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Friday, September 29, 2006

Bathroom Dispute Halts World Chess Championship !


The world chess championship came to a halt today when Vladamir Kramnik, who had been locked out of his private bathroom after insinuations that he was cheating, refused to play and forfeited the fifth game of the match.

A day after a written protest by the team of Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria about the frequent bathroom breaks of Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, the World Chess Federation (FIDE), which is organizing the match, locked the private bathrooms for both players and said they must use the same bathroom for the rest of the match.

The bathrooms had been the only part of the players’ private rest areas behind the stage where they are playing that was not subject to video surveillance by the match referees.

In filing the protest, Mr. Topalov implied that Mr. Kramnik might somehow be cheating when he was in the toilet. Before the protest, Mr. Kramnik led the match 3-1, with 6.5 points needed to win. The match is being played in Elista, the capital of Kalmykia, a Russian republic on the Caspian Sea.

The rest can be read

Curtesy of



TOPALOV vs KRAMNIK (Sept, 21 - Oct, 12)

GM Vesselin Topalov BUL 2813

GM Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2743

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The 'U. S. of Amnesia' - Gore Vidal

"Those that sacrifice essential liberty for temporary security deserve neither liberty or security."

Benjamin Franklin

"Perfect security will bankrupt you."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

I wonder what these great men would have to say about the 'Patriot Act', Guantanamo Bay & and an unfettered and amoral Executive Branch?

World Chess Championship-Games#3 & 4 Drawn

TOPALOV vs KRAMNIK (Sept, 21 - Oct, 12)
GM Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2743

GM Vesselin Topalov BUL 2813

Play Hall of the match Topalov vs Kramnik 2006
Photo of the Play Hall of the match
(Photo: WCC official site)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The insider's guide to the Chess World Championship

(CNN) -- Everything you need to know about this month's Chess World Championship and the Buddhist Republic of Kalmykia that is hosting it.

The World Chess Championship. It's not exactly the World Cup, is it?
Maybe not, but the 12-game match, which got underway on Saturday, is historic in chess terms at least, re-uniting the sport for the first time since it split into rival factions 13 years ago when Garry Kasparov broke with the World Chess Federation (FIDE), accusing the world governing body of corruption and mismanagement.

Kasparov? I've heard of him. He got beaten by a computer right?
Well, yes, but not just your average chess-playing PC. In 1997 Kasparov was narrowly beaten in a six-game match by the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue. But many consider the "Beast of Baku," who became the world's youngest ever world champion aged 22, to be the greatest chess player ever to pick up a bishop -- the sport's equivalent of Tiger Wood or Pele.

So Kasparov is finally returning to claim his crown as the king of the checkered board?
Not this time. Kasparov retired from the sport last year at the age of 41, disillusioned with chess and intent on entering politics as an avowed critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Kasparov is a leading figure in the pro-democracy "Committee 2008: Free Choice" pressure group and has been talked about as a possible rival to Putin at Russia's next election.

So who's playing instead?
Veselin Topalov, known as the "Bulgarian Chainsaw," is the world's top-ranked player and earns his place at the table by virtue of winning a world championship tournament in Argentina last year. He'll face Russian grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik, who has been considered the "classical" world champion since beating Kasparov in 2000. Topalov is the more charismatic of the two while Kramnik, who is struggling with arthritis, is considered a measured, minimalist player. Surprisingly though, Kramnik has won the two opening games, mounting a daring counterattack as black in the second game to force mate after Topalov twice failed to spot winning positions.

And where is this 64-square shootout taking place?
In Elista, the capital of Kalmykia.

Excuse me?
Kalmykia is a Russian republic on the banks of the Caspian Sea, bordering Kazakhstan. The Kalmyks are notable for being Europe's only Buddhist nation and trace their ancestry back to the Mongol empire established by Genghis Khan, who rampaged across Eurasia in the 13th century quicker than a rook through a line of pawns. Under Tsarist rule, the Kalmyks were granted autonomy in return for protecting Russia's southern flank from Turkish attacks. But they fell out of favour under Stalin, who deported the entire nation to Siberia in 1943. They were finally allowed to return to their homeland in 1957.

Paris, London or New York not good enough for chess players obviously.
The odd choice of venue might have something to do with the fact that Kalmykia's president, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, is also president of FIDE and has been trying to bring the world championship to Elista for years. Since winning power in 1993 the millionaire Buddhist businessman has made chess the Kalmyk national sport, making it compulsory for school children and building a $50 million "Chess City" in Elista for the 1998 Chess Olympiad. Now he's playing both Don King and Joseph-Desire Mobutu to Topalov's Ali and Kramnik's Foreman.

Sounds like a nice guy.
Ilyumzhinov is eccentric at best, corrupt at worst, according to his critics. He once ran for election by promising to give a mobile phone to every shepherd and claims to have been abducted by aliens during a business trip to Moscow in 1997. Despite campaigning with the slogan "a wealthy president is a safeguard against corruption" he faces accusations of diverting the state's resources for his own uses, human rights abuses and suppressing media freedom. In the chess world his opponents accuse him of bringing the game into disrepute.

So where can we watch this Caspian classic unfold?
Not on television unfortunately, though with games sometimes lasting six hours or more, there might not be much to watch. But you can follow the "action" on the Web at the match's official siteexternal link and weigh up the merits of the Catalan Opening vs. the Latvian Gambit for yourself.

Monday, September 25, 2006

World Chess Championship-- Kramnik Leads 2-0 After Topalov Blunders in Opening Games!

TOPALOV vs KRAMNIK (Sept, 21 - Oct, 12)
GM Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2743

GM Vesselin Topalov BUL 2813

News & Analyses Curtesy of FIDE World Chess Championship 2006
Internet Chess Club (ICC)

For much more on the match, please visit the above sites!

Press Conference after Game #1 --

Do you feel sorry for Veselin?
Vladimir kramnik: (Pause.) I tried to listen to my feelings; no, I don’t feel sorry for him.

Veselin, you could force a draw after the control move, but preferred to continue playing. Were you so confident in your position?
Veselin TOPALOV: After the 40th I could play without any risk, and my position was better objectively. It is a dream situation for any chess player! Of course, the advantage is not easy to convert, there are significant technical difficulties. Vladimir defended well, and I eventually blundered.

Game 1: Analysis by GM Ernesto Inarkiev

40.Nc6 Nd2.The control move is made. White has no counterplay, Black can keep playing quietly, but he has yet to find the right plan, if there is one.

41.Rd1 Ne4 42.Rf1 Kg6.

An interesting construction: if the Black’s king gets to d3, a tactical idea Ng3-fg-Rg2-Kh1-Ke2 appears, betting on the f-pawn. Here is another idea – with the king on e2 Black trades rooks, and then the f-pawn is likely to fall in the knight ending. However, I think White can hold, as it is very difficult for the king to penetrate – the White’s knight will start attacking Black’s pawns, distracting Black’s pieces for defensive purposes...


57...f5? A huge blunder! Black could make a draw by 57...Nf2 58.Kg3 e4 59.Kf2 Rb2 with perpetual, as if the king tries escaping, the f-pawn promotes.

58.Nxe5 Rb2 59.Nd3 Rb7 (as Veselin mentioned, he overlooked that after 59...Rd2 White has winning move 60.Rd4) 60.Rd4.White has a decisive advantage.

Press Conference after Game #2 --

– Vladimir, did you notice after 31...Bxf8 that it loses in two moves because of 32.Rxg4+ Bg7 33.Qc7?

Vladimir KRAMNIK: (thinks for several seconds) No I didn’t (shakes his head).

A complete disaster for Topalov in game 2
Express notes by John Henderson

John Henderson Former world champion Garry Kasparov always maintained that psychology plays a major part in matchplay in chess – and how his words are now ringing true, as Veselin Topalov now looks a broken man as he again blunders horrifically to go 2-0 down to one of the most toughest players in the planet in Vladimir Kramnik.

Game 2 - Diagram 1The decisive moment that will have commentators and chess journalist busy over the next few days came on move 31, as Topalov moved in for the kill with all his pieces aimed at Kramnik’s king. First, it was Kramnik to blunder with 31..Bxf8?? when he was forced to play 31 ..Kxf8 32 Qh7 Qe2 33 Qh6+ Kf7 34 Qh5+ Kf8 35 Qxg4 Bg5 36 Re1 Qc2 37 fxg5 Ke7 and, with both kings so exposed, the likeliest result looked a draw.

Who knows though what was going through Topalov’s mind here, because the world’s highest-rated player incredulously missed a forced win now with 32 Rxg4+ Bg7 33 Qc7! Qf1+ 34 Ng1 (perhaps Topalov didn’t realize the strength of the knight retreat, as it covers the checks on f3 and h3?), and Kramnik could have resigned with a clear conscience.

Game 2 - Diagram 2Still, despite the Miss of the Year, Topalov was still on top in a complicated position. But again he he erred right at the time-control with 40 Bf4. Instead, he should have exchanged queens immediately with good prospects of a technically won ending after 40 Qxe4! dxe4 41 Ng5 Bxf6 (41 ..Rc7 42 Nxe6 Rc3 43 Nxg7 wins easily) 42 Nxf7 Kxf7 43 exf6 a5 44 Bd2 b6 45 Kf4 Kxf6 46 Kxe4. After missing this, Kramnik, the last student from the famed Botvinnik School of Chess, made no mistake as he ruthlessly converted the ending into a second improbable win in as many days.

Now, after two really bad losses from favorable positions, Topalov has it all to do against tough-nut Kramnik, who will now look to shut the Bulgarian out from the rest of the match in much the same way as he successfully did in London six years ago against Kasparov when he won the title.

Kramnik goes 2-0 up against Topalov after second game
Kramnik goes 2-0 up against Topalov after second game

Saturday, September 23, 2006

2006 World Chess Championship -- GAME 1

1. d4 for Kramnik - LIVE

Game 1 has just started. Kramnik is White and he opened with 1.d4. Topalov came up with a novelty on move 12...Ba6. It was quite a clever move for psychological reason but someone like Kramnik would not panic so much. If White would have played 13. Qxa5 Bb7 14.Qxd8 Rxa1 15.Qxf8+ Kxf8 16.0-0 Ra2 and White is a little better in the endgame.

They are on move 25 now and Kramnik has a small edge but Topalov is fighting agressively.
He has an active position and he is going for the win even with a pawn down endgame.

Here are the moves up to date:

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 a5 7.Qc2 Bxd2+ 8.Qxd2 c6 9.a4 b5 10.axb5 cxb5 11.Qg5 0-0 12.Qxb5 Ba6 13.Qa4 Qb6 14.0-0 Qxb2 15.Nbd2 Bb5 16.Nxc4 Bxa4 17.Nxb2 Bb5 18.Ne5 Ra7 19.Bf3 Nbd7 20.Nec4 Rb8 21.Rfb1 g5 22.e3 g4 23.Bd1 Bc6 24.Rc1 Be4 25.Na4 Rb4 26.Nd6 Bf3 27.Bxf3 gxf3 28.Nc8 Ra8 29.Ne7+ Kg7 30.Nc6 Rb3 31.Nc5 Rb5 32.h3 Nxc5 33.Rxc5 Rb2 34.Rg5+ Kh6 35.Rgxa5 Rxa5 36.Nxa5 Ne4 37.Rf1 Nd2 38.Rc1 Ne4 39.Rf1 f6 40.Nc6 Nd2 41.Rd1 Ne4 42.Rf1 Kg6
Posted by Picasa

Thanks to Susan Polgar's Chess Blog-

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Hugo Chavez for President ...of the U.S. !

As poverty continues to rise in the U.S., real inflation-adjusted wages continue to decline, and our Imperial Government wages unending war costing many hundreds of billions of dollars around the world, the poor of this country can finally count on some help - from Venezuela!

The poverty-stricken certainly cannot expect any meaningful assistance from its own government. Welfare cash assistance for the chronically unemployed is now time-limited to 2 years lifetime for a single adult, for example. In one of our 'progressive' states, New York, the hugely generous sum of $68.50 is granted to a single adult twice a month. This amount has not been raised in almost 20 years, making the grant worth at least 50% less, when inflation is taken into account.

I quote Wendy Reid Crisp writing in her terrific blog 'When I grow up I want to be 60'...

"Hugo Chavez has oil, too -- Citgo's a division of the Venezuela's state-owned oil company -- and this continues to be a problem for us. For example, last year, Chavez discounted nearly 50 million gallons of heating oil up to 60% off market price and distributed it in impoverished areas of the U.S. (Chicago, the South Bronx, sections of Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island) --and he says he's going to double the number of poor who receive discounts this winter. That had the House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Joe Barton of Texas spittin' mad."

'While the Committee certainly has no objection to Venezuela assisting low-income Americans, we want to understand whether the beneficiaries are being selected in an objective, equitable fashion, or whether this is merely part of a larger political agenda....Unfortunately, many of President Chavez’s public statements concerning the United States Government suggest that his purportedly altruistic motives may camouflage his true motivations. President Chavez has repeatedly demonstrated a warped view of the United States and its leaders, as well as bizarre concepts of fundamental justice...More recently, during a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization event in Rome, Italy on October 17, 2005, President Chavez called the United States “the North American Empire that threatened all life on the planet.” At a November meeting of Venezuelan and Brazilian business executives in Caracas, Chavez declared, “The people of the United States are being governed by a killer, a genocidal murderer and a madman.' ...

"Another country coming into America and taking care of our neglected, cold poor? What's next? Adopt an American orphan? Food bags from Bangladesh?"

"Fortunately for us, our government knows how to take a stand against such blatant political grandstanding. We are proud of our pockets of starving, freezing poverty, and we have faith-based intentions of getting around to taking care of them sometime before Superbowl Sunday. So butt out, Hugo. Go hang around with your Chinese friends. Give your cheap oil to someone else. And you're completely wrong about our President. He's not the devil. Cheney is."

Curtesy of

MrKen says, Hugo Chavez for President - of the U.S. !

The 'Gringo Empire' as Role Model & The 'Moral Low Ground'

In the book 'Wetback Nation - the case for Opening the Mexican-American Border' - (2004) - by Peter Laufer, the author writes,

few Gringos think of their lands from Texas to California as conquered territory.
Such selective memory allowed President Clinton to declare..."

'Americans never fought for empire, for territory, for dominance.' --***

"...In fact that's exactly what Americans fought for when they invaded Mexico in 1846. In his book The Annexation of Mexico, the American journalist John Ross, who has been reporting from Mexico for over a generation, suggests that Walt Whitman's commentary in the Brooklyn Eagle sums up American public opinion at the time: 'Miserable, inefficient Mexico. What has she to do with the great mission of peopling the New World with a noble race? Be it ours to achieve this mission!..."

"...In addition to the fight along the Texas border, (President) Polk dispatched troops to seize Mexico's northwest--the land from New Mexico out to California..."

"It was a war 'unnecessarily and unconstitutionally begun by the President of the United States', according to a house resolution passed 85 - 81 just before the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in 1848, ceding half of Mexico to the United States."

"Mexicans agreed to the bad deal and remember it well."

Mr Ken notes that least President Polk asked Congress to declare war on Mexico, and after a brief debate it did. The last time a president asked Congress for a declaration of war was on June 5, 1942 (against Bulgaria, Hungary & Romania).***

Our new 21st Century 'imperial president' sends troops wherever he wants by lying to Congress about the reasons for waging war, and misinforming and bullying the 'lapdog' Main Stream Media. Our new 'emperor' enforces only the laws he approves of, suspends Habeas Corpus at will, and presumes to tell other nations what kind of weapons they may develop.

To paraphase President Clinton on Larry King Live (9/20/06),

"Because of what the U.S. has done around the world in the last 5 years (preventative wars, withdrawing from international treaties, torture as official policy), the only argument the U.S. has when it orders Iran to forego nuclear weapons is-- 'we think that you are bad and we are good, so you cannot have nuclear weapons'. The U.S. no longer has the moral high ground, because of what the administration has been doing."

At least our former president can recall recent history, even though he may have slept through 'History of the American West 101' class...

***President Bill Clinton at the Memorial Day service at Arlington National Cemetary

***After World War II, Congress voluntarily limited its use of the power to declare war to issuing authorizations of force. The War Powers Resolution of 1973 (Pub.L. 93-148) limits the power of the President to wage war without the approval of the Congress. The United States has formally declared war against foreign nations eleven separate times. Curtesy of

Friday, September 15, 2006

And After This Commercial Break: The Apocalypse!

Did you know that CNN has a Faith and Values Correspondent?

No, this is not a lead-in to another Onion spoof; this is our Main Stream Media (MSM) 'reporting' on idiotic and hysterical predictions based on such 'authoritative' sources like the Book of Revelations and something called the "Rapture Index". Below is the beginning of this 'important report'--



ZAHN: And we’re back. One of the most disturbing and mysterious books of the Bible is Revelation. For centuries, Christians have read its visions of wars, plagues, and the end of the world and asked themselves if they were living in the so-called end times. Well tonight a lot of Christians are convinced that the apocalypse may be coming soon. Take a look at the Rapture Index on the World Wide Web. It assigns numerical values to wars, earthquakes and disasters. And tonight, it’s at 156, which is in the “fasten your seat belt” category. So are we really at the end of the world? We asked faith and values correspondent Delia Gallagher to do some checking.


DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN FAITH AND VALUES CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They say the end of the world is coming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As far as I can tell, we are at the very end and we need to prepare ourselves for that according to the world of God.

GALLAGHER: The Israeli Hezbollah conflict they say is a sign that the Bible’s final chapter, the Book of Revelation is unfolding before our more below at the link-

Thanks to

MrKen45 posted some of his opinions about The MSM on 9/8-'The Fourth Estate & Bush's Lapdogs '. As corrupt as the MSM has become, however, just as serious an issue is the utter incompetence and lack of critical thinking that characterize much of network journalism. How in the world can one have informed debate in this kind of 'la-la-cuckoo land' ? Edward R. Murrow is surely spinning in his grave right now....

'Commentator: “I’m not making this up: this is what the Bible says.”---
Right. That just means someone else made it up.' --comment #38
I do feel that the 'end of times' for humankind is near, but not for any reason related to religious dogma. Humans' unique tool and gadget making skills have been horribly corrupted into fantastically destructive weaponry. And every weapon ever invented has been used in warfare. With more and more unbalanced regimes in the world - with the U.S.A. at the head of the 'loony' list- producing ever growing stockpiles of nuclear bombs, it's just a matter of time and circumstance until another World War erupts.

For example, can anyone imagine a peaceful conclusion to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis with someone like George W.Bush or Dick Cheney running things? President Kennedy and his brother, the Attorney General, stood virtually alone against the entire military-industrial complex, which was pushing for a full scale invasion of Cuba. Relatively recent revelations by ex-Soviet military officers indicate that U.S. troops would have been slaughtered on the Cuban beaches by tactical nukes in the hands of local Soviet military commanders. And after our massive nuclear retaliation...BOOM!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Report: Majority Of Americans Unprepared For Apocalypse

WASHINGTON, DC—Over 87 percent of Americans are unprepared to protect themselves from even the most basic world-ending scenarios, according to a study released Monday by the nonpartisan doomsday think-tank The Malthusian Institute.

Despite "more than ample warning" for the most likely means of worldwide destruction, less than one million American households have taken even the simplest precautions against nuclear shockwaves, asteroid impact, or a host of angels bearing swords of fire, the study concluded.

Enlarge ImageReport: Majority Of Americans Unprepared For Apocalypse

Millions remain vulnerable to the all-devouring terror of Jesus' wrath (file photo).

"Our survey of households in seven U. S. regions demonstrated that few citizens have bothered to equip themselves with fireproof suits and extinguishers to deal with volcanic upheaval, solar flares, or the Lord's purifying flame," Malthusian Institute director James Olheiser said. "Almost no one is prepared for a sudden shift in the Earth's polarity or the eating of the Sun and moon by evil wolves Skol and Hati during Ragnarok."

Olheiser added: "All in all, America gets an 'F' for end-of-the-world preparedness."

The study examined nearly 1,200 doomsday scenarios and detailed the most glaring gaps in average Americans' ability to survive them. One of the few survival measures that fulfills the Institute's recommendations for most catastrophes—natural, manmade, or spiritual—is a mile-deep, lead-lined subterranean vault built to shield a pre-selected breeding group of humans until they can safely return to the planet's surface. However, only two American citizens, both in Idaho, were found to have begun even the most cursory planning stages of this kind of race-preserving chamber.

"Even assuming someone eventually developed an above-ground super-house able to withstand the 1,200-degree temperature and massive force of lava and ash rain that would result from a globe-shattering asteroid impact, its occupants would be unprepared for the ensuing radical climate change," Olheiser said. "By the same token, the average household lacks the 1.2 million gallons of heating oil needed to withstand the prolonged sub-zero temperatures of another protracted Ice Age—perhaps the most shocking of the public's many oversights."

In the years after World War II, fallout shelters and stocks of canned goods were common in many American homes. However, as Malthusian Institute figures suggest, while public fears of world-ending scenarios grew more sophisticated, the level of preparation inexplicably dropped.

"America is at its lowest level of apocalyptic preparedness since the early 1950s," Olheiser said.

"Naturally, we're very concerned about the safety of our city's residents," said Billings, MT mayor Ron Tussing whose city was faulted in the study for lackadaisical endtimes-response policy. "But people can't expect the government to do everything. In the event of, say, the eruption of the supervolcano under Yellowstone National Park, or a torrential rain of boiling blood, citizens realize they're on their own."

Enlarge ImageMajority of U.S. Jump R

However, many Americans consistently point to the same two factors that they say hinder their ability to respond to the end of the world: time and money. The study found that many apocalypse-preparedness measures are cost-prohibitive. With virtually no tax incentives in place, many Americans share the "dangerous perception" that only the richest few can afford to survive the extinction of humanity.

"I just renovated my house with cantilevered leaden cofferdams for increased earthquake and radiation protection, and I'm working on a pantheistic altar to appease the god or gods most likely to return to this world with an insatiable wrath," said Seattle resident Tim Hanson, whose actions were praised in the study as a "highly rare display of prescience and vigilance."

"I installed solar panels and a generator so I could live off the grid for a while," Hanson added. "But it cost so much that now I might not be able to have the altar properly gilded. At least not in time."

Not only are Americans unprepared physically, but spiritually as well. The study found that fewer than one thousand Americans regularly monitored space for signs of an approaching hostile alien ship, and only one percent were aware that an all-red bull and an all-white buffalo had recently been born and that plans were underway to rebuild Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem.

"We're advising parents to read this vital information, to take it to heart, and to share it with their children before it's too late," said Olheiser, who also called for the formation of more doomsday cults.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff sharply disagreed with the report's findings.

"This study is inaccurate and misleading," Chertoff told reporters on Tuesday. "Americans are a resilient, can-do people. We are more prepared than ever to survive a gigantic tsunami, a major gravitational disruption, or any other heretofore non-prophesied calamity."

Chertoff added: "As for Armageddon borne out of God's heavenly wrath, I can say with assurance that this nation has never seen a presidential administration that has given more thought to this very scenario."

Curtesy of the

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

9/11 - High Cost of the Human Brain

From another of my favorite bloggers --DEMOGRAPHIC ZERO-- by Catana-- comes this very thoughtful post -

(My comment & Catana's comment follow):

High Cost of the Human Brain

Humans have many things in common with other mammals, and particularly with the primates, but there is one thing that animals would be grateful for if they had the capacity for gratitude, that they do not and can not share with us. That is the ability to kill, not for food, for mates, or for territory, the necessities of sheer physical survival, but for ideals and ideas: for honor, religious belief, political belief, ethnic superiority, and a multitude of other abstractions which have no existence except in the human mind.

Humans congratulate themselves on our species’ accomplishments, in which very few have had any part, but manage to overlook the centuries and generations of violence which pervade our history, from one-on-one torture and murder, to wars that devastate whole nations. Historians know that periods of peace have been comparatively rare, but each generation lives as if what is now only history to them can not happen again, and certainly not to them.

Unless we can somehow learn to look past the proximate causes: this dictator or that group of religious or political fanatics, to the ultimate cause, the human brain, we will never find peace, never be able to live without the threat hanging over us of our eventual self-destruction as a species.

In The Tangled Wing, anthropologist Melvin Konner tells of his encounter with a professor at the American Museum of Natural History. The professor showed him an Archaeopteryx skeleton embedded in a Mesozoic rock and said that the Archaeopteryx, a feathered descendent of the dinosaurs, was very much like humans. When Konner asked him why he replied, “Well, you know it’s such a transitional creature. It’s a piss-poor reptile, and it’s not very much of a bird.” Like the Archaeopteryx, we are a transitional creature, not yet really deserving the name homo sapiens sapiens.

Posted by Catana Mind, Evolution
Hello Catana,

Thanks for your very thoughtful post. My comments…

From Wikipedia

‘Humans, or human beings, are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin for “wise man” or “knowing man”) under the family Hominidae (the great apes). Humans have a highly developed brain capable of abstract reasoning, language and introspection. This, combined with an erect body carriage that frees their upper limbs for manipulating objects, has allowed humans to make greater use of tools than any other species.’

Yes, homo sapiens is definitely a “piss-poor great ape”, and not very much of a “wise/knowing mammal”. My own view is that our putative “intelligence” is really a biological dead end. Our ability to fashion tools has been turned upon ourselves in the form of devastatingly destructive weapons.

The day is fast approaching when an Adolf Hitler, George W. Bush or Osama Bin Laden (who recently received clerical approval for an attack against the U.S. with casualties capped at 10 million!) engulfs the world in Armageddon. And that will be the end of a race of very ill-tempered apes.

Then the REALLY successful species of animal-the insects-will be completely triumphant…

My own favorite insect is the cockroach…what adaptation!–

1) The earliest cockroach-like fossils are from the Carboniferous period between 354–295 million years ago.
2) The cockroach has the ability to withstand radiation better than human beings.
3) The cockroach can live for about a month without its head.

Cheers, Ken

Comment by Ken September 12, 2006

Ken, I try to be optimistic, but it usually winds up feeling like self-induced delusion. The cockroaches may succeed us, but in a way we’ve done better.

Humans have survived for their entire history without a head.

Comment by Catana September 12, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006

70's Child - DISCO is LIFE!

This day in Disco History...
thanks to

K.C. & The Sunshine Band shake into #1 with "Shake Your Booty" in 1976

Disco Ball Curtesy of Cafe Press - at the REAL WHITEHOUSE

Friday, September 08, 2006

More on the "Fourth Estate" - Bush's 'Lapdogs'

As I blogged on 8/26,

'I am currently reading Lapdogs-How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (2006), by Eric Boehlert. It is sharply critical of the news media, which the author says "has utterly failed in their watchdog duty to the public".'

Mr. Boehlert went on to comment,

'...That fear of conservative press critics - and the desire to mollify them - also explains why right-wing extremists are treated like serious commentators by the Main Stream Media (MSM) and so rarely challenged.'

Here is a similiar view expressed by one of my favorite bloggers:

When I Said, "We All Know Now. . ." Turns Out That 43% Don't Know

by The Old Hippie
-Because We're A Nation Filled With Good, But Ignorant, Citizens

I admit that this just recently exposed fact, "43% of Americans still believe Iraq/Saddam had something/anything to do with the crimes of 9/11," stunned me. But I also fully understood, the also revealed fact, that the lower the level of education, the more that believe this propagandized lie. I have written, more than a few times, here in this blog, and at other sites, about this malleable 39%-44% of Americans - but even knowing all I have learned about them, I am still amazed at their continued level of self-destructive ignorance.It would be easy to blame their ignorance on their own stupidity, for not making the effort to know reality. Even though that is part of the problem, it is not the major cause of their ignorance. I put most of the blame squarely on the shoulders of the corporately controlled "main stream media" (MSM) that has purposefully perpetuated this continued ignorance of, and division of, the American masses.
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This nation's MSM is the "4th Branch" of our government, and has always been, through out most of our history because of its vast diversity, and non-centralized control, the exposer of truth, concerning things political and corrupt - That was true until very recently - Now 95% of "our" MSM is in the hands and control of just 5 corporations, corporations that share many members of their boards of directors with the extractive, pharmaceutical, ag-chem, and military-industrial corporations.Our nation, for the first time in its entire history, has all four of its branches under the corrupted rule of a small cabal of radical corporatists from one party.Bush, "our" president, stated to Katie C[o]uric on Wednesday, (September 6, 2006). . .

"One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror."

The fact that 43% of Americans still believe this purposeful lie is proof that, with almost total control of all three branches of our government, and almost total control over "our" MSM, it's really not all that difficult after all.

posted by The Old Hippie @
4:02 AM

MrKen45sWorlds' observations:

1) I also mentioned Katie Couric previously on 8/26, with regard to Fox News' chronic news 'fabricator', Bill O'reilly. She is a typical press 'Lapdog' - ...

'...Previewing a November 2005 speech Bush was giving on Iraq's future, NBC's Today show invited O'Reilly on the program to comment on world affairs, despite the fact O'Reilly announced he had no intention of listening to Bush's Iraq speech. O'Reilly did, though, compare Democrats to Hitler sympathizers on Today, a tasteless attack that host Katie Couric let pass without comment {Italics MrKen45}. (It was left to a late-night comedian, David Letterman, weeks later, to actually press O'Reilly on his hateful rhetoric when O'Reilly appeared on CBS's The Late Show...)'

2) Nevertheless, I do take issue with the characterization above of most Americans as 'good but ignorant citizens'. With the explosion of information on the internet, ignorance is simply indefensible; ignorant, and willfully stupid citizens get the government they deserve. MSM news providers prosper because dopey, undereducated citizens continue to allow themselves to be bamboozled by dim-witted but dangerous rabble rousers like O'Reilly, Ann Coultier, Bill Bennett, Sean Hannity and others.

3) I fully concur with everything 'The Old Hippie' has to say about the corrupted rule of the 'four branches' of government. It is truly a pathetic and increasingly dangerous state of affairs...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Top 10 Tips for Growing Old Slowly and Gracefully

There’s a list of 10 tips on how to grow older gracefully at the HGH Anti-Aging Blog.

Some of the tips are the same old stuff — ‘eat right and stand up straight’ kind of stuff. But some are really useful and clever, such as:

Skip a meal each day or fast a day each week. Eating less food appears to reduce tissue wear and tear from excess blood sugar, inflammation and free radicals.

Get a pet. Pet owners suffer less from depression and high blood pressure.

Get medical help for chronic pain. Chronic pain dampens the immune system, can cause depression and tends to elevate levels of the noxious stress hormone cortisol.

Curtesy of

The 10 Tips follow:

Anyone over 50 can probably remember what “old” people were 30 or 40 years ago. Usually they were people over 50! Most boomers no longer consider themselves old, which is quite possible with life expectancy going up year after year. But we need our health to assure us of a quality of life into our sixties, seventies and beyond.

Here are some really good tips to consider in order to grow old slowly, gracefully and healthfully.

1. Keep away from smoking. The most important general tip. We have all heard the many reasons not to smoke and to stay away from others’ smoke.

2. Keep the weight down. Leanness is high on the list because fat cells have several bad effects - weight, hardening of the arteries and a propensity to cause type 2 diabetes.

3. Take supplements. Particularly alpha-lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine. These boost the energy output.

4. Skip a meal each day or fast a day each week. Eating less food appears to reduce tissue wear and tear from excess blood sugar, inflammation and free radicals. Drink plenty of water to replace the meal.

5. Get a pet. Pet owners tend to visit the doctor less, survive longer even after a heart attack, and suffer less from depression and high blood pressure.

6. Get medical help for chronic pain. If you are in pain, get it seen to. Chronic pain dampens the immune system, can cause depression and tends to elevate levels of the noxious stress hormone cortisol.

7. Get walking. Through age, blood vessel walls tend to harden and exercise keeps blood vessels pliable. Light exercise also reduces the likelihood of diabetes, cancer, depression, dementia and even aging of the skin.

8. Reduce arguments. Arguments and bickering increase the risk of clogged arteries. Rather than allow arguments to simmer, agree that it is OK to have differing points of view.

9. Live around plants. Having a garden or greenhouse to grow plants in is a wonderful way to decrease stress or recuperate from illness. Just being able to see plants in a room or through windows has been proven to be beneficial to bed-ridden patients.

10. Do some weight-training. Strength training is almost as important as cardio exercise to the aging body. This is because from 40 on the body can lose a quarter-pound of muscle each year which is replaced with fat. Lifting weights 3 times a week for a half-hour can easily replace that lost through natural aging.

Brad Bahr is the editor of many health related websites and publications. He has been testing and reviewing nutritional supplements for over 20 years. After trying hundreds of products, he recommends one supplement above all others for renewing health and energy:

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9/11 Conspiracy Theories

The 9/11 terrorist attack on America which left almost 3,000 people dead was an "inside job", according to a group of leading academics.

Around 75 top professors and leading scientists believe the attacks were puppeteered by war mongers in the White House to justify the invasion and the occupation of oil-rich Arab countries. The claims have caused outrage and anger in the US which marks the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Monday.

But leading scientists say the facts of their investigations cannot be ignored and say they have evidence that points to one of the biggest conspiracies ever perpetrated. -- continue reading here

Thanks to

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What Atheism is NOT!

"Religion is based . . . mainly on fear . . . fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. . . . My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race."

[Bertrand Russell]

Curtesy of