Archive for November, 2005

Hipofilia in Enumclaw

11

SEATTLE
– A
man has pleaded guilty to trespassing in connection with a fatal horse-sex
case.

James Michael Tait, 54, of Enumclaw, was accused of entering a barn without
the owner’s permission. Tait admitted to officers that he entered a neighboring
barn last July with friend Kenneth Pinyan to have sex with a horse, charging
papers said. Tait was videotaping the episode when Pinyan suffered internal
injuries that led to his death.

Tait pleaded guilty Tuesday and was given a one-year suspended sentence,
a $300 fine, and ordered to perform eight hours of community service and
have no contact with the neighbors.

The prosecutor’s office said no animal cruelty charges were filed because
there was no evidence of injury to the horses.

Wait a minute! Isn’t that like claiming that having
sex with a retarded deaf mute wasn’t rape because she liked it?

from Breitbart.com

More on Buddha Boy

5

KATHMANDU (Reuters) – Authorities in
Nepal urged religious groups and scientists on Sunday to help solve the
mystery of a meditating teenaged boy who some believe is an incarnation
of Buddha.

At least 100,000 devotees from Nepal and neighbouring India have flocked
in recent weeks to a dense forest in southeastern Nepal to see 15-year-old
Ram Bahadur Bamjon, who, his associates say, has been meditating without
food or water for six months.

Shanta Raj Subedi, district administrator of Bara, 150 km (95 miles) southeast
of Kathmandu and where the boy is meditating, said he had requested the
Lumbini Development Trust, a Buddhist panel, and the Royal Nepal Academy
of Science and Technology to get to the bottom of the mystery.

"We want to investigate claims that the boy has survived for so long
without food or drink," Subedi said.

Bamjon sits cross-legged beneath a "pipal" tree, which is sacred
to Hindus, with his eyes closed in meditation. He does not speak and followers
are only allowed to see him from a distance of 50 metres (165 feet).

The young mystic is hidden from public view at night behind a curtain drawn
by his followers. Doctors observing from a distance have said the boy is
breathing normally but is weak.

Local journalist Govinda Devkota, who has visited the site, said the boy
sits with a shawl across his chest from armpit to shoulder, in the same
posture as Buddha is shown in pictures.

The number of visitors had reached up to 10,000 a day but fewer people
are going to the retreat now, he said.

"He sits motionless from dawn to dusk when visitors are allowed to
see him. This demands something," said Devkota. "But whether
he is an incarnation of Buddha, I have doubts because we don’t know what
he does
at night. This must be investigated."

His mother, Maya Devi — the same name as that of Buddha’s mother — said
Bamjon, the third of her seven children, is a quiet boy who kept aloof
from friends.

Seems rather rude of his Ma to keep hanging the family wash from the old Pipal tree….

from Reuters

Tactical Preview

4

Miami police announced Monday they will
stage random shows of force at hotels, banks and other public places
to keep terrorists guessing and remind people to be vigilant.

Deputy Police Chief Frank Fernandez said officers might, for example, surround
a bank building, check the IDs of everyone going in and out and hand out
leaflets about terror threats.

"This is an in-your-face type of strategy. It’s letting the terrorists
know we are out there," Fernandez said.

The operations will keep terrorists off guard, Fernandez said. He said
al-Qaida and other terrorist groups plot attacks by putting places under
surveillance and watching for flaws and patterns in security.

Both uniformed and plainclothes police will ride buses and trains, while
others will conduct longer-term surveillance operations.

"People are definitely going to notice it," Fernandez said. "We
want that shock. We want that awe. But at the same time, we don’t want
people to feel their rights are being threatened. We need them to be our
eyes and ears."

Yeah, this ought to keep the terrorists guessing
– guessing how long before we turn against ourselves and start shooting each
other in
the streets. Randomly detaining citizens and non-citizens alike,
demanding ID and shutting down private businesses should clean up the
street scene
and
put the
fear of God into those illegal aliens, even if it only assures the terrorists
that we are completely clueless as to where the real danger lies. Plus,
a valuable chance to practice those police state tactics that may prove
indispensable in some “hypothetical” future crisis.

from Breitbart

Avian Flu Over the Cuckoos Nest

ø

After a lifetime surrounded by some of
his generation’s biggest frauds, psuedos, pretenders and scam artists,
the Dowbrigade has a finely attuned Bullshit Detector. Some would say
this is an example of the "It takes one to know one" school of recognition.

Be that as it may, our deterctor has been ringing quite
a bit every time we hear another story about the latest scourge of the
planet’s well-being, the Avian Flu.  Not that we don’t believe it
exists, just that there seems to be a lot more to the story than the
authorities are letting on. Among our burning questions:

If the H5N1 virus has existed for three or four years,
as scientists claim, and has not yet mutated to a form making it easily
catchable, why are they so much more worried about this one than the dozens
of other strains which have been circulating lately?

If there is no danger of rapid contagion, why has the
CDC opened an isolation center at Logan Airport?

Why is this strain different than all the other strains
which could potentially mutate into a deadly form at any moment?

Unfortunately, we suspect there is much more of this
story to come…..

The H5N1 strain of bird flu seen in human cases in China
has mutated as compared with strains found in human cases in Vietnam.

Chinese labs have found that the genetic order of the H5N1 virus seen
in humans infected in China is different from that found in humans in
Vietnam, Xinhua news agency reported Monday.

In China’s human cases, the virus has mutated "to a certain degree," health
ministry spokesman Mao Qun’an was quoted as saying.

But the mutation cannot cause human-to-human transmission of the avian
flu," he noted.

China this month confirmed its first three human cases of bird flu, two
of which were fatal. The disease has killed more than 60 people in Asia
since 2003.

Health officials fear that the virus could mutate to the extent where
it is easily transmitted from human-to-human, an event that could lead
to a global pandemic capable of killing hundreds of millions of people.

from Breitbart

Language Arts: Buzzwords

ø

Tomorrow, we plan to introduce the following
paragraph in class as part of the language component of the Science and
Technology section we are currently teaching.

”Yo! It’s the buzzphrases, stupid. Is this
a no-brainer, or what? What we need is an in-your-face, wake-up-and-smell-the-java
look at why literally gazillions of us talkmeisters are talkin’ the talk
— big-time. I mean, get real. These words and phrases and attitudes
are eating us for breakfast. We’re toast. And we’re eating their dust.
Or is it their shorts? Bottom line, we need to ask, What’s wrong with
this picture?"

Foreign students in American
universities are well aware of the differences between formal academic
English and the way real people talk in the course of their daily life.
Unfortunately, they are usually more familiar with the former than the
latter, having dedicated most of their time during the past few years
in acquiring the formal Academic English necessary for pursuing a degree
in an American university.

Of course, they hear these expressions on television
and from the painted pouty lips of their native born brethren, but their
dirty little secret is that they are largely ignorant of contemporary
slang and the newer idioms. Since they are accomplished students
of American fashion, culture and mannerisms, they manage to cover
their knowledge gaps with blank blinks from behind slick sunglasses,
and a knowing toss of an expensive coif.

However, they are always eager and interested to talk
about slang. We plan to send them out on the streets to determine working
definitions of the following expressions:

Yo

It’s the [blank], stupid.

buzzphrases

no-brainer

, or what?

in-your-face

Wake-up-and-smell-the-java

literally

gazillions

talkmeister

Talk the talk, walk the walk

big-time

I mean,

Get real

eating us for breakfast

You’re toast

Eat my dust (or is it shorts)

bottom line

What’s wrong with this picture?

Any suggested definitions or usage suggestions, readers?
We will include any suggestions on the class
wiki
……

Quotation from Slam
Dunk and
No-Brainers: Language in Your Life, the Media, Business, Politics, and,
Like, Whatever

Whatever Happened to Inflation

2

One
of our failings as a pseudo-intellectual is our inability to believe
something that we read, no matter how logical it seems, no
matter how
authoritative the source, until and unless we see it, or better yet
feel it, in our own life. It seems as though it has to be reduced
to a form and scale that we can comprehend with our limited intellect,
in
human terms, in our direct experience of the world, before we will buy into something.

Until then, it’s all just words, and to a certain extent
theoretical in a way that even Darwin’s theory of evolution is not. After
all, we can feel in our gut that we are related, not only to the apes,
but to all sorts of creatures filling the nooks and crannies of the
tree of life. Why, one need only look closely at our first wife’s extended
family to be immediately convinced of the scientific certainty of evolution.

As surprising as it seem to our younger readers, cynicism
as to the reliability of sources is nothing new to the internet age. Just look at the Protocols
of the
Elders of Zion. Admittedly, it is easier than ever to falsify a sources,
or create an authoritative lie, but we learned early that books lie, too,
and periodicals, due no doubt to their transitory nature, are positively
pathological.

In this vein, it has been hard
for us to accept
, despite
the overwhelming preponderance of evidence, that we are not in the middle
of an inflationary
economy. With the price of oil more than doubling, we figured sooner or later
everything had to start going up. Energy is a component in the price
of virtually all good and services offered in the marketplace.

And we could feel the rising prices all around us.  In
our own field, higher education, costs have been rising at double-digit
rates for over
a decade, and continue to skyrocket. Even besides gasoline, tons of stuff
we buy every week, like milk and eggs, seemed to be going up every time
we went to the market. Health insurance and drugs were
more expensive every time we bought them. Tickets to everything from sporting
events to concerts had gone up so much they were out of reach, and even going
to the movies had become a major expense.

We were convinced the Office of Management and Budget was jimmying
the stats
, rigging the numbers to hide the inflation we were sure had to be happening
all over the country. It seemed laughable that they kept reporting inflation
in the 2-3 % range.

But last Friday, Black Friday as it has come to be known,
according to a source in the retail industry, for the black ink of the
SALES signs,
we were in our local Target buying a Toastmaster 12-cup drip coffee machine.  Price
– $4.14.  We also decided to pick up  the Toastmaster electric
slow cooker for the same price – four dollars and fourteen cents. Later that
day we bent to the MicroCenter by MIT and bought a CaseLogic nylon camera
bag, for $5.99.  All three items, as well as our $400 Nikon Camera,
were made in China.

The United States has been the richest country on the
planet for almost a hundred years now, since the days a century ago when
we were the number
one oil producer AND consumer in the world. But for most of that century
the highest standard of living on the planet went hand in hand with the highest
cost of living.  Things were expensive in the US, especially compared
with the less-developed countries.

Generations of Americans fell in love with world travel
when they discovered that in the markets of Mexico City or Marrakech, one
could purchase a beautiful
hand-woven serape for $5.  People in the third world may have only
earned $4 dollars a day, but you could buy A LOT OF SHIT for four dollars
in Sri
Lanka. Today, thanks to Globalization, we can all get our $5 serapes at our
local WalMart.  The
Mexican bazaar has come to suburbia.

Finally, after centuries of entrenchment and refinement,
capitalism has matured into full bloom – a world wide system uniting all
the resources and
human productive capacity into a single marvelous machine, serving the
ends of – guess who?  Us! Americans and Europeans, especially white
males of a certain age. And why not? After all, it was guys like us who
came up with this system in the first place!

Because of the triumph of capitalism and free trade, Americans now have
direct access to cheap stuff from every country on the planet. Of course,
it works both ways, and the Indians living in stilted reed houses over Lake
Titicaca could buy iPods and Jeep Cherokees, if they had any money or use
for such things.

So we should be happy, no? The fruits of capitalism are
allowing an entire nation, 5% of the planet’s population, to live like
kings, have every gadget
and gizmo known to man, more high-tech entertainment than a lifetime of leisure
would allow them to enjoy, and access to the entire sum of human knowledge
up to this point in the history of the species. What’s not to like?

Of course, we are becoming a nation of debt-ridden idlers,
increasingly living off the labors of others and loans from abroad.  We
have eliminated the factory worker and hard-scrabble qualities that made
him great, from
the American panorama. We may not actually produce much of anything anymore,
other than ideas and slick schemes for selling them. We are dependent on
foreigners for our oil and cash loans to pay our bills. We,
in turn,
are
financing
the
new
little
rich kid
on the block, the next great empire that is destined to displace us as the
economic and military center of gravity in  the new millennia, the Chinese.

But don’t worry about that stuff, folks.  Minor macro-economic details.
Years in the future.  For now, we’ve got the Xbox 2 and the Superbowl
to look forward to. And, thank God and the Chinese, we don’t have inflation
to worry about any more.

Free Christmas

ø

zanda

Evokative photo. Not sure what it evokes, exactly. Santa a captive of Christmas? Santa a captive of childhood? Christmas a captive of Capitalism? Christmas gets more surreal every year….

Grandmaster of the Iron Crotch

2

A
50-year-old Californian man pulled a truck with his penis for a British
film crew.

Martial arts grandmaster Tu Jin-Sheng attached himself to the truck and
pulled it several yards across a car park in Fremont.

The Tri-Valley Herald reports that he first tied a strip of blue fabric
around his penis and testicles and tugged to make sure it was on tight.

An assistant then kicked him hard between the legs before he lashed himself
to the vehicle.

About 20 people, most of whom study Qigong, the ancient Chinese art of
movement and breathing to increase energy, gathered for the truck pull.

Jin-Sheng, originally from Taiwan, is the grandmaster of Iron
Crotch
,
a branch of Qigong said to have 60,000 followers worldwide.

Its practitioners are known to lift hundreds of pounds with their genitals
to increase energy and sexual performance.

A film crew from London were on hand to shoot the truck-pulling feat
for a three-part series called Penis Envy, due to be broadcast next year
on Channel 4.

Its the kick in the crotch that makes the trick…

from Ananova

article on Iron Crotch from Kung
fu Magazine
(including Master Tu Jin-Sheng’s
Penis Qigong Tips)

Mr. Natural Rides Again

ø

Connecting with nature can improve your health and wellbeing,
say researchers in this week’s BMJ. The theory is known as ecotherapy:
restoring health through contact with nature.

Use of wildlife in some therapies is reported to improve quality of life,
write the authors. Smaller animals (for example, squirrels, owls, and raccoons)
have been used successfully in therapies for children with emotional and
behavioural problems.

People who take part in conservation projects report subjective health
benefits, ascribed to being outdoors and to feeling part of a greater system
connecting beyond the individual.

Such projects can help overcome social
isolation, develop skills, and improve employment prospects, as well as
provide the known benefits associated with exercise.

No wonder we’re heading for the hills in a few short weeks….

from the British Journal of Medicine via Eureka Alert

Law of the Jungle Reigns in Malls

ø

ORLANDO, Fla. — Security guards wrestled a man to the ground
this morning in a Wal-Mart.

Channel Nine has learned that the man cut in line to get laptop computers
that were on sale.

The man started arguing with people inside the store, then fought with
the guards.

One man told reporters that the laptops were being thrown into the air
and people rushed toward them, collapsing on each other. Another man described
the scene as crazy.

Crazy is right. The Dowbrigade
himself arrived at the local Best Buy bright and early, right after coffee
and the Globe crossword puzzle.  We had read on FlexDeals (advertised
and unadvertised specials) about a $379 Toshiba laptop.  When we
found our way to the laptop department and asked it the rumors were true,
the four red-shirted crew members chewing the fat around the cash register (the store was jammed with customers)
had to physically restrain themselves from laughing out loud.

"Each store got 100 of those.  There were
400 people waiting for them when we opened at 4 am." Early birds, indeed.

We wonder how they meted them out. Throwing
them into the air seems less than optimal. As a sales strategy, we suppose
it makes sense. Untold thousands of people like the Dowbrigade probably
dropped in throughout the day looking for those $379 Toshibas, and a
certain percentage (the nerds
at headquarters probably know exactly how many) will end up buying
SOMETHING. We are sure it pays off for the stores, at least on paper.

Yet we can’t helpbut suspect it engenders bad will and
capitalistic cynicism (redundency?) in many of those turned away. And
the first time someone gets shot over an 8 hundred dollar plasma TV,
they’ll probably rethink the whole concept.

story from wftv
Florida

WATCH THE VIDEO

Feline Friday from Dowbrigade South

ø

Feline Friday – As previously announced, we are writing today from the Dowbrigade South, our mountain redoubt high in the Andes mountains, 8,858 feet above sea level, in a lush valley between a glacier and a volcano.

We are typing this from the Villa Maria eco-hostal (whatever that means) our son Joseph has created on a plot of land between the Chukchun River roaring down from the glacier to the larger Rio Santo and the well-traveled dirt road which winds up into the sides and skirts and quebradas of Mt. Huascaran (22,204) and constitutes the only route of contact with the modern world for hundreds or thousands of tiny Native American villages dotting the mountainsides.

In this case, the modern world is represented by the village of Carhuaz, another mile down the mountain from the Villa Maria, a typical, sleepy Andean town of about 3,000 souls, which has changed hardly at all since we first came here 30 years ago. A handful of half-hearted stores around a picturesque plaza, a small covered farmers market, some hardware and agricultural supply stores, two pharmacies, a handful of restaurants and a single hotel.

The main change since we started coming here are the now ubiquitous Internet outposts, each with 3 or 4 antiquated PCs and a slow connection, one of which we will be heading to shortly to try to post this report. Meanwhile, in the plaza a few meters from the Cyber cafe, they still sell snowcones made from blocks of glacial ice retrieved by teenaged runners every morning at dawn.

The trip down to Peru and up to Carhuaz. was tiring but spectacular as always. Even after 50 years of travel, just going to an airport with a ticket and a valid passport fills us with the anticipatory rush of endless possibilities for adventures. The ride from the coast, up and over the pass (13,450 ft.) is always spectacular, passing as it does through at least 6 separate and distinct ecosystems, each with its own flora, fauna and anthropology – completely separate plants, trees, food crops, farm animals, dogs, birds, insects, clothing styles, house types, building materials, food and music. Watching them fade and blend into each other from the upper level window of a modern, double-decker luxury stratoliner bus is like a 6-hour ride in an Andean theme park.

The main difficulty on the trip was the fact that we were bringing down almost 100 pounds of presents and, especially, baby stuff, for our first grandchild, born to Joseph and his partner Marissa two months ago up here in the mountains. Between gifts from OUR mothers and the Peruvian Princess, our ex and Joe’s Mom, we were overflowing with baby bottles, waterproof panties, waterproof changing pads, diaper rash ointment, baby bottle brushes, graduated jammies from 2 months to 2 years size, booties, baubles, stuffed animals, well, you get the idea. Arriving at Logan at 5:30 Tuesday morning we were told one of our suitcases was 7 pounds overweight.

Luckily, our other case was under, by almost the same amount, leading to an extremely undignified scene involving the Dowbrigade seated on the floor of Logan Airport directly in front of the check-in counter, holding up a line of over a hundred antsy passengers, with both of our suitcases open, moving books and booty and baubles from one to the other.

In addition, we have brought son Joseph a complete computer system for the hostal, a brand new Mac Mini, keyboard, mouse, stereo speakers and a 17-inch CRT monitor (monitor only purchased in Lima), on which, in fact, we are composing this report.

As we crossed the pass between the Cordillera Negra and the Cordillera Blanca, crossed in fact the continental divide, at this point in the continents width barely a stone’s throw from the Pacific beaches, and descended into the suspended in time Callejon de Huaylas (Huaylas Valley), we were reminded of one of the things that originally attracted us to this isolated natural wonderland 30 years ago.

We were younger then, of course, and the Cold War was raging hot, with the memories of the turbulent 60’s, the assassinations and the urban riots fresh in our mind. We were convinced that civilization as we knew it was on the edge of a complete collapse, but we weren’t worried about it. We were in love with the mountains, in love with a beautiful young woman and, as a Harvard-educated anthropologist, in love with human culture, almost any human culture, other than our own.

What attracted us to the Callejon, other than the spectacular snowcaps and the clean air, was the fact that the Indians there were living pretty much the same way they had been living for the past 2,000 years. Growing the same crops, cooking the same dishes, living in the same houses. If civilization should collapse, these people would hardly notice, we thought. Food riots in Boston, marshal law in the US, chaos in the streets of cities the world over, but the Callejon would remain as it always was.

So we bought some land, for a song, and now our son has built a hostel/refuge on it. Our plan was when things were obviously out of hand, when it was clear that the shit was hitting the fan, we would head for the Callejon, and blow the bridges behind us, so that the raging sickness of western civilization couldn’t follow us up and infect our last refuge.

Now, 30 years later, our beloved America has again been duped into a dishonest war to further the money and power lusts of a small group of corrupt men at the cost of the national equity so many have sacrificed so much to achieve. 15 years after the end of the Cold War, there are still 25,000 nuclear weapons active and poised to be fired, and there is more and more discussion in the air of situations in which they could be used. There is rioting in France and Louisiana and China, and dozens of new hotspots of discontent popping up every week. A few days before we left Boston the bright blue "EVACUATION ROUTE" signs went up all over Boston.

It may be time to start thinking of blowing the bridges again.

ps. The kitty in the picture belongs to the Hostal . They only got it to kill the mice and rats. We have shot some video, which we are trying to edit into postable form. Stay tuned….

Dowbrigade Does Video

1

Never
one to let a lack of talent or good looks stand in the way of naked ambition or a free meal,
the Dowbrigade delves into the Hall of Mirrors which
is VideoBlogging. Of
course, these are early essays as we learn to use the tools, but imagine
what kind of trouble we can get into once we get the hang of this stuff….

link
to H2Otown

link to Donahue’s Bar and Grill