Saturday, December 29, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
The European Union--The wires are reporting that syphilis has returned to Europe in a major way. This comes to us at an interesting moment: an old friend in the Czech Republic recently sent me a slide show of the world's record for most-times having sex with different partners in one day. The winner? Poland's Klaudia Figuera (she's Polish?!) at 646 times in 7 hours. Ahem.
They say that a Spanish sailor named Martin Alonzo Pinzon contracted the disease on one of the earliest-jaunts into the Caribbean by an expedition of Christopher Columbus, spreading it once back in Europe--or is it the other way around? There's no proof whatsoever that it was 'the admiral' himself who spread the contagion. But back to the navigator Pinzon (pilot of the Pinta):
Spanish navigator and companion of Columbus on his first voyage to the New World, born at Palos de Moguer, 1441; died there at the convent of La Rábida, 1493. Sprung from a family of seamen, he became a hardy sailor and skillful pilot. According to Parkman and other historians, he sailed under Cousin, a navigator from Dieppe, to the eastern coast of Africa, whence they were carried far to the south-west. They there discovered an unknown land and a mighty river. Returning to Spain, Pinzón became acquainted with Columbus through Fray Juan Perez de Marchina, prior of the convent of La Rábida, and became an enthusiastic promoter of the scheme of the great navigator. (http://www.pinson.net/pinzon/ )And what of Pinzon's east African journey? Could he have contracted syphilis there before embarking with Columbus to the Caribbean--or did he contract a bug that mutated with indigenous bacterial-strains found in the Americas? Most of the studies surrounding the origins and the early spread of syphilis focus on the New World and Europe. Why not take a look at Africa? Probably because medical and archaeological researchers took a narrow view of things, then realizing their careers were hanging-in-the-balance. The controversy still rages-on, just as it has for 500 years. English ethnologist W.M. Bollaert wrote in 1864:
In 1500 we find syphilis called in Scotland pokes and Spanyie pockis; but it was generally denominated the French disease. Italians, Germans, and English spoke of it as the disease of Naples. The Dutch, Flemings, Portuguese, and Moors as the Spanish malady; and the Spaniards to this day call it Galico or French disease ; but we never hear it quoted as the American disease. Gonorrhoea was in full vigour in London in 1430, and known as clap or brenning, and its existence spoken of a century earlier, in the time of Richard II.Imagine: it only took seven years to spread syphilis throughout Europe through her port cities! And so, we come back to present-day Europe where everything old is new again. As anyone could predict, the main group carrying syphilis is the male population, particularly in gay men. Hint: it might be a good idea not to have sex with several-dozen partners, with much of it being unprotected. Just a suggestion. But does that even matter? People lie, and not just in bed, they lie about who they've been with and how many lovers they've had. Sorry, there's no cure for lying except free will and logic.
There can be no doubt that syphilis existed extensively at Naples, and was brought into Western Europe with the return of Charles VIII from that country in May 1495. I may here observe that when Columbus returned to Europe from the New World in May 1493, there is no allusion at that date that syphilis was brought from America. When Sir. R. Alcock was asked by a friend of mine as to the existence of syphilis in Japan, he said it was known as the Portuguese disease [Ed.-Some of the first real navigators in Europe before Columbus, and the first to Japan.], and was common there.(http://www.logoi.com/health/syphilis/syphilis_2.html)
Nietzsche contracted syphilis the first time he had sex with a prostitute, proving once again that there is no inherent meaning to anything outside of the human mind. One could conclude that a lot of the spread is due to the fall of Soviet-domination in Central Europe, the subsequent opening of borders under the EU, and how perverted the French and Germans are, the filthy buggers. They don't call it the 'French disease' for nothing. Thank Henry Ford and Rudolf Diesel, and all the other sundry inventors for creating modern transportation, the real culprits here (and those bastards at Mercedes Benz). They must be shagging in the trams these days.
Some Sexual Food for Thought, December 2004: http://www.eurosurveillance.org/em/v09n12/0912-222.asp
Friday, December 21, 2007
"I have two more breakthrough films on the stocks – Porn-Again Christian and A Chink in the Curtains. Each one lasts just one minute, including credits." --Ken Russell, December 14th, 2007.
Russellmania--That wonderful enfant terrible of cinema has been writing an often hilarious and always thoughtful column for The Times. Ken Russell also has a new film entitled 'A Kitten for Hitler,' and it's free, online for all you deadbeats: http://www.comedybox.tv/index.aspx . Ken gives a bit of a synopsis at Comedy Box when he states that:
This story concerns Lenny, a naive little Jewish boy from Brooklyn, who reasons that Hitler wouldn’t be so bad if he were treated like a human being instead of a monster. Accordingly, he risks life and limb to cross war-torn Europe to deliver to "Uncle Adolf" a placatory Christmas present in the shape of a cuddly kitten [Ed.-I think we should try this with the president, don't you?]. Moved to tears, the Führer hands him a swastika-shaped bagel from the Christmas tree, whereupon Lenny pulls up his shirt, revealing an almost identical birthmark. What happens next I leave to your imagination– likewise the moving payoff.Here's to extremely bad taste done on-the-cheap!And this is just one of a few other films of Ken's that are available, free, and online to all you cheap bastards out there.
Some Surprises in-store for orthodox Christians:
1.) The punchline after your death will be eternal rest like everyone else.
2.) The final realization that if there is a God, it doesn't care about your bank account.
3.) That they're not God either.
4.) That every penny they gave was wasted.
5.) That because they are so profoundly egotistical they cannot accept the inevitability of death.
6.) The fact that Jesus was a man, that he died, and that he's not coming back anytime soon.
7.) That Jesus is now carbonized-dust, somewhere in Palestine.
8.) That nearly all of them are so stupid they don't understand metaphor and have misinterpreted the New Testament for almost 2,000 years.
9.) That they really don't believe in the New Testament, are descended from pagans, and are still essentially pagan barbarians who merely possess high-technology.
10.) That the real book they worship by is the Old Testament.
11.) That they are boorish and bothersome.
12.) That--as they've always suspected--absolutely nobody in their right mind would want to spend eternity with them, regardless of the reward.
13.) That Jesus would feel the same about most all of this and insult them (as he did the disciples) just as I'm doing right now.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
That was a truly crazy summer: my brother's friend Joe had moved to Los Angeles to do--what else?--conquer the world of music with his electric guitar. He almost did, and even played on some of Eazy-E's earliest demos. There were other gigs. After only being in L.A. for a year, Joe had gained something new...a roaring methamphetamine habit. Going from a girth of 200 lbs., he had dropped to a startling 140.
He would literally play guitar for days-on-end, and in a very short time he was a virtuoso. Joe could play Hendrix as though Jimi was actually in the room (down to the chime-like tone), and he and my brother had been the only two long-hairs at our High School during the 80s. For those who don't know, it wasn't exactly a good move, people not only wanted to forget the sixties at that time, but heaped scorn on anyone with hair past their shoulders as being a "faggot."My brother's nickname was 'Ozzy,' for obvious reasons.
But it didn't take looking odd to gain that special attention. One day I was walking to another class at Alexander Hamilton High and was stopped cold by one of the kids who was beaten (but not enough) regularly by his parents. It was 1983:
"Hey, Janowitz! Do you like rap?!" Of course, it was my duty as a Caucasian to say "no," so I said "yes." My response was rewarded with a punch and a feeble attempt at a trip-up. That was normal, and the same people would then be seen yucking-it-up to Sugar Hill Gang at the local skating rink, not having any understanding of the irony--or even of irony itself.
Where was I? Oh yeah, it was 1988, and my brother was chasing a "friend" to L.A. . Solid. The trip wasn't exactly what my brother had-in-mind. Joe had degenerated into a slobbering drug-addict, but there was some fun to be had running around the city. Most of it involved selling clothes for drugs, but we won't dwell on that. When my brother came back (did he ever, really?), we almost had to call in a cult deprogrammer and were unsure this was the same guy. Well, he must have been fairly sober while he was there: they went to the Whisky Au-Go-Go to see Guns-N'-Roses. It's not what you think, not at all.
They'd been out that hot summer night on Sunset strip, bar-hopping and being chased by the L.A.P.D. for having long-hair when they hit the Whisky. A really awful sound of poorly-played rock-n'-roll was wafting out of the place, they were drunk, so a collision with somebody was inevitable. After many drinks, my brother had finally had it with the band. So had Joe, and he egged my brother on to "do it." What was "it"? He grabbed his empty bottle of Heineken and threw it blindly at the guitarist in the Ritchie Blackmore warlock hat, yelling, "You fucking suck, stop playing you fucking assholes!"
"Bggg-gank!!" was the sound of the bottle crashing against the fretboard of Slash's weathered Les Paul Custom. That was it, it was time to run, and they did. Little did my brother know at the time that Axl Rose was from West Lafayette, Indiana. For those who don't know, it's a very dirty and depressing place. Maybe it was mean to do what they did, but sometimes things go that way. Besides, they were right. Guns-N'-Roses sucked, they always sucked, and will always suck. It's non-negotiable.
Monday, December 17, 2007
"We weren't paid the first time out. We intend to be this time." --John Lydon, 2007.
Sacramento, California--'They only did it for the money,' states the mainstream press line on the 1996 and 2007 Sex Pistols reunion. So, where's the story here? Correct, there isn't one. What exactly is wrong with the artists--the actual authors and performers of the music--making money off of their hard work and their talent? Because all the middle men, music industry hacks and shills, crooked lawyers, and all the rest of the leeches that cluster to popular artists, aren't making all of the money.
Rocker JOHN LYDON only agreed to reunite the SEX PISTOLS for comeback tours in 1996 and 2007 to make money. The God Save The Queen singer admits he had no artistic reasons to reform the iconic punk band, just financial ones. He says, "I think that the word reunion... it just implies, 'Oh, they're back for the money.' Yeah, well, hello! Of course we're back for the money. And what is the shame in that?And be sure to CAPITALIZE the names of your TARGETS, it implies that they're BAD PEOPLE. And so, the aforementioned middle men from the dying music industry nudge their allies in the press who feel the same about it anyway--artists like the Sex Pistols need to shut-up and act like everyone else: as employees with few rights. Sorry, the Pistols aren't about to do that, not ever.
(World Entertainment News Network December 17, 2007, http://enews.earthlink.net/article/ent?guid=20071217/47660250_8c0_2240200712171284136004 )
Here's to the Sex Pistols and John Lydon, may they bathe in those greenbacks as they always should have, rather than scum like Malcolm Maclaren or that corn-toothed idiot-thief Richard Branson. May Branson die in a balloon crash, the twit. Never trust a hippie capitalist. The only reason any of these kind of turds will be remembered at all is because of their association with the greatness of the Sex Pistols and all the other musicians and artists that they ripped-off over-the-years.
Time to let the music industry finish itself off. It appears they're doing all of the work, for all of us, the real music lovers. When you accept the rules of your natural adversaries, you've already lost. This round: Johnny Rotten-1, Press-0. Now, if we can just get a PiL reunion going--whoops! No money in that one!
Friday, December 14, 2007
The People's Republic of China--It's out there somewhere, but it appears someone, somewhere, still has the head of the Philip K. Dick android. Hanson robotics still has the body, which is weird. The whole scenario is weird, like a PKD story.
Let's face it: it's probably in China, right now, and a whole factory is manufacturing PKD androids by-the-thousands (with lead-paint). That would be kinda cool--minus the lead-paint.
The androids could help lead a revolution there, then liberate the citizens of the United States of America from the corporations and the politicians. Somehow, I think artificial-intelligence will evolve to this point, where it starts telling us to be more human to each other. But then, I was always a fan of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951), and I believe we need someone bigger than us to make us behave, some kind of non-human force. Nature (global warming) will have to do for now.
The droid has been missing since February of 2006, though "stolen" is a more appropriate term. If it's not in China, one could imagine some intelligence entity (not aliens) from nearly anywhere--even here--that wanted the technology...and maybe even some much needed enlightenment.
Remember: the head was created by a consortium of A.I. specialists, and there were over 2 million words from Dick's writings, many of them unpublished pieces from his legendary "Exegesis" and even some correspondence. If you want a good summary of what the Exegesis was, imagine a genius trying to explain the nature of reality in abstract terms. It's a sprawling document that was never finished by its author, but he gave it a good try!
I recently had the good fortune of correspondence with Hanson Robotics and asked them if they had either found the head or were going to construct another--bad news. "No" to both, the head is still missing and they have no plans to build another anytime soon. It's understandable considering how much the original cost to create it was and the fact that someone, somewhere, might attempt to steal a new one.
But why just steal this particular android's head? As far as anyone can tell, nobody ever grabbed the Albert Einstein whenever it was in-transit on a North American flyover.
Thank you for the email.The PKD head is still unaccounted for.
We do not have any plans at this time to reconstruct another.
Best regards, Matt Fisher
At least we have lots of footage and photos of the original android, but imagine being able to converse with a simulacrum of someone who wrote about them? Friends and family of the late writer were consulted extensively to contribute what Dick's countenance and mannerisms were like when he was alive, and they've attested to the accuracy of the droid.
And why not a John Lennon, or an Adolf Hitler, Leonardo DaVinci, Aristotle (not Onasis), Socrates, Julius Caesar or George Orwell? Mark Twain would be a wonderful android, or even Sigmund Freud. But imagine being able to ask Philip K. Dick a question. We could have had a taste of that before February of 2006. Now what could be a better gift to Philip K. Dick fans--and the human race--to give the head back?
To whomever stole it--we want it back now. Don't be a dick-head. Elect an android to Congress, because machines don't lie! Speaking of that, they should build a Richard Cheney model, it would be more human.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Only available directly from the artist in a limited edition of 2,000, this is the hands-down contender for the best of the four Jesu releases for 2007. A lot of readers and fans of Jesu aren't going to like this observation, but I think it's in order: February's release of 'Conqueror' was a mixed-bag that featured some very powerful psychedelic hard rock songwriting (usually compared to early-1990s 'shoegazer rock' like My Bloody Valentine), but it fell flat overall and lacked the emotional power that one generally expects from the artist.
That being said, it's still pretty good and almost sounds very 'up' at times! It all sounds like a strange description of the music from one of the founders of Napalm Death, doesn't it? Conversely, the recent 'Lifeline' EP kills, and it's a sign of real growth. The same could be said about 'Pale Sketches.' A lot of die hard metalheads are going to say this is just another example of how Justin Broadrick lost it long ago (after Streetcleaner), that he sold-out, and that he's gone soft. Like gorehounds, religious fundamentalists, and orthodox punks, who really cares what they think anyway?
The 'shoegazer' comparisons are apt, however, as Broadrick has collaborated with Robert Hampson of Loop and Main (Hampson is the second guitar on the stunning 1992 Godflesh opus, 'Pure'). Loop was a great late-80s, early-90s throwback to droney, fuzzed-out 60s psych, and still ranks highly in the 'shoegazer' pantheon. Do yourself a favor: find Loop and give it a listen, it's the real deal. Conqueror isn't a bad album, but there are some very run-of-the-mill rock standards present on it, a very 'been-there, done-that' affair on about half of the album's songs. I didn't expect a repeat of Godflesh, or even the sometimes extraordinary Techno Animal, or ICE, but there were about four-of-eight songs that really soared. Considering what else is out there right now, that's not too bad. The artist was overdue for a straight-ahead hard rock album, and we can expect every Jesu release to be different from the last.
Granted, all of this is coming from a longtime-fan of the music of Justin K. Broadrick: I've been hooked on just about every release he's done ever since a college acquaintance loaned me his copy of 'Streetcleaner' in late-1991. I don't expect the nihilism or the crushing heaviness in these new releases, but what I do expect from Justin is that his music moves me, that he presents me with a little something that I've never heard before, and to basically do something new somewhere in the arrangements. Even the Beach Boys managed that.
'Conqueror' does manage this occasionally, yet the crowning track 'Weightless & Horizontal' could be considered one of Justin's greatest contributions to rock songwriting. To say it's an epic anthem would be an understatement, it simply destroys while it lifts the spirits, clocking-in at ten-minutes of bliss. 'Old Year' was also a great rocker on Conqueror, and has a very shimmering quality to it, and it has that incredible feeling of yearning that all great music has. That's what one usually expects from Broadrick--something deep, something epic. There just wasn't much of that on Conqueror. Little has changed in the overall sound since Godflesh, but there's a distinct lack of much dissonance with a more harmonized approach. You cannot always be angry, outraged, and crying--sometimes it has to end. What comes after nihilism?
Enter 'Pale Sketches,' which has been available for a little over two-months at this writing. Where Conqueror fails at times, Pale Sketches succeeds-in-spades: it is epic, it is moving, and it speaks volumes on the sorrow and the emotional torture of this peculiar era we're inhabiting. This was also the feeling one got from Godflesh, Techno Animal, and many of Broadrick's countless side-projects up until 2003. Even the first Jesu full-length from Hydrahead (the self-titled 'Jesu') accomplished this with an almost cathedral-like structure. Not so strangely, many of the tracks on Pale Sketches date between '2000-2007,' and Conqueror overlaps the same period. What you have here is an artist with so many sides that it's probably difficult to decide which songs belong on any given release! Considering that this is the first release in seven years from his Avalanche imprint, Pale Sketches ranks as a very special release for Justin in every respect, even with its dismissive title. In many ways, it's exactly what I've wanted to hear for several years from him.
If I would compare the music on Pale Sketches to a particular band, it would be Joy Division. There's a great balance of heaviness, electronics, heavy sound-processing, and that strange tone of sorrow and joy coexisting together. That aesthetic is exactly what makes the music of Broadrick so timeless and so powerful when he's at his best. Songs like 'Dummy' take elements of the very best of UK post-punk with an injection of elements of the present. The result is the future. 'Supple Hope' could have almost been a Godflesh song, except that most of the arrangement focuses on some beautifully-layered electronics and some truly inspired vocals. Guitar is backgrounded, and there is more than a hint of an Eno and krautrock influence in the sounds and arrangements (with a dash of 'Frippertronics' ala' James Plotkin of that other grindcore band Old).
Maybe Justin Broadrick had tired of the crushing sound and nihilism of Godflesh by 2001 (I was also ready for something new), but the sorrow remains fully-intact in all his releases in 2007. The changes in his sound are a move towards the melodic and the poppy. To many old fans, this is sacrilege, and Broadrick has expressed the feeling that he's not going to miss them. Considering many of them are fixated on Streetcleaner, I'd have to agree. Even so, the excitement of creativity, curiosity, and discovery have also carried-over from the years predating Jesu. Half of Pale Sketches comprises songs, while the other half are instrumentals. Every one of them is a classic balance of heavy rock combined with electronics just waiting to be discovered by the curious. Contrary to most of the reviews--and even comments from Broadrick himself--this is significantly more psychedelic than Conqueror.
This miscellany of tracks (as most releases by Jesu are) is the real 'Conqueror,' and hardly a collection of 'Pale Sketches.' It's another great observation that life is a strange combination of misery and joy, beauty and ugliness. That describes the music of Justin K. Broadrick in every respect, especially in his current incarnations. Making those two elements harmonize is what makes some of his work very inspired, even genius. This man has grown, showing us emotional vistas that we never thought possible through his music. The occasional misfire will be well worth it.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
SIXTH AMENDMENT - "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."
Washington D.C.--In an extremely belated administrative move, Judge Gladys Kessler has been removed from hearing the case of the accused Deborah Jeane Palfrey. This is likely due to a recent order by the jurist that was not only improper, but out-of-character based on the previous arc of the case. Also contingent is the fact that Judge Kessler was contributing greatly to an overlong pretrial process, while placing the blame almost solely on the defendant.
This would be a peculiar denial of due process (as guaranteed under section 1 of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution) if it weren't for the obstructionism and shenanigans of the prosecution and Palfrey's previous court appointed criminal counsel that has been damaging to the defendant. What's interesting is that many of the rulings of Kessler and the behaviors of her former criminal counsel played-into-the-hands of the prosecution. Presumably, the removal and replacement ('transferred') of Kessler with fellow District of Columbia Federal Judge James Robertson is from a motion by the defendant and her counsel regarding both the criminal and civil cases.
A new trial date will be set at a scheduled December 14th hearing by Judge Robertson, and will also cover other aspects of the proceedings. These could include motions for removing injunctions by Kessler and the prosecution regarding public release of information on former clients of Pamela Martin & Associates. The action begins at 10:00 am EST in federal courtroom 23A in the District of Columbia. Unlike Judge Kessler, Judge Robertson ruled that the Guantanamo Bay tribunals were illegal as constituted back in November 8th of 2004 in 'Salim Ahmed Hamdan v. Donald H. Rumsfeld.'
What's been implicitly clear in the previous pretrial proceedings is an unwillingness to address the defendant's Fourteenth (and by inclusion) Sixth amendment rights to due process and the basic American right to confront one's accusers. Poorly-intentioned federal trial procedures-be-damned. It should be noted that Judge Roberston was also a FISA court judge, resigning from it in late-2005 once the New York Times ended its year-long suppression of the warrantless surveillance story. Some commenters believe that Judge Robertson is one of the primary leakers in the story of the Bush administration bypassing the FISA courts through a secret NSA program. [Ed., 08.28.2008--I now believe Judge Robertson to be a Trojan Horse who was brought in to crush the defense, and that he's just another "star chamber" freak. Sorry Jeane, he was a fascist clown.]
The leak concerning the illegal surveillance of the American public under the umbrella of the NSA by the White House is interesting as nobody knows who unmasked it, though the Justice Department began an investigation that appears to have gone nowhere. All of this is interesting since Palfrey's case could have begun under such illegal surveillance programs, possibly in-conjunction with SWIFT in Europe.
December could be that month where a number of gifts to the American public are exchanged: a return of several of our embattled liberties. Kessler had scheduled the criminal trial of Palfrey for February 19th. It's unclear until the scheduled hearing this month when that date will be, and even then we may not know.
On Judge Robertson's decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld:
Monday, December 03, 2007
Still under construction .. but getting going on it.
This morning I awoke after publishing a copy of the Declaration of Independence on this blog.
All I could think was how appropriate my title had been. By merely reading it, by posting it here on my blog, I have been become GUILTY OF TERRORISM in the minds of the vast majority sitting in the United States House of Representatives.
Rather than follow the rule of law, the elected members of Congress are attempting to redefine the definition of a terrorist without consulting the citizens who elect them.
In my PARTICULAR case, as I am not in possession of a United States passport and have had my passport denied to me although I am a United States citizen convicted of nothing and yet I cannot vote.
I have attempted many times to have my grievances aired. I have been given support by fellow citizens previously. Those petitions were submitted to a United States Senator in public. In these instances, these petitions have been refused. One petition I submitted objecting to the treatment I received at the hands of the Immigration and Naturalization Service was signed by 8,000 persons and it was not received by my duly-elected representatives.
I have been forced to take up residence in a foreign country and subjected to numerous hearings in which I was compelled to show persecution. In the first legitimate hearing, which took two and one half years to have heard, it was found that indeed I had been persecuted and I was issued a UN refugee certificate at the commencement of that fair, and impartial, hearing.
During the course of that hearing, I broke down and ceased all psychological, mental and emotional functioning when questioned about how I felt about my removal from America, the changes of returning to my "country of origin." Only at that point in time did my distress over the state of America become obvious to me. I had been incensed, now I became how distressed I really was about the wrongs done to me and the robbery to which I been told to endure.
And that also made it clear to me, that despite the obvious stress and humiliation I felt over the state of affairs I was facing, I still loved America and my home state of Minnesota. These were not mind controlled or programmed states of love; I truly loved my country. But it was obvious to me that I could never return to the United States until such time as I felt a sense of trust and safety that I would not be oppressed and not represented by government officials SWORN TO UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION of the UNITED STATES.
Since I am denied the comfort and security of a local elected representative, I have appealed widely, lengthily and concerns to other members of Congress - including, but not limited to Nancy Pelosi, the current Speaker of the House of Representatives as I have no idea of where else to appeal. I have informed Rep. Dennis Kucinich's office of my current state of affairs. His office seems at least to file my concerns. Not one elected Minnesota Congressional Representative will hear my concerns and I have no way to go directly to their offices and make complaint: it would be unsafe for me to do that.
At the time of my refugee hearing which took place here in Toronto, I had appealed to my duly-elected representative of the US House of Representatives, the elected representatives of Minnesota in the United States Senate, The House Judiciary Committee, The United States Senate, The President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, The United States Attorney General, The United States State Department, The United States Solicitor General's office. I also personally appealed to the office of Hillary Clinton and the the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare on behalf of my son who was a minor child. I also made complaints to the Governor and Attorney General of the State of Minnesota which referred me to various departments of the State government. Despite my appeals, a private members' bill was quashed in the US Senate that would have allowed my to keep my family intact and allow me to pursue legal remedies after my abuse.
I did omit appealing to the local government of Bloomington, Minnesota where criminal acts of violence of were used against me, I was held and detained unlawfully and threats were made to harm my children if I did not admit my husband was a drug trafficker. Neither my husband nor myself have ever dealt a narcotic. And in actual fact, the only drug related offense he had was the theft of a prescription pad for which he did ninety days in prison in a UK for forgery. He had been fully pardoned, which in the legalese of the United Kingdom is known as having his record expunged. At time of the attacks and my unlawful detention, he was supporting me who had been determined to be a disabled American citizen and my minor son, was gainfully and lawfully employed and kept us both off the public welfare rolls. We possessed no alcohol and no firearms and belonged to no groups advocating the overthrow of the United States government. We were perhaps a family that appeared to be outside the "normal" family, but we were a functioning and productive family unit nonetheless, paying taxes, voting and contributing to our community on a very busy basis through 4-H clubs and helping out individuals in various 12-step groups. I was in school full-time training to be either ethics officer OR an art therapist (such funding from the State of Minnesota), and my son was enrolled in a school for the arts.
But my rights were seriously infringed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service as my husband was deported without due process of law. A list of all laws broken by United States Immigration officials under Minnesota statutes as regards their treatment of me and my sons was furnished to me by the Attorney General of Minnesota's office But I was told that no legal remedies were available to me to pursue a claim of criminal conduct but that perhaps SOME DAY this would fall under the purview of The Family Protection Act. Such purview has never taken place, and recent events - such as the House passage of HR 1955 -- makes it increasingly doubtful that this will ever take place during my lifetime or perhaps even the lifetime of my son.
My Constitutional guarantees as a law-abiding United States citizen had been violated in what has turned out to be a situation whereas no legal remedies are available. They have all been exhausted in one incident of rejection after another. There has been a continual failure on the part of United States officials to uphold the Constitution of the United States to guarantee my rights as a United States citizen.
I have written time after time on the infringements of my rights, being ever aware of my legal responsibilities as a citizen to stay within the law.
I have been ignored by the press although certain supposedly free and independent sources of information in America are highly aware of the conditions that lead to my complaints and petitions - including the New York Times. Despite the outcome of my refugee hearing and the issuance of my refugee certificate (and my son and husband's), they refuse to report this in their paper. The story of the outcome of my hearing was front page news was covered in every single major paper in the Commonwealth, including papers in Australia and New Zealand. This story of my landmark decision was commented on by the UK Home Office and the United Kingdom's consulate. A legal opinion on my case was printed in the Ottawa citizen. Even the papers in my home state of Minnesota refused to report this news, as it became illustrative of the workings of Senator Paul Wellstone's office to represent his constituents when confronting the power of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
My complaints against the government of the United States government are about my oppression by its official and not about the treatment of my husband who was a foreign national who was denied citizenship and landing, although he was denied legal process. My complaints are about the treatment that my son and I have received as United States lawful citizens.
My family came to North America prior to the Revolutionary war, as they carried complaints against their treatment at the hands of the British government. And although aggrieved, they fought on the side of the English in that war, feeling, I suppose to be good and worthy subjects of the King and to the English Parliament. During the course of having my complaints heard, the District Director made a public statement that I "should return to the United Kingdom."
My family, was however, given the protection of an independent and new country when a Constitution was drawn up. My family has lived in the United States of America since that time, following the rules of the government. I was taught to follow the rule of law and if I objected to resolve my conflicts with them in a lawful manner, which I have done. But it is of to no avail.
I can neither get the satisfaction of having my complaints heard, having my correspondence received and responded to in a timely or lawful fashion such that such correspondence can be used in a court of law, I have been forced to use the Freedom of Information Act to acquire files attesting to my abuse at the hands of government authorities although I committed no criminal acts only to find that such files had been tampered with and certain key documents removed as to what exactly transpired during the times of my appointments with United States officials, I have been subjected to having letters written by the United States to Canadian officials saying how they sorry they were I was dumped at their doorstep and that they refused to protect the interests of my son, also an American citizen. All the points I am attesting to have been recorded in a court of law and my son and I were deemed to be, by a recognized international judicial body to be "persecuted" and at risk if were to be returned to the United States.
Subsequently, the Canadian government petitioned to have a judicial review of my "case". This was following a visit by President William Clinton to Ottawa to "play golf", as reported on the national television news. This was assertion was considered to be highly amusing to the Canadian legal profession which subsequently awarded me $5,000 to hire an attorney to go to the Federal Court of Canada to pursue the next legal remedy.
My judicial review sided with the government of Canada. My case was refinanced by the attorneys in Ontario and I appealed. That appeal was quashed by the judge who had made the determination that the RULE OF FACT took precedence over the RULE OF LAW.
While this decision has been the founding premise of refugee law in Canada since that time, it exhausted my legal remedies. So a second refugee hearing was held.
By that time, we had been given "aliases", the hospital visitations for exhaustion and traumatic reactions had tripled. My son was hospitalized for a period of six months and this story ran on the CBC for a record eight minutes on the CBC news, the filming being done on hospital grounds. The next chapter in this horrible tale is that my son's psychiatrist, paid for by the province of Ontario was attacked in the public press by the government of Canada, a story which ran in the Toronto Star.
During the course of this sad tale, a petition was made by the Canadian prosecutor to have Immigration Canada process a claim for Humane Compassionate Relief via Canadian Immigration, as he became aware that no one was acting on responsibly in any government with regards to the treatment of my son. Upon referral, the Canadian Immigration office in my case sued the Canadian government for his protection on at least two occasions.
Due to the change in the law after my Federal Court case decision, without our presence at the hearing, Alex Neve, now President of Amnesty International, presided. There were not two Board Members overhearing this case so there was no chance for dissenting opinion. It was declared under RULE OF FACT that the United States is not a country of persecution. I beg to differ as do literally thousands of my fellow countrymen who have been forced into exile, forced to serve in unlawful wars of aggression, other victims of the so-called War of Drugs (under which the War Measures Act applies), wives and children of Iraqi and Gulf War veterans who have been subjected to the effects of depleted uranium weapons and the veterans themselves, those who have had their property confiscated under questionable tax laws without due process, environmentalists who have watched the devastation of public lands under successive administrations and the attempts of George W. Bush to sell such public lands to foreign business concerns, and forced to pay taxes to fund an army of aggression that annihilates people and conducts torture while violating the Geneva Convention and all forms of human decency.
I have watched in horror as I watch my nation of origin devolve in a country of war criminals and collaborators during my exile.
Torture has become the order of the day. Genocide the tactic of control and those who object have become increasingly tagged as terrorists.
I can only ask that other persons who are as outraged as I am by this piece of legislation catalog their grievances with the government of the United States (the entire government-King George, Queen Hillary, and those who would fund and continue the funding of their activities that work against the interests of The People and are clearly in violation of the Geneva Conventions and in the category of WAR CRIMES set out by the International Criminal Court and The Hague.
Even the books I have bought online can be cause to have me declared a terrorist.
The U.S. Department of State defines "terrorism" to be
"premeditated politically-motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.
The United Nations produced this definition in 1992:
"An anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (semi-) clandestine individual, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby-in contrast to assassination-the direct targets of violence are not the main targets."While my reputation as a person has been maligned continuously by the United States government (and although I was deemed sane enough to get landed status in Canada, I might point out), I am aghast that now I am to be labeled as a TERRORIST, as well as being indictable on TREASON and SEDITION charges under the High Crimes and Misdemeanors of the US Uniform Code of Law, I think this is taking it too far.
I am left no choice by my conscience but to declare my independence from America and ask that my fellow citizens help me catalog a full list of grievances with their elected officials even thought I am forced to reside in a foreign country. While my son and I think of ourselves as full Canadians and are very grateful that they continue to let us live here, I am sadden to think that he will never be able to return to his native country without the thoughtful and helpful intervention of concerned peoples in the United States unless I can convince other persons that legal remedy must be found.
House Resolution 1955 has cleared the House of Representatives. It is a most dastardly, complex and politically, socially and spiritually damaging form of legislation to have ever been undertaken in United States history, surpassing such repressive legislation that was passed during Joseph McCarthy's reign in Congress.
And while this blog post is too long, and may seem rambling and incoherent it is sincere in its attempt to define what I see as a most despicable circumstance. It is a sincere attempt to find others who are similarly FED UP and want to declare their independence based on a series of genuine wrongs done the American people as it appears all attempts at removal of Nancy Pelosi who is blocking impeachment will be thwarted by those who similarly disenfranchised, lack legal remedy and are woefully watching the destruction of our nation. The stonewalling of Ms. Pelosi, Henry Waxman, John Conyers and other Congressional leaders of impeachment proceedings as well as the inability of the states to implement the RULE OF LAW has gone for too long.
On behalf of myself and my son, I ask that before this legislation is done by the Senate, you write me with your grievances so that we can catalog them all as soon it will be no longer be a viable option: H.R. 1955 sees to THAT.
I cannot support something that will become another form of torture that is being condoned by the current Attorney General of the United States, Michael Mukasey. For that is what this bill truly is. A torture psychiatrist from Chile, who escaped the clutches of her country's repressive regime, told me that I had been tortured enough already. She told the United Nations and Alex Neve the same.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
'I b'want my mony ba-aaack!' blared the twenty-something social retards behind me as the lights went up after the poignant ending of the Coen brothers' newest masterpiece. 'Who's got my money?!' croaked another. Why, Kerasotes theaters, Miramax, Paramount, and the Coen brothers do, you dumb assholes. 'No Country for Old Men,' based on the excellent 2003 novel (published 2005) by Cormack McCarthy is an incredible period piece that takes-place in a small town in the Southwest of Texas in 1980, but it could have been a story set anywhere, at any time. Most Americans thought correctly that this film is a real potboiler--a crime movie, a suspense thriller--but it really is that and so much more.
Because it's so much more, the ending is going to stun and upset many viewers, which was worth the price-of-admission alone for this writer. It's also going to anger many of you because you aren't paying any attention to what it's really saying: that there's no escaping fate once you become involved in a spiraling cycle-of-violence, and that only lady luck will allow you a way out. The Cormack McCarthy Society's website has an excerpt from publisher Alfred A. Knopf's original press release for the book from 2005:
Set along a bloody frontier in our own time, this is Cormac McCarthy’s first novel since Cities of the Plain completed his acclaimed, bestselling Border Trilogy.
Llewelyn Moss, hunting antelope near the Rio Grande, instead finds men shot dead, a load of heroin, and over two million in cash. Packing the money out, he knows, will change everything. But only after two more men are murdered does a victim’s burning car lead Sheriff Bell to the carnage out in the desert, and he soon realizes that Moss and his young wife are in desperate need of protection. One party in the failed transaction hires an ex-Special Forces officer to defend his interests against a mesmerizing freelancer, while on either side are men accustomed to spectacular violence and mayhem. The pursuit stretches along and across the border, each participant seemingly determined to answer what one asks another: How does a man decide in what order to abandon his life?
A harrowing story of a war society wages on itself, an enduring meditation on the ties of love and blood and duty that inform lives and shape destinies, and a novel of extraordinary resonance and power. http://www.cormacmccarthy.com/works/nocountryforoldmen.htm
And so, the film begins with a few murders by Mexican hit man, Anton Chigurh, played by the show- stealing Spanish actor, Javier Bardem who already has an incredible acting career, but will cement it thanks to this shocking performance of a 'man' who kills for almost any reason at all. Offending his philosophy and principles is literally tempting fate itself. The only other hired killer that I can recall in cinema like him is 'Angel Eyes' (played just as well by the legendary Lee Van Cleef) in Sergio Leone's 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,' a killer who has his own set-of-rules and principles ('I always see a job through.'). Chigurh isn't really meant to be a representation of a human being. Ultimately, he's more of a force, a reminder of where America has been. He is fate, and he is death. As Sheriff Bell says, 'He's a ghost,' a ghost from the past. There is no reasoning with him once he's decided that it's your time, but he makes random exceptions by letting some of his victims call on a coin-toss. Only one of them wins the call, and not-so-ironically, he's an old man. An old woman is also spared. It's as if the Indian wars never ended along the American-Mexican border...
Chigurh's terrifying M.O. is to murder his sometimes random victims with the air-gun used to fire a steel-rod through-the-skull of cattle, so he's a very menacing sight carrying a tank with a hose-and-gun attachment, alternating with a silencer-equipped shotgun. Enter Llewelyn Moss, played perfectly by Josh Brolin who does a great job portraying the dunderheaded trailer-trash redneck who's definitely had some poor male role-models in his past. Moss is out hunting those antelope on the unluckiest day of his short life when he sees the aftermath of devastating shootout between two-groups of Mexican heroin-smugglers (one side who most certainly represent elements of the Mexican Mafia Family) through his binoculars. His story is almost a parody of the great American folk song, 'Home on the Range.' http://www.kansasheritage.org/kssights/home/official.htm
Eventually, the forces of law and order begin to notice all the killings in the person of Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (another fine performance by the great Tommy Lee Jones), who has told all his peers that he's retiring soon. It isn't hard to understand why: throughout the film we get anecdotes of his great-grandfather who was a lawman, slaughtered by Mexican desperadoes in 1909 along the border, and the death of his father in his forties in a similar situation. Bell doesn't want his life to end that way. Who would? Only a fool who thinks he's invincible, as most young men tend to, and this is why we get some comments from Bell about his early-days as a 25-year-old Sheriff. He no-longer feels invincible at all. And that's where the title really resonates with meaning: in our old age, we're supposed to have learned something, and Sheriff Bell is the man who finally has. America is still a young, violent nation that hasn't grown-up, and is still fighting the inevitable. For these same reasons, the audience I watched this film with rejected the Bell character and the ending, which was predictable here in dumbo Middle America Indiana.
Bell's looked back at his family's experiences with violence and our ongoing social war, and he's had enough of it all. It's likely he knows that a whole lot of bad laws have raised-the-stakes and created a lot of the violence he's witnessed throughout his time as a Sheriff. Who would know this better? For many audiences expecting that easy-fix where the lawman comes in and 'fixes' everything once-and-for-all, this is unacceptable, yet it's the cold, hard truth of the matter. 'Good' and the law do not always prevail, and iniquity and injustice are eternal. Enter the 'other-side' of the heroin-transaction: the corrupt suits in an upscale El Paso business suite who hire fix-it man Carson Wells (Woody Harrelson in a wonderfully subdued & poignant performance) to go get the money from Llewelyn Moss. He doesn't fare any better than all the other victims of Chigurh, and his time as a crooked bounty hunter is over. Many innocents die along-the-way, including Moss's wife and mother-in-law.
Like Chigurh, Wells locates Moss very quickly, yet Moss continues to believe that he can somehow escape the whole mess with the money, and that his life can remain the same. You get the idea that both Wells and Chigurh have both done the same thing that Moss has, as they know his every move so well. What we're watching in Moss is the death of the American ideal of the 'rugged individual,' and the stupidity of machismo--that he can 'make things right,' and that he can 'win.' He refuses to admit to himself that he's in a game where there is no victory. It's hard to imagine a more timely message while our troops are bogged-down in war that is not only unwinnable, but the creation of a mindless Texan-wannabe, a phony cowboy who appealed to the same demographic that Moss hails from.
Well-past halfway into the film, we're led to believe the story is about Moss. Just as Hitchcock did in 'Psycho,' we're deprived of this idea upon Sheriff Bell's discovery of Moss's body at a sleazy motel crime scene. The story itself is about the themes: of fate, the decisions that determine the fate of individuals, and the aftermath. History, then, must play its role in all of this, as told in the family anecdotes by Sheriff Bell. That aftermath of these kind of stories frequently means a bloody death. Through the Sheriff's subplot and that of the Harrelson character, we learn that both men understand Chigurh, what he represents, and who and what he is, and they understand it very well. This is the reason why they're the first characters to display fear over Chigurh, and we have to assume they've seen his handiwork before. Walking away from trouble is usually the best path when it comes to people like Chigurh, but when it's your time, it's your time. In Cormack McCarthy's and the Coen brothers' version of our universe (the real one), there are no answers or meaning to most of the mayhem. It simply is.