sleep

Sleep, next to sex, no, at this point, more than sex, it’s what I love most in life. (What about food? Food is good. Being, not just feeling, really hungry, then eating, is good. I’m always kinda tired. Except for sex. That can wake me up. So sleep is always good. Also, I’ve trained myself to go to sleep with an empty stomach. Another story. I guess.) If given the choice between a good night’s sleep, and sex with the world’s most desirable woman, move over Mr. Sandman. I’m joining you. Angelina Jolie, go away. And, why on earth did you have your tits cut off? Art. For the art of it. I like that explanation, since it’s mine.

 

I recently read an article about Paul McCartney. I grew up with a Beatles soundtrack playing in the background. So, I’m something of a Beatles fan. All the Beatles, together. Most of their “after Beatles” stuff was pop schlock, (of course, most of their Beatles stuff was also pop schlock. But that’s another story. Pop Schlock qua pop schlock. The rub is, is that it was a new twist on the existing schlock. It could easily be sold. A capitalist robot’s dream. The rest is history. Another story.) except for maybe a few things by Lennon. Ringo, at least,  god bless him, had the good sense to make a real crappy movie or two, and then leave the world stage. We all know that George caught a case of cancer. John got himself shot, shot for marrying Yoko Ono. Funny shit and I can’t make it up.

But McCartney, what is wrong with this asshole? 76 years old, and hawking a clothing line. Playing lunch time concerts to rich assholes for $1000 a pop.

Here’s an asshole who rose, like a bottle rocket, pop! at some ridiculously young age, to the top of the capitalist food chain. And he wants more. He talks, openly, about unending desire. He acts as a role model for it. Come on all you old farts, keep going. Don’t stop. You have pensions and a portfolio to burn through. Hop to it dummies. Look at me. Jesus H. Fucking Christ. Go take a nap. If I could give him a participation award and a kick in the ass, I’d do just that: “Ok, everybody (all you fucking robots out there) a big hand for Paul. Thank you Paul. You can leave the stage now. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.”

Go take a nap. Trust me. I am in no way anti-capitalist. I like my SS checks that arrive each month, like clockwork. We’ll see how long that lasts. Again, another story. The stories seem endless. But they’re not.

Anyhoo, personally, I set aside 10 hours per night devoted just to sleep, 9pm -7am. Sometimes more, which I’m fine with. Today, for example, I slept in until about 8am. 11 hours devoted to my devotion. Not bad. I’m less and less inclined to change this schedule, as time goes on, for me.

The 10 hour schedule, the set aside, does not, as a rule, result in 10 hours of sleep. I am a long time, life time, insomniac (another story). As a rule I’m up, not up, but awake, from 3am – 5am. This would, at one time, result in all sorts of insomniac stories. Now, I spend the time thinking these thoughts that you’re reading right now, if you’re still reading. I also spend the  time waiting  to go back to sleep.

I’ve developed my own technique for inducing sleep. I observe the lights that are generated by brain. They are projected on the back of my eyelids, while my eyes are closed, of course. The lights themselves are a monochrome off yellow/white of some sort. No change in color, but the shapes and patterns that they assume seem infinite. Constantly changing, never the same. Always floating up out of nowhere, going nowhere.  They disappear out the top of my head. Like a kaleidoscope with innumerable mirrors and prisms, it roles around and round in my head, and is projected onto the back, the inside, of my eyelids.

I’ve never heard of or read about this phenomenon any place else. Night lights projected on the back of the eye lids. Not that I’ve gone looking for it in the literature, and I won’t. It’s mine, and I’m keeping it. Fuck the rest of the world, and its scientists. I’m so fucking sick of them and their various pronouncements.  You’ll never know just how sick I am of them, and the world. But that’s another story.

09.17.2018

 

The world’s first commercial hydrogen-powered passenger train enters service in Lower Saxony, Germany. The Alstom developed train uses a hydrogen fuel cell which emits no carbon dioxide. (NHK)

A shark kills a man in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the state’s first such fatality since 1936. (AP)

Coca-Cola in ‘serious talks’ to produce cannabis-infused beverages The Coca-Cola Co. is working with a cannabis producer to explore developing beverages infused with cannabidiol, or CBD, BNN Bloomberg reported Monday. CBD is the non-psychoactive chemical in marijuana, and the soda company is reportedly in “serious talks” with Aurora Cannabis to explore CBD-infused drinks intended to ease inflammation, pain, and cramping. A Coca-Cola spokesperson said that “no decisions have been made at this time,” but added that the company is “closely watching the growth” of the CBD industry. Bloomberg notes that a CBD Coca-Cola drink would be a “groundbreaking move” that would boost the already-booming CBD market, which is currently on track to grow to $2.1 billion over the next two years. Source: BNN Bloomberg

 

Monday,  Sept 10, 2018

The Taliban launches multiple attacks on security checkpoints in Afghanistan, killing at least 27 members of the security forces. Twenty-two Taliban members are also killed and 16 others are injured. (NEWS.com.au)

Ethnic violence in Ethiopia over the weekend results in 23 deaths. Thousands protest against the killings in the capital Addis Ababa. (Reuters) (The Punch)

Seven people are killed and many others are in critical condition after suspected drug overdoses at a music festival in Hanoi, Vietnam. (VnExpress International)

JunoCam captures an image of Jupiter’s “brown barge”, a cyclone-like shape that has weather patterns in the gas giant’s atmosphere. (Upi)

Former Philippine Army general and politician Jovito Palparan is convicted for enforced disappearance of students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño. He and two other associates are sentenced to life imprisonment. (Rappler)

 

Sunday, Sept 16, 2018

A man and a woman are taken ill after a medical incident in Salisbury, United Kingdom. Police seal off a restaurant as a precautionary measure. According to The Guardian, tensions are high due to recent Novichok poisonings. According to the BBC, “there’s no suggestion that this is connected”. According to Sky News, at least one of the individuals who fell ill is a Russian. (The Guardian)

Two people die and 700 others seek medical attention, including three people in critical condition at the Defqon.1 Festival in Sydney, Australia, for drug-related issues. Premier of New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian says that the event is dangerous and will never take place again, effectively banning the music festival. (BBC)

Local elections are held in government-held areas of Syria for the first time since 2011. (TASS)

The first of a series of British satellites, known as NovaSAR, is launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India. The Surrey Satellite Technology satellite is designed to monitor suspicious shipping activity. (BBC)

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya sets a new world record for the fastest marathon time, at 2:01:39. (BBC)

 

Saturday,  Sept 15, 2018

The government of the United Kingdom announces that a review will be introduced Thursday of the rail franchise system amid criticism of its efficacy. (BBC)

A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been arrested in the state of Texas on suspicion of killing four women. (BBC)

The Russian FSB says that Belgium has extradited Ali Gekhaev, a suspect wanted for financing ISIL militants in Syria.  (TASS)

Victoire Ingabire, Kizito Mihigo, and 2,138 other prisoners are released in an unexpected move by the Rwandan government. (Deutsche Welle)

Five people are killed and another eight are injured in a shooting at Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City. The gunmen were dressed as mariachi musicians. (National Post)

The United Launch Alliance successfully launches NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The satellite will provide more precise information on Earth’s polar ice caps. It is the final mission for the Delta IIrocket. (BBC)

Researchers with Stanford University report the discovery of the oldest known evidence of beer. Dating to approximately 11,000 BCE, the primitive brewery was located near modern Haifa, Israel. (BBC)

 

 Friday,  Sept 14, 2018

Residents in Idlib, the last Syrian opposition-held territory, demonstrate against President Bashar Assad’s government. (ABC News)

The Russian Orthodox Church freezes its relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople over its influence in Ukraine. (Reuters)

North Korea and South Korea open their first liaison office near Kaesong ahead of third third summit meeting between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un in 2018. (SCMP)

Secretary general Luis Almagro of the OAS says that he does not exclude “a military intervention to overthrow” President of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro, arguing that the Maduro government perpetrates “crimes against humanity, the violation of the human rights and the suffering of people that is inducing an exodus”. (AP via Houston Chronicle)

Former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort agrees to plead guilty in a foreign-lobbying and money laundering case brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. Manafort has agreed to cooperate with the investigation. (Politico)

28 former Venezuelan officials are charged with corruption by a judge in Andorra. (BBC)

The End 

Slo News Day

Friday,  Sept 14, 2018

The Mariia Butina fiasco

 

Defeat the Deep State – or lose your freedom
by Justin Raimondo
September 13, 2018

 

Washington Quietly Increases Lethal Weapons to Ukraine
Critics who say Trump is being “soft on Russia” should be paying attention to this.
By TED GALEN CARPENTER • September 10, 2018

 

Manafort reportedly cutting plea deal with Mueller Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, has made a tentative plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, people familiar with the matter told ABC News on Thursday. In August, Manafort was found guilty of tax and bank fraud, and is scheduled to start a second trial later this month in Washington, D.C., accused of money laundering, failure to register as a foreign agent, and witness tampering. Manafort and his senior defense attorneys spent more than four hours meeting with special prosecutors on Thursday, ABC News reports, and the deal is expected to be announced Friday in court. Three people familiar with the matter said it is unclear if Manafort has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, or if this is a guilty plea to avoid trial. Source: ABC News

Thursday, Sept 13,  2018

The heads of Samsung, Hyundai, SK and LG will attend the third Inter-Korean summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang next week. (UPI)

At least 40 homes are damaged or destroyed in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover, as at least 39 gas explosions level houses. Residents are being evacuated to neighboring towns. (Fox News)

Seven tourists are injured after a section of cliff breaks away above Shipwreck Beach at Navagio, on the Greek island of Zakynthos, creating a minor tsunami that capsizes several small boats in the cove. (BBC)

French President Emmanuel Macron announces the recognition that the French state systematically tortured during the 1950s—60s Algerian War of Independence and calls to open archives concerning those who disappeared, such as activist Maurice Audin. (The Washington Post)

Report: U.S. holding a record number of migrant kids in detention There are 12,800 migrant children detained in the United States, and the federal shelter system is close to capacity, The New York Times reports. This is a record number, and up from 2,400 kids in custody in May 2017. While the Trump administration did separate thousands of children from their parents at the southern border in an attempt to discourage others from entering the country, most of the minors now in custody crossed the border without a parent. Data collected by the Department of Health and Human Services was shared with members of Congress, who passed it along to the Times, and those figures show that fewer kids are being released to live with relatives, family friends, and other sponsors. That’s likely because sponsors now must be fingerprinted, and most are undocumented. Source: The New York Times

The European Central Bank maintains its policy to halve monetary stimulus after September and end it in December 2018. However, the ECB perceives “uncertainties related to rising protectionism” as the main concern for the global economy. (Daily Journal)

The death toll from yesterday’s suicide attack on protesters in eastern Afghanistan rises to 68. (Al Jazeera)

The French railway company SNCF announces prototypes for driverless passenger and freight trains by 2023. (Phys.org)

The End 

 

Holocaust Denial Triumphant
by David Cole
September 11, 2018

Ron Unz Annoys David Cole (A Tragedy in Three Acts)

article 7

 

The massive plastic-cleaning device invented by a 24-year-old to clean the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is finally being put to the test.

 

Wednesday, Sept 12, 2018

The European Parliament votes 448—197 to trigger article 7 against Hungary for flouting the rule of law in the country. (Al Jazeera)

Iranian Kurdish shopkeepers begin a region-wide strike against the executions of Kurdish activists and the bombing of opposition parties in Koya in the neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan Region. (Kurdistan24)

Deputy US Trade Representative Dennis Shea will represent the United States at a Group of 20 trade ministers in Argentina. (Reuters)

Tuesday,  Sept 11, 2018

Iraq announces the executions of seven terror convicts in Dhi Qar, saying the men, all citizens of Iraq, were hanged yesterday. (Gulf News)

RiskIQ, a cybersecurity firm, reports that it has discovered the software that was used to gather credit card information from the British Airways website. The firm further states that the “supply chain attack” was very similar to an earlier attempt to skim data from the Ticketmaster website. (BBC)

A bus carrying pilgrims from a Hindu temple in the hills of Telangana in India plunges off a road, killing at least 57 people and injuring 25 others. (NDTV)

South Korean health authorities announce that they are searching for around 50 foreign nationals who may have been in contact with the recently confirmed MERS patient, including those who arrived in Incheon Airportfrom Dubai on the same flight last Friday. (The Straits Times)

The Eritrean–Ethiopian border reopens for the first time since 1998. (The New York Times)

Monday,  Sept 10, 2018

The Netherlands halts funding of the Syrian opposition and police forces, saying the chances of them winning the war are “extremely limited”. Dutch support for the White Helmets will also end in December 2018. (Dutchnews.nl)

Nieuwsuur reports the Dutch government has provided funding over the past two years to Syrian rebel group Jabbat al-Shamiya, despite Dutch prosecutors describing the group as a “salafist and jihadistic” terror group and preparing to bring a man to trial next week accused of being a member. (Dutch News)

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announces the arrest of 32 East Bay street gangsters linked to a million-dollar fraud conspiracy. (SFGate.com)

Gunmen storm the headquarters of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) in Tripoli, Libya. At least four people are killed. (BBC)

A gas depot explodes in Lafia, Nigeria, killing at least 35 people and leaving some burned beyond recognition. (CBC)

Palestinian diplomat Saeb Erekat says that the United States “is willing to disband the international system in order to protect Israeli crimes”. (Times of Israel)

A car bomb in Mogadishu kills six people and injures 16 others. (Al Jazeera)

Conservative South Korean protesters at the Seoul station call for the release of imprisoned former President Park Geun-hye. (Upi)

National Security Advisor John R. Bolton threatens the International Criminal Court with sanctions should the organisation try to prosecute Americans for war crimes committed in Afganistan. (Reuters)

SpaceX successfully launches Canadian communication satellite Telstar 18V from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It was deployed into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) approximately 32 minutes after rocket’s liftoff. (CBS News)

The End

That one is predetermined
That one, it finds another
This one comes in one window
Sliding out the other
We need an instrument to take a measurement
To find out if loss could weigh
We need to know value
We need to place value
In case it all comes true
Could it be loss could weigh?
It’s always they that’s dying
But now it’s we that’s dying
So sooner comes the trying to understand that loss could weigh
We’ve been dragged through the fire
We bragged about that fire
But suddenly we’re tired
Could it be that loss could weigh?
Loss could weigh

sex and anxiety

Sex, sex and more sex. Since the first time I masturbated successfully, maybe at 12, it would not be much of an exaggeration to say that I’ve thought of nothing else. The underling motive to everything I’ve done since then was to get sex, sex in one form or another. Just recently, very recently, within the last year or so, has this started to change. So, from 12 to 62, 50 years of thinking about nothing but sex. One might think me to be some sort of expert on the topic. huh. I had never thought of it that way before, but maybe I am.

Anxiety, of the free floating sort. Fear. Fear of people, mostly. The need for status among them. Status leads to sexual access, of course. The need to do something. The absolute knowledge that no matter what I happened to be doing at time, it was somehow wrong. I had to do something else. Something more? Mostly, this took the form of a new job, a business venture, more $. More $ equals more sex. Right? You’re fooling yourself if you think not.

I guess that there are some, a different sort of freak, that can substitute $ for sex. I am not one of those.

Many (most?) people think that life, in and of itself is difficult, hard. They think about security. That’s what they want. A steady mate. A steady job. Stop thinking, it’s hard work. Food on the table. A warm dry place to sleep at night. A week at the beach, a trip to europe,  mean novelty and adventure. All good stuff. I’m not here to judge.

And, of course, I operate from the perspective of a first worlder. By and large, I have not had to worry about food in my belly and a roof over my head. It’s all been there, ready and waiting for me. The table was set when i arrived. I’ve been affluent beyond the dreams of a king or potentate of not to to long ago. This too will change. Conditions will change. The notion of bourgeois sensibility as being the correct one, it will change with time. It will be destroyed. But that’s another story.

My only point is that none of us set the table. The game is in play when we arrive. We only shuffle around the pieces that are handed to us. Look at the cards and wince. This? this is my fucking hand? You must be joking me. No joke. No choice in the matter. The game will go on when we’re long gone. Nothing to get excited about. I’d say. Fold your cards, toss in your chips, push your chair away from the table. Easier said than done. Life will have none of that. You must play until it’s done with you. Sit back down. Pick up your cards. It’s late, you’re tired, but you got nowhere else to go anyway. Just one more hand…

So, sex and anxiety. Pulled by one, pushed by the other. Both aspects of the same drive, life. Life, do you think it cares about you? About me? Well, as long as we’re rushing forward blindly, banging into things, tripping, breaking shit along the way, we’re doing just fine. This is what you’re here for. You’re here exactly to stuff shit into your gullet, as much as you can, and and leave a trail of shit in your wake along the way. And, most importantly, or least very importantly, to leave some copies of  yourself along the way, so they can do exactly the same thing.

Sex is such a pleasure. I’ve had some fun with it. Although it has resulted in some copies that I’ve left along the way. Poor things. God, I left these creatures here to deal with the mess that I’ve helped make. Un-fucking-forgivable. I wish them the best. Such is life and its tricks, unforgivable.

Sex remains a pleasure. But as some sort of driving, undeniable force, one that cannot be denied, it has lost much of it’s power over me. I still crave contact. Being wrapped around another body, maybe being inside another body, gives me some solace.  I hope to give some in return, solace. The physical exertion feels good. I am a body, to be used. The anxiety of being alive, existing at all, eases. I can melt into another. I can feel their heart beat, their breath on my skin. I can taste their sweat. I take some consolation in knowing that I’m not in this alone. Never alone. But sex brings this into a sharper focus. Makes it clearer in my mind. We’re all here to suffer, we must play the game. But we don’t have to do it alone. In fact, we can’t. Or it’s hard. It’s not in the cards.

I still play the game. The stakes are lower, penny ante.  What choice? Life says, sit down, you got no where to go, and deals the cards. There’s your cards. I look at my cards and laugh. yes, of course. I’m all in.

09.10.2018

George Papadopoulos, former 2016 presidential campaign aide to Donald Trump, receives a prison sentence of 14 days for lying to investigators regarding his ties to Russian contacts. He also receives a fine, probation and a community service obligation. (CNN)

Tesla stock drops 9% the day after CEO Elon Musk was seen drinking whiskey and smoking cannabis in California while discussing space colonization, life after the technological singularity and whether reality is a simulation on The Joe Rogan Experience, and two executives resign. (AP) (Space.com)

ASIA ARGENTO FLIPS THE SCRIPT

Soul-sucking part-time actress Asia Argento was recently featured in these pages flip-flopping in her story of exactly what happened between her and 17-year-old Jimmy Bennett in a Marina del Rey motel room back in 2013.

At first she denied that anything sexual had ever happened between the two. Then, when text messages leaked that showed her quite clearly saying, “I had sex with him, Argento, who had known Bennett since he was seven, said that she didn’t know he was a minor until receiving a “shakedown letter” that her dead boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain—who appears to have killed himself after being distraught at seeing Ms. Asia cavorting with a man less than half his age—paid off to the tune of $380,000 just to keep things quiet while she was parading as an anti-rape activist.

Last week Argento’s lawyer Mark Jay Heller—who appears to have been sculpted entirely from chopped liver—is flipping the script and claiming that Bennett was the sexual predator in the equation:

Asia at no time initiated a sexual encounter with Bennett and in fact as she stated in her response to the New York Times article, concerning their past history, ‘I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett…but rather the relationship was a long distance friendship over many years.’…

Asia chose at the time not to prosecute Bennett for sexually attacking her.

It appears that Heller is trying to say that Argento paid Bennett $380,000 as hush money so he wouldn’t tell the world that he raped her.

It’s time for us to go curl in a ball on the shower floor and cry all the pain away.

 

The Incessant Pendulum Swing
by Theodore Dalrymple

The case of Ariana Grande and the bishop who was a little too familiar with her reminded me of my adolescence. In those far-off days, when even vulgarity was more genteel than it is now, my companions and I learned how to turn even the most innocuous of statements into something salacious by the mere addition of seven words in parenthetical conclusion: “as the actress said to the bishop.”

Monday,  Sept 10, 2018

CBS chief Moonves out amid sexual misconduct allegations CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves is leaving the company, effective immediately, CBS announced Sunday. In July, The New Yorker published the accounts of six women accusing Moonves of sexual misconduct, and the magazine reported additional allegations on Sunday. CBS hired two law firms to investigate the accusations, and it won’t begin negotiating a severance package until the probe is finished. CBS and Moonves will donate $20 million to organizations that promote equality for women and the #MeToo movement, money that will be deducted from any financial package Moonves may receive. Moonves, who has run CBS since 2006, has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct while acknowledging three of the encounters, saying they were consensual. Source: CBS News

Far-right party gains in Sweden, moving government toward gridlock Sweden’s ruling center-left Social Democratic Party won the greatest share of votes in Sunday’s parliamentary elections but just barely, winning about 28.4 percent. The Social Democrats’ ruling coalition earned a combined 40.6 percent of the vote, for about 144 seats in the 349-seat Riksdag, or Parliament, while the center-right Alliance coalition, led by the Moderates, got 40.3 percent, for about 142 seats. The biggest gain was by the far-right, anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats, who got 17.6 percent of the votes, for about 63 seats, from 49 seats in the 2014 election. It’s unclear how either the center-left or center-right coalition will form a government, as both reiterated after the vote that they won’t form a government with the Sweden Democrats. Source: Reuters, The Associated Press

With 99% of the votes counted, the center-left parties that form the current government obtain 40.6% of the vote, the center-right alliance winning 40.3%. The far-right Sweden Democrats gain 17.6%. A long process to form a coalition government now seems likely. (CNN)

Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov says that Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a letter to meet North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. (Reuters)

The Russian presidential office confirms that mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin is reelected for a second and last term. (Sputnik via Urdupoint)

The Wall Street Journal reports that National Security Advisor John Bolton is expected to announce today the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organizationoffice in Washington. (Bloomberg)

Hurricane Florence regains strengthens into a category 2 hurricane and is expected to grow into a major hurricane this week, and to threaten the East Coastnear the Carolinas. (Upi)

Sunday, Sept 9, 2018

The prosecutor in Abkhazia says that the driver of the car that probably initiated the deadly accident of Prime Minister of Abkhazia Gennady Gagulya yesterday was under the influence of drugs and has been detained. (News.am)

Moldovan President Igor Dodon is involved in a highway accident when his official motorcade is struck by a truck coming from the opposite direction. Several passengers, including the president and members of his family, suffer moderate injuries and are hospitalized. Reports indicate that the Moldovan head of state is in good health. (BBC)

Dozens of people are killed in four separate attacks by the Taliban. An army base is destroyed in Baghlan Province. (The New York Times)

North Korea celebrates its 70th anniversary with a military parade in Pyongyang with the absence of its international ballistic missiles. (New York Times)

About 200 Kosovo Albanian veterans from the Kosovo War block the road to Banje near Drenica and prevent a planned visit by the President of Serbia. (Reuters)

Swedish media report voter harassment by members of the neo-Nazi movement Nordic Resistance Movement. The far-right Alternative for Sweden party is reportedly “shouting loud” on social media. (The Washington Post)

 

Saturday,  Sept 8, 2018

The Prime Minister of Abkhazia Gennadi Gagulia dies in a car accident in Abkhazia after returning from a trip to Syria. (RFE/RL) (TASS)

The WTC–Cortlandt subway station in lower Manhattan opens for the first time since being destroyed in the September 11 attacks in 2001. (The New York Times)

A pneumonia outbreak in Brescia and Mantova, Italy, infects at least 150 people. The deaths of two other people are suspected connected to the disease. The cause is a suspected bacterium in the water. (Corriere della Sera)

A South Korean man is diagnosed with the potentially deadly MERS virus and is being treated at a hospital in Seoul, the first such case in three years. (Reuters)

Iran’s judiciary executes three Iranian Kurdish prisoners, including Ramin Panahi, for terrorism offences. Two United Nations special rapporteurs condemn the executions and Amnesty International alleges their trials were unfair, due to the denial of legal counsel and confessions obtained through torture. (Reuters)

A court in Egypt sentences 75 people to death for participating in a pro-Morsi sit-in protest in a Cairo suburb in 2013. The breakup of that protest at Rabaa Square by Egyptian authorities resulted in over 600 deaths. Of the 739 defendants, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and 46 others are sentenced to life in prison, 374 receive 15-year jail terms, 22 are sentenced to 10 years and 215 people, including Mahmoud Abu Zeid (Shawkan), to five years in jail. (France 24)

 

Friday,  Sept 7, 2018

The presidents of Russia and Iran disagree with the Turkish president’s proposal for a ceasefire in Idlib after meeting in Tehran, because it would not include the Islamist militants those nations aim to defeat. (Reuters)

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis makes an unannounced visit to Afghanistan, to attempt to discuss peace with the Taliban, which has declined such talks with the Afghan government. (UPI)

Starbucks opens its first shop in Italy, in the city of Milan. The 25,000 square-foot Reserve Roastery creates 300 jobs. (Fortune via Yahoo!)

Energy specialists and executives say a power outage from the earthquake could have been lessened if Hokkaido Electric did not rely so exclusively on the Tomato-Atsuma coal plant. The company has restored electricity to just over half of its affected customers. (Reuters)

Protesters storm the Iranian consulate in Basra, in protest of corruption and misrule by Iraq’s political elite, damaging the consulate’s offices and shouting anti-Iranian slogans while others briefly take workers hostage at a nearby oilfield. (Reuters)

The End

recluse

By the time he had reached my age, 62, my father was a full on recluse. Not exactly a hermit, but he certainly had given up on the world and any thought of worthwhile interaction with humans. From 62 to maybe 72 or so, he spent much of his time walking in some nearby woods with his dog. Then the dog died, of course.

The dog deserves a small aside. My father would cook the dog pancakes and sausage for breakfast each morning. The dog, over time, became a walking pork barrel of some sort, with legs. Its diameter was about equal to its length. My mother would say to my father: “You know, you’re gonna kill that dog.” My father would laugh and say: “Hey, the dog likes pancakes. What can I do?”. If  I happened to be around, I’d give the dog a donut. Laughing also, as the dog woofed it down like he was starving. Worried about the heart health of a fucking dog. What a laugh. My mother, of course, would walk off in a huff of some sort. Something like that.

I had an uncle, my father’s brother, who was very close to being a hermit. He lived by himself in a disheveled little house that he had inherited from his mother. I largely looked after him in his later years. He lived to be 96.

He was born in 1910. He worked as farm hand for some years. As the farms dried up and blew away, he was forced into the factories. I say forced, but I really don’t think he much cared, one way or the other. Work was work. He worked and then went home to his mom, whom he cared for until she died. Of course. Of course, I could be wrong, but i don’t think he ever went farther than maybe 50 miles from the house he was born in, his entire life. All while the world went insane around him. There’s something there, not sure what, but something.

My paternal grandmother was withdrawn, distant. Whereas, in form of greeting, my maternal grandmother would attempt to smother me in some sort of god awful bear hug. My father’s mother, on the other hand, would just kind of smile, nod and wave.

In retrospect, in can respect this behavior, keeping one’s distance. But, as a child, I was somewhat frightened by her. I didn’t know what to do in her presence. Shit or go blind?, that kind of thing. In contrast, I just found my other grandmother to be somewhat annoying, except when she was giving me things, ice cream and toys and such.

Life is confusing as a child. It’s better to not think about it too much. As an adult, it’s best to not think much of it. So few reach adulthood. I’d say.

Where was I going with this? I always forget. Oh yes, off to cook some bacon. (My inner voice seems to be adopting a british accent this morning. It normally talks to me as callus cocky New Yorker. Today, this morning,  e’s a fookin’ Brit, of some sort. Maybe Scottish? don’t know.  Anyhoo, Both like bacon. Who doesn’t? Even those who won’t admit it, love bacon.)

My father was a bomber pilot in WW2. B17’s I believe. But I could be wrong. Fire bombed the fuck outta Tojo. Made the world safe for democracy and the shitty kids that he would one day sire. Yours’ truly, of course. This was all good fun for a young man. Got the blood pumping. Made, for some good stories. Got him laid. Everybody told him what a great guy he was. What could be better? Shit, I woulda done it, in a heartbeat.

After the war, like so many other veterans, he sold his soul to the corporation. Spent 30 years at a desk with loaded gun in his hand, pointed at his head. Until, the world opened up for him, and he could break free. He could do what he had always wanted to do, retire, walk in the woods with a fat dog. Be a recluse. Give the world the finger.

So stop right there.

Here we have to stop talking about my parents and grand parents and relations and other such nonsense. We have to start talking about the only thing that really counts, me.

But, ironically, as soon as I say that: me, myself, I, whatever, I get bored with the topic. I mean fuck it, it’s silly, it’s stupid. It’s like  finding  an old steamer trunk in the attic and thinking that you have treasure. But, when you look inside, it’s just a bunch of moldy old rags and shit. There’s nothing there, nothing worth talking about anyway.

Maybe you find a puppet. A puppet that (wants to) talks about its experience as a puppet. Pinocchio. Even Pinocchio thought he was a “real” boy. How fucking silly is that? Both Pinocchio and me, that is.

And this kinda gets to the root of some issue or another….

My mother was a woman of the world. Not that she was particularly worldly, but she was of the world and in the world, unabashedly so. She wanted things. Needless to say, her and my father drifted apart, far apart. They lived in different worlds, under the same roof. My father wanted to walk in the woods with his dog. My mother wanted to attend socials, with him in tow. Something had to give. And it did. They died. Of course.

One amusing anecdote about my mother, she was fond of telling me, something like: “Ya know David, your father’s a real asshole, and you’re just like him.” Close, but no cigar.

I’m not here to judge. I’m not here to say that one was right and one was wrong. How can a puppet be right or wrong?  Silly to think otherwise.

So, enough stage setting and window dressing. What’s the issue? what are we talking about? It’s so simple, I’m embarrassed to have taken up so much time and effort in getting at it.

 

meaning

What will come of my whole life …. Is there any meaning in my life that the inevitable death awaiting me does not destroy?

Tolstoy, Confession

sheet

“Meaning”, unlike Tolstoy, I have to confess, I’ve never felt the need. I’ve needed many things, but not something as nebulous as “meaning”. An ice cream cone would work.

Anyhoo, this whole “meaning in life” thing, it reminds me of the “participation” awards that are currently popular in 4’th grade circles. Look, here, we staged some odd and meaningless event. We’ve forced you to attend and participate. We’ve since determined that you suck. Here’s a piece of paper to prove it. You suck. Now off to the 5’th grade with you. Meaning as a consolation prize. That kind of thing.

I mean shit, why not just hand out ice cream cones? Too messy, I guess.

Why do i keep returning to this essay? It’s just as meaningless as anything else. Does it make me “happy”? No. An ice cream cone would make me happy.  But every few days or so, I come back to it. Meh. Distraction. Passes the time. My back hurts. It’s too hot for anything else.  I don’t feel like washing the dishes. I really don’t know. I’m not deluded enough to think I have something important to say. But some are, that deluded.

And the fucking teachers. The all staff of all the elementary schools on earth. Liars. Cheats. Participants. Participants, who can’t stop. They tell the lies. That’s their job. They get fucking paid for it. (I wouldn’t be an elementary school teacher for all the $ on earth.) Who would believe such a thing if it weren’t so true? I wouldn’t. I don’t. I still scratch my head. I implore the bystanders: “Don’t you see? We have to stop this.” But they’re all too busy cheering. They’ve gotten their own participation awards. They want more. Their children need them also. On it goes…

They and their children have been told they can succeed. Lead meaningful lives. But first, they must participate. One or two out of a thousand or million will go on to be a doctor or lawyer, periodontist, maybe a professional athlete.  Lotsa dough-re-me ($), that’s the ticket. The rest? janitors, drug abusers, maybe a mechanic here and there, by and large. Which is fine. Not a fucking thing off about any of that. There’s just no need to lie about it. but i guess there is…

eh

So, anyway, I fucking Googled it. What’s the meaning of life?  This is what I got back. I guess it boils down to different versions of the same question. All with no answer.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meaning_of_life

Back to Tolstoy. I’ll be the first to admit that I never got more than 10 pages into “War and Peace”.  I mean shit, I am not a busy person. I have time on my hands. But I cannot read that. And yet, this is what made him a legend, made him some $ too. OK.

I may not have ever read “War and Peace”, but I have read a number of his short stories. I don’t recall the titles offhand. But that’s really not important. What seems to be important, to me, is that he was obsessed by god and angels and such. All of  his short stories seem to be resolved be the intercession of god or one or more of his fucking angels. Can you believe this? An icon of western literature, part of the must read cannon, a tower to climbed, what our best and brightest might aspire to…stuck in the fourth grade. One or more of his teachers did a real good job. eh.

I think that some of the zen dudes said it best: Chop wood, carry water. Why all the suffering in world? no reason. Double scoop with chocolate shots. That kind of thing. But meaning? In this shit show? No way.

09.07.2018

The New York Times publishes an editorial written by an anonymous senior administration official in the Trump administration which criticizes U.S. President Donald Trump and claims unnamed administration aides and officials, in efforts to promote national stability, conspired against the president. (AP via CBC)

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis makes a “surprise” visit to Afghanistan, to attempt to discuss peace talks with the Taliban. (Upi)

Kim gives a timeline for denuclearization, aiming for completion by the end of U.S. President Donald Trump’s first term. (Reuters)

Ben Wallace, British Security Minister, says in an interview that Russian President Vladimir Putin bears the responsibility for multiple Novichok poisonings in the U.K., in which British citizens were harmed and killed. (BBC)

 

Friday,  Sept 7, 2018

Trump has reportedly narrowed his list of NYT op-ed suspects down to 12 President Trump and White House aides have come up with a list of 12 or so people suspected of being behind the anonymous op-ed published Wednesday by The New York Times, an outside adviser told the Times Thursday. The op-ed, penned by a senior administration official, called Trump’s leadership style “impetuous, adversarial, petty, and ineffective,” and the author said there is a “quiet resistance” underway by staffers trying to protect the country from Trump’s “half-baked, ill-informed, and occasionally reckless decisions.” White House officials spent Thursday calling different departments to ask Cabinet secretaries if they were responsible for the op-ed, the Times reports, and they all said no. Several West Wing officials are especially suspicious of Vice President Mike Pence and his staff, and were not persuaded by his denial, White House officials told the TimesSource: The New York Times

Leading Brazilian presidential candidate stabbed at rally A man stabbed the leading candidate in Brazil’s presidential election, far-right lawmaker Jair Bolsonaro, at a campaign rally on Thursday. Bolsonaro became the frontrunner in the Oct. 7 first round after Brazil’s electoral court last week barred the left’s leading candidate, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, from running due to corruption charges. Bolsonaro is a controversial figure who has angered many Brazilians with divisive comments but is revered by conservatives. He will spend at least a week in the hospital and take up to two months to recover, said Dr. Luiz Henrique Borsato. “His internal wounds were grave and put the patient’s life at risk,” Borsato said. Source: Reuters

Hokkaido Electric is expected to restore power, but experts warned that the earthquake highlighted the fundamental flaws in the power grid. (Reuters)

 

Thursday, Sept 6,  2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korea president Moon Jae-in agree to hold a third summit between September 18 and September 20 in Pyongyang. (NBC News)

Heavy floods in North Korea leave at least 76 dead and 75 missing. (Reuters)

A magnitude 6.7 earthquake strikes the island of Hokkaido in Japan, killing 16 people, injuring 120 and leaving 26 missing. (BBC)

Approximately two million Ford F150 trucks are recalled due to a manufacturing error which can cause the seat belt pretensioner to ignite the vehicle. (NPR)

Kinder Morgan hints at a potential offloading of Canada assets following sales of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project to the federal Canadian government. (Vancouver Sun)

The Justice Department announces charges against an alleged hacker for the North Korea government in connection with a series of cyber attacks, including the 2014 assaults on Sony Pictures. Officials accuse Park Jin Hyok for being part of a conspiracy to hack on behalf of Reconnaissance General Bureau, the country’s intelligence agency. (The Washington Post)

The second trial of U.S. citizen Nicholas Slatten, the former Blackwater (now Academi) employee who was found guilty in 2013 of first-degree murder in connection to the killing in 2007 of fourteen unarmed civilians on Baghdad’s Nisour Square and sentenced to life in prison, ends in a mistrial. The future of the case is unclear. (NPR)

The Trump administration proposes regulatory changes which would allow the children of illegal immigrants to be imprisoned for more than 20 days. (NPR)

Ñuble becomes the 16th region of Chile after new administrative divisions in Chile come into effect. (Biobío)

Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro is stabbed at a campaign rally and suffers serious abdominal injuries. He is expected to be in intensive care for at least seven days. (AP)

Wolf 503b, a super-Earth exoplanet twice the size of Earth, is discovered 145 light years away by American, German, and Canadian researchers via the NASA Kepler Space Telescope. (Fox News) (Astrobio)

 

Wednesday,  Sept 5,  2018

British authorities charge two men for their alleged involvement in a Novichok poisoning earlier in 2018, claiming the men are agents of the GRU. (NPR)

Russia says that the United Kingdom declines to provide them with the suspects’ fingerprints. (TASS)

A suicide attack at a wrestling club in a Hazara Shi’ite neighborhood of the Afghan capital Kabul and a second explosion apparently targeting emergency services and journalists kills at least 20 people and wounds 70 others. (Reuters)

Israel’s Supreme Court rejects appeals against the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank whose fate has been a subject of international concern. (BBC)

Emirates Flight 203 from Dubai is quarantined briefly after landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport when 19 passengers were deemed sick and others complained of symptoms. (USA Today)

Paraguay announces that it will move its embassy in Israel from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, reversing a May decision to move it from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, citing efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders the closure of Israel’s embassy in Paraguay. (Reuters)

The End Friday

https://www.businessinsider.com/video-of-b-52-bomber-training-mission-over-the-pacific-2018-9

https://www.businessinsider.com/trumps-new-syria-strike-idlib-wont-save-syrians-2018-9

https://www.businessinsider.com/photos-of-fake-perfume-bottle-of-nerve-agent-used-in-skripal-poisoning-2018-9