Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Solstice/New Years Greeting

New Years Poem 2009 (for Ruby)

Blessed be the Solstice and blessed is the Hanukkah and Holy the returning Light
As we sing we dance and as we eat we drink so as to celebrate the quickening night

God and Goddess bless your home and hearth under starry sky and Earth each year
We join together in a spirit of redemption that is marked by celebrations of good cheer

As the snow lays crisp and even we find it easier believing in the cycle of rebirth
Like our metaphor for blindness we must cultivate our kindness towards mother Earth

Memory as a river filled with human interaction and in singular direction it flows
Just remember every season has it's own time and reason and so the cycle ever goes...

Happy 2009 (Common Era)
In the Hebrew Calendar 5770
4707: The Year of the Ox
The Year Eight in the Decade of OS X
($99 iPhone w/ $19.95 fee, make it so!)
Our Egyptian calendar tells us the year is 32,953 (it's Lunar)

Peace and Love from Valerie C. & Leigh R. Wolf

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

United States' New Fascism: Old Blackwater

Murder and Mayhem from the (George W.) Bush League
Have Bush and Company Perfected a Perpetual War Machine?

After three centuries of domestic genocide, and the previous century of manifest destiny, the United States has begun to show signs of wear and tear. Perhaps the Philippine genocide of 1902, when the United States killed, depending on your source, from one to two million Moslems over a three year period was the true beginning of the end. This small war led to the colonization of the island state that is still politically and militarily intact today. Perhaps this was the beginning of the end, or possibly the middle of the end, but we are still nowhere near the end of the end as regards the United States' homicidal activities.

The deal is thus: traditional thinking in the United States is that to achieve peace you must prepare for war. Unfortunately, preparing for war means that every so often you must actually have a war so as to make it all make sense. The citizens of the U.S. have become very good at war and routinely provide the many ancillary supplies and services needed to keep a global superpower in fighting shape. Speculation is that fifty percent of the U.S. GDP is war or warfare-related which, if accurate, defines the US as a "war-like" country. Not all citizens, perhaps 53%, are co-dependent with modern warfare while the other 47% are currently just flirting with a corresponding third-party supplier.

The passive-aggressive fascism of American brand imperialism can be called Fascism Lite™. That's when you are being oppressed but your oppressor first wants you to like them and appreciate their efforts at keeping you down and out. Citizens of the United States may want to oppress me but first they want me to understand that their oppression is in my best interest. This is similar to landing in Iraq and then force feeding the population Coke and Skittles until they puke and later wondering why everyone's teeth are falling out. My unique interpretation of the "Bush Doctrine" aside, in a previous piece I referred to this political strategy as "democratizing faciitis" and wondered if this wasn't the core of the current administration's role in the region.

The bully, himself, did not implement the attack of Sept. 11th, 2001 but ultimately he has exploited both justice and revenge on behalf of his Yankee heritage. He sounds Texan but Bush is 100% East Coast, Ivy League, Brooks Brothers mentality, Yale slash Skull and Bones, Yankee banker with a penurious streak that demands he make a profit from the 9/11 tragedy. Unfortunately for him, and us, the convergence of our current mortgage and banking crisis, morally the equivalent of war, that could ultimately cost out at 10 Trillion dollars plus his own Oil War that has cost, officially, 660 Billion and growing, which will cost Bush any positive legacy and cost millions of U.S. citizens their homes and jobs. Everyone on the planet now knows that as a business manager, George W. Bush shall be known as the living countenance of true incompetence. .

His ultimate reason for invading Iraq may be in controlling the dispersal of Iraqi oil and the process through which it is traded. Many millions of barrels of Iraqi oil are being sold through agencies favourable to United States' interests, using U.S. currency, which continues to help prop up a corrupt economy for a few more years or minutes, but the inevitable decline has begun for Empire Americanus and signs of a downward trend are poised everywhere. Bush the Younger has, almost, left us a host of deadly legacy issues and like his (matinee) idol Ronald Reagan, young Bush's typically ignorant and selfish actions and policies will continue to haunt the world. The best news in years is that the U.S. has recently agreed to leave Iraq by Dec.31, 2011 but this will be predicated with "caution and flexibility" from the U.S. government in terms of schedules and deadlines.

At this moment in time, our very survival as a planetary species is threatened by our own intransigence and the greed of a handful of technologically advanced western nations and their multi-national offspring. The vast majority of people on this planet may have never heard of Exxon, Union Carbide, or Blackwater but they have certainly felt the effects of their criminal behaviour. Although there are so many to choose from, one of the ugliest ramifications of Bush's Iraq strategy is his use of the private mercenary army known as Blackwater Worldwide. Similar to how Clinton's tacit approval of oral sex stemmed from his classic denial, "I did not have sex with that woman... blah, blah." Bush has left behind a nasty legacy when he declared the market for counter-insurgency, political assassination, and other military plots for hire, wide open and available to the highest bidder.

In reality, Blackwater, a privately held corporate entity controlled by former Director of the CIA's Counter-Terrorist Center (CTC) J. Cofer Black (whose friends must have called him "covert Cofer" behind his back), and founder Erik Prince (aka the heir to a fortune), are now able to carry out US covert policy initiatives without their operatives being linked directly to any US government agency. This is a very enticing weapon for any President, or the intelligence community at-large, to access and although President-elect Barack Obama stands as a figure who would never invoke such a precedent, the century is fresh and there are many more waiting who may use their "Executive Power and Privilege" to eliminate both domestic and foreign enemies. The idea of guns-for-hire mercenaries being linked with national policy is a recipe for a perpetual war machine and would indicate a very disturbing turn.

Recently, on Dec.8th, the U.S. Justice Department charged 5 Blackwater Worldwide employees with a 35-count indictment that charges the private soldiers used machine guns and grenade launchers in an attack on unarmed civilians that killed 17 Iraqi citizen non-combatants. The defence team is currently trying to have the entire proceeding occur in Utah for reasons that should be obvious to anyone that has actually traveled through that state of anxiety. So as a warning to any younger people considering joining any army or becoming a mercenary, please re-consider your options, go home, rent the films Galipoli, Johnny Got His Gun, and Dr. Strangelove. Watch them and you will never again wish to make war on anyone, ever. I have posted this poem for your enhanced edification.

Old Blackwater Keeps On Rolling

In the dirty black water of the great dismal swamp
Is worldwide headquarters of a threat to all democracy
It's a private learning institution that teaches how to stomp
It hardly matters who or why which enhances street legitimacy

Our duty to explore the facts behind their failing wall
Our confidence is set too high by the fallen as they fall
Security consulting used to be the next big growth industry
Money must be protected from those who want to set it free

Our royalty, one Erik Prince, was trained a US Navy Seal
They taught him how to live to kill and never to forget to feel
Like a cancer inside America his private power is vast and real
He can field a brigade or send an assassin inside to seal the deal

Plexocratic nationalist he needs a steady war
Autocratic capitalist seeks out death by the score
Aristocratic warrior leading his own mercenary force
Progressive individual is never really the case, of course

Their duty to believe and ignore the blood and gore
"Let's show these natives what a ground force is for!"
They did it for their country first, for the Navy and the Corp
Now they're doing it for big money and all they want is more

In Iraq and in Afghanistan they augment American might
Murder and mayhem do not contribute to efficiency in a fire fight
The unbalanced thing about their darkness is the absence of any light
No matter what they ever say, they will never go quietly into the night

Protection of the highest so the mission statement read
Counter-veiling blow back cost many more than 30 dead
The job was filled with casual kills much like the wild west
They overstayed their welcome putting government to the test

US foreign policy cannot be ascribed to a mercenary force
His company cannot be allowed to influence history's course
He will not offer sympathy nor admit his regrets or any remorse
There's a deadly sickness in the land and blackwater is the source

Plexocratic nationalist he needs a steady war
Autocratic capitalist seeks out death by the score
Aristocratic warrior leading his own mercenary force
As if a knight in courtly pose astride a great white horse

© 2008 Leigh R. Wolf

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Unending Resistance In This Town

Strength in Numbers: Fearless City (DTES)
A salute to an idea about ending oppression...
(Racial, Gender, Economic, Sexual, Drug, and Cultural Oppression)

The idea was independence from the tyranny of despots and freedom of spiritual practice. The idea was timely and as it swept around the world, populations began to evolve around basic ideas of human rights that we now recognize as the right of every child, woman, and man on the planet.

Over the centuries, as the idea grew so did people mature socially and politically. Phases and ideologies shifted through the last century when Socialism, Democratic Socialism, Communism (Russian), Communism (Chinese), Communism (Marxist-Lenin), Capitalism, and State Fascism after going head to head for decades have blended together (post-corporate-media/pre-Internet mega-mix) into a wretched pastiche of humility, hypocrisy and flop sweat where basic issues like individual self-determination, equal human sexuality, a fair and share financial system, proportional representation, sane and safe environmental policy, the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction, and the abolishment of handguns have never been seriously considered. (This blending of systems occurred when digital technology made every government big brother and transformed the distribution process. Ultimately, technology defeats ideology when it doesn't matter if a civil servant is observing your behaviour in Beijing, San Diego, Munich or Moscow. The results may differ in words and process but the effect will be the same.)

Declarations of freedom and independence are tossed around like confetti at New Years by the world's meanest regimes as if somehow using the word "democracy" bathes them in a credibility that machine guns and jackboots just can't provide. They use the term in an Athenian sense where rich men owned slaves and controlled the vote and not in the Jeffersonian sense of the term where rich men owned slaves, occasionally freed them when they died, and controlled the vote. But there are barbarians in every civilized country ready to assume control under martial law with the nod of a head, a wink coming from the right person's eye, and the flick of a political switch. Some crazy long hair (TJ) once said, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." The proof of his thesis is that now after having slept through Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush we are in deep economic, environmental, and ethical trouble.

Our vigilance has wavered and we now have iPhones that can be wire-tapped without a warrant. People can now be held for extended periods without due process (no lawyer, no phone calls, no hope). The U.S. has broken away from the Geneva Conventions and routinely tortures captive combatants in overseas prisons so as not to contaminate United States' soil much less US minds.. The truly vigilant in the U.S. have been shunned and marginalized by a corporate media that directs the public agenda in an escalating fashion with a profoundly right wing perspective. The work of corporate media, to terrify the populace, has been so successful that the public perceptions are, in my town, that crime is a steadily rising tide although statistics prove that the overall crime rate has actually fallen in each of the last seven years. It remains easier to peddle fear than it is to inspire life/love but in this society capital will always genuflect towards fear.

This is due, I believe, to the influence of network television where it becomes increasingly difficult to separate fantasy from fact. Traditional formats have failed, commercials appear anytime anywhere, news self-parodies as entertainment, celebrities become news, news becomes meaningless and a rightened agenda is pushed insidiously, exhaustively. Every night is a cavalcade of death from above, below, and all other angles complete with gore in tight, close-up focus. On every channel people are being cut-up, exhumed, autopsied, burned, beaten and buried in an unending effort to control social, societal, intercourse through terror. It is no wonder that humans exposed to mass amounts of violence in their living rooms, bedrooms, and dens have every right to believe it is actually happening outside, right now. Since the Imperial Presidency, and Nixon's Law and Order Campaign and his War on Drugs, (including the birth of the DEA) the growth of police in the U.S. has been many times faster than general population growth and as a result the U.S. is the now biggest jailer in the western world.

This is not due to some KKK fantasy of mixed races creating more criminals. Canada, Australia, and other countries have fully integrated, "mixed," societies and the incarcaration statistics are nowhere close. The hard corporate stance of U.S. society has created a system where your proximity to incarceration is enterirely about your education, your neighbourhood, and the colour of your skin. This is the handiwork of, if not the KKK, then an educational and economic structure that elevates white-skinned folks ahead of darker-skinned people to the disadvantage of everyone. If you are a young, black or brown person living in the ghetto you have a better chance of dying by misadventure than of old age. And this is also true of Aboriginal North Americans who, if they are unlucky enough to be living on a reservation are addicted to gasoline, alcohol, meth, crack, and tobacco simultaneously because there really is nothing to do and no opportunity exists. If an First Nations person is unlucky enough to live in an urban environment, like Vancouver's downtown east side, they are subject to all of the above mentioned addictions plus random violence, racial intolerance, and even fewer opportunities.

And as true as these statements could be, the opposite conditions are also where reality interjects. My aboriginal neighbours raise their kids to be decent and respectful. I live in a tough part of town but most of the trouble here is caused by idiots from outlaying areas who come into the city core to cause trouble and pick up an infection to take back home to the wife. The local schools have less money to operate with due to a shrinking tax base but the teachers and staff are compassionate, concerned, and gentle with children who have strikes against them (poverty, learning difficulties) before the even start school. The greatest truth about my neighbourhood is the same as every other neighbourhood planet wide. We all want to live in safe, clean, homes with decent food to eat and to share this with our family and friends.

In this spirit, I have written an introduction of sorts to my neighbourhood and some of the conditions and challenges that many inhabitants face daily. Check out the piece and if you want more information on Vancouver's D.T.E.S. (Down Town East Side) please visit http://fearlesscity.ca/

Forbidden Zone Primer

Psychedelic wolf, time to travel fractal to flow
I now know I know very little but the little I do know
Is the story of a part of town both famous and unknown
I've been working on this primer of a dark forbidden zone

The zone was always cropping, sirens always edging close
Wardrobe comes in mocking style but no one could care less
The zone is dosed in needle death and massive mental illness
He understood the motives of the mendicants who willed this

He would, over time, learn to love his hooker neighbours
Who worked on back and knees offering up sacred labours
Their flavours not so calming for the turdies nor the nerds
Who would favour the embalming of all the bees and birds

For coffin nail women are out patrolling their stroll
Another ricochet rocket their immediate obsession
Keeping soul alive inside but buried true down deep
They have secrets of mankind that they manage to keep

They know that men are afraid and that man is a liar
They know the bed's unmade and the kitchen is in flames
They know how to take a flier - when to fall to the floor
They eat the real naked lunch as is the job of the poor

For coffin nail menwomen tuck it back between thighs
She can never let him near it knowing just how he'd fear it
They're aware of their position and the nature of the game
Sharpened psychic, so into it, make card throwers look lame

They all know for the process that the pleasure is so fleeting
They know most men are married and all of them are cheating
They are actors in a play about abuse performed at every meeting
They're players in a living mind game that's stuck on re-repeating

The zone is late at night some services offered only in the day
Social workers that try to help will end up torturing their prey
Newspaper reporters have been turned into night time predators
They haunt the stroll with sex the goal submitting to their editors

That newly built tall tower is a powerful symbol for the zone
Soon rent will be destabilized by people with the right to own
Graffiti tells a tale of the poor hustled out by the middle classes
Bankers send the poor to hell - sit back and enlarge their assets

We know that people are afraid and that human is a liar
We know the bed is still unmade and the house is now on fire
We can learn to take a blessing - learn to toughen up inside
If we're lambs off to slaughter we won't take that shit in stride

The poorest of the poor are always moms and women elders
Who are all two weeks away from living inside a shopping cart
The heartless government worker hands out the quarterly treats
Not ever starving, she does her best work staying off the streets

The children and their mothers on the tether of starvation
Television feeds their eyes with lies of relative deprivation
They dedicate their lives to helping every each and one another
That corpse found in the alleyway was a sister and a best friend

The essence of community is put hard to the test
Hustling twenty hours a day leaves no time for reflection
Tempers light the fuse but cheap alcohol is the primary fuel
Behaviours are reminiscent of free-for-alls in primary school

Heroes on the ground are busy fighting drug oppression
Compassion Clubs are filling holes attending those in need
The Action Needle Drop-In Center is saving lives with fact and hope
Both are teaching their clients how to best buy and use their dope

We know everyone's afraid these days which makes nobody a liar
We know that the bed's unmade and we all know there's a fire
How well will we remember when the stakes are getting higher
How best can we defend ourselves when governments conspire

© 2008 Leigh R. Wolf

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

War, Disorder, and Bad Government

Canada's Motto: Peace, Order, and Good Government
Crisis in Canada: PM Architect of His Own Misfortune?
May You Live in Interesting Times: an old Chinese curse

The current Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, finds himself in a political pickle. His brand, the Conservative Party, are approaching the economic crisis as a time of restraint when budgets should be pared down and everyone should just tighten their belts, roll up their sleeves, and get to work making profits for our betters. Although this plays well in the heartland it sounds like Dickens to the urban electronic electorate who have, so far, denied the minority government any seats in Canada's three largest cities.

Interestingly, on the same day that the U.S. officially declared itself to be in recession, apparently since December '07, and Obama unveiled his National Security team with Hilary Clinton his nominee for Secretary of State, in the number three position in the Chain-of-Command, the earth shifted in the Great White North. On a day of remembrance, when President-elect Barack Obama has crafted a coalition Cabinet reflecting his belief that the U.S. is more unified than ever before, three Canadian politicians have presented a coalition of their own and are attempting to toss the ruling Tories (Conservatives) out of power.

It's a complex scenario to grasp if you are unfamiliar with parliamentary procedure but I will attempt to elucidate. In our system whenever a minority government is elected, without enough seats to pass their agenda, as is the current case, their feet are held to the fire by the idea that their opposition can unite to create a majority and vote against, or defeat them at any time. This is pure political science since the only time anything like this happened in Canada was almost 100 years ago. For this democracy, only 141 years old, a coalition government, not uncommon in Europe, is extremely unusual.

The three politicians are the respective leaders of three national opposition parties, The Liberals (who are actually fairly conservative), the NDP (who are democratic-socialists {lefties}), and the Bloc Quebec (a separatist {lefty} party). The Liberals are the official opposition and with the New Democratic Party (NDP) have crafted an agreement to make a motion of non-confidence in the Conservative government and have informed the Governor General of Canada, the Queen's representative, that they can form a government. They are, in fact, declaring that they have enough votes in the House of Commons to defeat the current government on a matter of confidence and form government with the support of the N.D.P. and the Bloc Quebec (who really are the wild card given their agenda of splitting from Canada).

As the TV's talking heads keep saying, as if repeating a mantra designed to relieve our collective stress, "We certainly do live in interesting times." Indeed this decade is shaping up to be the collected weirdness of the last century coming back to haunt us. As if the sins of the last century have piled up and are all being delivered at the same moment. This "perfect storm" of crisis converging has presented a now unified opposition a whiff of weakness in a previously efficient and ruthless minority government. Smelling fear from across the chamber, the opposition has its teeth firmly planted in the government's behind and can only hold on until shaken off or until the government falls.

The back story behind this brouhaha was, initially, that the Conservatives were typically pinching pennies and threatening to cut off $30 Million in legislated funding for all of the federal political parties. This must have seemed clever incarnate to the people close to the PM, who rules his party like a Grand Pasha. They could seriously hurt their opponents, broke from a recent election and in typical disarray, who would be unwilling to repeat the last election which was pretty much the same result as the election two years prior to that. Harper has, as a strategy to appear more "American," passed legislation that fixed a date for federal elections. That notwithstanding, he called a sneak election that took place seven weeks ago in oder to get the electorate to the polls before Nov.4th and the mellowing, or conservative blowback, that would follow after Obama's victory. What happened was that the same minority scenario played out and Harper tried to diminish the opposition in victory and is now paying the price with his leadership in the balance.

Basically, The Conservative Party of Canada as government decided to rule the country,for the next little while, as if they actually had a majority while the opposition was broke, defeated and rudderless. It must have looked like the perfect time to deal their enemies a nasty blow that would all but formalize a majority in the next election since the government would be the only ones with any money. This kind of punitive strategic thinking is the hallmark of current Conservative political thought, specifically reflecting Prime Minister Stephen Harpers' personality. Harper is a pernicious academic who enjoys the game far too much for the taste of the Canadian public who prefer their leaders quietly self-depracating as opposed to quietly self-agrandizing.

This plan woke up the opposition parties and prompted the initial feelers towards a possible coalition. I'm guessing that, given the Conservative distaste for deficit, the three parties found fertile ground for agreement in opposition to the governments' perceived inaction in the face of a global economic crisis. Canada is, apparently, well positioned to ride out the tumult and all three parties are willing to borrow billions to spend their way out of this recession, which seemed to erupt in the late stages of the last campaign and is now a story increasing in importance on a daily, some say, hourly basis.

The Conservative government of Stephen Harper is about to fall because they are out of touch with the moment. Which is why the wise and patient Canadian electorate have chosen a minority government, during these uncertain times, so that the direction of the country could be quickly, efficiently, and legally changed. The last part about legally is the tricky part where the Government can ignore the opposition, dissolve the House and call another election to thus thwart the oppositions attempt to form the government.

But, and this is where Stephen Harper is truly hooped, this would only be a short-term solution and Harper has nothing to take to a weary electorate that would, out of rancour and perceived gross inefficiency, spank him and his party for a long-time. By forcing a Canadian Winter election in a time of crisis, after George W. Bush's result in the recent U.S. federal election, can anyone appreciate the concept of losing by a landslide. Harper, who has been aligned with Bush in the past, is caught between forcing a result that would kick his party out of both Quebec and Ontario forever. or doing nothing.

And if he does nothing he will be the official leader of the opposition sometime next month. If this is the case do not look for him to retain his leadership for long, as it is well known federal lore that the Conservative Party eat their own. Isolated in the West, his party would lose whatever national credibility it ever had and would remain a regional, perhaps separatist leaning, voice in the western wilderness. Thus is Stephen Harper choked as conditions seemed to have converged with the coming of age of three opposition leaders who have crafted their boat and must now attempt to make it sail. The winds are spooky and nothing is known about future storms except that they are coming.

Perhaps we can take some comfort in the idea that when faced with profound crisis a coalition of Canadian leaders, from various political viewpoints, came together to provide some vision where we have lately known only limited blindness. Huzzah for our Parliamentary democracy where a change in leadership can occur over a cup of tea with Her Excellency, the Governor General. Given the will of the Canadian electorate to put forth successive minority governments it is inevitable that, at some point, everyone gets a chance to govern.

Interesting times, indeed.

© 2008 Leigh R. Wolf

Friday, November 21, 2008

My New iPod Comes With Wings

A Short Trip Down a Nostalgic Side Street

I was recently given an iPod, with sports earphones, and it has substantially altered my lifestyle. It takes me back, misty-eyed music swells, to my punk rock days. We had a philosophy of DIY or "do it yourself" which encouraged bands to bypass the corporate model by self-publishing via cassette. Cassette trading was originally made popular by the faithful fans of the Grateful Dead who would dub live recordings off the sound board and then trade the best performances, "I'll trade you Meadowlands '87 for Oakland '79!" The punks got the message loud and clear. Cassettes were extremely cheap to mass produce and, as with CDs today, highly portable - so a band could have a box in the back of the Van with t-shirts, some vinyl, and cassettes. This is when the Walkman entered the scene.

The genius of Sony has always been to be the first to offer the best in quality and innovation. The Walkman was already a smash hit in Japan before it was released in North America. Instead of a massive boom box, a music fan could now have their own portable tunes for about $50. I was managing a cross Canada tour with Vancouver favourites Payola$, on the way back home after conquering Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto in a successful first tour of these Canadian power cities. We were told by a friend at our label, A&M Records, that label mates Squeeze were performing that night at the University in Calgary and, if we could make it, we were welcome to see the show. Interestingly, Squeeze was one of the few bands along with Bee Bop Deluxe, Stiff Little Fingers, and Brian Eno that everyone on board the bus liked and we had been playing their tape Argy Bargy on heavy rotation since we left home.

We were in Lethbridge, Alberta, when we got the message some 200 km from Calgary with only two hours until show time. We arrived 3 1/2 hours later, after a flat tire, at the University of Calgary only to hear the strains of the last power chord from Squeeze's encore to a crowd of adoring throngs. The band knew we were coming and we were quickly whisked back stage to join them for wobbly pops and good times. After about an hour of shits and giggles it was time for both bands to get back on the road. In a spirit of kinship, Squeeze gave us the extra cases of beer and a few bottles of wine that had been provided as part of their rock star rider and kindly donated them as a comfort during the treacherous Rocky Mountain summits we would be traversing at about 2 a.m.in the morning on our way back home.

Before they left, Squeeze's manager, the notorious Miles Copeland took me aside and said, "Here, I want you to hear this." He took a small pair of headphones with orange foam covering the ear pieces and placed it on my head. He pressed play and the song "Jukebox" off Payola$ first EP exploded inside my head and wickedly fried my brain pan. This already amazing song was made better by the phenomenal "wall of sound" the Walkman provided. He let the song play for thirty seconds, long enough for the effect to sink deep, then he removed the headphones and said, "that's the track we want to release on the next IRS Compilation," referring to his then successful, now defunct, record label. Then, as was his way of parting, Copeland dazzled me and accomplished his task thus. "I was just on tour with The Police, last month, in Japan. Our label representative over there has a friend who works for Sony and they gave one of these to everyone on the tour," he said, holding a small audio revolution in his hand with Japanese lettering where later the familiar English PLAY would become iconic in my mind. For the next few months I told many people about the magic box that had transformed my ears and turned me into a walking jukebox. Two years later, even my mom had one and became somewhat adept at making mixed tapes and thus one revolution went fully mainstream.

These days, my new iPod 2Gb Shuffle is impacting my ears in many delightful ways. Since 2001, since the unofficial start of WWIII, I have refused to drive my oil guzzling, crap emitting, bit of road smegma on wheels that produced a brutal 6 Metric Tons of carbon every year that I drove. My main way of getting around Vancouver is now public transit. I work from home and telecommute, but I do use the bus frequently and I live in a tough, inexpensive, part of town so the bus can sometimes be a chaotic experience. The iPod works as the Shield of Perseus when it comes to deflecting bad vibes. Panhandlers ignore you, crazies leave you alone because they realize you can't hear them and are usually disarmed when you don't react to their craziness. It is a boon to daily urban life and I applaud the company that produced such a device and I thank the friend who gave it to me. My urban survival kit is now well stocked.

The only thing more better than the urban privacy of the iPod is that the sound quality of the unit is incredible. Though digital, the fidelity is superb and I am hearing new parts in songs I have been listening to for many years. I have an extensive collection of iTunes on my hard drive and now this tiny bit of technology has freed my music so that once again, for the first time in thirty years, I have my music going mobile. I thank Mr. Jobs and the rest of the wizards at Apple Inc. for their unprecedented run from the ancient Apple II to the latest iPod. Although overpriced, Apple is the purveyor of some of the world's most popular and sophisticated digital appliances. Now if they could only come out with an iPhone for under $100...

© 2008 Leigh R. Wolf

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Memo from the Illuminated Ones (5=6)

(I found this in my mail recently and thought I would pass it along.)

Sent: 11,993 c.e., in the 16th Lunar Passage, Day 7.6.5
Sent from: undisclosed
Prepared for: operatives and allies
Subject: Annual Report to Galactic Central
(Common Tongue: English)

WE have recently delivered the ARtGC to The Council and this memo contains highlights from that report. If you want to examine the document in its original and complete form, please refer to: *582YT0284-8/z. This document will officially begin after the next full stop.

For the first time in over sixty (Earth) years, since their second global conflict, the people of Earth have been brought together by circumstances that are, once again, dire and quite dangerous. It is our sadness to inform The Galactic Council (TGC) that, in spite of our most subtle and persistent efforts, the tribes of Earth continue to suffer and are not yet ready for even basic consideration of any early recognition. The latest global war has occurred brutal expense and the suffering is now effecting all tribes. There was an error in our projections and when we tried to correct the path, predicted events began occurring rather quickly leaving us with no other option and we have now begun reprogramming.

Our physical presence on Earth continues to interest a small group consisting of conspiracy buffs, fandom, psychotics, and those whose fate places them on our pathway. The Illuminated Ones have recently released a new (covert) satellite system that will boost our system control psionics (the folk fogger) by a measurable factor. As per our last report, the boom-to-burst cycle is still our most successful embedded strategy. With no excuse proffered to TGC for the over-burst of enthusiasm from the current regime, we stand by the formula which has worked with ruthless efficiency for more than 123 cycles of Earth (local) time.

The Instrument
For three thousand Sun cycles, Earth has been rebuilding and evolving at an exponentially increasing pace. This "meme" or viral style accelerative, interactive instrumentation is like planting seeds within seeds and watching each generation, growing stronger, stand on the shoulders of their parents. The patterns emergent right now are brilliantly insistent echoes calling back to the last planetary transition phase with psychic activity levels equal to 1928, 1938, 1968, and 1978 combined. The total effect, at all levels of society, is devastating to the ego structures of the humans who all, secretly, believe that they themselves, alone, should rule the world at least once in their lives.

Earth Has Recently Observed 3 Nearby Planets
With so much receptivity, literally, in the air we are experiencing the best/worst of times. They are all, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, laying in the gutter but a few of them are looking up at our long term Solar-orbiting recording-platform. Apparently, our marker warning just past Pluto has been discovered and although we estimate it will be well over thirty Earth years before they could actually reach the platform, we have begun to phase the unit out and will, within one cycle, replace it with something smaller, more efficient and more clandestine. (The planets so noticed are gas balls but there is an established presence, apparently silicon sentience, on a planetary Moon.)

Awards and Rewards
We have recently sent three cubic tons of containerized artifacts (treasures, cultural totems, delectable treats {try the wasabi pistachios), and the usual sample packs back to Centaur V with a label instructing it not be opened until it actually reached the planet, as instructed. Best wishes to the gang at Alien Specimen and Artifact (ASA) for their great gag gift. (We vomited for hours from the smell of The Graaal's urine, we owe you guys.) Locally, our investment in Apple Inc. has done very well for us in a bull market. He is curently sitting on $26 Billion in cash, he owns the single-largest minority interest in Disney/ABC TV, his iPhone is about to come in under $100 and he will sell many tens of millions which will all play content from ABC-Disney studios which he will then sell through his iTunes. - with everything converging, he is moving up to a new level. The iPhone is actually a small personal computer capable of the same neuronic mutation as with the popular desktop models but smaller, faster, and remarkably cheaper. (I highly recommend to all field agents they lose their old Blackberries and switch to iPhone.) We are pleased.

The Usual Mammalian Politics
The election of Sen. Barack Obama to their highest office serves to noticeably speed up the process of evolution. Our agents in place have informed us that the transition has been, so far, seamless and transparent. According to the same, highly-placed source (labelled gwb01), the "football" will handed over at One Minute to Midnight, January 19th, in the year 2009 (EST), It will be, of course, another in a long line of decoy footballs we have used, with U.S. Presidents, for over forty years now. We have similar scenarios in every Capital city, in every nation that has Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) capability, except for India. We believe this deception is necessary in preventing thermonuclear war which we have done successfully since the second year post-contact (1951CE). (We are not sure why but our influence with India has never been strong. Our best minds think it has to do with Hindu religious practices and the relationship their beliefs have with the science of Quantum Physics.)

Our Most Sacred Duty and Honour
The ultimate goal of the Illuminated Ones has been, since inception, to establish one global government and one citizenry that are illuminated beyond the desire and need for their own self-destruction. (Reminder: This noble endeavour and goal has roots in the annual Greater Galactic Growth Guarantee (G4) Conference and Spa Treatment, on Clokterrace Minor. Have your visitor vouchers validated now, before this conference fills up!) As we have pledged to TGC this, our most sacred of duties and our most sacred of missions in that our existence is due to the mission to which we owe all.

Somewhere Over The Event Horizon (a local jest)
Over the last few cycles we have had a small success in creating a baseline of civility that the vast majority of tribes adhere to, though their interpretation of the baseline can be quite bizarre - see Communism, Capitalism, and their unique translations of "democracy." We are gratified that the number of survivors has increased dramatically since the second global conflict, around the time we last reported to TGC. Life expectancy, child survival rates, epidemic exposures, pandemics, and military accounting have all improved, measurably, beyond the requirements of The Council's Edict. It is our determination that our primary task will be completed within a seventy-cycle phase, and at that time we will return to our home on Sirius Range, all the while conducting further research into Earth's relative timelines via standard remote proxies.

Concluding Thoughts Regarding This Assignment
There is enough, for everyone, alive on Earth today and for all those born in the future if only they get their system of distribution in order. The gross inequity of their current distribution practices is responsible for 98.7% of all ongoing conflict, down from 99.3% in the previous century. The slight decrease in volatility has been as a result of the introduction of personal digital tools towards the end the their 20th century, Like previous key moments, these results tell us in the earliest stages that a primary mutation has already taken place and the psionic current of exponential fractalistics has been deeply enhanced and expanded. Thanks, we'll be here all century.

© 2008 Leigh R. Wolf

Friday, November 14, 2008

American Roulette

Who Has The Bullets Left To Play...

American Roulette * (thanks 2 Robbie)
Approaching the 45th Anniversary of JFK's Assassination.

As Governor of California, Ronald Reagan introduced lethal injection to offer death row prisoners a better, bitter end. Later, as President, he enshrined his legacy by secretly financing Contra cocaine production ensuring his nation's supply remained strictly under CIA control.

Can Democracy Survive the U.S.A.?
The Romans perfected the art of political assassination and our "American" cousins are the modern inheritors of this ancient craft. The Romans may have murdered more Senators, but only our friends from the U.S. could have conceptualized corporate killing. In our post-Godfather reality, any moral layers that may have separated business from organized crime have, in the 21st Century, virtually disappeared. Blackwater is the most visible example of private armies organized on a for-profit basis and are, by all accounts, doing deadly business.

Thought Control For Fun and Profit
Other corporate-fascist entities like Haliburton and Bechtel have had free reign servicing the armed forces and are much the richer for it. As an example, these two corporate states are major proponents of a fluid philosophy where typical assistance consists of supporting elections until the results put Moslem extremists in power. The next day results are quickly scuttled, candidates are sent home crying, and martial law is declared. Neighbour states worry that the disease could quickly spread and infect other regions in the area. The U.S. promises them a new McDonalds and Showtime and ESPN and they usually give up whatever the U.S. wants (Oil and right-of-way). In the good old days they would kill people the U.S. told them to kill. These days most Middle Eastern states are far too rich and civilized for such barbarism and they leave it to the rogue states like oil-poor Syria or various pipsqueaks in Eastern Europe to provide such services.

A Loyal Lamprey Doesn't Suck on Sundays
Although the men that lead these covert industrial giants drape themselves in the symbols and icons of patriots they are the farthest thing from someone who truly loves their country. It is their intention to use war to bleed the United States, mercilessly, until their is nothing left to suck and only then will they be satisfied. Could you ever believe me if I suggested that the lead executives of any corporation that makes bullets, or bombers, or bacterial warfare agents are tragically, and completely, psychotic and everything they say or do must be scrutinized by trained professionals.

The Official Day of Reckoning
Heavy conservative forces have been gradually assuming control of the foreign policy engine since Eisenhower labelled it the "plex" back in '59. Perhaps control was first lost even earlier, reaching back to 1946 shortly after the exploding of two atomic devices, but everybody knows the official day of reckoning and atonement was November, 22 1963. The day of infamy when the Divine King took a wrong turn on to Elm Street and the forces of deception dropped all of us into this weird, collective nightmare.

To Put Things in Context, I'm X Years Older Than My Teeth (I'm 50)
As one of Her Majesties oldest, living, punk rockers I was alive for the assassination of JFK, as well as RFK, and MLK, but I was still in low digits and don't remember much. What I do remember is a change when the Seventies finally arrived and the "Age of Aquarius" ended. There was a short, strange, transition period before the fan got all fithy. I remember how even trace elements of Woodstock were destroyed by T-Rex, Lou Reed, Led Zepplin, Rocky Horror, Iggy, and the New York Dolls. A few years later, The Pistols and The Clash were the next courses in our musical meal and by 1980 the whole community thing was long gone. Punk lasted about 18 months, one digital generation, which is exactly as long as one could wish for.

Listen for Bagpipes to Announce the Arrival
Ever since Kennedy was assassinated, back in 1963, the flame keepers of the U.S. intelligence community (anti-Communists all) began their covert mission of secretly building a "republican guard" inside the central government apparatus. Making a safe home for those true believers willing to give that extra effort on behalf of god (jehovah) against god (allah). Deep inside the bowels of State, Justice, and Commerce the "patriots" gathered in cabals of conspiracy that make the Cheka look like chatty children. They have, long ago, infiltrated every government agency with intelligence gathering capabilities. Where, over time, the perceptions and values of the typical civil servants have dramatically shifted from Kennedy's "best and the brightest" all the way to George W. Bush's current "worst and the whitest."

Buy, Frankenstein, Buy!
Typically when Presidents and their Generals are feeling the genocidal itch the populous struggles, the noose tightens, order and control slide down a slope of confusion and consumerism. Subsequently, bigger lies are told and more people believe them increasing the collective delusion and denial. The Military-Industrial-Complex (MIC) is thus satisfied along with the political leaders who get the best sex of their lives (Eros + Thanatos). Ultimately, the more goods and services consumed, the nicer cars the Generals and Presidents get to ride around in. This sickening, psycho, social-cycle slash scenario is much like how the world actually functions. In over two thousand years of monotheistic, women suppressing culture we are still not ready to give up possession of our individually wrapped sticks of processed meat food by-product.

Losing a War Never Meant to be Won
These days in the U.S.A., lively debates over taxes have been replaced by languid debates over torture used on inner city populations - already systematically abused for decades by alcohol, tobacco, junk, crack, meth, police, and the wicked evil war on drugs. Urban youth see their future crawling into a cardboard box on a downtown side street. Their parents have been told to shut-up and conform to their televisions, looking for new developments on their favourite sitcoms and night time dramas which they integrate into their own lives.

Extremely Pale Face Needs Sirius Saving
President Eisenhower warned of a military industrial complexion needing annual billion dollar rejuvenation. No one listened closely to his words of warning and if they did, they did not act on his warning in any meaningful way. With the death of their Divine King, the forces of empowered corruption increased the size and scope of the War in Southeast Asia and began the slow, inexorable, process of sucking the United States dry. That they continue this practice today, in Iraq and Afghanistan, comes as a surprise to no one.

Teachers Keep On Teaching, While Preachers Keep On Preaching
We are all living in a collective fantasy where 30,000 children die every day of starvation, and then we stick millions of people into site specific areas called New York, Mexico City, and Tokyo. Then we dare them not to go crazy while we surround them with crime, disease, poverty, abuse, and many other miseries of the inhumane condition. We believe the simulations are more authentic than the realities and nothing is real until it's been on television. We believe we can have it all and we believe we deserve it more than anyone else ever has or ever will. In the land of the narcissist, the ugliest one is King.

© 2008 Leigh R. Wolf

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Can Democracy Survive the United States?

Planetary Report Card of the United States 2004-2008
End of Second Term - mid-November 2008
End of Times or Just End Of Bad Times?
See ya later, Dub'ya...

The Planetary Report Card
In my supreme arrogance, which I tragically and perpetually misread as bizzaro confidence, I have decided to grade the United States, as a political entity, over the last four years. Since it is very late in the second Bush term, it should come as no surprise that the report card is quite disturbing. Areas that have always been strong for COTUS* including planetary group dynamics, progressive science and medicine, and a clear separation of State power from "faith-based" machinations, have all suffered. Since Bush the Younger had the misfortune of 9/11 landing in his lap, almost every strength of the United States has been downgraded to weakness.

* see previous blog entry for a complete explanation.

Mid-Level Prime Ministers Against Using Bambi
Globally, the vast majority of countries have established normalized relations with the U.S. Government. But ask their people on the street what they are thinking and feeling about U.S. aggression and they will fill your ears with a stream of bad words like Imperialism, torture, thermonuclear extortion, Petrol-Presidency, destabilization, and unilateral actions. Ask the people standing next to these people what they think about Disney and they will smile and tell you about their Uncle who has ears like Dumbo or how they cried when Bambi's mother died.

Relative Deprivation Cuts All Ways
These are many countries where U.S. technology, culture, and many other goods and services are desired by the population. But only as long as they are being denied by their own own circumstances. When, as in the case of Iran, these things are forbidden by the West through embargo, the population soon wants nothing to do with these, especially if they are U.S. deliverables. The concept of relative deprivation cuts many ways. They see iPods and iPhones and they want them but if western beliefs are tied to the technology, in a way that disturbs Islamic sensibilities, they will have no part.

Why Other Countries Sense Cultural Uncertainties
Bush, like Reagan, wanted to maintain and perhaps even strengthen U.S. military presence throughout the globe. Instead of causing the economy of the Soviet Union to collapse, this time the strategy has caused the internal economy of the United States to haemorrhage and the doctors in attendance are all PhD's in Evangelical Literature from Bob Jones University except for a few Jewish Psychiatrists, there just to observe. The Emergency Room staff are all trained in the Lord's Prayer but are hazy on Triage procedures. Ambulance attendants can recite the Ten Commandments, don't take illicit drugs, and volunteer at their local food bank, but they don't know anything about stopping the bleeding. But I digress...

You Are Missing The Big Picture
These days media reports are treating it as if the "economic crisis" is somehow a separate issue from "the two wars." Both of these "issues" are about uncontrolled spending in a megalomaniacal administration that uses weapons and soldiers to back up their lack of original ideas. If the banks have stopped lending money it is not completely because a sea of bad debt exists and is causing hesitancy among lenders. The banks are terrified that the U.S. Government cannot guarantee the solvency of itself, much less the entire banking system through the FDIC.

A Murder of Crows, A Conspiracy of Capitalists
Right now the U.S. Government is making select, and secret, deals with Banks that are remaining unidentified, for now, due to fears of creating panic withdrawal scenarios. Paying out Billions in promises to banks is one way to go, but it is stridently suggested that the net beneficiaries of any recovery plan be the population and not the banking elite. Not the same moneyed martyrs who made up their own messy bed, but instead of sleeping in their own filth are instead couch surfing at the White House (where they share filth with W.).

The Biggest Are Always The First In Line, With Hand Out...
In many ways it is traditional that "corporate welfare" was the first choice of the Bush administration when facing meltdown. By abandoning the last of their principles, as they slip out the back door on their bellies, Bush and his cronies insist on paying anti-tribute to the spirit of Ronald Reagan by increasing the size and scope of "the problem." The "Libertarian" President was, more ironically, the man responsible for the largest build-up of, non-military, government infrastructure ever. That is, until George W. Bush and his Dick moved into the neighbourhood. The figures are impossible to track but even a untrained observer can reasonably guess the combined debt and deficit of the United States may just come in over $2 Trillion.

And His Side-Kick, Dick "I Have Become Death" Cheney
George "Bankrupt" Bush wasn't born a Baptist. His was a typical evolution production from Ivy League to his dad's business interests. He met failure at almost every level except when he tried for the big prizes which were, seemingly, his for the taking. Governor, President, and now a life of horses, mending fences, and being celebrated by the Christian Right Militia. I only hope they enthral him with tales of football that make him happy. The crippling debt, the political memories of shame, the unilateralism of his foreign policy, the attacks on science, social welfare, and humans all add up to George W. Bush as the most hated human on planet Earth, ever. (Don't blame the Internet, it just takes naturally occurring events and distributes them over a very wide area.) But in every sense, his trembling legacy is extremely well documented and widely available for future generations to observe, study, and judge for themselves.

We Do Live In Interesting Times
The U.S. has borrowed the $700 Billion dollars, rumour has it the money was received in Euros, from assorted cronies (China). But what if these new buddies (China) turned out to be fair weather friends with a completely different ideology? What if, instead of being passive, (as the West eats and dreams) China was simply waiting until the perfect moment to flip the turtle on its back and watch it squirm. Such an act would symbolize the passing of an economic and political baton from the older, stumbling, empire to the brash newcomer with better speed and endurance but still decades away from the kind of collective imagination needed to create technological breakthroughs of their own.

Finally, The Bloody Report Card
It is interesting to read "progressive bloggers" who are ecstatically announcing the untimely death of one Uncle Sam and are writing his colourful obituary. Their thinking is completely premature and, although a few bits around the edges are certainly getting rusty and even stinky, the old boy is certainly up for more than a few spins around the global axis. Perhaps the amount of friends left to hang out with has declined in recent years, but no doubt fresh attitudes and new energies will inspire more positive future interactions. (Group Participation Grade: C-)

Copyright Infringement, Even If Not For Monetary Gain...
If you ask a business executive in Ecuador, or Russia, or even China, what is the single most important tool they use on a daily basis, if they are any good at their job they will tell you "Internet." The Internet was invented by the United States (ARPAnet) in 1969. The web (WWW) was invented in Switzerland in 1990, but was popularized in the States and was invented on an object-oriented platform (NExT) created by a U.S. Citizen (Steve Jobs). Other U.S. inventions include the transistor, the microchip, and the Atomic Bomb, which was invented mostly by Germans living in the United States at the time. But it was a President of the United States (Truman) that dropped the big one, and then the smaller one, on unsuspecting Japanese civilians who, according to popular history, probably should have known better. (Community Share Grade: D-)

Achieves Objectives But Does Not Share Glory Well
This all history, but let me assure you that the basis of the United States is about creating something from nothing. Both the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights were unique in their time, representing the finest ideas the new world had to offer and transforming many a mind with their daring revolution. Later, both transistor and microchip were conceptualized and realized in the United States, leading the world into an increasingly new paradigm. In short, I have confidence in the ability of the citizens of the United States to once again extricate themselves from their current, terrible, situation but this time to do so, hopefully, without causing inappropriate damage to others. (Works With Others Grade: C+)

Greetings From The Great Off-White North
As one of the single largest consumer/polluters on the planet, consuming many times more than they produce, the people of the United States are almost as bad wastrels as their northern neighbours. In reality, Canadians are the single worst polluters on Mother Earth with each person generating 6.9 metric tons of garbage per year. This inexcusable statistic is anchored in the cold fact that Canada is a western "have" country that efficiently exploits its own resources and thus can afford the plastic, Styrofoam, and other toxic materials that presently exist, and hardly decay, in the local landfill. (Green Community Circle Grade: D)

The Adolph Hitler Award For Crushing Dissent Goes To...
With the suspension of certain civil liberties, due process, habeus corpus, and the Geneva Convention, the Republican administration of George W. Bush has trampled over the rights of U.S. citizens and has made life increasingly tough for anyone who looks vaguely Semitic or has a strange-sounding name like Fidel or Barack. Under the suspension of liberties, under Bush, anyone can be held indefinitely, in a secret location, and be tortured on a regular basis until they will confess to anything including starting the First World War, the killing of JFK, or the destruction of Madonna's film acting career. (The MLK Citizenship Grade: D-)

You Can Take Your Reward Points And Put Them In Escrow
Every country has an internal thermometer that tells the tale of stress level across the nation. The U.S. has many such devices able to tell the moods of consumers, the electorate, viewers, listeners, and even those too young to have an opinion. In other words, they got files on everyone. The rumour is that certain publicly held companies hold the psycho-graphic profiles of every living person in the continental United States. Do you have reward points? Having been researching now for more than two decades the results are extremely sophisticated with software able to pinpoint and determine voting habits, sexual preferences, racial orientation, work habits, marital stresses, insurance risks, vacation destination trends, and, of course, patterns of consumption. (Self Status Quotient: 72%)

Surprise, George W. Bush Fails Again!
Overall, the state of the planet has rarely been in worse shape with global climate shift and economic crisis, combined with the war against Islam, creating a formula for disaster. You have to go back more than two hundred years to find a time of equal potential for total system restart. The current President will, exactly like Kissinger, Nixon, Reagan, and a host of others, never see the inside of the prison he deserves for crimes against humanity. (Overall Grade: F)

© 2008 Leigh R. Wolf

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Marketing Memo for the New Boss

Re-naming the Brand: as COTUS as apple pie?

Sir, the term "American" is somewhat inaccurate and actually misleading. As a Canadian, I am technically an American - a North American. Which is all any citizen of the United States can ever be. The fact is, some kid in Mexico City or her cousin in Chile are Americans, North and South Americans. I believe that your average citizen of the United States will respect the inaccuracy in usage of the term "American" and, having magically transformed since your election, will no doubt want to make the change right away. If we then agree that a new term for "American" is needed, my suggestion is COTUS, which is an acronym for Citizen Of The United States. This, of course, is a variation of the U.S. Secret Service' designation of former President Bill Clinton as POTUS or President Of The United States. The original usage of the acronym was for Constitution Of The United States, but ever since the beginning of Bush' second term the document in question has been declared missing.

I know there will be howls of protest from a few quarters but this solution has the powerful advantage of being both grammatically and dramatically correct. The United States of North America is another way to go but, so far, the response has been sketchy among our friends of the flag focus groups. And although we know COTUS will take some getting used to, we believe the benefits will be staggering.

Your citizens, as COTUS, will be able to walk the streets of Havana without fear of any type of political retribution. COTUS would be welcome in Iraq, Vietnam, North Korea, Syria, and of course Cuba, your citizens no longer perceived as global Imperialists but will now be seen as safe and friendly consumers of global products. Your wallet will become your passport to the exotic pleasure of forbidden regimes. Imagine the thrill of real adventure touring when you visit the Golan Heights or Ho Chi Min City and have your picture taken beside unexploded U.S. ordinance. Or visit the Khyber Pass and stay overnight in an Afghanistan cave where Osama may have slept. Unimaginable pleasures await after completing the simple act of changing your collective designation.

Most importantly your friends and neighbours will appreciate the act as one of contrition. At this point in the unfolding of history, such an act would indeed be timely and wise. Even the people living in so-called friendly countries have, in many cases, developed a profound aversion to anything "American" over the past few decades and the brand stinks. In re-branding as COTUS you will be making a major step in reconciling with those neighbours and friends who have come off an eight-year bender and are looking to detoxify ASAP.

I understand that the actual pronunciation of the term, COTUS, may be disturbing, at first, to a small sample who, in user testing, thought it sounded to much like Kotex, a popular brand of sanitary napkin. Others thought the term sounded too much like "coitus," the Latin medical term for sexual intercourse. Still others, online research indicates, thought the term suggested "caught us," as in you caught us red-handed. In spite of these minor bumps we ask you to move forward on this opportunity as soon as possible.

Our research has shown us that if introduced with ubiquitous saturation in key markets, the new term will be taken up first by Tweens and then by other early adopters. Within eighteen months we can guarantee that slightly more than 82% of the television viewing public will have conformed to usage, four out of five times, when asked to idenity themselves.. With children, the actual numbers are in the high Nineties. Within the two-year time frame most "Americans" will have forgotten they ever used the term on a regular basis and within a five-year window, the term becomes anachronistic and archaic.

The brand known as America is badly tarnished. Some say "America" is damaged beyond any form of redemption. But most Canadians would scoff at such a crazy idea. The United States we grew up with, as a next door neighbour, is as the poet Leonard Cohen says, "cradle of the best and the worst." As much as we admire the Moon landings, computers, the Internet, and deep dish pizza, we are horrified when we are forced to face High School Massacre 3, Jesus walking beside dinosaurs, celebrity self-parody, and the only country to ever use a nuclear weapon, twice.

Sir, we ask you consider this a small penance for the real damage incurred during the preceding eras. Make concrete the promise of your historic election and celebrate as you set people around the world free from the heavy restraints indicative of the policies and actions of former regimes. Your role as a global peacemaker and leader will be made solid and your people can only benefit from such profound internal changes. Change is the only guarantee to count on over the next four years. Ultimately, I know you can inspire the United States to great things, and let America take care of itself.

© 2008 Leigh R. Wolf

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Advice for President Barack Obama

The election of Barack Obama to the worlds' highest office is a blessing on many levels. Most people I know are filled with elation and have no problems expressing feelings of joy. For the first time, the Internet has played a major role in helping to elect a candidate from the grassroots up. And after the most exhaustive Presidential election campaign in decades the citizen electorate have presented the world a rare prize. The citizenry of the United States have elected a cool, confident, and profoundly intellectual human being as our next President.

As a Canadian I write "our" next President with respect without hesitation. Like billions of others on planet Earth, I am directly effected by the policies and actions of the U.S. President. When Bush the Younger was lying to Congress and the United Nations he was lying to every person on this big blue egg. Since Bush has taken office, the economy has tanked, the U.S. is stuck in two unpopular wars, and President Bush has less public support than Nixon had at the end of Watergate. The man is vilified in most corners of the planet and has done severe, some say irreparable, damage to U.S. interests abroad and the Dollar.

There is no way you can compare Obama and Bush except that they are both carbon-based life forms that require certain nutrients and oxygen to survive. Where Bush is somewhat the boor who has all the linguistic flair of a tongue tied adolescent, Obama is eloquent, sincere, and mostly brilliant. When partners are mentioned both men fall short compared to their wives. Laura Bush is, after eight years, a somewhat unknown quantity who has done little to effect the public perception of her as quiet, perhaps shy, perhaps indifferent. Michelle Obama is definitely Barack Obama's partner in all things and will offer her husband the best kind of advice, that containing only honesty and candour. Both men seem richer in spirit having partners who support those needs.

My advice for Barack Obama, who qualifies as a younger person, is fairly straightforward and comes from my heart by way of my brain. Take your time about about anything that people tell you has to be rushed through. If the last eight years have taught us anything it is that great patience is required to manage anything and the society of instant gratification has no place in the Oval Office.

As Laurie Anderson says: "this is the time, and this is the record of the time." Your time has come sir, and as Captain you must understand your powerful influence on the crew and passengers. As an example, many very popular entertainers, actors, athletes, writers, etceteras, will quickly fade from the public eye based on perceived connections to the previous era. While this will be cause for celebration among many of your followers those folks on the red side of the aisle will be less than impressed. Unless reassured by the forces of positive change, these dispossessed, new-conservatives are sure to get up to mischief Mr. President, so make sure your security is impeccable.

As our Captain you not only steer the course of many lives directly, you have a powerful indirect influence on many parts the globe. It is time for the great ship, "America," to pull anchor and sail back to port. After decades of U.S. military presence in too many countries (Germany, Japan, Iraq, to name a few) it is time to bring your troops back home and get them to work at greening the environment. This means programs to re-integrate veterans into society with better than good benefits, decent housing, and meaningful educational opportunities.

Ultimately, any reduction in military power will save both money and lives. If the capability to wipe out the planet is reduced to tens of times over from thousands of times who is really going to care? You have an opportunity to do the world a genuine service and reduce U.S. military activity enough to declare a peace dividend. I understand that half of your GDP is based on war industries or goods and services related to war. I acknowledge that sacrifice will be made by millions who will need to reorient and retrain while the economy, and society, goes through this period of adjustment.

The political climate of today is ripe for anything. A daring proposal from the next President on blending economy and environment could empower your allies and give your fans in the stands cause to cheer. So Mr. President, use your 100 Billion neurone brain to communicate to your people, and the world, that although there will be short term pain, delayed gratification is noble of spirit and that is where the people of the United States really live.

God bless you and your family. Goddess keep you all safe. If, over the next four to eight years, there is anything I can do for you please, let me know. I am open to all kinds of invitations or proposals and I like the cut of your jib. Let's connect the next time you're in Vancouver and seeing as a Democrat administration is coming to Washington, DC I might just cross the line in the new year and visit, but only if the Canadian dollar improves. Yikes, uhhh sir, anything you can do to help us out there would be golden.

© 2008 Leigh R. Wolf

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Few Ideas About The Status Quo

Most North Americans understand that their lives are greatly determined by the Latin concept of Status Quo. Many believe that to survive in my society what you really need to know is: "don't rock the boat." Variations on this concept exist the world over but in here North America, in my experience, this rule is absolutely carved in granite. This axiom is the first thing an immigrant is expected to know upon arrival and is learned in classroom and on playground. But, as every rascal knows, you need to understand the rules before you can break them. In other words, the people of the New World love to re-shuffle the deck whenever they can get away with it.

In the axiom our metaphysical lifeboat is unstable and we must be deliberate and careful in making planned moves. Variations on theme are fly low, keep your head down, lower your expectations, be cool, don't stick your neck out, and the idea that no manager ever got fired for buying IBM. On the plus side the strategy is safe, if not predictable. But it can get incredibly boring to live in a world where all you see are sidewalks and floors. Sure you find some cash occasionally, but there are amazing things to see in the big world so most folks learn to live with their heads up their ass only part of the time.

My wife was present at the birth of Greenpeace. Actually, the group from whence Greenpeace evolved. My wife was a member of the Don't Make A Wave Committee which was dedicated to stopping nuclear testing in the Aleutian Island Chain, located directly above Vancouver, BC - our home.

My wife, Valley Wolf, was in Irving Stowes' basement when high school, college, and university students gathered to change their environment and ended up changing the world. This was a classic example of sticking your neck out. And the giraffes of this world, like my dear darling, are setting an example for the rest of us animal folk. They rocked the Status Quo by arguing in the press with luminaries of the day such as Bob Hope and John Wayne, both of whom lambasted the students as Panicky-Petes and Nervous-Nellies who missed the big picture concerning nuclear testing.

History is often cruel and hindsight is rarely pretty but even the most jaded capitalist could hardly justify testing a fissionable device today anywhere on the planet. He would have more success selling narcotics and porno in front of the White House. Ultimately, the Don't Make A Wave Committee, far from what its monicker would suggest, created a tsunami in Greenpeace that has rocked whalers, nuclear testers, polluters, and other planet killers for more than thirty years. Which, again ironically, now makes Greenpeace the Status Quo.

The boat must be rocked if the endless water is ever going to give way to a shoreline. You want to get somewhere you have generate energy and often that means disrupting the Status Quo which, by definition, only has enough energy for itself. Life is pay-as-you-go and contrary to lotteries and Vegas mythology you are never going to get rich. But this doesn't mean you can't change the world around you using a combination of common sense, patience, and passion. That last one is essential when you have to get up at 5 o'clock in the morning to picket the arrival of a dictator at the local airport, hassle with the police at a forestry rally, or attend another bake/thrift sale for your cause. But instead of sounding like some old tired activist who has been hit in the head by too many protest signs and police clubs I finish with an observation on current conditions.

The free section on Craigslist is a social revolution much like the Digger's Free Store in Haight/Ashbury during the Sixties revolution. Some of the older folks who went "shopping" at the free store had to convince themselves they were stealing because they couldn't wrap their head around free. Craigslist is blowing my mind with the volume of wealth that is being shared, transferred, and redistributed as you read this. Wherever Craig is, people are getting rid of cars, boats, furniture, technology, and, of course, crap. (And what exactly is crap? Remember, shit smells great to the fly.) In two years of pouring over the list I have never encountered a Quid Pro Quo expectation from anyone in the free section other than be good to Mom sentiments. On Craigslist, most of the time, free actually means free.

So your generation has the potential to be less materialistic and not possessed by your possessions as was my generation who famously coined the phrase "who has the most toys when they die - wins!" Good luck once again. Being caught up in the Status Quo is boring at best and sometimes nothing is as dangerous as doing nothing at all. But perhaps things are changing in a way that is not destructive, materialistic, or unsustainable. On the edge of the single greatest epochal election in modern global political history, do you believe the kind of change we need to survive is even possible?

© 2008 Leigh R. Wolf

Friday, October 24, 2008

The War on Drugs

The war on drugs is a reverse social revolution where draconian laws are enforced by fascist police carrying out the orders of the corporate agenda. If you are a citizen of the United States you can fight the system from within, remembering non-violence and meditation ( even, steady breathing) are the keys to successful civil disobedience. U.S. citizens are, obviously, in the most danger (political, physical, psychic, emotional, violence) and deserve our empathy.

If you live in outer North America (Canada and Mexico) or South America you can have the most effect organizing and writing down your thoughts and then organising your friends. Someday this war will end and we will all get high in the streets together. But until that day comes I will dedicate my mind and effort to utilize the tools at my disposal.

War on Drugs is about the death toll
Steel wool knits social fabric control
We all want change but not this strange
The War on Drugs: it's only rock and roll

War on Drugs is a war on youth
Government never kind or couth
Censor tunes and leave them Ruins
The War on Drugs: will never tell the truth

War on Drugs is the battle for life
It's a bold misogynist hunting his wife
It's ten million dopes killing their hope
War on Drugs: the wrong end of the knife

War on Drugs is an institution
Government farce feeds no solution
People withstand creating wasteland
The War on Drugs: re-read your constitution

War on Drugs is used to harvest pain
Keeping people frightened keeps poets insane
Choking instead on what passes for dread
The War on Drugs: ground zero for gain

War on Drugs is the war on Iraq
Veterans home smoking junk smoking crack
It all snugly fits with the first sugar hits
The War on Drugs: an old business hack

War on Drugs in Afghanistan
Mission to destroy the Taliban
Which are the thugs that don't want the drugs
The War on Drugs: next step must be Iran

War on Drugs is all about the cops
From narcs to feds to special ops
Losing is winning so we never stop spinning
The War on Drugs: where the buck never stops

War on Drugs asks who is left to fight us
Why spreading the faith does seem to ignite us
The fans back home are delighted and ignited
The War on Drugs: democratizing faciitis

War on Drugs is about death tolls
Steel wool knits social fabric controls
We want no change to our home and radar range
The War on Drugs: who will really lose their souls

Prayer for the Castaways
Everyone hoped they would stop at Gilligan but they went south and busted Mary-Anne. She was 69 years old and even the cops that brought her to the station in handcuffs were blushing. Thank God the Professor has the where-with-all to cultivate his own medicinal marijuana in a secret (island-based) location. After Mr. Howell's diabetes and his wife Luvey's MS both of them are accessing medical cannabis from their local compassion club. Inside sources say that Ginger is safe, well, and living in Amsterdam.

© 2008 Leigh R. Wolf

Thursday, October 23, 2008

(Disquieting) Thoughts For New Parents

The author of this piece is a middle-aged married man, ironically, without any children. The following observations come from first-hand observations of friend's kids, family in general, and looking out over the courtyard of a public housing co-op.

Birth to 3 years: This is as good as it gets. As the primary beloved object, competing with fluffy cat and soft ball, you are truly and unconditionally adored. Enjoy this time, savour every sanguine moment, as you will need to draw upon these memories during your child's late adolescence. Your bundle of stinky joy has the usual number of digits and learned how to communicate on schedule. Time to start the "therapy fund" for the inevitable mid-Twenties blowback.

4-6 years: Pre-schoolers are fun but a handful and even the most enthusiastic parents are exhausted by the time day care blessedly provides its reliable recovery window. For the first time, outside influences begin to cause subtle shifts in your child's behaviour. Your little love bundle is learning from friends, other parents, and events beyond your control like television, video games, computers, and even books. Damage control at this point consists mostly of wiping away tears, patching up scrapes and bumps, patiently explaining what is unacceptable behaviour, and praying that no permanent damage is being done when you’re not looking.

7-10 years: These years represent the last vestiges of pure need. Your child now comes to the world a small force of nature with opinions, desires, fears and frustrations. They still expect your complete attention but rarely thank you for what they perceive as their birthright. Children now begin to sense that some form of independence is approaching and they prepare for their debut by rattling the bars of the cage. You, or course, are the cage. As this is the peak of early consumerism, damage control is now less about consoling words and hugs as it is about money.

11-13 years: The beginning of the “difficult years,” which, once they begin never really end. From now on your child’s perceptions of you range from public loathing and embarrassment to humiliating private shame. Puberty is rarely made easier by parents who begin to act as if a bizarre combination of pacifier and leg-iron. Parents’ roles are swiftly becoming more authoritarian, a delicious irony for those people who swore to do a better job at it than their own parents. Damage control is now handled completely out-of-pocket and is getting dramatically more expensive every month.

14-16 years: The difficult years. Adolescence, like a thick, wet, heavy blanket covers your child like a cold sweat. Strange noises, weird smells, and odd phrases emit from your “baby.” Like most parents you begin to consider exorcism. New friends appear, members of the opposite sex show up on your doorstep, and you are forced to reconsider your list of the horrors that could befall your family. At this point, damage control is done mostly through prayer and/or group intervention. This is why many parents chose this as a good time to enter into a state of total and absolute denial.

17-19 years: Surrender has never looked more honourable. Your child has grown tall and now wants to leave the home. A mixed blessing at best, as you are happy they have so much of the future ahead of them, but then you realize how little time you have left. You must, however, relinquish control and allow your child to roam free. Just make sure you never co-sign on a bank loan for anything without a decent resale value. As for damage control, forget it. From now on all damage is permanent.

© 2008 Leigh R. Wolf