Thursday, December 25, 2008

see this picture...

I feel an obligation to write something about 9/11 because I am convinced that the the twin towers and WTC7 were brought down by controlled demolitions, and as the tragedy recedes further into the past, I fear that finding out what really happened will become less and less important to people. I think it is very important to find out what really happened that day and to find and prosecute the true perpetrators.

I know that there are those who have never entertained the possibility of any other explanation than the official conspiracy theory, and it is frightening to think that something so horrific could be perpetrated by anyone, let alone by persons who might have been US nationals themselves. Most people are more comfortable with the idea that it was definitely carried out by foreign nationals. However, it is convenient, don't you think, that those who were blamed were from the Middle East where the richest oil reserves exist, situated in Afghanistan where the Taliban had been refusing to allow the building of an oil pipeline. I do not know who was behind 9/11, but I think it is useful to consider who might have benefitted and there is a well-researched article about this at the following link:

Cui Bono, Who Benefits from 9/11

If anyone thinks that the official version is true, I would urge them to view the video 911 Mysteries. You can see it online at the official 911 Mysteries website where you can also order copies of the DVD for a very nominal fee. The 911 Mysteries video presents the facts in a very sane and non-emotional way and when you take all the points together that are made in this film, it's hard not to see the official story as being itself a conspiracy theory - one that's filled with so many holes that you wonder how it got sold in the first place.

What has angered me more than anything since September 2001 is that the official story of 9/11 was used unashamedly to drive the policies of those in power. To me, using as an excuse this horrific crime, while knowing that the real perpetrators were not those of the official account, to disassemble the Constitution, to start an illegal war, to destroy our privacy, to defy the Geneva Convention, and on and on is beyond criminal and treasonous - it is pure evil. I just wish enough people could see this picture that I see.

Monday, December 22, 2008

GOP cyber-security expert explains how Ohio was stolen in 2004

"I don't care if my candidate wins as much as I care about being in a democracy. Either I am or I am not in a country that elects its leaders - that's what I want - and if my party is elected, great - and if my party is not elected, great - I still live in a democracy." - Stephen Spoonamore, Cyber-Security Expert and Republican - from Fifty ways to steal an election

Wow! YES! A cyber-security expert who is a Republican and speaking out about the threat to democracy posed by electronic voting! My hero!

In the Fifty ways to steal an election video, Stephen Spoonamore talks about how, while it is true that individual machines can be hacked, greater vulnerabilities exist when tabulated results from individual princincts are transferred over networks to centralized tabulating machines.

Since November of 2004, I have been trying to tell just about anyone who would listen that the 2004 election had been stolen. I was certain of this because I had been following the polls closely, had expected a Kerry win, and the exit polls did not agree with the final outcome. Many people I spoke with were surprised that GWB had been re-elected, but had not questioned the result (most people don't ever use USA and banana republic in the same sentence), accepting that this must have been what most Americans wanted. At every opportunity I would express my strong view that the result was not a real one - that the election had been stolen by electronic tampering - but this view was usually met with what I perceived as a kind of quiet skepticism, and only rarely did anyone immediately agree with me or appear to want to discuss the issue further.

I really believe that electronic voting machines pose the greatest threat to democracy everywhere. You can bet that if these machines do finally become accepted throughout the USA, the rest of the world will be the next frontier for the voting machine companies.

If you have any doubts about the dangers of electronic voting, listen to Stephen Spoonamore. He is a cyber-security expert and knows what he is talking about and, what's more, he is a Republican, so why would he lie? Did I really just say that? What I mean to say is, he is a Republican, so he has not got any kind of liberal or leftist agenda.

There are actually a number of Stephen Spoonamore videos that can be found at Velvet Revolution (page down about a third of the way to "Featured Video - GOP Cyber Expert - 2008 Will Be Stolen - Voting Machines Are National Security Threat"). The sound quality is not so great, but what he has to say is truly riveting. It is a rather long video, but underneath the main video there are additional links to the highlights from it, my favorite of which were:
It’s a network, people.
Electronic voting machines are a national security threat.
Fifty ways to steal an election.
The Rapp Family: Ohio election cover-up.
Evangelicals and voting machines.
Paper ballots please.

It doesn't seem like the results of the 2008 Presidential election (not sure about Senate and House races) were tampered with electronically in a significant way, although vote flipping was reported to have occurred in some precincts, and recounting of the same batch of ballots produced different results with each recounting in at least one place (see The Brad Blog for a lot of good information about these 2008 issues, as well as a wealth of other info about the dangers of electronic voting). However, even though the 2008 Presidential election does not appear to have been fiddled with, the threat of electronic tampering still exists and must be eliminated if true democracy is to survive. If you care about democracy, urge all public officials to get rid of electronic voting and return to paper ballots that can be recounted and audited if there are any questions about the results.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I have never been very fond of dogs, mainly because of their smell, but also because most seem inclined to jump up on me unexpectedly while slobbering. Having said this, I once had the good fortune to get to know a dog named 'Spitball', and ever since, well, if my life was such that I could have a dog, I would try to find one like Spitball.

Spitball was the dog of my daughter's husband who had played baseball avidly as a youngster and named his dog after a special kind of baseball throw. My daughter married into their relationship, along with her cat, and while the cat never really adjusted to her new circumstances, Spitball was quite happy to have another human being in his life, another animal to hang out with, and extra (cat)food sometimes when no one was paying attention.

I first met him shortly before my daughter's wedding. He was well-behaved - not the kind of dog who jumped up or slobbered on me - which made it easy to like him, and I found him very nice looking in spite of him being somewhat overweight. We didn't really spend too much time together, though, and I felt content to appreciate him from a distance. The most memorable event during my visit was that, while we were all out at a pre-wedding dinner, he found and ate a box and a half of the chocolates that I had brought from Europe as a gift for my younger sister. She was so mad, but I thought it was kind of funny, especially since parts of the cardboard chocolate boxes and plastic wrapping had also disappeared, never to be seen again. I later heard that chocolate is poisonous for dogs, but he was not affected in the least, and lived for many more years.

I didn't see him again until some years later when my daughter was about to give birth to her first child. He had lost a lot of weight since our first meeting, and was noticably older, but still of good cheer and as hungry as ever. Because of my daughter's condition, I helped out by going on daily walks with him. I'm not a very active person by nature, so at first this was a little hard for me, but I soon grew to look forward to our daily outings and really enjoyed spending time with him in this way.

We could not always take him with us when we would all go out together somewhere. On those occasions, they would put him in a special cage until we returned home (this because he had, in the past, done unforgiveable things like getting into the garbage, eating things he shouldn't have eaten, and doing other things that should not be mentioned). Whenever he was put into this cage, he would howl and howl until he was let out again, and I found this heartbreaking.

On a few occasions when I was at home alone with him and had to go out for something, I would take him with me because I just could not bear to put him into the cage. He became my pal - my buddy - totally accepting going out with me, a relative stranger. He was always very quiet, but excited in a subdued sort of way that he was going somewhere. Once, I took him with me to a friend's house. My friend also had a dog, and three ferrets that were allowed to run free, and a small pond with fish, and several cats. Spitball had such a great time hunting the ferrets, chasing the cats, drinking water from the fish pond, and hanging out with the other dog, and I felt glad that I had brought him with me to enjoy this different world.

Spitball had very kind eyes and such a pure heart that I could not help but love him. He taught me that non-human creatures are innocent and have no badness in them. Even though he is no longer here, I sometimes feel like he is with me, and I will always feel thankful to have known him and to have experienced his goodness for a little while.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

we are so small...

This beautiful image of the Cartwheel Galaxy, one of the billions of galaxies in the universe, is from the galaxies section of where you can download space images for free.

Monday, December 8, 2008

action is important...

"The world is holy. We are holy. All life is holy. Daily prayers are delivered on the lips of breaking waves, the whisperings of grasses, the shimmering of leaves." - Terry Tempest Williams

I was raised as a Catholic, went to parochial schools until I was sixteen, learned that only Catholics could get into heaven, and even wanted to be a nun at one point. In spite of all this, I abandoned the idea of hell in my early teens when, for about three years, I spent most of my waking hours outside. Confronted daily with the incredible beauty of cloud formations, sunsets, flowers, trees, coral reefs, and star-filled night skies, I could no longer believe that the Creator of these wonders would ever banish its creations to hell for all eternity. I rejected what I had been taught about eternal damnation without any reservations and without ever feeling a need to seek reassurance from anyone - it was my secret heresy and I enjoyed thinking about it secretly. When I was about seventeen, my Mom started talking to me about reincarnation and karma as possible explanations for the meaning of life and we had many discussions that ultimately had the effect of opening my mind to the possibility that the Catholic Church did not hold a monopoly on the truth. These discussions with her marked the beginning for me of a long and still-ongoing search for whatever truths there may be to be found in this world.

In the early days of this journey, I encountered for the first time some born-again Christians who seemed very similar to the Catholics I had grown up with. They were sure that they had found the absolute truth and that only other people who believed exactly as they believed could be "saved". Annoyingly, their approach to any new person was to ask "Are you saved?" Not being so distant from the Catholic Church at that point in my life, my reaction was "Well, of course I'm saved - I've been baptized as a Catholic!" Even now, though, after so many years, whenever I am asked this spiritually arrogant question, I find it really hard to react in a polite way.

In my opinion, being "saved" (if such a thing exists at all) is not something that would happen to me at some fixed point in time - as in some moment's grand revelation - but is rather an ongoing process of the choices I make - choosing to be kind or not, helpful or not, understanding or not, to do my best or not, day after day. Of course I am not perfect and do not always succeed, and sometimes I am even an opportunity for someone else to practice patience or not, but I will keep trying - I will to keep trying. I think intention and effort matter more than consistent outcome, and that even one totally failed effort to be loving is worth more than a lifetime's worth of revelations not followed up by action.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

imagining color for peace of mind...

The original of the above image can be found at:

I changed it slightly, because the original image had a funny greyish dot in the middle of the white, so I put a little bit of white over it. I like using this image stretched out as my computer desktop image.

Anyway, the reason I looked for such an image was to help me with something that's relatively new in my life - a kind of walking meditation I do on my way to and from lunch at work or whenever I have a chance to walk somewhere. It is a way to clear my mind of any negativity for awhile and makes me feel very energized and positive. I imagine the purest colors possible in the following order: red, orange, yellow, green, sky blue, indigo, violet. These colors correspond to the seven chakras, so I also imagine them in the places of the chakras as I go along. For the heart chakra, which is green, I also imagine a beautiful warm rose pink color, like a flower, and sometimes I imagine gold after violet.

It occurred to me to try doing this after reading about color meditation in a book. The book described a sitting meditation, but since I really hate sitting in one place for any length of time unless I'm forced to do so (e.g., long airplane, bus or train trip), it occurred to me one day to try doing color meditation while walking.

I like it that I can do this imagining while I'm going somewhere and that the effects have been only positive - I feel better, and people I pass often smile at and/or stop to talk to me.

In the process of looking for a color image to help me with this exercise, I learned that color blindness is more common in men, that most human beings have trichromatic color vision (meaning they perceive color in three channels), and that about ten percent of women have an extra channel for perceiving color giving them tetrachromatic color vision. For more info on tetrachromaticity, see:

life is random...

I started reading a book by a "New Age" writer - actually more like just flipping through it and reading random passages. Towards the end, the author started talking about the "dark night of the soul" and that supposedly a person doesn't experience this until they are "ready". I think this is just such a load of rubbish! I think, living in the world, we are all subject to random bad stuff that can happen and just happens, and that there's not any meaning in it and we are not being punished or tested or whatever. I don't believe in karma, except for the karma that we all share by entering this world again and subjecting ourselves to the randomness of the bad stuff that can happen by virtue of being alive (plus we all die someday - we can't avoid that). There's also all the random good stuff that happens to enjoy. The only things we have any control over are our state of mind, our actions, and our reactions. I think it's important to try to learn from what happens and to try to love and help and not judge the people around us - it's important to try to be a positive influence in the world.