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Saturday, Apr 13th

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Editorial

The HeisEnberg Principle isn't just for physics

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Only one week until the government shutdown because the tea baggers need to be in the spotlight for as long as possible. The thing is, we've been here before. An actual government shut down in the 90s was a disaster for the Republicans which makes seeing Newt Gingrich on the Sunday morning shows acting like an expert statesman all the more hilarious. People forget that he was run out of the Congress by Republicans. And the tea baggers have already tried this fiscal brinksmanship themselves, and failed miserably.

 

This time around Obama isn't even pretending that he give them anything, not even the courtesy of pretending that they are his equals. That has got to so burn under their white sheets and hoods.

 

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Starbucks. Guns. Waffling.

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More on our country from the only viable, mostly-untainted point of access -- the foreign press:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24142085


My reaction?

Well, sure, I mean:

If someone doesn't get their Uber Grande Triple Mocha Espresso with Caramel Monkeybutt Sauce and Cupid's Arrow and Heart Design in their Whipped Cream just right, then, in 'Merica, that customer should have the right to pump a couple of magazines of steel-jacketed rounds and dum-dums into the bastard barista who ruined their day, week, and life, right?

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Socio-Political Earthquakes

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The greatest series of earthquakes in U.S. history began when an 8.6 magnitude quake rocked the Mississippi River Valley near New Madrid, Missouri on December 16th 1811. The earthquake raised and lowered parts of the Mississippi Valley by as much as 15 feet and changed the course of the Mississippi River. At one point, the Mississippi momentarily reversed its direction, and created Reelfoot Lake in northwest Tennessee. Now that was an earthquake.

I’ve experienced a couple of geological earthquakes that were unnerving at the moment, but in my lifetime there have been three socio-political earthquakes whose aftershocks have reverberated for decades:

The JFK Assassination, the Supreme Court’s decision to nullify a national election by installing George W. Bush as president, and the attacks of September 11th 2001.

Do I believe members of the Bush Administration were key players in the 9/11 attacks and either “made it happen” or “allowed it to happen?” I don’t know. I will probably never know. Over the last 12 years scores of credible sources have raised enough questions about The government’s “official story” to render it unbelievable. What I do believe is anyone capable of committing the supreme international crime, a war of aggression, is capable of anything.
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Trance-Formation

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There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.

Thus intoned Rod Serling at the beginning of the first episode of the first season of The Twilight Zone in 1959. It would be years before I read Kafka, Huxley, and Orwell, but I knew the territory well. Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont, and Richard Matheson, had already taken me there once every week for five years.

The Twilight Zone left me with powerful memories of stories of ordinary people who had somehow slipped almost casually across an unseen line, and into another world … another reality. And here we all are … 49 years after the last program was broadcast … living in The Twilight Zone. I wish we had better writers.  The same plot devices from a handful of episodes are used over and over, overlap one another, and play simultaneously non-stop. And the kicker is … most people don’t even notice … and that in itself is an old Twilight Zone episode.

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Happy Anniversary To Us!

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Two years ago today, August 22nd, we moved to Beautiful British Columbia. I’m only going to say this one more time as I can imagine everyone is getting awfully tired of hearing it:

Every Single Day
I read at least one news item, oftentimes more, from The States that makes me very happy and relieved we don’t live in the U.S. anymore.

And …

Every Single Day I have a moment, some days a couple of moments, when I am grateful we now live in Canada.

I know a guy in Seattle who feels compelled to remind me that Canada isn’t perfect. It’s his way of countering whatever positive thing I’ve told him about living up here.

Canada is not perfect. I know. I live here. But guess what? Relatively speaking, after a lifetime of living in the U.S. …Yes It Is!

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Ronald Reagan, the bust

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New unemployment claims fell last week to 326,000, a 5 1/2 year low. July's survey of employers showed 162,000 new jobs created, this is about three times the rate of population growth. The odd thing was that 92,000 of these jobs went people 55 and over, with only 15,000 going to prime age workers 25-54. This could be taken as a good sign since workers over 55 have been systematically passed over for jobs since the Bush Crash.

 

Recent college grads got the other 55,000 new jobs. Not that a college education is necessarily worth much in a post-industrial, post-middle class country like the US. Forty percent of the people who make less than $10/hour have some college education. Plenty of young lawyers and engineers work at Best Buy.

 

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Springtime in Santa Barbara

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Back in 1971 a couple of good ol’ boys grabbed me outside of a bar in Amarillo Texas and pounded me into the ground like a human tent peg. They didn’t like the length of my hair.

A couple of years later I was walking down De La Vina Street in Santa Barbara in the late afternoon when a guy sped by me in beat-to-crap white pick up truck, screamed out, “YOU EFFING HIPPIE,” and threw an unopened bottle of coke at my head. It missed by inches, exploded against the rock retaining wall on my right, and instead of a concussion … I was covered in broken glass and dripping soda pop.

The beating in Amarillo was pretty bad. It could have gotten worse but luckily for me, the bartender had an idea about what the good ol’ boys were up to, and came out and stopped it. But the “Pop Bottle Incident of 1973” had a greater impact on me. The thing in Texas I chalked up to, “What the hell do you expect? You’re in Texas for chrissakes,” but the lucky near-miss in Santa Barbara really shook me up. I was in Southern California, one of the “sane” states, where a long hair could walk around without getting stomped.

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