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This Is Not A Time For Silence

 

 

Have we finally learned how bad it can be when we embrace hate, ignorance and greed and deny love, truth and compassion for all living beings?

What will it take? The chasm between who we are and who we can be has been widening at an alarming rate the last few decades.

When we sell honor and integrity for bigger bank accounts and houses can we ever get them back?

What does it say about us when we increase expenditures on weapons to kill people and cut funding for children wallowing in poverty?

We’ve gone from a respected leader like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who wanted to bring people together to make a peaceful world full of love, wisdom and understanding:

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”

“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

to…

“I did try and fuck her. She was married. I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

A sexual predator who brags about molesting women, admires Adolf Hitler and spews violent rhetoric about virtually every other person on the planet – residing in the White House. We’ve given him the ability to direct the most powerful military force in human existence. We’ve made possible the potential for this narcissistic man-child to employ nuclear weapons against a perceived enemy.

Leaders should have a sense of morals, wisdom and courage. Today they have money, media platforms and a cunning ability to strip people of their hope and dignity and divide us into dehumanized categories.

We are faceless consumers herded into places of business to buy as many unnecessary items as possible to:

1) enrich the wealthy rulers who would love to gain full control over our lives and…

2) purchase the very self-serve tools of enslavement which lull us into blissful ignorance and are converting us into a society of mindless automatons. We all suffer from this epidemic – even those of us who don’t fall for the corporate indoctrination.

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now.”

The rulers used OUR government to make rules that have helped them build a system of perpetual control and deny basic necessities to a significant portion of the population.

Wake up. Look around. We need to change the rules.

“In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

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New York State Prisons Have Entered A World Of Corporate Control Beyond Contempt

Traditionally, packages for people in prison were tailored to the specific needs and tastes of the particular inmate. Books were high on the list for many as reading provides something to do for people with a lot of time on their hands as well as being a vehicle for the imagination to soar beyond the confining walls of a prison. Some books have been credited with changing prisoners lives – and preparing them for successful reentry into life after prison. If there has been only one good thing about incarceration for some people it has been that they were introduced to reading as a discipline which opened their minds to possibilities they previously never knew existed.

Well, it looks as if that is going to change in New York this year. Apparently, the State of New York has decided to test a new policy which will prevent the friends and families of prison inmates from sending packages of items requested by incarcerated loved ones. Now, people are being forced to order from a limited amount of acceptable items that will be offered by state-approved vendors. Not only will this be a “legal” form of censorship in effectively banning specific books in prisons, even fresh fruits and vegetables and particular clothing appear to be on the list of items which will be banned.

This is despicable.

The New York State Corrections Department instituted this insidiously degrading policy as a pilot program in three prisons this month. According to The New York Times, they insist “it will help officers crack down on recent increases in package-room contraband.”

And plans are to increase implementation of the plan throughout the state system later in the year. It’s sad that few people will even read an article about this tragedy – never mind take action to prevent it. Prisoners in this country might as well be invisible. Usually, the only time corporate media decides to talk about prisoners it is either celebrities who blew “the good life” or dangerous inmates convicted of sensationally violent crimes. Either way, the intent is to make sure there is no sympathy from the general population.

Everyone, including prisoners, deserves clean water, nutritious food and health care. The privatization of prisons has created a situation in which civil servants are less likely to be in a position to protect the civil rights of prisoners, allowing them to be treated as human beings. Violence and cruelty have always been an integral part of the prison experience. This can only get worse when profits are all that matter.

And, with expenses being the only concern of a business enterprise, we’re seeing prisons getting away with detestable practices such as providing disgustingly dirty water that is causing illnesses, providing cheap food lacking nutrition and holding back necessary medications in prison populations around the country.

Obviously, one motive for this is to keep a tight grip on the minds and hearts of people who are already prevented from enjoying many “normal” things in life most of us take for granted.

But, another reason for this reprehensible policy is to allow for the enrichment of heartless business executives who have no qualms about profiting on the misery of fellow citizens. A few corporations will rake in obscene amounts of money procuring a pathetic array of items meant to make difficult lives more difficult – from the price-gouging of frozen “foods” and snacks filled with empty calories which dull bodies to reading material designed to dull minds.

A coalition of organizations has rallied to defend New York State prisoners by denouncing the policy change. The Legal Aid Society, PEN America and the National Supermarket Association have requested state officials to reconsider. New York State Representative Joseph Crowley, as well, has petitioned to at least have the book restriction reconsidered.

This is vile behavior from people who, almost without exception, were given circumstances which made life somewhat easier to deal with than many of the people they are punishing with this policy change. This is shameful and should not be excused with the apathetic “oh, well that’s just the way it is” or worse, the attitude of “well, they probably deserve it, they’re in prison, right?”

“You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you can never imprison my mind.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Is this new policy (particularly the book ban) by New York State an evil response to this beautifully inspirational message?

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/nyregion/new-york-prisons-packages-books.html?&moduleDetail=section-news-4&action=click&contentCollection=N.Y.%20%2F%20Region&region=Footer&module=MoreInSection&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&pgtype=article

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Battle Of The Airwaves Part 1

This is about the insidious plague of censorship, but instead of doing an in-depth study of the phenomenon (as a responsible journalist would do), I decided to relay personal experiences that I can’t explain in any way other than creepy nosiness by industry or by government agencies as directed by their corporate overlords.

Almost every time I attempt to reply to something on Twitter I’m kicked off the site and my iPad reloads – usually between three and six times before successfully tweeting. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all.

(As an experiment I once decided to hit that little blue oval until my tweet posted. I hit it 88 times).

Even when I’m scrolling through “notifications”, without attempting to reply, I’m kicked off every 30 seconds or so.

I’ve seen public relations tweets by terrorist organizations like Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Monsanto and Citigroup immediately every time I go to the site for months. These groups are all over Twitter continuing their despicable indoctrination of the masses by disingenuously trying to pass themselves off as respectable. For months I’ve immediately hit the reply button and tweeted things like:

“#GoldmanSachs is a #Terrorist organization.”

“#GoldmanSachs destroys economies”

“#BankOfAmerica puts families in the street”

“#BankOfAmerica increases #Homelessness”

“#StopMonsanto #BirthDefects #Cancer #Diabetes #SoilDegradation”

“#Monsanto: #Napalm #BirthDefects #PCB #Cancer #AgentOrange #GMO 

“#Citigroup is a #Criminal organization”

You know, facts, albeit from a somewhat uncommon perspective, but factual. In case anyone wants to counter the claim that Goldman Sachs is a terrorist organization, research what they’ve done here in the U.S., in Italy, in Greece and in a few other nations. And consider the terror of a collapsing economy.

And if anyone wants to argue about Citigroup being criminal, explain how Citibank and Travelers Group merged in 1998 despite the fact that it was an unconstitutional action until the infamous Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was perpetrated on us in 1999.

Back to the subject on hand.

Recently, when I’ve attempted to reply to this pathetic pandering, I’m unable to. This problem started as I tried replying to corporations like those mentioned – especially Goldman Sachs. My iPad invariably is kicked off Twitter multiple times, then when I’m finally able to type something I can’t post it. I can only ask a question and my iPad mysteriously has no option to post the question.

Yes, I’m serious.

I assume this is because they were being bombarded with negative replies. I tried asking Goldman Sachs why they incite class warfare, but have never been able to post the question. I don’t know if anyone else has this problem. I assume it now happens to everyone who tries to reply to these firms.

I’ve written in the past about my Youtube account being censored by Google so I’ll try to keep this section short and simple. 😮 I enjoyed commenting on Youtube videos for years. I commented on posts about political and social issues as well as music. I loved looking up videos of old music I don’t have on CD and haven’t heard in years. Before Google came up with their insidiously clever plan to give people a pocketful of change in exchange for allowing advertisements, Youtube was a pleasure to visit. It’s an amazing treasure trove of various types of entertainment. Now, I cringe every time I’m forced to wait through an advertisement.

Greed is good in a Capitalist society, right?

During the Occupy Wall Street movement I posted videos from Zuccotti Park and other places around NYC where we protested greed and corruption. My videos never “went viral”, but as the movement gained popularity the counter on my videos stopped – even after receiving comments and some stayed put permanently. (I was instructed that all videos stop counting for some unexplained reason, then “catch up.” I don’t think any of mine ever did and a few had exactly the same number of views at the time). Then I was unable to upload videos with OWS in the description, they eventually uploaded when I labeled them “Tea Party.” And I was prevented from commenting on political videos. Eventually, I was unable to upload anything even though my camcorder was in perfect working condition and my Youtube account was active.

THEN, I was prevented from commenting on any video. That hasn’t changed as far as I know. (No stalking, crude language or porn was involved – only attacks of facts about Capitalism, The Fed and concise history lessons of ignored events).

Now, my e-mail account and blog have been giving me short bouts of stress, especially the e-mail account. I’m kicked out many times per day – often while writing an e-mail – and am unable to scroll down the page of ANY e-mail. I have to hit “reply” to see more of the e-mail and when I want to click on a link I’m unable to. It only allows me to highlight it. I also have extreme difficulty adding attachments to e-mails. I usually need to hit the “attach” button dozens of times to attach a photo. Very strange.

Obviously, I know this is not aimed at me. I’m “nobody” to the rulers. I believe this happens because my device is old – even though everyone who helped me on previous posts told me the age of my iPad had nothing to do with the technical problems I’ve been having on WordPress. I have no difficulties when I use computers at libraries in NYC or Long Island. I believe that these difficulties happen to everyone who tries to use a device until it breaks, like we did in “the old days.” We didn’t buy new devices until the old devices were no longer functioning. (Well, most of us, anyway) 😆

This is still censorship. It’s a way of censoring people in the low income brackets. (We all exist in brackets, files and demographic groups to the rulers).

Now the most interesting experience I’m going to recount here, by far, in my opinion. The mysterious changing of my name on my e-mail account.

When I start an online account I often have fun with the password. I mix letters and numbers. At one point, I decided to use the names of my favorite musicians and writers or former athletes from my favorite teams – the N.Y. Knicks and the N.Y. Yankees as part of my passwords. I usually combine the first name of one person and the last name of another and put numbers between them. The first time I did this I used the full name of an old Yankee on my Long Island library account (and added numbers). One day, a couple years after installing this password into my account, I noticed that when I sent e-mails from a Long Island library, the name of this former Yankee was in the heading before my e-mails as if it was my name. Within days it was on every e-mail I wrote regardless of the device used.

How would part of the password on a library account become the official name on my e-mail account?

I changed the password, but the name is still on every e-mail I write. Now people think I played third base for the Yankees in the early 1970s. 😆

Can anyone explain this logically without censorship being part of the explanation?

I made an attempt in this serious post to add a hint of humor. I don’t want people to assume I’m trying to build a mystique about a vast unknown cabal of evil men sitting in an underground complex pressing buttons and controlling every aspect of every person’s life on the planet.

However, I honestly believe there is more censorship and other ignominious attempts at control over the population than most people believe. We’ve become too comfortable and apathetic. We’re too willing to give up privacy as long as we have our instant communication, fossil fuel vehicles, a variety of entertainment (distraction), myriad conveniences and that seriously overused and misunderstood term, security.

We’ve allowed our corporate rulers to not only tell us what to think, but how to think. Too many of us have given up the right to express our own opinions on important matters yet get heated over puerile trash pumped into our brains via corporate media. Our priorities have been twisted into a dysfunctional puzzle of adolescent desires, childhood fears and mindless obedience to the dominant culture. And most of us haven’t even noticed as we wave a U.S. flag made in China and scream that China is an enemy to fear.

There are logical explanations for most of the concerns I raised, but when added together a potential pattern emerges. Simply because it isn’t scientific, implies sadistic intent on the part of individuals many of us trust and sounds like the proverbial paranoid conspiracy theory doesn’t mean it’s all easily dismissed nonsense. I’d like to read what other people think about this. I’d like honesty, too.

Thank you to everyone who had the patience to finish this. It is rather long for these days of soundbite ideology and 140 character summaries of complex issues.

Peace to all…

8 Comments

Excuse Me While I Kiss The Sky

“Knowledge speaks, but Wisdom listens.”

People love to argue over “the best” or “the greatest” or “the most famous” or any other “best” of something. In music it’s often “the greatest” at a particular instrument. Each genre of music has its own lists of “greats” in various categories. But, there is always a problem when it comes to comparing musicians from different eras. Each generation builds on top of what came before them. You need to do something different to compare favorably with legendary musicians of the past. Many people make an error in this area and proclaim the newest “hot shot” to be the “greatest ever.”

If someone wants to understand the impact Jimi Hendrix had on rock music, all that’s needed is to spend a few days listening to popular music from the 1950s and the first half of the 1960s. Then, listen to Jimi Hendrix.

End of that discussion. 😆

Jimi Hendrix is one of the most influential musicians in popular music today, forty seven years after his tragic passing. And this is someone whose music career lasted a mere four years.

His unique talent for playing brutally intense rock licks, sweetly beautiful melodies, gut-wrenching “down home” blues and psychedelic trips of infinite imagination blew the minds of people at a time when music was in a period of obedient blandness and lackluster performance, for the most part. He created sounds no one imagined could come from a mere guitar and mesmerized millions in live performances around the world. Added to the genius of his musical talent are lyrics that express a powerful love of peace and a desire for compassion and understanding of all people.

To go to the beginning…

Johnny Hendrix was born on November 27,1942 in Seattle, Washington, of mostly African descent with a trace of Cherokee. His father was in the U.S. Army, stationed in Alabama at the time of his birth. Al Hendrix was cruelly denied the standard military furlough given to (apparently, only white) servicemen for childbirth and spent two months locked up in an Army stockade without a trial to prevent him from going AWOL. He was notified of the birth of his first child via telegram while behind bars.
During Al’s three years away from his family, young Johnny Hendrix was taken care of by various family members and friends due to his mother Lucille’s serious struggles with finances and alcohol. Al received an honorable discharge from the Army in 1945 and saw his three year old son for the first time at a friend’s home in Berkeley, Cal.

In 1946, his parents changed Johnny’s name to James Marshall Hendrix, in honor of his father, James Allen Ross Hendrix, and his late uncle, Leon Marshall.

Jimi had four younger siblings, all of whom were given up to foster care and/or adoption due to the aforementioned poverty conditions. The family frequently moved, staying in cheap hotels and apartments around the Seattle area. Occasionally, family members would take Jimi to Vancouver to stay at his grandmother’s house. He only spent time with one sibling, his brother Leon, and though they were close for a while, the relationship was fraught with the constant threat of separation.

Jimi was known as shy and sensitive growing up, extremely introverted, and at the age of nine, his parents divorced. The court granted custody of Jimi and Leon to their father.

Jimi joined the Army in 1961 and was trained as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne. Stationed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky he thought the military far too abusive and was not well thought of in terms of his potential as a soldier. Emotionally abused by many of his fellow serviceman for attachment to his guitar, he completed his training and was awarded an early honorable discharge due to an ankle injury he sustained on a jump.

But before that, in November 1961, fellow serviceman Billy Cox walked past an army club and heard Hendrix playing guitar. Intrigued by the uncommonly skillful playing, which he described as a combination of “John Lee Hooker and Beethoven”, Cox borrowed a bass and jammed with Jimi. This would prove to be a fortuitous event in both their lives. Within a few weeks, they began performing at clubs on the base during weekends with other musicians in a band called The Casuals.

Influenced by blues guitarists, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, B.B. King and Howlin’ Wolf, Jimi wound up playing the “Chitlin’ Circuit” – clubs around the eastern U.S. that allowed African-American musicians, comedians and other entertainers to perform during the racial segregation that plagued the entertainment industry in the U.S. during the mid-twentieth century. He toured with famous bands such as The Isley Brothers, Little Richard and Curtis Knight and the Squires and developed a reputation as both a virtuoso guitarist and an electrifying performer.

He moved to Greenwich Village in the mid-1960s due to its dynamic and diverse music scene. He figured continuing to work as a sideman for R&B groups would never allow him to do the things in music he wanted to do. He relished the idea of creating sonic landscapes that would fire the imaginations of his audiences. The Blues, though important to him, was too limiting.

He did some studio work and started his own band at this time, Jimmy James and The Blue Flames. This allowed him to shape the sound and style that would become his trademark. He played clubs throughout the city, including popular clubs, Cafe au Go Go and the Cheetah Club and landed a residency at the famous Cafe Wha? on MacDougal St. in The Village.

In late 1966, he met Linda Keith in a Greenwich Village club and she was so blown away by his style she introduced him to Chas Chandler, bassist for the popular rock group The Animals. Chandler became his manager, brought Jimi to England and a legend was born.

Chandler introduced Jimi to Eric Clapton, already a music legend on both sides of the Atlantic. Jimi asked him if he could sit in with Clapton’s band, Cream, for a song or two. This is how Clapton remembered the show years later:

“He played just about every style you could think of, and not in a flashy way. I mean he did a few of his tricks, like playing with his teeth and behind his back, but it wasn’t in an upstaging sense at all, and that was it … He walked off, and my life was never the same again.”

A month later, a show in a London club called Bag O’ Nails had an audience that could only be described as a dream come true for a musician still establishing a reputation. And what a reputation Hendrix would build. Besides Eric Clapton there were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Jeff Beck, Pete Townsend of The Who, Mick Jagger and Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones and singer-songwriter, Kevin Ayers. Ayers recalled the reaction of the star-studded audience as “stunned disbelief” and had this to say:

“All the stars were there, and I heard serious comments, you know ‘shit’, ‘Jesus’, ‘damn’ and other words worse than that.”

A British weekly music newspaper, Record Mirror, ran the headline “Mr. Phenomenon” when they interviewed him after the show. Jimi, from the interview:

“We don’t want to be classed in any category … If it must have a tag, I’d like it to be called, ‘Free Feeling’. It’s a mixture of rock, freak-out, rave and blues.”

Within months of arriving in the the country, Jimi had earned three UK top ten hits with a band put together with two English musicians, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell. With help from two British television shows, Ready Steady Go and Top of the Pops, The Jimi Hendrix Experience hit the charts with “Hey Joe”, “Purple Haze” and “The Wind Cried Mary.”

Huge success continued upon Jimi’s return to the U.S. in 1967. He headlined the Monterrey Pop Festival, a three day concert in Monterey, California, the musical highlight of the Summer of Love.

The band’s three studio albums, Are You Experienced?, Axis: Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland all charted high with Electric Ladyland hitting number one in 1968.

He also headlined the Isle of Wight Festival in England in 1970 with a different band: Mitch Mitchell from “The Experience” on drums and Jimi’s old Army buddy, Billy Cox, on bass. But his status as a legend in music was cemented in the iconic music festival of the era, Woodstock, in upstate New York in August 1969. Hendrix closed the show due to being the biggest music star of the time, but many people had already left and many others were passed out in the mud. His vicious sonic assault on the Star Spangled Banner was blasted by mainstream media as vile and unpatriotic, but for years the genius of his unique rendition had guitarists experimenting with their guitar gear struggling to duplicate it.

In his four years in the music industry, Jimi Hendrix left an impression that still shines with a light that may never dim. He received accolades from around the world while alive and his fame continues after his death. Awards of every type imaginable came his way during his career and throughout the years after his death, but the respect that means the most comes from bands and performers in every style of music you can think of who have recorded, and continue to play, versions of his songs or who have sampled his music.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 (and his band, Band of Gypsys should have been). And they were inducted into the UK Hall of Fame in 2005.

A photo I took of a mural on the side of a building in San Francisco which Jimi Hendrix live in for a short period.

On September 18, 1970 Jimi Hendrix passed at the age of 27.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

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My Favorite Cathouse

There is a cathouse in Long Island, a suburb of New York City, that I love to visit. I always bring something for everyone there to drink and I always enjoy myself.

Curious? OK, it’s not that type of cathouse. 😆 It’s actually a small house someone built for cats that hang out in an abandoned lot overgrown with trees, bushes and weeds near a Long Island Railroad train station.

There is a woman who brings food and water every morning for the cats. Every time I’m in the area I stop by to see if they need food or water. I usually just have to add a little water or sometimes clean a bowl and add water.

Being aware of how irresponsible it is to allow uncontrolled breeding to create a population problem, this woman has had all of the stray cats in this particular area neutered. (Overpopulation of abandoned pets is merely a reflection of our own mindless breeding habits as a species and how we choose not to address the planetary destruction we cause, which is also a case of societal suicide).

Neutering feral cats and dogs is very important. Sadly, there is an incredibly large number of selfish, ignorant people who want a pet (or who’s children want a pet) who aren’t willing and/or able to take care of the poor animals. Neglect is rampant and occasionally people take in a pet, then decide the work and cost isn’t worth the love and affection they can receive in return. Usually, these inconsiderate knuckle-draggers drive to a different neighborhood and dump the cat or dog into the street to fend for his or herself. This is despicable and should land people in jail, in my opinion. (Personally, I believe the love and affection of pets is priceless, but some people are devoid of compassion).

I find it agonizingly ignorant of people to assume that it’s acceptable to force animals to survive outside in areas in which humans have completely destroyed the natural habitat. We’ve redesigned so much of our land to fit our own greedy needs without a care for how other species will survive.

Naturally, this refers more to animals born in the wild than to our household pets, but people think it’s OK to drop off a cat that has been conditioned to eat and drink from bowls indoors near a small patch of woods and think they’ll easily be able to hunt small prey. In a city like New York, there isn’t enough live prey for the huge number of abandoned cats to hunt so they survive by competing with rats, squirrels, pigeons, and even raccoons and possum to scrounge through garbage for scraps. Then, people get angry when their garbage bags have been ripped open. Some of these people, mentally ill cowards without compassion, put poison out for animals to eat. This also, in my opinion, should land people in jail.

Pretty dysfuctional, to say the least.

So, thousands of stray pets wind up in the streets and they multiply rapidly. This is a large problem. I’ve rescued kittens that were two to three weeks old in the middle of winter. I can only imagine how many freeze and starve to death every year. The ASPCA has mobile trucks in NYC (and I’m sure in all cities) that will perform neutering very inexpensively for people living on a tight budget. There is no excuse to cause so much suffering. It’s just another way we show how uncivilized we are as a society.

People need to understand that all living beings deserve to enjoy life. It doesn’t have to be glamorous and pampered, but we shouldn’t view animals as less worthy of a peaceful existence than humans. I won’t even go into the horribly “inhumane” livestock industry (at least not in this post) in which animals are imprisoned, abused, tortured and painfully killed simply for our pleasure. We need to reassess some of our cruel, insensitive behavior before we can continue believing we’re civilized. Of course, it’s no surprise we treat other species so abhorrently when we observe how we treat fellow humans.

Why don’t all people agonize over the millions of homeless in the world and do something about it? How can people walk around them on sidewalks while going to their (very often) meaningless jobs making money in a cruel system that exploits virtually all living beings on the planet? Some of the least worthy human beings make the largest amounts of money doing the most callous things – simply to buy as many objects as possible, most of which are ridiculously overvalued.

This is especially disturbing considering how little we value life.

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A Photographic Walk Around San Francisco

I post complaints too often on this blog so I decided to post something light from my recent travels…

On the left, friends I made during breakfast by the San Francisco Ferry Building. On the right, a view of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

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A view of Alcatraz Island from an elevated section of Hyde St., looking past the Hyde St. Pier.

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Another view of Alcatraz Island, this one from a beach along Jefferson St. near the Maritime Museum and Ghirardelli Square.

(Yes, I am fascinated by Alcatraz) 😆

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In the foreground of this photo of the Golden Gate Bridge taken from Black Point is the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion where I happened upon the San Francisco Public Library’s 53rd Annual Big Book Sale. I was like a kid in a candy store. This was a warehouse filled with thousands of books for sale – each for the price of $1. I saw every genre, from early printings of classics and textbooks to science fiction and drugstore novels. I wished for a moment I had a car trunk to fill, but I had to contain my enthusiasm and purchase just 12 paperback books. 😦

My lunch companions at a thin strip of park along Marina Blvd. between the San Francisco Marina Yacht Harbor and Marina Green Triangle.

On the left, a group of trees near Crissy Field Marsh I found interesting, and on the right, a view of Torpedo Wharf from the hills on the SF side of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Views of the Golden Gate Bridge from various points along a trail that winds its way up a steep climb from Marine Dr. to the bridge. In the background in the photo on the left is the Marin Headlands. In the background of the two photos on the right are Lime Point and Horseshoe Bay. Next to Horseshoe Bay is Fort Baker, named after a Senator who lost his life during the Battle of Ball’s Bluff in Virginia during the Civil War.

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A Brain Without Heart Is Just An Out Of Tune Organ

I doubt many people will like this. Oh well…

Despite the supreme effort of people who declare that we are the most ingenious form of life on Mother Earth, I see plant and animal life, even soil, water and rock, as more integral to life on the planet. And I see humans as parasitic.

parasite (par-uh-sahyt): noun

an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host, from the body of which it obtains nutriment.

Plants and animals evolve in tune with the planet, the beautiful music of nature. Human beings are discordant, out of tune, arrhythmic and artless for the most part. I am referring to the entire species, of course. There are some people who attempt to live in tune with the planet, beautiful human beings that are made to feel strange, out of place, while the opposite is closer to the truth. The atonal way of life we’ve chosen as a society is predatory and destructive, not in alignment with the universe. Earth will find a way to eliminate such a menace to life. And we are helping her…

Monsanto – $14 billion in revenue 2016; Dow Chemical – $48 billion in revenue 2016; Johnson & Johnson – $74 billion in revenue 2016; generous tax breaks to sociopathic fossil fuel executives who collect billions of dollars while spreading poison; toxic chemicals blasted into the earth to extract material that spread more poison and increase seismic activity; toxic, radioactive waste pours into our oceans and instead we talk about celebrities; over 62 million “people” voted for trump in the 2016 selection…

Yes, it’s almost sickeningly amusing from a distant, detached perspective – though it’s truly heartbreaking. Even a society that prides itself on brilliant scientific discoveries and technological advancement doesn’t understand the simple “science” of life – the coexistence of balance, cooperation and understanding.

We exist, but are we truly living in the sense of what is natural and healthy?

Have we so bastardized our existence, soaked our minds and bodies so full of toxic chemicals and toxic thoughts that we are no longer authentic human beings?

What is it to be human?

To think was at one point in time considered the epitome of being human, but hasn’t this era of “thinking” brought life as we know it to the brink of destruction? Haven’t those who profess the scientific mind of cold, calculating thought to be the ultimate, the crown jewel of humanity, left empathy and compassion as unimportant considerations in their obsessive quest for knowledge? And hasn’t that quest been co-opted by wealthy “takers” whose obscene level of desire has compromised the validity of their lives? We’re dancing to something artificially choreographed, clumsy and with no natural rhythm or melody – crudely crafted to dehumanize us.

And most of us continue dancing…

Is it dishonest to ponder the possibility that our humanity has been assimilated into a sterile, machine-like existence, a soulless vacuum in which we feel personal pain and suffering yet refuse to find solutions when the pain and suffering we see doesn’t touch us?

Yes that may sound crazy, but I no longer fear sounding crazy while living in a truly insane society almost devoid of compassion and in which a significant portion of the population lacks the wisdom to distinguish between decency and dysfunction.

Are you insane if you are considered insane in an insane society?

I’m not going to pretend that I’m the smartest person around – there’s far too much of that these days – but I know that we need to do something very soon. How long can we comfortably sit and expect a superhero to save us? Will Wonder Woman help us? Will Spiderman? Are the outrageously overfunded forms of escapism we feed on daily merely a small tool in the arsenal of the rulers who numb us with false hope and suicidal resignation? Is heroic action nothing more than fantasy? Are we hoping that the cosmic babysitter in the sky will save us by reigning down terrible retribution on the evil people?

Or is the evil actually when we give up responsibility for our decisions and pretend we’re taking inspired action when we support insignificant changes in behavior while mindlessly feeding our addictions, ignoring reality and artfully justifying each other’s apathy and complacency?