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Running With a Bee on Chairman Mao’s Nose, Montaigne, Shiva, Obama Supposes

I was out running before the rain was supposed to get heavy,
first checking’s hour-by-hour prediction for my
town. I had been reading about China’s 1980’s Premier Zhao
Ziyang dictating his memoirs while under house arrest,
recording them over children’s songs tapes, and performances
of the Beijing Opera. When Tianamen Square was happening
in May of 1989, Zhao was the Chinese Communist Party chief
who wanted to pursue dialogue with the students, but when
he went to the home of patriarch Deng Xiaoping to talk
about it, martial law had already been decided to be imposed.
Instead of a cordial meeting, Zhao ‘was purged and placed under house arrest
until his death in 2005.’

Interesting. There are supposed to be details about the inner
sanctum of Chinese rule in what will be a book to be released
May 19 entitled “Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of
Premier Zhao Ziyang” via Simon and Schuster – – the book derived
from the tapes secretly smuggled to other friends and eventually
compiled into a complete set by ‘Bao Tong, a former close adviser
to Mr. Zhao who remains under tight surveilance in Beijing.’

This is major revelatory news, so there I was running in my
t-shirt of Chairman Mao himself with a beeg bee perched upon
his nose. I was listening to my music to inspire me and give
me energy, thinking about our wonderful nuclear industry in
the background, never quitting on getting some money. Making
hay while the sun shines. Billions of dollars flying around
and why not get us some too. Senator Murkowski, following
in her anti-environmental father’s shoes, has an amendment that
may be appended to some form of energy bill next week. The
Nuclear Information and Resource Service [NIRS], ever vigilant,
had sent out an alert and 3000 angry citizen responses had
resulted, protesting this amendment to our Congresspeople.

However, NIRS finally figured out that the ‘clean energy bank’
idea is the big whale on the horizon where unlimited dollars
can be garnered for nuclear power. If it can falsely be
determined to be a form of clean energy, like wind or sun or
hydropower. Which of course it is far far from ever being.
So, we must alert our congresspeople to this bigger reality.
You can do this via going to NIRS’ Daily Kos post at:
or directly contact your Representative in the House of
Representatives via:
or Speaker Nanci Pelosi at:

See how YOU can effect change in our country, keep our
21st century course toward clean energy going in the
right uncorrupted direction, adding your own viewpoints
to the pre-written letters supplied by NIRS composers.

OBAMA Not The Brilliant Spectre We Hoped For:

No he’s not. He was vetted by Zbigniew Brzezinski. Here’s a few paragraphs
out of an article Bruce Gagnon wrote before the 2008 election, called ‘O-Bummer:’

“David Rockefeller at the Trilateral Commission sent the executive director
of that high-brow organization, Zbignew Brzezinski, out to find a fresh face,
someone who could offer “change” to the public. He recruited Jimmy Carter,
the unknown Georgia governor and peanut farmer, to run for president. With
the support of this hidden elite Carter became president. I fell for the
trap. Brzezinski became Carter’s national security adviser and is the one
who helped us arm the Taliban in Afghanistan so they could give the former
Soviet Union their own version of a Vietnam quagmire. The U.S. has now
built six permanent military bases in Afghanistan.

Zbignew Brzezinski went on to write a book called The Grand Chessboard: American
Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives that was published in the late 1980’s
or early 1990’s. In this book Brzezinski talks about the importance of the
Middle East and Central Asia because of their vast supplies of oil and natural
gas. He says, “… But in the meantime, it is imperative that no Eurasian
challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging
America. The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated Eurasian geostrategy
is therefore the purpose of this book.”

He continues, “In that context, how America ‘manages’ Eurasia is critical.
Eurasia is the globe’s largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A
power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world’s three most
advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map
also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail
Africa’s subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania
geopolitically peripheral to the world’s central continent. About 75%
of the world’s people live in Eurasia, and most of the world’s physical
wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil.
Eurasia accounts for 60% of the world’s GNP and about three-fourths of the
world’s known energy resources.”

How though, Brzezinski asks, will we be able to convince the American people
to expend the enormous amount of money it would take to secure Eurasia on
behalf of the American corporate empire? How can we talk the American people
into giving up their favorite social programs (Medicare and Social Security)
so that permanent bases can be established in this region in order to control
the extraction of resources?

He answers the question by saying, “Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly
multi-cultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on
foreign policy issues, except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely
perceived direct external threat.”

Translation – terrorism. The war on terror. Endless war to protect us from the
dark, hard to find, cave dwelling forces of evil.

Today the American people are beginning to suffer from the Iraq and Afghanistan
syndrome. Since 2001 we have been in a perpetual state of war which has been
supported by both the Republicans and Democrats. How can we ever convince the
American people to press on, to keep our feet in “Eurasia” when they have begun
to show such a proclivity to tire of these foreign entanglements?

A new fresh face is needed.

I recently read an interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski that was published in a
British progressive journal. In the interview Brzezinski, who is now one of
Obama’s chief foreign policy advisers, brags that he had early on “vetted”
the potential presidential candidate and was quite certain that he was the
right man for the job at hand.

The official definition of the word vetted: to evaluate for possible approval
or acceptance.

I told my friend that the fresh face of change was a facade. A false,
superficial, or artificial appearance. A trick. A lie. A humiliation.”

So, the Prez is going to close Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, but will not eliminate
military tribunals, a la GW Bush after all. He is increasing our troopage in
Afghanistan, which may be a war that cannot be won (as the Russians well know),
and will step up the spending on military hardware. He has taken on
individuals who were in favor of warring on Iraq and Afghanistan to council
and lead the country into more trouble and much less change.

But then, are human beings, and Americans, so smart anyway? We take animals for
granted as being part of nature, but they know things we don’t. Have you
ever read any Montaigne? He provides us with such great information from way
back a few centuries ago, before there were antibiotics, television, Viagra
and the cellphone:

“The philosopher Cleanthes saw some ants leave their anthill bearing the body
of a dead ant toward another anthill, from which several other ants came
to meet them as if to speak to them; and after they had been together
for a time, the second group returned to consult, you may suppose, with
their fellow citizens, and in this way made two or three trips because
of the difficulty of coming to terms. Finally the late-comers brought the
first ones a worm out of their den, as if for the ransom of the dead one,
which worm the first ones loaded on their back and carried home, leaving to
the others the body of the deceased. That is the interpretation Cleanthes gave
to it, testifying thereby that those creatures who have no voice nevertheless
have mutual intercourse and communication, in which it is our fault that we
cannot participate, and for this reason we are meddling foolishly by
expressing our opinion in the matter.”
– – from pages343-44 of Collected Essays – ‘Apology for Raymond Sebond’

Then: “As for domestic management, not only do the ants surpass us in their
foresight in piling up and saving for the time to come, but they
also possess many parts of the knowledge necessary for it. The ants
spread their grains and seeds outside their threshing floor to air
them, freshen them, and dry them, when they see that they are beginning to
molder and smell rancid, for fear they may spoil and rot. But the caution
and foresight they use in gnawing the grains of wheat surpasses anything
imagined by human prudence. Because the wheat does not always remain dry
and sound, but grows soft and soggy and dissolves as in milk, when it is
on the way to germinate and produce; for fear it may sprout and lose its
nature and property as a storehouse for their food, they nibble off the
end by which it usually sprouts.” – – from page 347 of Sebold, Apology for

And why not: “Of all the predictions in times past, the most ancient and the most
certain were those drawn from the flight of birds. We have nothing like
it and nothing so wonderful. That rule and order in the flapping of
their wings by which men draw conclusions about things to come, must
certainly be led by some excellent means to so noble an operation; for
it is playing with words to go and attribute this great effect to some
natural ordinance, without the intelligence, consent, and reason of
the creature that produces it; and this is an opinion evidently false.”
– – – – page 344 ‘Apology for Raymond Sebond’

As proof of this, the torpedo [electric ray] has the property, not
only of putting to sleep the limbs that directly touch her, but of
transmitting through nets and seines a sort of benumbed heaviness
to the hands of those who move and handle them. Indeed they say
further that if you pour water upon her, you feel this sensation
which climbs uphill to the hand and numbs the touch through the water.
This power is marvelous, but it is not useless to the torpedo: she
senses it and uses it in this way, that to catch the prey she seeks,
you see her hide under the mud, so that the other fish, gliding
past above, struck and benumbed by this chill of hers, fall into her
power. – – – next paragraph on page 344 ‘Apology for Raymond Sebond’

Vandana Shiva talks about calling peoples or animals ‘natural’ in the
beginning of her terrific ‘Biopiracy’ book thusly:

“Columbus set a precedent when he treated the license [granted by the Pope]
to conquer non-European peoples as a natural right of European men. The
land titles issued by the pope through European kings and queens were the
first patents. The colonizer’s freedom was built on the slavery and subjugation
of the people with original rights to the land. This violent takeover was
rendered “natural” by defining the colonized people as nature, thus
denying them their humanity and freedom…

These Eurocentric notions of property and piracy are the bases on which
‘Intellectual Property’ laws of the GATT and World Trade Organization
(WTO) have been framed. When Europeans first colonized the non-European
world, they felt it was their duty to “discover and conquer,” to “subdue,
occupy, and possess.” It seems that Western powers are still driven by
the colonizing impulse to discover, conquer, own, and possess everything,
every society, every culture. The colonies have now been extended to
interior spaces, the ‘genetic codes’ of life-forms from microbes and
plants to animals, including humans.”

Ms. Shiva is talking about patenting genetically altered plants, crops, and
yes, even human genomes (doctors and government officials have already
indeed done this). Her vision of depicting indigenous people as natural
goes with what Montaigne shows us we humans do concerning animals – -to our own detriment. Columbus came a couple of centuries before Montaigne.

When I run my miles along beaches and inlets few people see, I think about
the wisdom of the geese and birds I am so lucky to perceive, relatively
undisturbed, out of the main heavy flow of human traffic. Bees on his
nose, Chairman Mao, and Zhao Ziyang himself needed to be tweaked out of their
complacency to suppress human nature and intelligence. The Ziyang book
should be an interesting read when it gets into our hands, tho nature waits out there for all of us to enjoy right now, morning, noon or any ole time…

Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women Heat Up The Talkhouse 7 12 09

Well, I was surprised when the six woman band accompanying Dave Alvin came out on the stage.  What a hot night it was.  Dave Alvin is one of the great guitarists of the world.  His last appearance at Stephen Talkhouse had him on the electric guitar for the whole show with the Guilty Men.  He was more sober, and less acoustic.  This time his cast led him in a different direction.  There were four and five part harmonies in songs like ‘Downey Girl’ and fiddle solos by Laurie Lewis and Amy Farris; hot lap steel guitar solos by the beautiful Cindy Cashdollar; super-steady drumming by Lisa Pankratz (who looked like Diego Rivera’s wife (twice married – to each other) Frida Kahlo with that flower in her hair off to the left side), and Sarah Brown in the middle of it all holding it together on the bass.  Oh, and then there is Dave’s childhood sweatheart Christy McWilson on the lead vocals of songs like ‘Weight of the World’ and ‘Potter’s Field’ – the latter having mucho four and five part harmonies as the ladies sang the chorus ‘Bury Me in Potter’s Field’.  A bit morbid, but you gotta go anyway and sometimes we do think about it and Christy wrote this song and it’s on the new CD.  Apparently this group was assembled in only 2008 for a San Francisco bluegrass festival, and now they are on the road tearing it up. 

For the entire show proper, Dave played acoustic guitar, and the band was showcased to great pleasure.  Then for the demanded encore(s) Dave strapped on his electric instrument and wowed us all out in Amagansett, especially with the last tune that ‘tells us everything that we have to know about life…a tune written by….?Doris Day?’   Yeah.  Don’t know if my mother would have adequately appreciated undoubtedly the hottest version of ‘Que Sera Sera’ ever performed.  Maybe 8 or 9 minutes with everybody cookin’ but especially Mr. Alvin blasting thru it, flying and penetrating the tune’s essence and rocking beyond anything else done last night.  That peaked off the night.

P.S.  I picked up a Laurie Lewis CD called ‘Earth and Sky’ that is stupendous.  Mostly bluegrass.  Just about every song is terrific.  She hails out of Berkeley, California.  Downey is where Dave is from.  He and his brother formed the Blasters out of Downey.  Which is just down dee road from Whittier, where Christy McWilson hails from (also shamed ex-President Richard Nixon).  These are towns in the San Bernadino valley west of Los Angeles.  Where all the smog collects when the ocean breezes blow it from the freeways and city, toward the trapping mountains….

P.T. Walkley and Band Perform At The Talkhouse 6/9/09

P.T. Walkley and his band were a magical surprise show at the Stephen Talkhouse
last Saturday, June 6, 2009. P.T., a rather experienced songsmith and singer, with
terrific phrasing skills and a great lyricist – – with the words not flowing quite as
expected they would – – proved that going out to the Talkhouse, after missing Reel Karma a few nights before, still made for a wonderfully inspiring evening. Many of the tunes were short and sweet. The tang and beauty of the melodies linger still, especially the guitars as they faded away in the super short pieces: Lizzy Lee Vincent (no relation to Gene ???) from Birmingham (Burmingumm) UK
was the man in the black tie and gray shirt on the lead, and P.T. did his overall choreographing/trumming and plucking and driving songs from beginning to end. Mike Nolan was loverly in his little hat on the pedal steel, especially on the last few songs. But the star for me for joie de vivre, energy, and expertise was the vibrant, wild, sometimes manic, fiddler Earl Maneein. He had a brimmed Mao Tse Tung kine of green hat and stomped his brisk feet whether he was firing thru
a song or stomping about the extablishment. Absolutely loved him and his contribution to the music. The Brothers Kulund, Nicky (drums) and David (bass) bottomed up the rhythm section with fire, constancy and pizzazz. Marc Trachtenberg played pretty extemperaneous fitting piano
noteage thru each tune upon which he tickled his keys – – he also contributed to the vocals.
How about this for an example of Walkley’s lyrics: from ‘Comin Over’ with the great last line >
Biding my time/One glass, I’m passing through/Waving goodbye while whispering I love you/I think about you/I think without you I’d be blue/Is it coming over you/Wake me when my dream comes true…..

Yes, P.T. is a very romantic fellow. In fact, his tall slim beautiful wife Michel sings in the band and plays the tambourine. Many of the tunes are actually rather Beatle-esque. Though without a doubt in my mind, the hottest song done by the band that night was ‘Four Cheers.’ Apparently, this song was originally done with/by P.T.’s former band the Blue Jackets. There is a video of
it available on the internet via YouTube, but it pales in comparison to how they all did it live at the Talkhouse toward the end of the show (after a ‘Suicide..’ David Bowie cover that was mildly fair). Lizzy Lee played some really hot licks to begin the tune, his loose tie ahangin’ over the guitar neck, then the band came in, and they cooked. My advice to P.T. is: record your current members doing this song either live or in the studio and release it! If it comes out close to how you sounded on June 6, 2009, maybe you will have yourselves a beeeeeg hit!?!

The two songs ‘Mediocre’ and ‘To Be Somebody’ were interesting to end the CD ‘Mr Macy wakes alone’ and similarly in concert…but not the ideal subjects for music to play over and over again.

P.T. Walkley has a very very bright future. He and his band sound great in person. Go out and see hem whenever they come to your town. They/he may likely become a familiar and popular ame/phrase/buzzword in American culture in the years ahead.

Danny Kalb Great Guitarist Performs At The Talkhouse in Amagansett, April 10, 2009

Danny Kalb used to be the lead guitarist with the Blues Project back in the 1960's, with fellow prominent band member Al Kooper. Most of you today will know the band Blood Sweat & Tears, which Mr. Kooper formed after the Blues Project broke up. Mr. Kalb was not part of that band. Great show April 10, 2009; band members described, song by song laid out for you from that night.

Shinobi Ninja Rocks The Talkhouse July 1 2009

Shinobi Ninja! High energy, Baby Girl, D.A. rapping and rocking, twin brothers Maniac Mike (guitar) and Terminator Dave (drums) anchoring the band, six terrific musicians putting their hearts and souls out there in Amagansett at Stephen Talkhouse to start off the month of July 2009. Watch out for this band. They will make you shout and pout and be happy and wacky, bouncing off the walls, partying defiantly, leaping into a low ceiling somewhere in Brooklyn or Mumbai....

Barack Obama Wins, Now The Problems Must Be Confronted

A monumental victory.  Good for America.  Good for Barack.  Heard on MSNBC this morning that already the Taliban wants to negotiate post results of this election.  Now what kind of public works would be ideal to 1) get the country going again, 2) put people back to work,  3) cure a major problem, 4) be good for the environment….?…How about a massive effort like during World War II – but instead of building war machines and weapons to thwart Hitler and Mussolini’s Nazi/fascists, what about building something to cure our energy dilemma?

After some calculation, starting with the fact that one megawatt of wind energy can supply 270 homes with electricity [fact supplied by American Wind Energy Association or], what if we started building enough 2.5 megawatt Clipper wind turbines [these already commercially exist] to power ALL of the USA’s homes?!  Yes, that would take 122,000 turbines.  It would put people to work doing something they would take great pride in, and not be pollutive.  Also, these turbines could be exported to the rest of the world, and make America the world leader in wind power.  Although most Americans don’t realize this: America right now is number two in megawattage in the world behind world leader Germany.

Where could we do this?  How about in all those closing car plants?  Retrofit or superfit them.  In 2007 Ford alone produced 2.5 MILLION vehicles.  Get into those closing or closed plants, Americans, and let’s solve our energy/electricity mui pronto!   No nuclear needed [first new nuclear  plant wouldn’t be on line til 2015 anyway; no ultimately toxic nuclear waste with over 500 different kinds of radionuclides produced every day in each of our 104 current nuclear plants to cause cancer, genetic defects, mutations, fetal loss – these are just for starters.  See more in the Chernobyl post on this site re plutonium and specific other radionuclides.]  Minimize ‘clean’ coal or dirty coal [remember that 50% of USA electricity is now generated by coal; 18.8% by nuclear; ~19% from natural gas; coming up to 2% by wind; only 2% by oil.]

Congratulations Mr. President-Elect, we can pull ourselves out of our economic mess by our bootstraps.  At least $10 billion per month we waste in Iraq.  Withdraw quickly.  Sorry thanks to Mr. Bush/Cheney/Rice/Rumsfeld and all the hawky plunderers who have helped kill about 1,000,000 Iraqis and maybe 4000 Americans by now in that unfortunate oil-rich country.  Negotiate with the Taliban.  Let’s get the world on the road to peace, instead of war and domination.  And the suppression of our own civil liberties.  Can’t we close at least half of those expensive 800 military bases overseas?  We’ve spent ourselves into fantastic debt and economic desecration by thinking we can rule the world and maintain our empire, mostly for the benefit of corporations who have no soul or commitment to anything humane or human.

Change.  Time for it to start bubbling.  The people are enthusiastic.  Let’s ride the wave, and make this country and planet a great place to live and improve upon, based on love and encouragement.

11 5 08  C  Conrad Miller M.D.

Edition III of ‘The Most Important Issues Americans THINK They Know Enough About,’ addressing the above approach to our future, is featured in Dr. Miller’s book – – available from Amazon and other sources in 2 weeks.