About Me

My photo
Deep South, United States
Consultant, inventor, mentor, chess coach,. Current projects involve No Till Farming and staving off blindness due to cataracts among other projects. I also do confidential ghost writing (without taking any published credit. My current blindness makes me put this on hold for a while. I should have one eye working again in about four months. Fact, fiction, all subjects considered. I have heard My daughter Jennifer is alive. I would love it if she were to contact me here. I understand she would like to know me. I have sent a message by circuitous route. I can only hope. My posted Email works as well. We have four decades to catch up on.

This blog has been up for more than a year. The intent was to generate dialogues about serious problems and ideas. It has been almost exclusively a monologue. I have not been looking for large numbers of participants.

I would be quite happy with a few dozen imaginative, creative, thoughtful and inventive people who wish to address serious problems and issues. If anyone has any ideas about how to attract such a talented group I will certainly pay attention. I am not as computer conversant as I would wish. Anyone who could help in this regard would find me receptive to sharing my skills in other areas.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Naomi Klein

I didn't write the following. I got it off the blog of Huqul al Nakhl.

Naomi Klein shot to international fame eight years ago with her book No Logo, which has since sold 1 million copies.

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, published 15 months ago, has already sold 800,000 copies and been translated into 26 languages. Last week, a documentary based on the book was released at the Berlin Film Festival.

Her speaking engagements and political activism keep her on the road, around the world. Her newsletter goes to 30,000 subscribers.

No Logo charted the corporate commodification of youth pop culture and the casualization of labour (what’s sold in the West are expensive brands, not products, which can be manufactured cheaply in the East).

The Shock Doctrine is about the globalization of the neo-conservative ideas pioneered by Chicago economist Milton Friedman and popularized by Ronald Reagan. There was the massive privatization – not only of public services at home but wars abroad (private security forces and contractors galore in Iraq and Afghanistan) and even disaster relief (post-tsunami and Katrina). There was the deregulation of the markets, which led, inevitably, to the current economic meltdown.

Critics attack her for seeing corporate conspiracies. They particularly sneer at her hypothesis, announced in the book’s subtitle, that right-wing economic policies have faced such popular resistance that they can only be introduced in the jet stream of shock-and-awe wars and natural disasters (laying off tens of thousands of Iraqis in order to sell state enterprises; building tourist beach hotels in Southeast Asian fishing villages washed away by the tsunami).

Her admirers see the economic crisis as proof of her prescience.

The New Yorker magazine recently ran a 12-page profile: “She has become the most visible and influential figure on the American left – what Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky were 30 years ago.”

She has campaigned against the University of Chicago’s plan to build a $200 million Milton Friedman Institute to honour its former professor, who died in 2006. “The crash on Wall St. should be for Friedmanism what the fall of the Berlin Wall was for authoritarian communism, an indictment of an ideology,” she has said.

In a twist of fate, the economic crisis has dried up funding for the institute, and it has been put on hold – much to her delight.

In an interview Tuesday, Klein, 38, said she welcomes the election of Barack Obama. But she has two problems: his refusal to insist on accountability for recent American misdemeanours abroad and at home; and his “narrative that everything went wrong only eight years ago” with the election of George W. Bush.

It was Bill Clinton who periodically bombed Iraq and tightened the economic sanctions that killed 1 million Iraqis, including 500,000 children, according to UNICEF. It was he who axed the Depression-era restrictions that had prevented investment banks from also being commercial banks. He and Alan Greenspan resisted the regulation of the huge derivatives industry.

If you develop amnesia about all that, “then you do exactly what Obama is doing. You resurrect the Clinton economic and foreign policy apparatus, and you appoint Larry Summers, the key architect of the economic policy that has imploded at this moment.”

Obama’s economic recovery plan, especially the bank bailout, is a disaster.

It is “layering complexity over complexity. What got us into this mess in the first place were these complex financial instruments that nobody understood. Now they have a bailout that nobody understands.

“The facts are easy to understand, namely, that these banks are bankrupt and they should be allowed to go under or be nationalized because there also needs to be a workable financial sector.

“The amount of money that’s at stake in the bailout – if you include everything, the deposit guarantees, the loans, Fannie May and Freddie Mac and AIG – is now up to $9 trillion. The American GDP is only $14 trillion. So they’ve put more than half the American economy on the line to try to fix a mess that actually cannot be fixed in this way. Just look at what happened to Iceland. The debt that their three top banks held was 10 times their GDP. You can bankrupt the country this way.”

Obama’s stimulus package is not big enough. Almost 40 per cent goes to tax cuts. “And to pay for the cuts, they had to drastically scale back much more important and stimulative spending, on such things as public transit.”

Among the many parallels to the 1930s, the one Klein finds most useful is that president Franklin Roosevelt was under constant public pressure to improve the New Deal. That “history of resistance, struggle and community organizing” needs to be replicated to keep Obama honest.

“Obama is an important change from Bush, and the reason why he is important is that he is susceptible to pressure from everyone. He is susceptible to pressure from Wall Street, to pressure from the weapons companies, from the Washington establishment. But unlike Bush and (Dick) Cheney, I don’t think he’d ignore mass protest.

“The irony is that just at the very moment when that kind of grassroots organizing and mobilization could have an impact, we are demobilizing and waiting for the good acts to be handed down from on high, whether it is the withdrawal from Iraq or the perfect economic stimulus package.”

It is equally important that America come to terms with its recent past.

“So much of this moment for me comes down to whether there’s going to be any accountability for what happened – whether it’s the illegal occupation of Iraq or torture or the economic crimes that led to this disaster.

“The FBI believes that there’s a huge criminality at the heart of the economic meltdown but they’ve made a decision not to prosecute because they were afraid that might send panic through the market.

“All this argument for impunity, amnesia is really corrosive.”

Okay, that ends the blurb. Now it's me, Anthropositor talking. From my perspective, Naomi Klein's most recent book, THE SHOCK DOCTRINE The rise of disaster capitalism is a paradigm shifting book of great importance. I'm not going to comment further, except to encourage everyone to not only read the book, but to search out and listen to her various speeches. I hold her views in the highest esteem.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

For Jennifer

My long lost daughter,
I tried to post some pictures here for you but my eyes are almost useless at the moment and I don't know my way around the computer. The links to the pictures wound up on another of my blogs called Anthropositor's Posts. http://anthropositorsposts.blogspot.com
If I typed that right, you should be able to click the links and a couple of pictures of me at a chessboard about a year ago may pop up. I very much look forward to knowing you, and in three or four months I expect to be able to see again with at least one eye. If you know how to post pictures and can post a fairly large one, I would be delighted to get an idea what you look like. I am so glad to hear you are alive. Life certainly has a lot of bumps to it doesn't it? I'm sure we will have much to talk about. I lost track of your mom and your brothers and sisters in your very first year. I hope they are well but I realize that may not be the case.Although the other children were not actually mine, I have fond memories of them, particularly Spooky and Skippy. I do hope life has been good to them.
. I would very much like to see what you look like, but for a few months anyway, it would have to be a fairly large picture. Do you know how to post pictures on the internet and things of that sort?
Your prodigal father.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Cataract Monocle

A low vision product which I designed and tested on myself, is called the Cataract Monocle. I have had excellent improvement in acuity in an eye with a moderately advanced cataract. The eye with a more mature cataract was not improved.

But as the eye with the moderate cataract has continued to worsen, I have gotten almost two years of additional good use out of the eye, both for the purpose of reading fine print, and in driving (distance vision). Had I not produced this monocle, I would have curtailed my driving, even under the most ideal lighting conditions, over a year ago.

Although I have discussed the development and testing of this Cataract Monocle on Skin Cell Forum, in the General Health Section, and on my blog Eureka Ideas Unlimited eurekaideasunlimited.blogspot.com
little interest has been generated in the ophthalmological community or among cataract sufferrers.

As for me, I have been overwhelmingly satisfied with the additional time I have been able to put off cataract surgery. Great changes are still occurring in the field which may become available because of the extended time I have been able to delay the first cataract replacement, first scheduled for February, 2007.

It saddens me that there is, so far, so little interest among other cataract sufferers, or among their physicians. In the absence of testing on a wider spectrum of cataracts, little can be determined about the general efficacy of the optical aid, or the amount of additional time delaying surgery will be afforded other users. All I can say is that for me, the additional time is over two years.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Formal Answer To Notice to Vacate

Formal Answer To Notice to Vacate 10-6-08

To: Danny Leon Duvall & Dana Duvall
c/o River Valley Furniture Store
2609 East Parkway,
Russellville, AR 72801

From: H. C. & Ellen Benson
Delete St.
Delete City, AR

Re: Eviction Order

Please be advised that this eviction order does not reflect the true facts.
Please be advised that there is no merit or foundation in any of the
causes you have alleged therein. The order is disputed in its entirety.

If this matter is not put to rest without court intervention, we will list
the various injuries we have suffered in our dealings with you, and will
countersue for damages.

This is not the time to list them all, or to list the serious losses we have
sustained due to your unscrupulous, negligent and willful actions, but
you may rest assured that we will comprehensively list them for the
court and for the public.

Most particularly, we are not tenants and never were. We are buyers.
We are not in breach of contract. Therefore, if you were successful in
evicting us and seizing our real and personal property we would take
vigorous legal action against you for our injuries.

This was a stealth action on your part, with no warning. No demand for
moneys alleged to be due has been presented. Not in writing. Not verbally.
There have been many, many harassment's made against us over these
eight years, in an attempt to get us to relinquish our home. I will list them
comprehensively during any legal action that you bring against us, in a
counter suit against you.

Although you have received several verbal requests over these eight years,
to inform the Tax Assessor of the purchase of this home on two acres of
land, you have, to date failed to do so. I can think of several motivations
for your ongoing delay in the proper recording of this sale. Reasons
resulting in profit to you and substantial loss to us.

Only the seller could do this. Therefore we, the buyers, are entirely
blameless. The assessor's office has informed us that there is no
delinquency in the tax liability on this property. I call upon you once
again, this time formally and in writing, to correct this wrongful and
injurious failure to inform the Tax Assessor of our purchase agreement
and get us properly listed as buyers.

If you do this, the Assessor will be able to determine the actual tax liability
due for the two acres and the dwelling. Until you do this, no correct and
accurate figure can be generated. Certainly you cannot believe that we
were responsible fir the taxes on the entire tract, of which this parcel is
only a part.

To sum up: You have never made any demand with any dollar amount
to us. Never. In over eight years. Our tax liability commences on the
date the Tax Assessor generates the proper precise amount due from
us for our proportion of the larger tract. And a debt cannot be due
before the debt has been properly computed and an actual bill has
been presented. You do not even know what figure you claim is due.
These are essential elements of a debt.

We did not empower or otherwise authorize any party to pay our taxes
without our knowledge or consent, and therefore cannot be held
responsible for any such donations made without our being made
aware of it.

Rest assured that we will pay all taxes on our two acre parcel with
dwelling, at such time as we receive a proper and correct bill from
the Tax Assessor showing precise figures for that parcel only, not the
larger tract that the parcel is on.

The other minor things you allege in your eviction papers are equally
without merit, and certainly don't constitute a cause for elderly
people to be put out on the street and their home wrongfully
stolen from them.

H. C. Benson

Okay, a little background for the blog reader. I bought this place over eight years ago on a private contract from a merchant family, though the calls I made to check on their honesty and integrity came back with -- extremely diversified and contrasting results. You might ask yourself why I would do business with such people. The reason of course is I needed a place to live, and I had the opportunity to buy these two acres with dwelling cheaper than rent, and the sellers were willing to also carry three years of paper on the down payment as well.

It seems clear to me that they figured that one kind of emergency or another was very likely to put me under and that they would reap great reward for the sale by regaining possession of the property. I had originally been led to expect that they would go down and show the sale at the tax assessors office. That did not happen. Not the first year, nor the fifth year, not even now, ober eight years into the contract. It has been a matter of concern to me because I know that they have been borrowing on the much larger tract of land that this property is on. I can't render a legal opinion as to whether this is actual fraud against the bank making them the loans, since they still had the property in their name during this entire time, but certainly it was unscrupulous and improper from an ethical standpoint.

Although the sale was on a private contract, and did not go through escrow, it was still a valid contractual sale. We have never been in default on our payments.

On the first day of this month a Sheriff deputy cane to our home to present us with a notice to vacate in 10 days for nonpayment of the property taxes. Now you have already seen my response in writing. But how else would you handle this? Of course the crux of it all is that even having paid a down payment and over eight years of monthly payments, if the seller went belly up after taking out loans on the property, no matter how fraudulently the Seller had behaved, the bank would have first claim, and I would have little effective recourse. So the question I would put to you is, how would you proceed? You have already seen my written response, but what else should I be doing?

I should also say that the seller alleges that I have not paid the property taxes, which I was obligated to pay by contract. The seller not having informed the assessor of the purchase, and having clandestinely paid the taxes without our knowledge authority or consent, was now claiming that this money was due them and was the basis of our eviction. No court action has been initiated in any court. Once again, what would you be doing if you were me, specifically to reduce the risks that I could wind up losing this property later? And some of you might want to speculate as to how I stopped the eviction action. Another hint: I have not retained an attorney I checked with one who, when asked the broad range of possible costs for legal fees, came up with $1,500 to $15,000. What do you think? Is it worthwhile to hire one crook to protect you from another crook?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It is fitting that this new blog "Anthropositor's Posts" commences on this day, as the sun sets on the world as we knew it.The details are not clear, and won't be for a while, but the impending disaster that we face is completely unprecedented in scope, depth, and probable duration.

The American Taxpayer will almost certainly be forced to bail out, to the tune of $700,000,000,000, financial giants which have played fast and loose for decades on several deregulated fronts. Forced I say, because the alternative is the meltdown of the entire world economy. Forced I say, because whatever the final provisions hastily thumb tacked together, we will also elevate an appointed official to heights which, in terms of raw power, are greater than those of whatever new President takes office.

And the worst of it is, there is a vanishingly low likelihood that it will work. The only argument that it will work is this: It must. Sorry folks, that argument is not persuasive. The truth is that it is unlikely to work even for weeks or months. The security for this bailout is virtually entirely worthless. The notion that valueless securities and mortgages will somehow gain value when the panic subsides is ridiculous. The panic is well justified by the facts.

So that you will have some distractions from this disaster, I have put the archives of my previous blog up here to divert you to a certain extent while I reorganize and make this blog more effective. It remains to be seen if the changes I have planned will do the job, but they have a better chance than this economic bail out.

Let me be more succinct. This economic bail out cannot work. It will ultimately make matters much worse.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New Nutritional Discovery

This is about Shmooo, a vegetable/spice I have been growing with several other experimental crops, employing No-Till farming techniques of my own design. To condense what has already appeared in several of the Nutrition threads on Skin Cell Forum, my original idea was to find the most nutritious, healthful vegetable with which to make up for the shortfall of vegetables in my carnivorous diet. Previously, I had been buying sufficient fresh vegetables. But that does little good if they do not actually get prepared and eaten. Most of the vegetables I was buying wilted and wound up on the compost heap because it was so easy for me to forget to eat it. This is complicated by the fact that most of my teeth are rippers and slicers, not grinders. So I needed a green vegetable, preferably in leaf form, that would be tender and tasty enough to eat raw in substantial amounts.

Not only that, it had to be a really appealing tasting food or it was a long shot that I would actually regularly consume it. And I wanted to be able to eat every part of the plant. And that turned out to be the case. I haven't tried to do anything with the adult root system, but other than that, the entire plant is not only edible, it is delicious and denser with the whole array of nutrients than any other vegetable I have compared it to.

In the past several months, I have done some diet-loading tests, seeing how much of it I could consume over a long period of time. I aye most of it raw and alive, just eating it fresh in the garden. I shredded and dried it under low temperature and used it alone or combined with every common spice in my kitchen. The Shmooo itself is not intense, but delicate in its' flavor. And yet, when mixed with other spices, seems to extend and enhance their affect. And I could find no commercial sources for these greens. Never saw them in the produce section, the farmer's market, or the health food store. To put it another way, no one is selling it, and the general public has no notion that it is even edible, let alone tasty and nutritious.

I have eaten as much as a half a pound a day or more, both fresh and dried. This is really shocking to me. The seeds too are good, but my current emphasis in testing is the greens, raw or dry. They work better than lettuce in a sandwich or salad, or just eaten plain. And dry, I add to soups or sauces or gravies or puddings or gravies or breading for chicken or chops or steak or fish. Whether I used it totally alone or mixed it with all the other usual spices, it just seemed I could do no wrong with it.

My wife has been joining me in this quest to find the maximum amount of Shmooo intake. She recently decided not to eat any just before bedtime. Says she finds it harder to get to sleep. That is not something I would tend to notice. My sleep tends to be on the alert side. As far as the Shmooo goes, my wife likes it best at breakfast or actually brunch. We so often combine the two meals.

But that is when I realized that my metabolism also seemed to be higher throughout the day. The Shmooo is incredibly nutritious and I was consuming a very large amount of it, sometimes even before breakfast.. I often go out with my first mug of coffee and eat some wild Indian strawberries along with some Shmooo. A nice combination. But often, later, my other normal helpings of food, I wound up not being able to finish what was on my plate. Very unusual behavior for me. Now the question is: is it just excellent nutrient content of the Shmooo that is doing this, or is there some stimulant in the plant that I am eating so much of?

My opinion so far is that metabolic rate has increased significantly, but I don't see a corresponding period later of being down. This is the central characteristic of stimulants in general. If a stimulant like caffeine or some similar chemical were involved, this past several months would have seen a lot of "down" periods. I have to conclude that the most likely explanation is that the Shmooo is just exceptionally nutritious and nutrient dense, supplying a great many things which were probably at some deficit when I began.

So the net effect is energizing and invigorating. and tends to blunt the appetite. This may account for the fact that I have lost nearly fifteen pounds in the past three months while doing nothing to deliberately diet.

But since I am not obese, and am not inclined to diet, I guess my next step is to find some testers who do need to drop some substantial weight, perhaps fifty pounds or more, who are ready to add Shmooo to their diet in the same way that I have. Other than adding the Shmooo, no formal diet would be involved. No counting calories or weighing portions. Just eat the Shmooo at the outset of each meal, and incorporate it into as many of your dishes that you can get it into. And weigh yourself once a week. You would only need to keep track of how much fresh Shmooo you consume at each meal, and how much dried Shmooo went into the various dishes consumed. So initially, I need at least a half dozen people who must lose fifty pounds or more to regain good health. And I don't much care if you have previously failed in your diets.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

iN a fOG. lOVING THE fOG i'M iN

All this interest in somehow quantifying the ephemeral essence of the mind. What a fog.
Everybody is interested in the numbers, and the curves and if this median value were reduced and so on. I too, transiently toy with these notions. But it really draws attention away from other qualities that count far more.

John Nash saw patterns that would never be apparent to me. He paid dearly.

What I often see are the mistakes or oddities, the anachronisms, or just sometimes things jarringly out of place, even when I am not conversant with the subject. I'm not searching for them. Often I'm not even paying attention. They just seem to jump out at me from nowhere. The movies will provide an example or two.

Before my encroaching blindness, I happened to see a fine movie, "O Brother, Where Art Thou," based substantially on Homer's great epic adventure of Ulysses. Who knows? Maybe a little Virgil slipped in there too. But now it is set in the deep and enduring Depression of the United States. A time of great adventure and tragedy. A time when eugenics and other forms of badly disguised hatreds were really growing like crabgrass.

But in this particular confection of a movie, there was never a pinch of despair, let alone the heaping cup put into The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck.

I remember having a bit of reverie about Shaw and Twain in each of their depictions of Joan of Arc, and how their sharp contrasts in style and content spoke volumes of the authors. I know not how these thoughts came at this time.

And the translations into the movies! How breathtaking, each for entirely different reasons. The Joans. Would anyone ever keep up with these Joans? Perhaps, but it certainly seems improbable while I am watching either one of them. Since these two black and white movies, I have perhaps seen half a dozen sumptuous productions with lavish sets, vivid color, and in several languages. But never has Widmark's Dauphin been surpassed.

I love it when I don't quite pay attention, when my mind wanders in six or eight different directions, but none of it is strenuous, like a dream, sometimes sensibly illogical.

Now we have our three boys -- no criminals here. No vicious desperadoes. No ghastly gangsters. Just Preening Pup with a great pelt of pride and counterfeit perspicacity, and his associates Pack Dog and Goofy.

They have just opportunistically absconded with some one's idling auto, care free as gamboling jackals. No pressing goals. No gut wrenching hunger. Just living, sniffing, scratching, being the beings they be.

Suddenly one detects the faintest musical scent wafting in the breeze. A scream of a bark bursts from him. The nominal leader of the pack stops the car, Pack Dog bursts into the woods, with the other two bringing up the rear, fully trusting Pack Dog's instincts, with no thought of why.

I too, in the darkness, in that theater of like-mindlessness am no longer in idle reverie. My attention is riveted on the Sirens. I am totally had. My main brain, in it's separate head, has taken full command. My eyes are glazed with the approaching blazing beauty.

Then suddenly, that earthen jug of moonshine, with it's little xxx's, erasing the universal XXX permeating the entire substance of my being, shattered the dream, like a clattering alarm with it's scintillating shards of reality, like Mom yelling the Hell to pay if breakfast gets cold in my slumber.

Angrily, I silently stormed to breakfast, deliberately obliterating the rest of the dream, refusing then to take it in little pieces. I said quietly to Mom, behind the counter,
"A tub please."
"Yes. Please slime it lightly with the lubricant."
"Some butter will be fine."
I sat in the lobby, reading a book. Gum popping, teen-aged Mom, nothing to do, was uncharacteristically curious.
"Not going to watch the movie?"
"Next showing. Missed a scene."
"No shit?" she blurted without thinking, then looked worried. I put her at her ease,
"Yes shit. Some shit with little x's made me miss a scene."
It now dawned on her, I was perhaps more than a little weird.

It dawned on me too.
"Look. The movie is a work of art. One scene has a defect. I have to prepare not to notice it. Sort of like restoring a great masterpiece." I searched for a way to put it in language she would apprehend. "Pretend some idiot flicked some snot on your Marilyn Monroe Calendar. It would no longer be a work of art would it? You would have to carefully fix it before you could once again fully appreciate it."
"What's a Marilyn Monroe Calendar?"
"Sort of like a Madonna Poster, only better."
Now she knew I was nuts. I read.

Half a book later, I saw the scene intact, snot carefully ignored. What a dream! And the jug would have worked with only a glimmer of it in shot five of the scene, in some weeds by the bank of the river.

But how incredible! The pairing of the Sirens with our young dogs, each a dead match. And the culminating illusion!

I have asked several people how many kisses were in the end of that scene. No one I have asked ever got the right answer. There were no kisses. None. And that is as it should be. A kiss would have brought some sense of resolution, some tangible satisfaction. That is not what the Sirens were about.

True beauty is in our minds, and can't be erased if we don't let it. Trachtenberg invented a wonderful math for children amid the horrors of a death camp. It was his refuge. His salvation.

Within every hag or doddering homeless bum still resides the soul of a child. All the beauty that ever was is still there, right below the graffitti of age. You fight the dying of the light! If you don't the young will kill you a little at a time because you are so ready to go along with it. Let us not be lemmings. Even old life is a great gift. And as someone said a couple thousand years ago, Cut them some slack! They are clueless.

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