I hope you find what you are looking for. When you are starting to get old and beginning to fall apart like me, it will be something you can look back on, and cherish. You'll be better for it, both refueled and strengthened!



 Beauty is truth, truth beauty ,—that is all.
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

Hold your ground!

Perhaps the religious beliefs and practices of this world are best summed up by the words recorded by one of Jesus Christ's first disciples, the apostle John. Under inspiration he wrote, "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him" (Revelation 12:9, emphasis added).

superhuman controlling power

Isolation is the ideal human condition for introspection.

Several times, when I was a teenager and in my early twenties, I knowingly parachuted myself into environments where I was isolated for months, at least culturally and linguistically. My only understandable companions were Penguin paperbacks, and the only thing I ever missed was a bar of good chocolate.

Camus, Genet, Gide, and Mann (Thomas, Heinrich and Klaus) assumed almost kaleidoscopic hues on the page. Being alone, hermetic, and at the mercy of self, is intense and fulfilling. My only regret is that when in North Africa, I didn't venture into the Sahara, away from men, and deep into that almost lunar landscape.

I didn't communicate with home, I entirely cut myself off, I was alone and adrift, there was no audience, unlike with that fellow trying to perch himself on Rockall.


"A bear teaches us that if the heart is true, it doesn't matter much if an ear drops off."


OWL - Wisdom, Truth, Patience, Foresight & Knowledge, & a protector against harm.


The Battle Hymn of the Ranapublic
by John Boardman

Mine ears have heard the croaking of the Giant Barded Frogs.
They are swimming through the marshes, they are leaping over logs.
They are eagerly devouring people, vampire bats, and dogs,
As they go hopping on!

Glory, glory, ribbit ribbit!
Glory, glory, ribbit ribbit!
Glory, glory, ribbit ribbit!
As they go hopping on!

Their hides are leather shields on which a sword has never stung.
They have claws upon the forefeet, they have barbs upon the toungue
With which they torture women who are sensitive and young
As they go hopping on!

They have armor-plated eyeballs and their teeth are made of brass,
Their breath corrodes titanium, their voices shatter glass,
They shoot snake venom from their jaws and napalm out their ass,
As they go hopping on!

They'll jump a seven-meter fence, they'll float like a balloon.
They'll swim like Flipper's brothers and they're fast as a typhoon.
In fact, they say that Armstrong found a couple on the Moon,
As they go hopping on!


I'M EFFICIENT!
(AND A PISCES)

SO

I'M A FISH-ENT

BRING A WHEEL BARROW FULL OF THERE.

"what needs to know, knows"
-toni

"illmail"
i haven'y washed down that floor


my dear lovely family

peace and happiness

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
― Dr. Seuss

i was picking out small rocks from the dirt and he went and got the pitchfork and started to do what i was doing but he also let in all the crab rass, i wanted just rocks, i asked him to stop because i was doing it and he said something and i said something and it ended up with me saying, you don't need a wife, and he replied,
i like living with a bull shitter..
that hurt me and now i am crying.....
dad 12:12 22may 13

"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live."
― Henry David Thoreau

"functional necrophilia"

frog orgy
There is nothing beneficial to a female about being killed in a orgy.

In the deadpan style of academics, Izzo writes that "such occurrences are obviously detrimental to females". You don't say.

There might even be some benefits for the female. She too gets a post-mortem chance of passing her genes to future frogs despite the unfortunate side effect of, er, being drowned by a ball of violent males. Silver lining!

"Marriage should be between a spouse and a spouse, not a gender and a gender."
― Hendrik Hertzberg

if you are depressed, you are living in the past.

if you are anxious, you are living in the future.

if you are at peace, you are living in the present

lao tzu



Don't eat anything your grandmother wouldn't recognize as food

Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry

Avoid food products ingredient that a third grader could not pronounce

Avoid food products that make health claims (that is an interesting one, think about it?)

Avoid food with words "lite" "low fat" or "nonfat"

Eat food that will eventually rot

If it came from a plant eat it, if it was made in a plant, don't.

There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea. ~ Bernard-Paul Heroux


It's pretty well known that the CIA has been installing friendly dictators around the world for years.
Rob Walton

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.
Mark Twain

I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done.
Lucille Ball

I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line.
Lucille Ball

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.
Lucille Ball

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.
Groucho Marx

Did you ever see the customers in health - food stores? They are pale, skinny people who look half - dead. In a steak house, you see robust, ruddy people. They're dying, of course, but they look terrific.
Bill Cosby

Women are like tea bags.They do not know how strong they are until they get into hot water. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Once Upon a Time

I am trying to learn how to use this page but it's all in finnish and it takes trail and error so it's just full of gobbileegook



"I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor"
Oliver Wendell Holmes


                                          Life  Explained

              On the first day God created the cow.  God said, "You must go
               to the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the
                sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer. I will
                             give you a life span of sixty years."

              The cow said, "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live
                 for sixty years. Let me have twenty and I'll give back the
                                other forty." And God agreed.

              On the second day God created the dog. God said, "Sit all day
             by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or
                 walks past. I will give you a life span of twenty years."  

             The dog said, "That's too long to be barking. Give me ten years
                   and I'll give you back the other ten."  So God agreed.

             On the third day God created the monkey. God said, "Entertain
                people, do monkey tricks, make them laugh. I'll give you a
                                    twenty-year life span."

            The monkey said, "How boring, monkey tricks for twenty years?
                I don't think so. Dog gave you back ten, so that's what I'll
                           do too, okay?" And God agreed again.

              On the forth day God created man. God said, "Eat, sleep, play,
               have sex, enjoy. Do nothing, just enjoy, enjoy. I'll give you
                                        twenty years."

            Man said, "What? Only twenty years! No way, man. Tell you what,
              I'll take my twenty, and the forty the cow gave back, and the
              ten the dog gave back and the ten the monkey gave back, that
                                    makes eighty, okay?"

                           "Okay," said God, "You've got a deal."

              So that is why the first twenty years we eat, sleep, play, have
               sex, enjoy, and do nothing; for the next forty years we slave
                in the sun to support our family; for the next ten years we
               do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren; and for the
              last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

                                 Life has now been explained.

What is comedy?
Tragety plus Time.
from the movie
 Crime and Misdemeanors
 by Woody Allen


"Science may have found a cure for most evils, but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all: the apathy of human beings." --Helen Keller


"Dreaming permits each and everyone of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives." --William Dement



"There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness."

Dalai Lama


If you don't like the road you're walking, start paving another one.
Dolly Parton

The Questions of Life
if you are depressed, you are living in the past.
if you are anxious, you are living in the future.
if you are at peace, you are living in the present
lao tzu


I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done.
Lucille Ball


I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line.
Lucille Ball


Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.
Lucille Ball


I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.
Groucho Marx


Did you ever see the customers in health - food stores? They are pale, skinny people who look half - dead. In a steak house, you see robust, ruddy people. They're dying, of course, but they look terrific.
Bill Cosby


Women are like tea bags.They do not know how strong they are until they get into hot water. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt


Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.
Mark Twain


"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
-- Dr. Seuss


There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea. ~ Bernard-Paul Heroux


Isolation is the ideal human condition for introspection.


I hope you find what you are looking for. When you are starting to get old and beginning to fall apart like me, it will be something you can look back on, and cherish. You'll be better for it, both refuelled and strengthened!


"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live."
-- Henry David Thoreau

"A bear teaches us that if the heart is true, it doesn't matter much if an ear drops off."


Beauty is truth, truth beauty ,—that is all.
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.


OWL - Wisdom, Truth, Patience, Foresight & Knowledge, & a protector against harm.













    SOME HELPFUL HINTS by Robie


        TRUST THE LORD.

    Put your trust in the Lord, not in people or things.  God is immutable and totally trustworthy.  He loves you more than any human could ever love you, and if you give your life to him, he will lead you toward the goal he has set up for you, even if your upbringing requires some hardship along the way.  Don't trust your emotions: they vary even with the weather.  The Lord will never fail you.


        LOVE PEOPLE.

    People are human and have their weaknesses.  Don't judge them if they disappoint you or fail to live up to your expectations.  Love them like Jesus loves you: unconditionally, irrespective of what's in it for you, with no strings attached.  They are all God's children and to be loved like you love and care for yourself.  Pray for your enemies: it's not you they're hurting, it's themselves.


        DON'T WHINE.

    Worrying over your own difficulties is the most fruitless way you can waste your time.  It breeds bitterness and loneliness and constitutes outright disobedience to the Lord.  Hence, it removes you from God to such an extent that even your prayers will be ineffective for want of trust, joy, and obedience on your part.  Praise the Lord and give thanks in everything, and concern yourself with caring for others.  The Lord will provide for you in his own good time and in a way that exceeds all your expectations.


        DON'T BLAME.

    Realize that if you are hurt by someone, the essence of the matter is not the offense.  Satan wants you to be offended and to think that you have every right to be so.  But the way back is found by seeing in each disagreement your mutual misfortune where even you as the injured party have to go all the way to meet the other person.

                                                   How Time Good Enough Was Created

                                                                      by Marie

                                                           Another Thought Pattern


Long ago in a World without Earth there was a land called "Good Enough a Lot" oh "Good Enough a Lot" was good enough and there was a lot of it too.  Nothing from the animal world lived there, only, just plant and mineral life forms.  It became so lush that there was barely a place for another flower to bloom.  And that's when "time" was born.  "time" ran up and down - back and forth.  "time" ran all the day and all the night, "time" never stood still.  Still "time" wanted something - if only once could I share this.  And just like that "once" was born.  up sprang "once" and ran to "time," I will be your friend said "once" to "time."  They became good friends and enjotÿed "Good enough a lot" and one day, should we say "once" upon a "time" they created two children, "tick" and "tock."

Now tick and tock were very different.  tick loved moist warm places and tock liked gentle breezes and openness.  So tick children lived in rainforests and tock children by the seas.  Once upon time, over and over again created so many ticks as time they had lot of and once was enough :), that many ticks were running and crawling about the woods, the ticks got fat on the blood of small runt ticks and one tick got so large he was like a gorged hot dog.  And that's how man was created.  After all, what's a man but gorged blood.

Now back to what children can read.

The ticks fell to the ground and were covered in earth.  The clay of the Earth filled with Blood and nearly as fast as you say - whip her snip her - "that is what men do to women in the middle east and africa."

But again back to child proof, A man was created, a swollen lump of clay which most women agree to.  Only sometimes they get a "prick and it runs out" and the prick shrinks (hee-hee).

Well by the sea the tocks learned to swim and one day as fast as you can say, "my Golly Miss Molly," a beautiful woman was created called a mermaid.  The woman swam the seas and sometimes came ashore a nd sat on the rocks.  Woman was beautiful and so many were they that some decided to return to teh sea and they stayed so long in the water they became fish and lost their woman upper bodies and their heads were slimmer and their ears became gills and they were colorful and happy and filled the "Good enough sea."

Now the man walked out of the woods but to this day you can't take the woods out of the man, anyway, anyway, he saw the mermaids on the rocks.  Now of what use is this creature, thought the man, and he walked up to one.  She smelled of sea breezes and sunshine and man was dizzy and he pumped himself up.  The mermaid smelled musk and moss on the man and opened her tail and invited man within her.  After that she was called "maid" to the man and took over caring for him.  But there was only one man and so many mermaids, so man began his quest for what he believes is his duty to impregnate as many mermaids and cover the Earth with his seed. /over/ So one man called time is our Father and one woman called Once is our mother - hence we have covered the Earth - where there was once forests and dales now time has turned them into concrete buildings and cities, roads, wasteland.

As time man covered the Earth so he called himself Prince Good Enough a lot and he gathered many maids around him.  These maids gathered food for him, wove clothes. fed him, nursed him, had many a child for him - they call their child/children "good enough" and as the "good enough" grew theyu continued to populate the planet and it became so heavy it fell to a planet near the sun and became a slow decay to doom.  Still there is hope, many a maid is avoiding time - and many times are staying on time - and if they continue there may come a time when there could be a change - but once again, only time will tell.

Wait: next generation Good and last chapter Enough - all this story read to some music by "Prince"

Once upon a time Mother af all stories

- the end

Once upon a time
A long time I remember
When is there time enough
What time must I be there
live for - what time is it
arrive, as time is what we
Now we wander and never
quietr, love, wanderings
Once upon a time there was



   This is from walkabout

"Gregory, what we're trying to do here is to sort out cause and consequence. Since about 1,700 years, the church has been telling us that its magical sacraments and moral living are going to get us to Heaven.

"Yet the New Testament consistently states that salvation comes first and holiness is its result. When it deals with Christian conduct, its message is 'you have been saved; now you have the opportunity to live the way you'll be leading your lives in the Kingdom of God—unless, of course, you blow it first and revert to selfishness, materialism, and superstition.'

"Those Bible passages don't say, 'act thus and thus, and you'll go to Heaven.' They say things like, 'you belong to God: here's how you can show that you're worthy of him.' Or, 'you are God's people: set yourselves apart from the heathens.' It took centuries of effort by the best brains of the church to explain how these clear statements can come to mean their exact opposite. The resulting brainwash is so powerful that we automatically read such Bible passages backward like you just did.

"Look at Jesus' last talk with his disciples before he was crucified. You'd think that the instructions he gave then would be the most important advice he could muster. Yet he didn't give them a list of moral rules to observe after his death. The central thing he said and repeated was, 'My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.' Unconditionally, that is. He loved them with no strings attached, even the one who betrayed him. Even the Roman soldier whose ear St. Peter cut off: Jesus put it back."

Barbara had found the passage Adrian was talking about in John 15. "At the time, Jesus also said, 'If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love.'"

"Don't read just John 15," Adrian replied. "In John 14 Jesus says, 'Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.' The two statements taken together express the idea that loving Jesus and keeping his commands are two sides of the same coin. Remaining in his love doesn't mean doing things so he won't reject you. I already told you that you can't bargain with God. It means choosing to remain in his love and choosing to live your life as he taught you. It's a matter of taking sides. Are you on the side of the guy who bought your life with his own and tells you to love without conditions? Or are you still with the other guy who lost you your eternal life to begin with, and who even now whispers in your ear that you can have your cake and eat it too, remain a bigot at heart while showing off hypocritical acts of charity?

"The commandments Jesus gave his followers don't aim at maintaining moralistic perfection like the Law does. They express aspects of holiness. Holiness doesn't just happen; you have to work at it. Jesus' commandments include things like 'don't judge,' 'love your enemy,' 'love God above everything and your neighbor as yourself,' 'do to others what you would have them do to you,' 'turn the other cheek,' 'go the extra mile,' 'don't worry,' and 'be merciful.' There are around 40 of these commandments; they're easy to find on the Web."

"But wait a little!" I interjected. "What's all the talk about books being opened on Judgment Day? Eventually, we'll all be judged on our deeds, won't we?"

John took over the thread. "That depends on your own choice. If you've accepted the offer of salvation we've been talking about, remained faithful to God, and lived your faith, your past deeds and your remaining human frailty won't matter. It's those who elect to be graded on their actions that will be so judged. For them, not a jot or a tittle has changed in the Law. And no one comes even close to perfection that way."

"How do you choose the second alternative?"

"By trusting your own moralistic perfection over your need for God's mercy and forgiveness," John answered. "And by judging others by some set of rules; this ensures that you'll be judged by the same rules yourself."

"Earlier, you seemed to be talking about some kind of self-help that doesn't involve the church," I observed. "But the churches quote Jesus as saying that no one comes to the Father except by him, so we need them and their formulas for salvation."

Adrian continued the tutoring. "He also said, 'I am the way.' Not a church, not a ritual, but he himself. He delegated a lot to the church, but not the selection of who comes to the Father. This decision he sovereignly reserved for himself, and, contrary to what the clergy would have you believe, they can't stop him from picking whomever he wants, even someone who's never heard of him.



 

                 
Time Running Out for Countries to Tackle Millennium Bug

An article from the end of the nineties


At the turn of the millennium, people around the world could be united by a collective information black-out as computers from Andorra to Zimbabwe travel back in time one hundred years. Such is the fear of businesses, governments, and computer programmers as they scramble to mitigate the effects of the Year 2000 Problem (the "Y2K" problem, sometimes referred to in the press as "the millennium bug").

The World Bank Group, which finances projects that rely on information systems around the world, is worried about the implications of Y2K for its client countries. The Bank is urging governments in developing countries to confront Y2K right away to reduce the associated costs and distress.

"I cannot emphasize enough how serious the repercussions could be on developing countries' economic activities," says the Bank's Chief Information Officer, Mohamed Muhsin. "Governments and businesses that have not done so need to begin taking the steps to update their information systems."

Until a few years ago, some systems were programmed to use six numbers to represent the date (mm/dd/yy or dd/mm/yy). As a result, many computer programs cannot differentiate between the years 1900 and 2000. They only register the last two digits: 00. As a result, some programs may fail to operate properly with dates after December 31, 1999. Computers and systems that use chipsâ€"found in nearly every industryâ€"may reject entries or miscalculate the time elapsed between two dates, with unpredictable and expensive consequences. Also, since 2000 is a leap year, and 1900 was not, all entries for February 29 would be rejected.

Moreover, Y2K brings with it a few other headaches. For example, years ago, programmers would occasionally use a value of all nines to signify "no expiration date," or "forever." When September 9, 1999 rolls around, computers that have been programmed in this old way will behave strangely or malfunction on 9-9-99, perhaps as if it's the end of time!

The problem affects all types of hardware, operating systems, security and control systems, database-management systems, systems that process transactions, banking systems, spreadsheets, phone systems and more. In fact, although a majority of the Y2K problems are located in information systems, any system anywhere that uses dates may be threatened: from small alarms to applications supporting health and human services, revenue collection, budgeting and pension benefits. By some accounts, the bill for fixing the problem worldwide is about $600 billion.

As 2000 approaches, the needed resources to convert computer systems will become more expensive and more difficult to find, posing new and costly challenges to countries that haven't started converting their information systems. From farming, to health services, to paying out pensions, the Bank estimates that most sectors could be disrupted in the next five years due to Y2K computer failures.

"The Bank approaches the Year 2000 issue from three perspectives: our internal computer systems, our projects and our client countries," says Robert Hoge, the Year 2000 Task Manager at the Bank. "The work on our internal systems is well underway and we're now focusing on ensuring that development projects and client countries will not be adversely affected." Hoge adds that although the Bank itself is not providing consulting services, it has prepared a Year 2000 help kit for Bank staff and a Year 2000 information packet for project agencies and client countries.

"The year 2000 seems far off but it's really just around the corner," says Muhsin. "Ideally, systems should be fixed ahead of time and tested prior to January 1, 1999, only 9 months away."



The Rise and Fall of Fascist America

Parallels

Some conspiracy theory from 2001 by Robie

On February 27, 1933,  a mentally deranged Dutch Communist, Martinus van der Lubbe, lit a few small fires in the German parliament building, the Reichstag, in Berlin--not enough to set the building alight, but sufficient to get him hanged as the sole perpetrator afterward.  The happenings prior to that fateful evening, and the events following it, carry some lessons for those wanting to understand September 11, 2001, and the subsequent developments.

van der Lubbe, a petty criminal and arsonist, hated the Nazis, and had bragged about intending to set the Reichstag on fire while having a beer in a pub.  The Nazi SA, with ears everywhere, found out, and, unbeknownst to van der Lubbe, an SA detachment entered the building through a disused central heating tunnel.  While the Dutchman was busy lighting insignificant fires, using his shirt as tinder, the SA planted gasoline and incendiaries, and within minutes, the Reichstag was burning out of control.  Why did the Nazis do this?

At the time, Hitler had a problem.  Based on the success of the Nazi party in the previous election, Hitler had become Reichskanzler, or Prime Minister, but he lacked a majority in both the government and the parliament.  Having no intention of playing second fiddle to his rivals, a coalition of moderate parties, he needed a decisive victory in the March 5 election.  He also was uncomfortable with the democratic process, and wanted to proceed directly to Nazi supremacy and dictatorship.

Hitler's solution was to eliminate the Communist party and its 100 deputies, which would give his Nazis a majority in the remaining parliament.  By ensuring that van der Lubbe succeeded in destroying the Reichstag, he could pronounce the fire a Communist conspiracy.  By the next morning he had secured the signature of the aging President, von Hindenburg, on legislation that changed Germany from a democracy to a tyranny.  The one hundred Communist deputies were arrested, civil rights were abrogated, and the country embraced Hitler as its Leader.

In mid-2001, the Republican government in the United States was having a problem.  It was seen as merely presiding over a recession, having accomplished nothing of significance, and it faced an uphill battle in getting the largest peacetime defense budget increase approved in Congress.  The corporate sponsors of the Bush administration were, no doubt, getting impatient: the stocks of the defense industry were still losing their value, and, lacking a credible enemy, there were serious reservations in Congress against spending more on defense.

A neoconservative think-tank, the Project for a New American Century, had the solution and made it public.  What was needed, according to the PNAC, was a "new Pearl Harbor" to unite the nation behind the PNAC's favorite pastime, war.  The powers that be began preapring for just such an event.

During the weeks prior to September 11, 2001, Muslim terrorists made it known that they were going to hit some notable landmarks in America, and hit them hard.  These boasts surfaced on the Internet, much the same as van der Lubbe's bragging in the Berlin beer hall.  Israeli intelligence warned the US government that the terrorists were planning to hijack jet liners and use them as missiles.  Much as in Germany in the '30s, help was forthcoming, and for the same reasons.

On the morning of September 11, after most of America's fighter jets had been sent to Canada for exercises, four large passenger jets with full fuel tanks went off-course over the US Northeast, and ceased communicating with Air Traffic Control.  Sounds of a struggle were overheard from the cockpit of one plane.  Passengers made cellular phone calls from two of the flights, reporting that the planes had been hijacked.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) followed standard procedures and informed the US Air Force, which has fighter jets ready to intercept troubled or suspicious civilian aircraft on short notice.  No higher-level approval is needed; fighter jets typically begin escorting the offending plane, and, if necessary, forcing it to land, within ten minutes of being alerted by the FAA.

But that day, the Air Force received orders from the highest levels of the Bush government not to intercept the four hijacked passenger planes.  Finally, after the first one had hit the World Trade Center in New York, a couple of fighter jets were scrambled from Boston, ensuring that they couldn't reach New York before the second impact.  A poorly rehearsed press conference by Vice-President Dick Cheney provided the public with the required misleading statements on the intercept, or rather, the lack of it.

Interestingly, in a TV interview on December 4, 2001, Laura Bush let it slip that already back in July, the White House, knowing that the country would be in mourning at the end of the year, had begun redesigning the 2001 Christmas cards on a more somber note than usual.

So far, the parallels with what happened in Germany in February 1933 are evident.  They become clearer still when we look at the results of the attacks.  Just as in Germany in1933, the text of the new Federal legislation abrogating constitutionally guaranteed civil rights was written and printed up at the time of the WTC and Pentagon attacks.  Unprecedentedly, the laws needed were enacted within less than a month after September 11, without significant opposition or debate.  Capitol Hill legislators barely bothered to read the bills they approved.  As a result, as if by flipping a switch, anyone suspected of terrorism in America is now presumed guilty until proven innocent.  The authorities are free to accuse anybody of being or supporting a terrorist.  Conveniently, terrorism has not been defined; however, it already has become clear that it includes exercising one's First Amendment rights.

Likewise, the record-breaking Federal defense budget, along with an extra $20 billion for fighting terrorism, was approved by December 8, 2001.  The shares of the defense industry began rising sharply and are rising still.  Need it be added that Mr. Cheney came from a leading position in the Carlyle Group, a large defense industry holding company, where the Bush family has substantial interests?  Need we still add that the defense supplies company Halliburton, where Mr. Cheney had recently been President, subsequently began receiving no-bid orders from the Pentagon for billions of dollars worth of goods and services?

Back in the thirties, Hitler proceeded to rearm Germany and attack his neighbors on trumped-up charges of jeopardizing German interests and mistreating German minorities.  Germany became the bully of the decade and started the Second World War.  Although Germany lost the war and Hitler committed suicide, her arms industry, including the German subsidiaries of US car giants GM and Ford, profited handsomely.  The profits due to Ford and GM were paid out after the end of the war.

Following the 9-11 attacks, President Bush readily stepped up to the challenge and declared war on terrorism on the evening news of September 11.  His battle-cry "If you're not with us, you're against us" is a round statement by a world-class bully, much like the accusations of treason Hitler liked to level at countries that attempted to preserve their independence before the onslaught of the supposedly invincible German war machine.

America has undergone a Fascist takeover, the beneficiaries of which are the owners of big business.  The system is rapidly being exported all over the world, and it is intended to become permanent.  To prevent citizens from getting in the way of the massive enrichment of the already rich, and to help them accept their new position as mere consumers and sweatshop laborers without the right to uncorrupted political representation, all objections to the process are labeled "terrorism."

Here's a quote from Douglas Reed, writing about the loss of freedom Germans experienced the night of the Reichstag fire.

When Germany awoke, a man's home was no longer his castle.  He could be seized by private individuals, could claim no protection from the police, could be indefinitely detained without preferment of charges; his property could be seized, his verbal and written communications overheard and perused; he no longer had the right to foregather with his fellow countrymen, and his newspapers might no longer freely express their opinions.

The Bush administration's 2001 anti-terrorism legislation, introduced using a similar ruse, effects the same changes in America, and is being copied in every country that has a popular or ethnic opposition to deal with.  It is a well-proven method: Roosevelt knew about, encouraged, and facilitated the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, sending the Pacific Fleet there to act as a target, keeping the local military commanders in the dark, and proscribing all defensive action.  He then used the public's outrage over the attack to draw America into WW II and provide the American arms industry with an equal opportunity to share in the proceeds of that great conflict, along with its overseas competitors.

Where Hitler's Nazis employed first a gang of ruffians, the SA, and later a sophisticated organization of sadists, the SS, to intimidate the population into submission, the Bush administration used its success on 9/11 to set up the Transport Safety Administration for the same purpose.

You may ask: What, if any, are the differences between Bush and Hitler?  Not many, but one stands out:  Hitler was elected to his office democratically.  Bush was installed against the will of the majority of US voters, through the machinations of his brother, the Florida Governor, and the Supreme Court judges appointed by his father.  Another important difference is that where Hitler, an insane megalomaniac, started a global war for ideological reasons--a war that he mercifully lost--Bush pursued and attained a much more pragmatic goal: the enrichment of America's owning class on a truly grotesque scale.  To help him in this endeavor, Bush (by his own admission not the brightest coin in the box) had the guidance of his father and the latter's Bush doctrine that stipulates that America should always have the capability to conduct two simultaneous wars, typically in the Middle East.  George H. W. Bush coined America's modern concept of war for profit.

By some calculations--taking into account not only inflation but also the costs of caring for the many injured service personnel that, thanks to modern medical science, survive to a life as invalids rather than die from their wouds--the small-scale wars in Afghanistan and Iraq became more costly to the US than defeating Italy, Germany, and Japan in World War II.  This, obviously, is good news for the owners of contractors and suppliers to the Pentagon.

With the withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, without reaching any of the stated objectives of those campaigns, the need for new enemies became pressing.  After a brief adventure in Libya, where new tyrants were installed to succeed Moammar Ghaddafi, America turned to the next countires on its list: Syria and Iran.  Again, the bold, official objective was regime change--installing rulers more sympathetic to America and the West--while the true, down-to-earth motive remained enriching America's rich at the expense of her tax-paying middle class.  To ensure that financiers got their share of the loot, the wars were again paid for with loans that the taxpayers then had to pay back with interest.  Just like in Nazi Germany, patriotic propaganda kept the population happy about being robbed of its wealth and seeing its youth killed and maimed for the benefit of the powerful.

There's a saying, attributed to George Santayana: Those who refuse to learn from history are bound to repeat it.





Thoughts on succeeding in a white-collar working career

(Robie's attempt to teach millennials the old ways to success)


Work hard at your studies, get good results, and learn how to study effectively.

If possible, specialize in a new thing that's about to take off.  Stay at the cutting edge of your specialty until you advance into management, then become a generalist.

When applying for work, learn all you can about the organization and figure out how you could contribute to its success.  Understand what you're good at and apply only for jobs that seem exciting to you.  Make your job application a sales pitch to show why you're the best candidate for the job.  Deliver your application in person if it's physically possible; show yourself at your very best; and ask for another meeting, preferably with the person you'd be working for, to learn more about the position advertised.  Remember that competence is the most important quality a prospective employer looks for.

Be thorough and results-oriented, courageous and audacious.  Be respectful and polite to everyone.  Never make jokes at anybody's expense.  Never discuss politics or religion at work.  Listen, don't talk.  Learn to remember names and faces.  Show an interest in your colleagues, superiors, and business contacts as human beings, and remember what you learn about them, so you can follow up on things later.

Be clean and presentable.  To be taken seriously by your elders, dress, groom, and behave like they do without trying to go beyond your station.  Unkempt persons never make it above the grunt level.  Don't smoke: smokers put in 10 per cent fewer hours than non-smokers during the same working day, and employers know this.  Smokers also fall ill during middle age and become a liability to their employers.

Cultivate kindness to animals: a lack of it generates an unpleasant attitude that will do you harm at work.

Both when applying for work and while working for an employer, make it evident, without saying so, that your highest priority is the success of your boss.  His/her interests are your primary motivator and you have no designs on his/her job.  Once your boss realizes this and begins to trust you completely, nothing can stop you.

Write clearly and concisely.  Use short words, sentences, and paragraphs.  Study creative writing as if you were planning to write novels.  Popularize difficult matters.  Date and keep a copy of everything you write.  Double-check your facts and document them.  Learn to design and use relational databases to make fast and accurate use of large amounts of data.  Speak loudly and clearly when addressing an audience.  Use the best available audiovisuals.  Be entertaining so nobody goes to sleep.

If you become a manager and get staff, remember that to your staff, you represent the company or organization, but to your boss, you represent your staff.  Nothing motivates those working for you like the knowledge that you care about them and their interests when dealing with the employer.  Don't be preoccupied with rising in the organization: if you follow the advice offered here, you'll be given all the responsibility you can handle.

Keep promises.  Make only realistic plans and budgets.  Warn of delays as soon as you know for certain.  Never speculate: if you don't know, find out and get back to the person who made an inquiry.  Learn to deal with short attention spans: bosses will stand over you and demand quick wins.  Give them milestones and interim results as needed, and use the resultant goodwill to get necessary resources.  Never fear telling your boss unpleasant truths in private: a good boss will respect you for it.

Keep the time spent on maintaining your work computer to a minimum.  Refuse to get addicted to social media.  Make use of calendaring and scheduling applications.  Learn to use project management systems: they actually work.  Keep a business diary so you know what you've done when and what you've promised to whom.  Learn from Dale Carnegie: the best thing he said was that to get someone to do what you want them to do, show them that it's in their own best interest to do it.  If reminders are needed, give them politely and in private.

Never stop learning.  Question existing practices and find out about the future of the business your employer is in.  Trust only good futurologists and use many different sources.  If change is needed, make a convincing case to your superiors.  If you see the ship sinking, do as the rats do and get off in time.

Y2K - Before And After

by Robie


During the late nineties, I was involved with preparing for the transition to the 21st century, when many computer programs, unless fixed or replaced, would have ceased to function because they were incapable of handling four-digit years.  The press made a big fuss about this and many doomsayers predicted the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI) on January 1, 2000.  I occasionally wrote on the matter, and we just found these two contributions to discussion forums concerning Y2K.

February 26, 1999
Re: An Informed Public Is a Prepared Public

Most Y2K observers, especially the doom mongers, are outside the corrective work going on.  Those doing the work, on the other hand, are too busy and have their noses too close to the ground to be able to put their perspective into sellable words.  Thus, the outside commentators have been left to define what's happening, and have chosen what's sure to help them sell their wares: the concept that we're all helpless victims of a large machine that's about to break down.

This is the current understanding of the role of society at large and of government in particular: For the People.  Some generations back, in countries so favored, government and public actions were seen differently: By the People.  Following the victory of business over the family and the individual, we now fulfill our ordained roles as specialized consumers with no complementary skills, and must depend on society, and, specifically, on business, for every aspect of our survival.  Hence the ease of conjuring up the image of everybody on Earth stuck in a malfunctioning space station, abandoned by the maintenance crew, and headed for disaster.

What remains, however, is the fact that it's still people doing the work and the machines that may break down are their tools.  It isn't just some unknown processes that are at risk, it's places of work.  Billions of people are potentially affected; that means billions of pairs of hands that can do something.  We all deal with emergencies and broken tools all the time; are we likely to stand idly by while our jobs and our livelihoods go down the drain due to some technical problem with our tools?  I dodn't think so.  Common sense is a powerful force, once it kicks in.

All the people who wrench their living directly from the soil and the sea will be affected only indirectly, if at all.  Much of the work at risk can be performed with degraded tools or by alternative means.  Work that can't be done without the tools will be prioritized.

On another note, I believe that, in the developing countries, where there isn't enough time, money, or resources to check and fix everything beforehand, a viable strategy could be to concentrate on securing the power supply and other vital parts of the national and local infrastructure, such as water and sewers, food and fuel supply, payment system, revenue collection, transportation, health and education, entitlements, public servant salaries, defense, and security.  If you then fix only what breaks among other systems, you'll spend just a fraction of the time and money required to check everything in advance and fix all systems that look suspect.  As long as power and basic services work and people don't riot, having some computers and machines down for a while isn't yet a catastrophe, especially in countries where you don't depend on everything working perfectly, anyway.

If this last concept is indeed viable, then the measurements of Y2K preparedness that apply to OECD countries shouldn't be used for the developing world.  Foreign investment shouldn't be encouraged to flee countries just because they're less prepared than, say, the US and Canada, thereby creating self-fulfilling prophesies of doom.  There's enough trouble in the developing world, anyway.


January 10, 2000
Re: Congratulations!

Y2K was a special challenge, because its worldwide complexity exceeded our human ability accurately to predict its consequences.  However, it was well known in advance, and there was ample time to prepare.  Hence, all went well: no systemic failures occurred.  A lot of money was spent, and, clearly, it was well spent.  It's also clear that unless the effort had been made, there could have been systemic failures, and that would have been bad.

Some isolated Y2K glitches have appeared, as could be expected.  Due to the nature of the systems involved, such problems will keep surfacing for some time to come.  This is normal and can be handled.  IT staff and engineers do this for a living.  If our tools break, we fix them.  What we avoided was an avalanche of problems all at once, which would have exceeded our capacity to fix things.

An interesting thought is whether we've learned anything about doom-saying in the process.  Most of the doom-sayers have gone quiet, perhaps preparing for Leap Day or the next New Year's.  Those with a wider reputation to salvage are now doing their explaining thing.  Next time around, I believe we can look out for the following characteristics so as not to lose too much time and effort on dealing with them:

All the doom-sayers had something to sell, and public apprehension increased their sales.  The goods included the message itself, consulting services, their own writings, emergency supplies, and worthless pieces of land.  It's to be hoped that those who bought will find a way to profit from their investment.
Doom-saying, by its nature, looks at a trend and extrapolates it linearily until a disaster scenario is found.  In real life, everything goes in cycles.  When a dubious trend has continued long enough, common sense kicks in and resources are applied to correct it.  But meanwhile, somebody gets rich on describing the havoc we were headed for.

Most of the criticism of the perceived inaction in the non-English-speaking world came from the United States.  There's a correlation between the lack of language skills of English-speakers and their failure to understand the actual effort expended elsewhere.  Further, as even the CIA admitted by way of explaining its own misjudgment, Americans tend to project their own society and infrastructure on everybody else, ignoring the fact that no other country is as dependent on money and technology as the US.

Some doom-sayers strongly touted the domino theory, multiplying the likelihood for interconnected systems to cause a compounded failure even where risks to individual systems were low.  This theory assumes that the world is run by an incomprehensible, uncontrollable web of robots where any glitch will snowball into a major failure.  Reality is different: most IT systems deliver their results to humans who can see if they are wrong.  People do the work; the systems are their tools, and can be fixed if they break.  Interdependent systems were subjected to intensified integration testing.  Embedded systems were replaced if there was reason to believe that they were doing something date-dependent.

Nevertheless, the doom-sayers did us a great service: we got more money and resources for the work than we'd have got without them.  So congratulations and thanks to them too!