For Real

Happy New Year - ein gutes neues Jahr - gelukkig nieuwjaar - bonne année - feliz año nuevo - selamat tahun baru - boldog új évet - gott nytt år - felix sit annus novus - onnellista uutta vuotta - Gleðilegt nýtt ár

rules are to be broken

Sumo and Isabella in natural morning light, up on our couch.
Yes, the sofas are no longer mine, but ours.
Gone are the rules of pets not belonging on furniture.
Those rules no longer hold water.
It helps to acquire furnishings intended for sharing.
It helps not to worry too much and avoid white fabrics.
I like cuddling with my furry friends,
clinically proven to lower anxiety and relieve depression.
I like cuddling with my furry friends,
clinically proven to lower anxiety and to relieve depression.

Rules exist to be broken!
We are larger then any frame, any agreement we ever erect.
There is no shame in changing rules and changing minds.

Post-Holiday Abundance

Chocolate Money to please the Inner Child.
Red European confection box bought on sale for a trifle.
Two given away today, one more to go.
Another exotic Orchid joined the menagerie.
Two bunches of Watercress, potted, 
to energize the muted winter tones 
and to provide essential nutrients.
Two books by Mark Twain on loan to be returned.
The blue sky of another mild winter day reflected.

The Price of Beauty

One of the images I took that fateful day 1. 1. 2009
I dedicate this image to all the women in the world
that suffer from and struggle with their love of beautiful men.


2009 started out with a mild, Spring like day that invited walking around town in an unbuttoned coat with camera around my neck, and rope in hand, with two pups in tow. We meandered, followed our noses and impulses with no particular plan in mind while I collected whatever caught my eyes in our "City Dipherent" in the lovely "Land of Enchantment."

The very next night at home, I fell down the stairs in response to the yodeling of my luck bringing black Pretty Kitty who indicated he was about to throw up, thrice! All I was able to think was 'not on my freshly laundered white cotton/linen couch covers!' In my attempt to race down to chase the cat off the sofa I slipped and tumbled down the stairs helplessly until I hit bottom. (Is there a message of sorts hidden in hitting bottom?) It took me a moment to gather myself and praise God-dess for being able to move and  for having no worse injuries then one deeply bruised and battered lateral thigh. The thoughts though that assaulted my mind, the feelings of vulnerability, the worries, the shock, the what ifs were intense. 

Following that, I gave myself permission to drown in a to me brand new novel, Shantaram. What an amazing, outstanding, poetic, sensitive, insightful and exotic read! Essentially it is a tale of father/son love, or the lack of and hope for. Such inspired countless adventures in to very rough terrain, such as an escape from an Australian prison, life inside the slums of Bombay, an Indian group of Mafiosos, illegal weapons trade with trekking through Afghanistan, and all along an infatuation with a Germanic woman, to name a few only. While it is a fascinating read, sprinkled with poetic gems of pure writing genius, it is also a very heavy, but spell binding subject matter that offers profound insights and questions in to human nature and motivation with seeming sincerity and deep probing. A diamond no longer in the rough, but  cut from the intense human experience of the writer himself, very well worth the read. 

Originally posted 1.11.09, which so reminds me of 9.11.01 and the many changes since.

om mani padme hum


Rape is not rape is not rape is not rape. 
Not all rapes are equal.

Watching the cat fight that broke out between two women, feminists, that ought to stand on the same side and pull in the same direction, was truly disconcerting. My objections to the exchange between Jaclyn Friedman and Naomi Wolf have nothing whatsoever to do with my support of Julian Assange in his attempt at exposing the underhandedness of the big players. I want to be clear, rape is a very serious matter and needs to be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I want to add that anyone insisting on unprotected sex with a stranger is an asinine, selfish idiot, and those giving in to such unreasonable demands are not much better!

This said, the "very effective smear campaign" as Assange calls it, in light of what we can understand off posts on the net, just does not add up, does not even warrant the word rape, as most of us (maybe Swedes excluded) understand what constitutes such a sexual violation. The two women after having bragged about their contest on-line supposedly, and after having found out that Assange had slept with them both and put them both at risk, showed up at the police to request help in getting Assange tested (not arrested) for STDs. It was the police that suggested rape charges. And lo and behold in Sweden a man can be charged for rape if he stands naked behind a sex partner in an attempt to 'negotiate' intercourse. By the way humans are the only animal that will negotiate sexual relations (Leonard Slain.) The charges had been dropped only to be taken up again at a most opportune moment. Strange indeed. For 5 weeks Assange had stayed in Sweden to deal with the matter and finally left the country with full consent of the authorities. He was never on the run, in fact had offered himself up to the authorities again in London, only to be held for 10 days in isolation! Outrageous. Meanwhile US authorities are looking in to the important matters of making up charges for the guy, no doubt happy to have him out of circulation for the moment.

Rape is such a serious offense. One that evokes ideas of brutality and debilitating victimization. Yet rape can have more of a seductive, rather then brutal quality, still it is rape. But rape has to be distinguished from normal adult negotiations of sexual relations. True an adult in an altered state, be it through drugs, alcohol, sleep, or even massage is in a seriously weakened position for negotiations. Initiating sex with a sleeping partner is not rape in my book. Excluding altered states from normal human interactions is ludicrous. Next we have to sign contracts on paper before sex each and every time. Women are not little weak and meek creatures at the mercy of men.

Enough already with all this political correctness. A woman has to carry the responsibility of her choices. If she chooses to have sex with a stranger, sleep with the stranger, should she really be surprised if there is renewed demand for more of the same? If a woman can not say NO to a man, can not say NO to unprotected sex, can not say NO repeatedly and say NO with the whole of her body so as there to be no mistake in her intent, she has no business being alone with a stranger in a compromising, potentially volatile situation. Sure, most women that have been around the block have made their mistakes, maybe have some regrets, but is this cause for prosecution and hanging a guy up by his balls? Now in all this I assume there has been no brutality, playful wrestling and such excluded. Any situation that escalates to serious violation of the nature of brutal rape must be prosecuted, for the benefit of all involved, and those potential future victims.

Jaclyn Friedman's demand for sexual partners to be "enthusiastic" is amusing at best, ridiculous at worst and far from the real world of so many. The vehemence in her defense of the supposed victims is very characteristic of one that is recovering from abuse and as so often, does go overboard. That's o.k., I can dismiss such as growing pains.

Julian Assange, a rising star in the progressive world, may conveniently not have been aware of the power he holds, or rather the social status he had achieved, at least likely in the minds of those two women that attended his workshop. Power differentials can wreck havoc in sexual relations be it between workshop leader and participant, teacher and student, guru and sanyasin, therapist and client or goddess forbid parent and child. We can observe again and again how the ones in power magnanimously bestow their gift, their attention and all too often their sexuality to the admirers, feeling no sense of wrong doing. Soon they will move on to bigger and better opportunities only to leave behind trails of broken hearts, shattered expectations, false promises and dashed hopes. It is never a pretty sight. And likely they will never look back.

We all really do not know what happened except Julian Assange has very effectively been linked in our minds to atrocious crimes of a vile sexual nature of which bits and pieces are now cemented in our impressionable gray matter. We respond emotionally either for the WikiLeaks hero or against the accused male rapist. Timing is not everything, synchronicity does happen. While it stinks, give it some time and space, let the dust settle and really give those women the tests on STDs they wanted all along. Time will tell if this is and should be a proper legal matter or rather should have stayed all along in the interpersonal realm. But let us not cry out for Julian's head, or balls as it may be, before even charged with a crime, much less found guilty. And let us not play him in to the hands of big powers out to get him and prevent him from the important work he has been doing. Important because as Michael Moore said, and I agree whole heartedly, the US has deceived us in to one war, toppled Saddam for the absolute wrong reasons and in so doing lost our good will and should have been on probation so to say ever since, with the light shining bright on US international affairs in particular.

If this sordid matter brings the issue of rape more in to the public domain  for education and clarification, then maybe something good can come out of this and rape can be taken seriously and can be prosecuted with renewed vigor and conviction, even in Sweden. I though doubt we will see frequent Interpol searches for the garden variety local rapist in the near future.

If I have not stated my points clear enough, please forgive me, maybe Bianca Jagger's thoughts on this matter will prove more helpful. Watch one of the very best interviews with Julian Assange here.

om mani padme hum

Julian Assange - A Hero

Since late November, 3 weeks now, I have been following Wikileaks and Julian Assange, reading and listening mainly to the progressive point of view. I feel pressure to take a stand, to declare myself for or against, but I am having trouble doing so. Maybe it is not just a matter of being for or against, maybe life in general is more nuanced?  Good try, but won't fly! While usually I feel free to express myself in most ways, the threat of being viewed by the US (far reaching) powers as abetting in espionage (no matter how ridiculous the sound of it) as unworthy of employ (and I am not in a position not to care) or as a distriutor of stolen goods, is strangely unsettling to me, surprisingly so.

"This is what it looks like when power squirms. When the US government warns its employees to steer their eyes away from the WikiLeaks documents even though they're on every front page and news site. When Sweden and Interpol, possibly in response to US pressure, pursue trumped up charges against the WikiLeaks founder. When Mike Huckabee calls for alleged leaker Bradley Manning's execution, Sarah Palin says Assange should be "hunted down," and Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.) declares that WikiLeaks should be designated a terrorist organization." Mother Jones

WWII Germans could claim ignorance from a lack of information and I might add naivete along with a blind trust in a patriarchal system that made them stand by passive when those atrocities happened. In our current so called information age we have no longer such excuses available to us. The information is out and available to anyone looking, in great part thanks to the net. Preserve net neutrality! There comes a point one has to take a stand. So here I stand symbolically in solidarity with Julian Assange first and foremost and his organization Wikileaks!

Allegations of rape are very serious, but in the context used against Assange they are ludicrous and offensive to those real victims of violent sexual abuse. Come on, invoking a law that makes a case for rape of a man, naked, standing behind, who knows maybe rubbing up against a woman he had sex with earlier! Invoking broken condoms and unsafe sex as if they were felonies? What happened to the ability of adults negotiating the terms of sexual intercourse between them? Have you ever heard of a rape victim throwing a party for the perpetrator? To lock a man in to solitary confinement for 10 days, a man that voluntarily presented himself to the authorities and has not been presented with clear charges of a crime committed, is a stunning deed to say the very least. Check out Michael Moore's open letter to Sweden where he accuses Sweden of negligence in legal proceedings of rape charges, 9 out of 10 times, while at the same time Swedes have the highest per capita rape reports! (I live in the US state with the 2. highest per capita rape reports, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It may mean that victims actually bother to report to the authorities, an important step forward.) Rape charges are serious and very offensive, but as I have pointed out before (the cases against Al Gore and Roman Polanski) not all rapes are equal.

Women Against Rape, Katrin Axelsson:
"There is a long tradition of the use of rape and sexual assault for political agendas that have nothing to do with women's safety. In the south of the US, the lynching of black men was often justified on grounds that they had raped or even looked at a white woman. Women don't take kindly to our demand for safety being misused, while rape continues to be neglected at best or protected at worst."

There are rumors that Anna Ardin, 31, one of the complainants, might be a spy. Someone will have to make a movie out of this saga. Of course for Julian Assange these smear campaigns, as he seems to call them rightfully so, are anything but entertaining. He is now out on bail under electronic monitoring through ankle bracelets and has to report in daily.

Meanwhile like in court, plant seeds of unreasonable doubt, here on the messenger of those unwanted revelations and deter attention from what truly matters. Those leaks while at first mainly diplomatic fluff, embarrassing maybe, but lacking in seeming significance have though grown in importance and cover a wide array of countries and subject, and not all bad for the US either.

One cable falsely states that Michael Moore's movie Sicko was banned in Cuba, while in truth the movie was shown to a wide Cuban audience, yet the main media did not rectify those claims did not do their homework and that is exactly why we need Wikileaks. This phenomena is a sign of our times, of a troubled media and enough discontented ones that create a demand for such endeavors like Wikileaks. (As Assange told the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this year, "How is it that a team of five people has managed to release to the public more suppressed information, at that level, than the rest of the world press combined? It's disgraceful.") The more the merrier I say to the split of one former ally in to a similar organization that wants to act as a simple distributor of leaked info with no vetting of any kind. This will require for other media to not distort or suppress info of a sensitive nature. Time only will tell on how it will work, but the truth sooner or later will have to come out. I am for transparency, especially in the public and political domain.

So I change my mind, I redact my former statement, I take a stand, and declare Julian Assange a HERO. A hero because of his courage to oppose power and secrecy and his commitment to inform and  so uphold the fundamentals of a real democracy based on educated voters. With an IQ of a genius almost, he is no fool, he knows some of what he got himself in to, but he is a man of principle, willing to put his body on the line. So I stand among illustrious company in my public support of Julian Assange, runner-up for 2010 Person of the Year .

Joe Biden called Julian a "High Tech Terrorist" so I had to look up the word terrorist: "The word was originally applied to supporters of the Jacobins in the French Revolution, who advocated repression and violence in pursuit of the principles of democracy and equality." In this sense Julian certainly is not a terrorist. He offered the material for vetting to the US and to a few chosen main media outlets. He does not advocat violence and certainly is not big on repression be that information or his own sexuality for that matter as it seems (a lame attempt at humor.) Leaked information inspires terror only in those that have something to hide.

Astrologers world wide have been erecting and studying charts for Julian Assange in an attempt to gain insight. This is one of them, likely not perfect, but workable and fascinating. Accordingly Julian is living his Aquarian destiny: 

In the Garden of Dreams

Breakfast Table Today

My snapshot of today's breakfast table.
One whole grain pancake with added wheat germs and sesame seeds, home made applesauce from apples  I had picked earlier this fall. Topped with a bit of whipped cream, decorated with a sprinkle of cinnamon and accompanied by espresso coffee spiced with nutmeg, ginger and vanilla and of course a few sips of plain orange juice. The Orchids have been thriving since July 30th when I brought them home, over 4 months ago and were well worth the $30 I felt guilty spending as a reminder of my Mom's birthday that day.

My point though is civilized living does not have to be expensive, but can be a choice we make moment by moment, starting with breakfast. How did you treat yourself well today, yesterday, any day?

Another Hero Stepped Forward

Michael Moore with 2 others offered bail for Julian Assange. The court according to a Swiss newspaper source accepted, today Tuesday December 14th. The next court hearing is set for January 11th.

Michael Moore's sites seem unaccessible currently, let's hope because of the interest this news incited. But he makes his website available for Julian Assange's support, financial and other is my understanding.

I applaud the stepping forward of another hero, Michael Moore, who is taking again a courageous stance and will not be silenced and will not stop showing the public what matters.

BBC News:
"Mr Stephens said he had not been given any of his post - including legal letters - since being remanded in custody.
"He has absolutely no access to any electronic equipment, no access to the outside world, no access to outside media," he said.
Protesters supporting Julian Assange outside City of Westminster Magistrates' Court  
The lawyer said the only correspondence his client had received was a note telling him that a copy of Time magazine sent to him had been destroyed because the cover bore his photograph."

What an effective way of silencing Assange, but not for long!

Update: Bail was granted and then challenged by Swedish prosecutors. They have 48 hours to present their objections. According to Swiss news 10 people participated in posting bail, but the court claims to need a week to process checks! Delaying tactics every which way one looks.

"It is not the rebels of the world who create the problems. 
It is the problems that create the rebels." -John T. Grubesic


The Karana mudrā is the mudrā which expels demons 
and removes obstacles such as sickness or negative thoughts. 
It is made by raising the index and the little finger
and folding the other fingers.


Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke truth for 8 1/2 hours today on the Senate floor. His very long, very eloquent speech that never seemed to miss a beat, touched my heart, excited my brain and got me to act and do my part in taking a stand. I wrote to my representatives in support of Sen. Bernie Sanders plea that we can do better, yes we can!

No obscene tax cuts for the super rich! Enough already of senseless wars! Create jobs through focusing on green, renewable energy and the rebuilding of crumbling infra structures!

Amazing that the American people are not out in the streets in protest, asking for heads to come off. No I am not promoting a violent revolution. I can only guess that the general lack of effective unions along with a debilitating sense of powerlessness and maybe disillusionment create this unbearable passive, disengaged social scene.

Warren Buffet has said it loud and clear; the super rich do not need the tax cuts, they already pay less then the average tax payer. Obama quoted him comparing his percentage of taxes payed to that of his secretary. This is not news. The trickle down effect has not worked and will not work. We wanted change then and we still want change now!

I do understand that time is of the essence in regard to this current bill and that not pushing it through this month with the majority of Democrats still in power will not likely get better results next year.

For today 69 year old Sen. Bernie Sanders stepped in to the role of the Hero by telling the truth unvarnished, by speaking from the heart and with passion - for 8 1/2 hours. Truth gets respect when told and acted upon. Who will be our next hero, who will step in and continue on along these lines?


Imagine, 30 Years Today!
John Lennon

12 Favorite Words

abominable (I prefer abdominable, it never fails to make me smile)
aqueous (as in the use of a healing water environment)
cacao (essential ingredient in chocolate, sounds as well as tastes delicious)
enlightened (as shed light upon)
luscious (along with sumptuous, scrumptious, delicious ...)
om (Sanscrit; aum)
organismic (no, not orgasmic)
Schoggi (chocolate; Swiss)
sensuous (as related to senses rather then sex)
suenos (dream; Spanish)
homeostasis (a power inherent to all organisms)
Homo (human being, man; Latin)

Extemporaneous (love that word in it's meaning)
gallivanting (how could I not think of that one right away)

More may yet come to mind.  So what, rules exist but to be broken!

Please share your favorite 12 words and know you will not be held liable,
you can change your selection any time, but I sure am curious.

Forbidden Secrets

For a week now I have been following those 'leaks' or rather the news and opinions as regards Wikileaks and Julian Assange. I did venture out to the actual info at first, but found the bits and pieces I came upon rather lacking in luster, or not terribly enlightening (bits and pieces on Ghadaffi for example although later revelation on Uranium sitting barely guarded are shocking and outright scary.) 

What makes the unfolding of these events so compelling, at least to me, is the sense of a war battled out, not face to face, not in physicality, but on the net through cyberattacks and the shutting down of one site and the opening of another and the persecution of what only seems to be a messenger. Interpol wants Julian Assange, can you imagine, for the crime of having sex with two women and a condom breaking with one! Ludicrous if true and more so malicious and unprecedented. Interpol and the Swedish government must have acted under pressure, and guess whose?

Julian Assange I imagine sees himself as an anarchist rather then a journalist. Criticized from all sides, I doubt he really cares. I doubt he is a nice person, someone I would want to be friends with, but the buck stops most definitely with death threats. And such coming from such illustrious folks like our Sarah Palin, who jumps at the opportunity to criticize president Obama again and wants Julian Assange classified in the same category as Osama Bin Laden the terrorist. God-dess forbid this women ever ascends to real power. But others with serious political and social clout say and do things as unforgivable. Senator Lieberman pressured Amazon to terminate their service to Wikileaks, abominable. What are you Christians thinking, wishing out loud for a live human being's death. I am appalled.

The accusations of course are that Assange endangered innocent lives and the process of peace making. We all should know though that the information has been offered to, but refused by, the US for vetting and has been sorted through 5 of those major mainstream news media that received copies way ahead of Wikileaks' publication. There are no top secret leaks and we can be fairly certain that lives were and are not endangered, but embarrassment abounds.

So should there be secrets or not? Are secrets ever justified? Do we live in an age that simply has no more considerations for privacy, where any time, anything said, seen or done can slip from the private in to the public domain and travel with the speed of light across and around the world, round and round? I am really torn about this, I wish I knew the answers. So I will just think out loud and welcome your input.

Grandmas used to say to not speak or say anything about anybody that could not be repeated to them. A sure way of avoiding embarrassment. The nature though of a lack of power is trying to gain some by - gossip, speaking behind the backs of those empowered. If it is not natural, it is most certainly most common. Should we be surprised? I think not. Should we be mortally offended? I think not. A little bit sure, but hey, nobody got killed, nobody got seriously hurt. Instead what a great opportunity to bring things up on the table, fess up to what's real and continue on, ideally with a lot more transparency and a lot less need for secrecy. 

But this is not how the world works - yet. We as a people seem so darn infantile, scream bloody murder and create a ruckus rather then sit down and talk it out. Well, I do not envy Hilary Clinton. I guess she is right, these latest Wikileak documents are an attack on the world in a way, but not a mortal one, rather one that could encourage each and every one involved to come clean and set right what needs airing out.

Instead of attacking the messenger, the transmitter of stolen information, we could focus on the fact that such an egregious violation of national security was even possible and in the silliest and simplest of ways, with the help of Lady Gaga for goddess sake! I do believe the administration already is looking in to the matter and so they should.

But why attack the messenger and not the news stations that published his message? One can only assume because we are talking big corporations and the tricky issues of free speech. And to this effect some students have been warned to not investigate this info anywhere in anyway, not even on their personal computers or they may be held liable for reading classified material. This along with Wikileaks links under cyberattacks, connecting and not connecting and then connecting again, across various countries, leaves me feeling ominous. The fact that my computer got stuck on the site and had to be rebooted the next morning did not help.  Am I still living in the United States, the land of the free?

Much depends on how we see our government. Do we believe in it's benign intent, wanting the best for us and our country - and I would hope the world at large? Or do we have ample evidence to believe otherwise? Mainly that US government is corrupted by big corporate interests and is no longer working in our interest, is no longer for the people, but for profit mainly. Depending on our view will be likely where we stand and how we judge Julian Assange. A hero or a terrorist? I suspect neither.

In Switzerland for now Wikileaks found a server not yet caving under pressure. While PayPal refused further service, effectively cutting off finances, it will be interesting what solutions this very mobile organization will come up with. For now Assange is safe from arrest, so I understand. I sincerely wish for Julian to come to no physical harm as such is never a means of solving conflict. Let us not persecute the messenger, but focus on the message and not just the obvious, but the implied ones as well. The finger pointing is not the moon!

P.S.: The question remains unanswered; can secrets have legitimacy? What does a world look like that tolerates no secrets? Are all secrets bad. or can some be viewed as in process, underground, not yet ready to face the light of day, to be exposed, but permeating, rooting, preparing for eventual emergence?

12.7.10: Huffington Post Headline reads:
"Sex, leaks and retributions? WikiLeaks leader in Police Cutsody." I like to add for some rather strange sex charges that would be handled in Sweden's lowest courts. The question is will he be extradited from England to Sweden and then to the US? I hope these charges prove to be nothing serious, but trumped up for persecution's sake and most importantly I hope Julian Assange's life will not be harmed as he has supposedly received so many death threats. One credit card has now also refused to process for Wikileaks following suit to PayPal and his Swiss Bank.

An interesting synapsis on Alternet.