Wilek's Art ...,
Abortion & Biology ...,
Regarding Elders of Zion ...,
Disinformation (5) ...,
Poland's Social Norms...,
Elders of Zion ...,
Title: "Fallen Giant" Homage to William Deacon
What is that about ? Who is my once illustrious namesake ?
William Deacon was my friend, a photographer, He died a few years ago at a young age. My oil pastel was inspired by a photo he took of a stream and rocks. I don't know if anybody else saw in the photo a fallen giant with hand extended and face in pain, but I did. WM
Dear Mr. Markiewiecz,
While browsing the web for some articles on abortion to update the new textbook of Birth Counselling Skills, I came across your article on Abortion and Biology. I wondered if I could have your permission to reprint it in full, with complete attribution, of course, in the textbook.
If you would like more information about the textbook and the course it will be used in, visit the website below. Your article would be used as a start to a discussion as a selected reading.
Birth Counselling Skills
Visit our home page: http://www.birth.bc.ca or call toll-free 1-800-755-3377 (Can. & US only). For regular birth information in your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter: email@example.com.
Permission granted -- all the best. WM
Sergei Fedosin presents his new project "Philosophy, science, religion of civilization".
It will be a book and the sequel for monograph " Physics and philosophy of similarity from preons to metagalaxies", which was published in Perm in September, 1999 (544 pages, 66 tables, 93 illustrations, 678 formules, 377 references, circulation 900 copies) became a scientific bestseller in 1999. The value of the monograph was confirmed again when Scientific Council of Perm Technical University recommended it for Award of Perm Region - 1999.
The main objectives of the new research are: Synthesis of achievments of civilization; New philosophy, ethics and moral values for mankind in 21 century; performance of a whole series of new philosophycal laws.
The manuscript of the book will be finished in 2002. Your proposals in realization of the project are welcome up to July 2000. The winners may have an exclusive rights to publish the book in English or other languages. It is possible to make translation and printing in Russia in order to (decrease costs of) the project.
Here is something regarding the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion":
I was shown the same book in Yugoslavia, in Macedonia and in Bulgaria - "The World Conspiracy" - a shabby tome written by an ageing "scholar". The main, unabashedly anti-Semitic, hypothesis (presented as undisputed fact) is that the Jews rule the world supreme - always have, probably always will. Lists of prominent Jews in the world of international finance reprinted with lists of influential Jews in the Soviet communist regime. And it all amounts to a well organized secretive machinery of illicit power, claims the author with all the persuasion of a paranoid. In here, trash magazines dwell endlessly on these and similar themes.
Yet, anti-Semitism is only one species in a zoo of rumours, conspiracy theories, meta histories and metaphysics. Superstitions, prejudices and calumny thrive in the putrid soil of disinformation, mis-information and lack of information. In the void created by unreliable, politicized and corrupt media - rumour mills spring eternal. It is a malignant growth, the outcome of a breakdown of trust so compleat - that communication is rendered impossible. This is the main characteristic of the East (from Russia to Albania): distrust. Citizens and politicians, businessmen and government, the media and its consumers, manufacturers and service providers, the sick and their doctors - all suspect each other of ulterior motives and foul play. All are more often than not quite right to do so.
It is a Kafkaesque, sealed universe in which nothing is as it appears to be. This acrimonious divorce between appearances and essence, facade and truth, the Potemkin and the real - is a facet of daily life, of the most mundane exchanges, of the most trivial pursuits. Motives are sought with increasing urgency - why did he do it, what did he try to achieve, why had he not chosen a different path, why here, why with us, why now, what can it teach us. Information is pursued frantically, appearances discarded, data juggled, heated debates ensue, versions erupt, only to subside and be replaced by others. It is a feverish ritual, the sound of clashing exegeses, of theories constructed and demolished in vacuo.
At the heart of it all, is the unbearable uncertainty of being. Political uncertainty under communism was replaced by economic uncertainty under the insidious and venal form of capitalism that replaced it. Tucked in identical cubicles, the citizens of planet communism were at least assured of a make belief job in a sprawling bureaucracy or in a decrepit factory, manufacturing redundant documents or shoddy goods. Subsistence was implicitly guaranteed by the kleptocracy that ruled them and, in principle, it was always possible to ignore the moral stench and join the nomenklatura, thereby developing instant upward mobility. Corruption, theft and graft were tolerated by the state as means of complementing income. Life was drab but safe as long as one abstained from politics and subserviently consumed the bitter medicines of acquiescence and collaboration. The vast majority (with the exception of the USSR under Stalin) were not affected by the arbitrary capriciousness of history. They decayed slowly in their housing estates, morally degenerate, possession-less but certain of a future that is the spitting image of their past.
Under the spastic orgy of legalized robbery of state assets that passed for privatization, millions were made redundant while thousands enriched themselves by choreographed looting. The results were instability, unpredictability, uncertainty and fear. In a world thus unhinged, the masses groped for reason, for a scheme, for a method in the madness, for an explanation, however sinister and ominous. Anything was preferable to the seemingly random natural forces unleashed upon them with such apparent vengeance. Even a "World Government" (a favourite), the Illuminati (a Freemasonry-like movement but much more odious), the Jews, the USA, aliens. The greatest conspiracy theory of them all - the Phoenix of religion - sprang back to life from the ashes it was reduced to by communism. A host of mystical beliefs and sects and cults mushroomed noxiously in the humid shadows of irrationality.
Thus, every event, no matter how insignificant, any occurrence, no matter how inconsequential and any coincidence, no matter how coincidental - assume heraldic meaning. People in these domains carry their complex jigsaw puzzles with them. They welcome each new piece with the zeal of the converted. They bellow triumphantly with every "proof" of their pet theory, with every datum, with each rumour. Things don't just happen - they whisper, conspiratorially - things are directed from above, ordained, regulated, prevented, or encouraged by "them". A group of 400 rule the world. They are Jews, they are the Serb mafia, or the Bulgarian. Or the Americans who plan to dominate (which obviously puts Kosovo in context). They are the rich and powerful, the objects of envy and frightened admiration, of virulent hate and rage. They are responsible. We pay the price - we, the small and powerless and poor. And it is hopeless, it has been like that forever. The disparity between them and us is too great. Resistance is futile.
Why was this president elected? Surely, the West demanded it. Or political parties conspired to rig the vote. Or rich businessmen supported him. What is the real aim of foreign investors in coming to these godforsaken places, if not to infiltrate and penetrate and establish their long term dominion? And wouldn't it be safe to assume that al the foreigners are spies, that all the Jews collaborate, that the neighbours would have liked to conquer and to subjugate us, that the world is a colossal puppet show? In other words, is it not true that we are puppets - victims - in a theatre not of our making? They filter out that which does not conform to their persuasion, does not accord with their suspicions, does not fit within their schemes.
This deferral of responsibility brings relief from shame and blame. Guilt is allayed by symbolically and ritually passing it onto another. Fear is quelled by the introduction of schemata. These are potent psychological incentives. They provide structure to the amorphous, bring order to the chaos that is the brave, new world of the economies in transition. Flux is replaced by immutable "truths", possibilities by certainties, threats by "knowledge". It is a re-construction and reconquest of a paradise lost by giving up the fruit of the tree of knowledge.
It is this hyper-vigilance, this elevated suspicion, these instant certainties fabricated from frail pseudo-theories and conspiracies - that make the Man of the East so easy to manipulate, so vulnerable, so amenable to collude in his own downfall. Bewitched by his self-spun myths, captivated by his own paranoia, under the spell of his magical, immature, thinking - non critical, non analytical, non discriminating - he is exquisitely susceptible to crooks and charlatans, to manipulators and demagogues, to the realization of the very threats he tried to fend off in the first place.
Here is what the DSM ("Diagnostics and Statistics Manual") IV (1994) published by the APA (American Psychiatric Association) has to say about paranoids and schizotypals:
The Paranoid Personality Disorder
A pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:
(1) Suspects without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming,
or deceiving him or her
(2) Is preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates
(3) Is reluctant to confide in others because of unwarranted fear that the information will be used maliciously against him or her
(4) Reads hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events
(5) Persistently bears grudges, i.e., is unforgiving of insults, injuries, or slights
(6) Perceives attacks on his or her character or reputation that are not apparent to others and is quick to react angrily or to counterattack
(7) Has recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding fidelity of spouse or sexual partner
Schizotypal Personality Disorder
A pervasive pattern of social and interpersonal deficits marked by acute discomfort with and reduced capacity for close relationships as well as by cognitive or perceptual distortions and eccentricities of behaviour beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
(1) Ideas of reference (excluding delusions of reference) -
(SV: the delusional belief that others are looking at him pointing at him,
talking about him, especially in a derogatory manner)
(2) Odd beliefs or magical thinking that influences behaviour and is inconsistent with subcultural norms (e.g., superstitiousness, belief in clairvoyance, telepathy, or "sixth sense"; in children and adolescents, bizarre fantasies or preoccupations)
(3) Unusual perceptual experiences, including bodily illusions
(4) Odd thinking and speech (e.g., vague, circumstantial, metaphorical, over-elaborate, or stereotyped)
(5) Suspiciousness or paranoid ideation
(6) Inappropriate and constricted affect
(7) Behaviour, or appearance that is odd, eccentric, or peculiar
(8) Lack of close friends or confidants other than first degree relatives
(9) Excessive social anxiety that does not diminish with familiarity and tends to be associated with paranoid fears rather than negative judgements about self.
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.
Dear Mr. Markiewicz
I came across your site while searching the internet for anything "Serbian" and I am glad that I did.
Being a Serb I like reading anything positive written about Serbs, which lately is rare esspecially in the press. Even books are written with the aim of robbing the Serbian people of their history. I don't want to take anymore of your time than I already did so I will get to the point. I am writing to ask your permission to repost some of your writings on Serbia so that more Serbs with same interests as me can read them. Regardless of what your decision is, I will continue to enjoy visiting your site. Thank you.
Of course, go ahead. It's very considerate of you to ask as many repost without asking. WM
You gave considerable time to the Serbian issue. How to justify your continuous silence concerning the Chechen problem which certainly is one of the great issues of our times?
See "Chechnya" in this issue. WM
I read your current issue. You are quite right about how bad disinformation is. This is especially true in the campaign of George W. Bush for prime spokesperson for US corporations. In the establishment US press, journalists write pretty much what their bosses want them to write. I don't see any way of changing this without moving power from corporations to progressive governments which are few and far between. Campaign finance reform would help.
I found the piece really interesting. Whoever the Vagabond is, he or she thinks very creatively. I will post the link in a day or two, we're checking some stuff about this theory - it may be actionable!
I don't have the exact citations off the top of my head, but Journalists can be tried for War Crimes. At Nuremberg, some journalists were found guilty of spreading War Propaganda. I recall the charge was fostering a War of Aggression.
In addition, these type of War Crimes were codified in international law in a United Nations Convention which was written in 1966 and ratified in 1972.
Hope this helps
Max -- 'War Propaganda' is a less precise notion than 'Disinformation;' after all any patriotic article in wartime can be defined as war propaganda. WM***
Whatever one calls it,
at Nuremberg Journalists were tried and found guilty and in 1972 the UN ratified a Convention in which certain types of articles would be considered liable for war crimes charges.
I am not familiar with the Convention you refer to. Does it include the crime of disinformation about events? I suspect that what they call 'criminal journalism' would be rather general accusations in the domain of propaganda, hate literature, insults, ideological accusations of intentions ... I am particularly interested in the crime of disinformation because it is the only one that doesn't preach to the converted but can mislead the uninformed. WM
Thank you for your article, "Disinformation as a War Crime". The truth about the decade when Serbian lands were raped from the Serbs will come out, no matter how much spin the brainless western journalists put on it.
Dragan (Dan) Acimovic
D A firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. Do you have other articles on the subject?
Dragan -- I think that most of western journalists are not 'brainless', they know well what they are doing. If you consult 'Vagabond by Topic' you'll find more articles concerning the Balkans. WM
I am very interested in the social norms for both males and females in Poland.....could you please Differentiate the Americans and Poles as far as behaviors are concerned??? Please respond to email@example.com. I would greatly appreciate any information you could give me.
"Poland Again" (Vagabond, December 97) begins: "Why is Poland different? In my view it is because of its unique geodemographical situation: Poland is practically the only (sizeable) country in Northwestern Europe which is not Germanic. ....< >.... The traces of Northern reserve may suddenly be countered by the natural charm and elegance of the women and the flamboyance of the men, with a bit of a desperado undertone."
Poland is a traditionally macho society. There are ongoing efforts to change the tradition, for instance, I once heard on a Warsaw radio program, a child singing "For a little walk with a doggie" and suddenly a big male baritone joined the little boy with this leitmotif. It introduced the notion, not very common, that it's OK for a big man to go with a 'little boy and a little doggie for a walkie', usually an activity reserved to Mothers. It also implied that it's OK for men to do dishes, change diapers, other domestic, traditionally female activities.
Another observation: At a Polish WWII Veterans' club in Canada, I've seen adolescent girls in mini skirts sitting at the table playing cards with the veterans, laughing at their jokes, and they were not patronizing; they genuinely had a good time. It comes from old Polish tradition of homage to the veterans and all warriors who fought over centuries when Poland was not free. Family ties, social ties, are very much formed by this historical mold. For more information, I'd suggest that you look for Polish pages on the Web. WM
As you may know, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was an antisemtic book written by the Czarist secret service early in this century, that has been supremely and fatally successful in spreading the theory of an international Jewish conspiracy to take over the world and harm non-Jews. It is today a best seller among neo-Nazis, and in such countries as Jordan, Syria, Egypt and among the Palestinians.
Experts on antisemitism see it as one of the most dangerous books ever written, responsible for the loss of untold jewish life. amazon.com has chosen to sell this book. That is their right, although legitimate booksellers in America do not sell it. What is absolutely immoral and irresponsible, is that they review the book positively, saying that it has not been proven to be a "hoax" - that is, that it can be read as a valid expose of the Jewish plot to destroy everyone else.
The president of Amazon was informed about this problem, and nothing has been done to remove the review. I would not shop in a store that sells neo-Nazi hate literature. I will never buy a book from Amazon.com again, and I urge you to do the same, and to let them know why.
p.s. please forward this letter to everyone on your email list. it is vitally imporant that Amazon realize that then American public will not support pandering to neo-Nazis for profit.
Coby Hanoch firstname.lastname@example.org
Boycotting a book or an establishment is a good fighting tactic. On the other hand, whoever would like to go further, prohibiting publication would not be a good tactic. Censorship is not a form of fight, it is an escape from the fight, an attempt to win without fighting. History has proved it doesn't work. Let anything be said and published and let anybody be ready to answer, in the press, in books, in art and, if necessary, on the battlefield. I have witnessed when hate propaganda became a laughing stock of a jeering crowd. Believe me, it was much more efficient than any law. As for "Disinformation as a War Crime" (see current issue), it transcends ideology. It should be penalized because the consequences often ensue immediately, before any debate can start. WM
That the Vatican has recently made a wave of apologies to the world's Jews is not surprising. Jewish individuals continue to hold significant positions of status in the international community, their influence in America remains very strong, and the nation of Israel has found its niche as an integral part of the world economy. For the Vatican, establishing better relations with this group is politically advantageous.
The Serbs are a nation with whom, in the present international situation, it is not strategic to ask for forgiveness. But regardless of the Serbs' new role in our political vocabulary as the arbitrarily ascribed enemy (quickly replacing Iraq), they deserve an examination into their history. Such research will show that they were subject to one of the greatest injustices in the history of modern man. And at the center of this horror lies the Catholic Church. Whereas in the Jewish Holocaust of 1941-1945 the Vatican and high members of the Catholic Church were guilty of continued silence while in full knowledge of the atrocities, and tacit compliance with Nazi authorities, they were responsible for far more in the Balkan genocide of the same time.
During World War II, the Croatian Fascist Party (Ustasha), in conjunction with Yugoslavia's Nazi occupiers, embarked on a campaign of mass murder. Included in the selection were the typical Nazi "enemies" such as Jews, Gypsies and Communists. But remarkably, in the Balkans, the Eastern Orthodox Serbs comprised the largest single group exterminated. Jasenovac, located in Croatia and the third largest death camp in all Europe, was the largest site for the implementation of this genocide. Here, the genocide was not just carried out by German officials, but was run almost exclusively by the Croatians themselves. Local Franciscan monks took part in the killings as well. A famous example is Father Miroslav Filipovic-Majstorovic, known without affection to inmates as "Brother Devil." There was no gas chamber at Jasenovac. Here, the murderers (Franciscan monks included) killed through hanging, shooting, and beating to death - what Majstorovic referred to with Christian eloquence as "slaughtering."
The Croatian Catholic Church went beyond the silent acquiescence of other institutions to fully embrace the genocide. Not just the Franciscan order, but church officials at the highest levels supported mass murder. The church legitimized the Ustasha administration and its leader Anton Pavelic. Cardinal Stepinac, the highest-ranking Catholic in the Balkans, was especially supportive of the regime. He defended the Croatian Fascist State to Pius XII himself, and in letters left behind showed his backing for the policy of forced conversion. As Richard West, noted biographer of Tito, declares: "The one man with the authority to put a stop to the Ustasha terror, the Archbishop of Zagreb, Alojzie Stepinac, continued to give both public and private support to Pavelic and his regime."
What is the present position of the Vatican with regard to Cardinal Stepinac and the role of the Catholic Church in the Balkan genocide? According to Pope John Paul II, Stepinac "was a man of intrepid courage, the Cardinal remained constant in his adherence to the Gospel and loyalty to the Apostolic Chair." In many other utterances the Pope has supported the canonization of Stepinac, and in 1994 visited his tomb in Zagreb. To John Paul II, Stepinac was "the fortress of the Church amongst Croats," and its "most illustrious figure ... from a long series of men and women who expressed themselves by living Christian virtues."
Had the same been said of a well-known sympathizer of Hitler and the Nazis the world would be in uproar. But that is because much of the world has conveniently disregarded this forgettable page in human history. The lack of historical discipline has become so pervasive in the Western media that it is now unjust.
This injustice is clear through claims that World War I was the product of Serbian expansionism, thus "proving" them an inherently militaristic nation, for example, and that World War II witnessed the mass murder of Croats and Bosnians by Serbs. Perhaps this is just ignorance. Or, maybe, simply poor editing. But the fact remains that these mistakes are simply inexcusable. I have never heard a CNN moderator accuse the Jews of mass murder of Germans during the Holocaust. Nevertheless, such parallel statements are being repeatedly made about the Serbs.
If it were motives of guilt that have driven the Vatican to these overtures, it would do well to start acknowledging its key role in the atrocities in the Balkans. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In Yugoslavia, murder and genocide were not just overlooked, but vociferously supported by the Croatian Catholic Church's key members. Even more terrible, members of the hierarchy actively participated in the killings themselves. But unfortunately for the Serbs (and perhaps, fortunately for the Vatican), they are of no importance on the international scene. In fact, regardless of what occurred, any overtures to Serb communities would be looked on unfavorably by the Western nations. The nation of Serbia cannot be allowed to have any sympathy. Any positive public relations for this nation potentially weaken the Western media's monopolistic control on Balkan issues. Any examination into the past threatens to expose the media's historical manipulation, and its numerous (carefully-planned?) oversights.
The past victimization of Serbia must be minimized. That is the rhetoric of the present political situation. It is a vocabulary of humanitarianism shrouding the realpolitik the Vatican and the liberal democracies of the west employ when it comes to dealing with the atrocities of history. Thus, we see how the Vatican has done well to avoid such an "unnecessary" overture.
I agree completely and am happy that someone sees things the way you do.
I'm not certain of when or where, but I believe it was the early seventies at a Detroit steel plant that I.Q. tests were ruled as unconstitutional in the hiring process. A man there wasn't hired because of his I.Q. test score. Another man, who's I.Q. test results were slightly higher, was hired because of that fact. I realize that the reality of the situation is that my own I.Q. probably isn't as high as I'd like it to be. I know of all the hoaxes and scams flooding the internet highways and how many ways there are for the cyber entrepeneurs to make a quick buck. However, like many people, I couldn't help but give in to my curiosity and take a couple of the online I.Q. tests. It's a delightful feeling to see a score that is dramatically higher than the average persons. Then reality sinks in when you receive the inevitable email asking for money to explain more about your "own personal I.Q." and its results.
I've only taken two online I.Q. tests. In the first, I received a whopping score of 140. I emailed the creators of the test angrily, knowing the impossibility of such a notion. I was amazed at how quickly they responded. I'm still not certain if it was a form letter or if someone actually took the time to write me. They explained the "uniqueness" of their online test, and how it was a proven product of good I.Q. testing. That was a few years ago.
A few weeks ago I took a very similar test. The results were dramatically lower. My score was 131. Though 131 is far from a low I.Q. test result, it's certainly more realistic and less likely to provoke accusations of tampering for financial gain from the test takers. I've come to the conclusion that the results of these tests cater to the taker. If someone receives a low score, it will obviously depress them. If they're depressed about the results of the webpage they've used, they're certainly not going to torture themselves further and send money to the creators so that they can explain their "unique I.Q. results" to them.
I was especially interested in your point on the creator of an I.Q. test. I've mentioned that very point to friends and co-workers on numerous occasions and received the expected chuckle in reply. You are right. It is taken for granted that the creators must have genius I.Q.'s. Otherwise, how are they qualified? And if they are geniuses, who tested them? Which came first? The chicken or the egg?
Since that landmark case in the seventies with that steel mill, (again, my memory isn't clear on the facts there at all), I do know that there has been a strong advantage taken by the U.S. educational system. The 1998 December Issue of U.S. News did an article on the "Educational System Propaganda". It was mostly about entrepreneurs, but focused quite a bit on how employers have been forced to use education as more of a hiring factor than necessary in the hiring process because of that I.Q. test ruling. In the fifties and sixties a high school diploma was considered all a man needed to be considered "educated". Today without a college degree you are tarnished with the ugly tag of "uneducated" in the working world. Statistics show strongly that if you remove doctors, attorneys, and sales managers from the scenario, across the board people with a high school diploma are doing just as financially well as people with college degrees in their adult lives.
I was born with cataracts. Though I did well in high school, I was no genius or honor roll student. I partied and enjoyed my youth more than I studied. I decided at an early age that I would not endure the pain of not being able to see well through years of college. It was tough enough in high school. I took a couple computer classes last year and had a short reminder of why I hated school with bad eyesight. I'm far from crippled or disabled, but the burden of not being able to see a blackboard, even from a front row, was just too much for me to deal with.
I currently work as a security guard in the ER of a small college town in the midwest. I'm 35 years old. I've been there for more than a decade. I can't help but feel like an under achiever. I keep waiting for online universities to spark up so that I might study constitutional law or some other endeavor via my living room computer. There are online classes, but none that are of any use or recognized by the nation as legitimate yet.
For me the concept of an I.Q. test in the hiring process would be helpful. I know I'm smarter than the average person in most respects. It would be an advantage for me.
However, I also don't believe in the concept of "intelligence testing", because of it's unlocked mysteries. What is intelligence, anyway? That's what sparked this email. Apparently, you have a grasp of what I mean. No one around me could ever grasp that kind of thinking. I've attempted to strike up conversations with people on various subjects, including that one, and it's simply not interesting enough for them to listen.
Sometimes I feel like I've got vision and the rest of the world wears bifocals. Other times I feel like I'm a total moron who couldn't tie his own shoes without proper tutoring. My best friends are all rednecks, maintenance workers, janitors, etc... They would NEVER believe it if I told them I scored high on an I.Q. test. I can't even change my own oil.
My final conclusion is that yes, I'm intelligent. And yes, so are many others who would score lower than myself on the same tests. As you have pointed out, no one understands enough about intelligence to actually create an accurate test to score it on a scale of whatever to whatever. I have a unique perspective on life and see things differently than mainstream society does. That doesn't make me smart. That doesn't make me stupid. In fact, if you look at it in the this way, that EVERYONE sees things differently from everyone else, it doesn't even make me different. It makes me... human.
Every human being is different from everyone else. Instead of attempting to grade each human brain with a value point, we need to figure out what makes each human being the individual they are and embrace that individuality. It's the differences that make all the difference. Is there a test for that?
Kale (Email withheld)
I do realise that you feel like a round peg in a square hole but you don't have to spend the rest of your life with the rednecks. The interesting thing with internet is that, though virtual, connections are possible among individuals who would otherwise never get in touch. This opens enormous possibilities for change, 'virtual' at the beginning. There are so many different discussion groups; many questions can be put and answers found. Many openings may show up. IQ tests, of course, can be manipulated in various ways, as you remarked, to make them too difficult or too easy according to market necessity. Intelligence study may be a fascinating topic but once you catch the name of the game you become as much an expert and solver of the puzzles as their creators themselves. Intelligence eludes total definition, as, for instance, the art concept eludes the hobbyist who paints with numbers. I know from experience that there are a lot of excellent test achievers who are not intelligent and a lot of intelligent people who do very poorly on tests. One 'intelligent' person will intuitively recognize another 'intelligent' person just as we recognize great art without being experts. IQ societies often have boring meetings because participants speak in formulas and fool themselves. There are a few among them who are intelligent and they must feel pretty lonely. Continue the research, perhaps through Alta Vista, on all the topics that may interest you, participate in the discussion groups and you never know with whom you may get in touch.
All this can go side by side with taking one class just to get started. You don't have to do all the University studies in the classical four year period. Just get information about what is accredited, and, if the school isn't too far from you, get started. "Bon courage!" WM
(See "Double-Happiness Spaceflight" on February's Communication Page)
I managed to get all the plumbing epoxied together this week, and did a wet test run (water flow test). Actually have done it several times, for a good number of visitors.
Which is to say the fuel tank works, and doesn't leak -- ditto the air system which pressurizes the fuel tank. And the injector (a glass syringe) which shoots out a little stream of water.
So sometime probably during the coming week will stick a couple of electrodes into the stream, and do the 'hot firing' test.
The good news is that we have made progress, and anyone who lives nearby (or is passing through) can come in anytime and witness a wet test. The disappointing news could be that (I predict) we will not get smoke and flames in this first test.
The first 'hot firing' test involves:
1) Hydrogen peroxide at 50% solution.
2) A variable high-voltage (low current) across the electrodes, but limited in frequency to the 50hz (cycles/second) line frequency. I can, however, vary the voltage across the electrodes from a few tens of volts to a few thousand volts.
This is the purpose of our Ignitor Test One tests -- to determine whether or not an arrangement as simple as that of varying a voltage in the several kilovolt range is sufficient to ignite the 50% solution.
Which is to say that anyone from Auckland may wait to wish until we have guaranteed "smoke & flames" before coming down. Nevertheless, if any of our supporters wants to come down say the weekend of the 11th/12th, or 18th/19th -- let me know, and we will try to schedule a firing for you to see.
And again, anyone anytime is welcome to come in and see how we are progressing, and witness a 'wet test run' to get a sense of what we are doing.
Millennium Twain "<M.Twain>" <email@example.com>
Also, I am pleased to say that a fellow Hamiltonian has expressed a sincere interest in joining FireShips NZ, to take a big hand in our publicity, outreach, marketing -- getting lots more people involved.
Hopefully by next week he will be satisfied with his research into me and FireShips, and I will be able to announce a new member of the team.
Dear Friends, What follows is a press release concerning some troubling 'personal' circumstances. In the 404 context, it seems like life imitating art, or vice versa. My passport's been suspended. Some of you may recall the associated topic buried deep inside the nether nodes of 404.
"And so what's all this about, you shrug?"
I've always been wary of mixing art and politics. The pitfalls of succumbing to rhetoric or worse, propaganda, are plain to me. Yet artists get behind causes all the time. Can the craft of art and the art of politics (craftyness) coexist? And however worthy a cause, who's so wise as to be immune to self-deception? I've always believed art is about the personal, about the celebration of experience. If that experience should thrust one into political realms, the resulting work need not necessarily be political art. So I've told myself. And whereas rhetoric or propaganda might persuade, art as experience, art as perceived truth holds nothing less than the promise of transformation. Yet I'm left wondering; my artistic practice is also in the public sphere, which some might say is political by definition. Moreover, life cannot be contained in neat, sharply delineated little categories. How have others fared? Stalwarts such as Pound, Orwell, Rushdie come to mind -- heavyweights with heavy political baggage. Even the breezy Beatles uttered a lyric or two about war and peace. Art and politics - a comparative study (or, a 404 thread to be?).
Oh Canada! Most of you reading this do not live in this grand land. The U.N. consistently votes us "best country" in the world. As a true, self-deprecating Canadian, I wave off such flatteries. Inwardly, I stand aplomb, cherishing the truth of it. For you see, we mustn't be perceived as chest swelling nationalists. It's unCanadian. We leave such posturings to others, notably our cousins south ;o). No, we're the polite peacenicks, peace keepers, champions of human rights. And boring as a turnip. (Nato member and smart bombs on Belgrade be damned). I don't know what "best" in the world means, but I do know whatever happens here means a great deal elsewhere. Because if WE cannot get it right, if we cannot respect human rights in Canada, what hope in Ethiopia, East Timor, Iran or Iraq?
Oh Canada. I don't know whether to weep with pity or laugh in derision. New York writer John Dizard put it aptly (in an otherwise endearing article) in the Globe & Mail recently: [Canada]...a nation with a foreign policy consisting of very long letters to the editor, a harmless nation whose passports are favoured by every forger and secret service on the planet --."
My passport's been seized. The government has labeled me a bad person. 10,000 Canadian prison inmates hold passports. But not I.
My passport's been taken and I could say "pfffttt." On the contrary, for herein begs the deeper issue, obscured by mass myopia and blind gender-warfare: it's the children that suffer. I may be persona non grata in the government's eyes, but my eyes tell me the government is guilty of systemic child abuse by perpetuating discriminatory divorce laws. And Canada is far from alone in this barbarism (relative term, I know).
I'll leave for others to decide if any of this is artistic or political, or if the distinction even matters.
T.S. Thomas <firstname.lastname@example.org>
February 29, 2000
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BC father loses passport over child-support. Files for injunction in BC Supreme Court.
T.S. Thomas, a father embroiled in a long-standing dispute over child-maintenance arrears has had his passport suspended by the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP). Thomas has filed for an injunction against FMEP in BC Supreme Court on constitutional grounds. A hearing is set for March 3rd at the Smithe Street courthouse.
The injunction application is believed to be unprecedented and the first serious challenge of the punitive side of Bill C41. The federal government enacted the legislaltion in 1996 giving special enforcement powers to provincial agencies such as FMEP.
Thomas was told by an FMEP officer his passport was recently suspended after Thomas had initiated court action to settle the arrears. Thomas, citing various civil libertarians and constitutional authorities, claims that the holding of a passport defines the fundamental relationship of citizen and State. That a passport is universally regarded as a symbol of citizenship and nationality. Thomas further alleges discrimination against non-custodial parents, particularly against fathers.
Thomas lives on Gabriola Island and is the father of a 12 year old boy. He is well-know in BC as a poet and public artist. Thomas feels like a stateless, refugee in his own country. Astonishingly, for an alleged debt. Tens of thousands of students across the country owe substantial amounts in student loans. Will their passports be seized next?
The former Canadian poet plans to file a complaint with the BC Human Rights Commission and may appeal to the U.N.
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