Sabtu, 19 Januari 2013

Sergeant Robert Bales: Made in the USA

For the unaware, Sergeant Robert Bales is accused of murdering 16 Afghan citizens in cold blood in March of 2012. The case against Bales is currently in the status of determining if there is enough evidence for a court-martial. Bales was trained at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington - he is far from the first to be accused of cold-blooded murder that was trained on that base, which should signal a problem to those in authority.

Bales is a soldier that could easily define my last post on this blog. His enlistment date is November 8, 2001. This was his fourth deployment to the Middle East, with the first three to Iraq. He is a poster child of the Bush administration and its statements that, "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists," and clearly viewed the victims as not with us at all.

We should be wondering how many murders Sergeant Robert Bales committed during his 3 deployments to Iraq. I can guarantee that his mindset did not just happen more than a decade after joining the US Armed Forces and on his fourth deployment to the Middle East. There were warning signs and obviously, if we view his lengthy awards list, those signs were ignored by many people.

We should also be wondering how many lesser versions of Bales are walking around in Iraq and Afghanistan today and have walked around over the last decade. Murder 16 innocent people in cold blood and it becomes major news, but kill one here and one there and, well, no one really notices except for the grieving relatives left behind.

His wife defends him and claims that there is no way he committed these cold-blooded murders. That is her job and to be expected; however, I am shocked that she is smiling while stating her defense and at the same time claiming that her, "heart goes out to the families that lost loved ones".

While Bales denies remembering anything that happened that night, his words to fellow soldiers reveals something entirely different. Kudos to those soldiers that came forward and testified to his true mindset and his actual statements. They are the real soldiers and Bales is something else. While he is only accused at this point, there is also DNA evidence and eyewitness testimony to his comings and goings on the night of the murderous rampage.

This reminds me of cases that Paul Bergrin defended in past, prior to the US DOJ pursuing him over false allegations. In one such case, Begrin brought-up the Rules of Engagement and I must wonder if that is a theory that we will hear from the Bales defense at a later date. The victims were innocent, but often such victims are referred to as collateral damage, or "collateral murder" in the case of the video allegedly released by Bradley Manning in which journalists were gunned-down in the streets.

As the preliminary hearing winds down today, his First Sergeant (Vernon Bigham) testified via video-link from Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan. I do expect to see court-martial recommended in this case as the evidence demands it. As a person against the death penalty, I hope this is taken off the table and life imprisonment without any possibility of release is substituted. You see, I despise Bales and murderers like him, but do not wish death on anyone - a major difference between me and my detractors. I seek peace - not death and war.

Bales is currently being housed in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas at the same military prison as hero Brad Manning.


On the Culture and Acceptance of War


Life has changed so much since September 11, 2001, that sometimes it is hard to remember how it used to be. Over eleven years have passed and the people have been inundated and indoctrinated by mainstream media to the point that today war and killing is not only acceptable, it is believed admirable and appreciated by the great majority. Oh how I long for the days of yesteryear when diplomacy, offering a helping hand, and questioning motivation were the traits admired in our citizenry. The inquisitive mind was appreciated - not attacked.

Today it is the soldier, the recent veteran, Navy SEALS, the Army wives, and in general, anyone that has served the US military forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere in the Middle East on its mission to disrupt, pummel, and kill an entire civilization and that benefits financially and receives and expects thanks for their dirty deeds on a daily basis.

Yesteryear was so different. The era when my parents joined the military was one in which truth prevailed, no one expected thanks, and the great majority that joined did so to escape poverty at home. The military was a great thing for my parents and both joined to see the world, learn about new cultures, and earn a decent living with many benefits. Neither of them expected you to pat them on the back every day and thank them for their service. Yes, prior to September 11, 2001, most people that joined the military did so to have a better life and had no issue admitting that fact. They were thankful for opportunities afforded by the military.

Things have changed, and not for the better. Following that fateful day in 2001, we had gang members from inner cities, bigots and racists, and people that needed a way out of the poverty they were destined to joining the military forces. I'm sure there were a few good guys in there somewhere, but they were not the majority by any level of measurement. While some may be secretly thankful for the change in destination, the great majority would prefer that those refusing to thank them for their service (like me) in the War on Terror were dead.

The people that claim to defend our freedoms today actually helped the US government bury any real freedoms forever. Our culture is all about war and death today. As former president G.W. Bush stated in September of 2001, "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." Blind obedience was what he demanded from the American people and over time it is exactly what he has received for the most part. The rest of us with questioning personalities were labeled terrorists, criminals, traitors, and agitators.


Mainstream media is to blame

I read an article several days ago in which the writer brought-up the importance of media in forming thoughts of the citizenry in the pro-war culture we exist in today and I cannot locate it - if I find it I'll link it herein. Anyway, shortly after September 11, 2001 (November 20th), my time was occupied by my arrest and the subsequent harassment by agents of the Orlando MBI. I had little time to think about what anyone was doing in the Middle East until after my trial and acquittal in January of 2003. I rarely watched television and I have not changed even today. Indeed, I was preoccupied.

Back in early 2003, before I took a long trip to South Texas, I was working with a friend on occasion as a caregiver for an elderly woman when my friend needed a night off or had some other reason that she couldn't be there. The woman that she took care of was named Marianne. Well, Marianne had the television on all night long and she'd sit in her chair, watching CNN, and cheering the embedded reporters and the military soldiers they traveled with in Iraq. Marianne was an armchair warrior like so many others in the US. After watching it for a short while, I couldn't take it anymore and stopped helping my friend.

The entire idea of embedded reporters sucked-in so many that were previously disconnected from the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. For many of them, it was not much different than a game - like so many of those Xbox and Wii war and soldier games. Probably half of the country became armchair warriors during the years of embedded reporters. There is an entire generation that is growing-up with a war and death mentality that society has yet to deal with; good luck with that.

I mentioned Army wives in the second paragraph herein and it was included as a result of the tv show, "Army Wives" that seems to have taken over the Lifetime channel. I used to enjoy an occasional movie on Lifetime, such as, "The Interrogation of Michael Crowe," but these days the good ones are few and far between. I have never watched that show about Army wives and imagine that it has no interest except from, well, Army (include all military branches) wives to be general. Who gives a rat's behind? Not me. Some have jobs, but most live off of their husband's war pay (i.e. the American taxpayers).

Yeah, that last thought will result in yet unknown backlash, but whatever - if the shoe fits. It is a culture that appreciates, profits from, and even loves war. Somehow being called a traitor by any one of them diminishes the word in general. Yeah, we are all traitors because we do not support your war machine money tree. Right. How dare we abhor and speak out against killing and death! Get indignant because it fits the created mold.


The Information Game

Sometimes the information game is a game of misinformation as it is with Alex Jones. Jones and people like him killed the real 911 truth movement with wild, unsubstantiated theories, often referred to as conspiracy theories. As a result, anyone that doubts any information disseminated by the US government and its representatives today have the label of 'conspiracy theorist' or 'crazy lady'.

As if demanding to know where NORAD was on that fateful day that changed our society forever is somehow a conspiracy theory. As if knowing the real-time futures and options trade information for the time period surrounding that day can be categorized as theory at all. As if finding passports of the alleged terrorists in the rubble remaining or picturing jets hijacked with box cutters is not a conspiracy theory. Not all of us fell off of the turnip truck somewhere in Idaho.

Along came Bradley Manning, accused whistleblower extraordinaire. How dare he help the American people to be more informed and know precisely what these warriors are reallydoing in their name. How dare he. Go ahead - be indignant and call him the traitor of all traitors because it fits the mold you have created. We are supposed to be like the image of the three monkeys and remain silent while murder, death, and the end of an entire civilization takes place in our name. We dare not speak lest we also be called traitor. Yup, you've got the system down to a perfection and this is your time to shine.

Of course none of that real and accurate information could have been disseminated without the involvement of those real journalists and publishers that had no interest in embedded reporters from CNN et al. of past. Today we also have the information advantage of hacktivists and an entirely different culture that is sick and tired of lies, murder, drones, and armchair warriors. Yes, you can apply that 'traitor' label as we expect you to, but it won't shut anyone down on the topic. We know that the true meaning of the label was diminished long before you entered the game and is utterly meaningless today, at least as it relates to the actual definition.

So pull out those angry, indignant sock puppets and promote your cause, which is little more than money in your bank account. You may fool most of the people, but many are drugged these days so that's not any sort of accomplishment. You will never fool all of the people.


Jumat, 18 Januari 2013

i miss you so much

i wish you liked  loved me like i liked  loved you.
i think about  you sometimes,
and i dont know how to tell you.
if some how our path could cross
just once more, thats all i need
so we could be together again.
i miss you so much
you were my first love
and i still remember the days,
we talked and we laughed,. 
we kissed as we loved
i cant help but miss your voice and your touch
if only you knew how much i needed you.
how bad i want to fall asleep in your arms
just thinking of you gives me chills of sudden sadness 
just love me once more
just give me the chance to be your everything

Kamis, 17 Januari 2013

Other issues from the flesh

I haven’t worked out all of the particulars yet, but I’ve set aside a few copies of the book for later. As you might have expected, I’m not making the parameters effortless, or easy for the contest. There will be a few hoops, but the winners will receive a free signed (as opposed to singed, what some of Palfrey’s former clients probably want) copy of the book, and my blessing, the latter of which means absolutely nothing whatsoever. Anyone capable of proving the DC Madam doesn’t need anything from me, not that I think that’s ever going to happen, like Jesus returning, nutty, crazy primitive-minded shit like that.

We’re only in the first week of the release of the book and I’ve already brushed up against more high weirdness. This brings me to other matters…

As a result of these little elves, pixies, and gremlins flitting about me yob, I’m going to make things crystal clear: I will not continue to live this nuttiness surrounding the Palfrey case and narrative. I am turning my back on it with the completion of this text. I will be more than happy to answer any serious questions. However, I don’t want to hear your gossiping about people who were part of or related to the case itself. Any logical corrections that can be proven/corroborated (your job, not mine) will be appreciated and noted. I don’t give a shit anymore about the story and owe nobody nothing regarding the DC Madam. That responsibility was discharged writing the book.

My role in this is over, done, unless there’s some burning reason otherwise. If you have questions, ask the book first, consult it. This isn’t to slam anyone with good intentions. I will discuss the case and am open to interviews. However, I’m not tolerating any bullshit, and it’s literally no effort for me to ignore you, the easiest thing in the world in fact. This isn’t my usual jokiness, it’s dead serious. If you don’t get it, I don’t care, but you’re going to be humiliated twice, first by yourself, then by me, and I will air it publicly naming names.

Anyone I’ve communicated with recently has nothing to worry about. The book is the best bargain the American public are likely to have for some time. You’re most welcome. Witche, ye haave been foun' guilty 'a commerce with thee Devile.

a message to agents of control

In the immortal words of Genesis P-Orridge, who I literally bumped into at the Empty Bottle in Chicago in 2004 after being ogled by Ministry-alumnus Chris Connelly: fuck you.

To the little turd that attempted feebly to intimidate me into not releasing this book--fuck you. To the GOP, and everyone who voted for them--fuck you. To everyone who ever fancied themselves members of the Tea Party--fuck you.

And to all you ugly American motherfuckers who think whistleblowing is unpatriotic, all you racists, you liars, you criminal scumbag fucks--fuck you, forever. You were never alive. You're all husks. You will die, there will be no happy hunting grounds, no afterlife, only more death. What more could I do to you that you haven't already done to yourselves, your families, your neighbors?

You've made me fall in love with mortality to the point that when death comes, I'll shove my tongue hard down the fucker's throat, simply to be away from you, forever. Happy holidays!

dc madam trial transcripts

Ed.--These files are not complete, although they're complete within themselves. There is no voir dire. I also believe the evidence was poorly documented, but it wasn't necessary to the documents. Insofar as I know, this will be the first time anyone, anywhere online has uploaded these for public consumption. Read 'em and weep, I did. The trial was a farce, hence why the transcripts aren't readily available, in my opinion. I don't give a shit who has a problem with it. The bottom document is related and covers a lien placed on Jeane's former residence over legal bills.
Postscript, 12.22.2012:  Does any of this read like a real trial where Anglo-American principles of justice were being applied? If so, I have a bridge and swampland to sell you. What the hell was Preston Burton thinking beyond having to work with his peers again after this bullshit charade? This is where Sibley was at least genuinely adversarial. What did Burton do to convince Jeane to lay down and die, to agree to mounting no goddamned defense at all? 

To be fair, and I can only look at this as a layman, his cross-examinations of the witnesses were solid, appropriate, what you'd expect, but little more was done beyond that. Was he on the side of the defendant at all? This wasn't a trial, it was theater, the political kind, to cover for the GOP and various selfish interests. Shame. Pathetic. This is how not only democracy dies but the human race. You got it: no one gives a shit. RIP America.

an open letter to former pamela martin


Ladies, if I may be so forward, or so foolish, to address you as such:


You turned your back on Jeane. Maybe she wasn't the nicest human being to work for, but she was a human being, and you either knew or should have known what you were getting yourselves into. The fact that somewhere in the range of fifteen of you turned snitch to save your skins was despicable in light of how well you were paid. Admittedly, I only know so much about how you were treated, yet none of you were willing to come forward to educate me and others on any of the details but one, the woman who courageously attempted to establish contact with Ken Silverstein when he was an editor at Harper's. That woman was a hero and she has my deepest regards and respect.

As for the rest of you, the others that went into hiding, believe it or not, I get it. That being said, it doesn't excuse your kicking the late Ms. Palfrey to the curb. Many of you had moved on after more than a few years, and that's a good out, it's fair. Nonetheless, a number of you, the ones who testified against her, are scoundrels. You own a piece of her death, you are rats, scum, filth, indirect killers. I despise you. 

You see, what a number of you did helped bring PMA to its knees and Jeane to hang at the end of a rope. You are Judases. Not a lot of you were in any specific need to become escorts--there was little desperation involved in it, more a desire for a soft, materialistic life that you felt entitled to. That doesn't make you much different from the rest of the entitled whores that overpopulate this country, but it makes you lower than a streetwalker who's run out of options and finds themselves in the profession. Yes, I don't want to see the government and some of the elements you serviced victimizing you further, there's no point to that, and there's been enough suffering in all of this. But the fact remains that some of you, some of the over one hundred and thirty escorts that worked for PMA over the years, are going to have to live with what you did.

I was fair to you in my book, maybe too fair. But don't expect that I was letting you all off-the-hook completely, because I didn't. For the dozen-plus of you who turned informant, you have no sense of honor. It pleases me that this will cause you a certain degree of pain for the rest of your natural lives. A woman died, as you know, as we all know, and there's no going back from what happened. My hope is that some of you learned something from this and changed, but I'm not an optimist about people and their ways. My assumption is that this will haunt some of you psychologically in some way, yet it won't result in any real shift or transformation in who and what you are, selfish pigs, and that you're going to continue on your merry, indifferent ways just as before. How lovely for you.

Some idiot claiming to be one of you, Andrea Detty, made a limp attempt at undermining the book by suggesting that I hadn't contacted you, therefore, how solid could my attempt to chronicle what happened. That wasn't my job. My job was to tell what I experienced and learned, my part of the puzzle and to try to make as much sense of that as I could. That included obtaining more information. A lot of this was so that I was able to move on from my role in the last year of Jeane's very short life. That kind of an attempt is the act of a scoundrel, a liar, and a psychopath, exactly what I'd expect out of a genuine informant. There's nothing lower than that. Who is this magical person or persons that was able to speak extensively with the former escorts? If they exist outside of a government job, they're sitting on it, and at this point, now that a lot of the smoke has cleared, their behavior is incredibly unethical. I put out requests long ago on this blog for information from you women with no results whatsoever. The onus is on you. It wasn't even a nice try, "Andrea."

You women are the past, and what's past is prologue. I you want to clarify things, great, then do it, otherwise, shut the fuck up, forever, you have no legs to stand on, no credibility.

I could go on endlessly about you, but let me sum it all up: life is short, and the truth will one day come to light. One day we'll know precisely who the worst were, who were the heroes, who at least tried under terrible circumstances to do what was right at the time, and really, who the fucking animals were. Jeane is dead, and I am one of the caretakers of her legacy, one of the few who can bring her voice back from the grave, one of the only people in the world who can at least begin the process of allowing her to point her dead hand at the guilty. There never be a place to run. There is no place to hide from a sun that never sets. Dwell on that for the holidays.



2012 WAS THE YEAR


This was quite a year for me, perhaps a watershed in some ways, but one that will at least allow me to truly move forward in my life and to be a free of the terrible stress expediting the completion of a historical account. There are no rules for that, and only a few guidelines. In the end, you're the only one who knows what you experienced, and even then, that's not always a given. You know what you were told. You know what information was conveyed to you. You know what you experienced during these interactions, but they're fragmented, obscured, and questionable in one way, completely credible in others. That's navigating a labyrinth. 

This wasn't just 2012 for me, it was the last five years of my life. What was real? I discovered many things that were, many more that were not, and more than all that combined that remains a mystery to myself and others. The terrible part is to then extricate yourself from the narrative continuum to continue on with your own life. There are apparently some out there who don't want this to happen, but I have news for them. It is going to happen.

I'll promote the book, and I'm open to interviews, all that's fine. However, I won't be dragged into other people's agendas, and there have already been attempts to do this, right out of the gate of the release of Let the Dead Bury the Dead. When else would it occur? There will be more. Interestingly, the phony cease and desists have halted, a form of harassment that I've experienced from the beginning of my involvement with Jeane's case to the present, several months ago, then once more just weeks ago. The fact that they've now become silent in their legal harassment from the shadows tells me what I always assumed: it was all predicated on scaring me out of publication. That was never going to work in a nation where prior restraint has been ruled unconstitutional so many times that it's solid precedent. A first year law student would know this, and so too would many millions outside of legal profession. Were I to discover their identity, I could sue them in a civil court, and maybe even hit them with criminal charges of harassment--that is, if it's not the government, then the funhouse rules come into play.

Is this a story many don't want to be told, Jeane's story, the information that I and others came into possession of? It was uncanny how often the information was coming to me, not the reverse. There were many times that Jeane would mistakenly send me entire email-chains between herself and counsel and others, and doing so when I wasn't even part of the defense as a researcher. Was she trying to let me bear witness? Sometimes, she was, unquestionably, but I don't think the chains always were. When she Cc'd her exchanges with journalist Jason Leopold, whom I bear no ill will mind you, she was most definitely doing this. There were other occasions, sometimes to bounce my opinion off of things counsel was conveying to her. What did I think of this crafted motion? Did I trust counsel? Did I know more about their and numerous other players' backgrounds, sometimes collective, interconnected ones? The answers were always varied. Sometimes I was able to find out, many other times, she was simply asking the impossible out of desperation. This all had to be written down and chronicled before it gradually vanished from my memory, and the memory of others, because so much is lost to history when this kind of action isn't taken immediately. It escapes into the Aether, subsumed by darkness, assimilated into the Abyss. You can bet that a lot more is sitting on a hard drive at some "fusion center" in the continental United States. An FOIA isn't going to free it up anytime soon.

I'll continue to answer questions to the best of my ability on the subject, because I think it was a far more important case than most of us realized at the time. It took a great deal of after-the-fact research on my part, a lot of reflection on what happened when Jeane was alive, what my role, my place, in it all really was, and to question, question question, and that includes myself, my assumptions. It turned out that many of my earliest ones were either correct, or that I was on the right trail.

The public has a right to know what's being done in their name and how their taxes are being spent. This is why my account is important. Besides being a historical chronicle for the historical record, it can be a starting-point for further inquiry. Because of the information I came across, I'm not naive enough to believe that this is going to happen. Our political system is in what I consider terminal crisis that's borne out of the natural lifecycles of democratic societies. They have a shelf-life, and we're around the time of the expiration date. 

The cycle, as one would imagine, is a circle. I recommend looking at the democratic and republican experiments in ancient Greece and Rome. Western societies appear to begin with warrior king leadership that grows into some general form of feudalism, then to forms of republicanism where it's primarily based around land ownership, often headed by a senate, some parliamentary structure, and on into wider forms of democratic franchise, popular democracy of some sort. Unfortunately, and the ancients saw this firsthand, democracy is also the most fertile soil and prerequisite for tyranny, either by the masses or a dictatorship. Because the general population is usually uneducated, ignorant, stubborn--holding all the human frailties related to pride--there's a tendency towards an overemphasis on the military. Appetites, often arising out of inequality, must be fed in order to rule, and so, it's not simply leadership that demands empire, it's the people, the working-class wage slaves, the populi, the plebes. Military adventurism becomes a virtual inevitability. 

Because of the social reality of a minimum degree of democratic rights, the franchise, the vote, a say in how things are done, we must have bread and circuses, the mob must be placated and diverted away from a real voice in the operation of society ruled by some form of aristocracy. More often, people want to be told what to do thinking that it's easier, and too often, they want a strongman leader to show them the way. Sadly, I see us at the end of this cycle and heading towards dictatorship. The American public will hold just as much of the blame as the current rulers when things disintegrate into this. Can something better arise out of this? Eventually, if we can survive. The Greeks are still waiting for democracy, so there's a good idea of how long it might take.


Do I see much change in our course in the United States, to avert what no other democratic society was able to endure, besides maybe the Swiss? No, I'm afraid not. We're going to continue our military adventurism, until there's no more money left in the Treasury--what happened to Athenian democracy--or someone creams our ass, more likely a combination of both, which has many precedents. Democracies die of neglect. When the 17th and 18th century liberal thinkers spoke of revolution, it was as a warning, not a threat, that there must be reform or that things will collapse into chaos and violence. This is what the social contract is about. We either work together, looking out for each others' well-being, or we will surely die together. Apathy and indifference towards others is a ticking bomb, and it's why I have a serious problem with American Libertarianism, a subject barely worthy of comment for its obvious irrationality. Thinkers such as John Locke were saying that breakdowns of order happen when a society becomes so dysfunctional from misrule, and the missing-ingredient is the public, that people begin killing each other. But the public too often is unaware of their power. They're apathetic, divided over petty squabbling, generation after generation, making the exact same mistakes. Worse still, the public is very often wrong like their rulers. Now, you, the thoughtful reader, will know why my book is only going to reach so many people. The truth hurts. And now on to other related things that happened in my life this year...

2012 was the year that I:

...finished and published the manuscript of my experiences in the DC Madam case (and beyond it, stories never end, or ever die). Let the Dead Bury the Dead can be traced back to an exchange in the New Testament between Jesus and a disciple who said that he needed to bury a loved one before he could go with them on the road. I was unaware of this at the time I decided on the title. It has become an idiomatic phrase throughout the world over the centuries, and there is no agreement on what Jesus meant by it. Some say he meant to let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead in a dead, fallen world. Others say that it means to move on from the past, to not dwell on it, to not live in the past. I don't claim to know what he meant or originally said, but I think all the meanings relate to me and the book. This is when you begin to realize that you've hit on some very fundamental truths, and not merely artistic truth, but truth itself. So much of this has been serendipity to the point that it cancels itself out, it is no longer coincidence, but the truth, however terrible, liberating, or great. I can only feel humbled by it all.

...was asked to research the Wikileaks StratFor emails cache, along with many others of course. This didn't come to be, unfortunately, over technicalities I'll go into one day. To be asked was very exciting. My opinion of Assange is yet to be finalized. On an interpersonal level, I'm sure he can be a pushy asshole. On the other hand, it's probably worth it to kick people who aren't serious to the curb, which he has done on numerous occasions. The amount of information coming out of governments around the world? I can tolerate a lot there. The people Wikileaks is working against are the worst in the entire world.

...began watching the great works of cinema as much as I'd been wanting to for a very long time, and when I purchased a Blu-ray player when my old DVD-player croaked. Watching a cinematic classic in HD is maybe one of the few great technological achievements of the current era. If it serves the dissemination of the arts, information of value, in a better way, I'm all for it. There is nothing more important than cultural expression when it's the truth.

...noticed that for some reason I'm aging well. This is probably because I rarely drink and smoke and get regular exercise. Why stress didn't contribute more might have to do with the fact that my family has naturally low blood pressure. The other good side is that the more I grow older, the great my resemblance to Oscar Wilde, and that's not a jest.

...realized how wonderful my mother's parents really were, and how their home is truly my home. America is my home, I cannot leave her. As fucked up as she is, I still love her, or I wouldn't be trying to save her from herself. At some point, it doesn't matter what the odds are. You must act out of decency and honor, armed with knowledge and a sense of persistence and the long view.

...found that many of my fellow Americans are a pathetic embarrassment that far exceeded my worst opinions of them. This includes many Democratic voters and supporters who refuse to criticize the president for committing war crimes and wrecking the Constitution, all but gutting the 4th Amendment, the right to privacy. He has yet to restore habeas corpus. We are not facing the threat to public safety and order that President Lincoln had to when Southern politicians and officers committed treason over his election in 1861. Why doesn't anyone become alarmed by this? Congress just re-authorized the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program for another five years. See how well they can all get along when they want to? What the hell's wrong with the public, where's the outrage over these encroachments on our rights? Much of it is ignorance, but it's also the desire for a strongman leader who has "taken-off the gloves," who is no longer restrained by the law. These people are the worst kind of citizens of any society, in any era of human history, and are scoundrels. Many American look at politics like it's a football game. This makes these people incredibly stupid assholes.

...realized how much I value living outside of cities in what could be best described as a "light rural" area. I've been here for over a decade now and love the lack of many people.

...realized what a genius Pier Paolo Pasolini truly was, one of the greatest artists in the span of Western civilization.

...installed my Tor browser (thanks Wikileaks). I suggest everyone do the same and to learn more about encrypting your online communications.

...got to know my wonderful niece Zofia better. Picking her up from the bus stop every day for the first five months of the year is something that I'll always treasure. It showed me a little window into how my late grandparents, especially my mother's mother, loved spending time doting over us. She's a great kid, very intelligent.

...learned that blood not only isn't thicker than water, but that it's often the consistency of liquid-shit.

...remembered why I hated school, church services, and anything so boring that it begins to kill your soul: it's someone controlling your life, and wasting your precious time.

...recalled what an inhuman asshole my ex-wife really was in-sum.

...learned how much I love our new miniature schnauzer, Lily.

...found a lot of old books I thought I'd lost.

...stopped trusting almost anyone outside of my family and a small circle of friends.

...felt vindicated when former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty on over forty counts of being a pedophile. For anyone who's been a victim of this, you know what I mean. I'm hoping the SOB gets shanked in prison, or beaten to death. There's no reason to show mercy to these terminally-pathological pieces of shit. They should be watched and tracked all of the time once they've been identified by society.

...saw the combined effects of de-institutionalization of the mentally ill and the wide-availability of heavy weaponry on the lives of 20 schoolchildren, and six of their adult caretakers, in Newtown Connecticut. The time to reopen our state mental health institutions is now. We have no real mental healthcare system, and it must be part of a socialized medical infrastructure. 

...still hate the idea of ever going back to Seattle for any reason.

...was reminded that most so-called "upstanding citizens" are more criminally-minded than so-called "criminals." To be accused is not to be guilty. We have something called the right to due process. The public and the press seem to have no concept of this. Put the 6th Amendment on the same critical-list as the 4th, and more recently, the 1st with the attacks on dissent and independent journalism.

And there was more. There was a lot more. Wish us all luck in the next year, because we're going to need it.

What you looking at #pic


# The Children of Tomorrow #

The song Wind of Change written by Klaus Meine of the Scorpions references the "children of tomorrow" with hope for a better future. For me it signifies German reunification, as it did for the Scorpions when it was written, as far as I am aware. I spent my later childhood, teenage and early adult years in Germany and the destruction of the Berlin Wall was a significant moment in time for me, though I was in the US by then (9 November 1989 is a recognized date).


As an adult in the US, when I watched areas of the Berlin Wall picked apart one piece at a time on television, I cried and cried. There was so much hope for the future back then and it was the end of Checkpoint Charlie, a crossing that I had gone through numerous times as a child.

As a teenager I had friends from the East - East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Russia. A lady by the name of Helena that I lived with used to bring people from different places home and really I had no clue where she found them, but it was cool to get to know people from other cultures. Not to generalize, but all of the people I met from Poland sure could drink wodka (vodka).

Helena taught me to speak German using comic books and television. There was little on tv in English. I recall US Armed Forces Europe station that had a couple of shows a week from the US, but that was about it back in the 70s. There was one show that was famous in the US called "Family" and in German it was, "Eine Amerikanische Familie," and many Germans I knew back then thought that this is how American families in the US were in real life. Sort of funny when you think about it and completely Hollywood. lol

There was so much hope for the future back then, during the Cold War. I have decided that cold wars are far better than hot ones as we have going today. At least millions of people were not killed and it was more spy games than anything else. I feel little hope for the future today, though this may be my age (52) speaking; I doubt it though because I do not know anyone that has much hope for the future. Those in their 20s today (in the US) see little to look forward to. Life is different.

This little walk down memory lane is the result of the terrible US military mess that's been going on for over 10 days now. I think about these people involved and realize how very different they are, how everything is about luxury and money, money, money. Most people are so fake today. They accept war, death, drones, Guantanamo camps, extraordinary rendition, US prison camps in remote and faraway places, wiretaps without warrant, and so much more without much thought. Of course all of the people are not like this, but few dare to speak in our population, if they are concerned.

What really gets me is that so many consider this freedom and the US a free country with all sorts of freedoms. Hell, they obviously need to get out and see the rest of the world. Believe me, I would if I could. I'd be out of here in a NY minute, as the saying goes, and I'd never come back again.

I suppose that prior to this current fiasco, I thought that these people really believed the BS they talk publicly about war and terrorists etc... I figured they were all just plain ignorant to the fact that illegal invasions of sovereign nations create terrorists. When I realized that really it is just one big flippin' party circuit, well, it was enlightening. Even they do not believe what they state publicly. It's all about big bank accounts and money - lots and lots of money.

No, I do not feel bad at all about ridiculing their groupies. The fact is that that woman in Tampa (yeah you already know her name) was allowed to ride the coattails of highest ranking military / CIA officers in the US. She got to sip champagne, fly on a special US military jet, and use the non-profit categorization to party - somewhere around $43K was spent on "entertainment" - while claiming to do some sort of cancer research and sucking-up to the top brass in the country and attemping to put together $multi-million deals. According to her, US General sought her assistance. Meanwhile, people like me have no access to any health care whatsoever.

Bradley Manning suffers in some crappy US government hellhole because he exposed the root of the big party and what they really do. Jeremy Hammond suffers in some federal lockup because he's accused of exposing the flourishing intelligence community of Stratfor, while they're all paid the big$s to spy on all of us. Well, their spying sure bit them all in the ass last week, now didn't it? I bet they wish there were checks and balances in place now, don't they?

When the people looked to President Obama for answers about the fiasco, the first thing he did was thank everyone involved for their exemplary service. Sort of makes you want to puke, doesn't it?

I will always love the song by the Scorpions, but all hope is lost in my eyes and the children of tomorrow have nothing good to look forward to in the future. As long as all of the major participants in this War on Terror are raking in the big$$$$s and partying on military jets, they have no reason or desire to end it. As long as the groupies flock to the war party, that party will live on without ending.


On that note dear blog readers, I will be taking leave of this blog for some time. I may return in a week or a month or never.

Tiki Monday #day


f3.

Rabu, 16 Januari 2013

Collage Details for Spring Summer 2013


Trend Forecasting: Collage detail is a trend to watch out for in Spring/Summer 2013. These are photos I took when I was in Tokyo, Japan last summer. I can see that this is a mixture of Houndstooth, lace and painting.

Hiroko Koshino is one of Japan's well known artists/ fashion designers. Tokyo is the top fashion capital in Asia since they have their very own style. Watch out for Oriental details too.

An example of a Collage detail would be two toned jackets, like the denim with tribal print sleeves from Urban Outfitters or the denim jacket with leather sleeves.



Stylish Royalty


The picture on top shows the two princesses of York who were guests at the Royal wedding of Prince Will and Kate. The hat is really artistic looking.
Kate Middleton on the left has cute and simple style. She always looks Chic in a Trench coat. Her outfits are always timeless. Since I live in a hot country I cannot wear any of these. But Ill buy one when I continue my studies abroad, something that will last, since trench coats are classic.

The picture on the bottom was their visit to Canada. I can see that she kept up with the Canadian theme, using a maple leaf hat, a white dress and red stilettos. Thats a really cute purse too.

just for the hell of it


bay skate



Tanks for the mammary


old skool baja


Potty Training Cliffs Notes


 One of my goals for January was to get Claire potty trained.  Potty training is one of those necessary evils that parents dread; and no matter how painfully long (or short or messy) the good news is that all kids eventually get potty trained.  So yes, there are special cases, and every child is different, ect, ect.  but I really do believe this method works. I decided to write out how I did it for those of you who have asked about it.  I totally believe in this method because it worked for my kids.  If it didn't work for yours- you didn't do it right. Haha, just kidding. Like I said, it worked for my kids, but that doesn't mean it will work for every child. 




First of all there are a couple things you want to be sure of before you even attempt potty training.


1) Is your child verbal enough and aware enough to potty train?


Both my kids were both talking in sentences by 20 months, so they were already saying things like, "I have poo poos" or "I meed a new diaper" so they were communicating enough both in words (duh) but  also in concept. I knew they had an understanding of going potty. 

If your child speaks few or no words...I would not suggest trying to potty train yet.  {remember- this is just my opinion, from my own experience}. However, they do say that the ideal window is 18-28 months old. I did Jack and Claire at 22 months.  The closer you get to them turing 3 the harder it is (so I've heard).

2) Are you ready/able to commit to the process?

I basically followed the "Potty train in 3 days or less" method, but does that mean you are done after 3 days? um. no.  Think of the 3 days as like the boot camp to kick off the potty training process. Does it mean after the 3 days they will never ever have an accident- maybe- but most likely no. 

For those mamas wondering what I did exactly...Here it is.

I start with 3 solid days at home. Potty training was the only thing on the agenda. Like many areas of parenting, consistency is key. 

                             Step 1:
Tell them first thing in the morning, "all done with diapers"!  This method is no diapers, no pull-ups, nothing; as much as possible. So for my kids they just ran around naked from the waist down. It has been pretty chilly lately though, so for Claire I had her wear an undershirt and jammie shirt, and knee socks :-) After the first day, when she was chilly, she wore loose jammie pants. 

I totally think that trying to potty train using pull-ups {during the day- I do use them at night} is pointless. It feels just like a diaper so they don't get the point that they can't just go potty in their pants anymore. Going pant less- they get it, really fast.  They won't like the pee pee going all over. 

Step 2: 
Get a little potty seat for them. I'm not kidding- the one I have is the best. It sings and says "hooray" as soon as they go in it. It's great. Plus it has a removable seat that will fit on a real toilet when they are ready, and they can use it as a step stool. 

Sit them on the potty and say, "Pee pee and poo poo only in the potty!" 

*I think how you approach the topic, 
and speak to them during the process is
 half the battle.*

Step 3:
 Give them juice or milk, and lots of it the first few days. You want them to go to reinforce the process. So I gave Claire juice in her bottle every little while (no she doesn't usually have a bottle all day- but I knew she'd drink it if it was in her bottle). Then you take them to their potty every half hour or so and say, "Its potty time!" 

Don't ask if they need to go. 
The answer will almost always be no until they are older and are fully potty trained. Just tell them it's time.

Step 4:
You really have to be vigilant and watch them carefully for those first 3 days. If they start to pee pee, grab them and get them on their little potty.  If they get a little into the potty, you celebrate. I mean really make a big deal out of it! We did the "potty dance" and sang little celebratory chants like, "Oh yeah, you did it! Go, Claire, Go Clarie! She did it! In the potty! Yeah!!!!" Literally, they love it.  I then told her how proud I was of her- like 100 times. 

Then I did something you may or may not want to do: gave her a potty treat. Some parents don't like using treats as incentive, but hey, it works and it makes it fun. So I give her an M&M or a Trader Joe's Gummie Bear each time she got anything in the potty. 
{Jack got a treat too, so he was involved in the process- he encouraged her, reminded her, and celebrated with her too!}

Step 5:
If they have an accident, don't scold them. You don't want to make them feel bad about something they have been doing naturally for the last 2 years {just going potty wherever, whenever}. You also don't want it to turn into a battle of the wills. They are not being naughty. They have to learn. So help them learn. 

Tell them in stern, serious voice, "Pee Pee or Poo poo only goes in the potty." 
Don't say, "It's ok" because it's not. 
Say "Next time run to the potty, pee pee only goes in the potty!" If she had an accident, I still had her sit on the potty afterward to see if she had anymore. And to reinforce that that was where she should go potty.

You want to celebrate and encourage their success. 
They will feel so proud of themselves!

So that's basically it. 
No pants, lots of liquid, put them on the potty for potty time every little bit, get them to the potty when they start going, and repeat. 
For at least 3 solid days. 




After those first few days they should get it. 
Claire now says, "Poo poos!" anytime she needs to go potty and then we run to her potty and she goes. There may be "set backs" though. Don't get discouraged. She did really well all week then we had one day where she had 3 accidents in 2 hours. I was bummed. I thought we had gone backwards and I was getting frustrated. But then I just took a deep breath, and kept on helping her get to the potty, celebrating her success and going on. 

After that, on her own she would tell me when she needed to go, and we haven't had any accidents since. We've even gone out and no accidents! It just clicked. She gets it and I don't think we'll have any more problems. I will still remind her, and help her get to the potty when she says she needs to go. I will take her little potty with us- wherever we go- for a while. And I'll keep celebrating her success!! 

Sidenote: My theory on nighttime potty training- once they are waking up dry every morning, then they stop wearing a diaper or a pull-up. 
Yes- I put a pull-up on her for nighttime. 
Not nap time though. I have her go pee pee before her nap, and she hasn't had any accidents. I don't really worry about the nighttime thing. That will happen naturally as they continue to get the point that we only go in the potty. 

Good luck and happy potty training!

Qualcomm being sued by NY State Comptroller over political donations

Without any prompting, Qualcomm came around my blog J to the Power of 7 on a word search over Montgomery Blair Sibley. This was around three years ago. I had no idea why they came around, but when I did a little research, I found that they also do intelligence and defense contracting…and they have a revolving door policy between their executives and those at Ernst & Young, a major corporate services firm that specializes in corporate audits, and yes, the books that get cooked.
The latter firm is involved in uncovering such things in corporate institutions, but also have had allegations thrown at them on several occasions that they helped to cover it up. What does that have to do with the DC Madam? It might not be anything specific beyond the fact that her former prosecutor, Jeffrey A. Taylor, a Bush II interim appointee who was never fired by incoming president-elect, Barack Obama, and went on to a cushy legalistic job at Ernst & Young. Now, why would someone at Qualcomm do that word search on Mr. Sibley? I have no idea and have never expected a straight answer out of them–don’t have the resources, or the inclination to bother looking into it, life’s too short. But the fact remains that both firms are very closely-linked, Taylor works for Ernst, and someone felt compelled at the sister firm of Qualcomm to do research over Mr. Sibley. When I brought it to his attention, he seemed pretty interested–as interested as I was. It was just one more bizarre “coincidence” from the case. I don’t know if Taylor is still working at Ernst & Young these days, but I would assume so. What’s of interest to me is the connection not only to computer chips and CPUs made by Qualcomm, but their relationship with the Pentagon and American intelligence community, perhaps one similar to SAIC’s, another major league contractor. Qualcomm was never in Jeane’s phone records, but I believe someone fucked up here and showed their hand, for which I thank them!
And now, the Comptroller of NY State, Thomas P. DiNapoli, a Democrat, is suing Qualcomm over political donations to force transparency. NY State is one of the biggest shareholders in the corporation, and is asserting her interest in the firm. This is reasonable since the risks are very high to public investors, especially when so many were burned in the banking crisis of 2008 thanks to widespread securities fraud. This is a major reason for the economic crisis in countries like Greece, for example, just one of many. Consider that when politicians in DC start screaming for austerity measures because of the deficit. Hundreds of billions were spent to keep a lot of crooks afloat. That's called being robbed twice.

Selasa, 15 Januari 2013

Party like a Rockstar!

This was during the Holiday in Singapore. Here I am wearing a Forever 21 Harpers Bazaar Top and pleather skirt. My hat is from a store called, People Are People in the Philippines. I am also wearing TOPSHOP Strappy flats. 

My spiky bracelet is also from TOPSHOP. There was a huge sale when I bought it. That store also has quite a number of edgy items, So that is also the place to shop if you have an edgy style. 
The meaning of an edgy style is someone who doesn't dress like any one else, wears DIY clothing, leather, studs and spikes. 
I myself will always love studs, leather and spikes. Even if they may go out of style one day, I do not want to be like anyone else. DIY Counts as one of my hobbies. 

There is currently a sale until Febuary 3, 2013 at TOPSHOP! 

ukeback



Mind Renovation



Words of LIFE Weekly Devotional

Mind Renovation

by Christa Black



You are a house.

You live in this house; you move in this house; you exist in this house.

The foundation of your house is your belief system, and the bricks laid are thoughts that you allow inside your head.

Some houses are strong and large. Some are beautiful and always expanding. But others are unstable and crumbling or small and falling apart. Some have pristine yards, but others look like they might be in the jungle.

The entire structure of your life is built upon what you believe, so everything that's happened to you has helped lay a foundation that determines the structure of your whole life. Bricks that are damaged, crumbling, or out of place compromise the entire house, just as my first memory [of abuse] compromised my entire belief system. The lie that I was unworthy, unlovable, tarnished, and dirty crippled me for years, even though it wasn't remotely true. The structure of my house suffered the consequences until the lies were removed.

A lot of you have beautiful houses on the outside. This is normal in our appearance-obsessed culture. You work overtime to make sure the hedges are trimmed, the shutters are painted, and onlookers admire your immaculate appearance. You might even have a living room for entertaining or a deck for parties, where people can see just enough of the inside to think that everything is spotless, happy, and perfect. But heaven forbid your guests look in the basement. There are locks on secret vaults and forgotten dungeons inside your heart. You believe if you can keep up the perception of perfection, no one will see the shameful disasters inside.

You think that if the exterior of the house is shiny and new, constantly upgraded and improved, maybe the neighbors won't notice the stench coming from the trash piling up inside. Maybe people walking by won't be able to see the disaster zone that you'd rather not face and clean up. If you can just cover it up, why put in the sweat and tears to remove the junk?

I knew all about this way of living. It was the way I coped with pain for the majority of my life. If I could make my exterior as perfect as possible and win awards for how powerful and successful my house was, I hoped no one would ever have to see the filthy interior, with its shameful rooms, black holes, and secretive garbage. In fact, keeping myself preoccupied with the appearance of my house was an attempt to try to make up for all the problems inside. I prayed that if I just kept applying a new coat of paint, no one would find out that the plumbing was shot and that termites were eating me alive.

The problem with this approach to life is that the house of your heart can never be a home. If you have rooms inside your heart that you are ashamed of or embarrassed by or that you simply want to avoid, then you will never fully be at rest within yourself and the home of your soul. You'll never know the peace of true contentment – the deep sighs that release life.

One of the most important things I've ever done, and that you could ever do, is to begin to replace the lies, represented by the faulty bricks, one by one, with the real truth. You might have to face ugly monsters that you've fought to ignore. You might have to clean out dirty black rooms that you've been petrified to remember, but your house will never be free and whole until you do.

It's time to barge into every corridor in the house of your heart and find out if what you're allowing to live under your roof deserves to live there. You're the only landlord you're ever going to have. You're the only one who can kick out unwanted squatters. You're the only one who can give the green light to repaint, remodel, and restore. And your heart is the only home you're ever going to have any real control over.

Taking on the project of heart renovation isn't an easy task. In fact, it takes a lot of hard work. But I promise, being at peace and at rest inside your heart is worth the work. It changes everything about everything.

And it starts in the place you know all too well. Your head.


Christa Black joins James and Betty Robison this Monday on LIFE TODAY. This is an excerpt from GOD LOVES UGLY: and love makes beautiful by Christa Black. Copyright @2012 by Christa Black. Reprinted by permission of FaithWords/Hachette Book Group. All rights reserved.

Gorgeous edgy Bags for School (Back to School fashion tip, part 2)

 I bought this Kawaii Alice in Wonderland Clock bag from Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan when I was there last June. Street shopping is affordable and unusual at the same time. I am also a fan of the Japanese culture and food.
I am a really huge Kawaii fan too. So I always carry this bag to school. You do not have to carry a high end brand, as we move around in school a lot. Sometimes they can get dirty from pencils, art supplies and pens.
Get some cool earphones that are useful for listening to music while your working.
My pouch attached to this bag has my earphones in it. These Harajuku Lovers were on sale at Courts electronic store in Singapore. They are now on sale at your nearest electronic stores.
This backpack here is from Lesportsac. My Aunt got this for me at only $50. You can grab cute Lesportsac items if they are on sale. This shiney classic backpack will last as long as you take care of it well.
Its best not to overload your bags for school, always carry an extra tote bag, like this long lasting TOPSHOP  tote  below, I bought 4 years ago. Sometimes bags can break very easily or rip.  It is also good to get items that can last long to be environmentally friendly and to save money. 


Mix and Match Union Jack

What a very cold day in Manila, Philippines. I had to dress in a sleeved shirt with a jacket. 
In school our classrooms are always so cold. Today I decided to put a union jack look together and match up the colors. London,England is also my other dream destination to study further in since London has one of the best fashion schools, Central Saint Martins. There are also a lot of unique fashion brands there such as Lipsy, Miss Selfridge, New Look and TOPSHOP.
I also did a DIY to this denim vest, I had the pleather sleeves tailored on then I hand-sewed the lace at the back from an old lace top I had. 
Printed leggings and skinny jeans were one of the best trends in 2012-2013. TOPSHOP, Urban Outfitters and Forever 21 are the best stores to find those. 
Grab them now, while they are currently on after Christmas sale. 


This outfit contains a London graphic tee from Promod, Jacket from KOHL'S and Union Jack Jeggings from TOPSHOP. While theres currently a sale at TOPSHOP, I really went crazy there. I am also wearing Jeffrey Campbell Lita inspired laced up booties from Glaze, Since Im not allowed to spend $100 on one item. I got this chain necklace for Christmas three years ago from M{phosis, Singapore.  I am also wearing a plaid bracelet from a bazar in the Philippines. Filipino Designers are getting very good. They are topping the Hollywoods a list!




Senin, 14 Januari 2013

f.

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I thought the jacket was quite plain when I bought it, so I decided to add a belt and a bib fringe necklace. I am a huge fan of studs, leather and animal prints myself. As you notice Ive been using my heeled Kenneth Cole Reaction Oxfords is because they are very convenient and Im just being practical. They feel like you are walking on flats and not heels. I am also loving my new bib necklace given by my aunt. It goes well with anything making it look like its part of a plain top.

These think coats are also a back to school fashion tip. It can be cold in the classrooms at all times.