Tuesday, January 20

Inauguration 2009

The first post on WhiteHouse.gov.
Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 at 12:01 pm
Change has come to WhiteHouse.gov

"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified."

Saturday, May 17

Nikola Tesla and Mark Twain

Nikola Tesla Museum is located in the central area of Belgrade, Yugoslavia

update 7/13/08: Tesla Motors announces "Model S" EV, puts us one step closer...

Century Illustrated Magazine, June 1900
by Nikola Tesla


Of all the endless variety of phenomena which nature presents to our senses, there is none that fills our minds with greater wonder than that inconceivably complex movement which, in its entirety, we designate as human life; Its mysterious origin is veiled in the forever impenetrable mist of the past, its character is rendered incomprehensible by its infinite intricacy, and its destination is hidden in the unfathomable depths of the future. Whence does it come? What is it? Whither does it tend? are the great questions which the sages of all times have endeavored to answer.

Modern science says: The sun is the past, the earth is the present, the moon is the future. From an incandescent mass we have originated, and into a frozen mass we shall turn. Merciless is the law of nature, and rapidly and irresistibly we are drawn to our doom. Lord Kelvin, in his profound meditations, allows us only a short span of life, something like six million years, after which time the suns bright light will have ceased to shine, and its life giving heat will have ebbed away, and our own earth will be a lump of ice, hurrying on through the eternal night. But do not let us despair. There will still be left upon it a glimmering spark of life, and there will be a chance to kindle a new fire on some distant star. This wonderful possibility seems, indeed, to exist, judging from Professor Dewar's beautiful experiments with liquid air, which show that germs of organic life are not destroyed by cold, no matter how intense; consequently they may be transmitted through the interstellar space. Meanwhile the cheering lights of science and art, ever increasing in intensity, illuminate our path, and marvels they disclose, and the enjoyments they offer, make us measurably forgetful of the gloomy future.

Though we may never be able to comprehend human life, we know certainly that it is a movement, of whatever nature it be. The existence of movement unavoidably implies a body which is being moved and a force which is moving it. Hence, wherever there is life, there is a mass moved by a force. All mass possesses inertia, all force tends to persist. Owing to this universal property and condition, a body, be it at rest or in motion, tends to remain in the same state, and a force, manifesting itself anywhere and through whatever cause, produces an equivalent opposing force, and as an absolute necessity of this it follows that every movement in nature must be rhythmical. Long ago this simple truth was clearly pointed out by Herbert Spencer, who arrived at it through a somewhat different process of reasoning. It is borne out in everything we perceive—in the movement of a planet, in the surging and ebbing of the tide, in the reverberations of the air, the swinging of a pendulum, the oscillations of an electric current, and in the infinitely varied phenomena of organic life. Does not the whole of human life attest to it? Birth, growth, old age, and death of an individual, family, race, or nation, what is it all but a rhythm? All life-manifestation, then, even in its most intricate form, as exemplified in man, however involved and inscrutable, is only a movement, to which the same general laws of movement which govern throughout the physical universe must be applicable.

Friday, May 2

May Day 2008

Rob Lowe at Lakers game
International Workers' Day

1. Wendy McCaw fights for owners right.
May Day Layoffs Follow Reduced Circulation Numbers
Thursday, May 1, 2008
May Day Massacre at Santa Barbara News-Press

2. Employees v employers
Lowes woes
Second ex-nanny countersues the Lowes

Sheryl Berkoff, Rob Lowe, Laura Boyce and toss a Dale Davis in the mix....

Wendy McCaw and the Rob Lowes use the same law firms.
One hired legist explained McCaw's communication style:
"Cease-and-desist orders are a form of communication!"
"I was devastated to find out that the Lowes had sued me because she actually called me the week before and offered me my job. I can't believe she's doing this to me." Boyce BBC 5-2-08

Sunday, April 13

He's back, she's back...

He's back to former Montecito resident Arianna Huffington's home page (side bar). Why? The comments I read didn't understand why 'Household Betrayal' had any prominence in the first place.

She's back... on the tele... Laura Schlessinger has her own Fox News Channel segment on "Hannity's America". Once a week, Sunday nights at 9PM Eastern. She'll answer your email questions, or a select few. Her helpers follow strict rules, "TV format". Ideally a dilemma is best... like household betrayals?

4/14/08 Rob, please get "dr" Laura's physiologist advice for your dilemma so her 5 second fix can end this!

It's not even about your family's dirty laundry, no one much wants to know.
It's how you treat your employees
and what you're exposing the boys to.

If the servants can get to the drug cabinet, so can 13 and 14 year old boys.
Today teens aren't only threatened by street drugs, it can be the best of parents who are the unwitting drug pusher.
Legal drugs are no less addictive.
* * *
The Good Book Says...
[West Wing video]
President Bartlet, Dr. Jenna Jacobs and Sam Seaborn

Saturday, April 12

Rob Lowe Sticks Up For Celebrity Rights

Rob Lowe Sticks Up For Celebrity Rights
In Suit Against Nanny
Eriq Gardner April 08, 2008
The fact that Boyce's alleged defamation hasn't appeared anywhere in the media yet makes this a pretty strange case. And it's also somewhat customary in these situations for the celebrity to sue the media organization prepared to tortiously interfere with a contract. Which leads us to wonder whether this lawsuit, and the grand opening, might merely be intended to scare off Boyce. We'll see if this suit goes any further.
“Hopefully, they will go away,”
Stanton “Larry” Stein, representing Rob Lowe, told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira on Friday, April 11, 2008 in New York.
Lowe subsequently went into rehab for alcohol and sex addiction and claims 18 years of sobriety.
This lawsuit, amounts to a pre-emptive strike that has one goal. “They will recognize that we will not give in to their threats and they will go away.”
Later in the day it was reported that
TMZ has confirmed Gloria Allred will be repping at least one of the nannies in the Rob Lowe case.
The Santa Barbara News-Press has been on this story,
April 8 and 9

OK! magazine reported:
Rob Lowe's Nanny Fires Back on April 9, 2008.
When will the News-Press and Independent report both sides?
Pete Clements, Laura Boyles and Jessica Gibson are being accused of serious crimes. They aren't convicted.
Suddenly Lowe is a super hero for celebrity rights. He gets breaking news and lead time.
This is a local employment issue yet when the employees make a statement, where is it mentioned?
The Independent April 10, 2008 All the Word’s a Play
August 17, 2007 "HOT naked" naughty

Monday, April 7, 2008 Lowe household drama...

April 9, 2008 strange brew

April 11, 2008
Nannies and the Famous Men Who Love Them

English nannies looking for a Job?

Wednesday, January 9

Poor, poor pitiful Wendy McCaw

Mama never told her... "With friends like these, you won't need enemies."
Nipper Wiesenberger, Scott Steepleton, Travis Armstrong, Laura Schlessinger and Barracuda Cappello

For Wendy, behind every computer is a threat. She spies and violates the rights of others. Her self declared war at the Santa Barbara News-Press is a cash cow for greedy lawyers and they're just getting started.

Laura Schlessinger tells Wendy what she thinks of shack ups:
Wimpy Wendy and Nasty Nipper take the abuse and ask for more.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Up in Smoke by Barney: “At the Ralphs grocery store in the Magnolia Center off of Hollister Ave., two UCSB students were offering free copies of the News-Press to any shopper entering or exiting, DH reports. Although there were no takers while I was there, I imagine a few needed some paper to start their fireplace fires this wet weekend. Do you suppose these are included in the NP’s circulation numbers? When I replied, ‘Anything but the NP’ one student offered to tear the front page off and give me the rest of the paper. I declined.”

Thanks DH, but I don’t think it’s good to burn newspapers in a fireplace. Besides, shouldn’t they be recycled?

pink poodle slut

Green Puppy update : Awww. This puppy is such an adorable shade of phlegm green. But it’s still not okay when crazy old ladies dye their poodles pink.

...and world famous physiologist, Laura Schlessinger, are back in controversy action.
After remarks on a morning TV program, construed as looney-Laura wannabe femi...

sex sex sex BLAME sex whine ... tv
Like ships passing in a pre-noon sun
Laura Schlessinger
[whine tour and BeBe meets NYC!] to
Ashley Alexandra Dupré's
boyfriend Eliot Mess' wifey,
[what happens to your brain after exposure to anything "dr" Laura]

Army Lasers Zap Bikers in Afghanistan

Tuesday, January 1

Tuesday, December 25

The Man, the Myth

Jesus: The Man, the Myth

The truth about Jesus is that he never intended to start a church or a new religion. He did not understand himself to be the divine Son of God; rather, he saw himself as the “Son of [hu]Man[ity]” or an “average Joe.” Not only did he not start a church, he joined the reform movement of John the Baptizer (aka John the Baptist), who was a popular and charismatic Jewish prophet.

So who is Jesus Christ? The Jesus Christ of most traditional theology is a distortion of both the Jesus of history and the Christ of the Christian faith—an attempt to take the metaphor of Christ and invest it totally in the historical figure of Jesus of Nazareth. It is a distortion because it makes a very Jewish Jesus into the first Christian and not the faithful Jew that he was. The truth about “Jesus Christ” is that when we look only at this hybrid concept we lose clear sight of both the human being and the mythological icon. What we hope to do in this dig is excavate separately the man (Jesus) and the myth (Christ) and unearth a new meaning for the statement “Jesus [is] Christ.”


Monday, August 20


UPDATE: 9/15/07

by Conn Hallinan

"He sat, in defiance of municipal orders, astride the gun Zam-Zammah on her brick platform opposite the old Ajaib-Gher -- the Wonder House as the natives called the Lahore Museum. Who hold Zam-Zammah, that "fire-breathing dragon,' hold the Punjab; for the great green bronze piece is always first of the conqueror's loot."

So Rudyard Kipling opens his Magnus opus -- "Kim" -- the tale of Kimball O'Hara, orphan of an Irish color-sergeant in England's colonial army, then warring with the locals in India's northwest frontier. It is a story of the 19 th century "Great Game," when the Russians and British blackguarded one another in remote villages and frozen passes, fighting for glory, empire, and the crossroads of Central Asia.

The Imperial War Museum in London still celebrates the men of the Black Watch regiment, the fusiliers, and the dragoons who fought a seemingly endless war along what is now the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. There are no monuments, however, to the real victims of the "Great Game," the Pashtun, the Tajik, the Hazara, and the Uzbeks, pitted against one another in a deadly chess game played by men whose capitols lay half a world away.

How just like the old days it must be for British Lieutenant General David Richards, commander of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces in southern Afghanistan. NATO, taking over from the United States, is pouring troops into Helmand Province, 8,000 of which will be British.
The Ghosts of Kim

Speaking in Kandahar, not all that far from England's old colonial fortress at Quetta, he announced, "I have the force, the rules of engagement, and the caveat-free environment to do everything I need."

One wonders what Greek commander in Alexander's army made that same speech, what Soviet general thought he also had "the force" and a "caveat-free environment" to do as he pleased.

In truth, General Richards holds exactly the ground he stands on -- so long as it isn't nightfall. After four years of war, the U.S.-led coalition is scrambling to contain a spreading insurgency, not only in the south, but the north and the east as well. In late May, Taliban insurgents overran a district capital in Oruzgan Province, and according to the Financial Times, a government presence doesn't exist outside the Helmand Province capital of Lashkar Gar. Two weeks ago Kabul exploded, with tens of thousands of people stoning American military vehicles and chanting for foreign troops to leave.

This ground and history is familiar for the British. It will be, after all, England 's fourth war in Afghanistan.

The first (1838-42) was ignited when the Brits forcibly installed Shah Shujah as the Afghan king. That went rather badly, and riots finally forced the British out of Kabul in 1842. As the army was retreating to India, it was ambushed, overrun, and destroyed. The war ended when the English marched back, ravaged Kabul, burned the great bazaar, and killed 20,000 Afghans.

The second war was in 1878 when the British seized the Khyber Pass, and the third in 1919 when the Afghans had the effrontery to demand control of their own foreign affairs.

The current fighting is described as a "resurgence" by the fundamentalist Taliban, but one needs to be very careful when it comes to dissecting the sources of post-colonial wars. The "Taliban" are overwhelmingly Pashtun, the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan. What people don't generally know is that while religion does play a role in all this, the present fighting is a case of nursing the pinion that impelled the steel. And who is better at that than the British?

When India and Pakistan were partitioned in 1947, the British Foreign Office insisted that the Pashtun had to choose between Pakistan or India, rather than joining their brethren in Afghanistan. The English -- ever the masters at using ethnicity to keep people divided and weak -- knew the Pashtuns would remain fiercely independent of the Pakistani government in the Punjab. At the same time, Afghanistan would be splintered between four ethnic groups, divisions Whitehall could always use to manipulate the politics of Central Asia.

What the British did not figure on was that in 2006 they would be fighting the same people who kept the colonial graveyards of India well populated with the young lads from Cork, Dundee, and Suffolk who came down from the high passes in wooden boxes.

While the government of President Hamid Karzai is quick to blame Pakistan for the current fighting, Pashtun coming across the border from Pakistan is hardly a new development. Every day some 15,000 people cross from Pakistan to Afghanistan through Chaman alone. It is a "border" drawn up in Whitehall, not Lahore or Kandahar.

The "Great Game" Continues -- With U.S. In Charge


The event that touched off the riots in Kabul was an auto accident between a U.S. military convoy and Afghan civilians. When angry people began gathering, U.S. troops opened fire. By the time the riots were over, almost 200 people had been wounded, and at least 20 killed.

But demonstrators were also protesting an air attack that killed 16 civilians in the village of Tolokan in Helmand Province. It was not the first such incident. At least 33 other civilians were killed in an air strike May 21, and villagers are reportedly streaming into Kandahar to avoid the bombings.

According to reporting by Seymour Hersh and Knight Ridder, the United States has dramatically stepped up the air war in Iraq, and it would appear "pacification by bombs" is also underway in Afghanistan.

U.S. spokesman Col. Tom Collins said the deaths in Tolokan were the fault of the Taliban. "The ultimate cause of why civilians were injured and killed is because the Taliban knowingly, willfully chose to occupy the homes of these people."

If his statement is true, the Taliban would indeed be violating international law. So would the United States.

Article 48 of the 1977 addition to the Geneva Conventions, Part IV, states, "The Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives."

Article 50 is even more explicit: "The presence within the civilian population of individuals who do not come within the definition of civilians does not deprive the population of its civilian character."

In short, if insurgents are mixed up with civilians, you can't call in air strikes, period. Anyone who does should be hauled before the International Court at The Hague.

The bombings and the anger generated by the occupation are not the only things that fueled the Kabul uprising. The city has a 50% unemployment rate, and 40% of the population goes hungry. According to the UN World Food Program, unless there is an immediate infusion of funds, 2.5 million Afghans will not have enough food this winter, including 450,000 school children and their families.

There may not be money for food, but there is plenty for war. By the end of August there will be 32,500 foreign troops in Afghanistan. In a full-blown resurrection of the "Domino Theory," Hekmit Cetin, NATO's chief civilian representative in Iraq, said, "NATO can't afford to fail in Afghanistan. If we don't go to Afghanistan, Afghanistan will come to us, as terrorists, as narcotics traffickers."

The drug trade is indeed a problem, but in large part because of the war. The Taliban initially suppressed opium production, but war, coupled with a failure to adequately fund a program aimed at weaning farmers off poppy growing, means Afghanistan is now once again the world's largest producer of opium.

Opium profits not only fuel the insurgency, they fill the coffers of the U.S.-supported warlords who are once again in power. It was the corruption and violence of the warlords that originally laid the ground for the Taliban takeover. The only thing keeping the warlords in power today is the U.S. and NATO armed forces.

Zam-Zamman breathes fire no more, replaced by F-15s and AC-130U "Spooky" gun ships spitting artillery rounds and 40 mm cannon shells. The efficiency of death has evolved, but the "game" is the same and for the people of Afghanistan, it is a story as old as their origins.

Mullah Mohammed Kaseem Faroqi, the Pashtun Taliban commander in Helmand Province, recently told the London Times, "My message to Tony Blair and the whole of Britain is, "Do not send your children here. We will kill them'."

And so they will, though dead Afghan children are likely to outnumber them. It is time to retire the "Great Game" to the pages of history and literature and bring the troops home.

Conn Hallinan is a foreign policy analyst for Foreign Policy In Focus and a lecturer in journalism at the University of California, Santa Cruz


1. The Gates Inheritance

2. The World That Made Bob

3. The CIA and the Gates Legacy

Sunday, June 17