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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Doubts . . .

. . . still trouble me . . .
 (from the Associated Press)
Rescue and recovery workers who helped in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks are planning to gather at the 9/11 memorial this month to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the official end of the cleanup at ground zero.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the May 30 evening event on Tuesday, and warned spots are limited.

Bloomberg is the chairman of the 9/11 memorial. He said in a statement the event will honor the sacrifices made by first responders and recovery workers whose efforts "were nothing short of heroic."
The event gives officials the chance to focus on the workers who toiled in the days after the attacks. Some first responders objected when only the family members of 9/11 victims were allowed to attend anniversary observances on Sept. 11, 2011.
----------------------------------------------------

(from http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20041221155307646)
Top 10 (of the Top 40) Reasons to doubt the official story
1) AWOL Chain of Command - a. It is well documented that the officials topping the chain of command for response to a domestic attack - George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Myers, Montague Winfield - all found reason to do something else during the actual attacks, other than assuming their duties as decision-makers.
b. Who was actually in charge? Dick Cheney, Richard Clarke, Norman Mineta and the 9/11 Commission directly conflict in their accounts of top-level response to the unfolding events, such that several (or all) of them must be lying.

2) Air Defense Failures - a. The US air defense system failed to follow standard procedures for responding to diverted passenger flights.
b. Timelines: The various responsible agencies - NORAD, FAA, Pentagon, USAF, as well as the 9/11 Commission - gave radically different explanations for the failure (in some cases upheld for years), such that several officials must have lied; but none were held accountable.
c. Was there an air defense standdown?

3) Pentagon Strike- How was it possible the Pentagon was hit 1 hour and 20 minutes after the attacks began? Why was there no response from Andrews Air Force Base, just 10 miles away and home to Air National Guard units charged with defending the skies above the nation''s capital? How did Hani Hanjour, a man who failed as a Cessna pilot on his first flight in a Boeing, execute a difficult aerobatic maneuver to strike the Pentagon? Why did the attack strike the just-renovated side, which was largely empty and opposite from the high command?

4) Wargames - a. US military and other authorities planned or actually rehearsed defensive response to all elements of the 9/11 scenario during the year prior to the attack - including multiple hijackings, suicide crashbombings, and a strike on the Pentagon.
b. The multiple military wargames planned long in advance and held on the morning of September 11th included scenarios of a domestic air crisis, a plane crashing into a government building, and a large-scale emergency in New York. If this was only an incredible series of coincidences, why did the official investigations avoid the issue? There is evidence that the wargames created confusion as to whether the unfolding events were "real world or exercise." Did wargames serve as the cover for air defense sabotage, and/or the execution of an "inside job"?

5) Flight 93 - Did the Shanksville crash occur at 10:06 (according to a seismic report) or 10:03 (according to the 9/11 Commission)? Does the Commission wish to hide what happened in the last three minutes of the flight, and if so, why? Was Flight 93 shot down, as indicated by the scattering of debris over a trail of several miles


6) Smoking Gun - Did cell phones work at 30,000 feet in 2001? How many hijackings were attempted? How many flights were diverted?

7) Demolition Hypothesis- What caused the collapse of a third skyscraper, WTC 7, which was not hit by a plane? Were the Twin Towers and WTC 7 brought down by explosives? (See "The Case for Demolitions," the websites wtc7.net and 911research.wtc7.net, and the influential article by physicist Steven Jones.

8) What did officials know? How did they know it? - a. Multiple allied foreign agencies informed the US government of a coming attack in detail, including the manner and likely targets of the attack, the name of the operation (the "Big Wedding"), and the names of certain men later identified as being among the perpetrators.
b. Various individuals came into possession of specific advance knowledge, and some of them tried to warn the US prior to September 11th.
c. Certain prominent persons received warnings not to fly on the week or on the day of September 11th.

9) Able Danger, Plus - Surveillance of Alleged Hijackers - a. The men identified as the 9/11 ringleaders were under surveillance for years beforehand, on the suspicion they were terrorists, by a variety of US and allied authorities - including the CIA, the US military''s "Able Danger" program, the German authorities, Israeli intelligence and others.
b. Two of the alleged ringleaders who were known to be under surveillance by the CIA also lived with an FBI asset in San Diego, but this is supposed to be yet another coincidence.

10) Obstruction of FBI Investigations prior to 9/11 - A group of FBI officials in New York systematically suppressed field investigations of potential terrorists that might have uncovered the alleged hijackers - as the Moussaoui case once again showed. The stories of Sibel Edmonds, Robert Wright, Coleen Rowley and Harry Samit, the "Phoenix Memo," David Schippers, the 199i orders restricting investigations, the Bush administration''s order to back off the Bin Ladin family, the reaction to the "Bojinka" plot, and John O''Neil do not, when considered in sum, indicate mere incompetence, but high-level corruption and protection of criminal networks, including the network of the alleged 9/11 conspirators. (Nearly all of these examples were omitted from or relegated to fleeting footnotes in The 9/11 Commission Report.)




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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The American Dream . . .

. . . never really WAS within our control


NPR is doing a series on THE AMERICAN DREAM.  Generally speaking, I like NPR.  Although nothing is ever ultimately perfect, and who can say what is objectively perfect since we are all subjective human animals and one man's (or woman's) idea of perfection will always be different from anothers'.

The series began Tuesday morning with some relatively blue-collar guys in the Midwest speaking about how the AMERICAN DREAM is much harder to attain these days.  I don't say 'blue-collar' condescendingly or dismissively either because, quite frankly, I know from blue-collar.  Where I grew up, guys in high school (overwhelmingly, if not exclusively) strove to secure a job at either Bethlehem Steel's Sparrows Point steel mill or at General Motors Assembly plant, where (by the way) my own father was employed  for thirty years before his retirement.

So as long as people bought cars and steel was in demand (by 'whomever buys steel,' as I would have said when I was in high school) things were good.  If I was lucky enough to secure a position with either of these two industrial giants, I was guaranteed a healthy income, superior benefits and what was considered by me and my peers to be 'job security'.

But when your maximum level of education attained is H.S. Diploma, and you're not a particularly aggressive self-learner, you may not fully understand supply, demand, costs, revenue, taxes, economics, competition etc etc, blah blah.  And when there are no longer tens of thousands of jobs in your neighborhood, you feel you've been cheated and your AMERICAN DREAM has turned into a nightmare.

I well understand how that feels BUT, (speaking of perfect) this world, this species, this country, business (etc etc, blah blah) are NOT perfect.  And furthermore, things change.  Things begin, things end, and always, always, always - things change.

Guess all I'm saying is, maybe a little information;  maybe a little more education; maybe a better education (Santorum Shuddered!!) would help these folks have a better understanding of what's going on.

And I am in no way bad-mouthing this country because I most certainly love the life I am able to lead in America and know many non-natives who having experienced it, and would prefer it to living in the places from which they came.

But I am saying that I think people should be more aware of. . . EVERYTHING they can!  So an AMERICAN DREAM without a bevy of facts, awareness, some hard work and a heap of realism, the AMERICAN DREAM is just a dream.  And we all know that every dream ends and then we must wake up.





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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ahh, Summer . . .

 . . . unofficially, at least. . .

. . . and OHO plans to take the lead by opening. . .

Gregfest 2012 Block Party
3906 5th St.
Brooklyn, MD
21225

Here's the tentative schedule:

1:30 OHO
2:30 El Sledge (+)
3:30 Freak Accident – Set 1
4:30 Freak Accident – Set 2
5:30 Weaszels
6:30 Hangdog




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Monday, May 28, 2012

This I know . . .

 ". . .  If it is in the Bible, it must be true. . ."
 (from Howard Bess)  
 ". . . In the past this attitude has led to advocacy of slavery, segregation, subordination of women and corporal punishment for children.  It has been only when these Biblical teachings were challenged and set aside that justice has prevailed.  The latest challenge to Bible standards is the current debate about Biblical marriage and same-sex marriages.  The Bible standard advocates are calling for Biblical standards for marriage.
    Many of the relevant passages are found in the book of Leviticus.  The place of women is set out as a part of the property codes.  Women were property.  Men were owners of women.  A man could own as many women as he could afford.  Polygamy was the standard, not monogamy.  Men owned women in three categories.  They owned wives; they owned concubines; and they owned slaves.  All were available to their owner for his sexual use.  Most of the women involved were little more than breeding stock.  These standards were prevalent all over the Middle East and reflect Mesopotamian and Babylonian traditions. 
    Over the centuries, custom changed and, while polygamy was allowed and was common, cultural pressures and standards evolved toward monogamy.  One standard did not change.  Women in Jesus’ day were still seen as property.  Marriages were still arranged.  A woman had no voice in the acquiring of a husband.  A young woman was provided for marriage for what was deemed the best interests of the father.
    During the times of Jesus, the life of many women in a poverty economy was precarious.  A man could divorce a woman by declaring his freedom from her.  The worst scenario for a woman was to have no owner.  The so-called prostitutes that hung around Jesus were not prostitutes in a modern sense.  They were vulnerable women who had no owner.  Evidently Jesus accepted them and provided them with a level of protection and security.  One of the criticisms of Jesus was that he associated with prostitutes. 
    To his credit, the Apostle Paul declared that in Christ there was no longer slave or free, male or female.  In spite of the acceptance by Jesus and the declaration of Paul, the early church embraced and perpetuated patriarchal dominance and female submission.  The Leviticus standard of male ownership of wives continued in most of Christianity until the 20th century.  It now seems incredible that women in the United States did not have a vote until the 19th Amendment was adopted in 1920. 
    I scratch my head when I hear someone declare that we need to return to Biblical standards for marriage. 
    Around the world and within the United States the understandings of marriage and marriage practices are hugely diverse.  In that diversity a new question has been inserted in the public discussion.  Should two persons of the same sex be allowed to marry?  It is a subject that is never addressed in the Bible.  It is a modern question that has evolved over the past 50 years.  The Bible is a collection of ancient writings.  I would not expect any of these writings to address a question that is so recent.  Bible quotations seem so very irrelevant. . . "

". .  . Is there no standard for marriage that can be embraced in our modern world?  I suspect that diversity of understandings will win the day.  The need to formalize the attractions that we have for a loving companion will not go away.  . ."

[The Rev. Howard Bess is a retired American Baptist minister, who lives in Palmer, Alaska.  His email address is  HYPERLINK "mailto:hdbss@mtaonline.net" hdbss@mtaonline.net]




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Sunday, May 27, 2012

You've always been . . .

. . . ahead of me . . .

One fact that I
In my infinite wisdom
Could not always see
But in the end you always convinced me
Things aren't always
What they appear
The things I've always looked for

Once long ago before we met
I thought I could
Single-handedly make the
Spinning world go away
Just like some king
from back in those bygone days
But I was wrong
I don't belong
Inside this category

Seemed to be
At the time to me
To my advantage
Missing why
Not knowing
When to try
To start believing
In my
Very own
Self
Determination

Sometimes at night
When I'm alone
The solitude
And the quiet can bring out
All the worst in my head
But now it seems that isn't to big or bad
I've learned a thing
Or maybe two
And just ahead
There's
Always
You

ALWAYS YOU
(instrumental version from PUT A FINGER ON IT & WINE)
©2006 Raymond M. Jozwiak



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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Underappreciated. . .

 . . . undervalued . . .

(from Wikipedia.com)
John Gilmore (September 28 or October 29, 1931 in Summit, Mississippi – August 19 or August 20, 1995 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States) grew up in Chicago and played clarinet from the age of 14. He took up the tenor saxophone while serving in the United States Air Force from 1948–1952, then pursued a musical career, playing briefly with pianist Earl Hines before encountering Sun Ra in 1953.

For the next four decades, Gilmore recorded and performed almost exclusively with Sun Ra. This was puzzling to some, who noted Gilmore's talent, and thought he could be a major star like John Coltrane or Sonny Rollins. Coltrane, in fact, was impressed with Gilmore's playing, and took informal lessons from him in the late 1950s. Coltrane's epochal, proto-free jazz "Chasin' the Trane" was inspired partly by Gilmore's sound.

In 1957 he co-led with Clifford Jordan a Blue Note date that is regarded as a hard bop classic: Blowing In from Chicago. Horace Silver, Curly Russell, and Art Blakey provided the rhythm section. In the mid-1960s Gilmore toured with the Jazz Messengers and he participated in recording sessions with Paul Bley, Andrew Hill (Andrew! and Compulsion), Pete La Roca (Turkish Women at the Bath), McCoy Tyner (Today and Tomorrow) and a handful of others. In 1970 he co-led a recording with Jamaican trumpeter Dizzy Reece. His main focus throughout, however, remained with the Sun Ra Arkestra.

Gilmore's devotion to Sun Ra was due, in part, to the latter's use of harmony, which Gilmore considered both unique and a logical extension of bebop. Gilmore had stated that Sun Ra was "more stretched out than Monk" and that "I'm not gonna run across anybody who's moving as fast as Sun Ra ... So I just stay where I am."

Gilmore himself made a huge contribution to Sun Ra's recordings and was the Arkestra's leading sideman, being given solos on almost every track on which he appeared. In the Rough Guide to Jazz critic Brian Priestley says:

    Gilmore is known for two rather different styles of tenor playing. On performances of a straight ahead post-bop character (which include many of those with Sun Ra), he runs the changes with a fluency and tone halfway between Johnny Griffin and Wardell Gray, and with a rhythmic and motivic approach which he claims influenced Coltrane. On more abstract material, he is capable of long passages based exclusively on high-register squeals. Especially when heard live, Gilmore was one of the few musicians who carried sufficient conviction to encompass both approaches."

Many fans of jazz saxophone consider him to be among the greatest ever, his fame shrouded in the relative anonymity of being a member of Sun Ra's Arkestra. His "straight ahead post-bop" talents are exemplified in his solo on the Arkestra's rendition of "Blue Lou," as seen on Mystery, Mr. Ra.

After Sun Ra's 1993 death, Gilmore led Ra's "Arkestra" for a few years before his own death from emphysema. Marshall Allen then took over Arkestra leadership.




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Friday, May 25, 2012

Unusual . . .

 . . . to be stuck like this?
Maybe not.

Ever feel this way when you've been asked to do something that you really have no business doing, you know it may not be the best thing to do and you know that it will not promote peace and harmony, which you like best?  Furthermore, the person doing the asking, is one that you hold in high esteem and one whose relationship you value immensely.

Uncomfortable?  Unnecessary? Undesirable?  Maybe. But not unusual.




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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Put your money . . .

. . . where your mouth is . . .
(from Wikipedia.com)
". . . The Social Gospel movement is a Protestant Christian intellectual movement that was most prominent in the early 20th century United States and Canada. The movement applied Christian ethics to social problems, especially issues of social justice such as excessive wealth, poverty, alcoholism, crime, racial tensions, slums, bad hygiene, child labor, inadequate labor unions, poor schools, and the danger of war. Theologically, the Social Gospellers sought to operationalize the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:10): "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." They typically were post-millennialist; that is, they believed the Second Coming could not happen until humankind rid itself of social evils by human effort. Social Gospel leaders were predominantly associated with the liberal wing of the Progressive Movement and most were theologically liberal, although they were typically conservative when it came to their views on social issues. Important leaders include Richard T. Ely,Josiah Strong, Washington Gladden, and Walter Rauschenbusch.

Although most scholars agree that the Social Gospel movement peaked in the early 20th century, there is disagreement over when the movement began to decline, with some asserting that the destruction and trauma caused by World War I left many disillusioned with the Social Gospel's ideals while others argue that World War I actually stimulated the Social Gospelers' reform efforts. Theories regarding the decline of the Social Gospel after World War I often cite the rise of neo-orthodoxy as a contributing factor in the movement's decline. Many of the Social Gospel's ideas reappeared in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. "Social Gospel" principles continue to inspire newer movements such as Christians Against Poverty. . . "

It's time for some of these ideas to reappear. . . again!





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