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Archive for September, 2012

Obama Wan Kenobi and The Empire Strikes Fear & Loathing in The Heart of Darkness

— On Fri, 8/8/08, William Blum <bbl…@aol.com> wrote:

<> Subject: Obama And The Empire
<> Date: Friday, 8 August, 2008, 8:08 PM
<> http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20438.htm
<>
<> Obama And The Empire
<>
<>  By William Blum
<>
<>  I’m more concerned here with foreign policy than
<> domestic issues because it’s in this area that
<> the US government can do, and indeed does do, the
<> most harm to the world, to put it mildly. And in
<> this area what do we find? We find Obama
<> threatening, several times, to attack Iran if
<> they don’t do what the United States wants them
<> to do nuclear-wise; threatening more than once to
<> attack Pakistan if their anti-terrorist policies
<> are not tough enough or if there would be a regime
<> change in the nuclear-armed country not to his
<> liking; calling for a large increase in US troops
<> and tougher policies for Afghanistan; wholly and
<> unequivocally embracing Israel as if it were the
<> 51st state; totally ignoring Hamas, an elected
<> ruling party in the occupied territory; decrying
<> the Berlin Wall in his recent talk in that city,
<> about the safest thing a politician can do, but
<> with no mention of the Israeli Wall while in
<> Israel, nor the numerous American-built walls in
<> Baghdad while in Iraq; referring to the Venezuelan
<> government of Hugo Chavez as "authoritarian", but
<> never referring similarly to the government of
<> George W. Bush, certainly more deserving of the
<> label; talking with the usual disinformation and
<> hostility about Cuba, albeit with a token reform
<> re visits and remittances. But would he dare
<> mention the outrageous case of the imprisoned
<> Cuban Five in his frequent references to
<> fighting terrorism?
<>
<> William Blum <bbl…@aol.com> is the author of:
<> Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions
<> Since World War 2, Rogue State: A Guide to the
<> World’s Only Superpower, West-Bloc Dissident:
<> A Cold War Memoir, Freeing the World to Death:
<> Essays on the American Empire, Portions of the
<> books can be read, and signed copies
<> purchased, at www.killinghope.org
<> http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20438.htm

"The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder"
by Vincent Bugliosi www.prosecutionofbush.com
In The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder,
 http://www.prosecutionofbush.com/about.php
Bugliosi presents a tight, meticulously
researched legal case that puts George W. Bush
on trial in an American courtroom for the
murder of nearly 4,000 American soldiers
fighting in Iraq. Watch this video interview
 http://www.prosecutionofbush.com/video.php
to learn why he believes we must bring those
responsible for the war in Iraq to justice.
 http://www.prosecutionofbush.com/

Decorated Ex Marine says — John McCain is no Hero
http://www.jimmarrs.com/news.php?recordnumber=603

JOHN McCAIN – THE MOST FLAWED
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE IN HISTORY
   http://tinyurl.com/6msxcx

THE EARLY YEARS

McCain spent his boyhood in exclusive boarding
schools where staffers were paid to put up with
his tirades. We all did some immature things
before we matured. But with McCain,
the tirades continue today.

Had he not been the son and grandson of admirals,
there is scant chance he would have been admitted
to the U.S. Naval Academy. Given his behavior
patterns and academics, had he not been the son
and grandson of admirals, there is little doubt he
would have been thrown out. Instead, in 1958 he
managed to graduate 894 out of 899. Had he not
been the son and grandson of admirals, there is no
chance he would have been accepted into the
prestigious naval flight training program over
far better qualified officers. On his way to
becoming a North Vietnamese ace, the aviator
lost 3 expensive aircraft on routine, non-combat
flights. Little was made of all that, because he
was, you know, the son and grandson of admirals.

McCain’s most horrendous loss occurred in
1967 on the USS Forrestal. Well, not
horrendous for him. The starter motor switch
on the A4E Skyhawk allowed fuel to pool in
the engine. When the aircraft was "wet-started,"
an impressive flame would shoot from the tail.
It was one of the ways young hot-shots got
their jollies. Investigators and survivors
took the position that McCain deliberately
wet-started to harass the F4 pilot directly
behind him. The cook off launched an
M34 Zuni rocket that tore through the
Skyhawk’s fuel tank, released a thousand
pound bomb, and ignited a fire that killed
the pilot plus 167 men. Before the tally
of dead and dying was complete, the son
and grandson of admirals had been
transferred to the USS Oriskany.

As a rising naval officer, McCain was
surrounded by rumors of numerous
adulterous affairs, such as used to be
called "conduct unbecoming an officer."
Author and biographer Robert Timberg
has detailed several of McCain’s sexual
relationships with subordinates when
serving as a Squadron Leader and an
Executive Officer. I think we all know
such behavior is a clear violation of the
Uniform Code of Military Justice, in
other words, a crime.

When McCain’s application to the
National War College was rejected,
according to noted author and researcher
Joel Skousen, he whined to daddy who
pulled strings with the Secretary
of the Navy.

PRISONER OR HONORED GUEST?

McCain’s 5 1/2-year stay at the Hanoi Hilton
(officially Hoa Loa Prison) has ever since
been the subject of great controversy.
He maintains that he was tortured and
otherwise badly mistreated. One of many
who disagree is Dennis Johnson, imprisoned
at Hanoi and never given treatment for his
broken leg. He reports that every time he
saw McCain, who was generally kept
segregated, the man was clean-shaven,
dressed in fresh clothes, and appeared
comfortable among North Vietnamese Army
officers. He adds that he frequently heard
McCain’s collaborative statements broadcast
over the prison’s loud speakers.

On October 26, 1967, McCain’s A-4
Skyhawk was shot down over Hanoi.
The fractures of 1 leg and both arms
were reportedly due to his failure to
tuck them in during ejection.
According to U.S. News & World Report
(May 14, 1973), McCain didn’t wait
long before offering military information
in return for medical care. While an
extraordinary patient at Gi Lam Hospital,
he was visited by a number of dignitaries,
including, to quote McCain himself,
General Vo Nguyen Giap, the national
hero of Dienbienphu.

Jack McLamb is a highly respected
name in law enforcement circles.
After 9 years of clandestine operations
in Cambodia and unmentionable areas,
he returned home to Phoenix where he
became one of the most decorated
police officers on record. Twice McLamb
was named Officer of the Year. He went
on to become an FBI hostage negotiator.
This man has stated that every one of
the many former POWs he has talked
with consider McCain a traitor.
States McLamb, "He was never tortured…
The Vietnamese Communists called him
the Songbird, that’s his code name,
Songbird McCain, because he just came
into the camp singing and telling them
everything they wanted to know."
McLamb further quotes former POWs
as saying McCain starred in 32 propaganda
videos in which he denounced his country
and comrades.

The Glavnoje Razvedyvatel’noje Upravlenije
is the Soviet’s military intelligence division.
Numerous sources confirm that during the
Nam Era, the English-speaking Vietnamese
who conducted interrogations of American
prisoners were always overseen by
Russian GRU officers. The ranking GRU
officer at the Hanoi Hilton had a multilingual
teenage son who was tasked with translating
all interrogation reports into Russian.
He would become known only as T.

According to T who interpreted all
interrogations and notes pertaining to
McCain during the latter’s stay from
December, 1969, to March, 1973, when a
well-fed looking McCain’s was released,
privileges were extended. These included
time at a furnished apartment in
Hanoi — furnished with 2 prostitutes.
McCain would attribute such absences
to solitary confinement.

It has been widely reported that following
his father’s appointment as CINCPAC
Commander-in-Chief of all U.S. forces in
the Vietnam theater of operations,
McCain was offered an immediate
parole. McCain insists that he refused
such a preference. Others insist that his
father refused to allow such a preference.
In any event, such an offer would have
required the approval of the Soviet
masters, and T would have seen
documentation. He has no recollection
of such an offer.

In 1991 the Soviet Union was in a state
of collapse. People and things were up
for grabs. During that thaw, a mass
document swap took place between the
KGB and CIA. All T’s translations were
included. If these dots are really
connected, it is small wonder that McCain
had fought consistently to keep all files
sealed, block any attempts to retrieve
POWs, and establish the friendliest of
relations with his former tormentors.

Imagine the possibilities. A Clintonian
leak during the presidential campaign.
Or, in the unlikely event of a McCain
victory, blackmail of the
Manchurian Candidate.

It is public record that Admiral McCain
was on hand to greet his son upon return.
According to Major Mark A. Smith
(USA Retired), a Green Beret and
former POW, a trusted friend of his
accompanied the Admiral that day.
Later, when the friend referred to that
meeting, McCain became enraged,
volunteered that he had received
"no special treatment," and then denied
that his father was there.

In 1989 legislation known as
The Truth Bill was introduced in
the U.S. House. It required the
Department of Defense to publish
the names and information on all
unaccounted for POWs, MIAs, and
KIAs in WW II, the Korean War,
and Vietnam. It languished and was
resurrected 2 years later.
Then came the McCain Bill, promptly
enacted, that blocked such information.
The DoD does not even have to
acknowledge confirmed sightings
of live Americans.

TEMPER AND TEMPERMENT

The senator’s temper and temperament
remain in

.
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three mildly short items

1.) A recent popular science book by Oakland writer Mary Roach (whose
pic on inner jacket of the library copy I have is muy caliente!, but
that’s neither here nor there), _Bonk: The Curious Coupling Of Science
and Sex_, seems perfect for sombunall RAWphiles: I find Roach
hilarious, and she does really good research, reading and synthesizing
pithily papers like "An Analysis of One Thousand Testicular Substance
Implantations," from a 1922 ish in _Endocrinology_; "Penile Length Is
Normal in Most Men Seeking Penile Lenghtening Procedures" from the
_International Journal of Impotence Research_; "Does Semen Have
Antidepressant Properties?" from _Archives of Sexual Behavior_, on and
on and on. Just about every page has something on it that you want to
read to your special odd friend who’s also into this stuff.

Roach quotes from classics like Dr. Crommelinck’s _Masturbation: The
History of a Great Terror_, in which the good doc recommends
"memorizing difficult passages on philosophy or history when overcome
by the desire to masturbate." Roach talks to contemporary sex
physiologist Roy Levin, show says research shows "spilling one’s seed
serves a valuable biological function" (those are Roach’s words).
Turns out that if you don’t jerk off enough sperm sits there and
develops abnormalities: missing heads, shriveled heads, extra heads,
tapered and bnet heads. Roach: "All of which render them less
effective in headbanging their way into an egg." Indeed, Prof Levin
tells her "If I keep tossing myself off, I get get fresh sperm being
made." Which is genetically all part of the DNA game, as Goddess
wanted it.

There’s a chapter on the longstanding problem of whether female orgasm
boosts fertility, because of the "upsuck." Amid the research, Roach
finds herself on a Danish farm with experts who jerk off boars. One of
the experts is a pretty woman named Anne Marie:

"Ann Marie’s beauty and style belie a down-and-dirty education in the
particulars of practical AI (artificial insemination). She has milked
a boar of his tremendous ejaculate – over two hundred milliliters (a
cup), as compared to a man’s three milliliters – and she has done it
with her hand. For, unlike stallions and bulls, boars don’t cotton to
artificial vaginas. (In part, because their penis, like their tail, is
corkscrewed.) AI techs must squeeze the organ in their hand – hard and
without letup – for the entire duration of the ejaculation: from five
to _fifteen_ minutes. ‘You should see the size of their hands,’ she
says, of the men and women who regularly ejaculate boars." (p. 91)

There are all kinds of incredible tidbits of info, like this footnote:

"A fistula is an unwanted passageway that develops between two
normally separate body cavities. Like tenors, there are three well-
known vaginal fistulas. The Pavarotti of vaginal fistulas is the
vesicovagino, linking bladder to vagina and allowing urine to leak out
where it oughtn’t. Ditto the urethral one. Most odiously, there is the
rectovaginal fistula (an occasional complication of childbirth), which
allows flatus and feces to leak out of the vagina. Nothing to sing
about." (p.83, and there’s probably some guy out there who has a
fetish for that? – rmjon23)

Roach writes an engaging chapter on the history and science and
research that attempts to locate the precise spot(s?) that lead to
female orgasm. Interestingly, Princess Marie Bonaparte, whose great
grand-uncle was Napoleon, was a major player in trying to
scientifically figure this out.

Transplanting monkey testicals into men to rejuvenate them; a whole
chapter titled "Re-Member Me: Transplants, Implants, and Other Penises
of Last Resort;" and an account of the author fucking her husband in
an MRI machine, in the interests of research, as a Dr. Deng looks on.
Roach notices herself getting nervous as she’s nude with her husband
crammed into an MRI machine: "That’s some fancy machine you’ve got,
how did you get interested in radiology, is there a good pub nearby,
we’re going to need it."

Later, as Ed, Roach’s husband makes small talk with the Dr while
keeping up a good in-out rhythm so Deng can get good data of what it
looks like in real time IN there while the action’s goin’ on, Roach
feels like a secretary "in a French ribald comedy, sitting calmly at
her desk, taking a letter, while the mailroom guy hides in the
footwell with his face between her legs."

"You look so young to have a fifteen year old," Ed is saying. "How old
are you?"

"I’m forty-five in August."

"And the little one? How old?"

"Just two and a half. You can ejaculate now."
(pp.125-126)

And you get so much more! Do not miss the incredible but true stories
of why being impotent – or accused of it – during the Reformation, esp
in France, which could result in a legal battle and a spectacle "a
hundred times more surreal than Michael Jackson in his pajamas, though
here too the defendant wore pajamas." (see pp. 149-152! It’s the kind
of stuff RAW made up!)

Re: RAW: (Dashwood, Masters and Johnson, Kinsey, Freud, sex machines,
etc)
  – - – - – - – - – -

2.) I’m re-reading _Prometheus Rising_ yet again, and I’ve noticed
that every time I do the EXERCIZES for chapter "Dickens and Joyce: The
Two-Circuit Dialectic" I have read at least one new book by but
usually about Timothy Leary between this reading of PR and the last
one. And Uncle Tim is one of the 23 characters (at least 12
"fictional") that we’re supposed to analyze vis a vis the 2-D "grid"
simplified from Leary’s massive interpersonal grid, and every time I
do this I note how so true Leary’s own "Everyone gets the Timothy
Leary they deserve" seems. I never met the man, but we stared into
each other’s eyes from across the room once. BS and Royal Academy met
Leary; I didn’t. Both BS and Royal Academy have different takes on
Leary. RAW has a naunced view. Every book I’ve read about Leary has a
different Leary. We can never say "All" about Anything, as Korzybski
sez.
 - – - – - – -

3.) A great irony about cannabis: In reading _Botany of Desire_ by
Michael Pollan, he has a chapter on pot, along with ones on apples,
tulips, and potatoes. The subtitle of the book is "A Plant’s Eye View
of the World," and he takes off – like many others have since – from
Dawkins’s 1976 classic _The Selfish Gene_, in which we are DNA’s way
of making more copies of itself. (Maybe Nietzsche had it first with
the Will To Power?, I dunno.) Anyway, cannabis made the most of Ronald
Reagan getting elected in 1980. Howso you ask? Well, recall that Jimmy
Carter thought pot wasn’t a big deal and even said publicly that
sentences should fit the crime, and that pot sentences were patently
ridiculous considering how relatively harmless smoking pot is.
(Apparently Carter Knew.) So Reagan gets in and institutes a very
fascistic War on Certain People Who Use Certain Drugs. Many of us
recall the state of pot just as Carter was trying to figure out how to
get the hostages released from Iran: it was from Mexico, and (we now
know) it was pretty weak, lame, ditch-weed stuff. So in comes Ronnie,
and a big crackdown at the border…

"When the natural history of cannabis is written, the American drug
war will loom as one of its most important chapters, on a par with the
introduction of cannabis to the Americas by African slaves, say, or
the ancient Scythians’ discovery that hemp could be smoked." (Pollan,
128)

Pollan’s research shows that Reagan’s drug war made the "best
gardeners of my generation" (129) go underground and perfect cannabis,
by "judiciously manipulating the five main environmental factors under
their control – water, nutrients, light, carbon dioxide levels, and
heat – as well as the genetics of the plant…" (133)

The irony of all this seems quite delicious to me. (Some of you are
way ahead of this "new" knowledge [Pollan's book came out in 2001],
but of course you shall remain nameless. Of course!)

Just as basic scientific research in the US is often capitalized upon
better by the Japanese, the Dutch capitalized on (underground)
American master cannabis researchers/growers.

Pollan’s chapter on pot (pp.111-179 in _Botany of Desire_) is one of
the best pieces of writing on pot I’ve ever read. I got a contact high
just reading it…then I got stoned and read it again. V e r y   s l o
w l y….

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2 articles on physics of invisibility at Berkeley

Cal scientists on the trail of invisibility
Tom Abate, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

(08-11) 19:19 PDT — Researchers at UC Berkeley have invented a light-
deflecting technique that could one day render objects invisible.

The breakthrough, reported by two teams of scientists in the
laboratory of UC Berkeley Professor Xiang Zhang, in the near term
could spawn such products as DVDs capable of storing many high-
definition movies on a single optical disc, and microscope-like
instruments with incredible resolution.

Guy Bartal, research manager of the Zhang lab, said the scientists
used techniques from two disciplines – nanotechnology, the art of
making incredibly small structures, and materials science, which seeks
to understand the properties of complex molecules.

The work at Berkeley is the latest development in the 40-year
scientific quest to make light, and other electromagnetic waves, jump
through hoops and bend to human will.

In essence, the Berkeley scientists created two unimaginably tiny
mazes using nanotechnology that, by virtue of the materials used,
exert subtle electromagnetic effects that confuse light waves into
developing the physics equivalent of a split personality.

"The energy moves forward, but the wave that carries the light moves
backward," Bartal said.

The Berkeley work is part of an emerging field called metamaterial
science – the deliberate creation of structures designed to play
subtle tricks on all sorts of light waves.

One way to understand metamaterial science is to recall what happens
when one puts a stick into water. To the eye, the stick seems to bend
upward as the water refracts light.

What the Berkeley scientists did was create a metamaterial that could
perform a trick beyond the power of water – their structures refracted
the light in reverse so that the stick, so to speak, would seem to pop
out of the water.

All this goes back four decades to the work of Russian physicist
Victor Veselago, who theorized that the proper materials, organized
just so, could create an electromagnetic "mirror" to induce what
scientists call negative refraction – that is, make light waves do an
about-face.

But until the advent of nanotechnology, scientists couldn’t build
structures tiny enough to play tricks on light. And even now,
scientists are just starting to understand the subtle pushes and pulls
that various materials can exert on waves whizzing by at the speed of
light.

Among the developments that led up to the work at Berkeley were late
’90s experiments by physicist John Pendry at Imperial College, London,
and a 2001 paper by Rodger Walser, a professor at the University of
Texas at Austin who coined the term "metamaterials."

What makes the Berkeley contributions notable is that two separate
teams at the Zhang lab made parallel breakthroughs using slightly
different recipes – and got their work vetted by the world’s two top
journals.

One group, led by Berkeley graduate student Jason Valentine,
alternated layers of silver and nonmagnetic magnesium fluoride in a
fishnet pattern that reversed near-infrared light.

A second team, led by graduate student Jie Yao, created a metamaterial
that made red light waves bounce backward – a technical first but, by
the admission of the Berkeley scientists, only a baby step toward a
cloak of invisibility.

To learn more
For more information about the metamaterial research by two UC
Berkeley teams, go to links.sfgate.com/ZEMH.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/12/MN391292Q6.DTL

This article appeared on page A – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Visible Light Enters the Bizarro World
   http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2008/811/2

By Adrian Cho
ScienceNOW Daily News
11 August 2008

They’re still a ways off, but invisibility cloaks and microscopes with
superresolution
could now be a big step closer to reality thanks to a pair of results
to be reported this
week. For 8 years, physicists and engineers have tinkered with
metamaterials, patterned
arrays of bits of metal and insulator that bend and manipulate
microwaves and shorter
wavelength radiation in strange ways. Now, a team has made three-
dimensional miniaturized
metamaterials that work with near-infrared and visible light. That’s a
key step toward
superlenses and cloaks for visible light, some say. Others say the
claims are overblown.
Metamaterials put a kink in the way light usually passes from one
medium into another.
Suppose light from the setting sun shines on a pond. As light waves
strike the surface,
their direction will change so that they flow more directly down into
the water. (See
diagram.) Such "refraction" arises because the light travels more
slowly in water than in
air, giving water a higher "index of refraction." Still, the light
continues to flow from
west to east. Were water a "left-handed metamaterial," however, the
light would undergo
"negative refractions" and bend back toward the west. Refraction is
the key to how
ordinary lenses focus light, and in theory, negative refraction would
allow a flat slab of
metamaterial to function as a lens that could focus light infinitely
tightly.

Physicists unveiled the first left-handed metamaterial for microwaves
in 2000 (ScienceNOW,
23 March 2000). Looking a bit like a high-schooler’s science-fair
project, it was an
assemblage of metallic rods and rings that interacted with and bent
microwaves in strange
ways. Since then, researchers have been pushing to shorter and shorter
wavelengths, and
with the new studies, the visible realm is within sight.

On Thursday online in Nature, Xiang Zhang, an engineer at the
University of California,
Berkeley, and colleagues will describe a metamaterial that works for
near-infrared light
and, unlike previous materials for such light, is three-dimensional.
Zhang, Jason
Valentine, and colleagues created a material that looks like a
miniature waffle. They laid
down 21 alternating layers of insulating magnesium fluoride and
conducting silver on a
quartz substrate and drilled holes in the stack using an ion beam.
They then shaved off
the stack’s top at an angle to make a prism and showed that it bent
light the "wrong" way
compared with an ordinary prism.

In Science on Friday, the team will present a different three-
dimensional metamaterial
that bends visible red light in the desired way. In this case, Zhang,
Jie Yao, and the
team used a standard electrochemical technique to make a sample of
aluminum oxide filled
with a regular array of nanometer-sized holes. They then filled the
holes with silver.
When they shined red light onto the sample at an angle, it underwent
negative refraction.

That might seem to clinch the case for metamaterials for visible
light. But Henri Lezec,
an electrical engineer at the National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST) in
Gaithersburg, Maryland, says "the claims are misleading and
overhyped." Lezec, who last
year demonstrated negative refraction of visible light in a two-
dimensional "waveguide",
argues that the infrared metamaterial isn’t truly three-dimensional
because it works for
light coming from only a narrow range of directions. He notes that the
metamaterial for
visible light works only for light polarized in a specific direction,
and all agree that
that metamaterial does not have a key property–a negative index of
refraction–although
the infrared metamaterial does.

But that’s nitpicking, says Vladimir Shalaev, a physicist at Purdue
University in West
Lafayette, Indiana. "What’s wrong with [using] a particular
polarization?" he says. "As a
first step, it’s not so bad." The real advance, Shalaev says, may be
in introducing a new
self-organizing technique to make the nanometer-scaled patterns in the
materials.

Costas Soukoulis, a theorist at Iowa State University in Ames and the
Department of
Energy’s Ames Laboratory, says that the Science paper in particular
raises the possibility
of making rudimentary superlenses that work in the visible spectrum:
"This is a big step
forward."

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RAW, Vonnegut, Carlin in news

Originally appeared on News-Journal Online at
http://www.news-journalonline.com/NewsJournalOnline/Opinion/Columnist…

July 18, 2008

Middle-age malady: Saying goodbye to cultural heroes

By RICK de YAMPERT
VOX POP
It’s getting lonely around my house.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. is gone. Robert Anton Wilson, a writer-thinker who
was labeled a counter-cultural philosopher by me and a "guerilla
ontologist" by others, left this planet last year. George Carlin
checked out of this plane of existence last month.

These three artists, over the course of the past 35 years, were
responsible for about 741,623 mutations — very positive mutations —
in the DNA of my brain and heart.

If you’re under 30 years old, stop reading this now. Go hang with your
friends. Crank up "Rock Band." Queue up My Morning Jacket on your
iPod. You’ll have no use for a youngish Boomer lamenting the fact that
he’s reached the age when his cultural and artistic heroes are dying
off.

You just won’t give a damn about some old guy moaning about even older
dead guys.

And, frankly, you won’t get it. You’re too young.

This is different than the day Kurt Cobain shot himself, as horrifying
and shocking as that was. This is different than the day John Lennon
was shot, as horrifying and shocking as that was.

I’m now learning a bummer truth of middle age that no one warned me
about: Reach middle age and a lot of people you admire — musicians,
novelists, poets, thinkers, actors and painters who have shaped your
life with their art, wit and wisdom since your teen years — will be
nearing the end of their lives.

When George Carlin passed away a few weeks ago, I felt as if a friend
and my personal Zen guru had died. Ditto Robert Anton Wilson. When
Vonnegut died, it was like a favorite uncle was gone. I wouldn’t be
the person I am if I had not read Vonnegut’s "Fates Worse Than Death"
or Wilson’s "Quantum Psychology" or listened to Carlin’s routines
about the absurdities of the English language.

Yes, they rocked my little universe. But it also jolts me to realize
their wit and wisdom will no longer be a fresh part of America’s
collective psyche, our marketplace of ideas, our national dialogue.

Consider this wisdom from Carlin: He noted the horrors of war endured
by our veterans was described as "shell shock" during World War I. It
became "battle fatigue" in World War II. These days we call it "post-
traumatic stress disorder." What does that softening of language say
about our society? For Carlin, it was a sign that we the people have
become disconnected from the savagery of war.

And I guess I’m a greedy bastard. I want more from the creators who
have thrilled, surprised and enlightened me for more than three
decades.

I want to open a magazine and discover a fresh Vonnegut essay. I want
to channel surf into another Carlin monologue on "The Tonight Show." I
want to drop into Wilson’s Web site and find another blog post in
which Bob the jester speaks truth to the power of the "tsar" who
currently occupies the White House.

Yes, we’ll always have young musicians and writers and artists rising
into our lives, rising into our society’s collective consciousness,
even as others fade or pass away.

But I miss these almost-lifelong friends who, to borrow a phrase of
Einstein’s, have left this strange and wonderful planet a short time
before I will.

Rick de Yampert is The Daytona Beach News-Journal’s entertainment
writer. He can be reached at rick.deyamp…@news-jrnl.com

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Man Needs God Like a Pickle Needs Juice

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JYIJPjpCFc

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More BS on Mashable

http://mashable.com/2008/07/20/san-francisco-tune-your-tvs-to-summerm…

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Fun With War Crimes – 4th webisode

Here is fine episode, and easily the most gross to date.  (You
do want to gross out your friends and loved ones,
don’t you?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaVPdxJe0Ps

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The Comic Bardo Thodol

The Comic Bardo Thodol, or: Everything you ever wanted to know about
the Tibetan Book of the Dead but were afraid to not read in a
streamlined comic context. via:Metafilter

http://www.metafilter.com/73516/Dead-Funnies

http://thomasscoville.com/BardoComix/

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Happy July 23rd

Please submit your Sirius or semi-Sirius experiences below!

BS
SF, CA

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