New Years HOPE, 2 poems by R.E

Something happened and the world is shifting. The pendulum is swinging again, this time back to the core values of hope, peace, community, and love. I used to feel that I'd missed my era, and that the 60's were the chance for humans to wake up, shake off, and manifest one beautiful potential of humanity: to be kind, caring, whole, holistic, and aware of humanity's purpose -- to guide the Earth to conscious awareness.

(click pic for hi-quality image)
But today my hope is sparked again. Not by Obama, per se, but by humanity. We have the power to see (in our lifetimes) faith outgrow fear, love victorious over hatred and violence, the illusion of separation fall apart into a united humanity, and the Earth 'wake up' to self-realization.

So with those wishes, I wish you all a wonderful New Year!

The words to these 2 hand-drawn poems are below:

HELP - 10/7/08 - by Ari Krawitz, aka REkzkaRZ
Can't do it myself
can do it with others
A lesson in saying "yes"
Yes and ... everything!
How can I change to ...
Unwrap the cocoon
of protective cynicism
Move into a New World
Seen thru re-newed faith
Glasses of faith in now
Eyes re-opened to love
Embracing human potential
Empowering divine possibility.
(re-polarizing, I unknowingly became a magnet.)

Circular Prayer - 10/7/08 - by Ari Krawitz, aka R.E.
The message of all the ages
Is to embrace human potential
And to outgrow fear with love.
Please help me expand the love energy today.
Thank you, abundant universe,
For opening me beyond my anticipations.

The biggest robbery in history -- cont'd

So by now you've bought the story that we're in a Depression/Recession, right? And the banks are 'desperate' for money, right? And we are inches away from a run on the banks, right?
So WTF is all this? (see article below)
Welcome to the whacked world of capitalism, where the rich execs live like kings, and the poor are supposed to shut up and take it.

Do you think Bush was a bad president? I do.
But I'm not a financial executive, or a weapons manufacturer exec, or a Haliburton employee, or an oil person. If I was one of those -- and totally ignored everything else -- there'd be ample incentive to think otherwise....

From a Yahoo News Associated Press article
The 116 banks that so far have received taxpayer dollars to boost them through the economic crisis gave their top tier of executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses and other benefits in 2007, an Associated Press analysis found.

Even where banks cut back on pay, some executives were left with seven- or eight-figure compensation that most people can only dream about. Richard D. Fairbank, the chairman of Capital One Financial Corp., ... still got $17 million in stock options. The McLean, Va.-based company received $3.56 billion in bailout money on Nov. 14.

John A. Thain, chief executive of Merrill Lynch, topped all corporate bank bosses with $83 million in earnings last year. Thain, a former chief operating officer for Goldman Sachs, came to Merrill Lynch in December 2007, avoiding the blame for a year in which Merrill lost $7.8 billion. Since he began work late in the year, he earned $57,692 in salary, a $15 million signing bonus and an additional $68 million in stock options. Like Goldman, Merrill tapped taxpayers for $10 billion on Oct. 28.

Wells Fargo of San Francisco, which took $25 billion in taxpayer bailout money, gave its top executives up to $20,000 each to pay financial planners.

At Bank of New York Mellon Corp., chief executive Robert P. Kelly's stipend for financial planning services came to $66,748, on top of his $975,000 salary and $7.5 million bonus. His car and driver cost $178,879. Kelly also received $846,000 in relocation expenses, including help selling his home in Pittsburgh and purchasing one in Manhattan, the company said.

Goldman Sachs, paying as much as $233,000 for an executive's car and driver, told its shareholders that financial counseling and chauffeurs were needed so executives would have more time to focus on their jobs.

JPMorgan Chase chairman James Dimon ran up a $211,182 tab for private jet travel last year when his family lived in Chicago and he was commuting to New York. The company received $25 billion in bailout funds.

Sherman, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said pay excesses undermine development of good bank economic policies and promote an escalating pay spiral among competing financial institutions — something particularly hard to take when banks then ask for rescue money. He wants them to come before Congress, like the automakers did, and spell out their spending plans for bailout funds. "The tougher we are on the executives that come to Washington, the fewer will come for a bailout," he said.

Obama on the $3 bill

Funny how perspective works: apparently this image is being used to ridicule Obama.
For me, the guy with a lucky number 3, this is yet another blessing AND I agree with most of those statements ... sorta.

To clarify my POV:

a) Corporations are evil
Not necesarily, but putting profit motive ahead of any human or planetary considerations is sorta evil. How about the Green Triple Bottom Line? Why is it such a good thing to weaken labor and export high-paying jobs as low-paying overseas jobs? Why is it good to fire helpdesk people and install huge digital phone trees that never answer your questions?
b) US Healthcare system is the worst in the world
Not in the world, in the modern world. Socialized medicine is better. I've tried it in Australia, Austria, Czech Republic, Spain, and probably a few other places. Whoever thought of making profits off of suffering (Reagan) was evil.
c) We're losing the Iraq war
Why are we there? Is it legal? Do the Iraqi's want the USA there? How is invading foreign countries a good strategy for world peace?
d) Global Warming
If scientists around the world argue that it is a measurable phenomenon, maybe they are right?
e) Drilling won't work
Not right away, and not in the long run. The USA has a huge stockpile of oil. But we want to move OFF of oil and into sustainable energies soon. Non-renewable Oil as an energy technology which is useful when nothing else has been developed. But did you know that oil deposits can be a valuable scientific natural resource because of organic matter preserved as well?
f) We're in a depression
No? Well, maybe we are at a point where the rich want to take $750 billion out of their bank account which we call the Federal Reserve -- and it's going to severely damage the country. Also, there's that matter of poor fiscal management. I definitely know a lot of people looking for work. Don't you?
g) They will try to scare you because I don't look like other Presidents
He sure does, doesn't he? Handsome, youthful, smart, charismatic? Obama reminds me of a smart college professor. Most other Presidents of the past make me think of the elderly, people that might need help walking down a flight of stairs. People like .. the Pope. Yes, that's right -- I'm proud to have a non-white American in charge! It's a miracle.

The Biggest Bank Robbery ever -- happening now

Let's call it what it is -- ** the biggest bank robbery of all time. **

Have you wondered why it's newsworthy that Obama has to take bold steps to protect homeowners? According to this Yahoo News article published today, the Treasury Department cannot prevent banks from using the bailout dollars for exhorbitant executive salaries.
Obama commits to support homeowners:
Obama's comments and the letter from House Republicans came a day after the Government Accountability Office, in the first comprehensive review of the rescue package, concluded that the Treasury Department has no mechanisms to ensure that banking institutions limit their top executives' pay and comply with other restrictions.

So far, the government has pledged to pour $250 billion into banks in return for partial ownership. It also has agreed to provide $40 billion to troubled insurer American International Group. In addition, $20 billion of the money was invested in Citigroup and another $20 billion went to the Federal Reserve to help ease credit stresses.

House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank said Treasury's response comes "very close to telling the institutions that they will be free to use the funds as they wish."
Back to rekzkarz' reality:
Wow. First, $20 billion doesn't sound like much when you're thinking about $750 billion, right? What does the number actually look like?
WHEW! That's BIG!!

If that $750 billion bailout went to the people themselves, ie US Citizens, we could all buy homes and have money to spare. It's already public money and should not be going to subsidize private industries which have poorly allocated their assets in risky debt -- particularly not to the upper class 'executives' of these failing companies.

Hey Bush, what happened to your "no subsidies" and "free enterprise" and "free market" slogans when your rich buddies screw up the US economy as badly as you screwed up USA Foreign Policy?

I was having a talk with some friends and we came to the conclusion that if it had been one or two banks doing these horrible banking practices, the CEO's would have been fired and the banks would have folded. But when ALL of the banks (with a few noteworthy exceptions), under the rubric of 'deregulation' and incentives for economic expansion, are allowed to practice STUPID economics which put everyone at risk ... THEN we are supposed to reward those institutions with public funding without ANY requirements, stipulations, or punitive treatment?

The same approach applied to credit card debtors sounds a little different: when a person gets way over their head in credit card debt, and then somehow loses their income because of gambling and is suddenly 'in the red', would we want the government to step in, pay off all their debts AND get them their salaries back -- without any consequence?!?!

Wasn't the issue originally the 'home mortgage' crisis? Why on Earth are we rewarding bankers (people with economics degrees and MBA's) for screwing up? Bush & co have succeeded in keeping the focus on the (stupid) banks and lending institutions and off the people that are actually suffering. Surprised?

Yes We Can! (-- sure hope we do)

Inspiring video. Thank you Mr President.
I voted for you. Please do us proud.
I'm ready to see the change and be the change.

* RANTz * short film and website launched to honor shortfilm, * RANTz *, a documentary where a team of Scary Cow SF Film Collective members went around and interviewed people about how they are feeling about USA?

This was before Obama won, and most of us were hella pissed -- bailouts, Iraq war, torture, Palin and McCain, Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, and so much more.

Now that Obama has won, it's easy to give up that anger.
But don't -- Bush isn't done yet!

Creatures Painting - final

This is one of my first drawings where I scanned it and 'digitally painted' colors with Corel's Painter X. The idea started with different (crazy or negative) views of iPod, but slowly morphed into post-modern techno-freakism.
Each freak is painted with different technique, ie oils, watercolors, chalk, colored pencils, etc.
Anyway, click pic for a bigger version.

Dang, maybe I could sell something like this to Apple and make big bucks for crazy viral advertising?

Android -- are you ready to become one? Too late, you are, but Google got the name rights.

The new 'g-1 phone' on T-mobile is coming out.  Google has made an 'open source phone OS' called Android, and it opening the world up to developers.  Seems like an amazing thing, no?  Right now there's a lot of hype, but the phone isn't on the market until Oct 2008.

I posted this comment on

I for one am psyched about open-source phone OS.  Great idea.  Lots of room here for dev -- I STRONGLY SUGGEST some developers make a password protected user-defined database app (like "ThinkDB" aka "Smart List To Go", the killer app for Palm) and make that ... free & compatible with Notes or Google Docs.

Anyone remember Hypercard for Mac, back in the day of floppies?  What about something like "1000 Blank White Cards" except let people share decks of cards, exchange individual cards, etc etc.  That would be kinda fun & creative ... & viral.

re: Metosphere -- great concept, very much like William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition" book which had the concept of large 3D art objects living in Virtual Space overlaid on real space, viewable only with certain viewers.  This could be great.

re: TwitterDroid -- fearful, I'm fearful

re: KudoStar -- is everyone on the planet going to get a vague unexplained 1-5 star rating?  (MY GOD that would suck!)

re: Parallel Kingdom -- I'd like to see people be able to overlay things on things in real life, but I'm not sure we need it to be the violent paradigm of knights and conquering.  I suggest you look into the other histories besides the expansion of the West thru force (and drugs, slavery, religion, etc) and find a paradigm that is more ... savory?

SPORE - reality vs DRM

This is my buddy Burrup (on the left, posing), who lives in Spore. I am hooked on this game!!

Spore is a revolutionary/evolutionary game from Electronic Arts (I suggest you read an article on it, perhaps) and so far Spore is marked as the MOST pirated game in history. :)

I don't believe copying is technically 'pirating', but it's a government derived Double-Speak that is commonly accepted, so I'll use it in some of this post.

Anyway, the incentive to grab a copy (ie 'pirate') Spore is primarily b/c it has a DRM setup (Digital Rights Management) that is widely criticized for being overly aggressive, limiting # of installations, and installing software into your computer that you can't remove or control. But the pirate version lets you block all that stuff... Evolution? HA

And of course I downloaded it with BitTorrent as well, b/c --> if the download revolution has begun, I want to be on that bus. HA

And the game is freakin' insane. It's ridiculously cool, and ALSO very shallow and biased. I want to tell you more and more, but in the end, it's just another addictive videogame...

about evolution
and consequences of actions
and global/galactic domination

Sounds crazy, eh? (Does to me, at least.)

For me, the next (*r)evolution in gaming is FUN gaming that is not based around war or killing or dominating. I thought awhile back about game philosophy, and games around teamplay vs a common problem (not a 'being' per se, but a circumstance or scenario).
While in some ways this is the foundation of the cash-cow MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer OnLine RolePlaying Games) universe (including World of WarCraft, GuildWars, City of Heroes/Villains, and many more), generally the 'enemy' is personified and must be killed.

I'd like to see this paradigm of war as 'fun and entertaining' morph into another more life-positive paradigm, like 'solving complex problems utilizing teams'.

UPDATE 9/19 -- So I bought it. $50 down the hole, but this is the kind of game development I want to support. Creativity enhancement, violence OPTIONAL, brain-expanding and mind enhancing. I was going to buy it initially, hesitated b/c of DRM, grabbed it on Bit Torrent (rocks!!!), played it for 2-3 days obsessively, and decided I wanted to support this project. GOOD JOB EA, even w/the stupid DRM. Hopefully they will learn -- I sent emails and made my contact to the company.
But the game is just that good.


Latest REkz RANT#4 -- Obama or McCain, other Americas, and more. Two new characters make their first appearances.

The Event - short film for PAH Nation (.org) contest

I spent the week working on a short film, The Event, for a short film competition at Project Accessible Hollywood -

Our film is up for public vote Sat (8/16) thru Sun (8/17), so please check it out and give us a 5 star vote! :)

Pablo's film is called "The Event" by Team Pablo, online at

Cast & crew -

Pablo Louis Alicia Robert - the Ghost Ari

we also had Steven Moon as our composer. I didn't get his picture, but he mentioned his webpage.

I got to coach a team for the event. Pablo was an alternate called in after a last-minute cancellation by 'Team Russia'. Pablo had only a treatment, but he crafted a complete story the night before the shoot. I gave him some pointers and he created a well thought out screenplay. Filming was tricky because we had a few locations, and we had a few tech gliches with mic and 'white balance', but other than that it was all good and all 'auto' (exposure & focus). The finals looked great. Steven's music added the final touches to take it to a real mysterious sequence.

I also submitted this piece, 're-spinnin tone poem', which I thought was kinda cool. It has an old song I made plus video shot on a 'flip video' handheld camera, the idea was to use video to illustrate a song.

Nuclear is Green? Sure, and I'vegot a bridge to sell you...

I was shocked and amazed months ago reading an issue of Wired lamely describing nuclear power as 'the new Green power'.

What's most amazing about people arguing nuclear power is a green power is they rarely seem to understand that when green power sources break down or have problems, nothing is destroyed. Also, I'm not sure where nuclear power enthusiasts want to place the nuclear waste, but IMO it should be on their property. Bush just bought thousands of acres of land, let's put all that waste on his land! HA

We are a democracy, yes? When do we get to vote on whether we use earth-friendly power sources or earth-unfriendly power? Oh, that's all passed to our democracy representatives, the rich people who clearly share our interests and desires on where to lead our country and our planet. Bush is clearly 'just another US citizen' with the good heart who wants to help out... or not.
Bush is really 'just another rich US white Aryan racist' who is doing his best to accumulate and maintain a power division between rich and poor, while pulling out as much revenue as he can (for family, cronies, friends) before they can push for Armageddon and the earth will blow up and they'll be judged for how much successful capitalism and exploitation they achieved.

I think the whole 'red state/ blue state' boxes we lump US states into are so poor b/c the USA is largely PURPLE. Some groups have more influence in some areas, but many elections are decided by so few votes... and tampered voting machines.

Personally, I want to see Cindy Sheehan elected as a rep for SF because her main goal is to get Bush's Impeachment on the table, which Nancy Pelosi (IMO a traitor to the USA and also impeachable) has blocked, an act which violates the US Constitution.

I've already heard Obama speak about his desires to make conciliatory gestures to the Right Wing to get some things he wanted passed. (Listened to his speech yet in Berlin, Germany? Give it a listen!) Did anyone ever hear Bush or Reagan make pleas to reconcile with the Left Wing, or them express willingness to negotiate??? It's always Left that appeases, and the Right that demands less partisanship while getting their way in most areas and robbing the poor people blind.

Has anyone in US media called the latest scandal, the USA home loan scandal, anything like fraud or crime or even a disgusting mismanagement of funds by corporate leadership? Is there any accountability? Have any of these 'free market' advocates suggested that the banks which mismanaged loan practices be forced to suffer for their bad management?

I find it amazing how fast it all gets pushed back to the public and tax revenues to bail out another American banking fiasco. (Does everyone remember that Bush Sr's brother was the head of an S&L during that scandal? Do you think he paid even one cent for his own accountability? Or did that entire scandal get paid by the US public in the form of taxes.)

I was just in Venezuela for the month of June filming a documentary. From what I was able to see, I guarantee you that 90%+ of what the US media covers about that country is falsehood.

The 'horrible and dictatorial' revolution taking place in Venezuela is called SOCIALISM. The people who are benefiting are POOR PEOPLE who now have free medical, subsidized food prices, subsidized gas prices, and incentives to purchase their homes.

The revolution in Venezuela is their government is taking oil revenue (which is enormous), nationalizing it, and re-distributing that wealth to the people suffering ath the lowest levels.

Can anyone imagine the USA doing that with our 'record billions in profits' that are going right into the hands of corporate executives with no accountability for the gas price hikes which are destabilizing the US economy... imagine if those record profits were taxed at a higher rate, and that money instead went into:
a) free medical for all
b) schools
c) food subsidies
d) gas subsidies
e) free college educations

The reason Bush gave everyone a '$600 spending incentive' is because his presidency has stolen more public money than they expected (via illegal warfare, contracting private mercenary firms, Haliburton, allowing 9/11 to happen w/o taking any action -- despite being informed prior to the (supposed) attack, and more), so maybe it was guilt money...?
Bush went after Social Security, b/c the wealthy are not comfortable with poor elderly people living comfortably after slaving their whole lives for wealthy executives, and while he was trying to privatize that money they were arguing it was because the social security fund was unstable -- and then he advocated spending trillions to kill Iraqi people in a country that never attacked the USA. Priorities? Oil over people, military before public, guns before butter. Did you really have any confusion here anyway?

Nah -- Bush doesn't suffer an ounce of guilt. He feels he's chosen by God. That money is to help you all spend happily while the USA splits into a society of wealthy landed aristocracy and poor serfs, with a middle class getting shattered by govt corruption.

Whew! Long rant!

New York 2008 -- different

8 days in NYC w/Lex. WOW. We had a blast!

Ah, memories.

It's so different than when I lived here, it's really surprising -- cleaner, kinder, and somehow 'softer'. I was amazed to find (and hear a musician talking about) a 'Whole Foods' in the middle of Soho. There's barely any 'roughness' left to those neighborhoods... Is that so bad...?

We're staying near Grand Central Station on E.Side. That station is beautiful. We've been to Guggenheim, C.Park, the Met, and will probably round things off w/trip to MOMA and a few other spots. Shopping? Done that. St. Marks place? Done that.

I went solo to UN for a tour while Lexann went shopping. (I hope Obama gets us more deeply in there and less deeply in with the torturers. Saw a book in UN by Colon Powell where he had a quote "I would shut down Guantanamo this afternoon, not tomorrow", but bring prisoners into US judicial system, and he went on about how it was hurting US internationally. I'm no huge fan of Powell, but he sure got the Bush Jr shaft.) I don't know if/when it will happen, but a united Earth govt does not have to be oppressive or totalitarian, and I'd like to see it happen in a positive way. I have no idea what it would look like. I was surprised to know the UN has a branch that was solely devoted to ending colonialism. While that branch had been quite successful, they did not address anything abstract like economic or cultural colonialism, but even so just getting the dominators OUT of countries is a big thing.

Been staying at the Dore pad. Love it. It's awesome. We're in a great neighborhood, surrounded by Dore's amazing artwork, and it's very pleasant.

Happy days!

Dark Tower #7 - completed the 800+ pages!

Well, before splitting for a 1 month Venezuela trip, I randomly picked up book #2 of Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series. I've read Dead Zone and maybe another King book over the years (but can't recall any titles), but this one looked big and daunting and somehow ... good. Plus there's the classic Dark Tower board game.

So I read it, and 700+ pages later I thought, well, this was ... average. Not much in there, but it was sure stretched out far. I also felt like Detta Walker's brogue monologues were questionable or unnecessary. But I guess what bugged me most was that King said (in the preface) that he'd written these books to be his version of the Tolkien-esque epic. Basically, I was disturbed by some of the sexism and racism of the book, so perhaps that's the similarity? I did like the concept of a gunslinger travelling from other worlds, even if it lacks much common sense.

So on to Dark Tower #7. I ONLY read #2 and #7 (total ~ 1500 pages), so I guess I'm not 'hardcore' there? HA HA I think it's hilarious to say I read the equivalent of 5+ novels and not be hardcore.

I enjoyed the books, but when I look back at other long series/epics that I've read (all those Tolkien books, DragonRiders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey, the Taran Wanderer books by Lloyd Alexander, the Amber books by Zelazney, Aasimov and Pratchett and Piers Anthony and even the cheesy endless series of Star Wars & ShadowRun books, and the latest John Zakour cyberdetective books, I feel a distinct difference ... the plot factor.

In some ways, this series reminds me a lot of Tarantino's Kill Bill, a pair of movies which I didn't like at all b/c it gave the plot in the first 5 minutes and the rest of the book was an awkward stumble to get to the end (or was it an endless kung fu battle with too many 'cut-on-action' shots). I don't recall any major twists in Kill Bill, but Dark Tower definitely has more than it's share of twists.

But does anyone REALLY wonder if Roland will make it to the Dark Tower? My main issue is that there is very little tension in these books, for me. When I read Tolkien and watched the Hobbits stand up against all kinds of odds, there is always some tension. In this book, I felt like everyone's death was written a few pages (chapters?) before and when it finally came I was happy that we could move on to the next thing. And that includes the 'bad guys', the enemies. All that buildup of Mordred, and then he's really nothing at all to the story...

I quite like the Doors, the Dark Tower, Detta & Susannah, Orizas, Bumblers, the crab creatures, the Robots, and a bit of the 'Ka' language ... but overall I felt the books lacked something very important.
I guess I'll have to ponder what that was and then re-post when I figure it out.

Bush Regime - $12 million+ in bull semen exports to Iran

Did you know you can buy Bull Semen online? I never personally considered it, but when I saw this article about US - Iranian exports going up 10 fold during Bush's 8yrs in office, now $146 million compared to $8.3 million in 2001, which (over 8 years) includes:

cigarettes, (at least) $158 million
corn, $68 million
chemical wood pulp, soda or sulphate, $64 million
soybeans, $43 million
medical equipment, $27 million
vitamins, $18 million
bull semen, $12.6 million
vegetable seeds, $12 million

I was surprised to find there is a $12+ million dollar market for bull semen -- just for Iran! How much semen is the USA sending overseas? (Um, in packages, that is, not personal delivery...)

Wow, THAT'S a lot of ... um, bull!

So when we accuse the Bush regime of exporting bullshit, we are really on the wrong side of the equation.

But we knew he was a cowboy. Guess he wants to spread his love of bull to the world?

It saddens me that entrepreneurs take everything on Earth and productize and capitalize and make marketing plans and sell units, and the workers don't get extra compensation for their efforts.
Does a popular bull live a better life based on their exceptional semen sales? Do they hire a more talented 'bull whacker'?

PrinceMumia song + Venezuela - 1 week left, a few bumps, but now we're back in progress...

I finished a song while on this trip, now I've put it online -- a mix of Prince "Kiss" and Mumia Abu Jamal's "Letters from Death Row", also featuring Asatta Shakur.

Well, we had delays, misunderstandings, assumptions, planning problems, food poisoning, confusion, and I broke a chair.  But now Clif and I are back on track, hoping to grab one more week of footage before I take off.  And then it'll be Clif going solo for a few months thru various areas which I won't mention but will likely be pretty dang cool.

This is the last pic of 'the road trio' of Clif, Franco, and Ari here in Merida before those Clif & Franco took off back to Caracas.

This is a pic from a sculpture in front of the ULA, the Universidad las Andes.  Pretty impressive school.

This is the outside of Humberto's "Colibri Taller de Artes", a school of woodworking arts where they make toys, puppets (marionettes & more), puzzles, bizarre machines, spinning singing tops, and more.  The place was amazing!!

USA -- truths hurt, and torture isn´t over yet

General stuff:
Just found this story about 25 murdered and 100 dead from US military detentions. Well, I think many Americans (especially Jewish Americans) already see this as the signs of another genocide, but are people REALLY so surprised to hear the facts coming out?

Remember those nasty photos that were leaked about Abu Ghraib?? Well, those were supposed to be ´spin´ pics that make things look not so bad!!! New reports (this from Amnesty International) include torture of children, genital electric shocks, and rape and violence towards family members in front of the families.

Here´s an account of a Sheikh who was tortured once by Saddam and once by US Soldiers. The story includes his wife and child being beaten while he was submitting to capture to US troops. Then he was beaten in front of his family. It´s truly and deeply frightening.

The overall arc of G.Bush Jr´s style runs quite similarly to Hitler. The only areas lacking are multiple front wars, although while the USA has a ´hot´ war with Iraq, we do also have ongoing ´secret´ wars in S.Amer and C.America. Plus the secret missions going on against Venezuela, and the ongoing drug war in Venezuela.

I think the body count is how most people identify Hitler´s horrible regime. Even as Bush hits over 1 million dead due to his policies, people defend him by saying "Americans did not kill those people". So I agree, Bush has not set up death camps that have a body count in the millions. However, he has set up torture camps, and has set up a system that is now in place to deport people to those camps without having any legal protections.

People say Bush will soon no longer be President. I certainly hope so. However, I hope we all realize there are now laws in place that will allow him to stay in office and suspend US Govt in the event of a major US emergency. There are also laws allowing him to have a private military force inside the USA (Blackwater) equipped with the most hightech weapons and immune from US Courts.

There are also many people who believe Bush´s regime had something to do with 9/11. What would stop Bush, or a secret US military group, from doing another major counter-USA action, in order to keep Bush in office indefinitely?

We need more truths to come out. Scott McLellan is not the truth!! He soft pedals on all the hot issues. Don´t trust him for a second. But when other people start to spill, like the insiders involved in 9/11, or senior Bush staffers ... then the US compromised corporate media will be actively shutting them down.

Bottom line -- behind everything is a unity between corporate power, old wealth, military, and executives in govt. Speaking truth to these monstrous entities is not an easy task.

But we have to do it. People of the USA, North Americans, we have to demand that this war end, that torture stop, and that the criminals behind these atrocities be forced to pay the price.

Having that truth spread out around the world, well, very few do that. Thanks Amy Goodman & Democracy Now! Thanks Dennis Kucinich for trying to get that impeachment through!

Thanks again Dennis Kucinich!

There are a number of things I´d like to comment on, while I´m still abroad in Merida, Venezuela.

First -- Thank you Dennis Kucinich!
His second effort to bring up impeachment and the 35 articles he brings up against the Bush regime are BOTH incredible acts of bravery. From what I hear from here, the news media is not covering the story, although I have heard about it from here numerous times in the media. Any American who believes Bush must be impeached (to protect US Democracy) please please please contact the news media of your choice and demand that they cover this story!

Second -- there is a video game being made by Electronic Arts called ´Mercenaries 2: World in Flames´. Here is a link to the video promo. So you might wonder what is wrong with making a fun ´Rambo´-like game of murder and mayhem? Well, apparently the CIA has recruited Colombian mercenaries and sent them into Venezuela right now. People here tell me the media reports a number of Colombian Mercenaries have invaded and begun killing people. 80 mercenaries were captured earlier this year, and apparently their orders are assassination and destabilization. Their ´cover story´ was they were capturing a leader of FARC, a revolutionary communist group.
Well, maybe it´s just me, but I find this kind of material ´as a game´ to be quite disturbing.
Imagine if another country sent a team of mercenaries into the US to do dirty work? What would the USA do as a response? Probably attack whatever country they want, whether or not that country was linked with the mercenaries ... (as in 9/11)

Solo in Merida, Venezuela 6/16

Last night was Clif's movie's first screening before his Venezuelan buddies. The audience was small, and they only asked a few questions, but it seemed they enjoyed it. Clif was nervous, but you couldn't tell.

Clif and Franco just took off back for Caracas today, leaving me at Betty's amazing Marionette Theater for 1 week. Clif asked if I'd stay here so I can film 1-2 things while he's gone.

It's unfortunate b/c they have both been pretty easy to get along with, and we've had an exceptionally good time together -- even though spending every minute of every day together can cramp one's style, I suppose. I was feeling like I needed a break.

I've never traveled with someone before, so that was a 'letting go' of control, for me. Clif and I have very different styles -- I'm more laid back, kinda lazy, take it slow, and am not in a hurry generally. He seems very focussed on attaining objectives and often misses amazing surroundings en route, and sometimes can be difficult because his stress level rises very high.

Anyway, I'm learning a lot -- both in what to do and what not to do. Delegation is such an important thing in filmmaking as is followup. Communicating objectives and making sure people are empowered to achieve them. I can see how important it is to delegate in small amounts first, see how people handle it, and then increase and increase ... until that person is indispensible, or I know their limits.

At this point, I've handled both cameras a bit (and trained Clif on them) so Clif thinks I can do the cameras (and I can). But getting to a small pueblo on the crazy bus system on my own, finding a rendesvouz there and staying there for the night on a hammock & mosquito net is a bit over-delegating, for me. I have a number of reservations on the whole endeavor, so I said much of them before Clif left.

The adventure continues -- but now I have a bit of my own space. YEAH

6/13 - arrived in Carora

We just stopped driving after 2 days. I have a bunch of photos I want to upload, but haven´t had a reliable internet connection AND my pics at the same time ... or Clif is in a manic hurry.

But here´s a sample of Franco driving on the freeway. Yes, they are selling stuff on the freeway!

Seems like we race all around, and then wait. It´s the combo of US style and Venezuela style. People don´t rush much here. It´s amazing to watch people get in a line here... they just hang out, waiting patiently. It´s not like NY or anything!!

Much more stuff to write, but we´re racing off to do some filming today -- or at least, that´s the plan. Exciting!

This place blows me away. When I get home, I´m going to sweep my floor 20x!! But then I´ll lay down on my bed and relax in a whole different way...

People here call N.Americans ´gringos´ and say we´re from Gringolandia! It´s interesting. They do seem to have a fairly accurate view of what´s up in the USA, but they are very curious about Obama. So are we... Who knows what will happen with that guy? Anyone???

But there´s a different style of talking here, and there are many ´radical revolutionary´ types. One of the strangest parts of this trip was talking w/a bunch of people and finding myself on the ´right´, at least in the sense of how I see change and pacing.
Some people want to make radical changes NOW and perhaps haven´t fully thought out the consequences.
There are a lot of folks here that want an alternative to Capitalism, so far I´ve heard it called ´economy of solidarity´ or similar, but I am not sure what that looks like ... and I´m not sure Venezuelans do either. But socialism is fine by me, and I´m all for protecting the people at the lowest rungs of society from hunger, illness, and abusive landlords.

One of Clif´s goals with his film is to test his theory that sustainable agricultures (in particular ´agro-ecology´) can co-exist with capitalism, an unsustaible economic system. I think that capitalism isn´t horrible (am I really saying this???) if it is modified, to cap large incomes and to require protection of people and environments.
But even then I´m not sure if it´s sustainable.

Another humorous note -- everywhere we go, there is litter. Clif and I discussed it. We have a culture where we protect the environment and don´t litter ... but when you really think about it, the USA dumps its trash in other countries! So I personally feel uncomfortable discussing it too much... Funny the weak footing of the environmental ´green movement´in the USA. But then again, it´s a start, right?

Caracas - Day 4

What a day!

Last night Clif and I slept in a 1 bedroom studio in Naiguata with Franco and his wife Marielena + dog Rosa and cat Gragga. Things worked out quite well except for the snoring and mosquitoes...

Today we packed up and moved to Franco's rental apartment in Caracas. After changing money thru a hotel (with "the midget"), we went for Venezuelan Hamburguesas ... burgers on Arepa bread with ham, egg, cheese, fried potato strips, ketchup, mayo, mustard, and optional salsas of aguacaca and picante. Wow... Can you say YUMMY?

So we just finished our burgers and then we met randomly met Ricardo, a friend of Clif's from his last trip. Ricardo is a big fan of Clif's poetry book, and has been teaching prison inmates a poem of Clif's called Tu Celda, 'The Cell'. He invited us to join him in meeting Francisco Massiani, one of Venezuela's most famous writers and poets! We fretted about not having the video camera (it was at the apt recharging).

We met, and Clif read him a few poems from his book, which Francisco seemed to enjoy. Turns out the meeting was a contract signing between Francisco and his editor for his new book. Clif and Francisco were talking, and Francisco asked if Clif would translate one of his books of poetry. Clif said he was interested.

Francisco started telling us a number of stories, most of which I could understand pieces (but not the punchline), and after awhile Ricardo said he wanted to make a written record of them. These were all 'oral tales' from the past, and Ricardo is a writer and was very interested in chronicling the stories. I suggested that perhaps Clif and I could videotape Francisco telling his stories, and everyone was in agreement. So this project could become a short film, or perhaps something longer, and possibly added with Ricardo's book!

Meanwhile, Clif asked Francisco if we could interview him for his feature, so that will happen too. Exciting! Looks like we'll be doing that next week.

Clif and I are talking about ways to film that interview. I'd really like to see it as Clif and Francisco having a conversation, and have Clif on camera. Clif says that I'd have to direct it b/c he doesn't see directing something like that AND having himself in it. I like it b/c they both are quite unique and strong presences.

Working with Clif for the past few days is quite an experience -- he's a very talented and driven person, but he's also quite humble. He has published multiple books and recently a feature film (which he filmed and edited!), but he is very 'down to earth' and a real person. One thing we're discovering working together is that my 'laid back' angle is often a good complement to his 'high strung' energy. At other times, his drive helps me keep going where otherwise I might drop.

Clif pointed out to me that I was 'boxing him in' by trying to define his values. Namely we've had a few discussions about Capitalism, and I'm surprised every time that I'm the one defending it!! But let me clarify by saying that I have never once said it's a great system; all I've said so far is that, with some checks and balances in it (like the 'Green triple bottom line' -- people, planet, then profit' -- and a more democratic manner of operation), Capitalism could be a healthy way to have sustainable agriculture.

However, even typing out my argument, I can see Clif's point -- as well as the other more 'revolutionary' viewpoint, similar to Venezuela's current govt viewpoint -- that Capitalism, with oppression, exploitaiton, and hierarchy, is unsustainable in itself.

I don't see how the 'free market' would discourage exploitation or environmentally unsustainable production ... without a strong 'check' by the govt. And it seems that this check has to be FORCED on business by the people. Maybe we can figure something out?

6/3 - 7/1 -- Venezuela trippin!

Good news -- We made it to Venezuela! So far, today (Thurs) is our first day on our way to Caracas. The flights all went more or less well, and Franco picked us up & all worked out great. We´ve stayed at his mother in law´s apt in Naiguatá (between Pedro de Molder and Juan Diaz) and it was quite nice.

Venezuela -- incredible. The poverty is abundant and everywhere and it´s like nothing we have in USA (except perhaps New Orleans after the floods). However, the people´s pro-and anti- Chavez feelings are very strong.

Chavez apparently wants an economy based on solidarity, a ´new form´of economics with a strong socialist leaning. In this incredibly poor country (!!!!), the people now have free health care, everyone can eat bc of govt supported supermarkets (merkal and another chain), the govt is helping people buy the land they live on, and the govt is funding hundreds of business cooperatives (cooperativas) startups. The nationalism and pride here is great, and hopefully in the long run it will help this country fill in the gaps of poverty. They are in the midst of the Bolivarian Revolution which has been called the Beautiful Revolution b-c there has been no bloodshed (it was a victory by elections).

Personally, I call it evolution rather than revolution ... the evolution of consciousness which realizes the value of human life, that fundamental rights of all life are paramount, worth far more than products, profit, and money.

It´s really impressive b-c the poverty is so extreme. I´m snapping up photos, and hope to have a lot of material for uploading soon. Internet is down in Naguitá right now, but we´re in a shop in La Paz paying $2.5 Bolivares (about $1) per hour. Clif has been surprised in part bc the dollar has dropped so much and food is more expensive, so food prices here are the same as the USA. The most common food here is the Arepa, which looks like a pita filled with a wide range of meat and vegetables. My first today was avocado, ham, and cheese. Yummm...

On the plane, a Venezuelan woman told me that average middle class income ´was hurt´ bc of Chavez and that the middle class is suffering here. She was anti-Chavista. She couldn´t really say how they suffered (except that in the USA you could make more in a week than they make here in a month), but she didn´t like Chavez personally either.

I haven´t seen any middle class yet, but we´re staying in pretty fancy digs by the side of the ocean. Hope to have more balanced views during the trip.

Also have had a few interesting discussions w/locals who see USA as an empirial power trying to exploit all S.America. While I have not disagreed w/this sentiment, I have argued that not all N.Americans want this exploitation, and that corporations are not within the average person´s sphere of control. I don´t know if people think i´m unusual, or if they think maybe there really are N.Americans in opposition to global domination.

The ocean here is to the North. Bizarre!

Berkeley South T-shirt #1

humanity 3.0 recycle
(*R)Evolution - imagine Humanity 3.0

Yes --> people, planet, then profit
No --> war, sexism, racism

The first Berkeley/South T-shirt cooperative production

RE-Action - Full Album online

Second tape online -- RE-Action - my last album from 2007-2008.

If you'd like to download the songs, please contact me and I will send you the URL where you can find all of my songs & download them for free.

We can make Mix Tapes at

I just made a bad-ass mix-tape! Wow, this is cool!
Thanks go to

1 Week Later
feedback via email ...
  • Wow baby! Your stuff is crazy. I really like the second song, the talking over music, and stuff. Oh yeah, I also really liked the cassette tape design on the web site.

  • Did I hear some backwards Beatles in there some where? Cool.

  • You are way too cool for school! I can see a collaboration with Judd for his soundtrack...I thought "Guitars Gone Mad" was gonna be a nod to BucketHead, then the space-klezmer kicked in, guess not! :).., and Ringo sounds better backwards, as I favorite is DEVO/Angela Davis; brilliant!

  • thanks for sharing your music with me. i like it a lot. took me out of my suburbia haze and it was refreshing....

  • I listened to your tape and I must say your music made me feel old! I'm sorry, I just don't get the music part. But I did enjoy the political part a lot.

  • Interesting but odd...thanks for sharing....

  • Dark Chomsky - I knew it was coming and it was rad. And Automatic Ambiant Hallucinatory did make me see trails...

  • great to see your name!

  • i liked the musics u sent thnx...

  • Dude - this is awesome!

  • whooo hoooo! love that first mix man!!!!!! perfect for the Driver

  • Thought provoking music/sound. The backwards Beatles track was almost like mantras or ragas. The speeches were an interesting touch.

  • that rocks man.

  • Thanks for sending your music over. I've only had a chance to listen to the first two tracks, but I think it sounds great! I don't know much about techno/electronic music, but it sounds better than most have what I have heard in the past. I hope you know the right people to send your demo out to. And, I have to agree, the website you used to create it with looks pretty darn cool. I'm going to listen to the rest of it later tonight.

  • cool. I checked out the mix, or should I say rant. I love Christopher Hedges work. will check out the video when I get a chance.

  • Hi-I only could hear through Angela Davis or thereabouts and then no more -what does that mean?

  • Feeling it. Sweet. Great email-writing soundtrack!

"Operation Sudden Fall"

"Four pounds of cocaine, 50 pounds of marijuana, 48 hydroponic marijuana plants, 350 ecstasy pills, psilocybin, 30 vials of hash oil, methamphetamine, various illicit prescription drugs, one shotgun, three semi-automatic pistols, three brass knuckles and $60,000 in cash were seized."
Thanks to CatDirtSez blog.

While this is a HUGE stash of drugs ... (WOW) ... I still think the Iraq invasion and the 9/11 Cover Up is a bigger issue.

Don't you?

I was hearing on the radio that a lot of student funding is drying up. The 'good' Federal loans are vanishing b/c of the sub-prime mortgage fiasco, altho IMO any student going deeply into debt to learn is problematic in and of itself.

So why not just legalize the drugs & let these students finance their educations?

Risky Business ... but they didn't mention any prostitutes. Probably b/c that's 'standard' for all fraternities?

Oh That's Nice CinemaSports: Oakland 2008

Please leave us comments at the Oh Thats Nice Blog,
or at the Link on Youtube!

Cast & Crew:
John Paul Olsen - Guy
Lexann Johnston - Girl
Holly Labus - Waitress
Asuka Anderson - Waitress #2

Ari Krawitz - Director
David Lassman - Assistant Director
Ren Dodge - Cinematographer
Cristina Velasco - Production Assistant
Rodrigo Rosas - Production Assistant
Asuka Anderson - Production Assistant

Tim Furneaux and Lucy Morris

Now rebranded as,
as mentioned in a later Blog post.

George Carlin - the Real American Rulers

Have you heard George Carlin before? Give this clip a shot. His humor is often the truth...

John McCain has a posting on where he asks:
What is the biggest challenge America faces?
(He writes) Our country is faced with challenges as we enter into the 21st century. I am prepared to effectively deal with these challenges and lead our country as President on Day 1. Please let me know what you view as the biggest challenge America faces and how you would like your President to address this challenge.

(I responded)
Mister McCain, I'm so glad you (or your assistant who knows how to use a computer) asked this question. The answer:

The biggest challenge America faces is people like you, and the other Neo-Con 'New World Order' right-wing zealots / fascists. Bush goes on and on about foreign terrorists making war against the USA -- however, he never acknowledges that the USA (via the CIA) has been making terrorist wars against many countries for decades.

Now your group is trying to argue that torturing others is helpful in beating the enemy in a war where there are no lines between friendly or enemy.

It's a 100% lie. Al Queda was created by the CIA and given billions of dollars. Now, assuming it really did turn against the USA, which is what the USA always wanted so it could validate having agressive military foreign policy, the CIA and the military-industrial complex can argue that the USA needs a superspy force full of James Bond types to go and kill these 'evil' people. It's the perfect contrived scenario for an unrestrained war-time expansionistic policy.

However, I don't want superspies or billions more poured into the war machine. I don't want corporate welfare while poor American people starve or become homeless. I don't want fenced borders against supposedly "illegal aliens" or the CIA doing covert wars against foreign countries. I don't want GM foods, oil barons, or a health-care system that makes a profit on suffering.

I want the military budget cut in half, and no more offensive illegal wars, period. I want an end to homelessness, and social security extended to all ages of Americans, and I want medical care to be socialized. I want to see oil and all natural resources become socialized (at least in ownership) and a cap placed on maximum corporate profits on necessities, especially since these are all derived from publically owned resources. I also want radio and TV to be reclaimed by the public and to carry more non-corporate footage.

I want to see the Republican party address some of it's inconsistencies, like "Right to Life" and Death Penalty policies, and tax breaks for wealthy but no substantial breaks for lower classes. I can name many more.

There is no free market and never has been. You seek a world of haves and have-nots. If we wanted truly free markets, then no wealthy people would be able to leave any wealth to their offspring; Brains and skill would determine merits from the start. But we live in a society controlled by old wealth that tries it's best to hide behind a curtain of obscured ownership. But I can see you.

You represent death and domination. Any American that votes for you is voting for maintaing a class system of old wealth and tyranny over the middle classes, the poor, and the disenfranchised.

See the link below and hear it from a comedian -- at least he can make the truth sound funny. (the George Carlin link)

REkzkaRZ for pREzident! - rant #3

REkzkaRZ rant #3 -- make me pREz and I'll tell you truth.
Think you know what the candidates are saying?
Try this anti-spin video and see if the truth is easier to grok.
A double-think penetrating video!

Painter X - self-portraits

Self Portraits - painted in Painter X.
This software is amazing. It looks like Photoshop, but doesn't work like it at all.

The UI is a bit strange, a bit frustrating, and it has some hold-overs that are REALLY poorly designed.

But the final output of the image ... wow.

Some of these pieces (even ones I've done) I cannot tell it wasn't done by hand. But then again, w/a Wacom tablet, it is done by hand anyway.

The Driver -- lives!

My short film 'The Driver' is being edited as I write this! A professional editor friend of mine agreed to take it on. This is VERY exciting! More info here:

Lowering Oil Prices -- BAN EXXON, MOBIL, and CITCO

This is Mission Impossible. Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to make the price of gas change downward -- or maybe we'll just make more email spam. I'm willing to violate my anti-spam code, momentarily, if it will help the people AND end this episode of criminal market manipulation.

Altho this seems to have come from Coca Cola and Haliburton people (UGH!), the idea seems sound to me: a BAN on Exxon, Mobil, and CitCo gas until they lower their prices to $1.30/gal or so -- although I'd settle for $2/gal at this point.

Personal note: my short film 'The Driver' (good name considering the topic) is being edited as I write this! A professional editor friend of mine agreed to take it on. This is VERY exciting! More info here:

Subject: FW: Dropping Gas Prices
> Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2008 10:12:50 -0500
> Subject: FW: Dropping Gas Prices
> This was sent by a retired Coca Cola executive. It came from one of his engineer buddies who retired from Halliburton. If you are tired of the gas prices going up AND they will continue to rise this summer, take time to read this please.
> Phillip Hollsworth offered this good idea. This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the "don't buy gas on a certain day" campaign that was going around last April or May! It's worth your consideration. Join the resistance!!!!
> I hear we are going to hit close to $ 4.00 a gallon by next summer, and it might go higher!! Want gasoline prices to come down?
> We need to take some intelligent, united action. The oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn't continue to "hurt" ourselves by refusing to buy gas.
> It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them. BUT, whoever thought of this idea has come up with a plan that can really work. Please read on and join with us!
> By now you're probably thinking gasoline priced at about $2.00 is super cheap. Me too! It is currently $3.19 for regular unleaded in my town.
> Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost of a gallon of gas is CHEAP at $1.50 - $1.75, we need to take
> aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control the marketplace..not sellers.
> With the price of gasoline going up more each day, we consumers need to take action.
> The only way we are going to see the price of gas come down is if we hit someone in the pocketbook by not purchasing their gas! And, we can do that WITHOUT hurting ourselves.
> How? Since w e all rely on our cars, we can't just stop buying gas.
> But we CAN have an impact on gas prices if we all act together to force a price war.
> Here's the idea: For the rest of this year, DON'T purchase ANY gasoline from the two biggest companies (which now are one), EXXON and MOBIL. And under no circumstances buy from CITCO. If they are not selling any gas, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit.
> But to have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of Exxon and Mobil gas buyers. It's really simple to do! Now, don't wimp out on me at this point...keep reading and I'll explain how simple it is to reach millions of people!!
> I am sending this note to 30 people. If each of us send it to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300) ... and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x10 = 3,000)...and so on,by t he time the message reaches the sixth group of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers. If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted!
> If it goes one level further, you guessed it..... THREE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE!!!
> Again, all you have to do is send this to 10 people. That's all!
> (If you don't understand how we can reach 300 million and all you have to do is send this to 10 people.... Well, let's face it, you just aren't a mathematician. But I am . so trust me on this one.
> How long would all that take? If each of us sends this e-mail out to ten more people within one day of receipt, all 300 MILLION people could conceivably be contacted within the next 8 days !!
> I'll bet you didn't think you and I had that much potential, did you! Acting together we can make a diff erence.
> If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on. I suggest that we not buy from EXXON/MOBIL UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES TO THE $2.00 RANGE AND KEEP THEM DOWN. THIS CAN REALLY WORK.

Barack and Hillary go into a bar...

Barack OBama and Hillary Clinton go into a bar.
Hillary says, "I'll buy you a drink because you're going to lose the nomination."
Barack says, "No, I'll buy you a drink ... you must be sore from always taking care of The Bill."

(I claim credit for this joke. I just wrote it - or channeled it? - 5 min's ago.)


This came from a heated email exchange with a new 'friend' on Facebook:

As I said, the 'peace' thing, just makes me prickly all over. For starters, I believe man is territorial and aggressive by nature and fighting these instinctual impulses is futile and maddening, though I do believe one should choose 1's own battles w/care rather than enlist to fight someone else's and make them rich at your expense... But I do believe in fighting for one's country as well - too bad world leaders are just profiteers, fundamentalists, & fascists these days - makes it difficult to keep a strong army when you don't believe in your leaders' agendas.

But when you're having a really shitty day - say your cat just died and your walking around looking somber and some fool walks past and says "Smile" - it's just this kind of nonsensical logic, these 'smile nazis' that insist we should all be happy and peaceful all the time, regardless of circumstance. There's a time for frowning just as there's a time for war and aggression - there really is. As a fellow Jew, wouldn't you say that when someone's trying to exterminate yr peops, it's time to kick some ass?

So why say 'peace' as some catchall statement, good for anytime, anywhere?

I mock you b/c you seem like a super bright guy, so how I can sit idly by when I feel you are just sooo wrong about this 'PEACE' thing - unless you're trying to be ironic. And if the point is sort of a reminder to quell aggression whenever possible, saying 'peace' like that - well it just makes the idea more banal and meaningless. And the 'peace movement' is already bastardized with the notion that it's being backed by drug-addled niave hippies who don't have any clue about the real dangers out there - and that not everyone has a live and let live attitude and may want to hurt you just for being you - you Ari - well-intentioned person that you are. And by throwing the word around lightly like that, you further dismantle the validity of the movement.

I'm too tired to make this a coherent argument, but perhaps you won't just dismiss what I'm saying b/c I'm really quite serious about it.

Have a good week - H

a) I'm responding to your argument with sincerity
b) I may not be right, but it's how I feel

Enjoying our talks. I have had acquaintances that say they feel just like you seem to. I think I piss them off and they'd probably like to kill me. But so far, no one has tried -- at least, not b/c of my words for peace.

I studied martial arts for 10+ years, partially b/c I've gotten in a few fights in my life, and partially b/c it's better to desire PEACE from a position of strength and knowledge than from a position of ignorance or fear. Having been in a few fights, I say from my experience that fighting and killing eachother are not where humans show their best qualities, IMO.

> As a fellow Jew, wouldn't you say that when someone's trying to exterminate yr peops, it's time to kick some ass? So why say 'peace' as some catchall statement, good for anytime, anywhere?

Hmmmm, interesting. In the 10 Commandments, there's this really good commandment, "Don't Kill". To my knowledge, they never wrote, "Don't Kill -- except when ... " etc. (Although that does seem to be how it's interpreted by clergy and many people.)

When the NAZI's hauled off the Jews for slaughter, few people could conceive of the extent of mass murder being planned. I think most Jews thought it would be an imprisonment for a limited time. I do think that the 'Eye for an Eye' concept means that someone else attacks first, no? So that'd be at least one requirement for 'necessary violence', in my opinion -- it's a self-preservation imperative, and you are clearly being attacked by the person/thing you are counter-attacking.

I don't feel it's justified with USA in Iraq b/c I don't believe Iraq attacked USA. I think Bush allowed a so-called 'terrorist' attack to happen -- which the CIA financed by giving Bin Laden a few billion dollars to create Al Queada, that bombs were in the WTC placed by CIA groups, and that Bush & Cheney were ready to take over the USA in a military coup on 9/11 ... but they were incompetent and didn't fully succeed -- sorta. There was a simulatenous Anthrax attack on many left-wing Congress people and Abortion Clinics (remember those?).
Do you know what happened on 9/11 10yrs before the attack? Bush Sr gave a speech where he called for "A New World Order". Think it was a coincidence?

Back to PEACE ... Frankly, I don't believe the Bible/Torah, or anything on Earth, was written by God, but I do believe some stuff is channeled by people from something divine.

Humans are many things by nature -- emotional, frightened, aggressive, territorial, selfish, petty, etc -- but somehow we have made music, painting, computers, society, written language, space travel, and more -- so why would creating a peaceful world be such a 'leap'?

As a fellow Jew, perhaps you know the greeting Jews give to all people is Shalom, which means Peace. Even Jesus called out to people to turn swords to plowshares and love eachother -- I'm no Christian, but he was a major Rabbi, and he said some important messages for Jews. (Did you know there were no non-Jewish Christians until Apostle Paul (a Roman who never met Jesus) started 'spreading the gospel to non-Jews'?

Devout religious followers may miss core ideas of religions b/c they're buried in dogma. I'm not any brand of religion's follower, particularly, and I like the ideas espoused by certain people in the past: Buddha, Jesus (Jehoshua was supposedly his Hebrew name), Mahatma Gandhi, MLKing Jr, John Lennon, etc.

I like the idea of "Don't Kill" as a moral imperative coming from the collective human potential. This makes sense to me. I see all life as a gift to be cherished. When I look at nature, I don't see a battleground, but rather a shared world where certain creatures consume others when they need to, and groups of similar animals fight for hierarchical position inside their groups -- but not generally to the point of killing all competitors, bc the tribe needs them.

Only humans have really gone at it to genocide all 'enemies', period. We don't fuck around -- and instead, it seems humans have made a huge fuck up out of evolution, a billion-year old process designed to bring all kinds of varieties of life to the Earth that would have been perfectly suited to their environment. The backlash from this is just in it's early stages, I think.

Back to peace:
EVERY HUMAN BEING is unique, b/c of genetic code. Some people have a potential that, if realized, could impact the Earth in an incredibly positive way. Randomly killing people w/o giving them a chance to manifest their potential ... is stupid.

The concept of a hierarchy built on death is something I'd like to see vanish over time. It's an out-dated concept that is showing holes all over, particularly in the Green Revolution of Wise-Use Sustainability vs Domination and Over-Use without respect.

I think all humans realize the Earth is not a valueless servant to be raped at our whim, but a fertile forest that could be worshipped for providing life with abundance.

You see humans as killers and defilers. I see humans as farmers and nurturers. We have both parts, but I would like to see humanity consciously out-grow the limited role of killer -- until a real enemy is in our path, and then maybe it'll be a useful time to be warriors again, or maybe not.

Rather than wasting time and resources killing eachother (and everything), why can't humans do something smarter with this invaluable opportunity? It makes sense to me.

Art coming from heart

Been playing with Photoshop again.  WOW
Been learning Painter X. WOW
It's 2008.  What the heck is next???
Aren't we there already?   :)

Painter X -- ahhh, a happy return

Well, I'm now enrolled at Berkeley CC and learning a lot.

Somehow, I got lucky and a teacher hooked me up with a chance to TA a Final Cut Pro class.

I used to use Painter years ago.  Here's what I'm learning in Painter X.
This program is ... wicked.