Sunday, October 22, 2017

Catching Up

Brochure at Hop House

I claim to enjoy browsing a lot, since well before web browsers, but when do I get the time?  Well, today for example, I left my Stetson at Hop House and used that as an excuse to wander on to Common Ground, the coffee shop with the most magazines on upper Hawthorne.

I ordered a whole pot of coffee, to counteract the beers, and read up on Sleep Science, VP Pence, and former US president Hoover, not necessarily in that order.  This was all in the one issue of New Yorker, October 23, 2017.

At the Hop House, with Glenn, I picked up a pamphlet on Falun Dafa. I've been looking at this practice though a framework of comparisons with Hizmet.

Both religious movements were at first embraced by their respective governments, Turk and Chinese, then demonized.  Turkey holds US citizens hostage hoping to extradite Gulen in exchange.

I was unaware that Hoover had been a mining engineer.  His determination to feed Belgium at the height of the blockade jibed with Human Smoke and his Quaker values.  He seemed happiest and/or most fulfilled when serving as some kind of chief of logistics.

I'll need to cycle back through his bio again soon.

Mike Pence, per this New Yorker analysis, has always been interested in serving as a US president.  He's a heartbeat away at this moment, but at a time when said high office is waning in power?  The west coast has escaped Prohibition (the later chapter) and no longer supports the Drug Wars unless that means against McKesson etc.

I don't just browse print media however.  Last night I was half comatose letting Youtube keep picking the next one.  I'd surface from my somnolent state from time to time, curious what I'd been brainwashing myself with.  Louis Farrakhan?  Just his fans?  Back to dream land.

I have a big screen facing me, while I recline on the futon couch.

I'm also active on my Kindle these days reading a Hoover Institution fellow's book from the 1990s, Inside American Education by Thomas Sowell.

He seems respectful of Bayard Rustin, who had Freedom House connections.  Freedom House is quoted in that Falun Gong brochure, attesting to the reality of organ harvesting.  That calls to mind another Youtube.

I visited Indiana around the time Pence made himself more enemies in the alt-gender community.  I guess it's OK with him to do that.  He defines himself as rigidly parochial Christian, not a cosmopolitan.

Glenn and I watched Portland Timbers win the Cascadia Cup from Back Stage / Bagdad.

Dinner with mom at Thanh Thao.  Need sleep.

Timbers win Cascadia Cup

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Social Contracts

Brochure at Hop House

A lot of journalists are reporting that, given the Equifax data breach, banks are now off the hook if they mistake you for me, and open an account for the wrong person.  Who can really tell these days right?

I say "nice try" but the rules have changed, given now we know what they told us was secret no longer is.  So issue new credentials?  Think of new ways to establish trust?  The bitcoin people do this all the time, and yet only get flak for it from the supposedly security-minded banks.

Now that we all know an identity is easy to forge, that currency, trafficked in by Equifax, has been thoroughly debased.  Don't believe lawyers who say banks are protected from complicity in fraud if they do not exercise due diligence.

What due diligence meant then, and what it means now, given the balls that've been dropped, is a whole new ball game.  Many conventional / routine transactions may no longer have that flavor.  It's not just "the masses" who've realized the credit game has turned some corner.
Glenn and I watched the Timbers win the Cascadia Cup.

Timbers win Cascadia Cup

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Friday, October 13, 2017

October 13

jackbhutan

In the year 2000 on this day, on one of many trips to nearby Bloemfontein, my parents, in their Kia SUV, encountered a pickup coming the other way in their lane.

I flew to South Africa.  Mom had survived.

We remember Jack on this day.  I arranged for his memorial service in Maseru and was graciously hosted and helped by many who knew him.

My sister came after about a month and took over, helping Carol get back to the Pacific coast, where she lives today.

Dad had a pacemaker and low blood pressure, so chances are he wouldn't have made it to today. Women outlive their men for the most part.

Here's a link to an on-line bio.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Nobel Peace Prize

The Nobel Peace Prize went to I-CAN this year, an organization with which my mom has worked, given the abolition of nuclear weapons is core to the WILPF agenda as well.

The award was well-timed to help focus international attention on the UN treaty to ban nuclear  weapons.

Organized crime rules the planet, often in the guise of religion.  However the rule of law has made some gains in certain pockets or niches.

The old USA was a champion of the rule of law, and democracy in many minds, until it got taken over by oligarchs and plutocrats.  Organized crime is in control again, hiding behind the veneer of legality, an increasingly thin disguise.

Absent much moral authority, the imposter government continues in a farcical manner, a scary clown.  People still interested in advancing democratic values have had to reorganize, to get out from under a failed nation-state system.

The icons and symbols, such as the Stars & Stripes, remain important.  Their meanings continue to shift, as global humanity seeks a new equilibrium.

The illegal war of aggression against Iraq, into which the American people were railroaded, pretty much broke what remained of a working democracy.  The descent into despotism has been ugly, to say the least.