.  I hardly ever pass up wooden picnic tables as nice to eat on outside.
Here I purchased some good yoghurt, ate, and took a photo. of two couples on vacation, as asked.  Most people are happy to oblige you, and some even can take a good photo.
I went on to URK, and a BIG mistake.  In fact, made two mistakes. First kept going to URK some 7 kilometers, the second mistake… had I asked there, instead of going by the direction signs I could have saved, 20 extra kilometers, as there was a highway out of URK going directly to Lelystad.  And why didn´t I look at my map?  Sometimes it´s challenging to accept the fact that I´m so fallible.
I went back the way I´d come, as it said the way to Lelystad, bu now against the wind.  I stopped when I saw two girls discussing something, so I thought to ask them the direction to Lelystad.  Turned out they were from Germany on vacation, cycling with a group.  One of them pulled out their map, but didn´t really know.
I thanked them and then went another 50mts. to check out the direction sign just up ahead, and sure enough, it said Lelystad thisaway.  So, I went thataway, and on a quiet two-lane highway which led to the BIG A6 bridge over the Ketelmeer.
Note, there are so many waterways, canals, ponds, water, it´s challenging for a tourist to name them properly. Google has this bay as Ketelmeer, but Google is not always correct.
Crossing the bridge I followed the red-bicycle-direction signs toward Lelystad for about a kilometer, when the route turned northeast I stopped.  I hesitated because I thought this can´t be right. This was a day of mistakes.  I thought this way wrong, and turned back.  At a parking lot I stopped and asked a young man parked in an automobile, and he checked his smart tele.  His advice, go back, and under the bridge and follow the dyke, which I did.
This way turned out to be interesting as the old highway, right on the bay, following 26 wind turbines, whose bases are planted in the water.  WHOMP! WHOMP! WHOMP! the sound the blades make turning slowly.  I whomed along, stopping occasionally to take a photo.
I went maybe two or three kilometers alone, easy, no traffic, except for the noise from A6 on the other side of the dyke. The road turned slightly, at wind turbine #1 and I could see a large power plant in the distance.  I was concerned at that point, not really knowing where Lelystad was and I thought I needed to get inland.  Another mistake!
Over the dyke, pushing Mr Fetes up stairs and down, and then inland on a road.  But, I didn´t quite know which way. I still had to find my way into Lelystad, but how?  I went down one wrong dead-end road, having to again retrace my route.
One of my rules when lost, is to watch the motor traffic, particularly trucks and buses —they´re going somewhere. So, I followed one automobile´s direction, and did find a red bicycle direction sign, TO LELYSTAD.  But, now it was late afternoon and hot and I was tired, my feet aching.  This hard-surface path ended at a animal guard, a series of rails with spaces that animals won´t cross. I parked right on it for some reason.  Another mistake, as this one made out of rebar (steel construction rods) and the bars too far apart.  I fell into it twice. Damn!
Onward, as now semi-desperate.  I followed a dirt path to a highway, and turned in the wrong direction. But, a woman driving an automobile, stopped when I waved at her.  No, the other direction and cross the highway, etc.
Well, I finally got into Lelystad, seeking the Center, and the tourist information office.  But, this wasn´t easy either, as Lelystad fairly large.  I must have stopped and asked six people how to get to the central train station, some not knowing.
Then, finally, I was at the central plaza, maybe by 18.00 hours, and after some 80KM I´d cycyled.  I was desperate at this point to get off my Brooks saddle, as both my bum and feet screaming at me!  Here, I had was confronted by a huge public gathering, the plaze filled with hundreds of people, loudspeaking, music, a crowd, that I had to threat my way through. `Oh mama, can this really be the end to be stuck inside a crowd with the hotel room blues again?´ (Bob Dylan song lyric slightly paraphrased).
I pushed onto a side street and asked a policeman parked in his police car, WHERE IS THE TOURIST OFFICE?  When the answer was too complicated, I asked,  WHERE IS THE NEAREST HOTEL? He directed me to the Apollo Hotel, only two blocks away, and I headed for it through thick motor traffic. Alas!
At the hotel I paid 139€ for a room, too much of course, but it was the only room they had left.  Sometimes you don´t care what it costs, and this evening I didn´t.  I was just happy I had the money to pay for it.
Up in my room, after parking Mr. Fetes in their lobby, I stipped off my clothes and took a long hot bath. I was soooooo happy they had a bath tub, as soaking my old and abused body in hot water helps.  I would have paid 139€ for the bath alone!
That night, however, I was awakened several times with cramps both in my calves and feet.  We call these `Charlie Horses,´ and I don´t know why we call them that except it has to do with an old baseball player!  But, if you´ve never had a cramp in a muscle, it´s something like what a woman goes through giving birth, contractions they´re called.  And so painful, the only only way to lessen the pain of these muscle cramps in your calf is to stand up until they subside, screaming in pain as it takes too long for the muscle to relax!  What causes a muscle to cramp?  Overuse, dehydration, and strain. Certainly I overdid it this first day going too far with weight, and not in condition.
God, what a day, cycling the world!
People ask me why I do it?  I joke that I´m a masochist!  You would have to be to do what I do at my age!
However, THE ROAD OF EXCESS LEADS TO THE PALACE OF WISDOM!, so wrote William Blake, my favorite English!
Day two, Lelystad to Amsterdam
I paid another ridiculous amount at the Apollo Hotel, some 17€ for their buffet breakfast, that wasn´t very good.  ISIS Hotels, usually have better fare, and are included in the room rate.  But, again, sometimes feeding the mind, more important than feeding the body.  In this case, I just wanted to sit in comfort and drink several latte macchiatos!  But, via machine not all that great!
It´s interesting to me, that in Europe everything via machine.  More machines, less workers.  More AI and robots, less human workers.  So, how are all these unemployed workers going to support their families?  There´s going to be more theft, more crime.  Then more police, then more oppression, nee dictators.  We´ve entered the Age of Dictators in 2018!  Democracy is certainly threatened.  Why?  We realize we can´t govern ourselves, the masses out of control.
I departed the Apollo Hotel at 0845, in search of the Lelystad Central train station. But, I head out wrong, and have to ask how to get there.  I´ve heard of a bicycle shop in the station, and always make a point of passing out my BURN FAT!  NOT PETROL! stickers, meeting cyclists in the process. Additionally, cyclists generally know the best way, the best route, and this guy did.  He even walked out of his shop, down to a corner, to point out the direction I should go to run into the path, next to the Markemeer, as the suggested Google bicycle way.  This south all the way to Almere, my initial goal, not too far, after a brutal first day.  Did I adhere to that plan?  No.
Getting to that path, was not all that easy, however.  I had to thread my way through residential areas, dead ends, having to go back, and around. Turn left, not right, look up, look down, gee you´re dumb!  But, if I have any talent at all, it´s finding my way in the world, a sixth sense as to which is the right way.  When I get lost, or go out of my way, like what happened the first day, I know it´s the demons, the dnnies, fucking with me.  They don´t want to kill me, just make it more difficult.  They enjoy watching me suffer!
"The Shambala Sutra: 香巴拉箴言: If you want to go to Shambala 假如你想到香巴拉去 / There is much danger, 会有许多危险 / And demons will try to stop you! 恶魔们妄图阻止你! / Many people will become obstacles! 许多人也将成为阻碍!/ But, if you can understand 但是,如果你能明白 / Becoming the path itself, 这些都会成为其小径 / You will succeed, 你就将成功 / Overcoming all! '超越一切!". Only those who pass 'the test,' reap the benefits. And only those willing to suffer the pain, are blessed with 'Shambala,' (another word for 'Shangri-La’).¨
I have learned how to become the path, not ride on it, but become it!
Once I´m finally on the path to Almere, it´s nice like most Fiets Pads, in the NL.  For one thing, you´re isolated from motor vehices.
After maybe 20KMs, I stop and see read what confuses me… One bicycle path which is green says Almere that way, another, the usual red one indicates joining a highway, which makes me suspicious. I´ve never seen a green bicycle sign in the NL before, but, for some reason I decide to take the direction the green sign indicates.  It leads not far then plunges into a forest.  Up ahead a short distance a cul de sac, with view, as in need of the ole outdoor toilet.  Afterwards I reconsider, don´t know why until later, to return and take the red direction on highway
It isn´t a short time until another cyclist glides up next to me, wanting to chat.  He´s a young man from Barcelona, working in de Hag.  We ride together until a junction makes us part.  He´s going to Hilverson, me to Almere, I thought… I give him some stickers before he cranks up a hill (there aren´t many in the NL). I turn left, to rejoin a bicycle path, really a rural road with some local motor traffic.  I´m not far when I spy a picnic table and decide to stop, rest, eat, etc.
I take 20b bicycle route through Almere, but it becomes a labrinth.  I would still be there, if it not the help of several Dutch people, some with good information, some not.
I was following the red signs for 20b, past a construction site, when I spy a cycling couple coming in my direction.  I wave to stop them and ask if I´m going right into Amsterdam.  They tell me no, and explain. I´m to turn around go under the bridge, then double around over it, as this is a more direct route.  The man even waits for me at the bridge to direct me, explaning this is a short cut.  What turns out to be a short cut, however, delays me for probably an hour, as I got lost.
Then some boys on bicycles, going the opposite direction, yell at me to stop.  Luckily I heard them, stopped, and discover my tent had fallen off.  I´ve lost many things off Mr. Fetes over the years, but I didn´t want to lose this tent.  I offer the boys some money.  They refuse.  Then they spend time on their smart teles., trying to direct me to the path next to the highway (20b), heading all the way into Amsterdam.   I thanked the boys profusely, then forget to give them bicycle stickers. Damn!  I cursed myself all the way into Amsterdam another 20KM. Today, like the first day, begins to seem endless.   Again, what I planned to make a short day… I just keep going…
It´s no easy trick cycling in and out of a large city, but I´ve had experience getting in and out of Amsterdam, when I lived with the de Vries boys in Utrecht.  I used to cycle up for the day, along the BIG canal that connects Amsterdam with the Rhine River.  The Rijn-something by name… Goggle says:  Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal. I was up and down it many times in 2004, and on both sides.
Suddenly, stopped waiting for a light to change I recognized where a small road joins a large boulevard (I think S112), one which goes directly into the east side of the infamous metropolis — deja vu. This area, called Diemen.  I couldn´t believe that I´d recognized it.  What are the odds that I would end up entering Amsterdam, the same way 14 years later, and from an entirely different direction?  A coincidence? There are no coincidences in my world.
Now, however, in 2018, the old boulevard, now S112 was under construction as a new trolley line being added. But, I confirmed I was going correctly when I passed the cemetary.  It had been a place to hide while going to the toilet, ah, blasphemy!  But, there are so few public toilets in cities, one has to get creative when older, as when nature calls when youre over 70 years of age, IT CALLS!
I remember in a city park in Santiago, Chile, having TO GO!  I stopped a Chilean man, who spoke English.  I asked him for a public toilet, he said GO ANYWHERE, THIS IS SOUTH AMERICA!
Back in Noorwolde, planning, I had researched locations of Caravan Parks, along the way.  There was one on the east side of Amsterdam, Called Zeeburg Camping.  I made a mental note as it looked interesting online.
But, acutually there in Amsterdam, I was heading for the Starbucks east of Amsterdam Central, then later any hotel would do. I thought I was way beyond Zeeburg Camping site.
Well, I saw a sign for a hostal on the other side of the busy boulevard.  I crossed, was in the process of locking Mr. Fetes to check out the Hostal when I saw a man loitering, and suspicious.  So I opted to move on, pushing through a maze of narrow streets and shops.  I ended up on a large street with a bicycle lane, so why not, basically lost.  I´m crusing to god knows where, when I see a sign that points straight ahead 2KM to Zeeburg Camping.  Now, again, what are the odds?  Maybe a million to one?
I end up renting a private cabin there, and for not much €, maybe 20.
I don´t know how many kilometers that day from Lelystad, but enough.
Day 3, Zeeburg Camping (Amsterdam) to IJmuiden (the port from where my ferry departed for Newcastle)
Getting into Central Amsterdam was easy, as I was going to Starbucks in the Doubletree Hotel east of Amsterdam Central.  There I had my usual blueberry muffic and Latte Macchiato, sitting outside watching the rush of people going hither and yon. I needed to do some shopping, another Elif Shafak novel, and some eau de cologne to be used in case of sea sickness.  I got two of Shafak´s books, but the cologne impossible, as only available online and shipped.  Turns out I didn´t need it anyway,
I was happy to get out of the infamous city as dystopic to me. Additionally, water everywhere, and I don´t even like to drink it!  Ugh!
I found the way to Ijmuiden, some 30KM from Dystopia, but once there lost.  It turned out I couldn´t find the Camp de Duidoon where I had paid in advance for four days (waiting to depart for the U.K.).  It was marked on the large tourist map, but somehow I didn´t manage well, having to ask several locals for directions.  Then I made some mistakes, ending up way south, when I should have been north.  I finally got there at 15.00 hour (3P.M.), again, exhausted.  I think I´m getting too old to travel on a heavy bicycle.
The cabin was new and well done, except it had no bedding.  This a surprise, but i carry what I need, in case.   And in this case I needed.
I spent the first afternoon dozing and doing laundry.
Then I ate dinner in their local restaurant only 10mts. from my cabin.  Next to me a large family with loud obnoxious children.
I watch parent´s faces and if not unhappy, at least concerned.
My greatest accomplishment in life, is having none of my own.  i like them, especially when young, but not 24/7, thank you.  When women suggest I´ve missed out on such pleasure, I response with, YOU GO AHEAD AND HAVE MORE FOR ME!
I´ve always been labeled a FREE SPIRIT, which I never quite understood… Aren´t all of you free spirits as well?  I guess not!  Me, I´m a migrating bird, a rolling stone that gathers no moss!  The ROAD LESS TRAVELLED, has made all the difference to me!  Read Virginia Woolf´s book, ORLANDO!  I´m Orlando in the story!
The next day, a Saturday, I returned to Dystopia, to attend an art exhibit, involving friends Angeline and Joop. I took a bus, as my bum and feet in recovery.  At the exhibit I passed off my ´free spirits´ to Joop, to give to someone who would appreciate, these `free spirits´ illegal in the U.K.
I manged the bus back to IJmuiden, and then REALLY exhausted.
I spent the next two days, doing as little as possible.
I rode around, first checking out the ferry dock, when to board, and where.
I leave nothing to chance when travelling, as don´t like unpleasant surprises. Yet, I got one when departing.
I also cycled out on their dyke or water break, and all the way to the end where there´s an automated lighthouse.  Staring out across the expanse, the North sea, I though I could see St. Andrews, Scotland some 500kM to the north.  I took off my shoes, and walked barefooted on the beach (playa in Espanol).
We don´t come in direct contact with Mother Earth enough, part of the problem.
I ate at a Greek Restaurant, but not very good.  I found something, a travelling pillow, for lack of a better description, to soften my Brooks saddle.  It only cost 7€, and worked amazingly well.
On Tuesday morning, I packed and was off to catch the ship to Newcaste.
Adios, to the Netherlands to cycle the British Isles.
Day 8, the overnight sail across the North Sea, and then cycling into Newcasle, finally Newburn…
Oh, Mama Can this really be the end, to be stuck inside of the NL, with the U.K., blues again?
All went well, waiting as we, me along with two other cyclists, first in a long line of motor vehicles to board.
Two guys from the U.K., one from Scotland, thus I got some good information. They where the once-a-year for vacation kind of older cyclists, with new bicycles and gear.  I think I sometimes intimidate such when I tell them I cycled he world for 14 years!
Then, having passed the first check in window, I was behind the two U.K., cyclists when asked for my passport by a border guard. Oh, OH!   He examined it, then asked some quesions which I fudged as really illegal in the E.U. I flumoxed about applying for residency in Spain, but when I couldn´t produce documents, he said to stand aside.  He got on his mobile, and the next thing I knew I was being taken to their office across the loading lanes.
Inside, after taking care of Mr. Fetes, I was told to sit and wait.  Well, these are the times that try men´s souls, as I could have be arrested, fined, and/or denied the right to depart.  Tense beyond tenison, I waited praying for deliverance. Oh, mama, can this really be the end…
After too long, maybe fifteen minutes, he returned, and handed me back my passport. He even helped me out with Mr. Fetes.  But, his final words, as he directed me to board.  `You are an illegal immigrant,´ as to label me as a law breaker. I guess they had checked with Interpol, and the fact I wasn´t wanted for some crime, and a U.S., citizen, and whatever gods that helped, I was free to leave and deal with such in the U.K.  I wasn´t entirely out of the woods, having to run another guantlet when entering England.  But, I can tell you my heart soared part way, another miracle had happened!  I have many in my life!
On board, i discovered a floating Lost Wages hotel, that had just about everything:  bars, restaurants, a fun center for children, a casino, a movie theater.  All I wanted to do was sleep.  And as further fortune had it, my cabin had a window, so I could `sea the see!´  Certainly I was in a See of sorts.
The dinner and wine expensive, but good.
The ride smooth, as these modern ships somehow designed to not go up and down.  It rolled a little bit from side to side.
I remember looking for my dessert, watching a young boy his plate akimbo, cherry tomatoes rolling off onto the foor, then rolling across a crowded floor into an adult´s hands.  It´s funny what you remember.
Afterwards, I found the stern´s observation decks, the one outside, like stepping into a gale. Inside, I sat watching the North Sea for the first time ever in my life.
I slept well in my bunk, but then up early for breakfast, my favorite meal. They even had prunes.
Then we were told, those who had come on vehicles, to descend to prepare to depart.
When we had loaded the afternoon before, this space for the two-wheelers was emplty.  When we arrived the next moring, it was jammed full of both bicyces and motorcyles.
Worse, once we had unfastened our bicycles, we had to wait a long time, before things started to move, almost one hour, standing there.
Finally there was some movenment and then the rush to keep up.  I followed my two U.K. cyclists, up the metal ramp and on terra firma, where we were directed into various lines.  i don´t know how many vehicles had been on board, but it seemed like hundreds.
At this point I started praying again, as everyone forced to deal with border control.  Again, the gods were with me, as when I appeared at the window, there were two women.  I jabbered on about cycling the world for 14 years, while one of the women looked at my passport, now slightly impressed with an old man having done so.  She asked me to take off my glasses, checked the passport photo, while the other one, at the other window, asked questions, like my age?  They WERE MORE IMPRESSED, mine stamping my passport, and I began to breathe again!  She handed my passport back, and I thanked them, moving on smartly.
I was now safe in the U.K. / E. U.  I had run the guantlet making it through alive!
Another break, I hooked up with two cyclists, a couple from the Netherands, and I followed them via all their smart phoning into Newcastle.  Alone, it would have been much more challenging as the route, besides being hilly, wound through residential areas, sometimes on streets, sometimes on bicycle paths.
When we stopped to part finally in the City, I thanked them of course, explained I was meeting a friend, but first looking for a Starbucks.  The man pointed, `Well, there´s one right over your shoulder!´  Wow, again,   don´t tell me I don´t have guarding angels, helping me at every turn.
I celebrated in Starbucks with the usual.  How relieved can one be?  I´m not the kind that shows much emotion, but inside I was as happy as I have ever been in my life!  Oh, how relieved can one get?
I had things to do in Newcastle, and new is was to me.  I got a map from Starbucks, and made my way to find a bank.  I had Swiss francs, dollars and euro to exchange for British currency, as even though a part of the E.U., they had kept the pound.  No shillings, but 100 pense per pound.  Barclays bank wouldn´t exchange, but directed me to a place that would.
After that I need to purchase a new telephone #-sim card. Somehow I managed to find a shop near the Central train station.  inside a young man wearing a turbin, obviously s Sikh, and spoke English with an accent.  He sold me a sim card, and then installed it, as I´m a clutz at such. Then I was finally able to call Sandra, my host.  She lived in Newburn some five miles west. Her directions were too find and follow the BLUE bicyce signs west, route #74.
Again, I was able to find my way, and went to meet her, as she said she would ride out and we would rendezvous on the path.
II turned out, however, to be more challenging than I wanted.  And dealing with the traffic, almost frightening, Just the opposite from the NL.
I went and went, ending up in the countryside, and eventually there she was, Sandra Lonsdale.
She directed me to follow her a short distance to her row house.
There I fell into a reverie, a kind of ecstasy I would call it.  Ecstasy is what´s important wrote, Virginia WoolfI
 I had made it all the way, from Noorwolde, crossing the River Styx in the process!  But, then what is ecstasy.  Ecstasy, at my age is taking a good shit!
That evening Sandy made dinner for me and Bob, an old friend, and Tony her boyfriend, who I could never understand a word he spoke.  But, my saving grace, I´m a good listener, and can act like I understand, smiling when the speaker does, nodding in agreement.
I was finally, with a group of English speakers that could unterstand me, more than I had to understand them. Thus, I must have bored them with many stories, some almost too much to believe for they had hardly travelled.  Except for Tony, who amazingly, had been to Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China!  Thus we shared, while boring the other two, reminiscences of The Middle Kingdom!  Additionally, I went on and on, dropping my entire list as Richard coined, the next morning having to apologize for being so verbose!  I rarely get excited, but I was excited that last evening at dinner.
The next day, the usual, shower, laundry, dealing with Mr. Fetes, etc.  There is so much housework, when you have no house.
I had planned, asked, got permission, to stay two extra days, just to relax or try to in such normal surroundings.
I cycled with Sandy to a Lidl suppermaket,some distance, crossing the Tyne River several times, up and down, next to the railroad tracks, on streets, trying to remember had I had to go it alone — impossible.
At the market I found my kind of food, veggie drink which I sub. for cow´s milk, oh moo!  Someother healthy, if not decadent things, I can´t find when cycling through small communities.
On the way back to Newbum (almost as using the pillow), I stopped and had a woman barber mow my beard, and what little hair I have on my head to ground.  I´m lazy having shaving with a Gillette razor for years!  Now, I let whatever grow, cut it off, let it grow, in an endless cycle that seems to surprise people, I look older, I look younger, this confuses them.
One thing I´ve learned cycling the world, is people accepting difference.  They just can´t believe or accept that you might look different, or do things entirely different from them.  Are you crazy?  Thus, I rarely reveal who I truly am!  They would be shocked.  Sometimes I even shock myself.  But, then again I am a FRED SPIRIT! Still FOLLOWING THE LIGHT!
P.S. Next, part two (Ii) of my Noorwolde to Glasgow cycling adventure.

Antonio Gramsci and the Hegemony

Gramsci and hegemony

Raul Leon 015The idea of a ‘third face of power’, or ‘invisible power’has its roots partly, in Marxist thinking about the pervasive power of ideology, values and beliefs in reproducing class relations and concealing contradictions (Heywood, 1994: 100).  Marx recognised that economic exploitation was not the only driver behind capitalism, and that the system was reinforced by a dominance of ruling class ideas and values – leading to Engels’s famous concern that ‘false consciousness’ would keep the working class from recognising and rejecting their oppression (Heywood, 1994: 85).
False consciousness, in relation to invisible power, is itself a ‘theory of power’ in the Marxist tradition. It is particularly evident in the thinking of Lenin, who ‘argued that the power of ‘bourgeois ideology’ was such that, left to its own devices, the proletariat would only be able to achieve ‘trade union consciousness’, the desire to improve their material conditions but within the capitalist system’ (Heywood 1994: 85). A famous analogy is made to workers accepting crumbs that fall off the table (or indeed are handed out to keep them quiet) rather than claiming a rightful place at the table.
The Italian communist Antonio Gramsci, imprisoned for much of his life by Mussolini, took these idea further in his Prison Notebooks with his widely influential notions of ‘hegemony’ and the ‘manufacture of consent’ (Gramsci 1971).  Gramsci saw the capitalist state as being made up of two overlapping spheres, a ‘political society’ (which rules through force) and a ‘civil society’ (which rules through consent). This is a different meaning of civil society from the ‘associational’ view common today, which defines civil society as a ‘sector’ of voluntary organisations and NGOs. Gramsci saw civil society as the public sphere where trade unions and political parties gained concessions from the bourgeois state, and the sphere in which ideas and beliefs were shaped, where bourgeois ‘hegemony’ was reproduced in cultural life through the media, universities and religious institutions to ‘manufacture consent’ and legitimacy (Heywood 1994: 100-101).
The political and practical implications of Gramsci’s ideas were far-reaching because he warned of the limited possibilities of direct revolutionary struggle for control of the means of production; this ‘war of attack’ could only succeed with a prior ‘war of position’ in the form of struggle over ideas and beliefs, to create a new hegemony (Gramsci 1971).  This idea of a ‘counter-hegemonic’ struggle – advancing alternatives to dominant ideas of what is normal and legitimate – has had broad appeal in social and political movements. It has also contributed to the idea that ‘knowledge’ is a social construct that serves to legitimate social structures (Heywood 1994: 101).
In practical terms, Gramsci’s insights about how power is constituted in the realm of ideas and knowledge – expressed through consent rather than force – have inspired the use of explicit strategies to contest hegemonic norms of legitimacy. Gramsci’s ideas have influenced popular education practices, including the adult literacy and consciousness-raising methods of Paulo Freire in his Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970), liberation theology, methods of participatory action research (PAR), and many approaches to popular media, communication and cultural action.
The idea of power as ‘hegemony’ has also influenced debates about civil society. Critics of the way civil society is narrowly conceived in liberal democratic thought – reduced to an ‘associational’ domain in contrast to the state and market – have used Gramsci’s definition to remind us that civil society can also be a public sphere of political struggle and contestation over ideas and norms. The goal of ‘civil society strengthening’ in development policy can thus be pursued either in a neo-liberal sense of building civic institutions to complement (or hold to account) states and markets, or in a Gramscian sense of building civic capacities to think differently, to challenge assumptions and norms, and to articulate new ideas and visions.

Refernces for futher reading

Freire, Paulo (1970) Pedagogy of the Oppressed, New York, Herder & Herder.
Gramsci, Antonio (1971) Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci, New York, International Publishers.
Heywood, Andrew (1994) Political Ideas and Concepts: An Introduction, London, Macmillan.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

How to Reverse the Rising Suicide Rate

Why would we want to...?  Only Capitalism and Catholism demand growth, in an over-populated world chasing fewer and fewer resources.  Basically, we are committing suicide, as a species.

Withering wit and words of wisdom: Oscar Wilde's best quotes

The Netherlands, a great culture. I´ve cycled all over it, for almost one year! And I say to my Dutch friends, if it had elevation and mountains, I would have never left!

Why Dutch teenagers are among the happiest in the world

Teens in Netherlands regularly top life satisfaction tables, with schooling playing a big role

Oh woe be untio Trump for this, and all that voted for him!

Separation at the border: children wait in cages at south Texas warehouse

It´s not Cannabis, but CBD oril, a derivative of! Media gets so many things wrong!

American Pathology!

22 injured, suspect killed in N.J. arts festival shooting

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The story of how a man was turned into a frog!
The only sound the frog-man could make was REDIP! REDIP! REDIP!  And he hopped around scaring people.,
He became frantic as all people do when turned into a frog!  He couldn´t explain his desire to become a plain old man again, just REDIP!  REDIP!  REDIP!  He couldn´t explain his desire to flick his tongue out snaring flies, glupping them down one after another.
You see the wizard said, this will teach you not to keep people awake at night with your snoring!
REDIP! REDIP! REDIP! the fromang replied, yet no one understood him.  Frustrated he hopped around madly!
Now, you are the one who cannot sleep, scolded the wizard.
Birds by day, frogs by night!

Trade tariffs: Chinese media in Trump 'fools build walls' jibe

Irony, as the Chinese built THE GREAT WALL!

Aristotle was wrong! Happiness is not the goal of life!

Blockchain explained

AI is coming to a workplace near you


Cannabis addiction 'rising among women and over 40s'

Saturday, June 16, 2018

From Lawrence of Arabia to Breaking Bad: the desert as a cultural oasis


Lessons Learned From Legal Pot

An expert on the ever-evolving cannabis market discusses hurdles the industry has faced and offers advice for novice consumers.


Friday, June 15, 2018

Rise of the machines: has technology evolved beyond our control?

American Pathology!

Kansas City, Kan., deputies shot, one dead


Chinese defend Einstein's portrait of their people as 'filthy' and 'obtuse'

American Pathology!

1 child dead, 3 people injured in Colorado shopping center shooting

Ancient doodle discovered on windowsill at Tintagel Castle is evidence of 'King Arthur's court'

Thursday, June 14, 2018

I think Bach´s contata, 147, JESU, JOY OF MAN´S DESIRING, the greatest piece of music ever written!


I don't get why people worship Bach

Johann Sebastian wasn't even the greatest composer in his own family

Women of the world unite!

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I think that we all feel a crisis coming in the world… And it has to do with INEQUALITY — the $ rich getting richer, while the poor getting poorer! 
What will these people, the poor, the uneducated, less skilled people do?  They will steal to survive, thus more crime.
Rising crime is symptom of inequality, says London Police Chief

Additionally, robots doing more and more, thus fewer jobs:
Self-driving cars could cost 4M jobs in the U.S. 
The trend with corpos, and governments is to external the cost of doing business, a subject I´ve long written about. And here´s an example, I just discovered yesterday in Glasgow, Scotland, at ScotPost.  I go there to find out about renting a box, as need a physical mailing address.  I end up purchasing a paper notebook.  Guess how I pay for it?  You no longer go to a window, and deal with a clerk, but deal with a machine, doing all that´s necessary to purchase something, or post a letter or package.  No more jobs as a postal clerk.
What happens when there´s more violence, more crime.  Martial Law is declared.  I can see this coming.  I can also see Trump doing this, in the process, becoming the Dictator of the U.S.  He admires all the dictators in the world, now Kim in N. Korea.

Oh be woe unto Israel for this violence!

United Nations condemns excessive Israeli force against Palestinians

Why scientists are teaching this robot to hug

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

You mean give boost to the owners, the 01%!

Self-driving cars could cost 4M jobs, but give boost to economy

American Pathology!

Boy, 16, fighting for his life after being stabbed in McDonald’s

Read more:

Rollls Royce to lay off 4,600 workers!

Who cares about people, profit is God to Rolls Royce!  Oh woe be unto them!

Musicians aiming to inspire women to play organ with 24-hour Bach recital

Einstein's travel diaries reveal physicist's racism

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Who cares about people, not E. Musk, as profit his God!

Tesla to lay off more than 3,000 workers

The Age of Separation!

Proposal to split California into 3 states will be on November ballot

Africa’s oldest and most unusual trees are mysteriously dying

LSD and magic mushrooms could heal damaged brain cells in people suffering from depression, study shows

'We will not stop' warns mother who tried to bring cannabis into UK to treat epileptic son

Monday, June 11, 2018

12 Russian proverbs


The fall of manThe problem of masculinity, in men’s words

A verbatim play explores fatherhood and the models men are given to emulate

Don´t fly the Boeing 787 until this issue fixed!

Rolls-Royce 787 Woes Deepen as Issue Found in New Engine Variant

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Darkening Age!

How Christians Destroyed the Ancient World

They exist!

Water Sprites, Fairies and Elves, Oh My

Bego Antón has spent five years traveling to Iceland to explore the world of mythical, folkloric creatures — and the people for whom they are real.

Tomorrow's Cities: Dubai and China roll out urban robots

We´ve entered the Age of Dictators!

'Two dictators': Fox News host says sorry for reference to Trump-Kim summit


Robert De Niro says Fuck Trump on live TV

Everybody wants to separate!

100,000 people form human chain to call for Basque independence vote

The animals are fighting back!

60 injured after killer bees attack political rally in Colombia

Women of the world unite!

Women march across UK to celebrate 100 years of female suffrage

Up to 10,000 expected to take to the streets in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London

Saturday, June 09, 2018


What a waste! But, war and religion do serve one important function, helping, like disease to cull the herd! 123 million died from wars in the 20th Century. Yet, the world still over populated!


The male ego!

The fall of man The problem of masculinity, in men’s words A verbatim play explores fatherhood and the models men are given to emulate

Spain now has the most female cabinet in Europe The country has overtaken Sweden and France

The opiate of the masses, money via sports on TV!

The World CupWhat makes a country good at football?

Wealth, size and interest in football explain almost half of countries’ international performance. The rest can be taught

Charles Krauthammer: ‘I Have Only a Few Weeks Left to Live’

I find this article, this announcement reprehensible! 
Nobody knows when they are going to die. 
Recently a woman in Florida, out walking her dogs, grabbed by a alligator, BINGO dead!
But, for this man to announce his death in public media, why...?  Who cares?

This is what tube ads tell us about millennials The ads cover everything from jobs to cough medicine and of course, erectile dysfunction pills

Netherlands to build world's first habitable 3D printed houses Developers say project will cut costs and environmental damage and offer solution to shortage of bricklayers

Edinburgh International Book Festival reveals line-up of freedom fighters

The Most and Least Peaceful Countries in the World


We love war!

The Korean war

Designer Kate Spade's death part of a worrisome trend

Nature´s way of culling the herd!
The Catholics and Capitalists are worried, as less growth, less profit.
But, I think people should have the right to die how and when they want. It´s absurd that people think it´s a problem!
I intend to SHED THE BODY, how and when I want!

ROMANIA 'I had this idea to try to help, so I offered them my car"

Some people, good!

Friday, June 08, 2018

The world's first psychopathic robot has just been created, say scientists

Now, why would anyone want to do this...?  WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND S/HE IS HUMAN!

American Pathology!

Why US suicide rate is on the rise

Oh, woe be unto Israel, for this outrage!

Mother of shot Gaza medic: ‘She thought the white coat would protect her’

Volunteer medics fear white-coat strategy is not working after death of Razan al-Najjar

Mystery objects whizzing about in Milky Way’s core


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The problems that face humanity are caused by our own unevolved natures.  I would use the word stupidness, but that offends some, yet I´m just as stupid as the rest!  Of course we project this flaw onto others, hardly ever taking responsibility for WHAT WE HAVE ALL CREATED, a world in which nothing seems to work, and one in which compromise seems impossible!   The attitude:  I´M RIGHT AND YOU`RE OBVIOUSLY WRONG!  Some in the U.S. blame the opposition political party.  Some blame the U.S. in general for the world´s woe.  Worse, most in this group hardly ever have any opinion about anything.  WE (U.S.) ARE A NATION OF SHEEP!  Remember the book, by William Lederer?
We live our illusions, but living our illusions, only make matters worse, and thus we spiral down and down!
Where are we heading in 2018-19?  WWIII, no doubt in my mind!  It´s Nature´s way of culling the herd, over population!
WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US! (Walt Kelly via Pogo). 
The answer to our woes is written on Lily Tomlin´s t-shirt in my GALLERY:  EVOLVE OR DIE!

Thursday, June 07, 2018

D-Day: Infrared photos reveal WW2 bunkers in new light

Pandora's Box The silent classic starring Louise Brooks is back in cinemas. What made her such an extraordinary screen presence?

China must be ready for 'crisis' with US over Taiwan – Beijing press Global Times says China must be prepared for conflict amid rising tension between Beijing and Washington over self-ruled island

‘I don’t look like most people’s idea of a Gypsy’

How to reset your midlife body to burn fat – in six easy steps

Nasa Mars rover finds organic matter in ancient lake bed

Machinal: how an execution gripped America and sparked a Broadway sensation

European cinema embraces the vagina – what's taken Hollywood so long?

Astonishing moment asteroid almost smashes into Earth at 40,000 mph exploding seconds before impact over Botswana


Road wars! Irate cyclist who is determined to rid London’s bike lanes of pedestrians uses a CAR HORN to clear them out of his path

Road wars! Irate cyclist who is determined to rid London’s bike lanes of pedestrians uses a CAR HORN to clear them out of his path
An irate cyclist filmed the challenges of riding through London on his bike as pedestrians block his way
Fed up with people walking in the cycle lane, he decided to take action in a very unique way
The rider decided that a bell wasn’t sufficient enough to get the attention of pedestrians so decided to use a car horn

PUBLISHED: 00:39, 7 June 2018 | UPDATED: 08:42, 7 June 2018


View comments
While traffic is very often a pain for motorists in London, the roads can be even more of a struggle for cyclists.

And one irate rider who was clearly fed up with people walking in the cycle lane in the city centre decided to take action in a very unique way.

This rider decided that a bell wasn’t sufficient enough to get the attention of pedestrians milling around the cycle path that was part of his route.

So instead he employed a car horn - with hilarious results.

The video starts with the man whizzing through a busy road in London on his bike before turning into a cycle lane which is blocked by a group of people walking in front of him, causing him to stop and angrily gesture.

Cutting to a new scene, the cyclist is seen enthusiastically holding up an air horn which he then attaches to his handlebar using thick black tape.

Testing out his new instrument, the cyclist peddles quickly down a bike lane where he can see a crowd of people blocking his path in the distance.

The cyclist is seen enthusiastically holding up an air horn which he then attaches to his handlebar using thick black tape +4
The cyclist is seen enthusiastically holding up an air horn which he then attaches to his handlebar using thick black tape

Testing out his new instrument, the cyclist peddles quickly down a bike lane where he can see a crowd of people blocking his path in the distance - which he quickly clears with the horn +4
Testing out his new instrument, the cyclist peddles quickly down a bike lane where he can see a crowd of people blocking his path in the distance - which he quickly clears with the horn

To ensure that his route his clear he holds down the air horn causing them to leap out of his way, clearly startled by the blaring noise.

The man continues to use his new device as he rides through the city with similar results.


‘He got his comeuppance’: Moment lorry CRASHES into a low...

'I looked up and there was just billows and billows of...
In one shot, a man wearing a black hooded jacket and trousers is seen blocking a cycling path which prompts the cyclist to use his horn as before.

However this time it causes an angry reaction from the shaken pedestrian who appears to turn around to hit the cyclist

After some angry words, the cyclist protests that 'it's a cycle lane' before blaring his horn one more time and riding into the distance.

A man wearing a black hooded jacket and trousers is seen blocking a cycling path which prompts the cyclist to use his horn as before +4
A man wearing a black hooded jacket and trousers is seen blocking a cycling path which prompts the cyclist to use his horn as before

Not happy: Following an angry exchange the cycling protests that 'it's a cycle lane' before tooting his horn one more time and riding into the distance +4
Not happy: Following an angry exchange the cycling protests that 'it's a cycle lane' before tooting his horn one more time and riding into the distance

The video which was uploaded by Reckess Bradley has received mixed comments from viewers.

Nulanula said: 'I like it. Needs to be much louder, though...'

Sketti said: 'Funny until someone has a heart attack.'

Legpit added: 'Wow - how precious - a cyclist in London who is upset by other road users!'


Betty Blue’s Béatrice Dalle: ‘I love Christ because he invented bondage’ | Film | The Guardian

Kamila Shamsie wins Women's prize for fiction for 'story of our times' | Books | The Guardian

10 weird and wonderful derailleurs – and how they changed cycling | Environment | The Guardian

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Scientists discover 'oldest footprints on Earth' in southern China dating back 550 million years | The Independent

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

I got to Base Camp on both sides, the Nepal, which I treked to, and the Chinese side, which I cycled to. Try the latter at 70 years of age!

Smoking! Belts! Awkward sex! Diane Keaton film cliches | Film | The Guardian

One of my heroes!

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From `Newbum´ (Newcastle) to Greenhead, via Haltwhistle… First day cycling to Glasgow…
I´m off at 0930 after saying goodbye to Sandra, my host in Newburn (Newcastle Upon Tyne).
Sandra was planning to accompany me, part way at least, but got a call to substitute teach, as she fills in as needed.
But, I don´t mind going alone, as with others you have to adjust to their style, speed etc., and Sandra, younger, is faster.
The first five miles (back to miles and inches in the U.K.) was easy, as flat, but as the miles stretched out, I encountered hills, and some with steep grades (some 15%).  I had been mislead, but maybe for a purpose, as it you know the truth, you´re liable to avoid — especially with my older and injured body.
I´d fallen and injured myself twice the day before departing, concerned about the Law of Threes… Note, if one event happens, maybe not the second, but if two, you can be rest assured there will be a third!
I went up and up to the highest point on the Hadrian Wall Cycling Route, #72, part of the U.K.´s nation cycling network — #72, some 80 miles from the North to the Irish Sea. 
I kept following the #72 blue signs, as many and good and mostly had no trouble finding my way.  Occassionally, it was a bit confusing as the route takes you through villages, and you´re on motor traffic roads, the direction signs not always where you need them.
I remember one place, in a village, a small #72 sign directing me onto a walking path next to a golf course.  Because it seemed incongruous, I stopped several passersby to confirm.  English people, people in general, always ready to help with directions.  At an abupt, unmarked, exit onto a hard surface adjacent the RR line, I stopped a lone man, only to have what he said confirmed with another #72 sign.
Note, when you´re going a long distance with weight, and me in particular at 78-years of age, you  don´t want to waste time getting lost.
If cycling in the U.K., go to, the U.K.´s cycling website, and donate as I did (L 20 BP / $30U.S.).  Sandra, and her friends Tony and Bob, donate their time cleaning up the trash on the routes.
I stopped at an inviting bench as the top of a steep hill to rest and eat my egg sandwich, olives and carrot cake.  The bench installed in memory someone named Ed (see photos. in the Gallery at Thanks Ed, as I remembered sitting there, my Bolivian cycling partner, Edgar Lujan.
But, it was here that THE THIRD event happened, me clumsly, moving too quickly smashed my knee into the bench´s concrete construction, and sharp PAIN!  Now, both knees injured and painful. But, we let nothing stop us!
Afterwards, the route seemed endless as my knees, bum and feet beginning to scream at me. I    hadn´t EATEN THE HILLS FOR BREAKFAST, as our cycling motto says, but the hills had EATEN me!  What made it possibile, however, was my guarding angels, James B., and Rucha, plus Mr. Fetes was working well.  Additionally, the weather, although dreary, was perfect as overcast and cool.  A bright sunny day cheers me, but is actually more debilitating as hotter!  On this coold day I only consumed one INNOCENT SUPPER SMOOTHIE during the entire trip, some 8 hours.
I stopped at a COOP in Haltwhistle (love the name), and purchased one more INNOCENT SMOOTHIE, plus items for the following day´s breakfast.
Now, only 3 miles from Greenhead, I knew I could make it, although, no further than the 40 miles / 60 kilometers, Newbum to Greenhead.
Greenhead was down a steep hill, and was I ever glad to see the Greenhead Hotel-Hostal Sandra had called and made a reservation for me.
Inside, barely able to think, I paid 16L for a bed in a domitory room in their hostal, on converted from a defunct church.
I spend nights in a Hostal converted from a school, but never a church.
After a hot shower, with the pressure so strong I could barely hold on to the hose-nozzle I changed clothing, and returned to the Hotel for dinner.
It was here I met Ron Shurlock, a younger man, walking the Hadrian Wall, while playing a bagpipe.  We had a good conversation and exchanged photos., before I almost passed out from exhaustion!
I went to be at 20.00, and slept 12 hours!
in Greenhead, near Hadrian´s Wall.
Our cycling motto:

Sunday, June 03, 2018

He plans to be one!

Let´s hope so!

Nothing new, there is one in Cochabamba, Bolivia!

Moon walking: Ex-Nasa astronauts describe lunar experience - BBC News

Why not just ride a bicyle! Healthier!

American Pathology!

Leilani Munter: "We need to normalise child free people so we can save the planet."

Hero of Tiananmen protest remembered across globe | World news | The Guardian

Thousands died, some crushed by Chinese tanks!

Don´t fly in a Boeing 787!

American Pathology!

American Pathology!

The U.S. is being sold a lie – China has funded US spending | Business | The Guardian

This, too much radiation and chemotherapy, in the 1950s, is what killed my mother, and why I hate AMA medical doctors and system!

Trump goes it alone: running the White House not like a president, but a CEO | US news | The Guardian

I have one, but only use it as a tool, when travelling. Most of the time it´s off.

And make money, of course!

Cancer isn´t a disease, but an industry.

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What I´ve written-said so many times before… That we create our worlds from our minds with words-language!
From Elif Shafak, a brilliant female-Turkish thinker… From an interview about writing her novels:
`Languages, words, shape us, while we are busy thinking we are in charge of them.´
Physical, material-formed reality, we create from our minds, with the language and words we use — what we sense — SAVING THE APPEARANCES, by Owen Barfield.
There is no objective reality — we create it, trying to come together in dictionaries, and obviously, not very well.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Oh, woe be unto Israel for this murder!

Why You Need to Visit The ‘Real’ Balkans - Bloomberg