Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lesser Sports...

For the record, I did wrestling, gymnastics, football, baseball, track, mountain climbing, drag racing,
...and I currently practice martial arts. I got stabbed by a sword last week.

In general I don't give a shit about professional sports, but this really cracked me up.

With that in mind, here's a great little essay from Counterpunch: March 29, 2012

The Dilettantes of the PGA
Golf is a Pussy Game by DAVID MACARAY

By all accounts, the most difficult thing to do in sports is hit a moving baseball. Virtually every sports writer who ever lived agrees with that observation. The ball is traveling at upwards of 95 mph. You’re standing approximately 60 feet away. The 5.25 ounce sphere reaches you in less than seven-tenths of a second. Sometimes the pitch curves, sometimes it sinks, sometimes it hops. You’re trying to hit a round object with a round club.

If you’re talented and fortunate enough to play in the Majors for 12-15 years, and you’re able to hit safely 3 out of every 10 times at bat, you have a good chance of not only being recognized as one of the game’s true stars, but of eventually being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Think about that. You regularly fail 7 out of 10 times during your entire career, yet you’re still celebrated as one of the greatest players of all-time. That’s how difficult baseball is.

But there’s another component to the art of hitting. It’s called courage. Not only do you have to instantaneously decide if the pitch is a fastball or breaking ball, a ball or a strike, you have to be aware that the object coming at you at close to 100 mph could hit you in the face, possibly crippling you, or even ending your career. And you have to deal with these variables on every single pitch, during every single at-bat.

Add to all of this the ear-splitting noise being generated by a hostile crowd. You’re at the plate, your team is behind by one run in the ninth inning, there’s a runner on second base, there are two out, and the count is 2-2. You’re in the batter’s box, scared spitless, being asked to do what is universally recognized as the most difficult thing in sports.

If there was ever a time that an athlete needed peace and quiet in order to concentrate on the task at hand, this is it. But the crowd noise is so loud, so shrill, it approaches the decibel level of a jet engine. It’s deafening. These rabid fans are literally screaming themselves hoarse, all 60,000 of them. Indeed, the stadium itself, solid and well-anchored in tons of cement as it is, is actually ever-so-slightly rocking.

Now let’s consider golf. A pro golfer stands over a two-foot putt. The gallery is dead silent. The golfer studies the ball. The crowd inhales; no one dares exhale. Then, just as he’s about to strike the ball, some guy in the crowd sneezes. The golfer abruptly straightens up, steps away, and glares at the man. People shush the hapless sneezer, who cringes in humiliation. A moment later, with the gallery once again silent, the golfer taps the ball in. Applause.

Why is no one permitted to scream during golf? After all, it’s a sports event, isn’t it? You paid your way in, didn’t you? Why is no one allowed to shout at the top of their lungs, “Hey, mister! You’re going to miss it!” But if you pull a stunt like that, the marshals escort you right off the course. Still, what makes golfers so special?

Are these guys so refined that wisecracks and booing from the audience is going to give them the heebie-jeebies? For crying out loud, the ball isn’t even moving. It’s just sitting there. You stare at it for as long as you like, then you wind up and hit it. Simple as that. Unlike baseball, it’s not suddenly going to fly up, hit you in the face, and shatter your cheekbone.

Granted, golf takes ability and finesse. No one’s denying that. But if baseball players can do their thing with tens of thousands of hostile fans urging them to fail, golfers should be able to handle hecklers. “Hey, Tiger….you’re going to land in the sand trap! Har, har, har.” If these PGA dilettantes can’t take the pressure of hostile crowds, let ‘em stick with miniature golf.

DAVID MACARAY, an LA playwright and author (“It’s Never Been Easy: Essays on Modern Labor”), was a former union rep. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, forthcoming from AK Press. He can be reached at

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ninja's Steal Pot Shipment

From The San Gabrial Tribune:

"Medical marijuana delivery man reports he was robbed by ninjas in West Covina Posted: 03/25/2012 11:39:58 AM PDT

WEST COVINA - Police are looking into a bizarre report of a medical marijuana robbery involving two attackers dressed as ninjas, officials said.

Police received the strange report shortly before 10 p.m. Friday from a medical marijuana delivery man who said he had been robbed in the 800 block of South Sunset Avenue, near Cameron Avenue, after making a delivery to a patient West Covina police Lt. Alan Henley said.

The delivery man, who was in his 40s, told police that, "As he was going back to his vehicle, he was approached by two subjects in ninja costumes who chased him with batons," the lieutenant said.

"The victim said he was scared and he dropped a bag with some marijuana and money. The suspects took it," Henley added.

It was not clear how much cash or pot was taken, police added.

The incident remained under investigation. Police were not aware of any other recent crimes involving suspects dressed as ninjas."

(D.R.)- The Ninjas were later seen running up walls and walking on water...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Why "Kony 2012" Appears to be a "Ruse"

The Christian Evangelical producers of "Kony 2012"

"Definition of RUSE: a wily subterfuge"

I had never heard of Joseph Kony.
Of course, however, because of my reading I have been well informed about the European efforts to colonize Africa. Call it the "Heart of Darkness" scenario.

So when I saw and heard about the butcher in Africa called Joseph Kony, I realized there was some horrible truth behind the viral video titled "Kony 2012.

The video is produced by a group called "Invisible Children" and has a tremendous impact due to it's slick production. It has been screened at colleges all across the country, and around the world on YouTube.

There has never, never been a time in recent history when the west and European world did not pull sway in Africa, and it appears that it is still happening now in very polished, sophisticated ways. Kony 2012 may be one such example.

Let's call it "White Man's Burden". And I mean that in a very bad way. Let's not kid ourselves, Joseph Kony and his army have mutilated and killed and raped in Uganda. But so have the competition in the region.

Here is the video if you have not seen it yet:

When the video above was screened in Uganda, where the people who were the victims were present, huge protests occurred due to the misrepresentation of the matter:

Uganda screenings of Kony film halted after protests

"A Ugandan youth group said Thursday it would stop screening a hugely popular Internet video calling for the arrest of rebel chief Joseph Kony after local people reacted furiously at its first showing.
A screening in the northern town of Lira, attended by many people mutilated by Kony’s soldiers, was halted after some people started throwing stones, said Victor Ochen, the director of African Youth Initiative Network.
His group had now dropped plans to show the film around the region."

So what is up with this slick production that has garnered the support of activists, students, and even the U.S. Congress?

By all standards, Joseph Koney, the head of the "Lord's Resistance Army" is one sick puppy. Lots of mutilation and bad shit going on in a civil war in Uganda. But he has been out of the country for at least 6 years now.
But here's the kicker:
The opposition to Kony's "Lord's Resistance Army" comes from the Militant Christian movement in America.
By all evidence, despite the Kony identification with Christian identity, the U.S.-based groups are attempting to rub him out to favor the competition in a scramble for resource and mining interests in Africa. Kony provides bad Christian public relations, and a "Super Christian" group must go in and save Africa from itself.

Hence, the angry Ugandans who have watched the video and thrown rocks at the screen.

But it goes much deeper:

Remember when Pat Robertson (The Christian Guru) got caught using his church-paid aircraft flying mining tools into gold mining camps?

Pat Robertson's Right-Wing Gold Mine
The little-known tale of the evangelist and the dictator

by Bill Sizemore

Charles Taylor, the freshly exiled president of Liberia, has a rap sheet that would have been the envy of Genghis Khan: Accused embezzler. Ruthless warlord blamed for torture, killings, forced labor, extortion. Partial bankroller of al-Qaeda. Indicted by a U.N. war crimes tribunal for arming Sierra Leoneon rebels who specialize in mass rape and in hacking off the limbs of civilians.

With his small West African country devastated by near-constant civil war since he began his bloody march to power 14 years ago, Taylor in recent months faced a rising chorus of calls from world leaders, including President George W. Bush, to step down.

Where's a guy like that going to find a friend?

Well, here's one place: the set of The 700 Club, the daily TV talk show presided over by Pat Robertson.
Taylor's checkered past notwithstanding, Robertson saw the Liberian dictator as a bulwark of Christianity standing against the encroaching hordes of Islam. And Taylor had played his part to the hilt. At a three-day CBN-sponsored "Liberia for Jesus" rally in February 2002, Taylor was the star attraction, lying prostrate on the red-carpeted stage of Samuel Doe Stadium in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, and exhorting the crowd to come to Christ. "I cannot help you," he told his long-suffering people. "All help comes from God."
In 1999, Taylor signed a mineral development agreement with Freedom Gold Ltd., a for-profit company chartered in the Cayman Islands, granting it exploration and mining rights in the Bukon Jedeh region of southeastern Liberia, which is believed to have substantial gold reserves. Robertson is the company's president and sole director. If and when Freedom Gold begins to turn a profit, the Liberian government is guaranteed a 10 percent equity interest in the company.

So what is really going on?

Here's what writer Keith Harmon Snow writes:

Keith Harmon Snow, December 8th, 2008

"The Congo wars have direct links to the many long years of war in Sudan and Uganda, and they are intertwined with the current low-intensity warfare and the mass murder in Darfur, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. If we apply the genocide label to conflicts where it surely fits, then genocide is ongoing in Congo's Orientale and Kivus provinces, and in Acholiland in Northern Uganda.17 But it is also occurring in Iraq, Afghanistan, Burundi, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Botswana, Columbia, the Palestinian Territories and Malaysia, to mention a few irrefutable cases.

These geopolitical and strategic hotspots remain mostly blanketed by media reportage that quite literally blacks out key white protagonists by putting a black African face on things. Another example: there has been little reported about the perpetual warfare and human rights atrocities in Orientale linked to tight little airstrips carved out of the rainforest and paved with support from the Pentagon-connected United States Agency for International Development (USAID).18

Consider Mwana Africa, a South African firm that controls the Kilo-Moto gold fields in Zani, DRC. The Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), led by Thomas Lubanga, occupied the Zani gold fields in 2002 and stirred up ethnic animosities that led to massive suffering and depopulation. However, according to Congolese locals, it was the white missionaries from the Africa Inland Mission that deeply divided local ethnic groups. French tycoons Jacques and Alvaro Hachuel own Mwana Africa.

Mwana Africa's European director, Etienne Denis, began his long career of impoverishing the Congo at Umicore, formerly the Belgian mining giant Union Miniere, in 1974. The Mwana Africa airstrip at Zani, and nearby roads, were built with USAID backing, and the gold is flown out to Tanzania-one of the most underappreciated criminal players funneling weapons to Uganda and Congo-or sometimes shipped out by road through Uganda.19 Mwana Africa is also involved in Congo's bloody MIBA diamond concessions in Mbuji Mayi and the cobalt/copper concessions in Katanga.20
Similarly, almost nothing in context has been reported of the white mercenaries and their petroleum operations on the Uganda border with Orientale.21 Like the ongoing covert war in Darfur, where the backers of the "mysterious" rebel groups are never exposed, the militias operating in Congo are proxy armies that serve the interests of external power blocks at the expense of their competitors."

There are huge oil and mining contracts at risk for multinational corporations in this region.

But what about the interest of young people across America that have been touched by the "Kony 2012" video?
Are they dupes, willing participants? what about the money?

From Alternet:

"What does Invisible Children share in common with James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council (pegged by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “hate group”), or the Fellowship Foundation — one of the nonprofit entities of the Washington-based evangelical organization also known as “The Family” (covered in two books by journalist Jeff Sharlet) whose leader Doug Coe has been captured on video celebrating the dedication inspired by Hitler, Lenin, and Mao ?

What does IC have in common with the ministry of California evangelist Ed Silvoso, who works directly with leading Ugandan author and promoter of the Anti Homosexuality Bill (also called the “kill the gays bill”) Julius Oyet — who claims that “even animals are wiser than homosexuals”?

The answer? — all of these ministries – the Discovery Institute, Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, The Fellowship Foundation, The Call, Ed Silvoso’s Harvest Evangelism, and Invisible Children – received at least $100,000 in 2008 from what has emerged in the last decade as the biggest funder of the hard, antigay, creationist Christian right: the National Christian Foundation.

2008 grants from National Christian Foundation, and subsidiaries

Focus on The Family: $4,268,000
Family Research Council: $2,387,000
The Fellowship Foundation (AKA “The Family” or the “International Foundation”): $515,000
Lou Engle’s The Call: $166,000
Ed Silvoso’s Harvest Evangelism: $817,000
The Discovery Institute: $702,000*
Invisible Children: $414,000*

The US power grab in Africa — So why Uganda?Written by: La'Kitgum on 22nd October 2011

So why Uganda? Enter London-based Heritage Oil, and its chairman Tony Buckingham, a former – you guessed it – “contractor” (ie mercenary). Here’s Heritage’s modus operandi, described by Buckingham himself; they deploy “a first mover strategy of entering regions with vast hydrocarbon wealth where we have a strategic advantage”.

By Pepe Escobar, Asia Times, 2011-10-22

We’ll git’im and stay

Beware of strangers bearing gifts. Post-modern Amazon and United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finally landed in Tripoli – on a military jet – to lavish praise on the dodgy Transitional National Council (TNC), those pportunists/defectors/Islamists formerly known as “North Atlantic Treaty Organization rebels”.

Clinton was greeted on Tuesday “on the soil of free Libya” (her words) by what the New York Times quaintly described as an “irregular militia” (translation: a heavily armed gang that is already raising hell against other heavily armed gangs), before meeting TNC chairman Mustafa Abdel-NATO (formerly known as Jalil).

The bulk of the US gifts – US$40 million – on top of the $135 million already disbursed since February (most of it military “aid”) is for a missile scramble conducted by “contractors” (ie mercenaries) trying to track the tsunami of mobile anti-aircraft rockets that by now are already conveniently ensconced in secret Islamist warehouses.

Clinton told students at the University of Tripoli, “We are on your side.” She could not possibly connect the dots and note that theshabab (young people) who started demonstrating against Muammar Gaddafi in February have absolutely nothing to do with the TNC’s opportunists/defectors/Islamists who hijacked the protests. But she did have time to unveil another US foreign policy “secret” – that the US wants Gaddafi “dead or alive”, George W Bush-style (or as the beneficiary of targeted assassination, Barack Obama-style).

The new Fallujah
In her exhausting six-and-a-half hours on “free Libya” soil, Clinton couldn’t possibly find the time to hitch a helicopter ride to Sirte and see for herself how NATO is exercising R2P (“responsibility to protect” civilians).

A few hundred soldiers and no less than 80,000 civilians have been bombed for weeks by NATO and the former “rebels”. Only 20,000 civilians have managed to escape. There’s no food left. Water and electricity have been cut off. Hospitals are idle. The city – under siege – is in ruins. Sirte imams have issued a fatwa(decree) allowing survivors to eat cats and dogs.

What Gaddafi never did to Benghazi – and there’s no evidence he might have – the TNC is doing to Sirte, Gaddafi’s home town. Just like the murderous US offensive in Fallujah in the Iraqi Sunni triangle in late 2004, Sirte is being destroyed in order to “save it”. Sirte, the new Fallujah, is brought to you by NATO rebels. R2P, RIP.

It gets much nastier. Libya is just one angle of a multi-vector US strategy in Africa. Wacko presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann, during Tuesday’s Republican debate in Las Vegas, may have inadvertently nailed it. Displaying her geographical acumen as she referred to Obama’s new US intervention in Uganda, Bachmann said, “He put us in Libya. Now he’s putting us in Africa.” True, Libya is not in Africa anymore; as the counter-revolutionary House of Saud would want it, Libya has been relocated to Arabia (ideally as a restored monarchy).

As for Obama “putting us in Africa” (see Obama, King of AfricaAsia Times Online, October 18, 2011), those 100 special forces in Uganda billed as “advisers” should be seen as a liquid modernity remix of Vietnam in the early 1960s; that also started with a bunch of “advisers” – and the rest is history.

Murderous mystic crackpot Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is now a rag-tag bunch of no more than 400 warriors (they used to be over 2,000). They are on the run – and not even based in Uganda, but in South Sudan (now a Western protectorate), the Central African Republic and the long border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

So why Uganda? Enter London-based Heritage Oil, and its chairman Tony Buckingham, a former – you guessed it – “contractor” (ie mercenary). Here’s Heritage’s modus operandi, described by Buckingham himself; they deploy “a first mover strategy of entering regions with vast hydrocarbon wealth where we have a strategic advantage”.

Translation: wherever there’s foreign invasion, civil war, total breakdown of social order, there are big bucks to be made. Thus Heritage’s presence in Iraq, Libya and Uganda.

Profiting from post-war fog, Heritage signed juicy deals in Iraqi Kurdistan behind the back of the central government in Baghdad. In Libya, Heritage bought a 51% stake in a local company called Sahara Oil Services; this means it’s now directly involved in operating oil and gas licenses. Pressed about it, TNC honchos have tried to change the conversation, alleging that nothing is approved yet.

What’s certain is that Heritage barged into Libya via a former SAS commando, John Holmes, founder of Erinys, one of the top mercenary outfits in Iraq apart from Xe Services, former Blackwater. Holmes cunningly shipped the right bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue Label to Benghazi for the right TNC crooks, seducing them with Heritage’s mercenary know-how of enforcing “oil field security”.

Got contractor, will travel
Obama’s Uganda surge is also a classic Pipelineistan gambit. The possibly “billions of barrels” of oil reserves discovered recently in sub-Saharan Africa are located in the sensitive cross-border of Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Believe it or not, Heritage was the top oil company in Uganda up to 2009, drilling on Lake Albert – between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo – and playing one country against another. Then they sold their license to Tullow Oil, essentially a spin-off, also owned by Buckingham, bagging $1.5 billion in the process and crucially not paying 30% of profits to Washington’s bastard, the government of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

Enter Libya’s state oil company, Tamoil, which was part of a joint venture with the Ugandans to build a crucial oil pipeline to Kenya; Uganda is landlocked, and badly needs the pipeline when oil exports start next year. The NATO war on Libya paralyzed the Pipelineistan gambit. Now everything is open for business again. Tamoil may be out of the picture – but so may be other players.

Trying to sort out the mess, the parliament in Uganda – slightly before Obama’s announcement – decided to freeze all oil contracts, hitting France’s Total and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, but especially Tullow oil.

But now, with Obama’s special forces “advising” not only Uganda but also the neighbors, and linking up with Heritage – which is essentially a huge oil/mercenary outfit – it’s not hard to fathom where Uganda’s oil contracts will eventually land.

The Amazon rules
Unified Protector, Odyssey Dawn and all other metaphors Homeric or otherwise for the Africom/NATO 40,000-plus bombing of Libya have yielded the desired result; the destruction of the Libyan state (and much of the country’s infrastructure, to the delight of disaster capitalism vultures). It also delivered the lethal unintended consequence of those anti-aircraft missiles appropriated by Islamists – a supremely convincing reason for the “war on terror” in northern Africa to become eternal.

Washington couldn’t care less about R2P; as the Libyan Clinton hop shows, the only thing that matters is the excuse to “securitize” Libya’s arsenal – the perfect cover story for US contractors and Anglo-French intel ops to take over Libyan military bases.

The iron rule is that “free” Libya should be under the control of the “liberators”. Tell that to the “irregular militias”, not to mention the Abdelhakim Belhaj gang and his al-Qaeda assets now in military control of Tripoli.

It’s useful to remember that last Friday, the same day the US State Department announced it was sending “contractors” to Libya, was the day Obama announced his Uganda surge. And only two days later, Kenya invaded Somalia – once again under the R2P excuse of protecting civilians from Somali jihadis and pirates.

The US adventure in Somalia looks increasingly like a mix of Sophocles and the Marx Brothers. First there was the Ethiopian invasion (it failed miserably). Then the thousands of Ugandan soldiers sent by Museveni to fight al-Shabaab (partially failed; after all the Washington-backed “government” barely controls a neighborhood in Mogadishu).

Now the Kenyan invasion. A measure of the Central Intelligence Agency’s brilliance is that operatives have been on the ground for months alongside bundles of mercenaries. Soon some counter-insurgency hotshot in Washington praying in the altar of new CIA head David Petraeus will conclude that the only solution is an army of MQ-9 Reapers to drone Somalia to death.

The big picture remains the Pentagon’s Africom spreading its militarized tentacles against the lure of Chinese soft power in Africa, which goes something like this: in exchange for oil and minerals, we build anything you want, and we don’t try to sell you “democracy for dummies”.

The Bush administration woke up to this “threat” a bit too late – at Africom’s birth in 2008. Under the Obama administration, the mood is total panic. For Petraeus, the only thing that matters is “the long war” on steroids – from boots on the ground to armies of drones; and who are the Pentagon, the White House and the State Department to disagree?

Italian geographer and political scientist Manlio Dinucci is one of the few to point out how neo-colonialism 2.0 works; one just needs to look at the map. In Central Africa, the objective is US military supremacy – on air and in intel – over Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In Libya, the objective is to occupy an absolutely strategic crossroads between the Mediterranean, northern Africa and the Middle East, with the added (nostalgic?) benefit of the West – as in Paris, London and Washington – finally getting to hold military bases as when King Idris was in power (1951 to 1969). As a whole, control must be established over northern Africa, central Africa, eastern Africa and – more problematically – the Horn of Africa.

The trillion-dollar question ahead is how China – which plots strategic moves years in advance – is going to react. As for Amazon Clinton, she must be beaming. In Iraq, Washington meticulously destroyed a whole country over two long decades just to end up with nothing – not even a substantial oil contract. Clinton at least got a private army – the “advisers” who will be stationed in the bigger-than-the-Vatican US Embassy in Baghdad.
And considering that Obama’s new African “advisers” will be paid by the State Department, now Clinton’s also got her own African private army. After November 2012, Clinton might well consider a move into the contractor business. In the sacred name of R2P, naturally.

So get this: it is no small wonder that evangelicals and resource corporados are in league to loot Africa.
even a campaign consultant for Republican Presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann was arrested in Uganda for weapons trafficking:

Michele Bachmann staffer was arrested for terrorism
By ALEXANDER BURNS | 8/17/11 3:38 PM EDT
Insert "palling around with" joke here:

The evangelical organizer who helped Michele Bachmann win the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa Saturday was previously charged with terrorism in Uganda after being arrested for possession of assault rifles and ammunition in February 2006, just days before Uganda's first multi-party elections in 20 years.

Peter E. Waldron spent 37 days in the Luriza Prison outside Kampala, where he says he was tortured, after being arrested along with six Congolese and Ugandan nationals for the weapons, which were described variously in news reports as having been found in his bedroom or a closet in his home. The charges, which could have led to life in prison, were dropped in March 2006 after a pressure campaign by Waldron's friends and colleagues and what Waldron says was the intervention of the Bush administration. He was released and deported from the east African nation, along with the Congolese. On Saturday, Waldron told The Atlantic in Ames that he was a staffer for Bachmann and responsible for her faith-based organizing both in Iowa and South Carolina. But he also declined repeatedly to give his name.

More at link

Now here is why the young producers are involved:

Invisible Children "Kony 2012" Leader Suggests It's About Jesus and Evangelizing

Is one of the biggest viral video in history Christian fundamentalist propaganda? Invisible Children's founder lays out his agenda at Liberty University.

March 8, 2012


On its face, the effort appears secular, and evangelizing is not mentioned as an objective.

But in a November 7, 2011 appearance at Liberty University, as part of Liberty's Fall Convocation speaker series, Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell hinted that Invisible Children was also an evangelizing effort, and during his talk Russell coached Liberty University students on what could be characterized as extremely low-key, or stealth, evangelism.

Joining Russell onstage during his November 7 Liberty University appearance was Alex Harris, credited with playing a key role in driving Mike Huckabee's 2008 presidential bid. At 20:20 into the 39 minute discussion, Harris received a question from the Liberty University student audience - "What is the greatest challenge to the millennial generation, in impacting the world for Christ ?"

Jason Russell fielded the following question from the audience which was, as characterized by Johnnie Moore, Liberty University Vice President of Teaching Projects,"How do you motivate hypocritical, apathetic Christians to, kind of, `get in the fight'?"

What was "the fight"? The message was ambiguous. Earlier in the discussion, Jason Russell had stated his goal of "ending genocide" and capturing Joseph Kony, but that goal seemed framed within the larger project of evangelizing the nations. During the discussion, as a backdrop, hung a blue curtain that proclaimed, "Liberty University: 40 Years of Training Champions For Christ".

... ... gelizing_/


So with all the money being raised for "invisible Children" and very little going to the Ugandan population, and all the Jesus talk, what is really going on?

Enter the U.S. military;

Onward Christian Soldiers. And Secular Corporations.

Thanks to the fellow contributors at Rigorous Intuition, of which I am an ocassional contributor

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fighting In Your Sleep

I came across a great article from the BBC about "The Myth of the Eight-Hour Sleep", and it brought up many ideas.

It seems that humans were never meant to sleep an entire eight hour shift, and literature going back to ancient times suggests that pre-industrial folks had what is called "First Sleep" and "Second Sleep".
Between the two was a time of awakening that was typically spent thinking, praying or going out to check livestock.
One text stated it was the best time to have sex...
All of that changed with outdoor lighting, all-night coffee shops and the industrial revolution. It may even be healthy to lay awake at night.

From the "So Much Sass" Blog:

Ron: I suffer from a disorder called Sleep Fighting.

Leslie: Wow, must be terrible.

Ron: Only when I’m losing.

Which made me think about something I experience, and I'm sure many of you out there do also; I fight in my sleep. It drives my wife crazy.

Fortunately, I am somewhat restrained by the straight jacket of blankets and never develop too much power in my technique. The worst is when I kick the heavy wooden dresser by the foot of the bed. I'm an expert at that, pulling the toes back, striking with the ball of the foot like I have been trained for the last thirty years.
But seriously; I believe that if you can pull of a perfect technique in your sleep, it is deeply ingrained into your psyche and would be a perfectly natural response in real-life awake time. I even remember disarming a guy with a club in a dream, it was so perfect I woke up and thought about it. I have no doubt I would have the same response while awake.

Sleep technologies have been historically used by priests, shamans and warriors.
In Carlos Castenadas books, the Shaman instructs Carlos to visualize looking at his hand in his sleep. After many months, Carlos finally saw his hand, and then he owned the dream. He controlled it and could use it to travel to far-away places and modify his awake behaviour.

Good stuff. Anybody else have similar experiences?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Taxi Driver: The Karate Stance Scene

I happened to watch the classic 1976 movie "Taxi Driver" again last night; I remember seeing the movie in the theater when it came out.
All star cast: Robert De Niro, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle and Jody Foster, masterfully directed by Martin Scorsese.

Among the dark themes was this one scene I had forgotten about; De Niro as Travis is stalking Cybill Shepherd into the political campaign headquarters she works at. As a co-worker attempts to kick De Niro out, he drops into a classic Shotokan-style Karate stance and freaks the co-worker out.

This reminded me of the influence that traditional martial arts had on cinema and the American psyche. Karate and Kung Fu were depicted as unstoppable in the era of the 1960's-70's. People realized that there was no fair fighting in those styles where you could loose an eye or suffer major breaks and dislocations. Not exactly your typical schoolyard fisticuffs.

In the summers during the '70's I was working cattle on ranches in Oregon. The older cowboys (some were pretty tough athletes) would talk about seeing fights in big urban cities. One was between a couple of hippies and a couple of Black Panthers. One of the Panthers popped a hippie's eye out with a hand strike. Another spear-hand strike went up the other guy's nostrils and split his nose in two.

Back then, you never really knew who was trained in these arts. They may have been crude but effective, and struck fear into the hearts of wanna-be tough guys.