Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jackson : Death Comes at 50 in LA

The LA Times has reported that Michael Jackson's death at age 50 is confirmed.  Another end of an era passing...."Resurgem"   He began as a member of the Jackson 5 when he was all but 11 years old, but it was his solo career,  particularly in the '80s,  with the dawn of MTV and Thriller, which seared him into the memories of Generation X and "Jones"  ( those of us who were born circa 1960).   Let people say what they may about the allegations of indecency with minors;  he was a master performer and musical genius,  and one of a kind. 

Slavery and the Health Care Crisis

Firedoglake » Slavery and the Health Care Crisis

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

So Obama is Still Sneaking the Occassional Cigarette....From ABC news

With press demanding to know from the President if he still smokes, and if current tobacco industry legislation will effect him,  I wonder why he does not take the opportunity to admit that smoking cannot be legislated,  anymore than prohibition was just or effective regarding alcohol consumption.  Howe and Strauss had even brought up the possibility,  in their study of American historical saeculum and its future potential ( "The Fourth Turning")  of a turning away from current hard-nosed Boomer attitudes and toward X and millennial robustness.

And with the way MSNBC's Chuck Todd went after Obama on Iran tonight,  I think Obama may just chain smoke.....

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day When the Father is Dead

Today was Father's Day Sunday in the U.S.  I lost my own father when I was a teenager,  and my son lost his,  at the same age. Our fathers were both 52 at death.  We were both 18.   Today we were both without our fathers,  and I was thinking of my son's father,  my husband,  who vanished  in 2006:  He was cut down in his prime.

Death is not a popular subject in these times.  To ponder dead fathers on Father's Day runs counter to the retail ads where it's "all about Dad".  But I do recall a feeling of delight I had in my early 20s,  when  coming upon a passage in The Journals of Soren Kierkegaard,  in which he mused on his own dead father.  "I am saved by one dead"  said the melancholy Dane,  "but I cannot imagine being saved by one living. . .  And so I am happy in my unhappiness.".  That is akin to my own stance,  past and present.   Secret communion with the dead is anti-postmodern.  Its thinking  belongs to the age of the Romantic.  It is transcendent in a sense that America lost with the Civil War era:  No Emersonian sentiments mar our current cultural landscape.

Yet there is something Daemonic in the classical sense, in looking away from the glare,  and down into the depths.  Hamlet was obsessed with his dead father:  In this sense,  Denmark "became a prison":  No longer could the young prince find delight in the realm of sunlight:  "I have been too much in the sun",  he told the new King.    Through the dead father,  Hamlet found new well springs for his being.  The dead keep us rooted in wholeness.  I miss my husband,  but he is not lost to me in the most profound sense.  Happy Father's Day,  Andy.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Exposing a Swindler: The Truth About a Pathological Liar | Joana Morais

This disturbing piece from the blog of Joana Morais, about journalist Duarte Levy, raises a host of questions regarding sock puppetry, its causes, its complications, and its danger to true investigative reporting. I had admired a lot of the pieces by Duarte, and I believe he appears in Goncalo Amaral's own documentary. For those of us who have harbored reasonable suspicions about the McCann case, it is another example of how the truth seekers need to be watched.

At the same time that I have much respect for the following 2 pieces,  and for their authors' respective integrity,  I am not rushing to judgment on Duarte.   Pieces by his pseudonym Simon de Bruxelles appear on the Times Online and are well-written and accurate. The use of  pseudonyms by writers is time honored,   and a generally approved practice.   In the Internet age,  even moreso:  One of the most excellent psychological blogs I belong to has a self professed pseudonym as web master.   As far as the other disturbing allegations about Duarte ,  I think they stand.

Exposing a Swindler: The Truth About a Pathological Liar | Joana Morais

Another fine piece by Textusa:  Mr. Duarte Levy: An Opinion

Friday, June 19, 2009

Knox Testifies in Perugia


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Obama's Defense of Marriage No Surprise

I have just read the piece by Earl Ofari Hutchinson in OpEd News entitled, "Obama's Defense of Marriage Shouldn't Surprise or Anger Anyone". I agree. Obama made clear on the campaign trail, that while he did support civil unions, he did not condone changing the traditional definition of marriage as a union of one man and woman. Obama has been honest and consistent in both his traditional view of marriage and his support of gay rights. He is not the hypocrite; and that some gay marriage advocates now accuse him of flip flopping is underhanded and mean-spirited. The link to Hutchinson's piece:
OpEdNews » OpEdNews

Anthony Peake, British Author and "AfterLife" Theorist in NYC Aug 3

                                                (placard design,  lay out:  Ruth Ahlgren)
Mon. Aug. 3  6-9 PM
Roosevelt Hotel
45 E 45 St & Madison Av NY
2nd floor,  Conference Mezzanine
Broadway Suite 
Anthony Peake,  British Author and Theorist 
"The Secret Self and its Gift to Us at Death"
Lecture and Discussion 
Free Admission  Reception for the Author
Book Sale and Signing 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Anthony Peake Events

Mon. Aug 3  6-9 p.m.  Roosevelt Hotel
45 East 45 St and Madison Av,  Midtown Manhattan
Lecture,  Discussion,  Author Book Sale and Signing
Free Admission;  Public Reception for the Author
Open Bar and Buffet

Tues Aug 4 4-6 p.m.
Hartmann Lounge in the Mansion
Fairleigh Dickinson University, 
Madison NJ
Meet the Author 
Book Signing
Coffee and Cake 


Another Republican Sends Racist Obama Email | NewsOne

From the I Ching:
There is food in the cauldron
My enemy is envious
but he cannot harm me...

Another Republican Sends Racist Obama Email | NewsOne

Monday, June 15, 2009

Canada joins chorus of protest over Iran election, violence

Canada joins chorus of protest over Iran election, violence

Obama Must Walk a Fine Line on the Spread of Democracy

I found an interesting post this morning,  which echoed my own thoughts.  President Obama should be admired for his subtlety,  his lack of inspiration ( in the good sense,  thinking here of British empiricist David Hume's maxim that,  "inspired men are dangerous").  But he must at the same time not allow this stance to become soft or spineless.  The link:

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Muammar Ghadaffi Leader of African Union

The African Union,  comprised of some 53 states,   is now led by the "mad dog of the Middle East",  Colonel Muammar Ghadaffi of Libya.  Examiner  journalist Sam Brown has warned that this "does not bode well"  in terms of an area which is "riding the...wave"  of rising democratization.  Ghadaffi has a long history of being anti-democratic,  in both words and deeds.  If mad actions a mad man make,  then there is indeed cause for some worry.   Ghadaffi has referred to President Barack Obama as "Kenyan"  and "our brother".  One wonders what if any changes will come from the interaction of President Obama and the President of the African Union.

Relevance? The Prosecution and Amanda Knox

Meredith KercherImage via Wikipedia
OK. But why is the prosecution asking useless questions such as : How long had she known her boyfriend before she consented to sex with him? (A: One day, I fell for him right away.) Why are they pointing out that she was wild at a party in Seattle, before she went to Perugia? Why are they asking about sex toys? What does any of this prove regarding the murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher? The prosecution had better have more than this to offer the jury....IMHO, it makes them look as though they have a weak case against Knox.

I had drugs and sex, Knox tells court - Europe-
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wikipedia and US Politics

Wikipedia is nothing if not clarifying. Yikes:

Wikipedia Resolves New York State Senate Fight

You'd be forgiven if you're a non-New Yorker and you find what's been happening in the New York State Senate this week confusing. Even from close up, it's super confusing. Who, exactly, is running the place? Unclear. The recently-revamped State Senate website still lists Democrat Malcolm Smith as Senate Majority Leader, while the courts are today wrestling with who is actually in control up there in Albany.

There's one place, though, where clarity reigns:  Wikipedia. The entry for Majority Leader of the New York State Senate reads: "The current Majority Leader is Dean Skelos, who replaced Malcolm Smith on June 8, 2009, when Democrats Hiram Monserrate and Pedro Espada, Jr., joined the 30 Republican members of the State Senate to change the leadership." That line was changed by user "Co096392" at 8:50pm, June 8th, just after the struggle over power went down -- and hasn't been touched since.

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Museum shooting suspect has supremacist links

I found this fascinating quote today:

WASHINGTON – An elderly gunman opened fire with a rifle inside the crowded U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum today, gravely wounding a security guard before being shot. Authorities said they were investigating a white supremacist as the suspect. The assailant and his victim were both hospitalized, said Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty, who added that the gunman was in critical condition. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the gunman appeared to have acted alone. He was "engaged by security guards immediately after entering the door" with a rifle, she said. "The second he stepped into the building he began firing." One law enforcement official said James Von Brunn, a white supremacist, was under investigation in the shooting, and a second official said the elderly man's car was found near the museum and tested for explosives. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss the investigation. Von Brunn has a racist, anti-Semitic Web site and wrote a book titled "Kill the Best Gentile." In 1983, he was convicted of attempting to kidnap members of the Federal Reserve Board. He was arrested two years earlier outside the room where the board was meeting, carrying a revolver, knife and sawed-off shotgun. At the time, police said Von Brunn wanted to take the members hostage because of high interest rates and the nation's economic difficulties. The museum houses exhibits and records relating to the Holocaust more than a half century ago in which more than six million Jews were killed by the Nazis. It is located within sight of the Washington Monument. The museum, which draws about 1.7 million visitors each year, was closed for the day after the shooting, and nearby streets were cordoned off by police. Surrounding roads were closed at least temporarily and blocked off with yellow tape. Police cars and officers on horses surrounded the area. At the White House, just a few blocks away, press secretary Robert Gibbs said he informed President Barack Obama of the events and the chief executive was "obviously saddened by what has happened." The museum normally has a heavy security presence with guards positioned both inside and outside. All visitors are required to pass through metal detectors at the entrance, and bags are screened. Linda Elston, who was visiting the museum, said she was on the lower level of the museum watching a film when she and others were told to evacuate. "It was totally full of people," Elston said. "It took us a while to get out." She said she did not hear any shots and did not immediately know why there was an evacuation. The experience left her feeling "a little anxious," she said. A museum official said a couple of thousand people were inside the facility when the shooting broke out. Museum shooting suspect has supremacist links , Jun 2009

You should read the whole article.

Death at the Holocaust Museum and the Degradation of the American Dialogue

Michael Rowe: Death at the Holocaust Museum and the Degradation of the American Dialogue

The Holocaust Museum shooting: What's happening here?

WASHINGTON - JUNE 10:  Police gather in front ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

MPR: News Cut: The Holocaust Museum shooting: What's happening here?
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Jon Voight Says Our President is a False Prophet

I know a thing or two about dysfunctional family dynamics.  It is apparent to me that in calling our President a false prophet,  Jon Voight is attempting to hit at his daughter.  Sigh.... Left versus right is so weary, stale,  flat and unprofitable at this juncture.  We are primed for something new,  but what?......Message for the moderates....

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Obama Sees UNIty for Global Youth

Madison, WI Youth Tour w/ Adam Brody and Joy B...Image by Barack Obama via  Obama UNIting Youth
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Amanda Knox: Taking the Stand, Will Testify in Italian

Deciding to forgo her translater:  Accused murder accomplice,  Univeristy of Washington student Amanda Knox will take the stand in PerugiaItaly in  early June,  speaking in Italian.  Her attorney has said she has good command of the language,  and a "good accent".   I am surprised at this, because certainly one has better command over the primary language.  Is this part of the "once removed"  technique?  Or simply a display of her competence and self-composure?  Will be interesting to see and hear such testimony,  after all of this speculation. 

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Amanda Knox: What Will Forensic Evidence Show?

The Saga in Perugia continues:  How reliable is DNA evidence ( in particular,  that found on the knife blade and the bra clasp of the murder victim) and will the experts prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt,  proving Knox and Sollecito to be the accomplices of Guede (thus destroying forever the lone wolf /one killer theory)?    As the trial continues in Perugia  and Amanda Knox is expected to take the stand,  one wonders how much maneuverability the defense really does have in this case.  
I have been privileged to glean many gems of psychoanalytic critique  of the motives and logistics of this case,  from the WordPress blog,  Lies Our Mothers Told Us,  posted by one Miss Represented.  I have heard tell that the forensics of this case are not so dubious as the Friends of Amanda have claimed.  The time draws nigh for Amanda to take the stand in her own defense, and I pause as I look at the baby-faced beauty in these pictures, poised on the threshold of fate,  alone and somehow undaunted.  

Under New Influence