"Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish."
"Imagination is more important than knowledge..."
"Through me you pass into the city of woe:Through me you pass into eternal pain:Through me among the people lost for aye.Justice the founder of my fabric moved:To rear me was the task of power divine,Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.Before me things create were none, save thingsEternal, and eternal I shall endure.All hope abandon, ye who enter here."
"Go, and never darken my towels again."
"A good conscious is a continual Christmas."
"Energy and Persistence conquer all things."
"Depend not on fortune, but on conduct."
"He who spares the wicked injures the good."
INTRO: Breaking in the House, Mortgage Notes, Solar and Wind Grid, Disaster Training, My New Rosary and the Adoration Chapel, Nephew gets Hitched then Doesn't, Visit from Uncle, New Classes, Wreck, Expansion Project
ADMIN: Sorry for the delay since the last Newsletter. I've been swamped and pretty well jammed up. I was rather shocked to discover that by examining my Newsletter file it has been about four months since my last edition was put out. Blame it on the move, the holidays and a whole bunch of other stuff. So this is really gonna be another catch up edition. ..., if you wish to use any of the article material listed below in the Links in the sections below in National and International Affairs or Websites for your Blog, then feel free. It's all open source and can be easily found elsewhere anyway if you know where to look.
Obviously I cannot recount everything that has been going on lately over such a lengthy period of time since the last edition but I'll tell what I can, what I think important and I'll also include a bunch of catch up articles that really interested me, as well as general news and software and other relevant information. I had intended to include a couple of other items in this edition but I'm tired of writing this edition and it is already too long, even for a four month catch-up edition and so I'll save the other items for later editions. Forgive the typos and other mistakes, I'm tired of rewriting and editing this thing.
RESPONSES: There are several things I would like to respond to that ... and ... and others have sent me but unfortunately I have not recently had the time. Still just settling into the new house, recovering from ice storms, etc. I do intend though to make a few responses when I get the time and on the new Blog as well. By the way ... I liked the old Blog and when you get the new one up and fixed to a server let me know the new address and I'll link it to both my browser and my RSS reader.
... I hope your old CO found the information and advice I sent him on avoiding IEDs useful. Let me know what his opinion was. When does he leave, how long will be his tour and what will be his basic assignment? I was kind of interested given his IED concern and wondered if he might be traveling about a good deal.
And ... I'm gonna respond with some personal assessment to your interrogation story FD a little later. If you want then I can also include it in the new Literary Newsletter and let it get a wider criticism. Only if you want of course, so just let me know.
I'm also gonna briefly give my response to ... analysis of the ... I'm gonna disagree with some of his critiques in particular, but mainly just in a general, philosophical sense. I didn't think he was being too harsh, but I did think that he was flatly wrong about a couple of his assertions. First off the idea that someone must be a recognized expert in order to reach a valid conclusion is ridiculous (he did not say this directly but implied it). Recognized experts were entirely unable to predict the attack on 9/11 and have been unable to accurately gauge or predict many of the events subsequent to the invasion of Iraq, nor to be prepared for them. Some people in government and the military did predict the likelihood of the 9/11 attacks and even the means by which this would be likely accomplished and they were mostly dismissed or scoffed at, or the organizational structure was designed to purposely thwart them. Before the Iraq invasion and after it many experts declared conclusively and prematurely that bin Laden and Saddam would never collaborate because they hated each other but past and now current documentary evidence demonstrates otherwise. I never held the position that it was impossible for Saddam and Al Qaeda to not cooperate, as a matter of fact as most of you well know, I held the opposite position based on the psychological evidence regarding both men and the practicality of both ideologies. I knew they would cooperate and although I initially also held the position that Saddam was partially responsible for, cooperated on, or at least knew about the 9/11 plot I have since then been skeptical of my initial belief due to lack of evidence. But new documentary and video tape and audio tape evidence from Saddam now makes me think I was right all along. And eventually I expect this link to become more and more firmly established by history.
But I would never turn away from any idea, no matter how seemingly crazy and impossible it might seem just based upon the idea that I'm not expert enough to fully comprehend the situation. I've never known any expert in any field of endeavor who fully understood anything. It's an impossibility to fully understand anything. This last idea should always remain in the mind of any governmental, military or organizational expert (and to be fair any individual who considers himself such), the idea that your very system of operation might function in such a way as to effectively kill your ability to foresee the truth until it is too late. Organizations, institutions and systems of accreditation create experts, and by so doing mold and shape experts in the very model and mode of the system by which they operate. You cannot be an expert unless you are an expert on some recognizable "something." Yet these same systems often, more often than not, overlook the very flaws of their own method of expert creation. An expert sees what he knows, and he knows what the system has exposed him to and has trained him for. By very definition that limits him and what he is capable of seeing and understanding unless he works very, very hard to shatter the assumptions of his own expertise, and the rigidity of the system under which he labors. The idea of the "Professional Expert" is one of the most insidious and useless ideas ever spawned by an organization or institution. Experts, analysts and the training they receive are primarily good for after action assessments of events and occurrences and scenarios, they have a pitifully poor record of anticipating events or recognizing shifts in paradigms prior to the those shifts becoming glaringly evident to everyone after the fact. I call this "Institutional Arrogance" and it is the chief cause of the inability to predict and anticipate the future. Warfare in general and intelligence in particular should be an exercise of anticipating the future (in my opinion) and problem solving, or at least problem mitigation, prior to the unfolding of the actual events. If actual reality has outrun the current paradigms under which anyone operates then it is the paradigm which is expendable, not the facts or the reality of the situation. And the recognized expert should also always remember something else as well. If what you encounter is immediately recognizable, then that's extremely easy to understand and even predict, but if what you encounter is not easily recognizable then all of your expertise on what you already know is suspect. Which is to say, if you encounter the unknown, then what you know is only as good as how well it has prepared you to know that you don't know what you've just encountered. The duty of real expertise is to train men to understand that they don't know nearly as much as they think they know for certain. Nobody is an expert on the unknown, the uncertain and the unknowable. People might become very good at predicting the seemingly unpredictable, but no one should ever dismiss the unpredictable as impossible. The impossible makes fools of the wise and the self-wise alike. The wise man knows one man's impossible is another man's determination and internal motivation.
(Now, I'm not saying that new kinds of experts and analysts cannot be developed who are actually good at predicting likely future events, instead of just making educated assumptions based on current paradigms and knowledge bases, I'm just saying that is not the way our current structure is designed to operate or it would be predicting events more reliably. Investigations and infiltrations lead to thwarting terrorist attacks and terrorist crimes, not anticipation. We need a new analytical paradigm which would be helpful in anticipating future events, but now we don't really concentrate on such capacities and capabilities, rather we merely interpret what we think we know based upon past experience and exposure and the way we think the world operates. We could develop anticipatory capabilities, but this would involve changing many current methods of operation not to mention currently static mind-sets. This also doesn't mean that current analytical methods and teams should be abandoned, it merely means the new capabilities should function concurrently with the old, the old being assessment from the point of view of the old paradigm, the new methods being anticipations of likely future events based upon new or fluid or shifting predictive paradigms. then by comparative methods the most likely scenarios could be planned for and strategies developed by both logic and by intuition and counterintuition.)
Reliance upon institutional training and organizational and analytical methods and systems creates an inflexible rigidity that dismisses what is not apparently evident or does not fit the evidence profile of what is expected to be encountered beforehand. Institutional methods should be taken for what they are, useful tools in some cases and under some circumstances, useless tools or at the very least hindrances in other circumstances. You cannot entirely and certainly not accurately predict the future based solely upon modeling profiles and techniques based upon previous experience. First of all history shifts, ideas change, paradigms mutate and history is constantly in flux. Certain basic criteria will remain the same, but the details may alter drastically and new players arise with totally different, even alien ideas, ideologies and motivations of their own.
Analysis is not the method of reliably predicting the future, it is the means by which data and information and intelligence is accessed in order to gain some understanding of the full range of possibilities. Anticipation is a matter of innovation, imagination, creativity, the recognition of what others do not see or are blind to (sometimes due specifically to their training), and the assembly of the full range of possibilities in order to see patterns missed by others. Anticipation is not a matter of logic alone, for the future will not evolve logically (it may seem that way afterwards, in hindsight) but will evolve surprisingly, especially in consideration of the past and present.
A professional may very well be absolutely right on any given matter or he may be entirely wrong, but he will be neither based merely upon his credentials as a recognized expert. An amateur may be entirely right about any given matter or he may be completely wrong, but he will not be either based on his status as an amateur. An expert is right because he is correct in the matter at hand, not based on his previous record of achievements, and an amateur is right because he has foreseen the truth, not wring because he is not an expert. I never dismiss what anyone says or thinks based upon credentials or recognized status and if I do so then please correct me viciously and publicly for being so foolish and over-ripely rigid. For I will certainly deserve it. I have no desire in engaging in the idiocy of institutional arrogance nor in pursuing the ends to which it must eventually and inevitably lead. History is replete with those who foresaw the future as a function of the past and thereby became free to relive that past quite disastrously in the certainty of their own present situation. If you think you can't be wrong because of what you know then you don't know much about what you don't know. And it always pays to assume that what you don't know may just eventually prove a whole lot about what you thought you knew too.
Because of this … Yalu conclusion (and those related conclusions) are wrong in my opinion. He seems to be basing his analysis once again upon logic and reasoning, strategic in this case, as if Iran were bent upon avoiding conflicts with the US. You do not base your assessment of an enemy's (or an individual's) motives, capabilities or intentions upon what you would do in that situation, but what you think they would do and what they feel they are capable of. For instance if I sat down in a room and could without interference and confidentially discuss with Chinese military leaders what they think they are capable of achieving in a war with the US, and then compare that with what American military leaders thought the Chinese could accomplish then I'm betting there would be wide latitude in the scope and direction of conclusions. One side might or might not be more accurate in their anticipations but you can bet both sides would probably differ and how each acts will depend a great deal upon how they each individually feel, not how the other guy feels or thinks or thinks would be of advantage. This is especially true in conventional war where there is not assured or mutually assured destruction. One side or the other knows it will win or survive or achieve it's objectives, or both. You can draw in war, or fight to standstill, or even surrender under certain terms and have still achieved your long term objectives. We're not the only ones who understand this. Assessment of human behavior is a matter of psychological influences, motivations, belief systems, and faith, not a matter of logic, strategy and related means of calculations, not at least for the vast majority of human beings, or their leaders, alive. What people believe they can do they will attempt, it in no way matters what others think of their ideas and actions, how logical or illogical or strategically verifiable or unlikely they seem to another. War, and what one believes one can achieve in war is a matter of faith, not fact. And sometimes that faith is justified, sometimes it is not, but either way it does not matter, if one believes, one will eventually attempt.
Now, if I am correct in this matter, and I have faith I am, imagine sitting down in a room with those Iranian political and military and religious leaders who believe in their version of the future and comparing what they are willing to risk, attempt and achieve versus our assessments of their present or even future capabilities. Do you believe there might be a slight variance in risk assessment, in goals and objectives, in relatively levels of faith in what might be conceivable and worth attempting? What might they consider logical or wholly valid and viable compared to our version of the same goals and objectives? And do you think their actions and motivations will be determined by the results of their carefully plotted wargame scenarios or do you think their wargame scenarios will be built around their already firmly held and entrenched set of psychological motivations?
Iran is perfectly willing to fund and support terrorist organizations around the world, to fund homicide bombings in the Middle East and elsewhere which kill innocents and other Muslims, to support civil wars and insurrections, to raise and support proxy armies, to develop nuclear arms, to create and cement alliances, to defy the US diplomatically and politically knowing that this will eventually probably lead to a military conflict, to espouse publicly stated aims to wipe Israel off the map, and therefore based on this evidence one can conclude that it would be practically impossible for them to conceive of a plot to bomb one of their own mosques in Iraq or endanger other Muslims lives by sparking a Civil War in Iraq? Is this how the Iranians actually think? Would such a plot be inconceivable to them or inconceivable to us based on our own models of how we think they would or should behave? Did Saddam and Al Qaeda refuse to cooperate with each other because they could see no advantage to such a relationship or were we unable to foresee such advantages or understand what they understood intuitively, naturally, decisively?
I'd like to tell you I'm wrong. That I in fact know nothing about abnormal or subnormal psychology, human behavior, extraordinary motivations or human psychology at all, that all of human behavior, or even the vast majority of it is based on logical principals of behaviorism and mechanistic advantage and coherent and concrete actions of self-preservation and mutual advantage. That leaders of nations adopt the geo-political strategies most advantageous to their nations and themselves. That people only take those risks which seem worth taking to others and that make the most sense to everyone, instead of only themselves. But I'd be lying. I'd know nothing of history and know nothing of men to say such things or hold such positions. I do know exactly what I'm talking about. I do know how people act and behave, and I'm much, much better at anticipating how they will react and act because I know these things. I may indeed be wrong about the fact of Iranian involvement in the bombing of the Golden Mosque. But then again if I am right, then people better start anticipating the future, instead of just the past. Cause the future is coming, and it doesn't give a shit what we think of that or what our pet theories are. It's coming anyway.
Now, if you think there's a contradiction between me saying with absolute faith that I don't yet know enough to know if I'm right or wrong about what I suspect and yet I'm sure enough to know that I'm not wrong about what I think I actually do know, then you're right. I am, and I'm not. That's the way people are. If their motivations, actions and beliefs could be analyzed any other way then you could reduce em to math and train em like monkeys. I do not expect the Mullahs (or any other enemy for that matter) to act like our trained monkeys or according to our calculations. But I'd be making a real monkey of myself as well to dismiss any possibility, no matter how bizarre, without real evidence to the contrary.
And before you think my critique was designed wholly to attack … and his conclusions, let me assure you it was not. I don't even know... I'm using some of his statements to attack a set of presuppositions, a set of calculations, methods of assumption and thinking. I'm warning against the idea of having set ideas and predisposed conclusions. And I'm certainly not saying believe me because I said so, that I'm the expert. I'm saying screw your own expertise and your preconceptions. And screw mine while you're at it. To hell with expertise and logic and sanitary Western assumptions of how the rest of the world should or does think. This ain't no War of Expertise, this ain't no Cold War against industrialized Ruskies, this ain't no damned Chess Match, this ain't even a real thinking war. Our enemy is Hot in the Heart, and we won't match em with our Heads alone. Our Heads ain't the Battlefield. Their heads are. So get used to crazy, crazy, crazy and stop thinking like Soldiers and Cops and Politicians and a whole more like Terrorists and Criminals and Mullahs and men hoping to spark the End of the World. Because we're playing this Game as if it were a board called save the Old World Order, and they're already planning to burn that mutha to the ground and build the Next World. And they plan on building that World their way, not ours.
As for … other points, I'll let those ride on their own merits and he seems quite knowledgeable concerning many of the points he makes. Time will eventually tell how much so. I hope he is right, completely right. But if he isn't, I hope somebody in our military and government is already prepared for that too. And not just logically prepared, but prepared for just about everything else that ain't so naturally logical as well.
Speaking of the Mosque bombing, three questions still bother me a little about that: 1. It's rather common practice for insurgents in Iraq, and elsewhere to film IED attacks and other attacks (beheadings, etc.) in order to put those recoded attacks on Arab TV and on the internet as recruitment videos, and to discourage public opinion in the West, and to create fear in Iraq and elsewhere. I've been searching and searching but so far haven't seen any Al Qaeda or AQ in Iraq films of the bombing on the internet. Anybody know of a source where I can find an Al Qaeda filming of that attack? 2. I've been searching for AQ or insure claims of responsibility for that attack in Arab media and on the internet. Anyone know where I can find a solid responsibility claim? 3. I've seen no real reports at all with any real details on the explosive used, or possible sources for bomb components, or any other forensic details concerning the explosives, the way they were built, how triggered, etc. The last report I heard, today, was that "presumably the bombing was by insurgents in Iraq." I'd like to know a little bit more than presumably if I can get it. So if any of you know any details concerning the bomb components, materials used, possible sources for the bomb construction or forensic details then I'd be much appreciative.
BUSINESS, INVESTMENT, FINANCE AND ECONOMICS: Mainly just setting up the old home as a rental for the new tenants, which has also kept me busy.
Also since my parents gave us the last remaining acreage to the old estate aside from the small plot given to my younger brother I've had to reassess the land taxes, get everything resurveyed (which took a couple of days since most of the neighbors front lawn and part of his house actually sits on our land) and getting the legal papers disposed of.
I was rather shocked to discover the other day by reviewing my books and the amount in the various bank accounts, card accounts, etc. that I personally now have over $… in unsecured credit available to me and …has somewhere between $… and $… in credit available. Some years ago I set the goal of obtaining $… in personal unsecured credit but didn't really realize I had achieved and surpassed my goal until the review the other day. Now I've got to decide how exactly to best use and apply it.
I still want to one day set up a Business Brokerage Company (probably a LLC) but only as an absentee owner. But then again I also want to fund a company devoted to nothing but new Inventions, developing new technologies, with an attached lab (something like Edison ran) with an in-house bank to accumulate seed money and venture capital to finance those inventions. Then again I also want to start a gaming and Video Gaming company to produce nothing but TRWS games. I also wanna fund a few archaeological expeditions as well as some philanthropic organizations and mission projects. And I want to sink some money in some real estate developmental projects as well as build a set of specially designed movie theatres around here. but I don't think I'm gonna finance any of that with just … worth of credit, unless I find plenty of other investors. Still I guess I can just keep building up my credit worth till I got the time and preps made for some of these other ventures.
Oh, and I expect my taxes to be done by the 18th of March.
FAMILY AFFAIRS: Everything is going well. My oldest nephew … is getting married before he goes into Service. (Update: My nephew … called off the Wedding the week before it was supposed to occur. I am very sorry to hear this as I think they made a good couple but honestly I also always thought that they were far too young at 18 and 19 to be getting married in the first place. To tell you the truth I simply think that he had cold feet, realizing he was about to go into service, travel the world, be away from her for long periods of time. I think he is concentrating upon seeing the world, travel and new experiences and simply thought marriage would be a huge mistake at his age. I tend to agree at this point.) My other nephew is doing well, has his learner's permit now and the girls are doing very well. Their Homeschooling has put them well ahead in testing and skills and they are head of the class at the Baccalaureate Classes they take at . …has learned to ride a bicycle without training wheels and now she and …ride for hours at a time around the old pool, at the basement carport, the drive and across the fields. Apparently they love riding.
Both have restarted martial arts training and soon I'm going to teach …how to box. Both have started doing modeling assignments again as well. I'm seriously thinking about seeing if I can get me and the wife a few shots as well. Print stuff, you know.
The older I get the more and more I realize how an active social life and efforts at networking are essential to progress and advancement in society. I've always myself had a rather active (if very unorthodox) social life but I'd say it's only been in the past ten to fifteen years I've really capitalized on the advantages that offers. However I'm raising the girls to have a very active social life practically from birth and have stressed the advantages of an active social life. An active social life is nearly as good for your health and longevity as deep religious faith as well, so it has psychological and physical advantages as well as cultural and social and financial ones. I am always rather shocked by some people who consider the social life of their kids to be school and church and that's about it. We have people at the public school where my kids take art and Spanish and at church who think their children's entire social life should be just going to church and going to school. That should be more than enough socializing and play for them. I don't feel that way however, not at all and so I have tried to encourage social activates for my kids in the following venues: School/Education Classes, Church/Religious Affairs, Work/Professional Associations, Amateur/Hobby/Gaming Groups, Charitable Organizations, Developmental Organizations (Girl Scouts, Civil Air Patrol, etc.), Training, Mutual Interest Associations and Groups, Political Organizations, Business and Investment Associations, Athletics/Sports, Trips, Camps and Hanging out with Friends/Free Associations. I have seen definite advantages so far because people often express to me how well rounded, well, behaved and friendly my children are, and many people also tell me they love to have my kids around. I'm very glad of that.
The second thing of course is Skill's Acquisition. I have also emphasized this with myself and now I emphasize the same with my kids. And I think it is paying off because I have been recently told by numerous people that my children are extremely well rounded and can do almost anything. Like I did with myself, I divided sets of skills into Spiritual, Psychological, Mental, Physical and Mundane (worldly) classifications and encourage them to further perfect or gain a new skill in each category once every two or three months. This system seems to have worked pretty good and has led to rapid and wide ranging skills acquisition capabilities on their part.
…fell at church the other night while chasing kids and after a younger girl ran under her and practically football tackled her by clipping both feet out from under her simultaneously. She hit head first with tremendous force on the concrete on the left side of her face and it began to swell almost immediately. I'd never seen anything like it, it was obviously hemorrhaging under the skin like crazy. Medical treatment and attempts to reduce the swelling have only slightly reduced the swelling after two days but there were no broken bones, so her jaw is okay. She won't be doing any modeling for awhile though.
The girls and I also spent three days of studies doing nothing but training for an in-home attack by armed assailants or a possible home invasion. They were taught how to establish a defensible security perimeter, with four different means of communications (land-line, cell-phone, FRS radio and hand held CB radio), how to employ multiple means of communications simultaneously, contacts and contact points, my oldest knows how to load my revolver, 9 mm, her .22 and the tactical shotgun, the most effective method of shooting to kill with each weapon, how to finish off any dangerous attacker to assure they are dead, how to use the dogs for defense and attack, and if necessary how to escape the house and avoid pursuit by themselves through the woods to a safe locale with the neighbors. I've also finally gotten it through their heads and my wife's head that I am fully expendable and that the dogs are expendable. Their first and only priority is to survive, and that would be the best method of saving me if that were possible. That they are never to attempt my rescue.
My uncle … came to visit my mother from Houston and swung by the house with his three little kids. I've never had much truck with my uncle … because he has always been so defunct to talk with, reserved and distant. However this time he was very talkative and even almost outgoing. He related a lot of stories about the hurricane from his position in Houston and spoke even more about his time in the Army and Air Force. He served in the Army at the end of Korea as an analyst for photographic recon and bombing missions (he scored other analysts on whether they made correct analytical assessments of targets and bombing runs or not) and after the Army he went into the Air Force where they shipped him to Alaska to work on an arctic base which was part of the DEW line. He told numerous, fascinating and even very funny stories about his service on the DEW line, about how God-forsaken his base was, what life was like on the old DEW line (when I was in the CAP and studying Civil Defense I was really fascinated by the old DEW line and NORAD and later with Space Command), about flying in on those old, primitive bush bombers and having to land on an uphill slope to avoid skid off and craft loss, how lonely it was there, his time as an analyst and his work as a briefer for his Colonel, stories about his old Major Buddy and so forth and so on. It was really nice hearing those stories. Then we rode into town to get lunch for the kids and we spoke about my grandfather (his father) and the family and so forth. Came home and ate, helped the kids fly kites and then he and my mother and his kids left for Houston. He's gonna be moving back to Mississippi soon though if everything works out. I think he's lonely for his old stomping grounds and his grown daughter now that his wife recently died of MS. Which may have been the reason he was so talkative as well. In any case I enjoyed the visit.
I'm contacting a State Agency and couple of local companies about installing Solar and Wind production energy systems. Since we live in a rural area with plenty of land and sit atop the highest hill it should be relatively easy to install both Solar and Wind (and other newly emerging energy production technologies) to the house. My goal is to have this equipment installed by summer and to install a large enough and capable enough system to fully provide the house and any attached buildings with electricity for all needs, including heating and cooling. I also want to establish systems which will allow me to produce power for the local energy grid so that they can pay me instead of me paying for the enormous heating and cooling costs of this house. I know for a fact that the DOE has allocated grant money for my state and if possible I intend to tap that grant money and see if the State agency will pay for me to build the solar (and possibly wind) systems that will heat my house. I should have an entitle answer by next week.
PERSONAL AFFAIRS: I'm taking another Disaster Relief Class in March to go do some late clean up in Biloxi with the church, although if we can't get someone to keep the girls for a week or so then my wife wants me to stay here and watch the girls while she goes since I've been on Disaster Relief and Recovery/Clean Up trips before and she never has. I've also almost completely finished my CERT courses. In another year or two I'll probably up with the local volunteer fire dept. probably as their radio/dispatch/monitor in station and a brush fighter in the field. I've fought brush fires several times before and much prefer it to fighting house and building fires. I guess cause I'm outside.
Still I've been undergoing a lot of Red Cross Disaster Training lately and I'm thinking very seriously about becoming part of a local (DAT) Disaster Action Team. I got to thinking about this the other night. As a young boy I practically grew up in a Rescue Squad in ... Then later after I became a Lt. in the CAP a great deal of my training was in Civil Defense. Now I'm back to studying and assisting with Disaster and Recovery training, CERT affairs and Emergency Medical Responses along with volunteer fire fighting. Strange how things come around over and over again without us even thinking much about it until we stop to realize that no matter how much things appear to change they never really change. I'm also thinking about joining the American Radio Relay League for communications dispatch. After all I commonly monitor police, fire and EMS bands anyway. Why not just relay on those things I cannot personally respond to or that are outside my personal area of operation to others who can? Besides it will help further develop my own PIIN as well as building up new communication and informant capabilities.
By the way since I initially wrote the above I've already taken my two days worth of training classes. It looks like I won't get to go to Biloxi this time because my parents were gonna keep the girls but my father drove a steel bar through his hand at work and now requires hand surgery. I've told him over and over again since he retired not to work in shop anymore, that with his experience he could make fours times the money as a consultant and never wear a blue shirt or run a shop again. Michelin and BMW and a host of other companies have practically begged him to come to work for them, BMW even offered to allow him to design part of their mechanical assembly line but he'd rather run a shop. He's crazy in my opinion but I guess I can't really blame him in one sense because I understand that he doesn't like working for others or taking orders. That's me too and I've always done things my own way and I guess that's him as well. He was like that in service, they called him "Hell no," I believe one of his buddies once told me. But anyway, he's down and out of action now and will require surgery and no telling how long he'll undergo rehab.
Anyway to return to the training. We went to the First Baptist Church off main street in ... It was a huge facility, four stories I believe and it had hundreds of rooms. I've never seen a Baptist church like it and the sanctuary was like walking into a European Cathedral, except that the pews were staggered, theatre seating style and their was no real Nave. The stained glass windows were rather amazing. It was the way I wish a whole lot more Protestant churches were, instead of being so blank and bland and undecorated and bare. When I first got there I signed in and was supposed to get my picture taken digitally for the ID but the camera was broken. They fixed it next day but the line was three hours long and I wasn't gonna wait through that so I'm just gonna mail em my picture. After arriving I wanted to wander but had to do a bunch of paperwork, so instead I got my wife to do it for me and wandered off to explore. The people in my church group didn't much like tan but that's my nature and tough luck, I was doing it my way.I wandered down the street to Saint Paul's church, the Roman Catholic church beside First Baptist. It looked old and since I like exploring old churches as well as big and new ones I tried getting in but no-one was around. So I walked down the street towards the park and ran across the Catholic Shop which was open. I went in to see if they were associated with Saint Paul's and could get me in.
When I stepped in I saw a lot of Iconography which I really liked and looked around the place, casing it for interesting items. I love Orthodox iconography and as many of you know at one time I studied to be an Orthodox priest. I don't much care for Roman iconography that much but they had some really interesting items.
After looking around awhile the two ladies working there asked me if I was a cop. "No," I replied, "do I look like a cop."
"That, or an undercover officer." I actually get asked hits a lot more because of the beard but every now and then people will confuse me for being a beat cop. I asked them why they had asked that and they told me that a local black woman was both robbing local stores and attempting scams and shoplifting rackets and the local cops had sent in officers the day before to warn them. They thought I was the replacement, and undercover plant to catch the perp with her pants down. So I promised that I would look around and run a security sweep for them but about that time my class was about ready to start and I promised them I would return when my first class was over. They blessed me and I went back up to the classes, but because of the photo machine screw up and software glitch I got another hour to kill. So I went back down to the shop and ran both an indoor and outdoor sweep and went back in and looked around awhile. We had a nice conversation and I really wanted to buy an icon I saw and liked of Saint Francis but I only had a few bucks on me. But I did see a nice light blue bead Madonna and Crucifix Rosary I liked and I bought that after they knocked some off the price. Then they said that since I had made sure everything was cool for them that they wanted to give me the security code to the Adoration Chapel attached to Saint Paul's. They told me to go in there anytime I wanted. So they gave me the code, blessed me again, I thanked them and told them I'd watch the place when I could and revisit some time in the future and left. They were really nice old ladies. More about my new Rosary and the Adoration Chapel below.
I got back to the cafeteria (where we were all meeting) in time for our group to go to their different classes. My church group was upset that I had not spent any time with them and I made the mistake of telling them, "Look guys, I didn't come here to hang around you guys, I already know all of you. I came to meet new people I've never met before and to learn new things I've never learned." Well, that didn't sit too well, especially with … (our church redhead and the gal I help teach a class with) who I think took it kinda personally, even though I didn't mean it that way at all. She's let me have it over that comment ever since, often telling me, "Well, why don't you just go on then and do your own thing, you don't need us anyway." My wife just blew the comment off though and said, "That's Jack, he does his own thing the way he wants to do it. He won't change for any of us." My wife knows the way I am.
Most of the people went to the MudOut class but I went instead to the Communications Class. I had a ball in the class, using much of the knowledge I could remember from a kid while in the CAP and my Civil Defense communications classes. My instructor was Ken … and I also had Bill …, career Army and National Guard, former radio operator and Jack … former communications for the Air Force or US Navy and Sub operations. I can't remember exactly, one guy had worked for the Navy and another for the Air Force. Bill had recently had cancer surgery, about three weeks earlier and had some lymph nodes taken out, and there he was ready to serve again for disaster relief. You gotta admire that kinda man.
There were only about five of us total, as students, including myself but it was a great class and extremely interesting. We talked about everything, including calculating relative transmission strength of omnidirectional antenna reception, beam strength of line directional antenna, transmission strengths, formula for discovery of transceiver capabilities, skips, repeaters and relays, materials, and HAM radio. Most of the classes were simply instructional classes, but this one included hands on radio work and field demonstrations. I've always wanted to take a HAM ticket and I also found that recently you don't need a Code license, you can take no-code licenses. Which is great for me because although I can read Morse written, I have real trouble with it transmitted by auditory signal due to my hearing loss and sometimes being unable to distinguish dots from dashes, or even hear high pitched sounds at all. Anyway Ken and Jack and Bill and I talked on the HAM under Ken's license and communicated with a mobile HAM from Red Cross who was giving us a demonstration. The guy we were yakking with asked how many were in the class and Ken said it was light in quantity but heavy in quality, which made me laugh. I also coincidentally got complimentary information on the American Radio Relay League which I plan to join as soon as I purchase a HAM and start studying for my no-code license since I do so much local monitoring of police, sheriff, fire, EMS, military and related frequencies anyway. With the new house and since we sit on top of the highest hill I am ideally situated to intercept signals from all over. Once I'm able to install the correct antennas I should be able to drastically boost signal interception of all scan-bands I monitor, transceiver strength of my CB base unit and when I get the HAM maybe even to operate as a local repeater. With the price of SATPHONES containing to drop I've also thought about trying to rig some capability for ground reception of intercepted satellite transmissions and getting a dedicated in home SATPHONE UNIT for doing nothing else but this. Perhaps channeling it through a SATPHONE DISH, my satellite reception dish or a dish with modified antenna array of my own devising. But that's another story for another day.
After that class I was supposed to attend a mandatory class which was really just a lecture on how the Southern Baptists were working with other groups to assist with disaster relief, blah, blah, blah. I knew all that stuff already and so I skipped it. I've never liked mandatory classes anyway, they're a big load of crap. Instead I took my first trip to Saint Paul's Adoration chapel. More on that below. Then I explored Spartanburg a little and got back together later with some of the guys from my first class and we went out.
The next morning I took a class in International Disaster Relief/Medical given by ... The class was also very good, concentrating on medical and medical missionary responses. … and several physicians and nurses in the audience gave me several good ideas about projects and ministries and missions I can get involved in concerning medical missions projects. And I plan to do just that. This class gave me an opportunity to capitalize on my previous medical/first aid/CPR/surgical (light field surgery although I've privately studied advanced surgery for years but have performed only on animals and myself) training and I would be glad to serve on Triage on a local/national or international disaster, and I talked with the leaders about getting advanced Triage and diagnostic training. So I'll be keeping in contact with those guys as well. Then I had another mandatory class on an Introduction to Disaster Relief, but I knew all that crap too and skipped it as well. Instead I went back to the Adoration Chapel. Now all I've got to do is get my picture in so they can send me my ID.
The classes also gave me the idea of forming up a Special Unit of Vigilant Scouts, similar to the Vigilants I have and am forming to assist with local police and detective work, fire, emergencies, etc. except these "Scouts" would be a civilian dispatch team to assist local law enforcement and first responders during a national disaster. Since police and National Guard units are always strained in these affairs the Vigilant Scouts would scout through areas, acting as communication relay teams, doing observation and reconnaissance, spotting and calling in trouble and emergency situations to the police by radio and other means so that the police can greatly expand their observational and patrol capabilities in such situations. The scouts would then help the police and fire and EMS responders to concentrate resources where they are most needed and to help fill the ranks of those officers deployed to access and allocate resources. The Scouts would disperse, locate, observe, reconnoiter, and communicate with local forces to more quickly concentrate those forces and resources where they are most needed. They would be Civilian volunteers of course but they could be trained in a wide variety of skills such as Civil Defense, first aid and CPR, scouting and reconnaissance, surveillance, communications, infiltration, assessment, relief, triage, survival in dangerous and disaster environments, basic SAR, etc.
RELIGIOUS/SPIRITUAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL AFFAIRS: Our church building/expansion project is nearly underway. All of the architectural plans have been put in place and completed, the only thing that remains to be done is finalizing the permits. Building should be underway in April and probably completed by August or September. Since I am in charge of the Missions House I am the one responsible for securing off-duty missionaries and their families for the Missions House until such time as they can find a permanent home or return to the field for a new assignment. I have to admit that I really enjoy this office and assignment and have been in contact with a number of Missionaries through their Blogs and via email.
I also saw Father Bertoli, I think it was, (the monk on EWTN) the other day talking about Catholic Psychology, and how the Catholics had a Systematic Psychology complimentary to their systematic Theology which he believed, and rather well demonstrated by argument and example, to be very beneficial towards patients with psychological problems who sought treatment employing this systematic Catholic approach. Which got me to thinking very long and deeply (as many of you know I both studied to become an Orthodox Priest when I was young and attending college, and spent much of my college career afterwards studying psychology as well) that it would be a very excellent thing for my church to develop it's own systematic Christian psychology and educational program.
Lastly, the classes I recently attended on Disaster Relief and Recovery also stimulated many ideas regarding what might be possible as both ministries and mission activities at my church (and what I could do individually). To that end then I have been developing ideas for new Sunday morning classes (and possibly classes at other times) for my church, some of which I might lead, teach or conduct. I call these classes ACTs for Active Christian Training. The possible classes I have developed are:
Christian Projects Class: class to develop and present missions projects; including church newsletter by email and print, writing to persecuted Christians, Missionary Blogs, a Church Blog for…, website, church technologies access and training, Christian Art, Music, Writing, Drama and Letters, Local cultural and Media Campaigns, Representing Christian and Church interests in the local community, disaster services, missions work and projects and fund-raising.
Translation Class: class devoted to a line by line and if necessary word-by-word translation of scriptures from the Hebrew and Greek into English, especially translating important scriptures, stories, sections and passages.
Lay Pastoral and Ministries Class: class devoted to the development of Christian ministries and services; such as Christian Counseling, Child Counseling, Deaconing, First Aid and Medical Services, Youth ministries, special associated or affiliated ministries (such as Release Time) preparation for the ministry and to become a youth minister, men and women’s ministries, preparation of and delivering of sermons and lay sermons.
These classes would begin after the building expansion project is completed. In addition I am working to develop an Integrated Psychology Program to act as a counseling service for my church, something both the pastor and lay persons can engage in to assist other members and the public at large.
This program would assist parishioners and people with recovery from some psychological problem and/or mastering some sin they feel is harming them or hindering them psychologically, and would also include advancement classes so that the person could pursue spiritual, psychological, mental and even physical advancement if they wished to do so. It would have two main emphases; Advancing as a better Christian and advancing as a better individual person, and the program would be an integrated, systematic approach as I stated above.
L a girl at my church (I grew up and went to school with her) was in a terrific auto wreck. Guy in the other vehicle was flying and lost control, apparently just passed out and crashed into her with his vehicle floored. His vehicle and her SUV burst into flame but both were pulled from the wreckage by passer's by. She suffered broken ribs, a cracked vertebrae, neck injuries and her SUV was totaled, but if it had been an auto she would be dead I'm sure. The other guy never woke up and hasn't to this day to my knowledge.
M another girl at my church recently went into the hospital for Transverse Myelitis. The pastor and people at my church thought it very bizarre I would know what this disorder is but back when I was studying Bovine Encephalitic Disorders and Prion malformations I did an in-depth study of the myelin sheath, the spinal fluid and the cranial fluid, and neural conduction fibers and pathways generally. Monica had previously had scoliosis and due to the curvature of her spine had a rod inserted to straighten her spinal cord. This winter she had a respiratory infection which I suspect broke loose in her bloodstream, settled in her spinal cord, infected the fluids and surrounding tissue and probably grew and multiplied in and around the rod (I suspect Mycoplasmic Pneumonia - in other words non idiopathic). The result was an acute and severe case of Transverse Myelitis. She is now paralyzed from the shoulder's down, has no sensation whatsoever in any of the effected areas, but is able to now move her toes after steroid treatments. Because of this I believe she will eventually fully recover but I would also use targeted anti-infectious agents at the spinal cord, but it's not my call. Anyway if anyone is familiar with experimental or successful treatments for this disease then please let me know as I'd be interested in studying the underlying treatment form.
Lastly a girl named A (sister in law to Lisa) has been diagnosed with possible breast cancer. They will do a full examination next week.
Prayers are gratefully accepted for all of these people.
Now for my experiences in the Adoration Chapel. The first day it was very quiet and I more or less used the chapel to sort of decompress for a short period of time before moving on to explore the city and meet with others. I didn't even sign in.
The second day however I did sign in and went and sat down quietly in the chapel. It was extremely quiet inside, almost as if the place were soundproofed. The sun was coming inside the stained glass windows with pictures of the Saints and the Lamb of Christ/Alpha/Omega. No one else was there or came in the entire time. On the altar sat the Golden receptacle for the Host (the elements of the sacrament and Mass), there was a prayer rug in front of the altar. I took my new Rosary from around my neck and began to pray moving my right hand through the beads as I prayed but holding the crucifix in my left. I knelt as I prayed on my right knee. I was there about ten minutes praying when I fell into a trance as I knelt. I cannot explain or describe the trance of course, no one can really describe such a thing, but all of a sudden I felt completely light, unfixed, as if I weighed nothing. I also felt like I was a Knight, kneeling, on holy Quest, completely filled with God and the Spirit yet also deeply at peace. I don't really know how long I knelt like that but it must have been around half an hour or so when I checked it later on my watch, but at the time time had no meaning to me. It was like a meditative trance where you loose all sensation of everything except the one thought or feeling that absorbs you completely, God. Then I burst into tears. I cannot describe why either, I was deeply humbled, deeply grateful, deeply happy and deeply sad all at once. I cried for I don't really know how long but it was enough to almost completely exhaust me. When I was finally able to stop crying and stand I moved over and touched the Vessel for the Host and had a short, mystical vision of Christ, such as the one I had years and years ago of Christ dying on the Cross. I sat down on my butt on the prayer rug but next thing I remember I was laying flat on the floor looking up at the ceiling. I stood up and realized my face was still covered in tears and yet I felt like laughing so I did. I went to the bathroom and washed my face then came back to the chapel and anointed myself with Holy Water that had been left there to anoint the priests, using it to further wash out my eyes which I figure were probably red from crying so long.
By that time I was totally exhausted but I also felt completely drained and cleaned out, light as a feather. I went to the registry but instead of signing my leave time I wrote down, "I never really leave..." That'll give the priest something to wonder about and it seemed like the right thing to say. On the way out I passed by the Rector's House, which was situated right beside the chapel, and found a tiny snake dead in the road in front of his house. I was in such an ecstatic state I didn't even bother to notice what kind of snake it was, but I took it as an excellent omen. I felt sorry for the dead snake though and picked it up and placed the little corpse in the grass beside the sidewalk. then I went to my car and got in and drove home. I guess I was in the chapel about three hours but it seemed a short time to me. It was the most pleasant and outright beautiful spiritual and mystical religious experience I've had in years and years. I'm going back when I can and have already started drawing up the design for my own private chapel in my house, something I've been planning to build for years anyway. I'm gonna decorate it with tapestries, prayer rugs I design and icons of my own designing, as well as various replicas of religious relics, artifacts and devices I have always been attracted to. I'm gonna expand the underground floor of my house and that's where my chapel will go.
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS:
INVESTIGATIONS/CASES: I've had a few interesting cases lately. Mostly manhunting. More on those later.
For now, something else. About five years or so ago I helped the local cops and deputies crush and all but eliminate the local gangs around here, especially the Folk and others who were trying to set up distribution routes here for import of narcotics from … and out West. By crush I mean so deeply repress their operations that they were effectively eliminated as major causes of local criminal activity. But it seems that some of them simply went underground and they're active again, especially to the south and west of the county. Interestingly enough they also seem to be using pages on the internet to tag and mark cyberspaces so they can boost and slam other gangs, as well as for planning hits, coordinating crimes and for purposes of covert communications. So it looks like I'm gonna hav'ta revive my old antigang operations and start running anti-gang patrol sweeps as well as internet page sweeps looking for indications of gang activity. I'm thinking about trying to devise a program, attached to my multi-search engine program which I can also target at specific domains to sweep for data that would meet gang criteria. Then I can go from there for a filtering process, such as concentrating only upon local pages and persons. This would be a personal and anti-crime version of Echelon efforts and data mining, but in addition to mining phrases and words, etc, I'd also mine insults, catch-phrases, vocabulary, taggings, visual symbols, etc.
I'm thinking about making the internet side of the effort an entirely separate operation and if I can perfect the system, or at least create a viable and effective sweeping and internet patrol program then I can also use it for other things and expand it to other functions (for instance internet counter-terrorism or anti-ICC activity). It should prove interesting and I already have a few domains as well as specific areas of cyberspace to search. I'll keep you informed on how it works and if anyone else has any information, experience or advice on how to assist me then throw it my way and I'll see what I can do with what you send me.
a. Somatic/Genetic/Physical- I've reorganized the mixtures on some of my main metaergogenic compounds. I've had the idea of possibly mixing my bio-absorptive solar radiation experiments with controlled ingestion of different metaergogenic mixtures and seeing what, if any, effect that might produce.
I've also started getting back into shape after a long winter of not much activity and a lot of busy work involving the move. In addition to my regular work out and training programs I'm also carrying logs over long dances by hand (the pecan tree that we cut down when I moved into our new house) and hitting the baseball and throwing discus. I'd like to be hitting and throwing a lot more but we've had a real spell of bad weather. Ice storms, a lot of rain compared to what we're used to and overall cold temperatures. Some days have been great, we had a day in March in the eighties, but a lot of the weather has been lousy for anything but hiking and the occasional wind-sprint. I'm looking forward to (and the girls keep after me to do this) to repairing my mountain bike so I can ride the roads and woods around here.
b. Aesic- NSTR
c. Psychaec- NSTR
d. ACUT- NSTR
e. Composition/Design- Started the new Literary Newsletter (see Opae Section below). Conditional name for the new newsletter at this point is Opus Magnus. I much prefer to keep the newsletter designation and format because the intention is to produce a sort of Journal for Review, rather than any type of standardized Literary Journal or Critical Review magazine because this product will be for the purpose of writers, artists, scientists, inventors, etc. reviewing the works of other contributors. The criticism and reviews are designed to be on-going production critiques rather than literary reviews of finished products or a simple magazine of productions. Though I guess I could devise another term, other than Literary Newsletter, I think that fits the overall purpose and structure. It will be distributed to a select group and is not designed for open publication, as all contributions will be protected and deemed absolute property of the contributor.
f. Scientific- I posted a replicate version of the same Remote Perception experiment some of you guys tried several years back on a website but nobody really tried the targets. Used the same target profiles as before. No takers though so I've got nothing to report.
MEDIA REVIEWS: Critiqued in value from 1 to 10, 10 being the best.
Film/Video/DVD- Onibi - the Fire Within: 9
A Beautiful Mind I've read several papers by Nash as well as a few biographies. This film was an okay, semi-factual representation of some of his accomplishments but concentrates almost entirely upon the effect his schizophrenia had upon his life and career and marriages. Crowe did a fine job and overall, considering this is the idealized biography of a scientist it is a rather excellent work comparatively. The ending was fantastic and the reason I give the film overall an 8
JRR Tolkien and the Birth of the Lord of the Rings A great little literary biography of the man and his works and the influences upon him and the influence he had upon others 8
Yoga Unveiled 7
King Arthur's Britain by Francis Pryor This was a fascinating BBC production in which Pryor posits several fascinating theories, such as there was "no Anglo-Saxon invasion of England at all" (and that's just one of his postulates) and truth be told he offers up a huge amount of data and some really, very, very solid evidence for his premises. It is the best film on modern English Archaeology I've seen in years and years. 9
Reilly - Ace of Spies: when I was a kid I watched this PBS series on this semi-biographical life of Reilly. Later I added the book concerning the series to my personal library and read several good biographies on the man. Reilly was a big influence on me in the areas of infiltration, espionage and human system's stealth (that is the movement undetected through groups of people and the infiltration of human organizations and systems). His life, his methods and his capacities also taught me a great deal about operating alone in dangerous environments and in dangerous backgrounds and how to operate independently and without backup undercover. Reilly was a deep cover spy, and he was also a master at deception, misdirection, gathering information, deflecting suspicion, escape and evasion, operating smoothly and without panic, innovation, adaptation and acting. He was also a good detective with an eye for his targets and an understanding for what others were missing. He was a huge influence on me in all of those respects and I really, really enjoyed rewatching this series. It was as good as the first time around.
The Constant Gardener: I tried really hard to like this film being under the impression that it was some type of corporate espionage film. Also it was apparently by the same guy who did City of God, which was an excellent film indeed, but this thing was another matter. It was horrifically bad from the start. he plot line had huge holes in it, which in itself would have been okay had the story been any good at all or even believable to anyone outside of 6th grade. The corporate TB-murder-silencing ring idea was so patently ridiculous that only someone with the juvenile mind-set of a Hollywood writer could have developed it. The characters were morally bankrupt, to say the least, or even worse, naive, stupid, sappy, weepy, and gullibly forgiving of actions which were degenerate at best. The acting stank as well but the film also committed the one unpardonable sin in film-making, it was boring. God in heaven it was boring. Painfully, excruciatingly boring. It was like watching a badly edited documentary about some kook conspiracy Crusade by some European dilettantes which in the end only proves that a little education is a dangerous thing for some people, and a lot of education even worse for the same. The Constant Gardener couldn't raise a decent or even a really dry, bug-eaten turnip with Miracle-Gro. My opinion is constantly avoid the thing. 4
The Wedding Crashers: it crashed, and burned. I wish it had burned before I saw it. I gave up about fifteen minutes in. 5
40 Year Old Virgin: piece of crap that would have been funny if I had been a drastically retarded 13 year old teenage viewer with severe psyhcosociosexual problems..
Ultimate Avengers: first of all let me say that I am not nor have I ever really been a big Marvel fan. I've always been a DC fan with the exception of Spiderman and Daredevil, who have only ever been the really first rate comic superheroes ever done by Marvel. Occasionally I used to read Iron Man when he would fight Ghost because I liked the idea of Iron Man's high tech mechanical and energy technologies versus the Ghost's quantum, phased and incorporeal technologies. It was a good match. And God only knows that the Avengers were no match whatsoever for the JLA (with the exceptions of the Vision and Iron Man) and by comparison the Avengers were second rate incompetents. But recently with the JLA broken up and disbanded I started reading the New Avengers and have loved the series since the first edition. Marvel has completely redone the line-up and added Spiderman and Wolverine and Luke Cage, and they've redone Captain America (a character I never previously cared for) to make him into an absolutely top-rate team commander and leader. He's really finally evolved into a great character. He's tough now, and gritty. So I've really been enjoying the series and as I've said before whereas in superhero comics the JLA is the International Special Forces Team of Superheroes, the New Avengers have become the American SWAT and Counterterrorism team of Superheroes. So it was with great anticipation that I picked up the animated Marvel film the Ultimate Avengers. In this film Nick Fury (another character I never cared for, except I like his new incarnation in the New Avengers as an on the run rogue ex-agent) is really Luke Cage and the interpretation of Fury as Cage is excellent. Fury is actually likeable as Cage. The other characters were Hank Pym, Tony Stark, Cap as Team Leader, Wasp, Black Widow, Thor (the most disliked of all major Marvel characters to me and in this he comes across more as a silly Greenie chick than a real superhero (Pym even asks who the chick with the hammer is when Thor shows up) although he does hammer the living hell out of Hulk for brief period and that was really nice to see) and Banner/Hulk. The film was excellent, from beginning to end, the artwork was extremely good, the story well paced, the characters with the exception of Thor well done and executed. The voicework was very good. The film began in retro style as a throwback to forty and forty war serials with Cap fighting in a remote Scandinavian Nazi base against aliens who were in collusion with the Nazis to strike America with a nuclear warhead via a suped up German V-Missile. The film then goes to modern times with Cap's body being recovered from the ice and Banner attempting to analyze Cap's genetic and bio-chemical structure to see if he can replicate the super soldier serum in order to use that serum to control the Hulk who on a rampage has destroyed large sections of New York City. The team then has to assembled in order to fight the aliens who had previously helped the Nazis but had never really left Earth, only been in hiding.
Eventually there is a huge SHIELD/military/Avengers fight against the aliens and Banner transforms into the Hulk in the middle of the fight. The serum is only partially effective though and after fighting the aliens the Hulk turns on the Avengers and tries to kill them all. And when I say tries to kill them all I mean he tries his dead level best to kill them all, no survivors at all. He comes within mere seconds of finishing Cap off for good. It is a great, incredible, fantastic and mature fight, not at all like typical superhero comics. This fight is obviously intended to kill, or Hulk intends to kill anyway, everything and everyone is sight. As a matter of fact there's a lot of killing in the film, from the Nazi bunker to the aliens killing off the entire staff of a military base one by one to the last attempts by Hulk to eradicate the Avengers. It reminded me immediately of the modern JLA and I have to say that I actually enjoyed it as much as a JLA comic or the modern JLA animated series. I highly recommend this. I bought it and added it to my DVD collection. 9
Spiderman 2: I rewatched this film the other night. While watching it I carefully studied the Pieta scene after Peter saves the runaway train and after the people take him down from his perch on the front of the train. The first time I saw it I had immediately recognized the religious symbolism, how Peter were positioned with arms outstretched as if he had been crucified, how the people took him down and passed him hand over hand then placed him upon the ground as if in the pieta and how the mother with the baby stood over him and looked down upon his body. But as he was placed on the ground I suddenly realized that his chest sides were open as if he had been stabbed as well. I had previously noticed much of the symbolism but had not noticed the wounds on the chest. Also when he sat up someone commented "It's good to have you back Spiderman," as if to cement the resurrection motif as well. That's far from the only religious and mythological symbolism in the film but that one scene really stood out for me. It is an excellent, excellent film. Better even than the first. 10
Saw 2: This film was horrible. Much worse than the first. The situations were stupid, anyone with any experience at all or even a modicum of survival instinct or suspicion could have easily avoided or thwarted every trap. The fact that anyone would have been impressed by the traps only shows how weak and pathetic and stupid most urbanites are, as if all their capabilities to avoid or overcome any sense of danger has been killed within them. They live in cities where everything is in effect handed to them and all they ever attempt to do is allow some specialist to save them rather than problem solving and overcoming dangers for themselves. They buy the expertise and capabilities of others and when placed in danger they are little more than confused, unobservant, domesticated sheep to the slaughter. Then to make it even worse the dialogue is written as if by some teenager in Hollywood filled with Social Darwinism and other fecal matter that I would have thought no reasonably intelligent grade schooler could seriously swallow anymore and yet this is presented as if it were the "philosophical tenet" of the film. It was a typical Hollywood act of self-affirmation, liek a heroin addict schizophrenically procliaming to himself how free and brilliant he is not to be doing anyhtign in the world other than marking himself and sucking at the diseased teat of slow suicide. The film would ahve spent it's time far better sawing it's own head off and callign that art. The horro of the film is that someone thought the script good enough to bother writing. Too much of modern film, far too much, is a Mad Cow, falling over and wallowing in it's own unending defectaion, possessed of a samll animal brain which is further diluted by lethal spongiform disorders. The film of today is more often than not written for juveniles, by juveniles, on a juvenile level. 2 for 2.
Justice League Unlimited: has returned to the air and this new season is pretty good. The stories are unusual compared to previous stories but that is one of the things that have made these new episodes so interesting. 9
Smallville: has been quite good this season. I wish Clark would meet the future Batman however. 9
Over There: they took this show off the air and it was stupid to do so. Another example of a show being too good to survive television.
Battlestar Galactica: excellent as always. As a matter of fact, even better than the previous season, though the stories have become smaller and more tactical, less strategic of late. More character exploration. The season finale was incredibly good though but it went pretty much exactly as I suspected it would so that was kinda disappointing, that I was able to anticipate the direction so easily. But then again there were a lot of seasonal clues to read. As a matter of fact it was an excellent season and an excellent finale anyways. 10
24: people have gotten me to start watching this show and I have to admit that whereas there are many things Jack does that I would never do the show is nevertheless very interesting and in many respects quite unconventional and original. Jack's main weakness to me is that he seems to lack any detective capabilities or abilities to project forward concerning the implications of what he encounters. He also seems unable to read people. He runs around putting out one fire after another instead of getting ahead of the fires, controlling the burn or starting counter-fires. The whole CTU team seems to run like that, in a constant state of frenzy and in a reactive mode. Whereas if they had a good Dick then they'd be way ahead of the game. What Jack really needs is a thinking partner, an anticipator to ride around with him in the field and say to him, "Do you see what you just missed? Think about that a second before you rush over there cause I bet if we go here instead we'll be two steps ahead of the other guys for a change." Still I gotta admit, the show is one of the most exciting and fun to watch I've ever seen. 8
Survivorman- This show on satellite is of a guy who goes to remote locations and attempts to survive and escape form potentially lethal environments after imitating a disaster scenario and being left with few, if any survival gear and resources. He vests all types of environments and usually does an excellent job of survival and adaptation. Most of you probably know of my interest in survival skills and I learn a lot by watching this show and carefully analyzing what he does, both good and bad. If this show is on at night then I'll actually quit working or whatever else I'm doing and watch it intensely. I really like and recommend it. I hope he does a few urban, suburban and rural but inhabited environments as well this season, or next. 9
This is a channel or network more than a show, but recently my satellite provider has begun transmission of the Documentary Channel. Some of the documentaries are boring and on subject matter that doesn't interest me at all but some of the docs are fantastic and I've really enjoyed them. I recommend this channel if you like documentaries.
Music- Iphigenie en Tauride 8
Der Rosenkavalier 9
Games- have had no time to play any game or even look at one.
Books/Audio- The Fortunes of War - excellent Aubrey book. Jack Aubrey fights the USS Constitution. Aubrey loses of course and becomes a POW in Boston but the fight was absolutely incredible. O'Brian can describe a fight as if you're standing at the gunnel and in the middle of the engagement. It's uncanny how he describes an action, as well as naval life in general. 10
An Experiment in Treason: Finished this and it was superb. 9
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay: One of the most imaginative and unique works of fiction I've ever read. I don't really know how to describe it except to say it involves WWII, Eastern European escape artists, comic books, artists, and the smuggling of a Jewish Golem. Rather brilliant. 9
Rose a really great period piece by Martin Cruz Smith, who wrote Gorky Park and Red Square 9
Birds of Prey: mediocre. 6
Non Fiction: The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: the most useful book on improving artistic skill I have personally ever read. Has improved my capabilities immensely.
Michelangelo and his Drawings 7
Leonardo Da Vinci: Master Draftsman 10
The DC Guide to Writing Comics 9
Digital People From Bionic Humans to Androids- A good overview of modern robotics, AI and potential Artificial Beings. The author has some interesting personal theories on these matters. 9
Be Iron Fit: training for Ironmen with time efficient training programs. Interesting in parts but not as useful as I had hoped. 7
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 8 10
The Holy Mountain 8
The Last Byzantine Renaissance: An excellent little historical work on the Last Byzantine Renaissance and the pre-spur to the Western European Renaissance. A very interesting little book which sort of covertly posits a theory I have seen expounded upon by others, and with which I agree, that one of the chief driving forces of the both the High Renaissance in Western Europe and the eventual Age of Enlightenment were influences from Byzantium and refugees from the sacking of Constantinople. I do not subscribe to the view that the Renaissance would have never happened with Byzantine influence but I have no doubt it would not have been so great in scope or reach without the Byzantine influence. As a matter of fact I have my own theory, and if I ever get the time to finish it, I have partially written a theory paper that America is really the Byzantine Empire reborn and improved.10
A History of the Byzantine State and Society - extremely good. One of the best Byzantine histories I've read in a very long time. I'm also gonna be reading one of his other books, Byzantium and Its Army, 284-1081. 10
Elite Forces, Counterintelligence and Reorganization - I am reading this really to compare notes on a paper I am preparing, and have been for some time, that Special Forces Units and personnel should be more thoroughly integrated into regular duty units and that regular duty units should undergo a shift of emphasis from straight technical specialization and functionality to a Renaissance warrior training platform, far more similar to Special Forces training. (You might call it Special Forces light.) That is the age of wide-scale and particular specialization of (combat troops especially) should be dying and on the decline in favor of a far more adaptable, flexible and functional Renaissance soldier. I'm even toying with the idea of suggesting that command level officers and Special Forces troopers rotate into and out of (on a regular schedule) normal units in order to train ordinary and combat soldiers in functions currently served exclusively by Special Forces soldiers. Regular units would then start to assume more Special Forces duties and capabilities while Special Forces training would expand from their regular and irregular functions to incorporate a more total overall standing Renaissance capability.
Biography: God and Ronald Reagan: One of the best spiritual biographies I've read in a very long time. I highly recommend the book. 10
The Holy Mountain: About Mount Athos. It is sort of a collective spiritual biography of an area and the Greek Orthodox monks who lived there, Good. 8
They called him Wild Bill: the life and adventures of James Butler Hickok: This was an absolutely great biography of Wild Bill. The man was certainly the kind of guy you'd just love to hang around, so adventurous was his life. He gambled too much and stank at it, but at everything else except women he was about as good as they came. It's a shame America makes so few of this kind of man, relatively speaking, nowadays. He and all of his buddies were men sure enough. I'd have liked to have met and rode with him. 9
The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr. Carr is the same guy who wrote the Alienist. I read the Alienist awhile back when I was just starting to force myself to read fiction again and it was so good that it read like a fictional version of the Devil in the White City (which I cannot recommend highly enough). Reading Carr is like reading history. This book is about Sherlock Holmes as written by Carr and if anyone can pull off a story about Holmes as well as Doyle it will be Carr. As a matter of fact the book was commissioned by the estate of Doyle. Better yet the story involves Mycroft, so it's twice as good.
Artmeis Fowl Four - the Opal Deception: I checked this book out with every intention of reading it because I think these are the best fantasy books since Tolkien, but I did not have the time and had to return it due to my work load. I'm gonna read it later.
Butcher Bird: another good work by Dean Ing. 8
Batman - War Drums: okay to me. 7
Hellboy - Weird Tales Vol.2: enjoyed it very much 8
Broken City - 7
Amazing Spiderman - Skin Deep: not bad 7
Superman - That Healing Touch: 8
Batman - Wargames, Act 2, Tides: 8
Superman - Godfall: 7
Superman - Unconventional Warfare: quite excellent. 9
Ultimate X-Men - Vol 11:
Hulk Grey: interesting. An unusual approach to the Hulk. 7
Batman - Scarecrow Tales: mediocre. 5
Batman - the Greatest Stroies ever Told: this collection of seminal tales included, Night of the Stalker. A tale I originally read back in the seventies I believe, when my grandfather bought me that comic and I believe it was a Detective Comic. Even back then, as a kid this particular Batman story was formative in my own career as a Vigilant, and I never forgot it. But over the years I lost the comic in which is was written and wondered if I'd ever see the story again. Rereading it was a real thrill to me. Even though it was a seventies story, and extremely mild by today's standards I never forgot how the Batman relentlessly tracked and pursued the bank-robbers who had killed the mother and father of the little boy, or ho he used fright and fear and stalking and relentlessness and weapons. Also in the Detective comics, and this was what I most admired about Detective comics he was never the super-powered or supergadgeted hero, but rather the slow, cold, calculating, relentless, driven, fearless detective, very human and yet obsessed. Anyway as far as my own Vigilant efforts I never forgot that tale or what it told me or what it made me believe to be possible. Reading it again was almost magical to me. 10
Theory Papers/Essays/Analyses/Articles/Lectures/Sermons- Primates, Monks and the Mind: a rather fascinating lecture I watched by satellite transmission from USCB given jointly by a doctor of philosophy and a primatologist exploring the similarities between Primates in regards to possible religious and spiritual experiences and the mind and organism. One really interesting side discussion was of Neural Phenomenology, the new attempt to develop a science of the mind and psyche (soul) which is both empirical and experiential in regards to both external and internal phenomenology. I recommend the lecture if you can see it.
Chaotic Scrutiny: a lecture given by Taft Green I believe his name was who is a modern sculptor. I'm not one much for modern art or sculpture but the lecture series was rather impressive and he gave a good presentation. Plus I was very much impressed by his general level of knowledge and the way in which he approached his art in both a philosophical and technically scientific manner in an attempt to use art to capture or replicate internal human perceptions. Listening to him speak implied a level of professionalism which I've often seen lacking in modern artists and a level of scientific acumen which I sorely wish more artists possessed. Very good and interesting lecture. It's part of a whole series of lecture son modern art called Chaotic Scrutiny with different artists as lecturers. I'm extremely glad to see more and more artists nowadays moving away from the modern and post-modern and post-post modern art eras of producing crap and yet still more crap. At least some of the new stuff is interesting and far less stupid and vapid. What I'd really like to see is a Modern Renaissance though.
William Wulf, Von Liebig Lecture Series: Bill Wulf, the President of the National Academy of Engineers talking about innovation and risk taking in America and the success of entrepreneurship and the progress of technological development. Very good lecture.
I've recently read the Jan-March 2004 edition of the Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin which you edited Del. I enjoyed it a lot. I've read a couple of other editions that you sent me as I got the chance.
I also finished the Jan. 2006 edition of Informed Source. It was okay, a couple of good articles. The detailed off-edition briefings and alerts have been more useful and nice this time than the newsletter.
The latest edition of Imprimis was good. I almost always like reading Imprimis.
I read the paper on Suspicious Indicators and Security Countermeasures for Foreign Collection Activities Directed Against the U.S. Defense Industry out of the Defense Security Service, Counterintelligence Office. I had a choice between this paper and a few others but I chose this one mainly because of the Corporate Espionage element and because I wanted to see how they recommended going about formulating an effective Technology Control Plan. Didn't learn much new but it was worth a read. You might like to read it …considering your new position. If you want a copy then I'll tell you how to get it.
Read an interesting Legal Briefing out of the British Security Service called the Covert Human Intelligence Sources, Code of Practice. Gave quite a few clues to British Intelligence Methodologies. Pulled it off their new website. Both Domestic and Foreign Services now have new, public websites.
Read the Annual Report to Congress on Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage. It wasn't exactly thrilling reading but it was useful.
Read an interesting briefing on GAMESS, General Atomic and Molecular Electronic Structure System from Ames Laboratory. It was a good, solid but very basic presentation on molecular chemistry and the new software programs they're writing to predict molecular behavior and interactions in materials science. I put it in my research files.
I also read another brief presentation on Macromolecular Materials, Solid State NMR and most fascinatingly on Bioinspired Materials. The section on bioinspired Materials really gave me quite a few useful ideas, especially for inventions.
That reminds me I read another piece on Nanomachines in Liquid Solutions but can't find the paper right now. It's probably in one of my Readers. I need to check that and archive it for future use. A very interesting paper on nanomachine dispersal in liquid solutions and nano molecular cohesion and functionality in solutions.
Bard of the Middle Ages : the works of Geoffrey Chaucer - a lecture series given on tape by Professor Michael Drout of Wheaton College. Excellent series of lectures. I highly recommend them. His exposition of Chaucer as artist was not only illuminating but his reconstruction of the entire era, and of Chaucer the man's (pre) Renaissance genius, experience and intellect was highly engaging.
Sensing with Nanomaterials - Michael Sailor's UCSD physics lecture on the use of nano materials in microscopic and atomic sensing enviromenents. It was especially interesting the section on micro-packaging of nano materials for the development of cheap yet highly accurate capabilities for the sensing of one part per millions molecular scale. The lecture gave me a lot of great ideas, especially for an artificial olfactory device designed to mimic the nose of a dog for the detection and location of fresh corpses. I had been wondering just exactly what detection methodologies I might use to create such a device, but this helps alleviate some of those problems. The new problem using nanomaterials will be range and activity. I had originally intended to use electronic wave signatures developed from gas releases triggered by decay to detect odors which would have given great range and could have potentially produced a passive, always on system such as a true biological mimic. But nano-materials would be highly accurate comparatively but have extremely limited range and it would of course have to be an active system, not capable of passive detection nor biological mimicry. I might also have to develop some type of nanite projection system to overcome the severe range restrictions. Then again I might also have to develop a wave system which makes an initial detection and analysis and then the nanite system would be secondary at short range. Of course that would in actuality defeat the point since I am hoping to develop a bio-inspired system which will catch, directionally locate and to some degree analyze certain odors undetectable to humans or well beyond human olfactory ranges. Anyway I've got some potentially good ideas to work with but practical development may take some time indeed.
Epidemiology: I've watched some excellent lectures recently on epidemiology. Next month I hope to be able to catch a series of lectures on some new neurosurgical techniques I'm interested in.
Is Carcer Really Eddie Izzard? - This extremely interesting series of lectures was presented by Michael Mann, who is the head of neurolinguistic programming and criminal thought dependency at Yale-Dartmouth. Mann is the visiting professor of non-sensical self-application and sensual depression from Harvard and regularly frequents Dublin, Loch Ness and other mythical places. Starting with his premise that Carcer wears women's clothes and possibly lipsticks and doubles as an SAS sniper-glover on off-season weekends while stalking about King's College filled with beer and circumstance. I didn't quite follow this part of the lecture, nor did I appreciate the grammar of the previous sentence, but did catch up quickly in the future once I thought back on it. He then moves on from this excellent and well reasoned observational deduction to present the Druss of the matter, Carcer is really not who he appears to be, never has been otherwise than not that, and that statistical probability combined with quadrant miscalculation can deconsclusively prove that Eddie Izzard is likely Carcer's grandmother. Or snooker's partner. The fascinating thing is that 8 out of 6 of Queen Victoria's fusiliers readily agree in a straw poll taken in the hay. For those not familiar with English egghead terminology "that's buttoned up sideways." Anyways Mann then went on until he nearly fell over, then running up the clock and employing "scientific reasoning" he deconstructed the whole situation making it seem even more likely than never that Carcer is indeed Eddie Izzard posing on the internet as Druss und Drang. God Save the Queen!! I recommend this for people with better things to do but no real intention of getting anything else done, so what's the harm anyhow?
OPAE: THIS SECTION WILL SOON PROBABLY BE TRANSFERRED FOR THE MOST PART TO A NEW LITERARY NEWSLETTER I AM DEVELOPING. IF THE OTHER NEWSLETTER WORKS THEN THERE WOULD BE LITTLE SENSE IN REPLICATING WORKS PRESENTED THERE AGAIN IN THIS SECTION EXCEPT ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS, SUCH AS WHEN, FOR SECURITY OR WHATEVER OTHER REASON(S), I WANTED TO PRESENT SOME WORK IN THIS NEWSLETTER BECAUSE I WISHED IT ONLY CIRCULATED AMONG YOU.
I'LL LEAVE THIS SECTION UP FOR THAT REASON BUT YOU'LL PROBABLY SEE ANY WORK I PERSONALLY PRESENT IN THE LITERARY NEWSLETTER RATHER THAN IN THIS NEWSLETTER. SAME FOR THE GRAPHIX SECTION BELOW. I'LL BE SHIPPING OUT THE FIRST EDITION OF THE LITERARY NEWSLETTER SOON.
Non Fiction- NSTR
Theory Papers/Essays/Analyses/Articles/Sermons- NSTR
Scientific Works- NSTR
Musical Compositions- NSTR
Game/TSS Designs- NSTR
Video/Computer/TSS Game Designs- NSTR
SHARED FILES: NSTR
These are some of the new links I've added to my RSS Readers. I thought some of you might find them useful and interesting. They are all Open Source of course:
DANTE'S 9TH LEVEL OF HELL
Deus Ordere et Facere Nos Verite