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VARIOUS WRITINGS OF OTHERS' COLLECTED BY REZA GANJAVI A LONG TIME AGO



This is an extract from Dr. James Christians most excellent Philosophy text books: The Wisdom Seekers: Great Philosophers of the Western World.

TO THE STUDENT OF PHILOSOPHY

The Greek Cynic Antisthenes once confessed "I needed wisdom, so I went to Socrates." In our Western tradition it is Socrates, more than any other, who has come to stand for wisdom and the search for wisdom. It is true that he once declared, with feeling, "Wisdom! What wisdom? I certainly have no knowledge of such wisdom!" But others kept returning to him because they sensed that what he did have, whatever its name, was rare and very precious. (1)

This book has been written from the perspective of a pearl diver. In the pages that follow, you will find that some philosophers like to argue, others like to analyze ideas or language, still others want to outline the universe as it exists or should exist; and some few dedicate themselves to saving the world or trying to move the masses. But a pearl diver seeks a special treasure in the form of a wisdom that comes from careful and honest thinking, well-founded facts, valid inferences, and clear understandings. Along the way he too may enjoy arguing, criticizing, and judging; but in the end what he seeks is a pearl of greater price. Under and behind and through a philosopher's ponderings one can always sense a questing spirit that, after the analyses and dialectics are over and clone with, would be happy to settle for a few pearls. As you read ahead and become acquainted with the lives and thoughts of some of the noblest thinkers ever, you might do well not to forget the simple prayer of Socrates:

Beloved Pan, and all ye other gods who haunt this place, make me beautiful within, and grant that what- ever happens outside of me will help my soul to grow. May I always be aware that true wealth lies in wisdom, and may my "gold" be so abundant that only a wise man can lift and carry it away. For me that is prayer enough. (2)

TO THE TEACHER

All textbooks have strengths and weaknesses of course, and we adopt them, don 't we, in terms of the first and despite the second? For some decades now teachers of philosophy and the history of philosophy have had not a few excellent textbooks to choose from, and it feels as though, during thirty-five years of teaching philosophy, l have used them all! During that tenure, four observations about the field and the textbooks we use to teach it have appeared increasingly clear to me:

(1) That the "classical" interpretation of Western philosophic thought (the "received tradition") is often biased and arbitrary, so that when one goes back to a philosopher's own writings (when possible) and interprets them in light of more recent scholarship and insight, his concepts re-emerge in a somewhat different light;

(2) That philosophic ideas are commonly couched in esoteric language that makes them unnecessarily difficult and renders many concepts virtually inaccessible to most readers or students of philosophy. Of course there is an obvious cause for this: the philosophers themselves often wrote in a turgid prose that even specialists have difficulty understanding;

(3) That many historical ideas and statements seem to modern eyes absurd-silly, ridiculous, stupid, choose your adjective-until seen in the context of the philosopher's life, at which time, for the first time, they begin to make good sense. The question, "How could he believe that?" is a reasonable question, and very often it gets answered only when we allow the philosopher to speak for himself out of the depths of his own existence;

(4) That dialectical criticism as traditionally practiced is commonly lacking in empathetic insight into the immediate living concerns of the thinker and therefore misses the most important fact of all: what his philosophy meant to him. These observations may imply only that teachers have different approaches to understanding and teaching the history of philosophy. In any case, the present text attempts to address these concerns.

Lastly, in these volumes the lives of the philosophers have been included along with their thought. The objective sciences can be severed from those who do them, but philosophy cannot. Of course, certain kinds of endeavors-in logic, mathematics, geometry, and physics-once they pass over from philosophy to science, can stand by themselves; but until they make that transition and are appropriately reclassified, they remain intimate representations of the man or woman who created them. For in truth our ideas are expressions of our deepest selves. Philosophy illuminates life, and life illuminates one's philosophy. This does not mean that, if a teacher or student so chooses, a thinker's creations cannot be studied in isolation from the creator; sometimes we must do this because of constraints of rime and strength. But to do so will always, to some extent, diminish our understanding and appreciation of the man and/or his thought. My fondest wish is that more thinkers of the other sex had chosen, or been allowed, to do philosophy. What few women philosophers did make contributions to Western thought and are known to us-Hipparchia, Arêtê, and Hypatia are perhaps most prominent-are here included. Someday, hopefully, a sensitive civilization will evolve that realizes what it has lost and set out to create a balance that recognizes its most valuable natural resource.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND APPRECIATION

Without special friends this book would not exist. Most are deceased: Diogenes, Aristode, Epicurus, Marcus, et al., through time and duration to Bergson, Camus, and Campbell. My deepest debt is to the living. Through eight years of joyous labor the following individuals have, in diverse ways, gifted me with their time, creativity, patience, and supportive silence. I am indebted to: ...   

[He mentioned Reza Ganjavi in the acknowledgments of one of his editions of Art of Wondering Intro to Philosophy Textbook].



Shuka

A young son of a great sage, himself an evolved soul, Shuka ignored all the rituals and oblations. He did not salute the rising sun nor worship the setting sun. He did not utter the sacred incantations.

The elders of the community decided to speak to him. "Oh Shuka, if a young sage like you does not perform all the rituals and disciplines, it will be difficult for us to speak to other young people. Should you not do the rituals at dawn and dusk as our anscestors have done for centuries?"

The young sage answered thus. "As everyone knows, when there is a death or birth in the family, one has to suspend all religious rituals. I have had both a birth and a death in my home. My mother, whose name was ignorance, has died and a son has been born, a son named awareness. How am I to perform any rituals in this situation?

I also have another difficulty. The sun of awareness neither rises nor sets. There is never a dawn or a dusk. How am I to perform rituals at dawn or dusk?"

Shuka continued his life deeply, free, basking under the sun that never set nor rose.

Text by G. Gautama from his book: Raja Yoga Pranayama - page 7


On Being the Right Size - by J. B. S. Haldane - 1928

The most obvious differences between different animals are differences of size, but for some reason the zoologists have paid singularly little attention to them. In a large textbook of zoology before me I find no indication that the eagle is larger than the sparrow, or the hippopotamus bigger than the hare, though some grudging admissions are made in the case of the mouse and the whale. But yet it is easy to show that a hare could not be as large as a hippopotamus, or a whale as small as a herring. For every type of animal there is a most convenient size, and a large change in size inevitably carries with it a change of form.

Let us take the most obvious of possible cases, and consider a giant man sixty feet high—about the height of Giant Pope and Giant Pagan in the illustrated Pilgrim’s Progress of my childhood. These monsters were not only ten times as high as Christian, but ten times as wide and ten times as thick, so that their total weight was a thousand times his, or about eighty to ninety tons. Unfortunately the cross sections of their bones were only a hundred times those of Christian, so that every square inch of giant bone had to support ten times the weight borne by a square inch of human bone. As the human thigh-bone breaks under about ten times the human weight, Pope and Pagan would have broken their thighs every time they took a step. This was doubtless why they were sitting down in the picture I remember. But it lessens one’s respect for Christian and Jack the Giant Killer.

To turn to zoology, suppose that a gazelle, a graceful little creature with long thin legs, is to become large, it will break its bones unless it does one of two things. It may make its legs short and thick, like the rhinoceros, so that every pound of weight has still about the same area of bone to support it. Or it can compress its body and stretch out its these two beasts because they happen to belong to the same order as the gazelle, and both are quite successful mechanically, being remarkably fast runners.

Gravity, a mere nuisance to Christian, was a terror to Pope, Pagan, and Despair. To the mouse and any smaller animal it presents practically no dangers. You can drop a mouse down a thousand-yard mine shaft; and, on arriving at the bottom, it gets a slight shock and walks away, provided that the ground is fairly soft. A rat is killed, a man is broken, a horse splashes. For the resistance presented to movement by the air is proportional to the surface of the moving object. Divide an animal’s length, breadth, and height each by ten; its weight is reduced to a thousandth, but its surface only to a hundredth. So the resistance to falling in the case of the small animal is relatively ten times greater than the driving force.

An insect, therefore, is not afraid of gravity; it can fall without danger, and can cling to the ceiling with remarkably little trouble. It can go in for elegant and fantastic forms of support like that of the daddy-longlegs. But there is a force which is as formidable to an insect as gravitation to a mammal. This is surface tension. A man coming out of a bath carries with him a film of water of about one-fiftieth of an inch in thickness. This weighs roughly a pound. A wet mouse has to carry about its own weight of water. A wet fly has to lift many times its own weight and, as everyone knows, a fly once wetted by water or any other liquid is in a very serious position indeed. An insect going for a drink is in as great danger as a man leaning out over a precipice in search of food. If it once falls into the grip of the surface tension of the water—that is to say, gets wet—it is likely to remain so until it drowns. A few insects, such as water-beetles, contrive to be unwettable; the majority keep well away from their drink by means of a long proboscis.

Of course tall land animals have other difficulties. They have to pump their blood to greater heights than a man, and, therefore, require a larger blood pressure and tougher blood-vessels. A great many men die from burst arteries, greater for an elephant or a giraffe. But animals of all kinds find difficulties in size for the following reason. A typical small animal, say a microscopic worm or rotifer, has a smooth skin through which all the oxygen it requires can soak in, a straight gut with sufficient surface to absorb its food, and a single kidney. Increase its dimensions tenfold in every direction, and its weight is increased a thousand times, so that if it is to use its muscles as efficiently as its miniature counterpart, it will need a thousand times as much food and oxygen per day and will excrete a thousand times as much of waste products.

Now if its shape is unaltered its surface will be increased only a hundredfold, and ten times as much oxygen must enter per minute through each square millimetre of skin, ten times as much food through each square millimetre of intestine. When a limit is reached to their absorptive powers their surface has to be increased by some special device. For example, a part of the skin may be drawn out into tufts to make gills or pushed in to make lungs, thus increasing the oxygen-absorbing surface in proportion to the animal’s bulk. A man, for example, has a hundred square yards of lung. Similarly, the gut, instead of being smooth and straight, becomes coiled and develops a velvety surface, and other organs increase in complication. The higher animals are not larger than the lower because they are more complicated. They are more complicated because they are larger. Just the same is true of plants. The simplest plants, such as the green algae growing in stagnant water or on the bark of trees, are mere round cells. The higher plants increase their surface by putting out leaves and roots. Comparative anatomy is largely the story of the struggle to increase surface in proportion to volume. Some of the methods of increasing the surface are useful up to a point, but not capable of a very wide adaptation. For example, while vertebrates carry the oxygen from the gills or lungs all over the body in the blood, insects take air directly to every part of their body by tiny blind tubes called tracheae which open to the surface at many different points. Now, although by their breathing movements they can renew the air in the outer part of the tracheal system, the oxygen has to penetrate the finer branches by means of diffusion. Gases can diffuse easily through very small distances, not many times larger than the average length traveled by a gas molecule between collisions with other molecules. But when such vast journeys—from the point of view of a molecule—as a quarter of an inch have to be made, the process becomes slow. So the portions of an insect’s body more than a quarter of an inch from the air would always be short of oxygen. In consequence hardly any insects are much more than half an inch thick. Land crabs are built on the same general plan as insects, but are much clumsier. Yet like ourselves they carry oxygen around in their blood, and are therefore able to grow far larger than any insects. If the insects had hit on a plan for driving air through their tissues instead of letting it soak in, they might well have become as large as lobsters, though other considerations would have prevented them from becoming as large as man.

Exactly the same difficulties attach to flying. It is an elementary principle of aeronautics that the minimum speed needed to keep an aeroplane of a given shape in the air varies as the square root of its length. If its linear dimensions are increased four times, it must fly twice as fast. Now the power needed for the minimum speed increases more rapidly than the weight of the machine. So the larger aeroplane, which weighs sixty-four times as much as the smaller, needs one hundred and twenty-eight times its horsepower to keep up. Applying the same principle to the birds, we find that the limit to their size is soon reached. An angel whose muscles developed no more power weight for weight than those of an eagle or a pigeon would require a breast projecting for about four feet to house the muscles engaged in working its wings, while to economize in weight, its legs would have to be reduced to mere stilts. Actually a large bird such as an eagle or kite does not keep in the air mainly by moving its wings. It is generally to be seen soaring, that is to say balanced on a rising column of air. And even soaring becomes more and more difficult with increasing size. Were this not the case eagles might be as large as tigers and as formidable to man as hostile aeroplanes.

But it is time that we pass to some of the advantages of size. One of the most obvious is that it enables one to keep warm. All warmblooded animals at rest lose the same amount of heat from a unit area of skin, for which purpose they need a food-supply proportional to their surface and not to their weight. Five thousand mice weigh as much as a man. Their combined surface and food or oxygen consumption are about seventeen times a man’s. In fact a mouse eats about one quarter its own weight of food every day, which is mainly used in keeping it warm. For the same reason small animals cannot live in cold countries. In the arctic regions there are no reptiles or amphibians, and no small mammals. The smallest mammal in Spitzbergen is the fox. The small birds fly away in winter, while the insects die, though their eggs can survive six months or more of frost. The most successful mammals are bears, seals, and walruses.

Similarly, the eye is a rather inefficient organ until it reaches a large size. The back of the human eye on which an image of the outside world is thrown, and which corresponds to the film of a camera, is composed of a mosaic of “rods and cones” whose diameter is little more than a length of an average light wave. Each eye has about a half a million, and for two objects to be distinguishable their images must fall on separate rods or cones. It is obvious that with fewer but larger rods and cones we should see less distinctly. If they were twice as broad two points would have to be twice as far apart before we could distinguish them at a given distance. But if their size were diminished and their number increased we should see no better. For it is impossible to form a definite image smaller than a wave-length of light. Hence a mouse’s eye is not a small-scale model of a human eye. Its rods and cones are not much smaller than ours, and therefore there are far fewer of them. A mouse could not distinguish one human face from another six feet away. In order that they should be of any use at all the eyes of small animals have to be much larger in proportion to their bodies than our own. Large animals on the other hand only require relatively small eyes, and those of the whale and elephant are little larger than our own. For rather more recondite reasons the same general principle holds true of the brain. If we compare the brain-weights of a set of very similar animals such as the cat, cheetah, leopard, and tiger, we find that as we quadruple the body-weight the brain-weight is only doubled. The larger animal with proportionately larger bones can economize on brain, eyes, and certain other organs.

Such are a very few of the considerations which show that for every type of animal there is an optimum size. Yet although Galileo demonstrated the contrary more than three hundred years ago, people still believe that if a flea were as large as a man it could jump a thousand feet into the air. As a matter of fact the height to which an animal can jump is more nearly independent of its size than proportional to it. A flea can jump about two feet, a man about five. To jump a given height, if we neglect the resistance of air, requires an expenditure of energy proportional to the jumper’s weight. But if the jumping muscles form a constant fraction of the animal’s body, the energy developed per ounce of muscle is independent of the size, provided it can be developed quickly enough in the small animal. As a matter of fact an insect’s muscles, although they can contract more quickly than our own, appear to be less efficient; as otherwise a flea or grasshopper could rise six feet into the air.

And just as there is a best size for every animal, so the same is true for every human institution. In the Greek type of democracy all the citizens could listen to a series of orators and vote directly on questions of legislation. Hence their philosophers held that a small city was the largest possible democratic state. The English invention of representative government made a democratic nation possible, and the possibility was first realized in the United States, and later elsewhere. With the development of broadcasting it has once more become possible for every citizen to listen to the political views of representative orators, and the future may perhaps see the return of the national state to the Greek form of democracy. Even the referendum has been made possible only by the institution of daily newspapers.

To the biologist the problem of socialism appears largely as a problem of size. The extreme socialists desire to run every nation as a single business concern. I do not suppose that Henry Ford would find much difficulty in running Andorra or Luxembourg on a socialistic basis. He has already more men on his pay-roll than their population. It is conceivable that a syndicate of Fords, if we could find them, would make Belgium Ltd or Denmark Inc. pay their way. But while nationalization of certain industries is an obvious possibility in the largest of states, I find it no easier to picture a completely socialized British Empire or United States than an elephant turning somersaults or a hippopotamus jumping a hedge.


August 12 1981 IBM PC was launched.

"Several popular home computers existed before the 1981 IBM PC launch. But the regimented business world considered Apple, Commodore, and Radio Shack's Tandy products "toys."

The IBM stamp of approval on a personal computer changed that mentality for good. 

"Almost overnight, with IBM introducing the PC, it became OK to use it for real business applications," 

"In 1981 I had an IBM PC, two-floppy system," Howle said. 

"To give young people these days a comparison: It would take 10 of those floppy disks to be able to hold the music that is on one MP3 song," he said."

Dr. James L. Christian's Eulogy by Professor Myron Yeager

James L. Christian

1927-2012 

            In her email report sharing the news of Jim’s death, Lori wrote, “Jim was a philosopher first and always, that was his destiny and he tried very hard to find his way early on, but eventually had to succumb to the true self which led him down the path of so many journeys and discoveries.”  We are here today to celebrate and share those journeys and discoveries, at least as they relate to our knowledge, respect, and love of Jim . . . and Lori . . . and the family.

            I suspect all of us can readily agree with Lori when she says that “Jim was a philosopher first and always.”  His teaching, his publishing, his reading, his conversation, his habit of living all characterized the life of the philosopher, someone whom Jim himself defined as “one who learns to ask and to research questions until a meaningful answer appears” (“What Do You Mean Philosophy?”).  Or as Jim explains in his “Invitation,” what less adventuresome writers might have dismissed as a preface, to The Wisdom Seekers:  Great Philosophers of the Western World:

This book has been written from the perspective of a pearl diver.  . . . Some philosophers like to argue, others like to analyze ideas or language, still others want to outline the universe as it exists or should exist; and some few dedicate themselves to saving the world or trying to move the masses.  But a pearl diver seeks a special treasure in the form of a wisdom that comes from careful and honest thinking, well-founded facts, valid inferences, and clear understandings.  Along the way he too may enjoy arguing criticizing, and judging; but in the end what he seeks is a pearl of greater price.  Under and behind and through a philosopher’s ponderings one can always sense a questioning spirit that, after the analyses and dialectics are over and done with, would be happy to settle for a few pearls. 

Jim’s life was philosophy; he was that pearl diver—always looking for that greater gem (and yes, the pun is intended).

            In The Wisdom Seekers, Jim summarized philosophy as “critical thinking about thinking” (v).  His teaching career that spanned some four decades gave him the opportunity to introduce and challenge his students to critical thinking about thinking.  But his approach would not leave them fragmented and alienated; Jim led his students to consider a synoptic vision of the world in which questioning leads to a comprehensive view of human experience.  Such an approach took him to the process of thought, the lives of those who have shaped thought, and the works that have immortalized that thought.  That assimilation can be seen not just in the philosophy courses he taught, but in such other courses as the one built on great books he conceived and taught which brought such writers as Ray Bradbury to his classroom.  His approach led him to write his own monumental two volume text Philosophy:  An Introduction to the Art of Wondering, a work that has gone through some eleven editions, the 2012 being the most recent, published by a leading college text publisher.  Appropriately, it is used in philosophy classrooms across the United States and England.  His Wisdom Seekers (2002), also in two volumes, uses the record of the lives of the great western thinkers to trace the process of thinking and belief and to consider where belief might lead us next.  As a pearl diver, Jim shared the wealth of his discovery with his students and to other professors seeking to challenge their students to question thought and its consequences.

            I met Jim through Lori; she was my student my first year teaching at Chapman University some 29 years ago.  I recognized Lori as an unusual student from our first class together, a world literature survey in which she used as an illustration for her class presentation on Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” an organic visual aid:  a dead cockroach (this was the age before PowerPoint or Prezi).  In the years to follow she brought me into her life:  Sara, her brothers, their families, and of course, Jim.  I remember meeting Jim at his home then in Santa Ana.  Before I was introduced to him, I was appropriately introduced to his library; I recall vividly thinking when I saw the book filled living room that this is a man whose mind must be rich and deep.  Over the years at meals with the two of them, at events with them, and at surprise meetings (I am convinced everyone in central Orange County can be found at Benji’s Deli at some time or another), Jim’s mind has continued to fill me with awe and wonder.  Not a philosopher (I’m a student of literature), I have perhaps curiously always struggled to understand a philosopher’s mind, and Jim fed that wonder.  His mind traveled broadly, referring to works we had both read, reminding me of books I should have read, and alluding to works obscure to me to illustrate or to challenge thoughts in casual conversation.  Ten minutes with him was to prove Francis Bacon’s dictum:  “Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man; writing an exact man” (“Of Studies”).  Jim and I loved to talk books; not just their merits but the richness they brought to our experience; their use as lenses through which we might see others and ourselves better.  Our last conversation, when Jim was struggling with his cancer still at Town and Country, was a conversation on books.  When I went into his room, he was reading; then he told me that not only did he read as he could but Lori continued to read to him daily, which brought tears to his eyes, perhaps because of the love behind the action, perhaps because of the opportunity to continue to read through his weakness, and perhaps because of the opportunity it gave him to continue to discover with her new pearls or revisit treasured ones with the one he loved.  As I recall, he said that among the works they had been reading together had been some of the works of the Romantic poets.  He seemed even to apologize to me for the novel most immediately on his bedside table, a current bestseller.  In reality, I was struck by the stack of books left there and his passion to engage his mind in the process of discovery in his clearly weakened physical condition.  Even then, he was diving for pearls.

            Jim loved a quotation from Joseph Campbell: “Life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived.”  In the preface to An Introduction to the Art of Wondering, Jim writes:  “While my wife Lori and I were lunching at a restaurant one day, she said to me, ‘How can you not feel alive if you are creating?’”  In creation, Jim found the path to his exploration of the mystery of life, the means to find the questions to ask if not the answers.  Beside him on that path, sharing the adventure, and sometimes triggering it, Lori was his partner, encouraging him to explore new pearl diving waters.  Jim readily acknowledged the inspiration Lori offered him in his writing, thinking, and most importantly, living.  Any conversation with Jim would include in that peaceful voice of his an expression of the joy and warmth Lori brought to his life on a daily basis.  As he wrote in his dedication for volume I of The Wisdom Seekers, Lori “said to me each morning after breakfast, ‘Go and write us a big book.’  My everlasting thanks for the support and for love, intellect, and sparkling smiles.” In the margin he penned “not smiles, SIMILES, damn copy editors.”  But I think in reality, Jim appreciated both:  her smiles and her similes, he spirit and creative mind that could see Kafka in a dead cockroach.  If knowledge, study, and wisdom were pearls, no doubt Lori was his diamond.  And while I only know his family indirectly, I know that they offered for him stimulation, pride, and emotional fulfillment, the jewels of family. 

            Jim quotes Socrates in Plato’s Meno as saying, “I am not sure of everything I say.  However, there is one thing I would fight for in both word and deed, right to the end if I could:  The belief that it is possible to find out what we don’t know, and that we will be better human beings, braver and more fulfilled, if we try with all our might to do so.”  Such is the legacy Jim Christian leaves to us; he found those pearls and has shared them selflessly with each of us as he sought to find out what he—and we—don’t know.  Quoting his friend Ray Bradbury, Jim wrote, “Philosophy must try, as best it can, to turn the sparrows to flights of angels, which, Shakespeare wrote, sing us to our rest.”

Myron Yeager

(Copyright, Dr. Yeager)


uiet guy, young, in the London docklands in the early sixties, working on checking cargo and shipments and quantities and allowances and imports and exports. I imagine it was pretty rough. Somewhere in London he met my mother who was studying physiotherapy in South London.

My older brother and I were born in north London, but we moved to the countryside before I was 2, so I grew up in Wiltshire, where my Dad continued to work as a civil servant. Now more involved in checking the production levels of the brewing industry.

His involvement with alcohol unfortunately extended beyond work, and as long as I can remember, booze was around, be it long, frequent visits to the pub, hom


To a Lady, with a Guitar  - by P. B. Shelley

ARIEL to Miranda: Take
This slave of music, for the sake
Of him, who is the slave of thee;
And teach it all the harmony
In which thou canst, and only thou,
Make the delighted spirit glow,
Till joy denies itself again
And, too intense, is turn'd to pain.
For by permission and command
Of thine own Prince Ferdinand,
Poor Ariel sends this silent token
Of more than ever can be spoken;
Your guardian spirit, Ariel, who
From life to life must still pursue
Your happiness, for thus alone
Can Ariel ever find his own.
From Prospero's enchanted cell,
As the mighty verses tell,
To the throne of Naples he
Lit you o'er the trackless sea,
Flitting on, your prow before,
Like a living meteor.
When you die, the silent Moon
In her interlunar swoon
Is not sadder in her cell
Than deserted Ariel:
When you live again on earth,
Like an unseen Star of birth
Ariel guides you o'er the sea
Of life from your nativity:
Many changes have been run
Since Ferdinand and you begun
Your course of love, and Ariel still
Has track'd your steps and served your will.
Now in humbler, happier lot,
This is all remember'd not;
And now, alas, the poor Sprite is
Imprison'd for some fault of his
In a body like a grave;
From you he only dares to crave,
For his service and his sorrow
A smile to-day, a song to-morrow.

The artist who this viol wrought
To echo all harmonious thought,
Fell'd a tree, while on the steep
The woods were in their winter sleep,
Rock'd in that repose divine
On the wind-swept Apennine;
And dreaming, some of autumn past,
And some of spring approaching fast,
And some of April buds and showers,
And some of songs in July bowers,
And all of love; and so this tree,
Oh that such our death may be!
Died in sleep, and felt no pain,
To live in happier form again:
From which, beneath heaven's fairest star,

The artist wrought this loved guitar;
And taught it justly to reply
To all who question skilfully
In language gentle as thine own;
Whispering in enamour'd tone
Sweet oracles of woods and dells,
And summer winds in sylvan cells.
For it had learnt all harmonies
Of the plains and of the skies,
Of the forests and the mountains,
And the many-voicd fountains;
The clearest echoes of the hills,
The softest notes of falling rills,
The melodies of birds and bees,
The murmuring of summer seas,
And pattering rain, and breathing dew,
And airs of evening; and it knew
That seldom-heard mysterious sound
Which, driven on its diurnal round,
As it floats through boundless day,
Our world enkindles on its way:
All this it knows, but will not tell
To those who cannot question well
The spirit that inhabits it:
It talks according to the wit
Of its companions; and no more
Is heard than has been felt before
By those who tempt it to betray
These secrets of an elder day.
But, sweetly as its answers will
Flatter hands of perfect skill,
It keeps its highest holiest tone
For one beloved Friend alone.
 

LINUS PAULING - A Biography

Linus Pauling was born with twin legacies. Although his parents could give him very little in the way of material wealth, they did give him the better gift of great intelligence. His brilliant mind eventually provided him with financial security as well as his greatest happiness. It can also be argued that this gift of intelligence was responsible for the controversy that seemed to surround everything he did and everything he wrote. He made great intuitive leaps and was frequently criticized for the conclusions he drew from what some felt was too little experimentation, often outside of Pauling's area of expertise.

His father was part pharmacist and part "medicine man" and wasn't especially successful at either. At the time when Linus was born in 1901 the family was living in what is now the wealthiest suburb of Portland, Oregon. However, they lived a very precarious existence at the edges of poverty. In fact, when Linus was four, the family moved to his mother's home town of Condon to get financial aid from her family. Condon is a small town in north central Oregon and in many ways then (and now) was a stereotypical 'Western' town with one main street and false fronts on many of the business buildings. In Condon his father took over the town drug store and Linus began exploring the physical world around him. A small creek flows on the south edge of town. There he and a friend explored the rocky creek bed and collected some of the minerals for which Pauling would eventually establish structures at the California Institute of Technology . It was likely during this time in Condon that Pauling developed his antipathy to snow and very cold weather. Condon's altitude is about 4000 feet and during the winter the temperature may not go above -20 Fahrenheit for days at a time. The wind roars through town because the town sits on top of the Columbia Basalt plateau and for miles around there is nothing to deflect the winds.

The Pauling family moved back to Portland just after Linus began school. When he was nine, his father died, leaving Linus, his two younger sisters and their mother to make their own way in the world. This began a stretch of more than 15 years when Pauling tried to pursue his education, while his mother tried to get him to quit school and become the support of the family. He did not quit school. However, he did find many ingenious ways to make money and most of it went to help support his mother and sisters. By the time he was twelve he was a freshman at Washington High School in Portland. After four years of learning, with or without the help of his teachers, and of odd jobs (delivering milk, running film projectors, and even working in a shipyard, for example) he left high school. He did not graduate because the high school required their students to take a class in civics and Pauling saw no reason why he should since he could absorb any of that from his own reading. Later, after his Nobel Prize for Peace in 1962, the administration agreed that he had learned civics on his own by granting him his high school diploma. In the fall of 1917 Pauling enrolled in Oregon Agricultural College-now Oregon State University-in Corvallis, Oregon. He sailed through the freshman courses required of a chemical engineering major in spite of the fact that he was also working one hundred hours a month. He was not only supporting himself, but also providing the bulk of his family¹s support. This became more and more arduous after his mother became ill. In fact, he did not return to the college after his sophomore year because of the need for money. However, at the first of November of what would have been his junior year, he received an offer to become an instructor of quantitative analysis at Oregon Agricultural College, a course he had just taken as a sophomore! The offer included a salary of $100 a month and he gladly took it. He himself did not take any courses that year. He met his future wife, Ava Helen Miller, when she was a student in his quantitative analysis class.

When he had graduated with his degree in chemical engineering, his mother again began pressuring him to stop his education and make money, perhaps become a secondary school teacher. Pauling, however, had applied to graduate schools at Harvard, Berkeley and the fairly new California Institute of Technology. His first choice was Berkeley because G.N. Lewis himself was the chair of the chemistry department, but Berkeley was too slow in replying to his application. Harvard didn't really interest him much, so his decision was made in favor of Cal. Tech. One year after begining work at Cal. Tech. he married Ava Helen Miller.

At the California Institute of Technology his advisor was Roscoe Dickinson, whose area of expertise was X-ray crystallography. At this time Dickinson was investigating the crystal structure of various minerals. In his work with Dickinson, Pauling displayed what was to become his standard method of attacking a problem. According to Dr. Edward Hughes, "He would guess what the structure might be like, and then he would arrange it to fit into the other data. . . he could then calculate the intensities he would get from that structure and then compare it with the observed ones." For the rest of his career Pauling was criticized for using too large an amount of intuition in his work and not always having complete data to back up what he wrote. As well as doing his research work, Pauling was taking courses and serving as a teaching assistant in the freshman chemistry course. He received his Ph. D. in chemistry with high honors in the June of 1925. His dissertation comprized the various papers he had already published on the crystal structure of different minerals.

A year later, when he was 25, he received a Guggenheim fellowship to study at the University of Munich under Arnold Sommerfeld, a theoretical physicist. Here he began work with quantum mechanics. In January of 1927 he published "The Theoretical Prediction of the Physical Properties of Many Electron Atoms and Ions; Mole Refraction, Diamagnetic Susceptibility, and Extension in Space" in which he applied the concept of quantum mechanics to chemical bonding. In March, a heated exchange took place between Pauling and W.L. Bragg in London over this paper. Bragg believed that Pauling had used some of his ideas without giving him credit for them. According to Pauling, the ideas originated in a paper by Gregor Wentzel on quantum mechanical calculations for electrons in complex atoms. "Wentzel reported poor agreement between the calculated and experimental values, but I found that his calculation was incomplete and that when it was carried out correctly, it led to values... in good agreement with the experimental values." In 1928 he published six principles to decide the structure of complicated crystals. This bothered Bragg even more since they did not all originate with Pauling. Actually, according to Horach Judson, "Pauling clarified them, codified them, demonstrated their generality and power." However, Bragg was spreading stories in England about Pauling's "thievery" and lack of professional ethics.

At this time Pauling took an assistant professorship in chemistry at Cal. Tech. There was a discrepancy, however, in what he thought he was being offered and what he was actually given. He had thought he was taking an appointment as Assistant Professor of Theoretical Chemistry and Mathematical Physics. This misunderstanding seems to have been a thorn in his side. However, thorn or no thorn, he began a period of intense and productive work. In 1928 he published a paper on orbital hybridization and resonance. In 1931 he published the first paper, "The Nature of the Chemical Bond". At this time he was also teaching classes. One of his responsibilities was the freshman chemistry course. Richard Noyes, now professor emeritus of physical chemistry at the University of Oregon, remembers that Pauling was an exciting lecturer and had an unbelievable ability as a demonstrator. He would be explaining something and "suddenly his mind would go off in a new direction, frequently into areas where the freshmen couldn't follow him." Dr. Noyes remembers one redox titration when Pauling turned on the buret then stepped to the chalkboard and began to write the equation for the reaction. He was glancing at the flask in which the reaction was taking place and suddenly moved back to the buret and turned it off, then swirled the mixture in the flask. The color was perfect, a perfect endpoint!

In 1931 Pauling was awarded the Langmuir Prize of the American Chemical Society for "the most noteworthy work in pure science done by a man under 30 years of age." In the same year he was offered a joint full professorship in both chemistry and physics at the Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. He seriously considered the offer but he didn't want to have to brave the Massachusetts' winters. He ended up by accepting the position for one year only. In 1933 he was made a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He was 32, the youngest appointment to this body ever made.

Pauling was later to write, "By 1935, I had worked out most of the fundamental problems connected with the chemical bond." and "My serious interest in what is now called molecular biology began about 1935." He began with a look at hemoglobin. He discovered that the hemoglobin in arteries is repelled by a magnet while that in the veins is attracted to a magnet. His answer to this puzzle resulted in a paper on oxygen's binding to hemoglobin in 1936. The work on hemoglobin also lead to work on hydrogen-bonding between the polypeptide chains in proteins and another paper that same year on the denaturing of proteins. Also in 1936, he was made chairman of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Cal. Tech. In 1939 he published his most important book, The Nature of the Chemical Bond.

His work on hydrogen-bonding in proteins lead him to develop a theory of protein structure. It was generally accepted that proteins were made up of polypeptide chains which were, in turn, made up of long strings of amino acids, bonded end to end. He tried to demonstrate a way of coiling the polypeptide chain in the protein alpha keratin to match the x-rays that crystallographer W.T. Astbury had taken and interpreted, but was unable to fit a model to the data. Working with Corey, he did establish the structures of many small peptides and established that the peptide bond holding amino acids together is planar. In 1939 they formulated a small set of structural conditions for any model of a popypeptide chain.

Finally, in 1948, Pauling worked out the alpha helix structure of a polypeptide. He was in Oxford at this time, confined to bed with nephritis and bored with what he had to read. He says, "I took a sheet of paper and sketched the atoms with the bonds between them and then folded the paper to bend one bond at the right angle, what I thought it should be relative to the other, and kept doing this, making a helix, until I could form hydrogen bonds between one turn of the helix and the next turn of the helix, and it only took a few hours doing that to discover the alpha-helix." In 1954 Linus Pauling was given the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on molecular structure, especially proteins.

During World War II Pauling worked on various "war" projects as did everyone at Cal. Tech. He chose not to work on the Manhattan Project, however. At the same time his wife was becoming more and more involved in socialist politics. They fought the internment of their Japanese-American gardener and, with the American Civil Liberties Union, the internment of all the Japanese-Americans. He was also becoming more and more worried about the atomic bomb and the radiation it produced. He became involved in the Scientists Movement, a more-or-less nation-wide group of scientists working for safe control of nuclear power. The Movement believed in ³the necessity for all nations to make every effort to cooperate now in setting up an international administration with police powers which can effectively control at least the means of nuclear warfare.² His wife was a member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. In fact, at this time, she was probably more outspoken on the issues of human rights, peace and the banning of nuclear testing than Pauling was. In 1947 President Truman awarded him the presidential Medal of Merit for his work on crystal structure, the nature of the chemical bond, and his efforts to bring about world peace.

In November of 1950, he was subpoenaed to appear before the Senate Investigating Committee on Education of the State of California. He testified for over two hours, "mainly about my reasons for objecting to special loyalty oaths involving inquiry into political beliefs." He wrote the next day, "My own political beliefs are well known. I am not a Communist. I have never been a Communist. I have never been involved with the Communist Party. I am a Rooseveltian Democrat." However, he also believed that no governmental body had the right to ask him to answer those same questions under oath. This was during the early days of the McCarthy "witch hunts", which were stronger at the time in California than at most other places. His position upset some of the trustees and some professors at Cal .Tech., who tried to oust him.

This was just after Pauling, working with Corey, had used the idea gained from his paper model to work out the structure of many different protein molecules, all of which contained his alpha-helix. His proposed structure was not immediately accepted by the scientific world, however, especially by scientists in England. Therefore, in January of 1952, Pauling requested a passport to attend a meeting in England, specifically to defend his ideas. The passport was denied because granting it "would not be in the best interest of the United States." He applied again and wrote President Eisenhower, asking him to arrange the issuance of the passport since, "I am a loyal citizen of the United States. I have never been guilty of any unpatriotic or criminal act." The answer came back asking him to provide the State Department with some evidence supporting his claims. He sent a statement, made under oath, stating that he was not a communist, never had been a communist, and had never been involved with the Communist Party. The state department replied that his "anti-communist statements were not sufficiently strong" and again denied the passport on the very day he was supposed to leave for the conference. This pattern of Pauling requesting a passport to attend various conferences and the state department denying the application continued for a little over two years. During this time Einstein wrote a letter to the state department supporting Pauling's right to have a passport. He also wrote Pauling telling him, "It is very meritorious of you to fight for the right to travel."

In 1953 Pauling published his book, No More War. Again in April of 1954, when he requested a passport, he was denied it. On November 3 of that year, while he was giving a "routine lecture" on hemoglobin at Cornell University, he was called to the telephone to learn that he had just been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. His first worry was, would he be able to get a passport so he could accept the prize in person? He applied immediately and for weeks he heard nothing. In Washington there were strong voices opposing the granting of the passport. One senator asked, "Are you in the State Department allowing some group of people in some foreign country to determine which Americans get passports?" On November 27, however, barely two weeks before the ceremony in Sweden, his passport did arrive.

His years of being unable to get a passport did more than inconvenience him. In 1948 he was already working toward a description of the structure of DNA. By the early 1950's, Rosalind Franklin and others working at Kings College in London had taken some of the sharpest, most detailed photographs of DNA ever. These are what Watson and Crick used in their successful discovery of the DNA double helix. Had Pauling been able to attend the spring 1952 conference he would likely have seen these photographs and might have come to the same conclusion, before Watson and Crick. It is sure that his not seeing them contributed to his proposed structure which had the phosphate groups closely packed inside a single helix with the bases sticking out around the outside.

Pauling continued his political activism, particularly his protesting of atomic bomb testing. This culminated in a petition to the United Nations--signed by 11,021 scientists from around the world--calling for an immediate world-wide ban on nuclear testing. Because of this petition he was subpoenaed to appear before the U.S. Senate Internal Security Committee. The committee wanted him to give the names of the petitioning scientists. Under oath, he admitted that he, Barry Commoner, and Edward Condon had initiated the petition, but refused to give any more names. There was much applause from the gallery and, after a while, the committee backed down. Later, during the Kennedy Administration, after Kennedy had decided to go ahead with atmospheric nuclear testing, Pauling sent President Kennedy a telegram asking, ³Are you to give the orders that will cause you to go down in history as one of the most immoral men of all times and one of the greatest enemies of the human race?² Of course, this telegram raised quite a furor. However, the Kennedys still invited him to a White House dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners of the western hemisphere. On the day of the dinner, both Dr. and Mrs. Pauling took part in a demonstration in front of the White House, then left the picket line to go in to dinner. Later that evening, Pauling even danced with Mrs. Kennedy.

On October 10, 1962, it was announced that Linus Pauling had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts on behalf of a nuclear test ban treaty. This award was not universally popular. Many newspapers and magazines printed editorials denouncing him, his activism,and his having been given the prize.

Since his second Nobel Prize, Dr. Pauling has researched the chemistry of the brain and its effect on mental illness, the cause of sickle-cell anemia and what is happening to the hemoglobin in the red blood cells of people with this disease, and the effects of large doses of vitamin C on both the common cold and some kinds of cancer. He recently published papers on high temperature super conductivity. He has worked at the University of California at San Diego, at Stanford and at the Linus Pauling Institute for Medical Research. He has won many awards in chemistry, including all the major ones. He remains, as he has been all his life, a brilliant man with brilliant ideas. He was once asked by a high school student , "How can I have great ideas?" Pauling's answer was, "The important thing is to have many ideas." He has certainly followed his own advice. 


Something about my father -- by Duncan Toms


Dad grew up in a fishing town in south Cornwall. His family were butchers, with their own small abattoir and butchers shop. For sure my dad, Alfred Clive Toms was an artist and yet somehow he was encouraged to join HM Customs and Excise and head to London to work, rather than go to university. He had two brothers, one who was a prison officer and the other a woodwork teacher. 

So there he was, a quiet guy, young, in the London docklands in the early sixties, working on checking cargo and shipments and quantities and allowances and imports and exports. I imagine it was pretty rough. Somewhere in London he met my mother who was studying physiotherapy in South London.

My older brother and I were born in north London, but we moved to the countryside before I was 2, so I grew up in Wiltshire, where my Dad continued to work as a civil servant. Now more involved in checking the production levels of the brewing industry.

His involvement with alcohol unfortunately extended beyond work, and as long as I can remember, booze was around, be it long, frequent visits to the pub, home brewing, or drinking with friends. And later, alone.

I remember his philosophical mind. Things were never straight forward. He said that he didn't get along with that many people. Things continued fairly normally into my teens. It was then I started feeling awkward around him and his convoluted explanations with touches on true wisdom, his launching into seemingly irrelevant descriptions of historical events. But also great humour at times. I didn't really understand him much. Once when mum was in hospital I wanted to cry. He told me not to because he would too.

The heavy drinking got more frequent and I would avoid him more and more, often hiding up in my room. Dinner at home became food in front of the tv instead of together at the table. Weird jealous notes written to my mum. And later bottles of spirits found around the house. He never got physically violent, at least not with me.

I left home when I was 18 for university. By then my mum had had enough and had moved out, and a divorce followed. When I got married at 22, I was too embarrassed of him to invite him to the wedding. I can't imagine how bad this must have made him feel, increasing his alienation from his family.

Jumping back a while... A keen amateur magician, a puppeteer, a choir member, a parish councilor, a nature lover, a film buff, highly intelligent. And jumping back some more, a loving father, reading bedtime stories, carrying us on shoulders, a keen walker, encouraging in us a love of the outdoors.

Away at university and beyond I had less and less to do with him. I felt estranged at a visit to our old family home before it was sold, him living alone, a stale smell in there, me and my two brothers sitting about, all awkward, him saying it felt like a forced visit to an aunt. It did to me too. I went out to take the dog, now so sad-looking, for a walk.

The house sold and I heard he was living with a drinking friend, in the nearby town. We would write sometimes and he'd often guiltily defend his drinking. 'What's wrong with the odd Guinness at lunchtime?' But it was way more than that, and had been for years.

Then I heard he'd been taken ill. Liver trouble. Big trouble. Released from hospital but unable really to look after himself he was in a low grade psychiatric hospital when I went to visit. Looking around 70, he was yellow from the liver damage. He didn't really know which of his sons I was, some amalgamation of us all. He wanted cigarettes from town and it was a relief to go get them. This was typical, me avoiding the issue by leaving. A sad scene in there, lost people looking up at the tv high on the wall; horse racing.

When he got better, a little bit better, he was out again but his weak body couldn't take any more. He died of complications from a stomach ulcer due to alcoholism soon after. Drinking on an empty stomach. He was under 50 years old.

A man who never found his place, who didn't fit in easily and used drink to help. A heavy drinking London culture started it off. When he quit his profession there were sorry attempts of self employment but he never worked again and he never found an outlet for his creativity and intelligence.

I didn't really know him in adult life. He's taught me the dangers of alcohol, a route all three of us have been in danger of in our time. He said that you can tell more about a person in their eyes rather than their words. Time and time again while watching tv he would tell us: this isn't real, you know. Kind of obvious but very true. Real life isn't mediated and if it is it isn't real life.

Many times I remember his illnesses, days in bed, shaking, sweating, that strange smell. Trying to quit. And when he was well, I remember, seems strange now, him doing yoga asanas on the bedroom floor.


~~~

World chess champion Vladimir Kramnik lost his final game in a match against computer program Deep Fritz

~~~


About Raj Rathor -- a good friend and great musician who passed away in 2014

Brandon Silverman...NOTES OF PASSION

Never before had I touched a musical instrument. I had never known my own creativity, never been in touch with it. In retrospect I had known little about myself before I met Raj Rathor. By sharing with me his genuine character, Raj transcended the position of guitar teacher.  He instilled in me the most valuable lessons, applicable universally not only in music, but also in life itself. His inspiration aided the maturation of my character and led me to achieve greater success than I ever previously imagined. In the haze of great people I have met throughout my life, Raj undoubtedly shines through as the most scintillating and venerable gem.

Raj has an ardor, a faithful zeal in all he does. It is precisely this undying passion for life that distinguishes him from everyone else. From the very first moment he spoke to me regarding musical theory, I could sense his authentic love for the subject. His profound knowledge and mastery of music were astounding. I remember the first time he played for me; never before had I witnessed firsthand such a unique virtuoso in action. From then on, I had a new found respect for jazz music, his forte. He taught me to embrace a culture and a tradition to which I forever would have been shut off.

As my relationship with Raj grew, I began to recognize his dedication in all areas of life. In music, in his political views, in his spiritual beliefs, Raj knows what he believes and stands by it. Raj is a dedicated pacifist, exalting in life above all else. He believes music and peace work together to foster spiritual connectedness. Through his lessons, he truly demonstrated to me the virtue still present, yet oftentimes obscured in human nature.

My character further developed as a result of my growing closeness with Raj. I became more optimistic and found much greater personal connection with many aspects of life, such as abstract expression and individual spirituality. With music becoming a growing force in my life, I felt more complete; more successful. My life seemed tremendously balanced and much more significant as a result. I began to find peace and happiness in the creation of music and the performance thereof. Now, nothing is more meaningful to me than expressing myself  musically and pleasing those around me.

Thereafter, my guitar teacher became my role model. I know that Raj, my mentor and guide, will forever be there for me, offering his blessed services without recompense. His passion awakened my own; my love for music and for life grew stronger with each passing day. Raj revealed to me an ideal world devoid of hatred and war – a world whose scales rise mightily as peaks, whose modes prove as diverse as Earth’s landscapes, whose arpeggios reign softly as clouds – a dynamic world pervaded by loving, passionate placidity.

Brandon Silverman

"Look up Hanna" 

Final Speech of "The Great Dictator" by Charlie Chaplin - Compiled by Reza Ganjavi

Written and delivered by Sir Charles ChapliN

General Schulz: Speak - it is our only hope.

The Jewish Barber (Charlie Chaplin): I'm sorry but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black men, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each others' happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men's souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge as made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. 

Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say "Do not despair." The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder! Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men---machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have a love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.

Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it’s written “the kingdom of God is within man”, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power.

Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill their promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. 

Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite! 

[Huge hurray from the huge crowd – scene changes to Hanna (Paulette Goddard) a refugee on the floor with eyes still in tears from having been beaten down by the Dictator’s soldiers. Romantic string music in the background. Hanna’s beautiful face and eyes are in awe as to how her Jewish barber friend who was imprisoned by the Dictator’s troops is not speaking as the Great Dictator!]

Hanna, can you hear me? Wherever you are, look up Hanna! The clouds are lifting! The sun is breaking through! We are coming out of the darkness into the light! We are coming into a new world; a kind new world, where men will rise above their hate, their greed, and brutality. Look up, Hanna! The soul of man has been given wings and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow. Into the light of hope! Into the future! The glorious future! That belongs to you, to me, and to all of us. Look up, Hanna! Look up!

Hanna's Father: Hanna! Did you hear that? 

Hanna: Listen! [as her great acting and incredible cinematography turns her face into a goddess as the music takes the movie to conclusion.]

With appetite and search

With appetite and search

For other men to prey upon and such their childhood dry.
There are men to gentle for an accountant's world
Who dream instead of Easter eggs and fragrant grass
And search for beauty in the mystery of the sky.

There are men to gentle too live among wolves
Who toss them like a lost and wounded dove
Such gentle men are lonely in a merchant's world
Unless they have a gentle one to love.

There are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves

by James Kavanaugh 

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who prey upon them with IBM eyes
And sell their hearts and guts for martinis at noon.
There are men to gentle for a savage world
Who dream instead of snow and children and Halloween
And wonder if the leaves will change their color soon.

There are men to gentle to live among wolves
Who anoint them for burial with greedy claws
And murder them for a merchant's profit and gain.
There are men to gentle for a corporate world
Who dream instead of Easter eggs and fragrant grass
And pause to hear the distant whistle of a train.

There are men to gentle too live amount wolves
Who devour them

UNAFRAID TO BE FREE

by James Kavanaugh

Finally unafraid to be free,
Ready to surrender all the illusions of
recognition and external securities,
Living off the sky and earth like soaring
eagles and braying burros,
Trusting in a Power even beyond Dow Jones
and hoarded retirement.
Finally ready to live like the noble animal that I am-
Without masters or servants, with dignity dependent on no one,
Content to know that I am God's child, and
only good has been prepared for me.
When I am not afraid to release all that my life
and culture taught me to prize.
To abandon fears once and for all, to discard the
anxieties of a lifetime like a suit that no longer fits,
To be afraid of no one, beholden to no one,
dependent on no one
Save the few who know and love me as I am,
and the God Who alone gives meaning and joy
to the madness of my life.

Even if I die

Even if I die
I will be there for you,
make a table
Out of me.
Perhaps a door
or maybe a bed,
do what you feel
you can even carve a diety.
But, for now___
just listen to me,
I still breathe,
For you.

(by an ex-student of a K school)

Friendship

Hi Reza

This is a paragraph which expresses how i see relationship and friendship,
thought i will share it with you. I don't know where it's originally from,
heard it while traveling, this is my own version of it:

the world is full of butterflies, beautiful, colourful butterflies, they
fly around you and once in a while a really pretty one lands on your arm.
If you try to touch it, to hold it, to keep it with you, it will soon lose
it's ability to fly, it will lose it's colour, it's beauty will fade and
finally it will die.
But if you hold your arm very quiet(or still?), it might stay for a while,
and you can take a closer look at it, be happy that it's there, so close
to you, see it in all it's beauty. And then, one day, when it takes off and
flies away, you don't have to be sad or unhappy, it's just beautiful to see
it fly around freely again.

hope i got it right, it's not so easy for me in english.


Love is Dear Only to the Heart of the Lover


Once there was a king who heard about the story of Leili and Majnun and knew that Majnun left his life in the city and strayed in the desert and field. He called his ministers and soldiers to bring Majnun to his palace. Soldiers went to the field and found Majnun and brought him to the palace of the king. The king asked Majnun, "Why did you leave the human society, leave your home and stay in the caves and deserts: Why did you not find social life pleasing?" Majnun replied, "I left my family and my friends because they were blaming me for my love for Laili. Oh, how I wish the day will come when they see that beauty and they will all fall in love with her and regret the blame they put on me." Majnun talked and talked about Leili's beauty so much that the king became eager to see Laili. So he asked his soldiers to bring her to his court.

Soldiers went to Laili's tribe and brought her to the presence of the king. To the king's astonishment, Laili was weak, dark skinned, and not pretty. "She is plain, so very plain and common. My servants are prettier than she is. She has no grace, she has no beauty," the king thought. Majnun sensing the king's thought said, "Oh, King, You should see the beauty and the grace of Leaili through my eyes. You have to have Majnun's eye for the mystery of her beuaty to be revealed to you."

Two lovers sailed into the sea
A sudden storm wrecked their ship.
A fisherman came along to save the boy.
"My love is there, save her first,
Save her," he cried.
Before he drowned and died, he whispered:
Love is not what you hear
Love is to forget not the beloved
Even when the storm is to take your soul."

These selections were translated by Seyedeh Nahid Angha, Ph.D.

Bach's Wife

As usual, Sebastian created a remarkable fugue using the King's tune. It starts out as one voice coming in like a little stream. Then another voice joins in making harmony, yet carrying its own story. Then a third voice like a brook enters the sea of notes to carry its message. And miraculously the trinity of tones harmonize, yet each is a melody on its own, united in perfect form, creating poetry in music, to the end that the soul of man may be at peace and experience tranquility. As the notes fade into the air, none disappears, but together they ascend to the very throne of God in Heaven as praises too deep for utterance.
Anna Magdalena Bach


Guru Nanak's song

O God beautiful! O God beautiful!

In the forest, Thou art green,

In the mountain, Thou art high,

In the river, Thou art restless,

In the ocean, Thou art grave!

To the serviceful, Thou art service,

To the lover, Thou art love,

To the sorrowful, Thou art sympathy,

To the yogi, Thou art bliss!

O God beautiful! O God beautiful!

At Thy feet, O I do bow!

By Guru Nanak, Translated by Yogananda

MONEY


It can buy a house
But not a home
It can buy a bed
But not the sleep
It can buy a clock
But not the time
It can buy a book
But not the knowledge
It can buy a position
But not the respect
It can pay the physician
But not health.
It can buy blood
But not life
It can buy the sex
But not of the love

(A Chinese [not verified] poem about money)

[translated by software from French]
[thanks to Gianna Mestermann]


From Reza Ganjavi's Colleger Communication (Great) Teacher

May there always be work for your hands to do.
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine on your window pane.
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
May god fill your heart with glaness to cheer you.

(An Irish Poem)

Keep well - and happy.
Love
Tish (Whitney)


From Randi


As for the poem, this is my award winning number. Though I forewarn: according to me, my
poems are more closely related to rubbish than to contest winners. I am
never happy with anything that I've written for longer than ten minutes.
That said, here it is...

It
(for it has become an
it, you know
an idea taking
life on its own
apart from me
you
or our vocalized chording)
is looking so
opaque
now that there's day
light proof
of its white
face turning blue
and I'm thinking we
should have left
it at flowers.

Randi Caryn Shapiro


From Robin

In surrendering oneself

to the impermanence and uncertainty of this life

there will be a stillness where knowing resides

beyond the answers of the mind.

No future, no past.
Just this moment, living what is here now

in total unison with the universe

and its beautifully ordered chaos.

Robin Seagrave

From Anu to Reza Ganjavi


twinkle twinkle mr.great smile
tell me now r u fine?
feeling better? do u feel to sit
tell me till now what u did???????
tell me did u take some medicine yet
or r u feeding the tablets to your pet????
tell me all this nd tell me soon
else i'll watch u from the moon !!!!!!!!!!!
Anu

BEING HERE

Sometimes when you are here
You want to go there
But when you get there
It becomes your here
When you remain in the -- I don't know state
It feels like you are nowhere
But nowhere is really now-here
And being here in the now is sufficient - Wherever you are!

Gabi Blackburn

~~~

State and national Republicans will pay $135,000 to settle a suit involving a scheme to jam Democratic get-out-the-vote calls on Election Day

~~~

Give It Up by Franz Kafka

It was very early in the morning, the streets clean and deserted, I was on my way to the railroad station. As I compared the tower clock with my watch I realized it was already much later than I had thought, I had to hurry, the shock of this discovery made me feel uncertain of the way, I was not very well acquainted with the town yet, fortunately there was a policeman nearby, I ran to him and breathlessly asked him the way. He smiled and said: 'from me you want to learn the way?' 'Yes,' I said, 'since I cannot find it myself.' 'Give it up, give it up,' said he, and turned away with a great sweep, like someone who wants to be alone with his laughter.

Persian Poetry

"Cho fardaah bar aayad boland aaftaab, man'o gorz'o meydaaneh Afraasiaab."

He draws the parallel from the "gorz" to the intellect, or the power of
the pen that helps one lay down/share what needs to be communicated.  the
"meydaan" is what ever context you're in and the "afraasiab" -well- that's
anyone who's on the otherside.   it's heavy on war analogy, but from my
dad's mouth, it sure has sounded good to me over the years.

_________________________________________
zendegi aatashgahi dirine-pa barjaast

gar biafroozish raghse sholehayash az har karan peidast

var na khamooshast va khamooshi gonahe mast.
_________________________________________
taa-at aan nist ke bar khaat nahi pishani
sedgh pish aar ke ekhlaas be pishani nist
_________________________________________
eshgh aamadani bood na aamookhtani


From Petra

I must confess, I don't have very often a look at my mailbox. Computers may
be very useful, but they don't always do what I want them to do. The
conversation with these machines is full of misunderstandings.

Sun and moon are part of the same universe. From different perspectives they
look at Earth, watching her, perhaps guarding her.
The sun is all burning. The moon has as well a warm and bright side as a
cold and dark one.
There's a bright and a dark side in all of us. As long as we follow the path
of light, we won't freeze.
Heaven begins just above Earth

Petra A.

~~~


Finally, Spring arrived, the beauty of the trees full of flowers seem origin of some
fairyland. The smell of life and growth has returned and chased Winters last
messangers away. I enjoy the eternal circle of life and to be a part of it.
The days are nice, the moonlit nights even more beautyful. In the silence
you understand the whispering of the trees, the silent sound of the wind and
nature sings softly her old, eternal melodies.

Petra A.


Victor Hugo (original in French)


(lyrics of one of the french Bizet-Songs from Cecilia Bartoli's
CD. )

The Farewell of the Arab Hostess

Since nothing will keep you in this happy land,
neither the shade of the palm tree, nor the yello corn,
neither rest, nor abundance,
nor the sight, at your voice, ofthe young
beating hearts of our sisters who, at night,
in a whirling swarm
crown the hillside with therir dance,
farewell, handsome traveller! Alas, farewell!
Oh!if only you were one of those
whose lazy feet are bounded by
their roof of branches or canvas!
Who, idly dreaming, listen unmoved to tales,
and at eventide, sitting before their door,
wish to be off and away among the stars!
Alas! Farewell! Farewell, handsome traveller!
Had you wished it, one of us perhaps
o young man, would have liked to serve you
on bended knee
in our ever open huts;
while lulling your sleep with her song
she would have made,
to drive the tiresome gnats from your brow,
a fan of green leaves.
If you do not come back, dream a little
from time to time
of the daughters of the desert, sweet-voiced
sisters,
who dance barefoot on the sandhills,
o handsome white man, fine bird
of passage,
remember, remember, for perhaps,
o quickly passing stranger,
your memory remains with more tham one!

Alas! Farewell! Farewell, handsome stranger!
Alas! Farewell! Remember!


William Blake - Auguries of Innocence

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.

A dove-house fill'd with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell thro' all its regions.
A dog starv'd at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.

A horse misused upon the road
Calls to heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.

A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubim does cease to sing.
The game-cock clipt and arm'd for fight
Does the rising sun affright.

Every wolf's and lion's howl
Raises from hell a human soul.

The wild deer, wand'ring here and there,
Keeps the human soul from care.
The lamb misus'd breeds public strife,
And yet forgives the butcher's knife.

The bat that flits at close of eve
Has left the brain that won't believe.
The owl that calls upon the night
Speaks the unbeliever's fright.

He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be belov'd by men.
He who the ox to wrath has mov'd
Shall never be by woman lov'd.

The wanton boy that kills the fly
Shall feel the spider's enmity.
He who torments the chafer's sprite
Weaves a bower in endless night.

The caterpillar on the leaf
Repeats to thee thy mother's grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly,
For the last judgement draweth nigh.

He who shall train the horse to war
Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar's dog and widow's cat,
Feed them and thou wilt grow fat.

The gnat that sings his summer's song
Poison gets from slander's tongue.
The poison of the snake and newt
Is the sweat of envy's foot.

The poison of the honey bee
Is the artist's jealousy.

The prince's robes and beggar's rags
Are toadstools on the miser's bags.
A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.

It is right it should be so;
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.

The babe is more than swaddling bands;
Every farmer understands.
Every tear from every eye
Becomes a babe in eternity;

This is caught by females bright,
And return'd to its own delight.
The bleat, the bark, bellow, and roar,
Are waves that beat on heaven's shore.

The babe that weeps the rod beneath
Writes revenge in realms of death.
The beggar's rags, fluttering in air,
Does to rags the heavens tear.

The soldier, arm'd with sword and gun,
Palsied strikes the summer's sun.
The poor man's farthing is worth more
Than all the gold on Afric's shore.

One mite wrung from the lab'rer's hands
Shall buy and sell the miser's lands;
Or, if protected from on high,
Does that whole nation sell and buy.

He who mocks the infant's faith
Shall be mock'd in age and death.
He who shall teach the child to doubt
The rotting grave shall ne'er get out.

He who respects the infant's faith
Triumphs over hell and death.
The child's toys and the old man's reasons
Are the fruits of the two seasons.

The questioner, who sits so sly,
Shall never know how to reply.
He who replies to words of doubt
Doth put the light of knowledge out.

The strongest poison ever known
Came from Caesar's laurel crown.
Nought can deform the human race
Like to the armour's iron brace.

When gold and gems adorn the plow,
To peaceful arts shall envy bow.
A riddle, or the cricket's cry,
Is to doubt a fit reply.

The emmet's inch and eagle's mile
Make lame philosophy to smile.
He who doubts from what he sees
Will ne'er believe, do what you please.

If the sun and moon should doubt,
They'd immediately go out.
To be in a passion you good may do,
But no good if a passion is in you.

The whore and gambler, by the state
Licensed, build that nation's fate.
The harlot's cry from street to street
Shall weave old England's winding-sheet.

The winner's shout, the loser's curse,
Dance before dead England's hearse.

Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born,
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.

Some are born to sweet delight,
Some are born to endless night.

We are led to believe a lie
When we see not thro' the eye,
Which was born in a night to perish in a night,
When the soul slept in beams of light.

God appears, and God is light,
To those poor souls who dwell in night;
But does a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day

~~~

Young women are at high risk of depression...

Depression was also closely linked to academic pressures or troubled romantic relationships. ``Many of the depressed women

appeared to struggle to perform well in school,'' the investigators point out, ``or to manage work and school demands.''

Compared with nondepressed women, depressed women were also more likely to be in conflict with their romantic partner or

to have partners who ``used psychological or even physical means of coercion in dealing with relationship conflict.''

~~~

PETER INGLIS (www.thewholeguitarist.com)

<>I finally got my good friend Peter Inglis in Australia to write a little summary about himself:

Peter Inglis is a modern day Druithine ** - an musician who tells
stories and weaves atmospheres by improvising, often on popular themes.

Says Peter :"A great thing about making music today is that the barriers
between musical styles have largely disappeared. People no longer listen
to one style or just a few artists, they choose music to reinforce or
elevate their mood or complement their activities - like dancing,
studying or relaxing!

"Popular music is the folk music of today. It is what most people in the
world listen to and where most of the creative energy of musicians is
focussed.

Of course popular music ain't what it used to be! Years ago, before mass
phonograph records and radio, music had to be performed to be heard and
dissemination of musical ideas and styles was a very slow process. Folk
music back then was likely to be fairly location-specific. Nowadays you
can listen to anything, anywhere, anytime!.

The digital revolution has made made production and distribution of the
artist's work much easier as well. It's a great time to be making music!"

Peter has led his own ensembles in many styles of popular music
including, Rock, Pop, Latin, Jazz and Classical, on Electric and in
recent years also on Acoustic Guitar. As well as performing and
recording Peter has many more works to publish which will help the
guitarist wanting to perform in several styles.

Listen to Peter and read about his publications at www.thewholeguitarist.com

** A term invented by science fiction/fantasy author Jack Vance.
--
Regards,

Peter Inglis - www.thewholeguitarist.com



NOTES FROM A YOUNG TEACHER, RANDY LEMPERT / AND ROB


Reza,
My experience is stimulating. I'm learning from the
culture, growing in my teaching, and within myself.
It is hard to put a finger on one event or learning
experience that stands out. Living in Taiwan for six
months has giving me so much. One thing I have
learned and have had to adjust to is that I am here to
learn from the culture, not change the culture. The
educational philosophy is different to how I would
imagine perfect learning to take place.
My first grade students are remarkable. They are
fluent in English and want to learn, learn, learn.
The young students have a very structured academic
life. My students attend Chinese school from the
early morning hours to noon. In the afternoon the
students come to my school for English instruction. A
long day for such little guys and girls. There is a
lot of pressure on my students to preform well on
tests, memorizing, and contests. Most of my students
have some sort of tutoring and extra lesson after
English school.
Overall the experience of teaching in Taiwan is
priceless. I am thankful to have the opportunity to
teach in Taiwan and come in contact with the good
people and children.
Away from teaching, I am trying to learn the language,
staying in shape, and traveling. I have a trip
planned to visit Vietnam during Chinese New Year. In
April, I am going visit Hong Kong and mainland China.

============================================

Dear family and friends,
I have made it to my new home, Taichung, Tawian. The last week has been such an adventure adapting to the new culture. Everything around me is different and very exciting. Two of the highlights this experience have to be the night markets and riding my bike (equipped with a basket and a bell) on the streets of Taichung. I'm not just shopping and riding my bike around Taiwan. I have started my job at x School. Monday is my first day with my first grade class. I'm really excited about the opportunity to start teaching. Well, things are moving along here in Taiwan. I have included my new address for the next year or so. I hope all is well and I look forward to hearing from
you.

Sincerely,
r

================================================

>Hi Reza,
>I'm sorry too that I missed you in Europe. I ran out
>of time, so much to see and so little time.
>I've made it to Taiwan. I have been in the country
>for the last fours days. The adjustment has not been
>too bad because I am around a great teaching staff.
>Everyday has been a new adventure.
>Take care,
>RL

====================================================

Reza,

It has been a long time since I have had any communication with you. I
hope all is well. My dad was telling me that your CD is on its way to the
US. Both my dad and I are both looking forward to hearing it.

I should update you with my latest experience in education. About three
weeks ago, I attended an international teaching job fair in Waterloo,
Iowa. What an experience I had! There, I was able to meet educators from
all over the world who shared a passion for education. Something I love
to see. To top it off I walked away from the weekend with a contract from
Cornel English School in Taichung, Taiwan. It only took me a few days to
realize that this was an opportunity that is a chance of a life time. In
late June, I will be leaving to teach in Taiwan. I can hardly wait for
the adventure of teaching overseas!

Take care,
RL

=========================================================

Reza,
I really enjoyed reading the words of Jack Miller. I am looking
forward to reading more, I ordered a Krishnamurti book yesterday. I
should be receiving it any day now.
The good words you sent me could not have come at a better time.
I completed my first week of student teaching in a fourth grade
classroom. It is great to read inspiring words about education and what
an impact a teacher can make. I'm really looking forward to the rest my
experience as a student teacher and fine toning my teaching skills. At
this point of my young career, I need to hear a lot of positive words
about education. I have heard plenty negative voices
about going into education. Hearing inspiring words and people who are
passionate about education motivate me to continue learning about
becoming an educator.

Thanks,
RL

==================================================

RL,
Your refreshing message made my day this morning. Let's stay in touch. Please
remember to be patient with K - go slowly - and watch your own reactions - and
if something is not really clear, keep going, he'll repeat it later - and it
takes time to get used to the terminology and unconventional thinking.

Best Regards
Reza

====================================================

Reza,
I just got back from a long weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah. My sister is
now living there with her family. She has a two month year old son who
has to be the cutest kid. Of course I'm not bias just because he is my
nephew.
Flying to Utah allowed me to have plenty of time to read.
I was able to finish my first book by Krishnamurti, "Education and
the Significance of Life." The book left me with a great feeling of what
an important role I am playing being a teacher. I was also
reminded of what a challenge I face being an educator. The challenge is
greater than most can imagine.
Thanks for the suggested reading and I look forward to learning more.

RL


=========================================================

A happy Millennium to you as well!
One day away to the end of my student
teaching experience. What an adventure it has been. The road has had its
obstacles, but I have successfully completed them. As I sit back and
reflect on the experience of teacher, I can't help but to get a smile on
my face. It was great!
Tomorrow I have a late flight back to southern California. It will be
nice to celebrate the holidays with my family. I am also looking forward
to enjoying the weather. The last week here in Fargo it has been below
zero.
Take care.

RL

=======================================================

>
>Reza,
>
>Hi, Im an occasional poster to rec.music.classical.guitar, and I wanted to
>ask you a question about something. I saw on your web page (nice job by
>the way) that you had studied classical guitar and computer science in
>college. I am going to be taking that route now - I recently changed my
>major from Management Information Systems to Computer Science. I haven't
>taken any of the CS courses yet, but Im getting worried that I won't be
>able to hack it. I take a private lesson each semester, and next semester
>I will begin taking the Computer Science classes as well as the guitar
>instruction. I wanted to ask if you had some tips on this kind of
>situation. Is the CS degree a difficult route to go? Do you believe is
>was well worth it? Im anxious to begin, but at the same time Im nervous
>about it. Did you have any free time left with this kind of schedule. I
>work full time too, so I think Im getting in over my head. Thanks in
>advance for any reply, I appreciate your time, and I enjoy your
>posts....have a good day
>
>Rob C.
>
----------
Reza,
Thanks for your reply, it was nice of you to take the time to write. Well
let's see, I decided to switch from MIS to CS because I wanted to get into
more with computers. MIS tends to lean more on the business degree side
of things, whereas CS is stronger with computers. I think my scholastic
aptitude is more shaped for the MIS degree however, thats why I hesitate.
I've never been a good student, and I know that the Computer science will
be a challenge. I used to have more people skills, and I am building my
technical skills, so I can't put my finger on what my forte really is.
Right now I'd say 60% technical, 40% people.
Did you ever have any trouble with the course work? With the CS
degree? Business bores me...accounting, economics never really stimulated
my brain. I really didn't want to soak it up. I think the change to CS is
an experiment in a sense, lemme tell you why, and tell me if its strange
thinking. I first started playing the electric guitar, fast punk music and
small blues, then when I heard the classical guitar, I switched. I had to,
it was beautiful. I knew that the difficulty would increase; I knew
nothing about reading music or playing complicated melodies. A funny
thing happened though, I got into the classical guitar seriously....the
difficulty never mattered, I continued to do it regardless. Now I think
that the electric guitar represents MIS and the classical represents CS,
and maybe taking the step into CS will uncover some kind of desire to learn
that I had not felt with MIS. Enough to get past the studies and make
myself a better student, much like the guitar. Weird, huh? Thats my
reasoning on the whole thing.
You studied philosophy I see...I had taken one Philosophy class, which
was just an introduction, and I must say that I have never been the same
since. We went over one text book, Discourse on Method and Meditations, by
Rene Descartes. It opened up my world on believing, existence, and why we
are all here. Never been the same. It still amazes me though.
Im at x University Still working on my
undergraduate; currently I attend class almost full time (3 classes) and I
work full time for a local Applications Service Provider. I am working
with Linux, just starting actually, and learning about sendmail, dns, perl
programming and such. Yeah, Im interested in your cd...can you hook me up
with a discount? I'll be glad to send it in, just tell me where
Thanks again for your help, Reza, not many take the time to answer big
questions.

Rob C.

----------
Dear Rob
Good question. Thanks for sharing...

Lennon: Nothing you can do that ca't be done.... All you need is love.

I enjoyed CS study - it's important to find right teachers... and right program....
Actually MIS is quite good too. What made you change?
I did software engineering work later shifted to MIS but the background I had made me really a
hotshot in MIS. Depends what your apptitutue is. What is your job now? Are you in school part-time?
what do you want to do later? Do you want to stay technical - or do you also like business analysis,
people stuff? Are you good with people? Do you love people? Both fields are hot now as far as the
job market. What languages do you use? If you go the CS route you can easily get a job as a Java
programmer or C++ etc... MIS also has a good career - they're very similar.... CD is perhaps more
solid. Are you at BS level? Do you want to do masters?

I also studied philosophy at same time which was a nice balance - but the best study with that
regards is J. Krishnamurti www.kfa.org - great stuff that helps with everything.

Do it now - you'll have plenty of time for play later - get the study while you're young - you can
always play later...
If you manage your time right and don't waste it, you can do a lot...
Write back and tell me more about yourself.... where are you? what school? etc... :-)

How's your finances? Can you afford my CD? I'll give you a special rate if you want......
Cheers
Reza

===========================

> Reza,
>
> Greetings from Taiwan. I am into my sixth month of
> living and teaching in Taiwan. The experience of
> living and working overseas has been a valuable
> learning experience. Thank you for the e-mail. Best
> of luck in the new year.
>
> Randy

============================
>Dear Randy
>Thanks for writing. Sounds great! I have a special affinity for teachers - maybe because I love that job but never got to do it as a profession (except for teaching some >technical classes and private guitar students)...


Reza,
Hope this e-mail finds you well. Congrats on your second CD. My father told me he saw you and we listened to your CD together over dinner. Nicely done.
I believe the last time I touched base with you I was teaching in Taiwan. Since returning from overseas, I have been plugging away as a school teacher. Last year, I started my first teaching job in the public school system teaching fifth grade. I felt very lucky to teach in X, where I could work and live in the same community. Due to budget cuts, I was released from my job at the end of the school year. Things happen for a reason, because two months later I was hired to teach English as a second language at the middle school in X. I am very pleased with my current teaching assignment. All of my students from last year moved to the middle school with me. It is great to see familiar faces and continue work with many of the same students. Along with seeing familiar faces of students, I see a very familiar face everyday. My mother teaches sixth grade at the same school. It has been very comical working in the same building with my mother. We make the best of the situation and I'm still trying to get her to make me my lunch.
As for my future, I am looking forward speeding a month of my summer vacation traveling through Peru. In September, I will start working on my Masters Degree in education.
Nice to hear from you and I do continue to check your web site on occasion.
Take care,
Randy



What I've Learned

    I've learned-
    that you can do something in an instant
    that will give you heartache for life.
 
    I've learned-
    that it's taking me a long time
    to become the person I want to be.
 
    I've learned-
    that you should always leave loved ones
    with loving words.
    It may be the last time you see them.
 
    I've learned-
    that you can keep going
    long after you can't.
 
    I've learned-
    that we are responsible for what we do,
    no matter how we feel.
 
    I've learned-
    that either you control your attitude
    or it controls you.
 
    I've learned-
    that regardless of how hot and steamy
    a relationship is at first, the passion fades
    and there had better be something else
    to take its place.
 
    I've learned-
    that heroes are the people
    who do what has to be done
    when it needs to be done,
    regardless of the consequences.
 
    I've learned-
    that money is a lousy way of keeping score.
 
    I've learned-
    that my best friend and I can do anything
    or nothing and have the best time.
 
    I've learned-
    that sometimes the people you expect
    to kick you when you're down
    will be the ones to help you get back up.
 
    I've learned-
    that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry,
    but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.
 
    I've learned-
    that true friendship continues to grow,
    even over the longest distance.
    Same goes for true love.
 
    I've learned-
    that just because someone doesn't love
    you the way you want them to doesn't
    mean they don't love you with all they have.
 
    I've learned-
    that maturity has more to do with what types
    of experiences you've had
    and what you've learned from them
    and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.
 
    I've learned-
    that your family won't always be there for you.
    It may seem funny, but people you aren't related to
    can take care of you and love you
    and teach you to trust people again.
    Families aren't biological.
 
    I've learned-
    that no matter how good a friend is,
    they're going to hurt you every once in a while
    and you must forgive them for that.
 
    I've learned-
    that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others.
    Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
 
    I've learned-
    that no matter how bad your heart is broken
    the world doesn't stop for your grief.
 
    I've learned-
    that our background and circumstances
    may have influenced who we are,
    but we are responsible for who we become.
 
    I've learned-
    that just because two people argue,
    it doesn't mean they don't love each other
    And just because they don't argue,
    it doesn't mean they do.
 
    I've learned-
    that we don't have to change friends
    if we understand that friends change.
 
    I've learned-
    that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret.
    It could change your life forever.
 
    I've learned-
    that two people can look at the exact same thing
    and see something totally different.
 
    I've learned-
    that your life can be changed in a matter of hours
    by people who don't even know you.
 
    I've learned-
    that even when you think you have no more to give,
    when a friend cries out to you,
    you will find the strength to help.
 
    I've learned-
    that credentials on the wall
    do not make you a decent human being.
 
    I've learned-
    that the people you care about most in life
    are taken from you too soon.


Giulio Tampalini CD Review by Reza Ganjavi

Giulio Tampalini's 2006 guitar CD: Angelo Gilardino : Works for guitar (2002-04) -- Review by Reza Ganjavi

Giulio Tampalini's new CD of selected Gilardino's works for guitar is the most exciting, rich, beautiful CD of guitar music I've heard in a long time. Those who are familiar with Gilardino's music know that this man is at the forefront of best composers of our époque. Gilardino's music introduces a new dimension of possibilities for the instrument while creating what can genuinely be called "good music".

Tampalini's performances on a 1976 Luis Arban are impeccable, demonstrating solid technical command, deep understanding of the music, rich interpretation, and warm, transparent tone. The sound engineering  is soso (I am not a fan of what sounds to be studio sound). The booklet was obviously done by graphic artists! Every graphic artist I know likes to (wrongly) put design in front of other very important aspects of delivery of a good CD booklet.

This is a priceless album and everyone interested in fine music should own it !! I guess it can be ordered by contacting “

"info <at> giuliotampalini <dot> it"

Congratulations Giulio and Angelo. What a fantastic contribution to the world of guitar and music in general.

Reza Ganjavi
www.rezamusic.com

~~~

Scientists in Spain have found the fossilized remains of one of the largest animals ever to walk the Earth, a gargantuan plant-eating dinosaur up to 125 feet long and weighing as much as seven elephants.

~~~

Fear: Its Political Uses and Abuses

As Prepared for Delivery
Remarks By Al Gore February 5, 2004

Thank you for inviting me to speak at this timely conference on the Uses and Misuses of Fear in our political system in America.

It is an honor to be part of a program that includes so many distinguished scholars who, unlike me, have genuine expertise in these matters.

And I want to acknowledge that I have already learned a lot from them by reading some of what they have written and by calling some of them on the telephone before trying to organize my own thoughts on this topic.

It's also a personal pleasure to share a dais with my friend and former Senate colleague Bob Kerrey, who brings to this discussion not only his experience in political and academic leadership but also - it bears noting because of the subject of our discussions here - his extraordinary personal example of how to stare down the fear of death and lead with raw courage in circumstances that are hard for the rest of us to imagine.

We are meeting, moreover, in a city that has itself been forced to learn how to conquer terror. And because we are gathered very close to Ground Zero, we should of course begin our deliberations with a moment of respect and remembrance for those who died on September 11th and for those who have been bereaved.

Terrorism, after all, is the ultimate misuse of fear for political ends.

Indeed, its specific goal is to distort the political reality of a nation by creating fear in the general population that is hugely disproportionate to the actual danger the terrorists are capable of posing.

That is one of the reasons it was so troubling last week when the widely respected arms expert David Kay concluded a lengthy and extensive investigation in Iraq for the Bush Administration with these words:

"We were all wrong."

The real meaning of Kay's devastating verdict is that for more than two years, President Bush and his administration have been distorting America's political reality by force-feeding the American people a grossly exaggerated fear of Iraq that was hugely dis-proportionate to the actual danger posed by Iraq.

How could that happen?

Could it possibly have been intentional?

Well, there are some clues... the fear campaign aimed at Iraq was timed for the kickoff of the midterm election campaign of 2002 - you know, the one where Max Cleland, who lost three limbs fighting for America in Vietnam, was accused of being unpatriotic.

The curious timing was explained by the President's chief of staff as a marketing decision - timed for the post-labor day advertising period.

For everything there is a season - particularly the politics of fear.

And it did serve to distract attention from pesky domestic issues like the economy, which were, after all, beginning to worry the White House in the summer of 2002.

And of course there is now voluminous evidence that the powerful clique inside the administration that had been agitating for war against Iraq since before the inauguration immediately seized upon the tragedy of 9-11 as a terrific opportunity to accomplish what they had not been able to do beforehand: invade a country that had not attacked us and didn't threaten us.

They were clever and they managed to get the job done.

But some deceitfulness took place somehow.

The so-called intelligence was stretched beyond recognition, distorted and mis-represented.

Some of it that the President personally presented to the American people on national television in his State of the Union address turned out to have been actually forged by someone - though we still don't know who, (and amazingly enough, the White House still doesn't seem to really care who forged the document.)

The CIA had warned his staff not to let him use that particular document, but there was some kind of regrettable communications foulup inside the National Security Council.

But now the President has expressed his determination to find out who is actually responsible for the intelligence being "all wrong".

Over the past 18 months, I have delivered a series of speeches addressing different aspects of President Bush's agenda, including his decision to go to war in Iraq under patently false pretenses, his dangerous assault on Civil Liberties here at home, his outrageously fraudulent economic policy, and his complete failure to protect the global environment.

Initially, my purposes were limited in each case to the subject matter of the speech.

However, as I tried to interpret what was driving these various policies, certain common features became obvious and a clear pattern emerged: in every case there was a determined disinterest in the facts; an inflexible insistence on carrying out preconceived policies regardless of the evidence concerning what might work and what clearly would not; a consistent bias favoring the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the broader public interest; and a marked tendency to develop policies in secret, avoid accountability to the public, the Congress or the Press; and a disturbing willingness to misrepresent the true nature of the policy involved.

And no matter what the issue, it is now clear that in every instance they have resorted to the language and politics of fear in order to short-circuit debate and drive the public agenda.

The Administration did not hesitate to heighten and distort public fear of terrorism after September 11th, to create a political case for attacking Iraq.

Iraq was said to be working hand in hand with Al Queda.

Iraq was said to be on the verge of a nuclear weapons capability.

Defeating Saddam Hussein was conflated into bringing war to the terrorists, even though what it really meant was diverting resources away from the pursuit of the people who attacked us, and causing us to lose focus on that task.

The administration also did not hesitate to use fear of terrorism to launch a broadside attack on measures that have been in place for a generation to prevent a repetition of gross abuses of authority by the FBI and by the intelligence community at the height of the Cold War.

I served on the House Select Committee on Intelligence immediately after the period when the revelations of these abuses led to major reforms.

Conservatives on that panel resisted those changes tooth and nail.

They have long memories, and now these same constraints have been targeted in the Patriot Act and have been sharply diminished or removed.

And the President wants the Patriot Act extended and made permanent.

Neither did the administration have any scruples about using fear of terrorists as a means to punch holes in the basic protections of the Constitution: to create a class of permanent prisoners; to make it possible to imprison Americans without due process; to totally sequester information not just from the people, but from the congress and the courts - all justified by recourse to fear.

Our nation has gone through other periods in our history when the misuse of fear resulted in abuses of civil liberties:

The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, the Palmer Raids and the Red Scare after World War I, the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II, and the McCarthy abuses of the Cold War.

After each of these periods of excess we have felt ashamed and have tried to make up for the abuses.

And although we have not yet entered the period of regret and atonement this time around, it is already obvious that we are now in a period of regrettable excess.

The administration did not hesitate to use economic fear of recession as a means to put in place its tax cuts, massively benefiting the wealthiest while loading debt on the rest of the country for generations to come.

It used fear of energy shortage to build an energy policy made to order for the oil industry at the expense of the rest of us.

It used the fear that we would lose competitive-ness to block responsible action to deal with global warming, and has by that action mortgaged not only us but our children and their children to consequences unmitigated by any acts of foresight in this generation.

Meanwhile, even the Chinese have passed us in fuel economy standards for new automobiles.

It uses fear of the problems of old age to contrive an illusory drug bill that essential transfers billions from the people to the pockets of vast pharmaceutical interests.

It does not hesitate to use fear even of God not only to pronounce its views on marriage but to impose them on the nation as a constitutional amendment.

At the level of our relations with the rest of the world, the Administration has willingly traded in respect for the United States in favor of fear: that is the real meaning of "shock and awe."

It is this administration's theory that American "dominance" -- coupled with a doctrine of pre-emptive strikes (regardless of whether the threat is imminent or not; today George Tenet made it clear that the CIA never said Iraq was an imminent threat) will be sufficient to persuade our rivals and enemies to leave the field.

But there is another querstion that I believe urgently needs attention: how could our nation have become so vulnerable to such an effective use of fear to manipulate our politics?

After all, it is a serious indictment of our political discourse that almost three-quarters of all Americans were so easily led to believe that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the attacks of September 11th-that nearly half of all Americans still believe that most of the hijackers were Iraqis - and that more than 40 percent were so easily convinced that Iraq did in fact have nuclear weapons.

A free press is supposed to function as our Democracy's immune system against such gross errors of fact and understanding.

What happened?

Well, for one thing, there has been a dramatic change in what the philosopher Jurgen Habermas describes as the structure of the public forum.

It is simply no longer as accessible to the free exchange of ideas, which flowed during the Enlightenment.

The Age of Print effectively ended in the 1960's when television overtook newspapers - and the gap has grown dramatically since then.

The ownership of the media companies has also changed.

The leadership of the Republican party is augmented by its links to the corporate ownership of the conglomerates that control most of our media: a process already so far advanced that it alarmed even conservative members of Congress and caused them to join to oppose the FCC's efforts to make the world of information safe for monopoly.

Though the President is still out-maneuvering them.

And this after all, includes a growing part of the media characterized by paranoia presented as entertainment - the part that allows drug-addled hypocrites, compulsive gamblers, and assorted religious bigots to mascarade as moral guides for the nation.

What are the consequences?

Fear drives out reason.

It suppresses the politics of discourse and opens the door to the politics of destruction.

It also requires us to pay more attention to the new discoveries about the way fear affects our brains...

The root word for democracy - "demos" - meant the masses of common people, who were an object of fear in the minds of many of our country's founders.

What they wanted was an orderly society in which property would be safe from arbitrary confiscation (remember the Revolutionary War was in significant measure about taxation).

What they believed was that a too pure democracy would expose that society to the ungoverned passions of what today we call "the street:" of people with little to lose, whose angers could be all too easily aroused by demagogues (note the root, again) and turned against those with wealth.

So the Constitution of which we are so proud is really an effort - based at least as much on fear as on hope -- to compromise and balance out the conflicting agendas of two kinds of Americans:

those who already have achieved material success, and those who aspire to it: those who are happy with the status quo, and those who can only accept the status quo if it is the jumping off place to something better for themselves.

That tension can never be fully resolved, and it is perfectly clear at the present moment in the profoundly differing agendas of our two major parties.

Neither has the fear that underlies these differences gone away, however well it may be camouflaged.

Somewhere along the line, the Republican Party became merely the name plate for the radical right in this country.

The radical right is, in fact,

a coalition of those who fear other Americans:

as agents of treason;

as agents of confiscatory government;

as agents of immorality.

This fear gives the modern Republican Party its well-noted cohesiveness and its equally well-noted practice of jugular politics.

Even in power, the modern Republican Party feels itself to be surrounded by hostility: beginning with government itself, which they present as an enemy; extending to those in the opposition party; and ultimately, on to that portion of the country whose views and hopes are represented by it - that is to say, to virtually, half the nation.

Under these circumstances, it is natural - perhaps tragic in the classical sense - but nonetheless natural - for the modern Republican Party to be especially proficient in the use of fear as a technique for obtaining and holding power.

This phenomenon was clear under both President's Reagan and Bush Sr., except softened to an extent by the personalities of both men.

Under our current President Bush, however, the machinery of fear is right out in the open, operating at full throttle.

Fear and anxiety have always been a part of life and always will be.

Fear is ubiquitous and universal, in every human society, a normal part of the human condition.

But we have always defined progress by our success in managing through our fears.

Christopher Columbus... Lewis and Clark... the Wright Brothers... and Neil Amstrong - all found success by challenging the unknown and overcoming fear with courage and a keen sense of proportion that helped them overcome real fears without being distracted by distorted and illusory fears.

As with individuals, nations succeed or fail - and define their essential character - by the way they challenge the unknown and cope with fear.

And much depends upon the quality of their leadership.

If their leaders exploit their fears and use them to herd people in directions they might not otherwise choose, then fear itself can quickly become a self- perpetuating and free-wheeling force that drains national will and weakens national character, diverting attention from real threats deserving of healthy and appropriate concern, and sowing confusion about the essential choices that every nation must constantly make about its future.

Leadership means inspiring us to manage through our fears.

Demagoguery means exploiting our fears for political gain.

50 years ago, when the nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union was raising tensions in the world and McCarthyism was threatening freedom at home, President Eisenhower said, "Any who act as if freedom's defenses are to be found in suppression and suspicion and fear confess a doctrine that is alien to America."

But only 15 years later, when Ike's V-P, Richard Nixon, finally became President, it marked the beginning of a big change in America's politics.

Nixon embodied the spirit of "suppression and suspicion and fear" that Eisenhower denounced.

And it first bcame apparent in the despicable midterm election campaign of 1970 waged by Nixon and Vice President Agnew.

I saw that campaign first hand: my father, the bravest politician I have ever known, was slandered as unpatriotic because he opposed the Vietnam War and accused of being an atheist because he opposed a Constitutional Amendment to allow government-sponsored prayer in the public schools.

I was in the Army at the time - on my way to Vietnam.

I had a leave the week of the election.

"Law and Order," and court-ordered "busing" for racial integration of the schools were the other big issues.

It was a sleazy campaign by Nixon - one that is now regarded as a watershed marking a sharp decline in the tone of our national discourse.

In many ways, George W. Bush reminds me more of Nixon than any other previous president.

Like Bush, Nixon subordinated virtually every principal to his hunger for reelection.

He instituted wage and price controls with as little regard for his "conservative" principals as Bush has shown in piling up trillions of dollars of debt.

After the oil embargo of 1973, Nixon threatened a military invasion of the oil fields of the Middle East. Now Bush has actually done it.

Both kept their true intentions secret.

Like Bush, Nixon understood the political uses and misuses of fear.

After he was driven from office in disgrace, one of Nixon's confidants quoted Nixon as having told him this:

"People react to fear, not love.

They don't teach that in Sunday School, but it's true."

The night before that election, 33 years and 3 months ago, Senator Ed Muskie of Maine spoke on national television for the Democrats and said,

"There are only two kinds of politics. They are not radical and reactionary, or conservative and liberal. Or even Democrat and Republican. There are only the politics of fear and the politics of trust.

"One says: You are encircled by monstrous dangers.

Give us power over your freedom so we may protect you.

"The other says: The world is a baffling and hazardous place, but it can be shaped to the will of men. ...(C)ast your vote for trust ...in the ancient traditions of this home for freedom...."

The next day my father was defeated. Defeated by the politics of fear.

But his courage in standing for principle made me so proud that I really felt he had won something more important than an election.

In his speech that night, he stood the old segregationist slogan on its head and defiantly promised:

"The truth shall rise again!"

I wasn't the only person who heard that promise. Nor the only one for whom that hope still rings loudly and true.

I hope and believe that this year the politics of fear will be defeated and the truth shall rise again.

Almost 3,000 years ago, Solomon warned that where there is no vision, the people perish.

But the converse is also surely true: where there is leadership with vision and moral courage, the people will flourish and redeem Lincoln's prophesy at Gettysberg: that government of the people: by the people and for the people shall not perish from the Earth.

The First Declaration of Human Rights

Source: Zoroastrianism and Biblical Connections
Author: Dr. Darius Jahanian

One of the significant events in ancient history is the conquest of Babylon by the Persian king, Cyrus the Great.

On October 4th, 539 BC, the Persian Army entered the city of Babylon, which was then the capital of the Babylonian state (in central Iraq). This was a bloodless campaign and no prisoners were taken. Later, on November 9th, King Cyrus of Persia visited the city. Babylonian history tells us that Cyrus was greeted by the people, who spread a pathway of green twigs before him as a sign of honor and peace (sulmu). Cyrus greeted all Babylonians in peace and brought peace to their city.

On this great event, Cyrus issued a declaration, inscribed on a clay barrel known as Cyrus's inscription cylinder. It was discovered in 1879 by Hormoz Rassam in Babylon and today is kept in the British Museum. Many historians have reviewed it as the first declaration of human rights.

The Babylonian annals, as well as the first section of the Cyrus' inscription, shed light on the religiopolitical plight that had angered the people of Babylon and why they invited Cyrus's military campaign. Evidently, the Babyloninan king, Nabonidus, eliminated the festival of the new year and Nebo (one of the gods) was not brought into the city, and Bel (another god) was not taken in the procession of the festival. Also, the worship of Marduk, the king of the gods, was changed to an abomination and Nabonidus tormented the inhabitants with unbelievable oppression and forced labor. The sanctuaries of all their settlements were in ruins and the inhabitants of Sumer and Akkad had become like the living dead. Marduk, the king of the gods, scanned and searched for a righteous ruler, finally coming upon Cyrus's good deeds and his upright mind and ordered him to march against the City of Babylon. The angry inhabitants of Akkad had revolted but were massacred by Nabonidus, who, upon his return to Babylon, was arrested, but nevertheless was treated with respect. When Nabonidus died in the year following, Cyrus participated in the national mourning time that was proclaimed for him. The gods of Akkad were then returned to their sacred cities. All the inhabitants of Sumer and Akkad, including princes and governors, greeted Cyrus as a master who brought them back from a living death. All who had been spared damage and disaster revered his very name.

Cyrus's Declaration:

I am Cyrus, the king of the world, great king, legitimate king (son of Cambyses) whose rule Bel and Nebo loved and whom they wanted as king to please their hearts.

When I entered Babylon as a friend and established the seat of government in the place of the ruler under jubilation and rejoicing, Marduk, the great lord (induced) the magnanimous inhabitants of Babylon (Din Tir) (to love me) and I daily endeavored to praise him. My numerous troops walked around in Babylon in peace, I did not allow anybody to terrorize (any of the people) of the country of Sumer and Akkad. I strove for peace in Babylon (Ka Dingir ra) and in all his (other) sacred cities. As to the inhabitants of Babylon (who) against the will of the gods (had/were I abolished) the corvee (yoke) which was against their (social standing). I brought relief to their dilapidated housing, putting an end to their main complaints. Marduk, the great lord, was well pleased with my deeds and sent friendly blessing to myself, Cyrus, the King, who reveres him, to Cambyses, my son, as well as to all my troops, and we all (praised) his great (name) joyously, standing before him in peace I returned to (these) sacred cities on the other side of the Tigris, the sanctuaries of which have been ruins for a long time, the images which (used) to live therein and established for them permanent sanctuaries. I (also) gathered all their (former) inhabitants and returned (to them) their habitations. Furthermore, I resettled upon the command of Marduk, the great lord, all the gods of Sumer and Akkad who Nabonidus has brought to Babylon (su sa na) to the anger of the lord of the gods unharmed in their chapels, the places which make them happy.

May all the gods whom I have resettled in their sacred cities ask Bel and Nebo daily for a long life (six lines destroyed) and always with good words remember my good deeds that Babylonians incessantly cherished me because I resettled them in comfortable habitations I endeavored to strengthen the fortification of Imgur-Enlil and the great fortification of the City of Babylon the side brick wall by the city's trench which the former king (had built and had not finished). This was finished around (the city), that none of the former kings, despite the labor of their yoked people, had not accomplished. I rebuilt and completed with tar and brick and installed large gates entrances were built by cedar wood covered with brass and copper pivot I strengthened all the gates I saw inscribed the name of my predecessor, King Ashurbanipal.

On this historical turning point, by order of Cyrus, all the captive nationalities held as slaves for generations in Babylon were freed and the return to their homeland was financed. Among the liberated captives were 50,000 Jews held in Babylon for three generations whose return toward the rebuilding of their temple in Palestine, a policy that was followed by Darius and his successors. Some of the liberated Jews were invited to and did settle in Persia. Because of such a generous act, Cyrus has been anointed in the Bible. He is the only gentile in the Bible, who has been titled Messiah, an is mentioned explicitly as the Lord's shepherd and his anointed (Messiah). Other references to Cyrus are attested in Isaiah 45:4 where Cyrus is called by name and given a title of honor; he is also called to rebuild the God's city and free His people (Is. 45:13) and is chosen, called and brought successful by God (Is. 48:14-15).

What took place after the victory in Babylon was contrary to the standard of the time. Based on the inscriptions of the neighboring countries (Assyrians, Babylonians), it was customary to destroy the vanquished cities, level houses and temples, massacre the people or enslave the population, replace them with snakes, wolves and even carry away the soil to make the land barren. But here, peace and liberty replaced the massacre and slavery, and construction substituted for destruction. After Cyrus, his son Cambyses ruled for eight years (530BC to 522 BC) and captured Egypt, and as a sign of respect toward their culture and religion, he prostrated himself before the goddess, Meith and paid homage to Apis, the Egyptian totem (Bull).

After Cambyses, Darius took over the throne and ruled form 522BC to 486BC. From 518BC to 515BC he established peace and tranquility in Egypt and also paid homage to their totem, Apis. Darius, in his inscriptions, expresses faith in the commands of Ahuramazda. He declares "Whoever worships Ahuramazda, shall receive happiness in life and after death." He calls Elamites faithless, and because they did not worship Ahuramazda, yet he does not pressure them to change faith. Darius exhorts his successors "thou shalt be king thereafter, protect yourself from the lies and punish the liar and deceitful."

He entreats God's grace for the protection of Persia against rancor, enemy, famine and the lie. At times he alludes to other gods that may either indicate the old Aryan gods who still had strong followings or the gods of other nations under his rule, for the display of reverence toward their religions.

References:

    * A. Arfaee, The command of Cyrus the Great (in Persian), quoted the opinion of Sydney Smith.
    * Grayson, Assyrian and Babylonian chronicles, p110, dates the fall of Babylon on Oct. 12th and Cyrus's entry on Oct 29th.
    * J. B. Pritchard, The ancient Near East, Vol. 1, 1958, p203.
    * A fragment in the Yale's Babylon collection was identified in 1970 by P.R.Berger, the professor of Munster, Germany, as part of Cyrus's cylinder that was transferred to the British Museum and added to the cylinder, who wrote in the journal of Assyrology (Zeiserrift fir Assiriologie), July 25, Vol. 64. The remainder of the text is quoted from A. Arafaee, which was the missing portion kept in Yale University. Bible, 2 Chronicles 36:15-23
    * Bible, Ezra 1:1-11, Ezra 2:12-70
    * Bible, Ezra 7:8
    * Bible, Ezra 6:3-4-5
    * Bible, Ezra 7:15-25
    * Bible, Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1

KIM PALMER 

Here's her "un-official" biography 

Kim Palmer is a singer/songwriter/keyboardist originally hailing from Toronto, Canada. She is a
          classically trained pianist and degreed piano teacher with an Honor's Diploma and Music
          Scholarship Award.

          Kim has been performing professionally since age 18, receiving her high-school diploma and Ontario
          Sholarship by mail while already on the road with a well known Canadian recording act, Tranquillity
          Bass. She has performed as a solo artist as well as in everything from duos and rock bands to sixteen
          piece big bands.

          Some of her notable private performances include playing for Vice President Bush's
          inauguration and at many prestigious Hollywood gatherings.

          Some of her notable public performances include opening for Emmylou Harris and
          The Guess Who and appearing with recording artists Dan Hill and Tony Kosinec.

          You can hear Kim on various commercials and on albums by The String Band,
          Dave Essig, Tony Kosinec (with Paul Schaffer), Dan Hill and her own band Lila.

          Kim has been first place winner of The Goldenwest Songwriting Competion in
          California three times, second place winner of The International Music City Song
          Festival in Nashville, first place winner of Pop in the Barebones Songwriting
          Competition in Austin, won The Future Charters Contest in Philadelphia, and is
          featured in the 4/99 issue of "Songwriter's Monthly".

          Richard Carpenter has recorded one of Kim's songs, "What Kind Of Love?". Her
          songs have been picked up many times by music industry people at The Los
          Angeles Songwriter's Showcase, earning her Professional Membership there.

          She has written with hit songwriters for The Doobie Brothers, Paula Abdul, Sheena
          Easton and Natalie Cole as well as musicians for Peter Gabriel, Celine Dion, Sara
          McLachlan, Tori Amos, Joni Mitchell, John Hiatt, Daniel Lanois, Robbie
          Robertson, Toni Childs, Crowded House, Sam Phillips, Laura Brannigan, Sister
          Sledge, Rick Springfield, and Tina Turner.

          Kim has several albums worth of material and is a one woman band, producing
          music from her specially made porcelain environment due to her chemical
          hypersensitivities.

          She wrote, sang, played the instruments on, programmed, arranged, recorded and
          produced the songs you will hear.


Anyhow, I think you can put our adress (Künstler mit MCS, P.O. Box 5063, 24062 Kiel) and e-mail-adress
(mcsartists@yahoo.de ) on your page cause we burn Kim's CD's in germany and I do
promotion for her and am the president if her official german fanclub.


Happy Noruz!

Today is the spring equinox and also a day of
celebration for Iranians. In the Shahnameh (Book of
Kings), a book of persian mythology, this day is
treated as a wholesomely exciting day, wherein
everything is fully thawed and devoutly engaged in a
bright blooming launch: hence the spontaneity of
festive activities by hopefully all Iranians around
the world. Back in the pre-Aladdin times, the Noruz
was also the day when Jamshid, the great peaceful King
of Persia, announces the subjugation of the demons,
the subsequent inclusion of the demons in the
festivities of Noruz  (literally New day), and heralds
the intoxicating arrival of Spring. The sagas of
internal strife are forfeited into moments of play and
peaceful springiness. 

Noruz has also long been perceived as a perfect time
for reassessing ones direction in life and
establishing goals for the year, as the night and the
day are perfectly equal in length, and the generous
assaults of winter have subsided.

My blessings and great fortitude to you in the new
days to come.

Love,

Babak

Courtesy, Babak Cyrus Bakhtiari 


Lost Wallet

I lost my wallet Friday night.  My wallet had everything in it.  Credit
Cards, ATM cards, undeposited checks and $121 in cash (yes, I shouldn't
have been carrying that much cash, but I had to pay for a Ski Trip).

Naturally, I was as freaked out as I can get, but since nothing was open
over President's Day weekend, I had to wait to get everything replaced.

This morning at about 11am, a person returned my wallet to Kevin
Wheeler, but my wallet was empty of cash.
At 11:45am, the person came back to our house as Dementhon was leaving
for class.  He said that 'his conscience was bothering him' and gave
Dementhon $121.

The punchline of the story is that the man who returned my wallet is
homeless.  A man with nothing returned everything to me -- me the
obviously spoiled stranger whom he'd never met. 

Some may say that this proves there is a god, or shows all people are
good, or it was dumb luck.  Draw your own lessons from this.  This only
reminds me of something my mom told me a long time ago: "that a measure
of a man is by his generosity."  Bill Gates has donated billions, taxi
drivers have returned boxes of diamond rings left by patrons, but I've
never heard of anything like this. 

If you see a homeless guy with a PartyPoker hat, please give him $20 and
I will pay you back.  It's the least I can do. 

Peace,
Nima Veiseh



 


How to say I Love You in 100 Languages !!!

English - I love you
Afrikaans - Ek het jou lief
Albanian - Te dua
Arabic - Ana behibak (to male)
Arabic - Ana behibek (to female)
Armenian - Yes kez sirumen
Bambara - M'bi fe
Bangla - Aamee tuma ke bhalo aashi
Belarusian - Ya tabe kahayu
Bisaya - Nahigugma ako kanimo
Bulgarian - Obicham te
Cambodian - Soro lahn nhee ah
Cantonese Chinese - Ngo oiy ney a
Catalan - T'estimo
Cheyenne - Ne mohotatse
Chichewa - Ndimakukonda
Corsican - Ti tengu caru (to male)
Creol - Mi aime jou
Croatian - Volim te
Czech - Miluji te
Danish - Jeg Elsker Dig
Dutch - Ik hou van jou
Esperanto - Mi amas vin
Estonian - Ma armastan sind
Ethiopian - Afgreki'
Faroese - Eg elski teg
Farsi - Doset daram
Filipino - Mahal kita
Finnish - Mina rakastan sinua
French - Je t'aime, Je t'adore
Gaelic - Ta gra agam ort
Georgian - Mikvarhar
German - Ich liebe dich
Greek - S'agapo
Gujarati - Hoo thunay prem karoo choo
Hiligaynon - Palangga ko ikaw
Hawaiian - Aloha wau ia oi
Hebrew - Ani ohev otah (to female)
Hebrew - Ani ohev et otha (to male)
Hiligaynon - Guina higugma ko ikaw
Hindi - Hum Tumhe Pyar Karte hae
Hmong - Kuv hlub koj
Hopi - Nu' umi unangwa'ta
Hungarian - Szeretlek
Icelandic - Eg elska tig
Ilonggo - Palangga ko ikaw
Indonesian - Saya cinta padamu
Inuit - Negligevapse
Irish - Taim i' ngra leat
Italian - Ti amo
Japanese - Aishiteru
Kannada - Naanu ninna preetisuttene
Kapampangan - Kaluguran daka
Kiswahili - Nakupenda
Konkani - Tu magel moga cho
Korean - Sarang Heyo
Latin - Te amo
Latvian - Es tevi miilu
Lebanese - Bahibak
Lithuanian - Tave myliu
Malay - Saya cintakan mu / Aku cinta padamu
Malayalam - Njan Ninne Premikunnu
Mandarin Chinese - Wo ai ni
Marathi - Me tula prem karto
Mohawk - Kanbhik
Moroccan - Ana moajaba bik
Nahuatl - Ni mits neki
Navaho - Ayor anosh'ni
Norwegian - Jeg Elsker Deg
Pandacan - Syota na kita!!
Pangasinan - Inaru Taka
Papiamento - Mi ta stimabo
Persian - Asheghetam
Pig Latin - Iay ovlay ouyay
Polish - Kocham Ciebie
Portuguese - Eu te amo
Romanian - Te ubesk
Russian - Ya tebya liubliu
Scot Gaelic - Tha gra\dh agam ort
Serbian - Volim te
Setswana - Ke a go rata
Sign Language - ,\,,/ (represents position of fingers when signing'I Love You')
Sindhi - Maa tokhe pyar kendo ahyan
Sioux - Techihhila
Slovak - Lu'bim ta
Slovenian - Ljubim te
Spanish - Te quiero / Te amo
Swahili - Ninapenda wewe
Swedish - Jag alskar dig
Swiss-German - Ich lieb Di
Tagalog - Mahal kita
Taiwanese - Wa ga ei li
Tahitian - Ua Here Vau Ia Oe
Tamil - Nan unnai kathalikaraen
Telugu - Nenu ninnu premistunnanu
Thai - Chan rak khun (to male)
Thai - Phom rak khun (to female)
Turkish - Seni Seviyorum
Ukrainian - Ya tebe kahayu
Urdu - mai aap say pyaar karta hoo
Vietnamese - Anh ye^u em (to female)
Vietnamese - Em ye^u anh (to male)
Welsh - 'Rwy'n dy garu
Yiddish - Ikh hob dikh
Yoruba - Mo ni fe 

 

TRADING

"Craving the High That Risky Trading Can Bring . A small group of scientists, including some psychologists, say they are starting to discover what many Wall Street professionals have long suspected — that people are hard-wired for money. The human brain, these researchers say, responds to high-stakes trading just as it does to the lure of sex. And the riskier the trades get, the more the brain craves them... “The more you think you can gain from the risk, the more you take the risk and the more activation in the circuitry,” Mr. Knutson said.... When faced with losses, individuals may seek to take more risk rather than less, contrary to what traditional economic thought might suggest.“When you are threatened with extinction, you act like nothing matters,” said Andrew Lo, a professor at M.I.T. who has studied the role of emotions in trading. “The best traders are the ones who have controlled emotional responses,” Mr. Lo said. “Professional athletes have the same reaction — they use emotion to psych them up, but they don’t let those emotions take them over.” “It is more common for people to hold onto losers and see their investment go to zero, or shorts go to the sky, than it is for them to practice good risk management and get out,” Dr. Kiev said"

"It’s the Oil"

- by Jim Holt

Iraq is ‘unwinnable’, a ‘quagmire’, a ‘fiasco’: so goes the received opinion. But there is good reason to think that, from the Bush-Cheney perspective, it is none of these things. Indeed, the US may be ‘stuck’ precisely where Bush et al want it to be, which is why there is no ‘exit strategy’

Iraq has 115 billion barrels of known oil reserves. That is more than five times the total in the United States. And, because of its long isolation, it is the least explored of the world’s oil-rich nations. A mere two thousand wells have been drilled across the entire country; in Texas alone there are a million. It has been estimated, by the Council on Foreign Relations, that Iraq may have a further 220 billion barrels of undiscovered oil; another study puts the figure at 300 billion. If these estimates are anywhere close to the mark, US forces are now sitting on one quarter of the world’s oil resources. The value of Iraqi oil, largely light crude with low production costs, would be of the order of $30 trillion at today’s prices. For purposes of comparison, the projected total cost of the US invasion/occupation is around $1 trillion

Who will get Iraq’s oil? One of the Bush administration’s ‘benchmarks’ for the Iraqi government is the passage of a law to distribute oil revenues. The draft law that the US has written for the Iraqi congress would cede nearly all the oil to Western companies. The Iraq National Oil Company would retain control of 17 of Iraq’s 80 existing oilfields, leaving the rest – including all yet to be discovered oil – under foreign corporate control for 30 years. ‘The foreign companies would not have to invest their earnings in the Iraqi economy,’ the analyst Antonia Juhasz wrote in the New York Times in March, after the draft law was leaked. ‘They could even ride out Iraq’s current “instability” by signing contracts now, while the Iraqi government is at its weakest, and then wait at least two years before even setting foot in the country.’ As negotiations over the oil law stalled in September, the provincial government in Kurdistan simply signed a separate deal with the Dallas-based Hunt Oil Company, headed by a close political ally of President Bush.

How will the US maintain hegemony over Iraqi oil? By establishing permanent military bases in Iraq. Five self-sufficient ‘super-bases’ are in various stages of completion. All are well away from the urban areas where most casualties have occurred. There has been precious little reporting on these bases in the American press, whose dwindling corps of correspondents in Iraq cannot move around freely because of the dangerous conditions. (It takes a brave reporter to leave the Green Zone without a military escort.) In February last year, the Washington Post reporter Thomas Ricks described one such facility, the Balad Air Base, forty miles north of Baghdad. A piece of (well-fortified) American suburbia in the middle of the Iraqi desert, Balad has fast-food joints, a miniature golf course, a football field, a cinema and distinct neighbourhoods – among them, ‘KBR-land’, named after the Halliburton subsidiary that has done most of the construction work at the base. Although few of the 20,000 American troops stationed there have ever had any contact with an Iraqi, the runway at the base is one of the world’s busiest. ‘We are behind only Heathrow right now,’ an air force commander told Ricks.

The Defense Department was initially coy about these bases. In 2003, Donald Rumsfeld said: ‘I have never, that I can recall, heard the subject of a permanent base in Iraq discussed in any meeting.’ But this summer the Bush administration began to talk openly about stationing American troops in Iraq for years, even decades, to come. Several visitors to the White House have told the New York Times that the president himself has become fond of referring to the ‘Korea model’. When the House of Representatives voted to bar funding for ‘permanent bases’ in Iraq, the new term of choice became ‘enduring bases’, as if three or four decades wasn’t effectively an eternity.

But will the US be able to maintain an indefinite military presence in Iraq? It will plausibly claim a rationale to stay there for as long as civil conflict simmers, or until every groupuscule that conveniently brands itself as ‘al-Qaida’ is exterminated. The civil war may gradually lose intensity as Shias, Sunnis and Kurds withdraw into separate enclaves, reducing the surface area for sectarian friction, and as warlords consolidate local authority. De facto partition will be the result. But this partition can never become de jure. (An independent Kurdistan in the north might upset Turkey, an independent Shia region in the east might become a satellite of Iran, and an independent Sunni region in the west might harbour al-Qaida.) Presiding over this Balkanised Iraq will be a weak federal government in Baghdad, propped up and overseen by the Pentagon-scale US embassy that has just been constructed – a green zone within the Green Zone. As for the number of US troops permanently stationed in Iraq, the defence secretary, Robert Gates, told Congress at the end of September that ‘in his head’ he saw the long-term force as consisting of five combat brigades, a quarter of the current number, which, with support personnel, would mean 35,000 troops at the very minimum, probably accompanied by an equal number of mercenary contractors. (He may have been erring on the side of modesty, since the five super-bases can accommodate between ten and twenty thousand troops each.) These forces will occasionally leave their bases to tamp down civil skirmishes, at a declining cost in casualties. As a senior Bush administration official told the New York Times in June, the long-term bases ‘are all places we could fly in and out of without putting Americans on every street corner’. But their main day-to-day function will be to protect the oil infrastructure.

This is the ‘mess’ that Bush-Cheney is going to hand on to the next administration. What if that administration is a Democratic one? Will it dismantle the bases and withdraw US forces entirely? That seems unlikely, considering the many beneficiaries of the continued occupation of Iraq and the exploitation of its oil resources. The three principal Democratic candidates – Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards – have already hedged their bets, refusing to promise that, if elected, they would remove American forces from Iraq before 2013, the end of their first term.

Among the winners: oil-services companies like Halliburton; the oil companies themselves (the profits will be unimaginable, and even Democrats can be bought); US voters, who will be guaranteed price stability at the gas pump (which sometimes seems to be all they care about); Europe and Japan, which will both benefit from Western control of such a large part of the world’s oil reserves, and whose leaders will therefore wink at the permanent occupation; and, oddly enough, Osama bin Laden, who will never again have to worry about US troops profaning the holy places of Mecca and Medina, since the stability of the House of Saud will no longer be paramount among American concerns. Among the losers is Russia, which will no longer be able to lord its own energy resources over Europe. Another big loser is Opec, and especially Saudi Arabia, whose power to keep oil prices high by enforcing production quotas will be seriously compromised.

Then there is the case of Iran, which is more complicated. In the short term, Iran has done quite well out of the Iraq war. Iraq’s ruling Shia coalition is now dominated by a faction friendly to Tehran, and the US has willy-nilly armed and trained the most pro-Iranian elements in the Iraqi military. As for Iran’s nuclear programme, neither air strikes nor negotiations seem likely to derail it at the moment. But the Iranian regime is precarious. Unpopular mullahs hold onto power by financing internal security services and buying off elites with oil money, which accounts for 70 per cent of government revenues. If the price of oil were suddenly to drop to, say, $40 a barrel (from a current price just north of $80), the repressive regime in Tehran would lose its steady income. And that is an outcome the US could easily achieve by opening the Iraqi oil spigot for as long as necessary (perhaps taking down Venezuela’s oil-cocky Hugo Chávez into the bargain).

And think of the United States vis-à-vis China. As a consequence of our trade deficit, around a trillion dollars’ worth of US denominated debt (including $400 billion in US Treasury bonds) is held by China. This gives Beijing enormous leverage over Washington: by offloading big chunks of US debt, China could bring the American economy to its knees. China’s own economy is, according to official figures, expanding at something like 10 per cent a year. Even if the actual figure is closer to 4 or 5 per cent, as some believe, China’s increasing heft poses a threat to US interests. (One fact: China is acquiring new submarines five times faster than the US.) And the main constraint on China’s growth is its access to energy – which, with the US in control of the biggest share of world oil, would largely be at Washington’s sufferance. Thus is the Chinese threat neutralised.

Many people are still perplexed by exactly what moved Bush-Cheney to invade and occupy Iraq. In the 27 September issue of the New York Review of Books, Thomas Powers, one of the most astute watchers of the intelligence world, admitted to a degree of bafflement. ‘What’s particularly odd,’ he wrote, ‘is that there seems to be no sophisticated, professional, insiders’ version of the thinking that drove events.’ Alan Greenspan, in his just published memoir, is clearer on the matter. ‘I am saddened,’ he writes, ‘that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.’

Was the strategy of invading Iraq to take control of its oil resources actually hammered out by Cheney’s 2001 energy task force? One can’t know for sure, since the deliberations of that task force, made up largely of oil and energy company executives, have been kept secret by the administration on the grounds of ‘executive privilege’. One can’t say for certain that oil supplied the prime motive. But the hypothesis is quite powerful when it comes to explaining what has actually happened in Iraq. The occupation may seem horribly botched on the face of it, but the Bush administration’s cavalier attitude towards ‘nation-building’ has all but ensured that Iraq will end up as an American protectorate for the next few decades – a necessary condition for the extraction of its oil wealth. If the US had managed to create a strong, democratic government in an Iraq effectively secured by its own army and police force, and had then departed, what would have stopped that government from taking control of its own oil, like every other regime in the Middle East? On the assumption that the Bush-Cheney strategy is oil-centred, the tactics – dissolving the army, de-Baathification, a final ‘surge’ that has hastened internal migration – could scarcely have been more effective. The costs – a few billion dollars a month plus a few dozen American fatalities (a figure which will probably diminish, and which is in any case comparable to the number of US motorcyclists killed because of repealed helmet laws) – are negligible compared to $30 trillion in oil wealth, assured American geopolitical supremacy and cheap gas for voters. In terms of realpolitik, the invasion of Iraq is not a fiasco; it is a resounding success.

Still, there is reason to be sceptical of the picture I have drawn: it implies that a secret and highly ambitious plan turned out just the way its devisers foresaw, and that almost never happens.

\

Barrios

The unique document beyond any doubt we have about the Barrios-Segovia
relationship is the letter that Barrios himself wrote to his friend and
patron, Martin Borda y Pagola, on October 25th from Buenos Aires.
It contains a description of the visit Barrios payed to Segovia in a hotel
of the Argentinian capital. Barrios writes: "He treated me with much regard
and affection. I played for him, on his own guitar,  some of my pieces,
which he liked very much. As a consequence of the sincere and frank
reception Segovia gave me, I have to say you, brother, that I feel a great
simpathy for this great artist. I am enchanted by his way of playing and I
attempt to imitate him by all means, without missing, of course, my own
personality. He especially beloved "La Catedral" and he asked me (the music)
for performing it in his concerts. Then I ask you please, Pagolita, to send
me as soon as possible a copy of this composition, because Segovia leaves to
Europe on November 2nd. He encouraged me very much and he told me to hurry
my efforts to travel to the old world. He did not show me the slightest
arrogance. On the contrary, he showed to me a special exteem - as he gave to
very few professional players - because he saw a lot of integrity in myself.
At the end, brother, I have earned Segovia and now I have only to earn your
friend Llobet. I was forgetting to say you that Segovia promised to give me
some works of his repertory, among which "Torre Bermeja" by Albéniz, which
is a marvel".

~~~

Angela Jaggi's Research Paper on Anti-psychotic Medications & Pharama Industry

~~~

Judges Are for Sale -- and Special Interests Are Buying

"A blistering new report details how big business and corporate lobbyists are pouring money into state judicial elections across the country and packing the courts with judges who put special interests ahead of the public interest…

Why does all this matter? Because as money floods into judicial elections, we are getting courts that are filled with judges whose first loyalty is not to justice — or to the general public — but to insurance companies, big business and other special interests. It's not hard to guess what insurance companies want their judges to do. They want them to rule against people who have been injured — even when they deserve compensation, and they want damage awards to be slashed. Big business wants weak enforcement of laws against discrimination and pollution. On the other side of the political spectrum, trial lawyers want verdicts for plaintiffs — and large damage awards."

A Snippet of Central America

by Serra Benson

This fall semester I participated in a study abroad program to Central America with the Center for Global Education. Along with thirteen other students from all over the country, I traveled through Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua studying sustainable development and social change. I met many people who have suffered greatly from war, poverty, and discrimination. Getting to know and love these people who have built strong communities that work to change the systems that oppress them, was an experience that touched me deeply. It has given me an overwhelming feeling of responsibility to pass on their stories of triumph and defeat. Though I cannot share everything with you in this article, many of the communities I visited have a similar pattern so I will focus on just one, that of Nuevo San Jose.
In Guatemala we spent a week at the rural language school just outside a tiny community called Nuevo San Jose. The twenty-two families who live there used to work on a large coffee finca, or plantation. Nine years ago, the finca owner stopped paying his workers and they struggled for months to collect their back wages. When they finally got paid, they all left the finca and with their pooled wages bought the piece of land where they live now. This community traditionally grew coffee but with the current crisis in the coffee market, prices have fallen so low that many coffee fincas have gone out of business, creating a wave of layoffs and unemployment for campesino families.

The price of coffee in its crude form has plummeted to an all-time low, half of what it sold for last year. This sudden drop is due to the excess of coffee in the world market, in large part because of an IMF and World Bank loan to Vietnam to start producing coffee there. For the families of Nuevo San Jose, this economic situation makes it difficult to put food on the table. The father of the family I stayed with would leave each morning at five o’clock looking for work. Some days he would find a day job harvesting potatoes or corn on other people’s land and earn thirty-five quetzales for the day. After paying six quetzales for transportation too and from the fields, he was left with twenty-nine quetzales, approximately four dollars, to support his wife, parents, and four kids.
Their one year-old baby, Maria Roxana is severely malnourished and couldn’t even sit up yet. Her mother got an infection just after giving birth and couldn’t breast feed the baby while she was in hospital so they have to bottle-feel her with expensive powdered milk. What they can afford to buy weekly in milk for the baby is supposed to last only two or three days, so what they give her has to be overly watered down.
Despite their current economic reality, the people of Nuevo San Jose were incredibly inspiring. Even though they appear to have nothing, they are some of the most generous people I have met. Recently they allowed another tiny community, Nueva Vida, with a similar story to their own, to move onto the land right next to them. The original community realizes that these new people are even worse off than they are and have been very giving of what little they have.
 
While I was in Nuevo San Jose, I spent a lot of time in the two-classroom elementary school helping the kids read, teaching them songs and now to fold paper cranes. I think a lot about the future of those children. Will they have a chance to study passed the sixth grade? Will they stay in their community of leave to find work in the bigger towns and cities?  What I really wish for Nuevo San Jose is some way to sustain them economically. Unfortunately, their government, like most, tends to support large corporate interests over small and medium producers. It is difficult for poor people to get access to land, credit and fair markets. I think that social change globally will have to come from the people ourselves, as we change our societal and consumer values.
One way that we can directly support sustainable development and social change in developing countries is by choosing fair trade alternatives over mainstream brands. Take coffee as an example: buying fair trade coffee means that you are supporting coffee cooperatives that are collectively owned and run by the workers instead of by a large landowner. These workers receive a much better wage for their labor one that they can actually live on – such as $1.25 per pound instead of 50 cents. Fair Trade often means that it is grown organically. This is not only better for the workers and the consumer but is also more sustainable environmentally. Organic shade grown coffee often means that forest is not destroyed in the process, as the natural canopy provides shade for the coffee plants and predator insects to control pests.

I visited textile, agricultural, and many other cooperatives in Central America. Cooperative provides a local support network economic, physical, and emotional well being. Poor people pool their resources to provide emergency health funds, create educational workshops to combat domestic violence, and meet together regularly to talk about how they want to develop. What I loved most about these cooperatives is that they are building strong communities that challenge hegemonic models of development as well as traditional class and gender relationships. With all odds against them, through natural disasters, neo-liberal economic policies, a history of US supported war and military intervention, they and living our ideals of democracy equality, and justice.
I feel lucky to have learned so much from the people of Central America. They have given me the great gift of friendship and the inspiration to maintain international solidarity with them. Though I miss being with there in the campo, sharing stories and making fresh tortillas, I am excited to share what I learned from about the importance of community, sustainable development, and social change.

SHAME ON GAP

OCTOBER 2007

Gap clothes made in child-labor sweatshop

A UK newspaper reported that some of GAP's clothing are made by child labors in India who are sold to the vendors by their parents, some who work 16 hour days are not paid due to being trainees, those who don't perform are beaten, and the children are like slaves and have to work there till the money paid to their parents is compensated.

In response GAP made a statement condeming the practice -- too little too late as far as I'm concerned. They should have looked into this practice BEFORE they were busted.  And they would probably have carried on business as usual if they were not caught and they probably never bothered to investigate how their clothing is made other than writing up some policies and procedures and hoping that they are enforced.
This is outragous.

- A British newspaper reported Sunday that it found children as young as 10 making clothes in a sweatshop in New Delhi, India, that the Gap Inc. fashion chain planned to sell in the West.

- The Observer quoted one boy identified only as Jivaj as saying that child employees who cried or did not work hard enough were hit with a rubber pipe or had oily cloths stuffed into their mouths.

- Derelict industrial unit in New Delhi was smeared in filth, the corridors flowing with excrement from a flooded toilet.

DR. KING


[added to rezamusic.com on 21 January 2007, on Dr. King's birthday holiday. Dr. King was born January 15, 1929, died on April 4, 1968]

This speech given in Washington, DC, on August 28, 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, prompted the 1964 Civil Rights Act.Dr. King was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Famous Speech "I have a dream"

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"


France's irresponsible nuclear tests should not be tolerated

by Gerald Falchook

Oh, and also, France conducted a nuclear bomb test in the South Pacific.

That Saturday's nuclear blast was France's sixth, last and most powerful nuclear test since President Jacques Chirac told the international community to bug off back in September.

A statement by the French Defense Ministry claimed that these tests were being carried out "in order to guarantee the safety and reliability of weapons in the future." I don't understand.

Do they dare use the word "safety" in the same sentence as "nuclear weapons?" The French Defense Ministry certainly doesn't make me feel very safe.

And now Chirac has the gall (pun intended) to transform himself overnight into a leading opponent of nuclear testing.

I wonder if the word "hypocrite" exists in Mr. Chirac's vocabulary.

Never mind that the Fangatoufa atoll is already so contaminated with radiation that spending even a small amount of time there will greatly increase your chances of producing offspring with two heads, five arms or multiple sexual appendages.

Never mind the fact that these tests have caused widespread contamination of fish and plankton in the region and are endangering a vital food source for the inhabitants of this region.

Never mind that strong ocean currents have the potential to bring radiation contamination to every shore that touches the Pacific Ocean.

Nah, never mind any of that stuff. You live in the United States. You don't care.

You are safe. Just don't make any plans to spend your vacations in New Zealand or Tahiti or anywhere in-between.

And don't forget to bring along a full-body, lead-plated, radiation-safe swimsuit next time you do a little swimming off the beaches of Hawaii or southern California.

Haven't we learned that nuclear weapons don't prevent conventional wars or enhance national security?

Or maybe good old-fashioned, thick-headed, irrational belligerence is coming back in style.

But who will stop the bad guys from destroying our planet? Our national leaders? Guess again....

Embarrassing Predictions

Some embarrassing quotes of the past from people who now know better:

  • "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
    Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949


  • "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
    Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943


  • "I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year."
    The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957


  • "But what ... is it good for?"
    Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.


  • "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
    Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977


  • "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us."
    Western Union internal memo, 1876.


  • "The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?"
    David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.


  • "The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible."
    A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)


  • "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"
    H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.


  • "I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary Cooper."
    Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in "Gone With The Wind."


  • "A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make."
    Response to Debbi Fields' idea of starting Mrs. Fields' Cookies.


  • "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out."
    Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.


  • "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible."
    Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.


  • "If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this."
    Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M "Post-It" Notepads.


  • "So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we' ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'"
    Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and H-P interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer.


  • "Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools."
    1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary rocket work.


  • "You want to have consistent and uniform muscle development across all of your muscles? It can't be done. It's just a fact of life. You just have to accept inconsistent muscle development as an unalterable condition of weight training."
    Response to Arthur Jones, who solved the "unsolvable" problem by inventing Nautilus.


  • "Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy."
    Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.


  • "Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau."
    Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.


  • "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value."
    Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.


  • "Everything that can be invented has been invented."
    Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.


  • "Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction".
    Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872


  • "The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon".
    Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.


  • "640K ought to be enough for anybody."
    Bill Gates, 1981

Based on an unoriginal earwig sent by P Burbidge <p.burbidge@x400.icl.co.uk>

~~~

Spam messages accounted for 53.95 percent of email traffic in March 2020.

~~~

Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle -- by Dr. C. George Boeree

"The unexamined life is not worth living." -- Socrates

The Athenians

When we think of ancient Greece, we think right away of Athens.  Several of the philosophers we have already discussed considered it the pinnacle of their careers to come and teach in this great city.

But Athens wasn’t always great.  It began as a collection of villages in some of the poorest agricultural land in Greece.  Only carefully tended grapes and olives provided early Athens with a livelihood, that and trade.

The distance between the haves -- the ruling aristocratic trading families -- and the have nots -- peasants working the land -- and the accompanying feudal oppression, grew so great that it looked like the city and its surrounding area would collapse under the weight.

In 594 bc, the leaders of the middle class recruited a merchant named Solon to accept leadership of the city and restore some peace and prosperity.  He began by canceling all debts and freeing all who had been enslaved on account of debt.  Then he proceeded to draft a constitution in which the population was divided into four classes based entirely on economic worth, with the highest retaining the greatest power, but the lowest being exempt from taxes.

After a difficult transition, the world’s first democracy was established  under the leadership of Cleisthenes in 507 bc, when he decried that all free men would be permitted to vote.  This, of course, falls short of a complete democracy, but don't judge them too harshly:  Slavery would not outlawed until 1814, when Mexico would become the very first sovereign nation to permanently ban slavery.  The US wouldn't free its slaves until 1865 with the 13th amendment.  And women didn't get to vote until New Zealand gave them the vote in 1893.  It would take the US until 1919 and the 19th amendment.

Unfortunately, at about the same time the democratic experiment began, the great Persian empire to the east decided to expand into, first, Ionia, and then Greece itself.  But in 490, 20,000 Greeks defeated 100,000 Persian troops at Marathon, north of Athens.  (A messenger named Pheidippides ran the 26 miles -- 42.195 km -- to Athens to give them the good news, hence the sport of marathon running!)

In 481, the Persian emperor Xerxes sent an army of over two million men, assisted by a fleet of 1200 ships, to attack Greece again.  The army ravaged the north of Greece and prepared to attack Athens.  They found the city deserted.  The Persian navy, however, found the Greek fleet waiting for it in the Bay of Salamis.  The Greeks won the day against enormous odds.  By 479, the Persians were forced back into Asia Minor.

If this seems like just a little piece of history, consider:  This victory allowed the Greek adventure to continue to produce the kind of thinking that would set the tone for the next two millennia in Europe and the Mediterranean.

During the time period we are looking at in this chapter, Athens had as many as 300,000 people, making it one of the largest cities in the world.  About half were free, one third were slaves, and one sixth were foreigners (metics).  The free adult males who could vote numbered about 50,000.

Socrates

Socrates  (470-399) was the son of a sculptor and a midwife, and served with distinction in the Athenian army during Athens’ clash with Sparta.  He married, but had a tendency to fall in love with handsome young men, in particular a young soldier named Alcibiades.  He was, by all accounts, short and stout, not given to good grooming, and a lover of wine and conversation.  His famous student, Plato, called him “the wisest, and justest, and best of all men whom I have ever known” (Phaedo).

He was irritated by the Sophists and their tendency to teach logic as a means of achieving self-centered ends, and even more their promotion of the idea that all things are relative.  It was the truth that he loved, desired, and believed in.

Philosophy, the love of wisdom, was for Socrates itself a sacred path, a holy quest -- not a game to be taken lightly.  He believed -- or at least said he did in the dialog Meno -- in the reincarnation of an eternal soul which contained all knowledge.  We unfortunately lose touch with that knowledge at every birth, and so we need to be reminded of what we already know (rather than learning something new).

He said that he did not teach, but rather served, like his mother, as a midwife to truth that is already in us!  Making use of questions and answers to remind his students of knowledge is called maieutics (midwifery), or the Socratic method.

One example of his effect on philosophy is found in the dialog Euthyphro.  He suggests that what is to be considered a good act is not good because gods say it is, but is good because it is useful to us in our efforts to be better and happier people.  This means that ethics is no longer a matter of surveying the gods or scripture for what is good or bad, but rather thinking about life.  He even placed individual conscience above the law -- quite a dangerous position to take!

Socrates himself never wrote any of his ideas down, but rather engaged his students -- wealthy young men of Athens -- in endless conversations.  In exchange for his teaching, they in turn made sure that he was taken care of.  Since he claimed to have few needs, he took very little, much to his wife Xanthippe’s distress.

Plato reconstructed these discussions in a great set of writings known as the Dialogs.  It is difficult to distinguish what is Socrates and what is Plato in these dialogs, so we will simply discuss them together.

Socrates wasn’t loved by everyone by any means.  His unorthodox religious views (that there was only one god behind the variety of Greek gods) gave the leading citizens of Athens the excuse they needed to  sentence him to death for corrupting the morals of the youth of the city.  In 399, he was ordered to drink hemlock, which he did in the company of his students.

Plato

Plato (437-347) was Socrates’ prized student.  From a wealthy and powerful family, his actual name was

Aristocles -- Plato was a nickname, referring to his broad physique. When he was about twenty, he came under Socrates’ spell and decided to devote himself to philosophy.  Devastated by Socrates’ death, he wandered around Greece and the Mediterranean and was taken by pirates.  His friends raised money to ransom him from slavery, but when he was released without it, they bought him a small property called Academus to start a school -- the Academy, founded in 386.

The Academy was more like Pythagorus’ community -- a sort of quasi-religious fraternity, where rich young men studied mathematics, astronomy, law, and, of course, philosophy. It was free, depending entirely on donations. True to his ideals, Plato also permitted women to attend!  The Academy would become the center of Greek learning for almost a millennium

Plato can be understood as idealistic and rationalistic, much like Pythagorus but much less mystical.  He divides reality into two:  On the one hand we have ontos, idea or ideal.  This is ultimate reality, permanent, eternal, spiritual.  On the other hand, there’s phenomena, which is a manifestation of the ideal.  Phenomena are appearances -- things as they seem to us -- and are associated with matter, time, and space.

Phenomena are illusions which decay and die.  Ideals are unchanging, perfect.  Phenomena are definitely inferior to Ideals!  The idea of a triangle -- the defining mathematics of it, the form or essence of it -- is eternal.  Any individual triangle, the triangles of the day-to-day experiential world, are never quite perfect:  They may be a little crooked, or the lines a little thick, or the angles not quite right.... They only approximate that perfect triangle, the ideal triangle.

If it seems strange to talk about ideas or ideals as somehow more real than the world of our experiences, consider science.  The law of gravity, 1+1=2, “magnets attract iron,” E=mc2, and so on -- these are universals, not true for one day in one small location, but true forever and everywhere!  If you believe that there is order in the universe, that nature has laws, you believe in ideas!

Ideas are available to us through thought, while phenomena are available to us through our senses.  So, naturally, thought is a vastly superior means to get to the truth.  This is what makes Plato a rationalist, as opposed to an empiricist, in epistemology.

Senses can only give you information about the ever-changing and imperfect world of phenomena, and so can only provide you with implications about ultimate reality, not reality itself.  Reason goes straight to the idea. You “remember,” or intuitively recognize the truth, as Socrates suggested in the dialog Meno.

According to Plato, the phenomenal world strives to become ideal, perfect, complete.  Ideals are, in that sense, a motivating force.  In fact, he identifies the ideal with God and perfect goodness.  God creates the world out of materia (raw material, matter) and shapes it according to his “plan” or “blueprint” -- ideas or the ideal.  If the world is not perfect, it is not because of God or the ideals, but because the raw materials were not perfect.  I think you can see why the early Christian church made Plato an honorary Christian, even though he died three and a half centuries before Christ!

Plato applies the same dichotomy to human beings:  There’s the body, which is material, mortal, and “moved” (a victim of causation).  Then there’s the soul, which is ideal, immortal, and “unmoved” (enjoying free will).

The soul includes reason, of course, as well as self-awareness and moral sense.  Plato says the soul will always choose to do good, if it recognizes what is good.  This is a similar conception of good and bad as the Buddhists have:  Rather than bad being sin, it is considered a matter of ignorance.  So, someone who does something bad requires education, not punishment.

The soul is drawn to the good, the ideal, and so is drawn to God.  We gradually move closer and closer to God through reincarnation as well as in our individual lives.  Our ethical goal in life is resemblance to God, to come closer to the pure world of ideas and ideal, to liberate ourselves from matter, time, and space, and to become more real in this deeper sense.  Our goal is, in other words, self-realization.

Plato talks about three levels of pleasure.  First is sensual or physical pleasure, of which sex is a great example.  A second level is sensuous or esthetic pleasure, such as admiring someone’s beauty, or enjoying one’s relationship in marriage.  But the highest level is ideal pleasure, the pleasures of the mind.  Here the example would be Platonic love, intellectual love for another person unsullied by physical involvement.

Paralleling these three levels of pleasure are three souls.  We have one soul called appetite, which is mortal and comes from the gut.  The second soul is called spirit or courage.  It is also mortal, and lives in the heart.  The third soul is reason. It is immortal and resides in the brain.  The three are strung together by the cerebrospinal canal.

Plato is fond of analogies.  Appetite, he says, is like a wild horse, very powerful, but likes to go its own way.  Spirit is like a thoroughbred, refined, well trained, directed power.  And reason is the charioteer, goal-directed, steering both horses according to his will.

Other analogies abound, especially in Plato’s greatest work, The Republic.  In The Republic, he designs (through Socrates) a society in order to discover the meaning of justice.  Along the way, he compares elements of his society (a utopia, Greek for “no place”) to the three souls:  The peasants are the foundation of the society.  They till the soil and produce goods, i.e. take care of society’s basic appetites.  The warriors represent the spirit and courage of the society.  And the philosopher kings guide the society, as reason guides our lives.

Before you assume that we are just looking at a Greek version of the Indian caste system, please note:  Everyone’s children are raised together and membership in one of the three levels of society is based on talents, not on one’s birth parents!  And Plato includes women as men’s equals in this system.  I leave you with a few quotes:

"Wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder." 

"...(I)f you ask what is the good of education in general, the answer is easy; that education makes good men, and that good men act nobly."

"(I) do to others as I would they should do to me."

"Our object in the construction of the State is the greatest happiness of the whole, and not that of any one class."

Aristotle

Aristotle (384-322) was born in a small Greek colony in Thrace called Stagira.  His father was a physician and served the grandfather of Alexander the Great.  Presumably, it was his father who taught him to take an interest in the details of natural life.

He was Plato’s prize student, even though he disagreed with him on many points.  When Plato died, Aristotle stayed for a while with another student of Plato, who had made himself a dictator in northern Asia Minor.  He married the dictator’s daughter, Pythias.  They moved to Lesbos, where Pythias died giving birth to their only child, a daughter.  Although he married again, his love for Pythias never died, and he requested that they be buried side by side.

For four years, Aristotle served as the teacher of a thirteen year old Alexander, son of Philip of Macedon.  In 334, he returned to Athens and established his school of philosophy in a set of buildings called the Lyceum (from a name for Apollo, “the shepherd”).  The beautiful grounds and covered walkways were conducive to leisurely walking discussions, so the students were known as peripatoi (“covered walkways”).

First, we must point out that Aristotle was as much a scientist as a philosopher.  He was endlessly fascinated with nature, and went a long way towards classifying the plants and animals of Greece.  He was equally interested in studying the anatomies of animals and their behavior in the wild.

Aristotle also pretty much invented modern logic.  Except for its symbolic form, it is essentially the same today.

Let’s begin with metaphysics:  While Plato separates the ever-changing phenomenal world from the true and eternal ideal reality, Aristotle suggests that the ideal is found “inside” the phenomena, the universals “inside” the particulars.

What Plato called idea or ideal, Aristotle called essence, and its opposite, he referred to as matter.  Matter is without shape or form or purpose.  It is just “stuff.” pure potential, no actuality.  Essence is what provides the shape or form or purpose to matter.  Essence is “perfect,” “complete,” but it has no substance, no solidity.  Essence and matter need each other!

Essence realizes (“makes real”) matter.  This process, the movement from formless stuff to complete being, is called entelechy, which some translate as actualization.

There are four causes that contribute to the movement of entelechy.  They are answers to the question “why?” or “what is the explanation of this?” 

  1. The material cause: what something is made of.
  2. The efficient cause: the motion or energy that changes matter.
  3. The formal cause: the thing’s shape, form, or essence; its definition.
  4. The final cause: its reason, its purpose, the intention behind it.

 

  • The material cause: The thing’s matter or substance.  Why a bronze statue?  The metal it is made of.  Today, we find an emphasis on material causation in reductionism, explaining, for example, thoughts in terms of neural activity, feelings in terms of hormones, etc.  We often go down a “level” because we can’t explain something at the level it’s at.
  • The efficient cause: The motion or energy that changes matter.  Why the statue?  The forces necessary to work the bronze, the hammer, the heat, the energy....  This is what modern science focuses on, to the point where this is what cause now tends to mean, exclusively.  Note that modern psychology usually relies on reductionism in order to find efficient causes.  But it isn’t always so:  Freud, for example, talked about psychosexual energy and Skinner talked about stimulus and response.
  • The formal cause: The thing’s shape, form, definition, or essence.  Why the statue?  Because of the plan the sculptor had for the bronze, it’s shape or form, the non-random ordering of it’s matter.  In psychology, we see some theorists focus on structure -- Piaget and his schema, for example.  Others talk about the structure inherent in the genetic code, or about cognitive scripts.
  • The final cause: The end, the purpose, the teleology of the thing.  Why the statue?  The purpose of it, the intention behind making it.  This was popular with medieval scholars:  They searched for the ultimate final cause, the ultimate purpose of all existence, which they of course labeled God! Note that, outside of the hard sciences, this is often the kind of cause we are most interested in:  Why did he do it, what was his purpose or intention?  E.g. in law, the bullet may have been the “efficient” cause of death, but the intent of the person pulling the trigger is what we are concerned with.  When we talk about intentions, goals, values, and so on, we are talking about final causes.

Aristotle wrote the first book on psychology (as a separate topic from the rest of philosophy).  It was called, appropriately, Para Psyche, Greek for “about the mind or soul.”  It is better known in the Latin form, De Anima.  In this book, we find the first mentions of many ideas that are basic to psychology today, such as the laws of association.

In it, he says the mind or soul is the “first entelechy” of the body, the “cause and principle” of the body, the realization of the body.  We might put it like this: The mind is the purposeful functioning of the nervous system.

Like Plato, he postulates three kinds of souls, although slightly differently defined.  There is a plant soul, the essence of which is nutrition.  Then there is an animal soul, which contains the basic sensations, desire, pain and pleasure, and the ability to cause motion.  Last, but not least, is the human soul.  The essence of the human soul is, of course, reason.  He suggests that, perhaps, this last soul is capable of existence apart from the body.

He foreshadowed many of the concepts that would become popular only two thousand years later.  Libido, for example:  “In all animals... it is the most natural function to beget another being similar to itself... in order that they attain as far as possible, the immortal and divine....  This is the final cause of every creatures natural life.”

And the struggle of the id and ego: “There are two powers in the soul which appear to be moving forces -- desire and reason.  But desire prompts actions in violation of reason... desire... may be wrong.” 

And the pleasure principle and reality principle:  “Although desires arise which are opposed to each other, as is the case when reason and appetite are opposed, it happens only in creatures endowed with a sense of time. For reason, on account of the future, bids us resist, while desire regards the present; the momentarily pleasant appears to it as the absolutely pleasant and the absolutely good, because it does not see the future.” 

And finally, self-actualization:  We begin as unformed matter in the womb, and through years of development and learning, we become mature adults, always reaching for perfection. "So the good has been well explained as that at which all things aim.


Full Transcript Al Gore Speech on the Environment


Read the complete text of Al Gore's address on global warming and the environment, co-sponsored by MoveOn.org and Environment2004 Education Fund.

JOAN BLADES: Welcome. It’s wonderful to be here. I’m Joan Blades, cofounder of MoveOn, and this is Peter Schurman. Thank you so much. And this is Peter Schurman, Executive Director, and Wes really, really wishes and Wes really wishes he could have been here too, but he’s home with the kids.

So we are so honored to have you join us here for this speech by former Vice President Al Gore, who’s been an advocate for the environment for decades, a wonderful environment for the environment. And we’re awed and deeply appreciative of all the efforts of MoveOn members to protect our environment. And I’m going to let Peter here, who’s had a great deal to do with these efforts, tell you a little bit more about that. So thank you so much.

PETER SCHURMAN: Thank you, Joan. Thank you all for coming. It is so incredible to see all you be here. We spend our lives behind the keyboard. To see all of your shining faces is just incredibly heart warming.

Early on, MoveOn.org members identified the environment as a top priority issue. Since then, you and MoveOn members everywhere have worked together to make an incredible difference on behalf of the environment. We’ve helped prevent drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. And we have prevented so far in two successive Congresses passage of the terrible Bush administration energy bill. Congratulations to you.

Recently, we also helped launch a terrific new daily e-mail feed chronicling the Bush administration’s environmental misdeeds. It’s at www.Bushgreenwatch.org. Check it out. I think you’ll like it.

I’d like to take a moment to recognize the other core MoveOn team members who are here with us today. Would you please stand as I say your names. Terry, Terry Olson, our Chief Operating Officer, Noel Weiner, who runs our Media Core. Is Eli here with us today? Eli Pariser. Zack Exley, who did an incredible job organizing today’s event. There’s Zack in the back waving his laptop. Thank you, Zack. And is Morry here today? Morry is out in the back with her baby, Gavin, our newest MoveOn member. Now I’d like to welcome Carol Browner, who will introduce Vice President Gore. Carol Browner is a founding board member of the Environment 2004 Education Fund.

Environment 2004 Education Fund is a terrific new organization raising public awareness of how President Bush’s policies are harming our environment and rallying public support for sound energy and environmental policies. Terrific organization. Please join me now in welcoming former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Carol Browner.

CAROL BROWNER: Thank you. Good afternoon and let me begin by welcoming everyone and thanking you for coming out today on this very cold day. As you heard, I am here on behalf of Environment 2004 Education Fund and I want to begin by thanking all of the Environment 2004 people who join us here today. Amy Christiansen [phonetic], our Executive Director, and all of our board members and colleagues. They are doing a great job on behalf of the organization reaching out across the country. Thank you all for what you’re doing. And let me also thank MoveOn for joining us at Environment 2004 to inform and educate the American public.

You know, in some ways when it comes to the environment, that shouldn’t be too difficult. The current administration is simply the worst administration ever when it comes to public health and environmental protection. This administration is all about special deals for the special interests. It is about letting the polluters off the hook. It is about opening our public lands, our national treasures to the highest bidders. It is about leaving toxic waste sites uncleaned.

For eight years as the head of this country’s environmental agency, I traveled all across our great country. I met with mothers worried about the worsening asthma attacks in their children. I met with businesses willing to comply with environmental standards. Never in my travels did I hear our air is too clean, our water too safe. We have made a lot of progress in cleaning our environment, protecting our health but the job is not done and we must remain vigilant. We must continue the progress.

Every administration, every single administration has a responsibility to continue the national effort and commitment to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, our land, our communities, and the health of our families. The American people have a right to know what is happening to your air and your water. That is what Environment 2004 and MoveOn are all about, giving all of you, giving the American people information, the facts, the reality, allowing the public with information to make up their own minds.

During my tenure at EPA, I was proud to be part of an administration’s effort to protect our environment, to protect our health. We set the first-ever diesel fuel and truck standards. We cleaned up more toxic waste sites in eight years, six times more sites than the prior administrations had cleaned up in 12 years. We were cleaning up two to three times the number of sites per year as the current administration. We set the toughest air pollution standards ever and then we argued them all the way through the Supreme Court. Air pollution standards for soot and smog that will prevent tens of thousands of premature death a year. But most importantly, we enforced the nation’s environmental laws. We held the polluters accountable for what they do to our air and water. None of this, none of this work would have been possible without our Vice President, the greatest vice president of my lifetime and perhaps the greatest vice president ever.

Al Gore is this country’s foremost environmental leader, speaking out on issues time and time again, always before anyone else. Ladies and gentlemen, it is my great pleasure to introduce to you Vice President Al Gore.

AL GORE: Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, my friends. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you, Carol, and thank you, Joan, and thank you, Peter, and I want to thank all of you for coming here today on the coldest of the year to talk about global warming. What better time to talk about global warming.

I do want to say that it was an honor to work with Carol Browner on environmental policies in the last administration and I’m very grateful for her outstanding leadership of Environment 2004. I want to thank Peter for his great work as Executive Director of MoveOn.org and I appreciate all of those who have worked in the trenches with both of these great organizations that are co-sponsoring today’s speech. And allow me to please say a special word about Joan Blades, who traveled, as Peter did, from California for this event, and Joan along with her husband, Wes Boyd, is the co-founder of MoveOn.org and she has been from the beginning a moving force behind the emergency of this dynamic new grassroots movement in American democracy. It’s a great, great development. I want to introduce my wife, Tipper, who is here and my daughter, Terena, and my son-in-law, Drew Shiff, and Lisa Shiff.

All right, now I have made a series of speeches about the policies of the Bush-Cheney administration toward the major challenges that confront America - National security, economic policies, civil liberties, and today the environment.

Now for me, this issue is in a special category because I believe so much is at stake. I don’t want to proselytize but my own religious faith has been a - has played a role in my strong feelings about this issue. But I think all of us from whatever point of view we begin thinking about the environment put it in a special category. And I’m particularly concerned about this issue because the vast majority of the most respected environmental scientists from all over the world have sounded a clear and urgent alarm.

The international community including the United States began a massive effort several years ago to assemble the most accurate scientific assessment of the growing evidence that the earth’s environment is now sustaining severe and potentially irreparable damage from the unprecedented accumulation of pollution in the global atmosphere. In essence, these scientists are telling the people of every nation that global warming caused by human activities is becoming a serious threat to our common future.

I’m also troubled that the Bush-Cheney administration does not seem to hear the warnings of the scientific community in the same way that most of us do. Now I don’t say that in a humorous way. They are - they look at it and hear it differently than the majority of Americans.

And so I want to show a few pictures today. This first, just to start with a grounding in what we’re really talking about here. This picture of the first image that any of us ever saw of the earth. It was taken on Christmas Eve in 1968 by a young astronaut named Bill Anders on the mission of Apollo 8 when Frank Borman was the pilot. They didn’t land on the moon but it was the first one to go around the moon. And this picture is called Earth Rise and it was given a lot of the credit for beginning the modern environmental movement. When this picture was first seen, it caused a dramatic change in the way people thought about our planet.

On the following day in the New York Times, the poet, Archibald Macleash, wrote, “To see the earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful and the eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the earth together”.

This next picture was taken on the last of the Apollo missions, Apollo 17 on December 11th, 1972, part way between the earth and the moon with the sun directly behind the spacecraft and this is the most published photograph in all of history. Ninety-nine times out of 100, when you see a picture of the earth in a newspaper or an advertisement, it is this exact picture. And because it’s northern hemisphere winter, Antarctica is tilted toward the sun. Africa and the Sinai are prominent in this picture.

Now the next one I’m going to show you is hardly ever seen. It’s a film. It’s the only home movie we have of the earth. When the Galileo spacecraft was leaving the earth to go out and explore the universe, it turned its cameras back on our planet and captured 22 hours of the earth rotating. It speeded up into just 20 some off seconds, but it’s beautiful.

The next few pictures are unique in a different way. They are made up of 3,000 separate satellite photographs taken over a three-year period, carefully selected to give a cloud-free view of every square inch of the earth. Most hemispheres are in summer simultaneously and North America is the last of these.

And even though the earth is of such a vast size, it’s important to remember that the most vulnerable part of the global environment is the atmosphere because it is surprisingly thin. As my friend, the late Carl Sagan used to say, like a coat of varnish on a globe, from here to the top of the sky is not as far as it is out to LaGuardia Airport. And as a consequence, it is possible for our civilization to fill up that relatively small space with greenhouse gases.

Now don’t spend any time on this one because this is the way the technical explanation is given of the greenhouse effect with the sun’s rays coming in and they radiate back out and some of them are trapped and that’s a good thing. But when the greenhouse gases thicken it, they’re trapped more and that heats it up and that’s bad. This is a much better explanation.

Global warming or none like it hot. You’re probably wondering why your ice cream went away. Well, Susie, the comfort isn’t foreigners. It’s global warming. Global wapa? Yeah. Meet Mr. Sunbeam. He comes all the way from the sun to visit earth. Hello, earth. Just poppin’ in to brighten your day. La-la-la-la-la-la-lah. And now I’ll be on my way. Not so fast, Sunbeam. We’re greenhouse gases. You ain’t going nowhere. It hurts. Pretty soon earth is chock full of sunbeams. They’re rotting corpses heating our atmosphere. How do we get rid of the greenhouse grasses?

Fortunately, our handsomest politicians came up with a cheap, last minute way to combat global warming. Ever since 2063, we simply drop a giant ice cube into the ocean every now and then. Just like Daddy puts in his drink every morning and then he gets mad. Of course, since the greenhouse gases are still building up, it takes more and more ice each time. Thus solving the problem once and for all. But- once and for all.

Our daughter, Kristin, worked with Matt Groening out in Hollywood, or did rather, and they allowed me to use that. I think it’s a pretty good explanation of global warming, to tell you the truth. But the point is this. I really don’t think there is any longer a credible basis for doubting that the earth’s atmosphere is heating up because of global warming.

And I’d like to show just a few pictures that are different from today in New York City. You remember last summer in Europe when the heat wave was quite dramatic and the temperature increases, particularly in France, were extremely large and ten degrees centigrade, higher than that in Fahrenheit of course and a lot of people lost their lives as a result. And now they’re calculating the estimates on a global basis of people that are casualties every year now because of global warming. And this is the temperature record since the Civil War, the last 140 years. And, yes, decade to decade, it may go up or down and there’s variations, but the overall trend is pretty clear.

And here are some pictures that I think are really pertinent to this discussion. Mount Kilimanjaro 30 years ago looked like this and a couple years ago, it looks like this. A friend of mine named Lonny Thompson at Ohio State is the leading expert on mountain glaciers in the world and he goes there every so often. It’s melting rapidly.

Here’s Lonny at the top of Kilimanjaro a couple years ago with a little sliver of glacier that used to be enormous. And within 15 years now it is projected there’ll be no more ice and no more snows of Kilimanjaro. This is a glacier in Latin America and 100 years ago it looked like this and today, it is gone. This is a glacier in China, which has gone through the same transition in a much shorter period of time.

In Glacier National Park 90 years ago, the Grinnell Glacier looked like this. With one of my daughters, I hiked to the top of it in ’98. It looks like this now. Twenty-seven of the 38 glaciers in the park have now melted. This was a popular one earlier in the century and now it’s completely gone. And within 15 years, this could be called the park formerly known as Glacier. In fact glaciers are melting everywhere in the world with the, with a few exceptions in Scandinavia, in Alaska the Columbia Glacier used to have a vast extent and has now retreated dramatically.

This glacier in Peru used to look like this. It now looks like this. This illustrates the well-known saying that “denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.” Lonny Thompson flies to the glaciers and travels in various ways, not just to watch ‘em melt, but to have core drillings, and they dig down into the ice and pull it back up and they study the, the little bubbles of atmosphere trapped in the ice, and they can measure the carbon dioxide and measure the temperature by looking at the different isotopes of oxygen, and they can read every year of the ice the way a forester reads tree rings, and Lonnie gave me this picture to illustrate why that’s possible. Every single year there’s a different layer. And he has dug down a thousand years back in time and constructed a thousand-year record of global temperature as reflected in the glaciers. And a thousand years ago is at the bottom, and the present-day temperature is at the top.

Now I’m showing this to make a couple of points. Number one, the blue is cold and the red is warm, and some of the so-called skeptics have made a big point of saying well this is just a normal kind of fluctuation, and actually there was a medieval warming period that was warmer than now. Well no, that’s not right. There it is. And another one. But compared to what it is today, it’s completely different now. The other point is, it’s really interesting. Glaciers do not care about politics. They don’t respond to ideology or spin. They just melt or freeze. And so this record is really reliable.

Few years back, these hikers were going across the Alps in Italy, and they said, wow, there’s a 5,000-year-old man. Never noticed that guy before. Because the ice had never melted there before. Now, shifting gears, this is where most of the ice in the world is. Ninety-five percent of all the freshwater on earth is locked in the ice in Antarctica. And instead of going back a thousand years, they can dig down through ten thousand feet of ice, and go back 400,000 years. And recently they completed the record of, of carbon dioxide and temperature going back all that way.

This is what carbon dioxide looks like from the present time all the way back through the last ice age, through the next-to-last ice age, the period of great warming in between, and two more ice ages back to the, down to the bottom of the Antarctic continent. And at no time in that whole 400,000-year period has it gotten above 300 parts per million, or even 280 parts per million.

And this is what the temperature record looks like. And there are two points to make on that. First of all, it sure does look like those lines go together, and the second point is this is the difference and current temperatures in New York City and having a mile of ice over your head. Because that’s what was above Manhattan at this point in time.

Now, the current carbon dioxide concentrations are up here. Way, way above anything that has been seen in 400,000 years, and midway through this century, unless we take prompt action, it will be here. Now, ask yourself this question: if this much difference on the cold side is a mile of ice over your head, how much, what does this represent on the warm side? And is that all right with everybody? Is that, is that a perfectly sensible risk for us to take?

Well I say that’s my answer also. According to the present administration, it’s perfectly all right. No big deal. Shouldn’t be worried about it. I think it’s reckless in the extreme, and I think that it absolutely has to be addressed. We’ve all heard about these icebergs the size of Rhode Island breaking off of Antarctica. There’ve actually been a bunch of ‘em in the last seven or eight years. Located in green, I’m gonna show you a six-week period in this, in the Antarctic peninsula, just real fast. In six weeks this is what happened two years ago. And that now happens on a regular basis. And at times in the very, very distant past when large chunks of Antarctica plopped into the ocean, the sea level went up 23 feet all of a sudden. That’s not in prospect for at least 150, 200 years, maybe more.

However, when land-based ice melts, sea level does go up, and in the second largest place where land-based ice is found, in Greenland, Science magazine published this picture just recently. That’s rushing water melting in Greenland now, and they, the scientists are trying to come to grips with exactly what the pattern is there, but there’s growing evidence of very dramatic melting and change in Greenland. When the ice melts on land, the sea level goes up. And in areas that are affected by it, they’re beginning to take steps.

This is London. In 1983 they built these barriers on the Thames river to protect London against rising sea levels in the form of tidal surges up the Thames river, and since 1983 this is what has happened in the number of closures every single year. The pattern is really clear. The change is underway right now. Everywhere you look on, on earth. The sea level increase is projected to displace ten million environmental refugees in Bangladesh alone. It is also predicted to have a significant impact on Florida.

And there are other- hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey. No, no, no, no, no, no. You be careful. I believe I carried Florida. Now- this is the arctic, which is floating ice. When ice floating on the ocean melts, of course the sea level doesn’t go up. Like an ice cube in a glass of water, it melts, the water level doesn’t change. But there are dramatic changes there as well.

I went up to the arctic a couple of times and these submarines the Navy has specially designed for the arctic, the, those bow wings rotate so that they’ll push up like a knife cutting through the ice there, and the Navy agreed over a period of time to release their secret, formerly secret data, showing the ice thickness in the arctic. It has decreased 40 percent in the last half century. It is decreasing 9 percent per decade now. And the reason it happened so rapidly, this is a NASA illustration, when the edge of the ice melts, the water heats up and it reinforces and gives a positive feedback and accelerates the melting at the edge of the ice. And that, that phenomena means that there is a much faster process of warming in the arctic than anywhere else.

Alaskan temperatures have already gone up 8 degrees and the 40 percent decline in the thickness of the artic ice pack unfortunately is continuing and the projection by some scientists now is that midway through this century, this loss of one and a half million square kilometers of sea ice will continue and unless action is taken boldly and soon, then partway through this century we may well see, according to the predictions, the complete disappearance in summertime of the arctic ice cap.

Now here’s the reason why that’s a big deal. When it’s there it’s like a big mirror, and 95 percent of the sun’s energy bounces off it. And when it’s gone, 90 percent of the sun’s energy is absorbed. So that means a 1 degree increase at the equator is projected to be as much as a 12 degree increase at the top of the world. And since the global climate system is an engine for redistributing heat from the equator to the poles, and since that pattern of ocean currents and jet streams and storm systems is defined in part by the difference between these two temperature extremes, you replace that mirror with a big heat sink, then it threatens massive disruption of the entire pattern of global climate.

In any case, that puts more energy into the climate system. That’s why the scientists say that storms get 50 percent stronger and hurricanes get bigger and precipitation increases because there’s more evaporation off of the oceans, both in the form of rain and snow.

In this century alone in North America, there has been a huge increase in precipitation. But the same phenomena that causes the extra evaporation off of the oceans also causes evaporation of soil moisture. And the projection now is that we could lose in North America 25 to 30 percent of the soil moisture in the most, the most valuable agricultural growing areas of this country and now the scientists are backing up and they’re saying, hey, wait a minute. We’ve been saying CO2 may double in the atmosphere.

If the current policies prevail and nothing is done, we’ll just go barreling right through a doubling, and head toward a quadrupling. Which, according to the scientific community, would lead to a catastrophic 60 percent loss of soil moisture throughout vast areas of North America. You talk about a scorched earth policy, that is exactly and literally what, what that is. This is also, the moisture also comes, according to the scientists, much more now in the big one-time storm events, so it doesn’t recharge the aquifers and the springs, it just rushes off. So that’s why so many areas are getting more flooding and more droughts simultaneously. Not a good thing.

This also has captured the attention of the insurance industry because of real hard dollars and cents. Not all of this is due to the great weather and flood catastrophes. It’s because there are more people living in flood plains and in vulnerable areas. But a great deal of it is due to it, and that’s why you have companies like Swiss Re and Munich Re just almost apoplectic about this issue, attempting to convince others in the business community that it’s time to say hey wait a minute.

You talk about the cost of dealing with the transition to new technologies, time to also take into account the cost of not doing anything about this, which would be just unthinkable. So the point is this. The evidence is overwhelming and undeniable. Global warming is real, it is happening now. The consequences that are presently anticipated are totally unacceptable. Now it is important to understand in my opinion that this crisis actually is just as symptom of a deeper underlying cause.

Global warming, just like the destruction of the rainforests and the other global environmental issues is actually a symptom of this fact – that we are witnessing a collision between our civilization and the earth, and there are three factors that are responsible for it. And the first one is population. We’re seeing some success in slowing the momentum of population growth, but it is still growing rapidly all around the world, and if you look at a graph of population from the beginning of the human race until now, if you go back now, I don’t want to get into a debate about when – we had a trial in Tennessee about this, and- and we lost and I’m very sensitive about it, and, but for purposes of argument, if you accept the scientific view that we emerged in our current form 160,000 years ago, it took more than 10,000 generations before we reached a population of 2 billion people when my Baby Boom generation was born. And in my 55 years, it’s gone from 2 billion to 6.3 billion, and it’s projected to continue going on up. Maybe it’ll level off at 8.9 billion. There has been some success. But the point is this – do you notice anything different about this part of the trend line here?

What’s going on now in our lifetimes is completely and totally different from anything that has ever happened in all of human history. And this pattern is also responsible for driving some other patterns, such as the loss of living species. The rate of extinction now is a thousand times greater than the background rate of extinction.

Some of you saw the study that came out last week, printed in Nature magazine, peer reviewed, that now they expect a quarter of all living species to disappear in the next fifty years unless action is taken, and up to 37 percent. Nothing like that’s happened since 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs were wiped out. And this time it’s not a collision with an asteroid. It’s a collision with us.

So the population is of course mostly increasing in the developing nations and that drives increasing demand for food and for water and for energy, and also is responsible for some of the destruction of the forestland where it’s cut and it’s burned on just a constant basis. They say about a football field’s worth every second is lost, drying out the land. And it is a political decision. This is the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Haiti has one policy, Dominican Republic has another policy.

We have political decisions to make also because this is where the greenhouse gases are coming from. In our country we’re responsible for more than South America and Africa and the Middle East and China all put together. And the average greenhouse gas emission per person in the world is down there and this is where we stack up compared to the rest of the world. So it is a challenge for us. Well, here’s a thousand years of carbon. Emissions and CO2 and temperature. This is not rocket science. These correlations are pretty darn obvious.

Now here’s a second factor that’s changing completely the relationship between humankind and the earth. And that’s the scientific and technological revolution, which of course has brought great benefits in healthcare and communications and quality of life and all the rest. But -- and here is the point -- new technologies magnify our ability to have an impact on the earth around us. And old habits combined with new technologies have different consequences.

One old habit is war. My religious faith includes the saying there will always be wars and rumors of wars, but wars with spears and bows and arrows and muskets has one set of consequences, but when war became more advanced there was another set of consequences. And when atomic weapons were invented the consequences of the old habit of war were utterly transformed. And so we came up with the idea of a cold war. And now India and Pakistan are negotiating and hopefully they’ll resolve that deal. But the point is this. New technologies can so change the consequences of old habits that we are mandated to change the way we think about them.

Our oldest habit - now if you think about that as an analogy, we have from the beginning of humankind got food and resources from the earth and technologies have advances and from horses and donkeys to tractors, but now we see simple things like irrigation done on such a massive scale that the consequences are different.

The former Soviet Union irrigated a lot of land for cotton in central Asia and inadvertently turned the fourth largest inland sea in the world into a desert. This is the Errol Sea and this is the canal that the fishing industry desperately built, dug, to try to chase the receding shoreline and it ran away from them. It’s a pitiful sight. Now the changes that we are now setting in motion in many parts of the world could result in vain projects to chase the way of life that we’re used to, but see it just moved right out from underneath us.

The technologies that we have available to us now can transform the surface of the Earth in dramatic ways. Technology can seem to just get out of hand for the lifestyle that is conducive to a happy family. We are able to get into areas of the Earth that were never accessible before, and the new chemicals and other things that we’re doing, like burning energy, you can see the totality of the impact by looking at the earth at night - this is the western hemisphere, computer enhanced images that show - the white are the lights of the cities and the red are the burning forests. It’s worse this year than it was when that picture was made. It’s like that every year. This is the eastern hemisphere.

The yellow are the gas flares, and actually they are capturing more of that now. But the third factor that’s changing the relationship between our civilization and the earth is our way of thinking. And you know there’s a - well, I’ll tell this personal story.

When I was in the sixth grade I had a classmate in geography who pointed to the outline of South America and the outline of Africa and he asked the teacher, did they ever fit together? And the teacher said of course not. That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. That child went on to become a drug addict and a ne’er do well. The teacher became Science Advisor in the current administration. That was a cheap shot. He’s a - that Science Advisor’s better than that. But we know that they did fit together, but the teacher thought they didn’t because he had an assumption in his mind that went unchallenged.
Continents are so big obviously they don’t move. And that’s a common problem.

To quote a famous philosopher, what gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know, it’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so. And what we know for sure - what many people know for sure now that just ain’t so is that the earth is so big we can’t possibly have any impact on it. Now many of you know the cliché story about the frog’s nervous system.

When change appears to be gradual, it’s sometimes hard to get exercised or alarmed about it. And it is a fact, as the medical students will tell you, that if a frog jumps in a pot of boiling water it’ll jump right out again because it can tell it’s trouble. But if a frog is placed in a pot of tepid water and the water is just slowly brought to a boil, that frog’ll just sit there until it’s rescued. I’ve learned the importance of rescuing that frog because some people never remember anything except that. And so it really is important to treat the frog well.

Now in spite of the clear evidence available all around us, there are many who still do not believe that global warming is a problem at all. And it’s no wonder because they are the targets of a massive and well-organized campaign of disinformation lavishly funded by polluters who are determined to prevent any action to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming out of a fear that their profits might be affected if they had to stop dumping so much pollution into the atmosphere.

And wealthy right-wing ideologues have joined with the most cynical and irresponsible companies within the oil and coal and mining industries to contribute large sums of money to finance pseudoscientific front groups that specialize in sowing confusion in the public’s mind about global warming. They issue one misleading report after another, pretending that there is significant disagreement in the legitimate scientific community in areas where there’s actually a broad-based accepted consensus.

Now focus on these pseudoscientific groups that take money from the coal companies and mining and oil companies. The techniques that they use were pioneered years earlier by the tobacco industry in its long campaign to manufacture uncertainty in the public’s mind about the health risks caused by tobacco smoke.

You know, that’s an industry that kills one out of every five of its customers. Not a good business plan unless they can find a way to recruit massive numbers of what they call replacement smokers. All right? And so - and it’s interesting. If you look at the names of the people who took money from the tobacco companies, laundered through law firms often, some of the same scientific camp-followers who took money from the tobacco industry as part of that that effort are right now taking money from the coal and oil companies in return for their willingness to say with a straight face that global warming is not real. It is a fact.

Now here is a good example of what they did before. And, you know, at one time that didn’t cause any laughter at all because it was just part of their strategy and it continued for quite a long time. This was a document recently gained in a discovery process on something called Project White Coat. And look at the goals. To reverse the misconception that tobacco smoke is harmful. To restore the acceptability of smoking. Now in a candid memo about political strategy for Republican leaders, pollster Frank Luntz expressed concern that voters might punish candidates who supported more greenhouse gas pollution and more pollution generally. And then he offered advice to Republican leaders on what he believes is the key tactic for defusing the issue.

First of all he said that the environment is probably the single issue on which Republicans in general and President Bush in particular are most vulnerable. Then he went on to say this. You need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue by going out and recruiting these types who’ll say up is down and black is white and so forth. Now this - let me go back one on this.

The Bush Administration has gone far beyond the recommendations of Mr. Luntz and has explored new frontiers in cynicism by time and time again actually appointing the principal lobbyists and lawyers for the biggest polluters to be in charge of administering the laws that their former clients are charged with violating. Some of these appointees have continued to this day work very closely with the outside pseudo-scientific front groups even though they are now on the public payroll.

Two of the state attorneys general in our nation have now publicly accused officials in the Bush White House Council on Environmental Quality of conspiring with one of the outside groups to encourage the filing of a lawsuit against themselves -- against the administration -- as part of a shared strategy to undermine the possibility of government action on global warming.

Vice President Cheney's infamous Energy Task Force advised lobbyists for polluters early on in the new administration that there would be no action by the Bush White House on global warming. And then he asked for their help in designing a totally meaningless voluntary program.

Interestingly, one of the industry lobbyists who heard that pitch from the administration’s taskforce went back to talk with some of his fellow lobbyist and he made an unguarded speech - it’s still up on the website of his organizations right now. I don’t think they’re aware of it. And he said the following about what he had heard. And I’m going to quote it for you. He said let me put it to you in political terms. The President needs a fig leaf. He went on to say the President is dismantling Kyoto, but he's out there on a limb. And he said the industry needs to be understanding and help him.

Well, the White House has indeed routinely gone out on a limb to involve large contributors representing companies charged with violating environmental laws and regulations in the drafting of new laws and regulations designed to let their clients off the hook. The story’s the same when it comes to protecting the American people from pollution.

The Bush administration chooses special interests over the public interest, ignoring the scientific evidence in favor of policies that its campaign contributors demand. Consider mercury, an extremely toxic pollutant causing severe developmental and neurological defects in developing fetuses and in children and in adults.

We know that its principal unregulated source is coal-fired power plants. But the Bush administration has gutted the protections of the Clean Air Act, revoking an earlier determination by the EPA that mercury emissions from power plants should be treated as a hazardous air pollutant. Now even though the Bush administration’s own FDA issued a warning about mercury in tuna, they try to reclassify it. Now, is everybody okay with that? With the President saying that mercury shouldn't be treated as a hazardous air pollutant? I mean I can’t imagine that. Consider also toxic wastes.

The Superfund has now gone from a surplus of almost $4 billion to a deficit of $175 million. Because they want to get rid of the principle that the polluter should pay to clean up his own pollution. The result is fewer cleanups, slower cleanups, and a toxic mess left for our children and grandchildren to deal with. And that's of course because the Bush administration has let its friend in the industry off the hook and the tax that the polluters used to pay to finance the

Superfund cleanup has been eliminated, so that taxpayers -- you and I -- are left holding the bill and paying for cleaning up the pollution that the polluters used to be responsible for. Now I can’t believe that the people of this country are going to feel good about that. That is just wrong to let America’s worst polluters get off the hook while taxpayers are left holding the bag and shouldering that responsibility.

Another example, consider what’s happened with the enforcement of our environmental laws. For three years in a row the Bush administration has sought to slash enforcement personnel levels at EPA. The offices have been told to back off cases, leaving one veteran EPA public servant enforcer to say this. Quote, he said the rug was pulled out from under us. You look around and you say, well, what contribution can I make here anymore? A bunch of them have now resigned and quit. And are people okay with that? I just can’t believe that that is acceptable in this county.

The EPA should not be stripped of its ability to protect our air and our water. Now I'll tell you who is all right with it. A recent review of contributions to the Bush campaign from utility industry executives and lawyers and lobbyists showed that 15 individuals were in that category called pioneers. They gave or raised $100,000 each for the Bush campaign.

Now we have seen a truly radical change across the board including in our national parks. Just ask the coalition of more than 100 retired career park service employees who wrote that their mission to protect that national parks' resources has now been changed and they’re no longer able to do it because the focus is now on special interest and commercial uses of the national parks. Here is the key point.

These shifts that I am describing here today are not just swings in the political pendulum. They’re not small shifts. They are dramatical, radical shifts. This is the kind of change that a fanatic in sheep’s clothing would make.

These are changes that reverse a century of American policy designed to protect – We see in our national parks what America used to be. And Yellowstone Park created in 1872 in part to preserve its forest and its mineral and geothermal resources. Teddy Roosevelt respect that and expanded upon it. And in 1906 he championed that philosophy and became a great Republican conservation and environmentalist President; setting aside millions of acres of forest reserves, national monuments and wildlife refuges.

This kind of balanced approach binding the use of the resources that are needed in the short term with conservation for the future; that’s the kind of balance that has been honored by Presidents from Teddy Roosevelt all the way down the line in both political parties President after President until this President.

This President has broken with the tradition of both political parties. Now in this series of speeches that I have made I have noticed a troubling pattern that shows up in each of these issues; a pattern that characterizes the Bush/Cheney Administration’s approach to virtually all issues. And here’s the pattern.
In almost every policy area the Administration’s consistent goal has been to eliminate any constraints on their exercise of raw power whether by law, regulation, allegiance, alliance or treaty.

In most cases they have in the process caused our country to be seen by other nations in the world as showing disdain for the international community. We’re seen differently in the world today because of the arrogance that this Administration has put out there.

Another part of the pattern; in each case they devised their policies with as much secrecy as possible. And they try to have the closest possible cooperation with the most powerful special interests that have the biggest monetary stake in what happens usually to the exclusion of what the public interest is. And in each case the public interest is not only ignored but actively undermined. In each case they devote considerable attention to devising a clever strategy of deception, outright deception, that appears designed to prevent the American people from discerning what it is the Administration is actually up to.

And people are getting on to it, indeed. We had enough of it.

We have had enough of a White House using in the United States of America Orwellian language to disguise the true purposes of government in a democracy. For example, a policy they put into effect designed to open our national forests to destructive logging of old growth trees is called the Healthy Forest Initiative. A policy that vastly increases the amount of pollution that can be dumped into the air that we breathe is called the Clear Skies Initiative. And in case after case the policy adopted immediately after the inauguration has been the exact opposite of what was pledged to the American people during the election campaign.

The promise by then candidate George Bush to conduct a humble foreign policy and avoid any semblance of nation building was transformed in the very first days of the Bush Presidency into a frenzied preparation for a military invasion of Iraq, complete with detailed plans for the remaking of that nation under American occupation.

And in the same way, in exactly the same way a solemn promise made during the campaign to the American people that carbon dioxide would be regulated in a mandatory way as a polluting greenhouse gas was instantly transformed by the inauguration into a promise made to the generators of CO2 that it would not be regulated at all. A seemingly heartfelt declaration to the American people during the campaign that he was sincerely concerned about global warming and though that it’s a real problem which has to be addressed was replaced immediately after the inauguration by a dismissive contempt for careful, peer reviewed work by EPA scientists setting forth the plain facts about global warming.

Now these and other activities by this Administration make it abundantly clear that the Bush White House represents a new departure in the history of the Presidency. He is so eager to accommodate his supporters and financial contributors that there seems to be very little that he is not willing to do for them at the expense of the public interest. To mention only one example; we’ve seen him work tirelessly to allow his friends in the oil and gas industry to drill in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge. Indeed it seems at times as if the Bush/Cheney Administration is wholly owned by the coal, oil, utility and mining industry.

While President Bush likes to project an image of strength and courage the real truth is that in the presence of his large financial contributors he is a moral coward so weak that he seldom, if ever, says no to anything that they want to do no matter what the public interest at stake is.

He will not stand up to the wealthy. He will not stand up to powerful supporters. And you know where this issue of the environment is concerned the problem with that is that our world right now is confronting a five alarm fire that calls for bold, moral, political leadership from the United States of America and from the President of the United States of America. With such leadership there would be no doubt whatsoever that we can solve the problem of global warming.

You know some people have been convinced that it’s not a real problem. Others have been convinced that it’s so real we can’t do anything about it. Well they’re both wrong. It’s a real problem and we are a can-do nation. We brought down Communism. We won wars in the Europe and the Pacific simultaneously. We enacted the Marshall Plan, found a cure for polio, put men on the moon. When we set our sights on a visionary goal and we are unified with leadership in pursuing it there is virtually nothing that we cannot accomplish. And we can solve this problem as well.

It is important to recall that we have already succeeded in organizing a winning global strategy to solve a massive, global environmental challenge. And when they told us about the stratospheric ozone hole people said well that sounds like a science fiction story. And then they looked more closely at the evidence and they said, yes, that is a very serious problem. And the United States in short contrast to what’s happening now in this Administration got on the ball, offered leadership, Republican Administrations and Democratic Administrations were involved. And look at what happened with U.S. leadership. The chemicals that were in such large use when the treaty was passed in 1987 we brought them down more than anybody else. We led the world. That problem is now in the process of being solved.

We have the opportunity. Here’s the car of the year this year. Fifty five miles per gallon, the Prius. This one’s coming next year from Tennessee. This is Saturn’s new hybrid SUV.

You know if we put our minds to it think about this. Before we spend vast, hundreds of billions of dollars on an unimaginative and retread effort to make a tiny portion of the moon habitable for a handful of people we ought to focus instead on a massive effort to ensure that planet earth is habitable for future generations of people right here.

Don’t you think?

And if we make that choice we will, in the process, strengthen our economy with a new generation of advanced technologies we’ll create millions of good, new jobs. And we can inspire the world with a bold, moral vision of humankind’s future.

There are new technologies available now that can help us transition away from fossil fuels. Not only wind and solar but a whole generation of new ones; the opportunities opening up in the future are dramatic. Many industries are already gaining dramatic efficiencies in energy use and water use. But we are right now at a true fork in the road. And if we can go business as usual toward utter catastrophe and create a future when our grandchildren will curse the name of this generation and ask themselves what were they thinking, didn’t they see the facts, didn’t they care about the future. Did they completely abdicate any response about the future?

Or we can take a different path. And we can tell them that we saw the choice and we adopted the right values and the right perspective. Values represents one of the keys. Global stewardship requires good values.

This is a handout from the White House during the first Bush presidency. Along with many others in the Congress at that time I was pushing for action. And they organized this to demonstrate that they were going to try to do something.
One of the few graphs that they produced in that White House caught my attention because it speaks to the question of values. And I want to show you a close-up of it.

Now hey, balancing in the scales on one side money in the form of gold bars, and on the other side of the scales the entire planet.

Boy that’s a tough one isn’t it? And to top it all off it’s a false choice. It is a false choice because if we don’t make the right choice here we lose the possibility of both.

Tipper introduced me a long time ago to the writings of the psychologist Abraham Maslow. One of his sayings was if the only tool you have is a hammer every problem begins to look like a nail. If the only tool we use to measure what is important in our lives is a price tag, if money is the all mighty ruler of our universe then those things that don’t have price tags begin to look like they have no value; friendship, family, community, the environment, the air, the water, the mountain, the rivers, the ocean.

Having the right perspective means having the right context. I mentioned my friend the late Carl Sagan earlier. His daughter Sasha is here somewhere. Carl Sagan had the idea when the Voyager spacecraft went off to explore the universe to take a picture of the earth when it was 3.7 billion miles away. Almost four billion miles away they turned the camera around and there we are.

Here is what, here’s what Carl said. He said look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who has ever lived out their lives, the aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lives there on a moat of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The earth is a very small stage in a vast, cosmic arena.

Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. Think of how frequent there are misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds, our posturings, our imagined self importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe. All of those presumptions are challenged by this point of pale light.

The earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit? Yes. Settle? Not yet. So like it or not for the moment the earth is where we make our stand.

There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. It underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we have ever known.

With the right perspective and the right values we can keep our eye on the prize and win the struggle for our common future. Thank you for coming today.

Thank you.(Al Gore)

Text of John Kerry's acceptance speech


30 July 2004

BOSTON: Following is the text of John Kerry's speech today accepting the presidential nomination of the US Democratic Party.
I'm John Kerry, and I'm reporting for duty.
We are here tonight because we love our country. We're proud of what America is and what it can become.
My fellow Americans, we're here tonight united in one purpose: to make America stronger at home and respected in the world.
A great American novelist wrote that you can't go home again. He could not have imagined this evening. Tonight, I am home ... home where my public life began and those who made it possible live; home where our nation's history was written in blood, idealism and hope; home where my parents showed me the values of family, faith and country.
Thank you, all of you, for a welcome home I will never forget.
I wish my parents could share this moment. They went to their rest in the last few years. But their example, their inspiration, their gift of open eyes – open eyes and open mind and endless heart and world that doesn't have an end are bigger and more lasting than any words at all.
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I was born, as some of you saw in the film, in Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Colorado when my dad was a pilot in World War two. Now, I am not one to read into things, but guess which wing of the hospital the maternity ward was in?
I'm not kidding. I was born in the West Wing.
My mother was the rock of our family, as so many mothers are. She stayed up late to help me with my homework. She sat by my bed when I was sick. She answered the questions of a child who, like all children, found the world full of wonders and mysteries. She was my den mother when I was a Cub Scout, and she was so proud of her 50-year pin as a Girl Scout leader.
She gave me her passion for the environment. She taught me to see trees as the cathedrals of nature. And by the power of her example, she showed me that we can and must complete the march toward full equality for all women in the United States of America.
My dad did the things that a boy remembers. My dad did the things that a boy remembers. He gave me my first model airplane, my first baseball mitt, my first bicycle. He also taught me that we are here for something bigger than ourselves. He lived out the responsibilities and the sacrifices of the greatest generation to whom we owe so much.
And when I was a young man, he was in the State Department, stationed in Berlin when it and the world were divided between democracy and communism.
I have unforgettable memories of being a kid mesmerised by the British, French and American troops, each of them guarding their own part of the city, and Russians standing guard on that stark line separating East from West. On one occasion, I rode my bike into Soviet East Berlin, and when I proudly told my dad, he promptly grounded me.
But what I learned has stayed with me for a lifetime. I saw how different life was on different sides of the same city. I saw the fear in the eyes of people who were not free. I saw the gratitude of people toward the United States for all that we had done. I felt goose bumps as I got off a military train and heard the Army band strike up Stars and Stripes Forever.
I learned what it meant to be America at our best. I learned the pride of our freedom. And I am determined now to restore that pride to all who look to America.
Mine were Greatest Generation parents. And as I thank them, we all join together to thank a whole generation for making America strong, for winning World War 2, winning the Cold War and for the great gift of service which brought America 50 years of peace and prosperity.
My parents inspired me to serve, and when I was in high school, a junior, John Kennedy called my generation to service. It was the beginning of a great journey, a time to march for civil rights, for voting rights, for the environment, for women, for peace.
We believed we could change the world. And you know what? We did. But we're not finished. But we're not finished. The journey isn't complete; the march isn't over; the promise isn't perfected.
Tonight, we're setting out again. And together, we're going to write the next great chapter of America's story.
We have it in our power to change the world, but only if we're true to our ideals. And that starts by telling the truth to the American people.
As president, that is my first pledge to you tonight: as president, I will restore trust and credibility to the White House.
I ask you, I ask you to judge me by my record. As a young prosecutor, I fought for victims' rights and made prosecuting violence against women a priority.
When I came to the Senate, I broke with many in my own party to vote for a balanced budget, because I thought it was the right thing to do. I fought to put 100,000 police officers on the streets of America.
And then I reached out across the aisle with John McCain to work to find the truth about our POWs and missing in action and to finally make peace in Vietnam.
I will be a commander in chief who will never mislead us into war. I will have a vice president who will not conduct secret meetings with polluters to rewrite our environmental laws. I will have a secretary of defence who will listen to the best advice of the military leaders. And I will appoint an attorney general who will uphold the Constitution of the United States.
My fellow Americans, this is the most important election of our lifetime. The stakes are high. We are a nation at war: a global war on terror against an enemy unlike we've ever known before.
And here at home, wages are falling, health-care costs are rising, and our great middle class is shrinking. People are working weekends - two jobs, three jobs - and they're still not getting ahead.
We're told that outsourcing jobs is good for America. We're told that jobs that pay $9000 less than the jobs that have been lost is the best that we can do. They say this is the best economy that we've ever had. And they say anyone who thinks otherwise is a pessimist.
Well, here is our answer: There is nothing more pessimistic than saying that America can't do better.
We can do better, and we will. We're the optimists. For us, this is a country of the future. We're the can-do people.
And let's not forget what we did in the 1990s: we balanced the budget. We paid down the debt. We created 23 million new jobs. We lifted millions out of poverty. And we lifted the standard of living for the middle class.
We just need to believe in ourselves and we can do it again.
So tonight, in the city where America's freedom began, only a few blocks from where the sons and daughters of liberty gave birth to our nation, here tonight, on behalf of a new birth of freedom, on behalf of the middle class who deserve a champion, and those struggling to join it who deserve a fair shot, for the brave men and women in uniform who risk their lives every day and the families who pray for their return, for all those who believe our best days are ahead of us, for all of you, with great faith in the American people, I accept your nomination for president of the United States.


Retirement Plan


The American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied "only a little while". The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs. The American then asked, but what do you do with the rest of your time?

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor." The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."
The Mexican fisherman asked, "But senor, how long will this all take?" To which the American replied, "15-20 years." But what then, senor? The American laughed and said that's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions. Millions, senor? Then what? The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."
 

Text of Al Gore's speech at the Democratic National Convention



Friends, fellow Democrats, fellow Americans, I'll be candid with you. I had hoped to be back here this week under different circumstances, running for re-election.

But you know the old saying: You win some, you lose some. And then there's that little-known third category.

I didn't come here tonight to talk about the past. After all, I don't want you to think I lie awake at night counting and recounting sheep.

I prefer to focus on the future because I know from my own experience that America is a land of opportunity, where every little boy and girl has a chance to grow up and win the popular vote.

In all seriousness, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity you have given me to serve America. I want to to thank you as Democrats for the honor of being your nominee for president four years ago. And I want to thank the American people for the privilege of serving as vice president.

And most of all, I want to thank my family with all my heart my children and grandchildren, and especially my beloved partner in life, Tipper.

I love this country deeply, and even though I always look to the future with optimism and hope I do think it is worth pausing for just a moment as we begin this year's convention, to take note of two very important lessons from four years ago.

The first lesson is this: Take it from me -- every vote counts.

In our democracy, every vote has power. And never forget: that power is yours. Don't let anyone take it away or talk you into throwing it away.

And let's make sure that this time every vote is counted. Let's make sure not only that the Supreme Court does not pick the next president, but also that this president is not the one who picks the next Supreme Court.

The second lesson from 2000 is this: What happens in a presidential election matters. A lot.

The outcome profoundly affects the lives of all 293 million Americans and people in the rest of the world too. The choice of who is president affects your life and your family's future.

And never has this been more true than in 2004, because -- let's face it -- our country faces deep challenges.

These challenges we now confront are not Democratic or Republican challenges; they are American challenges -- that we all must overcome together.

It is in that spirit, that I sincerely ask those watching at home who supported President Bush four years ago: did you really get what you expected from the candidate you voted for?

Is our country more united today?

Or more divided?

Has the promise of compassionate conservatism been fulfilled?

Or do those words now ring hollow?

For that matter, are the economic policies really conservative at all?

Did you expect, for example, the largest deficits in history? One after another? And the loss of more than a million jobs?

By the way, I know about the bad economy. I was the first one laid off. And while it's true that new jobs are being created, they're just not as good as the jobs people have lost. And incidentally, that's been true for me too.

Unfortunately, this is no joke for millions of Americans. And the real solutions require us to transcend partisanship.

So that's one reason why, even though we meet here as Democrats, we believe this is a time to reach beyond our party lines to Republicans as well.

I also ask tonight for the help of those who supported a third party candidate in 2000. I urge you to ask yourselves this question: Do you still believe that there was no difference between the candidates?

Are you troubled by the erosion of some of America's most basic civil liberties?

Are you worried that our environmental laws are being weakened and dismantled to allow vast increases in pollution that are contributing to a global climate crisis?

No matter how you voted in the last election, these are profound problems that all voters must take into account this November 2.

And of course, no challenge is more critical than the situation we confront in Iraq. Regardless of your opinion at the beginning of this war, isn't it now obvious that the way the war has been managed by the Administration has gotten us into very serious trouble?

Wouldn't we be better off with a new president who hasn't burned his bridges to our allies, and who could rebuild respect for America in the world?

Isn't cooperation with other nations crucial to solving our dilemma in Iraq? Isn't it also critical to defeating the terrorists?

We have to be crystal clear about the threat we face from terrorism. It is deadly. It is real. It is imminent.

But in order to protect our people, shouldn't we focus on the real source of this threat: The group that attacked us and is trying to attack us again -- al-Qaida, headed by Osama Bin Laden?

Wouldn't we be safer with a president who didn't insist on confusing al-Qaida with Iraq? Doesn't that divert too much of our attention away from the principal danger?

I want to say to all Americans this evening that whether it is the threat to the global environment or the erosion of America's leadership in the world, whether it is the challenge to our economy from new competitors or the challenge to our security from new enemies, I believe that we need new leadership that is both strong and wise.

And we can have new leadership, because one of our greatest strengths as a democracy is that when we are headed in the wrong direction, we can correct our course.

When policies are clearly not working, we can change them. If our leaders make mistakes, we can hold them accountable even if they never admit their mistakes.

I firmly believe America needs new leadership that will make us stronger at home and respected in the world.

We are here this week to present to the nation the man who should be our new president: John Kerry.

John and I were elected to the US Senate on the same day 20 years ago and I have worked closely with him for all that time. So I want to say a personal word about John Kerry the man.

He is a friend who will stand by you. His word is his bond. He has a deep patriotism that goes far beyond words. He has devoted his life to making America a better place for all of us.

He showed uncommon heroism on the battlefield in Vietnam. I watched him show that same courage on the Senate floor. He had the best record of protecting the environment against polluters of any of my colleagues bar none.

He never shied away from a fight, no matter how powerful the foe. He was never afraid to take on difficult and thankless issues that few others wanted to touch -- like exposing the threat of narcoterrorism and tracing the sources of terrorist financing.

He was one of the very first in our party to take on the issue of drastic deficit reduction. He has developed a tough and thoughtful plan to restore our economic strength and fiscal discipline.

To put it simply, those of us who have worked with John know that he has the courage, integrity and leadership to be a truly great President of the United States.

And he showed wisdom in his very first decision as the leader of our party when he picked as his running mate an inspiring fighter for middle class families and families struggling to reach the middle class: John Edwards.

John Kerry and John Edwards are fighting for us and for all Americans, so after we nominate them here in Boston and return to our home states across this land, we have to fight for them.

Talk to your friends and neighbors, go to "JohnKerry.com", raise money, register voters and get them to the polls, volunteer your time, and above all: Make your vote count.

To those of you who felt disappointed or angry with the outcome in 2000, I want you to remember all of those feelings. But then I want you to do with them what I have done: focus them fully and completely on putting John Kerry and John Edwards in the White House.

Fellow Democrats, when I look out and see so many friends who have meant so much to me in my own public service, my heart is full tonight. I thank you for all the love you've shown Tipper and me. You will forever be in our hearts.

There's someone else I'd like to thank, and that's the man who asked me to join him on the ticket at our convention 12 years ago, my friend -- and my partner for eight years -- President Bill Clinton.

I'll never forget that convention or that campaign the way we barnstormed the country, carrying a message of hope and change, believing with our whole hearts that America could be made new again.

And so it was. And with your help, and with the leadership of John Kerry and John Edwards, so it shall be again.

Thank you God bless you and your families and may God bless the United States of America.

DR. FLENER TRIP TO IRAN


BY Dr. Pierre Flener

Traffic

I have often ranted about  traffic in Turkey  (which is where I live),
but now that I have  been to  Iran, I have  enormous  respect  for the
"discipline" of Turkish drivers.  They are choirboys compared to their
Iranian  brothers!  I completely  lack the words to describe the chaos
of an Iranian city, especially  Tehran, where cars shoot around in gay
abandon, filling literally every millimeter of the road, disrespecting
every sign and light (many traffic  lights are actually  switched to a
permanently  blinking  yellow, and often lack the red and green lenses
altogether),  honking  ferociously, and committing many other horrors.
And there are bicycles and motorbikes on this battlefield,  often even
driving up roads on opposing  lanes, or  invading  the  sidewalks  and
covered  bazaars, thus extending the  jurisdiction  of the Jungle Law.
Now, do you really want to know where and how pedestrians fit into all
this?!  When I left the bus terminal and crossed a wide boulevard with
the Akbars,  weaving lane by lane through  dense  traffic, and somehow
making it to the other side  unscathed,  I turned  around with a proud
look on my face, fully expecting the pedestrian  crowds to cheer "ole,
ole, ole" and make Mexican waves on the  sidewalks!  But no, there was
no reaction:  I had just learned the first  survival  skill that every
infant in Iran seems to  acquire  (or not,  judging  from the  limping
masses).  Watching Latino toreros doesn't give me any thrills anymore,
as they only face  _one_  bull.  Crossing a Tehran  street is the real
thing, for real men!  Forget the traffic in Athens,  Rome,  Cairo, and
Istanbul,  forget Russian roulette and bungee jumping:  Tehran traffic
gives you the ultimate adrenaline rushes!

The bus south to the Silk Road city of Esfahan is a superfast brandnew
Volvo,  rather than the usual slow old  Mercedes, so we arrive at 3am,
instead of the 6am or so I was told.  While everybody  bustles away, I
open my guidebook for  orientation,  still rubbing my eyes from sleep.
Just as I am about to  despair  and settle in the park until  sunrise,
help pops up in the friendly person of Hassan, a graduate student at a
local university.  A taxi-ride to downtown soon confirms his suspicion
that hotels have no reception  service at this time of the night; this
being Iran, Hassan simply invites me to his parents'  home,  somewhere
in the Armenian quarter!  This nightly taxi ride through empty streets
raises my spirits, as Esfahan turns out to be at least as beautiful as
in all the travelers'  reports I had read so far:  I immediately  feel
that I will  resonate  with  this  splendid  city,  so I  fall  asleep
happily.

Fruits and  vegetables are very tasty,  definitely  some of the best I
ever had!  And, as all over the Middle East,  deserts give you a taste
of what angels eat in paradise.

While on the bus south to  Shiraz, a man and his  family in the  front
row keep  gesturing at me to join them there.  So I eventually  take a
seat  vacated by a son, and the  father  starts  the  conversation  in
halting English:

 - We are very honored to have you aboard this bus, Sir.   [...]

During the usual smalltalk enquiries about my opinions of Iran and the
Iranians,  the other  passengers  stir in their seats and stare at us,
maybe eager to find out about me.  Then:

 - What is your name?
 - Pierre.

Somebody  tips on his  shoulder  and asks, in Farsi,  what my name is.
After his reply, the word "Pierre"  goes like a bushfire to the end of
the bus, so I turn  around and gently  bow  forward,  with a  friendly
smile, now that I am officially introduced.

 - What is your surname?
 - Flener.

And a "Flener" sound soon ripples through the entire bus.

 - Where are you from?
 - I am from Luxemborg.   (sic, Farsi pronunciation)

Now, the  words  "Luxemborg!",  "Luxemborg?",  and  "Istanbul!"  (sic)
resonate around.

 - What is your job?
 - I am a teacher.
 - Are you an English language teacher?
 - No, I teach Computer Science.
 - Wow!  At what level, high school perhaps?
 - No, at a university.
 - But you are very young...  Are you a teaching assistant?
 - No, I have a Ph.D. degree and am an assistant professor.

The eager man behind us tips on my  neighbor's  shoulder  again to get
the  summary  of my  latest  answers.  And the word  "doktora"  echoes
manifold  through  the  bus, to be  instantly  followed  by an  almost
collective outcry:

 - Mashallah!   (a common Islamic phrase, used to avert the evil eye
                 when expressing admiration)

Their  admiration seems  limitless.  (Later I found out that, with the
level of the  economy,  obtaining a Ph.D. in Iran  is  something  very
difficult, and thus quite rare and  noteworthy,  especially for people
of my age.)  Passengers  send their children to bring me cakes, fruit,
vegetables, and tea.  How natural Iranians thus are, in the sense that
they simply  "adopt" me, making me one of theirs, with no regard to my
race, creed, or title!  I like this!

The ruins are awesome, with their giant walls, columns, temples, statues, and so
on, especially the incredibly  well-preserved  2,500-year-old reliefs,
such as the  "Parade of  Nations".

Once they have touched and kissed the tomb of Reza, some  pilgrims  become  hysteric:  adult men roll on
the floor, big tears flow down their  cheeks,  foam builds up on their mouths, they beat themselves  senseless, and are dragged away by their
more  sober  friends,   while  still  wailing  "ya  Reza,  ya  Ali"... Unforgettable sights, observed from within, not through long lenses or
on some documentary  channel.

I spent a lot of time  explaining  to them  that the  mention  of my  salary  is
meaningless  unless they also know how much a loaf of bread costs back
home, that the "West" has huge  unemployment  rates so that they would
only be employed if they have quite  unique  qualifications,  that the
"West" has huge crime rates (unlike Iran), that  friendship and family
have  decreasing  roles in the "West" so that they most probably would
hate it there every  minute, etc, but they were all  oblivious to such
rhetoric:  they just wanted to get out...

A few weeks later, once cozy at home,  pouring over my photos,
telling my stories to my friends,  receiving  the first  letters  from
Iran, etc, I slowly fully realized what a fabulous trip it was, that I
already started missing Iran, that I actually wanted to go back!



Quietness - By Rumi 

Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky,
Take an axe to the prison wall.
Escape.
Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
You're covered with thick cloud.
Slide out the side.
Die,
and be quiet.
Quietness is the surest sign that you've died.
Your old life was a frantic running
from silence. 

The speechless full moon
comes out now.

Tagore


I hold her hands and press her to my breast.

I try to fill my arms with her loveliness,

to plunder her sweet smile with kisses,

to drink her dark glances with my eyes.

Ah, but where is it?

Who can strain the blue from the sky?

I try to grasp the beauty;

it eludes me, leaving only the body in my hands. 

Baffled and weary I come back.

How can the body touch the flower which only the spirit may touch?

--Tagore


THE TOP 10 Miraculous BENEFITS of KEEPING a PERSONAL JOURNAL

by Dr Philip Humbert 

In earlier generations it was common to keep a diary or personal journal. Today few people do it, and very few recognize the
value and astonishing power of keeping a journal. If you can read and write, you have access to the most amazing source of
personal power and magic! Try it for 30 days and watch it transform your life! Clients periodically tell me they couldn't possibly
find the time. I ask them to try it for 30 days. Then clients often tell me they couldn't possibly live without the power of their
journals. The following are my top ten reasons to keep a journal.

  1. A journal will clarify your goals.
         As you write a few thoughts each day, your ideas about what is important, what is worthy of your life and your time will
    become much clearer. You'll automatically discover what you really want in life.
  2. A journal will simplify your life.
         Spending as little as 10 minutes with pen and paper describing your values, noting your achievements and giving thanks for
    the joys of life, will make you less tolerant of life's distractions. Things become much simpler when you write them down.
  3. A journal will strengthen your relationships.
         It will give you time and the words to express your feelings, it will help you understand and be patient with your loved one's
    peccadilloes, and it will teach you to love more powerfully.
  4. A journal will make you more attractive.
         Socrates said, "Know thyself."  Keeping a journal will help you know yourself and express yourself more clearly, and that is
    amazingly attractive!
  5. A journal will empower you.
         Thinking with pen and paper forces you to eliminate fuzzy or
    confusing images and "laser" in on precisely the right word, the most powerful image to express yourself. Keeping a journal will
    make you a better communicator, and that can make you rich!
  6. A journal will eliminate temptation.
         Some ideas sound great in our imagination, but when written on paper they just aren't the same! It's easy to blurt out "I hate
    my job!", but writing about what it means to quit, change careers and start over will quickly result in one of two things: The
    temptation will go away, or you'll start generating actual plans to make your life better. Either way,
    you win!
  7. A journal affirms the reality of your life.
         Writing about life adds meaning and power. Journal your child's first steps or first tooth, starting school, her first date and
    high school graduation adds substance to these things. A friend of mine just became a grandfather for the first time and gave his
    son, the proud father, a fat 3-ring binder of notes he'd written as he'd watched his baby boy grow 25 years ago. Together they
    cried and laughed at the reality that life is a sacred, wonderful thing.
  8. A journal helps you be quiet.
         Journaling has been called a form of meditation. It has a similar power to quiet the mind and focus your thoughts. It even has
    the power to turn off the TV! It can heal anxiety, change your breathing and make you smile. What more could you ask?
  9. A journal helps you speak out.
         Many of my articles, letters to the local paper, and letters to friends began as notes in my journal. A journal helps ideas
    become words, and it provides a nursery for words to grow into sentences and paragraphs, until finally they need a stage on
    which to express themselves. Sometimes that "stage" is a candle-lit dinner, other times it's a protest sign or a letter to an old
    friend. Whatever form it takes, many of those messages would never have been born without the safety of a journal in which to
    grow.
  10. Finally, a journal just feels good!
         Using quality paper and a fountain pen or other a beautiful instrument with just the right "heft" and feel is a wonderfully
    sensuous, delightful experience. It will cheer you up, reduce your stress, make you smile and add to your life. Who knows, it
    may even improve your sex life or make you more patient with the kids!  (Well, it could!)

About the Submitter:
Dr Philip Humbert is a writer and personal coach who can be reached at Coach@PhilipHumbert.com  He writes a popular
FREE newsletter and you can subscribe to it and get lots of other FREE stuff (including a great motivational screensaver!) by
visiting his website at: http://www.philiphumbert.com
 
~~~

Keeping Diary May Help Breast Cancer Patients  [2002]

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Keeping a diary of thoughts and feelings may not only help breast cancer (news - web sites) patients' emotional health, it could have an impact on physical health as well, according to recent study findings.
    
In a study in which patients were randomly assigned to write down their feelings or a simple list of facts, diary keepers were less likely to report treatment symptoms or have doctor's visits related to such symptoms than patients who simply documented their breast cancer experience.
It's not clear why the type of writing a patient does would effect her use of medical care. However, those engaged in "expressive writing" may make better use of their scheduled appointments or taken more actions to address medical concerns, according to Dr. Annette L. Stanton of the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas and her colleagues.

~~~

 Reza Ganjavi: Lot of things that are big in your head seem like nothing once emptied

 

10 Commandments of Rational Debate (logic)

  1. Though shall not attack the person’s character, but the argument itself. (“Ad hominem”)

Example:  Dave listens to Marilyn Manson, therefore his arguments against certain parts of religion are worthless. After all, would you trust someone who listens to that devil worshiper?
2. Though shall not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s argument in order to make them easier to attack. (“Straw Man Fallacy”)

Example:  After Jimmy said that we should put more money into health and education, Steve responded by saying that he was surprised that Jimmy hates our country so much that he wants to leave it defenceless by cutting military spending.
3. Though shall not use small numbers to represent the whole. (“Hasty Generalization”)

Example:  Climate Change Deniers take a small sample set of data to demonstrate that the Earth is cooling, not warming. They do this by zooming in on 10 years of data, ignoring the trend that is present in the entire data set which spans a century.
4. Though shall not argue thy position by assuming one of its premises is true. (“Begging the Question”)

Example:

Sheldon: “God must exist.”
Wilbert: “How do you know?”
Sheldon: “Because the Bible says so.”
Wilbert: “Why should I believe the Bible?”
Sheldon: “Because the Bible was written by God.”
Wilbert: “WTF?”

Here, Sheldon is making the assumption that the Bible is true, therefore his premise – that God exists – is also true.
5. Though shall not claim that because something occurred before, but must be the cause. (“Post Hoc/False Cause”).

This can also be read as “correlation does not imply causation”.

Example:  There were 3 murders in Dallas this week and on each day, it was raining. Therefore, murders occur on rainy days.
6. Though shall not reduce the argument down to only two possibilities when there is a clear middle ground. (“False Dichotomy”).

Example:  You’re either with me, or against me. Being neutral is not an option.
7. Though shall not argue that because of our ignorance, the claim must be true or false. (“Ad Ignorantiam”).

Example:  95% of unidentified flying objects have been explained. 5% have not. Therefore, the 5% that are unexplained prove that aliens exist.
8. Though shall not lay the burn of proof onto him that is questioning the claim. (“Burden of Proof Reversal”). 

Example:  Marcy claims she sees the ghosts of dead people, then challenges you to prove her wrong. The burden of proof is on Marcy, not you, since Marcy made the extraordinary claim.
9. Though shall not assume that “this” follows “that”, when “it” has no logical connection. (“Non Sequitur”).

Similar, but the difference between the post hoc and non sequitur fallacies is that, whereas the post hoc fallacy is due to lack of a causal connection, in the non sequitur fallacy, the error is due to lack of a logical connection.

Example: If you do not buy this Vitamin X supplements for your infant, you are neglecting your her.
10. Though shall not claim that because a premise is popular, therefore, it must be true. (“Bandwagon Fallacy”).

Example: Just because a celebrity like Dr. Oz endorses a product, it doesn’t make it any more legitimate.

 
The 10 Commandments of Logic

  1. Thou shall not attack the person’s character, but the argument. (Ad hominem)
  2. Thou shall not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s argument in order to make them easier to attack. (Straw man fallacy) 
  3. Thou shall not use small numbers to represent the whole. (Hasty generalization)
  4. Thou shall not argue thy position by assuming one of its premises is true. (Begging the question)
  5. Thou shall not claim that because something occurred before, it must be the cause. (Post Hoc/False cause)
  6. Thou shall not reduce the argument down to two possibilities. (False dichotomy)
  7. Thou shall not argue that because of our ignorance, claim must be true or false. (Ad ignorantum)
  8. Thou shall not lay the burden of proof onto him that is questioning the claim. (Burden of proof reversal)
  9. Thou shall not assume “this” follows “that” when it has no logical connection. (Non sequitur)
  10. Thou shall not claim that because a premise is popular, therefore it must be true. (Bandwagon fallacy)

Dalai Lama

[This was emailed to me by a friend]

This is what The Dalai Lama has to say on the millennium...

INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIFE
1.Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs:
    - Respect for self
    - Respect for others and
    - Responsibility for all your actions
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realise you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

 ~~~

Subj: Message from the Dalai Lama [emailed by J.E.S.] - September 2001 - after World Trade Center tragedies 

From the Dalai Lama

Dear friends around the world: The events of this day cause every
thinking person to stop their daily  lives, whatever is going on in them,
and to ponder deeply the larger questions of life. We search again for
not only the meaning of life, but the purpose of our individual and
collective experience as we have created it--and we look earnestly for
ways in which we might recreate ourselves as a  human species, so that we
will never treat each other this way again.  The hour has come for us to
demonstrate at the highest level our most extraordinary thought about Who
We Really Are. There are two possible responses to what has occurred
today. The first comes from love, the second from fear.
If we come from fear we may panic and do things--as individuals and as
nations--that could only cause further damage. If we come from love we
will find refuge and strength, even as we provide it to others.This is
the moment of your ministry. This is the time of teaching. What you teach
at this time, through your every word and action right now, will remain
as indelible lessons in the hearts and minds of those whose lives you
touch, both now, and for years to come.  We will set the course for
tomorrow, today. At this hour. In this moment.  Let us seek not to
pinpoint blame, but to pinpoint cause. Unless we take  this time to look
at the cause of our experience, we will never remove ourselves from the
experiences it creates. Instead, we will forever live in fear of
retribution from those within the human family who feel aggrieved,  and,
likewise, seek retribution from them.  To us [Buddhist thinkers] the
reasons are clear. We have not  learned the  most basic human lessons. We
have not remembered the most basic human truths. We have not understood
the most basic spiritual wisdom. In short, we have not been listening to
God, and because we have not, we watch ourselves do ungodly things. The
message we hear from all sources of truth is clear: We are all one. That
is a message the human race has largely ignored. Forgetting this truth is
the only cause
of hatred and war, and the  way to remember is simple: Love, [in] this
and every moment.
If we could love even those who have attacked us, and seek to understand
why they have done so, what then would be our response? Yet if we meet
negativity with negativity, rage with rage, attack with attack, what then
will be the outcome?
These are the questions that are placed before the human race today. They
are questions that we have failed to answer for thousands of years.
Failure to answer them now could eliminate the need to answer them at
all. If we want the beauty of the world that we have co-created to be
experienced by our children and our children's children, we will have to
become spiritual activists right here, right now, and cause that to
happen. We must choose to be a cause in the matter. So, talk with God
today. Ask God for help, for counsel and
advice, for insight and for strength and for inner peace and for deep
wisdom.
Ask God on this day to show us how to show up in the world in a way that
will cause the world itself to change. And join all those people around
the world who are praying right now, adding your Light to the Light that
dispels all fear. That is the challenge that is placed before every
thinking person today. Today the human soul asks the question:  What can
I do to preserve the beauty and the wonder of our world and to eliminate
the anger and hatred--and the disparity that inevitably causes it--in
that part of the world which I touch?
Please seek to answer that question today, with all the magnificence that
is You. What can you do TODAY...[at] this very moment? A central teaching
in most spiritual traditions is: What you wish to experience, provide for
another.
Look to see, now, what it is you wish to experience--in your own life,
and in the world. Then see if there is another for whom you may be the
source of that. If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for
another. If you wish to know that you are safe, cause [others] to know
that they are safe.
If you wish to better understand seemingly
incomprehensible things, help another to better understand. If you wish
to heal your own sadness or anger, seek to heal the sadness or anger of
another.Those others are waiting for you now. They are looking to you for
guidance, for help, for courage, for strength, for understanding, and for
assurance at this hour. Most of all, they are looking to you for love.
My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.
 Dalai Lama  

Farhad Varasteh

Mr. Farhad Varasteh founded the Karate Academy in Tehran where I studied for some years, I suppose in late-pre-teen and early-teen years. One of the most important contributions of Karate was bodily flexibility and strength. It also gave one a "confidence", a tool, to be able to protect the body against certain threats -- just yesterday I used a martial artsy kick to defend against a dog attack.

[ OFF-TOPIC: I put the word "confidence" in quotes because it is misused. Everybody and their mother talks about confidence / self confidence, but that is exactly what it is in most cases: a thing of the self, of the ego, this ficticious psychological entity made of memories -- so protection goes beyond the natural instinct to protect the organism -- it goes into protecting the psychological self -- and all sorts of problems arise out of this attempt -- and there are 1001 books that teach the self how to glorify itself and how to get what it wants and have self confidence and other such nonsense. A 4 year old child is very confident but that confidence has a totally differet color -- it is the confidence of innocense. A beautiful, perishable, pliable blade of grass is confident - it stands unworried, fearless, though the gentlest breeze can sway it an a shoe can crush it. ]

Mr. Varasteh was a very kind and humble man -- I was just a kid among many of his students but I do remember having personal interaction with him in forms of greetings, small talk, and maybe even a photo. I am glad I went to the Karate academy and would recommend it to any youngster - with proper philosophical guidance.

The flexibility the Karate class gave helped / reminded one in taking up yoga in first year of college which had huge benefits. A few years ago I started integrating the Karate kicks and punches I had learned years ago in my regular exercize program - good way of keeping fit. Continual study led to a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Martial Arts make the body into a weapon - and this can have its drawbacks - so one has to be very careful and cool specially in crazy situations.

Reza Ganjavi

Here's some excerpts from Mr. Varasteh's website http://www.kanzenkai.org/ -- He currently teaches in Canada.


 LET NO MAN WRITE MY EPITAPH

A short history and an autobiography by
Shinan Farhad Varasteh 9th Dan Soke, Kanzen-ryu Karatedo

The founding of Karate in Iran was not an enviable task, for I went from the depths of despair to the very heights of glory only to be disillusioned once again. After finishing my studies in the U.S.A I returned to Iran in 1965 and while serving as a diplomat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs I started teaching Karate with one person as my student. As the number of my students rapidly grew, so did the opposition to the teaching of Karate by all authorities who misunderstood the art of Karate as an "art for killing". The sport Organization of Iran took every measure to see that any teaching facilities were made unavailable, as a consequence I had no choice but to teach my students in basements, Tennis courts and un-heated military compounds. As time passed the number of students continued to rise, inevitably so did that of the opposition.
Despite the odds, I believed and still continue to believe that a fighter must fight, and I fought for with undying passion for the cause of Karate-Do.

In the process I continued to decline missions to go abroad concerning my position as a diplomat, as an alternative I stayed in Iran and continued to teach my beloved students whose passion and dedication for Karate gave me a deep sense of responsibility to not let them down.

Karate in Iran grew by leaps and bounds but still there were no signs of support, or a dojo to call my own however, I believed that I had a mission and I often found myself swimming against the currents of the river of life to achieve my goals.

In 1972 I received a letter from W.U.K.O stating that I could bring my team to compete at the World Championships in Paris, France provided I obtained a letter from the Iranian Olympic Committee stating that my team would officially be representing Iran. By what can only be described as a miracle I obtained the letter. My leading students and I were off to represent Iran at the world championships in Paris without the full support of our own country.

Relatively young and still unknown in the world of Karate I managed to catch the attention of the world congress in a heated discussion where utilized my linguistic skills and fluently spoke French, Spanish and English about the technical aspects of Karate-Do as well as suggestions on how the newly founded World Karate Federation should proceed in order to be successful. Delegates from various countries were so impressed with the man from Iran who spoke with passion and elegance that they voted me as the Vice-President of the World Karate Federation (W.U.K.O).

Upon my return to Iran having done the impossible, the first Iranian Karate Federation was formed with me as the president. Now that the title had been clinched time had come for proof. And prove we did, our first competitions were with the "Vikings" where in six competitions against Sweden and Norway we defeated them six times. At the 1975 World championships in Los Angles I was among a handful of individuals who qualified and licensed as World Judge and Referee. Our next competition was against the West German National Karate Team held in Tehran in 1976 where the Germans were defeated five times and equalled once.

 That same year we went to Jakarta, Indonesian for Asian Pacific Union of Karate-Do championships where Iran took third place after Japan and Indonesia, and prior to the championships I was elected as the director of A.P.U.K.O.
1976 proved to be an eventful year, where against all precedent because of my unique relations with the European Karate leaders in the congress, I convinced them to accept Iran as an official member of the E.K.U (European Karate Union), and not only that in the same year the European Karate Championships were held in Tehran, Iran. Thirteen European countries undertook the journey to Tehran, which President Delcourt called the capital of Europe.

In the fourth world Karate Championships in Tokyo, Japan Iran took third place in the world with France. So impressed was the world of Karate with me as the president, trainer and coach of my country's team that I was unanimously voted to become the vice-president of the World Karate Federation for a second four year term, I also re-qualified as a world judge and referee.

One week after my return from Japan with so many achievements as a coach as well as on a personal level, I returned to Iran mistakanly optimistic. I was against all logic removed as the president of the Iran Karate Federation, while still the president of the World Karate Federation. So many victories out of one basement club were thought to have come easily, so why not give it to the more privileged?
Feeling disappointed and let down by my country I retuned to my Dojo (the Karate Academy) and still in the eyes of the press I continued to teach my students as the world looked on in. But this was not to be the end, but the beginning of even more heartache.

In 1979 I was expelled from the Ministry of Foreign affairs, with no explanation given. And one year later all doors were closed on the love of my life as my Dojo was closed down, the authorities claimed that it was illegal, this was a contradicting due to the fact that I was the first person to have a permit for a Karate club. I was then forbidden to leave Iran and after the Iranian National Karate Championships in 1981 (ironically titled the Farhad Varasteh Cup), I was forbidden to leave Tehran.

So after so many years of hard work, accomplishments, and contribution to the sport and to the youth of my country I was deprived of everything that I had worked so hard for. In 1982 with all doors closed on me, I fled my beloved Iran for Paris, France only to start again from scratch, only this time with a wife and four children. I started teaching Karate in Paris and in 1984 with my son and a few students from Italy and France I was invited to participate in the European All Star Karate Championships in Rome. My team won gold in team Kumite and my son Pirooz also a member of the team won a gold medal in individual Kata. In 1986 I immigrated to Canada and with no funds and no connections I was to start again for the third time. I started teaching Karate three times a week out of a squash court. At times I still get tears in my eyes when I speak of the past, but I insist these are not tears of weakness, but of emotion.

Now in 2002 after my Dojo has been ranked number one for the past eight years in a row, with my students winning more medals than any club or style. One would think so much pain suffering and injustice would weaken a man's resolve.
About one year ago while accepting two more awards as the club of the year in Ontario I insisted that excellence is a habit, not an act. My final judgement as the founder of Kan-Zen-Ryu Karate-Do must be left to history.

And last but not least I want to remind every individual everywhere that if they choose to practice Kan-Zen-Ryu Karate-Do or use this name in any way they must teach and maintain my standards evaluations I have set forth. They must be graded according my standards set forth in the syllabus in Kumite, Kata and Kihon. Let there be no misunderstandings by anyone anywhere. This style of which I am the founder, over the years the price has been paid in sweat, blood and tears. And although a few people around the world have shared in the sweat and tears I assure you the blood has been all mine. It is my expectation and wish that if they do not or cannot maintain these standards they should change their name to any other style and refrain from using the word Kan-Zen-Ryu or Kan-Zen-Kai.
Copyright © 2002 Kanzen Kai Karate Do. All right reserved.

================================================================================================================


6-Jan-07
Nassim, your father's contributions were incredibly important to the entire generations of Iraninans whom I was a part of as a student in the Academy in Tehran, and to future generations who will undoubtedly benefit from the consequences of his work. I can not be there for the event in person but my well wishes are with him and his family.

My gratitude for him and his work is immense.

Affectionately,
Reza Ganjavi
www.rezamusic.com


Marcus Aurelius


PHILOSOPHER - EMPEROR: Marcus Aurelius -  born April 26, AD 121, Rome died March 17, 180, Vindobona [Vienna], or Sirmium, Pannonia
Extracts from the Meditations (The text is from Moses Hadas, Essential Works of Stoicism, Bantam Books, New York 1960
(thanks to Paul Harrison  http://www.pantheism.net/paul/history/aurelius.htm)

Unity of the universe
Everything harmonizes with me, which is harmonious to thee, o Universe. Nothing for me is too early or too late, which is in due time for thee.
There is one light of the sun, though it is interrupted by walls, mountains and infinite other things. There is one common substance, though it is distributed among countless bodies which have their several qualities. There is one soul, though it is distributed among several natures and individual limitations. There is one intelligent soul, though it seems to be divided. [12.30]
Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one substance and one soul; and observe how all things have reference to one perception, the perception of this one living being; and how all things act with one movement; and how all things are the cooperating causes of all things which exist; observe too the continuous spinning of the thread and the contexture of the web. [4.40]
All things are implicated with one another, and the bond is holy; and there is hardly anything unconnected with any other things. For things have been co- ordinated, and they combine to make up the same universe. For there is one universe made up of all things, and one god who pervades all things, and one substance, and one law, and one reason. [7.9]

Change
The universal nature out of the universal substance, as if it were wax, now molds a horse, and when it has broken this up, it uses the material for a tree, then for a man, then for something else. . . . Nature which governs the whole will soon change all things which you see, and out of their substance will make other things. and again other things . . . in order that the world may be ever new. [7.23]
The nature of the Universe loves nothing so much as to change the things that are and to make new things like them. For everything that exists is in a manner the seed of that which will be. [4.36]

The social animal
We are made for cooperation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of the upper and lower teeth. To act against one another then is contrary to nature. [2.1]

Belonging to the whole
You must now at last perceive of what universe you are a part, and of what administrator of the universe our existence is an afflux, and that a limit of time is fixed for you, which if you do not use for clearing away the clouds from your mind, it will go and you will go, and it will never return. [2.4]
The soul of man does violence to itself, first of all, when it becomes an abscess and, as it were, a tumor on the universe, so far as it can. For to be vexed at anything which happens is a separation of ourselves from nature, in some part of which the natures of all other things are contained. [2.16]
You will give yourself relief, if you do every act of your life as if it were the last, laying aside all carelessness and passionate aversion from the commands of reason, and all hypocrisy, and self-love, and discontent with the portion which has been given to you. [2.5]

Harmonizing with the universe
This you must always bear in mind, what is the nature of the whole, and what is my nature, and how this is related to that, and what kind of a part it is of what kind of a whole; and that there is no-one who hinders you from always doing and saying the things which are according to the nature of which you are a part. [2.9]
Everything harmonizes with me, which is harmonious to thee, o Universe. Nothing for me is too early or too late, which is in due time for thee. Everything is fruit to me which thy seasons bring, o nature; from thee are all things, in thee are all things, to thee all things return. [4.23]

A contented life
If you work at that which is before you, following right reason seriously, vigorously, calmly without allowing anything else to distract you, but keeping your divine part pure, as if you might be bound to give it back immediately; if you hold to this, expecting nothing, fearing nothing, but satisfied with your present activity according to nature . . . you will be happy. And there is no man who is able to prevent this. [3.12]
Take away the complaint "I have been harmed," and the harm is taken away. [4.7]

Facing death
You have embarked, you have made the voyage, you have come to the shore: get out. [3.3]
You have existed as a part. You shall disappear in that which produced you; or rather, you shall be received back into its seminal principle by transmutation. [4.14]
Pass then through this little space of time conformably to nature, and end your journey in content, just as an olive falls off when it is ripe, blessing nature who produced it, and thanking the tree on which it grew. [4.48]
Every part of me will be reduced by change into some part of the universe, and that again will change into another part of the universe. and so on for ever. And by consequence of such a change I too exist, and those who begot me, and so on forever in the other direction. [5.13]
 


Bizet

This are the vocals of one of the french Bizet-Song from Cecilia Bartolis CD.

I'm learning now to sing this wonderfull music

The Farewell of the Arab Hostess

Since nothing will keep you in this happy land,

neither the shade of the palm tree, nor the yello corn,

neither rest, nor abundance,

nor the sight, at your voice, ofthe young

beating hearts of our sisters who, at night,

in a whirling swarm

crown the hillside with therir dance,

farewell, handsome traveller! Alas, farewell!

Oh!if only you were one of those

whose lazy feet are bounded by

their roof of branches or canvas!

Who, idly dreaming, listen unmoved to tales,

and at eventide, sitting before their door,

wish to be off and away among the stars!

Alas! Farewell! Farewell, handsome traveller!

Had you wished it, one of us perhaps

o young man, would have liked to serve you

on bended knee

in our ever open huts;

while lulling your sleep with her song

she would have made,

to drive the tiresome gnats from your brow,

a fan of green leaves.

If you do not come back, dream a little

from time to time

of the daughters of the desert, sweet-voiced

sisters,

who dance barefoot on the sandhills,

o handsome white man, fine bird

of passage,

remember, remember, for perhaps,

o quickly passing stranger,

your memory remains with more tham one!

Alas! Farewell! Farewell, handsome stranger!

Alas! Farewell! Remember!
 

Rudyard Kipling: If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

ANGEL JOURNAL -- Journal Entries of Angela

Dec 09

today was a strange day anyway
i got out of bed very powerful, fresh and happy to start a new day
but as soon as i go to town, shopping and stuff, it makes me upset
seeing all these avaricious, greedy people supporting our junk-factories
making tons of useless materialistic things which are so superficial and
morbid - vomit!
and worst that even I fell into this trap of cheap junk. shame on me!
i used to live with 400.- a month for food, clothes, shoes, sport,
outgoing, pleasure, everything except the rent for the WG. I'm not
complaining about having more money now. I appreciate it a lot and it's
very nice to have the opportunity to buy expensive things and to travel.
but i found myself spending money for useless thing which i don't need
and which makes me not happier at all. this rich society sometimes seems
to be so rich outside and so poor inside. when i felt stressed in town
today i was looking for somebody who smiled. but in the middle of a huge
anthill there was not one face in which i liked to watch. i won't say
i'm a light but sometimes i feel like being a light in the middle of
dark clothes, slowly disappearing and snuffing out.

there are many nice people out there but it seems that they all
disappear being in the middle of many stressed unhappy people who run
behind their materialistic satisfaction.

after spending few hours in town in crazy days like today i need many
hours to rebalance myselve and get out the shit i picked up.

--------------------------
Friday, 09 April 2010

I came home from work. Later I cooked pasta with tomato sauce and parmesan. As it was ready I put it on my desk and dialled Reza’s home number. First question he asked me: “How is the pasta?” I know we have a good connection but that he also can feel my pasta… J

 [this was the second time :) ]

Sunday, 11 April 2010

A smile speaks more than a thousand words.

A mother with her daughter came into the waiting room, where Reza and I waited. They were sitting next to us. I smiled to them and they smiled back! It’s so refreshing and loving to see some smiling faces in this sad world. We didn’t talk but the connection through love was fully there. They left. Reza and I a little bit later too. We met at the bus station again. The little girl was looking at me and smiling. I smiled back.

After Reza left the bus I looked to the back of the bus and saw the girl again looking at me. I smiled and she smiled back. When I left the bus I looked through the window and waved to them. Both the mother and the daughter were smiling and waving back and that was the end of our sweet contact. But the love and the smile in my face are still there and I’m thankful for meeting some angels today.


-------------------


Saturday, 12 December 2009

If I would make a movie it would have no war, no killing, no murdering, no blood, no dark scenery, no tears, no sadness. Only joy, happiness, laughter, lots of colours and LOVE.

I don’t need to see shit to feel depressed afterwards. I don’t say that I feel depressed now but I could be after such a shit movie like Dr. Shivago. My soul knows it when to block it away from me so suddenly I couldn’t follow and nothing made sense anymore. I didn’t miss anything I’m sure.

I don’t understand why people like this kind of movies. I guess they get pleasure out of it to see that other people feel even more miserable than themselves. I’m wondering how people feel if they see only happy movies without any violence. Too less action maybe, boring, unreal, whatever…

What’s going on in somebody who makes this kind of movies? If he’s unhappy and has to go over his problems, good, maybe he can let his pain go with making a movie out of it. But to show his pain with millions of people is simply cruel and irresponsible. What’s about the idea of making our world better? I guess that’s not the goal of many people. Suffering is easier than to change, I know that myself. But once seen a real light, there’s no way to go back in darkness.

Why do we make kids-movies so different to adult-movies? Kids are sensitive and know that to see dark shit is not good for their souls. They start cry because it hurts them emotionally. But most of the adults are so dead, extinct and heartless that to see war and killing doesn’t hurt their soul anymore. Such a pity!

I’m wondering what would happen if only rose coloured movies are allowed for publicity. I’m sure if people see movies full of colour, joy and happiness it would influence their life positively!


John Brown's Speech before the court

 John Brown (1800-1859)

                                      I have, may it please the Court, a few words to say.

                                       In the first place, I deny everything but what I have all along admitted: of a design
                                      on my part to free slaves . . .

                                      Had I interfered in the matter which I admit, and which I admit has been fairly
                                      proved . . . had I so interfered in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, or
                                      the so-called great . . . and suffered and sacrificed, what I have in this
                                      intereference, it would have been all right. Every man in this Court would have
                                      deemed it an act worthy of reward rather than punishment.

                                      I see a book kissed which I suppose to be the Bible, or at least the New
                                      Testament, which teaches me that all things whatsoever I would that men should
                                      do unto me, I should do even so to them. It teaches me further to remember them
                                      that are in bonds as bound with them. I endeavored to act up to that instruction. I
                                      say that I am yet too young to understand that God is any respecter of persons. I
                                      believe that to have interfered as I have done, as I have always freely admitted I
                                      have done in behalf of His despised poor, I did no wrong, but right. Now if it is
                                      deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of
                                      justice and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the
                                      blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked,
                                      cruel and unjust enactments, I say, let it be done.

THE GREAT ROSA PARKS

October 24, 2005

Civil Rights Pioneer Rosa Parks Dies at 92

By BREE FOWLER

DETROIT - Rosa Parks, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man sparked the modern civil rights movement, died Monday evening. She was 92.

Mrs. Parks was 42 when she committed an act of defiance in 1955 that was to change the course of American history and earn her the title "mother of the civil rights movement.

At that time, Jim Crow laws in place since the post-Civil War Reconstruction required separation of the races in buses, restaurants and public accommodations throughout the South, while legally sanctioned racial discrimination kept blacks out of many jobs and neighborhoods in the North.

The Montgomery, Ala., seamstress, an active member of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was riding on a city bus Dec. 1, 1955, when a white man demanded her seat.

Mrs. Parks refused, despite rules requiring blacks to yield their seats to whites. Two black Montgomery women had been arrested earlier that year on the same charge, but Mrs. Parks was jailed. She also was fined $14.

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said he felt a personal tie to the civil rights icon: "She stood up by sitting down. I'm only standing here because of her."

U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (news, bio, voting record), D-N.Y., lauded Mrs. Parks' mettle.

"I truly believe that there's a little bit of Rosa Parks in all Americans who have the courage to say enough is enough and stand up for what they believe in," Rangel said. "She did such a small thing, but it was so courageous for her as a humble person to do."

Speaking in 1992, Mrs. Parks said history too often maintains "that my feet were hurting and I didn't know why I refused to stand up when they told me. But the real reason of my not standing up was I felt that I had a right to be treated as any other passenger. We had endured that kind of treatment for too long."

Her arrest triggered a 381-day boycott of the bus system organized by a then little-known Baptist minister, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who later earned the Nobel Peace Prize for his work.

"At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into this," Mrs. Parks said 30 years later. "It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in."



Bill of Rights

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

~~~

Study: Left-Handed Snails Have Advantage

Left-handed snails are better than righties at defending against predators, according to a new study that suggests lefties have the same competitive advantage in nature that they enjoy on the baseball diamond or in the boxing ring.

~~~

Evidence for Universe Expansion Found

Physicists announced Thursday that they now have the smoking gun that shows the universe went through extremely rapid expansion in the moments after the big bang, growing from the size of a marble to a volume larger than all of observable space in less than a trillion-trillionth of a second.


Nizami Ganjavi

Thinker and Poet of Genius (1141-1209)


Among the great Azerbaijan poets, Nizami Gançavi is one of the most powerful personalities. Early in his youth Ilyas Yusif oglu Nizami had mastered literature, philosophy, a number of sciences, as well as several foreign languages.

Plunging into the literary world of Nizami Gançavi, as rich as a treasure-house and as great as world itself, picking the pearls it contains demands from one a highest capacity of scientific penetration o become a most persistent and courageous researcher, and a skilful "pearl-diver."

Nizami has left us an enormous legacy which we can only call a heroic accomplishment. His most famous works, regarded as the worthiest contribution to the world literature, are the five long poems consisting of 30,000 distichs and known as Khamsa (Quintiple).

His didactic poem The Treasure house of Mysteries written in 1173 and containing twenty chapters and "talks," with preachings and parables woven into the fabric of the narrative; his lyric poems that glorify the purifying and ennobling love of Khosrow and Shirin (1181) and Leili and Majnun (1188), Seven Beauties (1197) and his historico-philosophical poem Iskandar-Nama (Alexander the Great) are widely known in the Middle East and far beyond it. It is said that Shakespeare is the Nizami of the West!

The virtue of Nizami's poetry lies in his ability of expressing people's desires and yearnings, in humanism common to all mankind, in highest artistic skill, in delicacy of progressive ideas, in their fluency and simplicity, perceptibility, actuality and profoundness.

He reflected his socio-political and philosophical views in his last poem -- Iskandar-Nama. He created a social Utopia -- an ideal society, many centuries before the Western Utopists Charle Fourier, Robert Owen and Saint-Simon advanced this idea. In the society he depicted, people used to live happily without the state administration and its implements of the compulsion: the army, jails, etc. The people never fought each other, no blood was ever shed, all were willing to observe the rules of collective life.

Nizami noted the possibility of establishing a similar society only through the moral and spiritual perfection of the Man.
Nizami was not a poet of court, but he was obliged to dedicate his poems to rulers and eminent people, driven to it by the need to find protection. Thus, his Treasure-house of Mysteries was dedicated to Shah Bahram who liked it so much that decided to award Nizami a gift in person of a young slave girl, whose name was Appaq (Afaq). She became Nizami's first and only wife, and the mother of his son Muhammad.

A great number of researchers have studied Nizami's legacy, writing scores of monographs, hundreds of articles, defending numerous theses for their degrees. However there is still a lot to be learned and analyzed in Nizami's legacy. Undoubtedly his works and ideas will find way to the hearts of future generations, as they will preserve their topicality, significance and charm for many centuries ahead.

by Adil Baguirov

WOMEN IN IRAN

78 percent of Iranian women literate

Thu, 18 Oct 2007 06:53:21
 
Women constitute over 30 percent of the workforce in Iran.

Women literacy rate in Iran has improved over the past 3 decades to reach 78 percent in 2007, from 25 percent in '76 and 76 percent in '97.


Monday August 21 (2000?) 10:44 AM ET

      Majority of Iranian Girls Wish They Were Boys

      TEHRAN (Reuters) - Fifty-three percent of Iranian girls interviewed in a
      recent survey said that if they could be born again they would prefer to be
      boys, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

      An Iranian man who recently had a sex change to become a woman finds life so difficult she has been trying to
      reverse the operation.

      Sex change operations are legal in Iran but there are no provisions for would-be transsexuals to test out their
      new identity first.

      Official statistics show suicide rates among women outstrips those of men -- the opposite of Western societies.


She was raised in Switzerland and her parents always told her not to do this and that because persian girls don't! Till she went to Iran for a visit and saw what some girls were doing !!! In a party she opened the wrong door to go to a bathroom and witnessed group action!

Woman warrior found in Iranian tomb
Gender determined by DNA testing, archaeologist says
Updated: 1:56 p.m. ET Dec. 6, 2004

TEHRAN, Iran - These days, Iranian women are not even allowed to watch men compete on the soccer field, but 2,000 years ago they could have been carving the boys to pieces on the battlefield.

DNA tests on the 2,000-year-old bones of a sword-wielding Iranian warrior have revealed the broad-framed skeleton belonged to a woman, an archaeologist working in the northwestern city of Tabriz said Saturday.

“Despite earlier comments that the warrior was a man because of the metal sword, DNA tests showed the skeleton inside the tomb belonged to a female warrior,” Alireza Hojabri-Nobari told the Hambastegi newspaper.

~~~

2006 05

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Like others who come watch Iran's national soccer team prepare for the World Cup in July, they join in the chants and wave their flags. But these fans are cheering from outside the fence surrounding the field, barred by law from entering because they are women.

On Monday, more than 50 female soccer fans -- from girls to mothers with baby strollers -- pressed against the wobbling chain-link fence, screaming, whistling, and trying to make sense of their exile.

Mark Twain

My Watch – by Mark Twain

What Stumped the Bluejays  - by Mark Twain

Cannibalism In The Cars – By Mark Twain

THE LOVES OF ALONZO FITZ CLARENCE AND ROSANNAH ETHELTON – by Mark Twain

My Watch – by Mark Twain

[Written about 1870.]

An Instructive Little Tale

My beautiful new watch had run eighteen months without losing or gaining,

and without breaking any part of its machinery or stopping. I had come

to believe it infallible in its judgments about the time of day, and to

consider its constitution and its anatomy imperishable. But at last, one

night, I let it run down. I grieved about it as if it were a recognized

messenger and forerunner of calamity. But by and by I cheered up, set

the watch by guess, and commanded my bodings and superstitions to depart.

Next day I stepped into the chief jeweler's to set it by the exact time,

and the head of the establishment took it out of my hand and proceeded to

set it for me. Then he said, "She is four minutes slow-regulator wants

pushing up." I tried to stop him--tried to make him understand that the

watch kept perfect time. But no; all this human cabbage could see was

that the watch was four minutes slow, and the regulator must be pushed up

a little; and so, while I danced around him in anguish, and implored him

to let the watch alone, he calmly and cruelly did the shameful deed. My

watch began to gain. It gained faster and faster day by day. Within the

week it sickened to a raging fever, and its pulse went up to a hundred

and fifty in the shade. At the end of two months it had left all the

timepieces of the town far in the rear, and was a fraction over thirteen

days ahead of the almanac. It was away into November enjoying the snow,

while the October leaves were still turning. It hurried up house rent,

bills payable, and such things, in such a ruinous way that I could not

abide it. I took it to the watchmaker to be regulated. He asked me if I

had ever had it repaired. I said no, it had never needed any repairing.

He looked a look of vicious happiness and eagerly pried the watch open,

and then put a small dice-box into his eye and peered into its machinery.

He said it wanted cleaning and oiling, besides regulating--come in a

week. After being cleaned and oiled, and regulated, my watch slowed down

to that degree that it ticked like a tolling bell. I began to be left by

trains, I failed all appointments, I got to missing my dinner; my watch

strung out three days' grace to four and let me go to protest;

I gradually drifted back into yesterday, then day before, then into last

week, and by and by the comprehension came upon me that all solitary and

alone I was lingering along in week before last, and the world was out of

sight. I seemed to detect in myself a sort of sneaking fellow-feeling

for the mummy in the museum, and a desire to swap news with him. I went

to a watchmaker again. He took the watch all to pieces while I waited,

and then said the barrel was "swelled." He said he could reduce it in

three days. After this the watch averaged well, but nothing more. For

half a day it would go like the very mischief, and keep up such a barking

and wheezing and whooping and sneezing and snorting, that I could not

hear myself think for the disturbance; and as long as it held out there

was not a watch in the land that stood any chance against it. But the

rest of the day it would keep on slowing down and fooling along until all

the clocks it had left behind caught up again. So at last, at the end of

twenty-four hours, it would trot up to the judges' stand all right and

just in time. It would show a fair and square average, and no man could

say it had done more or less than its duty. But a correct average is

only a mild virtue in a watch, and I took this instrument to another

watchmaker. He said the king-bolt was broken. I said I was glad it was

nothing more serious. To tell the plain truth, I had no idea what the

king-bolt was, but I did not choose to appear ignorant to a stranger.

He repaired the king-bolt, but what the watch gained in one way it lost

in another. It would run awhile and then stop awhile, and then run

awhile again, and so on, using its own discretion about the intervals.

And every time it went off it kicked back like a musket. I padded my

breast for a few days, but finally took the watch to another watchmaker.

He picked it all to pieces, and turned the ruin over and over under his

glass; and then he said there appeared to be something the matter with

the hair-trigger. He fixed it, and gave it a fresh start. It did well

now, except that always at ten minutes to ten the hands would shut

together like a pair of scissors, and from that time forth they would

travel together. The oldest man in the world could not make head or tail

of the time of day by such a watch, and so I went again to have the thing

repaired. This person said that the crystal had got bent, and that the

mainspring was not straight. He also remarked that part of the works

needed half-soling. He made these things all right, and then my

timepiece performed unexceptionably, save that now and then, after

working along quietly for nearly eight hours, everything inside would let

go all of a sudden and begin to buzz like a bee, and the hands would

straightway begin to spin round and round so fast that their

individuality was lost completely, and they simply seemed a delicate

spider's web over the face of the watch. She would reel off the next

twenty-four hours in six or seven minutes, and then stop with a bang.

I went with a heavy heart to one more watchmaker, and looked on while he

took her to pieces. Then I prepared to cross-question him rigidly, for

this thing was getting serious. The watch had cost two hundred dollars

originally, and I seemed to have paid out two or three thousand for

repairs. While I waited and looked on I presently recognized in this

watchmaker an old acquaintance--a steamboat engineer of other days, and

not a good engineer, either. He examined all the parts carefully, just

as the other watchmakers had done, and then delivered his verdict with

the same confidence of manner.

 

He said:

 

"She makes too much steam-you want to hang the monkey-wrench on the

safety-valve!"

 

I brained him on the spot, and had him buried at my own expense.

 

My uncle William (now deceased, alas!) used to say that a good horse was,

a good horse until it had run away once, and that a good watch was a good

watch until the repairers got a chance at it. And he used to wonder what

became of all the unsuccessful tinkers, and gunsmiths, and shoemakers,

and engineers, and blacksmiths; but nobody could ever tell him.

~~~

What Stumped the Bluejays  - by Mark Twain

 

Animals talk to each other, of course. There can be no question about that; but I suppose there are very few people who can understand them. I never knew but one man who could. I knew he could, however, because he told me so himself. He was a middle-aged, simple-hearted miner who had lived in a lonely corner of California, among the woods and mountains, a good many years, and had studied the ways of his only neighbors, the beasts and the birds, until he believed he could accurately translate any remark which they made. This was Jim Baker. According to Jim Baker, some animals have only a limited education, and use only very simple words, and scarcely ever a comparison or a flowery figure; whereas, certain other animals have a large vocabulary, a fine command of language and a ready and fluent delivery; consequently these latter talk a great deal; they like it; they are conscious of their talent, and they enjoy "showing off." Baker said, that after long and careful observation, he had come to the conclusion that the bluejays were the best talkers he had found among birds and beasts. Said he:

   

    There's more to a bluejay than any other creature. He has got more moods, and more different kinds of feelings than other creatures; and mind you, whatever a bluejay feels, he can put into language. And no rnere commonplace language, either, but rattling, out-and-out book talk - and bristling with metaphor, too - just bristling! And as for command of language - why you never see a bluejay get stuck for a word. No man ever did. They just boil out of him! And another thing: I've noticed a good deal, and there's no bird, or cow, or anything that uses as good grammar as a bluejay. You may say a cat uses good grammar. Well, a cat does - but you let a cat get excited once; you let a cat get to pulling fur with another cat on a shed, nights, and you'll hear grammar that will give you the lockjaw. Ignorant people think it's the noise which fighting cats make that is so aggravating, but it ain't so; it's the sickening grammar they use. Now I've never heard a jay use bad grammar but very seldom; and when they do, they are as ashamed as a human; they shut right down and leave.

    You may call a jay a bird. Well, so he is, in a measure - because he's got feathers on him, and don't belong to no church, perhaps; but otherwise he is just as much a human as you be. And I'll tell you for why. A jay's gifts, and instincts, and feelings, and interests, cover the whole ground. A jay hasn't got any more principle than a congressman. A jay will lie, a jay will steal, a jay will deceive, a jay will betray; and four times out of five, a jay will go back on his solemnest promise. The sacredness of an obligation is a thing which you can't cram into no bluejay's head. Now, on top of all this, there's another thing; a jay can outswear any gentleman in the mines. You think a cat can swear. Well, a cat can; but you give a bluejay a subject that calls for his reserve powers, and where is your cat! Don't talk to me - I know too much about this thing. And there's yet another thing; in the one little particular of scolding - just good, clean, out-and-out scolding - a bluejay can lay over anything, human or divine. Yes, sir, a jay is everything that a man is. A jay can cry, a jay can laugh, a jay can feel shame, a jay can reason and plan and discuss, a jay likes gossip and scandal, a jay has got a sense of humor, a jay knows when he is an ass just as well as you do - maybe better. If a jay ain't human, he better take in his sign, that's all. Now I'm going to tell you a perfectly true fact about some bluejays. When I first begun to understand jay language correctly, there was a little incident happened here. Seven years ago, the last man in this region but me moved away. There stands his house - been empty ever since; a log house, with a plank roof - just one big room, and no more; no ceiling - nothing between the rafters and the floor. Well, one Sunday morning I was sitting out here in front of my cabin, with my cat, taking the sun, and looking at the blue hills, and listening to the leaves rustling so lonely in the trees, and thinking of the home away yonder in the states, that I hadn't heard from in thirteen years, when a bluejay lit on that house, with an acorn in his mouth, and says, "Hello, I reckon I've struck something." When he spoke, the acorn dropped out of his mouth and rolled down the roof, of course, but he didn't care; his mind was all on the thing he had struck. It was a knothole in the roof. He cocked his head to one side, shut one eye and put the other one to the hole, like a possum looking down a jug; then he glanced up with his bright eyes, gave a wink or two with his wings - which signifies gratification, you understand - and says, "It looks like a hole, it's located like a hole - blamed if I don't believe it is a hole!"

 

< 2 >

    Then he cocked his head down and took another look; he glances up perfectly joyful, this time; winks his wings and his tail both, and says, "Oh, no, this ain't no fat thing, I reckon! If I ain't in luck!--why it's a perfectly elegant hole!" So he flew down and got that acorn, and fetched it up and dropped it in, and was just tilting his head back, with the heavenliest smile on his face, when all of a sudden he was paralyzed into a listening attitude and that smile faded gradually out of his countenance like breath off'n a razor, and the queerest look of surprise took its place. Then he says, "Why, I didn't hear it fall!" He cocked his eye at the hole again, and took a long look; raised up and shook his head; stepped around to the other side of the hole and took another look from that side; shook his head again. He studied awhile, then he just went into the details - walked round and round the hole and spied into it from every point of the compass. No use. Now he took a thinking attitude on the comb of the roof and scratched the back of his head with his right foot a minute, and finally says, "Well, it's too many for me, that's certain; must be a mighty long hole; however, I ain't got no time to fool around here, I got to tend to business; I reckon it's all right - chance it, anyway."

    So he flew off and fetched another acorn and dropped it in, and tried to flirt his eye to the hole quick enough to see what become of it, but he was too late. He held his eye there as much as a minute; then he raised up and sighed, and says, "Confound it, I don't seem to understand this thing, no way; however, I'll tackle her again." He fetched another acorn, and done his level best to see what become of it, but he couldn't. He says, "Well, I never struck no such a hole as this before; I'm of the opinion it's a totally new kind of a hole." Then he begun to get mad. He held in for a spell, walking up and down the comb of the roof and shaking his head and muttering to himself; but his feelings got the upper hand of him, presently, and he broke loose and cussed himself black in the face. I never see a bird take on so about a little thing. When he got through he walks to the hole and looks in again for half a minute; then he says, "Well, you're a long hole, and a deep hole, and a mighty singular hole altogether - but I've started in to fill you, and I'm d****d if I don't fill you, if it takes a hundred years!"

 

< 3 >

    And with that, away he went. You never see a bird work so since you was born. The way he hove acorns into that hole for about two hours and a half was one of the most exciting and astonishing spectacles I ever struck. He never stopped to take a look anymore - he just hove'em in and went for more. Well, at last he could hardly flop his wings, he was so tuckered out. He comes a-drooping down, once more, sweating like an ice pitcher, drops his acorn in and says, "Now I guess I've got the bulge on you by this time!" So he bent down for a look. Ifyou'll believe me, when his head come up again he was just pale with rage. He says, "I've shoveled acorns enough in there to keep the family thirty years, and if I can see a sign of one of'em I wish I may land in a museum with a belly full of sawdust in two minutes!"

    He just had strength enough to crawl up onto the comb and lean his back agin the chimbly, and then he collected his impressions and begun to free his mind. I see in a second that what I had mistook for profanity in the mines was only just the rudiments, as you may say.

    Another jay was going by, and heard him doing his devotions, and stops to inquire what was up. The sufferer told him the whole circumstance, and says, "Now yonder's the hole, and if you don't believe me, go and look for yourself." So this fellow went and looked, and comes back and says, "How many did you say you put in there?" "Not any less than two tons," says the sufferer. The other jay went and looked again. He couldn't seem to make it out, so he raised a yell, and three more jays come. They all examined the hole, they all made the sufferer tell it over again, then they all discussed it, and got off as many leather-headed opinions about it as an average crowd of humans could have done.

    They called in more jays; then more and more, till pretty soon this whole region beared to have a blue flush about it. There must have been five thousand of them; and such another jawing and disputing and ripping and cussing, you never heard. Every jay in the whole lot put his eye to the hole and delivered a more chuckle-headed opinion about the mystery than the jay that went there before him. They examined the house all over, too. The door was standing half open, and at last one old jay happened to go and light on it and look in. Of course, that knocked the mystery galley-west in a second. There lay the acorns, scattered all over the floor. He flopped his wings and raised a whoop. "Come here ! " he says. "Come here, everybody; hang'd if this fool hasn't been trying to fill up a house with acorns!" They all came a-swooping down like a blue cloud, and as each fellow lit on the door and took a glance, the whole absurdity of the contract that that first jay had tackled hit him home and he fell over backward suffocating with laughter, and the next jay took his place and done the same.

 

< 4 >

    Well, sir, they roosted around here on the housetop and the trees for an hour, and guffawed over that thing like human beings. It ain't any use to tell me a bluejay hasn't got a sense of humor, because I know better. And memory, too. They brought jays here from all over the United States to look down that hole, every summer for three years. Other birds, too. And they could all see the point, except an owl that come from Nova Scotia to visit the Yosemite, and he took this thing in on his way back. He said he couldn't see anything funny in it. But then he was a good deal disappointed about Yosemite, too.


====================================

Cannibalism In The Cars – By Mark Twain

 

I visited St. Louis lately, and on my way West, after changing cars at

Terre Haute, Indiana, a mild, benevolent-looking gentleman of about

forty-five, or maybe fifty, came in at one of the way-stations and sat

down beside me. We talked together pleasantly on various subjects for an

hour, perhaps, and I found him exceedingly intelligent and entertaining.

When he learned that I was from Washington, he immediately began to ask

questions about various public men, and about Congressional affairs; and

I saw very shortly that I was conversing with a man who was perfectly

familiar with the ins and outs of political life at the Capital, even to

the ways and manners, and customs of procedure of Senators and

Representatives in the Chambers of the national Legislature. Presently

two men halted near us for a single moment, and one said to the other:

 

"Harris, if you'll do that for me, I'll never forget you, my boy."

 

My new comrade's eye lighted pleasantly. The words had touched upon a

happy memory, I thought. Then his face settled into thoughtfulness--

almost into gloom. He turned to me and said,

 

"Let me tell you a story; let me give you a secret chapter of my life--

a chapter that has never been referred to by me since its events

transpired. Listen patiently, and promise that you will not interrupt

me."

 

I said I would not, and he related the following strange adventure,

speaking sometimes with animation, sometimes with melancholy, but always

with feeling and earnestness.

 

THE STRANGER'S NARRATIVE

 

"On the 19th of December, 1853, I started from St. Louis on the evening

train bound for Chicago. There were only twenty-four passengers, all

told. There were no ladies and no children. We were in excellent

spirits, and pleasant acquaintanceships were soon formed. The journey

bade fair to be a happy one; and no individual in the party, I think, had

even the vaguest presentiment of the horrors we were soon to undergo.

 

"At 11 P.m. it began to snow hard. Shortly after leaving the small

village of Welden, we entered upon that tremendous prairie solitude that

stretches its leagues on leagues of houseless dreariness far away toward

the jubilee Settlements. The winds, unobstructed by trees or hills, or

even vagrant rocks, whistled fiercely across the level desert, driving

the falling snow before it like spray from the crested waves of a stormy

sea. The snow was deepening fast; and we knew, by the diminished speed

of the train, that the engine was plowing through it with steadily

increasing difficulty. Indeed, it almost came to a dead halt sometimes,

in the midst of great drifts that piled themselves like colossal graves

across the track. Conversation began to flag. Cheerfulness gave place

to grave concern. The possibility of being imprisoned in the snow, on

the bleak prairie, fifty miles from any house, presented itself to every

mind, and extended its depressing influence over every spirit.

 

"At two o'clock in the morning I was aroused out of an uneasy slumber by

the ceasing of all motion about me. The appalling truth flashed upon me

instantly--we were captives in a snow-drift! 'All hands to the rescue!'

Every man sprang to obey. Out into the wild night, the pitchy darkness,

the billowy snow, the driving storm, every soul leaped, with the

consciousness that a moment lost now might bring destruction to us all.

Shovels, hands, boards--anything, everything that could displace snow,

was brought into instant requisition. It was a weird picture, that small

company of frantic men fighting the banking snows, half in the blackest

shadow and half in the angry light of the locomotive's reflector.

 

"One short hour sufficed to prove the utter uselessness of our efforts.

The storm barricaded the track with a dozen drifts while we dug one away.

And worse than this, it was discovered that the last grand charge the

engine had made upon the enemy had broken the fore-and-aft shaft of the

driving-wheel! With a free track before us we should still have been

helpless. We entered the car wearied with labor, and very sorrowful.

We gathered about the stoves, and gravely canvassed our situation. We

had no provisions whatever--in this lay our chief distress. We could not

freeze, for there was a good supply of wood in the tender. This was our

only comfort. The discussion ended at last in accepting the

disheartening decision of the conductor, viz., that it would be death for

any man to attempt to travel fifty miles on foot through snow like that.

We could not send for help, and even if we could it would not come. We

must submit, and await, as patiently as we might, succor or starvation!

I think the stoutest heart there felt a momentary chill when those words

were uttered.

 

"Within the hour conversation subsided to a low murmur here and there

about the car, caught fitfully between the rising and falling of the

blast; the lamps grew dim; and the majority of the castaways settled

themselves among the flickering shadows to think--to forget the present,

if they could--to sleep, if they might.

 

"The eternal night-it surely seemed eternal to us-wore its lagging hours

away at last, and the cold gray dawn broke in the east. As the light

grew stronger the passengers began to stir and give signs of life, one

after another, and each in turn pushed his slouched hat up from his

forehead, stretched his stiffened limbs, and glanced out of the windows

upon the cheerless prospect. It was cheer less, indeed!-not a living

thing visible anywhere, not a human habitation; nothing but a vast white

desert; uplifted sheets of snow drifting hither and thither before the

wind--a world of eddying flakes shutting out the firmament above.

 

"All day we moped about the cars, saying little, thinking much. Another

lingering dreary night--and hunger.

 

"Another dawning--another day of silence, sadness, wasting hunger,

hopeless watching for succor that could not come. A night of restless

slumber, filled with dreams of feasting--wakings distressed with the

gnawings of hunger.

 

"The fourth day came and went--and the fifth! Five days of dreadful

imprisonment! A savage hunger looked out at every eye. There was in it

a sign of awful import--the foreshadowing of a something that was vaguely

shaping itself in every heart--a something which no tongue dared yet to

frame into words.

 

"The sixth day passed--the seventh dawned upon as gaunt and haggard and

hopeless a company of men as ever stood in the shadow of death. It must

out now! That thing which had been growing up in every heart was ready

to leap from every lip at last! Nature had been taxed to the utmost--she

must yield. RICHARD H. GASTON of Minnesota, tall, cadaverous, and pale,

rose up. All knew what was coming. All prepared--every emotion, every

semblance of excitement--was smothered--only a calm, thoughtful

seriousness appeared in the eyes that were lately so wild.

 

"'Gentlemen: It cannot be delayed longer! The time is at hand! We must

determine which of us shall die to furnish food for the rest!'

 

"MR. JOHN J. WILLIAMS of Illinois rose and said: 'Gentlemen--I nominate

the Rev. James Sawyer of Tennessee.'

 

"MR. Wm. R. ADAMS of Indiana said: 'I nominate Mr. Daniel Slote of New

York.'

 

"MR. CHARLES J. LANGDON: 'I nominate Mr. Samuel A. Bowen of St. Louis.'

 

"MR. SLOTE: 'Gentlemen--I desire to decline in favor of Mr. John A. Van

Nostrand, Jun., of New Jersey.'

 

"MR. GASTON: 'If there be no objection, the gentleman's desire will be

acceded to.'

 

"MR. VAN NOSTRAND objecting, the resignation of Mr. Slote was rejected.

The resignations of Messrs. Sawyer and Bowen were also offered, and

refused upon the same grounds.

 

"MR. A. L. BASCOM of Ohio: 'I move that the nominations now close, and

that the House proceed to an election by ballot.'

 

"MR. SAWYER: 'Gentlemen--I protest earnestly against these proceedings.

They are, in every way, irregular and unbecoming. I must beg to move

that they be dropped at once, and that we elect a chairman of the meeting

and proper officers to assist him, and then we can go on with the

business before us understandingly.'

 

"MR. BELL of Iowa: 'Gentlemen--I object. This is no time to stand upon

forms and ceremonious observances. For more than seven days we have been

without food. Every moment we lose in idle discussion increases our

distress. I am satisfied with the nominations that have been made--every

gentleman present is, I believe--and I, for one, do not see why we should

not proceed at once to elect one or more of them. I wish to offer a

resolution--'

 

"MR. GASTON: 'It would be objected to, and have to lie over one day under

the rules, thus bringing about the very delay you wish to avoid. The

gentleman from New Jersey--'

 

"MR. VAN NOSTRAND: 'Gentlemen--I am a stranger among you; I have not

sought the distinction that has been conferred upon me, and I feel a

delicacy--'

 

"MR. MORGAN Of Alabama (interrupting): 'I move the previous question.'

 

"The motion was carried, and further debate shut off, of course. The

motion to elect officers was passed, and under it Mr. Gaston was chosen

chairman, Mr. Blake, secretary, Messrs. Holcomb, Dyer, and Baldwin a

committee on nominations, and Mr. R. M. Howland, purveyor, to assist the

committee in making selections.

 

"A recess of half an hour was then taken, and some little caucusing

followed. At the sound of the gavel the meeting reassembled, and the

committee reported in favor of Messrs. George Ferguson of Kentucky,

Lucien Herrman of Louisiana, and W. Messick of Colorado as candidates.

The report was accepted.

 

"MR. ROGERS of Missouri: 'Mr. President The report being properly before

the House now, I move to amend it by substituting for the name of Mr.

Herrman that of Mr. Lucius Harris of St. Louis, who is well and

honorably known to us all. I do not wish to be understood as casting the

least reflection upon the high character and standing of the gentleman

from Louisiana far from it. I respect and esteem him as much as any

gentleman here present possibly can; but none of us can be blind to the

fact that he has lost more flesh during the week that we have lain here

than any among us--none of us can be blind to the fact that the committee

has been derelict in its duty, either through negligence or a graver

fault, in thus offering for our suffrages a gentleman who, however pure

his own motives may be, has really less nutriment in him--'

 

"THE CHAIR: 'The gentleman from Missouri will take his seat. The Chair

cannot allow the integrity of the committee to be questioned save by the

regular course, under the rules. What action will the House take upon

the gentleman's motion?'

 

"MR. HALLIDAY of Virginia: 'I move to further amend the report by

substituting Mr. Harvey Davis of Oregon for Mr. Messick. It may be urged

by gentlemen that the hardships and privations of a frontier life have

rendered Mr. Davis tough; but, gentlemen, is this a time to cavil at

toughness? Is this a time to be fastidious concerning trifles? Is this

a time to dispute about matters of paltry significance? No, gentlemen,

bulk is what we desire--substance, weight, bulk--these are the supreme

requisites now--not talent, not genius, not education. I insist upon my

motion.'

 

"MR. MORGAN (excitedly): 'Mr. Chairman--I do most strenuously object to

this amendment. The gentleman from Oregon is old, and furthermore is

bulky only in bone--not in flesh. I ask the gentleman from Virginia if

it is soup we want instead of solid sustenance? if he would delude us

with shadows? if he would mock our suffering with an Oregonian specter?

I ask him if he can look upon the anxious faces around him, if he can

gaze into our sad eyes, if he can listen to the beating of our expectant

hearts, and still thrust this famine-stricken fraud upon us? I ask him

if he can think of our desolate state, of our past sorrows, of our dark

future, and still unpityingly foist upon us this wreck, this ruin, this

tottering swindle, this gnarled and blighted and sapless vagabond from

Oregon's hospitable shores? Never!' [Applause.]

 

"The amendment was put to vote, after a fiery debate, and lost. Mr.

Harris was substituted on the first amendment. The balloting then began.

Five ballots were held without a choice. On the sixth, Mr. Harris was

elected, all voting for him but himself. It was then moved that his

election should be ratified by acclamation, which was lost, in

consequence of his again voting against himself.

 

"MR. RADWAY moved that the House now take up the remaining candidates,

and go into an election for breakfast. This was carried.

 

"On the first ballot--there was a tie, half the members favoring one

candidate on account of his youth, and half favoring the other on account

of his superior size. The President gave the casting vote for the

latter, Mr. Messick. This decision created considerable dissatisfaction

among the friends of Mr. Ferguson, the defeated candidate, and there was

some talk of demanding a new ballot; but in the midst of it a motion to

adjourn was carried, and the meeting broke up at once.

 

"The preparations for supper diverted the attention of the Ferguson

faction from the discussion of their grievance for a long time, and then,

when they would have taken it up again, the happy announcement that Mr.

Harris was ready drove all thought of it to the winds.

 

"We improvised tables by propping up the backs of car-seats, and sat down

with hearts full of gratitude to the finest supper that had blessed our

vision for seven torturing days. How changed we were from what we had

been a few short hours before! Hopeless, sad-eyed misery, hunger,

feverish anxiety, desperation, then; thankfulness, serenity, joy too deep

for utterance now. That I know was the cheeriest hour of my eventful

life. The winds howled, and blew the snow wildly about our prison house,

but they were powerless to distress us any more. I liked Harris. He

might have been better done, perhaps, but I am free to say that no man

ever agreed with me better than Harris, or afforded me so large a degree

of satisfaction. Messick was very well, though rather high-flavored,

but for genuine nutritiousness and delicacy of fiber, give me Harris.

Messick had his good points--I will not attempt to deny it, nor do I wish

to do it but he was no more fitted for breakfast than a mummy would be,

sir--not a bit. Lean?--why, bless me!--and tough? Ah, he was very

tough! You could not imagine it--you could never imagine anything like

it."

 

"Do you mean to tell me that--"

 

"Do not interrupt me, please. After breakfast we elected a man by the

name of Walker, from Detroit, for supper. He was very good. I wrote his

wife so afterward. He was worthy of all praise. I shall always remember

Walker. He was a little rare, but very good. And then the next morning

we had Morgan of Alabama for breakfast. He was one of the finest men I

ever sat down to handsome, educated, refined, spoke several languages

fluently a perfect gentleman he was a perfect gentleman, and singularly

juicy. For supper we had that Oregon patriarch, and he was a fraud,

there is no question about it--old, scraggy, tough, nobody can picture

the reality. I finally said, gentlemen, you can do as you like, but I

will wait for another election. And Grimes of Illinois said, 'Gentlemen,

I will wait also. When you elect a man that has something to recommend

him, I shall be glad to join you again.' It soon became evident that

there was general dissatisfaction with Davis of Oregon, and so, to

preserve the good will that had prevailed so pleasantly since we had had

Harris, an election was called, and the result of it was that Baker of

Georgia was chosen. He was splendid! Well, well--after that we had

Doolittle, and Hawkins, and McElroy (there was some complaint about

McElroy, because he was uncommonly short and thin), and Penrod, and two

Smiths, and Bailey (Bailey had a wooden leg, which was clear loss, but he

was otherwise good), and an Indian boy, and an organ-grinder, and a

gentleman by the name of Buckminster--a poor stick of a vagabond that

wasn't any good for company and no account for breakfast. We were glad

we got him elected before relief came."

 

"And so the blessed relief did come at last?"

 

"Yes, it came one bright, sunny morning, just after election. John

Murphy was the choice, and there never was a better, I am willing to

testify; but John Murphy came home with us, in the train that came to

succor us, and lived to marry the widow Harris--"

 

"Relict of--"

 

"Relict of our first choice. He married her, and is happy and respected

and prosperous yet. Ah, it was like a novel, sir--it was like a romance.

This is my stopping-place, sir; I must bid you goodby. Any time that you

can make it convenient to tarry a day or two with me, I shall be glad to

have you. I like you, sir; I have conceived an affection for you.

I could like you as well as I liked Harris himself, sir. Good day, sir,

and a pleasant journey."

 

He was gone. I never felt so stunned, so distressed, so bewildered in my

life. But in my soul I was glad he was gone. With all his gentleness of

manner and his soft voice, I shuddered whenever he turned his hungry eye

upon me; and when I heard that I had achieved his perilous affection, and

that I stood almost with the late Harris in his esteem, my heart fairly

stood still!

 

I was bewildered beyond description. I did not doubt his word; I could

not question a single item in a statement so stamped with the earnestness

of truth as his; but its dreadful details overpowered me, and threw my

thoughts into hopeless confusion. I saw the conductor looking at me.

I said, "Who is that man?"

 

"He was a member of Congress once, and a good one. But he got caught in

a snow-drift in the cars, and like to have been starved to death. He got

so frost-bitten and frozen up generally, and used up for want of

something to eat, that he was sick and out of his head two or three

months afterward. He is all right now, only he is a monomaniac, and when

he gets on that old subject he never stops till he has eat up that whole

car-load of people he talks about. He would have finished the crowd by

this time, only he had to get out here. He has got their names as pat as

A B C. When he gets them all eat up but himself, he always says: 'Then

the hour for the usual election for breakfast having arrived; and there

being no opposition, I was duly elected, after which, there being no

objections offered, I resigned. Thus I am here.'"

 

I felt inexpressibly relieved to know that I had only been listening to

the harmless vagaries of a madman instead of the genuine experiences of a

bloodthirsty cannibal.

  


================================================================================================================


THE LOVES OF ALONZO FITZ CLARENCE AND ROSANNAH ETHELTON – by Mark Twain

 

 

It was well along in the forenoon of a bitter winter's day. The town of

Eastport, in the state of Maine, lay buried under a deep snow that was

newly fallen. The customary bustle in the streets was wanting. One

could look long distances down them and see nothing but a dead-white

emptiness, with silence to match. Of course I do not mean that you could

see the silence--no, you could only hear it. The sidewalks were merely

long, deep ditches, with steep snow walls on either side. Here and there

you might hear the faint, far scrape of a wooden shovel, and if you were

quick enough you might catch a glimpse of a distant black figure stooping

and disappearing in one of those ditches, and reappearing the next moment

with a motion which you would know meant the heaving out of a shovelful

of snow. But you needed to be quick, for that black figure would not

linger, but would soon drop that shovel and scud for the house, thrashing

itself with its arms to warm them. Yes, it was too venomously cold for

snow-shovelers or anybody else to stay out long.

 

Presently the sky darkened; then the wind rose and began to blow in

fitful, vigorous gusts, which sent clouds of powdery snow aloft, and

straight ahead, and everywhere. Under the impulse of one of these gusts,

great white drifts banked themselves like graves across the streets; a

moment later another gust shifted them around the other way, driving a

fine spray of snow from their sharp crests, as the gale drives the spume

flakes from wave-crests at sea; a third gust swept that place as clean as

your hand, if it saw fit. This was fooling, this was play; but each and

all of the gusts dumped some snow into the sidewalk ditches, for that was

business.

 

Alonzo Fitz Clarence was sitting in his snug and elegant little parlor,

in a lovely blue silk dressing-gown, with cuffs and facings of crimson

satin, elaborately quilted. The remains of his breakfast were before

him, and the dainty and costly little table service added a harmonious

charm to the grace, beauty, and richness of the fixed appointments of the

room. A cheery fire was blazing on the hearth.

 

A furious gust of wind shook the windows, and a great wave of snow washed

against them with a drenching sound, so to speak. The handsome young

bachelor murmured:

 

"That means, no going out to-day. Well, I am content. But what to do

for company? Mother is well enough, Aunt Susan is well enough; but

these, like the poor, I have with me always. On so grim a day as this,

one needs a new interest, a fresh element, to whet the dull edge of

captivity. That was very neatly said, but it doesn't mean anything.

One doesn't want the edge of captivity sharpened up, you know, but just

the reverse."

 

He glanced at his pretty French mantel-clock.

 

"That clock's wrong again. That clock hardly ever knows what time it is;

and when it does know, it lies about it--which amounts to the same thing.

Alfred!"

 

There was no answer.

 

"Alfred! . . . Good servant, but as uncertain as the clock."

 

Alonzo touched an electric bell button in the wall. He waited a moment,

then touched it again; waited a few moments more, and said:

 

"Battery out of order, no doubt. But now that I have started, I will

find out what time it is." He stepped to a speaking-tube in the wall,

blew its whistle, and called, "Mother!" and repeated it twice.

 

"Well, that's no use. Mother's battery is out of order, too. Can't

raise anybody down-stairs--that is plain."

 

He sat down at a rosewood desk, leaned his chin on the left-hand edge of

it and spoke, as if to the floor: "Aunt Susan!"

 

A low, pleasant voice answered, "Is that you, Alonzo?'

 

"Yes. I'm too lazy and comfortable to go downstairs; I am in extremity,

and I can't seem to scare up any help."

 

"Dear me, what is the matter?"

 

"Matter enough, I can tell you!"

 

"Oh, don't keep me in suspense, dear! What is it?"

 

"I want to know what time it is."

 

"You abominable boy, what a turn you did give me! Is that all?"

 

"All--on my honor. Calm yourself. Tell me the time, and receive my

blessing."

 

"Just five minutes after nine. No charge--keep your blessing."

 

"Thanks. It wouldn't have impoverished me, aunty, nor so enriched you

that you could live without other means."

 

He got up, murmuring, "Just five minutes after nine," and faced his

clock. "Ah," said he, "you are doing better than usual. You are only

thirty-four minutes wrong. Let me see . . . let me see. . . .

Thirty-three and twenty-one are fifty-four; four times fifty-four are two

hundred and thirty-six. One off, leaves two hundred and thirty-five.

That's right."

 

He turned the hands of his clock forward till they marked twenty-five

minutes to one, and said, "Now see if you can't keep right for a while

--else I'll raffle you!"

 

He sat down at the desk again, and said, "Aunt Susan!"

 

"Yes, dear."

 

"Had breakfast?"

 

"Yes, indeed, an hour ago."

 

"Busy?"

 

"No--except sewing. Why?"

 

"Got any company?"

 

"No, but I expect some at half past nine."

 

"I wish I did. I'm lonesome. I want to talk to somebody."

 

"Very well, talk to me."

 

"But this is very private."

 

"Don't be afraid--talk right along, there's nobody here but me."

 

"I hardly know whether to venture or not, but--"

 

"But what? Oh, don't stop there! You know you can trust me, Alonzo--you

know, you can."

 

"I feel it, aunt, but this is very serious. It affects me deeply--me,

and all the family---even the whole community."

 

"Oh, Alonzo, tell me! I will never breathe a word of it. What is it?"

 

"Aunt, if I might dare--"

 

"Oh, please go on! I love you, and feel for you. Tell me all.

Confide in me. What is it?"

 

"The weather!"

 

"Plague take the weather! I don't see how you can have the heart to

serve me so, Lon."

 

"There, there, aunty dear, I'm sorry; I am, on my honor. I won't do it

again. Do you forgive me?"

 

"Yes, since you seem so sincere about it, though I know I oughtn't to.

You will fool me again as soon as I have forgotten this time."

 

"No, I won't, honor bright. But such weather, oh, such weather! You've

got to keep your spirits up artificially. It is snowy, and blowy, and

gusty, and bitter cold! How is the weather with you?"

 

"Warm and rainy and melancholy. The mourners go about the streets with

their umbrellas running streams from the end of every whalebone. There's

an elevated double pavement of umbrellas, stretching down the sides of

the streets as far as I can see. I've got a fire for cheerfulness, and

the windows open to keep cool. But it is vain, it is useless: nothing

comes in but the balmy breath of December, with its burden of mocking

odors from the flowers that possess the realm outside, and rejoice in

their lawless profusion whilst the spirit of man is low, and flaunt their

gaudy splendors in his face while his soul is clothed in sackcloth and

ashes and his heart breaketh."

 

Alonzo opened his lips to say, "You ought to print that, and get it

framed," but checked himself, for he heard his aunt speaking to some one

else. He went and stood at the window and looked out upon the wintry

prospect. The storm was driving the snow before it more furiously than

ever; window-shutters were slamming and banging; a forlorn dog, with

bowed head and tail withdrawn from service, was pressing his quaking body

against a windward wall for shelter and protection; a young girl was

plowing knee-deep through the drifts, with her face turned from the

blast, and the cape of her waterproof blowing straight rearward over her

head. Alonzo shuddered, and said with a sigh, "Better the slop, and the

sultry rain, and even the insolent flowers, than this!"

 

He turned from the window, moved a step, and stopped in a listening

attitude. The faint, sweet notes of a familiar song caught his ear. He

remained there, with his head unconsciously bent forward, drinking in the

melody, stirring neither hand nor foot, hardly breathing. There was a

blemish in the execution of the song, but to Alonzo it seemed an added

charm instead of a defect. This blemish consisted of a marked flatting

of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh notes of the refrain or

chorus of the piece. When the music ended, Alonzo drew a deep breath,

and said, "Ah, I never have heard 'In the Sweet By-and-by' sung like that

before!"

 

He stepped quickly to the desk, listened a moment, and said in a guarded,

confidential voice, "Aunty, who is this divine singer?"

 

"She is the company I was expecting. Stays with me a month or two.

I will introduce you. Miss--"

 

"For goodness' sake, wait a moment, Aunt Susan! You never stop to think

what you are about!"

 

He flew to his bedchamber, and returned in a moment perceptibly changed

in his outward appearance, and remarking, snappishly:

 

"Hang it, she would have introduced me to this angel in that sky-blue

dressing-gown with red-hot lapels! Women never think, when they get

a-going."

 

He hastened and stood by the desk, and said eagerly, "Now, Aunty, I am

ready," and fell to smiling and bowing with all the persuasiveness and

elegance that were in him.

 

"Very well. Miss Rosannah Ethelton, let me introduce to you my favorite

nephew, Mr. Alonzo Fitz Clarence. There! You are both good people, and

I like you; so I am going to trust you together while I attend to a few

household affairs. Sit down, Rosannah; sit down, Alonzo. Good-by; I

sha'n't be gone long."

 

Alonzo had been bowing and smiling all the while, and motioning imaginary

young ladies to sit down in imaginary chairs, but now he took a seat

himself, mentally saying, "Oh, this is luck! Let the winds blow now, and

the snow drive, and the heavens frown! Little I care!"

 

While these young people chat themselves into an acquaintanceship, let us

take the liberty of inspecting the sweeter and fairer of the two. She

sat alone, at her graceful ease, in a richly furnished apartment which

was manifestly the private parlor of a refined and sensible lady,

if signs and symbols may go for anything. For instance, by a low,

comfortable chair stood a dainty, top-heavy workstand, whose summit was a

fancifully embroidered shallow basket, with varicolored crewels, and

other strings and odds and ends protruding from under the gaping lid and

hanging down in negligent profusion. On the floor lay bright shreds of

Turkey red, Prussian blue, and kindred fabrics, bits of ribbon, a spool

or two, a pair of scissors, and a roll or so of tinted silken stuffs.

On a luxurious sofa, upholstered with some sort of soft Indian goods

wrought in black and gold threads interwebbed with other threads not so

pronounced in color, lay a great square of coarse white stuff, upon whose

surface a rich bouquet of flowers was growing, under the deft cultivation

of the crochet-needle. The household cat was asleep on this work of art.

In a bay-window stood an easel with an unfinished picture on it, and a

palette and brushes on a chair beside it. There were books everywhere:

Robertson's Sermons, Tennyson, Moody and Sankey, Hawthorne, Rab and His

Friends, cook-books, prayer-books, pattern-books--and books about all

kinds of odious and exasperating pottery, of course. There was a piano,

with a deck-load of music, and more in a tender. There was a great

plenty of pictures on the walls, on the shelves of the mantelpiece, and

around generally; where coigns of vantage offered were statuettes, and

quaint and pretty gimcracks, and rare and costly specimens of peculiarly

devilish china. The bay-window gave upon a garden that was ablaze with

foreign and domestic flowers and flowering shrubs.

 

But the sweet young girl was the daintiest thing these premises, within

or without, could offer for contemplation: delicately chiseled features,

of Grecian cast; her complexion the pure snow of a japonica that is

receiving a faint reflected enrichment from some scarlet neighbor of the

garden; great, soft blue eyes fringed with long, curving lashes; an

expression made up of the trustfulness of a child and the gentleness of

a fawn; a beautiful head crowned with its own prodigal gold; a lithe and

rounded figure, whose every attitude and movement was instinct with

native grace.

 

Her dress and adornment were marked by that exquisite harmony that can

come only of a fine natural taste perfected by culture. Her gown was of

a simple magenta tulle, cut bias, traversed by three rows of light-blue

flounces, with the selvage edges turned up with ashes-of-roses chenille;

overdress of dark bay tarlatan with scarlet satin lambrequins; corn-

colored polonaise, en zanier, looped with mother-of-pearl buttons and

silver cord, and hauled aft and made fast by buff velvet lashings; basque

of lavender reps, picked out with valenciennes; low neck, short sleeves;

maroon velvet necktie edged with delicate pink silk; inside handkerchief

of some simple three-ply ingrain fabric of a soft saffron tint; coral

bracelets and locket-chain; coiffure of forget-me-nots and lilies-of-the

-valley massed around a noble calla.

 

This was all; yet even in this subdued attire she was divinely beautiful.

Then what must she have been when adorned for the festival or the ball?

 

All this time she had been busily chatting with Alonzo, unconscious of

our inspection. The minutes still sped, and still she talked. But by

and by she happened to look up, and saw the clock. A crimson blush sent

its rich flood through her cheeks, and she exclaimed:

 

"There, good-by, Mr. Fitz Clarence; I must go now!"

 

She sprang from her chair with such haste that she hardly heard the young

man's answering good-by. She stood radiant, graceful, beautiful, and

gazed, wondering, upon the accusing clock. Presently her pouting lips

parted, and she said:

 

"Five minutes after eleven! Nearly two hours, and it did not seem twenty

minutes! Oh, dear, what will he think of me!"

 

At the self-same moment Alonzo was staring at his clock. And presently

he said:

 

"Twenty-five minutes to three! Nearly two hours, and I didn't believe it

was two minutes! Is it possible that this clock is humbugging again?

Miss Ethelton! Just one moment, please. Are you there yet?"

 

"Yes, but be quick; I'm going right away."

 

"Would you be so kind as to tell me what time it is?"

 

The girl blushed again, murmured to herself, "It's right down cruel of

him to ask me!" and then spoke up and answered with admirably

counterfeited unconcern, "Five minutes after eleven."

 

"Oh, thank you! You have to go, now, have you?"

 

"I'm sorry."

 

No reply.

 

"Miss Ethelton!"

 

"Well?"

 

"You you're there yet, ain't you?"

 

"Yes; but please hurry. What did you want to say?"

 

"Well, I--well, nothing in particular. It's very lonesome here. It's

asking a great deal, I know, but would you mind talking with me again by

and by--that is, if it will not trouble you too much?"

 

"I don't know but I'll think about it. I'll try."

 

"Oh, thanks! Miss Ethelton! . . . Ah, me, she's gone, and here are

the black clouds and the whirling snow and the raging winds come again!

But she said good-by. She didn't say good morning, she said good-by!

. . . The clock was right, after all. What a lightning-winged

two hours it was!"

 

He sat down, and gazed dreamily into his fire for a while, then heaved a

sigh and said:

 

"How wonderful it is! Two little hours ago I was a free man, and now my

heart's in San Francisco!"

 

About that time Rosannah Ethelton, propped in the window-seat of her

bedchamber, book in hand, was gazing vacantly out over the rainy seas

that washed the Golden Gate, and whispering to herself, "How different he

is from poor Burley, with his empty head and his single little antic

talent of mimicry!"

 

 

II

 

Four weeks later Mr. Sidney Algernon Burley was entertaining a gay

luncheon company, in a sumptuous drawing-room on Telegraph Hill, with

some capital imitations of the voices and gestures of certain popular

actors and San Franciscan literary people and Bonanza grandees. He was

elegantly upholstered, and was a handsome fellow, barring a trifling cast

in his eye. He seemed very jovial, but nevertheless he kept his eye on

the door with an expectant and uneasy watchfulness. By and by a nobby

lackey appeared, and delivered a message to the mistress, who nodded her

head understandingly. That seemed to settle the thing for Mr. Burley;

his vivacity decreased little by little, and a dejected look began to

creep into one of his eyes and a sinister one into the other.

 

The rest of the company departed in due time, leaving him with the

mistress, to whom he said:

 

"There is no longer any question about it. She avoids me. She

continually excuses herself. If I could see her, if I could speak to her

only a moment, but this suspense--"

 

"Perhaps her seeming avoidance is mere accident, Mr. Burley. Go to the

small drawing-room up-stairs and amuse yourself a moment. I will

despatch a household order that is on my mind, and then I will go to her

room. Without doubt she will be persuaded to see you."

 

Mr. Burley went up-stairs, intending to go to the small drawing-room, but

as he was passing "Aunt Susan's" private parlor, the door of which stood

slightly ajar, he heard a joyous laugh which he recognized; so without

knock or announcement he stepped confidently in. But before he could

make his presence known he heard words that harrowed up his soul and

chilled his young blood, he heard a voice say:

 

"Darling, it has come!"

 

Then he heard Rosannah Ethelton, whose back was toward him, say:

 

"So has yours, dearest!"

 

He saw her bowed form bend lower; he heard her kiss something--not merely

once, but again and again! His soul raged within him. The heartbreaking

conversation went on:

 

"Rosannah, I knew you must be beautiful, but this is dazzling, this is

blinding, this is intoxicating!"

 

"Alonzo, it is such happiness to hear you say it. I know it is not true,

but I am so grateful to have you think it is, nevertheless! I knew you

must have a noble face, but the grace and majesty of the reality beggar

the poor creation of my fancy."

 

Burley heard that rattling shower of kisses again.

 

"Thank you, my Rosannah! The photograph flatters me, but you must not

allow yourself to think of that. Sweetheart?"

 

"Yes, Alonzo."

 

"I am so happy, Rosannah."

 

"Oh, Alonzo, none that have gone before me knew what love was, none that

come after me will ever know what happiness is. I float in a gorgeous

cloud land, a boundless firmament of enchanted and bewildering ecstasy!"

 

"Oh, my Rosannah! for you are mine, are you not?"

 

"Wholly, oh, wholly yours, Alonzo, now and forever! All the day long,

and all through my nightly dreams, one song sings itself, and its sweet

burden is, 'Alonzo Fitz Clarence, Alonzo Fitz Clarence, Eastport, state

of Maine!'"

 

"Curse him, I've got his address, anyway!" roared Burley, inwardly, and

rushed from the place.

 

Just behind the unconscious Alonzo stood his mother, a picture of

astonishment. She was so muffled from head to heel in furs that nothing

of herself was visible but her eyes and nose. She was a good allegory of

winter, for she was powdered all over with snow.

 

Behind the unconscious Rosannah stood "Aunt Susan," another picture of

astonishment. She was a good allegory of summer, for she was lightly

clad, and was vigorously cooling the perspiration on her face with a fan.

 

Both of these women had tears of joy in their eyes.

 

"Soho!" exclaimed Mrs. Fitz Clarence, "this explains why nobody has been

able to drag you out of your room for six weeks, Alonzo!"

 

"So ho!" exclaimed Aunt Susan, "this explains why you have been a hermit

for the past six weeks, Rosannah!"

 

The young couple were on their feet in an instant, abashed, and standing

like detected dealers in stolen goods awaiting judge Lynch's doom.

 

"Bless you, my son! I am happy in your happiness. Come to your mother's

arms, Alonzo!"

 

"Bless you, Rosannah, for my dear nephew's sake! Come to my arms!"

 

Then was there a mingling of hearts and of tears of rejoicing on

Telegraph Hill and in Eastport Square.

 

Servants were called by the elders, in both places. Unto one was given

the order, "Pile this fire high, with hickory wood, and bring me a

roasting-hot lemonade."

 

Unto the other was given the order, "Put out this fire, and bring me two

palm-leaf fans and a pitcher of ice-water."

 

Then the young people were dismissed, and the elders sat down to talk the

sweet surprise over and make the wedding plans.

 

Some minutes before this Mr. Burley rushed from the mansion on Telegraph

Hill without meeting or taking formal leave of anybody. He hissed

through his teeth, in unconscious imitation of a popular favorite in

melodrama, "Him shall she never wed! I have sworn it! Ere great Nature

shall have doffed her winter's ermine to don the emerald gauds of spring,

she shall be mine!"

 

 

III

 

Two weeks later. Every few hours, during same three or four days, a very

prim and devout-looking Episcopal clergyman, with a cast in his eye, had

visited Alonzo. According to his card, he was the Rev. Melton Hargrave,

of Cincinnati. He said he had retired from the ministry on account of

his health. If he had said on account of ill-health, he would probably

have erred, to judge by his wholesome looks and firm build. He was the

inventor of an improvement in telephones, and hoped to make his bread by

selling the privilege of using it. "At present," he continued, "a man

may go and tap a telegraph wire which is conveying a song or a concert

from one state to another, and he can attach his private telephone and

steal a hearing of that music as it passes along. My invention will stop

all that."

 

"Well," answered Alonzo, "if the owner of the music could not miss what

was stolen, why should he care?"

 

"He shouldn't care," said the Reverend.

 

"Well?" said Alonzo, inquiringly.

 

"Suppose," replied the Reverend, "suppose that, instead of music that was

passing along and being stolen, the burden of the wire was loving

endearments of the most private and sacred nature?"

 

Alonzo shuddered from head to heel. "Sir, it is a priceless invention,"

said he; "I must have it at any cost."

 

But the invention was delayed somewhere on the road from Cincinnati, most

unaccountably. The impatient Alonzo could hardly wait. The thought of

Rosannah's sweet words being shared with him by some ribald thief was

galling to him. The Reverend came frequently and lamented the delay, and

told of measures he had taken to hurry things up. This was some little

comfort to Alonzo.

 

One forenoon the Reverend ascended the stairs and knocked at Alonzo's

door. There was no response. He entered, glanced eagerly around,

closed the door softly, then ran to the telephone. The exquisitely soft

and remote strains of the "Sweet By-and-by" came floating through the

instrument. The singer was flatting, as usual, the five notes that

follow the first two in the chorus, when the Reverend interrupted her

with this word, in a voice which was an exact imitation of Alonzo's, with

just the faintest flavor of impatience added:

 

"Sweetheart?"

 

"Yes, Alonzo?"

 

"Please don't sing that any more this week--try something modern."

 

The agile step that goes with a happy heart was heard on the stairs, and

the Reverend, smiling diabolically, sought sudden refuge behind the heavy

folds of the velvet windowcurtains. Alonzo entered and flew to the

telephone. Said he:

 

"Rosannah, dear, shall we sing something together?"

 

"Something modern?" asked she, with sarcastic bitterness.

 

"Yes, if you prefer."

 

"Sing it yourself, if you like!"

 

This snappishness amazed and wounded the young man. He said:

 

"Rosarmah, that was not like you."

 

"I suppose it becomes me as much as your very polite speech became you,

Mr. Fitz Clarence."

 

"Mister Fitz Clarence! Rosannah, there was nothing impolite about my

speech."

 

"Oh, indeed! Of course, then, I misunderstood you, and I most humbly beg

your pardon, ha-ha-ha! No doubt you said, 'Don't sing it any more

to-day.'"

 

"Sing what any more to-day?"

 

"The song you mentioned, of course, How very obtuse we are, all of a

sudden!"

 

"I never mentioned any song."

 

"Oh, you didn't?"

 

"No, I didn't!"

 

"I am compelled to remark that you did."

 

"And I am obliged to reiterate that I didn't."

 

"A second rudeness! That is sufficient, sir. I will never forgive you.

All is over between us."

 

Then came a muffled sound of crying. Alonzo hastened to say:

 

"Oh, Rosannah, unsay those words! There is some dreadful mystery here,

some hideous mistake. I am utterly earnest and sincere when I say I

never said anything about any song. I would not hurt you for the whole

world . . . . Rosannah, dear speak to me, won't you?"

 

There was a pause; then Alonzo heard the girl's sobbings retreating, and

knew she had gone from the telephone. He rose with a heavy sigh, and

hastened from the room, saying to himself, "I will ransack the charity

missions and the haunts of the poor for my mother. She will persuade her

that I never meant to wound her."

 

A minute later the Reverend was crouching over the telephone like a cat

that knoweth the ways of the prey. He had not very many minutes to wait.

A soft, repentant voice, tremulous with tears, said:

 

"Alonzo, dear, I have been wrong. You could not have said so cruel a

thing. It must have been some one who imitated your voice in malice or

in jest."

 

The Reverend coldly answered, in Alonzo's tones:

 

"You have said all was over between us. So let it be. I spurn your

proffered repentance, and despise it!"

 

Then he departed, radiant with fiendish triumph, to return no more with

his imaginary telephonic invention forever.

 

Four hours afterward Alonzo arrived with his mother from her favorite

haunts of poverty and vice. They summoned the San Francisco household;

but there was no reply. They waited, and continued to wait, upon the

voiceless telephone.

 

At length, when it was sunset in San Francisco, and three hours and a

half after dark in Eastport, an answer to the oft-repeated cry of

"Rosannah!"

 

But, alas, it was Aunt Susan's voice that spake. She said:

 

"I have been out all day; just got in. I will go and find her."

 

The watchers waited two minutes--five minutes--ten minutes. Then came

these fatal words, in a frightened tone:

 

"She is gone, and her baggage with her. To visit another friend, she

told the servants. But I found this note on the table in her room.

Listen: 'I am gone; seek not to trace me out; my heart is broken; you

will never see me more. Tell him I shall always think of him when I sing

my poor "Sweet By-and-by," but never of the unkind words he said about

it.' That is her note. Alonzo, Alonzo, what does it mean? What has

happened?"

 

But Alonzo sat white and cold as the dead. His mother threw back the

velvet curtains and opened a window. The cold air refreshed the

sufferer, and he told his aunt his dismal story. Meantime his mother was

inspecting a card which had disclosed itself upon the floor when she cast

the curtains back. It read, "Mr. Sidney Algernon Burley, San Francisco."

 

"The miscreant!" shouted Alonzo, and rushed forth to seek the false

Reverend and destroy him; for the card explained everything, since in the

course of the lovers' mutual confessions they had told each other all

about all the sweethearts they had ever had, and thrown no end of mud at

their failings and foibles for lovers always do that. It has a

fascination that ranks next after billing and cooing.

 

 

IV

 

During the next two months many things happened. It had early transpired

that Rosannah, poor suffering orphan, had neither returned to her

grandmother in Portland, Oregon, nor sent any word to her save a

duplicate of the woeful note she had left in the mansion on Telegraph

Hill. Whosoever was sheltering her--if she was still alive--had been

persuaded not to betray her whereabouts, without doubt; for all efforts

to find trace of her had failed.

 

Did Alonzo give her up? Not he. He said to himself, "She will sing that

sweet song when she is sad; I shall find her." So he took his carpet-

sack and a portable telephone, and shook the snow of his native city from

his arctics, and went forth into the world. He wandered far and wide and

in many states. Time and again, strangers were astounded to see a

wasted, pale, and woe-worn man laboriously climb a telegraph-pole in

wintry and lonely places, perch sadly there an hour, with his ear at a

little box, then come sighing down, and wander wearily away. Sometimes

they shot at him, as peasants do at aeronauts, thinking him mad and

dangerous. Thus his clothes were much shredded by bullets and his person

grievously lacerated. But he bore it all patiently.

 

In the beginning of his pilgrimage he used often to say, "Ah, if I could

but hear the 'Sweet By-and-by'!" But toward the end of it he used to

shed tears of anguish and say, "Ah, if I could but hear something else!"

 

Thus a month and three weeks drifted by, and at last some humane people

seized him and confined him in a private mad-house in New York. He made

no moan, for his strength was all gone, and with it all heart and all

hope. The superintendent, in pity, gave up his own comfortable parlor

and bedchamber to him and nursed him with affectionate devotion.

 

At the end of a week the patient was able to leave his bed for the first

time. He was lying, comfortably pillowed, on a sofa, listening to the

plaintive Miserere of the bleak March winds and the muffled sound of

tramping feet in the street below for it was about six in the evening,

and New York was going home from work. He had a bright fire and the

added cheer of a couple of student-lamps. So it was warm and snug

within, though bleak and raw without; it was light and bright within,

though outside it was as dark and dreary as if the world had been lit

with Hartford gas. Alonzo smiled feebly to think how his loving vagaries

had made him a maniac in the eyes of the world, and was proceeding to

pursue his line of thought further, when a faint, sweet strain, the very

ghost of sound, so remote and attenuated it seemed, struck upon his ear.

His pulses stood still; he listened with parted lips and bated breath.

The song flowed on--he waiting, listening, rising slowly and unconsciously

from his recumbent position. At last he exclaimed:

 

"It is! it is she! Oh, the divine hated notes!"

 

He dragged himself eagerly to the corner whence the sounds proceeded,

tore aside a curtain, and discovered a telephone. He bent over, and as

the last note died away he burst forthwith the exclamation:

 

"Oh, thank Heaven, found at last! Speak tome, Rosannah, dearest! The

cruel mystery has been unraveled; it was the villain Burley who mimicked

my voice and wounded you with insolent speech!"

 

There was a breathless pause, a waiting age to Alonzo; then a faint sound

came, framing itself into language:

 

"Oh, say those precious words again, Alonzo!"

 

"They are the truth, the veritable truth, my Rosannah, and you shall have

the proof, ample and abundant proof!"

 

"Oh; Alonzo, stay by me! Leave me not for a moment! Let me feel that

you are near me! Tell me we shall never be parted more! Oh, this happy

hour, this blessed hour, this memorable hour!"

 

"We will make record of it, my Rosannah; every year, as this dear hour

chimes from the clock, we will celebrate it with thanksgivings, all the

years of our life."

 

"We will, we will, Alonzo!"

 

"Four minutes after six, in the evening, my Rosannah, shall henceforth--"

 

"Twenty-three minutes after twelve, afternoon shall--"

 

"Why; Rosannah, darling, where are you?"

 

"In Honolulu, Sandwich Islands. And where are you? Stay by me; do not

leave me for a moment. I cannot bear it. Are you at home?"

 

"No, dear, I am in New York--a patient in the doctor's hands."

 

An agonizing shriek came buzzing to Alonzo's ear, like the sharp buzzing

of a hurt gnat; it lost power in traveling five thousand miles. Alonzo

hastened to say:

 

"Calm yourself, my child. It is nothing. Already I am getting well

under the sweet healing of your presence. Rosannah?"

 

"Yes, Alonzo? Oh, how you terrified me! Say on."

 

"Name the happy day, Rosannah!"

 

There was a little pause. Then a diffident small voice replied,

"I blush--but it is with pleasure, it is with happiness. Would--would

you like to have it soon?"

 

"This very night, Rosannah! Oh, let us risk no more delays. Let it be

now!--this very night, this very moment!"

 

"Oh, you impatient creature! I have nobody here but my good old uncle,

a missionary for a generation, and now retired from service--nobody but

him and his wife. I would so dearly like it if your mother and your Aunt

Susan--"

 

"Our mother and our Aunt Susan, my Rosannah."

 

"Yes, our mother and our Aunt Susan--I am content to word it so if it

pleases you; I would so like to have them present."

 

"So would I. Suppose you telegraph Aunt Susan. How long would it take

her to come?"

 

"The steamer leaves San Francisco day after tomorrow. The passage is

eight days. She would be here the 31st of March."

 

"Then name the 1st of April; do, Rosannah, dear."

 

"Mercy, it would make us April fools, Alonzo!"

 

"So we be the happiest ones that that day's suit looks down upon in the

whole broad expanse of the globe, why need we care? Call it the 1st of

April, dear."

 

"Then the 1st of April at shall be, with all my heart!"

 

"Oh, happiness! Name the hour, too, Rosannah."

 

"I like the morning, it is so blithe. Will eight in the morning do,

Alonzo?"

 

"The loveliest hour in the day--since it will make you mine."

 

There was a feeble but frantic sound for some little time, as if

wool-upped, disembodied spirits were exchanging kisses; then Rosannah

said, "Excuse me just a moment, dear; I have an appointment, and am

called to meet it."

 

The young girl sought a large parlor and took her place at a window which

looked out upon a beautiful scene. To the left one could view the

charming Nuuana Valley, fringed with its ruddy flush of tropical flowers

and its plumed and graceful cocoa palms; its rising foothills clothed in

the shining green of lemon, citron, and orange groves; its storied

precipice beyond, where the first Kamehameha drove his defeated foes over

to their destruction, a spot that had forgotten its grim history, no

doubt, for now it was smiling, as almost always at noonday, under the

glowing arches of a succession of rainbows. In front of the window one

could see the quaint town, and here and there a picturesque group of

dusky natives, enjoying the blistering weather; and far to the right lay

the restless ocean, tossing its white mane in the sunshine.

 

Rosannah stood there, in her filmy white raiment, fanning her flushed and

heated face, waiting. A Kanaka boy, clothed in a damaged blue necktie

and part of a silk hat, thrust his head in at the door, and announced,

"'Frisco haole!"

 

"Show him in," said the girl, straightening herself up and assuming a

meaning dignity. Mr. Sidney Algernon Burley entered, clad from head to

heel in dazzling snow--that is to say, in the lightest and whitest of

Irish linen. He moved eagerly forward, but the girl made a gesture and

gave him a look which checked him suddenly. She said, coldly, "I am

here, as I promised. I believed your assertions, I yielded to your

importune lies, and said I would name the day. I name the 1st of April-

-eight in the morning. NOW GO!"

 

"Oh, my dearest, if the gratitude of a lifetime--"

 

"Not a word. Spare me all sight of you, all communication with you,

until that hour. No--no supplications; I will have it so."

 

When he was gone, she sank exhausted in a chair, for the long siege of

troubles she had undergone had wasted her strength. Presently she said,

"What a narrow escape! If the hour appointed had been an hour earlier

--Oh, horror, what an escape I have made! And to think I had come to

imagine I was loving this beguiling, this truthless, this treacherous

monster! Oh, he shall repent his villainy!"

 

Let us now draw this history to a close, for little more needs to be

told. On the 2d of the ensuing April, the Honolulu Advertiser contained

this notice:

 

MARRIED.--In this city, by telephone, yesterday morning,--at eight

o'clock, by Rev. Nathan Hays, assisted by Rev. Nathaniel Davis, of

New York, Mr. Alonzo Fitz Clarence, of Eastport, Maine, U. S., and

Miss Rosannah Ethelton, of Portland, Oregon, U. S. Mrs. Susan

Howland, of San Francisco, a friend of the bride, was present, she

being the guest of the Rev. Mr. Hays and wife, uncle and aunt of the

bride. Mr. Sidney Algernon Burley, of San Francisco, was also

present but did not remain till the conclusion of the marriage

service. Captain Hawthorne's beautiful yacht, tastefully decorated,

was in waiting, and the happy bride and her friends immediately

departed on a bridal trip to Lahaina and Haleakala.

 

The New York papers of the same date contained this notice:

 

MARRIED.--In this city, yesterday, by telephone, at half-past two in

the morning, by Rev. Nathaniel Davis, assisted by Rev. Nathan Hays,

of Honolulu, Mr. Alonzo Fitz Clarence, of Eastport, Maine, and Miss

Rosannah Ethelton, of Portland, Oregon. The parents and several

friends of the bridegroom were present, and enjoyed a sumptuous

breakfast and much festivity until nearly sunrise, and then departed

on a bridal trip to the Aquarium, the bridegroom's state of health

not admitting of a more extended journey.

 

Toward the close of that memorable day Mr. and Mrs. Alonzo Fitz Clarence

were buried in sweet converse concerning the pleasures of their several

bridal tours, when suddenly the young wife exclaimed: "Oh, Lonny, I

forgot! I did what I said I would."

 

"Did you, dear?"

 

"Indeed, I did. I made him the April fool! And I told him so, too!

Ah, it was a charming surprise! There he stood, sweltering in a black

dress-suit, with the mercury leaking out of the top of the thermometer,

waiting to be married. You should have seen the look he gave when I

whispered it in his ear. Ah, his wickedness cost me many a heartache and

many a tear, but the score was all squared up, then. So the vengeful

feeling went right out of my heart, and I begged him to stay, and said I

forgave him everything. But he wouldn't. He said he would live to be

avenged; said he would make our lives a curse to us. But he can't, can

he, dear?"

 

"Never in this world, my Rosannah!"

 

Aunt Susan, the Oregonian grandmother, and the young couple and their

Eastport parents, are all happy at this writing, and likely to remain so.

Aunt Susan brought the bride from the islands, accompanied her across our

continent, and had the happiness of witnessing the rapturous meeting

between an adoring husband and wife who had never seen each other until

that moment.

 

A word about the wretched Burley, whose wicked machinations came so near

wrecking the hearts and lives of our poor young friends, will be

sufficient. In a murderous attempt to seize a crippled and helpless

artisan who he fancied had done him some small offense, he fell into a

caldron of boiling oil and expired before he could be extinguished.


Do not separate you from illusions. If they disappeared, you will have continued to exist, but have stopped living. Mark Twain


Playing 'Boy' Games Helps Girls, and Vice Versa


“Ten-year olds who spend more time engaging in activities typically associated with their gender tend to have more stereotypical academic interests, skills and characteristics two years later, new research reports. For instance, girls who logged many hours on "girl" activities like reading, knitting, dancing or playing with dolls tended to get better grades in English, show more signs of sensitivity, and were more likely to have low self-esteem, which is more common in girls, the Pennsylvania-based researchers noted. However, girls who spent more time on sports -- a traditionally masculine pursuit -- tended to become more interested in math two years later, regardless of their interest in math at age 10.”


REFERENCED IN SONG: "I'M SO TIRED" BY JOHN LENNON

 Raleigh, Sir Walter
     "1554?-1618, English soldier, explorer, courtier, and man
     of letters. A favorite of ELIZABETH I, and a rival of
     Robert Devereux, earl of ESSEX, Raleigh was given
     position and vast estates in Ireland. He conceived and
     organized the colonizing expeditions to America that
     ended tragically with the lost colony on ROANOKE
     ISLAND, Va. With Christopher MARLOWE and George
     CHAPMAN, he was associated with the poetic group
     known as the school of night, which won a reputation
     for atheism. In 1595 he embarked on an expedition up the
     Orinoco R. in Guiana in search of EL DORADO. His
     fortunes fell with the accession of JAMES I, who was
     convinced of his enmity. He was convicted of treason
     and imprisoned in the tower. Released in 1616, he made
     another expedition to the Orinoco in search of gold. It
     failed, and he returned to England where he was
     executed under the original sentence of treason. Raleigh
     wrote poetry, political essays, and philosophical
     treatises."

Study: Most College Students Lack Skills


By BEN FELLER, AP Education Writer 
"Nearing a diploma, most college students cannot handle many complex but common tasks, from understanding credit card offers to comparing the cost per ounce of food.

Those are the sobering findings of a study of literacy on college campuses, the first to target the skills of students as they approach the start of their careers. More than 50 percent of students at four-year schools and more than 75 percent at two-year colleges lacked the skills to perform complex literacy tasks. That means they could not interpret a table about exercise and blood pressure, understand the arguments of newspaper editorials, compare credit card offers with different interest rates and annual fees or summarize results of a survey about parental involvement in school."


High-Tech Workers Being Sought Outside Of U.S.

"Reuters: According to Department of Labor estimates, America needs more than a million new information technology (IT) workers through 2005 -- far more than foreign temporary workers can provide.

<snip>

Moore quoted the results of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study that showed the poor academic performance of American students by the time they finish high school. He said students in the United States, including those most advanced, are ranked among the lowest internationally.
``... Until we get good qualifying people into teaching, these scores are not going to go up,'' Moore said.

Moore said one of the main reasons for America's dependency on high-tech foreign workers stems from the nation's inability to attract qualified science and math teachers into classrooms. ``If you are graduating with your first degree in science, say in chemistry, you've got all kinds of industry opportunities,'' he said. ``But (teaching) salaries are terrible. So why would young people do this?'' ...new teachers, regardless of their teaching subject, earn only about $25,012 annually... New software developers earn twice as much...
Teachers in the United States do not enjoy the same recognition as in Germany or in Japan, where their professional status is highly respected and where, once selected, they are almost guaranteed their tenure and paid handsomely. "


Tests are making children hate books, warns Pullman

"The award-winning children's author Philip Pullman today launches a broadside against the government's "brutal" school testing regime, warning that it is creating a generation of children who hate reading and "feel nothing but hostility for literature". ... Writing in Guardian Education, the author of the acclaimed His Dark Materials trilogy attacks a lack of focus on enjoyment in the teaching of reading and writing. Drilling to meet the demands of tests makes children's writing "empty, conventional and worthless", he says. ... "

 "we are a nation obsessed by assessment, particularly external examinations".

Vigen (1929-2002)

Vigen was a legend in Iranian pop music. His biography appears on : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vigen_Derderian

he was an invited musician at the birtday party of one of our friends - I was one or 2 years old - mom recalls that I was sleeping on her lap and at the end of every song I'd get up and clap for him - and walked up to him once saying how much I liked his music.
(Reza Ganjavi, 2006)

These photos were taken by my good friend, Shahrokh Mortazavi.



'UTOPIA TODAY - REALITY TOMORROW - A vegetarian world'


The European Vegetarian Union is happy to announce that the book is now available!

Thirty five authors - nutritionists, medical doctors, authors of bestsellers, founders of important organizations, researchers, IT-specialists, philosophers, sci-fi fans, musicians and talented individuals - generously contributed to this EVU fundraiser project. The authors come from a variety of countries, cultural backgrounds and religions but they all have one thing in common: the conviction that a more compassionate world is not only possible but inevitable if humanity is to prosper.

The authors share their individual ideas of how tomorrow's vegetarian world will be, whilst looking at a more compassionate future from many different angles. The result is a cocktail of good vibes, light and hopes. Yes, it is true. Vegetarians are still a minority today. But WHAT a minority!

We have become a social group to be reckoned with, also at an international level. What better proof is there than the increasing effort by the food industry to accommodate our preferences? The veggie-market is not booming without good reason!

If you are interested in seeing what people expect from a future vegetarian world, you can order the book from the EVU, Bahnhofstr. 52, CH-9315 Neukirch-Egnach, via Amazon or through a book shop.

Sincerely,

Renato Pichler

President of the EVU

136 pages, 35 authors from 11 countries, ISBN 3-909067-05-0, this book is available in English only (translations are planned).

--------------------------------------------

List of the authors:

Arnal, Muriel - ONE VOICE (France): It is what being vegetarian is all about: caring for others.

Barnard, Neal D. M.D., President Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (USA): A vegetarian diet has the potential to revolutionize the health of humanity.

Bekoff, Marc, Professor of Biology (USA) Shame on those who bring so much pain and suffering to countless animals, too many to count. Shame on you.

Buist, Agnes, EVU member (UK): A vegetarian world ... this will be a real step forward for humanity.

De Leo, Sigrid, teacher and former Hon. Secretary General of EVU (Switzerland): Vegetarian nutrition is the diet of the 21st century.

Eck, Stefan Bernhard/Director of ArbeitsKreis Tierrechte & Ethik A.K.T.E.

and Hohensee, Barbara Assistant Director of A.K.T.E. (Germany): Necessary thought patterns: transcendent, international, universal.

Fox, Tina, Chief Executive of the Vegetarian Society UK: & In the future I expect to see meat eaters having to justify their aberrant and anti social behaviour on late night talk shows.

Ganjavi, Reza, musician and philosopher (Switzerland): minimize killing and suffering.

Hebbelinck, Marcel, Prof.em., PhD, Dr.h.c., FACSM, former President EVU (Belgium): Vegetarians: People of the future.

Hershaft, Alex has launched the Great American Meatout and World Farm Animals Day (USA): The most striking aspect of vegetarian utopia is that it will not be very striking at all.

Hertel, Frauke, freelance copywriter and translator (Belgium), quotes a voice from the future: The veg*n argument was won several decades ago, by default rather than by choice.

Jain, Permit Chand , EVU member and correspondent for India: &lsquoThe importance of AHIMSA&rsquo

Kaufman, Stephen M.D., Co-chair, Christian Vegetarian Association (USA): I think that a largely vegetarian world is almost inevitable.

Koerner, Heinz, bestseller author, and Boehm, Alexandra (Germany) quote a teacher from the future: be happy that we are no longer barbarians and that we finally see animals as our friends. Let us be glad that animals also greet us as friends again.

Leitzmann, Claus, Professor (Germany): Wholesome vegetarian diets offer distinct advantages regarding physical and mental health and well-being.

Méry, André, President of Alliance Végétarienne France: The vegetarian utopia is about individuals, their sensitivity, their desire to avoid suffering, and the satisfaction of their needs so as to lead a decent life.

Murthy, Vasudev, author, musician and scientist (India) writes about the Universal Declaration of Equality of Species.

Newkirk, Ingrid, founder and President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (USA) tells about the Abattoir Remembrance Museum opening its doors.

Ovetz, Robert, PhD is Save the Leatherback Campaign Coordinator with the US based Sea Turtle Restoration Project: History of the future: The talking ocean.

Pedersen, Helena, Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Education, and Dian, Natalie organization consultant (Sweden) speak about the final end to unethical factory farming and animal transport.

Pichler, Renato (Switzerland) leads the Swiss Union for Vegetarianism (SVV) and is the President of the EVU: Flashback from the future - Today we have almost forgotten the era when, day after day, millions of animals were killed.

Reilly, Ciaran works in information technology and is a member of the EVU webcrew (Ireland). He talks about the end to the consumption of meat and freeing billions of animals from the prospect of a short, brutal life.

Rinaldi, Massimo, computer programmer (Italy): What would the world be like without meat.

Risi, Armin, philosopher, esoteric theologian, author (Switzerland): The spiritual origin of mankind - Human beings did not always eat meat!.

Ruetting, Barbara, EVU honorary board member, actress, author, health consultant and member of the Bavarian State Parliament (Germany): Go veg to heal the Earth.

Thomas Schoenberger is the President of the Vegetarier Bund Deutschlands e.V. (Germany) : A journey to 2040.

Schwartz, Richard H., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, author, President of the Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) (USA): Imagining a vegan world.

Spencer, Elsa, Ph.D. (USA): 'A minority in a McWorld: What can vegetarians do?'

Tanabe, Lydia, working at the German cultural institute in Tokyo and freelance translator, talks about &lsquoJapan back to the roots.

Vandenbosch, Michel, President and co-founder of GAIA (Belgium): Why I don’t eat meat - The importance of empathic sensitivity and ethical kinship beyond the human species.

Wardle, Tony, journalist and associate director of animal campaign group Viva! (UK): Future vegetarians will need to be brave, knowledgeable and committed.

Witten, Ilona, writer and translator (Italy/Germany): Time to change from animal awareness to animal friendly behaviour.


TO THE AUTHORS (by alphabet):

Arnal, Muriel  

Barnard, Neal D.                        

Bekoff, Marc                              

Buist, Agnes                               

De Leo, Sigrid

Eck, Stefan Bernard and Hohensee, Barbara    

Fox, Tina                                    

Ganjavi, Reza

Hebbelinck, Marcel                    

Hershaft, Alex                            

Hertel, Frauke                            

Jain, Permit Chand                      

Kaufman, Stephen                      

Koerner, Heinz and Boehm, Alexandra

Leitzmann, Claus                        

Mery, André

Murthy, Vasudev                        

Newkirk, Ingrid                          

Ovetz, Robert

Pedersen, Helena and Dian, Natalie

Pichler, Renato                           

Reilly, Ciaran                              

Rinaldi, Massimo                        

Risi, Armin                                 

Ruetting, Barbara                        

Schoenberger, Thomas                

Schwartz, Richard                      

Spencer, Elsa                             

Tanabe, Lydia                            

Vandenbosch,  Michel

Wardle, Tony                             

Witten, Ilona                               





Abbas Yamini-Sharif - Genius Iranian Educator, Author

SEE UPDATES AT BOTTOM OF ARTICLE

Dr. Yamini Sharif was the principle and founder of the elementary school I went to in Tehran, called "Raveshe-No" (New Method). It was one of the most, if not the most progressive school of the day. -- Reza Ganjavi


4.1.1.1 Abbas Yamini-Sharif                     
Abbas Yamini-Sharif (1298-1368/1919-89), is considered the father of children’s poetry in Iran. Before his pioneering work there had been little Farsi poetry written for children. Yamini-Sharif began his career in 1317/1938, and was the most prolific children’s poet of the period, after Baghcheban.[1]  Between 1946 and 1986, he published 27 works: 11 collections of poetry, 12 volumes of prose, one play and three translations. The genre flourished in the period 1350/1971 to 1356/1977, with Mahmud Kianush also publishing seven books of poetry for children aged from five to fifteen. Yamini-Sharif and a few others occasionally wrote poems in syllabic meter and in the colloquial style of nursery rhymes, and lullabies.[2]
Many of Yamini-Sharif’s poems, on themes related to the lives and development of children, were later collected and published in book form: Feri be asman miravad (Tehran, 1344/1965), Avaz-e fereshtegan ya as‘ar-e kudakan (Tehran, 1345/1966), and Nim qarn dar bagh-e she‘r[3] (Tehran 1366/1987).[4] He has also produced a Farsi language instruction book for foreigners, which includes Farsi poetry, information about the Iranian people and the country itself, Farsi-English vocabulary and some conversational sentences in Farsi along with the phonetic alphabet and English translations.[5]
Yamini-Sharif was part of the group of 37 experts, teachers and educators, along with Lili Ahi, Tamina Bagcheban, Turan Mirhadi (Komarlu), that established the Children’s Book Council in 1341/1963; and which was officially registered as an NGO in 1968.[6] In 1986, the CBCI honored Abbas Yamini-Sharif with a celebration of his work.  Professor Noushine Ansari reported as follows:
 ‘On November 15 1986 CBCI celebrated the 50th anniversary of AbbasYamini-Sharif’s career as a poet, writer and translator for children and young adults. He studied education in Iran and at Columbia University in USA and worked for many years as a distinguished teacher and school director. In 1943 he published the first Iranian magazine for children called “Children’s Games”. Since 1946 he has published 27 works – 11 collections of poetry, 12 volumes of prose, one play and three translations. Mr. Yamini-Sharif has won several national as well as international awards. He is one of the founding members of CBCI and also established its annual awards to an Iranian author, illustrator and for an unpublished manuscript.’[7]
Fereshte Sarisa, Yamini-Sharif’s niece, also a poet, attributes her vocation to having grown up in a family in which nearly all were poets:  ‘My uncle Abbas Yamini Sharif wrote poetry for children, and also my grandmother and my mother.’[8] Yamini-Sharif, himself,[9] tells how his six year-old twin grandchildren, Peyman and Sahar, liked books better than any toys, and especially the three books of Khaneh-ye Baba Ali which were written for them. He says his stories and poems are set in the village because he spent most of his youth in the village of Darband, which had yet to become a suburb of Tehran, and preferred the clean air and peacefulness, and the warmness, gentleness and innocence of country people compared to the noise and pollution of Tehran.  He wrote the Two Kadkhoda (Village Headmen) to describe life in the village and Donkey and Donkey-boy to describe urban living.[10]
Yamini-Sharif says that later, as the children were growing up, they were still read bedtime stories before they went to sleep and adds ‘When I was young, I wasn’t satisfied with fewer that two stories to send me to sleep, and would insist and be so stubborn that one night when my mother had a helper to tell stories, and had told her first story and didn’t know which story to tell next, and I was still pestering her, she gave in and told the story of Yertanyert Zertanzert; she just made up these stories.  And how enjoyable they were!  She talked about two creatures born to a stepmother who lived in a village. All they did was eat and eat and eat. They ate all the food, all the inhabitants of the village, all the trees, all the animals, even the ones in the stable. There was only one child that they were unable to eat. In the end this child destroyed them and brought everything out of their stomachs.’[11]
When Yamini-Sharif was a child, his family and relatives were fond of poetry. As well as reading Hafiz’s poetry for fâl [12] and for ecstatic enjoyment, and reading Saadi and Mowlavi for morals and sayings and folk wisdom, they also read contemporary poetry.[13] They read the press and newspapers, and whatever poem or song became popular, they also memorized it and used it. Yamini-Sharif too, under the influence of this environment, and being blessed with a good memory at the time, read and memorized all these compositions and poems. In addition, his family had become friendly with Farrokhi Yazdi[14] because, both during his membership in the parliament and after his return from exile in Germany, he lived in the Kolah Farangi section of their orchard in Darband and considered its atmosphere perfect for poetry.
Yamini-Sharif recalls: ‘Of all the factors which drew me towards poetry, were those times when professional singers were employed to bring critical and political poems to people’s attention by singing songs and proclaiming messages in that garden on the mountain next to the Darband River. On Friday and Saturday nights, many families would take a stroll up and down the valley of Darband and Sarband, or rest in the gardens taking refreshments. Farrokhi used to write poems which he wished a singer to sing for the ordinary people so that his message would reach them, but the singer was illiterate; so I, who was 10 years old and attending Maktab, and could read, would sit next to the singer in the highest part of the garden overlooking the Darband River, and from Farrokhi’s handwritten notes, I would read the texts to the singer, and he would sing the words in a loud and resonating voice which spread throughout the valley and echoed several times around the mountains, and the whole of the valley would enjoy this beautiful poetry and lovely words, which had arisen from the heart …’[15]
Yamini-Sharif was thus exposed to critical and political poetry, as well as news and classical writings of all kinds, at an early age. Yet Samad Behrangi accuses him of only writing for rich children and of having a narrow, upper class, outlook on life, saying that his poetry has no message except possibly antiquated moral codes.[16] This is strong criticism for a writer who is considered the father of children’s poetry in Iran.
An example of Yamini-Sharif’s poetry for pre-elementary and early elementary age group children (5-8yrs) follows:
 
I fell to the Ground (Oftadam Zamin)  
From up I fell                 down to the ground
my face became            scraped and bloody
I just laughed                      again and again
my mum said                  sweet child
you didn’t cry                   well, well, bravo![17]
                 (from Songs of Angels, 1325/1946)
 
The next two poems are for children at the end of elementary and in guidance (10-14yrs):
 
Harvest Time (Hengam-e Deru)
 
The fall wind is blowing                                we’re getting everything ready
get up reaper                                                   get up with jumping feet
 
See how the harvest has become golden            God has given us help
from each seed that we planted                        the earth has given a hundred grains
 
We were all fully occupied                          whether it was easy or hard
so that we could get back quickly             to fill the barn with produce.[18]
 
(from Talking Flowers, 1350/1971)
 
***
 
Drop and the Sea (Qetre va Darya)
 
It appeared from the drops of rain from the teeny weeny grains of sand
What oceans without shores             what mountains & plains without limit or end
 
From goodness little by little kindness            from cheerfulness and eloquence
The world goes round like heaven                  full of affection & loyalty & happiness
 
What value is there from time if it becomes immediate?
What will come of so much immediacy in time?
But because instant is added upon instant
Time appears eternal.[19]
 
(from The Garden of Melodies, 1352/1973)
 
***
From these examples, it can be seen that concrete issues close to the hearts and everyday lives of children are touched upon, as well as universal and philosophical themes. ‘Arrow and Song’[20] is another poem in the second group which compares the effect of an arrow with that of a song, saying that one never knows where a song that you sing goes, unlike an arrow which you can trace.  After years, the poet realized that his arrow had fallen on a tree and his song, which he thought had not affected anyone, had fallen upon the heart of his friend or soul mate. Such issues are delicate and open a way of deeper thinking for children that may not relate to everyday life and conditions. Farsi poetry traditionally deals with such issues, and children have been learning how to interpret abstract and intangible language and concepts for many centuries. Possibly it is this quality of tradition and abstraction in Yamini-Sharif’s work which Behrangi takes offence to. The next writer to be investigated, Mahmud Kianush, was strongly influenced by Yamini-Sharif and their work shares many similarities.

2005

Unfortunately I will be attending school in Grapevine, Texas on the proposed dates.
However, I am really replying to say that last night I met a recent arrival from Iran, a gentleman who has been writing poetry for children and adolescents there for many years.  As soon as I mentioned the name Abbas Yamini Sharif, he launched into a long and enthusiastic monologue of praise, recognizing Mr. Yamini Sharif as a "peeshkesvat", "the father of children's poetry in Iran", and "the man who for fifty years was the guiding star".  I was thrilled to be part of the conversation, thrilled to be related to Mr. Yamini Sharif even in such a tangential manner, and thrilled to be part of the great cultural entity that is Iran.
Especially in the last few years, I have remembered with renewed appreciation the poetry play we staged as students in a year-end ceremony, based on Mr. Yamini Sharif's poem.  I don't know if you were present or recall this event...........

May god rest his soul. 
KS
Dallas
~~~
Reza Ganjavi: My dad remembers a poem on our elementary school office wall.

Compare each person’s today with his yesterday.
Don’t compare person with person.
Kids, fruits that get ripe in different times.

Dr. Yamini-Sharif

Luigi Biscaldi - Guitar Master

Born at Vigevano in 1962, he studied guitar with Angelo Gilardino. He graduated with full marks and honours at the Conservatory "G. Pollini" in Padua, then he took another degree with the highest score and honours at the "Accademia Internazionaie Superiore Perosi" in Biella.

During the time of his studies he was awarded twice with the scholarship "Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco" offered by the family of the famous composer to the best Italian student of guitar. He studied also composition with the organist-composer Sergio Marciano. He got prizes in several national and international competitions; e.g. the "Andrés Segovia" in Spain, in 1987.

He begun his career as a concert player in 1981 and since then he played both as soloist, with orchestra and with chamber groups. He performed the guitar concertos by Krebs, Giuliani, Rodrigo, Villa-lobos, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Brouwer (this latter also with the author conducting the orchestra); the Romancero Gitano by Castelnovo-Tedesco and the "Concierto Juglar" by Julia, the four concertos by Angelo Gilardino, the quintets with string quartet by Boccherini, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Guastavino and many pieces with various groups. He plays regularly as a partner of famous soloists.

He has toured extensively in all Europe and has visited Canada.

He has published three books of "Esercizi speciali di virtuosismo", a book of "Esercizi e Studi elementari" (Basic Exercises and Studies) and "Quattro ricercari sulla Fortuna" for guitar. He is teacher at the Accademia Internazionale Superiore "L. Perosi" in Biella.


MUSIC BRAIN

[COMMENTS AT THE END]

September 25 2001

Music Strikes a Chord in the Brain, Scans
Show

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - It may not be necessary for survival,
but music taps into the same brain structures that things as crucial to life
as food and sex do, researchers report.

The investigators found that the music their study participants said gave
them ``chills'' also activated the brain's reward and emotion centers--the
same areas that have been found to ``light up'' when stimulated by food,
sex and drugs of abuse.

In the September 25th issue of the Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences (news - web sites), researchers describe the
finding as ``remarkable,'' since music has no effect on survival, nor does
it directly alter the brain as drugs do. They suggest that music--which is
woven into the fabric of all cultures--may be important to humans' sense
of well-being.

================================================================================================================
I once worked with an audiologist (who had a love for classical music), and asked him why he thought such music could affect us in this way. He admitted that he did not have all the answers, but there may be a link to the time before we were born........At that time, sounds such as the (soothing?) rhythm of the mother's heartbeat, were central to our continued existence...
It seems likely that at some time during our evolution, rhythms and sounds such as the waves on the sea shore, the wind in the trees, the rain on the mud have played a greater part in our lives than such things do today......

And much beautiful music, as with many beautiful paintings, reflect, or are inspired by, nature itself.......................................................
Angie

================================================================================================================

> Reza: Thanks for the article on music. While it documents the physiological and perhaps cultural need for music (a receptor stimulator and a gathering point), it sure > as hell asks some powerful questions which are open, the first of which is why does it have this powerful function and what is it's payoff. Maybe the answer is it > simply doesn't matter why. Tony B.

Thanks. Maybe the purpose is simple to add beauty and comfort to our lives, and to expand our minds and hearts, and heal the body...

================================================================================================================

Just a short note to say hi, and a story related to your email below.

Few years ago, I went to a local bar in Vancouver, to listen to some Spanish guitar performances. Amongst the players, there was a guy who was obviously suffering from epilepsy. So, every minute or so, his upper body, neck and head would shake abruptly. But the shaking would stop, once he improvised on his guitar. While he was playing his long solos, he was doing just fine. After the performance he confirmed that playing his guitar is the best way to keep his condition away…So, playing music must have stimulated part of his brain, that would overcome epilepsy.

I never forget this.

Hope you are doing OK…

Cheers,

Florian

================================================================================================================

Hi Reza
Thank you for the news about music research. I already knew that though, but it s always nice to see, that scientists and researchers are coming to the same conclutions.I couldn t live without music and use or abuse? it aswell as stimulation, remedie, relaxer, drug???? by the way- I gave up smoking- two months ago and dont miss it....and feel great.

Regula

================================================================================================================

In your article on "music's effect on the brain", you forgot to mention that
music can also induce delirium, rage and carnal urges, propelling the victim
into an uncontrollable frenzy of emotions. Some studies even suggest that it
can be used as a brainwashing, manipulative tool. But then again, these are
the secret, yet potent, powers we musicians posess. Woeing womanhood with
just one strum of the string, one touch of the ivory and just one beat of
the drum... Dare I deduce from this that collective powers increase directly
in proportion to the number of instruments one is capable of playing?

In any event, an interesting concept. But, back to the grindstone now.

Greetings,
Robbie

================================================================================================================

Marvellous stuff. It makes you consider the origin of popular phrases - "if music be the food of love, play on", or "music soothes the savage beast".

You and I play the guitar. One of my staff (her name is Magalie) plays the cello. We talk about things musical during rare pauses in the hectic daily routine, and Magalie's leading opinion is that (quote) music is good for the head. I had put the exact wording of this thought down to her not translating exactly from her native French, but now I am beginning to wonder.

Alan G.


================================================================================================================

'music has the power to calm the savage
beasts', it has been said.
music is one thing that sets us apart from
the beasts and almost raises us to the next level.
MAN has always been a killer thruout history.
only now we have invented better ways to
do it.
Gary

================================================================================================================

Hello Reza, Please keep me on your e-mail list. I always read what you
forward and appreciate you commentaries very much, particularly when music
is involved. Thanks, Pamela

================================================================================================================

hello, i live in florida. i found your site when using the search engine
google, looking for music connections to the phrase "rhythm of the mother's
heartbeat" those words produced the following page and i was curious where
it originated. which was with your site. so there we are, full circle. mary










This was more of an observation when I used to live in LA - it was everywhere - drugs - specially
among the rich and famous..... it was so obvious...

I've even had 3 teachers (for short time), excellent players, and more or less famous, who were
doing drugs - a couple of times totally loaded in a lesson that it was ridiculous ! After a while
you can detect and see it easily - it doesn't take much!

What's the point? Marijuana, classified as a hallucegenic, and a medical drug, obviously lowers
performance, creates illusions, confusion. Evey musician (specially in the rock scene) that I knew
who was so called "high" was not playing up to par - I'v never known ANY classical guitarist who
could play well while on pot - and he was a regular pot user, he'd not be a good performer...

Now, cocaine is a different story. [I do not do any of these things, don't even drink coffee, eat
meat, sugar, etc. - I'm a health-nut]. But it appears as though, as in the case of these 3 teachers,
or many musicians in the business in LA for example, who are able to do coke and still play - after
a while it seems like they get used to it or something. How, I haven't got a clue. A recent
observation prompted me to write this. The fact is illegal drugs are much more popular than it
seems.

As far as I'm concerned drug users are losers and that healthy goes happy (goes lucky). Life itself
is so wonderful that when lived intelligently one can be naturally drunk, naturally high!

Regards
Reza


================================================================================================================

They may have more to worry about. Today's cnn.com has an article in
the health section stating that aging baby boomers who use Marijuana
have a five-times greater risk of a heart attack.

Ray S

================================================================================================================

Drugs and music? No. The whole entire 80s glam sound, all those souless
R&B tunes and glam metal bands were driven by cocaine. Cocaine ruins the
ability to concentrate and play with feeling. Pot makes a person lose their
ability to really control the music, and does indeed reduce neural energy,
and anything that requires nueral energy to work, which is everything, is
diminished by at least 20% in seasoned users and can be reduced by 50% or
more in new users. Alcohol is bad news as well, but it has a far greater
number of supporters, who fail to see the hazard a few drinks incur upon a
players skills.
If you want to hear playing made lousy by booze, one only has to listen to
early Megadeth.(Ooops, I'm in the wrong group..) It's funny how people will
say some great player is bad because they don't realize how stoned he was
when he played the offending notes. However, if you can play good when
stoned on pot, you'll be immaculate when you play without it, after a few
days to clean up. Alcohol is a little different due to the nerve damage it
inflicts upon habitual and heavy drinkers. They tend to never play as well
as they could have, if they never became drunks, even years after they sober
up. However, they still play better than they did as drunks. Anyway, even
though I am a electric guitar player, and dabble in Flamenco, this
information holds true for all musicians. I'm going home now. Bye. (LJ)

================================================================================================================

LJ makes some interesting points. Though not of the CG genre, one could
only imagine how much better Hendrix might have been....... (Larry)

================================================================================================================

Excellent post LJ - what amazes me is how so much of the world is run by drug-users - but you can
see the loss in quality - take for example the Persian music scene of L.A. - some of the composers
who used to write great pop songs have done so much drugs that the songs they conceive of these days
is crap...Don't even mention some of the singers. I've heard of TV producers who'd get totally
stoned and work.....no wonder there is so much crap out there! Opium is another big one. I met a guy
last month who knew a famous Persian singer who'd shoot heroin in his brain! LOSERS! To come back to
CG - it puzzles me that some players can get used to coke and still perform.... They must lose their
sensitivity........
Reza

================================================================================================================

same in jazz as well,still (and the amount of heroin and cocaine that
runs in the flamenco scene these days is flamenco's dirty little
secret...)Its interesting that classical players use too...is it as
widespread?
its odd, Ive done jazz gigs with some big users...and somehow they keep
it together and make it happen, some of them. Mystifies me because i
cant handle any of it, and really dont want to.
Still Im not pure...I like one drink before performing,i do smoke a
pack and a half of cigarettes a day and my coffee intake is approaching
mythical levels (g!), but thats all i do. I often wonder, by how much
would the playing improve if I modified these legal excesses of mine...

S. Dill

================================================================================================================

Hell, after just one beer, my playing goes straight to hell. Greg







MUSIC THERAPY

COMPILATION BY REZA GANJAVI

THURSDAY, Dec. 31 2009 (HealthDay News) -- Music therapy is used to help Alzheimer's patients remember and autistic children calm down. Now, a University of Alabama student is using her voice and guitar to comfort dying patients in hospice.

Physical and psychological tests done before and after the sessions found that music therapy decreased patient anxiety, pain and shortness of breath. More than 80 percent of the patients said the music improved their mood, as well as that of their family members, according to the study by researchers at the Cleveland Music School Settlement.

================================================================================================================

Music is good for the heart

Fri Oct 7, 2005

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A new study shows that listening to music that has a slow or meditative tempo has a relaxing effect on people, slowing their breathing and heart rate, whereas listening to faster music with a more upbeat tempo has the opposite effect -- speeding up respiration and heart rate.

================================================================================================================

Friday May 25, 2001 5:25 PM ET

Sights And Sounds of Nature Improve
Pain Control

By Alan Mozes

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Researchers have found that
harnessing the sights and sounds of nature may reduce the pain patients
experience while undergoing invasive medical procedures.

``Natural sounds and images, if they're the right ones in the right format, are a safe, inexpensive,
effective way to reduce...pain and anxiety,'' according to Dr. Noah Lechtzin, a post-doctoral fellow at
Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

================================================================================================================

Several university studies and research by Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, the director of medical oncology and integrative medicine at New York Hospital, have shown that soothing music lowers the stree hormone cortisol by as much as 25 per cent, boosts endorphins and an immune-system disease fighter called Immuniglobin A, reduces pain after surgery, lowers blood perssure and helps premature babies in intensive care.

New York doctor Samuel Wong has used music to help create a bridge to the outside world for his patients who suffer from brain damage and Alzheimer's disease. According to Dr. Gaynor, music (and sound in general) affects us as strongly as it does because our bodies are made up of 70 oer cent water, which is an excellent conductor for sound and vibration. We are not just listening to music, we are sensing it with the very cells of our body.... (Source: USA Weekend, USA).

================================================================================================================

Exposing premature babies to music could give them a better chance of survival (Journal of the American Medical Association). A mother's gentle singing, even recorded melodies in the baby unit, would appear to improve oxygen saturation levels, increase weight gain and reduce time spent in hospital.

================================================================================================================

Friday December 14, 2001 5:26 PM ET

Music During Surgery May Ease Patients' Recovery

By Merritt McKinney

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Hearing soothing music and encouraging words
while under anesthesia may ease patients' recovery after surgery, results of a Swedish
study suggest.

And women who listened to music and encouraging words during the operation
needed less pain medication immediately after surgery and were also less likely to feel
tired when they went home from the hospital, according to findings published in a recent issue of the
journal Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica.

================================================================================================================

Friday January 28, 2001 6:09 PM ET

Music therapy helps Alzheimer's patients

By Jane Vail

NEW YORK, Jan 28 (Reuters Health) -- A month-long course of music therapy improved
behavior and sleeping problems in a group of Alzheimer's patients, report US researchers.
They credit these improvements to increased levels of secretion of the hormone melatonin,
which ``may have contributed to patients' relaxed and calm mood.''

Since ancient times, music has been recognized as a calming agent and an antidote to stress
and tension. The new study indicates that listening to music affects the release of powerful
brain chemicals that can regulate mood, reduce aggression and depression, and improve
sleep.

================================================================================================================

Children will sing in tune if they sing higher.

"when young children are given keyboard lessons for several months or years, their performance on spatial reasoning tests improves while the instruction lasts and for up to two years afterwards."

Every child has innate musical capacity. If we're not tapping in and finding ways to develop that ability, w're not doing our job" Dr. Linda P. Nelly

================================================================================================================

Tuesday November 27, 2001 1:29 PM ET

Brain Changes Help Deaf People Feel, Sense Music

By John Schieszer

SEATTLE (Reuters Health) - Deaf people undergo brain changes that allow them to perceive music in
much the same way that hearing people do, new research suggests.

``It was once thought that brains were just hard-wired at birth, and particular areas of the brain always
did one function, no matter what else happened. It turns out that, fortunately, our genes do not directly
dictate the wiring of our brains,'' said Dr. Dean Shibata, an assistant professor of radiology at the
University of Washington. ``I think it is very interesting that the brain is able to be plastic and able to
adapt.''


================================================================================================================

Monday January 28, 2002 2:11 PM ET

Mother's Voice Tops Music for Soothing Sick Child

By Jacqueline Stenson

SAN DIEGO (Reuters Health) - The comforting sound of a mother's voice is sweeter than music to
the ears of very sick youngsters, research suggests.

In a study reported here Sunday, hospitalized children requiring mechanical ventilation to breathe were
calmer after hearing a recording of their mother's voice combined with soothing music than when they
heard either music alone or a blank tape.

================================================================================================================
Music Livens Things Up
Thu Oct 3, 2002 -- 9:06 AM ET
Music has been proven to help your emotional state, but, according to the journal Perceptual Motor Skills, it can also help you physically.
Researchers from the Yamano College of Aesthetics in Tokyo had a group of middle-aged women perform a bench-stepping exercise for 60 minutes. Some listened
to Japanese folk music, while others heard no music.
At the end of the hour, the women who listened to the music were less tired and less confused than the control group.

================================================================================================================

Music Makes the Difference
Fri Dec 6, 2003
Add Health - HealthScoutNews to My Yahoo!

FRIDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthScoutNews) -- Music can help people with severe lung disease tune up their fitness levels, says a study in a recent issue of Chest.

================================================================================================================

Healing touch, music, aids heart surgery patients

Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:21 PM BST

By Alison McCook

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who learned about relaxed breathing and received soothing touch and music before heart surgery were more likely to be alive 6 months after the procedure, suggesting that these additional steps help speed recovery, according to a study released today.

People who were prayed for off-site, however, fared no better after their heart procedures, according to a report in The Lancet.

Study author Dr. Mitchell W. Krucoff told Reuters Health that this study is an "early step," and researchers still have a lot to learn about how to integrate high-tech approaches to medicine with "the rest of the human being."

"This is not 'God failed the test,' or 'God passed the test,"' Krucoff, from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, told Reuters Health. "It's way too early."




NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Listening to half an hour of music each day may significantly lower your blood pressure, according to research reported at the American Society of Hypertension meeting in New Orleans this week.

================================









MUSIC IN RELATION TO HUMAN VALUES

[source unknown - I scanned this from an article someone gave me - no reference to credits were made on the article].


[Thanks to Elena S. who identified the source as Sathya Sai Education in Human Values UK Newsletter, April 2003 www.sathyasaiehv.org.uk ]
[quotes on top added 15 march 2005 as apeared in the indicated source above]

Music in Relation to Human Values “Music lessons appear to strengthen the links between brain neurons and build
reasoning” – Fances Rauscher, Universty of California – Irvine “Music develops the brain” – Dr Frank Wilson, Assistant Clinical Professor
University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco “We are moving after their minds and so are the other groups” – Mick Jagger “I figured the only thing to do was to swipe their kids. I am not talking about
just talking about changing their value system, which removes them from their
effectively” – David Crosby, David Tame, “The Secret Power of Music”


Music is an exciting genre. In order to uplift society today, we need to explore the fascinating links between music, consciousness, spirituality and society. Whereas music has only for the last century been widely conceived as being an "intangible art form" of little objective power, this contrasts with the sheer wonder of how the ancient sages and philosophers from Egypt, India and Greece, who knew that MUSIC IS SOUND and that SOUND is a transformative force on several levels. Music! Sound was definitely believed to be ultimately capable even of creating and reshaping matter itself. This was because audible sound, including music, was considered to be an outpouring of a higher or Cosmic Sound -the Word or OM of the ancients, which is the source of all energy/matter.

Sound holds the key to the mysteries of the universe

It has been observed that as music changes, so too does the physical, emotional, mental arid spiritual behaviour of man. The result today is that man is no longer propelled into a higher state of consciousness.

AS IN MUSIC, SO IN LIFE…

Sound and Form

Sound, is believed to be the origin and basis of all creation. Sound is the cause, and not the effect, of all vibrations. There can be sound even without the usual mediums of air, light, water and physical matter.

A German scientist, Dr Wilfred Krueger, brought to the attention of the scientific world, the amazing similarities between the intervals of music and the structure of the atom. Sound can shape and mould our physical surroundings.

Resonance

Our outer life is a reflection of our inner world

Music is a shaping and transformative force upon our society. And that fact has serious implications. Many social trends, good or bad, BEGIN WITH MUSIC. So, music is not just for fun. Musicians hold a divine responsibility. They sound the keynotes , as it were, to which millions of other individuals respond. Music is the language of the soul, more powerful than anything else. Music is more than just entertainment. Music is one of the most powerful forces in the shaping of our destiny and personalities.

What this basically means is that, what we listen to. we accommodate and assimilate into our minds. This usually results in our acting in accordance with that state of mind. What we listen to inevitably effects our behaviour.

The negative effects of Music on plants and animals

Plants, animals and human beings are adversely affected by adverse types of music.

• Research shows that microscopic bacteria is killed when exposed to certain types of music and actually generates faster with other types of music.

• Research shows that music has a great effect on plant life. It affects not only the external structures of the plant, but it also has a definitive effect on its microscopic structure. The music of Bach has been scientifically proven to accelerate plant growth. When plants are exposed to classical music they bear big and more colorful leaves.

In an experiment with Indian Ragas, it was noticed that the plant bad an even more
positive response to that of western classical music. The plant had wound itself
around the speaker when the music of Ravi Shankar was played.


Rock Music and The Human State Of Consciousness

Musicians of all genres are aware that music does affect the human consciousness. Very often, that is the actual intent of the musician:

• We are moving after their minds and so are the other groups. Mick Jagger

• I figured the only thing to do was to swipe their kids. I am not talking about kidnapping, I'm just talking about changing their value system, which removes them from their parents' world effectively." David Crosby, David Tame, “The Secret Power of Music”

The Positive Effects of Music
Tranquil music and classical music can have a profound effect on learning.

• Music develops the brain. Dr. Frank Wilson, Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurology at the University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco

• Music has a "transfer effect" on learning. Dr Overy : 'Can Music improve the mind' Psychology of Music (1998), 26:97-99

• Music lessons appear to strengthen the links between brain neurons and build new spatial reasoning. Frances Rausche1; University of California -Irvine

• Musical keyboard training enhances mathematical reasoning.

CONCLUSION

Music influences the culture and not the converse.

AS IN MUSIC…….SO IN LIFE



=============================================================









Extracts selected by Reza Ganjavi

ALCOHOL

BRAIN


BRAIN


================================================================================================================
Scientists find brain evolution gene By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer Wed Aug 16, WASHINGTON - Scientists believe they have found a key gene that helped the human brain evolve from our chimp-like ancestors. In just a few million years, one area of the human genome seems to have evolved about 70 times faster than the rest of our genetic code. It appears to have a role in a rapid tripling of the size of the brain's crucial cerebral cortex, according to an article published Thursday in the journal Nature.

================================================================================================================
Brain Tumor Rates Rising in Europe, US
Wed Mar 12, 2003
Add Health - Reuters to My Yahoo!

By Rosella Lorenzi

FLORENCE (Reuters Health) - The number of brain tumor cases in the US and Europe has increased by up to 40% in the past 20 years... The incidence rate for brain tumors is increasing among people of all ages, but males between 20 and 40 years old are the most affected... "The latest epidemiological studies indicate that white collar workers--intellectuals and professionals--are among the most affected," ... "The reason is still unknown, though environmental causes such as cellular phones, computers and exposure to electromagnetic fields cannot be ruled out," he said.


================================================================================================================

Tuesday May 15, 2001 5:37 PM ET
Brain Still Developing in Middle Age, Scans Show

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - While the rest of the body stops growing long beforehand, the brain seems to keep on developing into
middle age... Brain's white matter continued to increase until the mid- to late-40s.

Specifically, the brain kept growing in the temporal lobe and the frontal lobe--the part of the brain that ``makes us human,'' Bartzokis said. This
continued brain growth into middle-age can be associated with better emotional development and wisdom...

================================================================================================================
Thursday September 20,01 11:44 AM ET

Brain's Self-Wiring Methods Revealed

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The Dallas scientist likened the brain to ``an amazing supercomputer'' that has an extensive network of connections that allows cells throughout the central nervous system to communicate with each other. In a normal computer, a human or a machine puts the wiring in place, but the brain has to build its own wiring, according to Henkemeyer.``That supercomputer puts itself together,'' he said....

... they have identified several proteins that help Ephs and ephrins control the cytoskeleton. These proteins are ``the workers that carry out the work that the receptor ordered,'' Henkemeyer said.


================================================================================================================

Monday September 24, 01 1:22 PM ET

Brain Area Holding 'Sense of Self' Found

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - ``I think, therefore I am'' may be a
sound philosophy. But if a certain part of the brain isn't working right,
you might not be sure who you are, scientists have found.

They say the right frontal lobe appears to be key in holding on to a
sense of self--from political persuasions to fashion sense.


================================================================================================================

Fats. Derived from the fats you eat, they become part of the structure of your brain. Fats are incorporated into every nerve cell and the membrane covering every nerve cell, through which all signals must pass. Fats form the protective sheath around the long arms by which nerve cells connect with each other. They keep the brain supple. If you have to summarize in one word the role of fats in the operation of your brain, that words is construct. Proteins. They are composed of amino acids, which the brain reassembles into neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These substances allow brain cells to communicate with each other, forming networks that are specialized for the many functions that support life. In a word, they connect your brain. Carbohydrates. The basic fuel of your brain is glucose, supplied by carbohydrates, which get broken down during digestion into simple sugar. Glucose powers every thought and feeling you have, every single action of every nerve cell. In a word, carbohydrates come down to power. Micronutrients. Vitamins and minerals and antioxidants supplied largely by fruits and vegetables safeguard cells from damage and dysfunction. Think of micronutrients as defenders of your brain. Of course, for nutrients to feed your brain, you first have to consume them.
================================================================================================================
Wednesday May 9, 2001 6:33 PM ET

Exercise Keeps Women's Minds in Shape

By Karla Gale

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters Health) - If it has been hard to get motivated for your morning walk, new
research findings may inspire you to lace up your sport shoes. A study involving nearly 6,000 women
shows that exercise keeps your mind sharp as you age.

``Despite their differences, the relationship between physical activity and cognitive decline was found
for all subgroups,'' Yaffe said. ``So it wasn't a matter of just one subgroup doing all the activity.''

To keep neurons in tip-top shape, Yaffe recommends playing tennis a couple times a week, walking a
mile each day or even playing golf once a week.

================================================================================================================

Monday September 17,01

Brain Study Shows How Surprises Help U.S. Learn

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Because they are hard to forget, surprises can help us learn. Now scientists have identified a part of the brain that may be involved in learning from surprises.
...
This study, according to the researchers, supports the theory that unpredictability forms the basis for learning.
SOURCE: Nature Neuroscience advance online 2001;10.1038.
================================================================================================================

Sep 6, 01

Brain atrophy--a signal of brain cell death--has previously been
linked with drinking. It is possible that while alcohol can ward off
stroke by improving cholesterol levels or helping to thin the
blood, it can also lead to brain atrophy by directly injuring cells,
the report indicates.
SOURCE: Stroke 2001;32.

================================================================================================================

Tuesday April 24, 2001

Study: Big-Headed May Keep Brain Power Longer

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Individuals with larger brains may be protected from the normal decline in mental abilities that comes with age, researchers report. One explanation for the finding may be the fact that people with bigger brains can afford the natural loss of cells as they age... It turned out that older people with smaller heads performed worse than those with bigger heads on tests of thinking ability and mental speed... However, there was no relationship between head size and memory, according to the report.


================================================================================================================
New brain cells may grow throughout life span

NEW YORK, Oct 15,99 (Reuters Health) -- In a dramatic challenge to previous neurological theory, results of studies in monkeys suggest that new brain cells are added to the primate brain each day.... Gould and Gross' team found newly developed cells in three areas of the cortex......recent research had suggested that the brains of more primitive animals, including songbirds, could grow new cells. The Princeton findings suggest that this process may occur in primates -- including humans -- as well. ``If memories are formed from experiences, these experience(s) must produce changes in the
brain,'' Gould speculated in a Princeton statement.

================================================================================================================

Age-related brain cell loss reversed in animals

NEW YORK, Sep 20 (Reuters Health) -- For the first time, scientists have shown that brain cell changes
associated with aging and memory loss are potentially reversible in animals.

The investigators found that by surgically reducing stress hormone production, the growth of new nerve cells was restored in the brains of aged rats to the same extent as it occurs in younger rats.

These findings indicate that the ability of the brain to generate new nerve cells continues into old age, but that it is slowed down
by high levels of stress hormones, they note.

================================================================================================================

Men's brain shrinkes with age. This might be related to the fact that men's brain uses more glucose in old age while women's brain has the ability to reduce or postpone its glucose consumption.....

================================================================================================================

Thursday June 22, 2000 Brain Can Repair Itself, Study in Mice Suggests
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Adding to a growing body of research showing that the
adult brain can indeed grow new cells, Harvard investigators have the first evidence that the
brain tries to repair itself after injury.

In experiments with mice, researchers damaged a specific set of mature nerve cells in the
cerebral cortex, and found that primitive cells known as neural precursors began to divide in
an effort to replace the damaged cells.


================================================================================================================

Monday February 26, 01 2:17 PM ET
Scientists Dissect Brain's Humor Center

By Suzanne Rostler

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - What do engineers use for birth control? Their personalities!

Whether you found this joke funny might reveal something about the way your brain works, according to
researchers. Their study, which investigated how the human brain processes this joke and 29 others, identified a
particular area of the brain that appears to be involved in your sense of humor.


================================================================================================================

The Brain’s Automatic Pilot

By Sandra Blakeslee – New York Times

Compulsive gambling, attendance at sporting events, vulnerability to telephone scams and exuberant investing in the stock market may not seem to have much in common. But neuroscientists have uncovered a common thread. Such behaviors, they say rely on brain circuits that evolved to help animals assess rewards important to their survival, like food and sex. Researchers have found that those same circuits are used by the human brain to assess social rewards as diverse as investment income and surprise home runs at the bottom of the ninth. They found that the brain systems that detect and evaluate such rewards generally operate outside conscious awareness. In navigating the world and deciding what is rewarding, humans are often closer to zombies than sentient beings.

The findings, which are gaining wide adherence among neuroscientists, challenge the notion that people always make conscious choices about what they want and how to obtain it. In fact, the neuroscientists say, much of what happens in the brain goes on outside conscious awareness.


================================================================================================================
Meditation relaxes vessels, reduces blood pressure

NEW YORK, Aug 05 (Reuters Health) -- SOURCE: Psychosomatic Medicine 1999;61:524-531.


ALCOHOL & BRAIN DAMAGE

Alcohol appears to be a double-edged sword when it comes to the effect it has on the brain of older people, so results of a recent study suggest. Researchers found that light, and even fairly moderate drinking, appears to protect the elderly from developing small blockages in the blood vessels of the brain known as "silent strokes", and therefore lowers their risk of stroke. However, alcohol consumption at any level can also cause brain atrophy (shrinking of the brain) by causing damage to brain cells that results in their destruction. The researchers conclude that the complex relationship that alcohol seems to have with the brain makes it impossible to make public

MUSIC IN RELATION TO HUMAN VALUES


[source unknown - I scanned this from an article someone gave me - no reference to credits were made on the article].


[Thanks to Elena S. who identified the source as Sathya Sai Education in Human Values UK Newsletter, April 2003 www.sathyasaiehv.org.uk ]
[quotes on top added 15 march 2005 as apeared in the indicated source above]

Music in Relation to Human Values “Music lessons appear to strengthen the links between brain neurons and build
reasoning” – Fances Rauscher, Universty of California – Irvine “Music develops the brain” – Dr Frank Wilson, Assistant Clinical Professor
University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco “We are moving after their minds and so are the other groups” – Mick Jagger “I figured the only thing to do was to swipe their kids. I am not talking about
just talking about changing their value system, which removes them from their
effectively” – David Crosby, David Tame, “The Secret Power of Music”


Music is an exciting genre. In order to uplift society today, we need to explore the fascinating links between music, consciousness, spirituality and society. Whereas music has only for the last century been widely conceived as being an "intangible art form" of little objective power, this contrasts with the sheer wonder of how the ancient sages and philosophers from Egypt, India and Greece, who knew that MUSIC IS SOUND and that SOUND is a transformative force on several levels. Music! Sound was definitely believed to be ultimately capable even of creating and reshaping matter itself. This was because audible sound, including music, was considered to be an outpouring of a higher or Cosmic Sound -the Word or OM of the ancients, which is the source of all energy/matter.

Sound holds the key to the mysteries of the universe

It has been observed that as music changes, so too does the physical, emotional, mental arid spiritual behaviour of man. The result today is that man is no longer propelled into a higher state of consciousness.

AS IN MUSIC, SO IN LIFE…

Sound and Form

Sound, is believed to be the origin and basis of all creation. Sound is the cause, and not the effect, of all vibrations. There can be sound even without the usual mediums of air, light, water and physical matter.

A German scientist, Dr Wilfred Krueger, brought to the attention of the scientific world, the amazing similarities between the intervals of music and the structure of the atom. Sound can shape and mould our physical surroundings.

Resonance

Our outer life is a reflection of our inner world

Music is a shaping and transformative force upon our society. And that fact has serious implications. Many social trends, good or bad, BEGIN WITH MUSIC. So, music is not just for fun. Musicians hold a divine responsibility. They sound the keynotes , as it were, to which millions of other individuals respond. Music is the language of the soul, more powerful than anything else. Music is more than just entertainment. Music is one of the most powerful forces in the shaping of our destiny and personalities.

What this basically means is that, what we listen to. we accommodate and assimilate into our minds. This usually results in our acting in accordance with that state of mind. What we listen to inevitably effects our behaviour.

The negative effects of Music on plants and animals

Plants, animals and human beings are adversely affected by adverse types of music.

•    Research shows that microscopic bacteria is killed when exposed to certain types of music and actually generates faster with other types of music.

•    Research shows that music has a great effect on plant life. It affects not only the external structures of the plant, but it also has a definitive effect on its microscopic structure. The music of Bach has been scientifically proven to accelerate plant growth. When plants are exposed to classical music they bear big and more colorful leaves.

In an experiment with Indian Ragas, it was noticed that the plant bad an even more
positive response to that of western classical music. The plant had wound itself
around the speaker when the music of Ravi Shankar was played.

Rock Music and The Human State Of Consciousness

Musicians of all genres are aware that music does affect the human consciousness. Very often, that is the actual intent of the musician:

•    We are moving after their minds and so are the other groups. Mick Jagger

•    I figured the only thing to do was to swipe their kids. I am not talking about kidnapping, I'm just talking about changing their value system, which removes them from their parents' world effectively." David Crosby, David Tame, “The Secret Power of Music”

The Positive Effects of Music
Tranquil music and classical music can have a profound effect on learning.

•    Music develops the brain. Dr. Frank Wilson, Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurology at the University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco

•    Music has a "transfer effect" on learning. Dr Overy : 'Can Music improve the mind' Psychology of Music (1998), 26:97-99

•    Music lessons appear to strengthen the links between brain neurons and build new spatial reasoning.  Frances Rausche1; University of California -Irvine

•    Musical keyboard training enhances mathematical reasoning.

CONCLUSION

Music influences the culture and not the converse.

AS IN MUSIC…….SO IN LIFE



ASTRONOMY

A Short Primer on Basic Astronomy
By Robert Gendler

The following abbreviated treatment of basic astronomical concepts is not intended to substitute for a formal course in astronomy by any means. Its purpose is to provide the uninitiated reader a basic understanding of the processes of the celestial world. In this way the reader's visual experience in the pages ahead will be enriched by a basic understanding of the nature of each object. Hopefully the information provided below will arouse further curiosity in selected areas according to the reader's interest.

Astronomical Distances
The Life of Stars
Star Clusters
Open Clusters
Globular Clusters
Star Death
Planetary Nebulae
Supernova Remnants
Nebulae: Clouds of Creation
The Realm of the Galaxies
Cosmology
Catalogs and Coordinates

Astronomical Distances

Fundamental to even the most basic understanding of the universe is a grasp of the vast scales of distance and size beyond the bounderies of our own small world. The transformation of the two dimensional sky to the three dimensions we know today is a great tribute to human ingenuity. The birth of this understanding began in 200BC when Eratosthenes, using basic geometric principles, calculated the circumference of the earth to within 1% accuracy. It wasn't until the 18th and 19th centuries that accumulated knowledge and observation unveiled the distance scales of our solar system. Again using the known diameter of the earth as a baseline, basic triangulation provided the means of calculating distances to the planets and closest stars. This technique is called parallax and is still used today for calculating distances out to about 150 light years.

Distances of deep sky objects (objects beyond our solar system) are measured in light years and cannot be calculated using parallax technique. A light year is the distance light travels in one year or about 5 trillion miles, or 63,241 times the distance between the earth and sun. Knowing that light can circle the earth 7 times in one second is indeed a humbling fact that begins to give the reader an idea of how truly far a light year is. These simple facts should allow for a greater appreciation of the enormous distances to even nearby deep sky objects in our own galaxy. 

Many of the stars we see in the sky at night are within 100 light years of earth. The closest star to earth is alpha centuri at 4 light years. Common nebulae and star clusters within our galaxy reside several hundred to several thousand light years away. The furthest objects in our galaxy within our telescopic reach are a few tens of thousands of light years distant. The Milky Way, our parent galaxy, stretches 100,000 light years across and contains some 200 billion suns. Traveling at conventional spacecraft speeds would require over 1 billion years to traverse the galaxy!

The next step up in distance is the intergalactic scale. The closest galaxy similar to our own is the Andromeda Galaxy at 2.5 million light years. When we observe the Andromeda Galaxy through the eyepiece of a telescope we are presented a scene from the distant past. Andromeda's light began its journey toward earth approximately 2.5 million years ago, at an epoch corresponding to the dawn of human existence. Observing or photographing deep sky objects gives us an amazing opportunity to gaze back in time through a cosmic time machine. Viewed as they existed many thousands or even millions of years ago the objects remain frozen in time for us. Perhaps there is no other concept in astronomy as humbling or awe inspiring as this notion of "look-back" time. With telescope and camera we can now explore objects at far greater distances than ever before which in turn provides us with views of our universe at increasingly earlier epochs. These humbling concepts drive home the bewildering scales of intergalactic distances.

Distances to relatively nearby objects can be calculated using the principle of parallax in which an objects movement in the sky over a course of time can be used to determine its exact distance from earth. Distances to more remote objects require a "standard candle" by which astronomers can use to estimate the vast distances to objects outside our galaxy. Certain types of variable stars with fixed luminosity-brightness relationships (Cepheid Variable stars) are of paramount importance for estimating distances to galaxies within 100 million light years. Beyond 100 million light years individual stars cannot be resolved so other means of estimating distance such as bright supernovae or recessional velocities (since our universe is expanding, a galaxies recessional velocity will increase in proportion to its distance from us) are the current methods for determining distances to very remote galaxies. One of the goals of the Hubble Space Telescope and other ongoing astronomical projects is the refinement of methods to determine the distance scales of the universe.

The universe as we know it today is composed of many billions of galaxies, each one possessing countless stars and nebulae. Many of the objects in the pages ahead, especially the galaxies, are at vast distances, often exceeding our ability to easily comprehend. It may help to visualize earthly events that were occurring when these objects released their ancient photons. For example, the Virgo Galaxy Cluster released the light we see today at an epoch of time coinciding with the extinction of the dinosaurs and the rise of the mammals and primates, our ancient ancestors.

The Life of Stars

Most processes occurring in the visible universe involve stars in some way or form. In fact all elements with the exception of hydrogen, deuterium, helium and lithium (created in the Big Bang) were formed in the nuclear furnaces of stars. This includes the heavier elements like carbon and oxygen, the main constituents of living organisms. Stars are classified by astronomers using many schemes including brightness, color, temperature, size, mass, association with other stars, etc. Historically, Hipparchus (Greek astronomer, 2nd century) was the first to characterize stars by brightness. His system of magnitude is still in use today. Hipparchus divided stars by visual brightness from 1st magnitude (brightest) to 6th magnitude (faintest). Each magnitude represents a 2.5 fold change in brightness from the next magnitude. With the arrival of the telescope and later the camera, stars as faint as 30th magnitude became detectable (4 billion times fainter than could be observed visually).

Perhaps most helpful to understanding the true nature of stars is description by color and surface temperature. Stars are powered by hydrogen fusion deep within their cores where temperatures typically reach 15 million degrees Kelvin. The fusion of hydrogen to helium releases prodigious amounts of energy in the core of stars. The energy travels slowly to the stars surface before it is released in many diverse forms including heat, light, and radiation. Within our own sun (a star of average mass) a single photon takes one million years to make the trip from core to surface.

The surface temperature of the star produces the star's natural color in the same way any heated body has a color depending on its temperature. The amount of energy released at the surface (hence the star's color) is in turn related to the temperature and mass of the stars core.

The modern and most meaningful way of characterizing and analyzing stars is by "spectral class". Today we speak of stars by the letters O,B,A,F,G,K,M. (The famous mnemonic for remembering this sequence is Oh, Be, A Fine Girl, Kiss Me). A star's spectral class is defined by the physical characteristics of temperature, size and density. The hottest and most massive stars are in the "O" and "B" class. These stars are typically blue or white. Stars of intermediate temperature and mass range from type A to type G (white to yellow), and the coolest, least massive stars are types K and M (orange and red). Each spectral type is further divided into subclasses 0 to 9 depending on its temperature. Two new classes have been added (L &T) to account for the recent discovery of very low mass stars (brown dwarfs, etc.). Our sun is a type GII star and its color is yellow (temperature 5800 K.). Surface temperatures of stars can range from 40,000 degrees (type O) to 3,000 degrees (type M). The mass of stars can range from greater than 100 times to 1/8 the mass of our sun. Below this lower limit, nuclear fusion cannot occur.

Stars vary in composition. Typically stars are made of predominantly hydrogen (90%) and helium (10%). Remarkably the remainder of all elements found in nature comprise the remaining 1/10th of a percent. The dominant heavier elements found in stars include oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, and iron

The birth of stars is one of the most studied subjects in astrophysics today but is only partially understood. Stars have their beginning in the diffuse cold molecular clouds of interstellar space. Due to a variety of factors these clouds sometimes begin to collapse by virtue of their own gravity. As the collapse proceeds, gravity becomes the driving force, escalating the collapse further and fragmenting the cloud. The cloud becomes denser and grows hotter and eventually the enormous temperatures required for nuclear fusion are reached. Thus a star is born. In the early stages the star shines by energy derived from gravity. At this stage the star is known as pre-main sequence star. When the nuclear furnace gets started, the gravitational collapse is then halted. For the remainder of a stars life a tenuous balance is struck between gravity (collapse) and nuclear fusion (expansion). A typical star like our sun fuses 600 million tons of hydrogen into helium each second. The fusion process is so efficient that each second our sun coverts 4 million tons of matter into energy.

Stars that are actively fusing hydrogen to helium (like our sun) are called "main sequence stars". In essence stars are defined by their ability to generate energy by fusion. Stars generally spend about 90% of their lives on the "main sequence". Main sequence stars show a direct relationship between their mass, size, and temperature. When stars exhaust their hydrogen fuel they begin the inevitable process of stellar death. At this point in their evolution they begin to leave the "main sequence". The lifetime of a star is directly related to its mass. The most massive stars rapidly use up their fuel and may live only a few million years. This is in contrast to lower mass stars like our sun which may enjoy a main sequence life of over 10 billion years.

When a sunlike star (0.8 to 10 solar masses) exhausts it's hydrogen core and begins to die, a new process begins. Helium fuses to carbon and later oxygen which will sustain the star for a short period of time but at the expense of further core collapse and higher core temperatures (100 million degrees), and continued expansion at the surface. The star no longer checked by gravity, becomes bloated and its surface cooler. At this stage it is referred to as a "red" giant. The bloated diameter can exceed ten times that of our sun. The star begins a futile cycle of further core collapse and surface expansion which can end in different ways depending on its mass.

Star Death

Planetary Nebulae

A sunlike star (0.8 to 10 solar masses) becomes a red giant in its final phase of life. During this process elements and byproducts of nuclear fusion normally found in the core can be churned up to the surface. In this late phase the star begins to lose mass at a furious rate through stellar "winds" that blow from its surface. In this way the interstellar medium is enriched with heavier elements which then become the building blocks of future stars. A star can blow off half of its entire mass in stellar winds during its red giant phase.

A sunlike star ends its life as a Planetary Nebula. As the gravity of the dying red giant becomes weaker its outer envelope is expelled into space. The hot shrunken core releases abundant amounts of radiation which catch up to and collide with older winds released earlier by the dying star. The interaction of the radiation with previously expelled clouds of gas creates a dazzling display of brilliant colors. The entire complex is called a Planetary nebula. They have nothing to do with planets but received their name from William Herschel who likened them to planets because of their shape. They have a variety of complex appearances and colors depending on the nature of the gases in the cloud. Typically they consist of layers of symmetric, rings, filaments and halos and glow with fantastic colors. Recent work has shown that most planetary nebulae have a cylindrical bilobed shape which can have a variable appearance depending on the tilt of the nebula towards our line of sight. The cloud tends to expand at such rapid rates that the planetary nebula stage only lasts a few tens of thousands of years. Eventually the core collapses to a small dense sphere called a white dwarf. The white dwarf is a peculiar object of extraordinary density ( a metric ton/cubic cm) which can no longer produce energy by way of nuclear fusion. Because of their extreme density the white dwarfs do release large amounts of radiation and heat.

Supernovae and Supernovae Remnants

Higher mass stars (> 10 solar masses) have a different evolution. Initially they follow a similar path as giants. Because they have considerably higher reserves of mass than lower mass stars they are capable of much higher core temperatures and therefore can fuse heavier elements. Because they already are huge by comparison with lower mass stars they become red "supergiants" as they leave the main sequence. Their outer envelopes can extend almost the diameter of our solar system. Because of higher temperatures their cores go on to fuse heavier elements such as neon, magnesium, oxygen and later sulfur and silicon. Finally silicon and sulfur fuse to iron which cannot undergo further fusion. For these furious giants of the sky the end comes with cataclysmic destruction. Since Iron is incapable of further fusion gravity finally triumphs in the end. The star can no longer support itself. The end comes in a sudden catastrophic collapse of the stellar core followed by an enormous discharge of energy that tears through the remaining envelope and destroys the star. The incredible release of energy is so powerful that the light output exceeds that of an entire galaxy for a few days after the explosion. This is known as a type II supernova. The light output of a supernova makes them easily visible in distant galaxies. Supernovae are rare events occurring in a given galaxy maybe 2 or 3 times a century. The last one observed from earth in our own galaxy was "Kepler's Star" in 1604 which was bright enough to be visible in daylight. Because of their rarity we learn about them by observing them in other galaxies. (Supernovas can also occur alternatively in binary star systems by infalling matter on a white dwarf star causeing it to detonate as a type I supernova).

What happens to the core and outer envelope after a supernova blast? If the core is less than 2 to 3 times the mass of the sun the core collapses down to a neutron star. Neutron stars have incredible density as the core of the former star now exists in a space only a few miles wide. The density exceeds 100 million tons per cubic centimeter. Neutron stars tend to spin many times a second releasing abundant energy in the form of radiowaves, x-rays and gamma rays. If the earth is in the path of the energy the neutron star is called a pulsar. About 600 are known to exist.

If the mass of the stellar core is greater than 3 solar masses collapse continues forever. The result is an enigmatic object called a "black hole". Gravity is so strong within a black hole that light cannot even escape. We can only surmise the presence of a black hole indirectly as they cannot be directly observed.

The outer envelope and core material blown into space continues to expand in a shell called a supernova remnant. As this material smashes into surrounding gas clouds shock fronts are created and energy is released. The clouds can glow in visual wavelengths revealing brilliant colors and shapes making them appealing subjects for astrophotography.
 

Star Clusters

Open Clusters

Stars are not formed one at a time but in groups called clusters. Once the ancestral cloud is dispersed the clusters become conspicuous and are called "open clusters". The term "open" suggests they are loosely bound as each member is on average about 1 light year from its neighbor. Open clusters typically contain between 10 and 3000 stars. All the members of an open cluster have their origin from the same molecular cloud and therefore have several important things in common; they are the same age, the same initial chemical composition, the same distance from earth and move with the same velocity and in the same direction. The fact that high mass stars evolve and die more rapidly gives astronomers a method for predicting the age of a cluster. An older cluster will have a lower percentage of high mass stars compared to a younger one. The stars within an open are typically located along the spiral arms of their parent galaxy where star formation is most common. Clusters may remain together for up to a billion years but ultimately disperse from the repelling power of the members stellar winds. Our sun was once a member of an ancient open cluster but has long since left from its stellar siblings.

Globular Clusters

Globular clusters are spherical collections of mostly ancient stars numbering between tens of thousands to a million or more stars stretching 100 to 300 light years across. They are truly ancient structures with a minimum age of about 11 billion years. Most are believed to have formed at the same time as their parent galaxy. The cluster members are mostly population II stars which are highly evolved low mass main sequence stars. Any star in the cluster with a mass greater than 0.8 solar masses has already left the main sequence and become a red giant. To date there are over 160 globular clusters discovered in our Milky Way. Globular clusters reside in the spherical halo of our galaxy (and other galaxies) and orbit the center with highly eccentric elliptical orbits independent of the disk stars. Their orbits take them millions of years to complete as they wander as far as 100,000 light years from the galactic center. The central distribution explains the predominance of globular clusters in the Sagittarius-Scorpius-Ophiuchus region close to the galactic center. These constellations contain over 50% of the total number of globulars known in our galaxy. An interesting property of the population II stars in globular clusters is their low metallicity. These ancient stars are believed to have formed from the same primordial matter from which the galaxy formed in a much younger universe. The heavier elements are only formed through many cycles of star birth and supernovae which enriches the interstellar medium over many billions of years. Because these stars represent the earliest generation of stars in the universe they lack the metals present in more recent generations of stars like our sun which formed some 5 billion years ago. Globulars are divided into two groups depending on their metal content. Oosterhoff I and II groups have slightly weak and very weak metal contents respectively (Dutch Astronomer Peter Oosteroff). Globular Clusters are intriguing and important because 1) the stars are all of the same age and similar chemical compositions making them superb laboratories for the study of stellar and galaxy evolution. 2) They are the oldest star systems known. As astronomical fossils they may hold the key to unlocking the age of the universe.

Nebulae: Clouds of Creation

In the pre-telescope era the word Nebula was used by observers to describe any "fuzzy" patch present in the night sky that wasn't sharp like a planet or star. Charles Messier the 18th century French comet hunter (and creator of the Messier catalog) rejected (but fortunately catalogued ) these "Nebulae" as comet imposters given that his primary purpose was to discover comets. With the advent of the telescope, camera, and spectroscope we now know that nebulae are vast clouds of interstellar dust and gas. These clouds are often made visible by interactions with nearby stars.

The "stuff" between stars is known as the interstellar medium. The interstellar medium condenses to form giant molecular clouds which are the essential places of star birth within galaxies. The molecular clouds are comprised of 1% dust particles (on the order of about 1 micron in size) and 99% gas. Of the gas, 90% is hydrogen and 10% helium. A small fraction of the molecular cloud consists of various molecules including water, hydrocarbons, ammonia, silicates, etc. Because of extremely cold temperatures (only a few degrees above absolute zero) elements in a molecular cloud exist in molecular form as opposed to atoms and ions which exist at higher temperatures. As molecular clouds orbit a galaxy they come into contact and interact with other clouds, spiral arms, and supernovas, all of which exert forces that trigger fragmentation and subsequent cloud collapse. Once the cloud begins to fragment individual "cores" tend to form. Under the influence of gravity the cores contract further and generate heat. As temperature and density rise "protostars" are formed which eventually give rise to fledgling stars and star clusters. The new stars in turn interact with their ancestral cloud to form the various classes of nebulae described below.

Nebulae can be distinguished by the chemical and physical processes that occur within them. "Diffuse Nebulae" (also referred to as gaseous nebulae) are diffuse clouds of interstellar gas and dust. These immense clouds can and often do provide the raw materials for starbirth. These large agglomerations often contain mixtures of various nebula types such as emission, reflection, and absorption nebulosity.

Emission Nebulae are also known as HII regions and represent bright clouds of fluorescing hydrogen gas energized by very hot young stars. Some stars (massive type O and B stars) pour large amounts of ultraviolet radiation (UV) into the surrounding interstellar medium. The UV light strips electrons from hydrogen atoms within a radius of dozens or even hundreds of light years in every direction by the process of photoionization. As the electrons randomly recombine with hydrogen nuclei, energy is emitted in the form of light within characteristic emission lines, which for hydrogen is red light (656nm). The dominant emission line for hydrogen is termed HII referring to the first ionization level of hydrogen, hence the name of these clouds. HII regions are numerous in the spiral arms of our Milky Way galaxy and other spiral galaxies and indicate regions of active stellar birth. Emission clouds can also have other emission lines like the green of double or triple ionized oxygen or the blue of hydrogen beta.

Reflection Nebulae refer to clouds of dust with embedded stars. The dust clouds consist of microscopic particles of heavier elements like oxygen, silicon, carbon. The starlight reflects from the surface of the dust particles and scatters in the shorter blue wavelengths. Reflection nebulae have the characteristic blue color of reflected starlight. Often reflection nebulae are found together in complex clouds alongside emission nebulae. The true nature of reflection nebulae was revealed by Vesto M. Slipher in 1912 when he found that the spectra of the Pleiades cloud and its stars were the same.

Absorption Nebulae (dark nebulae) are dark clouds of gas and dust made visible only by the light of bright stars or bright nebulae behind them. They do not emit or reflect light. Dark nebulae are often found within and adjacent to emission and reflection nebulae and can be places of active star formation. E.E. Barnard, one of the early great astrophotographers catalogued 349 dark nebulae in his famous article "A Photographic Atlas of Selected Regions in the Milky Way" published in 1927.

Nebulae can also be characterized by their interaction and participation in star formation. Prestellar nebulae are diffuse nebulae which have the potential to produce hundreds or even thousands of stars. Poststellar nebulae refer to Planetary nebulae and supernova remnants which were covered in the previous section on "Stars".

Special circumstances give rise to special classes of nebulae. These include Herbig-Haro Nebulae (See NGC 7129) and Wolf-Rayet Nebulae (see NGC 6888). These intriguing objects are explained further in the pages ahead.

All nebulae have finite lives. While planetary nebulae and supernova remnants may last only several thousands of years, emission nebula can exist for a million years or more before its gases are dispersed by the radiation and stellar winds of its stellar progeny. The larger molecular clouds, the progenitor clouds of stars and star clusters, can exist for tens of millions of years.

The Realm of the Galaxies

If stars are the building blocks of galaxies then galaxies should be considered the essential building blocks of our universe. Galaxies are by definition vast rotating systems of stars, gas and dust. Galactic dimensions can exceed our ability to comprehend the enormous scales of size, distance and time that define their existence. Galaxies range in size from dwarf types, only a few thousand light years across to great spiral and elliptical galaxies spanning several hundred thousand light years across. They contain anywhere from a few million to as many as one trillion stars. The true nature of a galaxy was not apparent until 1926 when Edwin Hubble published his epochal work. In the 1920's Hubble observed stars (Cepheid variables) in M31 and eventually recognized their extragalactic nature. He reported his findings in 1929 and dramatically changed our understanding of galaxies and the paradigm of the universe. The earth is located within a large spiral arm (the Orion arm) in a spiral galaxy we call the "Milky Way". The closest galaxy similar to our own is the Andromeda Galaxy (M31). The Milky Way along with two other large galaxies, M31 and M33 are among 40 other galaxies that make up the local group of galaxies. Our local group together with several other nearby groups plus the nearby virgo cluster make up the local supercluster. The supercluster contains many thousands of individual galaxies. There are probably tens of millions of superclusters in the observable universe.

Like stars and nebulae, galaxies can be classified by a variety of methods. The simplest and easiest method is by form. Galaxy types can be described as spiral, lenticular, elliptical, and irregular. Spiral galaxies make up more than 50% of all observed galaxies. Spirals show the most complex and dynamic structure with the greatest degree of organization. Within the "Hubble classification scheme" spiral galaxies are further classified by the presence of a barred versus a stellar nucleus and also by the relative proportion of central bulge to spiral pattern. Hubble arranged galaxy types in a branching classification (tuning fork) thinking that the earliest galaxies were ellipticals and that barred and unbarred spirals were more evolved and represented "later" configurations. We now know that from an evolutionary standpoint this classification is at best backward but still serves a descriptive purpose and is still often used today. There is great diversity in the structure among galaxies. The diversity of the spiral form of galaxies is one of the primary reasons for the growth of astrophotography. The vision of the spiral galaxy is an iconic figure of aesthetic beauty in astronomy.

A spiral galaxy has a basic flat shape similar to a frisbee but with a central bulge. The spiral arms exist in a relatively thin, flat disk which rotates around the central nucleus. Massive amounts of dust, gas, and stars rotate within the disk and comprise the star forming regions of the galaxy. It is within the huge spiral arms of the disk that new stars, star clusters, and nebulae form and the dynamic processes leading to the recycling of matter occur. Spirals can have dramatically different appearances depending on their orientation in space and the inclination of its disk to our line of sight. When viewed "edge on" a spiral galaxy will appear as an elongated structure split by its dark and thin equatorial disk. Viewed "face on" the spiral pattern becomes clearly visible. There are of course many variations between the two extremes depending on the angle of inclination.

The central ellipsoidal bulge consists of older star populations and is relatively devoid of interstellar matter (gas and dust). Older stars in the central bulge of spiral galaxies (yellow and red stars) are referred to as stellar population II stars formed long ago and are often as much as 10 billion years old ( literally as old as the galaxy itself). Younger stars (often massive, hot O and B type blue stars) in the spiral arms are designated population I stars. These are relatively short lived stars, many of which will end their existence in supernova explosions. Spirals also have a diffuse outer halo also devoid of gas and dust where compact agglomerations of older stars called globular clusters are found. Globular clusters occur in all types of galaxies and contain anywhere from 100,000 to millions of stars. They are among the oldest components of the galaxy. Also believed to exist in the halo is the elusive "dark matter" now thought to account for much of the invisible mass of galaxies.

Lenticular and ellipticals are galaxy types which contain little interstellar matter. New star formation has mostly ceased in these groups. Therefore they are comprised entirely of older population II stars. Ellipticals most likely form from large scale galactic mergers and may represent an end stage of galactic evolution. The Irregular types are galaxies that demonstrate a peculiar, disorganized, and sometimes chaotic appearance. Often this is the result of disruptive gravitational interactions with neighboring galaxies. Irregular types can exhibit areas of spectacular new star formation usually as a result of violent encounters with other galaxies.

Galaxies as a rule emit copious amounts of energy at every wavelength of the electromagnetic spectrum. Cold molecular clouds and interstellar matter from the disk tend to emit infrared and radio waves while high energy supernova remnants and starbursts release X-rays and gamma rays. There is recent evidence to support a "connectedness" between galaxies in the form of large scale galactic winds which can extend outward as much as 65,000 light years into the intergalactic medium. The winds represent the combined radiation from massive starbursts and supernovae. Radiation can also be released from supermassive black holes thought to be lurking in the cores of most galaxies. Energy is released when a massive black hole consumes matter that has fallen into it.

A special class of galaxies are known as the "Active Galaxies". Active galaxies are luminous galaxies that release copious amounts of energy that cannot be accounted for by stellar processes. Active galaxies include the subgroups of Seyfert Galaxies, Radio Galaxies, Quasars, and few other esoteric types. All active galaxies have in common an Active Galactic Nucleus or AGN. The AGN is almost certainly powered by a compact engine in the galactic center. Active galaxies often exhibit spectacular jets of high velocity gaseous matter from their nucleus. In all cases the source of energy is the active nucleus.

The conventional belief is that the central engine of active galaxies are super massive black holes of 1 million to 1 billion solar masses. Because of the enormous gravity of such a massive object, material in the center of galaxy spirals into the black hole forming a flattened rotating ring of matter called an "accretion disk". As material from the accretion disk falls into the black hole, a tremendous release of energy occurs in the form of jets of super heated gas that are expelled at immense relativistic speeds. The accretion process is an incredibly efficient means of converting mass to energy. The energy conversion occurs at up to 50% efficiency, far more efficient than the fusion process that occurs in stars. It is believed that when the massive black hole has devoured all the material in its vicinity the active nucleus ceases to release copious amounts of energy and then becomes a normal galaxy like the Milky Way.

A remarkable type of active galaxy is the Quasar (quasi-stellar radio source). Quasars are objects that appear as point sources (starlike) but are at high red shifts, meaning they are located at enormous distances. Although not all astronomers agree most believe they represent very distant galaxies with extremely active nuclei. Quasars are only seen at large redshifts (great distances) so we are seeing them at a very early stage of galactic evolution in the remote past of our universe. Because they are so distant their light output must be enormous making them the most luminous objects in the universe. In fact the average quasar has about 1000 times the luminosity of a mature galaxy like the Milky Way. There have been several hundred quasars observed so far ranging in distance from redshifts of .06 to 6.4. Because we are seeing quasars as they existed very long ago, at a time when our universe was much younger perhaps most galaxies went through a very active "quasar" phase before maturing and becoming relatively quiescent like the galaxies in the local universe. In fact the oldest quasars correspond to the very beginning of galaxy formation marking the end of the so called "dark ages" when the early universe was opaque to light.

Seyfert galaxies are another subtype of AGN galaxies (often spiral or irregular types) which have an extremely bright starlike nucleus which may at times outshine the entire parent galaxy. The light emitting region is compact, less than 1 light year in diameter and is assumed to be powered by a supermassive black hole. Seyferts are characterized by their very specific spectra. Radio galaxies are yet another subgroup of AGN. Most are elliptical types exhibiting huge symmetric "radiolobes" far out into space. Some of these galaxies also exhibit jet phenomenon from their nucleus. The classic radio galaxy with a conspicuous central jet is M87. Driving this jet at the center of M87 is a supermassive black hole of several billion solar masses. In all cases of AGN the central engine driving the active nucleus is a massive black hole and its surrounding accretion disk.

What is the origin of spiral structure? The most popular theory to date devised by C.C. Lin and Frank Shu in 1964 is that "density waves" propagate through the spiral disk. The stars rotate around the center of the galaxy at about twice the speed as the density wave (One rotation of the stars takes 200 million years in the Milky Way. Our sun has made 8 trips around the galactic center). The stars tend to clump together as they encounter the density wave. As the stars concentrate in space, interstellar gas becomes compressed leading to bursts of new star formation. The process of star formation can also occur by self propagation as newly formed stars further compress adjacent gas clouds triggering even more star birth. Star formation takes place almost exclusively within the spiral arms although it is unclear how much occurs by self propagation and how much is due to the presence of density waves. More than likely both contribute. There are many questions about galaxy dynamics and evolution that remain unanswered such what created the density waves in the first place? 

Cosmology

Since the dawn of humanity people have struggled to understand the origin and ultimate fate of the universe. The last few centuries have witnessed a greater understanding of the universe with all its peculiarities. Despite a greater understanding, it has become clear that the cosmos may be even more peculiar and mysterious than we ever imagined. Our current state of knowledge defines a universe where much remains unexplained and the basic forces governing the cosmos are still shrouded in mystery. That said we do know something about how the universe got its start. The Big Bang theory is currently the accepted theory that explains the origin and evolution of the universe as we know it. It is the basic backbone of cosmology.

The Big Bang theory postulates that the universe came into existence from a small "singularity" in a single instant some 12 to 14 billion years ago. Early on it was hot and dense. It underwent inflation early on and eventually cooled to reach its current size and temperature, eventually forming the stars and galaxies we observe today. The unprecedented accuracy of recent observations leaves little doubt about the validity of the "Big Bang" origin of our universe. Three key observations laid the groundwork for the theory. The first was the observation by Edwin Hubble in 1929 that galaxies were receding from us in all directions. The second is the existence of the light elements H, He, and Li as these would be predicted to form from the fusion of protons and neutrons in the first few minutes after the Big Bang. The last is the presence of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) discovered in 1965 by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson which is believed to be the primordial remnant of energy (heat) left over from the Big Bang. This was later confirmed to be true using a sensitive satellite instrument (COBE). The fundamental questions of the ultimate fate of the universe remains to be answered but with more observational evidence we are getting closer to the truth.

The roots of modern cosmology date to the early 20th century and began with Einstein's theory of general relativity and the subsequent concept of the cosmological principle. These concepts together created a model of the universe where matter is distributed uniformly throughout the basic fabric of the universe which we know as space-time. Gravity acts on this fabric by distorting it and consequently influences the behavior of matter.

Two questions arose whose answers could potentially explain the ultimate fate of the universe. The first concerned the basic geometry of the universe. Is the fabric of space time closed and finite like the surface of a ball? Is it flat and infinite or is it saddle shaped and infinite? Current theory limits the geometry of the universe to only one of these three forms. The second question concerns the average density of matter in the universe as this will profoundly influence the geometry. The answers to these questions would have to wait until much more recent observational evidence. Recent data from the WMAP (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) supports a flat universe and recent observational work of very distant supernovas has concluded that the universe is flat and that expansion is actively accelerating. At our current state of knowledge the universe is predicted to expand forever, ultimately becoming a cold void in its place.

What does modern cosmological theory tell us about the age and constituents of the universe? Modern cosmological theory concludes that observable events in the universe cannot be supported by visible matter alone. Specifically the rotational velocity of galaxies demands that their total mass be at least 10 times greater than what we see. Otherwise they would become unstable and fly apart! The current explanation is that the most dominant source of gravitational force in the universe is of a mysterious form we are not familiar with. Since it isn't visible and we don't know what it is we call it "dark matter".

Data from WMAP has helped astrophysicists determine the age as well as the critical mass and energy density of the universe. The universe is believed to be 13.7 billion years old. Conclusions based on the WMAP data are that the universe is comprised of 4% visible matter, 23% dark matter, and 73% dark energy. The dark energy is believed to be the force responsible for driving the increasing expansion of the universe. According to present knowledge 96% of the universe is in a form we are completely unfamiliar with!
Luckily the images in the following pages will illustrate the 4% we are familiar with.

Coordinates and Catalog

Perhaps one of the most essential tools to understanding and navigating the sky is familiarity with the celestial coordinate system. The sky is divided into a coordinate system called the celestial sphere. There are north and south celestial poles and an imaginary circle equidistant from the poles called the celestial equator. The celestial sphere is divided into a reference grid similar to longitude and latitude but instead called right ascension and declination. The right ascension (analogous to longitude) is split into 24 parts (sidereal hours) and tells us an objects position in the east-west direction. It also provides information as to which time of the year the object is visible. Declination (analogous to latitude) tells us the objects location in the north/south orientation. Each deep sky objects has a fixed set of celestial coordinates, which enables the observer to find it. The organization of objects in this book is by order of right ascension.

The other essential element to navigating the sky is the organization of deep sky objects into various catalogs. There have been many catalogs of celestial objects throughout history but without question the most famous one is the Messier catalog. Named after the French astronomer Charles Messier it contains 110 of the brightest and most spectacular deep sky objects. Messier lived in the 18th century and was not aware of the true nature of the "diffuse glows" he cataloged. His primary purpose was the discovery of comets. The objects he cataloged were merely comet imposters to him. He made note of them so he wouldn't be fooled into mistaking them for his prized comets at some future time.

At about the same time a more purposeful endeavor to systematically catalog deep sky objects was made by first by William Herschel and later his son John. Using a large telescope together they cataloged many thousands of nonstellar deep sky objects. This data was later organized by J.L.E. Dreyer into the New General Catalog (NGC). The NGC was published in 1888. Two supplements to the NGC called the index catalogs were added in 1894 and 1907. All together these well known catalogs contain 13,226 deep sky objects, more than enough objects to keep one busy for a lifetime or even several lifetimes. All objects in this book have either a messier, NGC, or IC catalog number.


UFO TEHRAN

 

US GOVERNMENT DECLASSIFIED DOCUMENT REPORT OF UFO CITING IN TEHRAN IN 1976

 

Related links:

 

Parviz Jafari , Retired Iranian Airforce General at National Press Club UFO meeting

 

Iran 1976 UFO Incident

 

1976 IRAN UFO Incident

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1976_Tehran_UFO_incident

 


Document #: 32
     From: UFO INFO SERVICE       
Date Sent: 07-30-1986
  Subject: 1976 IRAN INTERCEPT CASE

 

 
                FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT DOCUMENT FILES 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
  56                             UNCLASSIFIED
PRIORITY
 
OCT1          MSG654         PAGE 01   267   0813
 
       ACTION:  NONF-OR.
       INFO: 
ATCZY UW RUFK JCS 97 17 76-0810 MTMS-CCCC--RJFFHQA_. 
NY CCCCC
P 2308107 SEP 76  
FM JCS  
INFO RUSHC/SECSTATE WASH DC 
RUFAIIF/C I A
RUFOIAH/NSA WASH DC
RUFADWW/WHITE HOUSE WASH DC 
RUFFHQA/CSAF WASH DC
RUFNAAA/CNO WASH DC
RUFADHD/CSA WASH DC
P 2306307 SEP 76  
FM USOAO TEHRAN
TO RUFK.ICS/OIA WASH DC
INFO RUFKUCS/SECDEF DEPSECDEF WASH DC 
RUFRBAA/COMIDFASTF OR  
RUDOECA/CINCUSAFF LINDSEY AS GE/INCF  
RHRAAB/CINCUSAFF RAMSTEIN AB GE/INOCN 
RUSNAAA/FUDAC VAIHINGEN GER 
RUSNAAA/UGCINCEUR VAIHINGEN GER/ECJ-2 
RT 
C O N F I D E N T I A L 1235 SEP76
THIS IS IR 6 846 0139 76
1.  (U) IRAN 
2.  REPORTED UFO SIGHTING (U)
3.  (U) NA
4.  (U) 19 & 20 SEP 76 
5.  (U) TEHRAN. IRAN: 20 SEP 76  
6.  (U) F-6  
7.  (U) 6 846 008 (NOTE RO COMMENTS)  
8.  (U) 6 846 0139 76  
9.  (U) 22SEP 76  
10.  (U) NA  
11.  (U) `INITIATE' IPSP PT-1440 
12.  (U) USDAO. TEHRAN. IRAN
13.  (U) FRANK B. MCKENZIE. COL. USAF. :DA TT
14.  (U) NA  
15.  (U) THIS REPORT FORWARDS INFORMATION CONCERNING THE SIGHTING OF AN  
UFO IN IRAN ON :19 SEPTEMBER 1976.
  A.  AT ABOUT 1230 AM ON 19 SEP 76 THE -------------------------------  
----------------------------RECEIVED FOUR TELEPHONE CALLS FROM CITIZENS  
LIVING IN THE SHEMIRAN AREA OF TEHRAN :SAYING
 
                               UNCLASSIFIED
PRIORITY

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

 


 Document #: 33
     From: UFO INFO SERVICE       
Date Sent: 07-30-1986
  Subject: 1976 IRAN INTERCEPT CASE

 


 
               FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT DOCUMENT FILES  
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
PRIORITY                       UNCLASSIFIED                             57
 
OCT1           MSG654        PAGE    02   267   08L3 
 
THAT THEY HAD SEEN STRANGE OBJECTS IN THE SKY.  SOME REPORTED A KIND OF  
BIRD-LIKE OBJECT WHILE OTHERS REPORTED A HELICOPTER WITH A LIGHT ON.
THERE WERE NO HELICOPTERS AIRBORNE AT THAT TIME.------------------------ 
------------------------- AFTER.  HE TOLD THE CITIZEN IT WAS ONLY STARS  
AND HAD TALKED TO MEHRABAD TOWER HE DECIDED TO LOOK FOR HIMSELF.  HE
NOTICED AN OBJECT IN THE SKY SIMILAR TO A STAR BIGGER AND BRIGHTER.  HE  
DECIDED TO SCRAMBLE AN F-4 FROM SHAHROKHI AFB TO INVESTIGATE.  
 
  B.  AT 0130 HRS ON THE 19TH THE F-4 TOOK OFF AND PROCEEDED TO A POINT  
ABOUT 40 NM NORTH OF TEHRAN.  DUE TO ITS BRILLIANCE THE OBJECT WAS  
EASILY VISIBLE FROM 70 MILES AWAY.  AS THE F-4 APPROACHED A RANGE OF 25  
NH HE LOST ALL INSTRUMENTATION AND COMMUNICTIONS (UHF AND INTERCOM).
HE BROKE OFF THE INTERCEPT AND HEADED BACK TO SHAHROKHI.  WHEN THE F-4
TURNED AWAY FROM THE OBJECT AND APPARENTLY WAS NO LONGER A THREAT TO IT  
THE AIRCRAFT REGAINED ALL INSTRUMENTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS.  AT 0140
HRS A SECOND F-4 WAS LAUNCHED.  THE BACKSEATER ACQUIRED A RADAR LOCK ON  
AT 27 NH.  12 O'CLOCK HIGH POSITION WITH THE VC (RATE OF CLOSURE) AT 150 
NHPH.  AS THE RANGE DECREASED TO 25 NH THE OBJECT MOVED AWAY AT A SPEED  
THAT WAS VISIBLE ON THE RADAR SCOPE AND STAYED AT 25 NH.  
  C.  THE SIZE OF THE RADAR RETURN WAS COMPARABLE TO THAT OF A 707 TANKER.
THE VISUAL SIZE OF THE OBJECT WAS DIFFICULT TO DISCERN BECAUSE OF ITS
INTENSE BRILLIANCE.  THE LIGHT THAT IT GAVE OFF WAS THAT OF FLASHING
STROBE LIGHTS ARRANGED IN A RECTANGULAR PATTERN AND ALTERNATING BLUE-
GREEN, RED AND ORANGE IN COLOR.  THE SEQUENCE OF THE LIGHTS WAS SO FAST  
THAT ALL THE COLORS COULD BE SEEN AT ONCE.  THE OBJECT AND THE PURSUING  
F-4 CONTINUED ON A COURSE TO THE SOUTH OF TEHRAN WHEN ANOTHER BRIGHTLY
LIGHTED OBJECT, ESTIMATED TO BE ONE HALF TO ONE THIRD THE APPARENT SIZE OF
THE MOON, CAME OUT OF THE ORIGINAL OBJECT.  THIS SECOND OBJECT HEADED
STRAIGHT TOWARD THE F-4 AT A VERY FAST RATE OF SPEED.  THE PILOT ATTEMPTED
TO FIRE AN AIM-9 MISSILE AT THE OBJECT BUT AT THAT INSTANT HIS WEAPONS
CONTROL PANEL WENT OFF AND HE LOST ALL COMMUNICATIONS (UHF AND INTERPHONE)
AT THIS POINT THE PILOT INITIATED A TURN AND NEGATIVE G DIVE TO GET AWAY.
AS HE TURNED THE OBJEAZ FELL IN TRAIL AT WHAT APPEARED TO BE ABOUT 3-4 NH.
AS HE CONTINUED IN HIS TURN AWAY FROM THE PRIMARY OBJECT THE SECOND OBJECT
WENT TO THE INSIDE OF HIS TURN THEN RETURNED TO THE PRIMARY OBJECT FOR A 
PERFECT REJOIN.
  D.  SHORTLY AFTER THE SECOND OBJECT JOINED UP WITH THE PRIMARY OBJECT  
ANOTHER OBJECT APPEARED TO COME OUT OF THE 
 
PRIORITY                        UNCLASSIFIED

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

 


 Document #: 34
     From: UFO INFO SERVICE       
Date Sent: 07-30-1986
  Subject: 1976 IRAN INTERCEPT CASE

 

 
               FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT DOCUMENT FILES  
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
58 
 
PRIORITY                         UNCLASSIFIED
 
OCT1           MS6654       PAGE     03   267   0813 
 
OTHER SIDE OF THE PRIMARY OBJECT GOING STRAIGHT DOWN. AT A GREAT RATE OF 
SPEED.  THE F-4 CREW HAD REGAINED COMMUNICATIONS AND THE WEAPONS CONTROL 
PANEL AND WATCHED THE OBJECT APPROACH THE GROUND ANTICIPATING A LARGE
EXPLOSION.  THIS OBJECT APPEARED TO COME TO REST GENTLY ON THE EARCH AND 
CAST A VERY BRIGHT LIGHT OVER AN AREA OF ABOUT 2-3 KILOMETERS. 
THE CREW DESCENDED FROM THEIR ALTITUDE OF 26H TO 15H AND CONTINUED TO
OBSERVE AND MARK THE OBJECT'S POSITION.  THEY HAD SOME DIFFICULTY IN
ADJUSTING THEIR NIGHT VISIBILITY FOR LANDING SO AFTER ORBITING MEHRABAD  
A FEW TIMES THEY WENT OUT FOR A STRAIGHT IN LANDING.  THERE WAS A LOT OF 
INTERFERENCE ON THE UHF AND EACH TIME THEY PASSED THROUGH A MAG. BEARING 
OF 150 DEGREE FROM EHRABAD THEY LOST THEIR COMMUNICATIONS (UHF AND  
INTERPHONE) AND THE INS FLUCTUATED FROM 30 DEGREES - 50 DEGREES.  THE ONE
CIVIL AIRLINER THAT WAS APPROACHING MEHRABAD DURING THIS SAME TIME  
EXPERIENCED COMMUNICATIONS FAILURE IN THE SAME VICINITY (KILO ZULU) BUT  
DID NOT REPORT SEEING ANYTHING.  WHILE THE F-4 WAS ON A LONG FINAL  
APPROACH THE CREW NOTICED ANOTHER CYLINDER SHAPED OBJECT (ABOUT THE SIZE 
OF A T-BIRD AT 10M) WITH BRIGHT STEADY LIGHTS ON EACH END AND A FLASHER  
IN THE MIDDLE.  WHEN QUERIED THE TOWER STATED THERE WAS NO OTHER KNOWN
TRAFFIC IN THE AREA.  DURING THE TIME THAT THE OBJECT PASSED OVER THE
F-4 THE TOWER DID NOT HAVE A VISUAL ON IT BUT PICKED IT UP AFTER THE
PILOT TOLD THEM TO LOOK BETWEEN THE MOUNTAINS AND THE REFINERY.
  E.  DURING DAYLIGHT THE F-4 CREW WAS TAKEN OUT TO THE AREA IN A
HELICOPTER WHERE THE OBJECT APPARENTLY HAD LANDED.  NOTHING WAS NOTICED  
AT THE SPOT WHERE THEY THOUGHT THE OBJECT LANDED (A DRY LAKE BED) BUT
AS THEY CIRCLED OFF TO THE WEST OF THE AREA THEY PICKED UP A VERY
NOTICEABLE BEEPER SIGNAL.  AT THE POINT WHERE THE RETURN WAS THE
LOUDEST WAS A SMALL HOUSE WITH A GARDEN.  THEY LANDED AND ASKED THE 
PEOPLE WITHIN IF THEY HAD NOTICED ANYTHING STRANGE LAST NIGHT.  THE 
PEOPLE TALKED ABOUT A LOUD NOISE AND A VERY BRIGHT LIGHT LIKE  
LIGHTNING.  THE AIRCRAFT AND AREA WHERE THE OBJECT IS BELIEVED TO HAVE
LANDED ARE BEING CHECKED FOR POSSIBLE RADIATION ----------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------------
MORE INFORMATION WILL BE FORWARDED WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE.  
 
RT 
#9717
PTCCZYUW RUFKJCS9712 2670810:0130-CCCC             2670814
 
PRIORITY                        UNCLASSIFIED


A Day In The Life Of Joe Republican Six-Pack


Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised. All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for the laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks on the government-provided sidewalk to subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It is noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his FHA-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime. Joe also forgets thatnin addition to his federally subsidized student loans, he attended a state funded university.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards to go along with the tax-payer funded roads.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans. The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."


MOZART

"When I am, as it were, completely myself, entirely alone, and of good cheer - say, travelling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep; it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly. Whence and how they come, I know not; nor can I force them. Those ideas that please me I retain in memory, and am accustomed, as I have been told, to hum them to myself. If I continue in this way, it soon occurs tome how I may turn this or that morsel to account, so as to make a good dish of it, that is to say, agreeably to the rules of counterpoint, to peculiarities of the various instruments, etc...

"When I proceed to write down my ideas, I take out of the bag of my memory, if I may use that phrase, what has been previously collected into it in the way I have mentioned. For this reason the committing to paper is done quickly enough, for everything is, as I said before, already finished; and it rarely differs on paper from what it was in my imagination. At this occupation I can therefore suffer myself to be disturbed; for whatever may be going on around me, I write, and even talk, but only off owls and geese, or of Gretel or Barbel, or some such matters. But why my productions take from my hand that particular form and style that makes them Mozartish, and different for the works of other composers, is probably owing to the same cause which renders my nose so large or so aquiline, or, in short, makes it Mozart's, and different from those of other people. For I really do not study or aim at any originality."

 

Mozart


SHELLEY

To a Lady, with a Guitar
 
     P. B. Shelley

ARIEL to Miranda: Take
This slave of music, for the sake
Of him, who is the slave of thee;
And teach it all the harmony
In which thou canst, and only thou,
Make the delighted spirit glow,
Till joy denies itself again
And, too intense, is turn'd to pain.
For by permission and command
Of thine own Prince Ferdinand,
Poor Ariel sends this silent token
Of more than ever can be spoken;
Your guardian spirit, Ariel, who
From life to life must still pursue
Your happiness, for thus alone
Can Ariel ever find his own.
From Prospero's enchanted cell,
As the mighty verses tell,
To the throne of Naples he
Lit you o'er the trackless sea,
Flitting on, your prow before,
Like a living meteor.
When you die, the silent Moon
In her interlunar swoon
Is not sadder in her cell
Than deserted Ariel:
When you live again on earth,
Like an unseen Star of birth
Ariel guides you o'er the sea
Of life from your nativity:
Many changes have been run
Since Ferdinand and you begun
Your course of love, and Ariel still
Has track'd your steps and served your will.
Now in humbler, happier lot,
This is all remember'd not;
And now, alas, the poor Sprite is
Imprison'd for some fault of his
In a body like a grave;
From you he only dares to crave,
For his service and his sorrow
A smile to-day, a song to-morrow.

The artist who this viol wrought
To echo all harmonious thought,
Fell'd a tree, while on the steep
The woods were in their winter sleep,
Rock'd in that repose divine
On the wind-swept Apennine;
And dreaming, some of autumn past,
And some of spring approaching fast,
And some of April buds and showers,
And some of songs in July bowers,
And all of love; and so this tree,
Oh that such our death may be!
Died in sleep, and felt no pain,
To live in happier form again:
From which, beneath heaven's fairest star,

 

The artist wrought this loved guitar;
And taught it justly to reply
To all who question skilfully
In language gentle as thine own;
Whispering in enamour'd tone
Sweet oracles of woods and dells,
And summer winds in sylvan cells.
For it had learnt all harmonies
Of the plains and of the skies,
Of the forests and the mountains,
And the many-voicd fountains;
The clearest echoes of the hills,
The softest notes of falling rills,
The melodies of birds and bees,
The murmuring of summer seas,
And pattering rain, and breathing dew,
And airs of evening; and it knew
That seldom-heard mysterious sound
Which, driven on its diurnal round,
As it floats through boundless day,
Our world enkindles on its way:
All this it knows, but will not tell
To those who cannot question well
The spirit that inhabits it:
It talks according to the wit
Of its companions; and no more
Is heard than has been felt before
By those who tempt it to betray
These secrets of an elder day.
But, sweetly as its answers will
Flatter hands of perfect skill,
It keeps its highest holiest tone
For one beloved Friend alone.

SENATOR CRAIG

SHOCKING transcript of the police interrogation of Republican Senator Larry Craig (R-ID), June 11 2007... 

This one is no joke -- it's a real story -- and it's a sad one -- and it shows how lousy dumb and hypocritical some politicians can be. 

Here we got Senator Craig who was busted in a Minneapolis airport bathroom for allegedly soliciting sex from an undercover cop. If you get a chance listen to the audio transcript :

Larry Craig Police Interrogation Audio:    http://youtube.com/watch?v=xWjXedX7pLA

He pleaded guilty and paid a fine - but later he tried to withdraw the plea.

And to make matters more interesting, a man stepped forward and claimed that he had intercourse with Craig years ago... :

http://wonkette.com/politics/larry-craig-sex-exclusive!/exclusive-i-had-sex-with-larry-craig-314897.php


Committee: he "committed the offense to which you pled guilty" and that "you entered your plea knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently."

"Your claims to the court ... to the effect that your guilty plea resulted from improper pressure or coercion, or that you did not, as a legal matter, know what you were doing when you pled guilty do not appear credible," the letter said.

The panel also said Craig should have received permission from the ethics panel before using campaign funds to pay his legal bills. Craig, who is not running for re-election, has spent more than $213,000 in campaign money for legal expense and public relations work in the wake of his arrest and conviction last summer.

The committee wrote, "You knew or should have known that a reasonable person in the position of the arresting officer could view your action and statement ["What do you think about that?"
 after showing his business card to the arresting officer] as an improper attempt by you to use your position and status ... to receive special and favorable treatment."

RUPERT SHELDRAKE

 Intuition Network A Thinking Allowed Television Underwriter Presents the Following Transcript from the Series   THINKING ALLOWED Conversations On The Leading Edge Of Knowledge and Discovery With Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove  COPYRIGHT (C) 1998 THINKING ALLOWED PRODUCTIONS   A NEW SCIENCE OF LIFE With RUPERT SHELDRAKE, Ph.D.

JEFFREY MISHLOVE, Ph.D.: Hello and welcome. With me today is Rupert Sheldrake, a biologist, author of A New Science of Life and also The Presence of the Past. Dr. Sheldrake is the creator of a new hypothesis of biological functioning, one which has been very controversial and very stimulating in the life sciences. Welcome.

RUPERT SHELDRAKE, Ph.D.: Thank you.

MISHLOVE: Let's begin by talking about the hypothesis of morphic resonance and morphic fields that you've developed as an alternative to mechanistic thinking in biology, and then, Rupert, we'll take a look at some of the philosophical implications of this new view.

SHELDRAKE: The hypothesis starts from the idea that the development of embryos -- the growth of a baby, for example, in the womb, or the growth of a tree from the seed -- that developmental biology depends on fields, organizing fields called morphic fields. The organization of behavior, like the instinct of a spider, for example, depends on similar morphic fields, organizing fields.

MISHLOVE: Rather than being limited simply to genetic processes.

SHELDRAKE: Yes, rather than just being in the genes. I think that genes are grossly overrated, and that a lot of inheritance depends on the memory which is carried within these organizing fields of organisms. This memory is a kind of cumulative memory, a kind of habit memory, which is built up through a kind of pool of species experience, depending on a process I call morphic resonance.

MISHLOVE: When you talk about these fields containing a memory, they almost begin to sound like the mind itself, in some funny way.

SHELDRAKE: Well, if they're like the mind, they're much more like the unconscious mind than the conscious mind, because we have to remember that in our own minds, a large part of the mind, as Freud and Jung and others have told us, is unconscious. And what Jung and his followers have emphasized is that we all not only have our own personal unconscious, but we tune in to or access the collective unconscious, which is a collective memory of the species. What I'm saying is very like that idea, but it's not confined to human beings, it's right through nature.

MISHLOVE: You know, you began developing your theory as a way of addressing the great unsolved problems of biology, and I suppose one of those unsolved problems is memory itself.

SHELDRAKE: Memory is indeed one of the great unsolved problems. How you or I remember what we did yesterday, or how we remember people's names, and how we recognize people -- all the ordinary facts of ordinary, day-to-day memory are profoundly mysterious. It's usually assumed that all these things are stored inside our brains as physical traces of some kind. Now, none of us has ever seen a physical trace inside our brains, and scientists who've spent many years looking for them inside the brains of people and especially rats and monkeys, have failed to find them too.

MISHLOVE: Now, I know Wilder Penfield found he could stimulate memories by putting electrodes on different parts of the brain, but as I recall he was never able to get the same memory twice that way.

SHELDRAKE: No. And you see, even if he could evoke memories by stimulating part of the brain, it doesn't prove they're stored there. For example, if I stimulate the tuning knob of your TV set and it tunes on to a different channel, it doesn't prove that all the programs on that other channel are stored inside the bit that I've stimulated, namely the tuning knob, and it could be that it's just simply part of the receiving or tuning system. I think the brain is like a tuning system, and that we tune in to our own memories by a process of morphic resonance, which I believe is a general process which happens throughout the whole of nature.

MISHLOVE: Let's define for our viewers what you mean when you use the terms morphic resonance or morphic fields. What does morphic mean to you in this sense?

SHELDRAKE: Morphic comes from the Greek word for form, morphe, and a morphic field is a field of form, or field of pattern or order or structure. Such fields organize not only the froms of living organisms, but also the forms of crystals, of molecules. Each kind of molecule, each protein, for example, has its own kind of morphic field -- a hemoglobin field, an insulin field; each kind of crystal, each kind of organism, and each kind of instinct or pattern of behavior. So these fields are the organizing fields of nature. There are many kinds of them, because there are many kinds of things and patterns in nature. And I think our own mental life depends on just this kind of field.

MISHLOVE: So in a sense what you seem to be suggesting is that your concept of the morphic field is a way of unifying the Jungian notion of the subconscious mind with all of nature.

SHELDRAKE: Yes. I don't use the word mind, in fact, because it leads immediately to controversies, people saying, "What do you mean by mind?" But I think that through this morphic field theory of organization in nature, we can come to have a new understanding of the nature of the mind -- what would in the end be a field theory of the mind.

MISHLOVE: That's really intriguing. How do you view creativity, then, and -- well, let's start with creativity
-- some of the other aspects of the human process?

SHELDRAKE: Well, I'd rather put it in a broad, sort of natural framework, because creativity is not confined to people, of course. The evolutionary process shows us that the whole of life, over long periods of time, has involved a great creative process.

MISHLOVE: I suppose a new species is an example of creativity.

SHELDRAKE: A new species, a new instinct, all new forms of life. And of course there are millions of them that have come into being throughout the course of history on this earth.

MISHLOVE: And you're suggesting, then, that it's not merely random mutation and natural selection, but something more creative underlying this process.

SHELDRAKE: Well, I think there are two processes at work. One is the principle of habit based on morphic fields. Through established patterns of activity, the more often they're repeated, they become more probable. So nature is essentially habit-forming, and all aspects of nature, I think, are based on the principle of habit. Indeed, I'd go so far as to say that what we call the laws of nature are more like the habits of nature. So I think habit is one principle. The habits of animals and plants are what give them their habits of growth and their habits of behaving, or instincts. Now, at the same time there's a principle of creativity, because if things all remained in grooves of habit nothing would ever change. So I think that right through the whole of nature, and then coming back to ourselves, we see these two principles at work -- the principle of habit, whereby things through repetition become more and more probable to happen again, and at the same time more unconscious. Our own habits are largely unconscious, and the great majority of our behavior is determined by these unconscious habits. For example, my speaking English is an unconscious habit. I don't have to think how to form each word, or what each word means. If I'm speaking a language I don't know very well, like Telegu, a South Indian language I know slightly, I have to think a lot to try and recall the words. It's not habitual; I'm not fluent. So habit underlies a lot of our activity, but at the same time there's a kind of openness to the new, which is where creativity comes in. And creativity essentially involves the appearance of new patterns or new forms or new structures, or what I would call new morphic fields. For example, at one time there were no bicycles. Now there are millions of them in the world, and at some stage somebody invented the bicycle. For the first time, the bicycle was made. For the first time, somebody rode a bicycle. Before that, there hadn't been a habit of bicycle riding. Now tens and hundreds of millions of people in the world have the habit of bicycle riding, and I think precisely because so many people have that habit, it's easier for everybody else to learn to ride bicycles, on average, by morphic resonance from this habitual activity.

MISHLOVE: In other words, there is now a morphic resonance, or morphic field, for bicycle making and bicycle riding.

SHELDRAKE: Yes.

MISHLOVE: And it must embrace the whole planet in a way that didn't exist at one time.

SHELDRAKE: Yes, a hundred years ago, or certainly two hundred years ago, it was undreamt of, it hadn't even been dreamed of. Now it's everywhere. So at a certain stage there was a creative step when the first bicycle was invented, the first bicycle was ridden, and the whole of this came into being. So there's an example of how what started as a creative step -- and whoever thought of it must have been very aware of what they were trying to do -- then becomes a kind of habit. When anyone rides a bicycle, they're usually not thinking of how they ride it, working out which muscles to use; it just happens automatically.

MISHLOVE: Your emphasis on the notion of habit is intriguing to me. You were telling me earlier that, say, in the nineteenth century the mechanistic biologists who were trying to reduce all of biology to some kind of material, machine-like phenomenon, also felt quite comfortable thinking of human beings as different from biological creation -- we could be divine, we could have a soul, but the rest of nature was like a machine. And what you seem to be saying is we are very much like the rest of nature, but nature itself isn't really a machine, either. Nature partakes of some of the same soulful quality that we have.

SHELDRAKE: Yes. I think the nineteenth century typically involved a very species-ist view -- that we could be alive and have minds, and in fact science itself depended on the possession of human consciousness by scientists, and scientists were conscious, rational beings, and other people were as well, to various extents. Most scientists thought that none of them were as rational as scientists. But nevertheless, the rest of nature was seen as completely inanimate, devoid of psyche or mind. Whereas what I would say is that we have much more in common with the rest of nature, because the rest of nature is alive, as we are. So this is a view which would see nature as essentially alive, and the principles of memory and habit, which we know from our own experience, I think are general principles that operate throughout the whole of nature.

MISHLOVE: You also have an interesting trick I think I picked up in your writing, and that is that whereas the mechanistic reductionists would like to reduce all of nature, all of life, to some kind of basic -- I suppose if they had their way -- down to physics, down to molecules colliding, physicists have now come to a point where they realize that the very basics of physics is in the mind of the observer itself, which suggests, and I think your theory gets at it, that there is something very mindlike underlying all of biology, all of physics.

SHELDRAKE: Yes, I think there is, and I think the question is to find out how mindlike it is. If we could begin to work out just in what way it was mindlike, we might come to a better understanding of our own minds and the way they are related to our bodies, because right now nobody has the faintest idea how the mind's related to the body. Descartes in the seventeenth century thought that it interacted with the brain in the pineal gland, and all that's happened in the last three hundred years is it's moved a couple of inches to the cerebral cortex, and most people now would think the mind in some way is associated with the cerebral cortex. Some people would say it doesn't do anything, it's just like a kind of phosphorescence around the nerve endings. Others would say it interacts with the cerebral cortex, but they couldn't say how. Others would say, well, maybe it does it by interfering with quantum processes in the brain. But I think that if we see that these mental processes are like what I'd call morphic fields, they're organizing structures or patterns which organize brain activity, and that such fields also organize the development of embryos, the development of our bodies in the first place, and work throughout the whole of nature, that which is mindlike in nature becomes easier to relate to our own minds. And as I said earlier, the important part, most of it, is more like our unconscious minds than our conscious ones. It would be a mistake, I think, to say that the whole of nature is conscious, because the whole of our own activity isn't conscious. The vast majority of our behavior is not.

MISHLOVE: Well, one of the stimulating things that your theory has done is it's caused us to look once again at the issue of the inheritance of acquired characteristics, which was, I think, until recently, a taboo topic that you've reopened. But it almost seems as if what your theory would reopen as well is the whole notion of magic, and that is that by concentrating on a certain image one can create that; it can become real. Many magical traditions, and even modern traditions like the power of positive thinking, work along these lines, and it would seem to be consistent with your notion of morphic fields.

SHELDRAKE: Yes, well, it is like magic. I mean, morphic resonance, the influence of like upon like, works across time and space. And in that sense it is like magic; there's nothing in between, and yet this influence passes. But what we have to see is that for the last three hundred years physics and science in general have been domesticating magic, and what was magic yesterday becomes science today. If you think of it -- and we don't usually think of it because we're so used to it -- Newton's idea, which is the very basis of mechanistic science, that every particle of matter affects every other particle of matter in the universe through empty space -- the idea of gravitation and attraction --

MISHLOVE: Action at a distance.

SHELDRAKE: Action at a distance -- is magic; it's a kind of magic. And before Newton, the only people who'd suggested the influences of distant planets and so on, on the earth, were the astrologers.

MISHLOVE: Newton was rather embarrassed by this. He saw this as a big unsolved problem in his own theory.

SHELDRAKE: Yes, and indeed no one really solved it, and Einstein came along much later and said, well, it's not action at a distance through empty space; it's action at a distance through fields, gravitational fields. And so fields have now become the medium of interconnection at a distance. Fields have become the medium of magic, as it were. And nowhere is that more clearly seen than in television. I mean, two hundred years ago it would have been pure magic that people could have seen us on a television screen, far away from where we're talking. It's the kind of thing that's talked about in the ancient books of the Hindus -- the idea of seeing things at a distance. And yet today we don't even think twice about it.

MISHLOVE: You wrote A New Science of Life while you were living in an ashram in India. You obviously have deep spiritual interests as well as deep scientific interests, and I wonder, do you see these things converging?

SHELDRAKE: Well, I do. I think, you see, that the gulf between science and religion that we've had for the last three hundred years in the West is largely owing to the mechanistic world view, which led to a complete transformation of our view of nature. Before the seventeenth century, the standard view in Europe, the standard Christian view, was that nature is alive, nature is animate, animals have souls. The very word anima, the Latin word for soul, is the basis of our word animal; it means beings with souls. Plants had souls; the whole earth had a soul; planets had souls, or spirits, or intelligences. So everyone until the seventeenth century was living in a living universe, and the Christian God was a living God who made a living world. The seventeenth-century revolution turned the world into a great machine, and God then, in the view of Protestant theologians especially, became the world- machine-making God; he became the great mechanic of the universe. And then, by the beginning of the nineteenth century, many people said, well, we can get rid of this kind of god, and just have a mechanical universe without God. And the basis of the controversies has really been rooted in this mechanistic world view. If we go back to the idea of nature as a living organism, the whole of nature as being alive, and ourselves as living beings within a living world, a living world that has many levels of organization from molecules, atoms, cells, the whole planet, the solar system, the galaxy, the whole universe -- at every level there's a kind of integrity, a wholeness that's more than the sum of the parts -- then we can think about the relation between science and religion in a new light, a different way than has been possible for the last three hundred years.

MISHLOVE: In other words, by using this notion of levels, or hierarchies of meaning, perhaps, one can hold in one's mind a kind of a materialistic world view which would not be inconsistent with thinking about human creativity and even a divine influence as well.

SHELDRAKE: Well, I wouldn't call it a materialistic world view. I'd call it a world view that understands nature as composed of organisms at different levels of complexity -- a molecule being one kind of organism, a cell another; a tissue, an organ, ourselves, and whole societies one could also see as organisms. Yes, I think it's a view where we can have science that's a proper science that incorporates the findings of the last three hundred years of mechanistic science, but which opens up whole new frontiers to experimentation. It's not going to be a matter of blind faith, I think, this new kind of science, if it happens, but a genuine empirical inquiry that will take us further.

MISHLOVE: I almost get the sense that the perspective which you're advocating is one which may at some future point be seen as a synthesis of the current conflict we have between religious fundamentalists on the one hand, and the evolutionists on the other, because you seem to be agreeing with the fundamentalists that our view of evolution is really incomplete and needs to be expanded, needs to incorporate some sense of mind, perhaps even a sense of the divine.

SHELDRAKE: Yes, I think both sides have a point. I mean, the materialistic, neo-Darwinian theory of evolution says that evolution is entirely blind and purposeless and governed by blind laws, happening by blind chance, and that it's all just a kind of accident, whereas the other view says that there is a purpose, there is a mind behind the whole of nature, but then ties it to a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis. Of course there have been many people who've rejected both those extremes, and the best known in recent years, of course, is Teilhard de Chardin, the French Jesuit philosopher who said that yes indeed, evolution is going on, and evolution is being drawn towards a future goal, the omega point, and so there's both a purpose and a kind of mind behind and within the evolutionary process, and there's evolution. He didn't have to say you either have God, or you have evolution. I think there are many people who would like to have a view of evolution which permits both.

MISHLOVE: And I gather you're in substantial agreement with Teilhard.

SHELDRAKE: I am, yes. But I think that when thinking about this, one has to think what kind of god or what kind of spiritual guiding principle one is thinking of. And the kind of god that for many people has become incredible is the machine-making God of the seventeenth century, where God stands totally outside the universe, thinks up the mathematical laws of nature, and creates the universe like a great machine. I think that that kind of god is, or will be, as obsolete as the mechanistic world picture that went with it, and any new conception of God we develop or come towards, I think, would at the same time be closer to much older conceptions of God -- not only in the Christian, but in other religious traditions, as a living, creative source of a living, creative world.

MISHLOVE: In other words, you might draw some inspiration from the Biblical phrase that God created us in his image. And as you look deeply into nature and see these morphic resonances, that must be for you part of your own image of God.

SHELDRAKE: Oh, what a difficult question.

MISHLOVE: I realize it's very presumptuous of me, but I wonder if you wouldn't mind --

SHELDRAKE: Well, I think that, if you like, the interplay of habit and creativity, which we see within ourselves, is in a sense an interplay of what's fixed and what's changeable, and I think that in many traditions there have been images of the ultimate which have involved both those principles. In the Christian doctrine of the trinity, the fixed is the logos, the second person of the trinity; the changeable is the spirit, which is free-flowing, like the wind. And the two together are included within the third, the ground of both.

MISHLOVE: Sort of like yin and yang, or order and chaos.

SHELDRAKE: It's like yin and yang. Yin and yang, you see, are two principles, but it's actually a trinity, because the circle that encloses them both makes the yin and yang, the duality, part of a greater whole. It's, if you like, the third principle, the circle around the yin and yang. So whenever you have a kind of duality of principles, as we see everywhere in nature, it's full of dualities -- form and energy, positive and negative in electricity, and so on -- wherever you have these kinds of dualities, and wherever we find them in ourselves, the resolution is usually to be found in some higher unity which contains and includes both.

MISHLOVE: The ground of existence, so to speak.

SHELDRAKE: Yes. And insofar as one could say that we're made in the image of God, I think it's in that kind of sense that we're made in the image of God, not in the kind of crude sense that God looks like you or me, or actually looks like a person. And I don't think it's ever really been understood that way by serious theologians.

MISHLOVE: But you know, your concept of the morphic field, of morphic resonance, really intrigues me, because as I believe you've pointed out earlier, it's a great mystery to us what fields are at all, and it almost seems like to understand the mystery of what a morphic resonance would be, would be comparable to understanding the mystery of God.

SHELDRAKE: I think it would be more comparable to understanding the mystery of creation, or the world we live in, because the essential feature of morphic resonance is this kind of memory in nature and this kind of habit. Now, it's not clear to what extent memory and habit are inherent in the nature of God. This leads one into very deep and theological waters. But there have been, throughout the whole history of theological thought in the West, ideas which would say that within God is the world soul, the anima mundi, which is that, if you like, in modern terms it would be the field of the universe -- the universal field, the primal unified field, which modern physicists are talking about all the time. It's the primal field that was there at the beginning of the big bang which gave rise to the other fields of nature.

MISHLOVE: The ground underlying all of creation.

SHELDRAKE: The ground underlying all of creation. Now, within that, I think, the principle of memory and habit are operative -- what one could say is the ground of that ground. If one wants to find the ground to that ground, which would be God in traditional terms, it probably goes beyond any adequate concept we can form. But the ground of this universe, which would be the primal field of the universe, and all the energy inherent within it, and all the creativity latent within it, I think, would include this principle of memory or habit which I'm talking about.

MISHLOVE: You seem to be suggesting, then, that what we call the laws of the universe, which we sometimes believe are inviolable and extend indefinitely and permanently, that these laws are in effect memories and habits that have evolved as if the universe itself were an organism.

SHELDRAKE: Exactly that, yes. And the conventional view, you see, would be that the laws of nature -- eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, universal, and so on -- they're derived in fact from the seventeenth-century idea that the laws of nature were made up by God and existed within his mind. When people, those who did, got rid of the idea of the mind of God from nature, they were left with eternal laws which still had most of the properties of God. And even the most hard-nosed, mechanistic scientist actually believes implicitly in the existence of these universal, timeless laws that are beyond time and space, present everywhere and always. Now, there's no reason at all for thinking that's the case.

MISHLOVE: There's no getting away from God, it would seem.

SHELDRAKE: Well, God here is replaced by laws, but they have most of the same mysterious properties.

MISHLOVE: Rupert, we're out of time. I'm going to have to cut you short here. It's been a real pleasure having you with me --

SHELDRAKE: It's a pleasure to be here.

MISHLOVE: -- discussing this range of subjects, from the development of an organism and its habits, to conceiving of the entire universe as an organism. Thank you very much for being with me.

SHELDRAKE: My pleasure.

END 

Rupert Sheldrake and Deepak in Dialogue

Rupert Sheldrake studied natural sciences at Cambridge, philosophy at Harvard, where he was a Frank Knox Fellow, and earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry at Cambridge. Rupert is the author of Dogs that Know When Their Owners are Coming Home, and Other Unexplained Powers of Animals (1999) a sequel to his best-selling Seven Experiments that Could Change the World (1994). For more information and to participate in some of Rupert's experiments, please visit www.sheldrake.org

Deepak: What life event sparked your interest in the controversial field of animal telepathy and empathy?

Rupert Sheldrake: I have been interested in the unexplained powers of animals ever since I was a child and kept homing pigeons. I soon realized by asking questions that no-one really knew how they did it. My interests in unexplained animal powers were re-awakened some 20 years ago, when a neighbour of mine in my home town, a widow who kept a cat, told me she always knew when her son, a merchant seaman, was coming home on leave because the cat would go and wait at the door for several hours before he arrived. He didn't tell his mother when he was coming in case she worried if he was late. But she always knew and the cat gave her enough warning for her to make his room ready and buy food for his visit. She took this for granted and did not think it particularly strange. I soon found that many other pet owners had similar stories and I started noticing more unexplained behaviour in my own animals, especially our cat, when I began to pay attention to this subject.

Deepak: What are the taboos that surround animal telepathy and what do you think created this?

Rupert Sheldrake: First there is a taboo against telepathy and other psychic powers. This has been in place ever since the period of the Enlightenment in the late 18th Century, when intellectuals adopted what they thought of as a path of science and reason, and rejected what they saw as superstition. Psychic powers were classified as superstition because they could not be explained in terms of physics, and this taboo has been maintained by mainstream science ever since. There is a second taboo against taking animals seriously, and this seems to originate from the fact that we divide domesticated animals into two classes, namely pets on the one hand, and on the other hand beasts of burden, animals raised for food, and laboratory animals used for experiments. If we think of these animals that we use and exploit in the same way that we think about our pets, we are likely to become vegetarians or even animal rights activists. So the taboo against taking pets seriously manages to keep these two categories of animals seperate.

Deepak: What do you say to skeptics who seriously doubt the validity of your work?

Rupert Sheldrake: Some skeptics are not really skeptics at all, but scientific fundamentalists attached to materialist ideology. I have found they are pretty well impervious to evidence. But for those who are open to evidence, I ask them to consider the evidence as set forth in my book and papers and then form an opinion, rather than acting on the basis of pre-established prejudice.

Deepak: I dont get it, what is a morphic field? How would I explain it to a seven year old?

Rupert Sheldrake: A morphic field is a field that connects together the different parts of a self-organizing system. It helps shape them and co-ordinate them. There are morphic fields within and around cells, tissues, organs, organisms, societies, eco systems, and so on. In my work on animals I am principally concerned with the morphic fields of social groups. For example, all the birds in a flock are linked by a morphic field, which is why they are able to turn almost simultaneously without bumping into each other. The same applies of fish in a scole. Morphic fields are like magnetic fields in the sense that they are invisible regions of influence located within and around the systems they organize. Just as a magnetic field can influence the pattern of iron filings in a magnetic field, so a morphic field can influence the behaviour and movements of the birds in the flock or fish in the scole. These fields link together members of the group, and underlie the bonds that form between pets and their owners.

Deepak: Do you think there might be Morphic Field reasons for animal telepathy?

Rupert Sheldrake: Yes. The bond between the animal and the person to whom it is attached is a morphic field and serves as a link between the two. When a person goes away from home, this field stretches rather than breaks, and acts like a kind of invisible elastic band. Information can be transmitted through this field, which is why an animal can pick up its owner's intentions at a distance.

Deepak: After reading your book, it seems that some animals have more of a talent for connecting with humans, and conversely some humans have a greater talent for connecting with animals, in terms of the Morphic Field why do you think this is? What purpose would it serve?

Rupert Sheldrake: Some animals do indeed seem better at connecting with humans. The species that seem best at this are dogs, cats, horses and parrots. Then of course there are great individual differences between particular animals in these species. There does not seem to be any particular breed of dog or cat that is particularly good at this.

Indeed, some people seem much better at communicating with animals than others. I do not know the reasons for this. But in the past when our lives depended in a utilitarian way on animals more than they do today, connecting with animals could be a very useful skill, as it still is for shepherds with their sheep dogs and for others who still work with animals. In traditional societies shamans were often experts in communicating with animals, and acted as a kind of bridge between the human and the animal worlds. This was of great practical value for hunting, since one of the things shamans could help with was finding out where animals were.

Deepak: Please explain this curious statement, The present may be thicker than our conscious state.

Rupert Sheldrake: We experience the present as being of short duration, lasting a fraction of a second. But nevertheless it does have duration and is not instantaneous. We blend together events that happen quite close together in time, which is why when we look at films projected in cinemas we see continuous movement rather than a series of jerks. It may be that present events can span a wider period than our conscious awareness and this is what I mean by the present being thicker than our conscious state.

Deepak: How can animals help the human healing process?

Rupert Sheldrake: There are many examples of animals helping people to get better from physical and mental disorders. A number of scientific studies, referred to in my book, have shown that after heart attacks people who keep dogs tend to get better faster than those who do not, and cats can also have considerable benefits on the health of those who keep them. In part these benefits come from the affection the animals show, and from the physical contact that they can give. To put it very simply, they can help heal through their love, and love is a powerful healing force.

Deepak: How can animals help prevent a suicide?

Rupert Sheldrake: In my book I describe several cases where animals have prevented their people from committing suicide by picking up that they were very disturbed, and going to be with them. In one case, a dog snarled and terrified its owner who was about to swallow an overdose of pills so that she immediately stopped what she was doing.

Deepak: How would you describe your life's mission?

Rupert Sheldrake: My scientific mission is to try and open up the world of science so that phenomena at present ignored or neglected can be brought within the scope of science. I hope that through this expanded science we will get a better idea of the interconnections between ourselves, with animals, with plants, with the planet as a whole, and with the Universe. This enlarged science would not be in conflict with spirituality, but complimentary to it and could lead to a healing of the split between science and religion that has so damaged our civilization and people within it.

Deepak: Why do you think dogs evolved to be our most telepathic/empathetic pets?

Rupert Sheldrake: Dogs were domesticated before any other animals and are descended from wolves, which are highly social. Forming bonds with people is an essential part of their nature and their telepathic powers, and their capacity for empathy, depend on these bonds.

Deepak: Do you think that Saint Francis and other Saints and Holy men and women could actually communicate with the animals?

Rupert Sheldrake: Well, even quite ordinary people can communicate with animals and do so all the time. I think that some holy men and women had an enhanced ability to do this, and probably understood animals intuitively far better than most of us. In some ways this could be seen as a more recent form of the connection with animals shown by shamans in traditional societies.

Deepak: Okay, lets say I believe all this what practical application does it have in my life?

Rupert Sheldrake: If you keep pets, then recognising how you are bonded to them can help in your relationship with them, and they could perhaps help you in more ways than they have already. In a more general sense, the recognition of our interconnectedness with animals helps us to recognise it with other people too, and when we realize that we can affect other people not just through our words and actions, but through our thoughts and intentions, it changes our relationships.

Deepak: On a more personal note: Do you or did you have a favorite pet?

Rupert Sheldrake: One of my favourites was our cat Remedy who as her name implied had remarkable healing capacities.

Deepak: Do you have a telepathic bond with that pet?

Rupert Sheldrake: I certainly had an empathetic bond with Remedy, but she died before I took up my research on animal telepathy and I do not remember noticing any telepathic connection with her. But this may be simply that I did not pay attention.

Deepak: Do you have children? What do they think about your research?

Rupert Sheldrake: I have two sons, currently aged ten and twelve. They are very interested in animals themselves, and are curious about my research. They enjoy hearing stories about animals and enjoy keeping animals themselves.

Deepak: Who is your hero?

Rupert Sheldrake: I don't have a single hero. My scientific heros are Isaac Newton, Michael Farraday, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. In philosophy, Henri Bergson.

Deepak: Who is you animal hero?

Rupert Sheldrake: Jaytee, the dog with whom I've done hundreds of experiments and who has revealed the capacity of animals to know when their owners are coming home more clearly than any other.

Deepak: What animal would you most want to be?

Rupert Sheldrake: I would enjoy being a pigeon, capable of flying and navigating over great distances; a spider monkey capable of leaping through trees; a dolphin swimming and leaping from the sea; and an elephant roaming free in Africa.

Deepak: Has an animal ever given you a clear and important message?

Rupert Sheldrake: Many animals have done this, and my book Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home And Other Unexplained Powers Of Animals , is the product of many clear and important messages. The book is dedicated to all the animals from whom I have learnt.

Deepak: How can I practice telepathy with my pet at home?

Rupert Sheldrake: See if your animal can pick up your intentions when you are in a different room. For example, if it is a dog see if it knows when you are planning to take it for a walk at an unusual time. If it is a dog or cat, think of giving it a special treat and see if it comes into the room. And if your animal seems to anticipate your arrivals, then try coming home at unusual times in a taxi or some other vehicle to check if its reactions really are telepathic, or simply a matter of routine and hearing familiar car sounds.


BILL CLINTON

Text of William J. Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention (Boston 2004)

Thank you. I am honored to share the podium with my Senator, though I think I should be introducing her. I'm proud of her and so grateful to the people of New York that the best public servant in our family is still on the job and grateful to all of you, especially my friends from Arkansas, for the chance you gave us to serve our country in the White House.

I am also honored to share this night with President Carter, who has inspired the world with his work for peace, democracy, and human rights. And with Al Gore, my friend and partner for eight years, who played such a large role in building the prosperity and progress that brought America into the 21st century, who showed incredible grace and patriotism under pressure, and who is the living embodiment that every vote counts -- and must be counted in every state in America.

Tonight I speak as a citizen, returning to the role I have played for most of my life as a foot soldier in the fight for our future, as we nominate a true New England patriot for president. The state that gave us John Adams and John Kennedy has now given us John Kerry, a good man, a great senator, a visionary leader. We are constantly told America is deeply divided. But all Americans value freedom, faith, and family. We all honor the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world.

We all want good jobs, good schools, health care, safe streets, a clean environment. We all want our children to grow up in a secure America leading the world toward a peaceful future. Our differences are in how we can best achieve these things, in a time of unprecedented change. Therefore, we Democrats will bring the American people a positive campaign, arguing not who's good and who's bad, but what is the best way to build the safe, prosperous world our children deserve.

The 21st century is marked by serious security threats, serious economic challenges, and serious problems like global warming and the AIDS epidemic. But it is also full of enormous opportunities-to create millions of high paying jobs in clean energy, and biotechnology; to restore the manufacturing base and reap the benefits of the global economy through our diversity and our commitment to decent labor and environmental standards everywhere; and to create a world where we can celebrate our religious and racial differences, because our common humanity matters more.

To build that kind of world we must make the right choices; and we must have a president who will lead the way. Democrats and Republicans have very different and honestly held ideas on that choices we should make, rooted in fundamentally different views of how we should meet our common challenges at home and how we should play our role in the world. Democrats want to build an America of shared responsibilities and shared opportunities and more global cooperation, acting alone only when we must.

We think the role of government is to give people the tools and conditions to make the most of their lives. Republicans believe in an America run by the right people, their people, in a world in which we act unilaterally when we can, and cooperate when we have to.

They think the role of government is to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of those who embrace their political, economic, and social views, leaving ordinary citizens to fend for themselves on matters like health care and retirement security. Since most Americans are not that far to the right, they have to portray us Democrats as unacceptable, lacking in strength and values. In other words, they need a divided America. But Americans long to be united. After 9/11, we all wanted to be one nation, strong in the fight against terror. The president had a great opportunity to bring us together under his slogan of compassionate conservatism and to unite the world in common cause against terror.

Instead, he and his congressional allies made a very different choice: to use the moment of unity to push America too far to the right and to walk away from our allies, not only in attacking Iraq before the weapons inspectors finished their jobs, but in withdrawing American support for the Climate Change Treaty, the International Court for war criminals, the ABM treaty, and even the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Now they are working to develop two new nuclear weapons which they say we might use first. At home, the President and the Republican Congress have made equally fateful choices indeed. For the first time ever when America was on a war footing, there were two huge tax cuts, nearly half of which went to the top one percent. I'm in that group now for the first time in my life.

When I was in office, the Republicans were pretty mean to me. When I left and made money, I became part of the most important group in the world to them. At first I thought I should send them a thank you note -- until I realized they were sending you the bill.

They protected my tax cuts while:


-- Withholding promised funding for the Leave No Child Behind Act, leaving

over 2 million children behind


-- Cutting 140,000 unemployed workers out of job training


-- 100,000 working families out of child care assistance


-- 300,000 poor children out of after school programs


-- Raising out of pocket healthcare costs to veterans


-- Weakening or reversing important environmental advances for clean air

and the preservation of our forests.


Everyone had to sacrifice except the wealthiest Americans, who wanted to do their part but were asked only to expend the energy necessary to open the envelopes containing our tax cuts. If you agree with these choices, you should vote to return them to the White House and Congress. If not, take a look at John Kerry, John Edwards and the Democrats.

In this year's budget, the White House wants to cut off federal funding for 88,000 uniformed police, including more than 700 on the New York City police force who put their lives on the line on 9/11. As gang violence is rising and we look for terrorists in our midst, Congress and the President are also about to allow the ten-year-old ban on assault weapons to expire. Our crime policy was to put more police on the streets and take assault weapons off the streets. It brought eight years of declining crime and violence. Their policy is the reverse, they're taking police off the streets and putting assault weapons back on the streets. If you agree with their choices, vote to continue them. If not, join John Kerry, John Edwards and the Democrats in making America safer, smarter, and stronger.

On Homeland Security, Democrats tried to double the number of containers at ports and airports checked for Weapons of Mass Destruction. The one billion dollar cost would have been paid for by reducing the tax cut of 200,000 millionaires by five thousand dollars each. Almost all 200,000 of us would have been glad to pay 5,000 dollars to make the nearly 300 million Americans safer-but the measure failed because the White House and the Republican leadership in the House decided my tax cut was more important -- If you agree with that choice, re-elect them. If not, give John Kerry and John Edwards a chance.

These policies have turned the projected 5.8 trillion dollar surplus we left-enough to pay for the baby boomers retirement-into a projected debt of nearly 5 trillion dollars, with a 400 plus billion dollar deficit this year and for years to come. How do they pay for it? First by taking the monthly surplus in Social Security payments and endorsing the checks of working people over to me to cover my tax cut. But it's not enough. They are borrowing the rest from foreign governments, mostly Japan and China. Sure, they're competing with us for good jobs but how can we enforce our trade laws against our bankers? If you think it's good policy to pay for my tax cut with the Social Security checks of working men and women, and borrowed money from China, vote for them. If not, John Kerry's your man.

We Americans must choose for President one of two strong men who both love our country, but who have very different worldviews: Democrats favor shared responsibility, shared opportunity, and more global cooperation. Republicans favor concentrated wealth and power, leaving people to fend for themselves and more unilateral action. I think we're right for two reasons: First, America works better when all people have a chance to live their dreams. Second, we live in an interdependent world in which we can't kill, jail, or occupy all our potential adversaries, so we have to both fight terror and build a world with more partners and fewer terrorists. We tried it their way for twelve years, our way for eight, and then their way for four more.

By the only test that matters, whether people were better off when we finished than when we started, our way works better-it produced over 22 million good jobs, rising incomes, and 100 times as many people moving out of poverty into the middle class. It produced more health care, the largest increase in college aid in 50 years, record home ownership, a cleaner environment, three surpluses in a row, a modernized defense force, strong efforts against terror, and an America respected as a world leader for peace, security and prosperity.

More importantly, we have great new champions in John Kerry and John Edwards. Two good men with wonderful wives-Teresa a generous and wise woman who understands the world we are trying to shape. And Elizabeth, a lawyer and mother who understands the lives we are all trying to lift. Here is what I know about John Kerry. During the Vietnam War, many young men -- including the current president, the vice president and me-could have gone to Vietnam but didn't. John Kerry came from a privileged background and could have avoided it too. Instead he said, send me.

When they sent those swift-boats up the river in Vietnam, and told them their job was to draw hostile fire-to show the American flag and bait the enemy to come out and fight-John Kerry said, send me. When it was time to heal the wounds of war and normalize relations with Vietnam-and to demand an accounting of the POWs and MIAs we lost there-John Kerry said, send me.

When we needed someone to push the cause of inner-city kids struggling to avoid a life of crime, or to bring the benefits of high technology to ordinary Americans, or to clean the environment in a way that creates jobs, or to give small businesses a better chance to make it, John Kerry said send me.

Tonight my friends, I ask you to join me for the next 100 days in telling John Kerry's story and promoting his plans. Let every person in this hall and all across America say to him what he has always said to America: Send Me. The bravery that the men who fought by his side saw in battle I've seen in the political arena. When I was President, John Kerry showed courage and conviction on crime, on welfare reform, on balancing the budget at a time when those priorities were not exactly a way to win a popularity contest in our party.

He took tough positions on tough problems. John Kerry knows who he is and where he's going. He has the experience, the character, the ideas and the values to be a great President. In a time of change he has two other important qualities: his insatiable curiosity to understand the forces shaping our lives, and a willingness to hear the views even of those who disagree with him. Therefore his choices will be full of both conviction and common sense.

He proved that when he picked a tremendous partner in John Edwards. Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect, and charisma. The important thing is how he has used his talents to improve the lives of people who -- like John himself -- had to work hard for all they've got. He has always championed the cause of people too often left out or left behind. And that's what he'll do as our Vice President.

Their opponents will tell you to be afraid of John Kerry and John Edwards, because they won't stand up to the terrorists -- don't you believe it. Strength and wisdom are not conflicting values -- they go hand in hand. John Kerry has both. His first priority will be keeping America safe. Remember the scripture: Be Not Afraid.

John Kerry and John Edwards, have good ideas:


-- To make this economy work again for middle-class Americans


-- To restore fiscal responsibility


-- To save Social Security; to make healthcare more affordable and college

more available


-- To free us from dependence on foreign oil and create new jobs in clean

energy


-- To rally the world to win the war on terror and to make more friends

and fewer terrorists.

At every turning point in our history we the people have chosen unity over division, heeding our founders' call to America's eternal mission: to form a more perfect union, to widen the circle of opportunity, deepen the reach of freedom, and strengthen the bonds of community.

It happened because we made the right choices. In the early days of the republic, America was at a crossroads much like it is today, deeply divided over whether or not to build a real nation with a national economy, and a national legal system. We chose a more perfect union.

In the Civil War, America was at a crossroads, divided over whether to save the union and end slavery -- we chose a more perfect union. In the 1960s, America was at a crossroads, divided again over civil rights and women's rights. Again, we chose a more perfect union. As I said in 1992, we're all in this together; we have an obligation both to work hard and to help our fellow citizens, both to fight terror and to build a world with more cooperation and less terror. Now again, it is time to choose.

Since we're all in the same boat, let us chose as the captain of our ship a brave good man who knows how to steer a vessel though troubled waters to the calm seas and clear skies of our more perfect union. We know our mission. Let us join as one and say in a loud, clear voice: Send John Kerry.

The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters

THE PIPA/KNOWLEDGE NETWORKS POLLL
THE AMERICAN PUBLIC ON INTERNATIONAL ISSUES
October 21, 2004
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
STEVEN KULL
RESEARCH STAFF
CLAY RAMSAY
STEFAN SUBIAS
STEPHEN WEBER
EVAN LEWIS
PROGRAM ON INTERNATIONAL
POLICY ATTITUDES (PIPA)
A joint program of the Center on Policy
Attitudes and the Center for International and
Security Studies at the University of Maryland
A polling, social science, and
market research firm based in
Menlo Park, California
PIPA Board of Advisors
I.M. Destler
University of Maryland
Alan Kay
Americans Talk
Issues Foundation
Robert Shapiro
Columbia University
Gloria Duffy
Commonwealth Club
Catherine Kelleher
US Naval War College
Fred Steeper
Market Strategies
Bill Frenzel
Brookings Institution
Anthony Lake
Georgetown University
Daniel Yankelovich
Public Agenda Foundation
Alexander George
Stanford University
Benjamin Page
Northwestern University
The Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) is a joint program of the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland and the Center on Policy Attitudes. PIPA undertakes research on American attitudes in both the public and in the policymaking community toward a variety of international and foreign policy issues. It seeks to disseminate its findings to members of government, the press, and the public as well as academia.
Knowledge Networks is a polling, social science, and market research firm based in Menlo Park, California. Knowledge Networks uses a large-scale nationwide research panel which is randomly selected from the national population of households having telephones and is subsequently provided internet access for the completion of surveys (and thus is not limited to those who already have internet access).
The Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM), at the University of Maryland’s School for Public Policy, pursues policy-oriented scholarship on major issues facing the United States in the global arena. Using its research, forums, and publications, CISSM links the University and the policy community to improve communication between scholars and practitioners.
The Center on Policy Attitudes (COPA) is an independent non-profit organization of social science researchers devoted to increasing understanding of public and elite attitudes shaping contemporary public policy. Using innovative research methods, COPA seeks not only to examine overt policy opinions or positions, but to reveal the underlying values, assumptions, and feelings that sustain opinions.
Steven Kull, Clay Ramsay, Evan Lewis, and Stephen Weber designed the questionnaires and wrote the analysis.
Knowledge Network’s Stefan Subias adapted the questionnaires and managed the fielding of the polls.
Thanks to Gina Coplon-Newfield, Don Kraus, and Heather Hamilton for advising on the research regarding the candidates’ positions.
Meredith Perry, Jeff Tinley, Daniel Maloney, Roman Gershkovich and Batsuuri Haltar contributed to the production of the report.
The search of existing poll data was done with the aid of the Roper iPOLL database.
This study was made possible by grants from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Ford Foundation.
INTRODUCTION
Since its inception, the Program on International Policy Attitudes has regularly asked Americans not only about their attitudes but also their perceptions of reality. We have frequently found that such perceptions often diverge from reality and provide important insights into attitudes.
Since shortly after the Iraq war PIPA has regularly asked Americans about their perceptions as to whether before the war Iraq had WMD and whether it provided substantial support to al Qaeda. To a striking extent, majorities have believed that Iraq did have WMD or at least a major program for developing them, and that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda. With the reports of David Kay, the 9/11 Commission, the Senate Intelligence Committee, and most recently Charles Duelfer all refuting these beliefs, they have only modestly diminished, and are still held by approximately half of the public.
PIPA has also asked American about their perceptions of world public opinion. Despite indications of widespread international criticism of the US war against Iraq, also reflected in various international polls, many Americans appear to be unaware of this opposition. Few Americans show awareness of the extent of criticism of President Bush and his foreign policy as reflected in international polls.
PIPA has also explored Americans’ perceptions of the foreign policy positions of public officials and frequently found significant misperceptions.
In this study PIPA has pulled together the findings from several polls and analyzed the variations in perceptions according to respondents’ attitudes toward the Presidential candidates. The analysis revealed some striking differences between the perceptions of Bush and Kerry supporters.
The primary poll was conducted October 12-18 with 968 respondents, but the analysis also included polls were conducted September 3-7 and September 8-12, with 798 and 959 respondents, respectively. Margins of error ranged from 3.2-4%. The polls were fielded by Knowledge Networks using its nationwide panel, which is randomly selected from the entire adult population and subsequently provided internet access. For more information about this methodology, go to www.knowledgenetworks.com/ganp.
The key findings were:
1. Iraq, WMD, and al Qaeda
A large majority of Bush supporters believe that before the war Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or a major program for building them. A substantial majority of Bush supporters assume that most experts believe Iraq had WMD and that this was the conclusion of the recently released report by Charles Duelfer. A large majority of Bush supporters believes that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda and that clear evidence of this support has been found. A large majority believes that most experts also have this view, and a substantial majority believe that this was the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission. Large majorities of Kerry supporters believe the opposite on all these points........................................................3
2. What the Bush Administration is Saying About Pre-War Iraq
Large majorities of Bush and Kerry supporters agree that the Bush administration is saying that Iraq had WMD and was providing substantial support to al Qaeda. In regard to WMD, these majorities are growing..........................................................................................................................................................6
The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters October 21, 2004
3. The Decision to Go to War
Majorities of Bush supporters and Kerry supporters agree that if Iraq did not have WMD or was not providing support to al Qaeda, the US should not have gone to war with Iraq.............................................7
4. World Public Opinion on the Iraq War and George Bush’s Reelection
Only three in ten Bush supporters believe that the majority of people in the world oppose the US going to war with Iraq, while an overwhelming majority of Kerry supporters have this view. A majority of Bush supporters assume that the majority of people in the world would like to see Bush reelected, while a large majority of Kerry supporters believe the opposite. Bush supporters also lean toward overestimating support in Islamic countries for US-led efforts to fight terrorism, while Kerry supporters do not ..............8
5. Candidates’ Foreign Policy Positions
Majorities of Bush supporters misperceive his positions on a range of foreign policy issues. In particular they assume he supports multilateral approaches and addressing global warming when he has taken strong contrary positions on issues such as the International Criminal court and the Kyoto Agreement. A majority of Kerry supporters have accurate perceptions of Kerry positions on the same issues................10
Analysis..........................................................................................................................................12
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The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters October 21, 2004
FINDINGS
1. Iraq, WMD, and al Qaeda
A large majority of Bush supporters believe that before the war Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or a major program for building them. A substantial majority of Bush supporters assume that most experts believe Iraq had WMD and that this was the conclusion of the recently released report by Charles Duelfer. A large majority of Bush supporters believes that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda and that clear evidence of this support has been found. A large majority believes that most experts also have this view, and a substantial majority believe that this was the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission. Large majorities of Kerry supporters believe the opposite on all these points.
In recent months the American public has been presented reports by the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the heads of the Iraq survey group David Kay and Charles Duelfer (chosen by the president), concluding that before the war Iraq had neither weapons of mass destruction nor even a significant program for developing them. Nonetheless, 72% of Bush supporters continued to hold to the view that Iraq had actual WMD (47%) or a major program for developing them (25%). Only 26% of Kerry supporters hold such beliefs. PIPA/KN 10/2004Is it your impression that experts mostly agree that just before the war Iraq:Had WMD 56%Divided 18%Bush supportersKerry supporters18%23%Did not have WMD 23%56%Perceptions of Experts on Pre War Iraq: WMD
Furthermore, 56% of Bush supporters (as compared to 18% of Kerry supporters) believe that most experts say that Iraq did have actual WMD, and another 18% say that the experts’ views are evenly divided on the subject. Only 23% think that most experts believe Iraq did not have WMD.
Though this poll was taken immediately after chief weapons inspector Charles Duelfer delivered his report to Congress on whether Iraq had WMD, a majority of Bush supporters misperceived the conclusions of his report. Fifty-seven percent believed that that he concluded that Iraq did have either WMD (19%) or a major program for developing them (38%).
PROGRAM ON INTERNATIONAL POLICY ATTITUDES / KNOWLEDGE NETWORKS 3
The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters October 21, 2004
PIPA/KN 10/2004As you may know, Charles Duelfer, the chief weapons inspector selected by the Bush administration to investigate whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, has just presented his final report to Congress. Is it your impression he concluded that, just before the war, Iraq had:Perceptions of DuelferReportWMD 19%Major program 38%Bush supportersKerry supporters7%16%23%57%
This is down only very slightly from when Bush supporters were asked in August what the Senate Intelligence Committee had concluded about prewar Iraq. At that time, 58% of Bush supporters said the committee had concluded that Iraq had at least a major WMD program. However, when asked now about the Duelfer report, the percentage of Bush supporters saying its conclusion was that Iraq had actual WMD was only 19%--down sharply from the 36% who said this about the Senate Intelligence Committee. More Bush supporters have shifted to the perception that the report says Iraq had a major WMD program (up from 22% to 38%). In fact, 18% of Bush supporters still believe Iraq had WMD or a major WMD program even though they know that the Duelfer report concluded otherwise.
Among Kerry supporters, only 23% assumed Duelfer concluded Iraq had WMD (7%) or a major WMD program (16%). This showed a more marked downward movement from August, when 33% of Kerry supporters assumed a report said Iraq at least had a major WMD program. In the case of Kerry supporters, there was decline in both the percentage assuming a report said Iraq had actual WMD (from 12% to 7%) and in those who assumed it said there was a major WMD program (21% to 16%).
When PIPA polled in March and asked respondents about the conclusions of David Kay’s Senate testimony in January on whether Iraq had WMD, 63% of Bush supporters thought, incorrectly, that he had concluded that Iraq had at least a major WMD program. Thirty-four percent of Kerry supporters had the same impression.
Iraq and al Qaeda
Despite the report of the 9/11 Commission saying there is no evidence Iraq was providing significant support to al Qaeda, 75% of Bush supporters believe Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda (30% of Kerry supporters), with 20% believing that Iraq was directly involved in 9/11. Sixty-three percent of Bush supporters even believe that clear evidence of this support has been found, while 85% of Kerry supporters believe the opposite.
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The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters October 21, 2004
PIPA/KN 10/2004Iraq and Support for Al QaedaIs it your impression that Iraq was:Directly involved in 9/11 20%Kerry supporters22%8%Gave al-Qaeda substantial support 55%Bush supporters22%75%30%
1Asked what most experts believe to be the case, 60% of Bush supporters assume that most experts believe Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda. Only 21% of Kerry supporters believe this to be the case.
Asked in August what the 9/11 Commission had concluded, 55% of Bush supporters said that it had concluded that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda. Twenty-seven percent of Kerry supporters assumed this to be the case. PIPA/KN 10/2004Perceptions of Conclusion of 9/11 Commission Report on IraqHad WMD 47%Had major Program 25%8%18%Was directly involved in 9/11 13%Gave al-Qaeda substantial support 43%Kerry Supporters7%27%56%Bush Supporters20%
1 Note: When other polling organizations have asked about whether Iraq was involved in the September 11th attacks they have often found a higher percentage than PIPA/KN has found. For example in September, Newsweek asked, “"Do you think Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq was DIRECTLY involved in planning, financing, or carrying out the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, or not?" and 42% said that it was while 44% said it was not. In the PIPA/KN question respondents were given four response options including the option of saying that Iraq was not directly involved in 9/11 but was providing substantial support (overall 38% chose this option) as well as the option of saying they were directly involved in 9/11 (14% chose this option). Thus it appears that when offered only two response options, as in the Newsweek poll, some that answered that Iraq was involved in 9/11 were likely to trying to express their belief that Iraq was providing some kind of significant support to al Qaeda.
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The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters October 21, 2004
2. What the Bush Administration is Saying About Pre-War Iraq
Large majorities of Bush and Kerry supporters agree that the Bush administration is saying that Iraq had WMD and was providing substantial support to al Qaeda. In regard to WMD, these majorities are growing.
So why are Bush supporters clinging so tightly to these beliefs in the face of repeated disconfirmations? Apparently one key reason is that they continue to hear the Bush administration confirming these beliefs.
Among Bush supporters, an overwhelming 82% perceive the Bush administration as saying that Iraq had WMD (63%) or a major WMD program (19%). Only 16% of Bush supporters perceive the administration as saying that Iraq had some limited activities, but not an active program (15%) or had nothing (1%).
The pattern on al Qaeda is similar. Seventy-five percent of Bush supporters think the Bush administration is currently saying Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda (56%) or even that it was directly involved in 9/11 (19%). Further, 55% of Bush supporters say it is their impression the Bush administration is currently saying the US has found clear evidence Saddam Hussein was working closely with al Qaeda (not saying clear evidence found: 37%).
Interestingly, these perceptions of what the Bush administration is saying are something on which Bush and Kerry supporters agree. On WMD, 84% of Kerry supporters perceive the Bush administration as saying Iraq had WMD (73%) or a major program (11%). PIPA/KN 10/2004Had WMD 63%Bush supporters 10/04Kerry supporters 10/0419%63%Had a major WMD program 19%HadWMD73%Perceptions of Bush Administration on Pre-War Iraq and WMDKerry supporters 8/04Bush supporters 8/0424%58%Had a major WMD program11%82%84%82%82%Is it your impression that the Bush administration is currently saying that just before the war, Iraq:
On al Qaeda, 74% of Kerry supporters perceive the Bush administration as saying Iraq gave al Qaeda substantial support (49%) or was directly involved in 9/11 (25%). And 52% of Kerry supporters say the administration is saying clear evidence of a close collaboration has been found (not saying clear evidence found: 43%).
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The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters October 21, 2004
Is Bush administration saying U.S has found clear evidence Saddam Hussein worked closely with al-Qaeda?PIPA/KN 10/2004Is it your impression that, just before the war, that the Bush administration had said that Iraq:Gave substantial support 56%Bush supporters Kerry supporters Directly involved in 9/11 19%49%Perceptions of Bush Administration: Pre-War Iraq and al-QaedaBush supporters 25%75%74%55% yesKerry supporters 52% yes
It is striking that the experience of the debates, and much longer and fuller exposure to the president and vice president’s arguments than most people had before, seems to have only increased the perception that the administration is saying Iraq had actual WMD before the war. Between August and mid-October, the number of Bush supporters who thought this went up from 58% to 63%; among Kerry supporters, it went up from 63% to 73%.
3. The Decision to Go to War
Majorities of Bush supporters and Kerry supporters agree that if Iraq did not have WMD or was not providing support to al Qaeda, the US should not have gone to war with Iraq.
Another key reason why Bush supporters may hold to the beliefs that Iraq had WMD and supported al Qaeda is that it is necessary to their support for the decision to go to war with Iraq. Eighty-five percent of Bush supporters say that going to war was the right decision. However, asked what the US should have done “If, before the war, US intelligence services had concluded that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction and was not providing substantial support to al Qaeda,” 58% of Bush supporters said in that case the US should not have gone to war. Furthermore, 61% express confidence that in that case the President would not have gone to war. To preserve the belief that that going to war was the right decision, it appears necessary for Bush supporters to believe that Iraq that the assumptions that prompted going to war were correct.
Nearly all Kerry supporters (92%) agree that if US intelligence services had said that Iraq did not have WMD and was not providing support to al Qaeda, the US should not have gone to war. Consistent with their belief that Iraq did not have WMD and did not support al Qaeda, 90% of Kerry supporters say that going to war was the wrong decision. Kerry supporters, unlike Bush supporters, overwhelmingly believe (83%) that if Bush had been given such information, he would still have gone to war for other reasons.
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The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters October 21, 2004
PIPA/KN 10/2004If, before the war, US intelligence services had concluded that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction and was not providing substantial support to al Qaeda do you think the US: 58%37%Should not have gone to warPerceptions: If No Pre-War Iraq WMD or al Qaeda SupportShould still have gone to war for other reasons92%6%Bush supportersKerry supporters
4. World Public Opinion on the Iraq War and George Bush’s Reelection
Only three in ten Bush supporters believe that the majority of people in the world oppose the US going to war with Iraq, while an overwhelming majority of Kerry supporters have this view. A majority of Bush supporters assume that the majority of people in the world would like to see Bush reelected, while a large majority of Kerry supporters believe the opposite. Bush supporters also lean toward overestimating support in Islamic countries for US-led efforts to fight terrorism, while Kerry supporters do not.
This tendency of Bush supporters to ignore dissonant information extends to other realms as well. One of these is world public opinion. Despite a steady flow of official statements, public demonstrations, and public opinion polls showing that the US war against Iraq is quite unpopular,2 only 31% of Bush supporters recognize that the majority of people in the world oppose the US having gone to war with Iraq. Rather, 68% assume that views are evenly divided (42%) or that the majority favors it (26%). Among Kerry supporters, 74% assume that the majority is opposed (evenly divided, 20%, majority favors it, 5%).
2 Most recently (September-October 2004), eight nations were asked whether the US was “right or wrong in invading Iraq” by an ad hoc group of ten international newspapers. Majorities said the US was wrong in Canada, Mexico, France, Spain, Russia, Japan and South Korea; Israel had the opposite result (see www.cyberpresse.ca). Gallup International conducted two international polls (in January and April-May 2003) and Pew Research Center conducted one (in April-May 2003) which included poll questions that directly measured support or opposition to the Iraq war. In the three polls taken together, 56 countries were surveyed. Of the 38 countries polled by Gallup International (including 20 European countries), not a single one showed majority support for unilateral action and in nearly every case the percentage was very low. In April-May the Pew Global Attitudes Survey asked respondents in 18 countries how they felt about their country’s decision to participate or not participate in “us[ing] military force against Iraq.” Among the 13 countries that had not participated, in every case, a large to overwhelming majority approved of the decision. For the three countries that contributed troops, in the UK and Australia a majority approved; in Spain a majority was opposed. For the two countries that had allowed the US to use bases, in Kuwait the majority approved; in Turkey the majority was opposed. For full results see www.gallup-international.com and www.people-press.org.
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The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters October 21, 2004
PIPA/KN 10/2004Thinking about how all the people in the world feel about the US having gone to war with Iraq, do you think:Perceptions of World Public Opinion on IraqBush supportersKerry supportersMajority favors 26%Are evenly divided 42%Majority opposes 31%74%20%5%
Bush supporters also believe that world public opinion favors Bush’s reelection. In a September 3-7 PIPA/KN poll, 57% of Bush supporters assumed that the majority of people in the world would prefer to see Bush reelected, 33% assumed that views are evenly divided and only 9% assumed that Kerry would be preferred. Kerry supporters held the opposite view, with only 1% assuming a preference for Bush, 30% thinking that views are equally divided, and 69% assuming that Kerry would be preferred. PIPA/KN 9/2004Perceptions of World Public Opinion on US ElectionMajority prefers BushEvenly dividedMajority prefers KerryBush supportersKerry supporters57%33%9%69%30%1%Thinking about how people around the world feel about the US presidential election, do you think:
International polls have found a strong preference for Kerry. Polling conducted by GlobeScan and PIPA (summer 2004) of 35 of the major countries around the world found that in 30 countries a majority or plurality preferred to see Kerry elected president, while 3 countries favored Bush. On average, 46% favored Kerry while 20% favored Bush. Most recently, a September-October 2004 poll in 10 countries conducted by an ad hoc group of ten international newspapers (see www.cyberpresse.ca) found majorities or pluralities preferring Kerry in eight countries and Bush in two.
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The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters October 21, 2004
When asked (September 3-7) about world public opinion on US foreign policy under the Bush administration, 82% of Bush supporters believed that a world majority either feels better about the US due to its recent foreign policy (37%), or thought views are about evenly divided (45%). Only 17% thought that a majority now feels worse about the US. Among Kerry supporters, 86% thought a majority now feels worse about the US and 12% thought views were evenly divided (feels better, 2%).
In fact, in the GlobeScan poll of 35 countries, in 30 countries a majority or plurality said “the foreign policy of George W. Bush” had made them “feel worse about the United States” (feel better: 3 countries). On average, 53% said they felt worse about the US while 19% said they felt better. Most recently, in the 10-country poll just cited, in eight out of ten countries majorities said that “over the course of the last two or three years” their “opinion toward the US has worsened.”
Opinion in Islamic Countries
A slim majority of Bush supporters (51%) think a majority of people in the Islamic world favor “US-led efforts to fight terrorism,” while 44% think a majority opposes these efforts. Among Kerry supporters, fully three in four (75%) think a majority in the Islamic world opposes US-led efforts to fight terrorism (favors them, 21%).
Between summer 2002 and February 2004, the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Survey polled a number of countries with large Islamic populations—some of them three times—asking whether people favor or oppose “the US-led efforts to fight terrorism.” The four countries asked in 2004 (Turkey, Pakistan, Jordan, and Morocco) all had majorities in opposition. Of the nine countries asked in 2003, seven showed majorities opposed to US-led efforts; the exceptions were Kuwait and Nigeria. The results in summer 2002 were quite similar; for details see www.people-press.org.
5. Candidates’ Foreign Policy Positions
Majorities of Bush supporters misperceive his positions on a range of foreign policy issues. In particular they assume he supports multilateral approaches and addressing global warming when he has taken strong contrary positions on issues such as the International Criminal court and the Kyoto Agreement. A majority of Kerry supporters have accurate perceptions of Kerry positions on the same issues.
PIPA selected a set of questions about foreign policy positions from polls taken by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations dealing with issues on which the candidates have taken clear and documented positions.3 Surveys were conducted September 8 – 12 and then again October 12 – 18 on some issues to see if there had been changes as a result of the presidential debates when the candidates discussed their positions on the International Criminal Court and missile defense.
3 The positions of President Bush and Senator Kerry were documented from six sources:
• Council on Foreign Relations “Campaign 2004” website on the candidates’ positions (http://www.cfr.org/campaign2004/)
• Answers given by Bush and Kerry’s campaigns to a questionnaire submitted by Time magazine and AOL News, available at www.presidentmatch.com.
• Official public documents of the State Department, available at www.state.gov
• The White House’s Office of Management and Budget website (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2005/defense.html)
• Kerry’s answers to questionnaires submitted to him by the Stop the Arms Race Political Action Committee (see www.starpac.org) and Peace Action (see www.peace-action.org).
3
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The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters October 21, 2004
Bush supporters have numerous misperceptions about Bush’s international policy positions. Majorities incorrectly assumed that Bush supports multilateral approaches to various international issues—the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (69%), the treaty banning land mines (72%); 51% incorrectly assumed he favors US participation in the Kyoto treaty--the principal international accord on global warming. After he denounced the International Criminal Court in the debates, the perception that he opposed it increased from 24% to 38% among Bush supporters, but a majority of supporters (53%) continued to believe that he favors it. Only 13% of supporters are aware that he opposes labor and environmental standards in trade agreements – 74% incorrectly believe that he favors including labor and environmental standards in agreements on trade.
In all these cases, there is a recurring theme: majorities of Bush supporters favor these positions, and they infer that Bush favors them as well. For example, in PIPA’s September 8 – 12 poll 54% of Bush supporters favored participation in Kyoto, 66% favored participation in the land mines treaty, and 68% favored a treaty prohibiting testing nuclear weapons (CTBT). Apparently in the absence of evidence to the contrary, Bush supporters assume Bush feels as they do.
On two issues Bush supporters had a better understanding of the president’s positions. They were divided between those who knew that Bush favors building a new missile defense system now (47%) and those who incorrectly believe he wishes to do more research until its capabilities are proven (41%). However, majorities were correct that Bush favors increased defense spending (57%) and wants the US, not the UN, to take the stronger role in developing Iraq’s new government (70%).
Kerry supporters were much more accurate in assessing their candidate’s positions on all these issues. Majorities knew that Kerry favors including labor and environmental standards in trade agreements (81%); the US being part of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (77%); the International Criminal Court (65%); the land mines treaty (79%); and the Kyoto Treaty on climate change (74%). They also knew that he favors continuing research on missile defense without deploying a system now (68%), and wants the UN, not the US, to take the stronger role in developing Iraq’s new government (80%). A plurality of 43% was correct that Kerry favors keeping defense spending the same, with 35% assuming he wants to cut it and 18% to expand it.

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The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters October 21, 2004
Issue
Bush's position
Bush supporters that correctly perceive Bush (%)
Kerry's position
Kerry supporters that correctly perceive Kerry (%)
Labor and environmental standards in trade agreements (Oct.)
Opposes
13
Supports
81
Participation in land mines treaty
Opposes
20
Supports
79
Participation in a treaty that bans the testing of nuclear weapons
Opposes
24
Supports
77
Participation in the International Criminal Court (Oct.)
Opposes
38
Supports*
65
Participation in Kyoto agreement on global warming
Opposes
39
Supports*
74
Building a missile defense system (Oct.)
Build now
47
Research only
68
Defense spending
Expand
57
Keep same
43
Who should take the lead in Iraq on writing a new Constitution and building a democratic government
US
70
UN
80
* Supports in principle but wants to negotiate terms for US involvement
Analysis
It is normal during elections for supporters of presidential candidates to have fundamental disagreements about values (such as the proper role of the government) or strategies (such as how best to defend US interests). As we have seen, the current election is unique in that Bush supporters and Kerry supporters have profoundly different perceptions of reality.
So why is this the case? And, more specifically, why are Bush supporters holding so clinging so tightly to beliefs that have been so visibly refuted? As discussed, one key possible explanation for why Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq had WMD or a major WMD program, and supported al Qaeda is that they continue to hear the Bush administration confirming these beliefs.
Another possible explanation is that Bush supporters cling to these beliefs because they are necessary for their support for the decision to go to war with Iraq. Asked whether the US should have gone to war with Iraq if US intelligence had concluded that Iraq was not making WMD or providing support to al Qaeda, 58% of Bush supporters said the US should not have, and 61% assume that in this case the president would not have. To support the president and to accept that he took the US to war based on mistaken assumptions is difficult to bear, especially in light of the continuing costs in terms of lives and money. Apparently, to avoid this cognitive dissonance, Bush supporters suppress awareness of unsettling information.
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The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters October 21, 2004
This tendency of Bush supporters to ignore dissonant information extends to their perceptions of world public opinion. Despite an abundance of evidence that world public opinion has opposed the US going to war with Iraq, only 31% of Bush supporters are aware that this is the case, and only 9% are aware that Kerry is a more popular candidate than Bush in world public opinion.
Finally, Bush supporters also frequently misperceive their candidate’s foreign policy positions. In particular they tend to assume that he supports more pro-multilateral positions than he, in fact, does. In all cases, there is a recurring theme: majorities of Bush supporters favor these positions they impute to Bush. They have trouble believing that Bush does not favor them too.
So why do Bush supporters show such a resistance to accepting dissonant information? While it is normal for people to show some resistance, the magnitude of the denial goes beyond the ordinary. Bush supporters have succeeded in suppressing awareness of the findings of a whole series of high- profile reports about prewar Iraq that have been blazoned across the headlines of newspapers and prompted extensive, high-profile and agonizing reflection. The fact that a large portion of Americans say they are unaware that the original reasons that the US took military action--and for which Americans continue to die on a daily basis--are not turning out to be valid, are probably not due to a simple failure to pay attention to the news.
The roots of the resistance to this information very likely lie in the traumatic experience of 9/11, and equally in the near pitch-perfect leadership that President Bush showed in its immediate wake. In response to an unprecedented attack on US soil, with the prospect of further such attacks, Bush responded with a grace and resolve that provided reassurance to an anxious public. In the war with the Taliban he showed restraint as well as effectiveness. Large numbers of Americans had a powerful bonding experience with the president--a bond that they may be loath to relinquish.
When the president turned his focus to Iraq, this robust public support begin to waver. His case about Iraq’s WMD and support for al Qaeda touched a nerve, but most Americans were not entirely convinced of the imperative to act. Most wanted Bush to first get UN support and allied participation before going into Iraq and were willing to stick with the inspection process for a while longer. Many were very wary of the US getting itself into a position reminiscent of Vietnam, when the world turned against the US.
Nonetheless, the majority was still inclined to give Bush the benefit of the doubt and backed him when he decided to go ahead without UN approval. At the same time, though they acquiesced, a majority of Americans did not actively favor taking action at the time Bush did. This was Bush’s war.
If all had worked out as advertised, the president’s relation with the public would probably have not missed a beat. While the initial war was easier than the public anticipated, the aftermath was much more difficult and drawn out than originally assumed. Concurrent with these rising costs, the benefits of the war began to be challenged by the failure to find WMD or evidence of Iraqi support for al Qaeda. The extent of international criticism took on tones of the Vietnam period.
Gradually the support for the decision to go to war and, concomitantly, public confidence in the president, began to wither. Moving in tandem down this slowly descending arc were the declining beliefs that Iraq had WMD and links to al Qaeda, and that world public opinion approved of the US going to war with Iraq.
But now, while others have peeled off, Bush supporters continue to hold onto their image of Bush as a capable protector. To do this it appears that many need to continue to screen out information that undermines this image.
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The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters October 21, 2004
Bush appears to assume that his support is fragile. He refuses to admit to making any mistakes. He admits that he was surprised that WMD were not found, but does not say that the most reasonable conclusion is that they were never there and continues to talk about “disarming” Iraq. He asserts that he never said that Iraq was directly involved in 9/11, but maintains that there were contacts with al Qaeda in a way that implies that they were significant. Most telling, his supporters as well as his opponents overwhelmingly say that they hear him still saying that Iraq had WMD and supported al Qaeda. To remain loyal and bonded to him means to enter into this false reality.
Bush may be right. Admitting his mistakes may shatter his idealized image in a way that some supporters may not forgive. But there also risks in succeeding in getting elected based on false beliefs. The number of people in the public who see through the illusion will likely continue to grow, eating away at the implied mandate of an election. Further, the cohesion of society can be damaged by a persisting and fundamental division in the perception of what is real, undermining pathways to consensus and mutual sacrifice, and making the country increasingly difficult to govern.
METHODOLOGY
The poll was fielded by Knowledge Networks, a polling, social science, and market research firm in Menlo Park, California, with a randomly selected sample of its large-scale nationwide research panel. This panel is itself randomly selected from the national population of households having telephones and subsequently provided internet access for the completion of surveys (and thus is not limited to those who already have internet access). The distribution of the sample in the web-enabled panel closely tracks the distribution of United States Census counts for the US population on age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, geographical region, employment status, income, education, etc.
The panel is recruited using stratified random-digit-dial (RDD) telephone sampling. RDD provides a non-zero probability of selection for every US household having a telephone. Households that agree to participate in the panel are provided with free Web access and an Internet appliance, which uses a telephone line to connect to the Internet and uses the television as a monitor. In return, panel members participate in surveys three to four times a month. Survey responses are confidential, with identifying information never revealed without respondent approval. When a survey is fielded to a panel member, he or she receives an e-mail indicating that the survey is available for completion. Surveys are self-administered.
For more information about the methodology, please go to:
www.knowledgenetworks.com/ganp.
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Interviews with Angelo Gilardino

*editors note (New Millennium Guitar Publishing Co.): Here in America we had things like the Monroe Doctrine, have been cultural imperialists and we have enjoyed our isolation. It's always been the bane of living here. As classical guitarists we have been fed an official diet of questionable information and carefully chosen import publications. All is intended to be a limited view dictated by limited views and commercial, based on the lowest common denominator. Slowly it is changing. So when I met Angelo Gilardino, guitar composer/teacher and head of the publisher Berben's guitar division, it was with this American filter of ignorance. I had heard his name infrequently and those in the business of information didn't care to mention him too much. The only place I heard his name was in the infrequent company of guitarists that had been somewhere. So when I met Mr. Gilardino, through Marco Bazzotti of Just Classical Guitar in Italy, I immediately felt that a new source had been discovered. I conclude that his music and direction are some of the most significant contributions to the late XXth century guitar. Mr. Gilardino is a most unassuming man with a great degree of respect for camps of guitar that he was supposed to be against, as said by those that breed controversy. The beauty of his music is mirrored by his words which are always in reverence of the creativity of others and the process of living in beauty. It seems hard for him to talk too much about himself. His music is stamped with a terse beauty. His music has much in common with the earlier XXth century in expressiveness but at the same time it is imbued with a sense of tightness more associated with more modern composers. His harmonic language runs the spectrum of the XXth century. Having said all of this I still don't see him as a post-modernist. In the heart of Europe an artist can exist without such trappings. Remember, it's their music this thing called classical. Here in America ours is jazz. In the interview I attempted to keep it in the Italian speaking English linguistic style. Most was conducted in April and early May over the Internet.

N.M. -The first question I have is: Why did Berben make such a commitment to 20th century music while other publishers were more interested in transcriptions of old music?

A.G -The interest for XXth century guitar music was the main feature of the entry of the firm, on about 1965, by the son of the owner. The company at that epoque was owned by Mr. Bio Boccosi (still alive), and when his son Fabio (present owner and managing director) entered, he thought it would have been a good thing to promote his house with the enterprise of an important series of modern guitar music. In 1967, his project became active. The house also published a lot of early and xixth century guitar music, but not on the basis of a definite program (a serious interest in this area is a recent feature added in these last few years).

N.M -When did you sign with the company? Did this interest start with your involvement with the company?

A.G. -When they decided to start the new series, the Boccosi family sought for a leader and asked for a suggestion to two independent advisors. One was Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, a famous musician who knew quite well the guitar world, the other was the leading Italian plectrum guitarist Luciano Zuccheri (a sort of Les Paul artist), who was a competent person without being involved in all the quarrels of Italian classical guitarists. At that epoque I was 26 years old and I had a lot of ideas, but no reputation and no power. I was just a local guitarist. The more, my ideas had earned me a strong aversion from Segovia's pupils, so I was also in a difficult situation. As all Italian guitarists knew of the forthcoming series of Begrave;rben, I did not dream of any involvement of mine in it, let alone to become its leader. When I was given the news that both advisors had independently expressed their preference indicating me, I kept silent a couple of days, because I couldn't believe it. Then of course I told myself that I had only to show I was at the height of the situation, and I begun working. Here I am, 30 years after.

N.M -How old is the company? Could you also give me some general company history? What is the ratio between old music and new music for the guitar? When did Berben first start doing recordings and who was the first guitar artist?

A.G. -The house celebrated, last year ,it's 50th anniversary with gifting - under my request - one hundred parcels of music of the value of 1.500 $ each, to one hundred young guitarists all over the world. The firm had been founded in Modena on 1946 by Mr. Ber(lini) Ben(edetto), who owned it up to 1960, then he sold it to an accordion maker company, Farfisa, of which Mr. Bio Boccosi was one of the the owners. When he left the company on his own, he took Begrave;rben as a mark of his. Then, his son Fabio shared with him the responsibility and from about 1980 he is the sole owner. Their first guitar record was released on 1975. It was the recording of a live concert of mine given on 1973, and it was produced as a Christmas gift for their customers, though it remained after in the catalogue.

N.M -What was your earliest strong influence in music (not necessarily the guitar)?

A.G. -My father, who was a horse breeder, brought me, in 1951, to a market at Modena (I think, though I am not sure of the town). That evening, I was given permission and money to go to movie. Casually, I entered instead a hall where a concert was featured. I did not know which the event was being given: I just saw people kindly talking in wait of I did not know what, and I was - as all children - curious. I remember I took place (shamelessly) in the very first row of seats. Some minutes after, a marvelous lady appeared with her guitar. I remember her dressing (blue-green velvet) and her long dark hair. She begun playing. I had never heard a concert in my life and I scarcely knew what a guitar was, still I was taken by that magic power at such an extent that, when she finished her concert, I couldn't move from my seat. Two old gentlemen came and asked me where I was coming from and where I should go, but I couldn't give them any reasonable answer. They brought me in the dressing room, introduced me to that lady and told her that I had been so fascinated by her playing that I had lost word and mind. It was not like that, but for sure I had been witched. She was very kind with me. Then, I was accompanied at the hotel whose name, at the end, I had been able to remember and where I stayed with my father. That night, my destiny was signed: I decided I would become a guitarist. Three years later, I begun my studies of music, guitar and cello. Needless to say, she was Ida Presti.

N.M -Who were your most influential teachers in composition and guitar?

A.G. -When I begun studying, on 1954, guitar was ignored in Italian conservatories and music school, so I entered the music school of my town, Vercelli - a town with a very strong musical tradition - as a cello student and immediately I was given lessons also in theory and harmony by the same cello teacher, who was excellent indeed (a very old man: I left cello when he died). I had guitar lessons for one year from the two guitarists who performed in the plectrum orchestra in Vercelli. They were not professional players, but they had inherited those features of the Italian school of guitar playing of which, later, I would have been an advocate. Then, I had lessons from two other Italian guitarists, mainly by Benvenuto Terzi - whose guitar works I have recently republished, then paying my debt to his memory. In the early sixties, I became a pupil of the composer Giuseppe Rosetta, who taught me a lot of harmony, counterpoint, forms. He too wrote nice guitar music which I published in the Begrave;rben series.

N.M -What composers of general classical music do you now believe are most significant and will be studied in 50 years? The same question for guitar.

A.G. -I think we have a lot to understand about the music written on xxth century. I think that we have still to appreciate the true importance and value of Bela Bartok, who is at my opinion the greatest musician of the first half of this century. Generally, we have also to rebalance our perspective of music history, that is now unbalanced in favor of the masters of Wien school: the greatness of Schoenberg, Berg and Webern is without question, but musicians like Bartok and - on the other side - Maurice Ravel and Manuel de Falla are under evaluated, both in terms of knowledge and appreciation of their works and from a philosophic viewpoint. Falla's weltanschaung was extremely deep, and the music he wrote is misunderstood. For what the music of the second half of this century is concerned, our understanding of it is still too influenced by the heavy pressure of the avant garde ideology. Music has been judged not in itself, but for the kind of language adopted by the composer: we have not judged the constructions, but the materials. I think the history of music from 1947 (Darmstadt) on, has yet to be written. Personally, I consider great composers people like Benjamin Britten, Dimitri Shostakovic, Samuel Barber, Giorgio Federico Ghedini, Goffredo Petrassi, Luigi Dallapiccola, and much lesser composers Karlheinz Stockhausen., Luigi Nono and Pierre Boulez. This is not the current issue...

N.M -Why does it seem that guitarists have an aversion to XXth century music?

A.G. -Here the ignorance and the confusions are immense. Guitarists, who filter the repertoire between composers and listeners, are too naive and lazy, and they ignore the majority of the repertoire accumulated in this century for their instrument. Their choices are influenced mainly by fashions and by a desperate search of pieces easy to be listened and appreciated by everybody. There are exceptions of course, but they are too few: in a guitar recital nowadays it is common to listen to pieces whose quality is so poor that in no other musical event a part of a guitar concert they could be offered.

N.M -What part of yourself asserted itself more on your past work, the composer or performer? Same question for nowadays.

A.G. -All my activity as a performer, which took place from 1959 to 1981, appear to me nowadays as an introduction - a necessary, very specialized introduction - to my activity as a composer, which begun definitely on 1981, when I stopped giving concerts and I entered also an official activity as a teacher. Castelnuovo-Tedesco had foreseen this issue on 1967: "No matter how good and passionate, your work as a concert player will give place one day to your talent as a composer, which is your destiny". At that moment, I felt rebellious to this statement, but fourteen years later I realized he was right. From other side, I see that I couldn't be the composer that I am now if I had not pushed my research on the guitar at the point I did during the Seventies, when I premiered ten new works each year...

N.M -Musicologists talk of composers having periods. How would you define your work over the years? What are some of the main components of your work (as in: romantic, classical or modern-tonal-nontonal serial ect.)

A.G. -My music is - I suppose - a bit of all of that: classical, romantic, modern, tonal, polytonal, modal, polymodal, serial, depending from the moment and from the need. I believe in style: what makes a composer and his works recognizable, really personal, detectable at first listening, is not the language, but the style created through no matter which language. Think of how many different languages Picasso painted his pictures, still his style is unique.

N.M -What's a workday like?

A.G. -Fourteen hours of job, devoted to teaching - either in Conservatory or in master classes - composing, editing, writing. A life exclusively devoted to music, with just a connected interest to literature and painting. The rest, is the silence. No family, no other commitment. A man with no qualities (to quote Musil).

N.M -What are your major duties with Berben?

A.G. -Selecting, proposing and preparing new texts for publication. In the last two years, I learned to type music with computer, so as to deliver pieces ready for print. To say that the 350 pages of the score of my last work, the Concerto for guitar and orchestra, have been typed by myself, is a reason of pride, no less than the fact of being the author of the music. After all, I have been taught to compose, but I have learned Finale by myself, with the only help of the handbooks.

N.M -How many new classical guitar pieces do you average per year? Are there any commercial considerations that the company considers when a piece is submitted? Considering that the answer was yes, do you, in some cases, fight for pieces when you have realized that it is important?

A.G. -The average reading is ten pieces a week, so about 500 per year. No commercial consideration is done, and no fight with the Publisher. If I say yes the piece is published. In order to help young composers, Begrave;rben has opened a blue printed series at a lower cost, where interesting works are given place. The Publisher bought a very expensive tool for printing these works of his own, while the normal output is printed at Florence, in the best Italian factory.

N.M -What was the Segovia/Gilardino controversy? Did Segovia know your work and cover any of it? You know, it seems almost crass to ask this question since the man's dead: What did you think of Segovia at the time of this controversy and what do you think of him now?

A.G. -I have always highly respected Segovia and no controversy happened between him and I. Of course, he knew that, since I was a very young player, I was not among his followers, but this did not open any direct polemic. Simply, I respectfully disagreed with his attitude toward Italian guitar music of XIXth century and with his evaluation of new music written outside his aesthetic, and I did not hide my ideas. From other side, he did not appreciate all of my choices of guitar pieces published in the red series, and he said this, quite openly and respectfully: This did not prevent him to suggest a strict friend of his, like Tansman, to entrust me for publishing some of his pieces. The problems were invented by his pupils (not all of them, of course), who had created a sort of church of which they were cardinals, bishops and priests. They regarded me as a criminal because of my not being a devotee of their God. A significant fact, which means a lot about what Segovia actually thought. Recently, I was in a Spain conservatory for giving a master class. When introducing me to the students, the professor of that Conservatory, an early Segovia student, declared - at my surprise - that in 1974, when he asked Segovia a suggestion about how to pursue his studies - the maestro's answer was: if you really want to study deeply the guitar and its repertoire, go to Italy and work with Gilardino. This happened 23 years ago, when his servants were misrepresenting my opinion of him by all their means. Segovia was an extremely intelligent man, he was able to detect the whole of a person at first sight. Anyway, there is a form of justice also in this world: I did not try to justify myself with Segovia, because I did not think it was necessary. He knew, and in fact, now the one who has to take care of his unpublished guitar music, is me.

N.M -What are your favorites of your pieces?

A.G. -I have no connection with my pieces, except when I am composing them. Since then, especially when published, they belong to everybody, and I am no longer especially fond of a piece or of another. I feel insignificant and unimportant in respect of the music I write. I have to add - to be quite honest - that when teaching I do not like to deal with my own music. I can get passionate with a movement of Henze's "Royal Winter Music" so as to keep a student three hours, missing my sense of time passing, but when it happens I have to teach a piece of my own, I feel rather uncertain about what to say.

N.M -What was one of your most memorable performances?

A.G. -My last concert, on May 31, 1981. It was the 30th concert of a season which I began in February, and I was very tired. But that concert was special, because it was one of the few I gave on my own town, Vercelli, and because it was attended by the old maestro Rosetta, whose pieces I had featured on the first part of the program, so as to allow him to leave after, because he was ill and he couldn't attend the whole recital. I had been told he could no longer "understand" music - he suffers a cerebral illness - but at the end of the first part, his part, he wanted to be accompanied to the dressing room and he was able to say me: thank you. I saw in his eyes a light of Paradise: he had lived his life like a saint, and now - despite his illness - he was understanding much better than all of us.

N.M -What performer covers your work the best?

A.G. -I have several champions of my music whom I personally know, and others whom I know just as names. The first important guitarist who performed my pieces was Gabriel Estarellas, in the very early Seventies, when I did not think of composing on regular basis. He liked the first piece I had published, "Canzone Notturna", a work that had been corrected by Castelnuovo-Tedesco, who also liked it. Estarellas asked for another piece, and then I wrote for him - very quickly - "Estrellas para Estarellas", whose title is of course a play on words. He recorded it magnificently. When I began composing regularly, since 1982, he was among my first interpreters, and he was the first excellent performer of my second Sonata, "A Blossomed Winter", dedicated to him. Then I had two champions of my music in Italy, two among the very best Italian guitarists: Marco de Santi and Luigi Biscaldi. The former has recently recorded for EMI some Studies of mine and also the Fantasy entitled "Ocram", which I wrote for him. The latter, has regularly been the first performer of almost all of my pieces, and he is the dedicatee of most of them, included the recent Concerto for guitar and orchestra entitled "Lecons de Teacute;negrave;bres". He also premiered my two Concertos for guitar and guitar quartet with the Quartetto di Asti and the "Concerto d'autunno" for guitar and guitar orchestra with the ensemble Benvenuto Terzi. He is a splendid player, and I am worried of the fact he is affected by a disease of his right hand for one year. These are the steady fellows of my music which are close to me, and whom I know very well. But of course there are many other ones. I have a directory where I take note of the names of the guitarists who have informed me - directly or otherwise - of their performances of pieces of mine. They are about one hundred and fifty as far as now, including guitar quartets and guitar orchestras: I cannot mention all of them, so I prefer not to begin a list which would be incomplete.


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EXTRACT FROM: An Interview with Marco de Santi and review of his self titled EMI (CD 7243 5 55609 2 6) release. Copyright 1999, new millennium Guitar Publishing Co., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. HTML amp; Web Design by Larry Cooperman

Marco.de.Santi: After two or three years I began to participate in guitar competitions; in one of these competitions I met Angelo Gilardino. He was very young and I was incredibly afraid of him because some friend told me he was very serious. I had a first prize and my father had the idea to ask Angelo to give me some lessons. You have to imagine that Vercelli, the city where Angelo lives is 200 Km far from Lonato; I never understood how my father had this "enlightening idea" but it opened a new season in my life. Angelo was the only one true professor of my life and Iimmediately felt an endless admiration for him. He not only taught me music, but like Fausto did introduced me to the painting Art first. Angelo taught me about literature and poetry and he helped me to create a new dimension in my mind. I could write down many pages about these two experiences; they developed day by day more than 15 years of my life and the memory of Fausto who died because of a cancer some years ago, and the friendship with Angelo, follows to give me energy for watching to my future. They sigified the greatest influences for creating my feeling with the guitar; after that off course the friendship with Astor Piazzolla, to play with him and some other musical experience gave me something more, but Fausto Bettelli gave me the passion and Angelo Gilardino taught me how make it to grow up and how to voice it with the correct language. I learned that I can speak with people through my guitar. My sadness, my joy, my feelings, I can tell people my own story and they listen with interest to what I do. It is like to reach a place in which the time does not exists and where you feel the beautiful sensation they love you, not because you are great, but just because of what you are. Angelo tried to teach me how to be the master of this desire; I play compositions written by others composers and I need to know, to respect and to satisfy "their" desire. The guitar is an instrument to express something alive that somebody put in the score; the guitar gave me the possibility to open the cage and to feel that "life" inside me. Through the guitar I finally can make this "life" reach people. In those moments I feel the guitar like a part of my body. This happens especially when I play music by Piazzolla, Angelo's modern music and also with some pieces written by XIX Century composers.

With Angelo's music it was a different story. When I began to study with Angelo I was 16 years old and it was for me a great joy when he decided to dedicate a piece to me; I was incredibly honoured and excited. Angelo wrote those pieces like a dress to fit perfectly my technique and my temperament and my relationship with them was and still it is fantastic. It was for me very easy and direct to play in concert that music; is was like to show myself in front of people. This happens with many pieces Angelo wrote during the long period I was studying with him and living in Vercelli, the city where he used to live. Later, I followed to study and performing Angelo's music, that the great search of sound, mechanics, timber and structures he does make it one of the most imporant in the guitar music of this century. His influence was always very strong, and I never played one of is pieces without to let him listen to my interpretation of it. I have for Angelo a great admiration, for his human power first and then for his cultural knowledge , but when I play for him I still follow to feel him like my great "Maestro".



ETHOLOGY AND STRESS DISEASES

Nobel Lecture, December 12, 1973
by
N I K O L A A S T I N B E R G E N
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, England
Many of us have been surprised at the unconventional decision of the Nobel
Foundation to award this year’s prize ‘for Physiology or Medicine’ to three
men who had until recently been regarded as ‘mere animal watchers’. Since
at least Konrad Lorenz and I could not really be described as physiologists,
we must conclude that our scientia amabilis is now being acknowledged as an
integral part of the eminently practical field of Medicine. It is for this reason
that I have decided to discuss today two concrete examples of how the old
method (1) of ‘watching and wondering’ about behaviour (which incidentally
we revived rather than invented) can indeed contribute to the relief of
human suffering - in particular of suffering caused by stress. It seems to me
fitting to do this in a city already renowned for important work on psychosocial
stress and psychosomatic diseases (2).
My first example concerns some new facts and views on the nature of what
is now widely called Early Childhood Autism. This is a set of behavioural
aberrations which Leo Kanner first described in 1943 (3). To us, i.e. my wife
Elisabeth and me, it looks as if it is actually on the increase in a number of
western and westernised societies. From the description of autistic behaviour -
or Kanner’s syndrome (4) - it is clear, even to those who have not themselves
seen these unfortunate children, how crippling this affliction is. In various
degrees of severity, it involves, among other things: a total withdrawal from
the environment; a failure to acquire, or a regression of overt speech, and a
serious lagging behind in the acquisition of numerous other skills; obsessive
preoccupation with a limited number of objects; the performance of seemingly
senseless and stereotyped movements; and an EEG pattern that indicates high
overall arousal. A number of autists recover (some of them ‘spontaneously’)
but many others end up in mental hospitals, where they are then often diagnosed,
and treated, as schizophrenics.
In spite of a growing volume of research on the subject (5), opinions of
medical experts on how to recognise autism, on its causation, and therefore
on the best treatment vary widely. Let me consider this briefly, point by point.
1. There is disagreement already at the level of diagnosis and labeling. For
instance, for 445 children Rimland compared the diagnosis given by the doctor
who was consulted first, with a ‘second opinion’ (6). If the art of diagnosis
had any objective basis, there should be a positive correlation between first
and second opinions. In fact, as Rimland points out, there is not a trace of
such a correlation - the diagnoses are practically random (Table 1). What
113

these doctors have been saying to the parents is little more than: ‘You are
quite right; there is something wrong with your child’.
And yet, if we use the term autism in the descriptive sense of ‘Kanner's
syndrome’, it does name a relatively well-defined cluster of aberrations.
2. The disagreement about the causation of autism is no less striking. It
expresses itself at two levels. First, there is the usual ‘nature-nurture’ controversy.
The majority of experts who have written on autism hold that it is due
either to a genetic defect, or to equally irreparable ‘organic’ abnormalities -
for instance brain damage such as can be incurred during a difficult delivery.
Some of the specialists are certainly emphatic in their assertion that autism
is ‘not caused by the personalities of the parents, nor by their child-rearing
practices’ (7). If this were true, the outlook for a real cure for such children
would of course be bleak, for the best one could hope for would be an amelioration
of their suffering. But there are also a few experts who are inclined
to ascribe at least some cases of autism to damaging environmental causes -
either traumatising events in early childhood, or a sustained failure in the
parent-infant interaction (8). If this were even partially correct, the prospect
for a real cure would be brighter of course.
The confusion about causation is also evident in the disagreement about
the question what is ‘primary’ in the overall syndrome - what is ‘at the
root of the trouble’ - and what are mere symptoms. Some authors hold that
autism is primarily either a cognitive, or (often mentioned in one breath) a
speech defect (9). Others consider the hyperarousal as primary (10). Those
who subscribe to the environmental hypothesis think either in terms of too
much overall input (11), or in terms of failures in the processes of affiliation,
and of subsequent socialisation (8).
3. In view of all this it is no wonder that therapies, which are often based
on views concerning causation, also differ very widely. Nor is it easy to judge
the success rates of any of these therapies, for the numbers of children treated
by any individual therapist or institution are small; also, the descriptions of
the treatments are inevitably incomplete and often vague. Unless one observes
the therapist in action it is not really possible to judge what he has actually
been doing.
In short, as O’Gorman put it not long ago (4. p. 124) ‘. . . our efforts in
the past have been largely empirical, and largely ineffectual’.
In view of all this uncertainty any assistance from outside the field of
Psychiatry could be of value. And it is such assistance that my wife and I have
recently tried to offer (12). Very soon our work led us to conclusions which
went against the majority opinion, and we formulated proposals about therapies
which, with few exceptions, had not so far been tried out. And I can
already say that, where these treatments have been applied, they are leading
to highly promising results, and we feel that we begin to see a glimmer of
hope.
Before giving my arguments for this optimistic prognosis, let me describe
how and why we became involved.
Our interest in autistic children, aroused initially by what little we had seen
116 Physiology or Medicine 1973
of the work that was being done in the Park hospital in Oxford, remained
dormant for a long time. But when, in 1970, we read the statement by Drs.
John and Corinne Hutt that ‘. . . apart from gaze aversion of the face,
all other components of the social encounters of these autistic children are
those shown by normal non-autistic children’. (13, p. 147), we suddenly sat
up, because we knew from many years of child watching that normal children
quite often show all the elements of Kanner’s syndrome.
Thinking this over we remembered the commonsense but sound warning
of Medawar, namely that ‘it is not informative to study variations of behaviour
unless we know beforehand the norm from which the variants depart’
(14, p. 109), and we realised that these words had not really been heeded
by psychiatrists. In their literature we had found very little about normal
children that could serve as a basis for comparison.
We also realised that, since so many autists do not speak (and are often
quite wrongly considered not to understand speech either) a better insight
into their illness would have to be based on the study of their non-verbal
behaviour. And it is just in this sphere that we could apply some of the methods
that had already proved their value in studies of animal behaviour (15).
Therefore we began to compare our knowledge of the non-verbal behaviour
that normal children show only occasionally, with that of true autists, which
we had not only found described in the literature but also began to observe
more closely at first hand.
The types of behaviour to which we soon turned our attention included
such things as: the child keeping its distance from a strange person or situation;
details of its facial expressions; its bodily stance; its consistent avoid-
Fig. 1. Two photographs of a girl (aged 6 years) taken in the same spring. Left: taken
by a school photographer. Right: taken by her elder sister. They illustrate some nonverbal
expressions as used in motivational analysis. From Tinbergen and Tinbergen,
1972.
Fig. 2. An example of ‘temporary’ and permanent autistic behaviour. Left: Typical
slight rejection by a twelve months old normal boy, photographed in his own home in
the presence of his mother, who was smiling at him, and faced by him, from approximately
four metres distance. The photographer, who was his (rarely met) grandfather,
was approximately 1 1/2 metres away from the child. From Tinbergen and Tinbergen
1972. Right: ‘Response of an autistic child to repeated attempts of adult to make eyeto-
eye contact (drawn from 8 mm motion picture film) from Hutt and Ounsted 1966’.
Reproduced from Hutt and Hutt 1970.
ance of making eye contact etc. - an extremely rich set of expressions that are
all correlated with overt avoidance (Figs 1 and 2). The work of professional
child ethologists is beginning to show us how immensely rich and subtle the
repertoire is of such non-verbal expressions (16).
But, apart from observing these behaviours themselves, we also collected
evidence about the circumstances which made normal children revert to
bouts of autistic behaviour.
What emerged from this dual approach was quite clear: such passing attacks
of autistic behaviour appear in a normal child when it finds itself in a
situation that creates a conflict between two incompatible motivations. On
the one hand, the situation evokes fear (a tendency to withdraw, physically
and mentally) but on the other hand it also elicits social, and often exploratory
behaviour - but the fear prevents the child from venturing out into the
world. And, not unexpectedly, it is ‘naturally’ timid children (by nature or
by nurture, or both) that show this conflict behaviour more readily than more
resilient, confident children. But my point is that they all respond to the
environment.
Once we had arrived at this interpretation, we tested it in some simple
experiments. In fact, we realised that in our years of interaction with children
we had already been experimenting a great deal. Such experiments had not
been aiming at the elicitation of autistic behaviour, but rather at its opposite:
its elimination. As we have written before, each of these experiments was in
118 Physiology or Medicine 1973
reality a subtly modulated series of experiments. For a description of what
we actually did, I quote from our original publication. We wrote (12, pp.
29-30):
‘What we invariably do when visiting, or being visited by a family with
young children is, after a very brief friendly glance, ignoring the child(ren)
completely, at the same time eliciting, during our early conversations, friendly
responses from the parent(s). One can see a great deal of the behaviour of
the child out of the corner of one’s eye, and can monitor a surprising amount
of the behaviour that reveals the child’s state. Usually such a child will start
by simply looking intently at the stranger, studying him guardedly. One may
already at this stage judge it safe to now and then look briefly at the child
and assess more accurately the state it is in. If, on doing so, one sees the child
avert its glance, eye contact must at once be broken off. Very soon the child
will stop studying one. It will approach gingerly, and it will soon reveal its
strong bonding tendency by touching one - for instance by putting its hand
tentatively on one’s knee. This is often a crucial moment: one must not respond
by looking at the child (which may set it back considerably)
but by cautiously touching the child’s hand with one’s own. Again, playing
this ‘game’ by if necessary stopping, or going one step back in the process,
according to the child’s response, one can soon give a mildly reassuring signal
by touch, for instance by gently pressing its hand, or by touching it quickly,
and withdrawing again. If, as is often the case, the child laughs at this, one
can laugh oneself, but still without looking at the child. Soon it will become
more daring, and the continuation of contact, by touch and by indirect vocalisation,
will begin to cement a bond. One can then switch to the first, tentative
eye contact. This again must be done with caution, and step by step;
certainly with a smile, and for brief moments at first. We find that first covering
one’s face with one’s hands, then turning towards the child (perhaps
saying ‘where’s Andrew?’ or whatever the child’s name) and then briefly
showing one’s eyes and covering them up at once, is very likely to elicit a
smile, or even a laugh. For this, incidentally, a child often takes the initiative
(see, e.g. Stroh and Buick (11)). Very soon the child will then begin to solicit
this; it will rapidly tolerate increasingly long periods of direct eye contact and
join one. If this is played further, with continuous awareness of and adjustments
to slight reverses to a more negative attitude, one will soon find the
child literally clamouring for intense play contact. Throughout this process
the vast variety of expressions of the child must be understood in order to
monitor it correctly, and one must oneself apply an equally large repertoire
in order to give, at any moment, the best signal. The ‘bag of tricks’ one
has to have at one’s disposal must be used to the full, and the ‘trick’ selected
must whenever possible be adjusted to the child’s individual tastes. Once
established, the bond can be maintained by surprisingly slight signals; a child
coming to show proudly a drawing it has made is often completely happy
with just a ‘how nice dear’ and will then return to its own play. Even simpler
vocal contacts can work; analogous to the vocal contact calls of birds
(which the famous Swedish writer Selma Lagerloef correctly described in
Ethology and Stress Diseases 119
‘Nils Holgersson’ as, ‘I am here, where are you?‘) many children develop
an individual contact call, to which one has merely to answer in the same
language.
‘The results of this procedure have been found to be surprisingly rapid,
and also consistent if one adjusts oneself to the monitoring results. Different
children may require different starting levels, and different tempos of stepping-
up. One may even have to start by staying away from the child’s favourite
room. It is also of great significance how familiar to the child the physical
environment is. Many children take more than one day; with such it is important
to remember that one has to start at a lower level in the morning
than where one left off the previous evening. We have the impression that the
process is on the whole completed sooner if one continually holds back until
one senses the child longing for a more intense contact.’
With all these experiences with normal children in mind, we began to
reconsider the evidence about permanently autistic children - again using our
own observations as well as the reports we found in the literature. And two
things became clear almost at once: neither for genetic abnormalities nor for
gross brain damage was there any convincing, direct evidence; all we found
were inferences, or arguments that do not hold water.
The main argument for a genetic abnormality is the statement (and one
hears it time and again) ‘these children have been odd from birth’. And we
also found that, for various reasons, neither the specialists nor the parents are
very willing to consider environmental influences. But in view of what we
know about the effects of non-genetic agents that act in utero - of which the
new indications about the effects of rubella contracted by pregnant women
is only one (17) -the ‘odd-from-birth’ argument is of course irrelevant. And
at least two cases are known of identical twins of whom only one developed
Kanner’s syndrome (18).
Equally unconvincing are the arguments in favour of gross brain damagethis
idea too is based mainly on inference.
On the other hand, the body of positive evidence that points to environmental
causes is growing. For instance, many workers report that the incidence
of autism is not random. Relatively many autists are first-born children
(19). There is also a pretty widespread conviction that the parents of autists
are somehow different - for instance many of them are very serious people,
or people who are themselves under some sort of strain. And to a trained
observer it is also very obvious that autists respond to conditions, which to
them are frightening or intrusive, by an intensification of all their symptoms.
Conversely, we have tried out our ‘taming procedure’ as described for normal
children on some severely autistic children, and succeeded in ‘drawing
them out of their shells’, an making them snuggle up to us, and even in making
them join us in, for instance, ‘touch games’. I cannot possibly go into all
the evidence, but there are several good indications, firstly, that many autists
are potentially normal children, whose affiliation and subsequent socialisation
processes have gone wrong in one way or another, and secondly: this can often
be traced back to something in the early environment - on occasion a frighten-
120 Physiology or Medicine 1973
ing accident, but most often something in the behaviour of the parents, in
particular the mothers. Let me hasten to add that in saying this we are not
blaming these unfortunate parents. Very often they seem to have been either
simply inexperienced (hence perhaps the high incidence among first-borns);
or over-apprehensive; or over-efficient and intrusive; or - perhaps most often
- they are people who are themselves under stress. For this, and many other
reasons, the parents of autists deserve as much compassion, and may be as
much in need of help, as the autists themselves.
Now if we are only partially right in assuming that at least a large proportion
of autists are victims of some kind of environmental stress, whose
basic trouble is of an emotional nature, then one would expect that those
therapies that aim at reducing anxiety - by allowing spontaneous socialisation
and exploration whenever it occurs - would be more successful than those
that aim at the teaching of specific skills. Unfortunately (as I have already
said), it is hardly possible to judge from published reports what treatment
has actually been applied. For instance one speech therapist may behave
rather intrusively, and turn a child into a mere ‘trained monkey’, leaving
all the other symptoms as they were, or even making them worse. Another
speech therapist may have success simply by having proceeded in a very gentle,
motherly way. One has to go by those instances where one has either been
involved oneself or where one knows pretty precisely how the therapist has in
fact proceeded. It is with this in mind that I will now mention briefly three
examples of treatments that seem to hold great promise.
Firstly, even before we published our first paper, the Australian therapist
Helen Clancy had been treating autistic children and their families along
lines that are very similar to, in fact are more sophisticated than those recommended
by us in 1972.
The gist of Clancy’s method is as follows (8): firstly, since she considers
the restoration of affiliation as the first goal of treatment of autism, she
treats both mother and child, and the family as well. She does this by provoking
in the mother an increase in maternal, protective behaviour. Secondly,
she uses a form of operant conditioning for speeding up the child’s response
to this change in the mother. In other words, she tries to elicit a mutual
emotional bond between mother and child, and refrains, at least at first,
from the piecemeal teaching of particular skills.
With those mothers who were willing to cooperate, Clancy has achieved
highly encouraging success - although of course a few families (4 out of appr.
50 treated over a period of 14 years) have failed to benefit.
Secondly, after the first public discussion of our work, my wife received
invitations to visit some schools for autists, and to observe what was being
done. She found that in one of them, a small day school which already had an
impressive record of recoveries, the treatment was likewise aimed at the restoration
of emotional security, and teaching as such, including some gentle
speech therapy, was never started until a child had reached a socially positive
attitude. Much to our dismay, this school has since been incorporated into a
school for maladjusted children - the experiment has been discontinued.
Ethology and Stress Diseases 121
Thirdly, a regional psychiatrist invited us a year ago to act as advisors in a
fascinating experiment which she too had begun well before she had heard of
our work. Three boys, who are now 9, 9 1/2 and 11 1/2 years of age, and who
had all been professionally diagnosed as severely autistic, are now being gently
integrated into a normal primary school. This involves a part-time hometutor
for each boy, a sympathetic headmaster, and willingness of the parents
to cooperate. The results are already little short of spectacular. In fact, a
specialist on autistic children who visited the school recently said to us: ‘Had
the records not shown that these three children were still severely autistic a
couple of years ago, I would not now believe it’. This experiment, which is
also run along lines that are consistent with our ideas, is being carefully documented.
It is this type of evidence, together with that provided by a number of already
published case histories (20), that has by now convinced us that many
autists can attain full recovery, if only we act on the assumption that they
have been traumatised rather than genetically or organically damaged.
I cannot go into further details here, but I can sum up in a few sentences
the gist of what the ethological approach to Early Childhood Autism has produced
so far:
1. There are strong indications that many autists suffer primarily from an
emotional disturbance, from a form of anxiety neurosis, which prevents or retards
normal affiliation and subsequent socialisation, and this in its turn
hampers or suppresses the development of overt speech, of reading, of exploration,
and of other learning processes based on these three behaviours.
2. More often than has so far been assumed these aberrations are not due
to either genetic abnormalities or to gross brain damage, but to early environmental
influences. The majority of autists - as well as their parents - seem to
be genuine victims of environmental stress. And our work on normal children
has convinced us not only that this type of stress disease is actually on the
increase in western and westernised countries, but also that very many children
must be regarded as semi-autistic, and even more as being seriously at
risk.
3. Those therapies that aim at the reduction of anxiety and at a re-starting
of proper socialisation seem to be far more effective than for instance
speech therapy per se and enforced social instruction, which seem to be at
best symptom treatments, and to have only limited success. Time and again
treatment at the emotional level has produced an explosive emergence of
speech and other skills.
If I now try to assess the implications of what I have said, I feel at the
same time alarmed and hopeful.
We are alarmed because we found this corner of Psychiatry in a state of
disarray, and because we discovered that many of the established experts -
doctors, teachers and therapists - are so little open to new ideas and even
facts. Another cause for alarm is our conviction that the officially recognised
autists are only a fraction of a much larger number of children who obviously
suffer to some degree from this form of social stress.
122 Physiology or Medicine 1973
We feel hopeful because attempts at curing such children at the emotional
level, while still in the experimental stage, are already leading to positive
results. And another encouraging sign is that, among the young psychiatrists,
we have found many who are sympathetic to our views, or even share them,
and begin to act on them.
In the interest of these thousands of unfortunate children we appeal to all
concerned to give the ‘stress view’ of autism at least the benefit of the doubt,
and to try out the forms of therapy that I have mentioned.
My second example of the usefulness of an ethological approach to Medicine
has quite a different history. It concerns the work of a very remarkable
man, the late F. M. Alexander (21). His research started some fifty years
before the revival of Ethology for which we are now being honoured, yet his
procedure was very similar to modern observational methods, and we believe
that his achievements and those of his pupils deserve close attention.
Alexander, who was born in 1869 in Tasmania, became at an early age a
‘reciter of dramatic and humorous pieces’. Very soon he developed serious
vocal trouble and he came very near to losing his voice altogether. When no
doctor could help him, he took matters into his own hands. He began to
observe himself in front of a mirror, and then he noticed that his voice was
at its worst when he adopted the stances which to him felt appropriate and
‘right’ for what he was reciting. Without any outside help he worked out,
during a series of agonising years, how to improve what is now called the
‘use’ of his body musculature in all his postures and movements. And, the remarkable
outcome was that he regained control of his voice. This story, of
perceptiveness, of intelligence, and of persistence, shown by a man without
medical training, is one of the true epics of medical research and practice
(22).
Once Alexander had become aware of the mis-use of his own body, he
began to observe his fellow men, and he found that, at least in modern western
society, the majority of people stand, sit and move in an equally defective
manner.
Encouraged by a doctor in Sydney, he now became a kind of missionary.
He set out to teach - first actors, then a variety of people - how to restore the
proper use of their musculature. Gradually he discovered that he could in this
way alleviate an astonishing variety of somatic and mental illnesses. He also
wrote extensively on the subject. And finally he taught a number of his pupils
to become teachers in their turn, and to achieve the same results with their
patients. Whereas it had taken him years to work out the technique and
to apply it to his own body, a successful course became a matter of months -
with occasional ‘refresher’ sessions afterwards. Admittedly, the training of a
good Alexander teacher takes a few years.
For scores of years a small but dedicated number of pupils have continued
his work. Their combined successes have recently been described by Barlow
(23). I must admit that his physiological explanations of how the treatment
could be supposed to work (and also a touch of hero worship in his book)
made me initially a little doubtful, and even sceptical. But the claims made,
Ethology and Stress Diseases 123
first by Alexander, and reiterated and extended by Barlow sounded so extraordinary
that I felt I ought to give the method at least the benefit of the
doubt. And so, arguing that medical practice often goes by the sound empirical
principle of ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’, my wife, one of
our daughters and I decided to undergo treatment ourselves, and also to use
the opportunity for observing its effects as critically as we could. For obvious
reasons, each of us went to a different Alexander teacher.
We discovered that the therapy is based on exceptionally sophisticated observation,
not only by means of vision but also to a surprising extent by using
the sense of touch. It consists in essence of no more than a very gentle, first
exploratory, and then corrective manipulation of the entire muscular system.
This starts with the head and neck, then very soon the shoulders and chest
are involved, and finally the pelvis, legs and feet, until the whole body is under
scrutiny and treatment. As in our own observations of children, the therapist
is continuously monitoring the body, and adjusting his procedure all the
time. What is actually done varies from one patient to another, depending
on what kind of mis-use the diagnostic exploration reveals. And naturally, it
affects different people in different ways. But between the three of us, we
already notice, with growing amazement, very striking improvements in such
diverse things as high blood pressure, breathing, depth of sleep, overall cheerfulness
and mental alertness, resilience against outside pressures, and also in
such a refined skill as playing a stringed instrument.
So from personal experience we can already confirm some of the seemingly
fantastic claims made by Alexander and his followers, namely that many types
of under-performance and even ailments, both mental and physical, can be
alleviated, sometimes to a surprising extent, by teaching the body musculature
to function differently. And although we have by no means finished our
course, the evidence given and documented by Alexander and Barlow, of
beneficial effects on a variety of vital functions no longer sounds so astonishing
to us. Their long list includes first of all what Barlow calls the ‘rag
bag’ of rheumatism, including various forms of arthritis; but also respiratory
troubles, even potentially lethal asthma; following in their wake, circulation
defects, which may lead to high blood pressure and also to some dangerous
heart conditions; gastro-intestinal disorders of many types; various gynaecological
conditions; sexual failures; migraines and depressive states that often
lead to suicide - in short a very wide spectrum of diseases, both ‘somatic’
and ‘mental’, that are not caused by identifiable parasites.
Although no one would claim that the Alexander treatment is a cure-all
in every case, there can be no doubt that it often does have profound and
beneficial effects - and, I repeat once more, both in the ‘mental’ and
‘somatic’ sphere.
The importance of the treatment has been stressed by many prominent
people, for instance John Dewey (24, Aldous Huxley (25), and - perhaps
more convincing to us - by scientists of renown, such as Coghill (26), Raymond
Dart (27), and the great neurophysiologist Sherrington (28). Yet, with
few exceptions, the medical profession has largely ignored Alexander - per-
124 Physiology or Medicine 1973
Fig. 3. Typical slumped sitting positions. From Barlow, 1973.
haps under the impression that he was the centre of some kind of ‘cult’, and
also because the effects seemed difficult to explain. And this brings me to
my next point.
Once one knows that an empirically developed therapy has demonstrable
effects, one likes to know how it could work; what its physiological explanation
could be. And here some recent discoveries in the borderline field between
neurophysiology and ethology can make some aspects of the Alexander therapy
more understandable and more plausible than they could have been in Sherrington’s
time.
Fig. 4. Three sitting positions: (a Slumping; (b) Sitting too straight; (c) Balanced.
From Barlow, 1973.
125
Fig. 5. Position of pelvis, back, neck and head in ‘slumping’
position. From Barlow, 1973.
One of these new discoveries concerns the key-concept of ‘re-afference’
(29). There are many strong indications that, at various levels of integration,
from single muscle units up to complex behaviour, the correct performance of
many movements is continuously checked by the brain. It does this by comparing
a feedback report, that says ‘orders carried out’, with the feedback expectation
for which, with the initiation of each movement, the brain has been
alerted. Only when the expected feedback and the actual feedback match
does the brain stop sending out commands for corrective action. Already the
discoverers of this principle, von Holst and Mittelstaedt, knew that the functioning
of this complex mechanism could vary from moment to moment with
the internal state of the subject-the ‘target value’ or Sollwert of the ex-
Fig. 6. Standing in ‘hunched’ position
(left) and well balanced (right). From
Barlow, 1973.
Physiology or Medicine 1973
Fig. 7. Posture before (left) and after
Alexander treatment. The photograph
on the left shows muscle contractions at
the hack of the neck; raised shoulders
and tightened buttocks. After treatment
these tensions had disappeared and the
patient was overall taller. From Barlow,
1973.
pected feedback changes with the motor commands that are given. But what
Alexander has discovered beyond this is that a lifelong mis-use of the bodymuscles
(such as caused by, for instance, too much sitting and too little walking)
can make the entire system go wrong. As a consequence, reports that
‘all is correct’ are received by the brain (or perhaps interpreted as correct)
when in fact all is very wrong. A person can feel ‘at ease’ e.g. when slouching
in front of a television set, when in fact he is grossly abusing his body. I can
show you only a few examples, but they will be familiar to all of you. (Figs.
3 - 7 .
It is still an open question exactly where in this complex mechanism the
matching procedure goes wrong under the influence of consistent mis-use.
But the modern ethologist feels inclined, with Alexander and Barlow, to
blame phenotypic rather than genetic causes for mis-use. It is highly unlikely
that in their very long evolutionary history of walking upright, the Hominids
have not had time to evolve the correct mechanisms for bipedal locomotion.
This conclusion receives support from the surprising, but indubitable fact that
even after forty to fifty years of obvious mis-use one’s body can (one might
say) ‘snap’ back into proper, and in many respects more healthy use as a
result of a short series of half-hourly sessions. Proper stance and movement
are obviously genetically old, environment-resistant behaviours (30). Mis-use,
with all its psychosomatic or rather: somato-psychic consequences, must therefore
be considered a result of modern living conditions - of a culturally determined
stress. I might add here that I am not merely thinking of too much
sitting, but just as much of the ‘cowed’ posture that one assumes when one
feels that one is not quite up to one’s work - when one feels insecure.
127
Secondly, it need not cause surprise that a mere gentle handling of body
muscles can have such profound effects on both body and mind. The more
that is being discovered about psychosomatic diseases, and in general about
the extremely complex two-way traffic between the brain and the rest of the
body, the more obvious it has become that too rigid a distinction between
‘mind’ and ‘body’ is of only limited use to medical science - in fact can be
a hindrance to its advance.
A third biologically interesting aspect of the Alexander therapy is that every
session clearly demonstrates that the innumerable muscles of the body are continuously
operating as an intricately linked web. Whenever a gentle pressure
is used to make a slight change in leg posture, the neck muscles react immediately.
Conversely, when the therapist helps one to ‘release’ the neck
muscles, it is amazing to see quite pronounced movements for instance of the
toes, even when one is lying on a couch.
In this short sketch, I can do no more than characterise, and recommend,
the Alexander treatment as an extremely sophisticated form of rehabilition,
or rather of re-deployment, of the entire muscular equipment, and through
that of many other organs. Compared with this, many types of physiotherapy
which are now in general use look surprisingly crude and restricted in their
effect - and sometimes even harmful to the rest of the body.
What then is the upshot of these few brief remarks about Early Childhood
Autism and about the Alexander treatment? What have these two examples
in common? First of all they stress the importance for medical science of openminded
observation - of ‘watching and wondering’. This basic scientific
method is still too often looked down on by those blinded by the glamour
of apparatus, by the prestige of ‘tests’ and by the temptation to turn to
drugs. But it is by using this old method of observation that both autism and
general mis-use of the body can be seen in a new light: to a much larger
extent than is now realised both could very well be due to modern stressful
conditions.
But beyond this I feel that my two excursions into the field of medical
research have much wider implications. Medical science and practice meet
with a growing sense of unease and of lack of confidence from the side of the
general public. The causes of this are complex, but at least in one respect the
situation could be improved: a little more open-mindedness (31), a little more
collaboration with other biological sciences, a little more attention to the body
as a whole, and to the unity of body and mind, could substantially enrich
the field of medical research. I therefore appeal to our medical colleagues to
recognise that the study of animals - in particular ‘plain’ observation - can
make useful contributions to human biology not only in the field of somatic
malfunctioning, but also in that of behavioural disturbances, and ultimately
help us understand what psychosocial stress is doing to us, It is stress in the
widest sense, the inadequacy of our adjustability, that will become perhaps
the most important disruptive influence in our society.
If I have today stressed the applicability of animal behaviour research I do
not want to be misunderstood. As in all sciences, applications come in the
128 Physiology or Medicine 1973
wake of research motivated by sheer intellectual curiosity. What this occasion
enables me to emphasise is that biologically oriented research into animal
behaviour, which has been done so far with very modest budgets, deserves
encouragement - whatever the motivation and whatever the ultimate aims of
the researcher. And we ethologists must be prepared to respond to the challenge
if and when it comes.


NOISE

[I met Arline at her home in New York City. She is a wonderful and very caring and dedicated individual]. 

                                    VOLUME 22, NUMBER 1, 1997

                   Beware: Noise Is Hazardous to Our Children’s Development

                                      Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D.
                         Chair of the New York City Council on the Environment.

                  Noises impinge on the child’s language, cognitive and learning  abilities.

                   "We can do something about noise and when we do, children profit!"

In the Time magazine’s special report on "How a Child’s Brain Develops" (February 3, 1997), one of the articles, "The
Day-Care Dilemma" (Collins, February 3, 1997) began simply with the following statement: "Environment matters." Collins
goes on to say that what the baby "sees, hears and touches..." is critical to development. It is equally true that what the child
doesn’t hear is also important, but how often do we think about or discuss the impact of those unnecessary intrusive sounds on
the child’s development (other than effects of noise on hearing), or for that matter the crucial role quiet and solitude play in the
child’s maturation process? The non-auditory effects of noise on a child’s overall development, the focus of this paper, has
received too little attention.

Life Before Birth

Development doesn’t commence with birth, nor do the impacts of the enveloping environment, and that is why the early
intrauterine months are very influential in a child’s development. When Jones and Tauscher (1978) reported that infants born to
mothers living near the Los Angeles airport were lower in birth weights and had greater numbers of birth defects, such as cleft
palates, than did infants born to mothers living in quieter communities, there was concern that the neighboring planes were
disruptive to the fetus’ development. Kryter (1985) doubts that the acoustic energy from the planes was being transmitted to
the fetus through the mother’s tissues but rather believes that it was the annoyance and the fear of the planes that affected the
mother’s tissues and fluids and this in turn affected the environment of the developing fetuses. Although other reports from
European investigators confirmed the Jones and Tauscher findings, the data have not been sufficient to support a strong
relationship between aircraft noise and fetal defects. However, the United States National Research Council (1982) decided to
err on the safe side and urged pregnant women to avoid working in noisy industrial settings. Yet, how many individuals are
aware of the Research Council’s recommendations? Should this information not be more readily available in this ever
increasingly noisier society?

The Home-- Quiet or Noisy?

Now the baby is born! So many of our youngsters are born into an environment abounding with unnecessary noises --
television sets blasting , stereo systems booming, speaking voices that are shouting rather than talking, and an overall level of
sound that would make any person cringe. The newborn cannot withdraw, cannot escape and is a captive to the loud sounds all
around him Are these sounds harmful? Yes, these noises impinge on language, cognitive and learning abilities.

According to Wachs and Gruen (1982), noise in the early home environment is a strong factor in slowing down language and
cognitive development. They also found that these noisy homes were characterized by little interaction between parents and
children. Wachs became interested in noise because he believed that so many economically disadvantaged children lived in
homes that were overwhelmed by intrusive noises, and he is probably correct in proposing that the poorest youngsters in our
society are indeed adversely more affected by noise. It should be noted that the National Urban League was a recipient of a
noise - abatement grant in 1980 and had intended to work on the problems of noise in poor Black communities, but before the
League could undertake its task, the United States government curtailed funding of noise projects. The nation’s noise
abatement office is still closed, but there is some hope on the horizon in that a bill has been recently introduced to refund that
office.

Noise is not confined to the homes of the poor because many affluent homes are also too noisy. The instruments of noise --
television sets, computers, stereo systems, vacuum cleaners, and toys, yes toys -- may be more plentiful in the homes of the
middle - and upper - class. Add to this cacophony of sounds the voices that tend to be louder today than they once were. In
my recent book Top of the Class (Abex, 1996), I had studied the lives of older high academic achievers, inquiring about their
childhood homes and how they were reared. It was wonderful to learn that there were quiet times in their homes -- quiet times
for children to do their homework, to read and to think. There were no television sets, radio, and stereos blasting in the
background. These high academic achievers also reported that their parents disciplined them with stern but moderate voices,
not shouts and screams; most often all they needed was a " look of disapproval."

Unlike the homes where Wachs reported little interaction between parents and children, the academic achievers report much
interaction. Parents read to them, engaged them in conversation, and listened to their thoughts and ideas, as well as their
problems, when they grew older. Family meetings took place around the dining-room or kitchen table, where each member of
the family shared his/her thoughts and experiences.

To busy parents who today spend too little time eating with their children in a quiet setting, but rather at some loud fast-food
place, I urge you to rethink your present dining habits and set aside some quiet mealtimes in which you and your children can
eat as well as converse. All parents should evaluate the noise levels of their homes, and if they are indeed very noisy, take steps
to lower the sound level. Your children will most certainly reap benefits from a quieter, more serene home. More about this
later on in the article.

The Neighborhood -- Intrusive Sounds from Autos, Trains and Airplanes

It isn’t only the interiors of the homes that are noisy, but so many houses are located near noisy sources -- train tracks,
highways, airports. These noises may affect the physical health of children. Cohen, et al. (1980) found higher systolic and
diastolic blood pressure among schoolchildren living near the Los Angeles airport. Evans, et al. (1995) in a more recent paper
found a relationship between chronic noise exposure and elevated neuroendocrine and cardiovascular measures. Evans and his
colleagues also found that children living near the airport reported more "annoyance and a lower quality of life than did children
in quiet communities." To quote from Evans: "These data are sobering when one considers that more than 10 million American
schoolchildren are exposed to comparable noise levels."

With respect to psychological development, Cohen, Glass and Singer (1973) found that children living on the lower-floors of
buildings, directly exposed to high levels of expressway noise, demonstrated greater impairment of auditory discrimination and
reading achievement than those children living in higher-floor apartments. In attempting to explain their findings, Cohen, et al.
referred to Deutsch’s (1964) work in which he had speculated that a child reared in a noisy environment would eventually
become inattentive to acoustic cues. The result would be impaired auditory discrimination or the child’s inability, as she tunes
out the incoming noises, to discriminate between relevant and irrelevant sounds. This, in turn, might explain why it is difficult for
that child to listen in class. Although other studies have supported the Deutsch hypothesis, not all have, and that is why the
relationship between noise and auditory discrimination needs further research. For the present time, the results can serve as a
warning, cautioning parents to lower the decibel levels surrounding the growing child.

Furthermore, children who live near noisy highways or airports often attend schools near these same noisy sources,
compounding the problems. It is often too difficult to examine the impact of aircraft noise on children in their homes, so
investigators have looked at the impact of noise on children’s learning and reading scores when their schools lie within the path
of noisy overhead planes. Elementary school children attending schools near New York’s two noisy airports (Green, et al,
1992) had lower reading scores than those children attending schools further from the planes, and Cohen, et al. (1980)
reported that children attending school near the Los Angeles airport had more difficulty in solving cognitive problems. A critical
review of the nonauditory effects of noise on American school children (Evans and Lepore, 1995), including the deficits in
learning, reading, and problem-solving, clearly demonstrates that more attention must be given to the effects of noise on
cognitive development. Although the government has provided some dollars to protect schools and, in some cases, homes from
noisy overhead airplanes, there is no doubt, as a later study will reveal, that much more needs to be done in the area of noise
abatement.

In New York City, hundreds of thousands of people live near the elevated train tracks, and thousands of children attend school
near these tracks. Hambrick-Dixon (1985) found that pre-schoolers attending day-care centers near New York’s noisy
elevated train tracks did poorer on tests on psychomotor skills. Whether noise affected the reading ability of older children was
examined in a study by Bronzaft and McCarthy (1975). The examined the reading scores of children attending classes adjacent
to the tracks and compared them with the reading scores of the children attending classes on the quiet side of the building.
Second, fourth and sixth grade children on the noisy side were reading behind their counterparts on the quiet side, with the
children in the sixth grade lagging behind by as much as one year. The Transit Authority was convinced by parents and local
public officials to install rubber pads on the tracks to lower the din, and the Board of Education installed acousting ceilings in the
noisy rooms. The result was a drop in the decibel level, and in a later study Bronzaft (1981) found that children on both sides of
the building were reading at the same level. So, we have another lessons here -- namely, that we can do something about noise
and when we do, children profit!

Apparently not enough has been done to quiet schools from the overhead jets despite the growing body of literature
demonstrating the adverse impact of aircraft noise on learning (Evans & Lepore, 1993). In a soon-to-be published paper,
Evans (personal communication) has found that children chronically exposed to aircraft noise have "significant deficits in reading
as indexed by a standardized reading test administered under quiet conditions." Furthermore, Evans provides data to support
his contention that chronic noise interferes with reading because of deficits in language acquisition. The experimental elementary
school in the Evans study is located near a major New York metropolitan airport, and the control group was located in a quiet
neighborhood. All of the children attending the noisy school also lived near the airport and the majority were Black. Green, et
al. (1982) published their findings that airport noise lowers reading of ability of school-aged children in New York in 1982, and
now Evans reports the same in 1996.

At a time when New York City is concerned about its reading scores, it is especially disturbing that, for the most part, this
city’s leaders have not yet addressed the adverse effects of aircraft noise on its youngsters. New York’s public officials boast
that three airports serve their city, but are they aware that these airports have exposed more people to the harmful effects of
aircraft noise than any other city’s airports (Stenze, 1995)? The city’s airports are denying the rights of many children to a
peaceful and quiet environment in which to grow into physiologically and mentally healthy adults.

New York City is not alone in robbing our nation’s children of an environment conducive to proper development because so
many other cities are similarly exposing children to all sorts of external noises. Will the Los Angeles school district be able to
protect its students from the encroaching expansion of the Santa Monica airport into some very quiet, residential areas? Has
Chicago considered the impacts of its airport expansion, or have any of the other cities planning expansions (Stenzel, 1995)?

Children living in noisy communities do find the noise annoying, and when asked to rate their quality of life, children in these
areas rated them poorer than did children in quieter communities (Evans, 1995). When speaking with my grandson’s
third-grade class about noise, I was amazed to learn how bothered they were by noise and how many sources of noise they
identified that interfered with their personal lives. Similarly in the League for the Hard of Hearing’s Noise Poster Contest in
1996, we saw how cognizant children were about noise sources. There is no question that youngsters do not like these noises
in their lives. This doesn’t mean that children don’t enjoy playing and laughing and often doing this loudly, but after all this is
playing, not learning, not relaxing. Children need quiet rooms in which to study and quiet areas for reading. Children also need
quiet times for relaxing and resting.

As I watch the hectic pace of our society, I begin to become more and more aware of the need to take it easy and to slow our
tempo. So many parents often choose the same kind of frenzied pace for their children as they rush them from activity to
activity. Children are not being given the time to reflect at their own pace, and to digest the lessons to which they are exposed,
and a time to rest. To learn effectively, children need the time to rest between lessons. Give them this time -- a time in which to
do nothing, a time in which they are not intruded upon by outside stimuli, especially noises.

John Dallas (1995) is so right when he says that: "In an environment where you can’t obtain peace and quiet, it’s close to
impossible to find peace within yourself, to find quiet on the inside." Children need to find that quiet inside themselves as well --
a quit that brings them serenity and solace. There is a time to play and frolic and there is a time to slow down and to simply rest.
The body needs that time to repair itself and so does the so-called "mind." There is no doubt that when a child finds the ability
to "slow it down," then his development will be enhanced in every respect.

Noise Abatement -- a Parent’s Obligation, a Citizen’s Responsibility.

Being aware of the dangers of noise in our children’s development is the first step toward improving the conditions in their lives.
The second step is action-oriented. Parents must make every effort to keep their homes quieter, but they must also attempt to
quiet their communities. They must inform their neighbors, their school representatives, and their legislators as to the dangers of
noise. All citizens, parents and non-parents alike, must then demand that noise laws, at all levels of government, be enforced
and urge the passage of more effective laws where needed. The federal government has a law on the books to provide its
citizenry with a less noisy environment, but it hasn’t provide the dollars to ensure the implementation of this law. Isn’t it about
time to urge the federal authorities to abide by the intent of its noise law? Let’s join the League for the Hard of Hearing in its
efforts to get the government to do so.

When one learns of the technology to abate noise, one learns that the "know-how" is there; what is sadly lacking is the "will."
Make it your business to bring about the willingness to lower the decibel level -- our children’s future is very much at stake!

References

      Bronzaft, A.L. & McCarthy, D.P. (1975). The effect of elevated train noise on reading ability. Environment and
     Behavior, 7, 517-528.
      Bronzaft, A.L. (1981). The effect of a noise abatement program on reading ability. Journal of Environmental Psychology,
     1, 215-222.
     Bronzaft, A.L. (1996). Top of the Class. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
      Cohen, S., Evens, G.W., Krantz, & Stokols, D. (1980). Physiological, motivational, and cognitive effects of aircraft
     noise on children. American Psychologist, 35, 231-243.
      Cohen, S., Glass, D.C. & Singer, J.D. (1973). Apartment noise, auditory discrimination and reading ability in children.
     Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology. 9, 407-422.
     Collins, J. (February 3, 1997). "The Day Care Dilemma," Time.
     Dallas, J.D. (1996). No more Jerichos! Hearing Rehabilitation Quarterly, 20, 9-11.
     Deutsch, C.P. (1964). Auditory discrimination and learning: social factors. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 10, 277-296.
      Evans, G. W. & Lepore, S.J. (1993). Nonauditory effects of noise on children: A critical review. Children’s
     Environments, 10, 31-51.
      Evans, G.W., Hyge, S. & Bullinger, M. (1995). Chronic noise and psychological stress. Psychological Science, 6,
     333-337.
      Green, K.B., Pastenak, B.S. & Shore, R.E. (1982). Effects of aircraft noise on reading ability of school age children.
     Archives of Environmental Health, 37, 24-31.
      Hambrick-Dixon, P.J. (1985). Effects of experimentally impose noise on task performance of Black children attending
     day care center near elevated subway trains. Developmental Psychology, 22, 259-264.
      Jones, F.N. & Tauscher, J. (1978). Residence under an airport landing pattern as a factor in teratism. Archives of
     Environmental Health, 33, 10-12.
     Kryter, K. .D. (1985). The effects of noise on man. Orlando, FL; Academic Press.
      Stenzel, J. (1996). Flying off course: Environmental impacts of America’s airports. New York: NY: Natural Resources
     Defense Council. Time (February 3, 1997). "How a child’s brain develops: special report."
      U.S. National Research Council (1982). Report of working group, 85, Prenatal effects of exposure to high level noise.
     Washington, DC; National Academy Press.
     Wachs, T. & Gruen, G. (1982). Early experience and human development. New York, NY Plenum.
 

~~~

Reza:  Hope you will be reading this after getting some rest.  It was a
pleasure meeting you and I look forward to our next meeting when you return
to New York.  Do so much appreciate your interest in my children's book.  I
believe we could have talked to several hours - hopefully, not all about
noise. Arline 

~~~
Pete Townshend Warns iPod Users

LONDON - Guitarist Pete Townshend has warned iPod users that they could end up with hearing problems as bad as his own if they don't turn down the volume of the music they are listening to on earphones. ... Townshend, 60, guitarist in the 60s band The Who, said his hearing was irreversibly damaged by years of using studio headphones and that he now is forced to take 36-hour breaks between recording sessions to allow his ears to recover.

Townshend said his problem was caused by using earphones in the recording studio.

Direct quotes [logged in quotes file]
Townshend : "I have unwittingly helped to invent and refine a type of music that makes its principal components deaf,"
 "Hearing loss is a terrible thing because it cannot be repaired. If you use an iPod or anything like it, or your child uses one, you MAY be OK ... But my intuition tells me there is terrible trouble ahead."
"The downside may be that on our computers — for privacy, for respect to family and co-workers, and for convenience — we use earphones at almost every stage of interaction with sound."...

~~~

Report: Ocean Noise Harms Dolphins, Whales
LOS ANGELES - Increasing levels of ocean noise generated by military sonar, shipping, and oil and gas exploration is threatening dolphins and whales that rely on sound for mating, finding food and avoiding predators, according to a new report.

~~~

I (Reza Ganjavi) AM LOOKING FOR THESE OLD FRIENDS.

If Google lands you here and you come upon your name on this page, please email me (info -- at -- rezamusic -- dot -- com)

Marie Landis - Orange County, California ( Brahmani ) Yoga Universal
Erik Eric Minassian Minasian - raveshe-no ravesheno Tehran
Christopher Chris White kiki Ithaca , new york, Ithaca high school

Robin Richardson -- a.k.a. NANDA -- yoga center -- great songwriter - I don't personally know her but love her music and some of my old friends and friends of her and I like to contact her.

Mehrdad Gholamhossein Tehrani - kharazmi tehran
Lori - Vana - yoga universal dhruva santa ana college, orange county, riverside, corona, pomona
John Palmer - flute player - Santa Ana college music
Alireza ghasemi - raveshe-no tehran




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